LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — The remains of an Air Force pilot from Pennsylvania whose plane crashed off Croatia during World War II have been laid to rest.The Tribune Review reports the remains of Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Eugene P. Ford...
Although the US and most developed countries are nominally democratic, many of us seem to be again yearning for a man on a white horse, and in the current era, the horse ridden is corporate. On Health Care Renewal, we having been talking about this pheonomenon for a long time. We have written about it in terms of the messianic (or visionary, or charistmatic) CEO, CEO disease, and the imperial CEO.
These concerns are diffusing into the broader media. For example, from the introduction to a revent Vox article entitled "The Problem with CEO Worship"
Society has always had heroes, be those of war or art or politics. But entrepreneurs are particularly suited for our current moment, in which success in business is our primary marker of achievement. Business acumen doesn’t just get you money anymore; it can make you the most powerful man in the world.
The signs of CEO worship are everywhere: unprecedented venture capital funding for founders, media overemphasis on company leaders, and to use the most extreme and obvious example, the election of Donald Trump.
That article noted that CEO worship may overestimate the importance of leaders; create "secular fundamentalists" out of individuals; perpetuate destructive neoliberal ideologies; encourage CEOs to make worse decisions; and be bad for business
Those are not the only consequences. CEO worship makes it possible for a progressively impaired leader to go unconstrained. Unfortunately, we may be seeing the ultimate example of this in the US.
Incoherent Verbal Utterances
Even before he was elected, we noted that Donald Trump sometimes was completely incoherent when describing his health policy ideas. In early 2016 we raised questions about Donald Trump's cognition. At that time, a conservative columnist labelled as "word salad" Trump's attempts to sketch a position on health care, specifically the "mandate" provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We found other examples of his utterances on health care policy that could be characterized as gibberish. This one was short, if not sweet
I want to keep pre-existing conditions. I think we need it. I think it’s a modern age. And I think we have to have it.
How could anyone understand this while listening in real time? A close reading suggests that maybe this was meant to suggest that some people ought to have insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, Trump seemed to befuddled by that concept. Furthermore, note that pre-existing conditions are not desireable, so that one would not want to "keep" them, nor can one choose not to. To what the word "it" in the second sentence and again in the fourth refers is unclear. The third sentence seems to be a complete non sequitur.
We found additional examples of incoherent verbal responses about health care in 2017, and early 2018. In the last six months, things have only gotten worse. Examples of verbal incoherence have multiplied, although most were not related to health care.
I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records. And I, by the way, I don’t have a musical instrument. I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ. And lots of other people helping. No we’ve broken a lot of records. We’ve broken virtually every record. Because you know, look I only need this space. They need much more room. For basketball, for hockey and all of the sports, they need a lot of room. We don’t need it. We have people in that space. So we break all of these records. Really we do it without like, the musical instruments. This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.
Perhaps this was meant to suggest that the president drew a larger crowd to an arena than did Elton John. However, note the non-sequiturs: from "Elton has an organ" to "lots of other people helping" to "we've broken a lot of records," "They need much more room, for basketball, for hockey..." Who are the people helping whom are they helping, and to do what? What records were broken by whom, and how is this relevant to Elton John, etc. To whom does they refer, and why do they need a lot of room? Etc, Etc. Again, in real time this would have made no sense at all
In fact, the president was difficult to follow because he simply doesn’t make any sense half the time.
Trump was asked one specific question about health care, and good luck to anyone who tries to figure out what his answer meant. He pretty clearly has just as little idea what he’s talking about on most major policy issues as he did when he first started running for president. On Jamal Khashoggi, waivers on Iranian sanctions, North Korea and Russia, he either ducked the questions with non sequiturs or just babbled.
When President Donald Trump met with Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania, Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia and Raimonds Vējonis of Latvia earlier this year, he started with a criticism. At the White House in April, Trump opened by chastising the Baltic leaders for starting the war in the 1990s that ended with the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. The Baltic leaders were apparently very confused and it took them 'a moment' to realize that the commander in chief was confusing Baltic states with the Balkans
this case is particularly notable considering Melania Trump is originally from the Balkans. The first lady was born in Slovenia, which gained independence in 1991 at the start of the Balkan wars. As Le Monde wrote, Trump remained 'apparently uneducated in the matter by his wife, Melania, originally from the former Yugoslavia.'
This suggests at best that at times Trump may be unable to distinguish words that sound vaguely alike but have quite different meanings.
And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing, number one. Number two, a positive note, we’re doing very well on trade, we’re doing very well — our companies are very strong. Don’t forget we’re still up from when I came in 38 percent or something. You know, it’s a tremendous — it’s not like we’re up — and we’re much stronger. And we’re much more liquid. And the banks are now much more liquid during my tenure. And I’m not doing – I’m not playing by the same rules as Obama. Obama had zero interest to worry about; we’re paying interest, a lot of interest. He wasn’t paying down — we’re talking about $50 billion lots of different times, paying down and knocking out liquidity. Well, Obama didn’t do that. And just so you understand, I’m playing a normalization economy whereas he’s playing a free economy. It’s easy to make money when you’re paying no interest. It’s easy to make money when you’re not doing any pay-downs, so you can’t — and despite that, the numbers we have are phenomenal numbers.
The author of the article stated,
I have basically no idea what Trump is talking about here, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t either.
On repeated close reading, I still do not have any idea what Trump meant. I would add the following questions: 38 percent of what? Who is much more liquid, and how is liquid defined? Who is paying a lot of interest? What does "paying down and knocking out liquidity" mean? What is a "normalization economy?" Note that this was coming from someone who claims to be a brilliant business manager.
Furthermore, consider what Trumps aid about the climate,
And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over. I mean, we take thousands of tons of garbage off our beaches all the time that comes over from Asia. It just flows right down the Pacific, it flows, and we say where does this come from. And it takes many people to start off with.
Oceans are "small?" What "blows over and sails over?" Over what? What "flows?" What "takes many people?"
STAT reviewed decades of Trump’s on-air interviews and compared them to Q&A sessions since his inauguration.
To summarize the conclusions.
The differences are striking and unmistakable.
Research has shown that changes in speaking style can result from cognitive decline. STAT therefore asked experts in neurolinguistics and cognitive assessment, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, to compare Trump’s speech from decades ago to that in 2017; they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump’s brain.
In 2018, Trump's verbal communications at times are even more garbled. Parts of the passages above suggest the word salad produced by somebody with fluent aphasia versus the nonsensical responses produced by patients suffering from acute delusional states. That Trump is capable of producing this sort of word salad at times, without realizing he is making no sense, suggests the intermittent symptoms seen early in progressive dementia.
Lack of Insight About Cognition
Furthermore, Trump appears to lack insight about his difficulties commicating.
In July, 2018, after the NATO conference, Politico reported, that Trump seemed to have no insight about why much of what he says appears unbelievable to others. The article noted
leaders who spent the first 18 months of Trump’s presidency thinking there might be a method to his chaos creation — and struggling to discern what it might be — now seem to have concluded that it’s just chaos, and that Trump himself may not understand what he’s doing.
More specifically, European officials commented on what Trump was saying:
A senior NATO official said leaders had concluded that they simply could not rely on anything Trump said.
'You know the way he speaks, you cannot take him literally,' the official said.
Another EU official echoed the point. 'He speaks a language that doesn’t match with diplomacy,' the second official said. 'We were used to the Brits, who speak a more frank diplomatic language, but this is another thing.'
These officials again seemed to be stating that Trump's verbiage can be completely incoherent, albeit they were doing so diplomatically. After the conference, however, when confronted with a question about the inconsistency of his remarks,
When a Croatian journalist confronted Trump about his inconsistencies, the president flatly denied there were any, and he repeated a defense of his own sanity that he had made when previously questioned about his fitness for the presidency.
'We understand your message, but some people ask themselves, will you be tweeting differently once you board the Air Force One?' the reporter said.
Trump, speaking at his news conference before leaving the summit, replied: 'No, that's other people that do that. I don’t. I’m very consistent. I’m a very stable genius.'
Not to belabor the point, but the examples noted above suggest neither consistency nor stability. And true geniuses almost never boast about their intellect.
In September, 2018, The Hill reported an interview with Trump in which he said his personal health and management style were reasons that Republicans might do better than expected in the 2018 elections,
'You know, I took that test when I got my last physical, and the doctor said that’s one of the highest scores we’ve ever seen,' Trump said. 'I did that not because I wanted but I did it, I was always good at testing.'
He continued: 'But if there’s anything great about me it’s stability, and I’m a good manager. Always been a good manager, but you know, I have a vision,'
Note that above Trump was presumably referring to the screening test for dementia he took during his official physical examination. High scores on the test are common, and do not signify great intelligence, just the probable absence of dementia.
In addition, this interpretation assumes that the test was administered in an unbiased way. However, there are reasons to question whether Trump's physical was unbiased. In retrospect, we now know that soon after taking the test, Trump nominated the physician who administered it to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Later the physician withdrew his name after allegations of his questionable personal behavior appeared (look here).
At least Trump's boast about having "a vision" does correspond to the language often used by public relations spokespeople to justify their CEOs' lack of accountability and high compensation (look here)
Similarly, in the Vox summary of the November, 2018, Washington Post interview (see above for link), Trump stated
a lot of people like myself - we have very high levels of intelligence
Finally, a November 18, 2018 article in MediaIte described this interchange between Trump and interviewer Chris Wallace on Fox News, starting with his response to a question about how he makes decisions
'I don’t think about them,' Trump replied. 'I don’t think about, you know, how I make them....'
However, he responded to a question about Federal Reserve policy
They're making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me
This suggests that Trump has lost insight into his own thinking.
External Observers Suggested Trump Is Cogitively Impaired
More than ever, Trump is acting by feeling and instinct. 'Trump is nuts,' said one former West Wing official. 'This time really feels different.' Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine has privately expressed concern, a source said, telling a friend that Trump’s emotional state is 'very tender.' Even Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are unsettled that Trump is so gleefully acting on his most self-destructive impulses as his legal peril grows.
[Dr] Lee told Salon that two Trump administration officials approached her after the book was published to express their concern about the president’s mental health, saying he was 'scaring' them because he was 'unraveling.'
In comments to Newsweek over email, Lee said 'it appeared that the officials (if they were officials at all) were at least frequently in [Trump’s] presence.
She continued, 'They were definitely calling from within the White House, which I confirmed by calling back their number. However, I did not ask about their rank. There was no reason for me to doubt they were high-ranking enough to have regular access to the president.'
Lee also said that a 'person [who] was a friend of his entire family, since his childhood” had also been in touch with her at the same time in October 2017, as people in the White House were “stating concern about the president (this was an observation from afar).'
Also in September, 2018, a Politico review of the new book by Robert Woodward based on numerous White House interviews suggested that Trump's inner circle called him a "dope," "idiot," or "moron."
Donald Trump is the chief executive officer of arguably the most powerful country in the world. Starting during his campaign for the US presidency, we noted that his utterances about health care were at times so incoherent as to suggest cognitive dysfunction. In the two years since then, especially in the last six months, he has increasingly been noted to be verbally incoherent or confused, has seemed to lack insight about these episodes, and has been observed by close allies and associates to be cognitively impaired.
However, there have ben few, at best, public attempts to link these suggestions of cognitive impairment together, nor to discuss their implications. The most recent of those that I have found was in January, 2018 (look here and here). Yet the problems appear to have been getting worse since then.
While patients with worsening cognitve impairment deserve accurate diagnosis, compassionate care, and access to what few effective, safe treatments may be available for their condition, they obviously should not be in a position to make consequential decisions. They certainly should not be in charge of large organizations, particularly powerful countries with nuclear weapons.
Yet President Trump's apparent cognitive decline remains anechoic.
For this we may blame CEO worship, which we have too often seen in health care. We have seen many health care leaders praised for their brilliance and paid royally despite leadership resulting in financial distress, threats to the organizations' health care missions, poor patient care, unethical behavior, or even crime. Yet health care CEOs, like other corporate CEOs, and like politicians are just people, sometimes smart, but almost never brilliant. Promoting them as messianic to bewitch key constituencies, justify the remuneration of other top managers, and the hiring of more public relations flacks is likely to lead to the sort of organizational disasters and system-wide dysfunction we discuss on Health Care Renewal. The rise of the falsely messianic leader may allow the entry of the most dangerous false messiahs, the psychopathic ones. (We discussed the likelihood that some health care leaders are actually psychopaths here.)
We must get quickly past our worship of CEOs. We may not long survive in a world where leaders of nuclear armed nations have no cognitive clothes.
Luka Modric ce l'ha fatta. Il fine centrocampista croato è riuscito nell'impresa preclusa ai suoi predecessori Pirlo, Xavi e Iniesta, ovvero i migliori costruttori di gioco degli ultimi quindici anni: interrompere il dominio continentale dei due "marziani" Messi e Ronaldo. Dopo dieci anni, il Pallone d'oro, il più ambito riconoscimento individuale del mondo calcistico, torna a premiare il miglior giocatore della stagione e non più solo uno dei due migliori giocatori in assoluto.
Con il criterio del migliore di tutti, ad esempio, nel 2010 fu "defraudato" del titolo Andrès Iniesta, autore di una stagione straordinaria e decisivo per la vittoria della Spagna al Mondiale Sudafricano. A vantaggio di Lionel Messi, già prodigioso, ma quell'anno tutt'altro che esaltante, sia con il Barcellona sia con la Selección argentina.
Con 753 punti, 277 più del secondo classificato (il solito CR7), il numero 10, non si sa ancora per quanto, del Real Madrid ottiene a 33 anni quel trofeo di cui il coetaneo Cristiano Ronaldo e il più giovane Messi si sono fregiati già cinque volte ciascuno. Per l'ex trequartista impostato in regia da Carletto Ancelotti - il bis dell'operazione riuscitagli con Pirlo - si tratta del quarto riconoscimento annuale, dopo il The Best Fifa, il premio calciatore dell'anno Uefa e quello di miglior giocatore del 2018 assegnato dalla Federazione Internazionale di Storia e Statistica del Calcio (IFFHS).
Il coronamento di una stagione superlativa che lo ha visto condurre i Blancos alla terza Champions consecutiva e la Croazia al secondo posto al Mondiale in Russia - un gradino sopra il piazzamento della generazione di Boban e Suker vent'anni prima -, dove è stato eletto miglior calciatore della manifestazione.
Un leader a tutto campo, ammirabile per la tecnica ed encomiabile per lo spirito di sacrificio. Quest'anno, insieme al danese Christian Eriksen, può dirsi forse l'ultimo "numero 10 classico" di livello planetario rimasto in circolazione, dopo decenni di 4-4-2 e moduli che sacrificano l'inventiva alla tattica, il talento alla possanza, l'uomo allo schema.
I numeri 10 come Messi e Neymar, pur immensi per tecnica e rapidità realizzativa, sono un prodotto di questa evoluzione: seconde punte più che trequartisti, finalizzatori più che dicitori dell'ultimo passaggio. Prima di loro, in Italia, abbiamo avuto Robi Baggio, Zola, Del Piero e imitatori vari.
Il numero 10 è tale non tanto perché salta gli avversari come birilli, ma perché vede autostrade dove altri vedono un sentiero, come direbbe il compianto Boskov. L'alessandrino Rivera, pur con i suoi limiti dinamici, è stato ed è tuttora un modello di riferimento per chiunque volesse e voglia avventurarsi tra le linee di centrocampo e attacco. Ne sono stati epigoni, con più corsa e muscoli, Roberto Mancini e, ovviamente, Francesco Totti.
Un adattamento del ruolo imposto dalla rivoluzione del calcio totale "all'olandese" di Cruijff e compagni. Proprio a Johan Cruijff - numero 10 di fatto, e anche di maglia nella sua ultima, splendida, stagione con il Feyenoord - viene più volte e da più parti accostato Modric, tanto da meritarsi ben presto il soprannome di "Cruijff dei Balcani".
Non alto, 1 metro e 72, e leggero coi suoi 66 kg, Luka Modric ha il volto affilato e lo sguardo spiritato di Cruijff quando gioca, come se vivesse in uno stato di perenne "trance" agonistica. Certi suoi recuperi di palloni sul portatore avversario, come quelli del maestro ajacide, si spiegano anche così: una concentrazione ossessiva che non contempla distrazioni.
Come Johan, non ha avuto un'infanzia facile. Se l'olandese, orfano di padre a dodici anni, imparò a giocare fra i marciapiedi di cemento di un quartiere popolare di un'Amsterdam devastata dalla guerra, il croato a sei anni è diventato un rifugiato, dopo aver praticamente visto uccidere davanti ai suoi occhi il nonno Luka Senior e incendiare la casa dai ribelli serbi durante il conflitto per l'indipendenza della Croazia. Anche nel calcio nessuno gli ha regalato nulla: a diciotto anni è stato votato miglior giocatore del campionato di Bosnia-Erzegovina, un torneo talmente duro da fargli dire in seguito: "Se qualcuno è in grado di giocare nel campionato bosniaco può giocare ovunque".
Oggi, dopo aver dimostrato di poter giocare ovunque, si gode il meritato premio. Benvenuto tra i grandi, piccolo Luka.
Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric was named winner of the 2018 Ballon d’Or on Monday, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Lionel Messi’s decade-long hold on the prestigious award. Juventus forward and 2017 winner Ronaldo came second, while...
On a historic evening in Paris, the ceremony had a women's category for the first time since its inception in 1956, with Norway's Ada Hegerberg crowned the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or winner.
The 23-year-old scored in this year's Champions League final, playing a key role in Lyon winning the tournament for a third successive year.
But there was controversy during the ceremony, with co-host Martin Solveig widely criticized on social media after asking the striker during the presentation: "Do you know how to twerk?" The player responded by saying "no."
Solveig later apologized and said he didn't meant to offend anyone. "This was a joke, probably a bad one, and I want to apologize for the one I may have offended. Sorry about that," Solveig said in a tweeted video.
Kylian Mbappe, who dazzled for France as Les Bleus triumphed in Russia in the summer, won the newly-formed Kopa award for the best young player.
The 19-year-old finished fourth overall, above Messi in fifth. Ronaldo was second, with France and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann third and Liverpool and Egypt star Mo Salah sixth.
For all of Mbappe's scintillating play for his country and Paris Saint-Germain, it is Real Madrid star Modric who has broken more than a decade of Messi-Ronaldo dominance.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Modric, who helped Real win a third-straight Champions League in May before guiding Croatia to the World Cup final in July, its best ever performance at the tournament.
"It's a big pleasure to be here among all these players."
Since Brazilian Kaka was crowned the world's best player in 2007, Messi and Ronaldo have won the Ballon d'Or a record five times each -- no one else has won the award more than three times.
Modric also won the Best FIFA men's player award earlier this year and becomes only the fourth player to win football's two biggest individual prizes in the same year, following Bobby Charlton (1966), Johan Cruyff (1974) and Paolo Rossi (1982).
Central to Croatia's rise
Modric's journey to picking up football's highest individual honor is an improbable one.
Growing up during the Balkans war, his father joined the Croatian army, while his grandfather was shot by Croatian Serb rebels and his house was burned down, forcing the family to flee to the Adriatic coast.
The midfielder has been central to his country's recent rise, which now sees Croatia ranked the fourth in FIFA's rankings.
The Ballon d'Or dates back to 1956. At first only incorporating European players, in 2007 was opened up to include ever player in the world.
Under the current format, the list of nominees is drawn up by weekly magazine France Football, with journalists from around the world voting on the final winner.
Men's Top 10
1. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)
4. Kylian Mbappe (PSG and France)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
6. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
7. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid and France)
8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
9. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)
Women's Top 10
1. Ada Hegerberg (Lyon and Norway)
2. Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg and Denmark)
3. Dzsenifer Maroszan (Lyon and Germany)
4. Marta (Orlando and Brazil)
5. Sam Kerr (Perth and Australia)
6. Lucy Bronze (Lyon and England)
7. Amandine Henry and Wendie Renard (both Lyon and France)
BORNA Barisic stepped up his recovery from injury by playing 45 minutes for the Rangers reserves in their 5-0 win over Kilmarnock. The Croatian hasn’t featured for Steven Gerrard’s side since the defeat to Livingston in September and the Ibrox boss...
Croatia. 01.12.2018 On Saturday, Hajduk Split (Torcida) attacked BBB fan club in Zagreb. Hajduk played that day in Zagreb vs. Rudeš. A few hours later, BBB ambushed Torcida on the highway and took revenge on their enemies for attacking their fan club. Torcida in front of BBB fan club. BBB attacks Torcida. BBB with Torcida stuff.
Branko Micetic, a New Zealand Croatian, weighs in on the issue of what Beto might do in 2020; I commend his research into Beto's legislative career, more thorough than any I read anywhere. I only fault the lack of perception of what the essence of Beto's appeal is to all Americans~his intelligence, independence, and his compassion, so needed in this era of international bad karma for America's actions and current policies.
Hello, we are building the blog website and need to implement the translation functionality. So we are going to add German and Croatian. You must have great English skill as well as article writing experience... (Budget: $250 - $750 USD, Jobs: Croatian, Danish, English (UK), Slovenian, Translation)
Progressive countries like Germany, France and Canada support the treaty while the US, Russia and China reject it.
LIST OF 18 Countries have said 'No' to #UN #MigrationCompact
The prestigious Ballon d'Or Ceremony was held on Monday night in Paris seeing Croatian star Luka Modric overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win this year's award. However one big question was asked amongst the footballing world, "Where was Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr.?"
Now it's been revealed that the revered striker decided to skip the awards to stream himself playing Call of Duty on Twitch. Though he wouldn't have needed to travel far for the ceremony, the star currently lives in Paris to play for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, perhaps Neymar didn't think he had a chance against this year's competition considering his disappointing run at the World Cup. Neymar ended up placing 12th. Take a look at Neymar gaming below and the top ten Ballon d'Or winners here.
.@neymarjr skipped the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony to play CoD ? pic.twitter.com/2kwdvji40B
— B/R Gaming (@BRGaming) 3 December 2018
The game is on. ⚽?@neymarjr, along with @tsilva3, @marquinhos_m5, @HayashiXPG and @alanzoka are now live in #BlackOps4:https://t.co/XJu53aumux pic.twitter.com/HTchpMIL29
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) December 3, 2018
Since 1 December, the inspection vessel 'AEGIS I' has been patrolling in the Adriatic Sea as part of a joint deployment plan for the Mediterranean. The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) is collaborating with Greece, Italy and Croatia who will have inspectors on board the vessel.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, took a stake last year in a startup whose co-chairman is a major Trump campaign fundraiser who has sought financial support from the federal government for his other business interests, according to records obtained by ProPublica.
The fundraiser, Texas money manager Gentry Beach, and Trump Jr. attended college together, are godfather to one of each other’s sons and have collaborated on investments — and on the Trump presidential campaign. Since Trump’s election, Beach has attempted to obtain federal assistance for projects in Asia, the Caribbean and South America, and he has met or corresponded with top officials in the National Security Council, Interior Department and Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Beach and others at the startup, Eden Green Technology, have touted their connections to the first family to impress partners, suppliers and others, according to five current and former business associates. Richard Venn, an early backer of Eden Green, recalls the company’s founder mentioning “interest from the Trump family.” Another associate said Beach bragged about his ties to the Trumps in a business meeting.
The investment is one of just a handful of known business ventures pursued by Trump Jr. since his father moved into the White House almost two years ago. In addition to being a top campaign surrogate and public booster, Trump Jr. serves as an executive vice president of his father’s company and one of just two trustees of the trust holding the president’s assets.
Ethics experts have consistently criticized these arrangements, arguing that they invite those seeking to influence the government to do so by attempting to enrich the president or his family members with favorable business opportunities.
Trump Jr. invested in the startup, a company that grows organic lettuce in a hydroponic greenhouse, last year, records show. Those records don’t state how much money — if any — Trump paid for his 7,500 shares. But the shares would have been worth about $650,000 at the end of last year, based on a formula used by another shareholder in a recent court filing. Neither Trump Jr. nor the company have disclosed his investment publicly. Trump Jr. obtained the stake through a limited liability company called MSMDF Agriculture LLC, which was set up by a Trump Organization employee last fall.
The key ethical question, said Virginia Canter, chief ethics lawyer at the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is whether Beach’s involvement with Eden Green, and Trump Jr.’s investment in it, are based on the business merits — or on the possibility of cashing in on connections to power. “Why is Trump Jr. being given this opportunity?” she asked. “It definitely has the appearance of trying to gain access by any means to curry favor with the administration.”
The willingness of Eden Green to invoke the Trump name in its business dealings raises further ethical concerns, experts said, particularly if potential customers understand that they are giving contracts to a startup whose success could enrich the president’s son.
Neither Trump Jr. nor his spokesman responded to messages seeking comment on his relationship with Beach and investment in Eden Green. A White House spokeswoman didn’t respond to emailed questions. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s top lawyer, said in a statement that Trump Jr.’s investment is a personal one. The entity through which it was made “is not owned or controlled by, or affiliated in any way with, The Trump Organization,” Garten said.
Last fall, Eden Green concluded a deal with Walmart. Today, the giant retailer sells the company’s lettuce, kale and other greens at about 100 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. (Eden Green’s sole facility is a 44,023-square-foot greenhouse outside Fort Worth, where it grows the greens in 18-foot vertical tubes.)
Walmart interacts with government regulators on an array of matters — everything from labor practices and land use to securities filings — but there is no indication that Walmart is aware of Trump Jr.’s connection to Eden Green. (Separately, Walmart contributed $150,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee. Beach was a finance vice chair of that committee, but a Beach spokesman says he has never met with Walmart executives.)
Molly Blakeman, a Walmart spokeswoman, declined to comment on Eden Green or its investors. “We don’t talk about our relationships with our suppliers,” said Blakeman, who added that Walmart has “supported inaugural activities” in the past.
Andrew Kolvet, a spokesman for Beach and the other Eden Green executives, said it’s “categorically false” that the Trump name was invoked by Eden Green officials. Kolvet cited a corporate policy that forbids discussing investors “with any current or potential client.” He also said Trump Jr. isn’t involved with company operations and bought into Eden Green during “U.S. friends and family fundraising efforts.”
A recent lawsuit asserts that Eden Green is in financial trouble. In October, the company’s largest shareholder, an entity controlled by a wealthy oil and gas family from Midland, Texas, filed suit in state court in Dallas, alleging “gross project mismanagement.” The suit accused Beach and six executives, all of them board members, of paying themselves extravagant salaries (allegedly $250,000 to $300,000 per year) and putting the company “on the precipice of failure.” A financial consultant hired to examine the company’s books asserted that Eden Green executives spent more than $19.4 million in the first nine months of 2018 — a daunting sum for a company that reported having raised a total of $22 million as of June — while generating $9,000 in revenues.
In late November, less than a month after the suit was filed, it was settled on confidential terms. Kolvet disputed the compensation figures asserted in the litigation, saying that the company’s pay is “in accordance with industry standards.” He maintained that Eden Green’s prospects are good. As with many startups, he said, “things don’t go in a straight line.” Kolvet asserted that the company has plenty of operating cash.
Trump Jr., now 40, and Beach, now 43, met at the University of Pennsylvania two decades ago. Both are the sons of wealthy businessmen, one in real estate, one in oil and gas. Beach’s father has since been laid low: Last month he was sentenced to four months in federal detention, plus two years of supervised release, for bankruptcy fraud.
Beach was a groomsman at Trump Jr.’s wedding (Trump Jr. and his wife recently separated). Beach and Trump Jr. like to hunt and once considered buying a hunting preserve in Mexico together. According to a 2010 deposition testimony by Trump Jr., they talked business during lunches at Rothmann’s steakhouse in New York.
Both have struggled in business at times. In 2009, Trump Jr. and others (including one person who pleaded guilty to an unrelated criminal fraud charge in 2010) formed a company that would sell concrete panels for home constructions out of a warehouse in North Charleston, South Carolina. The business quickly became mired in lawsuits seeking payment for unpaid bills. Trump Jr. made the situation more precarious by personally guaranteeing a $3.7 million loan for the project. Days before the note was due, the Trump Organization purchased the debt, eventually taking over the warehouse and selling it all back to Trump Jr.’s original business partner, according to press accounts.
For his part, Beach’s career path has also included some travails. He spent a year or so at Enron and then moved into finance. Beach worked for a hedge fund and remains locked in litigation with it more than a decade later. (He claims he wasn’t paid his full compensation; the fund claims he was “responsible for the destruction of millions of dollars of investor capital.”) Beach now runs a “family office focused on private equity investments” out of a Dallas office that Eden Green uses as its corporate address.
Trump Jr. has at least twice before invested with Beach in deals that didn’t pan out. Trump Jr. put $200,000 in a dry Texas oil well managed by Beach’s father, according to testimony by Trump Jr. He also lost an unknown sum in a failed African mining company affiliated with Beach’s uncle.
But Trump Jr. stuck with his friend. The Associated Press reported this year that the two formed a company last October to pursue technology investments.
Then there was Eden Green. By the time Trump invested last fall, the company had already run into problems. It first launched in 2013 in South Africa with an ambitious mission: to feed the world through a highly efficient indoor farming system deploying patented technology intended to yield 10 to 12 harvests a year, compared with two or three for conventional agriculture.
There’s a market for vegetables grown in controlled greenhouse environments as big retailers increasingly push for cleaner, more reliable and locally grown alternatives. But the challenges are significant. Energy costs run high, and there are myriad difficulties associated with scaling up to an industrial-size system.
That’s what happened in Eden Green’s first iteration, according to a half dozen early backers and associates. The produce may have been sustainable — but the business model wasn’t. The CEO of its European unit wrote in an October 2017 email obtained by ProPublica that the company had “been bleeding money and resources for almost 2 years now.” In the fall of 2017, Eden Green’s founders cemented a deal to hand over majority control to a group of U.S. investors led by Beach, current and former business associates said.
This was the company Trump Jr. bought into. He used an innocuous-sounding limited liability company, called MSMDF Agriculture LLC, to make the investment. ProPublica discovered MSMDF after the Trump Organization listed it in New York City filings among dozens of other entities it controlled. (Because the Trump Organization has contracts with the city to run the Wollman skating rink in Central Park and a golf course in the Bronx, the city requires the company to file disclosures.) The Trump Organization told ProPublica that MSMDF is not in fact owned by the Trump Organization but was included in the disclosure form because it’s controlled by Trump Jr., who was described in the form as MSMDF’s president, secretary and treasurer.
MSMDF was formed by a Trump Organization employee in September 2017 in Delaware, according to incorporation papers. Eden Green Holdings UK, Ltd., an affiliate of the Texas-based company, then listed MSMDF among its roughly two dozen shareholders in a 2018 report filed with British regulators.
The Trump Jr.-Beach connection has been most visible in the political arena. Last year, for example, Trump Jr. publicly thanked Beach and their mutual friend Tommy Hicks Jr., another wealthy investor from Dallas, for their fundraising during the 2016 campaign. “We couldn’t have done it without you guys,” Trump Jr. said of his buddies to a crowd of Republican donors in March 2017. “It was just absolutely incredible.”
In the foreword to a recent book, Trump Jr. reiterated the message, writing that a “rag tag army” — Trump Jr., Beach, Hicks and Charlie Kirk, the firebrand chief of the pro-Trump organization, Turning Point USA — barnstormed the country in 2016, raising “over 150 million dollars in ninety days.”
Since Trump’s election, Beach has met with top administration figures on multiple occasions. For example, according to the AP, he lobbied National Security Council officials to relax sanctions against Venezuela to create opportunities for U.S. companies. He attended a private lunch with Republican donors and Interior secretary Ryan Zinke.
Beach has denied leveraging his ties to the first family. Last month, Beach told a TV interviewer in Croatia, where he said he was exploring a “truly spectacular” $100 million real estate development, “I don’t need anything from the government, thankfully, except normal police protection in my hometown.”
But newly obtained emails show that Beach wanted government backing for his private business interests at the same time he was running Eden Green. In October 2017, Beach pitched Ray Washburne, who heads the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a government agency that offers loans and guarantees to American companies looking to expand into emerging markets, according to emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. (Before joining OPIC, Washburne was a Dallas investor and a top fundraiser for Trump. He and Beach move in the same circles and have friends in common.)
“The Dominican Republic could really use some US investment and support,” Beach wrote in one email to Washburne, describing his various projects there, which included “a power plant upgrade to an existing tin mine” as well as liquid natural gas infrastructure. He invited OPIC officials to travel with him to the Dominican Republic “If permitted, we would be happy to handle all transportation from DC to DR and back,” he wrote in a follow-up note. (Such a trip never occurred, according to an OPIC spokesperson.)
A month later, the emails show, Beach also lobbied on another project, arranging a call with his business partner and one of Washburne’s top deputies regarding an “India Oppty,” which appeared to involve an energy fund. Separately, Beach also introduced Washburne to the head of oil giant Exxon Mobil’s Africa operations, with whom Beach said he had gone shooting at Blenheim Palace in England, where the Churchill family resided for three centuries. And Beach connected another Washburne aide with a South African mining executive who Beach described as “one of my partners.”
OPIC spokeswoman Amanda Burke said Beach has not submitted any formal applications for agency funding. “OPIC routinely meets with a variety of businesses and stakeholders,” she said, adding that formal applications trigger background and credit checks and “go through several levels of agency vetting and approval.”
Asked whether having a Trump connection would disqualify a person from receiving OPIC support, Burke emailed that “in general, an individual’s personal or legal business interests would not disqualify them from applying. However, certain relationships may cause board members or other decision makers of OPIC to be conflicted out of the decision-making process on potential projects.”
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PARIS: Real Madrid's Croatia midfielder Luka Modric was named winner of the 2018 Ballon d'Or on Monday, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo's and Lionel Messi's decade-long hold on the prestigious award. Juventus forward and 2017 winner Ronaldo cam
Luka Modric wins Ballon d'Or 2018 to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's 10-year duopoly.
The Real Madrid midfielder won the ultimate award, outshining his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plays for Juventus.
Ronaldo ranks second, followed by Antoine Griezmann who led France to World Cup trophy.
Another 5-time winner Lionel Messi sits only at 5th, behind PSG star Kylianm Mbappe.
Modric has made a perfect performance in the past year. He led Real Madrid to win the 3rd straight Champions League Championship and guided Croatia to the final in 2018 World Cup.
The Croatian being crowned the FIFA Best Men's Player of the Year has significantly changed the football landscape, becoming the first non-Messi or Ronaldo player since Kaka in 2007 to lift such an award. Besides, Modric was chosen in FIFA/FIFPro World XI, and won FIFA Golden Ball and UEFA Best Player.
After Real Madrid superstar, Luka Modric ended Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's 10-year dominance of the Ballon d'Or, the Croatian revealed what Zinedine Zidane told him about the award in 2016.
The 33-year-old has replaced Ronaldo as the new Ballon d'Or holder, receiving 753 points and beating the Portuguese superstar by 277 points.
In an interview with France Football – the presenters of the famous Golden Ball – after picking up his prize, Modric recalled a conversation with Zidane when the Frenchman became Real Madrid boss in 2016.
Zidane, who won the award himself in 1998, seemingly believed back then already that the midfielder had what it takes to lift the individual accolade one day.
"There wasn't a specific moment where he told me: You can win it," Modric told France Football.
"When I recounted all of the individual trophies that I've won this year and when I saw that I was among the 30 finalists, I began to believe it, but there's one thing I'll never forget.
"When Zidane became Madrid coach in January 2016, he called me to his office one day after training and told me how he saw me as a player and what he expected of me.
"He told me that I was an important player for him and, above all, that he saw me as a player who could win the Ballon d'Or. When someone like Zidane, with all of his personality and history, tells you that, it boosts your confidence.
"I admired him and respected him enormously as a player, he saw me as someone like himself, quiet and a bit shy, he expected me to express myself more on the pitch, to open up.
"He needed me to be a key part of the team in an era when we were truly playing well. Those words from Zidane helped me to go further in my play. Even in spite of his words, I didn't begin to believe it."
Modric is the first Ballon d'Or winner other than Messi or Ronaldo since Ricardo Kaka claimed the coveted award in 2007.
The Ronaldo family during his TheBest award ceremony
Cristiano Ronaldo’s sisters have hit out after he was beaten to the Ballon d’Or by Luka Modric.
Real Madrid and Croatia star, Modric was crowned the winner in Paris on Monday night, the first time since Kaka in 2007 that the prize has not gone to Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
Both five-time winners stayed away after Ronaldo, who left Modric’s Real Madrid for Juventus in the summer, finished second and Barcelona’s Messi was back in fifth.
After the event, Ronaldo’s sister, Elma Aveiro said the result proved that the world was ‘rotten’ as a message on her Instagram, read: ‘unfortunately this is the world we live in, rotten, with mafia and f******g money. The power of God is a lot greater than all this rottenness. God takes his time but he doesn’t fail.’
It was posted next to a picture of Ronaldo with one of his five awards from previous years.
Ronaldo’s other sister, Katia Aveiro posted: ‘Best player in the world… for those who understand football of course.’
Meanwhile, Gianluigi Buffon has refused to criticise Ronaldo for his no-show at the event in the French capital.
The veteran Italian keeper and Paris Saint-Germain star, when asked about Ronaldo not being there, is quoted by FourFourTwo, saying: ‘I think we are all free people. Everybody decides what he wants of his life.’
Ronaldo has made a fine start to life with Juventus after leaving Real Madrid where he won the Champions League with Modric in May.
Modric was instrumental in that triumph and also steered Croatia to the World Cup final in Russia in the summer, where they lost out to France.
Elma Aveiro however came under fire from fans for her stand on the event.
One fan said; “What is it with this family? I can understand being loyal to your brother but this is embarrassing. He didn’t win, get over it. He may not win it again!"
Another said “All the vanity, but no class. Such is the state of Ronaldo’s family. I see Ronaldo feeding wrong advice to his son by forcing him to hit the gym when he needs to be natural and playing.
"Ronaldo needs good advisers otherwise I see his family going Michael Jackson way. You can fulfill yourself by seeking attention and applaud from others. It will eventually come to an end” and yet another added “When Ronaldo wins it’s not mafia and it is when someone else wins, pathetic”
in Turkish and Germany, Decimal Symbol is comma and
Digit grouping symbol is dot/full stop
The following examples show the decimal separator and the thousands separator in various countries.
Canada (English-speaking; unofficial), China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, México, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom,
SI style (English version), Australia, Canada (English-speaking), China, Sri Lanka, Switzerland (officially encouraged for currency numbers only).
SI style (French version), Albania, Belgium (French), Bulgaria, Canada (French-speaking), Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latin Europe, Norway, Peru,
Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland (officially encouraged, except currency numbers),
Ireland, Malaysia, Malta, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom (older, typically hand written)
Argentina, Austria, Belgium (Dutch: most common), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia,
Denmark, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain,Turkey,
[UK], Dec 4 (ANI): Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has expressed the desire to remain associated with his current team Real Madrid throughout his career, saying that he would like to retire at the club.
The comment comes amid reports stating that Modric is likely to make a move to Serie A side Inter Milan.
"The club shows me a lot of affection and I'd like to retire at Real Madrid. My family enjoy it and I want to keep enjoying this huge club," goal.com quoted Modric, as saying.
The Real Madrid player recently bagged the prestigious Ballon d'Or, ending the ten-year dominance of Argentina striker Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. He, however, admits that he is willing to give up all his "best" awards to win the World Cup.
"I said, I think last time when I won The Best, I would change all my individual awards for the World Cup, and unfortunately it didn't happen. This success we achieved at the World Cup for such a small country like Croatia is something amazing," Modric said.
"But, like I told you, I would change all of this for a World Cup. It didn't happen, this is a great feeling to win at least this, and very happy for it," he added.
In August, Modric was named as the UEFA Player of the Year. He rose to heights after his sensational performance in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He guided the Croatian team to the World Cup final, only to see the side ultimately losing 2-4 to France. The midfielder was awarded the Golden Ball at the tournament for his outstanding performance. (ANI)
Life's never dull at FFT and 2018 has been case in point. We travelled far and wide to bring you the best stories and biggest names, occasionally putting ourselves in harm’s way in the process.We went to Israel to watch one of the country’s most heated matches, listened to Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso recount the time he stabbed a team-mate with a fork, and risked life and limb by heading to Belgian club OH Leuven to talk ostriches with Nigel Pearson.We also asked Mohamed Salah to pose with a crown (before his now famous chant had caught on), Glenn Murray to pretend he was being attacked by seagulls, and Nigel de Jong to play along with a gag about his nickname and ride around on a toy lawnmower.And, of course, we enjoyed a World Cup where two of this year’s cover stars, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe, shone. What a year it’s been... time to relive it with some of the star performers. Enjoy!Manager of the YearGareth Southgate’s appointment as England manager two years ago was deemed underwhelming by many, but now he’s made the Three Lions whole again.Superstar of the YearMost starlets would see winning the World Cup as a good time to sit back and take stock, but French glory in Russia has only made Kylian Mbappe even hungrier. Bad news for the rest of the world, then.Goal of the YearEveryone remembers where they were when Gareth Bale lit up May’s Champions League final. It might not have won FIFA’s award for 2018’s best goal, but it certainly won ours...Signing of the YearWhen Virgil van Dijk made his megabucks move to Liverpool, many doubted he’d live up to the price tag. But years of knockbacks and personal struggle mean he’s used to silencing the doubters.Man of the YearDavid Silva played a crucial role as Manchester City waltzed to their third Premier League title in 2018 – not that matters on the pitch were the pass master’s main concern.English Player of the YearSure, Harry Kane won the World Cup Golden Boot, Raheem Sterling was superb in Man City’s evisceration of the Premier League and Fran Kirby did the Double with Chelsea, but Lucy Bronze... well, just look at that checklist. Now, Lyon's star right-back has the 2019 World Cup in her sights.Fans of the YearTwo men caught the eye more than most during the World Cup – deaf-blind Colombia supporter Jose Richard followed games using a unique signing system devised with his best bud Cesar.Underdogs of the YearIt's been a busy year for Ivan Perisic. Not only has the winger propelled Inter back into the Champions League, he also helped fire Croatia to the World Cup final– crushing English dreams– after turning down Manchester United.Crisis club of the YearFour managers, one cup final defeat and a terrifying training ground riot that led to several star players terminating their contracts – it hasn’t exactly been a stellar year for Sporting...One-on-One, Michael CarrickThe former West Ham, Spurs and Manchester United midfielder reveals how close he came to joining Arsenal, what went wrong for David Moyes, and if he should have earned more England caps...UpfrontAlphonso Davies discusses his January move from Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich, Steve McManaman talks FFT through his mazy run against Celtic, Michael Ballack recalls the games that changed his life, and former Liverpool winger Mark Walters reveals his 'Magic Roundabout' rage.Action ReplayPortsmouth had been battered during the Second World War, but its football team offered locals respite by upsetting the established order and securing successive league titles under the watchful eye of club president Field Marshal Montgomery. Plus, we discover what happened to Niall Quinn, learn why the Yanks are to thank for league competition, and showcase classic Derby programmes.The January 2019 issue of FourFourTwo is brought to you by Michael Carrick, Mark Walters, Michael Ballack, Bradley Stokes of Bradley Stoke Town, Alphonso Davies, Steve McManaman, Lothar Matthaus, Gareth Bale, David Silva, Lucy Bronze, Ivan Perisic, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Peter Crouch.Order a copy, then Subscribe!New features you'd love on FourFourTwo.com
They offer Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Yin Yoga and welcome practitioners of all levels. All on the magnificent Korcula Island. The retreat organizers say: “Join us in the Mediterranean for a relaxing, rejuvenating and detoxing mind and body + yoga wellness weekend holiday on Korcula Island. This is a perfect [...] » read more
Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award, the prestigious prize given to the best football in the world.
Modric beat five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to the honour at a glamorous ceremony in Paris, France.
Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or.
The Croatia captain has proved a crucial part both of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League triumph, beating Liverpool in the final 3-1, and as captain in Croatia’s impressive run to the World Cup final which earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball.
In 2018, Modric won his third consecutive Champions League trophy with club side Real Madrid and led Croatia to their first World Cup final, losing 4-2 to France.
The 33-year-old’s prize sees an end to the 10-year duopoly of Messi, who finished fifth overall in his lowest ranking since 2006, and Ronaldo, who came second. France and Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann finished third, with his France team-mate Mbappe fourth.
Harry Kane, the only English player on the 30-man shortlist, ranked 10th in the poll after winning the World Cup Golden Boot in Russia as he captained England to their best finish in 28 years.
Premier League trio Mohamed Salah (6), Eden Hazard (8) and Kevin De Bruyne (9) were also in the top 10.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year’s poll.
World Cup winners N’Golo Kante (11) and Paul Pogba (15) finished in the top 20 after being recognised for their performances in Russia.
Carnival Legend will operate Carnival Cruise Line’s most diverse European season to date with nine- to 16-day voyages visiting 34 ports in 14 countries including breathtaking destinations in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Greenland and Iceland in summer and fall 2020.
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A resurgent Netherlands team is all that is standing between England and a place in the final of the first ever UEFA Nations League, and the bookies are backing the Three Lions to bring the Dutch back down to Earth.
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The final four of the Nations League has thrown up a few surprises, none more so than the appearance of a Netherlands team who looked to set to be involved in a battle against relegation from the top tier after being paired with Germany and world champions France.
However, they were able to upstage Les Bleus in order to win the three-team group and advance to the final four, and they will now look to continue their climb back up the international ladder by eliminating an England team that avenged the World Cup exit at the hands of Croatia by eliminating the Croatians and Spain from their group.
The bookies are not expecting that to happen though.
England remain favourites to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League, but they are no longer sole leaders in the market because they are now joined on 7/4 by European champions Portugal, who have been paired with surprise package Switzerland in the semi-finals.
In terms of match betting, England are 13/10 with William Hill to get the better of the Netherlands in 90 minutes, with a victory for the Dutch priced up at 15/8 and the draw available at 11/5 at this time.
The Three Lions are odds-on favourites ‘To Qualify’ for the final at 4/6, with the Netherlands 11/10 to spring an upset and book their first appearance in a major international final since losing the 2010 World Cup Final against Spain.
In the other tie, Portugal are 4/6 to get the job done in 90 minutes and 1/3 to advance from the semi-finals, with Switzerland 9/4 to pull off a shock victory and qualify for the Nations League final.
Madrid, Dec 5 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari on Wednesday defended the reduced playing time given to midfielder Isco Alarcon.
Isco has not been a starter in any match under Solari, whose side is set to host the third-tier Spanish club UD Melilla on Thursday in the second leg of the Copa del Rey round of 32, reports Efe news.
The Argentine coach pointed out that there are 24 players on the first team, plus the players of the Castilla squad, stressing that they all "are working with intensity, enthusiasm and they're excited. That's what we all want to see out on the field against Melilla."
After receiving criticism for his weight and fitness following an appendectomy in September, Isco uploaded on social media a photo of himself without a shirt and attached a poll that asked fans to vote on whether he was overweight or not.
Solari responded to the online poll saying that he, Solari, did not see that photo and that he "does not manage social media networks."
Despite Los Blancos' 4-0 away victory in the first leg of round of 32 Copa del Rey against Melilla, the Argentine coach stressed that his club must not underestimate the upcoming opponent.
"The first leg was very good because we put in a very good performance with a good attitude and intensity, against a team that play very good football and are top of their group in Segunda B," Solari said.
The coach also praised his midfielder Luka Modric, who won the Ballon d'Or trophy Monday, noting that the Croatian player "had a wonderful year and he's given everything to Real Madrid and his national team... We're all very happy with his prize."
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport today edition, Inter Milan are displaying lots of doubts on buying Croatian international right-back Sime Vrsaljko (26), since the player's steady employment on the pitch is undermined by the frequen ...
It is my fourth day at the Popova Kula Winery, a Thursday, and I am still the only guest here. I checked on the internet and discovered, however, that this coming Saturday night the place is full-up with no rooms available. Luckily I am checking out Saturday morning. Incorrigible misanthrope that I am, I have been enjoying the solitude. Meanwhile I am continuing my investigations of the local vintages. The winery produces eleven different kinds of wine:
— Muscat Ottonel
Stanushina, Prokupec, Vranec, Temjanika, and Zilavka are made from grapes indigenous to the Balkan Peninsula; these are the only varieties I am interested in. God forbid that I should come to Macedonia just to drink Cabernet Sauvignon or—horrors!— Merlot!
According to archeological findings, grapes has been grown and wine produced in the area of Demir Kapiya for at least the last 3600 years. The modern history of viniculture in the Demir Kapiya area began in 1927 when King Alexander Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia (1888–1934) built a winery here to produce wine for the exclusive use of his royal family. Experts assured the king that of all possible locations in his kingdom, which covered a good part of the Balkan Peninsula, including modern-day Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia, this area was the most fertile and best suited for growing grapes and producing wine. He named the property the Winery of The Queen Maria in honor of his wife, Maria Karadjordjevic. The king hired the best vintners available and the winery was soon producing wine of extraordinary quality. Unfortunately King Alexander Karadjordjevic was unable to enjoy the fruits of his vineyards for long. On October 9, 1934, during a state visit to Marseille, France, he was assassinated by Bulgarian revolutionary Vlado Chernozemski.
King Alexander Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia (click on photos for enlargements)
The subsequent history of the winery is a bit hazy, but apparently it continued producing wine in the decades thereafter, except during the world wars and various local upheavals.After the Second World the Royal Winery, along with other wineries in what was then Yugoslavia, were nationalized. Over 30,000 families who owned small private vineyards continued, however, to supply grapes to these wine making facilities. It was these people who are credited with maintaining the high quality of local viniculture during the following decades. After the breakup of socialist Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the emergence of the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia as an independent country most if not all wineries were privatized. The royal winery in Demir Kapiya was privatized in 1994 and is now known as the Royal Winery Queen Maria. The current winery has an on-site restaurant and rents out rooms, apartments, and for high-rollers the former villa of Queen Maria Karadjordjevic.
King Alexander and Queen Maria
The Popova Kula Winery is built on lands that once belonged to the Royal Winery. Construction of the winery itself started in October of 2004 and was completed in August of 2005. Construction of the winery restaurant and hotel was not completed until 2009. The name of the winery, “Popova Kula”, means “Priest’s Tower”. Apparently during the time of the Roman Empire an important road ran through the grounds of the current winery. A large tower served as a checkpoint on the road, and this eventually became known at the Priest’s Tower. This original tower was eventually torn down, but the winery has erected a new 55-foot high tower its honor. This tower has become the easily recognizable symbol of the winery.
Popova Kula Winery
The “Priest’s Tower” of Popova Kula
Curious about this Roman road, I went down to the lobby and questioned the receptionist, a charming woman in her thirties. She in turn questioned one the local workmen who happened to be handy, and this guy said the Roman road in question was the famous Via Egnatia dating to the time of the Roman Empire, which ran from Durrës in what is now Albania east 696 miles to Constantinople, right across the heart of the Balkan Peninsula. This was certainly intriguing. I had already visited numerous cities and towns on the old Via Egnatia, including Thessaloniki,Kavala, and Kastoria in Greece and Orhid in Macedonia but I was under the impression that the old Roman road passed through the Balkans a good bit south of Demir Kapiya. The receptionist called the local wine museum and the woman at the museum suggested I stop by for more information. So I hiked a mile into town and found the museum, a modest two-room establishment in downtown Demir Kapiya. The woman in charge informed me that the Roman road through Demir Kapiya was not the Via Egnatia itself but a side branch of the main highway. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to discover that Demir Kapiya was in fact linked to the hallowed Via Egnatia. I harbor the sneaking suspicion I have traveled this road in a previous lifetime.
The Via Egnatia in red. The northern extension in greenmay be the one that passed through Demir Kapiya.
Via Egnatia near Kavala. Photo by Philipp Pilhofer
After trekking a mile back from the museum to the winery I retire to my balcony to sample the wine of the day; in this case Prokupec, a wine apparently indigenous to what is now Serbia but also grown in Macedonia.
From my balcony can be seen the Iron Gate, a gap in the mountains through which the Vardar River flows. The Iron Gate marks the southern boundary of the Tikves Wine Region. It also gives its name to the town just to the north—Demir Kapiya, which in Turkish means “Iron Gate”.
View from my balcony. The Iron Gate is the gap in the mountains in the middle of the photo. The town of Demir Kapiya (Iron Gate) is in the foreground.
A view of the Iron Gate from Popova Kula vineyards
Another view from my balcony
Halfway through my first glass of Prokupec my thoughts drifted, perhaps inevitably, to the Persian Poet Rudaki(858 a.d – 941 a.d.), the favorite poet of the Samanids of Bukhara, in what is now Uzbekistan. The Elton John of his Age, at one point Rudaki owned two hundred slaves who attended to his needs, and a hundred camels were necessary to carry his baggage when he traveled. His verses, it was said, filled a hundred volumes; he reportedly wrote 1,300,000 couplets. Almost all of his work has been lost. Unfortunately, the poet came to a bad end. He may have fell under the sway of the Ismaili Sect, considered heretical in the domains of the Samanids, and he eventually fell out of favor with the court. His lament:
Who had greatness? Who had favour, of all people in the land?
I it was had favour, greatness, from the Saman scions' hand;
Khurasan's own Amir, Nasr, forty thousand dirhams gave,
And a fifth to this was added by Prince of Pure and Brave;
From his nobles, widely scattered, came a sixty thousand more;
Those the times when mine was fortune, fortune good in plenteous store.
Now the times have changed--and I, too, changed and altered must succumb,
Bring the beggar's staff here to me; time for staff and script has come!
He reportedly died in abject poverty. Perhaps in his final days he repeated one of his couplets:
Were there no wine all hearts would be a desert waste, forlorn and black,
But were our last life-breath extinct, the sight of wine would bring it back.
A white wine, Zilavka, that I tried earlier. It is also indigenous to the Balkan Peninsula. I am not a big fan of white wine, but this one was not bad at all.
Carnival Legend will operate Carnival Cruise Line's most diverse European season to date with nine- to 16-day voyages visiting 34 ports in 14 countries including breathtaking destinations in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Greenland and Iceland in summer and fall 2020. Available through the Carnival Adventures program, hundreds of shore excursions will be offered where guests can explore centuries-old historic sites and landmarks, savor delicious local cuisine an...
The 33-year-old became the first Croatian to claim the award after a year in which he has won the Champions League and reached the World Cup final
Luka Modric has beaten off competition from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi to be named the winner of 2018's Ballon d'Or. The Real Madrid midfielder played a pivotal role for his club as they stormed to a third consecutive Champions League title, as well as captaining Croatia to second place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. With France having won the World Cup, Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and even Modric's fellow Madrid team-mate Raphael Varane had been amongst the favourites alongside the evergreen duo of Ronaldo and Messi.
However, the Croatian's exploits across the year - which included being awarded the Golden Ball at the World Cup - have seem him emerge ahead of the rest of the pack and become the first from his country to lift the award. Indeed, Modric has become the first player to break Messi and Ronaldo's duopoly of the award since 2007, with Brazil icon Kaka being the last to lift the trophy before the Argentine and Portuguese stars collected five each across the following years.
"It's a unique feeling," he said as he accepted the award. "I'm happy, proud and it's an honor. Extraordinary emotions at the moment. "I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight. I thank my teammates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and teammates in the national team, the ones who voted for me and my family, who allow me to blossom as a person. "Always have dreams, I wanted to play in a big club, win titles, the Ballon d'Or is all I could dream as a child, it's an honor to win it tonight. "It's a great pleasure to be here around his players. I keep thinking I'm trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d'Or previously. It's a great pleasure to be part of this group. It's hard to say, throughout my career I understood that work, persistence, believing in yourself, is the basis for expressing your talent. I like the phrase: the best is never easy. For me, it was not easy. It was necessary to seize the opportunities." The midfielder believes changing his role in midfield has been a turning point in his career, saying it all came together while he was at Tottenham.
"Changing position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player. When I retreated, I had a better vision of the game, I could better express my creativity, my game. In my second year in Tottenham, I played midfielder and I felt better in the middle." Modric, who also won FIFA's Best Men's Player award this year, finished ahead of his former Madrid team-mate Ronaldo in the vote, making the Portuguese icon settle for second place for the first time in three years. France star Griezmann took third place in the poll, with fellow World Cup winner Mbappe was close behind. Messi, meanwhile, dropped outside the top two for the first time in 11 years and came in fifth this time.
Croatian Premijer Liga Basketball, KK Cibona – Alkar, Thursday, 12:00 pm ET Score, Highlights Probability of winning KK Cibona 93.65% Alkar 6.35% Short Preview Two teams are playing changeable. KK Cibona could have problems with physics compare with it opponent – last days they played more matches than their opponents. In this match KK Cibona…
Have 15 Croatian AK mags with the bolt hold open. Brand new, never fired. But I did insert all of them in a Yugo with no fitment or bolt locking back issues. Selling as one lot for $130. That makes it $8.60 a mag. Available in Howell. Might he able to meet along i96 between Howell and Dearborn. Some trade options listed below.
Paris: Luka Modric saw off competition from a host of French World Cup stars as the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder won the 2018 Ballon d’Or on Monday, ending the 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Modric, 33,...
Zagreb: A Zagreb court has dropped charges that Croatia football captain and Real Madric star Luka Modric gave false testimony in a corruption trial, a court spokesman said on Monday. “There is not enough evidence that he (Modric) committed the...
Modrici: Luka Modric’s journey from Croatian war child to the world’s best footballer was celebrated when the Real Madrid midfielder hoisted the Ballon d’Or. “It’s a unique feeling. I’m happy, proud and honoured,” said Modric, who also won the FIFA...
Westborough – As part of their 40th anniversary celebrations, Congregation B’nai Shalom welcomes guest Artist-in-Residence, Susan Leviton, along with Lauren Brody for a special night of world music on Saturday, Dec. 8. Join them on a musical magic carpet ride as they present songs and instrumental music in Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian […]
Luka Modric saw off competition from France’s World Cup stars as the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder won the Ballon d’Or on Monday to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Modric, 33, was announced as the winner of the prestigious prize in Paris ahead of Ronaldo and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.
Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg was rewarded for her prolific form with Champions League winners Lyon as she took the first ever women’s Ballon d’Or prize at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.
The 23-year-old saw off competition from the likes of Danish star Pernille Harder, of German club VfL Wolfsburg, and Brazil’s Marta — winner of FIFA’s best player prize — to take the prize organised by France Football magazine following a vote by journalists from around the world.
“I want to say thanks to my teammates because this would not have been possible without them, my coach or our president Jean-Michel Aulas,” Hegerberg said at the ceremony at the Grand Palais, just off the Champs Elysees.
“I also want to thank France Football. This is a huge step for women’s football.”
Kylian Mbappe was named winner of the Kopa Trophy for young player of the year at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who does not turn 20 until later this month, starred as France won the World Cup and also won the best young player award in Russia.
The new award — named after French former Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa — was voted for by 33 living former winners of the main Ballon d’Or prize. Mbappe was also among the 30 nominees to win that award.
Modrici (Croatia) (AFP) – Luka Modric’s journey from Croatian war child to the world’s best footballer was celebrated Monday when the Real Madrid midfielder hoisted the Ballon d’Or. A national hero in his home country...
The United Nations Global Migration Pact (aka national suicide) must be rejected. If your country is not on the list (below) of those refusing to sign, you’re in big trouble. NO VOTES SO FAR: United States, Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Poland, Slovakia with Belgium & Switzerland choosing to postpone […]
LUKA Modric has been crowned the Ballon d’Or 2018 winner, ending Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year domination of the coveted award for the game’s best player. It caps off a memorable year for Modric, who won his third Champions League in a row at Real Madrid before inspiring Croatia to the World Cup final against all odds. Last year’s [...]
All of these things are awesome, and are among the many reasons we want to visit Croatia! The Riva reminds us a bit of the Promenade des Anglias in Nice, and we loved spending afternoons there. I can imagine doing the same in Split! Thanks for sharing - Pinning this one for later - hopefully not too much later. ;)
Midfielder Luka Modric playing for Real Madrid opened a new chapter in the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) history as he became the first Croatian to claim the best player award here on Monday.
The 33-year-old Modric received his trophy during a ceremony held in the iconic Grand Palace in the French capital.
"It feels amazing. I'm proud to win this beautiful award. It's difficult to express my emotions by words. It's something unique for me," admitted Modric.
It was the latest recognition for his achievement and contribution throughout the year, following the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award and the Best FIFA Men's Player.
Modric ended the past decade dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the award, as the two superstars claimed it five times apiece. The Croatian had also terminated Ronaldo and Messi's 10-year duopoly in the FIFA award in September.
Modric beat Ronaldo, Frenchman Antoine Griezmann and another France World Cup winning member Kylian Mbappe in the vote. Messi finished fifth.
Prior to Modric's honor on Monday, Brazil's Kaka was the last one to have won the award in 2007 before Ronaldo and Messi's supremacy loomed.
Modric spearheaded Croatia into the World Cup final for the first time in history in Russia, winning the tournament's Golden Ball himself.
On club side, the playmaker won the third straight UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid, their fourth in the past five years.
For Modric, the year of 2018 is "a really very special year".
"Winning the Champions League for the third straight time. To play the World Cup final for Croatia as a captain. Some amazing individual awards, and to finish with this (the Ballon d'Or).
"It's difficult to choose one. All these moments are really important. I don't want to choose tonight. I just want to enjoy," he added.
French teenage sensation Mbappe improved his ranking from seventh a year earlier to fourth for his role in France's triumphant World Cup journey and glittering performance in Paris Saint-Germain. His club teammate Neymar, currently the world's most expensive player, finished 12th.
Mbappe, who will turn 20 later this month, unsurprisingly bagged the newly-established Kopa Trophy representing the best U-21 player.
Women's Ballon d'Or, also inaugurated this year, went to Norwegian Ada Hegerberg who is playing in the French club Olympique Lyonnais.
Founded in 1956 by France Football magazine, Ballon d'Or honors the player with the best performance over the year based on voting by football journalists. It was merged with FIFA World Player of the Year into FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, before the two awards were separated in 2016.
Not since Kaka in 2007 has a player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo won football's top individual prize; the Ballon d'Or.
Ronaldo and Messi, combined ten-time winners, lead a 30-man shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d'Or announced by France Football magazine, but it's not clear whether a new name will end their dominance or if one of the them claims the title for the sixth time.
Ronaldo still makes a strong case. He won the UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid for the third time in a row and the Portuguese star was also the top goal scorer for the sixth time.
In 2018, Ronaldo moved to Juventus in a transfer worth 100 million Euros, the highest ever paid by an Italian club and the highest fee ever paid for a player over 30 years old. The 33-year-old slotted in his 10th goal in 14 league games last Saturday.
Ronaldo impressed at the 2018 Russia World Cup. The Portuguese superstar scored four goals in the 2018 World Cup in total and became the oldest player ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match, helping Portugal secure a 3-3 draw against Spain in their opening match. Portugal's early elimination gave Ronaldo no further platform to show his great talent.
Ronaldo faces a straightforward fight with his former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric. The Real Madrid playmaker belied his 32 years by running more kilometers than any other midfielder while also providing the finesse that helped unlock rival defenses.
2018 was truly a fruitful year for Modric. The midfielder led Real Madrid to an unprecedented third consecutive Champions League title and captained Croatia to the World Cup final for the first time in the country's history, which earned him the Golden Ball, the award given to the best player at the tournament.
The Croatian star just added the World's Best Playmaker at the end of November to his World Cup Best Player and FIFA Best Player awards.
A French winner of the 2018 Ballon d'Or also seems likely.
Among the nominees, six were from the World Cup champion France, which reflects the great influence of the most prestigious association football tournament in the world. France lifted the World Cup trophy twenty years ago and Zinedine Zidane won the Ballon d'Or in the same year.
Kylian Mbappe was undoubtedly the best new talent at the 2018 World Cup and the Paris Saint-Germain forward's performances for France confirmed his status as football's newest superstar.
The 19-year-old bagged four goals in Russia, including a stunning 30-yard drive in the final. Together with Mbappe, his French teammate Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane were also considered promising winners.
Griezmann scored four goals at the World Cup and won the Bronze Ball as the third best player. As one of the best defenders, Varane won the World Cup and played every minute of every game. The center-back made 11 appearances when Real Madrid won their 13th overall Champions League title.
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi seems to have no advantage this year, as his La Liga trophy with the Spanish soccer giant Barcelona was not comparable with the UEFA Champions League title. At the 2018 World Cup, Argentina was eliminated by France in the round of 16.
Messi scored the opening goal in an eventual 2-1 victory in Argentina's final group match against Nigeria, which was his only goal in the World Cup. This year may be the best chance to see someone other than messrs Messi and Ronaldo walking away with the Ballon d'Or.
Among the 30 nominees, Neymar is believed to have little chance of winning the award as the Brazilian star didn't have a good World Cup as he entered the tournament with hopes of leading Brazil to their sixth World Cup title.
The lovely whitewashed town of Gioia del Colle, in the center of Italy’s Puglian heel, is known for being a few things: a production center of fresh cow’s-milk mozzarella, the birthplace of Sylvester Stallone’s father, and the cradle of Primitivo, southern Italy’s equivalent of Zinfandel.
The grape’s origins are Croatian (where it is known as Tribidrag or Crljenak Kastelanski), but it was here in Gioia del Colle that 18th-century monk and botanist Don Francesco Filippo Indellicati selected the variety for its early ripening and called it “Primativo.”
The grape spread to Puglia’s other regions. It took a completely separate path (possibly via Austria) to the United States, where its identity was the subject of debate until the 1990s, when DNA profiling confirmed that Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically identical.
?Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has ended the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly on the Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player since Kaka in 2007 to beat either to the prestigious award. Modric had a stellar season with Real Madrid in 2017/18, winning the Champions League for the third successive year, before being awarded the World Cup … Continue reading Real Madrid’s Luka Modric Beats Ronaldo & Messi to Golden Ball
Croatia is suffering a severe labor shortage, most glaringly in its booming seaside tourist resorts, that is compounding obstacles to economic growth and dimming hopes of catching up to more developed European Union peers.