Usain Bolt is on the verge of sealing a deal to trial with the A-Leagues Central Coast Mariners, the Australian club said Tuesday, as the sprint legend pursues his dream of playing professional football.
Eight-time Olympic champion Bolt, 31, who retired from athletics after Augusts World Championships in London, is an avid Manchester United fan who has long dreamt of playing top-flight football.
The 100m and 200m world record-holder trained with Norwegian club Stromsgodset last month and Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in March.
The planned arrangement will see him take part in a six-week trial starting next month at the Mariners base in Gosford, some 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said.
A season-long deal could follow if it goes well, he told commercial broadcaster Channel Seven.
Football agent Tony Rallis, who has been working on the deal, told Sky Sports Radios Big Sports Breakfast Tuesday it has been agreed in principle subject to a couple of benchmarks.
Mainly, a trial, and of course marquee funds support from (governing body Football Federation Australia), he said, adding that the arrangement was not a gimmick.
Once the FFA comes back and says that theyll be part of the process, were going to the trial This blokes an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero, and we got superman.
Mielekamp said his club had been working on the agreement for four to five months, and there was still some work to do.
But fingers crossed things might play out, but the most important thing is we wait to find out and see how good a footballer he is first.
If all goes well, who knows? He may be playing in the A-League this season.
Mielekamp said reports of Bolts performance at the European clubs he has trialled with have been pretty good, and that every time he trains, he improves significantly.
He has a very good left foot, and time will tell at what level he is at and if it fits the A-League it would only be big if he could play and go really well, he said.
If he comes in and he is not up to the level, it could have a detrimental effect.
Bolt has dominated sprinting since taking double individual gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The charismatic sportsman went on to win a further six Olympic
India has ordered an immediate inspection of all childcare homes run by a religious order founded by Mother Teresa after a nun was arrested over an alleged adoption racket.
Illegal adoption is big business in India, with over 100,000 children reported missing every year, the government says. Many are given up by desperately poor parents but others are snatched from hospitals and train stations.
Police earlier this month arrested the nun and a worker at one of the Missionaries of Charity orders homes in Ranchi, the capital of eastern Jharkhand state, over allegations that at least five infants were sold for potentially thousands of dollars.
The scandal blew up after local child welfare authorities informed police about a newborn missing from the home, which is meant to care for unwed pregnant women and mothers in distress.
In a statement late Monday, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said all state governments have been asked to get child care homes run by Missionaries of Charity all over the country inspected immediately.
She also said all childcare institutions should be registered and linked to the central adoption authority within the next month.
In December Indias Supreme Court had ordered mandatory registration of all childcare institutions and bringing orphanages under the central adoption system.
Since then some 2,300 childcare institutions have been linked to the Central Adoption Resource Authority and about 4,000 are still pending, according to the government.
In the aftermath of the adoption scandal, the Missionaries of Charity had said it would carefully look into the Jharkhand case and ensure the incident was never repeated.
The charity was founded in 1946 by Mother Teresa, a global symbol of compassion who was canonised as a saint after her death in 1997.
Headquartered in Kolkata in eastern India, the charity runs several institutions across the country.
Missionaries of Charity was previously involved in providing legal adoption services in India, but in 2015 said it was closing down its adoption centres, citing new regulations that made it easier for single and divorced people to adopt children.
British engine maker Rolls-Royce revealed plans this week to develop a hybrid electric vehicle, dubbed the flying taxi, which takes off and lands vertically and could be airborne within five years.
The London-listed aerospace giant, which is based in Derby in central England, showed off the plans at the Farnborough Airshow for the first time, as other players also rush into the market segment.
Rolls said it hoped to manufacture a prototype version of its electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle within the next 18 months, and could potentially take to the skies in the early 2020s.
The Rolls-Royce EVTOL plane will seat four or five people, with a flying range of 500 miles (805 kilometres) and a top speed of 200 miles per hour.
In this market, you will see something like this flying within three to five years, and we will demonstrate the system in two years, said Rob Watson, head of Rolls-Royces electrical team.
At the end of next year we will be flight ready, he told AFP at the groups Farnborough chalet.
The hybrid vehicle, which has so far cost single-digit millions of pounds to develop, will use a traditional gas turbine engine with an electrical system wrapped around it.
Rolls-Royce is also researching an all-electric product but that is not as advanced as the EVTOL offering.
There is an emerging market for all-electric planes but we believe that you need a level of requirement that an all electric system cannot really provide today, Watson told AFP.
So, all-electric is the way to hop around within a city, but if you want to travel 200 or 300 miles, if you want to run London to Paris, then you are going to want to run something that will give you that range.
So we think you will see hybrid propulsion systems starting to make this market.
Rolls-Royce is not alone in the hybrid flying taxi marketplace.
Other companies researching the sector include US taxi-hailing company Uber, the Google-backed Kitty Hawk project, Lilium Aviation in Germany, Safran in France, and Honeywell in the United States.
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue says he has ceased to be a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), following what he called “a red card” given to him.
Ortom made this known on Monday in Makurdi shortly after swearing in a new Special Adviser on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Jerome Shimbe who replaced Mr Titus Zam, sacked on July 8.
According to him, the red card from APC will enable him to join any political party that has an ideology worthy of being adopted by his administration.
The governor stated that the strained relationship between him and the party under which he contested the 2015 governorship election in the state has left him without a party.
The governor partially dissolved his cabinet last week, retaining four out of the 16 commissioners and seven out of 19 Special Advisers.
Although, he gave no reason for the sacking of the members of the expanded cabinet members, it was reliably gathered that the sudden cabinet reshuffle might not be unconnected with the friction between him and the APC leader in the state, Sen. George Akume.
Ortom also said that the appointment of Shimbe was based on his impeccable character and proven track record of service.
He advised the new adviser to strive to justify the confidence reposed in him and open his doors to all indigenes seeking for assistance from him regardless of their political affiliation.
Responding, Shimbe thanked the governor for finding him worthy of the appointment while pledging to ensure that the governor succeeds in all his endeavours.
At least four miners were killed and six others injured in a coal mine explosion in west-central Georgia, the countrys Interior Ministry said on Monday.
The explosion occurred on early morning in the countrys Tkibuli city.
Methane explosion supposedly caused the collapse of the ceiling in the tunnel, Georgia Today reported quoting the ministry.
According to the newspaper, the injured persons were taken to the hospital and one of them was in critical condition.
An investigation has been launched.
In April, another explosion in the same mine killed six miners and injured three others.
The Nigerian Army said 23 of its soldiers and eight trucks are not missing, contrary to reports.
Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu said the report was exaggerated , untrue and misleading and that theNigerian Army is on top of the situation.
The Nigerian Army wishes to state categorically that the report is not only untrue but misleading as the said report is blown out of proportion by the media.
Contrary to the report, the Nigerian Army wishes to put the record straight on the issue and assure members of the public particularly residents of the North East to disregard the report as their safety is guaranteed.
The military spokesperson confirmed that although there was an attempted attack on troops in Bama area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram terrorists due to the bad roads where some military vehicles were stuck, the terrorists were repelled and some arrested.
There was an attempted attack on troops at Kwakwa and Chingori communities in Bama area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram Terrorists as a result of difficult terrain where our vehicles bugged down.
The terrorists also attempted to cart away troops operational vehicles but were successfully repelled by our gallant troops with the support of the Nigerian Air Force.
About 22 members of Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised while several others escaped with gunshot wounds. Efforts are being intensified by the troops to get the fleeing members of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Chukwu said one officer and a soldier sustained injuries during the attack and they are currently receiving medical attention at the military medical facility.
He urged members of the public to disregard the report of the missing soldiers and go about their legitimate businesses as the
Having agreed to move to the Serie A champions after nine years at Real Madrid, the Portuguese is putting the finishing touches to a switch in Turin.
Cristiano Ronaldo is undergoing a medical with Juventus as he finalises a sensational transfer from Real Madrid.
The striker agreed terms last week over a 100 million (88m/$117m) switch to Serie A, a move that shook the world of football in the middle of the World Cup.
Under the deal, Ronaldo will receive a bumper 30 million (26.5m/$35m) a season contract that will run for the next four years.
And, ahead of a presentation as Juves latest summer signing on Monday afternoon, he is in Turin to complete the formalities of the transfer.
Ronaldo will be put through his paces in a series of physical tests before being introduced to the world as a Bianconeri player.
On Sunday he was snapped landing at Caselle airport in the company of partner Georgina Rodriguez.
Having spent a night in new surroundings, the 33-year-old was back under the spotlight on Monday morning as he headed for his medical.
A jubilant Juve fan base got their first look at the clubs new arrival, with thousands of supporters in attendance at the J-Medical centre with many chanting Ronaldo, bring us the Champions League.
Ronaldo moves to Serie A after nine trophy and record-laden seasons at Madrid, where he arrived in turn from Manchester United in 2009.
The Portugal star lifted an incredible four Champions League trophies with the Merengue, including three in the last three seasons.
Madrid also took the Liga title twice during his time at the club, while Ronaldo was honoured with four Ballon dOr awards.
In total, the striker smashed 450 goals in 438 official Madrid games, a strike-rate of over a goal a game and a mark that establishes him as the highest scorer in Blancos history.
Barack Obama visited his father’s ancestral village in Kenya’s South-western Siaya County on Monday and danced to some traditional music with his grandmother in his first visit to the country since leaving office.
Obama is in Kenya to launch a youth centre set up by his half sister Auma Obama.
Kenyan television showed the former U.S. president pulling his grandmother Sarah Obama, clad in traditional garb, onto the dance floor and getting down to some music.
Obama, America’s first black president and a favourite in Africa, was also shown touring the Sauti Kuu Centre, sporting a casual white shirt and a pair of shades.
Locals hoping to get a glimpse of Obama lined the roads near the centre, with one school girl telling Kenya’s NTV “I’m happy to see our elder brother come today.”
After Obama arrived in the country on Sunday, he met with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who tweeted “It was great to welcome you back @BarackObama.”
Obama will head to South Africa on Tuesday to give a key speech for Nelson Mandela’s centenary – his first major public address since leaving office.
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said on Monday that it has initiated programmes under the Public-Private Partnership to address 1.7 million housing deficit in the FCT.
Malam Muhammad Bello said at the opening of the 12th Abuja Housing Show in Abuja that this initiative was in line with private sector driven housing policy.
The minister said that the Nigerian government had formulated a National Housing Policy in 1991 to ease the provision of adequate, accessible and low-cost housing for its citizens.
Bello was represented at the event by Mr Umar Shuaibu, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Management Council (AMMMC).
The conference has its theme as: “Driving Growth and Sustainability in Nigeria Housing and Mortgage Markets-Improving Structures and Policies for Impact.
He noted that the goal of the policy was not realised due to several factors ranging from lack of political will, policy inconsistency, poor financing to weak institutional structures.
He said the policy was, therefore, amended in 2004 in which the Federal Government adopted a more market-oriented approach to housing delivery, limiting its role to that of an enabler and regulator instead of a provider.
“The limitation of the role of the public sector is to allow for more active private sector participation in direct housing provision.
“The revised policy established financial institutions and procedure that will make funds available through the primary mortgage institutions for affordable housing production.
“The new policy, therefore, acknowledged the private sector as a key partner in the delivery of housing for the country.”
The minister noted that due to the importance of housing, the Abuja Master Plan has apportioned a land area of 12,486ha for housing development, which represent 49 per cent of the total land area in the territory with 100 per cent funding by the government.
He, therefore, said since mid 2000, funds allocated to the FCTA by the Federal Government had continued to dwindle, thereby making it difficult to cater for the large population influx into the city.
Also, Mrs Amma Pepple, Former Minister, Land, Housing and Urban Development, was worried about the challenges of housing which had remained the same since she left the sector.
Pepple called on stakeholders to put more efforts in addressing the supply and demand of housing in the country.
“I go to some areas in Abuja, but discovered there are no infrastructures and landlords keep collecting rent without putting in place infrastructure for housing.
“When I visited other countries, they made available good road networks, electricity, water and others before you acquire a place.
“Government needs to participate in building projects because if it provides the land with low cost of materials, it will make it easier for Nigerians to acquire houses.”
Earlier, Mr Mustapha Boss, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said affordable and a accessible housing is human right as the constitution compels the Nigeria state to provide adequate shelter to all its citizens.
Boss, who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr Gabriel Aduda, noted that access to decent and safe housing provision at affordable pricing should be a birth right for every Nigerians.
He, therefore, said that the government alone cannot do this, but need the help of private sectors to address the issue of interest rate, politicisation and mortgage financing confronting the housing sector.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo said there was need to turn housing policies to implementation action to enable Nigerians reach optimal capacity of acquiring shelter.
Obaseki, who was represented by Mr Festus Osagie, Director-General, Edo State Liaison Office, said Nigeria have the potential to grow its housing sector with the political will it has.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the show is a forum to bring together all real estate stakeholders to discuss and explore ideas to move Nigerians housing industry to international standard.
The conference, which began in 2005, has in attendance participants from private, public, housing sector and exhibitors.
Some of them are Urban Shelter, Platinum Mortgage Bank, Federal Mortgage Bank, Haven Homes, Nigerite Limited, NMRC, Brains and Hammers and so on.
Victorious France were set to return to a heroes welcome on Monday after winning the World Cup for the second time with a rollercoaster 4-2 victory over Croatia which set off chaotic celebrations at home.
Teenager Kylian Mbappe applied the coup de grace in Moscow as France, aided by an own goal and the video assistant referee, overcame determined opponents in one of the most compelling finals of the modern era.
Mbappe, just 19, scored Frances sizzling fourth goal and was voted the best young player of a tournament in which he has shown he is a superstar in the making.
The triumph also put Didier Deschamps, who captained the side to victory on home soil in 1998, alongside Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer as only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who cheered every goal in Moscows Luzhniki Stadium, was drenched by torrential rain during the trophy presentation and attempted to dab with the players in the changing room.
On Monday, Macron will welcome the team back to Paris and the players will make a bus parade up the Champs-Elysees avenue, where they are expected to be feted by hundreds of thousands of people.
Fans in France celebrated into the night, honking car horns and flying the tricolour flag while the Eiffel Tower was lit up in blue, white and red. However, youths also looted a Champs-Elysees store and police fired tear gas as celebrations got out of control.
There is nothing better
Deschamps, who was soaked by champagne by his overjoyed players in a chaotic press conference, said the win was just as big and just as beautiful as the 1998 triumph.
There are two things that matter one is that these 23 players are now together for life, whatever happens, and also that from now on they will not be the same again, because they are world champions, he said.
To be champions of the world as professional footballers, there is nothing better.
The breathless victory under stormy skies meant his side a balance of youthful vitality and big-tournament experience have buried the pain of their defeat in the Euro 2016 final in Paris.
We did something incredible, we made history and we are going to enjoy it, said Antoine Griezmann, who scored Frances second goal from the spot.
Were going to see our families and were going to party. Tomorrow in France will be the same, were going to party with the French people.
For Croatia, a country of just four million people, the loss was bitter but their fans took solace in the best run in the nations history, which featured a stunning win against Argentina and a semi-final victory against England.
Croatia playmaker Luka Modric was voted player of the tournament, Belgiums Thibaut Courtois was named the best goalkeeper and Harry Kane of England won the Golden Boot as top-scorer with six goals.
US President Donald Trump tweeted congratulations to France for their extraordinary soccer and also praised Russias President Vladimir Putin for his hosting of the tournament, which he described as one of the best ever.
Putin said Russia could be proud of its organisation of the event, adding that foreign visitors holding World Cup fan ID cards could have visa-free entry for the rest of 2018