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Swiss court begins probe of FIFA President

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Germany still winless in UEFA Nations League after drawing with Switzerland Criminal proceedings against Fifa president Gianni Infantino have begun in Switzerland over meetings he held with the country’s attorney general.A special federal public prosecutor, Stefan Keller, was appointed last month to examine complaints made in relation to the meetings in 2016 and 2017 involving Infantino, attorney general Michael Lauber and the chief public prosecutor for the Upper Valais region, Rinaldo Arnold. Keller has now opened criminal proceedings against Infantino and Arnold, and has sought approval from the Swiss parliament to do the same against Lauber, who must have immunity from prosecution lifted before proceedings against him can be opened.He has concluded that “there are indications of criminal conduct” in relation to the meetings.Infantino and Fifa say they will co-operate fully with the investigation, with Infantino insisting he was trying to assist Lauber with the attorney general’s investigation into historic corruption.The Fifa president was asked about the meetings with Lauber at the world governing body’s Council meeting in June, and said: “To meet with the Attorney General of Switzerland is perfectly legitimate and it’s perfectly legal.“It’s no violation of anything. “On the contrary, it is also part of the fiduciary duties of the president of Fifa.”The first meetings with Lauber occurred in 2016, just after Infantino had been elected as president and in the aftermath of the corruption scandal which engulfed Fifa under Infantino’s predecessor Sepp Blatter.Lauber’s office was investigating that scandal, in which Fifa was being treated as a victim rather than a suspect.Infantino said there was a “mountain of questions” regarding those investigations, and added in June: “It’s legitimate to offer to contribute to the Swiss attorney general about the clarification of these events, hoping that those who have done criminal acts and damaged Fifa will be held to account for that.”Tags: courtsFIFALegal actionLegal MattersPresident Gianni InfantinoprobeSwitzerlandlast_img read more

Lansner: Error, Anaheim! City booted stadium deal with Angels

But what does the city’s leadership do? It commits a possibly game-changing error, giving the tenant a one-year lease extension … for absolutely nothing.That’s the gift the city just gave the Anaheim Angels — a business that’s been relatively rude to the city, even dropping “Anaheim” from the franchise’s identity.Let me employ way too many baseball analogies to help you understand this governmental “wild pitch.”Let’s just say, economically speaking, the ballclub was down to its last strike and far behind on the scoreboard, too. The Angels had absolutely no options for home games after the 2019 season ended. None. Zippo.All the city had to do was play a little hardball — you know, toss some head-high pitches, in financial terms — and the negotiating ballgame was easily won. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PreviousAnaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing give high-fives to Angels fans before a game against the Indians at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.(Photo by Kyusung Gong, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel’s Albert Pujols, left, gets a handshake from owner Arte Moreno in the dugout prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches the ball leave the stadium after a solo homerun hit by Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers during the third inning of a game at Angel Stadium on September 25, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Big A at Angel Stadium of Anaheim sits on the east side of the parking lot next to the 57 Freeway. The giant A, complete with light-up halo, was the Angel’s scoreboard when the stadium opened in 1966. The $1 million, 230 feet tall scoreboard was the largest built at the time. The Big A was moved to it’s present location in 1980. (File photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angels owner Arte Moreno hired a new team manager and exercised the stadium opt-out clause with Anaheim. (File Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)Arte Moreno, 71, from Phoenix, is worth $2.5 billion primarily because he turned wealth created by a billboard company into his ownership of the Anaheim Angels. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)Former Angels pitcher and first draft pick Eli Grba,left, with owner Arte Moreno during opening day ceremonies before a major league baseball game between the BluJays and the Angels at Angel Stadium on Friday, April 8, 2011, in Anaheim. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SPORTS)Angels’ owner Arte Moreno talks with Jose Mota, at left, during Spring Training workouts at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Former Angels pitcher and first draft pick Eli Grba during opening day ceremonies before a major league baseball game between the BluJays and the Angels at Angel Stadium on Friday, April 8, 2011, in Anaheim. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SPORTS)A rider takes a jump during a practice session for the opening event of the Monster Energy Supercross season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Friday, January 4, 2019. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)A selection of Saint Archer beers, a Blackberry Gose, a Saint Angels lager, an Imperial Red and the Saint Archer Pale Ale, from left, during a media event previewing the new eats at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Opening Day merchandise is previewed at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Fans cheer for the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during their game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel Stadium fans cheer as Albert Pujols takes off on his 600th home run trot.The Angels were playing the Minnesota Twinsin Anaheim, CA on Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Photo by Bill Alkofer,Orange County Register/SCNG)Anaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing give high-fives to Angels fans before a game against the Indians at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.(Photo by Kyusung Gong, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel’s Albert Pujols, left, gets a handshake from owner Arte Moreno in the dugout prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 14Angel’s Albert Pujols, left, gets a handshake from owner Arte Moreno in the dugout prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandThe city of Anaheim had in its sights what old-time baseball folks would call a “can of corn” — an easy-to-catch fly ball.But the city dropped the game clincher.Anaheim owns a quarter-square-mile or so of prime, transit-close real estate. The current tenant — a high-profile enterprise owned by a billionaire — is paying, relatively speaking, not much to use the property.This tenant actually opted out of its sweet lease, giving the city an easy “out” — a “walk-off,” to boot, letting the often-cantankerous renter walk away so Anaheim could reap the rewards as a landowner in a county where developable dirt sells at a steep premium. The city could have forced the Angels to make massive economic concessions to stay … or at least pay something to get this near-deadline bargaining into “extra innings.”If not, the city could declare “victory” and regain control of the valuable asset.Instead, the city chose to toss a soft pitch to the financially sound ball team. An oddly timed “intentional walk” — in baseball terms, a strategic gift or free pass — came in the form of giving the team more time it didn’t have to negotiate a new stadium lease.The city played this bargaining session like a team needing some come-from-behind Rally Monkey magic when it was clearly winning the game. The newly reconstituted city council — now leaning pro-business after recent elections — once again proved that business-friendly politics often lacks economic logic.How else can you explain the free surrender of huge bargaining leverage to owner Arte Moreno and his baseball franchise, last valued by Forbes magazine at $1.8 billion?I’ve covered supposedly “win-win” public-private partnerships for way too long to know that for taxpayers these deals are commonly seen as “heads, the business wins; tails, the city loses.”And a key reason is that far too often municipalities just can’t say “No” and walk away when the opportunity arises. Politicians take too much comfort in status quo, no matter the cost — or the squandered opportunity.One could argue that having the Angels leave Anaheim isn’t an economic “grooved pitch” — an easy one to hit — because the real estate business often throws a curve or two. Yes, there are no guarantees in trying to replace the people magnetism of the team and the stadium, which draw millions to the city.On the other hand, Anaheim already has a fairly deep lineup of people-grabbing stars. You know, like Disneyland. And pro hockey’s ANAHEIM Ducks.And please tell me what’s the taxpayer’s true cost of the city being in the baseball business, albeit playing at the most-risky/little-upside part of the field?It’s said that after paying for various slices of upkeep and current operations, Angel Stadium is proportionally not much more than a break-even proposition for taxpayers. And supposedly the stadium needs $150 million or so in upgrades to stay “competitive” with other ballparks.If it was up to me, I’d tell the Angels thanks for the memories and list the stadium property for sale as a “tear down” investment. Yeah, it’s not as sexy as “swinging for the fences” by dreaming of another real estate “grand slam” — the city-overseen creation of some super urban entertainment center surrounding the ballpark. (How’d nearby GardenWalk pan out?)But I’d rather play “small ball” and accept a mere “single” — cashing in on a strong real estate market, especially with a land-starved institution (ahem, Walt Disney Co.) operating two theme parks just down Katella Avenue.Sign up for The Home Stretch newsletter. Get weekly housing news on affordability, renting, buying, selling and more. Subscribe here.Why not set an example for the entire state — trade the lure of chasing retail tax dollars for the societal opportunity of getting more housing built?And just because the city opted for extra innings, Anaheim isn’t a lost cause. Perhaps city leaders can use its home-field advantage to negotiate somewhere near a true winning deal with Moreno and his Los Angeles-themed Angels.But I’m still rooting for a “walk-off” result!I’ll bet sale proceeds of the stadium property could easily halve the city’s significant pension-liability burdens, for example. A 2016 appraisal valued the stadium land as high as $325 million. And Orange County real estate hasn’t gotten any cheaper since!That’s a bounty that could allow Anaheim do what cities do best — you know, the municipal and civic basics like constituency services, public safety, transportation along with its extensive convention and tourism promotional roles.Leave the pitching and catching of economic development to the private sector. read more

March Madness 2019: Virginia beats Gardner-Webb but remains motivated by critics

first_imgHunter led all scorers with 23 points and served as Virginia’s most consistent force throughout the contest. Mamadi Diakite emerged with 13 second-half points, the clear beneficiary of a halftime adjustment to attack the paint.While the Cavaliers were relieved to rid the King Kong-sized monkey off their collective backs, at the end of the day they were still just a 1-seed going out and doing what 1-seeds have always done. So Guy plans to keep his avatar for the foreseeable future, waiting for a potential national championship victory to move himself past the symbol of his darkest moment.“[The picture] is not just for that game,” he said. “That’s for everyone who has ever doubted me. Obviously, they doubted us last year, and they doubted us this year because of that loss. That chip on my shoulder will never leave, but at the same time, we’re past it. There’s more to play.” COLUMBIA, S.C. — Kyle Guy has no plans to change his Twitter picture.The image of Guy crouched in shock as UMBC players celebrated their 16-seed upset of his 1-seed Cavaliers will remain until a date to be determined. There is still unfinished business. Unlike last year, No. 1 Virginia’s season is alive after the first round, its title aspirations intact following a 71-56 win over No. 16 Gardner-Webb on Friday in South Region play. That’s not to say it was easy for the Cavaliers (30-3) to bounce back against an underdog opponent. They trailed by double digits late in the first half and entered halftime down by six a year removed from becoming the first top-seeded team to ever fall to No. 16 in the NCAA Tournament.SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQLive NCAA bracket | Live scoreboard | Full TV schedule”We came in knowing real well we were in for a battle,” said Virginia’s Ty Jerome. “[Gardner-Webb] punched us in the mouth, but we were punched before. It was about doing what we do and staying united.”With just over six minutes to go in the first half, Virginia faced a 14-point deficit. The pro-Gardner-Webb crowd seemingly increased in volume with every bucket.This time, though, Virginia remained level-headed.”I think this year you saw the growth of this team,” Guy said. “Nobody panicked. Last year it was like, ‘Oh, s—, this may happen.’ We all panicked. This year we were like, ‘Oh, s—, this is going to happen again,’ but nobody panicked.”Despite finishing the half strong, the Cavaliers trailed at the break. Last year, of course, they were tied with UMBC at the half before allowing 53 second-half points in a 74-54 defeat. There was no repeating that disappointment, though. Virginia went on a 25-5 run to begin the second half and forced five turnovers in five minutes. De’Andre Hunter laid down a monster dunk, and everything felt normal again, like it had before Gardner-Webb (23-12) landed haymakers in the opening 15 minutes of the game.BENDER: Cincinnati in familiar spot after first-round exit”That’s a pressure, and there’s no doubt about it,” coach Tony Bennett said. “When you’re in that spot, you feel the crowd. It’s something we had to go through. I’m glad I’m up here this year feeling differently. It’s the beauty of the tournament.”last_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

first_imgWellington Police notes for Thursday, November 29, 2012:•6:10 a.m. Rebecca L. Bobbitt, 24, city was issued a notice to appear charged with speeding 41 mph in a 30 mph zone.  (radar)•1:55 p.m. Shane L. Forrester, 37, Wellington was arrested and confined charged with theft.•10:33 p.m. Officers investigated report of mental subject in the 1100 block of N. B.•10:33 p.m. Officers made an outside agency assist in the 800 block of S. Jefferson.•10:44 p.m. Destiny D. Lovan, 30, Wellington was arrested on a  failure to appear warrant from Rose Hill.last_img

Human sacrifice may have helped societies become more complex

first_imgReligion is often touted as a force for moral good in the world—but it has a sinister side, too, embodied by gruesome rituals like human sacrifice. Now, new research suggests that even this dark side may have served an important function. Scientists have found that these ceremonial killings—intended to appease gods—may have encouraged the development of complex civilizations in maritime Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, though some experts remain unconvinced.Human sacrifice was part of many traditional cultures across the globe, marking important events like the death of a leader or the construction of a house or boat. In the islands of the Indian and Pacific oceans, powerful chiefs or priests usually carried out the grim rites. They dispatched powerless individuals—often slaves—by cutting off their heads, beating them to death, or crushing them with canoes until they died.These horrific deeds may have had some unexpected benefits, at least for some members of society. According to a religious evolutionary theory called the “social control hypothesis,” social elites may have used human sacrifice to preserve their power, cementing their status by claiming supernatural approval for their acts. “There is anecdotal evidence from other areas of the world that human sacrifice was used to maintain and control populations,” says psychologist Joseph Watts, a doctoral student who studies cultural evolution at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. But until now, he says, it hadn’t been systematically tested. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img So Watts and his colleagues analyzed 93 traditional Austronesian societies to fill that gap. Austronesians, who share a common ancestral language, originated in Taiwan and fanned outward across the Indian and Pacific oceans, from Madagascar to Easter Island and as far south as New Zealand. By combing through historical and ethnographic accounts, the researchers identified which cultures practiced human sacrifice prior to contact with modern industrialized nations. They also classified each society’s level of social stratification as “egalitarian,” “moderately stratified,” or “highly stratified.” In egalitarian cultures, rank and power were not passed down through generations. Moderately stratified societies allowed for inherited status, but without pronounced social classes. In highly stratified societies, class differences were strict, social mobility restricted, and stature largely inherited.Based on linguistic clues, the scientists built family trees showing how the Austronesian cultures likely evolved and how they are related. It’s a technique the group has used in the past to suggest that belief in supernatural punishment promotes political complexity. The family trees allowed them to estimate whether human sacrifice and social stratification arose in the same places, and whether ritualized killings drove changes in class divisions.Some cultures at each level of social stratification engaged in human sacrifice, but it was more common in those that were harshly divided: Two-thirds of the highly stratified societies practiced the macabre ritual, compared with just one-quarter of the egalitarian societies, the researchers report online today in Nature. The family trees show that human sacrifice and social stratification evolved together. The timing of the traits’ evolution—human sacrifice came first—suggests that cultures were more likely to become strictly divided along class lines if their religious traditions included the grisly rite.“People often claim that religion underpins morality,” Watts says. This study, however, highlights another aspect of belief in the divine. “It shows how religion can be exploited by social elites to their own benefit.”That’s a compelling conclusion, says human evolutionary anthropologist Joseph Henrich of Harvard University, but he urges skepticism in using language trees to interpret cultural practices. By assuming that human behaviors evolved exactly the same way that vocabularies did, the method ignores the possibility that behaviors may have spread between neighboring cultures, Henrich says. That could have happened, for example, when one society conquered another.Heinrich says there’s “no evidence” to support or disprove the link between cultural practices and Austronesian family trees. The way to verify that association, he adds, would be to analyze a test case—a behavior with a known evolution. If Austronesian culture and language are connected, then the prediction of the family trees should match the historical record.Still, experts welcome the injection of sophisticated statistical techniques into research on religion and culture. “The study of religion has been plagued in many ways by an abundance of ideas and a shortage of strong quantitative tests of these ideas,” says human behavior ecologist Richard Sosis of the University of Connecticut, Storrs. “These methods have power, and they are certainly an advance in the way we can evaluate ideas. Are they the last piece to the puzzle? No.” But, he adds, “at least the conversation can begin here and begin in a systematic way that hasn’t happened before.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more