Friday, 30 November 2012

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres: five great goals from when he knew where the ... -

Champions League: Marseille 0 Liverpool 4
Stade Vélodrome: Dec 11, 2007

When Liverpool had previously travelled to the Marseille in 2004 a 2-1 defeat signalled the end of their Uefa Cup campaign and later the job of Gérard Houllier.

The omens in 2007 were not good for Benítez's Liverpool either and they needed to win their final group game in a partisan Stade Vélodrome to progress to the knock-out stages.

Luckily, though, Benítez was armed with Torres who like, the mistral winds, blew away the Marseille defence.

The Spaniard, after just 11 minutes, scored one of the best individual goals of his career as he ducked and weaved his way through a packed penalty area to beat five defenders before plaving the ball beyond goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

Premier League: Liverpool 3 Newcastle United 0
Anfield: March 8, 2008

While Torres may have often been the man to put the ball in the back of the net it was his partnership with captain Steven Gerrard that was often key to his goalscoring exploits.

The duo, in this defeat of Newcastle, worked perfectly in tandem to cut apart Kevin Keegan's side.

"First, Gerrard tore through a flaky Newcastle defence to release his Spanish sidekick, who glided past Harper to guide the ball into an empty net," wrote Oliver Brown in Telegraph Sport. "Then, the other side of half-time, there was a neat role reversal as Torres played in his captain for a flick over the advancing Harper."

Champions League: Inter Milan 0 Liverpool 1
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza: March 11, 2008

Just days after scoring against Newcastle at Anfield Torres and his Liverpool side headed to Milan where they faced Roberto Mancini's Inter Milan with a place in the European Cup quarter-finals up for grabs.

For the older travelling support, memories of defeat to Inter in 1965 still ran deep. Despite winning the first leg 2-0, many were desperate, though not confident, for a famous win on Italian soil against the Serie A champions.

Step forward El Niño. Torres made the Italians pay for their missed opportunities when his low right-foot shot on the turn after 64 minutes sent Liverpool into the quarter-finals and the travelleing supporters bouncing all the way back to Merseyside.

Premier League: Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4
Old Trafford: March 14, 2009

With Liverpool pushing for the title with their first genuine challenge since the Roy Evans era, Benítez's side travelled to bitter rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester United who they had beaten 2-1 at Anfield earlier that season.

If ever there is an example of what Chelsea are missing, Torres's goal against United is it. Up against Nemanja Vidic, one of the best centre-backs in world football at the time, Torres ran him ragged all afternoon.

After going a goal down to a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, Torres embarrassed Vidic with his speed and guile as he left him on his backside before going on to equalise and prompt a remarkable comeback.

PeopleBrowsr fights for its Twitter firehose - Econsultancy (blog)

Posted 30 November 2012 14:01pm by Patricio Robles with 0 comments

After Facebook, Twitter is arguably the highest-profile social network out there, and could conceivably follow in the footsteps of the world's largest social network with a public offering of its own in 2013.

Facebook and Twitter both face challenges. Facebook's most pressing challenge: how to monetize its billion-plus users. Twitter's most pressing challenge: how to transition from a communications platform provider to a media company.

That transition is proving quite difficult. Not because the change is costing Twitter money in the short term. To the contrary: the popular social network is going the media company route because it looks to be far more lucrative. Instead, the transition is challenging because of all the people Twitter is leaving in the dust.

Many of those left hanging are developers. Some built entire businesses on the Twitter API with the assumption that Twitter itself had no intention of building the functionality they offered, only to be cut off when Twitter changed its mind.

But it's not just developers who feel betrayed. In July 2010, social analytics firm PeopleBrowsr struck a deal with Twitter to license its firehose, through which hundreds of millions of tweets flow each day. PeopleBrowsr relies on that firehose to provide data to its clients, but when Twitter decided to delegate firehose licensing to three other firms, it notified PeopleBrowsr that it would be terminating their licensing agreement and pointed PeopleBrowsr to its new partners.

Instead of opting to license the Twitter firehose through one of those partners, however, PeopleBrowsr sued Twitter, alleging that it had built its business on the assumption that Twitter was open. "We relied on Twitter's promise of openness when we invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours of development time," PeopleBrowsr's CEO, Jodee Rich, stated.

Earlier this week, a Superior Court judge in San Francisco issued a restraining order preventing Twitter from cutting off firehose access to PeopleBrowsr until a hearing in early January.

Temporary victory?

Twitter has responded to PeopleBrowsr in court with a simple message: "This is Contracts 101." According to Twitter, its agreement with PeopleBrowsr was on a month-to-month basis at the time of termination, and the terms of the agreement gave either party the right to terminate for any reason with 30 days notice.

Instead of licensing Twitter's firehose data through one of Twitter's remaining partners, Twitter says PeopleBrowsr has chosen to file a nonsensical lawsuit that is without merit. To boot, it claims that PeopleBrowsr owes it hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid licensing fees.

On the surface, it seems likely that PeopleBrowsr's victory against Twitter will be short-lived, but even so, the legal spat is perhaps the most powerful example of how the business model changes Twitter has made in the past year are alienating third parties that it works with or used to work with.

In this case, even if Twitter's argument -- that it simply decided to terminate a contract upon terms in that contract -- is entirely legitimate, as most reasonable people would believe, the way in which numerous Twitter's relationships, formal and informal, seem to be falling apart suggests that the company's transition from communications platform to media company will continue to be rocky.

Poisoning the ecosystem

In the end, Twitter's new approach may very well prove to be the right one financially, but it raises questions that extend far beyond Twitter. One of the biggest: how will the change of strategy at a company that once touted how 'open' it was affect the ecosystem as a whole? Will developers and entrepreneurs become more cautious building on third party platforms? Or will they assume that the Twitter case study is the exception, not the rule?

Time will tell. In the meantime, Twitter will have to battle its former allies, both in the court of public opinion, and in court.

Premier Preview: Liverpool v Southampton - Vitalfootball

With December upon us and a chill in the air the fixtures start to come thick and fast and it is imperative to get on a good run or risk being left behind in the standings.

The Wednesday night defeat to Tottenham Hotspur ended a succession of eight-matches without defeat for Liverpool but with a home game against relegation-threatened Southampton tomorrow afternoon the club should be confident of bouncing back straightaway.

12th place and a meagre total of 16 points from 14 games is scant reward for some impressive displays this term but with the league so tight a couple of back-to-back wins could see the Reds into the top six.

As for the visitors they are on a decent run of their own; unbeaten in four and with two of those victories. Nigel Adkins' side could conceivably get themselves out of the bottom three this weekend.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers speaking at his pre-match press conference: "It will be a tough game. Nigel has done a terrific job - he's like a lot of British managers who have had to earn the right to come into the Barclays Premier League through a promotion.

"In the last few games, they have had good results. They are a team that like to play and pass and they'll come with freedom. But like the Wigan game, our expectancy and objective is to win the game."

Merseyside-born Southampton boss Nigel Adkins as quoted by the BBC: "It's a dream to play at Anfield and manage there so it's a game I'll look forward to from a personal point of view.

"But I look forward to every game to be honest with you."

Liverpool welcome back popular Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva this weekend for the first time since August. The 25-year-old, sidelined through a thigh injury, returned to full training a fortnight ago and turned out for the Reds' U21s against Middlesbrough last Friday. It is doubtful he'll be risked from the start but his presence provides a welcome option for Rodgers who also has Joe Cole back after the former England international missed the trip to Spurs. Selection wise it is unlikely Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson will be handed third consecutive league starts after both struggled in midweek and were ultimately substituted. 19-year-old defender Andre Wisdom is expected to return to the starting line-up after a minor knee problem meaning the only regular players that remain absent are Martin Kelly (cruciate ligament) and Fabio Borini (broken foot).

Possible line-up
Reina, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Allen, Sahin, Gerrard, Enrique, Sterling, Suarez.

Although not the type of player who will win a game on his own, Lucas' return will provide a boost to both the squad and to the fans who hold the player in such high esteem. His leadership qualities have improved over the years and so has his all-round ability. The Brazilian's story is an advert for hard-work and dedication after his initial appearances were met with complete indignation by the majority of Reds supporters. Several years on and after growing into the team, Lucas' absence for the majority of the last year through injury has been keenly felt and made many people connected with the club appreciate him even more. A dependable player who never shies away from the ball Lucas also has the important knack of reading the game well. When fully fit, Lucas could easily force 15m summer capture Joe Allen out of the side unless Rodgers decides to play both. Unlikely to start this particular fixture however.

The Saints have had a few injury problems in recent weeks but Adkins finally appears to be nearing a fully fit squad to choose from. Only Richard Chaplow (thigh) and Frazer Richardson (hip) remain doubtful whilst Daniel Fox is expected to be available following a knee problem. After picking up 8 points from the last four fixtures it is unlikely we will see any changes however. The main question mark is over 20-year-old goalkeeper Paolo Gazzaniga after the Argentine made another costly error against Newcastle United on Wednesday night. Adkins has given the shot stopper his backing but with ex-Celtic keeper Artur Boruc and the experienced Kelvin Davies waiting in the wings the temptation to change might prove too much. Rumoured one-time Liverpool target Gaston Ramirez is likely to continue in the hole behind lone striker Ricky Lambert in a 4-4-1-1 formation which can become a 4-2-3-1 with further attacking support offered by Jason Puncheon and captain Adam Lallana.

Possible line-up
Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Davis, Puncheon, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert.

Lallana has been phenomenal thus far this season and leads the Saints by example with his committed and energetic displays. The midfielder, who's fine form was recently rewarded with a full England call up, has great technique, an eye for a pass and also carries an additional goal threat. A lot of Southampton's play goes through the 24-year-old so it's important for Liverpool midfielders to keep a close eye on him throughout the game.

Liverpool and Southampton have met 93 times in their respective histories and the Reds hold the upper hand with 46 wins to the Saints' 25 and 22 draws. Liverpool have scored a total of 138 goals compared to a tally of 98 for Southampton.

Surprisingly Southampton have been victorious in 3 of their previous 4 league meetings with Liverpool although they've not met since 2005 due to the Saints' absence from the top flight.

Liverpool have the worst shooting accuracy in the Premier League this season (37%) whereas Southampton have been involved in more goals than any other side (52: For 21 - Against 31).

Liverpool's tally of 16 points from 14 games is their worse at this stage of a season, if you apply three points for a win, since 1964-65 when they had a record of W4 D3 L7 .

Liverpool have benefitted from the most own goals this season (3) while Southampton have scored the joint-most (also 3).

27-year-old Northumberland based referee Michael Oliver is the man appointed to officiate this encounter. The Premier League's youngest ever referee has shown 31 yellow and 1 red card in his 14 games this season. Oliver is yet to take charge of either side in the league but did officiate Liverpool's League Cup victory over West Bromwich Albion back in September. Oliver will be assisted by S Long and C Breakspear. The third official is Lee Mason.

I cannot see us losing but it wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world if the reinvigorated Saints manage to get a draw like so many others have at Anfield this calendar year. That said, and despite the defeat in midweek, Liverpool should really be far too strong for the visitors with their lack of fire power offset by Southampton's leaky rearguard. Vital Liverpool predicts a 3-1 LFC victory.

Liverpool - Europa League vs. Udinese at the Stadio Friuli on Thursday 6th December 2012, kick off 6.00pm.

Sourhampton - Premier League vs. Reading at St Mary's on Saturday 8th December 2012, kick off 3.00pm.

So that's what we think, how about you? Let us know your thoughts and predictions for the game below or vote in our poll to the right...

Click here to read former Red Mark Lawrenson's prediction

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Arsenal's young English stars such as Jack Wilshere to be offered incentive ... -

After his experiences in recent years, when Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Gaël Clichy and Alex Song all left, Wenger feels that he can get more stability from a core of British players. He is, though, still no nearer to persuading Theo Walcott to commit his future to the club. Walcott has been offered a five-year deal worth £75,000 a week, but the player wants reassurance about his future chances of playing as a striker and closer to £100,000 a week to reflect both his England status and marketability.

Although Wenger has said that he does eventually envisage playing Walcott through the middle, it is not something he has seriously trialled in first-team matches. Walcott scored Arsenal's goal against Everton on Wednesday night and he is the club's leading scorer this season.

"Those are the sort of positions that this season and, in the last few seasons, I have been quite deadly in," Walcott said. "When given a little sniff I am able to take it now. The goals show that. I think I scored 11 last ­season and 13 the year before. Not just that, but my general play as well. The assists are coming now, which is fantastic – and I am enjoying my football."

Doubt also surrounds Bacary Sagna, another senior first-team player, who, it is understood, has been offered only a one-year extension to a deal that currently expires in 2014. Jenkinson is emerging as a serious alternative in the right-back position and Wenger says that it is "not by coincidence" that Arsenal now have so many young British ­players.

"We look first at quality," the manager said. "If the quality is local, it is, of course, even better because it gives you more guarantee of stability because the players who are English, who play for Arsenal, are more likely to stay for a longer term than foreign players. But we look first at quality. That is the most important."

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is another young English talent who has attracted Wenger's interest, but the Arsenal manager will also look for experienced options from across Europe in certain key positions. A striker has been identified as a ­priority, with Fernando Llorente, Adrian Lopez, Marouane Fellaini and Stevan Jovetic all being monitored.

Cover at left-back would also be welcome, with Southampton's Luke Shaw being watched closely by most of the top English clubs. Arsenal, who did not directly replace Song, have also been watching Kevin Strootman, the Ajax and Holland holding midfielder. It is believed Strootman has also been scouted by Manchester United and would be valued at around £20 million.

Arsenal, though, have recently been boosted by a new sponsorship deal with Emirates and believe that they can compete for the best players in 2013. Wenger this week urged players to show their commitment to Arsenal by agreeing new deals.

"There is only one way to show it and that is to commit your long-term future to the club," he said.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Facebook post row: SC to examine IT Act, govt issues new guidelines - Times of India

NEW DELHI: Noting that the country was "outraged" over the arrest of two girls in Maharashtra over Facebook comments, the Supreme Court today decided to examine the Information Technology Act to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Hearing a PIL seeking amendments to the IT Act, a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J Chelameswar expressed surprise over how two girls were arrested in Palghar in Thane district after sunset.

One girl had criticised in a Facebook post the November 18 shutdown for Thackeray's funeral and the other had "liked" it.

While agreeing to hear the case, the bench said it was considering taking suo motu cognisance of recent incidents of arrest of people and wondered why nobody had so far challenged the particular provision of the IT Act.

"The way the little children were arrested, it outraged the sentiments of the people of the country. The way these things had been taking place needs consideration," the bench observed while asking Attorney General G E Vahanvati to assist it when it will take up the issue for hearing tomorrow.

The Bench also noted that the charge of disruption to communal harmony was there but later it was removed.

Govt's guidelines

Yielding to public protests on the recent controversial arrest of some persons for their Facebook posts, government today came out with guidelines under which a police officer no less than the rank of DCP can sanction prosecution.

In metropolitan cities, such an approval would have to be given by officers at the level of Inspector General of Police (IGP).

Only officers of these ranks will be allowed to permit registration of a case for offences under the Information Technology (IT) Act relating to spreading hatred through electronic messages in a bid to prevent the misuse of the legislation.

"... the concerned police officer or police station may not register any complaints (under Section 66 (A)) unless he has obtained prior approval at the level of an officer not below the DCP rank in urban and rural areas and IG level in metros," a top source said. Currently, a police station in-charge or an inspector can register a case under the said provision.

Guidelines in this regard are being issued against the backdrop of the arrest of two girls by police in Mumbai under Section 66 (A) of Information Technology (IT) Act that deals with spreading hatred through electronic messages.

The arrest of two teenage girls who had criticized the shutdown in Mumbai for Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's funeral had triggered an outrage. The Maharashtra police has decided to drop the charges.

Yesterday, a 19-year-old boy was detained in Thane district on suspicion of posting an "objectionable" Facebook comment against MNS chief Raj Thackeray but later let off.

The source expressed confidence that such instances can be avoided once the new guidelines are put in place.

"There are procedural difficulties faced... we are going to circulate to all state governments as guidelines with regard to registering any complaints under Section 66 (A)," the source said.

The IT Act is not being amended, an official clarified, adding that powers vest only with Parliament and what the government intends to do is only to issue operational guidelines.

Section 66 (A), which is a bailable offence and provides for a jail term of up to three years, makes it an offence to send, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information which is grossly offensive, menacing, causes annoyance or hatred.

Locked up for at least 18 years: Man jailed for cocaine-fuelled murder of ... -

A man who killed a Liverpool football fan at a London club was jailed for life today.

Paul Beck, 29, was told he would have to serve a minimum of 18 years.

Beck pleaded guilty to murdering Alex Jarmay, 26, in February at Bar Uno in Camden, north London.

The Old Bailey was told he had overreacted, mistakenly thinking there was a threat from a large group of Liverpool fans in the club.

Mr Jarmay, a transport distribution worker from Bromborough, Wirral, had travelled with a group of around 20 to London to watch his team play Cardiff in the Carling Cup final, which Liverpool won the next day.

Alex Jarmay
Victim: Alex Jarmay was in London to watch a football game

Some of them, including his brother Luke, 22, went out for a quiet drink.

Beck and his brother Damien, both of Kentish Town, Camden, were also drinking at the club.

Jonathan Turner, QC, prosecuting, said: "At nine minutes to midnight, Paul Beck stabbed Alex Jarmay to death with a knife he had just taken from the kitchen.

"Immediately prior to this, his brother Damien struck Luke Jarmay in the face with his fist, possibly with a glass."

Alex Jarmay suffered three stab wounds, one puncturing his lung. He collapsed after staggering outside the club.

Paul Beck was later found to have taken cocaine and a witness said he had seen him inhaling it from a key.

The scene outside Bar Uno where a man was stabbed to death
Scene: Bar Uno in Camden

Paul Mendelle, QC, for Beck, said he accepted he used excessive force and was full of remorse.

Judge Gerald Gordon told Beck: "As a result of your actions, that young man lost his life - a tragedy for him, his family and friends."

He added: "You decided to take the knife to defend yourself.

"There is no justification for doing that. The taking of knives for any use against another human being, even in perceived self-defence, is wholly unacceptable."

He said there was no criticism of Mr Jarmay and his friends.

Damien Beck pleaded guilty to wounding Luke Jarmay and will be sentenced later today.

Damien Beck
Jailed: Brother Damien Beck

Damien Beck was later sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for striking Luke Jarmay, splitting his lips and injuring his mouth.

Judge Gordon told Beck: "You will have to live with the fact that your blow proved to be the prelude to your brother's fatal stabbing."

Det Chief Insp Matt Bonner from the homicide and serious crime command said: "This was an awful unprovoked attack which tragically resulted in Alex losing his life.

"Nobody present in the bar that night could have foreseen what was to happen.

"Alex and his brother Luke had travelled to London from Merseyside to enjoy a night out with a group of friends and support their team.

"Witnesses described a good atmosphere at the bar without a hint of trouble.

"For reasons known only to him, Paul Beck decided to arm himself with a knife and together with his brother Damien, launched an unprovoked attack on Alex and his brother.

"My thoughts are with Alex's family and friends and I hope that they can now start to come to terms with their loss in the knowledge that the person responsible will spend a long time behind bars."

* How our sister website the Liverpool Echo is reporting the story.

Twitter forced to cough raw feed after PeopleBrowsr wins temporary order - Register

Twitter forced to cough raw feed after PeopleBrowsr wins temporary order

A little bird has ejected us from its 'warm spot', say data crunchers

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Twitter was slapped with a temporary restraining order yesterday, preventing it from terminating a tweets-for-cash contract it has with the data analysis company PeopleBrowsr.

Twitter wanted to end the million-dollar-a-year contract tomorrow, 30 November, but a judge in the Superior Court of the State of California court has ordered that Twitter keep providing its full tweet feed to PeopleBrowsr until a pending court case is decided.

PeopleBrowsr relies on the "Firehose" - the raw twitter feed of more than 400 million tweets a day - to provide the information products that they sell.

Twitter wants to renegotiate the contract, give PeopleBrowser only a portion of the Firehose, and make it license the data through a Twitter data reseller rather than directly through Twitter as it does now. PeopleBrowsr has claimed that will cripple its business:

A mere sample of Twitter data is insufficient to provide the analytics PeopleBrowsr's web users and organizational clients expect. Without the Firehose, PeopleBrowsr cannot provide the products its users and contracting partners expect, and will suffer devastating damage to its goodwill and business relationships.

Those contracting partners include the US Department of Defense who has a $3m three-year deal with PeopleBrowsr to provide analytics and information on Twitter users.

According to a statement from PeopleBrowsr, the judge granted it the temporary restraining order yesterday.

PeopleBrowsr IS alleging that Twitter is behaving anticompetively in the analytics market by picking and choosing the businesses it does and doesn't want to work with. Twitter has chosen 3 Firehose partners who continue to get the full feed but PeopleBrowsr is not one of them.

PeopleBrowsr execs claim they were duped by Twitter's early promises to maintain an open ecosystem, and said their firm had been cruelly ejected from Twitter's "warm spot". The court case quotes a number of Twitter blog posts from the first few years of the service, including this one from 2009:

Twitter has a warm spot for innovative simplicity and an open approach to technology development … [O]ur open approach is more than just good karma. . . . Gaining trust means showing our work. When a technology is shared, conversations and understanding form around it.

Twitter isn't so worried about the karma these days. In a response to the complaint, filed by Twitter on the 12th November, Twitter dimissed all claims of antitrust and said PeopleBrowsr had no right to complain about business changes:

Twitter has created channel resyndication partnerships with Gnip, DataSift and Topsy. PeopleBrowsr is free to contract with any of them, just as its competitors do. What it is not free to do is insist that Twitter preserve forever its earlier business model

CEO Jodee Rich claims that PeopleBrowsr won't be able to deliver on those contracts without full, unadulterated access to Twitter's firehose. "We relied on Twitter's promise of openness when we invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours of development time."

Twitter execs said in the court documents that the social media company "acknowledged that terminating Firehose access would make it impossible for PeopleBrowsr to continue to provide the products it was contractually obligated to deliver, and could put PeopleBrowsr out of business entirely."

A hearing date for a preliminary injunction has been set for 8 January, 2013. ®

CGC-12-526393 PeopleBrowsr, Inc & PeopleBrowsr, Pty V Twitter, Inc is being heard in the Superior Court of California, San Francisco. Documents uploaded by PeopleBrowsr here

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Why Arsenal are ready to demote Szczesny & reignite Reina pursuit -

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Arsenal were on the trail of a new goalkeeper even before the inconsistent displays of Wojciech Szczesny and his understudies this season.

In the summer, understands that the Gunners closely pursued Hugo Lloris and Julio Cesar but dropped out of the running before they were snapped up by London rivals Tottenham and QPR.

With the new window to open in 33 days' time, Arsenal are ready to step up their search for a keeper who can provide far greater competition to current No.1 Szczesny.

The requirements are broadly similar to those identified by Arsene Wenger and his staff in the summer: experience and pedigree in top-level competition.

Broken down, Arsenal want a keeper with sound technique who has the authority to command the penalty box and, crucially, has the distribution skills to fit in with their intricate passing game.

Wenger and his recruitment team have added one crucial caveat to their hunt: battle-hardened experience in the Premier League.

As revealed by on Wednesday, Arsenal have now compiled a three-man shortlist of keepers currently employed in the English top tier – Liverpool's Pepe Reina, Swansea City's Michel Vorm and Thomas Sorensen of Stoke City.

The plan is that the newcomer will replace – or compete with – Szczesny.

Arsenal hold the Pole, who joined the club's youth set-up in 2006, in high regard but there is a strong belief that he needs competition, and perhaps some time away from the spotlight, to develop and realise his great potential.

Szczesny Szczesny demonstrated rare authority for such a young goalkeeper when he broke into the Arsenal team in the second half of the 2010/11 season. His composure, athleticism and confidence, which often veered into the territory of cockiness, made him a huge favourite of supporters who had watched Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski fail so miserably to step into the boots of Jens Lehmann.

But the 22-year-old's form has been more fitful in 2012, and a series of niggling injuries have interrupted his progress, most notably a seemingly minor ankle problem that kept him out for two months.

Although Wenger has publicly confirmed Szczesny's No.1 status and he has reclaimed his place in goal in the last four games, behind the scenes there is activity which is expected to culminate in a reshuffle of the Arsenal keeping pecking order.  

However, there are no plans to sell Szczesny. He is part of the long-term picture. But his weaknesses are enough for him to be demoted in the first-team set-up in the short and medium term.

One of the main problems is his erratic distribution and kicking, so important to a team where the keeper plays a key role in the build-up.

Moreover, Arsenal's staff have noted a technical deficiency in Szczesny's game. His footwork has made him vulnerable when dealing with long-range shots, a long-term problem that was highlighted again on Wednesday night with Marouane Fellaini's equalising goal in the 1-1 draw at Everton.

Since the break-up of the 'Invincibles', Arsenal have put their faith almost entirely in keepers unproven outside the gates of the club's London Colney headquarters.

That is about to change. Szczesny's understudy Lukasz Fabianski is out until February after rupturing his ankle ligaments in training last month and is almost certain to be off-loaded next summer, when his contract expires.

In the absence of Szczesny and Fabianski, No.3 Vito Mannone had an extended spell in goal but the Italian made a number of costly errors and did little to convince the staff that he is ready for a major role.

After putting so much faith in young keepers who could develop under the tutelage of goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton at London Colney, Arsenal are finally ready to change tack and invest in proven quality.

Wenger's admiration of Reina is nothing new. He tried to sign the Spaniard in the summer of 2010 on the back of his best season at Liverpool to date but the deal fell through.

Now the Arsenal boss is keen to try again, even though Reina's own form has dipped over the last 12 months and he temporarily lost his starting place to Brad Jones after injuring his hamstring.

Although the 30-year-old is contracted to Liverpool until 2016, his price will be around half of the £20 million valuation of two years ago and Arsenal may be able to persuade him that a new challenge could rehabilitate a career that has stalled in recent times.

Vorm, so impressive in the Swansea goal since moving from the Dutch league 15 months ago, is also a strong contender in Arsenal's search. He ticks all the boxes in terms of age, Premier League experience, agility and authority.  

Reina and Vorm are both regarded as keepers who would go straight into the first X1. Sorensen, the third man on Arsenal's shortlist, is currently understudy to Asmir Begovic at the Britannia Stadium but the 36-year-old Dane would provide some experienced back-up and know-how to Szczesny and company.

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Facebook challenge sex offender 'at risk of attack' - BBC News

A convicted sex offender could face attack due to vitriolic comments published on a Facebook page set up to monitor paedophiles in Northern Ireland, the High Court has heard.

Lawyers for the man, who cannot be named, claimed there was a risk of users ganging up to find him.

They want the social networking site to be ordered to remove the page.

They also want those who set up the page 'Keeping our kids safe from predators' identified.

The man who has brought the case is currently out on licence after serving a prison sentence for sexual offences.

Following his release he discovered that his photo and threatening comments had been posted online.

He is claiming harassment, misuse of private information, and a breach of his human rights.

Although Facebook has already removed his photograph and comments made about him, his barrister argued that the page should be shut down down.

The court heard details of some comments posted since his injunction proceedings were disclosed.

Fear and anxiety

One said: "So the man, or I mean mess of a human being, that's taken this page to court, he must want to be the head paedophile and rule over all sex offenders. He will be like a god to them."

Mr Justice McCloskey was shown another post which stated: "Put him down like an animal."

His barrister, Julie Ellison, said another posting claimed to know a way around the ban on identifying her client.

She said: "The risk, the plaintiff would say, is that this sort of vitriol will translate into physical action of some type either against the plaintiff personally or against him and his property."

Ms Ellison told the court that the comments were causing her client fear and anxiety.

She added that the man's photograph had been obtained and published on the site without his consent.

"In essence, the plaintiff is seeking that the page be removed in its entirety," she confirmed.

"There is a real risk, we say, that it will facilitate people to come together or to obtain information, maybe through a private message facility, to find out where he lives and those with criminal intent will carry out some sort of reprisal attack on the plaintiff or his property."

Peter Hopkins, for the defendant Facebook Ireland Ltd, argued that it was neither necessary nor proportionate to remove a page used by thousands of people.

He stressed that there are now no photos of the man or any details about where he lives on the page.

Mr Hopkins set out how Facebook found itself "walking a fine line" between the rights of its users and the privacy of others.

He asked: "Will it give the plaintiff any benefit to shut down this site and deprive 4,000 users of their freedom of expression, the vast amount of which is legitimate debate on sex offenders?"

After hearing both sides Mr Justice McCloskey asked for a list of any allegedly threatening or relevant comments before deciding whether to grant the order sought.

He said: "It's for the plaintiff to choose his targets and formulate his case accordingly."

Arsenal defender Koscielny out for three weeks, says Wenger - Reuters UK

LONDON | Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:41am GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal's fragile defence will be without Laurent Koscielny for three weeks after the French international limped out of the 1-1 draw at Everton on Wednesday with a groin injury.

Koscielny was replaced after only four minutes of the Premier League clash by fullback Kieran Gibbs, just back from a similar ailment.

"He has a groin strain. That's usually three weeks," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters at Goodison Park.

Arsenal had taken the lead after only 51 seconds via winger Theo Walcott but the visitors' defensive frailties were again apparent as a poor error by fullback Bacary Sagna allowed Everton to equalise through Marouane Fellaini.

A poor pass by the French international saw Steven Pienaar dispossess Mikel Arteta but the fullback then wasted a second chance to clear as he kicked the ball straight to Fellaini who fired home in the 27th minute.

"We had a good start and after that I felt Everton came back. Their direct game was always a threat with Fellaini," Wenger said.

"We have regrets on the goal we conceded but overall, I believe that 1-1 is a fair result.

"It was a game of remarkable intensity. We needed to show great spirit today to get away with a point because they were up for it. And overall I can only say I'm pleased with the effort we have put in the game."

Sagna began negotiations with Arsenal over a new contract this week as he enters the final 18 months of his deal at the 13-times English champions, who have struggled to retain their leading lights in recent seasons.

Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Mathieu Flamini have all left in recent years after failing to extend deals with the club and Arsenal fans fear Sagna and 23-year-old Walcott, whose contract expires at the end of the season, could be next.

Walcott has struggled for consistency in his seven previous years at Arsenal but his goal at Everton was his 10th in all competitions this season to continue an impressive start to the campaign.

Arsenal have struggled for goals at times this season after selling Van Persie to Manchester United and Walcott, despite not starting in his preferred role as a central striker, is the club's leading marksman.

"We (are building) a new team. Hopefully we can go from strength to strength. We have the spirit. I feel we have some room for improvement in the final third," Wenger said.

"Overall, when you have the spirit, you have a chance. We have to show that now. We have to be consistent," the manager said with an eye on Saturday's match at home to Swansea City.

It was a third draw in four Premier League games for Arsenal and a sixth in eight for Everton with the home side's manager David Moyes feeling his side did enough to take all three points on Wednesday.

Moyes felt Everton should have been awarded a second half penalty when his former player Arteta pulled back Pienaar in the box.

"We should have had a penalty. I thought we played against a really good Arsenal team and a lot of games are won by decisions referees make or don't make," the Scot told reporters.

"We got nothing tonight whatsoever and the players had to earn everything they were going to get because we weren't going to get a lot, that's for sure."

(Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Risk Of Floods Despite Improving Weather - Sky News

Swollen rivers are still at risk of flooding over the next few days as icy temperatures take hold of the UK.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned some rivers, including the Thames, Trent and Severn, remain at very high levels despite the improving weather.

It could take much longer for floodwaters to subside, as teams work around the clock to shore up defences and clear blockages from watercourses, it added.

Downpours across the country caused widespread devastation in towns and communities, but now the rain has made way for drier weather, the huge and costly clean-up operation is underway.

EA figures showed some 1,600 properties had flooded since yesterday, while flood defences had protected more than 54,000 homes.

Communities should still remain prepared for flooding, with 127 flood warnings and 137 flood alerts still in place across England and Wales, but more than 100 have been removed in the last 24 hours since the weather has improved.

North-east Scotland and Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Anglia regions endured more rain overnight, with more expected in north-east Scotland and east England later.

Residents Deal With Flooding Aftermath
Flooding in Old Malton, North Yorkshire

Homeowners have continued to battle high water levels as a week of torrential rainfall works its way through river systems.

The EA has lifted two severe flood warnings - meaning a potential danger to life - for the River Elwy in the cathedral city of St Asaph and the A55 to Rhuddlan in North Wales.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated on Tuesday due to severe flooding in St Asaph after the River Elwy reached a record high of 14ft 3in (4.35 metres) and burst through flood defences.

This was more than 3ft (1 metre) deeper than its previous record of 11ft 4in (3.47 metres) in November 2009.

Those affected by the floods in the small Welsh city have been allowed back into their homes to begin the task of clearing up and emergency services are still on hand to help.

In Somerset, the county council is stepping in to help co-ordinate assistance to a stranded community of 120 people in Muchelney.

All roads in and out of the village have been closed due to flooding for several days. But the council has contacted Burnham Area Rescue service which has sent its boat to help get food, drinks and support to residents.

PM David Cameron visits an operations centre in Gloucestershire
David Cameron met emergency services in flood-hit regions on Tuesday

Sky's weather producer Joanna Robinson said: "There's still a risk of flooding, as recent rain works its way through the river systems, but ice and freezing fog will become additional hazards over the next few days.

"It's much drier now and the rest of the week looks mainly dry, apart from showers around coastal counties, which will turn increasingly wintry. Ireland will see patchy rain moving in at times.

"The days will be cold and the nights will be frosty, with icy stretches possible after the recent wet weather. The chance of overnight fog will increase as well."

Four people have died since the latest bout of wet weather struck last week and around 900 people in England and Wales have fled their waterlogged homes after heavy rain left many properties uninhabitable.

David Cameron has expressed sympathy for flood victims - describing the damage in St Asaph as "biblical scenes".

At Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron praised the emergency services and "good neighbours" who had helped tackle the flooding.

The PM also defended Government spending plans on flood defences, saying: "The Government is planning to spend over £2bn over the next four years.

"That is 6% less than over the previous four years, but we believe by spending the money better and by leveraging from private and other sectors we can increase that level of flood defence spending."

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

London should follow New York airports model - Gatwick CEO - Reuters UK

LONDON | Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:50pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - London should follow the example of New York by allowing its secondary airports to add new runways to better compete with the capital's Heathrow hub, the head of London's Gatwick airport said on Wednesday.

Heathrow - the capital's busiest airport - is operating close to full capacity after the coalition government blocked development of a third runway, which would have led to a significant increase in the number of planes flying over the capital.

But Prime Minister David Cameron is under intense pressure from business leaders to end years of deadlock and create more airport capacity in southeast England to counter competitive threats from other European hubs.

A commission chaired by former Financial Services Authority head Howard Davies to analyse ways to do this will report in the summer of 2015.

"The key decision for Davies is whether to create a competitive airports market in London with a second runway going into Gatwick and Stansted, having three two-runway airports competing with one another," Stewart Wingate, Gatwick's chief executive, told Reuters.

"London should follow the example of New York, which has several airports competing with one another, offering more choice to passengers and pushing up service levels."

Gatwick, south-east of London, and Stansted, to the north, are both currently single runway airports.

However, in New York, Newark and LaGuardia airports both have two runways, competing for passengers with the larger John F. Kennedy.

In London, Heathrow believes it should be able to expand because it operates as a hub, with around a third of its customers being transfer passengers. Hub airports allow passengers to change planes easily for travel on to another destination.

Wingate, however, claims Ferrovial's Heathrow has overstated the importance of transfer traffic, citing research from industry body IATA that shows 93 percent of people who travel through the capital start or end their journey in London.

Gatwick is a point-to-point airport, mainly focussing on the leisure market and moving around 34 million passengers a year through its two terminals.

Under a long-standing local agreement that runs to 2019, Gatwick is not allowed to build a second runway.

But bosses at Gatwick, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, are studying options to build a second runway and plan to submit the findings to a government next year.

Earlier on Wednesday Gatwick said its first half profit rose 4.8 percent to 172 million pounds.

(Editing by Rosalba O'Brien) - All XXX Releases

Liverpool bearing impact of attempt to break even - Soccerlens

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers e1354100645826 Liverpool bearing impact of attempt to break even

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has recently told fans of the club to expect one or two loan deals this January and not big money transfers. The main reason for this being that Liverpool are one of the few clubs committed to the latest break even rules.

The break even policy is designed to stop clubs from spending their owner's personal cash, restricting them to only spending money which they generate through the club as a business placing the emphasis on breaking even.

This has already had an impact on Liverpool who have been forced to field a number of younger players in the first team as Rodgers has not had millions in transfer money to spend on strikers and attacking players.

Liverpool owner John Henry is a very wealthy man but he is not a stupid man, he is using his business sense to ensure that Liverpool, similarly to Arsenal, are in a stronger position over the next few seasons to throw their financial weight around.

Talking to the Liverpool Echo back in August, Henry said:

"It is very important from our perspective that UEFA is successful in implementing Financial Fair Play.

It is a key element. Are they determined to implement it? We don't know. It doesn't seem to be slowing down anywhere."

Liverpool are basically suffering at the moment because they are following the current rules to the very letter. Although the club generates a large percentage of its cash through sponsorship, there has been no renegotiation of existing deals to free up surplus cash in a similar way that Manchester United and Manchester City have done.

The club sits in 11th place in the Premier League table, highly unlikely to go down but highly unlikely to win anything domestically. Liverpool have three wins, seven draws and three defeats which has come from having to field those younger players and having only one fit striker in Luis Suarez.

Liverpool Owner John Henry Liverpool bearing impact of attempt to break even

Liverpool owner John W. Henry

It all leads to the question of what Liverpool are going to do next. Their current status in relation to the Financial Fair Play Rules and a bid to break even is very clear which means the club can't really afford to pay double figures in millions for new players in January.

What they can do is re-structure in terms of wages which means they will be able to afford some of the best loan players available. The club have been strongly linked with a loan move for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent which looks more likely than the £15 million fee quoted for Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge.

Rodgers told TalkSport:

"The squad has been ultra-thin right the way through. There will be some money available.

There have been a million names linked to the club and the brutal honesty of it is that ninety nine per cent of those we haven't been thinking about.

But there will be a bit of money to spend and hopefully we can get one or two loans in, if that's possible, to reinforce the group."

It's not all doom and gloom for Liverpool fans because the club is good enough and big enough to attract big names with the most common stumbling block in loan deals being the wages requested by the parent club.

Liverpool are keeping a very sensible head on things and ultimately the club has a great structure in place which is going to prevent any sort of financial meltdown over the coming seasons.

The attempts to break even have forced the manager to bring youth players in through the ranks which has seen the rapid development of players like Raheem Sterling and Spaniard Suso who would be sold for princely sums based on some of the current fees in the transfer market.

The break even attempt has placed pressure on the club's youth system and academy but it means Liverpool will just grow as a financial business and will be able to afford the best players in the loan market and in the transfer market over the next few seasons.

In a similar manner to Arsenal, fans just need to keep faith because the club have a very sensible owner in a place, an obviously talented manager and a supply line of gifted youngsters that will be supported in January in a very sensible way.

The days of paying £35 million for Andy Carroll have long gone.

Facebook wants your data, and magic legalese won't keep it away - New Statesman

Facebook has long been a big player in the fight over privacy, and its latest proposals for changes to its terms of service have been met with dismay from the site's users and privacy advocacy groups alike for continuing the trend.

Released on November 21st, the proposed changes would remove the "Who can send you Facebook messages" mechanism from the site's privacy options, stop the system that allowed users to vote on changes to policy, and combine Facebook's user data with that collected by Instagram, a photo-sharing app that the company purchased in April 2012.

In reaction to the proposals, two US campaign groups (the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy) sent a letter on the 27th November (pdf) addressed to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, condemning the company's actions. The letter notes that the changes could "raise privacy risks for users", "may be contrary to the law", and are likely to "increase the amount of spam that users receive". Facebook has so far declined to comment on these criticisms.

Of the proposed changes, the amendment that will have the most impact on users is the company's decision to pool personal information between Instagram and Facebook. Previously such data was "siloed", meaning that engineers and marketers working at one couldn't access information from the other, even if it was about the same person. Under the new policy such data would be compiled into a single unified profile, accessible to advertisers on either site.

This change casts the $1bn Facebook paid for Instagram, a price that many thought was too much, in a new light. Facebook will be collecting geolocation data, a valuable metric for marketers, from its new subsidiary. Users of the app who answered "yes" to the question "Can Instagram use your location?" have been tagging each picture they take with their precise coordinates; the changes to the terms of service allow this data to be synced with individuals' Facebook profile, even if the user turned off geotagging on that site.

This integration would a boon to advertisers, as data about where you live allows them to guess about other aspects your life, like how much money you make and what you are likely to buy. And this exchange of information works both ways - Instagram ads that had previously been targeted to individuals using only rough geographical data can now be further "personalised" using details from Facebook. This new system makes perfect economic sense for the company, even if it does directly contravene a previous commitment Zuckerberg had made to "building and growing Instagram independently".

It is important to note that Facebook is not alone in this more-the-merrier approach to your personal information. In January 2012 Google also changed its privacy policy so that it could aggregate data that had been "siloed" in separate services, creating unified user profiles with information culled from Gmail, YouTube, and Google+. Facebook is not unusually mercantile in its proposed policy changes; it is merely following the crowd.

The changes have also worried Facebook's own users, with many reacting by updating their statuses with a bizarre "privacy notice"; three copy-and-pasted paragraphs that supposedly safeguard one's personal data "under the protection of copyright laws". Facebook has already posted a statement refuting the meme, and Snopes have also addressed the issue, pointing out that short of leaving the site or "bilaterally [negotiating] a modified policy with Facebook" (please do try), there is no way of altering the terms and policies you have already agreed to. Fortunately for users these agreements never gave away "copyright" protection in the first place.

The cargo-cult legalese of this meme is entertaining in itself (one variation I saw ended with the arcane incantation of "Notice to Agent is Notice to Principal. Notice to Principal is Notice to Agent"), but it also shows an ingrained misunderstanding of how privacy policy on the internet functions. The public's reaction to these sorts of incidents is characterized by a sort of suspicious ignorance (we don't know what they're up to, we just don't trust 'em), accompanied by the understandable but mistaken belief that as customers, we deserve to be listened to.

Facebook has marketed itself as a benevolent facilitator of community and friendship for so long that its customers forget that it is still a business, intent on turning a profit. The proposed policy changes are a sharp reminder of the truth, with all of them affirming the relentless logic of the bottom line: that is, the creation of rich packages of data ('people') that can be sold on to advertisers. And if some people are still coming to terms with this realisation that Facebook is no longer all about helping us to "connect and share with the people in our life", then I can see why the promises of a fix-all copy and paste spell are attractive. Unfortunately, they just don't work.

Everton V Arsenal Preview - Vitalfootball

Everton will be hoping that the magic of the floodlights at Goodison can help them to 3pts, as they host Arsenal, in their first midweek fixture of the season on Wednesday night. Both sides will be looking to bounce back from disappointing draws on the weekend and with both sides fighting for the 4th spot, 3pts will be vital for the chase. For Everton, this will be a real test, after starting the season on fire, they have struggled of late, only winning 1 of its past 7 matches, however, they have only lost once in that time. The weekends performance against Norwich typified this form as Everton largely dominated the match, however, due to poor defending and poor finishing, it ended in a frustrating 1-1 draw, in which Everton conceded a late equaliser. It has been a similar story for the visitors, Arsenal endured a frustrating 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, a result that has put pressure on Wenger. With both sides fighting for 4th spot, with Everton currently 5th, one place and one point better off than Arsenal, 3pts will be vital for the chase for 4th.

Everton and England international centre back Phil Jagielka had this to say on getting the armband

"It`s always a really proud moment and something that I enjoy doing, I was vice-captain at Sheffield United for a couple of years and didn`t really know what the role meant, obviously being a bit younger then. Watching Nev, with the way he is the captain, you realise that when he is not there that you have to step up to the plate and do a little bit more talking. If anyone needs anything around the Club or they need something going to the manager and they don`t know how to go about it, it`s a role that I`m going to have to adapt to."

Former Everton favourite and current Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta was left to defend manager Arsene Wenger's team selection after the 0-0 draw with Villa saying

'They can say whatever they want, If they feel that way, it has to be respected. I think [Wenger's] got experience and he knows the club better than anyone. He knows the players really well and he knows what he can get in the future for us. So, when he puts the team out obviously it's because he wants to win and he thinks it's the best team on that day to win the game. He's always trying to do the best and some of the decisions he takes are unpopular but he takes the decision for a reason.'

Everton could be in line to get back 3 crucial players back for the Arsenal game. Everton star Marouane Fellaini will definitely be back in the starting XI after he served his match 1 suspension against Norwich. In other big news, key men Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) and Darron Gibson (thigh) could also be included in the starting lineup after overcoming their respective injuries. Tony Hibbert could also return to the starting XI after only being fit enough for the bench on the weekend. However, Neville and Anichebe will definitely mss the clash with knee and hamstring injuries.

Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Hibbert, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Mirallas, Jelavic

The Big belgian will be a massive boost for Everton after missing the Norwich match through suspension. Gaining worldwide plaudits for his performances, he is vital to the Everton setup with the likes of Pienaar, Osman, Baines, Jelavic and hopefully Mirallas all feeding off the big man. Not only is he putting in the performances, he has also become a goal threat, something which he has always lacked since he joined the club, however, since his move to behind the striker, he has become a major headache for the opposition and it will be no different for the Arsenal defenders. Arsenal will need to think of a game plan to stop the big Belgian because if they don't, it will be a certain 3pts for the home side

Arsenal will welcome back the likes of Sagna, Vermaelen and Wilshere to the starting XI after they were on the bench against Aston Villa on the weekend. In injury news, Theo Walcott is set to return after recovering from a shoulder injury which caused him to miss the last 2 games for the Gunners. Czech Tomas Rosicky could also make the squad as he continues to recover from a knee injury. The only definite outs for the visitors will be midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and defender Andre Santos (abdominal strain)

Possible Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Gervinho, Podolski, Walcott

Although he isn't their danger man, with that honour, for me, going to Santi Cazorla (who has been exceptional for the Gunners) all eyes will be on Arteta given he was an absolute fan favourite for Everton for years. However saying that, the lad is a talented footballer, as Evertonians know and Everton will be stupid to allow him to roam in the middle of the park, dictating the play for Arsenal, his passing and vision is well known by Evertonians, and in essence he is the one that starts the attacks for the Gunners, if the likes of Osman and Fellaini can curb his influence on the match, it will go a long way to an Everton win.

1. Everton's last home defeat came back in March at the hands of Arsenal. The Gunners were 1-0 victors that night, however, Everton could feel aggrieved with the referee disallowing a perfectly good Everton goal

2. Expect some goals between the two sides, with the last 0-0 draw coming way back in 1993, since then, the sides have faced each other 41 times.

3. Arsenal hold a significant advantage over Everton, with the Gunners winning 98 times, compared to Everton's 58, with 41 draws between the two.

4. Arsenal have been a bogey side for Everton, the last time Everton beat Arsenal came back in 2007, courtesy of a stoppage time winner from Andy Johnson

5. Everton left back Leighton Baines, became the first person in the 5 major European leagues, to notch up 50 chances created. Impressive considering he is a left back.

For me, this match will be dictated on who plays for Everton. If Mirallas and Gibson overcome their injuries, coupled that with the fact that the match is being played at night under the Goodison floodlights, which have brought some magical moments for Evertonians (Andy Johnson winner against Arsenal in the hail springs to mind), I think Everton can win the game. However, if Mirallas and Gibson don't play, even though Fellaini returns, I find it hard to see an Everton win. So fingers crossed those two are fit. As for a result, not knowing the starting line up, will have to sit on the fence and say a 1-1 draw with Pienaar and Podolski finding the net. COYB!!!! 3PTS IS VITAL, BEAT THE GOONERS!!!!!

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Phone with Facebook hardware button lobbed out by Nokia - Register

Phone with Facebook hardware button lobbed out by Nokia

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Nokia's latest Series 40 blower, a dual-SIM model aimed at developing markets, has a Facebook button, the first device from the Finns to feature such an innovation.

Handset, in pink

It's not only in pink, but pink is prettiest

The button on the front of the Asha 205 triggers the Facebook app, providing instant access to updates and status feeds for those who haven't time to bother with menus, icons or other social networks.

The new handset also has a bump-to-send feature, called Slam, which sends a file to the nearest Bluetooth device on request, a nice feature which should work with any Bluetooth device.

The cheap-as-chips Asha range, which all use Series 40 software, includes a mix of touchscreen and keyboard-fitted devices. They are aimed at developing markets - such as India, Africa and parts of Asia and Europe - where customers want smartphones but don't want them enough to shell out for a Windows Phone.

Several Asha handsets, including the 205, support multiple SIMs enabling the user to take advantage of tariff offers from different networks.

Which they'll want to do with the Asha 205 as it although it has a button for instant Facebook access, it doesn't have Wi-Fi to provide decent connectivity to the social network: so unless one of the operators bundles some sort of cheap and reliable Facebook access it could get expensive. ®

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Liverpool FC boss Brendan Rodgers unconcerned by Swansea City reception - WalesOnline

LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers has classed his Liberty Stadium reception today as "irrelevant".

Rodgers returns to former club Swansea City this afternoon for the first time since leaving for Anfield in May.

And, despite leading Swansea into the Premier League in his first season in charge and guiding them to mid-table safety in his second, his exit might provoke a bitter welcome from some home fans today.

"It is a real special place, Swansea," said Rodgers, who saw his new side beaten by his old one in the Capital One Cup at Anfield last month.

"I spent two fantastic years there and had a wonderful rapport with the supporters.

"The club was brilliant for me and hopefully I gave them something back while I was there.

"I never said I was going to be there for many years, but it took a truly unbelievable club like Liverpool to draw me away. Whatever reception I get is irrelevant.

"The important thing is I know the good people there and I am sure time will heal any bad thoughts. But we are going there to keep our (seven-match) unbeaten run in the league going."

Fired by the goals of Luis Suarez, the Premier League's top marksman, Liverpool appear to have turned the corner after the trickiest of starts.

Last weekend's 3-0 home victory over Wigan on the back of a 1-1 draw at Chelsea has resulted in Liverpool's longest unbeaten sequence since last November.

Only Manchester City have gone longer without losing and, having played all the sides in the top six, the fixture list should now be slightly kinder to Rodgers.

"I felt the opening period was always going to be difficult for us; a new manager, new ideas and some tough fixtures," he said. "There have been a lot of change over the course of the summer, but it is much smoother now and there is a real spurt around the club.

"We'll get even stronger in the second half of the season, because we'll get better in our ways of working and get a better understanding of what we're trying to achieve in terms of the team.

"Where we're at in May will define how good a season we've had," he added.

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Date with destiny? Walcott and Sagna aren't pictured in Arsenal's big 2013 ... -

Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna have both been left out of the club's new 2013 calendar - but manager Arsene Wenger claims their omission is NOT a signal Arsenal are about to sell the pair.

Winger Walcott, who's set to return to the Gunners' line-up at Everton on Wednesday, has hit deadlock in his negotiations with the club over a new deal to replace the one that expires in the summer.

While Sagna has 18 months left on his contract, it is looking increasingly likely that he could be sold at the end of the season.

Adding to the intrigue, neither man features on the club's new A3 calendar even though they are first team regulars - and Walcott in particular is one of the club's most marketable and popular players.

French full-back Sagna has been interesting Inter Milan and recently voiced his frustrations about Arsenal's methods, but Wenger insists negotiations for a new deal are ongoing.

Wenger, who also confirmed the club have started contract negotiations with Jack Wilshere, said: "We are in talks at the moment (with Sagna). We are hopeful. He had some big injury issues but, with him and Carl Jenkinson, you need two players and we want to keep them."

The decision not to include Walcott and Sagna in the calendar has been greeted with suspicion among fans.

Liverpool want to buy Walcott in January, while Chelsea and Manchester City are also lurking.

Walcott has been offered £75,000-a-week but has yet to commit to a new deal as he is currently enjoying a purple patch of form.

Arsenal insist that both players feature widely on other club products, including different calendars.

Earlier this season, the club sent out Junior Gunners packs with Robin van Persie on the front - after the former Arsenal captain had been sold to Manchester United.

It would have cost tens of thousands to pulp the existing packs and print new ones.

Meanwhile, Zenit Zt Petersburg want old boy Andrey Arshavin for a cut-price £2million.

Arsenal are prepared to sell the 31-year-old midfield misfit in January rather than losing him on a free when he's out of contract in the summer, but Zenit are pressing for a bargain.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

India policemen suspended over Facebook arrests - BBC News

Two senior Indian policemen have been suspended over the arrest of two women for comments made on Facebook following the death of politician Bal Thackeray.

Maharashtra state's home minister said the men had disobeyed orders. The judge in the case has also been transferred.

Shaheen Dhada was held for criticising Mumbai's shutdown after the 17 November death. Her friend Renu Srinivasan, who "liked" the comment, was also arrested.

The two were later bailed amid outrage that free speech was not being upheld.

Critics have accused the government of "abuse of authority" and the women told the BBC they had been "traumatised" by their arrest.


Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said the state government had taken the decision to suspend the officers.

"Superintendent of Police for Thane (rural) district Ravindra Sengaonkar and Palghar sub-inspector Srikant Pingle have been suspended for disobeying the orders of superiors," Mr Patil was quoted as saying by the CNN-IBN news channel.

The suspensions came after a police inquiry called the arrests "unjustified".

On Monday, the high court in Mumbai transferred magistrate Ramchandra Bagade, who had ordered the women to pay 15,000 rupees ($270; £169) each before they were freed on bail.

Although the court did not give any reasons for the transfer, Indian media reports have linked it to the women's arrest.

The death of Bal Thackeray, the Hindu nationalist politician who founded the Shiv Sena party, brought Mumbai to a halt.

In her Facebook comment, 21-year-old Shaheen Dhada wrote: "People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a 'bandh' [shutdown] for that."

After Ms Dhada's comment appeared on Facebook, a mob attacked and vandalised her uncle Abdul Dhada's clinic in Palghar.

Ms Dhada and Ms Srinivasan were charged with "creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes". They were also charged under the Information Technology Act.

Freedom of speech

Several other recent cases have raised concerns about freedom of expression in India, the world's largest democracy.

In October, Ravi Srinivasan, a 46-year-old businessman in the southern city of Pondicherry, was arrested for a tweet criticising Karti Chidambaram, son of Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram. He was later released on bail.

In September, there was outrage when a cartoonist was jailed in Mumbai on charges of sedition for his anti-corruption drawings. The charges were later dropped.

In April, the West Bengal government arrested a teacher who had emailed to friends a cartoon that was critical of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He too was later released on bail.

Everton - Arsenal Betting Preview: Expect a score draw with Naismith a good ... -

Everton and their manager David Moyes will feel they have wasted a chance to strengthen their grip on a top-four finish after a series of disappointing results.

The Toffees have taken just one point from two games against Reading and Norwich, surrendering a last-minute equaliser against the Canaries just as they had against Fulham recently.

But Moyes' men are still well-placed ahead of this home fixture against Arsenal and have a one point lead over the Gunners in the Premier League table. Everton are 13/8 (2.62) to win with Paddy Power.

As a measure of how close this game is, Arsenal are exactly the same price of 13/8 (2.62) to claim the three points themselves.

Arsene Wenger's side have picked up just a solitary point from their previous three away games in the league but have also beaten Tottenham 5-2 and qualified from their Champions League group in that time.

With the prices so tight it could be tempting to opt for the draw at 12/5 (2.62) with Paddy Power.

In the goalscorer markets, Nikica Jelavic is the favourite to open the scoring at 11/2 (6.50) for the home side.

Olivier Giroud has found some form for the Gunners and has now scored five goals in his last seven games for the club. He's at 6/1 (7.00) to net the opener for the visitors.

But at a slightly longer price of 7/1 (8.00), Steven Naismith looks the best bet in this one as he has broken the deadlock in each of Everton's previous two matches.

He's especially worth considering at that price because Arsenal have only opened the scoring in two of their last nine Premier League matches.

Admittedly, Arsenal didn't concede last time out against Aston Villa either. In fact, 0-0 is their most common scoreline this season and is available at 10/1 (11.00) with Paddy Power.

But that seems unlikely up against an Everton side that has become more expansive this season, scoring and conceding in each of their last eight matches.

The most common Everton scoreline this season is the 2-2 draw and that looks the value choice at 10/1 (11.00) with Paddy Power in this one.

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on