Luke Wilkshire says his body can handle the harshness of the A-League

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AUGUST 7 2017 – 6:40PM

Dominic Bossi

Luke Wilkshire playing for the Socceroos in 2013.

Luke Wilkshire playing for the Socceroos in 2013. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

The grounds will be harder, the climate much hotter and the air far more humid, but Sydney FC signing Luke Wilkshire has no concerns over his ability to jump from Russia to the A-League at the age of 35.

There could be a difference of 50 degrees Celsius from games he played last season to this season for the veteran Australian international. Throughout his recent past, Wilkshire has battled through the ice and snow of winters with Dynamo Moscow since the Russian Premier League switched from a summer competition in 2012 where average temperatures sit at minus 10 degrees in the winter months.

While the heat of the Australian summer, the hardness of the playing surfaces in the A-League, the extensive travel and the physical nature of the competition poses risks for older players, Wilkshire believes the warmer climate could prolong his career.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing in the heat. In the cold, the air is challenging so I’m looking forward to playing in the warm weather for a change,” Wilkshire said.

His move to Sydney FC will be his first chance to play club football in Australia in his 18 years as a professional. While he’s unaccustomed to the often much harder playing pitches in the A-League, he isn’t concerned with the potential injuries that could arise.

 “No, look there’s different challenges in football all over the world, you adapt to them. I’ve been on the field here and it’s a bit more sticky and different to what I’m used to playing on. But as a professional footballer you have to adapt to different climates, different conditions,” he said.

Wilkshire will fill the void at right back left by a long-term knee injury to Rhyan Grant. He joined his new club last week and completed his first full training on Monday after undergoing a conditioning session.

The 80-time Socceroo and veteran of two World Cup campaigns says he will be back to full fitness in a matter of weeks and could be available for selection as early as the FFA Cup Round of 16 in two or three weeks.

“I’ll talk to Arnie [coach Graham Arnold] but I’ve had a couple of good sessions already. We’ll build it up slowly, there’s plenty of time to get 100 per cent. Touch wood, fitness has never been a problem for me. I’m clearly not at my peak at the moment but I got through OK,” he said.

Wilkshire had more lucrative offers from Russian second-tier teams but opted to return home to be in an environment that matched his motivation.

“People thought I’d died or something in 2014 [since missing the Socceroos final World Cup squad], but I’ve been plying my trade in Europe in the top leagues. Whether people have seen that or noticed, I’ve been doing my thing. I still enjoy my football, and I still have that drive and hunger to play and win,” Wilkshire said.

“Everyone speaks about the A-League improving and it has over the years. Sydney won the league convincingly last year, and the challenge for me and the team to go back to back is an exciting one.I’m here to help Sydney win the league and have a good run in the ACL.”


Source  :  The Canberra Times

FIFA delegation, led by Georgian Nodar Akhalkatsi, to meet FFA

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AUGUST 7 2017 – 6:30PM

Dominic Bossi

A former president of the Georgian Football Federation could decide the fate of the Football Federation Australia board when he leads FIFA’s mission to Australia to help break the political deadlock.

Nodar Akhalkatsi jnr is understood to be the head of FIFA’s three-person delegation to Sydney this week that will oversee the crucial talks with stakeholders for an expanded FFA congress before Australian football faces the prospect of FIFA temporarily taking charge of the game’s administration.

The acting head of FIFA’s governance services, Akhalkatsi jnr will be joined by Asian Football Confederation’s Ravi Kumar and a FIFA lawyer for three days of talks with FFA, A-League clubs, state federations, the players’ union and even National Premier League clubs to help Australian football governance grow to become more democratic and inclusive to meet FIFA’s strict requirements.

The meetings are set to commence in Sydney on Wednesday in what will likely be the last chance for the warring tribes to end the bitter dispute of an expanded FFA Congress that has threatened to bring Australian football administration to a standstill. FIFA have ordered FFA to accept a more representative and larger membership tier to provide clubs and players a greater representation and influence. The upcoming mission was accepted by FFA to help the transition, which must be completed before November 30, or else FIFA will recommend putting in place a normalising committee. In the past, normalising committees have removed a football association’s boards and replaced it with temporary and independent FIFA administrators.

It is understood several stakeholders have requested private bilateral meetings with Akhalkatsi jnr this week, independent from FFA board members.

Akhalkatsi jnr spent four years as president of the GFF during two stints between 2005 and 2009. His father, Nodar Akhalkatsi, was a former coach of Dinamo Tbilisi  before becoming the first president of the GFF, serving between 1990 and 1998.


Source  :  The Canberra Times

Double tragedy: Perth soldier’s cousin dies in fatal attack in Melbourne’s west

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AUGUST 8 2017 – 7:09AM

Robyn Grace

A man fatally attacked at a train station in Melbourne’s west on Saturday night was a cousin of the woman found dead at a hotel buck’s party last month.

Marcus Rowley, 24, had returned from his cousin’s Perth funeral only three days before he was attacked at Tottenham station in West Footscray.

Australian soldier Natasha Rowley was found dead in the shower of a Melbourne serviced apartment on July 16.

As police on Monday took a 35-year-old Avondale Heights man into custody over the death, Mr Rowley’s former partner revealed the tragic family connection.

Caris Miles said Mr Rowley was a beautiful, loving father to three children.

“He was such a good person. He made his fair share of mistakes but he learned from them and was turning his life around,” she said.

Ms Miles said Mr Rowley was close to his cousin, but they didn’t see each other much because she lived in Perth.

Mr Rowley posted a picture of himself and Ms Rowley on Facebook on July 18, two days after she was found dead in the shower of a room at The Oaks on Market apartments.

The room had been rented by a group of 11 men from ACT and NSW on a buck’s night.

Ms Rowley’s funeral was held on August 1.

Four days later, Mr Rowley was killed. Paramedics were called to Ashley Street in West Footscray about 7pm on Saturday night.

When they arrived, people at the scene were trying to resuscitate Mr Rowley.

He could not be revived. A source told Fairfax Media the man had been stabbed.

They said there had been a “meeting” involving the man on one of the train platforms, but Ms Miles said the attack had been random.

Mr Rowley’s heartbroken friends remembered his cheeky face and lovely soul on Monday, as news of his death spread.

“Beautiful man, beautiful soul. Forever will you be in our hearts,” Nelly Ingram posted.

Victoria Police said on Monday that homicide squad detectives had not yet established a cause of death and were still waiting on results of an autopsy.

The arrested Avondale Heights man, of no fixed address, was charged overnight with one count of murder and will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

Detectives have also spoken to a 31-year-old Brunswick woman.

She was released pending further inquiries.

with Goya Dmytryshchak


Source  :  The Canberra Times

Saudi Arabia hosts world’s largest date festival in Buraidah

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RIYADH: Qassim, which hosts the world’s largest date festival in Buraidah every year at this time, is swirling with activities, with date farmers expecting high sales figures during this year’s 45-day festival.
The festival, which is not simply an annual marketplace, but also a lifeline for thousands of farmers and youths who depend on the income generated from date farming, was launched in Buraidah on Saturday by the Qassim governorate.
Saudi Arabia has the highest number of the date palm trees in the world, roughly accounting for 25 percent of the world date production. The Qassim region alone has around 7 million date palm trees, the highest among all regions in the Kingdom.
Commenting on Buraidah Date Festival 2017, Khalid Al-Niqaidan, chief executive officer of the festival, said that integrated services that will be supportive to farmers, traders and consumers have been set up in one of the biggest economic gatherings in the world.
He added that quality-control teams have been assigned to ensure that date products are free from pesticides, fraud and other irregularities. Additionally, a guide office has been established to guide customers on the finest types of dates, while a tent was set aside to allow youths sell dates on a retail basis.
This year, the organizers introduced new functions and programs to attract the broad participation of families, children and youths. These programs include a number of activities related to dates, as well as social and cultural programs. There are informative and recreational sessions accompanying the festival, including an awareness program for youths to encourage them to enter the market.
The annual date festival is an important event to source products to be used for date derivatives including date syrup, date paste and date gifts boxes to be used for all occasions throughout the year.
The Ministry of Water, Environment and Agriculture encourages date farming, allocates land, helps farmers purchase farming equipment and provides farmers access to long-term loans through the Saudi Arabian Agricultural Bank.


Source  :  Arab News

Saudi train fares ‘to be competitive compared to air ticket prices’

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RIYADH: Train fares within the Kingdom will be competitive compared to the cost of traveling by air, an official of the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) told local media.
Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik, chief executive of SAR, said the Kingdom has completed the majority of its planned railway network, notably in Makkah and the Northern Border Regions.
Some commercial operations have begun, while the Makkah-Madinah railway line is expected to go into commercial operation before the end of 2017, Al-Malik told the Al-Eqtisadiah daily.
The central and eastern regions will later be linked with a new line, in addition to the development of an existing track, Al-Malik said.
Outstanding works include linking the western and eastern parts of the Kingdom through the “land bridge” between Jeddah and Riyadh, which is expected to be implemented in the next year. The southern part of the Kingdom will be also linked with the western part under a strategic plan set by SAR and the Public Transport Authority (PTA), Al-Malik said.
The train systems deployed in the Kingdom are considered the most advanced, to the extent that the majority of European countries have not yet applied the technology, Al-Malik said.
The systems include a way to monitor train movements, departure timings, routes and speeds.
Al-Malik said Saudi rail projects have attracted a large number of national companies and Saudi engineers, whether in the form of sub-contracting or direct awarding contracts. Operation of the rail projects will come in the form of contracts with foreign firms, while the role of SAR will be to supervise the operators, Al-Malik said.


Source  :  Arab News

Makkah governor rejects Qatar’s attempt to reduce Saudi role in Hajj

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JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia rejects all attempts to politicize and internationalize the Hajj, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, said on Monday.
Prince Khaled, adviser to King Salman and governor of Makkah Region, was speaking at the inauguration of the “Hajj is Worship and Civilized Behavior” campaign. “Hajj is a message of peace,” he said.
On the campaign by Qatar to reduce the role of the Kingdom in providing services to pilgrims, Prince Khaled said: “The answer is in the title of this campaign … There can be no politicization of pilgrimage.”
Prince Khaled said Saudi Arabia’s leadership, government and people were keen to provide everything to serve the Hajj pilgrims, and to enable them to perform their pilgrimage with ease.
He urged all pilgrims to be infused with Islamic ethics and to be a model of Muslim civilization.
“The campaign since its inception has achieved great achievements and successes, including the reduction of the rate of offenders to 5 percent during the pilgrimage season compared to 9 percent in the previous year,” he said.
“There is a lot of doubting, but the lesson is in the results and the achievement. The regulations will be applied firmly and with Islamic ethics.”
Prince Khaled revealed that the Makkah Region Development Authority had implemented projects worth SR300 million this year to improve Hajj services and develop them in the current season. The authority and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah would implement a large project in the holy sites to be announced in due course, he said. “All sectors have their achievements in the pilgrimage season.”
The campaign, launched by the emirate of Makkah in 2008, continues to spread the Hajj message of peace. It will work to consolidate the ultimate goal of bringing millions together for performing a pillar of Islam based on peace and spirituality.
The objectives of the campaign are to educate pilgrims to abide by public laws and regulations, thus contributing significantly to a safe and peaceful pilgrimage.
The campaign targets citizens, residents, Tawafa organizations, Hajj companies, the transport sector and the media.


Source  :  Arab News

Sayonara, soy sauce stains! Sushi restaurant worker reveals easy way to deal with spills

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By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

By this point in time, the international foodie community has largely moved past its phase of thinking of sushi as a “challenging” food. Sure, certain specific types of sushi, like, say, fish sperm, are still terrifyingly intimidating, but the simple willingness to eat sliced raw fish is no longer the testament to one’s courageously adventurous palate that it was in the past.

The cultural barriers of eating sushi have also become much lower, as the rest of the world wises up to the fact that eating in a sushi restaurant is not the minefield of potential faux pas that the West once assumed it to be.

There is, however, one difficult challenge that remains when eating sushi. Each individual morsel is meant to be dipped in a dish of soy sauce before being eaten, and with so many opportunities to dribble some of the dark-colored condiment on yourself, it’s really only a matter of time until a drop falls onto your clothing, especially if you’re not used to using chopsticks.

You could remedy the problem by simply wearing the same shirt every time you go out to eat sushi, in hope that eventually you’ll spill so much that you’ll have a uniformly soy sauce-colored shirt. Or you could take the advice of Japanese Twitter user @komage1007, who was let in on a soy sauce stain-removing strategy by an employee at a sushi restaurant he was dining at.

“I went out to eat sushi wearing a white shirt when some soy sauce splashed on me. I didn’t know what to do, but without my saying anything an employee came up to me and asked “Did you get soy sauce on your clothes? If you put some carbonated water on it, then wipe it with a wet towel, it’ll come right out.”

Most Japanese restaurants, as a matter of course, give customers a moist hand towel, called an oshibori,when they’re seated, and with the mixed drinks called chu-hi or “sours” (a mixture of shochu, soda water, and fruit flavors) a nearly ever-present menu fixture in Japan, soda water is pretty easy to come by as well.

The employee swiftly brought over a tea cup filled with soda water, @komage1007 followed the recommended procedure, and the soy sauce stain disappeared completely, just as promised. “It’s the perfect way to handle a spill,” @komage1007 tweeted.

He also added that the restaurant he’d been at was the branch of popular chain Sushi Zanmai in the Susukino district of Sapporo. As Hokkaido’s largest entertainment and bar district, the restaurant no doubt gets many tipsy, less-than-dexterous customers, and so @komage1007 probably isn’t the first, or the last, customer whose wardrobe has been saved by the stain-removing trick.


Source  :  Japan Today

Man arrested for kicking woman using smartphone while walking

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A man was arrested after allegedly kicking a woman who was listening to music on her smartphone while walking on a street in the suburbs of Tokyo, police said Monday.

Shoichi Nagai, 55, was arrested Friday for alleged violent behavior, which he has denied, the police said.

According to the police, Nagai was riding a bicycle on the street Thursday in Machida city, when he and the woman almost ran into each other. Nagai criticized her for using the smartphone and threatened her by saying, “I’m a yakuza,” while showing his tattoo on the chest.

The police have not confirmed whether the woman was looking at the screen of her smartphone at the time of the incident.

“I told her it was dangerous to use a smartphone while walking, but she didn’t apologize,” Nagai told the police.



Source  :  Japan Today

Kyoto eyes introducing lodging tax amid increasing tourist numbers

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The city of Kyoto aims to introduce a lodging tax in 2018 at the earliest to cope with issues stemming from a surge in the number of tourists, based on a recommendation Monday from an advisory panel.

“Based on the recommendation, we want to work out the system at an early date so we can make a proposal to the city assembly in September,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa said after receiving a report from the panel of experts.

The panel recommended taxes be imposed on lodgers, except for students on school excursions, at all accommodations facilities in the city, including private houses and rooms for vacation rental. Heavier taxes should be imposed at accommodation facilities with higher fees, it said.

The number of lodgers hit a record 14.15 million in 2016 in Kyoto, an ancient Japanese capital and one of the most popular destinations in Japan for foreign tourists.

With the surge in the number of lodgers, Kyoto is facing swelling costs in tackling such issues as crowed hotels and buses as well as the improvement of public transportation systems.

The city asked the advisory panel last August to consider measures to secure financial resources to cope with issues related to the surge in the number of tourists.

Lodging taxes have already been introduced in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Osaka Prefecture.

In the recommendation report to the mayor, the committee called on the city to continue to study the probability of introducing a parking tax and vacation house tax, saying the current situation does not allow such taxes to be imposed immediately.



Source  :  Japan Today