Inter Milan set to enquire about Liverpool contract rebel

first_img1 Martin Skrtel Inter Milan look set to enquire about the availability of Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel.According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are targeting the former Zenit Saint Petersburg defender, whose contract at Liverpool expires at the end of next season.The Slovakian international has failed to agree terms on a new deal at the Merseyside club – despite being offered a three-year contract, prompting interest from the Italian giants.Skrtel, who has made over 200 Premier League appearances for the Reds after signing for £6m from Russian side Zenit in January 2008, has refused to sign a new three-year deal after rejecting a clause which states he will only receive his full salary if playing a particular number of games each season.The 30-year-old defender, who has scored 17 goals during his time in England, is likely to attract interest from across Europe, though Inter are the first to express an interest in signing the Slovakian defender.last_img read more

Henderson, Sullivan survive wild fall spectacular finishes

first_imgSubmitted to the Times-StandardIt was a wild and crazy 2018 season finale Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. The 26th annual Mid-City Motor World Fall Spectacular once again concluded racing at the 3/8-mile paved oval with champions being decided in all of the Acres’ divisions. In addition, the North State Modified Series raced for the third time at RAR this year.The Thunder Roadster cars returned to race with Paul Baker setting fast time with a 17.658. Katina Baker won the trophy dash …last_img read more

A 9-year-old who couldn’t find Curry 5s for girls wrote Steph Curry. His response is priceless

first_imgStephen Curry must get, what, a couple hundred fan letters per day? Here’s guessing his screeners are familiar with the obligatory requests for autographs, photos, tickets, golf dates and birthday invites.One recent letter stood out. It was from Riley Morrison, a 9-year-old hoopster with a problem. She wanted to purchase a pair of Curry 5 basketball shoes for the new season but was disappointed to find out the kicks only came in boy’s and men’s sizes.“She looked at me and said, ‘Dad, that’s …last_img read more

Anatolian dogs protect cheetahs

first_imgAnatolian dogs are constantly on the lookout for predators threatening the herd of goats.Puppies are put into the pen with lambs when they are six to eight weeks old.(Images: Elanza van Lente)MEDIA CONTACTS • Elanza van LenteProject manager, Namaqua Dog Project+27 27 672 1948.Lucille DavieFor centuries, in cultures as diverse as Laplanders and Aborigines, dogs have been man’s best friend. They have been companions, hunters and guards, and in many cultures have even played an important spiritual role. Now they have become cheetah’s best friends, too.Anatolian shepherd dogs, bred in Turkey for 6 000 years, have been imported to South Africa where they are being used to protect livestock and cattle. In the process, they protect cheetahs, which would normally prey on the livestock. When cheetahs take their livestock, farmers respond by shooting the cheetah, or laying snares for them, which then trap smaller predators like caracal and jackal.Cheetahs are endangered. According to Cheetah Outreach, at the turn of the 20th century, there were an estimated 100 000 cheetahs in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Today there are just 7 500 cheetahs left and in South Africa there are fewer than 1 000.Anatolian dogs were first introduced to southern Africa in 1994, when farmers in Namibia started using them. Based on this success, a trial programme was launched by De Wildt’s Wild Cheetah Management Project and Cheetah Outreach, in 2005. Since 2008, Sanparks –South African National Parks – has run its own breeding programme in the Namaqua National Park. “The purpose of the project is to breed and train Anatolian shepherd dogs and to provide them at an affordable price to farmers who cannot afford to pay the full market price for the dog. This is in an effort to protect both the farmers’ livestock and the wildlife in the vicinity,” it says.Anatolian dogs can now be found across all nine provinces. Outside Turkey, they are used as guard dogs in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Botswana. They are mostly used to guard sheep and goats, but recently they have been used successfully to guard cattle, and also wild game. With their introduction, farmers have stopped laying traps, which has meant that, besides cheetah, other animals like aardwolf, genet, fox, honey badger and tortoise have not been caught in snares either, so being saved a slow and painful death.Protection from bears and wolvesIn Turkey, Anatolian shepherd dogs were originally bred to protect livestock from bears and wolves. They were bred to withstand harsh conditions – extreme heat and extreme cold, in dry, arid areas of Central Anatolia, conditions not unlike those found in South Africa. It’s believed that they were even used during times of war to dismount enemy riders from their horses.The dogs are tough and hardy – they stand about 90cm at the shoulder, and weigh up to 75kg, though the females are slightly smaller and lighter. They have a medium-length, tan- or beige-coloured coat, which allows for cooling but maintains warmth in winter. They have good eyesight, sharp hearing, and an excellent sense of smell. They are calm and confident, intelligent and independent, and will stay with the herd in times of danger, or when a sheep or goat is in distress.They can run at 75km/h, and have a loud bark, which is their first means of defence, followed by attack if sufficiently provoked. Like predators, they will latch on to the throat, killing the predator. But crucially, they will not chase predators over long distances, leaving the herd unguarded. Their size and loud bark are usually enough to chase away most potential threats.TrainingAn animal’s training as a guard dog begins when it is a puppy of six to eight weeks. The puppy is placed in an enclosure within the pen of the sheep or goats initially. It is taught not to play with the lambs or to hunt, and soon is taken for short walks with the herd, accompanied by the farmer or handler, says Elanza van Lente, the project manager of the Namaqua Dog Project in Northern Cape.“Each day they go further, rest, then catch up with the herd,” she explains. They are walked along the fences, allowing them to get a sense of their boundaries. Van Lente says they mark their area with urine, and demarcate two areas: A is an area close to the herd; and B is a bigger area. If a predator comes within B the dog will bark and chase it; if it enters the smaller A area, the dog will attack and kill a caracal or jackal. She says it will take on a leopard but it will probably not survive.“Normally, a farmer would lose 30 to 40 lambs a year, but now he loses nothing,” she adds. Although the Anatolian dogs have mostly been used for goats and sheep, they are now beginning to be used for cattle too. Van Lente says that she has trained and placed 49 dogs. She has three breeding pairs, plus another female. All dogs that are placed with farmers are sterilised at six months.An untrained dog from Sanparks costs about R1 000 (US$97), but up to R6 000 ($580) on the open market. Van Lente and her team will give the farmer training, providing a manual, and be on call throughout the day and night if a problem arises. Training can take between three and nine months. “The dogs are very clever, and operate best in grassland, mountain areas and open spaces.” She has a long waiting list for dogs.Once trained, the dogs are happy out on their own. They will bring the herd home at the time they were trained to, but if they stay overnight in the veld, it is usually because there is a problem. The farmer will be alerted and will be prompted to search for the herd and dog. The dog will never leave an injured goat or sheep on its own – it will keep the whole herd in the veld until the farmer comes looking for them.Remarkable storiesThere are some remarkable stories of dogs’ devotion to their herds. A dog called Beska was in a fight with a caracal and was badly injured, but still managed to bring its herd safely home. Crickey was attacked by a leopard and sustained serious injuries, but it didn’t lose a single animal in its herd. On its return from the vet, Crickey was kept indoors to recover, but broke out on the first night, and walked 14km to its herd in the veld.One night Boleyn did not return with its herd, only coming in later with a goat and a newborn kid. The dog had carried the kid back to the farmhouse. Its herd repaid Boleyn’s good deed some time later. It managed to get a snare wrapped around its neck and was unable to move. The farmer spent a day looking for Boleyn when it didn’t return with the herd. He came upon the herd huddling around it, protecting it and saving its life.Uthaya had an old and sickly ewe in its herd. One very hot day the herder noticed the dog gently taking the ewe by the back of its neck and dragging it from the heat into the shade. “Anatolians possess the three main behaviour traits that an effective livestock guarding dog must have: trustworthiness, attentiveness and protectiveness,” says De Wildt.Van Lente adds that the dogs make good pets too. They will be protective, but can be aggressive if the owner is not on the property, as their natural guarding instincts kick in, much like Rottweilers or Dobermans.last_img read more

Why It Might Make Sense For Apple To Make A Five-Inch Phone

first_imgTags:#Apple#iPhone jon mitchell If you’re an Apple watcher that isn’t too busy focusing on the present, you’re probably wondering what Apple has cooking for the near future. While Wednesday’s critical earnings report will reflect on the health of its existing products, the smart money is on whether or not Apple’s got new magic in the pipeline.Looking at the successful models in the Android world, much of the mobile geek chatter is about Apple’s conspicuous lack of a phone in the five-inch screen range. Apple showed with the iPad Mini that it isn’t above letting other manufacturers beat it to market with a new device size. It just waits to enter the market until it makes sense internally to do so.Well, Rene Ritchie at iMore has a pretty spotless record of figuring out when it makes sense. Instead of fiending over rumors, he just uses math and common sense and says, “look, here’s how Apple could do it.” He was right about the iPhone 5. And this week, Ritchie has taken a look at a variety of five-ish-inch phone form factors and figured out which ones are plausible for Apple to actually do.He considers a stretched-out 1136×640 pixel-doubled, the same resolution as an iPhone 5, on a theoretical 5-inch phone. This would have a lower pixel density than the 5’s retina screen, but still not bad. He also looks at 3x and 4x possibilities, which would make for some very nice displays, but given that Apple just made developers rework everything to get to 2x resolution — and that work is still not done — this new display density seems farfetched.Ritchie also looks at more outlandish possibilities. It’s well worth reading.Apple fans are resistant to believing that this device size matters. Just because there’s a market for five-inch Android phablets doesn’t mean that an iThing in the same size would sell. But Ritchie plays devil’s advocate on that and shows why people might very well be interested in a five-inch iPhone.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

If You Are a Farmer

first_imgWhat does a farmer do?A farmer prepares the earth. A farmer ensures that the ground is ready to produce. When the ground is ready, the farmer tills the soil and plants the seeds that will eventually bring a harvest.When the seeds are planted, the farmer nurtures them, ensuring they get the right nutrients, the right amount of water, and the right pruning. The farmer is in charge of the care and feeding that eventually produces a crop.You are, even as a farmer, responsible for creating opportunities.You start by developing the relationships that will be important to winning deals. You are also responsible for planting the seeds of change, creating the case for the client to do something different, something that produces new results. You till the soil. You nurture green sprouts.The idea of an account manager, or client success manager if you prefer, is to do the work that leads to new opportunities being created and won. That work starts with ensuring that the client captures the value of what you have sold them, and it continues through maximizing their results. It does not, however, end with you becoming a glorified customer service representative.Because you have greater access than a salesperson, you can get closer to the people that work inside your client account. You can also develop a greater understanding of what your client needs help with and what comes next. This access and these insights allow you to start introducing new ideas–and the new initiatives that create an opportunity for you and your company.Even though you may not be responsible for managing or winning the opportunity, you are responsible for–and best positioned to– create new opportunities.If your role is to manage accounts, then manage them so well that you have an absolute right to pitch the next idea, as well as bringing in your team to support you in delivering it. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more