Tracy K. Smith explores Christianity’s connection to poetry

first_imgColleen Fischer | The Observer Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the U.S., delivers the Christian Culture lecture at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday night.Smith said the use of metaphor is especially prevalent in the New Testament of the Bible and provides Christ and the disciples with a way to transmit not only information, but also awe.“The Gospels offer language-based proof that there is no such thing as seeing eye to eye, no such thing as having the exact same experience as anyone else,” she said. “In their accounts of Christ’s time on earth, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John create together a single story, complete with perspectival shifts, lapses and any contradictions as corroborations. That these different writings of experience work together toward creating a unified and dynamic whole, despite the gaps and variations distinguishing them from one another, strikes me as, well, poetic.”The layered perspectives, imaginations, sensibilities and vocabularies of the Gospels reveal a singular, universal truth, Smith said.“This may be the history of all religions, all the various vocabularies devised to transmit what is fundamentally beyond us,” she said. “And so the most fruitful attempts at bearing witness are necessarily expansive, drawing upon disparate and sometimes desperate resources.”Smith said she prefers to focus on accounts of Christianity that relate to “the experience of wonder rather than demystifying or domesticating its source.”“Like the language of spiritual awakening, poems seek to be living words — vehicles for transmitting a sense of the strange and the powerful from speaker to reader,” she said. “And like the parable, poems offer tools that foster an ongoing and repeatable state of wonder. They impart to the reader a new kind of awareness, a new kind of sensitivity. The language of poetry makes you more attentive of the world beyond you, even as it serves to enlarge your vocabulary for the world within you.”Though poetry and Christianity do not share the same terms, Smith said, the two share a commonality that allows exploration of the world and oneself.“Christianity doesn’t exist without devotion to Christ,” Smith said.  “Poetry’s devotions are many. But, if I back up far enough, I see that the two share a mode. I think the creative state which is beholden to something unseen lives both outside and within the self and is similar to the state of openness, humility, compassion and receptivity at the root of Christ’s message about the kingdom of God, which also lives both outside and within the self.”Reading and writing poetry requires an act of submission, Smith said, through which one becomes a beholden stranger and places personal knowledge aside to make room for new discoveries. Smith said the revelations of poetry and faith come from outside of logic.“As a writer and a spiritual being, I’m striving towards that which puts me in touch even only imaginatively with the largeness around and within,” Smith said.Smith said her work, “Life on Mars,” draws unconsciously, even involuntarily, upon her experiences with faith. Her 2012 Pulitzer Prize-awarded poetry collection started as a method of exploring her anxieties about the future of America through extrapolation. However, after the death of Smith’s father, she said the book became a way to wrestle with her grief and create a satisfying sense of where his spirit resided. Imagining the afterlife through the lens of outer space helped Smith come to terms with death and those in her life who had died.“Space became a really useful backdrop for [imaging my father’s place in the afterlife],” she said. “I grew up in the Church. I grew up with the image of God in the Sistine Chapel, and I didn’t want my father to be circumscribed on something that seemed that graspable. I wanted to find a way of making the God that I entrusted [my father] to as large as math, as large as the universe, and so the poems relentlessly led me in that direction.”Smith’s poem “It & Co.” portrayed a God that Smith said she believed was greater than the one she already knew.“The first draft of this poem was a second person address to the God on the ceiling [of the Sistine Chapel] … I felt almost blasphemous,” she said. “I felt almost worried that maybe I should hedge my bets and change my approach. And so the pronoun changed and became ‘it,’ and ‘it’ allowed me to create a vast, unhuman, unknowable version of God that oddly enough was more consoling.”The unknowable, unattainable version of God Smith portrays through her work reflects her thoughts on what poetry is, she said. Smith said she allows herself to pose questions that can remain unanswered throughout her work and said she encourages others to embrace this notion in their writing.“A poem is not a puzzle,” Smith said. “It’s not written by someone who has figured something out and then hidden it inside of fancy language. A poem is a root towards reckoning with and building from real, urgent material, questions or experiences. Even if it’s a poem about joy, it seems to gather something more from the recollection of it than is possible in the actual moment.”Though Smith believes poetry does not always need to answer its own questions, she said poetry can still be purposeful in enacting change.“I do [see poetry as activism] for a lot of reasons, partly because of overt subject matter which challenges something,” Smith said. “I also think that poetry is a form of resisting the degradation of English and thought and conversation and social interaction and curiosity. That feels like an activist mechanism to say that mindful language, thoughtfully wielded and carefully listened to and discussed can make things better, can make us realer to each other, can make our feelings realer to each other. It feels like a tool of activism.”Tags: Christian Culture Lecture, poet laureate, tracy k. smith Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate of the U.S., spoke at the annual Saint Mary’s Christian Culture Lecture on Wednesday night. The acclaimed writer shared her beliefs on the connections between poetry and faith, read her work and explained the Christian undertones of her writings. Smith said faith and poetry provide an opportunity for spiritual and personal awakening.“Poetry is one of the languages that puts us in touch with our higher selves,” she said.  “Poetry, like the language of belief, puts us in touch, if we let it, with our eternal selves. Spiritual belief has given us a vocabulary for wonder, for the miraculous and indescribable. In so doing, it has argued compellingly for the necessity of metaphor as a means of making familiar and intimate what we otherwise could not comprehend.”last_img read more

Nina Arianda & Sam Rockwell to Headline Fool for Love on Broadway

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 13, 2015 Fool For Love Related Shows View Comments Manhattan Theatre Club has two new productions on the horizon: the Broadway debut of Sam Shepard’s 1982 play Fool for Love, starring Tony winner Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell (reprising their roles from the summer’s Williamstown Theatre Festival production), and a new comedy from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire.Fool for Love, directed by Daniel Aukin, explores the tangled relationship of two former lovers in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert. It will begin performances at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on September 15 with opening night set for October 8.Arianda won a Tony Award for her performance in MTC’s Venus in Fur was nominated for Born YesterdayTales from Red Vienna off-Broadway. Her film and TV credits include The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Midnight in Paris, Tower Heist, Win Win, Higher Ground, 30 Rock and The Good Wife. Rockwell appeared on Broadway in A Behanding in Spokane. He appeared off-Broadway in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Goose-Pimples and Face Divided. His film credits include Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Green Mile, Frost/Nixon, Iron Man 2, Cowboys & Aliens and the upcoming Poltergeist.Lindsay-Abaire’s  Ripcord, directed by David Hyde Pierce and starring Tony winner Mary-Louise Wilson and Marylouise Burke, will begin performances at New York City Center – Stage I on September 29 and open on October 20.The comedy is set in the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility, where a cantankerous resident (Wilson) is forced to share her quarters with an overly chipper new arrival (Burke).Wilson won a Tony Award for Grey Gardens and was nominated for the last revival of Cabaret. Her other stage credits include 4,000 Miles, Full Gallop, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Bosoms and Neglect and The Beard of Avon. Burke appeared in Lindsay–Abaire’s Fuddy Meers, Wonder of the World and Kimberly Akimbo. Her Broadway credits include Into the Woods, Is He Dead? and the upcoming Fish in the Dark.Additional casting for both shows will be announced in the coming weeks.last_img read more

Daily Dirt: February 28, 2013

first_imgShake, rattle, and roll. Vibram could be bad for ya’ bones.Vibram Rattles the Bones, ApparentlyBarefoot running. The running trend to end all running trends. Bigger than interval training. Bigger than short shorts. Bigger than Jared Leto as Prefontaine. Everyone is doing it, or at least you know someone is doing it. But a study coming out in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (Who gets this publication? Like, 3 people and their moms? Seriously, does this come in the mail?) says running in barefoot-mimicking shoes such as Vibram FiveFingers can increase the risk of foot bone injuries. While also backing up the claim that running in minimalist shoes, or none at all, can help strengthen leg and calf muscles, the stress on the bones was significant – especially for those just breaking into the trend. The conclusion was to ease into it even more gradually than the 10-week transition plan used in the study.A more comprehensive report on the report can be found at Runner’s World.U.S. Forest Service Changing Plans in PisgahThe U.S. Forest Service is revising the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. The service is currently in the “Assessment” phase of the revision and will be collecting data and information on the current state of the forest, including public input at a series of meetings, before moving into the “Planning Period.” The plan was last updated in the mid-1990s, and obviously a lot has happened since then, so public input will be vital to how the Forest Service moves forward. There are a bunch of meetings coming up in March, so make sure you have a stake in the future of the forest by attending and letting your voice be heard. More on the revision and the meeting times, locations, etc. can be found on the Forest Service Website.Sierra Nevada Crushing It in N.C.Sierra Nevada’s new brewery on the banks of the French Broad in Mills River, N.C. will be the latest addition to the already renowned beer scene in and around Asheville. The state of the art facility is shaping up nicely according to their blog, with shiny equipment being installed around the clock. This is obviously great news for Asheville, but also for North Carolina and the East Coast in general where the fresh pale ale will flow like wine. Anyway, on their blog they have a pretty good rundown of what it takes to get a major brewery running and the priorities of building the facility from scratch.Check it out.last_img read more

Assessing friendships

first_imgAssessing friendships November 1, 2001 Regular News Assessing friendships Dr. Bernard G. Suran Some professionals create for themselves a cadre of relationships that serve and sustain them throughout their lives: spouses, lovers, intimate others, family members, dear friends, colleagues who care and are cared for in return. Others — despite the best intentions — experience their relationships as a mine field requiring guarded movement lest a surprise explosion trigger the loss of needed body parts. Most of us have had the experience of a onetime friendship turning sour. When a relationship curdles, healthy folk will feel the pain, conduct the postmortem, take ownership where indicated, and invariably scratch their heads and wonder what went wrong. Many factors intersect in the development of meaningful relationships: desire, attraction, opportunity, availability, common interests, personal grace, freedom from the various madnesses, the good sense to live one’s life well. On the other hand, selfishness, defensiveness, emotional problems and immaturities will invariably produce the seeds of discontent that may grow into unresolvable breaches. Usually, we just wonder why the other person went goofy on us. The ancient Greeks took a more philosophical approach to the nitty gritty of human intercourse. They were less concerned with the vagaries of human interaction: the momentary ups and downs, the on-again/off-again, the tantrums, the peak experiences, the feel-good/feel-bad stuff of contemporary advice columnists. The Greeks grooved on more timeless aspects of the human dilemma and the moral lessons that flowed therefrom. And, they found some, including the notion that the kinds of friendship define the limits of the psychologically healthy and the ethically possible. Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, considered friendship itself as one of the virtues or at least a vehicle to achieve virtue. He points out that friendships are motivated by the various objectives that move individuals to love: the useful, the pleasant, and the good. Thus, the three kinds of friendship: the utilitarian, the pleasurable, and true friendship based on virtue. Utilitarian Friendships Individuals who befriend each other on the basis of mutual usefulness may find apparent meaning in the utility of the relationship, namely that it seeks to achieve some temporary benefit. Many friendships between professionals are stirred in the crucible of mutually advantageous endeavors. Such friendships, no matter how charged with initial excitement and enthusiasm, are mostly opportunities for bilateral back-scratching. Caring for the other person is linked to what they might secure for us rather than for the appreciation of the personal qualities they possess. Since the nature of what is useful is constantly changing, when the useful purpose ends, so does the friendship. An exchange of goodies by ships passing in the night. Squeeze them when you have them, but be prepared to cover your backside if and when bad news breaks out. Pleasurable Friendships Aristotle cited the relationships between guests and hosts or between amorous lovers as the most evident gratification-based relationships. Friendships motivated by pleasure are “good-times relationships.” They arouse the hope of titillations in the offing. In fact, many contemporary relationships are based primarily on shared pleasures: bridge clubs, barbecues, golf outings, Superbowl parties, and a whole host of social get-togethers that occur under the rubric of having fun. Eating, drinking, gaming, playing, making small talk over fine wines and choice cuts, pleasing and being pleased — the friendships that occur in these circumstances are most frequently transient because the object of the friendship is itself temporary. Enjoy them while you have them, namely until the music stops. But, don’t expect them to contribute much toward personal growth. Virtuous Friendships Aristotle notes that perfect friendship occurs between people who are both good and alike in virtue. Friendships based on the mutual appreciation of qualities of character most easily lead to the reciprocal good will in which the sense of loving and being loved can both flourish and nurture our paths through life. We know that true friends wish well for us without hint of pettiness, jealousy or reservation. We know that we can confide our innermost thoughts and confusions to them without fear of judgment. We know that they accept us for who we are. We know we can count on them in times of difficulty — and, they on us, a reality that further hones moral character. Such friendships pack a lot of punch in the feel-good and usefulness departments, as well. Most of us will feel fortunate if we find even a few true friends throughout our lifetimes. Aristotle cites several good reasons for the lack of frequency: (1) people of high moral character are rare; (2) such friendships require time and familiarity; (3) people are unlikely to really know each other until “they have eaten salt together” (that is, weathered some bad times honorably); and (4) unwavering trust develops slowly. Once established, however, the friendship tends to endure: Distance may interrupt the activity of the friendship, but the experience of the friendship remains embedded in thought and feeling and serves as a guide to future action. It behooves us to be thoughtful about the purposes of our various friendships and careful in the choosing of friends. When the possibility of a true friendship occurs, it should be nurtured and cherished. As Aristotle concluded, “For without friends no one would choose to live. . . ” Dr. Bernard G. Suran, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and diplomat and fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology and the American Board of Professional Psychology. This column is published under the sponsorship of the Quality of Life/Stress Management Committee. The committee’s website is at The Quality of Life/Stress Management Committee, in cooperation with the Florida State University College of Law, also has an interactive bulletin board on the web, called “Happy Lawyer is Not an Oxymoron: Health and Satisfaction in the Profession.” The Happy Lawyer board is located at read more

191 passwords

first_img“Financial services firms fall victim to cybersecurity attacks 300 times more frequently than businesses in other industries,” according to a recent article by ITSP magazine.And out of the record-setting 1,579 data breaches occurring in 2017, 8.5 percent involved the financial services sector.Another surprising stat: the average business user has 191 passwords to remember. If every one of those passwords has to follow complexity rules and be changed regularly according to expiration policies …Well, that’s a lot of time people are wasting on the task managing passwords. But are those rules and policies actually creating more secure systems?Let’s explore a few password myths as well as some best practices that will clear away the fog from the road to more secure passwords.Myth #1: Complexity rules strengthen passwordsMany applications use password strength indicators to show you how your password stacks up. Unfortunately, many of them are based on complexity rules that aren’t doing you or your account security much good.Consider ditching rules that require passwords to contain at least:eight charactersone numberone symbolone special characterone uppercase letterone lowercase letterThat’s a lot to remember when creating a password. It’s also unnecessary.According to Hyland security experts, password length, rather than complexity, is the key.Here are the length-focused rules you should follow:At least 15 characters longCannot contain an embedded usernameAccording to the site, the password “ILikeOnBaseALot” would take about 44 million years to crack. How’s that for secure?Myth #2: Password expiration reduces the use of stolen passwordsLet’s imagine a hacker gets access to employee or customer login information at your financial institution. Will that hacker wait to use the password or do as much damage as they can immediately?In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission created a database of 100 fake consumers and released their login information on two popular hacking websites. It took only nine minutes before crooks tried to access the information, according to the FTC. In total, there were over 1,200 attempts to access the email, payment and credit card accounts.Many organizations force users to change their passwords every few months. But this doesn’t benefit the user or the company in the short term, as a hacker is likely to use the login information immediately. Compounding the problem is the fact that many people use the same password across systems, giving hackers the potential to do a lot of damage very quickly.One way to limit the damage hackers can do is to use a password manager, an application that assists users with creating highly secure passwords that are unique for every system, application and service they use. The manager also securely stores the information for each site, requiring the user to remember only the password for the management application itself.Myth #3: Password expiration means users choose new passwordsNope. Most users probably make it easy on themselves. After all, the human mind values efficiency. And it’s not very efficient to have to create and remember a completely new password ever couple of months.What’s more likely is that people simply add a number to the end of their password like this:Password: DonutsRGood1Password expires after 60 days…New password: DonutsRGood2Hackers are totally fooled, right? What could possibly come after DonutsRGood1?Again, this is where a password manager comes in handy. It relieves the burden from the minds of workers who are already overloaded with the millions of pieces of information related to their work and personal lives that their brains have to keep track of every day.Forget rules – take these 8 stepsRules regarding complexity and password expiration don’t seem to be doing much good. Instead, the focus needs to shift to a common set of steps individuals take to protect themselves.Hyland’s very own security expert, Josh Gatka, developed the following best practices for security.The Authentic8:1)      Use a password manager2)      Ensure that your master password is strong3)      Check to see if your credentials are already available to attackers4)      Change your password for ALL of the services that are flagged by haveibeenpwnd5)      Turn on multi-factor authentication everywhere it is supported, especially on your email accounts6)      Don’t use SMS-based multi-factor authentication when there are other services available, like authenticator apps or a USB security key7)      Seek out training on how to recognize phishing emails8)      Print out the one-time-use backup codes provided when you set up MFA, and store them where you store your birth certificates and other important documents – you’ll need these to log in if you lose your phone or USB keyIn 2016, “12 percent of people left their credit unions and 28 percent left their banks,” due to activity on their accounts that was unauthorized, says ITSP magazine.Data breaches are costly to clean up and cause financial institutions to lose customers. Using the password best practices above in combination with a secure content services approach will help your organization avoid the pain of security breaches now and in the future.But you can still use DonutsRGood3 on your license plate! 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michelle Harbinak Shapiro Michelle Shapiro has more than a 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services Industry Expert at Hyland Software. Her mission is to share … Web: Detailslast_img read more

CUNA urges OCC to ensure CUs remain out of CRA

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA strongly advocated against efforts to have the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recommend that the Community Reinvestment Act be expanded to apply to credit unions in a letter written Tuesday. CUNA responded to an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking from the OCC on reforming the CRA regulatory framework.“As the OCC considers the steps needed to modernize the CRA, it is essential for the Agency to be mindful of the distinctions between banks and credit unions,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, CUNA, credit unions, and the 110 million members they serve, urge the OCC to reject calls to recommend expanding CRA to apply to credit unions. We believe that a recommendation to that effect would be wholly inappropriate given CRA’s inapplicability to credit unions and the OCC’s lack of authority over credit unions.”The letter goes on to note that, without being subject to the CRA, credit unions have a strong record throughout their history of meeting the needs of traditionally underserved communities as part of their mission.last_img read more

Ex-Islip Parks Officials Among 6 Charged With Illegal Dumping

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two ex-Town of Islip parks officials and two politically connected contractors are among six accused of dumping about 50,000 tons of toxic debris at a Brentwood park—with more at a ball field, a veterans housing complex and in wetlands.The half-dozen suspects and four companies allegedly involved pleaded not guilty Monday at Suffolk Count court to criminal charges of environmental and public health law violations in a long-awaited grand jury indictment following a nearly year-long investigation into the scandal, which has fueled a political upheaval in the town.“They did it pure and simply for money,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota told reporters during a news conference at his Hauppauge office. “To follow [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] regulations for disposal certainly would have been far, far more costly.”Prosecutors said Ex-Islip Parks Commissioner Joseph Montouri Jr. allowed trucking companies linked to Thomas Datre Sr. and his son, Thomas Datre Jr., to dump up to 1,800 truckloads of New York City demolition and construction debris laced with Cobalt, Dieldrin and Asbestos at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood. The Datres are separately accused of dumping additional hazardous material a Police Athletic League ballpark in Central Islip, a veterans housing complex in Islandia and in wetlands in Deer Park. Proper disposal of such acutely hazardous material is estimated to cost about $3 million at an out-of-state facility. Long Island facilities cannot accept such waste, since the chemicals can leach into underground aquifers that supply the region’s drinking water.Attorneys for the accused countered that the dirt that was dumped in the Brentwood park to build a soccer field was clean, the scientific tests that prosecutors relied on in their allegations are flawed and the case is a manufactured scandal designed to cut off the Datre family’s donations to the local Republican Party, which has the majority on the Islip town board.“History will record that the public crucifixion of the Datre family for the last eight months was one of the lowest, most shameful moments in Long Island history,” the attorney for the Datre family and their businesses, Kevin Kearon of Garden City-based Barket Marion Epstein & Kearon. “Somebody sold the district attorney’s office a bill of goods, one based on false assumption after false assumption.”Those released without bail following arraignments before Judge Fernando Comacho include Montouri, his former aide, Brett A. Robinson, Datre and his son, one of their employees, Christopher Grabe of Islandia Recycling, and their friend, Ronald Cianculli of Atlas Asphalt. All six were charged with operating a solid waste management facility without a permit and endangering public health, safety or the environment, among other counts. Facing the same charges were 5 Brothers Farming Corp., Daytree at Cortland Square, Inc., Datre Family Farms, Inc. and DFF Farms Corp.The case, which stemmed from complaints about dumping in the park in January, has resulted in a string of protests outside Islip Town Hall. It also forced Conservative Islip Town Counciman Anthony Senft, who was the board’s parks liaison at the time of the dumping, to drop out of his bid for a New York State Senate seat. Outgoing Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, a Navy reservist who was deployed in Afghanistan when the scandal broke, ran instead and won the state Senate seat upon his return.Islip Town parks officials have said they are working with the state DEC on a remediation plan to clean up the Brentwood park, which has been closed for months closed amid the continuing probe. Islip Town Attorney Rob Cicale issued a statement saying that the town “fully cooperated” with the investigation. When asked if Islip town board members cooperated, Spota said: “Everybody has a constitutional right not to speak to us.”But, what Montouri, the disgraced town parks leader, allegedly told investigators, Spota found most disturbing. The district attorney quoted Montouri as saying: “If we got it all done and grass growing, we wouldn’t be here right now.”last_img read more

Berbatov’s Premier League predictions including Man City v Leicester & Spurs v Chelsea

first_imgJan Vertonghen scored a last-gasp winner against Wolves last weekend (Picture: Getty)Wolves will be fuming still after losing against Spurs in the last minute and believe me it hurts when that happens. I think they will bounce back and get a strong result against Norwich.Dimitar’s prediction: Norwich 0-2 WolvesManchester City v Leicester Liverpool are on course to end their 30-year wait for a league title (Picture: Getty)Everton v Arsenal Comment Brendan Rodgers has done an outstanding job at Leicester (Picture: Getty)This is a big game. Honestly, at the moment I think Leicester are doing really well, but their run will come to an end at some point. City aren’t playing at their highest level but if they want to have a chance to catch Liverpool they have to keep winning, they know that and this weekend will be a big test for them. People shouldn’t underestimate Leicester, they have been champions before, I don’t think anyone can afford to underestimate them, especially now with Brendan Rodgers working miracles for them.AdvertisementAdvertisementDimitar’s prediction: Manchester City 3-2 LeicesterWatford v Manchester United Mikel Arteta was appointed Arsenal head coach on Friday (Picture: Getty)Everton have had that lift they needed, which is down do big Duncan. It is great to see how passionate he is on the touchline, going crazy, waving his hands and showing his passion. The players have his respect, he commands it and because of that they have had some good performances. Arsenal are shaken at the moment and they need some stability.Dimitar’s prediction: Everton 2-2 ArsenalAston Villa v Southampton Dimitar Berbatov’s Premier League predictions including Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City Bournemouth beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend (Picture: Getty)On the face of it, it doesn’t look like this will be a classic, with all respect. Both teams are performing how they would expect to be and this match kicks off what is going to be a busy Christmas period where you can pick up lots of points. I think home advantage will prove to be important on this one.Dimitar’s prediction: Bournemouth 1-0 BurnleyBrighton v Sheffield United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have beaten City and Spurs in recent weeks (Picture: Getty)Bottom of the table Watford are unstable at the moment with all the changes there, there confidence is shaken. At the same time, United are finding their rhythm and if they stay compact, concentrate and use the speed they have they should cause Watford a lot of problems and they can not afford to lose again.Dimitar’s prediction: Watford 0-3 Man UnitedTottenham v Chelsea Dimitar BerbatovFriday 20 Dec 2019 10:25 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kSharescenter_img Jose Mourinho manages Tottenham against former club Chelsea this weekend (Picture: Getty)It will be an emotional one for Mourinho for sure. Chelsea have lost their last two, Spurs got the late winner last time out. But when you play a big rival it’s different, the games in the past don’t matter. Spurs have the opportunity to break into the top four with a win but they can not underestimate Chelsea. I think this one will be a tight match and very close.Dimitar’s prediction: Tottenham 2-2 ChelseaMORE: Mikel Arteta reveals the Pep Guardiola ‘secret’ that he hopes to bring to Arsenal Dimitar Berbatov previews this weekend’s Premier League action including Manchester City v Leicester (Picture: Metro/Getty)With Liverpool away in Qatar on Club World Cup duty, Manchester City and Leicester take centre stage in the Premier League’s standout fixture of the weekend.Brendan Rodgers has done an outstanding job since taking over the reins at Leicester and will be desperate for the Foxes to extend their four-point lead over City with a result at the Etihad.Arsenal appointed Mikel Arteta as their new head coach on Friday and the Spaniard will return to former stomping ground Goodison Park in Saturday’s opening match – he will likely only watch on from the stands, though.Elsewhere, Manchester United will be confident of victory away to bottom-placed Watford and Jose Mourinho faces former club Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a mouthwatering clash on Sunday.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBetfair Ambassador Dimitar Bebatov reviews all of those games and more exclusively for… Steve Bruce’s side sit 11th in the Premier League table (Picture: Getty)Crystal Palace have had some good results on the road this season and they are unbeaten in their last four matches, but St James’ Park is a tough place to go and I think Palace’s run will come to an end.Dimitar’s prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Crystal PalaceNorwich v Wolves Chris Wilder’s side have impressed in the English top flight (Picture: Getty)Sheffield have been a big surprise and they are really doing well. They stick to their system and they are comfortable with it, which shows with their results. It doesn’t matter who they play the have their game plan and they execute it.Dimitar’s prediction: Brighton 1-2 Sheffield UnitedNewcastle v Crystal Palace Villa are hovering above the relegation zone (Picture: Getty)Villa had that great result midweek, albeit against a very young Liverpool side, and that will give them confidence and they are playing well. I think they will continue and impress against Southampton.Dimitar’s prediction: Aston Villa 2-0 SouthamptonBournemouth v Burnley Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Pakistan in LNG supply talks with European players

first_imgFSRU BW Integrity (Image courtesy of BW)Pakistan could secure liquefied natural gas supplies from France, Spain and Italy as talks are ongoing with Engie, Gas Natural Fenosa and Eni. The deals were initiated by the European companies first, however, regulations hampered further progress, a government official told Reuters.In order to keep in line with the EU regulations, Pakistan is seeking to sign intergovernmental deals that would unlock the doors for the supply of LNG from Europe to Pakistan.Commercial negotiations, led by state-owned Pakistan LNG, would begin with Engie, Gas Natural Fenosa and Eni as soon as the intergovernmental deals are signed.These deals would enable Pakistan to boost its LNG imports, especially after inaugurating the second LNG import terminal in Karachi during last week. The terminal would receive about four cargoes per month totaling some 3 million tons of LNG per year.Pakistan’s prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the country is looking to import 30 million tons of LNG per year as the country looks to secure feed gas for power plants. He added five additional terminals are being worked on. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

NZ (tries to) brushes off human trafficking report

first_imgStuff 21 June 2014Investigations into human trafficking in New Zealand have found no concrete evidence it was happening, the immigration minister says.The US State Department Trafficking in Persons 2014 Report, released today, said foreign men and women were subject to forced labour and sex trafficking in New Zealand, but the government had not prosecuted any trafficking cases in the last eight years.The report criticised New Zealand’s lack of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and recommended New Zealand’s legal framework be expanded to prohibit and punishr all forms of human trafficking.Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said New Zealand took a strong stance on trafficking, and did have stringent and comprehensive anti-trafficking laws, with penalties comparable to those for homicide or rape, reflecting the seriousness of the crime.New legislation was “in the pipeline” to enable further action to be taken should evidence of trafficking emerge, Woodhouse said.The report referred to forced labour aboard foreign-flagged fishing vessels in New Zealand, “including through debt bondage, confiscation of passports, underpayment of wages, imposition of significant debts, poor living and working conditions, and physical and sexual abuse.” read more