TODAY marks 100 days until the first quarterfinal

first_imgTODAY marks 100 days until the first quarter-final at Rugby League World Cup 2013, and several nations are already talking up their chances of qualification ahead of the big kick-off.Scotland have made a number of notable additions to their roster in recent weeks, including North Queensland Cowboys centre Kane Linnett, who has been in fine form in the NRL in 2013.“I still have loads of uncles, aunties and cousins there so playing for Scotland will mean a lot to me,” said Linnett.“I know my family will all be watching from both here and Scotland. My grandfather, who passed away a couple years ago, would be very proud.“World Cups don’t come around very often and I’m really looking forward to experiencing the tournament in England and meeting a new bunch of boys and performing well.”Linnett joins Brisbane half-back Peter Wallace and Newcastle winger James McManus as new recruits for Scotland coach Steve McCormack.While Super League stars Danny Brough, Michael Robertson and Joe Wardle could also add iron to the Bravehearts’ squad this autumn.Scotland will compete with Tonga and Italy for the one available qualification place from Group C, while Wales will also fancy their chances of reaching the last eight, and beating Group D rivals Cook Islands and USA to top spot.“If we can get out of the group stages then we can start looking at things on a match-by-match basis,” said Wales’ Gil Dudson.“I think failure would be the wrong word to use but if we don’t make it out of the group then we’ll be pretty disappointed.”Tickets are now on sale for RLWC2013, with 55% of tickets priced £20 or less. To make sure you will BE THERE buy now at or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.last_img read more

JONNY Lomax season is over after he suffered a se

first_imgJONNY Lomax’ season is over after he suffered a serious injury in last weekend’s game at Catalan.The 23-year-old damaged his knee in the second half and needs an operation.Saints Head Coach Nathan Brown said: “This is obviously a blow to the team but more importantly to Jonny. He has been in great form and has settled well into the full back position.“He will now begin his road to recovery led by our medical staff and we wish him well.“Jonny has a strong character and we’re sure he will come back and prove once again to be a pivotal player for us.”last_img read more

PRESEASON is about team building and preparation

first_imgPRE-SEASON is about team building and preparation – and Saints have had it in spades building up to the 2016 Super League campaign.Gruelling sessions at the Club’s Cowley International College Training Centre have been the norm – with trips to the Dream, the Lake District and 42 Commando in Plymouth thrown in for good measure.But it’s all about establishing the teamwork that could carry Saints back to title success.“When you are a rugby league professional you try to find things which replicate how tough being in a game is,” Captain Jon Wilkin said. “To be honest in training you rarely find anything as tough as that.“But the Lake’s camp was the closest I have got to the pure exhaustion you get in a match.“It opened our eyes to some of the things we take for granted as professionals; the things that make us what we are.“When you are tired you find out a lot about yourself. You discover what you can do with limited energy and see what energy comes from teammates too.“Sessions like that are trying to find out who wants to do that for their teammates and who doesn’t.“Tough times draw you close and it’s about getting through those tough times together.”That team togetherness was on show at the Cassius Camp as Head of Strength and Conditioning Matt Daniels and his assistant Ade Gardner joined in the sessions alongside Nathan Mill, the Club’s and England physio!last_img read more

Cleanliness at the top of the PL agenda for Local Councils

first_imgPartit Laburista (PL) presented their electoral manifest for the imminent Local Council elections. Prime Minister and PL leader Joseph Muscat said that the manifesto was possible thanks to continuous consultation with the localities via PL structures. He explained that both the general and the locality specific manifests focus on the quality of life, quality family time, quality of sites, quality of the infrastructure and the quality of cleanliness in their locality.The Prime Minister also said that Local Councils should be involved in the plastic bottles refund scheme which will start by the end of the year. He also said that the Local Councils should give preference to electric cars and set up more charging points around their locality.The Environment holds an important place in the PL’s agenda for Local Councils, as well as alternative transport, modern infrastructure, the social dimension and cultural life.Special measures relating to pets have also been mentioned. These include dog parks and cat cafes which will be placed in areas that will not inconvenience the local residents.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

EU Elections Issues at stake in various member states

first_imgThis election weekend where, besides Malta, countries are exercising their democratic right to elect their MEPs. Some, like the UK have already voted while others like Malta, are voting today. The main issues in this election for the majority of the EU member states remains Immigration. Fourty per cent of resppondents in the April 2019 Eurobarometer cited this as a major concern. Even so, this is roughly 20% less than the tally in 2015 when immigration concerns had peaked at 60%.An interesting development is gradual but constant upward trend in concern about climate change. In 2011, 60% were concerned about the economy and 5% concerned about climate change. In 2019, Economic concerns are down to 19% while climate cgange concerns are up to 18%. Indeed, the Eurobarometer results show that people are more concerned about climate change than about crime (8%).What changes can we possibly see?The European parliament is dominated by 2 big centrist groups: The more concervative EPP and the more Socialist ESP. While Eurosceptics in the EP are still strong, Bbrexit seems to have put paid to any notions of a mass exodus. Indeed the débâcle which has led to the resignation of UK’s PM Theresa May was a sufficient ice bucket challenge for any exiteers. Two elements may chip away at the centrist block: environmentalist groups and populist groups.The ‘Greta Thunberg effect’ has been gathering momentum and her Fridays for Future youth movment has galvanised considerable action among voters who are determined to push for climate change. Pro-EU parties are riding this wave and pushing for positive action in this issue.Another interesting development is Italy’s Salvini’s rallying call to the populist rightist parties. Salvini is trying to create a powerful bloc. If he succeeds, that that is a big if, considering that the far-right has never been able to find common ground, he would be a force to be reckoned with.And the country issues?The big question in Austria is, the impact the so-called Ibiza scandal could have on the far-right Freedom Party (FPO). Its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, resigned as Austria’s vice chancellor earlier this month after a secret video appeared to show him trying to trade public contracts for party donations from a woman he thought was the niece of a Russian oligarch. FPO came third in 2014’s EU elections with 19% of the vote; latest projections suggest it will pick up around 18% this time, but that figure is down from 24.5% before the scandal broke.Belgium is holding three elections on Sunday: federal, regional and European. Opinion leaders are asking if the greens will capitalise on a strong showing in local elections to improve on their 6.6% vote share in 2014? Like many other European countries, Belgium also has a far-right party, Vlaams Belang, which is forecast to get up to 14.8% of the vote in Flanders. Nationally, the party got 4.2% five years ago.There are fears that the dramatic campaign for Denmark’s general election set for June 5 will overshadow the European Parliament poll and hit turnout. Some are saying Danes are more concerned with the domestic vote, which is predicted to see Stram Kurs, a far-right party advocating the forced deportation of up to 700,000 Muslims, gain seats in parliament. The voting turnout of the Danes always hovers around the mid-50% markThe key question in Estonia is whether anti-EU far-right party EKRE will perform as well in these European elections as it did in March’s national poll. That election saw EKRE come third, winning it a place in the ruling coalition. The party won 4% of the vote in 2014’s European poll; this time around it is forecast to get as much as 17%.FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) attend a joint news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File PhotoIn France, all eyes will be on whether the party of pro-European president Emmanuel Macron — under pressure domestically from the anti-government “gilets jaunes” protesters — will be beaten into second place by Marine Le Pen who lost out to Macron in France’s presidential election.  Her National Rally movement is forecast to get the biggest vote share in Sunday’s election. Her previous party, Front National, won the 2014 vote with a 24% share. Macron’s La Republique En Marche! movement did not exist then.In Germany, there has been a surge in support for the German Green Party in federal polls and some are even daring to dream the movement could spawn its first chancellor. In forecasts for the European Parliament elections, it has been polling in second at around 18%, which is an improvement on its 10.70% vote share in 2014. It is worth keeping an eye on the anti-migrant and anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD), who won seven seats five years ago and entered the national parliament for the first time in 2017.Ireland went to the ballot box on Friday and the greens enjoyed a good showing, particularly in the capital Dublin, according to exit polls. After two days of voting in Ireland, exit polls showed the centre-right ruling party Fine Gael (which will join the European People’s Party) coming out on top for the European elections, according to Europe Elects based on national Irish exit polls.In 2014, the liberal Fianna Fáil party (which would join ALDE at the EU level) had 425 more votes than in 2014. This year Fine Gael will take the plurality, according to EU Elects. The Green Party also had a strong showing, overtaking the Labour party to become the fourth largest party in Ireland.©Pierre Teyssot/MAXPPP ; European Elections Far Right leaders Rally in Milano, Italy on May 18, 2019; Pictured : Matteo Salvini (Leader of Italy’s La Lega) shows a rosary© Pierre Teyssot / Maxppp (MaxPPP TagID: maxnewsworldfour830790.jpg) [Photo via MaxPPP]In Italy, the future of the Italian government is strictly connected to the outcome of the European Parliament elections. The two ruling parties, The League and the Five Star Movement, have spent the last couple of weeks fighting about every topic on the political agenda. Polls predict Salvini’s party will come out stronger than ever. His party, then the Northern League, won 6% of the vote in 2014. Latest projections suggest the League will get more than 30% this time around. If this happens, Salvini could be in a position to govern (rule?) without a major partner to hold him in check.Poland’s EU elections kick-off a series of polls in the country: a parliamentary one follows in the autumn before a presidential vote next year. Some say polls point to this being the beginning of the end for the ruling Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party (PiS). With the country at odds with Brussels over the independence of its judiciary, it will be interesting to see if PiS can improve on its 31.78% vote share in 2014. All eyes will also be on Poland’s first openly gay politician Robert Biedroń and the performance of his newly-formed pro-EU party, Wiosna (Spring).Portugal is one of the few EU countries without a strongly-performing far-right populist party, especially with the emergence of Vox in neighbouring Spain. This election has seen the emergence of Andre Ventura’s radical-right Basta! (Enough!) movement, which opposes the EU. Campaigning has focussed on the opposition attacking Portugal’s ruling socialists on domestic issues, with an eye on a forthcoming national poll. It will, therefore, be interesting to see whether the pro-EU socialists are able to better their performance from 2014 when they got 34% of the vote.One of the most interesting things to watch in Slovakia is turnout: just 13.05% voted in 2014, the lowest figure in the EU. Look too at the performance of Progressive Slovakia, the party of newly-elected pro-EU president Zuzana Caputova, and compare it with the anti-Brussels, far-right movement of People’s Party – Our Slovakia. Meanwhile, while the ruling social democrats (SMER-SD) are predicted to win, their vote share could fall — from 24% in 2014 — after anti-government protests over the last year.Turning to the United Kingdom, will voters punish the traditional two main parties — Labour and Conservative — for failing to deliver Brexit by switching to the new political movement fronted by anti-EU MEP Nigel Farage? And while the anti-Brexit vote will be split by the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK, will it add up to more than that of Farage’s Brexit Party? SharePrint WhatsApp Read Also: EU elections 2019: Country-by-country guide on what to look out for <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more