The army’s salvation

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Dennis Praet’s agent promises Arsenal transfer target’s future will be ‘sorted’ in next fortnight

first_imgDennis Praet’s agent promises Arsenal transfer target’s future will be ‘sorted’ in next fortnight Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Read More SPONSORED PLAY / by Metro Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling About Connatix V67539 Read More Skip Ad Full Screen Read More Dennis Praet has been heavily linked with transfer to Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Dennis Praet’s agent Martin Riha insists the Belgium international midfielder’s future is likely to be finalised within the next fortnight.The 25-year-old, who had a trial at Arsenal as a teenager, has emerged as one of Unai Emery’s primary targets to replace Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey.Arsenal reportedly saw a joint £49million bid for Praet and his Sampdoria teammate Joachim Andersen rejected earlier this week, but the north London club are expected to return imminently with an improved offer.AC Milan, however, are understood to represent significant competition for Praet’s services and could hold a significant advantage given Marco Giampaolo’s appointment as Gennaro Gattuso’s replacement as head coach after three years at Sampdoria.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT Comment Top articles Read More Unai Emery is interested in Sampdoria duo Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen (Picture: Metro / Getty)MORE: How Sampdoria duo Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen can solve two of Unai Emery’s biggest issues at Arsenal‘Everybody knows what Giampaolo thinks of Dennis. For now, I can’t say anything else,’ said Riha.‘AC Milan is an important brand, it’s a big name. But there are also other clubs that want to sign him, especially abroad, they’ve already shown their interest.’On whether Arsenal specifically had lodge a formal interest in Praet, he said: ‘I can’t add anything else now, I think you can understand.‘Dennis is a complete footballer and he is ready to join a big club.‘There are many clubs interested, we’ll know everything in a few weeks.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement 1/1 1 min. story Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Video Settings More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Skip Read More Coming Next Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 15 Jun 2019 10:23 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link351Shareslast_img read more

​Alecta invests €100m in African social government bond

first_img“In this case, through local and international reinsurance through credit guarantees,” he added.Alecta said the bond will finance areas such as schooling, healthcare, food safety and infrastructure — contributing to most of the United Nation’s UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ‘no poverty’, ‘good health and well-being’ and ‘quality education’.It explained that ATI reinsured the entire nominal amount of the loan through a number of international reinsurance companies, adding that the bond’s financing was earmarked for social schemes and basic services in rural areas.According to the pension fund, ESG research firm Vigeo Eiris has checked that the framework developed by the country follows the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles. One of these, it said, is that the bond issuer must report back to show the effects that the investment contributed to. Sweden’s biggest pension fund, Alecta, has invested just over SEK1bn (€100m) in the first African social government bond, financing welfare and development in an unnamed West African country.The SEK877bn fund said the bond securitises a loan taken by the country and is being managed by Japanese bank MUFG, with insurance for the loan being provided by the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).A spokesman for Alecta told IPE the identity of the issuing country was not being disclosed. He said the investment would form part of Alecta’s overall portfolio, sitting within the euro portfolio.Peter Lööw, sustainability manager at Alecta Asset Management, the pension fund’s investment arm, said: “We see an increased range of new types of investment opportunities where several actors come together and through various risk-reducing measures make it possible for institutional capital to go in and finance development in new regions, without compromising on our assignment.last_img read more

Rain spoils Ferrari’s 70th birthday party preparations

first_imgMonza, Italy | AFP | The fans flocked to the party, the team wore celebratory uniforms and the boss admitted emotions were running high.Only the weather failed to oblige on Saturday when Ferrari hoped to mark their 70th anniversary at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix with a memorable tribute to team founder Enzo Ferrari.Torrential rain, overnight and throughout the day, reduced final practice and qualifying to near-farcical washouts.The decisive afternoon session was curtailed after only five minutes when Frenchman Romain Grosjean aquaplaned and crashed his Haas car on the straight, leaving thousands of the devoted ‘tifosi’, sitting behind their Ferrari banners and flags in the grandstands, to wait for the rain to clear.Like team chief Maurizio Arrivabene, they were in thrall to the passion generated by the scarlet scuderia and their prancing horse symbol — and the prospect of seeing championship leader Sebastian Vettel winning for Ferrari.“It’s unbelievable,” explained Arrivabene. “The atmosphere, the tradition, the history… Even Enzo Ferrari was talking always about the Italian Grand Prix as the Grand Prix.“This is the emotional part. The public is fantastic. We can feel the vibe. I think even on Thursday we were feeling it, all of us, the team, the drivers – they could feel the vibe of the tifosi and they were pushing us…“The expectation is very, very high. Despite that, we need to be humble because we know the nature of this year’s and we know that Monza is not really the best track for us.“Having said so, our attitude will be humble, but not surrendering.” For Vettel, the storms that lashed Monza on Saturday would have brought back vivid memories of his maiden F1 victory in similar conditions on the famous old track in 2008.Not only was it his first triumph, but he also registered Toro Rosso’s first pole and victory in the process, inspiring an affinity with the Italian fans that has stayed with him and only intensified as a Ferrari driver.After weeks of speculation, Ferrari confirmed in Belgium that Vettel had agreed a new three-year contract – a signal that he remained intent on ending their 10-year wait for a drivers’ title.The last Ferrari drivers’ champion, by an ironic quirk of history, was Vettel’s current team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who produced a late surge of results to take the crown in 2007.Vettel arrived in Monza with a seven-point lead over nearest rival, Briton Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, knowing that another win by the Englishman would enable him to take over as championship leader for the first time this year.“It’s not extra pressure to be at Monza,” said Vettel. “It’s special, yes, but it is enjoyable. It is our favourite race, of course, and the support helps to push us on, but the season will go on.”Vettel has won twice before at Monza, but never in a Ferrari and knows that a victory on Sunday would not only confirm his place as championship leader, but also deliver a blow to Hamilton’s hopes of mounting a late-season surge.And, in front of Ferrari’s chairman and chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, it would also give the tifosi a good excuse to enjoy a 70th anniversary party on Sunday.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

City’s top girls’ post player Saunders commits to Gannon

first_imgON THE BOARDS—Lanise Saunders from Allderdice fights for a rebound against Westinghouse in City League action last season. (Courier Photo/William McBride/File) by Malik VincentIt’s not just her 6’2” frame that attracted programs wishing to sign Lanise Saunders to a full athletic scholarship. In fact, multiple sources have indicated that it’s just a plus.Cleve Wright, Saunders’ future college basketball coach at Division II Gannon University in Erie, certainly thinks so, as well. “The thing that made me want Lanise to be a part of this program the most was who she is,” Wright said. “People who have the type of heart that she has, make great teammates. And her size, intelligence, and knowledge of the game is certainly something we will be glad to have.”Saunders was a 2011 selection to the New Pittsburgh Courier All-City first team for her great junior campaign in which her Allderdice team was crowned league champs.To go along with what she brings to the court, Saunders has a 4.217 grade point average. That has attracted Division-I interest from Ivy League programs like Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania.“I just felt extremely comfortable with Gannon,” said Saunders, who signed a National Letter of Intent in November. “Yes, going to the Division I school would have been nice, but after visiting Erie and meeting their coaching staff and everyone, I know this was the right place for me.”The starting center for the City League girls basketball three-peat Dragons plans to major in electrical engineering in college. Her coach, Dave Walcheskey, believes that her smarts, hard work, and dedication is what makes her such a success.“A player of her caliber comes maybe once every 15 years or so,” he said. “She’s such a quiet leader and helps us in so many ways. She’s a very unselfish player. Her stats would be much higher, if she didn’t look out for her teammates so much. Her persistence to get better and how smart she is, really has made her into such a great player for us.”She attributes most of her success to a best friendship that she has with, who most people consider Allderdice’s best player, Janay Bottoms. The 5’4” point guard was honored as the Courier’s girls’ basketball player of the year this past June. She was pictured on the front cover— with superintendent of schools, Linda Lane— in the honorary luncheon’s special tabloid edition.“If it wasn’t for the never-ending support of Janay and her family, I’m not sure where I’d be,” Saunders said. “I wasn’t the best player starting out. I always had good size, but I was pretty uncoordinated there was so much I had to learn about the game. She would stay after practice with me and make sure I improved.”The dynamic duo has shared much success. But Saunders recalls one moment when her friend called her at the beginning of last season and made a bold prediction.“(Janay) called me and told me that we were going to go 16-0. She said we weren’t going to lose a single game,” she added. “We were going to be perfect and that we’d get another championship.”Lo and behold, the Dragons did exactly that and got past Westinghouse, a perennial power in the City, for the third time to claim the title. Saunders made it plain that she wants another one before it’s all said and done.“I think we have what it takes to get another one before I go to college,” Saunders mentioned. “We have some new talent coming in and I can’t wait to get them in and going. It should be a good year.”(Malik Vincent can be reached at mvincent@new­pittsburghcourier.com or on Twitter@malikvince)last_img read more

Jordan: In his prime, he could beat LeBron, others

first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NBA legend Michael Jordan believes he could beat LeBron James in a one-on-one basketball game when he was in his prime.He’s not sure about Kobe Bryant.In a video promoting the NBA 2K14 video game that was released Tuesday, Jordan said there’s a long list of players he would’ve liked to have played one-on-one — Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Bryant and James, who dons the cover of this year’s game.“I don’t think I would lose,” Jordan said in the video, before smiling and adding, “Other than to Kobe Bryant because he steals all of my moves.” LeBron James (6) drives to the basket past Chicago Bulls’ Nate Robinson, center, and Jimmy Butler (21) during the first half of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)Responded James: “MJ said that?”James was told of Jordan’s comments after the Miami Heat completed their first training camp practice in the Bahamas on Tuesday, and said that the buzz would serve as good promotion for the game.“Absolutely, I thought about the matchup,” James said. “But no one would ever see it. It’s not going to happen. But it’s good for people to talk about.”Jordan was listed as 6-foot-6 and 213 pounds during his prime. He averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game during his 15 seasons in the NBA.Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and considered by many the greatest basketball player ever, has had a sponsorship deal with 2K Sports since 2011, when he first appeared on the cover of the popular game. James, 6-8, 250 pounds, has averaged 25.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6 assists during his first 10 seasons in the league.The 50-year-old Jordan, who was a five-time league MVP and is the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, also shared the cover in 2012 with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.This year will be the first time on the cover for James, a four-time league MVP who has led the Heat to back-to-back NBA championships. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, talks with former Laker James Worthy during a telecast during the Lakers NBA basketball media day at the team’s headquarters Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)center_img In this May 17, 1992 file photo, Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan drives on New York Knicks’ Gerald Wilkins during the first quarter of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Chicago. (AP Photo/John Swart, File)last_img read more