Eighteen teams will compete across the mixed, women’s and men’s divisions.Some of Canberra’s finest touch players will be on show including Bec Beath, Pippi Langford and Australian representatives, Matt Atkins, Dean Taylor and Josh Wilkinson. Another Australian representative, Jake Evans, will line up for the Hunter Hornets.As part of the weekend, ACT junior teams will participate in a feature match during the break on Saturday night. The Twilight Touch Weekend will tap-off from 2pm on Saturday with the semi-finals and final held on Sunday.
KIGALI, Rwanda – African leaders on Wednesday signed what is being called the largest free trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization.The deal creates a continental market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product of more than $3.4 trillion. A major goal is to boost intra-African trade and rely less on the volatility of commodity prices that affect many exports.The aim is to have agreement, signed by 44 of the African Union’s 55 member states, enter into force by the end of this year, said the chair of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. States now must ratify the deal, but the number of countries needed to put the agreement into force has not yet been agreed upon.“Our peoples, our business community and our youth in particular cannot wait any longer to see the lifting of the barriers that divide our continent, hinder its economic takeoff and perpetuate misery, even though Africa is abundantly endowed with wealth,” Mahamat said. He urged strong follow-up to “confound those who, outside Africa, continue to think, with barely concealed condescension, that our decisions will never materialize.”Concerns remain. The president of Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest economies, skipped the summit amid trade unions’ objections. “We will not agree to anything that will undermine local manufacturers and entrepreneurs, or that may lead to Nigeria becoming a dumping ground for finished goods,” President Muhammadu Buhari said through his office.And while Africa’s largest economies are expected to benefit most from the deal that progressively eliminates tariffs and other trade barriers, some of them worry that more people from poorer countries will migrate their way.But some of the continent’s strongest and fastest-growing economies, including Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia, signed the deal. South Africa’s new president has expressed support but his signing was not announced during the event.“Africa is stronger when we work together,” said Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, who led the free trade effort.
The commission has just published a report on carbon tax misconceptions.The worst, Ragan said, is that a carbon tax doesn’t work.“If you look at B.C., if you look at California, if you look at the U.K, if you look at Quebec, these policies do work. What they don’t do is work overnight.”At least five different published studies have found British Columbia’s carbon tax, introduced in 2008, has cut overall emissions, reduced per capita gasoline use by seven per cent, improved average vehicle efficiency by four per cent, cut residential natural gas use by seven per cent and diesel use by more than three per cent.Meanwhile, the province enjoyed about three per cent annual economic growth between 2012 and 2017.Other jurisdictions that have successfully used carbon taxes to reduce emissions include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, several U.S. states, the U.K. and the European Union. EDMONTON, A.B. – Between politicians who fog the truth and the ones just in a fog, Chris Ragan wants to fan fresh air into a carbon tax debate that is clouding Alberta’s provincial election and drifting into an upcoming federal campaign.“It’s pretty clear this issue is warming up politically,” said Ragan, head of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, a non-partisan group of academics and business leaders focused on economic and environmental solutions.“We have been sorry to see that there’s a bunch of stuff out there that is either misunderstanding or poorly explained. There are a bunch of myths out there.” Three separate studies found B.C.’s tax either didn’t affect jobs or added them. A fourth found a small decrease in jobs for less-educated workers. Studies in the U.S. or the U.K. found little or no impact on job numbers.The commission’s report finds that far from hurting families, 70 per cent of Canadian households will receive more in carbon tax rebates than they pay.Energy economists such as Mark Jaccard at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University argue that regulations get faster, bigger results and are politically easier to enact. The big cuts to Canada’s carbon emissions, he said, have come from closing coal-fired power plants and clean fuel rules.“Some people will tell you you have to have carbon pricing,” he said on a recent podcast. “That’s not true. You could do it all through regulations.” You could, concedes Ragan. But that would cost the economy more. Besides, he said, bringing in carbon taxes gives governments an opportunity to cut other levies such as income tax.Albertans who believe the province could escape a carbon tax by rescinding provincial legislation may also be mistaken.Martin Olszynski, a University of Calgary law professor, said all Ottawa would have to do is pass an order in council to bring Alberta under the same federal tax that recently came into effect in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick. None of those provinces had its own tax.“It’s a matter of getting cabinet together and writing the order,” Olszynski said.Looking to the courts to block Ottawa’s tax is an iffy bet, he suggested.In court hearings on Saskatchewan’s anti-tax constitutional challenge, Olszynski said, judges asked if allowing Ottawa to regulate greenhouse gases as a matter of “national concern” would impede provincial efforts to do the same.“If you recognize this matter as a matter of national concern, you would strip away the provincial ability to regulate these things,” he summarized.But Olszynski notes that courts have recognized that many issues _ especially environmental ones _ are best managed jointly between national and provincial governments.Other federal arguments in favour of a national carbon tax are backed by decades of case law, Olszynski added.Ragan said the debate over carbon taxes is as important to Canada’s future as debates over the GST or free trade with the United States.“It’s a big policy issue and it’s appropriate that we’re talking about it now.”Ragan just wishes the debate wasn’t so mythical.“We live in a democratic society where people play partisan politics. Those political debates don’t always stick to the facts.”
You didn’t think he would stop shooting, did you? Deshaun Thomas is in a slump. During Ohio State’s final two games of the Big Ten Tournament – wins against Michigan State and Wisconsin – the junior forward shot a combined 12-38 from the field. How does the Big Ten’s regular season scoring champion plan on getting himself out of his recent funk? By doing what nearly everyone who knows Thomas expects him to do: keep on shooting. “I do shoot my way out (of slumps). Just keep shooting. I want one to go down so bad,” a noticeably frustrated Thomas said Wednesday. At this time of the season, though, in a lose-and-go-home situation, can No. 2 seed OSU afford to have a potentially cold Thomas take the majority of the team’s shots? Well, yes and no. Yes if Thomas improves his shot selection. No if he jacks up jumpers similar to the ones he was taking at the United Center this past weekend. “The shots I’ve taken, they’re questionable. Well, some of them,” Thomas said. “(OSU’s coaches said) the bad shots you’ve taken, they’re killing your percentage.” Thomas averaged 17.3 points per game in Chicago and was named to the tournament’s first team alongside junior guard Aaron Craft, the Most Outstanding Player. But he shot 17-47 (36 percent) and 3-20 (15 percent) from 3-point range, well below his season averages of 44 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Tuesday, coach Thad Matta and his assistants began to break down film from their recent conference tournament run. One aspect of their review was trying to figure out what Thomas could improve on to better his shooting percentage. Their solution was fairly simple: for Thomas to stop forcing the issue. “The coaches have told me when a defender flies out, put it on the floor, pump fake, then shoot it,” Thomas said. “I’ve been really working on the percentage because the bad shots are killing my percentage.” Thomas’ teammates haven’t lost any confidence in their go-to scoring weapon. Following OSU’s 50-43 victory against Wisconsin in the tournament championship, in which Thomas shot 6-for-19, redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel quickly brushed off any doubts surrounding his teammate. Ravenel said Thomas could just as easily “been 18 of 19.” Matta points to the critical shot of the game against MSU in the conference tournament’s semifinal as evidence for reason to be confident in his junior star. With OSU up two points, Thomas hit a jumper from the left elbow with 25 seconds remaining in the contest to all but secure a Buckeye victory. “When we needed one, he got it,” Matta said. It was NCAA Tournament time last season, after all, when Thomas skyrocketed from a capable scoring option to one of the country’s premier offensive players. During OSU’s Final Four run last year, Thomas averaged 19.2 points per game in five NCAA Tournament contests. He was named to the tournament’s All-East Region team following big games against Cincinnati and Syracuse. Thomas’ play vaulted him into NBA Draft talk before the Indiana native decided to return to Columbus for his junior year. Matta said he expects the experience Thomas and his team gained last March and April to pay dividends in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. “We talked about that as well,” Matta said. “Last year doesn’t give you a point, doesn’t give you a rebound, but it heightens your awareness a little bit of what it takes.” Thomas wasn’t the focus of opposing team’s defenses last season, however. Former OSU forward and two-time all-American Jared Sullinger received the majority of the attention from the defenses the Buckeyes faced. Thomas benefited greatly from it, often being on the receiving end of a kick-out pass from a double-teamed Sullinger. “Me and Jared, we played well together, two (big men), we read the defense, we knew when to pass it to each other,” Thomas said. “It was pretty much, pretty easy to score last year because everybody was focusing on him. I was just sitting back, being patient.” It’s different for Thomas now, who has become the player opposing teams like to double down on. “I try to be as patient as I can … Then again, I’m just trying to win,” Thomas said. He’s handled the pressure all season, leading the Buckeyes, and the Big Ten, in scoring at 19.5 points a game. Despite recent less-than-usual performances, Thomas said he is ready as ever to help propel OSU to a second Final Four in as many years. “I feel locked in. I’m just going to be ready. Whatever play is drawn up for me, I’m going to be ready to shoot,” he said. Thomas had, not surprisingly, just finished doing one of his favorite things. “I just got done putting shots up, they were going in. I’m just going to continue with my routine,” he said. OSU is set to take on No. 15 seed Iona at 7:15 p.m. in Dayton Friday. If the Buckeyes can get past the Gaels, they will take on the winner of the game between No. 7 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Iowa State Sunday. With two wins, OSU will advance to the West Region semifinal, and possible final, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
DAYTON – In the middle of an arena packed to the rafters with crazed fans standing anxiously, on a court with defenders eying him and teammates yelling for the ball, Aaron Craft remained calm. The score of the third-round NCAA Tournament game between No. 2 seed Ohio State and No. 10 seed Iowa State was tied, 75-75, with the shot clock off and the contest’s final seconds ticking down. Craft dribbled the ball just outside the right wing, with Georges Niang, a freshman forward, isolated on him. “Give me the ball!” shouted junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who clapped twice after screaming at his junior point guard from the top of the key. “I’m open! I’m open!” roared junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., who stood unguarded in the right corner. Craft waved them off. He had run the play coach Thad Matta drew up in the huddle – a pick-and-roll intended to free Thomas for an open look – but Iowa State doubled the junior forward, meaning a big man was left to defend OSU’s rosy-cheeked floor leader. “He made the right read. (Thomas) was going to have to catch it with his back to the basket. I was fine with it. I’ve said from day one, I’ll live with any decision that kid makes,” Matta said. Craft waited until the game clock reached three, dribbled hard to the 3-point line, rose up, and fired a shot. Swish. Following a late desperation heave from the Cyclones, that wouldn’t have counted if it had gone in, OSU had reached its fourth straight Sweet 16, upending Iowa State, 78-75, at the University of Dayton Arena Sunday afternoon. Craft, who scored 18 total points, received a hug from each of his teammates. The fans in attendance – most of whom were Buckeyes fans – cheered and jumped in jubilation. In a West Region where the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 seeds had already been eliminated, OSU remained alive in its hunt for a second consecutive Final Four berth. “I think it’s a great way to win like this. Every game can’t be a blowout. The fact that we won this game gives us a lot of momentum headed to LA,” said sophomore guard Shannon Scott. Waiting for the Buckeyes at the Staples Center in Los Angeles is No. 6 seed Arizona, a squad Matta called “loaded,” and “the best team on the West Coast.” For long stretches of the game Sunday, though, OSU’s spot in the West Region’s semi-finals was in serious doubt. The Cyclones jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, making the Buckeyes look flustered and nervous. OSU settled for contested jumpers on the offensive end and gave up open shots on defense. “Settle down,” Craft barked to his teammates. OSU fought back, going on a 12-2 run sparked by Scott’s play off the bench. The sophomore guard, however, was called for a technical foul after an and-one layup in transition when he tossed the basketball at an Iowa State defender. The Buckeyes’ momentum halted, and OSU scraped into halftime with a 38-36 lead. Out of the break, the Buckeyes looked like they had taken control of the contest. Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross had a 10-point stretch midway through the final half, pushing OSU to a 69-56 lead with 6:04 remaining. “I think coming off the bench I have an advantage because I get to watch the pace of the game,” Ross said, who totaled 17 points. “I was able to come in the game and set a few screens for Aaron and get open.” Iowa State then rattled off 13 straight points and took the lead on a 3-pointer from the right corner by senior guard Tyrus McGee with 3:24 left. “Their coach had a great game plan with us, pinning us down with their bigs against the basket and getting their guards out,” Scott said. The Cyclones, who had four players in double figures, made 12 3-pointers on the day, including five from redshirt senior guard Korie Lucious, a transfer from Michigan State. “I think they’re probably the best 3-point shooting team we’ve ever played against,” Scott said. While the Buckeyes looked like they were wavering during Iowa State’s second-half run, the players insist they were not. One aspect of the game they did falter in, admittedly, was toughness. Iowa State out-rebounded OSU, 36-22, repeatedly getting second chance opportunities at the offensive end. “For a little segment there, they were the tougher team,” Smith said. OSU and Iowa State traded free throws and baskets in the game’s final minutes. Craft, the game’s hero, was at times the scapegoat for a potential loss, as he missed two critical free throws down the stretch. “I was just trying to stay focused and poised. I did some things down the stretch I normally don’t do,” Craft said. With 58 seconds left and the ball in the hands of Iowa State and the game tied, 75-75, Thomas did something he normally doesn’t do, too. This rare occurrence, however, benefited the Buckeyes, as the junior forward forced a Cyclones turnover, giving OSU the ball back. “People always talk about my defense, questioning it, but it was a great defensive stop,” Thomas said, who led OSU with 22 points. I was on (Niang), and they were running that play all game and they scored four points off of it. So I was like, I know they’re going to run this play, and they ran it. I saw a guy run up and I just went over there and got the ball and got the steal.” Craft got the ball and missed a jumper from the right wing, but Iowa State tipped the ball out of bounds. Following a timeout from Matta, Craft, with the confidence of his teammates, knocked down the game-winning shot. “As long as it wasn’t him on the free throw line at that point, I was like, ‘Man, he’s going to make that shot,’” Smith said with a smile. “Big-time players step up and make plays at the end of the game.” Craft’s reaction to the made bucket surprised one of his teammates. “When we made the shot, he didn’t even get excited. He was just like, ‘Play D! Play D!’” Thomas said. “That’s the thing about Craft, we love him, he works on and off the court, and you need a guy like that on your side.” OSU and Arizona will play Thursday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line.
Juventus boss Max Allegri admitted the club played the best game of their season so far against Udinese suggesting they can build on their success onwards.The Bianconneri have made a perfect start to the campaign, winning all 10 competitive games, including the recent 2-0 away win to Udinese.“We worked hard to ensure we got off to a strong start this season. It was a difficult game, I think we played perhaps our best of the season, allowing Udinese practically nothing,” the Coach told Football Italia.Juventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.“It could’ve been at risky fixture, but we showed great maturity and determination. The lads know what we are working on, at times we have been a little complacent after taking the lead, but we didn’t do that today.“Rodrigo Bentancur impressed me in midfield, both tactically and technically, then, of course, he scored the goal. I think above all, we are not too hasty, but move the ball around quickly and all over the field to make the most of the great technical qualities at our disposal.“The break for international duty came at the right time, though, as we needed a rest. We need to set new targets every time, which now is a series of clean sheets. If we don’t keep setting ourselves targets, we risk resting on our laurels.”
Ross Barkley is confident that Chelsea will overcome their rough patch of form under Maurizio Sarri and become a success with time.The pressure on Sarri has reached a boiling point lately on the back of Chelsea’s recent results in the Premer League, which has seen suffer heavy defeats to both Bournemouth and Manchester City in the past month.Currently, the Blues are down in sixth-place in the standings and in danger of missing out on Champions League football for a second consecutive season.Today’s Carabao Cup final against City at Wembley is being viewed as one of the three key games Sarri has left to convince the Chelsea board to stick with him amid reports they’ve grown increasingly concerned by the club’s struggles.Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the former Napoli coach lamented the fact that he must deliver right now while “lucky” City counterpart Pep Guardiola was given all the time he needed.But Barkley is confident the team are adapting to Sarri’s footballing philosophy and urged the Chelsea board to give the Italian time.“He [Sarri] tries to improve every player. Throughout his career, you can see at Napoli how well he did with the players he had, how well he improved them,” said Barkley, according to The Telegraph.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“You can see on the training pitch a lot of things improving in each individual. We went through a bit of an up and down spell in the last couple of weeks, but we’re confident we’ll come through it and achieve success.“With each individual, everybody takes instructions in a different way. We’re all top-class players and we all want to learn more. With the manager, we’re learning on a day-to-day basis.“If you compare Pep Guardiola’s first season, they went through a bit of an up and down spell. When I was at Everton, we beat Manchester City 4-0.“The Premier League is the most competitive in the world. You can have an off day one day, a good game the other. It’s more repetition in training and results will come through.”The 25-year-old added: “We’ve got the ambition to be one of the best footballing sides in the world. We’re one of the biggest clubs in the world. The style of play the manager wants to play it’s not where it’s at right now. Over time it will come.”The English midfielder has managed five goals and assists in 36 appearances under Sarri at Chelsea this season.The Carabao Cup final between City and Chelsea will begin at 5:30 PM (CET) at Wembley today.BURNLEY, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 28: Ross Barkley of Chelsea celebrates scoring his teams second goal during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Chelsea FC at Turf Moor on October 28, 2018 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)