Can The US Women Keep Up Their European Conquest

After the U.S. women’s national team ousted Spain, four days before perhaps the most anticipated match in the history of the Women’s World Cup, Megan Rapinoe told reporters that she hoped the upcoming quarterfinal against host France would be a “total s—show circus” of a spectacle. It would become one because Rapinoe made it one.Even before a 2-1 U.S. win Friday against France, the outspoken, expressive sparkplug of a midfielder had taken over this World Cup with her dominant play and her candid comments. She ensured that the U.S. outlasted its biggest threat in a game that lived up to the billing, complete with early fireworks, officiating controversy and late drama. Entering this tournament, the storyline was that the rest of the world — especially European powers — had made up ground against the U.S. since the Americans won in 2015. So far, that has played out, entering the U.S. semifinal Tuesday against England.The past two World Cup finals featured the U.S. and Japan, both of which knocked out European teams in the semifinals in 2011 and 2015. But this year, Italy, Sweden and Norway pulled upsets of China, Canada and Australia, respectively. The Netherlands beat Japan, France took down Brazil, and suddenly Europe produced a record seven of the eight quarterfinalists in this tournament. Not since 1995 had the continent managed even five of the final eight.England won’t make it easy on the U.S. The Three Lionesses are undefeated in this World Cup, with group-stage victories against Scotland, Japan and Argentina and 3-0 shutouts of Cameroon in the round of 16 and Norway in the quarterfinals. They, like many of the European squads, are fielding their strongest team of any Women’s World Cup at this tournament, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index. They failed to qualify for three of the first four World Cups but have reached at least the quarterfinals four straight times, the semifinals twice.A goals-per-game average of 2.2 puts England at second in this World Cup behind the U.S., and Phil Neville’s squad has conceded the fewest goals in the tournament (one). England ranks second in expected goals per 90 minutes with 2.46, in large part because it completes passes at a tournament-best clip of 80.9 percent.Still, FiveThirtyEight’s model gives the Americans a 67 percent chance of beating England and a 48 percent chance of repeating as champions. Their advantage comes from skilled talents like Rapinoe, whose finishing ability gave the U.S. an edge in an otherwise evenly matched game Friday.Europe’s improvements were never clearer than in Friday’s showdown. In fact, FiveThirtyEight contributor Michael Caley’s expected goal map after the game indicated that France had an advantage, with 1.3 expected goals to 1.0 for the Americans. The French peppered the U.S. with 20 shot attempts, but in the end, just five ended up on target. The Americans, meanwhile, placed eight of their 10 attempts on goal (and could have pulled ahead 3-0 if not for a close offside call against Crystal Dunn). They even lost the possession battle1France had 60 percent possession to 40 percent for the U.S. for the first time since a friendly against Spain in January, a span of 14 matches. But they are the defending champions for a reason, and they are moving on.The Americans have long embraced an attack-minded style of play built by the firepower on their front line. Youth development programs and college squads have stocked the national team with goal scorers, and the U.S. leads the World Cup in not just goals but chances (15.2) and expected goals (3.31) per 90 minutes. Rapinoe and Morgan are two of the four co-leaders for the Golden Boot award. After the U.S. lost in penalty kicks against Sweden in the 2016 Olympic quarterfinals, coach Jill Ellis doubled down on aggressiveness, switching to a 4-3-3 to move the team’s best finishers into scoring position. That leaves Rapinoe, Morgan and Tobin Heath up top, with 2015 star Carli Lloyd still available off the bench.The interest in offensive pressure trickles down the roster. On Ellis’s top lineup, both outside backs — Dunn and Kelley O’Hara — are former forwards and winners of college soccer’s player of the year award. Dunn plays mostly midfield outside of the national team, and O’Hara was as a forward at Stanford. Ellis called Dunn “the most versatile player I’ve ever coached,” which indicates the coach’s strategy: Find the best, most versatile players, and then put them in the right positions.Dunn, for instance, said she did not have much preparation at a new position before the World Cup. “I really got a phone call just saying, ‘Hey, you know, tomorrow’s game, I’d want you to step in and be an outside back. I’m trusting that you can do that and I know that you can,’” she told Forbes in May. “And you know, that’s all really that I needed.”Since then, she has become one of the team’s breakout players, proving critical Friday as she quelled the French attack and possessed the ball in the final minutes. “I try not to overthink,” Dunn told reporters after the group-stage finale against Sweden. “I just think of myself as a footballer. I’m just playing and trying to impact the game from a different angle of the field.” Ellis receives plenty of questions about deploying players out of position, but the result, so far, has been a terrifying arsenal of two center backs and eight players who are threats to score or create at any moment.Europe will keep coming for the U.S., as Spain showed in the round of 16. The Spaniards are young, improving and skilled with the ball. They played in just their second World Cup this year, and yet they advanced to the knockout stage and tested the U.S. before losing, 2-1. The Americans’ next test was even trickier, though the sharper team prevailed. “That is the most intense match I have ever been a part of,” Ellis told reporters afterward, and it certainly won’t be the last. read more



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Star Trek Picard trailer cast plot release date and more

first_img How to watch Star Trek: Picard will debut in early 2020. It’ll stream in the US on CBS All Access and on the Space Channel in Canada. Internationally, Amazon Prime Video will host each episode within 24 hours of the US premiere in over 200 countries and territories. That’s a change from how Discovery is distributed internationally through Netflix. Tags Star Trek: Picard unveils first look at costumes, props at San Diego Comic-Con Picard trailer — possible reasons Captain Picard left Starfleet Picard memes: Patrick Stewart’s best viral Star Trek moments The Next Generation finale has me pumped for new Picard series Picard is the hero we need, says Star Trek writer Michael Chabon Back on the floor w this guy ⁦@SirPatStew⁩ ⁦@startrekcbs⁩ pic.twitter.com/zPvHltPUts— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) May 21, 2019 “No Emma, I’m NOT going to give you any plot details…” #startrek #fosteringsaveslives #adoptdontshop #pitbullsarelove #pitbullsarefamily #adoptmissemma pic.twitter.com/Zwbh04Zlkp— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) April 11, 2019 CBS first revealed the official Star Trek: Picard name on May 15 and posted a look at the show’s shiny new logo. The Starfleet logo takes the place of the “A” in Picard. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.) A pup for Picard Stewart and CBS revealed the key art for the show on July 10, just ahead of the star’s appearance at Comic-Con. The trailer is starting to fill in the blanks. Picard will hook up with a new non-Starfleet crew in a quest to protect a mysterious woman (Isa Briones) who comes to him for help. The Borg, one of the most imposing Star Trek villains ever created, will play a role in the plot.Though they don’t appear in the trailer, Jonathan Frakes (William Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) have both confirmed they will appear in Picard as their Next Generation characters. We also know Jonathan Del Arco will reprise his role as Hugh the Borg.A teaser trailer beamed in on May 23 shows that Jean-Luc Picard, who was promoted to admiral, led a rescue armada on a mysterious mission 15 years prior to the show’s events. He then left Starfleet, leaving us to wonder what prompted his exit and why he’s reappearing now. We should learn more in a series of comic books and a prequel novel that will arrive before the show airs. The journey has begun. Kirsten Beyer, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, Diandra Pendleton-Thompson, James Duff, and yours truly. #StarTrek pic.twitter.com/GxhwkTIgWQ— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) September 24, 2018 Share your voice Stewart shared a photo of Emma along with his hidden Picard rehearsal script in April. The dog in the poster sports a Starfleet emblem tag on its collar and his name is now confirmed as “Number One.”  Revisiting Jean-Luc Picard Stewart has a long history with the Star Trek franchise. He first warped into the iconic role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise with the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. That means Stewart will be back in Picard’s shoes more than 30 years after originating the role. He last appeared on screen as Picard in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis. The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises TV and Movies He’s coming back. CBS video screenshot by CNET Patrick Stewart is going where no Starfleet captain has gone before: into his very own series, decades after wrapping up his original Star Trek run. He’ll have a furry companion and old crew mates along for the ride.Star Trek: Picard, a CBS All Access streaming show, will debut in early 2020. The show follows on the heels of Star Trek: Discovery, but the two series take place at very different points in the Trek universe.  A new trailer for Picard came out of San Diego Comic-Con last month, and it was a surprise-packed doozy. The trailer revealed that Star Trek icons Brent Spiner (Data) and Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) will appear in the new series.  Hanelle Culpepper will make history as the first woman to launch a new Star Trek television show. Culpepper signed on to direct the first two episodes. She has an extensive TV resume, which includes Star Trek: Discovery, The Flash and Gotham. Frakes, who will appear as Riker in the show, has a long career as a director that includes multiple Star Trek franchise entries on both the big and small screens. He revealed he would be directing some episodes of the new series. Frakes posted a photo of himself with Stewart to Twitter on May 21 and tagged Star Trek on CBS. More Picard The official #StarTrekPicard key art is here. Will you be joining @SirPatStew at @Comic_Con next week? #SDCC #StarTrekSDCC pic.twitter.com/sf7ZnDmXlL— Star Trek on CBS All Access (@startrekcbs) July 10, 2019 The Picard plot CBS and Stewart had kept pretty quiet on the details of the show’s plot until the teaser and full trailer arrived. We already knew it takes place around two decades after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis.  The teaser lays out a big plot point when a voiceover says Admiral Picard commanded a rescue armada that “led us out of the darkness” 15 years before the series picks up. It asks the questions: What did it cost him and why did he leave Starfleet? That’s a huge cliffhanger to contemplate ahead of the show’s debut. Star Trek: PicardEnlarge ImageThe Star Trek: Picard poster shows a Starfleet logo formed from grapevines. James Dimmock/CBS Both the teaser and trailer start in a vineyard, which is a callback to the final TNG television episode in 1994, All Good Things that showed one possible future Picard working in a vineyard in France. That Picard had become an ambassador. We know the Picard in the new show was promoted to admiral at some point. A poster for the series shows a vineyard with the Starfleet logo formed out of grapevines along with the catchphrase “The end is only the beginning.” Picard’s history ties strongly in with the Romulans. “Picard’s life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire,” Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter.  The 2009 Star Trek reboot movie covered the demise of the planet Romulus at the hands of an exploding star in 2387. Could this event have been the focus of Picard’s rescue armada?  Picard has a complicated history with the Romulans. In Nemesis, he tangled with a Romulan clone of himself.  The trailer features a Borg ship that may be acting as a prison vessel staffed by Romulans. A sign says it has gone 5,843 days without an assimilation.Don’t expect a mere reboot of The Next Generation. “Patrick was very clear to us in the beginning. He didn’t want to repeat what he had already done. And by the way, it’s been 20-plus years, so he couldn’t possibly be that same person anymore,” Kurtzman told reporters in January. The dog is particularly notable. It appears to be a pit bull or bully mix. Zoom in on its ears. They may have been cropped, but they also look a lot like pointy Vulcan ears. Stewart is known for his work fostering rescue dogs. His most recent foster, Emma, is a pit mix with cropped ears. 3:00 Comments Meet the cast We all know the star of the show, and more casting details are emerging. We’re still waiting for several character names to be confirmed.Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc PicardSantiago Cabrera as Cristobal “Chris” RiosMichelle Hurd as Raffi MusikerAlison Pill as Dr. Agnes JuratiHarry Treadaway as NarekIsa Briones as DahjEvan Evagora as ElnorBrent Spiner as Data (or a related android) Jeri Ryan as Seven of NineJonathan Del Arco as Hugh the BorgJonathan Frakes as William RikerMarina Sirtis as Deanna Troi He’s been plenty busy in the meantime, continuing his role as Professor X in the X-Men movies, up through a farewell performance in 2017’s Logan. He has a lot of voice acting credits to his name, including Poop in The Emoji Movie. Fans will be able to catch him in theaters as Bosley in a 2019 version of Charlie’s Angels. Stewart announced the new Picard series in August 2018 at the Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. He called his return “an unexpected but delightful surprise” and said he hopes “to research and experience what comforting and reforming light [Picard] might shine on these often very dark times.” Who’s making Picard?  Stewart is doubling as an executive producer along with Alex Kurtzman, the creator of Star Trek: Discovery. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon is on board as an executive producer and writer. Chabon described Picard as “the hero we need right now.” Stewart shared a behind-the-scenes photo in September 2018 from a Picard meeting where he’s sitting with Chabon and other members of the show’s production staff. Stewart has been involved with the writing for the show from early on. 22 Originally published May 17 and updated regularly as more information on Star Trek: Picard comes in. 15 famous Star Trek guests who brought their own star power (pictures) 15 Photos 35 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Prequels incomingWe have a lot of questions about what Picard has been up to all those years, and some of them are likely to get answered in a series of prequel books. CBS, Simon & Schuster and comics publisher IDW will release Star Trek: Picard — Countdown, a three-issue comic-book miniseries in November. This will focus on a life-changing mission for Picard.A full novel called The Last Best Hope will arrived in February 2020 and set up the story ahead of the series. We’ll get to know some of the new characters before meeting them on screen. Una McCormack, author of several Star Trek novels, is writing the book. Picard’s place in Trek Stewart’s Picard took on the weight of Star Trek’s future when he stepped up to captain the Enterprise-D. Until then, the Trek universe had revolved around the original crew led by Capt. James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. Kirk and the gang had re-emerged from the shadow of the original series’ cancellation in the ’60s and were born again through a string of successful movies starting in 1979.  Stewart’s character couldn’t have been more different from the leap-into-action, kiss-the-aliens Kirk. Picard created a new mold for Starfleet captains. His Picard was cerebral, wise and measured, but also passionate. If you need a reminder, watch his defense of android crew member Data as a sentient being in the season 2 episode Measure of a Man. CBS Star Treklast_img read more



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Paytm integrates BHIM UPI app on its platform targets 200 million monthly

first_imgPaytm Payments Bank service,Paytm via Twitter (screen-shot)Paytm, India’s digital payment major, has integrated central government’s mobile payment interface BHIM UPI on its platform with an aim to double its monthly user base.Paytm’s majority stake is with its parent company One97 Communications and the firm currently has about 100 million monthly users on its platform. Market experts believe that the move is definitely going to help Paytm in expanding its customer base, reported Mint.”We are now targeting 200 million monthly users in less than two years. UPI will also allow larger ticket size transactions,” the business daily quoted Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder One97 Communications as saying.With this integration, any registered Paytm user can transfer and receive money through BHIM UPI by using the Paytm app. This further allows existing BHIM users to link their accounts with the BHIM API (application program interface) on Paytm, reported the business daily.Earlier last month, Reserve Bank of India directed companies and banks to make KYC-compliant for prepaid payment instruments like mobile wallets interoperable within the next six months. This, along with the growing popularity of the BHIM UPI platform, could have triggered the move.BHIM has been a moderate success, since its launch in December last year, the application has been downloaded for over 16 million times and facilitated transactions worth Rs 1,600 crore, as of 31 July, according to the data from NPCI.Why the UPI-based application are growing is because it has no waiting time to add a beneficiary and an individual is not required to share his bank account details and IFSC code.Paytm said it will train its 5 million merchant partners to create Paytm BHIM UPI ID and accept money using the same. This will enable merchants on Paytm to be able to accept payments from a wider set of customers, the company said.”As a part of our journey of being a truly open payment platform, consumers and merchants should both have complete range of choices to select payment source and destination. With the availability of BHIM UPI to our large user base and merchant network, we believe the next wave of digital payments will begin soon,” the business daily quoted Renu Satti, managing director and chief executive officer, Paytm Payments Bank.Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an application developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for digital payments over the government-managed Universal Payments Interface (UPI) network.last_img read more



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AL seeks to make allies parliamentary opposition

first_imgObaidul Quader. File PhotoAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader says it will be a positive development for the government and ruling Awami League’s 14-party allies if the partners play the role as a parliamentary opposition.The policy statement came from the AL leader on Thursday in the wake of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s decision not to join parliament at all after it alleged massive rigging in 30 December elections won by the AL.”Many of the Awami League allies have already decided to stay in the opposition bench in parliament. It’s good for us as well as for them,” said Quader told newsmen after inspecting preparations for the AL’s victory rally to be held at Suhrawardi Udyan on Saturday.After the one-sided election of 2014, the AL’s ally Jatiya Party of HM Ershad that had representation in the cabinet, was made official opposition party in parliament.However, this time around, the AL’s ally Workers Party’s president Rashed Khan Menon said there will be no unity with the AL if they go to the opposition.Menon and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, who had been in the previous cabinet, were ignored when prime minister Sheikh Hasina formed the government for the third consecutive time.About Menon’s statement, Quader said, “We’ve been discussing about the matter [of seeing the partners as opposition].”Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said the government can learn from criticism from the opposition. “If there is an opposition, the government will be able to rectify itself,” he added.The AL leader, according to UNB, claimed that there is neither any conflict nor tension in the AL-led grand alliance.”The grand alliance is a unity forged to participate in elections while the 14-party is a political alliance which will prevail and there’s no chance of collapse,” said the minister.”There is no infighting, tension and disturbance in the alliance, said the senior AL leader adding, “If there’s any misunderstanding, we’ll solve it through discussions.”last_img read more



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Unravelling the facets of theatre

first_imgTheatre, through its various faces, has grown over the years and has come into the limelight, providing a platform to budding theatre artists as well as theatre pundits. In order to celebrate theatre and to make it more accessible, ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ is being held in the national Capital from February 1 to February 21. The inaugural ceremony of the 18th ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’, which was held in Kamani Auditorium in the national Capital on Monday, witnessed the presence of N K Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, government of India; Bollywood actors and renowned theatre personalities. Nana Patekar graced the occasion as the guest of honour whereas Anupam Kher was the special guest. The evening was presided over by Shri  Ratan Thiyam, chairperson, NSD Society and Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama (NSD). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The inauguration was followed by the performance of ‘Macbeth’ in Manipuri by Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal, Manipur, which has been directed by Ratan Thiyam.Ratan Thiyam, chairperson, NSD Society said: “This is indeed a moment of pride and great pleasure to see ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ entering its 18th edition. The festival is a celebration of diverse and colourful culture of India in the age of globalisation.”Some of the finest names in the theatre world from India and abroad are set to be a part of the festival. Commenting on the same, Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said, “There is a need to not only experience theatre, but understand the thought behind theatre, and we are attempting to do that through the 18th ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav.’ The festival is expanding and the theme for the festival this year is ‘Rediscovering the magic of theatre’. We want to celebrate theatre and we want to celebrate the thought behind theatre.”   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixN K Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, government of India said, “National School of Drama is doing a commendable job through Bharat Rang Mahotsav of taking the tradition of Indian theatre to the global map and to preserve and recreate the cultural heritage of the country.”Eminent stage and film personality Nana Patekar, who was the guest of honour at the inaugural ceremony commented on the effort made by NSD to promote theatre by saying: “I would like to congratulate National School of Drama for the wonderful job that the institute is doing to promote theatre. It is really great to see the response and kind of audiences, and I look forward to come back. My best wishes to National School of Drama for a successful ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav.’”Anupam Kher, who was present as a special guest said, “National School of Drama has taught me not only the nuances of theatre, but I learnt a lot about life itself. Whenever I come back here, it is the best experience for me.” The performances will be held at Abhimanch and Open Air Theatre at the NSD Campus along with LTG Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre.last_img read more



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