Foot healed, Steelers RB Bell ready to get going

first_imgIn this Aug. 19, 2013 file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) leans for more yardage as he is hit by Washington Redskins linebacker Darryl Tapp (54) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Landover, Md. Bell’s bumpy start to his NFL career is starting to smooth itself out. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File) by Will GravesAP Sports WriterPITTSBURGH (AP) – Le’Veon Bell believes he’s a quick healer. Of course, he’d like to stop having to prove it.The rookie running back will make his long awaited debut Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to London to face the Minnesota Vikings. Bell hasn’t played since spraining his right foot two carries into a preseason game against Washington last month.Originally told he would be out eight weeks, Bell plans to be ready in six. He practiced on Wednesday and barring a late setback will be available as the Steelers try to avoid their first 0-4 start since 1986. While Pittsburgh’s problems go far deeper than the running game – which happens to be 31st in the league – his teammates are anxious to get a look at the second-round pick on the field instead of on the sideline in street clothes.Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell talks with reporters at NFL football training camp at the team’s training facility in Latrobe, Pa., July 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)“I’m just excited to see what he can do because nobody knows,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “Nobody’s seen him in game action.”Bell was one of the most durable players in the nation during his sophomore and junior seasons at Michigan State. He touched the ball 414 times in 2012 without so much as an ingrown nail. In the span of his first three weeks in Pittsburgh, he sprained his knee, then followed it up by jamming his foot on the second play from scrimmage against the Redskins.Doctors cleared him for contact last week. Too “rusty” to play in last week’s loss to Chicago, Bell will try to do what he can to help turn things around.“When I get the ball in my hands, I want to make positive plays and do what I can with it to give my teammates and coaches confidence in me,” Bell said.The Steelers were confident enough in Bell to let Rashard Mendenhall walk in free agency and make Bell the 48th overall pick in the draft. At 6-foot-2, Bell is tall for a running back, though it’s hard to tell sometimes because of Bell’s churning running style. He made a habit of hurdling defenders at Michigan State and has trimmed down to 230 pounds over the last few months to help him hit the hole a fraction of a second faster.If anything, Bell will at least put an end to the committee approach that hasn’t really worked. Given ample opportunity to make a case to be the starter the trio of Isaac Redman, Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer failed to distinguish themselves. Dwyer showed a burst with a 25-yard sprint against the Bears, but his conditioning remains an issue and he’s a non-factor in the passing game.That’s where Bell may have his biggest advantage. He caught 32 passes for the Spartans last fall, and a few well-designed screens against the Vikings may help take some of the pressure off an offensive line that at times has looked overmatched without Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, who is out for the season with a knee injury.“We wouldn’t have brought (Bell) here if he wasn’t an all-around back,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s more than just a guy that is going to run the ball.”Forced off the field for the first time in his career, Bell immersed himself in the playbook.“Even when I wasn’t playing, I knew everything,” Bell said. “The switches that we do week-to-week, I picked that up quick pretty quick.”All of which is nice, but Bell understands it’s time for him to stay in the game. His role may be limited as he works his way back but when he’s out there, he knows he has to prove he can withstand the pounding he’s sure to receive against a team that – much like the Steelers – is looking to break out of an early season funk.“This is my chance to show these guys what I’m all about,” Bell said.Asked if maybe he’s fibbing a bit about his progress because of the pressure he feels to return and Bell just shakes his head.“I don’t feel like I’m rushing it at all,” he said. “At the end of the day, I know that I have a long career (ahead), but I feel like I’m ready now. And I’m ready to help this team win games. (And) my foot hasn’t shown any signs of setbacks, so it feels like it’s ready, and I know I’m ready to go.”__NOTES: DE Brett Keisel (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. CB Cortez Allen (ankle) and NT Steve McLendon (hamstring) did practice and are expected to play against the Vikings … G Ramon Foster had a meeting with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin earlier this week for pointers on how to be a better leader with Pouncey not available. “You don’t want to be a leader in this sport and in this group and talk down to guys,” Foster said. “You’ve got to be able to coach and motivate guys, and I went to him to get some advice about that.”last_img read more

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South Africa in top 20 best places to raise children

first_imgClose to 15 000 expats from all over the world took part in an online survey asking in which countries they prefer to raise their children. South Africa was in the overall top 20 family life index. Although Austria may be the best country for expats to raise their children, Finland wins the overall vote for best country when it comes to education. (Image: Media Club South Africa) • African history gets animation treatment • How Far from Home? SA couple chronicle their wander list online • Young South Africans plan to stay at home • How our African neighbours helped end apartheid • Brilliant young minds at the CSIR Staff writerSouth Africa is one of the top 20 countries in which to raise children, according to a recent survey of expats around the world. The country is also eighth on the list of leisure in terms of the quality of life index.A total of 14 388 expatriates representing 170 nationalities took part in the Expat Insider 2015 survey, conducted by Internations. Of them, 53% were female and 47% were male; 38% were single and 62% were in a relationship The survey ran from 23 February to 9 March.In terms of the family status of the respondents, 21% had dependent children abroad and 79% did not have dependent children abroad.A total of 41 countries were included in this index. “In order to be included, each country needed over 30 survey respondents raising kids abroad who rated the… factors on a scale of one to seven,” the report read.The United Kingdom was not one of the 41 countries included, according to Yahoo. Mexico is the top country where locals go out of their way to make you feel at home. (Image: Media Club South Africa)In terms of availability of childcare and education, South Africa was ranked 11th by expats and 20th for the cost of childcare and education. Austria leads in the family life index, although Sweden beats it when it comes to cost of childcare and education.Finland was rated the overall best in education out of the 41 countries. A total of 92% of expat parents gave it a positive rating. Finland also made it to third place for the availability of childcare and education, as well as the related costs. In total, 66% of parents were generally satisfied with the availability of childcare, while 72% gave the availability of education a positive rating.In the ‘Ease of Settling In’ category, Mexico was named the best country in which to feel at home. In this index, South Africa ranked 20th for expats to adjust to local languages.This article was originally posted on Internations and later on Yahoo.last_img read more

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Ag weighs in on TPP

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After many months of negotiations an agreement has been reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Here is what agriculture had to say about the historic 12-country trade deal.Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the significance of the trade deal for U.S agriculture.“An agreement on the TPP negotiations provides a more level playing field in trade for American farmers. The agreement would eliminate or significantly reduce tariffs on our products and deter non-science based sanitary and phytosanitary barriers that have put American agriculture at a disadvantage in TPP countries in the past. Despite these past barriers, countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently account for up to 42% of all U.S. agricultural exports, totaling $63 billion. Thanks to this agreement and its removal of unfair trade barriers, American agricultural exports to the region will expand even further, particularly exports of meat, poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, oilseeds, cotton and processed products,” Vilsack said. “Increased demand for American agricultural products and expanded agricultural exports as a result of this agreement will support stronger commodity prices and increase farm income. Increased exports under TPP will create more good paying export-related jobs, further strengthening the rural economy. Today, agricultural trade supports more than 1 million jobs here at home and contributes a trade surplus year after year to our nation’s economy. All of this activity benefits rural communities and keeps American agriculture on the cutting edge of global commerce. The TPP agreement will contribute to the future strength of American agriculture.”The agreement concludes a long and challenging negotiation process.“The TPP agreement would not be possible without the extraordinary efforts of the negotiating team at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, assisted by the dedicated staff of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and the Office of the Chief Economist. I’d also like to thank the formal trade advisors and experts from agricultural commodity groups who provided valuable market information and creative proposals to better inform U.S. negotiators. Collectively, their efforts have led to a strong deal for American agriculture,” Vilsack said. “Failing to grasp this opportunity would be a mistake: worse than just losing out on potential gains, our producers would fall behind other countries that are negotiating their own preferential arrangements in TPP countries. We are committed to working with Congress within the framework of the recently-passed Trade Promotion Authority to obtain a strong bipartisan understanding of and support for this historic trade deal that benefits farmers, ranchers, and all those who live, work and raise families in rural communities.”Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes said this final TPP agreement could be “the most important commercial opportunity ever for U.S. pork producers,” estimated that a good outcome for pork in the trade pact could increase U.S. pork exports over time exponentially and help create more than 10,000 U.S. jobs tied to those exports. Last year, the U.S. pork industry shipped about $4.5 billion of products to the 11 TPP nations.Beef exports currently add over $350 to each head of cattle sold in the U.S. With the completion of the TPP, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association looks forward to increased demand and growth for beef exports across the Pacific Rim.Corn and soybean growers also supported the agreement.“Over half of the soybeans produced by American farmers are exported overseas, and export markets are extremely important to our domestic livestock customers as well. This trade agreement has the potential to increase agricultural exports to new markets and to allow U.S. farmers to better compete in existing markets. From the outset of these negotiations, ASA has been supportive of a TPP that expands the access of American soybean farmers to our customers overseas,” said Wade Cowan, American Soybean Association president. “From the statements made by our negotiators, it appears that the agreement will eliminate tariffs and other market access barriers in most markets, and substantially increase access in remaining markets. We are optimistic that soybeans, soybean products, and the livestock products produced by our customers all will fare well in the TPP agreement when specific details are revealed. ASA plans to carefully read the terms of the agreement to ensure that soybean farmers as well as livestock producers, which represent a substantial market for soy products, are getting a fair deal before rendering a final judgment on the TPP agreement; everything that we’ve seen and heard thus far makes us feel very positive.”The American Farm Bureau Federation is strongly supporting the TPP, while the National Farmers Union expressed some concerns.“Just as we feared, the TPP is moving forward without any meaningful language addressing one of the chief tools used by our trade competitors to ensure the playing field is never fair: currency manipulation,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union president. “Because of this, NFU will continue to vigorously oppose this agreement and urge Congress to reject this deal as well. Gains that may have been made in the agreement to ensure fairness and equity in trade for America’s family farmers and ranchers are likely to be lost due to currency manipulation.“Any deal that lacks tough language against currency manipulation is not worth the paper it’s written on.”last_img read more

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No need to switch hybrid maturities yet

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In many areas of the Eastern Corn belt planting has been delayed due to wet spring weather. While some growers have been fortunate enough to plant most of their corn, others have not been able to get started or are considering the need to replant. With the continued planting delays some growers may begin to wonder if they should switch to earlier maturing hybrids.When considering late-planted corn, it is important to keep in mind that hybrids can adjust the amount of Growing Degree Days required to reach maturity. In this C.O.R.N Newsletter Article, Ohio State’s Peter Thomison states: “In Ohio and Indiana, we’ve observed decreases in required heat units from planting to kernel black layer which average about 6.8 growing degree days (GDDs) per day of delayed planting. Therefore a hybrid rated at 2800 GDDs with normal planting dates (i.e. late April or early May) may require slightly less than 2600 GDDs when planted in late May or early June, i.e. a 30 day delay in planting may result in a hybrid maturing in 204 fewer GDDs (30 days multiplied by 6.8 GDDs per day).” Because hybrids can adjust their required GDDs, late-planted hybrids can still reach physiological maturity before first killing frost in the fall.In his article, “Update: ‘Safe’ Hybrid Maturities for Delayed Corn Planting in Indiana”, Bob Nielsen includes two useful charts that list “safe” maturities for late planting dates. Based on the data in the charts, Purdue experts do not recommend switching to earlier maturing hybrids until the second week of June.It looks like the weather will allow for more corn planting progress this week, however, if delays continue it is important to keep in mind that growers can plant typical hybrid maturities adapted to their areas late into May and even early June.last_img read more

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The Race To Replace Google Reader

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… For anyone wondering what the fuss is about, newsreaders are software applications or online services that monitor syndicated feeds—typically using formats such as RSS, or Rich Site Summary, or Atom—from subscribed websites. Subscribe to a site’s news feed, and any time the site publishes new content, the content pops up in the newsreader, all nice and aggregated in one place.There are a variety of newsreader services out there, some meant to be installed as software on your computer or smartphone, and others based online. Over the years, the marketplace started to lean heavily on Google’s Reader offering, which was widely regarded as not only being the best tool to use, but also had a growing community of users that would become as tight-knit and passionate about sharing content and information as Google ever hoped its Google+ network could be.So popular was Google Reader, software was built that used Google’s service as a source. NextGen Reader for Windows, Press for Android and Reeder for OS X and iOS. With the closure of Google Reader, those apps’ users will need to look for a new home, along with anyone else tied directly or indirectly into Google Reader.The Call Of The RaceHere is where the race stands as of today:Digg, the venerable link sharing and news aggregation site, is in beta mode for a new Digg Reader they’ve had in development since Google announced the shutdown of Reader in March. Their countdown clock is showing the days until July 1, but the beta for their new tool is already out, and various media sources are indicating that the full version will be ready to go sometime this week. AOL – yes, that AOL – has launched its own Reader service today, complete with importation of feeds and an application programming interface so other developers might tie their apps into AOL’s feeds, just as apps were doing with Google Reader. The service, like that of Digg’s, is in beta now. Notably, the AOL Reader’s API is free of charge to use now, but the implication is that this will change. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#AOL#Digg#Facebook#Feedly#Google Reader#news readers#RSS#RSS Readers Feedly, a pre-existing service that seems to the heir apparent to Google Reader, is quickly updating its service on both the web and mobile interfaces. Since Feedly was already a player in this space, they have a head start on catching many migrating Google Reader users. Last week, they launched a new Web interface that promises a more Reader-like experience.There are likely to be more RSS-oriented services to come in the days ahead. App.net developer Alex Kessenger has been noodling around the topic of a newsreader of late, so it would not be a surprise to see some effort from that quarter.Is Anyone Watching The Finish?Aggregated content was once the sole domain of newsreaders that relied on RSS and Atom feeds from Web sites. But now there are broader aggregation tools that use not just RSS newsreader feeds but also aggregated content from social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Flipboard is a flagship example of this kind of aggregator, which represents a threat to “plain” RSS newsreader technology.Facebook is jumping into this expanded aggregation service, the Wall Street Journal is reporting today: “The social network has been quietly working on a service, internally called Reader, that displays content from Facebook users and publishers in a new visual format tailored for mobile devices, people with knowledge of the matter said.”Such applications will challenge the traditional RSS readers, especially where users are more mobile-oriented. That will make a difference in this race to capture Google Reader users, because if such meta-aggregation services are draining the RSS aggregation world of users, then this may be a race where no one will be watching to see who won. Related Posts brian proffitt Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Nature abhors a vacuum, a truism that seems very evident in the current race in the marketplace to replace Google Reader when the doomed service closes down for good on July 1.For a service that Google felt was too much of a bother to keep running for its users, building the next great RSS newsreader tool seem to be the summer’s big event in the technology world. The “race” metaphor seem particularly apt, with competitors employing terms like countdown clocks and finish line – all tied around that fateful July 1 date.As June draws to a close, the contenders in the race are popping up fast and furious, each trying to grab eyeball share from the vast diaspora of Google Reader users that are currently looking for a new home to gather information via automated news feeds created by publishers. Here’s the state of the race thus far.In The Homestretch A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

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Keys to Victory: Ginebra-Meralco Finals series

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games For the second year, Ginebra and Meralco meet anew in what promises to be a slam-bang clash for the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup championship.Last time these two met, fans were treated to six tightly-contested affairs–which were settled by five points or less and which ended in an Justin Brownlee’s buzzer-beater three that gave Ginebra the crown.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutA year after, the Bolts and the Kings— with same faces and new additions in their line ups—are ready for war again and it would be interesting to see how different things turn out this time.Here are INQUIRER’s keys to victory for this best-of-seven series. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Now the biggest challenge for the Bolts is consistency in making their shots.All the small thingsWhat makes Ginebra’s league second-best offense work is its efficiency on the floor with its 46.10-percent shooting.Going 50.25-percent from two and 34.87-percent from three, the Gin Kings have been making the most of their shots.But with a series likely to decided on a couple of points, every basket matters, and that’s Ginebra’s achilles heel. The Gin Kings are the league’s worst free throw shooting team, going 64.29-percent from the charity stripe despite hoisting a league-high 434 free throw attempts.Meralco, on the other hand, have been diligent in capitalizing on those free points, going 73.02-percent from the 15-foot line to pair with its 44.68-percent field goal shooting.While a freethrow may just be a point, in a series expected to be down the wire at all times, these small things matter the most for each team.The sixth manIt’s been well-documented how the raucous crowd influence Ginebra games in the past.The Gin Kings have admitted how the audience have helped them get out of danger, while players from the other side also bared being a bit rattled by the rowdy crowd. It’s going to be a battle of adjustments and creativity with both coaches known to stick to a system. With both sides evenly matched, Cone and Black would have to figure out a way to gain the slightest advantage in what promises to be a series to go the distance.Great wall of GinebraAs if Ginebra’s small-ball tactic last season wasn’t dangerous enough, Cone unearthed a scheme opposite of that with the return of Greg Slaughter.With the Cebuano giant back in the fray, the Gin Kings have toyed with their roster and at times, unleashed a killer frontcourt five with a guard joining Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Justin Brownlee, and Joe Devance on the hard court.It shouldn’t come as a surprise, too, that Ginebra is second in the league in rebounds with 55.19 boards per game and first in blocks with 7.75 rejections per outing.Expect the Gin Kings to make the most of their strength and pound the ball down low.Bombs away BoltsHow do you counter that size advantage? Meralco’s way is drawing those bigs to the outside.The Bolts have capitalized on the power of the three-ball, topping the league with their 37-percent clip, much to Black’s delight.Baser Amer, Jared Dillinger, and Reynel Hugnatan have been fearless in hoisting those long balls, but Meralco’s arsenal just got deeper with the additions of Ranidel de Ocampo, Garvo Lanete, and Mike Tolomia, all of whom are ready to light it up once their hands wax hot. View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  MOST READ Pasaol reminds Pumaren of ‘joyous’ PBA great Meneses Can we call it a rivalry now?ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary And with Game 1 set at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena, as well as Games 5, 6, and 7, if necessary, scheduled at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, expect the troves of ka-barangays to come out and support their team.However, Meralco import Allen Durham shared that after his team’s runner-up finish last year, the Bolts are more than ready to tune that noise out.“The crowd is not going to be a factor,” he confidently said. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Coaching chess matchIt’s easy to assume that series going down as offense-versus-defense, given the Gin Kings’ high-octane style against the Bolts’ grindhouse system.After all, Ginebra’s been averaging 103.7 points per game versus Meralco’s 98.19, but the Bolts are only allowing opponents to 89.8 markers per outing against the Gin Kings’ 98.8.But looking past that gives us a meeting of the minds as two of the most decorated and highly respected mentors in the league today engage in a coaching chess match.Tim Cone, seeking for ring no. 20, and Norman Black, who’s in search for his ninth title, square off anew for only the second time in the championship stage, with the first, of course, being last year’s duel.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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