Blogger who covered corruption slain in São Paulo state

first_img Organisation December 29, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Blogger who covered corruption slain in São Paulo state BrazilAmericas April 27, 2021 Find out more RSF_en May 13, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Brazil A lawyer who kept a blog called Ubatuba Cobra, Guerra was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his home in Ubatuba (in São Paulo state) on 23 December.Ubatuba’s police chief said he did not rule out the possibility that the motive was linked to the victim’s work. A link with Guerra’s blog posts is one of the hypotheses being considered. Guerra’s father told the police that Guerra had received threats.“We condemn Guerra’s murder and we urge the authorities to immediately carry out an independent, impartial and thorough investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice,” said Claire San Filippo, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.“It is vital that the authorities take concrete measures to protect journalists. They must actively combat impunity for violence against news providers, which encourages more violence and is limiting freedom of information in a very dangerous manner.”Brazil’s Human Rights Secretariat issued a report on violence against journalists last March that recommended creating an Observatory for Violence against Journalists in partnership with UNESCO, and putting the federal authorities in charge of investigating crimes against journalists.It also stressed the need for a justice ministry evaluation of suitable security equipment for protecting journalists when they are covering conflicts.Brazil is the western hemisphere’s third deadliest country for media personnel, with a total of 38 journalists killed from January 2000 to September 2014. The level of violence has worsened in recent years, with at least 10 journalists killed in direct connection with their work in 2012 and 2013. Almost all of the victims were investigating sensitive subjects such as organized crime, human rights violations or corruption. Most of these murders have gone unpunished.Brazil is ranked 111th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Help by sharing this information April 15, 2021 Find out more Newscenter_img Reports Receive email alerts 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Last week’s murder of Marcos de Barros Leopoldo Guerra, a blogger critical of local government corruption, has again drawn attention to the level of violence against news and information providers in Brazil and the need for the authorities to provide them with effective protection. News RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America (Photo: http://veja.abril.com.br) to go further Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil BrazilAmericas last_img read more

Robbers grab 100,000 surgical masks at gunpoint as Ukraine enters shutdown

first_imgUkrainian shops, restaurants and transport shut down on Tuesday as the country tightened restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, while police arrested five people suspected of trying to rob 100,000 surgical masks at gunpoint in Kiev.The country has seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far, including one death. The government has encouraged people to stay at home wherever possible except to buy food and medicine, but has stopped short of introducing curfews.Following a series of emergency steps introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, parliament in a special session on Tuesday approved measures including fines and prison sentences for people who broke mandatory quarantine. “Of course, no one is happy about the restaurant shutdown,” said Mark Zarhin, the owner of a restaurant chain.”It is like a perfect storm in Lviv. We face both ‘plague’ and war today. It is the worst. But it’s not the fact that we close the restaurants that is bad, but the fact that we don’t know for how long. We cannot predict anything.”The nationwide shutdown will include the closure of the Chernobyl area, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in April 1986 that has since become a visitor attraction.Kiev’s main airport was mostly empty after the government banned passenger flights to and from the country, and announced a shutdown of domestic air travel from Wednesday.The authorities also announced the arrest of a group of people who, initially posing as members of the state security service, stole a stash of 100,000 surgical masks at gunpoint from a private seller who had stored them in his car.”Instead of negotiating the purchase and sale conditions, the criminals attacked [the seller], took the masks and beat the man,” Kiev police chief Andriy Kryshchenko said. “Wearing police uniforms and threatening to use firearms, the criminals took possession of the whole batch of goods.”  Topics :center_img The economic fallout from the epidemic also continued to bite as the hryvnia currency slipped to 27 to the dollar for the first time since June 2019.The central bank said it would not impose foreign currency restrictions and added it had $25 billion in reserves to continue market interventions.Nevertheless it warned of an economic hit on Ukraine, which is still fighting a simmering conflict against Russian-backed forces in the eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.In Lviv, a picturesque city of cobblestone streets in western Ukraine that is popular with tourists, restaurants and cafes closed and supermarket attendants wore masks and gloves while working at the tills.last_img read more

Bill Peters has resigned as head coach of Calgary Flames

first_imgA statement from Bill Peters, in the form of a letter to CGY GM Brad Treliving:: pic.twitter.com/YouP6ZABrm— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 28, 2019Peters, 53, had been the head coach of the Flames since April 23, 2018. Before joining Calgary, Peters served four seasons as bench boss of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was absent from the team in Wednesday’s 3-2 OT win against Buffalo. Bill Peters has resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames, GM Brad Treliving said during a press conference on Friday.The decision came following a firestorm of allegations in which Peters was accused of using racial slurs and abusive behavior toward former players.Former NHLer Akim Aliu, who played under Peters at the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2009-10 season, tweeted Tuesday that the coach repeatedly used racial slurs toward him before a morning skate. Aliu’s tweet quickly prompted reactions from others who played under Peters, with accusations of physical and verbal abuse coming from two other players.MORE: What to know about Calgary Flames’ investigation into Bill PetersThe NHL denounced Peters’ behavior as “repugnant and unacceptable” on Tuesday morning but offered no further comment until the matter was looked into more thoroughly, followed shortly by Flames general manager Brad Treliving dousing rumors that Peters had already been fired. Treliving stressed the need for a “thorough” investigation before making a decision. In the end, it was Peters’ decision to step away from the Flames organization.On Wednesday, Peters issued an apology to GM Brad Treliving saying, “Please accept this as a sincere apology to you, and the entire Calgary Flames organization, for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago,” read the statement, which he also sent to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportnet’s Eric Francis at the same time as Treliving. “I know that my comments have been the source of both anger and disappointment, and I understand why.” last_img read more

Is Our World Natural?

first_imgAt first glance, the headline sounds absurd: is our world natural?  Of course the world is natural.  Nature is natural, isn’t it?  Often, though, we picture what humans do as unnatural – oil spills, landfills, pollution, nuclear waste, crime, war.  But if humans are a part of nature, then whatever they do is natural.  Some recent articles show that the definition of natural requires some reflection.Gulf oil spill:  The gulf oil spill, the worst environmental disaster the United States has ever faced, is finally in the cleanup stages.  To consider the impact on wildlife, jobs, and the economy is heart wrenching.  Who could not be moved by those news photos of pelicans drenched in oil, black goo infesting delicate wetlands, tarballs on white beaches?  It seems so unnatural.  Images of man-made machinery, complicated drill rigs and capping devices add to the contrast between natural and unnatural.  Few seem to be commenting on the fact that the oil is coming out of the earth.  If the earth is natural, any substance it exudes must also be natural.  “Natural” oil seeps have leaked crude into the gulf long before man decided to tap into the subsurface reservoirs (see BBC News, “Seepages near the leaking BP oil well ‘may be natural’”).  What’s more, bacteria are expected to break down the oil over time, and bacteria are natural.  Defining unnatural in this instance, therefore, needs to include situations of natural substances undergoing possibly unnatural processes, or concentrating in unnatural amounts where they are not usually found.  But if unnatural includes those situations, it also includes numerous unusual concentrations of natural substances (lava, radioactive elements, smoke, algal blooms) that had nothing to do with man’s intervention.Forest fires:  Fire season is coming to the western United States again.  One can only hope that the devastation of last year’s record fires will not be repeated.  For many years, the public learned from Smokey Bear that “Only you can prevent forest fires.”  Fire lookout towers were installed in vulnerable areas, and any puff of smoke in a national park or wilderness area set off a monumental effort at fire suppression, even if no structures were threatened– smoke jumpers dropped into the burn zone, water-dropping aircraft dropping water and flame retardant, firebreaks quickly carved through the wilderness.    A paradigm change occurred in the 1970s, however, as more park superintendents and ecologists considered the role of “natural” wildfires to the health of the forest.  Botanists realized many forest trees and herbaceous plants actually rely on fire for their propagation.  Fires began to be incorporated as a normal, “natural” part of the forest life cycle.  Parks adopted a “let burn” policy for wildfires set by lightning, even if the smoke drifted into Yosemite Valley and set the tourists coughing.  Only fires that threatened buildings were suppressed.    The 1988 Yellowstone fires, though, set by a backpacker’s campfire, set the ecologists talking about canopy fires – those exceptionally hot fires that burned not only the undergrowth but the tops of the trees, leaving a whole area devastated, unable to sustain wildlife and unable to restrict the damage of erosion.  Now, it seemed a new dividing line was being erected between natural and unnatural.  It’s doubtful, however, that the 1988 catastrophe was the first one.  How many were set in past centuries by lightning in exceptionally dry, hot years?  Perhaps the 1988 fire could be called unnatural because it was human caused.  But again, if humans are part of nature, like any other mammal, anything they do could arguably called natural.    Maybe a distinction could be drawn between human-caused fires that are intentional instead of accidental.  Arson fires have caused untold grief and loss, especially in Southern California where each year most of the worst brush fires are set by arsonists.  If anything seems unnatural, arson would surely qualify; but then is the firefighters’ response to be considered natural?  Perhaps self-preservation is natural, but self-destruction is unnatural.  PhysOrg says that prevention of human-caused wildfires pays big dividends.  Which action is natural, and which is not?    According to evolutionists, human ancestors first learned to use fire 800,000 years ago, and some of our ancestors set wildfires for hunting or warfare.  Such wildfires may have caused the extinction of other species.  At what point did hominid activities cross an imaginary line between natural behavior and unnatural behavior?Global warming:  One would have to be a Rip Van Winkle to miss all the talk about human-caused climate change.  Every week we are hearing about current and future threats to the planet if global warming is not mitigated: for instance, National Geographic warns that 2010 may be the hottest on record; PhysOrg says global warming will cause more smog in Los Angeles; Science Daily says climate change is making marmots fatter; and another National Geographic article claims that global warming will increase Mexican immigration.  The debate centers over what is natural climate change and what is unnatural—i.e., man-caused.  Nature announced on June 4 that not all of a glacier’s wane may be human-caused, but may be due to “natural climate variability.”  But if man is a part of nature, such distinctions are academic.Natural disasters:  TV programs about natural disasters always grab attention.  Every year the news fills our homes with images of tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, and other tragedies.  PhysOrg discussed ways a scientist at Tel Aviv University is seeking to avoid the train wrecks caused by such events.  “Thousands of people around the world have died in train wrecks caused by natural disasters,” the article began; “In 2004, the tsunami in Southeast Asia derailed a Sri Lankan train, killing 1,700 people.”  That event pales in comparison to the 230,000 people who perished in the Haiti earthquake last January.    We call them natural disasters, but something in us cries out that things should not be this way; they seem somehow unnatural.  Unnatural in this sense might refer to events falling outside an expected or usual range.  We can’t blame humans for these events, except to the point where they failed to plan ahead, such as building a house on the sand instead of on a rock.  The death toll in Haiti might have been far less if people had not built unreinforced houses on slopes; but it would not have been zero.  And if a large meteor from space were to land on Manhattan, no amount of prevention would avoid monumental loss of life from that kind of “natural” disaster.    As long as one avoids natural disasters, spending time in “nature” is good for human health, announced PhysOrg.  A doctor in Finland said that most people “feel relaxed and good when they are out in nature.  But not many of us know that there is also scientific evidence about the healing effects of nature.”  But if humans are part of nature, aren’t they out in nature all the time?  He was thinking of forests and green settings, obviously, in contrast to being stuck in a cubicle or traffic jam.  But it might be healthier to be in a high-rise building than a forest when a natural disaster like a wildfire, lightning storm or flash flood strikes.    We often hear about man’s devastation of the Amazon rain forests.  But “nature” can pack a lot of devastation on its own.  This month, Nature News talked about a “once-in-a century drought” that struck the Amazon in 2005, reducing rainfall by 60-75% in some areas.  But that same year, according to Live Science, a storm ripped through the rain forest, toppling half a billion trees without the help of human chainsaws.  In some hard-hit areas, 80% of the trees were killed by the storm.These and other examples show that defining natural is complex and problematic.  Yet the word is important in origins debates.  Evolutionists, whether atheistic or theistic, often demand that science restrict its explanations to natural phenomena subject to natural laws.  Yet by using their human reason and intellect, they are, in a sense, acting “outside” nature by casting judgment on what nature entails and how it is to be understood.  Explanation by its very “nature” is not a natural phenomenon subject to natural laws.  And why is it that human beings are the only intelligent creatures on the planet thinking about these questions?    It shouldn’t be surprising, therefore, that this article began with a headline, “Is our world natural?”  Sean Carroll, a Caltech cosmologist, asked that question of the whole universe (see 05/11/2006).Materialists can’t have it both ways.  They cannot argue that only particles and natural laws exist, then turn around and blame humans for global warming, pollution, war, acid rain, extinction, or anything else.  Nature is what nature does.  If humans are a part of nature, whatever they do is only natural.  It’s doubtful that even Richard Dawkins could stomach calling his worst political nightmare, whatever he would pick (creationism? religion? Margaret Thatcher?) “natural.”  It’s also doubtful he would want the arguments in his books discounted as mere particles responding to natural laws.    The only perspective that permits natural/unnatural distinctions is the Judeo-Christian world view.  Sin is unnatural, because God is holy.  Death and disasters are unnatural, because God created a perfect world that was cursed because of sin.  Human beings stand between the natural and the supernatural by having the image of God implanted in their nonphysical souls.  These foundations allow for politics, economics, criminal law, and all the institutions that engage us, including science.    Materialists need to be challenged when they blindly refer to nature, natural, or unnatural.  They also need to be challenged when they disparage the “super”-natural.  “Super” is a prefix that means above.  But it doesn’t matter if something is above (super-), below (sub-), beyond (epi-), around (peri-), opposed (anti-), or not (non-, un-).  If it is outside the natural box, it is unnatural or super-natural by definition.  Naturalism wants to subsume everything in its definition of the universe.  If a naturalist wants to categorize anything as unnatural, whether creationism, pseudoscience, or conservative politics, he unmasks himself as a supernaturalist in spite of himself.    Christians may want to refer to a document at this site to learn how to unmask pseudo-naturalism, entitled, Naturalism and Supernaturalism: A False Dichotomy.  In addition to exploring the many meanings of natural, it exposes the impossibility of pure materialism.  If no one can avoid being a supernaturalist (and the materialist must be one to engage in argumentation using symbolic language, reason and logic), it changes the nature of the debate on origins.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Engen and Work4You assist disabled youth

first_img(left to right) Melanie Holland, Engen CSI co-ordinator; Vuyo Mdokwe, Lynnette D’ Alton, Bongi Vilakazi and Tristan Zass from Work4You; and Andrew Bryce, Engen general manager of financial services attend the Work4You 10th Anniversary dinner on 22 October 2016. (Image: Supplied)Work4You, an NPO dedicated to the development, training and support of young adults living with intellectual disabilities, has benefited greatly from the generosity of various donors and sponsors.Chief among these donors is South African oil and gas company Engen. The company tries to reach a diverse group of young people through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.Engen has, since the beginning of their partnership with Work4You in 2006, helped the NPO maximise the impact they have made in the lives of 80 young adults who have benefited from their work.Work4You trains and places young people in Wagalots, a dog treats product line created to provide job opportunities for the young adults.“Our innovative approach at Work4You is to use our Wagalots dog treats product line as the platform and basis for training and developing the work skills of young people with intellectual disabilities, along with their social adaptation and life skills,” explains Lynnette D’Alton, the operations manager at Work4You.“Once the youngsters have completed their training, they are placed in relevant positions at organisations so that they can gain valuable work experience.”D’Alton, who has been with Work4You since 2011, says this process of practical training helps prepare the youth for full-time employment.And thanks to the support of Engen, who contributed eight bursaries in 2016, three young adults are currently employed.Three more are likely to be employed by the end of the year, with the last two Engen bursary recipients currently on job trials.D’Alton explains how the money generated by Wagalots along with sponsorships and parents fees goes to covering the costs of training. “As a result, many young people in poorer areas could not attend the courses, due to lack of funding.“Along with Engen, we identified eight potential candidates whose costs Engen agreed to pay via bursaries for 2016.”“Due to the fact that disability affects a comparatively small percentage of the population, it remains traditionally underfunded,” says Engen CSI manager, Mntu Nduvane, explaining the company’s decision to play a part in helping young adults living with intellectual disabilities.“At Engen, we are mindful that this is a key area of need and we have moved to assist people living with disabilities and their families,” Nduvane says.In 2017 Engen looks to take some of the young adults on board to gain even more work experience. The oil company also intends to provide funding for more bursaries in the coming year.Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray, Engen’s general manager of corporate affairs, says the company is pleased to play a role in helping people with disabilities.“By working together with Work4You we hope to forge a future that is inclusive of all people; where the marginalised have the opportunity to work, and where conditions are created for dreams to be achieved and a brighter future for all South Africans to be manifested,” says Sulaiman-Bray.last_img read more

Is Skype Too Cool For Windows? New Video Messages Feature Says, Yes

first_imgOn Friday, Microsoft launched a new Video Messages feature for Skype on the Mac, iOS and Android – but not Windows Phone or even Windows. Why? Because that’s not how Skype rolls, a company spokesman essentially said.The Video Messages feature allows users to record up to three minutes of video, and send them to another Skype user. Skype then embeds the video within Skype chat, to be delivered to the recipient. Users can send up to 20 free Messages using the new feature, but will then be forced to sign up for Skype Premium to continue using the service.Right now, Skype is characterizing the new feature as a “test,” according to a tweet the company published on Friday: “We are testing a great new video messaging feature with a group of mobile and Mac users. We’ll let you know when we extend availability,” it said.The mobile platforms that Skype is testing with appear to be just iOS and Android. People who have chosen other platforms – say, Windows Phone and Windows 8, which are also owned by Microsoft – can use the new Video Messages feature, but only via a link that Skype embeds in the chat function. Microsoft has also said that the new Video Messages feature will eventually be available on other platforms, which presumably include its flagship operating systems. A Skype spokesman declined to say which platforms those would be or what the release timeline might be, however.Skype’s Video Messages (a hands-on is available at the Verge) aren’t earth-shattering. One might consider them to be Microsoft’s answer to Vine, although the stereotypical Skype usage model is from a desk, with a headset or microphone – not recording a wedding, or a sandwich, or… whatever Vine users have chosen to spend their six seconds of video on. I’m not sure what Video Message could be used for – although a good example might have been a Valentine’s Day message to a loved one overseas. Too bad Skype was a day late with that one.A History Of Doing Things Its Own WayReally, there is no absolute rule that should force Skype to release a new feature or version of its application on Microsoft’s platforms first. But owning an operating system has become critical to developing hardware, just as apps flesh out and give life and vitality to the combination of the operating system plus the hardware. Last October, Microsoft indicated that it would tie Skype deeply into Windows 8, and later Windows Phone 8 – so deeply, in fact, that you couldn’t turn it off. Skype will also replace Windows Messenger; Microsoft had previously indicated that change would happen this quarter, although the Verge is now citing an April date. But a spokesman for Skype said that the company has a legacy of releasing features first for a variety of different platforms, dating back to the days before Microsoft bought the company. “If you look at our track record, we have always released some features here, some features there – that’s our history,” he said. “I don’t think anything has changed.”As an example, he cited HD video calling, a feature that came to Windows before the Mac; the ability to share screens came to the Mac before Windows; the ability to share files came to Android before other platforms; and Skype users on the Macintosh were able to transfer calls to other Mac users first.“Look, we’re testing this,” the Skype spokesman said. “We’re trying to fine-tune the product… and the plan is to bring this to all Skype products over time.”Skype “does things differently,” the spokesman concluded.Fair enough. But as many have pointed out, Windows developers may already feel a little marginalized by rivals developing on the far more prevalent Android and iOS platforms. The impression, like it or not, is that Microsoft’s Skype division feels the same reluctance to emphasize Windows.Skype may indeed have a legacy of going its own way. But after spending $8 billion for Skype and deeply integrating it within its product lines, however, it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft envisioned Skype continuing to steer the ship away from the very developers that the parent company is working so hard to keep loyal.UPDATE: After this story was posted, a Skype spokesperson emailed the following clarification:Video Messaging is in early release for testing in several markets for Android, iOS, and Mac with functionality to send and receive video messages. Users in these markets across all Windows desktop and mobile platforms can receive messages, too. We will have send capability in Windows by end of April. In the meantime, we continue to test this new feature in its early release.Image source: Flickr/Scott Cresswell. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Microsoft#Skype#Windows 8#Windows Phone center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces markhachmanlast_img read more

Tamil Nadu poll results: AIADMK celebrates, gloom at Cong and DMK offices

first_imgAs AIADMK on Friday appeared all set for a landslide win in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, it was party time for its workers who thronged their leader Jayalalithaa’s residence in Chennai where a jubilant mood prevailed.Bursting of firecrackers and distribution of sweets, besides merry making were the order of the day at Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence as she was leading by 3,000 votes in Srirangam constituency while the party was leading in over 170 seats.In total contrast, the party offices of both Congress and DMK in Chennai wore a deserted look since morning as trends showed they were heading for a rout.While TNCC headquarters Sathyamurthy Bhavan remained shut, a pall of gloom descended at the DMK office Anna Arivalayam.A huge contingent of policemen was posted outside Jayalalithaa’s residence as the 61-year-old leader is all set to become the chief minister for the fourth time in yet another remarkable comeback.High voltage celebrations were witnessed outside Jayalalithaa’s house as overjoyed workers raised slogans in support of AIADMK. Several workers were seen lined up with flower bouquets to greet their leader.Men and women from different age groups were seen exchanging pleasantries even as frenzied workers sporting AIADMK colours attributed overall “discontentment” against DMK especially over the corruption for their party’s showing.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

LeBron James Shouldnt Stay in Miami Or Go to Cleveland

Once we allocate a team’s minutes, we can estimate its projected scoring margin by summing each player’s SPM projection. The Lakers, for instance — even with James — would be projected to outscore their opponents by only 0.5 points per game. That translates to a 42-40 record, using a Pythagorean projection.Once we project a team’s win total, we can allocate its wins back to individual players: For instance, James is worth about 21 wins to the Lakers. There are a couple of highly technical points about this process, which I’ve reserved for the footnotes,10The allocation works by calculating a player’s wins above average based on his SPM projection and the Pythagorean formula, assuming that he was added to a league-average team. Since an average team would win 41 games, I also add 8.2 wins (41 wins divided by five positions) per 48 minutes played to each player so that the sum of player win totals roughly matches the team’s win projection.This produces a number that can be compared to win shares or other NBA metrics that denominate a player’s value in wins. However, the statistic should not be thought of as “wins above replacement.” Instead, it represents wins as compared to a really, really bad player who is even worse than replacement level — you might call it WAABAAB, Wins Above Anthony Bennett And Andrea Bargnani.Another complication is that the wins estimates for individual players will not exactly match the team total. This is principally because of diminishing returns for very good or very bad teams (a team can’t win more than 82 games or fewer than zero). In my system, the team win total has priority: Player win totals are adjusted to match the team figure rather than the other way around. This only has a material impact for extraordinarily strong or poor teams, however. but note that a player’s win allocation can vary slightly from team to team. (The issue is diminishing returns — a team’s win total eventually maxes out at 82 wins in the regular season. Otherwise, you’d run into problems like the 2012 U.S. Olympic roster projecting to 110 wins and negative 28 losses.)Here are some benchmarks to keep in mind: A team that played James 35 minutes a game and filled out the rest of the roster with replacement-level players would have a projected record of 33-49. And a team that had James plus 11 league-average players would have a record of 56-26.That’s why James wouldn’t give up much if he left Miami, which won 54 games last season. The rest of the Heat’s players have regressed to the point where they’re league-average without James, or perhaps slightly below average — and they probably aren’t going to get any better.Instead, the Heat project to a record of 52-30 if they re-sign James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The projection ought to be intuitive. Miami’s record last season wasn’t all that good, and that probably wasn’t an accident: The Heat’s players were aging, and the team was a man or two short of a full rotation. Adding Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger might help a little, but will probably only offset further age-related reversion from the rest of the roster. (PSPS has a rather nice-looking projection for McRoberts, which makes up for its very pessimistic one for Bosh.)The other challenge is that the Heat have so many free agents that it’s hard to know who will remain with the club. I’m assuming that Allen, Chris Andersen, Greg Oden, Udonis Haslem and Michael Beasley will return if the Big Three do, while the other players will not. (Shane Battier is retiring, for instance.)The controversial case is point guard Mario Chalmers, whom I’ve left off the roster. Chalmers played poorly in the playoffs and the Heat would have very limited money to offer him after stretching as much as it can to re-sign the Big Three. But SPM hates the alternative point guard, Norris Cole, and it’s inherently pessimistic about what any rookie (Shabazz Napier included) will do in his first season. If you replaced Cole’s minutes with Chalmers’s, the Heat’s projection would improve to 56 wins. Still, Miami would be somewhere in the vicinity of where it was last season.What the Heat really needed was to add another star talent, especially to address its deficiency at the point. For instance, if Miami had snagged Kyle Lowry — and somehow also re-signed the Big Three — it would project to 60-plus wins.The wild-card scenario would involve the Heat retaining James but parting ways with Bosh or Wade. There are some theoretically intriguing possibilities that build a team around James, Carmelo Anthony, a league-average point guard and some complementary role players.But ultimately James would maximize his championship potential by surrounding himself with players who are underpaid relative to the basketball value they produce. Might he find them in Cleveland?Perhaps, but the Cavs’ projection is the same as the Heat’s: 52-30. The Cavaliers won only 33 games last season, so a 19-win improvement is sizable. A little bit of that comes from projected improvement from young players like Kyrie Irving — although the Cavs also have a few subtractions, like Jarrett Jack and Luol Deng.At least in Cleveland it’s possible to conjure any number of upside scenarios. Reports have linked Minnesota’s Kevin Love to the Cavs, for instance. With a number of caveats,11Metrics derived from “box score” stats may be too much in love with Love; it’s not clear whether the salaries would work out; the Cavaliers would lack a true center if they tried this. trading Andrew Wiggins and Anderson Varejao (and some draft picks) for Love would make the Cavs a 60-plus-win team with James on the roster. Or the Cavs could wait for Wiggins, Irving and Tristan Thompson to develop further.But James has a number of alternatives that could get him on a championship-caliber roster right away — and with fewer contingencies. One possibility is Dallas:The Mavs have probably gotten over James, having made an offer to Chandler Parsons instead (Parsons is a restricted free agent, so the Rockets will have the right to match). And our projections aren’t all that optimistic about them. Dirk Nowitzki is finally due for some age-reversion. Monta Ellis has never been an advanced-stats poster boy. The Mavericks might get poor point-guard play from Ray Felton, and I’m assuming the team would have to salary-dump Brendan Wright, and give up on re-signing Vince Carter and Shawn Marion, in order to clear room for James. With all those issues, they’d still project to a 55-27 record next season with James.The Knicks rate similarly:This is almost certainly not going to happen. The Knicks would have to find takers for Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani. Even under this miracle scenario, I’m assuming that they’d lose Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway, Jr., in order to facilitate salary-dump deals. I have them relying on a lot of playing time from second-round draft picks and other dubious alternatives like Lamar Odom.Even so, the Knicks project to a 56-26 record with an Anthony/James pairing and an otherwise spartan roster. Don’t take this as an indication of how awesome the Knicks are, but instead as a benchmark for how little of a draw Miami’s incumbent status really is for James. As I mentioned earlier, a team of league-average players plus James would project to a 56-26 record; Miami is about a league-average team without James, but so are the Knicks. It’s not a high bar to clear.For some further indication of this, we can look at the next three teams in lightning-round fashion; all project to a 59-23 record with James on the roster. First up, one of Grantland basketball writer Zach Lowe’s dark-horse candidates, the Phoenix Suns:Jeff Hornacek somehow got 48 wins out of a roster that was expected to lose enough to be granted a lottery pick. There’s the potential for some mean-reversion in Phoenix, but that’s much less of a concern for a young club. The Suns have a lot of underpaid players and could potentially add another piece next year in addition to James. As Lowe wrote, if James were making a decision strictly on the basis of getting the max salary on a title contender, the Suns would be an excellent option.So might another Z-Lowe favorite, the Atlanta Hawks:The starting five would be very good, depending on Al Horford’s health. There isn’t a lot of depth in Atlanta, but Miami and Cleveland don’t have much depth either.A sexier alternative would be the Chicago Bulls:It might seem surprising that the Bulls project no better than the Suns or the Hawks — not that 59 wins is anything to sneeze at. But I’m assuming that to sign James, the Bulls would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer and find a taker for Mike Dunleavy.Granted, Boozer and Dunleavy are not better than league-average players at this point in their careers. But they also aren’t total zeroes; they combined for 10 win shares last season. The win-shares baseline is too generous; but when James gets added to an already talented roster, he’s taking playing time from some semi-respectable alternatives instead of some Bargnanis.The other issue is Derrick Rose, who projects as only a league-average player. The problem is not just that Rose has played only 10 games in the past two seasons — he stunk when he did play last year. Still (since we’re indulging in so many hypotheticals) the Bulls would project to a 65-17 record if they both signed James and Rose performed at his 2011-12 level.James’s final alternative would be to create a sequel to the Big Three with either the Clippers or the Rockets. They’re terrific options if the cap mechanics work. A LeBronful Clips team projects at 66-16 — and the Rockets are even better, at 69-13. The Clippers’ Big Three might be slightly better than the Rockets’, but the Clips would have to gut their roster to keep all three players on board — dumping DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford, and perhaps others. Still, the top-level talent might overwhelm everything else, in the fashion of the 2007-08 Celtics.The talent in Houston would run six players deep, with Chandler Parsons, Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones aiding and abetting James, James Harden and Dwight Howard. After that, there would be almost no one on the roster — the Rockets would have to dump Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin to make room for James.There’s room for concern about how well James, Harden and Howard would mesh together — something that statistics like SPM may not capture well. But this would be a really, really good problem for Houston General Manager Daryl Morey to have. Even if the Rockets lost Parsons to Dallas as collateral damage and gave his minutes to veteran-minimum players instead, they’d project to 65 wins. Even if you subtracted five more wins for lack of team cohesion, they’d still be better positioned to win a championship than the Heat.But incumbency is a powerful advantage. James may stay in Miami or go back to Cleveland — even if some alternatives might give him a better chance of keeping up with Michael Jordan. The conventional wisdom is that LeBron James will remain in Miami or return home to Cleveland. Neither would maximize his chances of winning a championship — but Cleveland, at least, is on an upward trajectory.In Miami, James runs the risk of staying too long with a team in decline. The Heat won 54 games last year in a historically soft Eastern Conference and were dismantled by San Antonio in the NBA Finals. As if the Spurs left any doubt, a team with 54-win talent is rarely good enough to win a championship. Since the introduction of the three-point shot in 1979-80,1I exclude lockout-shortened seasons from these tallies. just one of 22 teams to finish with 54 regular-season wins has won the championship that season.I’m not cherry-picking data to make the Heat’s case look bad. We can expand the sample to include all teams that won between 52 and 56 regular-season games. There have been 102 such teams — and only three of them won the NBA title.Instead, a team’s title chances increase rapidly once it gets its win total into the high 50s — or better yet, somewhere in the 60s. A team with 55 regular-season wins will win the title about 5 percent of the time; with 60 wins, it will about 20 percent of the time, and with 65 wins, about 60 percent of the time.2These estimates are based on a logistic regression analysis.If James really wants to get to that 60-win threshold, he’d be better off exploring teams aside from his reported favorites, such as the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. When I placed James on the roster and ran projections for those teams, all but one finished ahead of both Miami and Cleveland.To make the projections, I used a metric called Statistical Plus/Minus (SPM), which was originally developed by my colleague Neil Paine. (SPM is not quite the same thing as NBA Real Plus Minus, though the systems are related.) SPM measures a player’s value in points per game (more precisely, points per 100 possessions3There are about 100 possessions per team in a typical NBA game, so points per 100 possessions is roughly equivalent to points per game.) relative to the league average. For instance, a player with an SPM of +4 (like the Bulls’ Joakim Noah) produces a net of four extra points for his team per 100 possessions. James is in the range of +8. Negative SPMs indicate below-average players.SPM has a good track record when it comes to predicting how teams will be affected by roster changes. But I’m hoping not to get sidetracked into a debate about which is the best “all-in-one” NBA metric.4A couple of us at FiveThirtyEight are agnostic enough about the alternatives that we’re thinking about publishing a consensus metric that averages the different rating systems. In this case my choice is pragmatic: Whereas some metrics like win shares value the very best NBA players as worth 15 to 20 wins per season, others like PER estimate that they’re worth 25 to 30 wins per season. SPM, which can also be translated into win totals, comes down somewhere in the middle, and puts James in the low 20s.We also need some way to project a player’s SPM for next season, so I’m using a variant on another Neil Paine invention, the Simple Projection System. Like Neil’s system, my version uses data from the past three NBA seasons. The only variables it looks at are SPM and minutes played. But it includes a slightly more sophisticated handling of mean-reversion5Simple Projection System reverts players to the league average, whereas my variant reverts players to below the league average and is more suspicious of players who post strong SPMs in limited minutes. and player aging.6Simple Projection System is probably too conservative about adjusting for a player’s age. There’s also a separate routine to handle rookies, whom I’ve projected on the basis of their draft position and age.7Holding draft position constant, older players are more “NBA-ready” (better) in their rookie seasons, though the trend reverses itself after a few seasons. You might call my variant the Pretty Simple Projection System (PSPS).Let’s put some of that methodology to use. I’ve projected seasons for the 10 teams that, at one point or another, were rumored to have a chance at landing James. We’ll start with the worst and move toward the best. Ranking at the bottom are the Los Angeles Lakers.The system projects that the Lakers would win only 42 games even with James on the roster. The problem is that between age and injuries, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol may be no better than average NBA players — and any scenario that would allow the Lakers to sign James would require them to absolutely gut their depth.Importantly, I’m making a few assumptions in constructing the Lakers’ hypothetical roster — and in constructing the rosters for all the teams James may join:James is the only top-tier free agent the team signs this summer, other than its own free agents. So the Lakers can re-sign Pau Gasol, for instance, if the salary numbers are at all realistic. But they can’t also sign Carmelo Anthony or someone to pair with James.Rosters must be at least vaguely plausible under the salary cap and other contractual rules. Some cases will be bigger stretches than others. (For the Lakers, both James and Gasol would probably have to accept less than they might make elsewhere.) But they’re reasonable best-case scenarios or slightly better than that. In some cases, I’ll specify players who I assume will have to be traded to clear cap room for James.James and his teammates stay in reasonably good health, but there are no medical miracles. For instance: Kobe Bryant may be relatively healthy, but he doesn’t go back to playing 40 minutes a game, 82 times a year.8The minutes-per-game figures in this article represent the total number of minutes on a player’s season divided by 82 games — as opposed to the average number of minutes in games that a player participates in. For instance, if Samuel Dalembert averages 30 minutes per game in his first 41 games with the Knicks, then sits out the remaining 41 games due to injury, his minutes would be listed at 15 per game, not 30. This is why the minutes-played figures may look conservative — I’m building in some buffer for injury. (He played in just six games last season.)Every team that gets James also gets Ray Allen for “free.” That is to say, it signs Allen for the minimum salary or in some other way that doesn’t require it to sacrifice its options. There are reports that Allen will follow James wherever he goes. Like a lot of reports in the NBA’s silly season, they may turn out to be false. But even if Allen doesn’t follow James, another veteran like Mike Miller might. Allen represents a team’s “LeBron Dividend” — the one or two championship-seeking veterans who might join James for slightly below their market rate in order to have a shot at a ring.After Allen, I assume that a team signs generic replacement-level players if it doesn’t have enough minutes to fill out its roster. This is pertinent in the case of the Lakers. Even after some heroic assumptions — Steve Nash stays healthy enough to play half the Lakers’ minutes at point guard, they give playing time to second-round pick Jordan Clarkson — the Lakers will almost certainly need to sign a number of scrappy veterans at the minimum salary. Players signed to league-minimum contracts in 2013-14 averaged about -2 points per 100 possessions. Opponents of a roster full of such players would outscore it by 10 points per game, leaving the league-minimum team with a record of 16-66.9That uses a Pythagorean projection; I use 14 as the pythagorean exponent, as Basketball-Reference.com does. This implies, incidentally, that replacement level in the NBA is not zero wins, as some other systems have it, but somewhere in the range of last year’s Philadelphia 76ers instead. read more

Klopp doubts there will be any January signings at Liverpool

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp doesn’t see any new players coming in during the January transfer marketDespite losing defenders Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to injuries, Klopp is remaining calm over at Anfield and will not make any hasty decisions after spending €182.20m in the summer.Another option for Klopp is to recall Harry Wilson from his season-long loan deal with Derby County in the English Championship.The Welsh winger has impressed over at Derby with eight goals in 19 appearances.But it appears Klopp will not be recalling him or exploring the possibility of making a signing in the winter unless Liverpool injury problems get worse.“I really think Harry left in the right moment,” said Klopp on the club website.“Since I was in everybody told me Harry Wilson needed to go on loan. He scored a lot of goals for the U23s already.“He went last year to Hull, he was already good. He came back, pre-season was pre-season, and he went to Derby and now he is with Frank [Lampard].divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“It’s really nice the job Frank is doing there, it is outstanding. England has a lot of good young managers, that’s cool.“Our situation is like this; if you would have asked me two weeks before if we’ll do anything in the transfer market, I would have said, ‘Probably not.’“Now we have two centre-halves left. Will we do something? It’s not really likely because they [Gomez and Matip] are not out for a long time. But we have to judge it anew.“And that’s exactly the same with Harry. If something happens in an offensive wing position, why should I say today, ‘100 per cent we will not do it’?“That’s the only thing Derby had to accept in the moment they signed the contract. They have to wait until the last second and we can decide.“But we don’t want to take him away. Only if we really need him would we trigger that option. Otherwise, he’s there in a fantastic team.“I like watching them. How they played against United [in the Carabao Cup] was a role model game and it was not because United were weak – it was because Derby were outstanding. So, all good.”last_img read more