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Premier League top scorers this season: Latest 2019/20 Golden Boot goal and assist standings today



The Premier League is back in action, with plenty of star players all aiming to finish as the top goalscorer to claim the Golden Boot.

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy is enjoying another impressive season, and is currently top wit 21 goals for the season as a brace against Crystal Palace took him past the 100 Premier League goal-mark.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is next best on 20, with Southampton star Danny Ings on 18 for the season.


Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has hit 17 this season, while Sergio Aguero and Sadio Mane have both scored 16 times, with Wolves’ Raul Jimenez and Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all on 15.

Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling (13) are still in the hunt.

Here are the Premier League top scorers in 2019/2020…

Statistics correct as of July 7, 2020.



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Aaron Judge’s status among top concerns for returning Yankees


When spring training was knocked out by the coronavirus on March 12, the Yankees were the favorites to win the AL title despite knowing they would start the season with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, James Paxton and Luis Severino on the injured list.

Three-plus months later, the Yankees remain the favorites and, barring further injury, will have Stanton, Hicks, Paxton and possibly Judge when the season opens in late July after three weeks of summer camp at Yankee Stadium that starts Wednesday.

When we left off

Injuries to Stanton (calf), Hicks (Tommy John surgery), Judge (top right rib fracture) and Paxton (back surgery) severely altered the starting outfield and created an opening in the No. 5 spot of the rotation.

Brett Gardner was going to play center field with Mike Tauchman (right) and Clint Frazier (left) in the corners instead of Hicks in center, Judge in right and Stanton in left.

Jonathan Loaisiga was a contender for the rotation’s fifth spot with Mike King.

Those landscapes have changed. Hicks said last week he would be ready for Opening Day. While Stanton will get a lot of action as the DH, he should be able to play left field when Gardner plays center or doesn’t start against a lefty. Judge is the wild card. If he isn’t ready, figure Tauchman and Frazier for right field. When the rib injury was discovered in March, the Yankees privately felt Judge wouldn’t be ready until June or July and they have been mum for the past month on Judge’s situation.

Yankees
Giancarlo StantonRobert Sabo

Other developments before March 12 were Gleyber Torres committing five errors in 10 spring training games at shortstop, where he is replacing the slick-fielding Didi Gregorius, who signed a one-year deal with the Phillies as a free agent.

And there was Gerrit Cole’s introduction to the team after signing a nine-year deal for $324 million. Everything appeared to go smoothly from a pitching standpoint and he quickly demonstrated a thirst for knowledge.

What to look for upon return (non-COVID)

How first-year pitching coach Matt Blake handles a condensed Spring Training 2.

Instead of the normal six weeks to get arms ready, Blake will have roughly half that many to prepare what many believe to be the top staff in the American League.

The biggest challenge for Blake will be to make sure the pitchers, especially starters, understand the difference between the workouts they did at home and what lies ahead.

“Most will feel they are ready to go and say they have been throwing a lot, but they haven’t been throwing under stress,’’ a former big-league pitching coach said Thursday. “You have to put the reins on them a bit.’’

Had Severino not required Tommy John surgery in late February, there wouldn’t have been room for Jordan Montgomery in the rotation that is headed by Cole and houses Masahiro Tanaka, Paxton and J.A. Happ. Now, after working four innings in two games at the end of last year following Tommy John surgery in 2018, the 27-year-old lefty is a heavy favorite for the fifth spot.

The delayed start likely cost Frazier early playing time, but he will be in the mix because the rosters expand from 26 to 30 players on Opening Day before shrinking to 28 on the 15th day of the season.

What to look for upon return (COVID)

What will the players look like after being away from the game for three-plus months? More importantly, where will their heads be concerning COVID-19?

For the most part players work out during the offseason and outside of a few cases, the majority are in good physical shape when they report to spring training in the middle of February. That will likely hold here, too, even though not all had access to the same type of facilities.

As for the mental side of it, this is new to everybody. Last weekend the Yankees had four members of the organization test positive in Tampa. How will a player react to a positive test? How will a player deal with the possibility of contracting the virus and bringing it home to his family? This is so much different than a pulled muscle, broken bone or Tommy John surgery. Safe to say it will be an issue for many and a serious one for players, coaches and everybody throughout the organization.

How about bad feelings toward baseball owners following an ugly labor situation?

When it comes to the extra four players at the start, it is possible some teams will use all those extra spots on relief pitchers, but some might go with a position player and three arms. A third catcher is an option, but a three-man taxi squad for road games must include a catcher.

New year. Way different game.



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Top statistician accuses government of MISLEADING the public as pressure mounts on Matt Hancock


Health Secretary Matt Hancock is coming under mounting pressure over his handling of the coronavirus crisis as eminent statistician Professor David Spiegelhalter said his testing figures are ‘completely embarrassing’.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, he accused the government of misleading the public over the number of tests carried out daily by conflating the number done with the number posted out. 

It follows reports Hancock urged Boris Johnson to ‘give me a break’ in a furious bust-up over the coronavirus crisis, and his department’s continuing failure to hit its 100,000 tests-a-day target.

Today marked the eighth day Hancock’s department missed its target, falling 7,163 tests short at 92,837. It also marked a drop by 4,041 tests from yesterday’s total of 96,878. 

The escalating row – which raises questions over the beleaguered Minister’s Cabinet future – can be revealed as the Prime Minister prepares to use a televised address to the nation this evening to set out his roadmap for easing the national lockdown. 

The government has been criticised for its daily tests data, which conflates the number of tests carried out with the number posted to homes across the country

The government has been criticised for its daily tests data, which conflates the number of tests carried out with the number posted to homes across the country

The statistician, who chairs the Winton Centre at Cambridge University, said in a fiery interview: ‘We got lots of big numbers (at the most recent daily press briefing), precise numbers of tests done…

‘Well that’s not how many were done yesterday, it includes tests that were posted out.’

Bristling with criticism, he continued: ‘We are told 31,587 people have died – no they haven’t, it is far more than that. 

‘So I think it is not trustworthy communication of statistics, and it is such a missed opportunity. 

‘There is a public out there who are broadly very supportive of the measures, they are hungry for details, for facts, for genuine information.

‘And yet they get fed what I call number theatre, which seems to be co-ordinated much more by a No10 communications team rather than genuinely trying to inform people about what is going on.

‘I just wish that the data was being brought together and presented by people who really know its strengths and limitations and could treat the audience with some respect.’

Prof Spiegelhalter has also written a book on numbers, called The Art of Statistics.

The government has repeatedly referenced his article on global coronavirus data to suggest that UK deaths should not be compared to other countries. 

In a tweet on May 6, however, he rebuffed their claims writing: ‘Polite request to PM and others: Please  stop using my Guardian article to claim we cannot make any international comparison yet.

‘I refer only to detailed league tables – of course we should now use other countries to try and learn why our numbers are high.’

Matt Hancock is coming under increasing pressure over his handling of the coronavirus crisis. He is pictured above approaching Downing Street on VE day

Matt Hancock is coming under increasing pressure over his handling of the coronavirus crisis. He is pictured above approaching Downing Street on VE day

Number of coronavirus tests carried out since May 1 deadline 

May 1 – 122,347

May 2 – 105,937

May 3 – 76,496

May 4 – 85,186

May 5 – 84,806

May 6 – 69,463 (low since May 1)

May 7 – 86,583

May 8 – 97,029

May 9 – 96,878

May 10 – 92,837 

Hancock claimed the UK had reached his 100,000 tests-a-day target on May 1, with 122,347 completed, but numbers have dramatically slid backwards since then.

Yesterday Department of Health figures say just 96,878 tests were completed, 3,000 below the initial target. They fell to a low of 69,463 on May 6.

As criticism mounted it has also emerged that 50,000 coronavirus tests have been sent to the US for analysis following capacity issues in the UK. 

The government has blamed this on ‘operational issues’ while the Department of Health said it was among the ‘contingencies’ to deal with ‘problems’.

The prime minister will be announcing how the UK’s lockdown is set to continue after 7pm today. 

His plans include introducing a five-stage alert system – similar to that used to highlight the risk of a terrorist attack – to signal the risk of infection in different parts of the country.

While a green Level One alert would mean life carrying on normally, a red Level Five means that the NHS is in a critical state and on the brink of being overwhelmed.

No 10 is also preparing to launch a new slogan – ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ – to replace advice to stay at home, indicating a gradual move to a less draconian set of restrictions.

But the Government will take a cautious approach after scientific advisers warned that Covid-19 is ‘ripping through care homes’.

The PM will speak to the nation at 7pm on Sunday outlining his five-step exit plan out of lockdown. This weekend, he is expected to announce that garden centres will be allowed to open from Wednesday and publish guidance for safer working in offices

The PM will speak to the nation at 7pm on Sunday outlining his five-step exit plan out of lockdown. This weekend, he is expected to announce that garden centres will be allowed to open from Wednesday and publish guidance for safer working in offices

A surge in the R-number, which measures how quickly the virus is spreading, came in a ‘chilling briefing’ from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to the Cabinet.

A source said: ‘Sage say we are one wrong move away from R going back to where it was in March.’

Pressure intensified on Mr Hancock over his handling of the crisis last night after more than 25 million goggles were found to offer frontline NHS workers inadequate defence against the deadly virus.

The latest in a string of embarrassing Government failures over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) came as senior sources suggested to The Mail on Sunday that Mr Hancock was now living ‘on borrowed time’ in the Cabinet.

One source claimed Boris Johnson had raised questions with Mr Hancock about his department’s grip on the crisis, only for the Minister to plead: ‘That’s not fair – give me a break.’ 

The 25.6 million pairs of Tiger Eye goggles bought for the NHS are not fit for purpose, according to the British Standards Institute: 15.9 million of them have already been distributed, with hospitals now being told to withdraw the remaining 9.7 million from use.

During another weekend of dramatic developments:

  • Mr Johnson is expected to confirm that garden centres will be allowed to open from Wednesday and publish guidance for safer working in offices – but tougher fines of up to £3,000 for breaches of the rules
  • Airports and travel companies reacted with fury to plans to impose two weeks’ quarantine on anyone arriving in the country, including UK citizens returning from holiday
  • The UK death toll rose by 346 to 31,587, including more than 200 healthcare workers. Globally, there have been almost 4 million cases with more than 276,000 lives lost
  • Ministers voiced suspicion that political opponents and union barons were colluding to block schools reopening until pay demands were met
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £2 billion package to boost cycling and walking
  • Actress Miriam Margolyes faced fury for saying she had hoped Mr Johnson would die from coronavirus

Mr Hancock’s spokesman said Ministers were ‘furious’ about the mistake with the goggles, which they said had been ordered by Gordon Brown’s Labour Government in 2009.

A Health Department source dubbed them ‘Gordon’s goggles’ and added that they were bought against 2001 standards of protection which were superseded by the time they were purchased. ‘Even a decade on, we are still having to clear up Labour’s mess’, the source added.

Around 3 million eye protectors are used every day in hospitals, meaning more than eight days’ supply has been lost. But a Department of Health spokesman insisted the NHS had enough stock to be able to immediately stop using the Tiger Eye goggles.

However, the latest PPE fiasco will be damaging to the Health Secretary, coming days after it emerged that surgical gowns ordered from Turkey and flown into the UK amid great fanfare did not all meet British safety standards.

‘The feeling is that Hancock is on borrowed time,’ said a senior Government source.

‘He has fallen out with the most powerful figures in the Government, from the Prime Minister down. 

‘Nothing will change immediately. But once we have beaten this thing, expect him to be moved.’ 

A source close to Mr Hancock admitted tensions had run high in the run-up to the deadline for hitting a target of 100,000 tests a day, but said ‘the PM was full of praise for his performance’.  

‘We’ve been working incredibly well with the PM and the whole No10 team and have had nothing but total support from them,’ the source added. 

‘During Cabinet the PM praised Matt for doing an “amazing job in hellishly difficult circumstances.” ’ 

Mr Johnson will address the country after leading a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee this afternoon.

A No 10 source said: ‘This is a critical moment so, having assessed the evidence carefully, the Prime Minister will ask for the public resolve as we continue to do whatever is needed to defeat this devastating virus.’

In a similar way to how the level of terror threat is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and MI5, the Covid alert level will be set by medical and data experts working for a new ‘Joint Biosecurity Centre’.

‘School prefect’ Matt Hancock ‘is living on borrowed time’ after clashes with Michael Gove, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson

 Matt Hancock is living on ‘borrowed time’ as Health Secretary following clashes with the three most powerful members of the Government over the Covid crisis, The Mail on Sunday has been told.

Mr Hancock is understood to have pleaded ‘give me a break’ when Boris Johnson reprimanded him over the virus testing programme – leading to open questioning within Downing Street over Mr Hancock’s long-term political future.

His run-in with Mr Johnson follows battles with both Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove over the best strategy for managing the pandemic.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is 'on borrowed time' after falling out with the three highest members of Government.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is ‘on borrowed time’ after falling out with the three highest members of Government.

The Health Secretary is believed to have fallen out with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove (pictured)

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (pictured) is also believed to have fallen out with Mr Hancock

Mr Hancock’s clash with the PM follows battles with Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove (left) and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (right)

Shortly after Mr Johnson returned to work at No 10 a fortnight ago, he and Mr Johnson had a tense exchange about the the Health Department’s ‘grip’ on the crisis, during which Mr Hancock said to the Prime Minister, in what has been described as a ‘petulant’ tone: ‘That’s not fair – give me a break.’

He is also being blamed in some Government quarters – or scapegoated, according to his allies – for not moving quickly enough to do more to protect care homes from the epidemic. 

Officials in Whitehall knew as early as the first week of March that the projected death rate among the over-90s was expected to be as high as 50 per cent, leading to discussions about ‘cocooning’ the institutions from infection.

Mr Hancock has also been accused of not moving quickly enough to protect care-homes from the deadly virus

But as the infection rates started to climb later that month, care workers were still entering the homes – many of them having travelled in on public transport – without the necessary protective equipment.

With the reproduction rate of the virus now falling in the wider community, it is the continuing spread in residential care homes which has so far prevented Mr Johnson from lifting more of the lockdown measures. 

And Mr Hancock has annoyed Downing Street with his tendency to come up with spur-of-the-moment policies – such as his threat last month to ban all outside exercise, which he had to climb down over almost immediately.

One No10 source expressed irritation at what they described as ‘Hancock’s insistence on playing the big man’ during the crisis.

It has led to the Health Secretary being likened by some to a school prefect – but one ‘who never gets to be head boy’.

The Health Secretary was also described as a prefect 'who never gets to be head boy' by a Downing Street source. (Cartoon by Henry Davies)

The Health Secretary was also described as a prefect ‘who never gets to be head boy’ by a Downing Street source. (Cartoon by Henry Davies)

A senior Government source said: ‘The feeling is that Hancock is on borrowed time. He has fallen out with the most powerful figures in the Government, from the Prime Minister down. 

‘Nothing will change immediately. But once we have beaten this thing, expect him to be moved.’

As a Cabinet ‘dove’ who opposes an early relaxation of the lockdown rules, Mr Hancock has been engaged in running ideological battles with Chancellor Mr Sunak, who leads the Cabinet ‘hawks’ who are keen to pull the economy out of its Covid-inflicted nosedive as soon as possible. 

Although allies of both men insist they share the same aim of saving lives while protecting the economy, there is little doubt that they differ about how to achieve it – and have had ‘robust’ exchanges on the matter.

Mr Hancock is believed to have participated in several ideological battles with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is keen to quickly pull the economy out of its Covid-inflicted nosedive

Mr Hancock is believed to have participated in several ideological battles with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is keen to quickly pull the economy out of its Covid-inflicted nosedive

The Health Secretary has also fallen out with Mr Gove (left) over the supply of ventilators and protective equipment across the country

The Health Secretary has also fallen out with Mr Gove (left) over the supply of ventilators and protective equipment across the country

Mr Hancock has also made the mistake of crossing swords with Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. 

The two Cabinet ministers – who each chair one of the four committees set up to tackle the virus, as well as sitting on the daily C-19 super-committee chaired by the Prime Minister, and the Cobra emergency committee – have clashed over the supply of ventilators and protective equipment.

Mr Gove was described by one colleague as being ‘much more across the detail’ than Mr Hancock – and ‘not shy about displaying it’.

Mr Hancock is also regarded with suspicion within Mr Johnson’s pro-Brexit inner circle because of his previous closeness to George Osborne, the Remainer former Chancellor. 

He ran for the leadership last year on a soft-Brexit ticket, only to pull out when he mustered just 20 votes. He switched to supporting Mr Johnson, the frontrunner, in the process shedding his soft Brexit views and dropping his opposition to Mr Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament to force through Brexit.

At one point during Mr Johnson’s campaign, when Mr Hancock visited his Commons office to offer his support, Mr Johnson is said to have made an obscene hand gesture as Mr Hancock left.

Mr Hancock also attracted criticism last week for telling a female Labour MP to ‘watch her tone’ after she grilled him on the Government’s coronavirus testing strategy. His remark to Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who also works as an A&E doctor, sparked uproar among MPs who accused him of sexism. 

The Health Secretary was also accused of sexism after he told Labour MP and A&E doctor Rosena Allin-Khan (left) to 'watch her tone' in a House of Commons session

The Health Secretary was also accused of sexism after he told Labour MP and A&E doctor Rosena Allin-Khan (left) to ‘watch her tone’ in a House of Commons session

In a spur-of-the-moment policy, Mr Hancock threatened to ban all outdoor exercise across the UK in order the combat the virus but pressure from Downing Street forced him to abandon this idea

Mr Hancock was forced to abandon his threat to ban all outside exercise under intense pressure from Downing Street. 

One official said at the time: ‘If he doesn’t dig himself out of this hole [at that day’s press conference] then we will do it for him’. Mr Hancock duly performed a sharp U-turn at the briefing.

A source close to Mr Hancock said: ‘We’ve been working incredibly well with the PM and the whole No 10 team and have had nothing but total support from them.’The source added that Mr Johnson had praised Mr Hancock for doing an ‘amazing job in hellishly difficult circumstances’.

MoS LAUNCHES £3MILLION FUND TO HELP SMALL FIRMS BEAT THE VIRUS

The Mail on Sunday today launches a £3 million support package to help small firms battle the coronavirus crisis.

The owner of the MoS, Daily Mail, Metro and the i is giving away £3,000 of advertising in its newspapers – and on Mail Online and metro.co.uk – to 1,000 small businesses.

The groundbreaking giveaway, launched in collaboration with the Federation of Small Businesses, will open for applications from Wednesday at grants.fsb.org.uk. 

It is The Mail on Sunday’s way of doing our bit to help firms that provide incomes for more than 17 million people and comes hot on the heels of the hugely successful Mail Force initiative. 

That charity, set up by MoS owner Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and its partners, has already raised over £6 million to fly in millions of items of vital protective equipment for NHS staff and care workers.

Today, a survey by accountancy software giant Sage finds one in three firms expect sales to be 50 per cent lower after lockdown is eased. Separate research from legal firm Buckworths found a quarter of small firms do not think the Government’s existing support measures will be enough for them to survive.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘Our members will be hugely grateful to The Mail on Sunday for this generous support. It’s fantastic.

‘The pandemic is likely to have an impact on businesses for months – if not years – to come and they’ll need a lot of help to get back on their feet.

‘It won’t be enough to rely on word of mouth to attract new customers. We urge every eligible member to apply for this advertising giveaway. 



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Trump turns focus to Sanders as senator holds steady near top of the Democratic pack


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has been ramping up his attacks on Bernie Sanders as the Vermont senator has consistently stayed near the top of the Democratic pack.

Trump lobbed a fresh jab at Sanders on Sunday on Twitter, noting his rise in the polls, and brought him up throughout his rally on Thursday in Toledo. Trump’s campaign sent out back-to-back emails blasting Sanders last week.

The moves are part of a deliberate shift in focus towards Sanders, a campaign official said. As Trump’s attacks are likely to do more to help Sanders than hurt him with Democratic voters, it’s an indication the campaign is trying to put its finger on the scale in the weeks before voters begin weighing in.

“Wow! Crazy Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, looking very good against his opponents in the Do Nothing Party,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “So what does this all mean? Stay tuned!”

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Sanders shot back moments later, replying on Twitter, “It means you’re going to lose.”

Sanders took a narrow lead in the most recent poll of Iowa voters, but the race there remains essentially a four-way dead heat less than a month before the critical first-in-the-nation caucuses. The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll, released Friday, shows Sanders with 20 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers.

While Trump’s campaign advisers believe the president has a good shot at defeating any of the Democratic contenders, they have said Sanders would be an easy mark because they believe his progressive policies would alienate moderate and independent voters.

But the campaign has also sought recently to go after Sanders’ character, not just his policies. In a campaign email sent Thursday, Sanders was described as a “wealthy, fossil-fuel guzzling millionaire” — a somewhat paradoxical attack from a billionaire who used to fly around in a private jet. In another on Wednesday, the campaign said Sanders “can’t be trusted to defend American lives.”

“He’s just another Hollywood-style hypocrite who demands working class Americans make sacrifices while he plays by his own rules and enjoys a lavish lifestyle,” the campaign email on Thursday said.

Although Trump often refers to Sanders as “crazy Bernie,” he has previously reserved his most stinging attacks for Democrats like Biden and Warren.

But at a campaign rally in Toledo Thursday, Trump went after Sanders several times, attacking the senator’s health care plan and his criticism of the administration’s decision to kill top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, while seeking to paint Sanders as a leader of the Democratic Party.

“Democrats are taking their cues from socialist Bernie Sanders,” along with the group of freshman women in the House known as “The Squad,” Trump said. “They’re the leaders of the party.”

Trump’s attacks haven’t gone unnoticed by Sanders.

“Some of you may have noticed that recently our campaign and me personally have been the target of attacks from Trump and the Republican party because they are catching on that our campaign is the campaign that can and win defeat them,” Sanders said at a town hall event in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday. “We are going to expose the fact that when Trump talks about being a friend of working people, he is a liar and a fraud.”

Gary Grumbach contributed.





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Man Utd boss Solskjaer will be handed £250MILLION to rebuild club – with Sancho and Haaland top of his shopping list – The Sun


OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER will be handed a staggering £250million next year to rebuild Manchester United.

The Old Trafford boss wants established stars who would walk into the first-team — with Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland on his hitlist.

 Red Bull Salzburg striker and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho are targets of Man Utd

1

Red Bull Salzburg striker and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho are targets of Man Utd

He said: “We are going to strengthen. We are going to get starters into this team — we need to.

“We are one or two players down in numbers.

“But it doesn’t have to be this window, it might be the summer window.”

The Old Trafford transfer kitty could swell to £400m if Paul Pogba leaves for the £150m asking price.

Solskjaer shelled out almost £150m to bring in Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James last summer.

But he has also invested time in youth with budding stars like Mason Greenwood, 17, and Brandon Williams, 19, coming through.

Yet he knows he needs more creative options and at least one more top defender.

Dortmund’s £100m-rated Sancho and RB Salzburg whizkid Erling Haaland, 19, who is priced at £70m, are among Solskjaer’s targets.



Centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who would cost £80m from Napoli, and £70m midfielder Bruno Fernandes at Sporting Lisbon are some of the others on his hitlist.

Pogba could be back by Christmas after playing only six games this season due to ankle problems.

It is understood Solskjaer and executive vice–chairman Ed Woodward may reconsider their stance over the French star leaving the club.

How Man Utd could line up with Havertz, Haaland and Tuanzebe as captain with best academy prospects in world





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Man Utd fans ‘deserved’ Man City win as Harry Maguire targets top four finish



Harry Maguire has the top four in his sights after Manchester United’s thrilling derby triumph at Manchester City .

A week that started with scrutiny and mounting pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the wake of an alarming home draw with promoted Aston Villa ended with a second memorable victory in a matter of days.

Fresh from deservedly seeing off Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday evening, Man Utd won by the same scoreline across town at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a roaring start and impressive game plan.

Few connected to City could have complained had Solskjaer’s side added to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in a fine first half that laid the foundation for a victory that secured more than just bragging rights.

The 2-1 win in the 179th Manchester derby moved United up to fifth and within five points of the Champions League spots after fourth-placed Chelsea fell to a surprise loss at embattled Everton.

“I think you need to look after your own results, don’t look elsewhere, keep winning games,” Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender, said.

“We’ve won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We’ve got another big game next week now.

“The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving.”

United return to action on Thursday as they close their Europa League group campaign at home to AZ Alkmaar, when Solskjaer will want to keep his in-form attackers fresh ahead of next weekend’s league clash with Everton.

The Reds had been hampered by their lack of cutting edge during the early months of the season, but the front three of Rashford, Martial and fleet-footed Daniel James showed they can scare any side on Saturday.

“Over the last month or so, I feel like as a defender I look at the forwards and think they’re going to score goals,” Maguire told MUTV.

“At the start of the season we didn’t really score more than one goal in a game but now I think it’s a few games on the spin where we’re back to scoring goals.

“They’re a big threat, they’re top players, great talent and I think it’s all coming together now.

“But, no, we’re not getting carried away.

“It’s a big three points, it’s a special win, one for the fans, I’m really happy for them.

“We just keep moving up that table and keep chipping away.”

United are unbeaten in five Premier League matches and secured their first back-to-back league wins since things spectacularly unravelled in March.

There is a growing confidence within Solskjaer’s squad and Maguire is targeting more improvements after captaining the side to victory in the blue half of Manchester.

“Proud,” the England international said. “Really proud to the lead the boys out at the Etihad and to get the three points. It was an important game for us.

“We feel like this year we haven’t got results in some games where we feel we deserved the three points.

“I think the last two games, I don’t think no-one can question that we’ve deserved both victories.

“Great start from the lads. The front four in the first half was frightening and when they’re on their game like that, they can cause any defence problems.

“The disappointing thing probably at half-time was that it was only 2-0!

“We knew they were going to come strong, they were going to throw everything at us.

“I think we held out really well. I don’t think they created too much in the second half.

“We knew we were going to have a lot of bouncing passes and David made a good a save late on and to concede from a set play is really disappointing. Something that we’ve got to tighten up on.

“Like I said, to come to the Etihad and them not to score from open play but to concede from a set play as a defender, and I am sure for David as well, it’s disappointing.

“The victory is for the fans. They deserve it this season.”

Solskjaer was proud of United’s performance at the Etihad Stadium, where they displayed the “quick, attacking football” he always knew his side were capable of in the right shape.

The Norwegian also praised their “great character and attitude” on an afternoon when missiles were aimed at Fred, who produced his best performance in a red shirt.

The Brazil midfielder was also subjected to alleged racist abuse along with Jesse Lingard, who again showed he is getting back to his best at the end of a tough year.”

He’s Man United through and through,” Solskjaer said of Lingard. “He’s a red, he’s got a great attitude and a great workrate.

“Every one of us have things to deal with on and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us. It’s great to see him back.”

Put to Solskjaer that fans do not see off-field issues, he said: “Exactly. That’s the privilege some people think they have.

“You can criticise anyone about anything but, for me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times.

“It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self.”



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Stephen Poloz to step down: How Canada’s top banker went from folksy obscurity to steady hand


OTTAWA — Outgoing governor Stephen Poloz once joked that, after being chosen to succeed Mark Carney as head of the Bank of Canada in 2013, he was received much like the guy who replaced Wayne Gretzky. That is to say: nobody actually remembers the guy who replaced The Great One.

Poloz was plucked from relative obscurity as head of Export Development Canada and, despite being on the shortlist of successors, was considerably less well-known compared to the high-profile Carney, who had engineered Canada’s response to the deepest recession in decades and made Time magazine’s 100 “most influential” list.

“I run into people in the street and they ask me, ‘how’s Mark?’” Poloz said in an April 2019 interview with Maclean’s. “And I’m like, ‘great… and I’m doing okay too.’”

But Poloz, who announced on Friday he would be stepping down from the role, has nonetheless made a name for himself over the last six years — even if he hasn’t reached rock-star status.

He became known for his honest communication style, delivered with a trademark folksiness and a penchant for metaphors (he once used a “spaghetti-sauce model” to describe monetary tapering after the recession of 2007-08, and compared exchange rate fluctuations to walking a dog on a leash).

He made a point of accounting for the pulse of the “real economy,” focusing on business investment and the sentiments of CEOs more than his predecessors. Most of all, he kept inflation largely within the bank’s target, even amid trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump and a Canadian economy that, after years of tepid growth, suddenly caught fire in 2017.

It wasn’t always a smooth ride. He started his term amid some concerns that his connection to the EDC and exporters would make him partial to a lower Canadian dollar. Others were rankled by his communications style, which sometimes veered from the Bank of Canada’s official script. He gradually overcame those frustrations.

“I think he’s gained more respect over time in this role,” said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian rates strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

Poloz took over from Carney at a time when the country was climbing out of the deepest recession in decades. A prolonged period of low interest rates had pushed household debts to among the highest of any developed nation, leaving the governor tightly wedged between mediocre economic growth and fast-expanding consumer credit.

I think he’s gained more respect over time in this role

Mark Chandler, head of Canadian rates strategy at RBC Capital Markets

His first major test came when oil prices suddenly collapsed in mid-2014, sending the wider economy into a tailspin. Poloz shocked the market with a sudden rate cut in early 2015, followed by a second cut months later, reducing the overnight rate to 0.5 per cent. The move both solidified what proved to be a prescient move by Poloz, while also laying bare the limits of monetary policy in the current economy.

“He was a creature of his time,” Chandler said. “It’s something you can give him credit for — he acted quite quickly, and at a time when others maybe hadn’t recognized the impact of the oil shock.”

Poloz was born in Oshawa, Ont., and completed his economics degree at Queen’s University in Kingston. He received a master’s degree in economics in 1979 and a PhD in economics in 1982, both from the University of Western Ontario. He first joined the Bank of Canada in 1981, where he rose up through the ranks over a 14-year period.

Christopher Ragan, former special advisor to Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, said it was immediately evident to him that Poloz was on the fast track for the governor position when he first met him in the early 90s.

Poloz was heading the bank’s then-research arm at the time. The other potential successor Ragan had identified was Tiff Macklem, who would later become senior deputy governor at the bank.

“They just had the complete package of things that you want,” Ragan said. “They had the analytical power, they had the administrative savvy, they had the communication chops. It was clear as day to me.”

Macklem was seen by many analysts as a natural successor to Carney, a long-time Bank of Canada employee who seemed groomed for the job. The decision by then-finance minister Jim Flaherty to appoint Poloz was met with confusion by some.

In a 2013 interview with the Globe and Mail, former European Central Bank economist Thorsten Koeppl said there was “a lot of head scratching going on” after the appointment. Macklem stepped down from the bank shortly after the appointment, four years before the end of his term.


Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz (centre) with Mark Carney (left), and the late Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in Ottawa May 2, 2013. Andre Forget/QMI Agency

But Poloz gradually won the confidence of Bay Steet, in part through a communication style that, unlike his predecessor, would readily convey the unknowns and uncertainties in the bank’s economic models.

“It’s part of his ‘aw-shucks, we-don’t-know-everything-that-the-previous-guy-knew’ communication style,” Ragan said. “He probably trades on that a little bit, and that’s okay.”

“He would say, ‘there are things the bank doesn’t know, things that I as a governor don’t know, things that the economics profession doesn’t know.’ And I think that’s extremely healthy.”

Another of his trademarks was a stand against debt. Poloz was uncommonly outspoken about rising consumer debt levels across Canada, and often expressed his worries over a heated housing market.

“That’s something that’s reasonably different than what other governors have done in the past,” said Jean-François Perrault, chief economist at Scotiabank.

“Unfortunately, that also muddles a little bit the approach to monetary policy,” he added.

Some analysts have disagreed with Poloz’s decision to continue holding rates, especially in recent months when trade rifts between the U.S. and China kicked off a wave of cuts at central banks around the globe.

“Over the last few weeks one could make a very good case that there was a need for lower interest rates in Canada to guard against risks,” Perrault said.

Scotiabank had predicted the bank would cut rates in October or December.

The wisdom of Poloz’s move remains to be seen, particularly with Canada’s current interest rate of 1.75 per cent being the highest among advanced economies.

Meanwhile, consumer debts have continued to rise. Canada’s household debt in 2018 averaged 181 per cent of total income, well higher than the United States (109 per cent), Germany (95 per cent), and others, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

That could be among his more unfortunate legacies at the bank, RBC’s Chandler said. Concerns about household debts had already begun to surface when Poloz took over from his predecessor, when the Canadian economy was taking its long, slow climb back to health.

“Seven and a half years later, debt levels are even higher,” Chandler said. “So if that legacy was a question mark for Carney, it’s even more so under Poloz.”

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This is the list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada


With key-less entry, GPS and mobile apps, vehicles are getting smarter and smarter — and auto thieves are keeping up, according to a new report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Sophisticated thieves are using technology to “bypass security systems,” IBC, which represents Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers, warned in a press release on Tuesday.

Auto theft these days is less and less about stealing keys and manual hot-wiring and increasingly about intercepting the signal between your vehicle and your entry fob, said IBC’s Vanessa Barrasa. As long that the two are in close proximity, thieves can capture the signal, she added.

READ MORE: Your car-loan payment may be way too high. Here’s what’s happening

That may explain why, despite ever more sophisticated technology, auto theft has held remarkably constant over the past few years. The IBC estimates thieves steal a vehicle every six minutes in Canada, something that collectively costs owners close to $1 billion every year, with insurers paying out around half that to fix or replace the stolen trucks, SUVs and cars.

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As for the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada, here’s the list from IBC:

1. Ford 350SD AWD 2007
2. Ford 350SD AWD 2006
3. Ford 350SD AWD 2005
4. Ford 350SD AWD 2004
5. Ford 250SD AWD 2006
6. Ford 350SD AWD 2003
7. Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018
8. Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005
9. Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002
10. Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998

What’s so special about the Ford 350?

While the list is dominated by the popular Ford pickup truck, that’s hardly an indication that Ford 350 owners are more likely to suffer theft, Barrasa said. Rather, the data is a reflection of “what’s available” for thieves to steal.

The truck is very common in populous provinces like Alberta, which weighs heavily in the national data, she added.

Still, pick-up trucks in general, as well as some SUVs, are being shipped for resale overseas, which is part of a larger organized crime problem, Barrasa said.



Global News reported in 2018 that organized crime was behind a surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, with some provinces, such as Ontario, seeing double-digit increases in theft even as the national average remained roughly steady.

READ MORE: Organized crime behind surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, auto insurance fraud, experts say

Organized auto theft rings are involved in international trade-based money laundering and raising money for drug-trafficking and terrorism, the IBC told Global News. Transnational gangs are even sending SUVs stolen in Canada to carry out terrorist bombings in the Middle East.

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Still, owners of small, less expensive vehicles can’t rest easy either, as thieves also may target vehicles in order to steal parts or take them on a joyride, according to Barrasa.

“These are thieves: they’re picky, but they’re not too picky.”


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How to protect your vehicle

Some of the steps Canadians can take to reduce the risk of theft are just commonsense precautions. For example, leaving your vehicle running while unattended — even if it’s really cold outside, Barrasa said.

Always locking your doors and making sure the windows are closed is another simple step that can help you ensure your vehicle isn’t an easy target. Other deterrents include steering wheel or brake pedal locks and visible or audible devices that let thieves know the vehicle is protected.

But as auto thieves turn into something closer to hackers, there is more vehicle owners need to know. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal of your key-less entry fob if you leave it at the front entrance of your house, the IBC warned.






Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers


Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t keep storing your fob near your front door, Barrasa said. But instead of dropping in into a generic bowl along with your gloves, and spare change, put it in a metal box with a lid, she suggested.

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Another way to protect yourself from electronic auto theft is to install an immobilizing device, which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This includes devices that require wireless ignition authentication as well as starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers, according to IBC.

READ MORE: Border officers frustrated at police inaction over stolen cars being exported through Montreal

Some vehicles already come with this type of device installed, but if yours doesn’t, you can do your own research or contact your manufacturer or dealer, Barrasa said.

ICB also suggests installing a tracking device, if your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one. While this won’t thwart a theft, it may help authorities to retrieve your vehicle. The device sends a signal to a monitoring station or directly to police in case of auto theft.

Finally, Barrasa recommends storing personal information like insurance and ownership papers in your wallet rather than your glove compartments. That helps prevent a tech-savvy auto thief from also stealing your identity.

— With reporting from Sam Cooper, Global News




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







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Drop the SAT and ACT as a requirement for admission, top UC officials say



The chancellors of UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, along with the University of California’s chief academic officer, said they support dropping the SAT and ACT as an admission requirement — stances certain to fuel the growing national movement against the tests as an unfair barrier to college entry for underserved students.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and UC Provost Michael Brown told a forum on college admissions Friday that research has convinced them that performance on the SAT and ACT is so strongly influenced by family income, parents’ education and race that using them for high-stakes admissions decisions is simply wrong.

“They really contribute to the inequities of our system,” Christ said at the Berkeley forum, sponsored by the Policy Analysis for California Education research center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education.

Brown said he was not opposed to all standardized tests but objects to the SAT and ACT because their results compare students against one another in a way designed to produce high and low scores. He prefers standardized tests that measure students by how much they’ve mastered prescribed academic content. One such test is Smarter Balanced, which is used in California to assess 11th-graders on the state’s Common Core curriculum, but Brown said he would prefer a test more closely linked to the content of courses required for UC admission.

Separately, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive also said Friday that she supported dropping the testing requirement. “At Santa Cruz, we use holistic admissions to try to evaluate the student within a broader context, which cannot be simply reduced to a number,” she told The Times.

The positions announced by some of the most influential higher-education leaders in California came as the UC system and California State University are reviewing whether to drop SAT and ACT test scores as admissions requirements.

A decision by the two systems to drop the tests would have an outsize influence on the future of standardized testing because they represent a huge share of customers for the nonprofit testing companies.

The 10-campus UC system and 23-campus Cal State system would join more than 1,000 other colleges that have gone testing-optional, with 47 more schools joining in the last 12 months, double the number over last year, according to FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

At the request of UC President Janet Napolitano last year, the Academic Senate convened a task force to analyze the research on standardized testing and make recommendations on whether to retain the tests. The group expects to issue a preliminary report early next year.

Although the SAT and ACT are somewhat predictive of college performance, particularly at selective universities, high school grades are the strongest single predictor of student success, research shows.

At the Berkeley forum, Jessica Howell, vice president of research with the College Board, which owns the SAT, pushed back at criticism of standardized tests, saying they merely reflect underlying social and educational inequities. The testing organization has developed a tool to help colleges understand the socioeconomic characteristics of high schools and neighborhoods where test-takers come from, helping them place the scores in proper context.

“We shouldn’t stop using them because we don’t like what we see,” Howell said of the tests.

She added that a greater reliance on high school grades in the name of equity was “misguided” because research has shown that grade inflation occurs more often at affluent schools.

Educators at the forum also discussed how to better coordinate the K-12 system with the state’s colleges and universities, ways to address the burgeoning demand for seats at UC and Cal State schools and steps to make the educational system more equitable.

Provost Brown, for instance, said the failure of some California high schools to offer the full slate of courses required for UC admission is a bigger barrier to entry for underserved students than the SAT and ACT. Closer oversight of schools and more state funding to hire more teachers to offer the required classes are needed, he said.

Some educators urged efforts to revive affirmative action, which was banned in California by Proposition 209 in 1996. They noted that efforts to admit more low-income and first-generation students have not fully succeeded in making sure college populations reflect the state’s diversity.

But standardized testing was the major topic of interest.

Some researchers, such as Saul Geiser of UC Berkeley and Michal Kurlaender of UC Davis, support switching from the SAT and ACT to the Smarter Balanced tests as an admissions requirement because the latter test is equally predictive of college performance with far less discriminatory effect on disadvantaged students.

In her remarks, Christ said she was provost at UC Berkeley when Proposition 209 passed. That change, she said, forced the university to use a “formulaic” and “terrible” admissions approach that amounted to selecting students in descending order of SAT scores — favoring some students over others for largely insignificant differences.

When she became president of Smith College in 2002, she eliminated the SAT requirement. As a result, she said, the applicant pool grew both in size and diversity with no decline in quality of students. In fact, she said, the college’s average SAT score rose because those who did well submitted scores while others did not.

She said Smith was able to make quality admissions decisions using high school records alone. “That is a much better predictor of success than are test scores,” she told The Times after her remarks.

Other UC chancellors could not be reached Friday for comment about standardized testing, but UCLA issued a statement saying officials there would wait for the Academic Senate’s analysis before weighing in on the question.

Some of the UC system‘s 26 voting regents have expressed deep skepticism or outright opposition to the continued use of the SAT and ACT, including Chairman John A. Pérez, Vice Chairwoman Cecilia Estolano and Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley.

“The initial information that I’ve seen shows that the highest predictive value of an SAT isn’t in how well a student will do in school, but how well they were able to avail themselves of prep material,” Pérez recently told The Times. “And access to that prep material is still disproportionately tied to family income. So if you have material available but no pathway to avail yourself of it, that’s not particularly meaningful.”





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