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Fulbright scholar describes hometown in China

first_imgYan Song, a Fulbright teaching assistant at Saint Mary’s, offered a firsthand account of life in Lanzhou, China in the Mother Pauline Room of Cushwa-Leighton Library on March 25.  The presentation, sponsored by the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), gave faculty members and students a dose of Chinese culture.  Home to Song and three million others, Lanzhou marks the geometrical center of China and is the capital of Gansu, one of the country’s 34 provinces. “It’s a great tourist location because of the surrounding historical sites,” Song said. “With the Maiji Mountain Caves to the east and the Buddha Caves to the west, it attracts a lot of visitors.” Once a key point in the Silk Road, Lanzhou remains central to surrounding regions’ transportation and telecommunication, Song said. She attributed this reliance to the capital’s location on the Yellow River, the second largest river in Asia. “It’s vital because it’s the only provincial city that the river runs through,” Song said. Though motorboats are accessible, Song said many Lanzhou residents use sheepskin rafts to conveniently navigate the city’s veins. Unique to the Yellow River, these simple rafts are made of inflated sheep or pigskins. The floating devices are not the only interesting sights available on the Yellow River’s banks, Song said. The city is teeming with artwork. Song said she believes the Yellow River Mother sculpture, located symbolically along the river, is the most significant of expositions.  “The Yellow River is often referred to as the mother of China,” she said. Many other structures flank the river’s shore, Song said, such as Lanzhou’s Waterwheel Park, a water conservation system formerly used to irrigate local crops, and the Zhongshan Bridge, the Yellow River’s first iron bridge. “Lanzhou adds the grand beauty of northern Chinese cities to the quaintness of the south,” Song said. “It’s a harmonious combination of the modern and the old.”  Song said her hometown also offers religious diversity. Gansu Province is roughly 10 percent Muslim, she said.  Song said Lanzhou currently has 1,000 Muslim noodle shops that, combined, serve 1,000,000 bowls of hand-pulled beef noodles a day. The elastic noodles are boiled in beef-liver broth and have extra potassium carbonate added to them.  “It is the most loved food in China. It’s so delicious,” Song said. “Many people in China eat it, but it all comes from my city.” Although Song said she feels privileged to be studying in the United States, she admitted she missed the food of her city the most. Elaine Meyer Lee, director of the CWIL, said most of the “Chinese” food in the United States is Cantonese style, which is more common in the southern part of China. Song studied English for ten years in Lanzhou but said she had felt deprived of understanding American culture because she was not immersed in it. “I did not have a real vivid image of what Christmas was,” she said. “Now I have experienced Christmas and Halloween. It has furthered my education to see the different kinds of western festivals and celebrations.  “We cannot learn basic cultural differences from our textbooks. We must cherish diversity of all the people here, and respect their rights.”last_img read more

Court takes up capital case fee issues

first_img March 1, 2002 Regular News Court takes up capital case fee issues Court takes up capital case fee issuescenter_img Judges can increase the compensation for private “registry” attorneys who handle collateral death penalty appeals, despite a state law setting maximum compensation, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled.In a 4-3 decision released February 14, the justices upheld a circuit judge’s declaratory judgement sought by Tallahassee attorney Mark Evan Olive. But the court rejected Olive’s contention that limitations in the state contract cause ethical conflicts for registry lawyers.The dissenters from the opinion said Olive lacked standing to seek a declaratory judgment.The majority opinion, written by Justice Fred Lewis, said Olive had standing because he had met with his client and remained on the registry list of available attorneys, even though he refused to sign the state-mandated contract. Another attorney was eventually appointed to represent that client.The opinion said Olive met the standards set out in Holley v. Adams, 238 So. 2d 401 (Fla. 1970).On the compensation schedule outlined in the state contract and set by law, Olive argued by signing the agreement he was waiving any further compensation to which he might be entitled. Lewis noted in several cases the court had overruled compensation schedules if they impinged on a party’s right to counsel.In White v. Board of County Commissioners of Pinellas County, 537 So. 2d 1376 (Fla. 1989), Lewis noted the court held that, “It must be remembered that an indigent defendant’s right to competent and effective representation, not the attorney’s right to reasonable compensation, give rise to the necessity of exceeding the statutory maximum fee cap. The relationship between an attorney’s compensation and the quality of his or her representation cannot be ignored.”Counsel for the state conceded that other decisions gave the courts authority to exceed statutory schedules, Lewis wrote, and the legislative staff analysis for the bill setting the schedule also acknowledged that fact.The analysis said, “[W]here unusual or extraordinary circumstances exist, the fees caps established by [F.S.] § 27.711(f). . . and increased by the provisions of this bill, do not prevent a court from ordering payment above the maximum authorized.”Consequently, Lewis concluded that trial courts are authorized to approve fees in excess of the schedule “where extraordinary or unusual circumstances exist in capital collateral cases.” He added that does not mean extra fees are justified in every case or will automatically be awarded when requested.The justices rejected Olive’s contention the statutorily-mandated contract caused ethical violations by preventing frivolous or repetitive motions, that prohibiting registry attorneys from filing civil actions in federal court was unconstitutional, and that contract provisions dealing with records could make client confidences part of the public record.Lewis said lawyers already have ethical obligations against frivolous or repetitive motions and noted that the court has upheld the statutory prohibition for the state’s Capital Collateral Regional Counsels from filing civil actions in federal courts. As for the records, he said the contract clearly specifies that only information already public under F.S. Chap. 119 is covered, not confidential work product or attorney-client matters.Justices Leander Shaw, Jr., Harry Lee Anstead, and Barbara Pariente concurred with Lewis. Justice Major Harding wrote a dissent, in which Chief Justice Charles Wells and Justice Peggy Quince concurred.Harding argued since Olive never signed the contract and didn’t provide any evidence that he performed any work beyond meeting with his potential client, he lacked the standing to seek a declaratory judgment. Had he signed the contract, done the representation, and then presented evidence the compensation was inadequate, standing would have been there, Harding said.The majority’s action, he said, constituted issuing an advisory opinion in a case where it had no authority to do so. “In sum, Olive had no contractual right then in doubt and no legal relationship that was affected by sections 27.710 and 27.711,” Harding wrote. “Although Olive argued below that he was entitled to bring a declaratory judgment action because the rights at issue would arise in the future, that is not so; that could not arise if he never signed a contract and never represented a capital defendant.”Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach, who sponsored the bill that created the registry and who chairs the state commission that oversees that and other death appeal issues, said he was pleased the court upheld the fee statute, adding most of the cases so far have come in well below the caps.“I think that’s very positive. The registry attorneys have become a significant part of the collateral process,” Burt said. “I think that the discussion about fee caps simply reaffirmed the line of Florida cases going back to 1986, which said if there are unusual and extraordinary circumstances, then you can get more money. I think they specifically stated a death penalty case wasn’t in of itself particularly unique, extraordinary or unusual.”The ruling came in Olive v. Maas, case no. SC00-317.last_img read more

Still no takers for Lowry lot

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Mainstream US religious leaders criticize Trump after church photo

first_imgMainstream US Protestant and Catholic leaders sharply criticized President Donald Trump on Tuesday, a day after peaceful protesters were forcibly displaced for a staged presidential photo in front of a church near the White House.Trump won the 2016 presidential election with strong support from white Catholics and evangelical Christians. Just months ahead of the November elections, when he hopes to win a second term, Trump has been trying to appeal to those voters with the photo in front of the Episcopal church, a visit Tuesday to a shrine to Pope John Paul II, and an executive order directing US agencies to “protect” religious freedom overseas.But religious leaders have condemned the administration’s treatment of Americans protesting the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American who died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25. Police on horseback and armed soldiers on Monday evening used tear gas and rubber bullets to push protesters back before Trump walked from the White House across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been damaged by fire amid protests on Sunday evening. In front of the church, Trump held up a Bible.US President Donald Trump leaves the White House on foot to go to St John’s Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. – US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against policebrutality that have erupted into violence. The White House announced that the president would makeremarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. AFP/ Brendan Smialowski (AFP/Brendan Smialowski )Trump has called for state governors to crack down on the thousands protesting Floyd’s death around the country, and threatened to send in the US military.John Paul, the head of the Catholic church for nearly 40 years, would “not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the top Catholic leader in the nation’s capital, said in a statement Tuesday. Hundreds of shouting protesters lined the street near the monument to the pope, holding signs that read, “Racist in Chief,” “Trump Mocks Christ” and “Our Church is not a Photo Op.”Susan Gunn, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, a Catholic group that helped organize the protest, said she was disappointed that Trump had not used either occasion to try to bring people together.”Our society’s splintering. We are in the middle of a pandemic with 100,000 dead,” she said speaking of the coronavirus outbreak, which she noted has disproportionately affected people of color.”President Trump identifies himself as a Christian and avid reader of the Bible. And I just call him and all of our hurting communities to remember the great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself,” Gunn said.Bishop Michael Curry, the chief pastor and chief executive of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, also criticized Trump for using a church building and the Bible for partisan purposes.”We need our president, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders,” he said in a statement. “For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be ‘one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.'”Trump won strong support from white evangelical Christians in the 2016 presidential election, while white Catholics backed him by 60 percent, according to Pew Research Center.Elizabeth Eaton, the presiding bishop for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, condemned Trump’s decision to use the Catholic shrine as a political backdrop.”Denouncing this outrage cannot, however, distract us from the deep wounds of structural racism and white supremacy that have been reopened by the killing of George Floyd,” she said in a statement.Topics :last_img read more

Gold Coast mansion comes with a raft of luxury features

first_img15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters is on the market at $8.945 million.WITH a modern industrial style it’s not hard to see why this sprawling Broadbeach Waters mansion is described as “one of the Gold Coast’s finest homes”.The residence, designed by Adam Beck from BDA Architects, comes with all the luxuries expected of a prestige riverfront property including a 2000-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar, media room, pool and multiple entertaining areas.15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters.From the front, a stunning timber and stone facade sets the scene with no detail spared.As soon as you step inside, the water and city views demand your attention. The picture-perfect pool, spa and landscaped gardens acts as a centrepiece in the house with the living areas on either side.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa22 hours ago15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters.“The vast solar-heated pool and spa is framed by a superior ModWood deck and lush landscaping, which flows onto an adjacent entertaining terrace,” Jordan Williams, of Kollosche Prestige Agents, said. “Bordered by a bespoke concrete beam with inset strip lighting, you’ll relish hosting family and friends in this alfresco space.”15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters.The kitchen has an island bench, integrated Miele appliances, dual ovens and a butler’s pantry and also flows seamlessly to the alfresco area.The master bedroom stands out with its ensuite with marble finishes, walk-in- wardrobe and waterfront balcony.The property is on the market at $8.495 million.15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters. 15 Cleland Cres, Broadbeach Waters.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:45Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:45 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:45 Related videos 01:45Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:34Paradise for sale…01:16Dream home: Broadbeach Waters01:33Dream Home: New Farm01:36Dream Home: Brookfield01:00Mermaid Beachlast_img read more

Wenger unsure on Welbeck return

first_img Press Association Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not know when striker Danny Welbeck will be back in contention, but hopes midfielder Aaron Ramsey can be fit to tackle Swansea on Monday night. Welbeck missed the win at Hull because of a knee problem, and has not trained since. Ramsey, meanwhile, suffered a heavy kick to his leg against the Tigers, where he scored in the 3-1 victory. “Every big club wants to win it, Arsenal is a big club and it is definitely a target for us all.” The former Newcastle defender added: “Of course it is not finished yet but so far, it is a good season. “We have picked up a lot of wins, a lot of good results. “I really hope we can carry on playing well until the end, and if we do we will say it was a good season.” Wenger confirmed: “Welbeck is doing better, but he is still not in training, he has missed now more than a week. “There is no major damage, but we have to see how it progresses over the next two or three days.” While Welbeck may not recover in time for Arsenal’s second successive Monday night kick-off, the prognosis on Ramsey is more positive. “From the Hull match we had Ramsey who took a big kick, he is getting slowly better. He could be back in training soon,” Wenger said on the club’s official website, Captain Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, is continuing his rehabilitation having been out since the end of November following a calf injury and then an ankle problem, but remains “short” for the Hull game, says Wenger, as does midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain following an inflamed groin. Full-back Matheiu Debuchy returned from three months out after shoulder surgery to play in the FA Cup semi-final against Reading at Wembley, but has since picked up a hamstring problem. The France international is confident the Gunners can last the distance next season, having paid for a slow start to the campaign back in the Autumn but recovering to win 18 out of 22 games in all competitions since the turn of the year. “I am convinced that we will challenge for the title [next season],” Debuchy told Arsenal Player. last_img read more

Adrian Gonzalez scare caps dismal Dodgers performance in finale against Mets

first_imgVIDEO: Watch Adrian Gonzalez update his status after leaving the game with a right hand contusion“The knob of the bat was not letting me swing,” Gonzalez said. “I told them I could get a different bat. But my bat, the way I hold it, I would not be able to swing it normally, and they said there’s no need to go out and do something I don’t normally do.”So Gonzalez came out for a pinch-hitter, preferring to safeguard against further potential injury.Shut it down. Come back and fight another day.With the way that Mets’ rookie left-hander Matz was dealing and how the Mets’ offense went from punchless punchline to punch-happy, there was no reason for the Dodgers to push their luck with Gonzalez in an 8-0 loss in the rubber match of a three-game series with the Mets. Something did not feel right.As Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez stood in the on-deck circle in the fourth inning Sunday against the New York Mets, he realized he could not grip the bat the way he normally does.It was a result of getting drilled in the right hand by a Steven Matz fastball in the first inning.Rather than try to push through, Gonzalez made the prudent decision to come out of the game as a precautionary measure. The Dodgers were already down 4-0 when Alex Guerrero pinch-hit for Gonzalez leading off the fourth. It only got worse from there as Yasiel Puig lost a ball in the sun for a two-run triple for Juan Lagares.“At that point, it wasn’t worth it,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s pretty good about what he could or couldn’t do. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow.”VIDEO: Watch Dodgers manager Don Mattingly update Adrian Gonzalez’s conditionGonzalez was diagnosed with a right hand contusion — a fancy word for a bruise.Gonzalez said barring any complications, he expects to be available Monday when the Philadelphia Phillies come to Dodger Stadium to open a four-game series.The Dodgers’ bats could use a healthy Gonzalez. After all, this confounding offense that leads the National League in homers, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and walks managed just three hits off Matz and Mets reliever Logan Verrett.In fact, the legend of Matz grew for the Mets as he was brilliant in six innings. Matz allowed two hits with eight strikeouts, two walks (both to Scott Van Slyke) and of course that hit batter with Gonzalez.Matz even added an RBI — his fifth in two games — on an RBI groundout in the fourth inning, though he went 0 for 3 on the day.His 14 strikeouts in his first two career games are the second-most in franchise history behind only Matt Harvey (18 in 2012). His five RBIs tie him for most by any Mets player regardless of position through their first two games with the club, joining Richie Hebner (1979) and Bernard Gilkey (1996).“He seems to work quick,” Mattingly said of Matz. “I thought we chased early. He looks like he’s a little sneaky with his fastball. His velocity is not 97 or 98 (mph) like some of their other guys, but it looked like the ball got on some of our guys a little bit.“We go back to New York after the (All-Star) break. It would be interesting to see how we react and if we do anything differently.”VIDEO: Watch Dodgers manager Don Mattingly break down Mets rookie Steven MatzVerrett pitched three scoreless innings to close it out and earn the unorthodox save.The only three Dodgers hits: Kiké Hernandez hit a single to left field to lead off the game against Matz, A.J. Ellis singled to lead off the fifth inning against Matz and Justin Turner singled to lead off the ninth against Verrett.It was a dismal performance on an otherwise pristine Sunday afternoon before 40,027 at Dodger Stadium.On a day when the Dodgers placed starter Carlos Frias on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff back, Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger did not provide much assurance against a Mets team that had scored just six runs in their previous five games.Bolsinger’s assortment of off-speed pitches were not fooling many Mets hitters. Bolsinger allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings. He had four strikeouts and two walks, though one was intentional. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.Bolsinger had been nearly untouchable at home, entering the game with a 4-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and a .185 opponents’ batting average in five previous starts at Dodger Stadium this season.J.P. Howell threw a scoreless inning of relief, but Juan Nicasio was tagged for three runs in his one inning of work (although two came home when Puig lost a two-out fly ball in the sun).Daniel Coulombe — called up earlier in the day when Frias was placed on the DL — also gave up a run in two innings of work.In total, the Mets belted out eight runs on 15 hits, including a career-best 4-for-4 performance by Wilmer Flores that included two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Daniel Murphy reached base five times with three hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. Ruben Tejada went 3 for 5 with an RBI, and Curtis Granderson had two hits and an RBI.The Dodgers have won 14 of 19 against the Mets, but the Mets won the best-of-three weekend series. The Dodgers also dropped to 9-3-2 in home series wins this season.Interesting side note: Yasmani Grandal entered the game at first base in the eighth inning for the first time as a Dodger. He had played 37 games at first base with the San Diego Padres last season.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

NFL Draft 2019: Where are Tyree Jackson, Alex Barnes, other notable undrafted free agents reportedly going?

first_imgWhere are notable undrafted free agents reportedly signing?PlayerTeamSourceTyree Jackson, QB, BuffaloBuffalo BillsESPNElijah Holyfield, RB, GeorgiaCarolina PanthersNFL NetworkLil’Jordan Humphrey, WR, TexasNew Orleans SaintsNFL NetworkKaran Higdon, RB, MichiganHouston TexansYahoo SportsAlex Barnes, RB, Kansas StateTennessee TitansNFL NetworkDavid Sills, WR, West VirginiaBuffalo BillsHouston ChronicleKyle Shurmur, QB, VanderbiltKansas City ChiefsNFL NetworkBrett Rypien, QB, Boise StateDenver BroncosNFL NetworkEmmanuel Hall, WR, MissouriChicago BearsYahoo SportsJoe Dineen, LB, KansasDenver Broncos9News in DenverEthan Greenidge, OK, VillanovaNew Orleans SaintsNJ Advance MediaJakobi Meyers, WR, NC StateNew England PatriotsSirius XMReggie White Jr. WR, MonmouthNew York GiantsNJ.comGary Johnson, LB, TexasKansas City ChiefsNFL NetworkNick Easley, WR, IowaBuffalo BillsNFL NetworkGerald Willis, DT, MiamiBaltimore RavensNFL NetworkSaivion Smith, CB, AlabamaJacksonville JaguarsNFL NetworkXavier Ubosi, WR, UABNew England PatriotsYahoo SportsChris Westry, CB, KentuckyDallas CowboysNFL Draft BibleJake Browning, QB, WashingtonMinnesota VikingsNFL NetworkRicky Walker, DT, Virginia TechDallas CowboysRicky WalkerManny Wilkins, QB, Arizona StateGreen Bay PackersThe AthleticMac Loudermilk, P, UCFTampa Bay BuccaneersMac LoudermilkThis story will be updated. NFL Draft 2019 trade roundup: Tracking every single one of the record 39 deals NFL Draft 2019: Last Chance U, Texas Tech alum Dakota Allen taken by Rams There was a lot of talent left on the board following the 2019 NFL Draft.All-Americans were left, big-bodied quarterbacks and bruising runners, too. So where are these players signing now that the draft is over?This is what we’re hearing and we’ll do our best to keep you updated. Related Newslast_img read more

Lifelines for Hazard and Suarez as La Liga title race looks to forgotten stars

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Eden Hazard has endured a nightmare first season at Real Madrid but could make amends in the final 11 games.Madrid, Spain | AFP |  When La Liga stopped they were not expected to play any part in the rest of the title race but when the season resumes on Thursday, Eden Hazard and Luis Suarez could be set to decide it.Hazard was looking beyond Real Madrid to the Euros after undergoing surgery on his right foot in March while some felt Suarez had played his last game for Barcelona after having a knee operation in January.Instead, both have been thrown a lifeline, Suarez to preserve his career at Barca and Hazard to kickstart his with Madrid.After Real Madrid paid 100 million euros ($108.4 million) to sign him from Chelsea last year, fans sprinted outside the Santiago Bernabeu to beat the queues for Hazard’s unveiling, and around 50,000 made it inside.However questions were soon being asked about his weight in pre-season, and he has struggled with injury all season.Every time he has come back, Hazard has needed time to find form, initially lacking that burst of speed and change of direction that at his best, can leave a defender for dead.But reports from Valdebebas have been positive, with Thibaut Courtois saying on Sunday he had been surprised by the Belgian’s “rhythm” before adding a note of caution. “We can’t expect him to be on top form without playing,” he said.Barca coach Quique Setien has been similarly circumspect over Suarez, who is also not renowned for quick returns to sharpness after time away.– Fitness questions –“He is better than we expected,” Setien said on Sunday. “But the question is how ready he is after so long out and whether he is ready to start.”Despite winning the Clasico on March 1, Madrid were in a slump before the hiatus, that 2-0 victory over Barcelona their only win in five games.They lost the defensive steel that saw them go 21 matches unbeaten either side of Christmas and a familiar bluntless, still lingering from Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, remains.Hazard was supposed to help fill the creative void but 11 games over five and a half weeks offers no room for rustiness and, unlike Suarez, this is still a new team to him. Fifteen appearances in 10 months hardly breeds familiarity.Barca meanwhile need bodies as they have only 19 fit senior players, which leaves them surprisingly ill-equipped to capitalise on two extra substitutes.The club sold back-ups in January to raise funds for a striker that never arrived and instead they were left to exploit La Liga’s emergency signing rule in February to poach Martin Braithwaite from Leganes.But Suarez brings experience and quality, not to mention the best out of Lionel Messi.In full flow, Messi could see off Real Madrid but the Argentinian has had his own injury problems this season, the latest a minor thigh complaint that led to him missing three training sessions last week. Barcelona have a two-point advantage and the marginally more favourable fixtures, particularly as the usually heated atmospheres at Sevilla and Alaves will be negated by empty stands.They play Atletico Madrid at home too but have not lost to them at Camp Nou in 14 years.Yet bubbling distrust of the Barca board could resurface at any moment and Madrid have the better head-to-head record, meaning they only need to be level on points to be crowned champions.They play away at high-flying Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao but more important could be how they take to their new training ground home, the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, while renovation work continues at the Bernabeu.Madrid have Marco Asensio fit again while Gareth Bale has been the fittest of anyone in training. Zinedine Zidane’s knack for winning knock-out tournaments might even be well-suited to a 39-day sprint finish.Zidane was close to the sack in September but almost a year later, only one thing is certain. Nothing is the same.Fixtures (all times GMT)ThursdaySevilla v Real Betis (2000)FridayGranada v Getafe (1700), Valencia v Levante (2000)SaturdayEspanyol v Alaves (1200), Celta Vigo v Villarreal (1500), Leganes v Real Valladolid (1730), Mallorca v Barcelona (2000)SundayAthletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid (1200), Real Madrid v Eibar (1730), Real Scciedad v Osasuna (2000)last_img read more

Chinese woman accused of Mar-a-Lago spying set for trial

first_imgAs the upcoming trial for Chinese national who faces federal charges for trespassing at the Mar-a-Lago approaches, the mystery in whether the accused is a foreign spy continues to linger.Yujing Zhang is accessed of breaking into the Trump-based hotel, and then lying to Secret Service agents.The 33-year-old Shanghai business consultant fired her public defenders in June to act as her own attorney, and has reportedly struggled with pretrial hearings, and setting up Monday’s scheduled jury selection.Prosecutors have accused Zhang of manipulating the hearings by insisting she understands complex legal concepts, but will then say she doesn’t understand a simple question and turns to her Mandarin translator.Zhang reportedly speaks fluent English.Additionally, prosecutors have filed under secret seal evidence that they say has national security implication.However, Zhang has not been charged with espionage.The Secret Service said when agents detained Zhang at Mar-a-Lago she was carrying a computer, a hard drive, four cellphones and a thumb drive containing malware, although agents later recanted that accusation.Agents said Zhang told them she brought the electronics to Mar-a-Lago because she feared they would be stolen if left at her nearby hotel, but in her room they allegedly found a device to detect hidden cameras, computers, $8,000 in cash plus credit and debit cards, all in plain view.The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment on the matter.Chinese Officials attempts to contact Zhang in jail, where she is being held without bail, were unsuccessful, according to reports.If convicted, Zhang could get six years in prison.last_img read more