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Party time: Saracens explode with elation at the final whistle Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Oliver Brown 10:30AM BST 29 May 2011
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The most exhilarating denouement yet witnessed in a Premiership final was an act in 32 phases, but through it all the Saracens defence drew upon every last drop of the warrior spirit their name implies. If this was the one-dimensional rugby of which they have often been accused, then every spectator at Twickenham left crying out for more.
While the domestic showpiece might have lacked the flair and fluency of last season’s, it could scarcely be surpassed for eyeballs-out tension. Or, indeed, for symbolism: Saracens clung to recollections of their defeat at the death to Leicester here last season, channelling their resolve to usurp the premier power in the English game.
Leicester railed relentlessly against the erosion of their authority, gleaned from back-to-back titles and seven straight appearances in the final, but not even their most fervent disciples could dispute this result.
Saracens were simply more disciplined, more determined, more single-minded.
When young Owen Farrell finally belted the ball into touch to end the Tigers’ rampage, Saracens supporters hurled programmes down from the top tier of the East Stand as the players erupted into joy unconfined.
Amid such riotous scenes, the tricky task of singling out the outstanding performer began. Schalk Brits won the accolade by common consent, both for the pass that set up James Short for the game’s only try and for hauling down Alesana Tuilagi when the fearsome Samoan looked primed for a decisive riposte. You would not normally expect such interventions from the Saracens hooker, but this was an occasion when every one of the men in black stepped well outside their remit.
None more so than Farrell, the 19 year-old with ice in his veins. The fly-half went toe-to-toe with Toby Flood, England perennial, and somehow emerged superior as five exquisitely-taken penalties helped push his bedraggled team-mates over the line. It stretched credulity to think that last year, he had still been at school, sharing the agonies of Saracens losing as a punter.
The teenager is helped, naturally, by having no less than league luminary Andy Farrell as his father and mentor. Extravagant praise is the style of Farrell Snr, who explained: “I’m proud as a father, but even prouder as a coach. It would have been an absolute travesty if we hadn’t won.”
Farrell had looked ill-equipped last November to secure his place at No 10, after the long-term injury to Derek Hougaard. He missed his share of kicks in the semi-final against Gloucester but, centre stage on the most intimidating platform of all, he prospered. Next season he could find himself marginalised by the arrival of Charlie Hodgson, but this was a time to embrace the future.
Saracens’ performance was stirring in its defiance. True, they did little to deflect arguments that their technique is essentially conservative, or that their season-ending streak of 12 victories owes more to resilience than flamboyance. Led by Brendan Venter — he of the bizarrely truncated television interview last December — the squad uphold a philosophy of the less embellishment, the better.
Venter, a saturnine South African, was once asked to envisage the perfect rugby team and he replied that he pictured Leicester. How remarkable, then, that the triumph he engineered on Saturday was based on emulating a group he ended up vanquishing. Noting the Tigers’ famed attention to detail and often brutal training sessions, he ensured Saracens became equally forensic in their approach: players at Vicarage Road would be attached to microchips, their every movement timed and tested.
But the victory was borne not merely of the appliance of science. Saracens, thanks to Farrell and to Richard Wigglesworth, the scrum-half who came on after the interval, have started to establish a conveyor belt of talent to stand parallel with Leicester’s. David Strettle, the 27 year-old wing whom Chris Ashton believes is the quickest in the country, gives further hope that a dynasty may grow in Watford.
Do not underestimate, either, the strength of camaraderie that runs through the winners. Jacques Burger, the Namibian flanker whose face ran with blood at the final whistle, epitomised the effort.
Hardly a surprise that he should be Saracens’ player of the season. But it is as a collective that they are most impressive. Every time somebody needed to track back for the tackle against Leicester, the black shirts arrived in numbers, like a pack of starving wolves.
Defending en masse does not happen by accident. In Saracens’ case, it has been an impulse fostered in large part by team-bonding trips to Florida, where they took tips from the Miami Dolphins, and to Munich’s Oktoberfest.
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Pair of Black Terns
The Male Black Tern was trying to offer the female a fish, but she ended up turning him down and not accepting the gift. So he continued on his way and tried another female.
Taken at the marsh Boardwalk in Point Pelee Ontario
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No Usage Allowed in Any Form Without the Written Consent of Serena Livingston
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A New York judge has approved a new residence where former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be confined under house arrest: a 6,800-square-foot townhouse at 153 Franklin St., a few blocks from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan, according to a law-enforcement official.
David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state court system, said New York Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus approved the move in a conference call with defense attorneys and prosecutors Wednesday afternoon.
According to online real-estate listings, the Franklin Street townhouse has four bedrooms and a roof deck.
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Former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, center, was led Wednesday from 71 Broadway, where he had been confined since Friday.
Since Friday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn had been confined inside 71 Broadway downtown, in a corporate residence found by the company he hired to guard him around the clock as part of his approved bail package. Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who is charged with sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a maid in the Sofitel New York hotel on May 14, has also provided $1 million cash and a $5 million bail bond to secure his release from jail.
A gaggle of reporters, photographers and onlookers curious about the commotion gathered across the street from the luxury building near historic Trinity Church as word spread that a judge had approved his move. Shortly before he left the building, a large police presence gathered outside, including plain clothes detectives and New York City Police Chief Joseph J. Esposito, the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the police department.
About 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62 years old, walked out of 71 Broadway, just steps from the New York Stock Exchange, with security escorts to his sides. Wearing a gray suit and no tie, and free of handcuffs, he was placed into a waiting sport-utility vehicle and whisked away with a police escort.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a leading French presidential hopeful before the incident, was arrested on May 14, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on May 16, resigned from his IMF position on May 18 and was indicted the following day. Last Friday, he was released on bail and was expected to be confined in an apartment on East 65th Street. He was instead taken to 71 Broadway that same day after the Upper East Side arrangement fell through.
Write to Chad Bray at email@example.com and Sean Gardiner at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Summer is almost here, and most kids -- and parents! -- would agree that it's the best time of year! We asked our moms what their kids are interested in doing this summer. Check out their answers -- then tell us what your kids are looking forward to.
We are hoping to take a trip to the beach this year. Our kids love to swim so I think we might buy a membership to the pool. My husband takes my son fishing a few times a week; that is one of his favorite things to do. We are rarely inside in the summer. We spend our days outside.
Swimming! We just bought a pool so they are excited to try it out. We also live just 7 miles from the coast so we will be spending some time at the beach as well.
My daughter is excited about going to Six Flags, the water park, 4th of July festivities, soccer, and just being outside. My son just wants to go to parks, and can't wait for his bouncy house birthday party in September.
Baseball, swimming, going to the zoo, fishing, the reading program at the library, etc...
My daughter is looking forward to long days at the beach. She just started stand-up paddle boarding and has so much fun doing it!
For more fun ideas and conversation with other moms, visit the Moments of Motherhood group on CafeMom.com.
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BT Paralympic World Cup 2011: day one report
Great Britain's women got their 2011 BT Paralympic World Cup wheelchair basketball campaign off to a fantastic start with victory over Canada but their male counterparts had a frustrating opener with defeat at the hands of France.
Home win: Claire Strange of Great Britain shoots during the BT Paralympic World Cup Wheelchair Basketball event Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Gareth A Davies 10:09AM BST 24 May 2011
Follow Gareth A Davies on Twitter
The women had a storming opening game with a 47-43 victory; an important result against a team seeded three places above them in the world rankings.
Helen Freeman was the top scorer of the game by a significant margin with 29 points as the world number six seeded team took down a resilient Canadian squad in the last quarter.
Commenting on GB’s dream start Freeman said: “A win against Canada is amazing for us as we haven’t beaten them for a couple of years.
"It felt great to contribute 29 points to the final score. We are a young team and most of us are preparing for the Junior World Championships coming up so competing at the World Cup against such a senior team is invaluable to us.”
Head coach Garry Peel was thrilled by the team’s start and insisted his group of players have high hopes for the week ahead.
“We were really happy with the performance today. We started off nervous and were struggling to score but the defence were excellent and it was a great performance as the team gained their confidence throughout the match," he said.
"We were a bit flat last year but the hard work is really paying off and the team is really coming together,” he said.
The GB men’s team were looking to avenge their quarter final defeat by France at last year’s World Championships but despite a strong start which saw them lead by 16-11 after the first quarter, the French team proved too strong on the opening day, winning 68-53.
High scorers included Terry Bywater (14 points) and Simon Munn (10 points) and a strong third quarter saw hopes raised that GB could claw back a three point deficit but France’s offence was too strong for the home defence in the final quarter.
A philosophical Munn said: “The team underperformed today. We are always building however it is very disappointing that we did not bring the result home that we should have.
"This is the second time the French team has beaten us and that should not have happened. So hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for the GB team.”
The day began with Germany's women dominating their match against Japan, with a final score of 62-46, before the Canadian men made their stake for the title with a 55-48 win.
Canada’s Patrick Anderson scored 26 points, having recently returned to international competition ahead of London 2012 following a three-year break from the sport after retiring post-Beijing 2008.
Day two of the tournament will see the Wheelchair Basketball group stages continue, as the Canadian men’s team take on France, followed by GB’s women against Germany. The afternoon will then see Canada's women take on Japan, with the GB men finishing the day in a game in a must-win clash against Brazil.
Day 2 preview – Tues, May 24
Highlight: Great Britain continue in wheelchair basketball with the men up against Brazil and the women playing Germany.
How to follow: @C4Paralympics on Twitter with the #btpwc tag
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The news came as little surprise to many people—least of all the U.S. Curling team.
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Chris Plys of the U.S. throws a stone during their men's curling round robin match against France.
"We never really got on one path," says Rick Patzke, the chief operating officer for USA Curling, who said there was never any cohesive plan in place to win and that the training ahead of these Games was essentially a write-off. "There wasn't total buy-in," he says. By the time the Olympics came around, Mr. Patzke adds, USA Curling was resigned to the fact that it was really preparing for 2014. "We started with Sochi and we worked backward," he says.
How did an entire U.S. team end up taking a mulligan on the Olympics?
Olympics: A Curling Letdown
The U.S. curling teams are struggling, causing some to question the team-selection process and whether they're looking ahead to the next Olympics. Curler Dean Gemmell joins Kelsey Hubbard to talk about the top curling contenders.
Instead of assembling an all-star team of the best curlers in the country—the way some nations do—curling clubs around the U.S. compete in Olympic trials to determine who will make it to the Olympics. In the past, that system has worked—it produced a bronze medal in the 2006 Olympics.
But in the past four years, curling's popularity has grown world-wide, and international competition has picked up. Before these Games, China sent a team to Canada to learn the sport, and Scandinavian countries had begun to improve. At the same time, participation in the U.S. has stayed somewhat stagnant.
Mr. Patzke said that about 18 months ago, USA Curling reached out to the United States Olympic Committee looking for support. "We said we know that we're falling behind here, we better get on the stick."
Faces of Curling
See some of the men's and women's curlers in action in Vancouver.
A look at some of the men's and women's curlers in action at the Vancouver Games.
When the U.S. team, led by captain John Shuster, won the Olympic trials, the USOC provided more support than ever to get them ready for the Olympics. They paid for training, sports psychologists and helped the players get by without working full-time jobs so they could practice for the Olympics.
But in giving them the money, they insisted that USA Curling embark on an ambitious plan to change the culture and structure of the national team. USA Curling enthusiastically embraced the idea, although there was one little problem—there's no way the plan could bear fruit in time to put a decent team on the ice in Vancouver.
After losing to Germany, Switzerland and Denmark in these Games, the U.S. team benched its captain, Mr. Shuster, in favor of a 22-year-old alternate named Chris Plys. It was a move by coaches who wanted to prepare for the future.
"That experience was invaluable in helping me prepare for 2014," said Mr. Plys.
The positives made by USA Curling have done nothing to slow the angry fan mail Mr. Patzke has been receiving. But he says he has found a way to spin that into a positive.
"It shows people actually care," he said.
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Swiss downhiller Didier Cuche, the favorite.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Didier Cuche is an Olympic senior citizen at 35 years years old, so you might assume that his event is curling. But instead of pushing a stone across the ice Saturday, Mr. Cuche will be careening down an icy slope at 80 miles an hour as the gold-medal favorite in the men's downhill competition (if the race isn't postponed by weather).
The Swiss skier is in good— and aging—company. In 1980, the top 12 finishers in the Olympics' downhill event averaged a young 23.6 years. This year's top 12 men's downhill skiers are ancient by comparison: 29.9 years.
"It's become an event that's all about experience," said Phil Mahre, who won silver and gold medals in the slalom in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games. "And it's a lot more technical than it's ever been."
Despite its reckless abandon, downhill has always been friendlier to veteran skiers than other Alpine events. The turns in slalom and giant slalom can wear on aging knees in ways that the bomb-and-tuck style of the downhill race does not. So it's not surprising that this year's slalom and giant slalom skiers are nearly 2½ years younger than their downhill teammates.
But changes in the nature of competitive skiing and advances in ski technology are making the downhill race even more of a haven for the veterans of the world's most famous downhill runs. Among these new factors: fewer training runs, chemicals that make the snow harder and faster than ever, and a new generation of dramatically curved slalom skis. It's hardly surprising that the venerable Mr. Cuche is a favorite for the gold. He turned in the fastest training run Wednesday, before the run was canceled for fog. (He was disqualified in Thursday's training run for missing a gate.) He is joined on the list of skiers who are expected to do well by two other relative old-timers, Austrian Michael Walchhofer, who is 34, and American Bode Miller, who is 32. Liechtenstein's Marco Buechel is 38.
Of course, younger skiers have come out of nowhere to shock the Olympics before, most notably American Bill Johnson, who took the downhill gold at age 23 in 1984 in Sarajevo. But downhill skiing is unique among the skiing disciplines in that its courses hardly change from year to year. In slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom, which is known as SuperG, the course changes depending on how race managers set up the gates through which the athletes ski. In downhill, skiers race down essentially the same course year after year, whether at Colorado's Beaver Creek or Vail resorts, or Europe's legendary downhill runs, such as Wengen, Switzerland, or Kitzbuhel, Austria.
Austrian Michael Walchhofer, above, and Bode Miller atop the downhill course on Wednesday, below.
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The more times they race down a course, the more familiar they become with what skiers call the "line" of the slope, which means the most direct route from the top to the bottom. Skiers with the greatest familiarity of the line know the high-speed adjustments they need to make as they approach the treacherous turns and jumps of a typical race.
"There is no way to plan for these big events other than to have been there before," said Mr. Miller. "If I come in and race hard, it comes down to whether I can make the tactical decisions to make it down error-free."
Making matters more challenging for young downhillers is the now-common practice of injecting a course with water to ensure that the slope remains consistent for every competitor throughout a race day. With that consistency come icy-hard and lightning-fast conditions that put a premium on split-second decisions made by instinct and experience. "It's the judgment factor," said John McMurtry, the former Alpine coach for the U.S. ski team. "And it takes years to develop that judgment."
Especially now. Mr. Mahre said that when he was on the World Cup circuit, organizers would allow competitors to take four or five practice runs on the course before the actual races. Now, partly because the World Cup circuit includes more events, training runs have been cut back to just one or two for each downhill race.
"Used to be you could get 15 or 20 runs on a course within a few years," Mr. Mahre said. "Now it'll take you 10 years to get up to that level."
For many younger skiers, though, those years aren't wasted. Instead, they are using the sharp reflexes and fast-twitch muscles of their youth to win slalom and giant slalom events, which require a series of jagged turns through gates. As those physical advantages begin to deteriorate in their mid-to-late 20s, the aging skiers begin to gravitate toward the speed events, like downhill.
Since the 1990s, slalom skiers have used skis that are shaped like a parabolic arc—skinny in the middle and widening toward the tips. While the shape makes it easier to carve out the quick turns of a slalom, the skis put tremendous torque on the knees and lower legs, body parts which only hurt more as skiers age.
"I've seen people blow out their tibia and fibulas just by going through a turn," said Picabo Street, the silver medalist in the Olympic downhill in 1994.
American skier Bode Miller first broke onto the World Cup skiing circuit in 1997 as a top slalom racer out of New Hampshire. His first World Cup downhill victory, however, didn't come until 2004, when he was 27 years old. This year, the downhill and SuperG are considered his best shots at the podium, though he may also be a contender in the downhill-slalom combination event known as Super Combined.
Brandon Dyksterhouse, who grew up racing with Mr. Miller and is now the head Alpine coach at the Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont, which trains some of the country's best young skiers, said Mr. Miller is lucky to have made it into this stage of his career without having blown himself into pieces. "If you can hang in without breaking your body apart, there's no reason you can't stay competitive until you're 40."
Write to Matthew Futterman at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Turn up the heat in the bedroom with these foods proven to put you in the mood and boost sexual desire.
"You know what they say about oysters..." men have uttered to dates as they order the well-known aphrodisiac. The seafood has earned a spot on our list because it's high in zinc, which helps produce sperm and increases libido. Try ‘em cooked or raw.
Sweet potatoes are not only a healthier alternative to French fries, they're also a good "sex" food. It's simple—your body transforms the beta-carotene found in the vegetable into vitamin A, which keeps your vagina and uterus in good shape, plus helps produce sex hormones.
RELATED: Boost Your Libido with This Sweet Potato Marshmallow Gratin Recipe
Pig sex with truffles? Sounds preposterous, right? However, truffles have been said to contain an ingredient similar to the male pig sex hormone. There's a special chemical in truffles, which is a yummy fungus used in fine foods, that girl pigs are attracted to. Have you ever had truffle mashed potatoes? Yum!
The health nuts are on to something. As if veggies couldn't get any better for you, Genie James, author of In the Mood Again, recommends natural hormone-balancing foods to help boost your sex drive. In the book, James devotes an entire chapter to "sexy-healthy eating" to keep your sex life hot and sizzling. Start with asparagus!
RELATED: Try This Asparagus, Zucchini and Parmesan Salad
Don't forget about edamame! It's rich in phytoestrogens, too. "Did you know that the number one Japanese porn star was 72 years old? Many postulate that to the fact that the Japanese diet is rich in phytoestrogens," James says.
More on SHAPE:
• 25 Aphrodisiacs That Are Good for You
• How to Have More Fun in Bed
• The Fastest Ways to Lose Belly Fat
• What We Can Learn From the Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger Split
• Celeb Weddings: Hollywood's Hottest Bridal Bodies
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How Manchester United's players have performed over the entirety of their 19th title-winning season
Telegraph Sport analyses the contributions of all of United's players and marks them out of 10.
Much improved: United winger Nani (left) has come on leaps and bounds this season Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Mark Ogden 10:22PM BST 15 May 2011
Follow Mark Ogden on Twitter
Premier League appearances 17, goals 0
Injury-interrupted start to campaign, form returned in mid-season and earned a new contract. Still to realise potential, though.
PL apps 2, gls 0
One for the future? Perhaps, but evidence of this season is that his future will not be at Old Trafford.
PL apps 7, gls 0
Has looked rusty and way past his best this season. Awful performances at Villa Park and Anfield particular low points.
PL apps 28, gls 0
Struggled for form early on, but has been a revelation in recent months. Confidence has returned and now a key man again. 7/10
PL apps 12, gls 0
The centre-half has had a tough campaign and he must regain his confidence and composure next season to safeguard his United future.
PL apps 34, gls 1
No outfield player made more appearances, but not a vintage year for the French full-back after the trauma of last summer’s World Cup.
Rafael da Silva
PL apps 15, gls 0
When fit, the 'other’ Da Silva twin has proven to be a star in the making at right-back. Experience has smoothed his rough edges.
PL apps 19, gls 0
Another injury-ravaged season, but his return in recent weeks has been crucial. United miss him badly when he’s sidelined.
PL apps 25, gls 2
Recent virus forced him out for almost two months, but a central figure prior to the illness. Ferguson wants him fit for Champions League final, but could be too soon.
PL apps 12, gls 0
Has endured terrace criticism this season and his poor form has reflected the negativity. Next season will be make-or-break. 5/10
PL apps 25, gls 2
At 37, has shown incredible longevity, drive and consistency. Has always performed at crucial stages this season for United, particularly in wins at Blackpool and West Ham.
PL apps 1, gls 0
Another season to forget for United’s forgotten man. Comeback game against Wolves lasted just five minutes before a hamstring injury struck.
PL apps 27, gls 13
The undoubted find of the season. The Little Pea has scored crucial goals and formed a terrific partnership with Wayne Rooney.
PL apps 5, gls 0
The Pole’s erratic performance at Blackburn on Saturday summed up why he is not being considered as a replacement for Edwin van der Sar.
PL apps 7, gls 1
Spent the last six months on loan at Sampdoria. The Italian forward is rated by Ferguson, but must live up to the hype sooner or later.
PL apps 32, gls 9
United’s most improved player this season. Top of the Premier League assists charts and has now cut out the infuriating inconsistency.
PL apps 3, gls 0
An accident waiting to happen in games at Stoke and West Brom, which contributed to decision to retire in January.
PL apps 20, gls 0
Trusted by Ferguson as reliable cover in defence and midfield. Approaching 400 senior games for the club, but still to secure a regular position.
PL apps 7, gls 0
Not progressed as those at United had hoped and could be on the way this summer if an offer comes their way.
PL apps 10, gls 1
The stats don’t look great for the former Liverpool man, but his late equaliser at Bolton in September proved crucial.
PL apps 14, gls 4
Injuries and the Asian Cup have interrupted his season, but Park always delivers on the big occasion.
Terrific against Chelsea last week.
PL apps 27, gls 11
Terrible first half of the season led to transfer request and loss of form, but has returned to prominence this year. Back to his best.
PL apps 21, gls 1
Started the season in sensational form, but has faded in recent months. Still good enough for one more year, but does he want it?
PL apps 15, gls 0
Proven himself to be a terrific acquisition in his first season at United. Has stepped up in place of Ferdinand and Vidic regularly.
PL apps 10, gls 1
A badly broken ankle suffered in September looked to have ended his season, but the winger has since returned and been key in the run-in.
Edwin van der Sar
PL apps 32, gls 0
What a way to go. The Dutch keeper will retire after the Champions League final, but his heroics this season show he’ll be tough to replace.
PL apps 34, gls 5
Arguably the best defender in the Premier League. The United captain can feel hard done by at missing out on the Footballer of the Year award.
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Re-edit of an older photo taken @ Cannon Beach, OR.
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The week ahead – May 16, 2011: results, meetings and trading updates
We list the key corporate and economic events set to effect the markets in the week beginning Monday, May 16, 2011.
7:53PM BST 15 May 2011
Monday, May 16
• Xchanging will update the market on recent trading on Monday, ahead of its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday. The outsourcing company, which runs back-office activities such as invoice processing and paying staff, said at its full-year results at the beginning of March that 2011 would be a year of transition as it addresses operational problems including its Cambridge IT business.
When unveiling its full-year figures, Xchanging, which issued a profit warning in February, outlined a four-part plan for recovery as it looked to cut costs. The group made a pre-tax loss of £60m in 2010, driven by £110m of impairment charges. The loss came against a profit of £18.4m a year earlier. Revenues rose 4pc to £780.6m.
ITE Group, RM
Tuesday, May 17
• Vodafone is expected to report full-year operating profits at the top end of its £11.8bn-£12.2bn range.
The world's largest mobile phone company is expected to report revenue of about £45.5bn compared with £44.5bn last year. It will make Vodafone one of a selected group of European telecoms companies to report growth.
Its southern European operations are likely to disappoint due to the region's lacklustre economy, but its US and Indian interests are expected to report strong growth. Vodafone's UK business is likely to be singled out as a star performer. Earlier this year, Vittorio Colao, chief executive, said the company was benefiting from Britain being the "most digitally advanced" country in Europe.
"Vodafone has started, and should continue to out-perform peers in Europe as the shift to data benefits its better networks," said analysts at Bernstein Research.
The company, which has off-loaded many minority interests, is also due to update the market on the planned sale of its 24.4pc stake in Poland's Polkomtel, which could fetch €4bn (£3.4bn).
Robert Wiseman Dairies, Yell Group, Vodafone
Diploma, GW Pharma,
Aviva, Essar Energy, Hilton Food Group, Derwent London
UK inflation figures
Beale (EGM), Evolution Group (AGM)
Wednesday, May 18
• ICAP presents its preliminary results for the 12 months to the end of March. The world's largest inter dealer broker is forecast to report a more than 40pc increase in pre-tax profits to about £350m on revenues of £1.73bn, up 8pc on 2010.
Expectations are for an increase in the dividend to 18.66p per share from 17.55p last year. The company is expected to have benefited from strong revenues from its electronic broking division, while continued volatility in credit markets is also likely to have proved lucrative.
• Land Securities, Britain's biggest listed property company, kicks off the reporting season for the commercial property sector.
Analysts have pencilled in an adjusted net asset value per share, a key measure for property companies, of 768p compared with 737p at the half-year and 691p last year. The consensus for pre-tax profits, taking into account changing property valuations, is £258m, compared with £1.1bn last year and a £4.8bn loss in 2009. Francis Salway, chief executive, is also expected to comment on the health of the UK retail market and the City, where Land Securities is building the Walkie Talkie skyscraper.
• Investors will want to see whether National Grid has made progress in reviewing its US business, after a mixed year for the utility.
It didn't get the increase in rates that it wanted from the American regulators, cut 1,200 US jobs and is currently under investigation over suspicions that management expenses were mistakenly passed on to ratepayers across the pond.
However, it said earlier this year that it expected profits to have increased "significantly" for the full-year and shareholders are likely to be pleased by a promised 8pc increase in the dividend.
ICAP, Land Securities, Mothercare
UK employment figures, minutes of Bank of England MPC meeting
Thursday, May 19
• SABMiller is due to report results for the year to the end of March. The world's second-largest brewer is expected to turn in pre-tax profits of $3.72bn (£2.3bn) and sales of $18.3bn, according to forecasts.
The brewer of Grolsch and Peroni said last month like-for-like beer sales rose 3pc in the three months to the end of March and increased 2pc over the year as a whole.
SAB stands to benefit most from a renewed bout of takeovers in the beer world, according to a recent research note by Goldman Sachs. The London-based company, which makes most of its sales in emerging markets, has been linked to bids for Foster's brewing operations in Australia and privately owned French company Castel's beer business in Africa.
Booker, Dairy Crest, Investec, Invensys, National Grid
AMEC, Close Bros
UK retail sales figures, CBI industrial trends data, Japan's Q1 GDP figure
Friday, May 20
Mitchells & Butlers
Alliance Trust (AGM)
Economic Week Ahead
The UK's inflation rate is set to resume its upwards path in figures out on Tuesday, after a surprise easing last month.
The rate, as measured by the consumer prices index, dipped from 4.4pc to 4pc - still double the target - but economists do not expect further respite.
"Changes to the alcohol and tobacco duty rates regime [in March] ... will be one of the reasons for this – with the measures adding 4p to a pint of beer and 50p to a packet of economy cigarettes," said Philip Shaw, an economist at Investec.
He also sees price uplifts coming from fuel and water bills, taking the headline rate to 4.2pc. The Bank of England thinks this could hit 5pc within months, but expects the pace to slacken as factors like the VAT rise fall out of the equation.
Meanwhile the focus will remain on the eurozone's debt crisis as its finance minsters meet on Monday, joined later by their EU counterparts from outside the currency bloc.
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has been charged with a criminal sex act and attempted rape an alleged attack on a hotel maid, after he was arrested and removed from a plane on the tarmac of John F. Kennedy airport.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is in police custody in New York after being removed from a plane at JFK airport Photo: AFP
By Jon Swaine, New York 9:00AM BST 15 May 2011
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Mr Strauss-Kahn is expected to be brought before a state court judge later today, where his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he ``will plead not guilty.''
The prominent French Socialist politician who was expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the country's presidency next year, allegedly attacked the 32-year-old maid in his room at the Sofitel, near Times Square.
The 62-year-old is said to have emerged naked from his bathroom and forced himself on the woman, who had entered to clean his room at about 1pm on Saturday. He then allegedly "attempted to sexually assault her", Paul Browne, a New York Police Department spokesman, said on Saturday night.
After the alleged incident, the maid left the room and alerted colleagues, who called 911. Mr Strauss-Kahn then departed for JFK airport, leaving his mobile phone in the hotel room.
He was apprehended in the First Class cabin of Air France Flight 23, which was 10 minutes away from taking off for Paris, at about 4.40 on Saturday afternoon. He was escorted off the plane by two plainclothes detectives, who did not need to use handcuffs.
The officers, from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, turned him over to detectives from the New York Police Department's mid-town south precinct, which covers the hotel and the surrounding area of Manhattan.
The case is now said to be being investigated by the department's Special Victims Unit.
An NYPD spokesman said last night: “There is an ongoing investigation into this matter. Evidence is being gathered. No charges have been filed.” The maid was reportedly taken to hospital by ambulance and treated for "minor injuries".
John Sheehan, the director of safety and security at the Sofitel, told The Daily Telegraph: “The safety and security of our team and our clients is our utmost priority. We are working very closely with the NYPD on their investigation.”
Mr Strauss-Kahn, a former economics professor, lawyer and French finance minister, has since 2007 been the managing director of the Washington-based IMF, which loans large sums of money to countries in economic crisis.
He ran for the Socialist party's presidential candidacy in 2006, but was defeated by Segolene Royal, who went on to lose the general election to Mr Sarkozy the following year.
In 2008 Mr Strauss-Kahn, who is married to Anne Sinclair, an American-French television journalist, admitted that he had an affair with a senior IMF official. He said he had made an “error of judgment”.
He was expected to seek his party's nomination for the 2012 presidential election. Last week he complained that Mr Sarkozy had mounted a “smear campaign” against him and his lifestyle.
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Photographed at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas.
national wildlife refuge
United States of America
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Bentonville Square Panorama
Hoover Dam and Bridge
The Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass, was the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States, and incorporates the longest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. Opened on October 19, 2010, the bridge provides a crossing of the Colorado River for U.S. Route 93, linking the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona 1,600 feet (490 m) downstream from the Hoover Dam. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The bridge is the second-highest in the United States, behind Royal Gorge Bridge, at 840 feet (260 m) above the Colorado River. Built as part of the Hoover Dam Bypass Project, which successfully finished within budget at a cost of US$240 million, the bridge portion cost US$114 million.
Mike O’Callaghan, a decorated Korean War veteran, was governor of Nevada from 1971–1979 and was the executive editor at the Las Vegas Sun newspaper for many years until his death on March 5, 2004. Pat Tillman was a football player for Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals who gave up his multi-million dollar career in the National Football League to enlist in the U.S. Army, and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.
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Chelsea did not deserve to take anything from Manchester United match, says John Terry
John Terry was at a loss to explain Chelsea's abject first-half performance after their dream of the greatest comeback in Premier League title history was crushed by Manchester United.
By Telegraph staff and agencies 10:09AM BST 09 May 2011
Chelsea failed to turn up during the opening 45 minutes at Old Trafford yesterday as United ran riot and could easily have found themselves more than 2-0 down.
The defeat left them six points behind United with two games remaining, undoing all their hard work over the previous two months to claw back a 15-point deficit.
Chelsea conceded after just 36 seconds yesterday and captain Terry struggled to explain why they were caught cold.
He told Chelsea TV: "I'm not sure. We were fully prepared and it's one of those things. Disappointing day but, going back two months, we would've taken this - being in the position (three points behind United at the start of the game).
"We felt it was in our hands and we could come here and we could win the game. Sometimes, you have to hold your hands up. We came here hoping and praying that we started well and the role was completely reversed.
"They had a great start and got the early goal, which settled them. But, first half, we didn't deserve anything from the game at all.
"I thought second half we came out, we had nothing to lose and went for it and dominated the second half. It just would've been interesting to get that second goal and get it back to level terms."
The result appears certain to cost manager Carlo Ancelotti his job, with the Italian set to oversee Chelsea's worst season since Roman Abramovich bought the club eight years ago.
Ancelotti was expecting to learn his fate soon after Chelsea's final game of the season at Everton.
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With paper airplanes, things are always looking up.
paper airplanes, wide horizon
The morning after the big post-Christmas 2010 blizzard hit New York.
Exchange Place, Jersey City
blizzard, christmas, poor soul, snowdrifts
Judge praises Prince William for saving his life
A judge who was rescued by Prince William after suffering a heart attack on Snowdonia said he hadn't planned to be rescued by the prince, he merely wanted to 'have a nice day on the hills.'
31 March 2011: Prince William stands with his search and rescue crew, (from left to right) winchman Sergeant Ed Griffith, Flight Lieutenant Alan Connor and winch operator Sergeant Paul Jones, alongside their Sea King helicopter at RAF Valley in Anglesey, north Wales, after a training exercise at nearby Holyhead Mountain Photo: PA
6:45AM BST 09 May 2011
Nick Barnett, 70, was the first stricken mountain walker to be rescued by Flight Lieutenant Wales since the prince returned to work following his marriage to Kate Middleton..
After delaying his honeymoon to resume his duties as a rescue pilot, William was at the controls of a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley in Anglesey which flew to the aid of the retired Hong Kong High Court judge.
Lying in his bed in the hospitals coronary care unit, the judge, who was an Admiralty and commercial judge in the former Far East British colony until 1999 and still sits in the Supreme Court of Brunei, recalled how he had been on 2,946ft Y Lliwedd in Snowdonia when he collapsed.
Just days earlier he had been one of the huge TV global audience who watched William and Kate marry.
Before he travelled to North Wales with army officer son Giles, 31, the judges wife Philomena had even quipped that it would be amazing if they were picked up by the prince while hiking on the mountains
Mr Barnett, a father-of-two, said :"I'm very grateful to Prince William and the entire helicopter crew and the member of the Llanberis mountain rescue team who came to my aid and was extremely helpful."
The judge, an experienced hill walker who has trekked in the Himalayas, been up Ben Nevis, and travelled to the Rockies, became ill during his first visit in almost half a century to North Wales.
"We left the summit of Snowdon and were between Snowdon and Y Lliwedd when I became ill. To begin with I couldnt get my thighs to go up and down and then I felt discomfort in my chest.
"I started taking it easy, sitting down after a few paces, until I thought this is ridiculous I cant go any further.
"Then I felt the need to sit down again and the next time I stood up nothing happened my legs wouldnt move and I had no strength in my arms. I collapsed on the ground."
Mr Barnett was winched into the Prince's helicopter and arrived at hospital in time for specialists to prevent long term damage.
"I didnt set out to be rescued by Prince William. I'd planned a nice day on the hills and to have a nice pint of beer in Betws y Coed where we were staying. Family and friends are all stunned by who saved me.
The Snowdon Horseshoe is described by one hikers guide as probably the nations most famous high level mountain walking challenge and one for those with a head for heights.
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A highway patrol cruiser at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento, CA.
Ford Crown Victoria
California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol Academy
California Police Officers Memorial Ride
west sacramento ca, chp academy, carford, highway patrol, police officers