Unity and development urged

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It’s a boy! Zoo confirms April the giraffe’s calf is a male

first_img HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) And baby makes glee.Before an online audience of more than a million viewers, April the giraffe gave birth to a male calf Saturday at a New York zoo, ending weeks of proverbial pacing by animal lovers in a virtual worldwide waiting room.The 15-year-old giraffe delivered her calf shortly before 10 a.m. EDT in an enclosed pen at the zoo in Harpursville, a rural upstate village about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of New York City. The mama giraffe tenderly licked her calf, which began to slowly pick its head up from the floor of the pen. About 45 minutes after it was born, the calf stood on its wobbly legs for the first time while mom helped keep her baby steady.He began nursing not long after.At least 1.2 million people watched the Adventure Park’s YouTube streaming of the event . A logo on the feed quickly changed from ToysRUs to BabiesRUs following the birth.Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch said that both mom and calf are doing fine.Patch said the calf’s entrance into the world “was unnerving to even those of us who have witnessed animal births previously.”“Giraffes give birth standing up, which means when the calf is ready to be born, it exits its mother hooves first from six feet off the floor, making for a very exciting event,” Patch said in a news release.This is April’s fourth calf, but Animal Adventure Park’s first giraffe calf. The proud papa, a 5-year-old giraffe named Oliver, watched from an adjacent pen. This is his first offspring.The privately owned zoo began livestreaming from April’s enclosure in February. People around the world have been tuning in daily.April has her own website and even an apparel line. A GoFundMe fundraiser page that initially set a goal of $50,000 sat at more than $125,000 on Saturday morning. The money will be used for the care of the animals.A contest will be held to decide on a name for the calf.The park’s livestream was briefly interrupted in February when YouTube pulled the feed after someone reported the images contained explicit material and nudity. Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, blamed “a handful of extremists and animal rights activists” for the interruption.The wait for the giraffe became an anxiety-ridden experience for some. A Farmington, New Hampshire, songwriter even posted a music video on YouTube called, “I’m Going Crazy Waiting (For A Giraffe).”The reaction on Twitter was ebullient and hopeful: “We did it, internet! We had a giraffe baby together;” ”Everybody sticking their neck out for this baby giraffe;” and “On a day where “mother of all bombs” is a trending phrase, I love how the world unites over the birth of a baby giraffe.”No other details on the calf were announced, but they usually weigh around 150 pounds (68.04 kilograms) and are about 6 feet (1.83 meters) tall at birth. Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months on average.Animal Adventure park is currently closed to the public and will open in mid-May.Watch the live YouTube stream from Animal Adventure Park here: Published: April 15, 2017 8:23 AM EDT Updated: April 15, 2017 7:04 PM EDT It’s a boy! Zoo confirms April the giraffe’s calf is a male SHAREcenter_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Author: Associated Press last_img read more

Ex-athletics chief’s son claims conspiracy as trial verdict nears

first_img Papa Massata Diack, the son of former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, speaks out ahead of a Sept. 16 verdict in his father’s corruption trial in Dakar on Monday. | REUTERS Diack’s father, Lamine Diack, was president of the IAAF, now known as World Athletics, from 1999-2015. Papa Massata Diack worked under his father as a consultant for the athletics body. The two men are charged with corruption, money laundering and breach of trust, and are alleged to have used their positions to enrich themselves to the tune of millions of dollars.Prosecutors say Lamine Diack directly or indirectly solicited €3.45 million ($3.9 million) in bribes from athletes, many of them Russian, to cover up their positive doping tests. He also used his authority to enable his son, who he employed as a marketing consultant, to siphon off millions of dollars from sponsorship deals, the prosecutors allege.On Monday, Papa Massata Diack complained that the trial in June was held without him, yet he had refused to attend the proceedings having fled to Senegal in 2015 as charges were prepared. Senegal declined to extradite him after an international arrest warrant. The 87-year-old Lamine Diack did attend the trial and testified. His son was tried in his absence. They both denied the charges.“I refused to come to the French courts because they lacked impartiality,” Papa Massata Diack said at the news conference in Dakar, where he wore a white robe. “To submit to French justice is to put myself at the disposal of my enemies.”The younger Diack also said the French court had no jurisdiction to try him because the world athletics body was based in Monaco and the alleged offenses happened in Russia, Qatar, Senegal, Japan and Turkey. He denied taking any money illegally. Although he said he earned $10 million from his consultancy work at the IAAF, he said all of his money was “traceable.”He called the charges against him “the biggest lie in the history of world sport” and said that, despite all the documents, there was no evidence against him and his father.“The mountain gave birth to a mouse,” he said.But Lamine Diack appeared to turn on his son at the trial when he testified that Papa Massata had “conducted himself like a thug” while at the IAAF.The Diacks’ trial exposed how corruption was seemingly rife behind the scenes at the world body at a time when Usain Bolt was thrilling audiences and making athletics hugely popular.Prosecutors alleged in the Paris court that top athletes paid millions of dollars in illicit payoffs to corrupt administrators led by Lamine Diack to cover up their doping. About two dozen Russian athletes were allegedly involved, with Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova testifying that she paid €450,000 ($506,000).Papa Massata Diack, who already earned $1,200 a day from the job his father gave him, is accused of personally profiting off sponsorship deals. One contract alone, with Russian bank VTB, allegedly enabled him to turn a profit of about $10 million, prosecutors said. World Athletics is hoping to recoup €41 million ($46 million) in lost revenues via the court.The prosecutors have asked for a five-year prison sentence for Papa Massata Diack and a four-year sentence for his father, and fines of more than half a million dollars for both men. RELATED PHOTOS KEYWORDS IAAF, Lamine Diack, Papa Massata Diack, World Athletics center_img Dakar – The son of the former head of world athletics denounced the corruption and money laundering charges against himself and his father on Monday and called their trial in France a “conspiracy” by the “Anglo-Saxons.”Papa Massata Diack’s comments came at a news conference he called in their home country of Senegal two days before a verdict is expected in the trial. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMESlast_img read more

We’ve learned how to play together – Gray

first_img“We’ve had a successful pre-season and everybody’s playing collectively as a unit,” Gray told Bristol Flyers TV.“We’ve learned a lot of things during pre-season – it was a great experience and I know everyone’s excited for Saturday.“Over our the last four games we’ve learned how to play together at as team.”We started off slow against Worcester and they got off to a hot start. They’re a very good shooting team, so we had to adjust on the defensive end and force them into taking difficult shots. The 6ft8in defensive specialist helped Flyers go unbeaten in pre-season, holding their opponents to an average of just 53 points ahead of Saturday night’s season opener against London City Royals.last_img

Cold water poured on hopes German football fans can return next season

first_imgLast week, the 36 clubs in Germany’s top two tiers agreed to a four-point proposal by the German Football League (DFL) which could see fans return to stadiums despite the coronavirus pandemic.Clubs agreed to sell personalised tickets to track spectators, no away fans for the rest of 2020, no alcohol allowed until October and fans seated only, with terraces to remain empty.The plans, however, must first be approved by the German government.Politician Dilek Kalayci, chairman of the conference of Germany’s health ministers which met Monday, poured cold water on the league’s hopes.“We do not intend to pass a resolution on the DFL’s hygiene concept,” Kalayci told newspaper Berliner Morgenpost before the conference.“Professional football is not at the top of the health ministers’ priority list.”Germany’s top flight clubs lose several million euros in lost match revenue for every home game played behind closed doors.However, the number of the coronavirus are rising slightly in Germany with 436 new cases in the last 24 hours and a total of around 9,000 deaths.The final nine rounds of league matches last season were all played behind closed doors.Frizt Keller, the president of the German FA, has raised the idea of mass testing of spectators next season, but Kalayci torpedoed the idea.“The idea that, among other things, all fans in stadiums could be tested is viewed critically by the majority of ministers,” Kalayci added.“Especially because before and after the game, no one can exclude and control large crowds of people and alcohol consumption.“We currently need the testing capacity in many other areas – for example, schools, daycare centres, nursing homes, hospitals and people returning from travel.”Meanwhile, the Marburger Bund, the association and trade union for doctors in Germany, also warned against a return of fans to the stadiums.“The danger of a mass infection would be real,” chairperson Susanne Johna told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper.“If we are unlucky, a ‘superspreader’ would sit among the fans and the virus will spread like wildfire.“Someone may not have any symptoms at all yet, but still his throat is already full of the virus.“And with the shouting and cheering (at a game), it (further infections) can happen in a flash.”Johna says she has sympathy for the league’s attempts to bring spectators back, “but the fact that their concept would prevent infections is unrealistic, in my opinion”.She doubts fans can be expected to keep their distance during matches, because when a goal is scored, “you hug each other and don’t think of corona”.last_img read more