Gary Cahill’s 58th-minute goal hauled Chelsea back into the derby at Stamford Bridge, where Tottenham must win in order to keep their slim title hopes alive.Goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min put the visitors in control before Cahill got in front of Toby Alderweireld to control Willian’s right-wing corner and then poked the ball in with his left boot.With the home fans desperate for their team to ensure their London rivals do not win the Premier League, Chelsea’s players responded with a high-tempo start.But they were undone 10 minutes before half-time when a neat Spurs move culminated in Erik Lamela cleverly threading the ball through to Kane, who rounded keeper Asmir Begovic before applying the finish.And after Branislav Ivanovic gave the ball away a minute before the interval, Christian Eriksen played in Son, who coolly steered the ball past Begovic.Chelsea had gone close to taking an early lead when Cahill headed wide from Cesc Fabregas’ left-wing corner.Fabregas then had a chance but side-footed wide from the edge of the penalty area after being teed up by Diego Costa, who later had a powerful shot tipped over by keeper Hugo Lloris.At the other end, Danny Rose shot wide from 25 yards, Son sent a left-footed effort well wide, and Kane fired over with a long-range free-kick before eventually breaking the deadlock.There was controversy soon after Son’s goal. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino broke up a scuffle between Willian and Rose near the touchline, and during a melee that followed Spurs’ Moussa Dembele appeared gouge Costa’s eyes.Cahill and skipper John Terry returned to the heart of the Chelsea defence following their respective injuries, while Eden Hazard was dropped to the Blues bench.Hazard replaced Pedro at half-time and forced a near-post save from Lloris as Chelsea attempted to get back into the game.Tottenham, who have not won at the Bridge since 1990, remained a threat and Begovic twice saved to deny Kane, keeping out a header and a low shot from the England striker.But Pochettino’s side then switched off a set-piece and were punished by Cahill, whose goal raised the hopes of Chelsea fans that their team could yet get the result that would confirm leaders Leicester as champions.Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro (Hazard 45); Costa.Subs: Amelia, Baba, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Oscar, Traore.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
It’s chilly around the Dal lake on Saturday afternoon, but a cruise-houseboat with an open-air theatre sets off to generate warmth with live music and enthusiastic youngsters.In a bid to reclaim lost social spaces and nose-diving tourism, the Jammu & Kashmir tourism department has started ‘Valley Weekends’, an initiative to infuse new life into the otherwise dull weekends in the conflict-ridden Valley.“The open-air houseboat will be like an open-air theatre. People will perform every weekend. The idea is to revitalise social spaces and defeat the notions that winters are dull in the Valley. And the fact is youngsters want to come out and experience things,” said Sarmad Hafeez, secretary, tourism. The initiative involves heritage walks, ethnic food festivals and music shows across the Valley. “Tourists can now relish hareesa, a local winter meat dish served in breakfast, at a new joint started at Boulevard on Saturday. The idea is to expose tourists to local flavours and also the flavours of the different seasons. Autumn and winter seasons are equally enjoyable in Kashmir as summers,” said Mr. Hafeez.Protests dent tourism Street protests and militant violence in the past two years dented the tourism sector in Kashmir, with the peak season in 2017 witnessing “an 80% slump”. The weekend festivals, offering experiences and a host of entertainment activities, are aimed at reviving tourist footfalls. Mountain biking, canoeing and rowing will now be a weekend fixture.“‘Valley Weekends’ will help keep youth engaged with the activities and make Kashmir a lively place for tourists,” said director, tourism, Mahmood A. Shah.He said “it will send a positive message across the globe that Kashmir is a safe and a tourist-friendly place”.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday reaffirmed his personal connection with Amethi on his maiden visit to the Uttar Pradesh constituency after suffering a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha election.“I am happy to be in Amethi. It feels like coming home,” he tweeted.Earlier, addressing Congress workers at the Gauriganj Guesthouse in Amethi, Mr. Gandhi assured them that though he was elected MP for Wayanad in Kerala, he would not abandon the U.P. constituency and would continue to visit it.“Don’t think that Rahul Gandhi is not yours,” he told them in an indoor meeting.He said he would continue to raise the shortcomings of the Union and the State governments regarding Amethi in the Lok Sabha.Mr. Gandhi explained to the workers that it was his responsibility to develop Wayanad, but he would also give time to Amethi.“Don’t you think I won’t come here. I will keep coming here,” he said to loud claps from party workers.The Congress leader advised his party workers to start doing the job of the Opposition in the constituency. Referring to corruption and the state of the economy and trade, he said there was no shortage of issues. “It is more fun doing the work of the Opposition. It’s easier,” Mr. Gandhi said in a lighter vein.Sarvesh Singh, who was the chairman of the Congress election committee in Amethi, said the meeting lasted two hours and was attended by over 1,200 people.Mr. Singh said that while there was no discussion on the factors behind his defeat, Mr. Gandhi told the workers that there may have been “shortcomings” from both ends, his and the workers, leading to the defeat. Victory and defeat are a part of life, he told the workers.Mr. Gandhi ignored the workers’ requests to continue as party president, Mr. Singh said.
Twitter/@andrewflowersEvery week, ESPN’s advanced statistics-based FiveThirtyEight updates its probability rankings for the College Football Playoff, utilizing three different sets of rankings: the selection committee’s most recent Top 25, in-house Elo ratings, and ESPN’s predictive FPI. This week, FiveThirtyEight‘s top three teams match what the selection committee has, but No. 4 is a slight surprise: the Oklahoma Sooners. OU is aided by a No. 1 ranking by FPI, jumping them over teams like Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.For more on how FiveThirtyEight’s system works, read this by the site’s editor, Nate Silver. Here is the probability ranking table:Q: Notre Dame, what’s in your rearview mirror? A: the Big 12 coming for your playoff spot: https://t.co/FtHBJPCoM6 pic.twitter.com/BDsWBFe55N— Andrew Flowers (@andrewflowers) November 18, 2015[FiveThirtyEight]
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota officials have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed over the five-month closure of a section of highway during the large protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, saying they had both the authority and an obligation to do it.The federal lawsuit brought by two members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a reservation priest alleges that the closure of state Highway 1806 near the pipeline route north of the reservation unduly restricted travel and commerce and violated the free speech and religious rights of them and others. It seeks unspecified monetary damages from state officials, Morton County and TigerSwan, a North Carolina-based company that oversaw private security for the Texas-based pipeline developer, Energy Transfer Partners.Attorneys for the county and the state officials, including Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, contend in a court filing dated Friday that the highway shutdown was warranted because of “mayhem” caused by some of the thousands of demonstrators who gathered in the area in 2016 and early 2017 to protest the $3.8 billion pipeline, which now moves North Dakota oil to Illinois.“The criminal behaviour included trespassing, destruction of private property, vandalism, setting fire to multiple vehicles on the bridge, stampeding bison and shooting at law enforcement personnel in attempts to kill them, unlawfully blocking the highway, throwing Molotov cocktails and other projectiles at law enforcement, and evading and resisting arrest,” state Deputy Solicitor General James Nicolai wrote.State officials closed a stretch of the highway just north of protest camps in October 2016 and didn’t reopen it until March 2017, after initial repairs to a bridge were completed and the protest camps were cleared out.The highway is the main route between the reservation and Bismarck, the nearest large city. Plaintiffs allege that the closure was targeted at them and didn’t apply to pipeline workers, who were allowed to continue using that stretch of highway.Nicolai and Shawn Grinolds, an attorney for Morton County, argue that at one point, the protesters, themselves, blocked the highway with hay bales and other objects and that for months, they ignored an evacuation notice issued by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple. They argue that pipeline workers had a legitimate reason to use the highway and that blocking others from using it was not retaliatory.“The plaintiffs’ peaceful protests were disrupted by a violent criminal faction that required responsible public officials to take necessary and appropriate steps to quell a criminal riot, protect private property from criminal activity and to ensure public safety,” Nicolai said.TigerSwan asked to be dismissed as a defendant, arguing that it had nothing to do with the decision to close the road. Attorney Lynn Boughey also asked U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland to force the plaintiffs to pay the company’s attorney fees.The three plaintiffs are reservation businesswoman Cissy Thunderhawk, pipeline opponent Waste’Win Young and the Rev. John Floberg of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Cannon Ball. They’re suing the county, its sheriff, Burgum and Dalrymple, and the heads of the state Transportation Department and Highway Patrol.In addition to the monetary damages, the lawsuit seeks stricter rules for road closures in such instances and class-action status, meaning it would apply to all affected people, if granted.___Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicholsonBlakeBlake Nicholson, The Associated Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Metis Society is hosting a Jigging & Fiddling Gathering this weekend.Taking place at Peace Island Park, Margaret Fenton, of the Metis Society, says this event will offer a weekend full of traditional Metis culture such as food, crafts, and even jigging lessons.The event will also feature competitions in fiddling and jigging. Entry fees to the contest are $10.00 per person and each competitor will have a chance of winning up to over $1,000.Plus there will be a pancake breakfast in the morning and even a dance on Saturday night.Admission to this event is free, with donations being accepted.Donations will go towards supporting the Fort St. John Metis Society.The Fort St. John Metis Society’s Jigging & Fiddling Gathering is taking place this weekend, July 12 to the 14, at Peace Island Park in Taylor.For more information, you can send an email to [email protected]
After the Cornhuskers made the Big 12 a smaller 11, the Pac-10 snagged Colorado, leaving the Big 12 at 10 teams. Many anticipated more action from the Pac-10, expecting the conference to attempt to rival the Big Ten by expanding to as many as 16 schools. But after swiping Utah from the Mountain West, the Pac-10, now with 12 teams, appears satisfied. Utah will join the Pac-10 in 2011, Colorado in 2012. “I expected that to happen — new commissioner in the Pac-10, new television agreement coming up,” Smith said. “It made sense for them, so I knew the Pac-10 was going to go that way, and I knew that it would affect the Big 12, but I just didn’t know how. When television contracts are getting ready to come up and people see the changing landscape in television, people start adding inventory.” The shakeups left the Big 12 on life support, with just 10 teams and its moneymaker, Texas, contemplating a switch itself. Texas A&M even received an invitation to join the SEC. But a new TV deal, set up to make Texas the main attraction, got all teams on board, saving the Big 12 as a league with 10 schools. But plates continued to shift and movement persisted. Boise State, a perennial BCS bowl-game contender in the last decade, parted ways with loads of inferior competition in the WAC to join the Mountain West Conference. Fresno State and Nevada also will join the MWC in 2012, while Boise will enroll in 2011. One of the signature programs of the MWC, however, isn’t sticking around to face the newcomers. Brigham Young will become an independent in football in 2011, a title only Notre Dame, Army and Navy claim in Division I. For all other sports, BYU will join the West Coast Conference. “We’ve long sought broad, nationwide access to our games for our fans and increased visibility among those who may be less familiar with our university and athletic programs,” BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson said in a press release. “We’ve also been looking for ways to take better advantage of our own unique broadcasting resources.” After the dust settled, there were more rumblings than actual quakes. There was never that one tremor that affected the entire nation, which many expected and some feared. Instead, we’re left with minor face lifts to several conferences, and we’re left with more questions about potential future shakeups. “I’m watching everybody else,” Smith said. “We’re (the Big Ten) basically done for now. I don’t know if we’ll expand anymore, I really don’t. It’s a possibility, but what’s interesting is watching the rest of the landscape.” The rumbling started last winter, when the Big Ten announced its intentions to explore conference expansion. It culminated months later in significant, nationwide shifts. The first tremor shook the Midwest, when Nebraska bolted for the Big Ten. The reshuffling set off a series of quakes felt all around the country, from the Pac-10 to the Big 12 to the Mountain West. In the end, if we have reached the end, the landscape of college football changed, though not as dramatically as the initial quivers suggested. But have these relocations been the result of a routine shakeup, or is this the start of a major restructuring? Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said the transformation results from changing revenue streams. “If you look back over the history of college sports, the one thing that’s constant is change,” Smith said. “One of the largest areas of revenue for all of us is television money. People don’t want to talk about it, but it’s true. The reality is, as television changes, and all the mediums change for communication, the conferences have to shift in order to maximize revenue opportunities off of them.” Initial rumors suggested college football could be transitioning to feature four “super-conferences,” each equipped with 12 to 16 teams — enough power and revenue to bury non-BCS leagues in the sand. “I think it’s possible because the thought is there,” Smith said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get to a playoff like the public wants. I see a lot of challenges with that on a lot of different levels. But do I see playoffs within a conference that could lead to something like that on a smaller scale? Yeah. So, when you get to those 16, you get to two or four conferences with 16 teams, divisions, that type of stuff. I can see that down the road.” The notion of super-conferences stemmed from indications that the Big Ten was prepared to expand to 14 or 16 teams, adding from the likes of Notre Dame, Syracuse, Rutgers, Texas and Missouri to stretch its reach across more of the country. Plucking programs from other conferences would force those battered leagues to fuse together to match the Big Ten’s muscle. “People use the term ‘arms race,’ which I really don’t think is it,” Smith said. “We’re like any restaurateur, we’re like the college of business, we’re like the college of engineering. We’re like everybody else that aspires to be No. 1. Yes, you can use the term ‘arms race,’ but frankly, we’re just strengthening the business.” The super-conference idea hasn’t panned out just yet. Instead, a series of aftershocks sent a handful of teams in and out of new conferences.
Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) drives to the basket during a game against Delaware Dec. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 76-64.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternAaron Craft. LaQuinton Ross. Amir Williams.These are the names that come to mind first when most people think about the No. 3-ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team (15-0, 2-0).Someone that doesn’t often make the headlines is senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.Smith Jr., the team’s lone senior aside from Craft, has been huge for the Buckeyes all season.Currently second on the team in scoring with an average 12.7 points per game, and third on the team in both rebounding and assists with 4.9 and 1.6 respectively, Smith Jr. should be one of the stars of the team.And yet he is less talked about then certain bench players like athletic junior forward Sam Thompson and sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle.The respect that Smith Jr. garners is not befitting of someone as vital as he is to the Buckeyes’ chances to success. He has scored in double figures in 11 of OSU’s 15 games this year, including a season high 20 in a 65-50 win against Wyoming Nov. 25.But perhaps Smith Jr.’s best performance of the season came when he was at his worst.Against Notre Dame Dec. 21, the Buckeyes were in danger of losing for the first time this season. Trailing by eight points with less than a minute remaining, OSU needed something to change to keep their unbeaten run alive.That change came in the form of Smith Jr.Failing to score up to that point in the game, Smith Jr. was struggling to make an impact. But in the final 50 seconds, he scored nine points and helped the Buckeyes go on a 14-3 run to win the game.Even though the final box score reads only nine points, Smith Jr.’s contribution was the difference in the final stretch.Players like Craft and Ross deserve their recognition, both are fantastic players, but the shadow they cast should not completely hide the work Smith Jr. has been doing for OSU.He is third on the team in minutes, just behind Craft and junior guard Shannon Scott, with an average of 27 a game. He is also third on the team in field goal percentage, behind only the teams two centers, and second in 3-point percentage.Although the season is not yet half over, the Buckeyes will need Smith Jr. to continue his stellar play if they hope to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament.Maybe then the senior guard not named Craft will be recognized by Buckeye fans for everything he has done.
Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) passes the ball during a game against Illinois Jan. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 62-55.Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editorAt any level of basketball, shooters go through slumps — it’s part of the game.Ohio State senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. was no different in his team’s four games prior to Thursday’s 62-55 win against Illinois.But one shot — that’s all it took for Smith Jr. to get back to where he needed to be and to help get his squad going the right way again.“Lenzelle’s shot at the end of the half, he let that thing go and I’m like, ‘Come on, one time,’” said coach Thad Matta after the win, referring to a 3-pointer the senior buried that gave the Buckeyes a one-point lead with less than a minute left in the first half.It is no surprise that the Buckeyes lost those four games when Smith Jr. shot a combined 13-39 from the field, including just 4-17 from beyond the arc.But against Illinois, he rediscovered the shooting touch that helped his team start the season 15-0 — when he shot 39 percent from deep — pouring in 16 points and matching the number of 3-pointers he had made during those four losses. Smith Jr. said just seeing the ball go through the net was huge for his confidence, and a little bit of extra push from his teammates to keep shooting.“It’s a mental thing,” Smith Jr. said after the win. “Sometimes I get in a state of mind of, ‘Ah, you missed a shot, maybe you should try to get in the paint now and get a layup.’ Or just tonight, I missed a few shots and (senior guard Aaron Craft and junior forward LaQuinton Ross) specifically said, ‘Shoot the ball!’ They were yelling at me, ‘Why are you not shooting the ball?’ And that kind of gave me that extra motivation of well, they want me to shoot then that’s my job on this team, and I’m (going to) shoot and luckily down the stretch, it came through for us.”The play down the stretch against the Fighting Illini came with just 1:16 left on the clock when his team was clinging to a five-point lead, needing a score to put the game on ice.With the shot clock winding down, the senior from Zion, Ill., found the ball in his hands on the right wing with no choice but to fire. The ball swished through the net, the crowd erupted, and Illinois’ ship sank.The big play came on the heels of a three-point play by Ross and a turnover by Illinois, plays that Fighting Illini coach John Groce said were the difference in the outcome.“Give them a lot of credit,” Groce said after the game. “I thought that Ross’ and-one was huge. I thought that Smith’s three was huge. I thought those were two big plays.”The man who found Smith Jr. for the dagger 3-pointer was none other than Craft himself, on one of his team-leading five assists. Craft said he and Smith Jr. felt more responsibility than usual to help put an end to the losing skid.“I think Lenzelle and I, both being seniors, we wanted to take it upon ourselves,” Craft said. “We didn’t do anything special, we didn’t say anything that was Earth-shattering or anything. We have a group of guys that’s been through the battles and knows what it takes … It’s about being tough down the stretch and finding whatever we have to do. And that’s what we did today and that’s what it’s about.”A relieved Matta joked that Smith Jr.’s 4-8 shooting performance from three “probably takes him out to about six percent” shooting in Big Ten play, but couldn’t be more proud of his performance Thursday.“Honestly, I’m happy for Lenzelle because he’s been very diligent last few days of in there working and trying to get everything right,” Matta said. “You see that, and that’s what excites you as a coach and you’re happy for him when it goes in.”Though OSU (16-4, 3-4) might be back on track, it still sits in a tie for sixth place in the Big Ten with last-place Penn State (10-10, 1-6) set to visit the Schottenstein Center Wednesday at 7 p.m.But putting a halt to the losing streak — the program’s longest since February 2008 — puts the Buckeyes near where they need to be come season’s end.“It’s very important, obviously,” Smith Jr. said on ending the losing skid. “I don’t think anybody here or in this team signed up to lose games, so I mean obviously guys are feeling a little bit better now. Obviously we know that we haven’t done what we wanted to do, or we got done what we think we should get done but it’s definitely a step closer and it feels good.”
Junior corner back Denzel Ward (12) tackles Taivon Jacobs of Maryland during the Ohio State game on Oct. 7 at Ohio Stadium. Ward was ejected immediately after for targeting. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterOhio State cornerback Denzel Ward’s strong start to the season has put his name among the semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, an award bestowed upon the nation’s best defensive back.The junior has stood out in the conference as he is tied for second in the Big Ten with 10 passes defended. He also has nine pass break-ups and an interception. Ward is one of three defensive backs in the Big Ten on the list of 13 semifinalists, which was released Monday. The other two are both members of the team Ohio State will play this weekend as Penn State safety Marcus Allen and cornerback Grant Haley were both named to the list. The two played a prominent role in the Nittany Lions’ victory last season against Ohio State. Allen blocked a kick which Haley subsequently returned 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown. It was the first time in Penn State history a blocked kick had been returned for a touchdown.The trio of defensive backs will square off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.