Tiny tracking tags help decode how echolocating bats navigate

first_imgAlthough navigation in echolocating bats has been studied for a long time, questions remain on how bats differentiate among echoes from different objects.Researchers designed a small, lightweight tag that can capture movement and sound information in three dimensions to create a map of a bat’s sensory environment.The data helped researchers pinpoint the movements of bats during flight and while catching prey, as well as how echoes from various objects differ.One-third of bat species are threatened with extinction or lack basic ecological data, so such information can help scientists and wildlife managers understand bats’ foraging behavior and develop better measures for their conservation. While we fumble and crash without any light, bats zipping away in the dark, effortlessly skirting obstacles and pouncing on prey, seem magical. To better understand this ability of bats to “see” in the dark, researchers fixed tags that can simultaneously measure both bats’ movements and all the sounds they send and hear, creating a map of the sensory inputs in a bat’s environment and how it reacts to them. Such information can help us better understand how bats navigate and feed in the wild, something previously difficult to study.More than half of all bat species use sound to “see”, emitting sounds and listening to the echoes to go about their daily lives. Their brains process the returning echoes and help them determine how far away objects are, how big they are, if they are moving, and how fast and in which direction the objects are moving. This echolocating ability of bats has long been studied, but questions remain, such as how can bats pick out the echoes they are interested in, for example a juicy meal or a predator swooping down, versus all the other echoes they perceive.A big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) in flight in Oregon, US, looks either hungry or sinister but possibly is just busy echolocating, a process by which bats emit high-frequency calls and use information about the return echo to navigate and detect objects around them at night. Image by Angell Williams, CC  2.0.One way to measure events of interest is to use the appropriate sensors, just like your smartphone does to allow you to talk, count the number of steps you walk, capture images, and much more in a palm-sized device.Sensors have been used for studying animal behavior too, such as tracking animals’ movements and capturing sounds. However, when it comes to small creatures like bats, sensors have to be tiny and almost weightless so they don’t hinder their natural movements. Such small and lightweight sensor technology is not commonly available, so there have not been many instances of the use of multiple sensors for studying bats.Now, a team of researchers has used a small tag capable of measuring movement and sound, yet light enough for a small bat to carry it around without being weighed down, to study how bats fly and hunt.“The original motivation behind developing these tags, was due to the success similar tags have had for understanding how marine mammals use sound for communication and to find prey in the deep sea,” Laura Stidsholt of Aarhus University in Denmark and the lead author of the study told Mongabay. Similar movement and prey echo recording tags were used to understand the foraging behavior of porpoises in the wild.The tag, developed by co-author Mark Johnson of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, comprises a printed circuit board that has an accelerometer to measure movement, a battery, and an ultrasonic microphone and weighs about 2.6 grams (0.09 ounces). Data can be continuously recorded for up to five hours on one charge of the battery.Mapping three dimensions of sound and movementThe bat research team performed two types of experiments in the lab, one to understand how bats approach a target and another to understand how they catch prey.A European noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula), found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It uses loud echolocation, fast flight and deep dives from above the tree canopy to catch moths, crickets and beetles. Image by Ján Svetlík, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0.For the first experiment, they glued the tag onto the back of a European noctule (Nyctalus noctula) that was trained to land on a nylon ball sitting on a pole in a flight room. The tag recorded the movements of the bat and the echoes from the ball and these data were used to construct a flight path.To understand how bats catch prey, researchers placed tags on four big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), trained to catch a worm hanging from the ceiling of the flight room.Using the sensor data, the researchers created a map of the types of calls made by the bat, echoes received by it from different objects in the room, including the walls, and its flight path. As a bat approached the nylon ball, the frequency of its calls changed. The tag could also differentiate among echoes from the various types of objects; echoes from the walls were more diffuse than those from the prey, information that bats may use to distinguish between food and obstacles.The flight path of a tagged European noctule bat as it approaches a nylon target sphere (black) based on the time of arrival to microphones behind the target of the calls emitted by the bat. The tag measures the bat’s movements in three dimensions, its acoustic output, and the actively generated echo. The calls, color‐coded according to their energy, require less energy as the bat approaches the target. The “buzz” calls emitted roughly 1 meter (3 feet) before landing (black line) could not be extracted from the array recordings. Image is Figure 3a from Stidsholt et. al. (2019) .The data obtained from the tag also allowed the researchers to map the fine maneuvers of the bat when approaching and capturing prey. The bat captured the prey in a powerful stroke, immediately rotating its body and turning back. When combined with the simultaneously captured sound data, the researchers were able to relate the range of echo sources to how the bats flew.Understanding foraging behavior“For bats, that would mean that these types of tags potentially could be able to address on an individual basis how bats use echoes to guide their navigation and feeding behavior outside of laboratory settings,” Stidsholt said.The researchers’ next step is to use the tags in the wild. To this end, they have released greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) carrying the tags into the wild, capturing the tagged bats about a week later. Using the data recorded by the tags, the team hopes to understand how the bats navigate through the different echoes to capture prey.A male greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) roosting under a bridge. These European bats also roost in caves, mines, and cellars, and they forage for insects, spiders, and larvae in deciduous woodlands and meadows. Image by Miss Mhisi, Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0.Although so far, the tags have been used only to understand how bats feed and navigate, in the future, they could also be used to study communication between bats, or understand behaviors in birds. Such data provide us with information on the ecosystems in which bats live and thrive.With the dramatic changes human activity has induced across these ecosystems, data on bats’ foraging behavior and how they use sound to find resources in their environment may prove crucial to helping us conserve them, as nearly one-third of bat species lack basic ecological data or are threatened with extinction.CitationStidsholt, L., Johnson, M., Beedholm, K., Jakobsen, L., Kugler, K., Brinkløv, S., … & Madsen, P. T. (2019). A 2.6‐g sound and movement tag for studying the acoustic scene and kinematics of echolocating bats. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 10(1), 48-58.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Acoustic, Animal Behavior, Animals, Bats, Bioacoustics, data, Interns, Mammals, Research, Tagging, Technology, Wildtech Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Sue Palminterilast_img read more

Unity…

first_img…when?Your Eyewitness thinks it might be safe to come out of the bushes he’s been beating around and talk a bit about the “unity” or lack thereof – now that some of our “returning Guyanese” have pointed it out. It did take a kid who didn’t know better to blurt out the Emperor was stark, raving nekked, didn’t it? And ditto for the overseas Guyanese – especially from Stateside. THEY know the sky doesn’t fall and hit them over the head when they discuss things like “race” and “exclusion” and such like.Here our political leaders have taught us well… we should only let down our hair on “race” under the bottom houses. And there we can be as nasty as we want to be… or, more accurately, how nasty the politicians want us to be. In Guyana since Independence we only know the “politics of tokenism” because that’s all we’ve been exposed to by our leaders. Quick now – who was the leader of the PPP or the PNC outside their “traditional base” that EVER stood a realistic chance of becoming leader?And you noticed how your Eyewitness used the euphemism “traditional base”? Unfortunately he too is a product of years of socialisation that plunges him into a catatonic seizure if he were to speak of “PPP’s Indians” or “PNC’s Africans”. Well, our Overseas Guyanese did point out they might as well’ve been watching shows in Dominica or St Vincent – which don’t have no 40% Indians.One fella wondered whether the AFC was supposed to’ve provided the token Indian support couldn’t have arranged for some variety in the audience – if not on the stage. The dissing of the Opposition Leader and his MPs was excused as the result of “poor planning”. Did this “poor planning” permeate >>>EVERY<<< official event? Naaah! Even before the festivities kicked off for real, Henry Jeffrey bucked the local “race” censorship and asked whether this was “Jubilee Celebrations or an African Fest”.Well, on this “unity question” your Eyewitness has to echo that Jewish rabbi of old and plead, “If not now, when?” If there’s any hope for mankind – not just us in Mudland – we have to believe we’re rational creatures, nuh? So can someone please say what’s rational about excluding half your population and still boast about having a “national” event?Look, your Eyewitness knows there ain’t no easy answers. But surely, even for their own self-interest in getting re-elected, shouldn’t the government reach across the divide? It’s not enough to say “we told everybody to come”.In a small society like ours, “everybody” has already been bombarded with ads showing how the wind’s blowing.…and equalityFrankly, your Eyewitness believes one of the problems with this goal of “unity” is because it’s been trumped by the goal of “equality”. In today’s world you dare NOT tell someone they’re not equal to you. Even if you’ve been lifting weights for the last decade and the other fella’s the archetypal “97 pound weakling” who’s been lifting beers to his lips during that time. You get to be the guard at the Bank’s front door, and if the other fella’s of a different race, he’ll immediately scream, “Discrimination!!!” And wipe out any hope of “unity” with you after he starts casting dark looks your way.So with everybody demanding “equality” and expecting it to be their birthright… we’re doomed unless we change our thinking. At some deep philosophical or religious or mystical level we may all be equal… but in this world we’re in… there’s no real “equality”. What we should insist on is “equality of opportunity”.But “equality of results” – which is what we demand – depends on what we put out.…or unanimityAnother reason why “unity” might be so elusive is ‘cause we think it’s equivalent to “unanimity”. But we’re not produced by cookie cutters are we?Even Chairman Mao said, “Let a thousand flowers bloom”!last_img read more

“Best friends” still in Police custody, DPP to determine if charges will be laid

first_img– father decries way Police handled reportAs investigations continue into the death of Harris Persaud, whose body was found floating in the Demerara River on Friday, the young man’s two best friends remain in Police custody pending advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions as to whether they will face criminal charges.Dead: Harris PersaudPersaud, 19, of Lot 21 Granny Field, Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara, went missing on Wednesday last, and his body was found floating in the Demerara River in the vicinity of Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara on Friday afternoon. The post mortem revealed that the young man died by drowning.The young man was last seen on Wednesday by his relatives when he left home to attend classes at the University of Guyana. The Police had arrested the teen’s two friends with whom he was last seen, and they are still in Police custody awaiting the decision whether or not they will be charged.The young men told Police that Persaud was swimming with them behind the Marriott Hotel, when a wave swept him away. They claimed that they panicked, and disposed of his clothing and other belongings. They subsequently took the Police to the place where they dumped his clothing and bag, however; his cellular phone, iPad and a large sum of cash are still missing.Meanwhile, the dead man’s father Nandkumar Persaud, is voicing dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Police handled his report.He explained that on Thursday morning, he went to lodge a missing person’s report at the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters at Eve Leary, Kingston, and was sent away being told to return after 08:00h. He stated that he was also turned away from the Brickdam Police Station and told to go Sparendaam Police Station.“I am very frustrated with the way they had me pushing around,” he stated, adding, “I don’t like the way they handled the report at all”.last_img read more

Aguero: I’ve learned from my mistakes

first_img“There have been times when I’ve come back from injury, played a few games and come the fourth I’ve got injured again,” he told Sky Sports‘ Guillem Balague. “You’re working hard in the gym so it could be the gym work that is affecting your legs, then you think, ‘What else could it be?’”As City’s talisman, there is enormous pressure on Aguero to play, but he realises that he can’t risk injury as he has in the past.“The Premier League is so demanding that you can’t play at 80 per cent. I’ve tried turning out at 80-85 per cent fit and that’s when I’ve injured myself. Nowadays I’ve learnt from that and I try not to make the same mistake.“Now I realise the slightest discomfort and I won’t risk myself, as happened to me for the home game against Sunderland in December. I started the previous game against Arsenal when I felt a slight pain in my knee, and I was told, ‘That’s it, you’re coming off’.“Now I feel like I’m getting up to full fitness for games and trying to miss as few games as possible, that’s the most important thing.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City’s striker Sergio Aguero (R) reacts after scoring during an English Premier League football match between against Newcastle United at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on October 3, 2015. PHOTO/AFPManchester City striker Sergio Aguero is confident he has learned from his injury-related mistakes, and hopes to miss fewer games in the future.The 27-year-old has already missed 11 games this season through injury, adding to the 27 he missed over the previous two campaigns.last_img read more

How does third-party ownership in football work?

first_img Radamel Falcao 1 Carlos Tevez is a name synonymous with third-party ownership (TPO) and with FIFA announcing they will outlaw the practice, talkSPORT looks at how it has affected football.In 2007 West Ham were fined £5.5m for allowing two third-parties to own rights in their players, Tevez and Javier Mascherano.Tevez’s winner at Old Trafford on the final day of the season helped the Hammers preserve their Premier League status, leading to a long legal battle with Sheffield United, who were relegated.What is third-party ownership?A company/individual will give a club or player money in return for owning a percentage of a player’s future transfer fee or ‘economic rights.’ The footballer is registered to play for a club, but said club is not entitled to 100 per cent of any fee should the player be sold.Why do clubs agree to such arrangements for its players?TPO is common in South America, namely Brazil and Argentina where 90 per cent of players’ economic rights in the Brazilian top flight are partly owned by third party investors. Such countries do not have as much money as European clubs and thus develop a system whereby they can maximise the value for their best talent.Brazilian superstar Neymar was initially declared to have cost Barcelona £47.3m when he moved from Santos in 2013, but that was later revealed to be £71.5m. The fallout from the deal led to the resignation of the club’s president Sandro Rosell and a payment of €13.5 by Barcelona to Spanish authorities in response to tax fraud charges. Only €17.1m made its way to Santos, while €40m went to N&N, a company owned by Neymar’s parents.What is the position in England towards TPO?TPO was relatively unknown in English football until the saga surrounding Tevez and Mascherano.That led the Premier League to ban the practice, with chief executive Richard Scudamore comparing it to investors who operate via tax havens.Recently, Manchester United’s £16m purchase of the Argentine defender Marcos Rojo and Liverpool’s capture of the Serbian ace Lazar Markovic both involved buying out third parties.Manchester City’s £32m deal for Eliaquim Mangala and the purchase of Bruno Zuculini also involved third-party contracts being bought out.For Mangala’s transfer, City had to buy out the stakes of two investment firms to complete the deal, while last year the Frenchman admitted he had no idea he was part-owned.How is the practice viewed around Europe?According to audit firm KPMG, in a report seen by Bloomberg, investors and ‘third parties’ have acquired stakes in the transfer rights of up to 1,100 professional footballers in Europe.High profile clubs including Atletico Madrid and Porto have sold part of or all of the economic rights to a number of their talented players as a preferred method of raising cash.The report, which was commissioned by the European Club Association, says the practice is most prevalent in Portugal, where as much as 36 per cent of the market value of all players is owned by investors and not the clubs themselves.According to Bloomberg, one company, Doyen Sports Investment Ltd, invested more than €80m in recent years in player rights, including Mangala and Manchester United’s on loan striker Radamel Falcao.The cost of Falcao’s transfer to Atletico Madrid from Porto in 2011 was split between Doyen Sports and Atletico, with each party taking 50 per cent of the player’s economic rights. In 2013, Monaco swooped and paid €60m (£48m) for his services, with the revenue split between club and investor.What do FIFA say?They have agreed to ban the third party ownership of players. After a meeting of the executive committee, President Sepp Blatter said: “We took a firm decision that TPO should be banned but it cannot be banned immediately there will be a transitional period.”What are your thoughts on third party ownership and is FIFA correct to ban the practice worldwide? Comment below…last_img read more

LAPD: Don’t invite petty crooks along for the ride

first_imgThe two billboards are paid for by Clear Channel as a public-service announcement and show a man reaching inside a car’s open window for a purse left on the passenger seat. The billboards are emblazoned with the words: “Protect your car before it gets this far.” The first sign went up on Sepulveda Boulevard south of Nordhoff Street, and another is expected to go up in North Hollywood on Vineland Avenue. The ads will run through the end of the year. “People, I would say, are somewhat lackadaisical about how they secure this property, and in the Valley that is a dangerous thing,” said Moore, head of the LAPD’s operations in the Valley. And the break-ins are one crime that across the city does not seem to be abating. It is particularly entrenched in the Valley, with a nearly 20 percent jump in the Northeast Valley over the past year. With an average of 230 car break-ins a week in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles police unveiled an unusual strategy Tuesday to get drivers’ attention: billboards imploring them not to leave valuables in their vehicles. In the Valley, nearly 8,000 vehicles have been broken into this year alone – with thieves swiping everything from iPods and purses to laptops and garage-door openers. Citywide, that number jumped to nearly 20,000 as of Saturday. “People would not put a $100 bill on the dashboard, but they think nothing about leaving their purse or other valuables on their seat,” Deputy Chief Michel Moore said. “The message here is: Protect your properties.” Parts of Panorama City have at least one car break-in a day; citywide, cops are logging hundreds weekly. They usually occur between midnight and 6 a.m. and a single suspect often hits several cars at a time. Police say the burglars are the most difficult to find – and the easiest to deter. “They just grab their stuff and split,” said Detective Tony Foti, who investigates auto theft in the Northeast Valley. “When we do catch them, they are usually responsible for multiple crimes.” Earlier this summer, a group of four teenagers was caught. Police believe the four were responsible for several break-ins, but say it’s likely the teens – whose names were not released because of their ages – would only serve probation. Preventable crime With the prevalence of gangs and violent crime, car burglaries are not the LAPD’s top priority, Moore said. But it is the most preventable crime, and if decreased, could drop overall property crime rates. Detective Thomas Barnhart, who heads a seven-officer task force that focuses on auto theft and related crimes in the Valley, said trends associated with the rise are disturbing. Increasingly, burglars are stealing wallets with personal information and selling identities. Investigators say some have been tied to organized crime or “chop shops,” where dealers are looking for certain car parts. Secondary crimes Burglars also have been taking the extra sets of house keys people sometimes leave in their cars, or even garage-door openers. Armed with the owner’s car registration, containing the address, they return to steal from the home days or sometimes more than a week later. “I have seen cases of this happen time and time again,” Barnhart said. “They are stealing information out of vehicles and going back later to commit secondary crimes.” Three weeks ago in Woodland Hills, somebody tried to steal a Mercedes from a driveway. They were unsuccessful but got the garage-door opener, hit the button, grabbed a set of second keys for another car and took off, he said. As obvious as it sounds, Barnhart offers this advice: “People should not leave keys to their house in the car. It’s like handing the keys to the kingdom to the crooks.” rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Angels really on run now

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe dramatic walk-off blast cleared the Green Monster in left field and disappeared into the darkness, pretty much taking the Angels’ playoff hopes with it. The Red Sox now lead the best-of-5 division series, 2-0. The series now heads to Anaheim for Game 3 on Sunday, the Angels franticly trying to avoid their second playoff sweep to the Red Sox in four years. “This can be done,” Scioscia said. Mathematically, of course, it is possible. Realistically, the Angels’ playoff hopes took flight with the Ramirez rocket. BOSTON – The Angels tried to do it their way, running all over Fenway, stealing and maneuvering and trying to find some way to manufacture runs and a desperately needed playoff victory. Boston uses a different approach, and safe to say, its way is winning. The Red Sox went to their power game when it was most needed Friday, and Manny Ramirez responded with the kind of shot they sing songs about in New England. All those stolen bases by the Angels, all those runners put in motion and that choreographed player movement by Manager Mike Scioscia went for naught when Ramirez launched a three-run, ninth-inning homer off closer Francisco Rodriguez that should be landing sometime soon in the New Mexico desert. The Angels tried to play their game. Stole five bases. Played hit and run. Went to closer Francisco Rodriquez early. Tried to play smart, tried very hard to pitch around David Ortiz. It was Ortiz’s two-run homer that led the Red Sox to their 4-0 victory in the series opener, and the Angels weren’t about to take any chances with him Friday night. They walked Ortiz four times, twice intentionally, each time bringing up the dangerous Ramirez. The first time, aided by a teenager in the second row who swiped the ball out of catcher Jeff Mathis’ glove on a foul ball, Ramirez simply walked. But this time, with two outs and two on, the insult proved one too many. “He made them pay,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “That’s the way you play the game.” Ramirez’s swing exploded on Rodriguez’s second pitch, in one of those never-a- moment’s-doubt shots that screamed out of the ballpark. Ramirez, who had struggled with an oblique injury in September, stood at home plate and took in the flight path. He raised both arms overhead and then began his triumphant jog around the bases. “I haven’t felt right all year long,” Ramirez said. “When you don’t feel right and still get hits, that’s when you know you’re a bad man.” The Angels simply were left feeling bad, and worse, hurting. The lone serious bat in the Angels lineup, Vladimir Guerrero, was hit on the left shoulder by a Manny Delcarmen fastball in the seventh inning. Guerrero left the game the next inning with a bruise that made it difficult to raise his arm. Scioscia said he expects him to play Sunday, but expectations are getting hard to come by with the Angels. The pregame curiosity had largely centered on Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. Having never faced the 26-year-old rookie from Japan with a variety of pitches, the aggressive-swinging Angels were presumed to be at some grand disadvantage. Scioscia fielded two days of questions on Matsuzaka, continually trying to downplay any great difficulty, saying simply they would “have to be a quick study.” Turned out, one inning of study got them going. A walk to Casey Kotchman and a line single off the glove of diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia by Kendry Morales opened the inning. Matsuzaka struck out Howie Kendrick, but then a typical Angels baserunning play kept the rally alive. With runners on the corners, one out on and a full count, Scioscia sent Morales on the next Matsuzaka pitch. When Jeff Mathis bounced to third, it avoided the double play and Kotchman scored. Chone Figgins then doubled in Morales and Orlando Cabrera doubled in Figgins to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. Matsuzaka left after 42/3 innings, having already thrown 96 pitches. Angels starter Kelvim Escobar, likewise, lasted only five innings and the game became a battle of two of baseball’s finest bullpens. Scot Shields, whose erratic second half cost him the set-up role, pitched himself in and out of trouble in the seventh. It began with a two-out walk to Ortiz. Then Ramirez walked, and suddenly there were flashbacks of the Shields who became unreliable in the late summer. Scioscia stayed with Shields, even though he was throwing his second inning, and he was rewarded when Mike Lowell flied out to center. With the scored tied, 3-3, the Angels tried to squeeze out another run in the eighth. With two outs, Francona brought in closer Jonathan Papelbon. Kendrick hit a routine bouncer to Lowell at third, but his throw went in the dirt and for an error when Kevin Youkilis couldn’t come up with it. Scioscia pinch-hit Juan Rivera after Kendrick stole second and he walked. Kendrick stole third. Scioscia pinch ran Reggie Willits and he stole second. The Angels were trying so hard to manufacture the go-head run, but Figgins was called out on strikes. And all the little ball in the world, wasn’t going to bring down Ramirez. stephen.dilbeck@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Commission favors fraud spot checks

first_imgDPSS officials have objected to the recommendation, saying it would require 40,000 visits per year, which are “workload intensive and not cost-effective.” Instead, the agency is proposing the possibility of a small pilot project that would randomly visit child-care providers. But Cooley said the county proposal is the way to go. “This program is there for those who truly need it,” he said. “It is not a program for those who think they can make a quick, illegal buck for themselves by cheating the taxpayers who fund the program and depriving legitimate recipients from getting the child care necessary to help them develop the skills that ultimately will get them off the welfare rolls.” troy.anderson@dailynews.com (213) 974-8985 WHAT’S RECOMMENDED Highlights of the Citizens’ Economy and Efficiency report on how to reduce child-care fraud in Los Angeles County: – Develop an independent program that would conduct unannounced visits of welfare-to-work participants’ homes, employers and child-care providers. – Pursue legislation that would permit the county to use collection techniques to recover erroneously paid child-care benefits. – Ask the district attorney to establish a Child Care Welfare Fraud Hotline and have the number appear on child-care applications and other related documents. – Develop a public information campaign to publicize successful child-care welfare fraud prosecutions to curtail fraud. – Create a brochure to inform child-care applicants of their rights and responsibilities and penalties for committing fraud. – Require child-care applicants to appear personally before Department of Public Social Services workers to be photographed and to provide Social Security numbers for their children. – Hire a Fraud and Error Control Officer to oversee efforts to reduce fraud.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! An independent agency conducting random, unannounced field visits of welfare-to-work participants’ homes, employers and child-care providers could prevent about two-thirds of child-care fraud in Los Angeles County, prosecutors said Monday. “This is the most important recommendation we believe has been made,” said James Cosper, head deputy district attorney in the Welfare Fraud Division. The recommendation was one of 35 in a report by the county’s Citizens’ Economy and Efficiency Commission on how to detect and prevent the fraud before it occurs. The best and most cost-effective way is to detect it during the verification process when an application is made to the Department of Public Social Services, District Attorney Steve Cooley said. “We investigate and prosecute hundreds of cases each year, but by the time they reach that stage, the damage already has been done,” he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The report was ordered by the county Board of Supervisors earlier this year after the grand jury estimated that child-care fraud is costing taxpayers up to $500 million a year. The plan would need to be approved by the board, which could take months. The scam typically involves welfare-to-work recipients who make up employers or exaggerate work hours to qualify for taxpayer-financed child care. Then they split the money with friends and relatives who claim to be caring for the children. Under the county proposal, workers would perform visits to determine the appropriateness of the child-care site, verify that the proper number of children is being cared for and determine whether the provider is working the number of hours claimed. The visits would be conducted during the initial application for child-care funds, within the next 12 months and once a year afterward. The visits could be conducted by reserve law enforcement officers who volunteer their time, or by a small, independent agency that could be created to perform the function, Cosper said. last_img read more

Watford vs Newcastle: Preview, team news, confirmed teams and more

first_img 4 Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and Watford boss Javi Gracia Rafa Benitez (Newcastle): “We saw last year we can cope with the intensity and the number of games – I am expecting something similar.“It’s simple, (the aim is) to stay up.“I decided before I came to the press conference not to talk about the transfer window.“I talk with (managing director) Lee Charnley every day, but then I decided not to talk about the transfer window. Confirmed line-upsWatford: Foster, Janmaat, Cathcart, Marippa, Masina; Hughes, Capoue, Quina, Pereyra; Deulofeu, Success.Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Dummett; Ritchie, Atsu, Hayden, Diame,; Perez, Rondon.What the managers are sayingJavi Gracia (Watford): “I think we are in a good moment. I have good feelings. We can win, we can lose but when I see my players they always give their best and are competing in all the games we’ve played and with different options against all the teams we’ve played so far.“I’m happy with their behaviour and I’m sure we’ll keep it in the future as well.” Most Popular in Football latest Andre Gray (leg), Sebastian Prodl (knee) and Adalberto Penaranda (foot) were all absent on Boxing Day and remain out. Will Hughes is back in the starting XI.Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is available for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Watford after a five-game absence, but only fit enough for the bench.Shelvey’s recovery from a thigh injury is timely for manager Rafael Benitez, with Ki Sung Yueng now away on international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup.Benitez has only keeper Karl Darlow (elbow) and defender Ciaran Clark (ankle) missing, with Florian Lejeune still not ready after a lengthy lay-off to a knee injury. The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 BEST OF RANKED Yoshinori Muto of Newcastle United is fouled by Watford’s Etienne Capoue Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 4 appointed 4 The Magpies won the reverse fixture 1-0 in November with Ayoze Perez scoring the only goal of the game.Team newsWatford will be without Christian Kabasele against Newcastle.The defender was hospitalised after colliding with a goal post during the defeat to Chelsea, though he appears to have escaped serious injury. revealed Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Newcastle celebrate Ayoze Perez’s goal in the game earlier this season A win for Newcastle over mid-table Watford would give them valuable breathing space in the Premier League relegation battle.Watford, though, can climb up to seventh and go two points behind Manchester United with a victory at Vicarage Road. scrap Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos SORRY Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff gameday cracker Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 4 Rafa Benitez did not want to answer questions about transfers “I know some of our players, the agents are telling us this club is interested or another one, but we are not ready at the moment to sell anyone.“The only one that now is available in the window is Elliot because the others, at the moment we need them. Obviously, we have too many keepers and we have to manage, but Rob is available in the window.”last_img read more

The history of Chelsea’s cursed number nine shirt

first_img Radamel Falcao’s spell with Chelsea was hampered by injury setbacks Mateja Kezman spent just one season at Stamford Bridge Chelsea broke their club-record transfer fee to sign Morata, who had been prolific with Real Madrid and Juventus.The Spain international got off to a flying start, scoring eight goals in as many games, including a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at Stoke City.But it went downhill from there.Morata lost his starting place to January signing Olivier Giroud and ended up ditching his number nine shirt. This wasn’t because of Chelsea’s number nine curse, though, he changed numbers in honour of his twins’ birth.Now, following Higuain’s arrival, Morata is close to joining Atletico Madrid on loan. 9 Hernan Crespo scored a respectable tally of 13 goals in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, but that wasn’t enough to convince new manager Jose Mourinho in 2004.The Argentine joined AC Milan on loan after being surplus to requirements under Mourinho, who signed Didier Drogba.He returned to Chelsea and netted 13 times in their Premier League-winning 2005/06 season.Crespo joined Inter Milan on a two-year loan before leaving Chelsea after his contract expired in 2008.Mateja Kezman – (£5million from PSV in 2004) 9 9 9 Steve Sidwell struggled for first-team opportunities at Chelsea Mateja Kezman was one of Jose Mourinho’s first signings as Chelsea boss.But the Serb’s playing time was limited by first-choice strikers Drogba and Eidur Gudjohnsen.He managed to score seven goals in 40 appearances before leaving the club after just one season.Khalid Boulahrouz – (£7million from Hamburg in 2006) Khalid Boulahrouz was a defender 9 But will Higuain, who signed on loan from Juventus on Wednesday, break the curse?Here, talkSPORT looks at previous players who have worn the number nine shirt at Chelsea.Hernan Crespo – (£16million from Inter Milan in 2003) The goals dried up for Fernando Torres at Chelsea 9center_img Chelsea broke the British transfer record to bring Fernando Torres to Stamford Bridge.The Spaniard was one of Europe’s most prolific strikers at the time, scoring 81 goals in 142 games for Liverpool.Torres won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup with the Blues, while finding the net 46 times in 172 appearances.He could have been the long-term successor to Drogba, but his displays in a Chelsea shirt were far from convincing.He spent two seasons on loan at AC Milan and Atletico Madrid before joining the Serie A giants on a permanent deal in December 2014.Radamel Falcao – (Season-long loan from Monaco in 2015) 9 Franco Di Santo failed to start a game for Chelsea Franco Di Santo joined Chelsea as an 18-year-old and never started a game for the club.The Argentina striker failed to find the net in 16 substitute appearances.An unsuccessful loan to Blackburn followed before signing for Wigan for £2million in 2010.Fernando Torres – (£50million from Liverpool in 2011) 9 Chelsea’s number nine shirt has been handed to new signing Gonzalo Higuain.The number has been cursed at Stamford Bridge with the likes of Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao and Fernando Torres failing to perform. Despite scoring just four goals at Manchester United in the 2014/15 season, Mourinho gave Radamel Falcao a Premier League lifeline.He was brought in as cover for Diego Costa and started just two games for Chelsea.The Colombia striker scored once in 12 appearances. Chelsea had an option to make the deal permanent, which obviously, they didn’t take up.Alvaro Morata – (£60million from Real Madrid in 2017) The signing was just as odd as Steve Sidwell wearing the number nine shirt.The midfielder made 25 appearances, mostly as a substitute and was sold to Aston Villa for £5million in 2008.Franco Di Santo – (£3million from Audax Italiano in 2008) 9 New Chelsea signing Gonzalo Higuian with the number nine shirt Hernan Crespo has arguably been Chelsea’s most successful player who has worn the number nine shirt Alvaro Morata is set to join Atletico Madrid on loan It was always strange seeing a right-back wear the number nine shirt. Khalid Boulahrouz was brought in to add competition to Paulo Ferreira’s starting spot.He made 23 appearances in his debut season before being loaned to Sevilla for the 2007/08 campaign and joined Stuttgart on a permanent deal in 2009.Steve Sidwell – (Free from Reading in 2007)last_img read more