1 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was unimpressed by his side’s ability to find the back of the net as they drew 0-0 with Southampton in the Barclays Premier League on Tuesday night.The Gunners were met by boos from frustrated fans as they saw their side unable to beat Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster, despite 11 shots on target.Wenger said: “We produced quite a good performance, especially in the second half when we created 10 goal chances.“At the end of the day we came out with no goals.“I believe the performance we wanted to produce was there, but we cannot be happy with the way we finished our chances.“I think what’s most disappointing is some players missed some chances that usually they would take.“Our finishing is very bad at the moment – we have played three (league) games now without scoring a goal. In all those three games we had chances that we didn’t take. At that level it’s important.”Arsenal were the only team in the top six of the Premier League who failed to win on Tuesday night, and Wenger was frustrated at the result because he knew his side could do better. He said: “We started slowly but in the first half, a bit nervous because we lost our last game at home but in the second half it was one-way traffic.“We still couldn’t score. We didn’t make enough of our set pieces, we didn’t take them well, we didn’t finish well.“It’s just that our finishing was very poor.“It’s maximum frustrating, when your team puts the energy in and creates the chances.“When you have no chances you come out of the game thinking ‘Okay, there was not more in it.’ When you come out and you think there was much more in the game like that (tonight), when you have our ambition of course it’s frustrating.” Laurent Koscielny missed an easy header
Sevilla and Valencia have joined Liverpool in the race to land Anderlecht ace Dennis Praet.The Belgian midfielder has been heavily linked with a summer switch to Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp keen to add another playmaker to his ranks.But now, according to Superdeporte, the Reds face competition from Sevilla and Valencia – bossed by former Manchester United star Gary Neville – for the the 21-year-old’s signature.Both Spanish clubs are understood to have scouted Praet since the turn of the year and are readying summer bids for him.Praet’s contract with Anderlecht expires in 2017 and the player has stalled on renewing terms with the Belgian giants.Anderlecht are now reluctantly willing to sell Praet this summer and are already lining up discussions with clubs about a transfer. Anderlecht ace Dennis Praet [right] in action for the club 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Roughly 1,300 troops have been bitten by the bug and infected with a disease called leishmaniasis, nicknamed the “Baghdad boil” because it causes large, ugly sores. Another form of the disease isn’t as painful to look at, but it is lethal. A team of scientists from LA BioMed at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is working to find a cure for the disease, which has become a priority of the Department of Defense, government officials say. Cynthia Smith, spokeswoman for the Defense Department, said four of the troops have so far been diagnosed with the deadly visceral form of the parasitic disease, which causes anemia and swelling of the spleen and liver. The majority of cases in the United States are of the milder variety but still vexing – victims develop fleshy sores that usually heal on their own in six months to two years. “We still don’t know a lot about it,” said Dr. Noah Craft, who is leading the team of researchers at the research institute near Torrance. “There are no easy tests to discover (the visceral form) and no great treatments.” Craft first encountered the parasite as a medical student working in Brazil seven years ago. The disease is prevalent in tropical and desert regions of the world, including South America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. An estimated 12 million people in 88 countries have been diagnosed with the disease, and about 2 million new cases are diagnosed annually, according to the World Health Organization. It is second only to malaria as the leading cause of death from parasitic disease. With the exception of troops and foreign travelers, the parasite is rare in the United States, but there have been reports of the fly migrating to southern parts of Texas; scientists say it could become more common as global temperatures rise. Still, it is not enough of a concern here to attract mass amounts of research money from the government, and finding a vaccination wouldn’t be a lucrative investment for private pharmaceutical companies, said Dr. Brad Spellberg, also an LA BioMed researcher and leading member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Craft is still waiting for grant funding; for now, the team is working on a cure using grant money from other sources. Researchers are exploring both a vaccine that may prevent the disease and a treatment for those already infected. One of remedies being developed would act similar to a flu shot – people would be given a form of the disease so that they become immune. Another possible treatment involves altering the chemistry of the actual parasite, so that when ingested it immunizes the person but is unable to multiply and destroy organs. Researchers are still about two years away from clinical trials, Craft said. Those now diagnosed with the disease are given poisonous drugs with nasty, sometimes life-threatening side effects. Those with liver or immune system deficiencies often can’t tolerate the current remedy. The treatment is worse in places like the Middle East, scientists say. Because facial scarring that develops when the boils heal is so socially paralyzing, babies are often purposely infected with the parasite so that they develop immunity early with less visible scarring. Victims can develop boils in the mucus membranes and all over the skin where the bug bites them. There are no immediate symptoms with the more deadly form of the disease – when they do arise, it’s usually too late, Craft said. It could be months or years before infected troops are diagnosed. All of the troops so far have been treated successfully, Smith, the defense spokeswoman, said in a written statement. Since becoming more aware of the danger, military officials have urged troops to use bug repellent, wear specially treated uniforms and sleep in enclosures or in bed nets, Smith said. Troops, however, aren’t routinely tested for leishmaniasis when they return. For those who are infected, a cure is still elusive. The fact remains that in times of war, “we suddenly have to understand and deal with the problems of that country,” Craft said. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MEDICINE: As more U.S. troops are infected, LA BioMed team is also focusing on a vaccine to prevent the disease. By Melissa Evans STAFF WRITER In addition to dodging bullets and fighting insurgents, U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East have another enemy to worry about: the sand fly.
By Elliott Teaford STAFF WRITER The marquee attraction was absent Friday night, stuck at home in Southern California with a sprained right wrist that needed attention. Kobe Bryant wasn’t the only player missing in action when the Lakers concluded their injury-riddled training camp with a 101-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings in front of 10,089 fans at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Lamar Odom and Maurice Evans also sat out because of shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively. Opening night is Tuesday at Staples Center, but getting a handle on the bruised and battered Lakers has been a chore. Even Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn’t know what to say when asked how he would assess their progress during camp, launching into a tongue-in-cheek political rant. “I think we should go and bomb Iraq,” Jackson said, perhaps meaning Iran rather than Iraq. “Personally, I don’t like any of the candidates running in the presidential contest. Other than that, basketball is going just as it should.” Asked what he would keep his eye on during the game, Jackson at first declined to give a straightforward answer. “Gary Vitti’s bald head,” he said, referring to the Lakers’ athletic trainer. “That’s what I’d like to watch.” Jackson then added, “You look at the young players to see what they’re doing correct and incorrect. You see how your team is functioning on the floor.” Andrew Bynum scored 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Lakers (3-4 in exhibition games) past the Kings. Ronny Turiaf had 18 points and eight rebounds. Jackson grew more serious when asked about his own health. Jackson underwent hip replacement surgery during the summer and has been using a cane to get around, leaning on it on the sidelines as he conducts practice. “I had a goal to get off this cane by the beginning of the season and I think I might be able to do it,” he said. “I’m progressing along. It’s become my carriage. It’s going to be tough to leave it behind, though. “It’s one of the things Alex (McKechnie, the Lakers’ physiologist) has been on me about, not relying on the cane. I’ve actually left it behind the last couple of days when I’m around the house. I’m feeling much more confident without it.” Evans injures hamstring Evans injured his left hamstring in practice Wednesday. He probably could have played, but decided to rest so he can be fit for opening night against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. “I sat out (Thursday) in practice,” Evans said. “(Resting for opening night is) exactly why I’m not playing. It’ll give me five days. Hopefully, this won’t be a recurring thing. I haven’t had too many issues.” Evans sat out several days when he strained the same hamstring in the opening days of training camp in Hawaii. He said rest and rehabilitation solved the problem the first time and expects it will do the trick this time, too. Clippers fall to Warriors Monta Ellis scored 27 points and Golden State blew a 23-point lead before Michael Pietrus hit a 3-pointer with 64 seconds left to help beat the Clippers, 109-103, at Staples Center. Corey Maggette scored 23 points and Sam Cassell and Chris Kaman added 20 each for the Clippers, who ended the preseason 4-4. Brevin Knight did not play because of a strained left hip flexor, and Ruben Patterson sat out with a dislocated pinky on his right hand. But both are expected to be ready for next Friday’s rematch against the Warriors. Around the league Kings: Point guard Mike Bibby will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season after tearing a ligament in his left thumb. Sonics: Kevin Durant missed his second consecutive preseason game. The second overall pick in June’s draft was back in Seattle shooting and walking on a treadmill to test his sprained left ankle. Then Jeff Green, the fifth overall pick, sprained his left ankle during the third quarter of a preseason game with the Phoenix Suns. Miscellany: David Stern said there’s no immediate plans for a new franchise in the NBA, and he didn’t promise Las Vegas would be first in line for a team. The AP contributed to this notebook.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
A call seeking comment from the American Red Cross was not immediately returned. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger deployed 1,500 members of the California National Guard on Oct. 21. In all, 2,500 guardsmen assisted in disaster relief.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Jon Siepmann confirmed that the Guard is investigating complaints that soldiers “were in possession of relief supplies beyond those they were authorized to use as part of their mission.” All the supplies have been identified and returned to the relief agency, Siepmann said in a statement. The unit had been providing security in Potrero, about 40 miles east of San Diego. Its troops had been sleeping in tents near a fire station being used by the American Red Cross, according to an official close to the investigation who was not authorized to speak on the record. Volunteers offered to let the soldiers shower and get a snack at the fire station. Some of the soldiers then took more than volunteers thought was acceptable. “The California National Guard takes all allegations of improper conduct seriously and will take action, to include disciplinary measures, against any soldiers who may have acted inappropriately,” Siepmann said. SACRAMENTO – A military police company from the California National Guard has been sequestered pending an investigation into whether troops took donations intended for Southern California wildfire victims, Guard officials confirmed Monday. Thirty-six soldiers from the 330th Military Police Co. are being bused from the National City Armory near San Diego to their home base in Ontario, east of Los Angeles. National Guard officials said they were expected to be released Monday night. One guardsman has been relieved of duty. The Guard launched the investigation last week after volunteers called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to report guardsmen taking supplies intended for displaced fire victims near the U.S.-Mexico border.
But are they? Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, said the five-county region shouldn’t settle for a deal with so many holes in it, and demand something better. He’s right. That’s the best way to do business with the state.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHEN a north-south dispute over bond money for trade-driven transportation erupted earlier this month, state officials found an easy solution: They pretended to find $1 billion to make everyone happy. But like some other state “solutions,” the billion may never materialize. The reason for the generosity was an argument that has been brewing among competing regions over which would get the bulk of money from bonds approved by voters as part of Proposition 1B. Since five Southern California counties handle 85 percent of the state’s trade, officials here thought the region should get 85 percent of the money, which would amount to $1.7 billion. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsBut three other regions, San Diego, the Bay Area and the Central Valley, lined up with their hands out. The problem, as usual, is that there are too many needs and too few resources. But the California Trade Commission’s solution did not offer a real fix. It merely put fictitious money in the pot to shut up the arguing. The trouble is that half of that extra billion is supposed to come from revenue sources that are less than certain, and the other half probably would have gone to the five-county region anyway. The five counties, L.A., Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino, aren’t happy. A spokesman for the unified counties, Roger Snoble, CEO of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, complained that the rest of California doesn’t understand the region’s dire circumstances. Still, Snoble said, at least the five counties are getting about what they wanted.
1 Wolfgang Niersbach, former president of the DFB FIFA’s ethics committee has recommended a two-year ban from all football activities for former German FA president Wolfgang Niersbach for an alleged bribe paid to secure the right to host the 2006 World Cup.Niersbach, a member of the FIFA Council, resigned as the boss of German football in November, saying he took “political responsibility” for the scandal but denied any personal wrongdoing.FIFA’s ethics chief Dr Cornel Borbely opened the investigation in March and last month passed on his report to the adjudicatory chamber, which has now decided to proceed with “formal adjudicatory proceedings against Mr Niersbach”.In his report, Borbely has called for a two-year ban and a £21,000 fine for breaches of four articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics.The decision to proceed with the case was taken by the deputy chairman of the ethics panel, Alan Sullivan, and Niersbach can now ask for a hearing and submit his own evidence.The payment at the centre of this controversy was made in 2005, when Niersbach was an executive vice-president of Germany’s organising committee for the 2006 World Cup.He has always claimed that it was part of a FIFA financing deal to unlock a £173m grant for World Cup staging costs.But a 2015 report by German magazine Der Spiegel has alleged it was pay-back for a loan made by former Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus to bribe voters to choose Germany when the decision was made in 2000.Allegations of corruption have surrounded that vote from the moment it became known that Oceania delegate Charlie Dempsey abstained in the final round.The New Zealander was supposed to have voted for South Africa, which would have made it 12-12, giving the casting vote to then FIFA boss Sepp Blatter who wanted to take the World Cup to Africa.Dempsey said he abstained because of the “intolerable pressure” he had been placed under by both the German and South African bids.The claims did not stop there as reports emerged in the German media that the government and leading domestic businesses appeared to be trying to influence FIFA voters from Asia with arms sales and commercial investments.Niersbach, now 65, has always vigorously defended his and the bid committee’s actions, and he has remained prominent at FIFA, including during last week’s congress in Mexico City.Niersbach is also a member of UEFA’s executive committee and UEFA issued a statement which read: “UEFA has taken note of the opening of proceedings by the FIFA Ethics Committee against Mr Niersbach and will closely follow developments in this respect. There are no further comments to be made at this stage of the proceedings”.
1 Liverpool face competition from AC Milan and Juventus for Croatian forward Marko Pjaca.Jurgen Klopp has been keeping a close watch on the Dinamo Zagreb man since he took over at Anfield in October and wants Liverpool to make a bid this summer.The 21-year-old hit six goals in the final two months of last season for his club to cement his place in the Croatia national team for the Euro 2016 and attract further interest from Liverpool.An offer of around £14m is set to be enough to persuade Dinamo into selling their young star, but Liverpool have yet to meet that asking price and now have to beat two other clubs to his signature.According to Sky Italia, AC Milan and Juventus both sent scouts to Croatia’s 2-1 win over Spain last week and were impressed by Pjaca’s display.The two Italian heavyweights are now ready to make contact with Dinamo in the coming weeks, with a bidding war against Liverpool becoming increasingly likely. Marko Pjaca
Pizza, strudel and a special selection of affordable wines are now available in downtown San Pedro, which is in the midst of a redevelopment effort. “We are very excited about these new businesses investing in the historic downtown waterfront district,” said Camilla Townsend, CEO of the San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Niko’s Pizzeria, an Italian restaurant at Sixth and Mesa streets, is owned by two men who are no strangers to the restaurant business. Niko “Nick” Tsoufoulas previously owned Big Nick’s at Gaffey and Channel streets and has 70 years of restaurant experience in his family. San Pedro native Deno Boosalis’ family had owned the Soda Shop on Pacific Avenue, and he currently owns Harry’s Grill in Sunset Beach. They’re happy they are in a position to be part of the downtown redevelopment. “The timing was right with the redevelopment and new infrastructure,” Tsoufoulas said, adding that his partner had always envisioned returning to San Pedro. “After Deno left San Pedro, he always wanted to come back and do something where his mother was born.” Off the Vine, a new wine shop at Sixth Street and Pacific Avenue, was packed on First Thursday, according to Alison Shaw, one of the owners. Shaw said she and partner Michael Koth carry “unique wines for everyday life” and host wine tastings twice a week. “There are good wines out there that aren’t expensive,” Shaw explained. She added that 80 percent of the wines they carry are under $20 and are from small wineries. They specialize in wines from the central coast of California, the region that sparked their passion for wine. The couple had to forgo getting married to open the store, but they are looking forward to being downtown. “I saw the growth going on and really wanted to be a part of it,” said Shaw, a San Pedro native. While Shaw loves pinot noir and Koth loves a good Shiraz, the whole shop is filled with favorites. “We don’t bring anything in unless we’ve tried it first,” Koth said. They chose San Pedro because of Shaw’s connection and because it didn’t have any other wine shops. They want it to be a “nice little cozy place where people can come in and feel comfortable,” Koth said. In-store wine tastings are held each Friday and Saturday evenings for $15 and have a theme based on a type of wine or region. Tasters get a souvenir glass, and if they bring it back for another event, they get $2 off. Members of the wine club can attend tastings for $10. Michael “Mishi” Schueller opened Mishi’s Strudel after deciding he couldn’t go back to a cubicle. The former software engineer and his wife, Aniko, are learning the tricks of the strudel-making trade from Schueller’s aunt, who previously owned a strudel shop in El Segundo. “It’s been fun but crazy,” Aniko Schueller said as she brought fresh strudel to a steady stream of customers the day after opening. It took the couple about a year to open the cozy shop on Seventh Street, due to health codes and inspections. Michael Schueller said they chose the port town because of the European atmosphere and the relatively cheap rent. “We fell in love with San Pedro,” he said. Michael Schueller’s parents were Hungarian, and he was born in Austria and raised in Chile. Of their 15 strudel flavors, apple has been the most popular so far. But he said they plan to expand to other Hungarian fillings, such as spinach or cabbage. In addition, the menu will eventually include crepes, pastas and other Hungarian dishes, and will be organic and trans-fat free. “In the future we will eliminate all unhealthy ingredients,” he said. They are excited to be filling a niche in San Pedro and to be part of the “lifting up” of downtown. “We consider ourselves locals now,” Michael Schueller said. “We like it very much.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“It helped us because the restaurant business is a very tough business: Long hours and hard work,” Tsoufoulas said of their experiences. They hope Niko’s will fill a niche in San Pedro, and the restaurant – with nine plasma TVs and seating for about 90 – has already been packed since opening. “We just wanted to give a nice family, inviting, warm sports bar-type of theme,” Tsoufoulas said. “The response has been very, very overwhelming.” The two owners settled on an Italian theme because Tsoufoulas has worked in Italian restaurants and Boosalis is Greek. They aimed to make the menu reasonably priced, with $7 to $14 sandwiches, pastas and pizzas. “People can get an expensive meal anywhere and not have quality and portions,” Tsoufoulas said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ A young boy, who saw the girl being taken away, ran after the suspect, and the man put the child down and walked away, police said. Detectives believe the suspect was involved in two prior sexual assaults in the area. A man suspected of attempting to kidnap a 4-year-old girl and fondling a teenage girl in North Hills last week has been arrested, police said. The man, whose identity was withheld by police, was arrested at 10:30 p.m. Friday by his parole officer at an undisclosed location in Panorama City, LAPD Sgt. Francisca Wheeling said. No further details were immediately available. Police said the man approached a 17-year-old girl on Dec. 14 near Rayen Street and Langdon Avenue and rubbed her thigh. The man smiled at her before walking away. An hour later, the same man walked into the courtyard of an apartment complex in the 15500 block of Rayen Street where a group of children were playing. When a security guard was out of sight, the man grabbed a 4-year-old girl who had been sitting on the ground playing, police said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!