Sports UK

FA Cup forced to evolve once again but remains a touch of reassuring normality

The annals of FA Cup history will not carry an asterisk next to the name of the 2020/21 winners.

There will be no official nod to the health crisis playing havoc with football and one of its most iconic competitions.

What if the worst came to the worst and ties in rounds leading up to the final had to be forfeited?

The name on the trophy would still be engraved as deeply as any other.

Chelsea won the FA Cup in 2000 and that triumph is no different from any of their seven other successes.

Despite the furore at the time, few remember that holders Manchester United did not take part in that season’s competition.

So no-one is going to dwell on the fact some teams had to play the kids in some games in the 2020/21 edition.

Who will win this year’s FA Cup?

After all, since when, scandalously, have the majority of Premier League and Championship sides gone full-strength in the early stages of their cup campaigns?

Covid means Derby County have to send a young second string to Chorley on Saturday but Wayne Rooney was probably never going to field a bona fide first choice eleven anyhow.

Things are not ideal, to state the blindingly obvious.

No Rooney on the touchline, no senior players at all for Derby on Saturday

Drawing the fixtures for the fourth round and the fifth round at the same time is hardly in keeping with FA Cup tradition.

But FA Cup tradition has been an evolving quality for a long time now. We’ve had draws made when ties have yet it be played for a while.

As the grim Covid statistics roll in day after day, there is no telling how this football season will pan out.

It goes without saying public health relegates a sport to an incidental.

But the Premier League is ploughing on as it falls into the category of an elite competition.

Well, there is no more elite competition than the grand, old FA Cup.

In these dark times, we cling to small symbols of reassuring normality.

And there is nothing more thrillingly normal than a mighty, rich club such as Spurs scrapping with part-timers on a brute of a pitch on a filthy January day.

Nothing more thrillingly normal than the FA Cup being raised towards a Wembley sky in May.

That is why, in whatever form, the show is going on.

Should the FA Cup have been scrapped this season? Have your say in the comments.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.


PUBG Mobile India Launch Date Remains Uncertain: Report

PUBG Mobile India’s launch is still a mystery as there has been no formal discussion between PUBG/ Krafton and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). An online publication that filed an RTI asking MeitY for clarity, and found that there has been no official meeting about the launch of PUBG Mobile India. PUBG Mobile, as it was originally named, was banned in India along with 117 other apps back in September last year. Ever since then, the developers have been tried to bring the game back to India and have made various tweaks like changing the name to PUBG Mobile India, changing the colour of blood from the game, and more.

The RTI filed by GemWire asking MeitY some questions on the status of PUBG Mobile and its return to India came with the conclusion that there has been no formal discussion between PUBG/ Krafton and the government body. Although the app maker had announced an India return, this along with previous RTI replies shows that the matter is very uncertain.

There have been several attempts from Krafton and its subsidiary PUBG Corporation to bring back PUBG Mobile to India. After the ban, PUBG Corporation announced it will take over PUBG Mobile from Tencent Games in India. Then, PUBG Corporation started hiring for its India office. In November, the developers released a teaser showing the game is coming back to India soon as PUBG Mobile India. At the time, the team said that it will be making several changes to customise the game to “reflect local needs.”

IGN India also pointed out that the company recently hired Aneesh Aravind as its PUBG Mobile India Country Manager. IGN noted that Aravind was previously in charge of Tencent’s India operations including PUBG Mobile.

However, there is no confirmation of a launch happening anytime soon. Fans who have been eagerly waiting for an update on PUBG Mobile’s India launch will unfortunately have to keep waiting.

What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Headlines UK London

Market remains up 1.8% by 118 on 6,579 points as gains on morning of Oxford jab rollout are lost

Lockdown gloom stifles FTSE: Market remains up 1.8% by 118 on 6,579 points as gains made on morning of Oxford jab rollout are lost amid fears UK is set for third national lockdown

  • London’s top market gained more than 200 points as it opened this morning
  • Brexit and rollout of Oxford University/ AstraZeneca jab encourages traders
  • 3%-plus rise followed by increases of 1.9% and 1.3% in France and Germany

The FTSE 100 stuttered this afternoon after it hit its highest point since the Covid-crash – but then dropped ahead of the impending new national lockdown

London’s top market had gained more than 200 points in its first hours of trading after the Brexit transition period ended on New Year’s Day – although experts said the shot in the arm was more to do with the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab being administered.

The 3%-plus rise soon after 8am  was followed by increases of 1.9% and 1.3% in the French and German main indexes. The FTSE was up 2.7% overall at Midday.

But it dropped back down again after Boris Johnson’s new national lockdown was widely trailed ahead of his 8pm press announcement.

The FTSE 100 today hit its highest point since the Covid-crash last March as traders kicked off 2021 by celebrating Brexit and the rollout of another new vaccine in the UK

In the morning the markets responded positively  to the news that the NHS is starting to roll out the new vaccine against Covid-19 which has been developed by scientists at Oxford University and AstraZeneca. 

The vaccine is less effective than the Pfizer jab that has been distributed so far. But each dose is cheaper, and the vaccine can be stored at much lower temperatures.

‘Despite the rapid increase in daily Covid-19 case numbers and the impending need for a new national lockdown – be it immediately, as urged by Keir Starmer, or in a couple of weeks, as suggested by Boris Johnson – the FTSE was the most bombastic of the major indices after the bell,’ said Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex.

‘These gains can be tied to the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK – the continuation of 2021’s great hope for ending the coronavirus pandemic. It is another step on the journey back to normality, and investors have seized upon it with all their might.’

He added that a 0.4% drop in the pound against the euro, while remaining flat against the dollar, would indicate that the FTSE’s gains are not significantly tied to Brexit.

The top market was also clearly helped by a soaring Entain share price. The Ladbrokes and Coral owner said on Monday that it had rejected an £8.1 billion offer from US casino giant MGM Resorts. Shares zipped up 26% on the news.

Neil Wilson, a analyst, said that UK firms are benefiting by a liberalisation of the US gaming market.

‘We should also note that good global businesses trading with a UK-listed discount to the share price remain attractive to foreign groups hungry for growth. Clarity around Brexit at long last may see more bids of this nature emerge,’ he added.

Traders will be looking ahead to two vitally important US senate races in Georgia on Tuesday. The state, which voted for Joe Biden for president, is set to elect two senators, and could hand control of the chamber to the Democrats.

A win for the democratic candidates would allow Mr Biden much greater freedom in pursuing his own legislation over the next two years, while a loss could give Republicans a chance to block many of his political appointments.

Entertainment Canada

What remains of December 31

The televising evening of December 31 was rich in good times. Here are the 10 that will stay in mind the longest.

1. Police de Repentigny – Profiling training (Bye Bye 2020)

Screen capture, Radio-Canada

Those responsible for the skits dealing with “black news” in 2020 have risen to the challenge with flying colors. Cleverly laughing at racially-connoted clichés, Frédéric Pierre, Preach, Richardson Zéphir and Bruno Ly delivered two of the best segments of the bye. Small preference for Police de Repentigny – Profiling training, in which Widemir Normil resumed his role of Commander Raymond Célestin in Squad 99.

2. Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse (Bye Bye 2020)

Screen capture, Radio-Canada

Rookie of the Year had several good times (Éloïse and Cintia d ’OD With us, Valérie Plante, Lucie Laurier), but it was her imitation of Marie-Mai that won the prize. Yes, we can talk about the hair, the nails … but it was his laugh, reproduced with surgical precision, that made us falter.

3. Damien Robitaille (Live from the universe)

Screen capture, Radio-Canada

France Beaudoin and company could have sat on their laurels and stayed on familiar ground. However, the team has pushed its limits by even reserving surprises for the artists invited to sing. The most touching is undoubtedly the one organized for Damien Robitaille, who collapsed when he saw his daughters, whom he has not hugged for months.

4. Tyra Banks (Infoman)

Screen capture, Radio-Canada

Tyra Banks made a good impression at Jean-René Dufort. In 22 seasons ofAmerica’s Next Top Model, the model has never looked so likeable. More than 10 years after coining the term “smize” (smile with eyes), the Francophile businesswoman has shown she’s mastered the art, dominating her three-round fight against Justin Trudeau.

5. The return of the Bougons (Bye Bye 2020)

Screen capture, Radio-Canada

Bringing the Bougon family together to talk about the lack of good manners of Montreal tourists in the Gaspé is certainly one of the best flashes of the bye. The pleasure with which Rémy Girard, Antoine Bertrand, Louison Danis, Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc and Claude Laroche found their old roles was contagious.

6. Special appearances (Bye Bye 2020)

Screen capture, Radio-Canada

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Stéphane Rousseau, Marc Dupré, FouKi, Yves P. Pelletier … Simon-Olivier Fecteau’s humorous review was full of special appearances. Our favorite surprise entry? Geneviève Schmidt hands down. Hilarious as a moderately bilingual Pocket Canada attendant, the versatile actress has proven that she has everything to integrate the main core of the next Bye.

7. Homage to Joyce Echaquan (Live from the universe)

Although it only lasted about 30 seconds, it was a very memorable moment. To salute the memory of Joyce Echaquan, the team atLive from the universe reunited her husband, Carol Dubé, and Elisapie, for a vibrant Arnaq.

8. Subliminal messages (Bye Bye 2020)

To be completely honest, the subliminal messages of the bye until we took a look at Twitter, where warned eyes had spotted three half-second hidden sentences in the conspiratorial sketch. “The new world order wrote this skit”, “Look behind you” and “The comedians of bye are controlled by 5G ”. Had to think about it!

9. Véronique Claveau (See you next year)

The ex-academician has often demonstrated her talents as an imitator. But this year, she seems to have reached a new level by offering a larger-than-life Penelope McQuade.

10. Sarahmée’s musical theme (Infoman)

On music with strong pop and afrobeat accents by Tom Lapointe and Diego Montenegro, the queen of Quebec rap perfectly summed up 2020 in 1 minute 30 seconds.

Live from the Universe – New Year’s Special, See you next year, Infoman, Bye Bye 2020 and Behind the scenes of Bye Bye are offered as a catch-up on ICI

Sports Canada

Junior Team Canada Remains Humble

Team Canada junior finished the prelims with a 4-0 record, marked by a convincing 4-1 victory over Finland on Thursday night. The national team scored a monstrous total of 33 goals against only four allowed in these four meetings. Enough to satisfy head coach André Tourigny on the eve of his quarter-final match against the Czech Republic on Saturday night? No. Ah but there, really not.

• Read also: Jack Eichel injured upper body

• Read also: Danny DeKeyser, the missing piece of the Red Wings?

Tourigny answered journalists’ questions for about 15 minutes on Friday afternoon on the eve of the quarter-final clash with the Czechs. Time and time again, he has reiterated the importance of showing humility even though his team provided one of the most dominant performances for a Canadian team in the preliminary round of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The victory over Finland on Thursday was the icing on the cake. Yesterday, however, ECJ was already thinking about it.

“Everyone across the country knew the New Years Eve game was the key game. Everyone circled him on their calendars and our players are no different. We were ready. Now it’s behind us and we’re looking ahead. It’s important to have the humility to prepare the same way, to continue to have a sense of urgency and to focus on the task ahead. Yes, it was fun yesterday’s game but that doesn’t guarantee the performance tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. In hockey it’s one day at a time. We have to be humble and look forward, “he said yesterday.

Moving forward are the Czechs, a team that have won two of their four preliminary round games, including one against Russia, thanks to extremely tight play.

“People don’t give them enough credit. They played in a squad with the United States, Russia and Sweden and finished the prelims with just two players with a negative differential. All this, playing against countries that are part of the elite. It shows how good they are at five against five. They have also only enjoyed seven power-play advantages so far and it will be important for us not to give them any, ”analyzed the head coach, once again adding the importance of being humble and expect a “tough game”.

Checking done, the two starting players of the Czechs who show negative differentials are Karel Klikorna (-3) and Filip Koffer (-1).


Also, good news for the Canadian team: forward Alex Newhook avoided the worst Thursday night and his absence is unlikely to be long.

Struck hard by Finland’s Eemil Viro in the first half, Newhook had made just one more appearance at the start of the second before retreating permanently to the locker room. With an upper body injury, he was out of Canadian training yesterday.

“I would rate his chances of playing against the Czechs at 50-50,” Tourigny said. If we played today (Friday) he wouldn’t have been in uniform but we’ll see tomorrow (Saturday). ”

In Newhook’s absence, it was Connor Zary training in the center of Peyton Krebs and Cole Perfetti in training. The coach has confirmed that this unity will remain intact in the event that Newhook is not restored to face the Czechs.

“He (Zary) has been really good as he’s been in a tough spot since the start of the tournament. He doesn’t play regularly but every time he was sent into the fray he did really well. He deserved his chance, ”said the manager.

As for the Kamloops forward, it’s a chance.

“All of the players in our roster are talented, quick and can play any role in the roster. Krebs and Perfetti are two very intelligent players so it will be a pleasure to play with them. Whether it’s the center or the wing, I will do everything to help our trio have a good game, ”said the man who signed his first professional contract with the Calgary Flames a few hours before the game against La Finland, Thursday.


Fisheries: the life jacket remains optional in NB.

While Nova Scotia mourns six fishermen who went missing on December 15, life jackets are still optional on the boats of their New Brunswick counterparts. WorkSafeNB tries to impose them, with difficulty.

“The Occupational Health and Safety Act has not yet been amended to reflect our recommendation,” communications director Florence Flower said by email.

She only notes that the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labor, the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs have discussed it.

WorkSafeNB says New Brunswick is the only province that does not have authority over the fishing industry when it comes to health and safety. That is why she wants to specifically designate commercial fishing vessels as workplaces.

According to the Law, “workplace” for the moment means a building, a work, a room, an aquatic environment or a land where work is carried out by one or more employees and includes a site, a mine, a ferry, a train and any vehicle likely to be used by an employee.

“WorkSafeNB believes that all workers deserve a safe and healthy workplace, whether on land or at sea,” says Flower.

His agency also wants to change regulations to require the wearing of life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board commercial fishing vessels. This equipment should also be certified by Transport Canada.

“The fishing industry will also have access to WorkSafeNB’s prevention resources, including tips and application tools,” Flower promises.

Chat for 15 years

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) urged New Brunswick to require PFDs to be worn on all commercial fishing vessels in July 2017. It was responding to the deaths of two fishermen the previous year , who were not wearing them when their vessel capsized.

“Over the past 15 years, the authorities in this province have made several attempts to fill the gap in occupational health and safety regulations in the commercial fishing sector,” noted the BSTC in 2016. However, in general, those involved in the sector do not wish to adopt additional health and safety measures. ”

The Maritime Fishermen’s Union (UPM) did not respond to Acadie Nouvelle due to the holiday break. Fishermen, however, refused to speak because of the nature of the subject.

“If WorkSafeNB forces us to wear a life jacket, well we will have to wear one, we will have no choice, says Patrick Landry. But most fishermen won’t wear them … Well, that’s hard to say. The younger ones may follow the rules, but the older ones… Ah! They have a tough head! ”

Maintain the equipment

The 30-something explains that his experienced counterparts do not believe in the virtues of the life jacket. He says that he himself finds his activity more difficult to do with this equipment, which would sometimes catch on hatches and cables, for example.

He noticed, however, that many fishermen were unable to swim.

Landry further emphasizes the importance of maintaining safety equipment once purchased. He notices that many captains forget to renew the automatic triggers on their inflatable vests after their expiration date, for example.

In fact, while most fishing boats in Nova Scotia have protective equipment, it is sometimes neglected, according to comments that the Fisheries Safety Association of that province made to Radio-Canada.

There were 110 fatalities related to accidents on or aboard fishing vessels from 2009 to 2019 in Canada. That number was 154 from 1999 to 2010, according to figures from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).

The job of a fisherman is 14 times more deadly than that of a police officer, according to WorkSafeNB.

New Brunswick’s fishing industry was made up of about 6,600 fishermen who worked aboard 1,800 boats in 2012, according to the BSTC.


Sports Canada

Christian Mbilli remains undefeated

Christian Mbilli (17-0-0, 16 KOs) had a smashing debut as a member of Eye of the Tiger Management on Saturday in Mexico.

The French defeated the Mexican Rolando Paredes (16-12-2, 11 KOs) by knockout in the third round.

For Mbilli, this is a 17th career victory, a 16th by knockout.

In another duel, at 130 lbs, Avery Martin-Duval (4-0-1, 3 KOs) got a draw after four rounds against Mexican Esteban Hernandez (2-2-1).


COVID-19: The mental health of Canadians remains precarious

The mental health of Canadians continued to be greatly affected by COVID-19 as it began in November, Morneau Shepell concluded, releasing its monthly mental health index on Wednesday.

According to a poll, the index had improved slightly at the start of the month compared to October. This index, calculated according to a benchmark rate assessing the mental health of Canadians in 2019, so before the pandemic, was -11.1 points at the beginning of November, against -11.7 points at the beginning of October.

At the time of the survey, the second wave was barely starting to take hold, particularly in the western provinces.

The index had hit a low of -11.7 points last April, at the start of the lockdown period, and has fluctuated since, in particular going through a slightly more optimistic period during the summer, before sinking again. This means that the mental health of Canadians has remained precarious and has hardly changed since the spring.

It should be noted, however, that it is a safe bet that the index has deteriorated in recent weeks, in the wake of the dizzying increase in the number of cases and deaths linked to COVID-19 in Canada.

Almost all the provinces, particularly those in the west and the center of the country, have also stepped up their measures to fight the virus by banning gatherings, by forcing the closure of many businesses such as restaurants or gyms, and even by going as far as ‘to order full containment as in Manitoba or Toronto and part of its suburbs, Ontario. The ban on gathering at Christmas outside of one’s family unit, enacted almost everywhere in the country, also risks playing on the morale of the population.

In return, the imminent arrival of the first doses of vaccines in the country could help raise the morale of the population, said Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of Morneau Shepell, in a press release.

In addition, the vast majority of respondents affirmed that their employer is managing the issue of the pandemic well (72%), while just over half are satisfied with the flexibility in place in terms of working hours and teleworking.

Still, 34% of respondents said the pandemic is causing them to think about the possibility of a career change.

The survey was conducted online among 3,000 Canadians, from October 25 to November 5.

Entertainment USA

‘VPR’ Cast Was ‘Blindsided’ By Jax Taylor & Brittany Cartwright’s Exit As The Show’s Future Remains In Question

Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright not only surprised fans, but also their castmates when they revealed on Instagram that they’re not returning to ‘Vanderpump Rules’.

There’s been no shortage of Vanderpump Rules drama in 2020. Not only were fans totally surprised when Jax Taylor, 41, and Brittany Cartwright, 31, made the “difficult” announcement via Instagram that they were leaving the show, but their Bravo castmates were also totally blindsided. A source close to production told HollywoodLife exclusively that nobody knew about their exit prior to Jax’s shock social media announcement.  “The cast of Vanderpump Rules found out about Jax and Brittany not returning when the couple made their announcement on Instagram,” the insider explained.

The Vanderpump Rules cast were blindsided by Jax and Brittany’s exit. Image: AP Images

“This was Jax’s news to share and he chose to share it publicly very quickly — likely because this way everyone would know at the same time — and hear it straight from him,” the source said, adding that “amid the pandemic and the restrictions in LA on restaurants,  the other cast members are still waiting to see the future and the direction of the show.” The insider also dished to HL that several cast members wished they had received a heads up in advance.

[Tom] Schwartz especially was really upset that he wasn’t told ahead of time. He felt like Jax is more than just a cast member to him and was really upset that he didn’t call or text him. Several cast members felt it was calculated and wanted the courtesy to be prepared. They really had no idea it was happening and wanted a heads up. They all felt so blindsided.”

The pair revealed they were leaving the show on Instagram. Image: AP Images

The longtime Bravo star revealed the news in a lengthy IG post on December 4. Jax has starred on the show for eight seasons, while Brittany has been on the show for five years, and it seems nobody saw it coming. “The last 8 years on Vanderpump Rules have been some of the most challenging, rewarding and fulfilling years of my life,” Jax began. “Although this is difficult to share, Brittany and I will not be returning for another season of Vanderpump Rules.” HL previously reported that Jasmine Goode, 33, is one of the “new people” being looked at to join the cast in the wake of Jax’s announcement, and the firings of Stassi SchroederKristen DouteMax Boyens and Brett Caprioni.


UAE National Day 2020: The experience of being unified remains a great and unique achievement, Ajman Ruler says

His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi.
Image Credit: WAM

Ajman: His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, said the UAE has made great historical achievements and continues to strengthen its stature in all areas.

In a statement to ‘Nation Shield,’ the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, Sheikh Humaid said: “On the 2nd of December 1971, the Emirati people were on a date with a brighter tomorrow, as that day opened the prospects for a promising future, prosperity and happiness for the UAE community. Today, we stand in appreciation for what we have achieved with the grace of Allah and thanks to the wise leadership that transformed the dream of the Union into a tangible achievement.”

The Ajman Ruler added: “The experience of being unified remains a great and unique achievement, as the UAE was transformed into a modern, prosperous country on a path towards progress and civilisation, and with great stability and capabilities. Under the Union, the country has witnessed a great educational, economic, architectural and agricultural renaissance that has fulfilled the needs for the present and the future in a unique developmental process involving the quality of human life, and the environmental and economic needs of the people.

“The quality of life in the UAE has placed it amongst the most advanced countries in the world that have made sustainable development one of their top priorities.”

On the occasion, Sheikh Humaid congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates and the people of the UAE. He wished them health, wellness and happiness, praying to Allah to bless them with security and prosperity and to grant the UAE stability and prosperity.

Sheikh Humaid continued: “The 2nd of December is a blessed occasion that marks the birth of a glorious nation that cherishes its loyal citizens and their journey, ever since the establishment of the Union by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, along with the founding leaders.”

He concluded: “As the UAE is looking forward to the next 50 years, we remember the achievements that we should be proud of, most notably the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which made the UAE the first Arab country to possess nuclear energy technology to produce electricity; the launch of the Hope Probe, the first Arab and Islamic probe to Mars; and the launch of the biggest national strategy to prepare for the coming 50 years at the federal and local levels as the country approaches its Golden Jubilee in 2021.”