Forget 0.9% from a Cash ISA. I’d pick up 25% risk-free from this ISA! Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Enter Your Email Address Following the Bank of England’s interest rate cuts earlier this year, lenders across the market have rushed to slash the interest rates they offer on their respective Cash ISA products. The best Cash ISA rate on the market at the moment is just 0.9%. That’s down from around 1.4% at the beginning of the year. Savers can earn a bit more interest if they are willing to lock their money up for longer.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…However, the extra interest received doesn’t compensate for the lack of flexibility that comes with a multi-year Cash ISA. For example, the best three-year fixed rate on the market at the moment is just 1.1%. With this being the case, savers may be better off looking elsewhere if they want to earn a suitable return on their hard-earned money.Cash ISA bonus One of the best alternatives on the market is a Lifetime ISA (LISA). These are very similar to a Cash ISA, in so much as any savings inside the wrapper are not taxable, but they also have some key differences.For example, you can only save £4,000 in a LISA compared to £20,000 for a vanilla Cash ISA. What’s more, you can only use LISA funds for a first time home purchase or retirement.The most significant benefit, however, is a 25% government bonus on any contribution. That means if you contribute the full £4,000, the government will add an extra £1,000.You can do whatever you like with this money. Keep it in cash, or invest in the stock market. Even if you keep it in cash, and receive an interest rate of 0.1%, the government bonus effectively means you will earn a 25% return on your money in the first year. That’s how the LISA beats the Cash ISA.Start investingThe fact that savers can do whatever like like with their funds in a LISA is a big bonus. It also means you can invest the funds in the stock market, which may help you increase the size of your financial nest egg at a rate Cash ISA investors can only dream of.For example, over the past three-and-a-half decades, the FTSE 250 has produced an average annual return for investors of 12%. At this rate of return, a lump sum investment of £5,000 a year may grow to be worth nearly £100,000 after a decade. Over this time frame, you would only need to provide £40,000, while the government would provide an extra £10,000. These are the main advantages of using a LISA over a Cash ISA. The government bonus, as well as the tax benefits and flexibility of the product, means that despite the contribution limit, it could be a much better tool for growing wealth over the long term. Buying a portfolio of single stocks may also help you achieve better returns than the wider market. There are plenty of opportunities available in the market at present after the recent stock market crash. 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Image source: Getty Images Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Rupert Hargreaves | Saturday, 4th July, 2020 I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. See all posts by Rupert Hargreaves
By Dialogo December 03, 2010 The Colombian Supreme Court of Justice has chosen Viviane Morales as chief public prosecutor, ending a sixteenth-month vacancy due to a dispute between former president Alvaro Uribe and the judicial branch that delayed court cases and criminal investigations. This is the first time in the history of the South American country that a woman has been chosen as chief public prosecutor. Morales obtained fourteen out of eighteen votes cast by the justices who participated in the election. “After so long a vacancy, with so many tasks to carry out, with so many extremely delicate investigations that the public prosecutor has to deal with, the truth is that it’s a challenge that will mean working intensely, sacrificing my family life and personal life,” the new chief public prosecutor said. Morales promised a frontal assault on corruption and guaranteed independence and transparency at the head of the investigative agency.
It is a tragic matter of record that some of recent history’s most brutal racial genocides were justified on Darwinian principles (see CMI articles about the Herero genocide, the Nazi genocide, and the Aborigine genocide). The perpetrators acted on what they believed were inexorable laws of nature, that evolution had equipped some races as superior and others as inferior, little more than animals. Prior to the atrocities were many writings expressing IQ as a function of skull size, human evolution as a continuum of progress from animal evolution, and survival of the fittest as the highest good (see CMI article on Haeckel). Add to that the Malthusian idea that the earth’s resources cannot support all who are born, apply it as Darwin did to survival of the fittest, and the intellectual framework for “might makes right” was laid. Now, of course, evolutionists typically decry the racist ideas of their predecessors. Some now portray evolution as a world of cooperation and harmony. Diversity and inclusion are key words in evolutionary biology and in many a university and corporate office policy statement. But has anything changed in the underlying doctrines that led to earlier abuses? Consider these recent examples:Skull size: A short piece in the “Random Samples” column of Science,1 “What the Skull Tells,” reported dispassionately on work by an evolutionary psychologist at Edinburgh, Ian Deary, to measure the skulls of historic figures considered to have high IQs. “Studies have shown that brain, and therefore skull, sizes have modest but significant correlations with IQ,” the article mentioned nonchalantly.Rapid human evolution: A claim this week by Henry Harpending, evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Utah, that human evolution is accelerating, reverberated throughout the echo chamber of the popular science press (see PhysOrg, National Geographic News, BBC News complete with the iconic human evolution line of progress diagram, Science Daily accompanied by image of a conquering Viking). One aspect of his claim was that “Human races are evolving away from each other.” The National Geographic article quotes him as saying, “We’re evolving away from each other. We’re getting more and more different.” Most of the articles mentioned that Harpending and a co-author got into trouble after a previous study claimed that intelligence evolved more in one group than another. This time, he stressed, the genetic differences between people groups “cannot be used to justify discrimination. Rights in the Constitution aren’t predicated on utter equality. People have rights and should have opportunities whatever their group.” This may be a hard sell, however, since the Constitution assumed that natural rights come from God. In the Declaration of Independence (signed by the same group of authors) they had said it was self-evident that all men are equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. The signers understood that the equality spoken of was not genetic or physical. Equality was based on the spiritual and moral values of equality before God, leading to equal opportunity and equality before the law. Can these rights come from an evolutionary process that is driving human races apart? It was not just creationists finding cause for worry in Harpending’s claims. The article states that the study “generated fears such research will undermine the principle of human equality and justify racism and discrimination. Other critics question the quality of the science and argue culture plays a bigger role than genetics.” These fears came from the scientific community.Moral equivalence: It is common in evolutionary literature to ascribe all moral qualities to blind evolutionary processes. As one example, an article in Science October 26 considered war as the flipside of altruism.2 Holly Arrow wrote that “altruism flourishes only in the company of outgroup hostility (parochialism), with war as both the engine of this coevolutionary process and its legacy.” Though Ms. Arrow clearly favored keeping the “sharp end of altruism” (war) in its sheath, would-be tyrants may not apply the law of Darwinism so peacefully. Within this view, it would seem trivial for a dictator to justify war – as some indeed did – as an altruistic act for the good of the fatherland, consistent with the principles of Darwinism.How long can the memory of Judeo-Christian morality hold out against a steady onslaught of evolutionary claims that people are mere animals, some more evolved than others? If our ancestors were just like gorillas, as a recent article on PhysOrg announced, what is to stop a racist or tyrant from taking on the role of alpha silverback?Breaking News 12/11/2007: The truth comes out about Matthew Murray, the gunman who shot up a mission and church in Colorado last weekend. Apparently he fell under the spell of the same anti-Christian, anarchist rock group KMFDM as did the Finnish murderer last month (11/08/2007). He also copycatted the Columbine killers who had killed in the name of “natural selection” – see story on World Net Daily.1. Random Samples, Science, Volume 318, Number 5855, Issue of 30 November 2007.2. Holly Arrow, “The Sharp End of Altruism,” Science, 26 October 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5850, pp. 581-582, DOI: 10.1126/science.1150316.We repeat: don’t think for a minute that the evils of Darwinian philosophy were exhausted in the extermination camps, gulags and killing fields of the 20th century. Evolutionary ethics are like demons that must be locked in the abyss lest they once again unleash death upon the world. Their ambassadors know the language of diplomacy and talk peace – until they gain enough power to overcome the guardians of the keys.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The commentary of this entry from 9/30/07, “Evolutionists Say Parasites Made Humans Successful,” included an arresting cop episode with the Baloney Detector dog.Evolutionists Say Parasites Made Humans Successful by David Coppedge, reprinted from 09/30/2007“If cooperation has been the secret to our evolutionary success, we may have our parasites to thank for that.” That’s a pretty big If, but that’s what two evolutionary biologists claimed this month Current Biology.1 The cooperative behaviors naturally selected in evolutionary host-parasite wars, by implication, are what gave human beings the ability to build cities, governments and scientific laboratories – like the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh, where Andy Gardner and Stuart A. West work.Surprisingly, their claim came at the end of an article that discussed primarily the downfall of one of the leading theories for social cooperation: the kin selection theory of W. D. Hamilton. Their first paragraph explained why this theory fails: Cooperation abounds in the natural world, and biologists are faced with the difficulty of reconciling this fact with the principle of the ‘survival of the fittest’. A fundamental step in our understanding of cooperation was provided by W. D. Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness. This reveals that altruistic behaviour, where an individual pays a direct fitness cost in order to enhance the fitness of others, can be favoured by selection if individuals tend to promote the reproductive success of their genetic relatives. This raises the question of how altruists ensure that their selfless behaviour is directed primarily towards their kin. One possibility is genetic kin recognition, where individuals identify close kin on the basis of physical similarity because relatives look more similar than unrelated individuals. Despite the apparent incentive for such kin recognition, however, there is relatively poor empirical support for this mechanism in nature. A new theoretical study of genetic kin recognition by Francois Rousset and Denis Roze reveals that, left to its own evolutionary devices, this mechanism will drive itself to ruin. They proceeded to demonstrate that theoretical and observational evidence for Hamilton’s celebrated theory for the origin of cooperation is rare in nature, if it works at all. There was only one example they could provide: parasitism. But all is not lost for genetic kin recognition. As Crozier suggested, the mechanism could be stabilised by extrinsic processes that maintain marker diversity. Rousset and Roze have confirmed this by incorporating an ad hoc advantage to rare markers into their model and found that, provided this was sufficiently strong relative to the fitness consequences of altruism, genetic kin recognition is maintained and selflessness prevails. This could explain why, when genetic kin recognition does occur, it often involves genes that are implicated in host-parasite interactions, a potent source of strong balancing selection. The paragon of genetic kin recognition is the detection of major histocompatibility (MHC) genes, involved in immune function, upon which rodents and humans appear to decide their social and sexual relationships. And that was the context for their ending sentence quoted earlier: “If cooperation has been the secret to our evolutionary success, we may have our parasites to thank for that.”This statement clearly implies far more than a desire to uncover a mechanism for evolutionary behavior. It is implying that our deepest relationships and longings, even to the point of self-sacrifice for one we love, is rooted in blind, uncaring processes of evolution at the genetic level. Ultimately, it is a claim that selflessness is an illusion, arising from Darwinian selfishness.With the downfall of Hamilton’s popular theory, there may be no current working model for the origin of human love, cooperation and reasoning. Of one thing Gardner and West are sure, however: they came about by Darwinian survival of the fittest.1Andy Gardner and Stuart A. West, “Social Evolution: The Decline and Fall of Genetic Kin Recognition,” Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 18, 18 September 2007, pages R810-R812, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.07.030. Scene: a university science lab. Excuse me, sir. May I help you, officers? We’re looking for a Dr. Darwinlover. That’s me; what is this about? I’m afraid we’ll have to take you into custody. You’re under arrest. Wha…? On what grounds? What’s going on here? According to our warrant, you are being charged with impersonating a scientist, violating established laws, and using academic resources to promote a narrow religious agenda. What are you talking about? Who are you? The CEH Police. I’ve never heard of you. We are a non-governmental agency of trained volunteers authorized by the court to conduct citizen’s arrests. What court? The court of public opinion.You can’t do this to me. I’m a scientist. So you say. We hear that one all the time. Please don’t cause a disturbance, sir. We’re just doing our job. And violating the laws… what laws? The laws of logic, sir. What are you talking about? I told you I’m a scientist. According to the warrant, you claimed, in writing, that human behavior evolved by a material process of evolution, but then reasoned as if this represented a true account of human origins. So? Truth cannot evolve, sir. According to the prosecutor, this represents a contradiction. According to the law of non-contradiction, this is punishable by demotion to the realm of the irrational – in other words, losing your license to practice science.And I’m not promoting any religious agenda! I’m an atheist! According to the federal courts, atheistic humanism is a religion. The prosecutor said you went far beyond the empirical evidence and taught your own personal beliefs using academic resources. But lots of scientists are atheists! What you believe in your private life is protected free speech, sir, but scientists are not supposed to use their academic positions to promote a narrow religious agenda, according to your own writings. This is another one of the counts of violating the laws of logic being charged against you. In fact, the count alleges that you yourself used this very argument to convince the dean to deprive a colleague of tenure because of his private religious beliefs.This is outrageous. Nobody has ever accused me of such things. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, sir. Scientists have a position of high trust in our culture. Presumably, when you took this position, you committed to abide by the laws of logic and should have received the proper instruction in the law. But I’ve written things like that paper all my professional life. And so have all my colleagues! Are you confessing to collusion, sir?For crying out loud, I haven’t done anything that isn’t common practice among all my peers. I realize that, sir. The chief recognizes this is a widespread problem. He has decided it’s time to start cracking down. The only way to make progress is by tackling one case at a time. Why me? He decided to make you an example, so that others would hear, and fear, and commit no more such abomination in the land.What will they do to me? Most likely, you will be given an opportunity to confess your crimes, then cease and desist. For a probationary period, your speaking and writing will be under surveillance. However, if you persist in irrational behavior, repeat offenses will lead to your being stripped of your credibility. Hardened criminals might even be pilloried in public.And if I fail to cooperate? You have the right to remain silent. But remember, anything you speak or write can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. What’s with the dog? That’s our K9 unit; Apollos here is trained to sniff out contraband. [Barking and a brief scuffle ensues.]Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode of: Creation-Evolution Headlines, the top-rated science investigative reporting show, featuring Apollos, the wonder dog. Brought to you by Master Plan, the universal leader in information management design technology, and by Moral Support, a global network of encouragement. (Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Johannesburg, Friday 08 March 2019 – International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This day was identified for well over a century ago, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.This year’s campaign theme #BalanceforBetter, is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. How will you help make a difference? The United Nations Women is an entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women supports #BalanceforBetter. This is done through putting emphasis on achieving a gender-equal world that requires social innovations to work for both women and men, leaving no one behind. It begins with making sure that women’s and girls’ needs and experiences are integrated at the very inception of technology and innovations.Africa has and continues to make strides in achieving gender-equality, with women like, Aja Fatoumata C.M. Jallow-Tambajang a Gambian politician and activist who served as Vice-President of the Gambia and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the Liberian President and the first democratically-elected female President on the African continent. While in South Africa, a country with a widely admired constitution ranks 2nd place out of the G20 members, with at least 42% seats in parliament held by women. Another first for the country is Phetogo Molawa, who became the first woman of colour to take command of the SA Air Force.As the country celebrates International Women’s Day, Brand South would like to remind all South Africans, to play their part towards progressive change, that promotes constitutional awareness of a free and fair society for all. To this end, and in strengthened efforts to elevate women’s voices, the organisation has partnered with W-Suite, a platform for advocacy and action aimed at bringing woman into key leadership and operational roles, particularly in the C-Suite across organisations, markets and governments.Brand South Africa’s Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said; “it is important that we are very much aware of what the Constitution’s promise to women is and live up to it. The W-Suite is a platform that reminds women to have the power to act, and if we know this reality we become aware and believe that we uplift each other”.The W-Suite media launch will be held on 20th March 2019 at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Johannesburg, more details to be shared closed to the time.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to promote pride and patriotism among South Africans, to contribute to nation building and social cohesion.Social Media:Facebook: @OfficialBrandSouthAfricaTwitter: @Brand_SAInstagram: @BrandSouthAfricaAbout W-SuiteW-Suite a platform for advocacy and action towards bringing more women in key leadership and operational roles particularly in the C-Suite across organisations, markets and governments. W-Suite provides a platform whereby all relevant stakeholders can engage on how we can collectively increase women’s influence on the Africa Union’s development programme (NEPAD) and towards the attainment of Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want.Social Media detailsFacebook: W-Suite ZATwitter: @ZaSuiteInstagram: @wsuitezaHashtag: #WSuiteSummit2019
Brand South Africa is proud to have collaborated with RapidLion – The South African International Film Festival – for the third consecutive year, hosting a panel discussion under the theme, “taking local cinema to South Africa’s masses”. The creative industry in South Africa evolves in leaps and bounds at an ever-increasing pace, and for this reason it is necessary to take stock of the strides taken and to identify tangible and sustainable opportunities for mass audience to have access to South African films and local cinemas.Brand South Africa’s participation at the RapidLion Film Festival extends from the 2018 Nation Brand Forum, where the role of film and the creative industries in shaping the Nation Brand was a vibrant topic on the agenda.The session sought to delve deep into the state and accessibility of South African cinema and exposure to local content by the masses. On the panel was actor and director of LK Theatres, Hlomla Dandala, Kasi Movie Nights’ Producer Thapelo Mokoena and The Peoples Fund founder, Luyanda Jafta, who gave us an extensive framework of just how much the film industry has improved since the traditional bioscope era.Although much growth has been achieved over the years, a great need remains to expose the broader South African audience to local content and films. This would, however, require an appetite for local authentic stories, adequate investment and financing from industry and ease of access for people to enjoy a cinematic experience, particularly, outside of urban areas.Watching a locally-produced film used to have limited audiences, but with product offerings like Kasi Movie Nights and LK Theatres, the script has been flipped. The panellists spoke about the different means in which they’ve packaged their cinema offering, taking cinema to eKasi (townships). These production houses have put research, innovation and fun behind taking the films into the community, aiming to create an experience beyond the classic 22-metre screen, popcorn and Coca Cola-style.“The South African Nation Brand is influenced by creative industries including music, film, visual arts and design (to name a few). This is definitely one-way of utilising a positive brand image of the country that is influenced by its people, telling their own stories through the film industry. The RapidLion Film Festival is a perfect fit in gaining insight from the creative industry on measures to advance South African arts and be recognised as competitive global player,” said Brand South Africa’s Dr Petrus De Kock who moderated the panel discussion.The Film Festival kicked off on Friday 1 March 2019, and is still currently running at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg, until 10 March, ending off with the prestigious Awards ceremony.About RapidLionRapidLion recognises the achievements and excellence of filmmakers who are born in Africa, are members of the African diaspora and are citizens of BRICS countries.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#news#Real World#web The Westboro Baptist Church, home of the best known anti-gay protest organization in the US, led by Pastor Fred Phelps, has a new target for its public outcry. This Thursday afternoon the organization will be picketing outside the San Francisco headquarters of Twitter.NBC Bay Area reporter Jackson West unearthed the schedule for the group’s trip to the Bay Area and writes that after a day of protesting outside Jewish organizations, the congregation will travel to Twitter’s brand new office. The organization says that they aren’t protesting against Twitter, rather encouraging the organization to do its duty in serving God. Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Pastor Phelps, tweets: Don’t be silly! We’re not protesting Twitter as a platform; that’s like picketing television! =) We’re picketing the people who run @Twitter, who don’t use their position & voice to warn a generation of rebels of the consequences of their rebellion. Same goes for those at Foursquare & Gowalla (tho I personally find their products useless — at least relative to Twitter. =)Westboros, we’ve tried to browbeat the people at Twitter HQ into using the service in a different way, and it just doesn’t work. Besides, Facebook is right down the road and 10 times as big. Thankfully social media technologies like Twitter and Facebook are making it easier than ever for marginalized people, like young gay people, to have a public voice. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg often says, accurately if perhaps cynically, more open communication on these kinds of platforms will bring about more understanding between people, more empathy and a more peaceful world. Maybe the Westboro Baptist Church ought to be protesting these platforms themselves after all, then. We’ll limit our comments on this noxious organization to that. Good luck on Thursday, folks at Twitter. I’m sure if you’d like some support, a Tweet-up wouldn’t be hard to [email protected] did not respond by press time to a public reply on Twitter requesting comment on this story. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
A “Freedom from Cancer” project, launched by a cancer speciality hospital here, has helped out adults suffering from blood cancer, enabling them to lead a normal life, with the treatment facilitated by philanthropists, charitable trusts and individual donors. As many as 154 cancer patients have benefited from free chemotherapy and investigation and nursing facilities.Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital took up the project in August 2015 for making an effective intervention in the treatment of cancer patients who were unable to bear the expenses. Patients suffering from Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) blood cancer, which affects bone marrow and blood as a result of chromosomal mutation and abnormality, were selected as the beneficiaries.Hospital’s Director (Clinical Services) S.G. Kabra told The Hindu here on Friday that a total of 212 CML patients were registered for treatment till June 30, and 154 of them, including 82 males and 72 females, were receiving free medicines and being monitored regularly. Fifty-eight of the registered patients were disconnected from the socially supported project for default and other reasons.Dr. Kabra said all the beneficiaries were cancer-free and were leading a normal productive life. The emphasis was on “target therapy” through Imatinib drug, which had turned out to be a very effective medicine internationally, he said and added that the drug had led to complete and long-lasting remission of CML in over 85% of the patients.CML was the first cancer that was linked to chromosomal mutation, described in the medical circles as the Philadelphia chromosome. “If the cancer promoting enzyme could be inhibited, the cancer growth stops. The research led to development of Imatinib in 1990 and its human trial was conducted in 1998, after which the FDA approved it in 2001,” said Dr. Kabra.The medicine acts only on cancer cells, keeping other dividing cells of the body unaffected and leaving virtually no side effects. Taming of one’s deadly CML blood cancer illustrated the struggle and sustained fight against cancer, affirmed Dr. Kabra, who is also a medical science researcher and activist.The project has helped people like Parmeshwari Devi, 50, for whom the costly treatment was unaffordable, and Meera Devi, 48, wife of a vegetable vendor, who has been getting free Imatinib medication. Similarly, Kapil Kumar Vyas, 45, working at a marble shop in Makrana, is free of cancer as a result of the project’s intervention.The “Donate a Life” fund being operated by the hospital for children as a parallel measure has helped treat 85 kids. The fund’s beneficiaries are children below 14 years of age suffering from any of the three types of curable blood cancers – acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, acute promylocytic leukaemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Ex-Inter Milan striker Eto’o: Balotelli gave us only 10% of what he can doby Carlos Volcano24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o says Mario Balotelli could’ve been a worldbeater.Eto’o was still with Inter as Balotelli, now with Brescia, was breaking through as a teenager.He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Mario loves me like a little brother, but he never showed even 10% of his qualities.”The Mario I saw in training when he wanted to, I never saw the same in a game. “Too bad, in some moments he knew how to mark the hearts of those who watched him, but he could have marked them every day for twenty years…” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
At six of the last 10 Grand Slam tournaments, a woman has reached her first major singles final. All six first-time finalists lost the match, four of them in straight sets while winning no more than six games. Five then lost their first match at the next tournament. None has reached another major final since. Four of them failed to reach the quarterfinals at the next major they played. Three have fallen out of the Top 10 in the rankings.Breakthrough performances have been followed by letdowns.The most promising of the six players is Simona Halep. She came the closest to winning her major final debut, taking 15 games off Maria Sharapova at the French Open in June. Halep followed that by reaching the semifinal at Wimbledon the next month. And she enters the U.S. Open — which began this week — ranked No. 2 in the world. Yet she doesn’t look likely to reach the final in Flushing, New York. She won just two matches at warm-up tournaments, and Halep dropped the first set to unranked Danielle Rose Collins (the U.S. college singles champ) before coming back to win her opening match Monday.“Every day we have to work to reach the top and to stay there, because it’s more difficult to stay there than to reach it,” Halep said at a news conference after her win.It’s a bit early to declare the most recent first-time finalist a letdown; Eugenie Bouchard hasn’t gotten a chance to play another major since reaching the Wimbledon final this summer. On Tuesday, she begins her U.S. Open against Olga Govortsova. Early returns for Bouchard aren’t good, though: She’s won just one match in three tournaments since getting routed by Petra Kvitova in the Wimbledon final.Like the current group of young contenders, Kvitova didn’t immediately back up her breakthrough performance. She won Wimbledon in 2011, at age 21, in her first major final. Then she lost three of her next five matches, including her first-round match at the U.S. Open. But she won two tournaments and the Fed Cup later that summer, and Wimbledon this summer. She has been a regular in the Top 10 since reaching her first major final.Victoria Azarenka followed shortly after Kvitova and was more consistently successful. She reached her first major final at the Australian Open in 2012, at age 22, and won it — routing Maria Sharapova, as Kvitova had done the previous summer at Wimbledon. Then Azarenka won the next two tournaments she played and held the No. 1 ranking for much of the next year, including during her successful defense of her Australian Open title the next year.It’s natural that an athlete who is playing her first major final against a player who has been there before would be an underdog. And it’d be unfair to expect the player to repeat her performance at the next major, rather than regressing a bit to the mean. Plus, the women who have broken through recently are young and have time to return to the sport’s most prominent matches.Among the six most recent first-time major finalists, Sara Errani was the oldest at the time of her breakthrough. She had just turned 25 when she reached the 2012 French Open final, relatively young in the aging sport of tennis. Four of the others were younger than 24 when they reached their first Grand Slam final. But only Bouchard was younger at her first breakthrough than Kvitova and Azarenka were.