บริษัท พนันถูกกล่าวหาว่า “เล่นแอสโตรเซิร์ฟ” กับกลุ่มปาร์ตี้ล็อบบี้


แผนการสนับสนุนด้านบวกของการเดิมพันผ่านกลุ่มผู้ซื้อที่ได้รับการคัดเลือกได้ก่อให้เกิดความขัดแย้งระหว่างการโพสต์เหยียดเชื้อชาติบนโซเชียลมีเดียและข้อกล่าวหาเกี่ยวกับความคล้ายคลึงกันของแคมเปญ “astroturfing” ที่ขัดแย้งกัน เมื่อเดือนที่แล้วเอนเทนเจ้าของแล็ดโบร๊กส์ได้เปิดตัวโครงการที่เรียกว่าแผงผู้เล่นด้วยความช่วยเหลือของ CT Group ซึ่งเป็นที่ปรึกษาทางการเมืองที่นำโดย Lynton Crosby อดีตที่ปรึกษาของ Boris Johnson และ Theresa May คณะกรรมการผู้เล่นซึ่งเผยแพร่บทความสั้น ๆ เกี่ยวกับการพนันที่เขียนโดยลูกค้าของ Entain ระบุว่า ‘มันให้เสียงกับ 99% ของผู้คนในสหราชอาณาจักรที่เดิมพันด้วยความพึงพอใจปลอดภัยและมีความรับผิดชอบ – และมักจะไม่เคยได้ยินมาก่อน “ในขณะที่การมีส่วนร่วมของ Entain ถูกเปิดเผยบนเว็บไซต์ของ Players ‘Panel แต่ในตอนแรกชื่อของ บริษัท ไม่ได้อยู่ในหน้า Facebook ซึ่งยังไม่แสดงโลโก้ Entain รายได้ในขณะนี้สูงสำหรับ บริษัท เกมในระหว่างการตรวจสอบของรัฐบาลเกี่ยวกับกฎหมายการพนันที่ก่อให้เกิด การวิ่งเต้นในอุตสาหกรรมที่เพิ่มขึ้นฟอร์ดฟอสเตอร์ออฟบา ธ ประธานที่ปรึกษาของ Gamblin g Reform กล่าวว่า“ แน่นอนว่ามีคนที่เล่นการพนันโดยไม่ทำอันตราย” แต่หากอุตสาหกรรมเกมต้องการส่งเสริมตัวอย่างของคนเหล่านี้เพื่อพยายามหลีกเลี่ยง ข้อ จำกัด ทางธุรกิจต่อไปเราควรก้าวหน้ากว่านี้ว่าเป็นแคมเปญเชิงอุตสาหกรรม “เราควรทำให้ชัดเจนว่าพวกเขาสุ่มตัวอย่างประชากรอย่างไรและเลือกคนที่จะใช้เป็นตัวอย่าง” การถกเถียงเรื่องการพนันมีความซับซ้อนมากและใน สภาพแวดล้อมในปัจจุบันคงจะดีถ้าอุตสาหกรรมดำเนินการอย่างโปร่งใสและระมัดระวัง” Matt Zarb-Cousin ผู้อำนวยการแคมเปญ Clean Up Gambling ที่กลุ่มผู้เล่นเสี่ยงต่อการดูเหมือนเป็นการริเริ่มจำนวนมากที่จัดตั้งขึ้นโดยสมาชิกของสาธารณชน” นี่เป็นสิ่งที่ชวนให้นึกถึงแคมเปญการเล่นเซิร์ฟเซิร์ฟที่พยายามถ่ายทอดภาพของภาคส่วนที่ค่อนข้างแตกต่างจากความเป็นจริง” เขากล่าว Crosby’s CT Group ซึ่ง Entain กล่าวว่าได้รับความช่วยเหลือจากค่าคอมมิชชั่นของผู้เล่นได้รับการเปิดเผยโดย Guardian ในแคมเปญ astroturfing บน Facebook สมาชิกในทีมกล่าวว่าพวกเขาได้สร้างเว็บไซต์และเพจ Facebook ที่ดูเหมือนจะเป็นแหล่งข่าวออนไลน์อิสระที่มีชื่อเช่น Why Electricity Matters, Yemen’s Report และ Londoners for Transport ซึ่งสามารถใช้เพื่อเผยแพร่ข้อมูลที่เลือกได้ ในนามของลูกค้า CT Group CT Group ยังไม่ได้แสดงความคิดเห็นในเวลานั้นเอนเทนกล่าวว่าเขาเป็นผู้นำกลุ่มผู้เล่นโดยตรงและปฏิเสธข้อเสนอที่ว่ากลุ่มนี้มีลักษณะของการเล่นเซิร์ฟ “ คณะกรรมการจัดขึ้นโดย Entain แต่ความคิดเห็นของคณะกรรมการเป็นของตนเองทั้งหมดและแสดงออกโดยสมัครใจ” บริษัท กล่าวในแถลงการณ์ ในขณะที่การ์เดียนติดต่อเขาเขาได้อัปเดตหน้า Facebook ของผู้เล่นและรวมถึงการเปิดเผยว่าเป็น “การริเริ่มระงับ” สมาชิกในกลุ่มที่เพิ่มเข้ามาบางคนถูกถามว่าพวกเขาต้องการมีส่วนร่วมหรือไม่และต้องเข้าร่วมโดยสมัครใจ แต่ไม่ได้รับ CT Group ไม่ได้ส่งคืนคำขอสำหรับความคิดเห็นในขณะที่ความคิดริเริ่มนี้มีจุดมุ่งหมายเพื่อแสดงด้านที่ดีที่สุดของการพนัน แต่การโพสต์บนโซเชียลมีเดียโดยสมาชิกในคณะกรรมการของผู้เล่นคนใดคนหนึ่งได้ตั้งคำถามเกี่ยวกับความขยันหมั่นเพียรของเอนเทนในการตรวจสอบบุคคลโปรไฟล์ของสมาชิกคนหนึ่งของคณะกรรมาธิการชายคนหนึ่ง จากลีดส์กล่าวว่า “ฉันอยากจะคิดว่าฉันเป็นเสียงของปาร์ตี้ธรรมดา ๆ ” แต่หน้า Facebook ของเขาเปิดเผยรายการ “คำพูดที่ชื่นชอบ” ที่มีชุดของการใส่ร้ายเหยียดเชื้อชาติและปรักปรำเอนเทนกล่าวว่าเขาได้ถูกลบออกไปแล้ว เป็นสมาชิกของสมาคมและลดสมาชิกจากห้าคนเป็นสี่คนโฆษกของ บริษัท กล่าวเพิ่มเติมว่า: “คณะกรรมการของผู้เล่นเป็นสถาบัน เพื่อให้คะแนน 99% ของผู้เล่นในสหราชอาณาจักรที่เดิมพันอย่างน่าพอใจปลอดภัยและมีความรับผิดชอบและมักจะไม่ได้ยินมุมมองเกี่ยวกับอุตสาหกรรมเกมในการอภิปรายในปัจจุบันเกี่ยวกับอนาคต “สมาชิกทั้งหมดของสภาเป็นอาสาสมัครที่ไม่ได้รับค่าจ้างซึ่งไม่ได้รับการปฏิบัติที่ดีใด ๆ จากเอนเทน” นอกจากนี้ Entain ยังปฏิเสธความคิดเห็นของสาธารณชนที่บิดเบือนต่ออนาคตของกฎระเบียบการพนัน ลงชื่อเข้าใช้หน้า Business Today ประจำวันเว็บไซต์ของกลุ่มผู้เล่นที่มีชื่อว่า “การค้นพบ” จะแสดงชุดสถิติที่ชี้ให้เห็นถึงการต่อต้านการแทรกแซงของรัฐบาลในการควบคุมการพนัน ได้มาจากตัวอย่างตัวแทนที่จัดทำโดย CT Group ในเดือนพฤษภาคม 2020 และอื่น ๆ จากการสำรวจลูกค้าของ Entain ที่จัดทำโดย บริษัท ซึ่งรวมถึงการค้นพบเช่น“ 81% เชื่อว่าบุคคลควรมีอิสระในการตัดสินใจว่าจะเล่นการพนันหรือไม่ . “เอนเทนกล่าวว่าผลการสำรวจลูกค้าของตัวเองมีเครื่องหมายดอกจันกำกับไว้เพื่อแสดงว่ามาจากชุดตัวอย่างที่แตกต่างกัน

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Tokyo Olympics panel starts search for new boss after sexism row

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori announces his resignation as he takes responsibility for his sexist comments at a meeting with council and executive board members at the committee headquarters, in Tokyo, Japan February 12, 2021. Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
The panel charged with finding a new Tokyo Olympics chief after a sexism row began talks on Tuesday as campaigners called for more transparency in the selection process.
The eight-person committee convened for the first time to discuss choosing a successor to Yoshiro Mori, 83, who stepped down Friday after his claims that women talk too much in meetings sparked widespread outrage.
The panel “discussed the qualities required of a new president,” according to Tokyo 2020 organizers, and agreed on five selection criteria.
But campaigners said the process should be made more transparent, with Games chiefs declining to identify the members of the panel, which was expected to have a 50-50 gender split.
The postponed 2020 Games are set to begin in July, with officials and organizers insisting they will go ahead despite doubts over the event’s viability given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The formation of the new panel, headed by 85-year-old Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai, was announced Friday after Mori’s reported attempts to hand-pick 84-year-old Saburo Kawabuchi as his successor was met with opposition.
“Now they say they won’t reveal who the members are of the committee to choose the next chief,” Kazuko Fukuda, a campaigner for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, told AFP.
“So it’s really like the whole process will take place in secret again.”
‘DEEP UNDERSTANDING’
Equality campaigners handed a petition with more than 150,000 signatures to Tokyo 2020 organizers on Tuesday morning, urging them to put concrete measures in place to prevent further discrimination.
The selection committee laid out five criteria for choosing a new president — sporting knowledge, international experience, management skills, familiarity with the Tokyo Games organization and “deep understanding” of Olympic principles, including “gender equality, diversity and inclusion.”
The committee pledged to select candidates “as swiftly as possible”, with local media suggesting a new president could be named before the end of the week.
Reports said Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita and former hammer-thrower Koji Murofushi are among those in contention.
Hashimoto — one of just two women in Japan’s cabinet — was reported as saying Tuesday that she had not been approached about taking over.
“It should be done with transparency,” she said. “I hope we can get the new structure in place quickly.”
Reports said the selection panel is expected to meet again on Wednesday to draw up a list of nominees.
The final choice must be endorsed by Tokyo 2020’s executive board.

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Women’s CL last-16: Chelsea draw Atleti; Man City vs Fiorentina


Chelsea have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Women’s Champions League last 16 while Manchester City face Fiorentina.WSL leaders Chelsea will come up against a familiar face in Toni Duggan with the England international helping Atletico knock Manchester City out of the tournament at the same stage last season.
Emma Hayes’ side have been in stunning form over the past year, going on a record-breaking 33-game unbeaten run which was only recently ended by a shock home defeat to Brighton.Meanwhile, Gareth Taylor’s City side will also play their first leg at home, against a Fiorentina side that finished second in Serie A last season but is off the pace this term, lying fourth and 16 points off pacesetters Juventus.Holders Lyon, who have won a record seven titles and made it five in a row last season, face Norwegian side Brondby.
First legs are scheduled to be played between March 3 and 4, with the return fixtures expected to take place between March 10 and 11.

Image:
Manchester City were knocked out of the competition at the Round of 16 stage by Atletico Madrid and Toni Duggan last season

Full draw as follows:
Wolsburg (GER) vs LSK Kvinner (NOR)Barcelona (ESP) vs Fortuna Hjørring (DEN)Rosengård (SWE) vs St. Pölten (AUT)BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ) vs Bayern München (GER)Manchester City (ENG) vs Fiorentina (ITA)Sparta Praha (CZE) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Lyon (FRA) vs Brøndby (DEN)Chelsea (ENG) vs Atlético de Madrid (ESP)More to follow….Watch the Women’s Football Show on Friday at 6pm on Sky Sports Football.

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“Be honest for once” – Brenda Patea accuses Alexander Zverev of lying about his involvement in her pregnancy



Alexander Zverev’s ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea has slammed the German for using their unborn child to boost his own public image despite not being in contact with her during her pregnancy.Patea, a German model, announced in October 2020 that she was pregnant with Alexander Zverev’s daughter. She was in a relationship with Zverev until July of last year, and is currently 36 weeks into the pregnancy.Patea had declared at first that she had no plans of sharing custody of their child with Zverev, before subsequent public statements made it seem like the two were on amicable terms.But in her recent interview with German tabloid ‘Bild’, Patea revealed that the pair have had no contact for two months. The 27-year-old claimed that they last spoke when another ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, accused Zverev of domestic violence during their relationship.”I’ve been reading many of Alex’s (Zverev) interviews and I ask myself what he wants to achieve by saying these things,” Patea said. “‘Highlight of his life’? ‘He’s extremely happy’? ‘Highest priority’? I can hardly believe that because we aren’t in contact thus far and he hasn’t reached out.”(Patea’s interview with Bild was in German, and the quotes were translated into English by Twitter users fluent in both languages).Someone asked me to translate this so I’ll share it here too. Brenda is asked in her latest stories about Zverev. I translated her answers. In the background she shows excerpts of his latest interview. My summary: Zverev is full of lies and he’s shown it time and time again. pic.twitter.com/Xq2H1pYuXW— Nawal (@NawalNadal) February 15, 2021Brenda Patea was further asked if she shares the details of the pregnancy and of their unborn daughter with Alexander Zverev. But the model said there had been no contact of any kind and no initiative from Zverev’s side. Patea added that she was tired of people assuming otherwise based on the tennis star’s interviews.

“I just wanted peace and quiet. But so many people are telling me, ‘It’s great that you’re in contact (with Zverev) and that he’s interested’. I’ve had enough of his ‘perfect’ interviews. Be honest for once,” Patea added.”If Alexander Zverev is saying these things in interviews then I can finally say something about it too” – Brenda Patea Brenda Patea cheers on Alexander Zverev during the couple’s happier timesJust hours after Brenda Patea announced her pregnancy in October, another of Alexander Zverev’s ex-girlfriends – Olga Sharypova – accused the US Open finalist of being physically and emotionally abusive towards her during their time together.Sharypova dated Zverev for a year before the NextGen star got together with Brenda Patea. The Russian claimed that Zverev had been physically abusive several times, and specifically mentioned an episode during the 2019 Laver Cup. The incident, in her words, drove Sharypova towards an attempt at ending her life, before she was rescued by hotel staff.Also read: Djokovic’s sympathetic support of Zverev, and the silence of Federer & Nadal, highlight tennis’ insensitivity towards abuse

At the time, there was speculation that Brenda Patea’s refusal to share custody of their future child with Alexander Zverev was an indication that he had been unpleasant towards Patea too. But the German model quickly denied any such rumors.Following the denial, there was a tacit understanding in the media that Alexander Zverev and Brenda Patea were planning to raise their daughter together. That, however, was a misconception, as revealed now by Patea.”We had contact two months ago when the thing with his ex (Sharypova) came out but that was it,” Patea said. “It’s stupid to do this in the media. But if he’s saying these things in interviews then I can finally say something about it too.”If the tone of Patea’s answers is anything to go by, it seems like Alexander Zverev has been using his “happiness” on becoming a father as a way to repair his public image after Olga Sharypova’s accusations. It remains to be seen how the 23-year-old reacts to this new development, especially since he is still alive in the ongoing Australian Open.
Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:22 IST

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Daniil Medvedev Finds Another Way of Playing Professional Tennis


At 23, Rublev is two years younger than Medvedev and grew up playing junior tournaments against him in Russia. For a long time Rublev, seeded No. 8, and Karen Khachanov, 24, the third member of Russia’s latest golden generation, were better than Medvedev. The rise for Medvedev came in 2018 and 2019, when he nearly beat Rafael Nadal in the 2019 United States Open final.“He reads the game really well,” Rublev said of Medvedev. “It’s amazing, the patience he has to stay so long in the rallies, to not rush, to take the time, because in the end these little details, they make him who he is.”Russia is the only country with two players in the top 10. Khachanov gives it three in the top 20. Aslan Karatsev, 27, another Russian ranked No. 114, came out of nowhere to make the quarterfinals here in his first Grand Slam tournament.Medvedev comes into the quarterfinal on perhaps the best roll of his career. He has won 18 consecutive singles matches. He won the ATP Tour finals in London in November, pulling off the nifty trick of beating the world’s top three players — Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Dominic Thiem — in a single tournament. For Russia at the ATP Cup, he beat Alexander Zverev of Germany, a 2020 U.S. Open finalist, in a tight, three-set match in the semifinal round.Medvedev spent his early childhood in Moscow and played few sports other than tennis growing up. He worshiped Russia’s last golden generation, which included Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who were in their prime when he was a young child. He moved to France to train as a teenager and became fluent in English and French.Medvedev could be heard screaming at his coach, Gilles Cervara of France, in French during his third-round match against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, as he frittered away a two-set lead before recovering to win the final set, 6-0.

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WATCH: Pacquiao flashes hand speed as apparent ring return nears

FILE PHOTO– Manny Pacquiao Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao showed a glimpse of what boxing fans have been missing since he last made an appearance in the ring 19 months ago.
The Filipino boxing legend on Monday posted a video of himself on social media flashing his killer hand speed and footwork as he makes his seemingly impending ring return later this year.
“Month by month, week by week, day by day. Always focused and ready to fight,” said Pacquiao in the caption.

Month by month, week by week, day by day. Always focused and ready to fight. #TeamPacquiao 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/wJCKMkGnCa
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 15, 2021

Pacquiao has been idle since his impressive win over Keith Thurman back in July 2019 in Las Vegas for the WBA (Super) welterweight title.
The 42-year-old, whose inactivity largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic was relegated by the WBA as its “champion in recess,” is reportedly in talks for a fight against phenom Ryan Garcia.
In a separate post last week, Pacquiao hinted at a “big news coming soon” that had fight fans speculating about his next bout.

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Cleveland Cavaliers 98-129 Golden State Warriors: Twitter erupts as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green showcase their supremacy


The Golden State Warriors made the most of a second-quarter burst to eventually down the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-98. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green made several highlight plays to get the job done for the home side at the Chase Center.The duo didn’t even have to feature in the fourth quarter with six Golden State Warriors scoring in double digits to close out the game with ease. They even restricted the Cleveland Cavaliers well who shot less than 40% from the field.Cleveland Cavaliers get going early but Golden State Warriors eventually take controlIt was a fairly close affair in the first quarter. Stephen Curry stepped up for the Golden State Warriors and scored a quickfire 16 points but the Cleveland Cavaliers responded well. The likes of Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen kept them in the running.Things changed towards the end of the second quarter where the Golden State Warriors went on a 23-8 lead to finish the first half with a 10-point advantage. The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t recover from there as the Dubs extended their advantage in the third quarter thanks to the playmaking of Draymond Green.The Warriors have held their opponent to 105 points or less, and 40.6% FG shooting or less, in 4 of the last 5 games— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 16, 202128 games into the season, the Warriors are the 8th seed in the West with a 15-13 record.Not too bad for the projected 14th seed ahead of the season. pic.twitter.com/GYc8ifhLdt— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) February 16, 2021I’d say it’s not the Cavs night. But not their month might be more accurate— 𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣 𝙍𝙤𝙬𝙖𝙣 🇨🇦 (@Cavsanada) February 16, 2021

Weird to see the Cavs down 20 against the Warriors. Usually doesn’t happen until June— Rashad (@rashadalaiyan) February 16, 2021Whispers* the nets showed how to stop a lot of the warriors plays….. (continues to whisper) but hopefully the rest of the league didn’t watch— IN THE LAB (@DevInTheLab) February 16, 2021Stephen Curry and Draymond Green too hot to handle for Cleveland Cavaliers The two veterans rose to the occasion again

Stephen Curry continued his tremendous campaign with another outstanding performance. He had 36 points for the Golden State Warriors tonight on 13-of-19 shooting including seven made threes. He’s on course to become only the third player in NBA history to record a 5-40-90 clip in multiple seasons alongside Larry Bird and Steve Nash.Curry was aided in his efforts by Draymond Green who’s been flawless as the primary playmaker for the Golden State Warriors. He’s averaged 11.6 assists per game since the start of February and had 16 dimes against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Steph Curry is averaging 30/6/5 on 50/44/94 splits.He’s carrying a team missing Klay Thompson and ALL 3 big men to a playoff spot in the West. Stop saying he’s in the MVP conversation…he IS the MVP. pic.twitter.com/sXHbJSB6mA— Guru (@DrGuru_) February 16, 2021

Steph Curry and Draymond Green, it turns out, are good basketballers.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) February 16, 2021Curry is very nearly doing 50 40 90 on 30ppg while teams main goal is to harass him as much as possible since his star teammates are goneThis is going to be funny forever— Dom2K☘🤦🏾‍♂️ (@Dom_2k) February 16, 202110 straight games with 27+ points for Steph Curry is the longest such streak of his career— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 16, 2021Draymond’s passing x Steph’s gravity is the most lethal offensive combo in basketball— Antonin (@antonin_org) February 16, 2021

Draymond is avg’ing more assists (8apg) than points (5.2ppg). Who is the last qualified starter to do that?— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) February 16, 2021The Golden State Warriors will now take on the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to end their eight-game losing streak against the San Antonio Spurs.Also read: “Do you not think that affects someone mentally?” Draymond Green blasts the NBA for differential treatment of teams and players in trade situations
Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:08 IST

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Meet America’s 63rd National Park


As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.

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Root: Pitch not to blame for England defeat


England captain Joe Root says team “outplayed” by India on tough surface as they lose second Test by 317 runs; skipper feels his men can learn from the way the hosts found control with the ball and batted calmly; third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24

Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:01am

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England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India.

England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India.

Joe Root refused to blame the spin-friendly Chennai pitch for England’s thumping defeat to India in the second Test – and has urged his side to learn from the difficult conditions they faced.
England were spun out for 134 and 164 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on a dusty surface as India wrapped up a 317-run victory on day four to level the four-match series at 1-1.Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin completed hundreds for India and Root says the hosts showed England a template for scoring runs on unhelpful tracks for batsmen. Root says his side must learn from the challenging conditions they faced in Chennai (Pic credit – BCCI) “I wouldn’t say it was a good pitch but it made for very exciting cricket and it was not the reason we lost the game. We were outplayed in all three departments,” said the England skipper.”For us, it’s a bit of an education. It was a surface that spun a huge amount and bounced more than we anticipated but we should take that as a learning and be better for it the next time we experience conditions that are similar.”The toss was an important one to win – but it wouldn’t have guaranteed us a win either. India showed you can score runs and found a way of managing a very tricky surface.”Our batters need to learn from how India rotated strike, while what I took from how they played was how calm and unflustered they were. When a delivery really misbehaved, they didn’t waver from their game-plan.” Ravichandran Ashwin (pictured) and Rohit Sharma scored centuries for India in the second Test (Pic credit – BCCI) Root – whose side will be looking to bounce back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 with their six-match winning streak in overseas Tests having been snapped – also felt his bowlers could have been more frugal on day one when India reached 300-6 after electing to bat.”We have to find ways of building pressure for long periods of time with the ball, bowling six balls at one batter, which India made very difficult for us.”Can we string maidens together and force wickets through very disciplined passages of play? I think India did that better than us.”On day one we could probably have been a bit tighter and squeezed the game, making it hard for them to score freely. The four-match Test series is tied at 1-1 heading into the third Test, a day-night fixture in Ahmedabad from February 24 “We have to learn from the opposition, who played very well, but we are 1-1 in the series and there are two very important games to come.”We are very excited about that because of how well we played in the first game. We are very much in this series. It’s set up very nicely.”We have to stay level. We don’t get above our station when we win and it’s not all doom and gloom when we have tough weeks.”It is very important we stay level as a team. We have to learn but that is one thing we have done well in recent times so hopefully we can take that into the rest of the series.” 0:52 Root says he understands Moeen Ali’s decision to leave England’s bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root says he understands Moeen Ali’s decision to leave England’s bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root – who also confirmed that all-rounder Moeen Ali will miss the rest of the series having opted to fly home – said Ben Stokes only bowled two overs in the game for tactical reasons, not due to injury.”Ben is fit and able to bowl but, on that surface, you look at the overs of seam bowled and it was minimal,” said Root.”I’m sure Ben will have an impact on this series with the ball as he did in the first game. He can grab big moments and turn them on their head.”Pressed on whether he wanted to include the rested James Anderson, who had starred with a scintillating spell of reverse-swing bowling on day five of the first Test, Root added: “It was discussed. “But we need to look at the series as a whole. The pink-ball game looks an exciting opportunity for someone like him to have a real impact.”Follow text commentary of the day-night third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 8.30am on Wednesday, February 24.

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My Confession: Male, Age 21 (AUSTRALIA)


Let me give you some valuable background info first: I live at home with my Dad & my girlfriend (she’s between houses). They’re both my best friends. I am currently going through a chronic pain type disorder that appeared in both wrists & forearms since July 2020. In & out of appointments/checks every fortnight. I am unable to do much in my day, it hurts to do normal things in my day – so I am unable to work or study anymore. Painkillers are not helping. Thursday was the day, the day I basically lost my entire life savings. Since then, I’ve been using every single dollar I can get my hands on to recover this loss & I’m sure you know where I’m at now. $8 in debt & unemployed with no income. But how did I get here? I got caught gambling when I was 17/18, lost all my money then too but it was less than $1000 (my Dad was the only one who knew). Since then, I vowed to never gamble again & I didn’t until 2 weeks ago. My Dad & I were watching the cricket & he placed a $100 multi (he rarely gambles) & won $450. We both thought this was great so I put in $50 myself for the next game. I ended up losing $25 & won it back in the darts later on. I then decided to move on & not do any more as my girlfriend of 2 years (the one I’ll marry) did not approve of me gambling again. So I stopped – until my Dad persuaded me to lie & just gamble anyway behind her back. It was innocent losses, $5-$10 here & there for the next 2 weeks. It wasn’t until last week, the day after my girlfriend’s birthday, that everything went downhill. She had to work Wed & Thu which left me to be alone for 2 days. I was very down in the dumps & just felt like I had all this money & didn’t use it (which is the stupidest thing ever, I know). So I started gambling on the races. With high $1000 bets & spent hours & hours, got up $10k then back down to $5k before I bet my whole bank to get back where I started at $15k. I stopped, went in my room & realised what I did, I almost lost my ENTIRE bank. Did I stop there? Nope, you guessed it. Eventually, one thing led to another & now I’m $15k down & $9 in debt. I confessed everything to my girlfriend & Dad on Thursday. Which they were both very supportive. I had $2000 in my bank then & said I’d stop. But I didn’t, Iost $1500 yesterday & $500 today. So yes in $9 debt. Although I do not have an addiction (oddly enough I studied psychology for 2 years before this chronic pain stopped me), I have definitely fallen into the trap of gambling once again & I only risked losing my last $2000 to not win the money back, but rather I looked at it as an outlet to make money so I can provide my girlfriend & I with a future. But this was such a bad mindset to approach everything. $9 in debt. I am stopping here. I vow to, right here, right now. I have not told my girlfriend or Dad about the last $2000, but I think I will hang onto this one for now as I can make that back in selling some of my collectables that have been collecting profit over the years. So thank god for that at least. Additionally, I may receive a pension for my condition so if that’s approved, must lock my money away. I had to get all this out & it has put me in an awful lot of PHYSICAL pain to even write this due to my chronic pain condition. I don’t expect anyone to read this all as this is rather for me. Thank you. C. submitted by /u/codesfrost [comments]

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