Alibaba’s Jack Ma sells $9.6 billion worth shares, stake dips to 4.8%: filing

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first_imgAlibaba Group Holding Ltd co-founder Jack Ma has cut his stake in the company over the past year to 4.8 percent from 6.4 percent, cashing out around US$9.6 billion at its current share price, the firm’s annual filing released on Friday showed.The divestment comes as Ma retired as the Chinese e-commerce company’s executive chairman in September and pulled back from formal business roles to focus on philanthropy.Alibaba did not disclose the average selling price of his divestment. Its share price has risen around 40 percent since Ma reported his 6.4 percent holding in the company a year ago. The stock’s stellar performance has been helped by forecast-beating earnings growth, even as China’s economy sharply slows, as more people shop online for essentials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company over the same period, from 2.3 percent to 1.6% percent. The offloaded shares were worth $4.1 billion as of Friday.Both Ma and Tsai have been steadily less involved in Alibaba’s regular operations since Daniel Zhang was announced as Ma’s successor as company chairman. He assumed that role formally in September 2019.Throughout this year, the two have donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) via their individual charity arms to hospitals worldwide to help fight the spread of COVID-19.An April 2019 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission stated that Ma would plan to sell up to 21 million shares within one year to support his philanthropic efforts.Topics :last_img read more

Wolf Administration Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensary and Grower/Processor to Operate

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first_imgWolf Administration Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensary and Grower/Processor to Operate January 19, 2018 Human Services,  Medical Marijuana,  Press Release,  Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Department of Health approved a Butler County medical marijuana dispensary and a Lawrence County grower/processor to begin operations.Cresco Yeltrah’s Butler County Dispensary, in Butler, and Holistic Farms, LLC, in Lawrence County have passed all Department of Health inspections and can begin operations. Once medical marijuana is available, Cresco Yeltrah will be able to sell the medication to patients at the Butler County location.“We are making great strides in getting medical marijuana to patients who desperately need it,” Governor Wolf said. “The Medical Marijuana Program continues to move ahead as growers are coming closer to having medication ready for dispensaries to sell to patients. Each day brings us one step closer to providing this essential medication to patients.”More than 13,000 patients have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, with 2,158 certified by a physician.“Our team is diligently working to inspect grower/processors and dispensaries,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Each of these inspections ensures that all standards set out by the regulations and their facilities are met, and the sites are safe and secure. The program continues to work to provide operational locations to help get medical marijuana to patients.”In order to become operational, the grower/processors and dispensaries have each underwent several inspections from the Department of Health. Each of the grower/processors are fully integrated with the seed-to-sale tracking system and are now able to begin accepting seeds and clones to grow medical marijuana.In addition, Holistic Farms, LLC , the department previously approved:Cresco Yeltrah, Jefferson County;Franklin Labs, Berks County;GTI Pennsylvania, Montour County;Holistic Farms, LLC, Lawrence County;Ilera Healthcare, Fulton County;Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, Lackawanna County;Prime Wellness, LLC, Berks County;PurePenn LLC, Allegheny County;Standard Farms, Luzerne County; andTerrapin Investment Fund 1, Clinton County.The Department has also certified three laboratories, the latest being Steep Hill Pennsylvania, located in Harrisburg, Dauphin County. The laboratories test medication before it is sold to dispensaries and dispensed to patients.Physicians continue to register to participate in the program. To date, 641 have registered and of those, nearly 270 have competed the training to become certified practitioners.The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved more than 340 applications;Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians, patients and laboratories, all which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;Approved five training providers for physician continuing-education;Approved three laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;Launched registries for patients and caregivers, as well as physicians;Registered more than 13,000 patients for the program;Approved two dispensaries and 10 grower/processers to begin operations; andContinued to work with permittees to ensure they will be operational.The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented in 2018. The program will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov. Information is also available at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov .For more information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Wellcome, Goldman Sachs join forces on student housing venture

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first_imgiQ and Prodigy Living will continue to operate under their respective brands, and the company will be based in London.Wellcome’s investment portfolio was worth £18.3bn (€24bn) at end-September 2015, according to its year-end accounts.Property and property-backed assets have now reached £2.6bn, a record 12.9% of the portfolio.Half of this is in residential property, which returned 11.1% over the 12 months to end-September 2015.Peter Pereira Gray, managing director of the investment division at Wellcome Trust, said: “The Wellcome Trust is a long-term investor in the UK student accommodation sector. We are delighted to partner with Goldman Sachs and Greystar to form Vero Group, which will build on the success of the iQ and Prodigy Living businesses.”He added: “We now have the scale and resources required to meet the highest expectations of student and university customers alike through our ongoing investment in the existing portfolio, by attracting, retaining and motivating the highest-calibre employees, and by pursing further growth opportunities. We look forward to making Vero Group a leading operator in the sector.” The Wellcome Trust – the UK’s biggest charity – has formed a new UK student housing company with Goldman Sachs and Greystar, the US-based property management firm.The joint venture, Vero Group, sees Wellcome’s existing student accommodation arm iQ merged with Prodigy Living, owned by Goldman Sachs and Greystar. The new company aims to provide high-quality, value-for-money accommodation to residents and university partners through its portfolio of 23,500 beds across 54 sites in the UK.It plans to expand and modernise its portfolio, while delivering robust financial performance.last_img read more

Stakeholders give full support to CARICOM crime plan

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first_img Tweet NewsRegional Stakeholders give full support to CARICOM crime plan by: – October 7, 2011 Share Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! 20 Views   no discussions Image via: flags.netGEORGETOWN, Guyana — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other key stakeholders have endorsed the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Social Development and Crime Prevention Action Plan as one which has the capacity — when implemented — to bring social stability to the Caribbean region. At a sub-regional meeting of regional and international stakeholders, who are in Guyana to develop an implementation model for the first phase of the plan, Chisa Mikami, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Guyana, noted that her organization was fully committed to supporting the pilot project on youth gangs and gang violence. The CARICOM Social Development and Crime Prevention Action Plan was developed jointly with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to “prevent and reduce levels of violence and crime in member states, through a cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach…” The plan is grounded on five pillars – reduce violence; foster social inclusion; promote integration; empower victims; and protect the environment and economic resources – which are linked to the regional development agenda. The first component which focuses on youth gangs and gang violence is being fine-tuned to be piloted among four CARICOM member states – Belize, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. This project aims to strengthen the capacity of youth and community members to design and implement programmes to address gang formation, gang violence among and against youths. It will also serve to increase knowledge and strengthen the capabilities of at risk youth to deal with social challenges and to navigate successfully, the transition to adulthood. In addition, the project aims to increase livelihood opportunities and employability for economically and socially marginalized youth. The UNDP has thrown its full weight of support behind this project and has articulated three reasons for doing so. Mikami explained that UNDP’s interest in the project was prompted by the fact that it had adopted a regional approach to crime prevention. This approach, she noted, was not only signaling the Community’s recognition that several problems cut across national boundaries but that a regional approach would improve learning and sharing. She explained that the project had their full backing because it also focused on young people who were critical in ensuring a sustainable skilled workforce for development goals. That the plan had a direct link with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was also a positive for UNDP. Mikami stated that the project fitted into the overall programme focus of the regional programme for Latin America and the Caribbean and that it also responded to the region’s development challenges in the key areas of poverty inequality, democratic governance, environment and sustainable development. The government of Canada, represented by David Devine, High Commissioner to Guyana and Ambassador to CARICOM, also endorsed the action plan, which he stated could contribute significantly to reducing the overall crime in the “countries of the region.” He expressed hope that the meeting’s impact would be felt throughout the region and reiterated his government’s commitment to working with the region in eradicating societal ills. The government of Guyana through the ministries of Youth Culture and Sport and Home Affairs also added their blessings to the action plan. Carl Brandon, director of youth in the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport affirmed his ministry’s commitment to putting the necessary measures in place to address the issue of youth gangs and gang violence. He averred that it was important to ensure a creation of a democratic, stable and peaceful environment a Community “in which the human rights of our youth are fully realized and in which they can accept full responsibilities, thus contributing not only to their own development but the development of the Community which should spin off to the international level.” His sentiments were also supported by Floyd McDonald who represented Guyana’s Ministry of Home Affairs. The meeting, which opened on Tuesday, will continue over the ensuing three days with presentations, discussions and sharing of best practices geared toward developing tools and protocols to implement the youth gangs and gang violence component of the social development and crime prevention action plan at the community level.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Hull snap up Figueroa

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first_img The 30-year-old is a familiar face to Tigers boss Steve Bruce, who also signed him when he was in charge of the Latics in 2008. Figueroa has agreed a two-year deal with Hull, who won promotion to the Barclays Premier League by finishing second in the npower Championship last season. Hull have signed former Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa on a free transfer. Press Associationcenter_img Talks between Figueroa and the club have been ongoing since the Honduras international’s contract with relegated Wigan expired. He is Hull’s second signing of the summer following George Boyd, whose loan move from Peterborough was made permanent last month. Figueroa is delighted to be reunited with Bruce, the man who brought him to English football. “When the team were playing the final few games in the Championship, I paid close attention to the results because I wanted Steve Bruce to achieve promotion,” he said. “I was happy for him to earn the success. He is a great manager and I’m looking forward to working with him again. “I’m happy to be here and to be a part of the club. It is a big challenge for me, but it’s certainly one I’m looking forward to.” Figueroa admits he had considered the possibility of a move to the KC Stadium as soon as they sealed their place in the top flight on the final day of the season, a 2-2 draw against league winners Cardiff. He added: “I watched the Cardiff game and after the final whistle I turned to my wife and said ‘Hull could be an option for me next year’.” last_img read more

Keane enjoying O’Neill partnership

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first_imgRoy Keane is relishing the opportunity to bring his winning mentality to Ireland’s bid to qualify for Euro 2016. The 42-year-old former skipper admits he has enjoyed the four months that have passed since he accepted new manager Martin O’Neill’s invitation to become his assistant. However, having attended last week’s draw for the new qualifying campaign in Nice, which saw Ireland pitched into battle with Germany, Poland, Scotland, Georgia and Gibraltar, along with O’Neill, Keane is desperate for the pleasantries to end. “But I always said to the players and every time I have been involved with Ireland, you have got to believe you can go and win every football match, and hopefully that’s what we can bring to the group. “It’s a very tough group, but one we’re looking forward to. Everybody keeps saying that we’re going to be up against some good teams, but we’re a good team so, no, roll on September, we’ll be ready.” O’Neill, Keane and the bulk of their squad met up in Portmarnock on Sunday to begin preparations for Wednesday night’s friendly against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium. Sunderland skipper John O’Shea, who suffered Capital One Cup final heartache at Wembley, and Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney were both due to join up later on Monday, while QPR keeper Brian Murphy has been drafted in as cover for injured Newcastle counterpart Rob Elliot. Those members of the party who had already arrived trained at Malahide on Monday morning, among them Hull midfielder David Meyler following his brush with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew on Saturday. However, Keane refused to be drawn into the row when asked about Pardew’s behaviour. He said: “I have no comment on it, I have no real interest. It’s none of my business.” Asked further about how Meyler was, Keane added: “He’s fine. You have seen him training, he’s having a good season for Hull and it’s good to have him involved. “Obviously I know him from my days at Sunderland, I took him over from Cork City. Meyler’s a good lad and it’s nice to have him back involved in the squad. “There’s an opportunity there for him, and what’s good for Meyler is he is back in the Hull team, he’s playing regularly and that will always give you a chance at international level.” Keane himself, of course, has been no stranger to controversy over the years, but he was unmoved by a weekend newspaper interview with formerIreland boss Mick McCarthy which revisited the fall-out from the pair’s clash in Saipan in 2002. Asked if he had rolled his eyes when he saw the report, Keane replied with a smile: “Well, I roll my eyes most mornings. It doesn’t surprise me. I have no problem.” The pair led their side to a 3-0 home victory over Latvia and a goalless draw in Poland in November, but are now looking toward the games which really matter. Keane said: “I am enjoying working with Martin and (goalkeeping coach) Seamus McDonagh and all the rest of the staff and the players. “But we know, obviously, the bigger tests are to come. If we couldn’t have enjoyed the last few months, there’s something wrong. “We understand it will get serious in the next few months, and even with these friendlies – people have been very polite and give us good backing, but we are here to get results. “We are under no illusions about that, Martin and myself. We have been in the game long enough. “It’s well and good getting pats on the back, but we are here to win football matches, and that will be tough. But we are ready for it.” The draw process and the Group D fixture list which has now been drawn up have served to focus attention, and Keane admits he cannot wait for September and the opening game in Georgia to come around. He said: “I enjoyed the trip with Martin last week and I am looking forward to the games, very tough games for different reasons. Press Associationlast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

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first_imgSmart gained national attention by rebuilding VCU’s program, going 163-63 over six years and reaching the NCAA Tournament during his last five seasons at the school. The Rams went to the Final Four in 2011 and never won fewer than 26 games under Smart before he left for Texas in 2015.But the Longhorns have been a heavier lift, reaching the NCAA Tournament twice in four tries. Texas went 19-12 this past season without any seniors in the lineup. But the team is just 40-50 in the Big 12 under Smart, who is 90-78 overall with the Longhorns.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-ST. JOHN’S-FIGUEROARed Storm player leaving earlyNEW YORK (AP) — St. John’s wing LJ Figueroa has declared for the NBA draft. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS4th NHL player tests positiveUNDATED (AP) — The number of NHL players who have contracted the coronavirus continues to grow. Vikings re-sign veteran guard Dakota DozierUNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed veteran guard Dakota Dozier.The Furman product played in 16 games last season with a career-high four starts. He originally joined Minnesota as a free agent last April.Dozier was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He has appeared in 54 career games with 11 starts.In other NFL news: Associated Press — USA Curling says additional participants at a tournament this month in Laurel, Maryland, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The United States Curling Association Club National Championships were held March 7-14 at Potomac Curling Club. Fox 5 DC reported that at least 20 people who participated in the event are sick. USA Curling also canceled the 2020 Arena National Championships scheduled for April 27 to May 2 in Gillette, Wyoming. The event will be held there in 2022 instead.— Athletes and musicians took part in an online global music festival organized by the Spanish soccer league that raised about $690,000 for the fight against the coronavirus. Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and tennis star Rafael Nadal were among those who participated in Saturday’s charity event organized to raise funds for the purchase of medical supplies and to support fans confined to their homes.— Spain’s Barcelona soccer team has delivered 30,000 masks to the Catalonia government to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The club says the masks were made in China and donated by insurance company Taiping, a regional partner of the club. Barcelona said the “daily use” masks will be distributed to nursing homes.— Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend have resumed their efforts to raise money for those affected by the new coronavirus. The two had set up a GoFundMe page earlier this week until told by Clemson the site violated NCAA rules against using an athlete’s name, image and likeness for crowd funding. But the NCAA later said Lawrence and other athletes could use such sites to raise money in this case.  NFL-NEWS A second Colorado Avalanche player has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says it was informed Friday night, and the unidentified player is in self-isolation.A statement from the Avalanche on Saturday says those who came in close contact with the player have been informed and remain isolated. The team says no other Avalanche player or staff member has shown symptoms at this time.There are now four NHL players known to have tested positive — two with Colorado and two with Ottawa.In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:— The executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Knicks announced James Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night, saying he has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis. Dolan is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus. March 28, 2020center_img Update on the latest sports — A deal worked out between Major League Baseball and the players doesn’t include details of what a reconfigured schedule would look like. The agreement calls for play to resume “as soon as is practicable” with a goal of completing “the fullest 2020 championship season and postseason that is economically feasible.” It also says there must be no legal restrictions on mass gathering and travel. The two sides agreed to consider playing past the usual end of the postseason in late October, even if it involves using neutral sites and domes. Details were divulged to The Associated Press by people familiar with the agreement.— The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership dues, while others are reeling from event cancellations totaling more than 8,000 across all sports. A database analyzed by The Associated Press shows combined projected losses of more than $121 million in revenue between February and June for 43 of the 50 national governing bodies that responded to a survey from the NGB Council in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.— Naomi Osaka says she is disappointed that the Olympics in her native Japan were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she supports the decision to delay the Summer Games to 2021. In a posting today on social media, the two-time Grand Slam champion wrote: “Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.” She also addressed “the people of Japan,” saying, “stay strong, hang in there and let’s show the world our beautiful country when the time is right.”— Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.— A Canadian hockey goalie equipment manufacturer has begun producing medical supplies for hospitals in and around southwestern Ontario. Brian’s Custom Sports in Kingsville initially was approached by public health officials about its surplus of double-sided tape and foam. But when the Ontario government closed nonessential businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the company was asked to change its production. — The Giants have reached a one-year contract agreement with tight end Eric Tomlinson, who split last season with New York, New England and Oakland. Raiders. He appeared in eight games and had one catch. The Giants won’t confirm the deal until Tomlinson passes his physical.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TEXAS-SMART STAYSUT athletic director: Shaka Smart to remain for next seasonAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Head coach Shaka Smart is getting another season to elevate the Texas men’s basketball program.Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte has confirmed that Smart will be back for a sixth season with the team, telling the Austin American-Statesman, “Shaka’s our coach.” School officials say he hasn’t hired an agent and still has the option to return to school. Figueroa can return to school for his final season of eligibility if he withdraws from the draft pool by June 3.Figueroa started 32 games in each of his two seasons with the Red Storm, averaging 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.HORSE RACING-FLORIDA DERBYTiz the Law wins Derby prepMIAMI (AP) — Tiz the Law ran away in the stretch to easily win the Florida Derby. Tiz the Law wrapped up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. The win at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September.Shivaree was second after going off at 80-1. Shivaree picked up 50 points to likely clinch a spot in the Derby field.Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien was third in a most unusual race at Gulfstream, where fans were banned, and even owners were told to stay away from the track because of the coronavirus pandemic.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Baijnauth Sawmills /UCCA to host T20 competition

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first_imgPRESIDENT of the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association (UCCA) and former Berbice cricketer, Mr. Hamant Jagdeo, has announced that Mr. Roy Baijnauth of Baijnauth Sawmills, and former President of the Berbice Cricket Board will be sponsoring a 20/20 competition for clubs in the Upper Corentyne area commencing January 7th, 2018.The Competition will be played on a knock-out basis and will include all member clubs of the UCCA. Mr. Jagdeo, in an invited comment, declared that he intends to take the association forward in an effort to bring the level of cricket in the area to the glorious state it used to be in the past. “I intend to deliver on all my promises to the members. Cricket will be played at all levels and will include all clubs who come under the UCCA.” He thanked Mr. Baijnauth for his support of the association, and for his sponsorship of the competition. This, he said, will definitely boost the morale of players in the area, and encourage them to forge ahead with their cricketing careers. He is appealing to members of the business community, and to the general public to support the UCCA, and help to mould the young and aspiring cricketers in their game.Secretary of the Upper Corentyne Association, Mr. Vadanand Sugrim, is appealing to all clubs to get themselves in order for the competition. A committee is being set up to manage the Competition, and clubs will be informed shortly of the details. Mr. Sugrim is asking all clubs to prepare their list of 14 players who will represent them in the upcoming competition. He further stated that plans are in place for an Under-17 competition in January 2018, which will seek to shortlist players for trials in the Berbice Under-17 team.Prizes for the competition include: cash & trophies for winner and runner-up team, man-of-the-match in the finals trophy, Most Valuable Player of the Competition trophy, best bowler and best batsman.last_img read more

WSOC : Former SU field hockey player Williams reunites with old teammate after switching sports

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first_img Published on October 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm Rosina Callisto thought her days of playing side by side with Ellen Williams on the soccer pitch were finished when the two were in 10th grade.Callisto, who went to Rye Neck (N.Y.) High School, decided to stick with soccer back in high school, while Williams, her club teammate at the time, made the move to focus solely on field hockey at Mamaroneck (N.Y.) High School.Callisto ended up going to Syracuse to play for the women’s soccer team. Coincidentally, Williams came to SU to play field hockey. But during the summer and following some persuasion from Callisto, Williams decided to switch from Division-I field hockey to Division-I soccer.‘There were a few girls on our club team who had left to go play field hockey, and I knew she was really enjoying it, and I knew she was a really good field hockey player, so I didn’t think anything of it until this summer really,’ Callisto said.And although Williams has yet to see action in a game, the junior midfielder has continued to show growth after making the transition. She’s especially enjoyed playing alongside her old teammate Callisto, a junior midfielder, even if it’s just been on the practice field. Syracuse (6-5-3, 5-3 Big East) plays its final two home matches of the regular season this weekend, squaring off against South Florida on Friday at 7 p.m. and Marquette on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Orange is one win away from clinching a Big East tournament berth.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe first time Callisto and Williams played on the same soccer field was back in middle school — but as rivals. After Callisto’s team thrashed Williams’ team in a few matches, Williams thought it would be better to join the winning side.Fast-forward four years and the two played together again this summer with a club team, the Westchester Flames. Callisto was impressed with what Williams brought to the table.As a result, Callisto badgered her to switch from field hockey to soccer. Although it took some time, Williams decided a move had to be made.‘She just made it seem like a realistic thing for me to do, and she just kept pushing me,’ Williams said. ‘(Callisto said) ‘Hey, have you filled out the registration forms?’ and kept pushing me until I finally just agreed to it. I’m really glad that I did.’Callisto notified SU head coach Phil Wheddon before the season started that Williams could be a solid addition to the Orange. So far, Wheddon has liked what Williams has offered, even if she hasn’t done it in a game.And that doesn’t surprise Callisto’s dad, Michael Callisto. He coached his daughter and Williams almost all their lives, including this summer. Although Williams had to shake some rust at the start of the summer, he was amazed at what the defender was capable of near the tail end of the season.‘Game by game, practice after practice, I mean she had a very good season. Toward the end, she was very strong. In the back, she was very dominant,’ Callisto said. ‘And considering within two months she did very well, especially for someone who didn’t play in a very long time.’In fact, Callisto has no doubt that if Williams stuck with soccer throughout high school, playing for any Division-I soccer program was easily within reach. Callisto said Williams was able to stop other future Division-I players and showed she belonged among the best in her area.He said Williams was a great one-on-one defender who knew how to use her height and athleticism to her ability. That’s also why he said he was upset to see her focus on field hockey back in high school.Now Williams is back where she belongs, but Williams said playing field hockey gave her mental toughness and helped her develop as a person. Williams is still best friends with many players on the team.For now, though, Williams is just focused on getting better. She said the coaching staff has been patient and Wheddon has treated her like any other player.Wheddon said whenever Williams makes it onto the field, just like everyone else, she will have earned it.‘I don’t think you can make a jump to a Big East sport without having competed for a season, so just like everyone else she has to earn the right to travel and get on the field,’ Wheddon said.Although it’s unlikely Williams will earn the right this weekend against either South Florida or Marquette, both she and Callisto can’t wait for when they can take the field together again.It will be like their days on the Larchmont Panthers, coached by Callisto’s dad.‘It’s going to be really fun,’ Williams said. ‘It won’t feel weird, that’s for sure. It’ll feel normal, and I’m really looking forward to it actually.’dgproppe@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

USC hosts US-Australian conference

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first_imgThe Political Student Assembly, in partnership with the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences’ School of International Relations, held a conference Tuesday concerning U.S.-Australian relations and the rise of the Pacific Rim in world politics.The event was sponsored by G’Day USA, an Australian think tank dedicated to promoting U.S.-Australia relations through fundraisers and its website. Allied with the Australian Consolate-General, G’Day USA is sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company, Chevron and the Australian Trade Commission.Consisting of four panels and a lunch, the event attracted notable experts on Pacific Rim policy, such as Isaac Stone Fish, associate editor of Foreign Policy, and Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia. These panelists were chosen by Justin Bogda (Director of PSA), Christina Gray (Assistant Director of Programming for the School of International Relations) and Cate Partain, a senior majoring in international relations and an intern at the Australia Consulate-General.“I reached out to the School of International Relations because they wanted do a partnership with PSA at some point this year,” Bogda said. “We wanted to have a large conference at USC at one point, and from there we worked with the Australia consulate to get different officials and experts on these topics.”Partain expressed optimism in collaborating with the university.“It’s really about giving the best experience to the people who will be in attendance,” Partain said. “At the consulate, we were very excited to work with USC, to make sure that students were aware that this is an opportunity. It’s an amazing networking event for USC students.”These networking opportunities came during the first panel, titled “U.S. and Australian Alliance in the Asia-Pacific.” The panel featured Kim Beazly, Australian ambassador to the United States and Jeff Bleich, former U.S. ambassador to Australia.The second panel, “Growing Regional Trade through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” addressed Trade Promotion Authority and TPP, two trade agreements that could affect U.S.-Australia relations. The authorities on this panel, including former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor, supported the agreements.In the third panel, “China, the U.S., and Australia,” experts discussed the new assertiveness of China within the Pacific and whether or not Australia has to choose between the U.S. and China. From the Australian perspective, presented by Robert Hill, the former Australian Defense Minister, such a decision isn’t even in the minds of Australian officials.“Business Opportunities and Challenges of an Expanding Asian Middle Class,” the final panel, presented economic, health and political issues of the expanding middle class in Asia, with its effects on air quality in the Pacific, tourism and the film industry. Scaffidi discussed how Perth and Western Australia hold economic significance in the region.“We’ve actually trademarked this term, ‘in the zone,’” Scaffidi said. “We recognize that Western Australia is in the same time zone as 61 percent of the world’s population, and we use that as a marketing point. We are a very strong connector for that reason. In regards to the growth of the middle class, it’s a great opportunity to our state.”Gray felt that the event was a huge success, particularly due to USC’s ability to draw major figures such as Scaffidi.“I think G’Day USA in partnering with USC was attracted to the School of International Relations,” Gray said. “You already have a great range of faculty and research and students who are actively involved in public diplomacy, and that focus is on international affairs. It’s a faculty base that opens itself to the idea of opening itself up as a university to other governments.”Bogda, however, sees these events’ success as being in the hands of the students.“[Students] have to attend. They have to tell their professors that they are interested in these kinds of events,” he said. “I’m hoping that in the future we can get more and more students to come out. If you‘re studying economics or international trade this is an opportunity to hear ambassadors speak on real-world things now.”last_img read more