December 3, 2008

CARLING CUP UPDATE: Burnley 2-0 Arsenal

EH YA...OLD MAN SORRY O!!!!!!!!!!1

Two goals from Burnley midfielder Kevin McDonald sent Arsenal's young side crashing out of the Carling Cup.

McDonald opened the scoring after just six minutes, tapping home from close range after keeper Lukasz Fabianski had spilled the ball into his path.

The second came shortly into the second half with McDonald curling the ball past Fabianski from a tight angle.

Arsenal had several chances but found Burnley keeper Brian Jensen in fine form on a memorable night at Turf Moor.

Striker Nicklas Bendtner in particular endured a frustrating evening missing several decent chances for the Premier League outfit.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger kept true his promise to again field his youngsters who had been so impressive in their path to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Paul Rodgers, 19, was handed a debut while Arsenal also included 16-year-old Jack Wilshere and 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey.

Despite their lack of experience, Arsenal played with composure and elegance and at times were breathtaking in their play.

But as is so often the case with Arsenal, wastefulness in front of goal cost them dear as they came up against an organised and clinical Burnley side.

It was Arsenal who had the first chance of the game with Bendtner calling Jensen into an early save but the Danish striker fired straight at the legs of the Burnley keeper.

Just 80 seconds later, Burnley had the lead.

Chris Eagles created it, sending in a low cross from the right which keeper Fabianski spilled under pressure from Martin Paterson and McDonald was on hand to tap the ball home from six yards.

Arsenal had chances to equalise, several of them in fact, but Wenger's side, who had been clinical in front of goal in previous rounds, were in wasteful mood.

Bendtner missed the first opportunity to level, again firing straight at the body of Jensen following a decent flick-on from Carlos Vela.

Despite having the lead Burnley continued to press for the second goal with Paterson and Eagles in particular causing the Arsenal defence problems.

And Fabianski made sure the score stayed at 1-0 saving well with his feet from Paterson's low shot.

Shortly after, Bendtner's clever little flick found Mark Randall with just the keeper, but Jensen again came out on top with another fine save.

Again Bendtner turned provider this time playing in Vela with a header that split the Burnley defence but the Mexican striker failed to beat Jensen.

It was the final opportunity Arsenal had to level in what had been a highly entertaining and open first half.

Arsenal started the second period brightly with Fran Merida, who had a quiet first half, jinking his way past three Burnley defenders before curling the ball past the post.

But with Arsenal pressing for an equaliser they were caught with a sucker punch falling further behind after 56 minutes.

And it was McDonald who scored it claiming his second goal of the game with a fine finish.

The striker out-muscled Randall to Eagles' throw and curled the ball home with the outside of his right foot from 15-yards.

Soon after Paterson almost made it 3-0 but he headed straight at Fabianski from close range.

Jensen again prevented Bendtner from six yards out as Arsenal's frustration grew.

And late on Bendtner missed from close range with Jensen again using his legs to deny the Arsenal striker.

It was the last real chance Arsenal would have and summed up a frustrating night for the Premier League giants as Championship Burnley celebrated a famous victory and marched into the semi-finals.

Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Blake (Elliott 77), McDonald (Gudjonsson 61), McCann, Eagles, Paterson (Akinbiyi 74).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Mahon, Rodriguez, MacDonald.

Goals: McDonald 6, 57.

Arsenal: Fabianski, Hoyte, Silvestre, Ramsey, Gibbs, Rodgers (Lansbury 46), Randall (Bischoff 72), Merida, Wilshere (Simpson 63), Bendtner, Vela.
Subs Not Used: Mannone, Coquelin, Steer, Frimpong.

Booked: Randall, Merida.

Att: 19,045

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Burnley's Kevin McDonald 8.15 (on 90 minutes

Beyonce Didn't Want To Marry Jay-Z When She Was Too Young Singer tells Seventeen her rule was not to get hitched before she turned 25.

Beyoncé was in no rush to get married when she first met Jay-Z, not to him or to anyone else, she told Seventeen magazine in their December/January issue, according to

"I was 18 when we first met, 19 when we first started dating," the 27-year-old said in the issue that hits newsstands November 18. "I really don't believe that you will love the same thing when you're 20 as you do at 30. So that was my rule: Before the age of 25, I would never get married."

The singer explained that she wanted to get to know herself first before making the commitment to the hip-hop mogul, which she finally did in a secret ceremony in New York this past April. Now they have become each other's support system.

Jay, 38, offers up advice for his wife all the time, B added, revealing the best wisdom he's shared with her so far: "I guess probably that we're all human," she said.

"I don't care if you're picture-perfect on every magazine cover, and you're the most handsome, successful, coolest guy — you still get sad, and you still get your feelings hurt, and you still get confused and vulnerable and nervous and scared. You have to find a person you can make it through the tough times with."

Beyoncé, whose double album I Am ... Sasha Fierce drops next Tuesday (November 18), also admitted that when it comes to criticism, she is her own worst enemy. "I feel like I'm my own competition," she said. "I don't try to compete with other people. I just try to better myself."

B revealed one of her secrets to staying on top of her game: studying videos of herself in great detail, like an athlete. "I go and watch everything that I've done," she said. "I have my YouTube days, when I watch every performance, and I listen to my music, and I watch my videos to figure out what I need to do, what I need to fix and how to become a better singer."

US carmakers publish rescue plans

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors have all submitted their proposals to Congress for multi-billion dollar loans upon which their survival could depend.

The so-called Detroit Three of troubled US carmakers have asked for a combined total of $34bn (£22.8bn; 26.8bn euros).

Slashing costs, reducing levels of debt and investing in greener technologies form the centre-piece of each proposal.

The chief executives of Ford and GM have even offered to work for $1 a year if Congress approves the emergency aid.

Sales at all three of the carmakers have plunged as US consumers tighten their belts in the face of the severe economic downturn.

Ford sold 31% fewer light vehicles in November compared with the same month last year.

GM suffered a 41% drop in sales for the month, while Chrysler fared worse still, with sales plummeting 47%.

Loan proposals

General Motors asked Congress for a loan of $12bn (£8bn), with an additional $6bn if necessary, to help it survive.

Ford meanwhile requested a $9bn (£6bn) bridging loan, which it hopes it will not need.

Chrysler sought $7bn to survive the dramatic slump in sales that has decimated its cash reserves.

In its submission, GM said that, if the loan was granted, it would draw on $4bn this month before beginning repayments in 2011.

It said it would continue its efforts to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles - including an investment of $2.9bn in alternative fuels - and cut costs, levels of debt and top executives' pay.

This would include reducing its workforce considerably by 2012.

GM also pledged to reduce its chief executive Rick Wagoner's annual salary to just $1.

Ford boss Alan Mullaly made a similar pledge, but only should it need to call on the emergency loan.

Ford also said it would sell its five corporate jets as part of its cost-cutting plan, and proposed other measures including selling some businesses, such as Swedish carmaker Volvo.

It said a $14bn investment was needed in new technologies in the next seven years in order to improve fuel efficiency.

"Ford is asking for access to up to $9bn in bridge financing, but reiterated that it hopes to complete its transformation without accessing the loan should Congress agree to make the funds available," the carmaker said in a statement.

It added that it expected to return to profit, or at least break even, by 2011.

Tough task

Analysts say the poor sales figures have highlighted what a tough task this will be.

"Every manufacturer is posting awful numbers and we are no exception," said Mark LeNeve of GM North America.

Indeed, Honda's year-on-year US sales fell by 32% in November, while Toyota's fell by 34%.

"The consumer is scared and sitting on the sideline. We need appropriate economic stimulus to get the consumer back in the game," Mr LeNeve added.

But the White House has already expressed scepticism about the bail-out proposals.

"We are sticking to our guns that the companies have to prove that they are viable before taxpayer dollars should be given to them," said White House press secretary Dana Perino.

And the Swedish government has ruled out a takeover of Volvo if Ford is unable to sell it.

Avoiding criticism

The heads of all three companies decided not to use private jets to travel to Washington for their presentations to avoid public criticism.

Mr Wagoner and Mr Mulally are both said to have driven one of their own companies' hybrid cars from Detroit, while Chrysler boss Bob Nardelli said he would not use a corporate jet.

GM has warned it could run out of cash in a matter of weeks and cannot wait until President-elect Barack Obama - who may be more sympathetic to industry pleas - takes office in in January.

The company was left with $16bn in cash at the end of September after losing $6.9bn during the previous three months.

But Republican critics and some Democrats say the financial crisis is not the only reason why the biggest US carmakers are in trouble.

They say that the Ford, GM and Chrysler's production is inefficient, and that their labour costs are higher than many of their foreign rivals.

Other critics want to make sure that the Detroit Three adopt more environmentally friendly policies, including strict fuel efficiency targets, in return for government aid.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is reportedly considering renegotiating their members' contracts.

Green credits

Most analysts think that GM is "too big to fail", while Chrysler is the most vulnerable of the three companies and might be forced into a partnership with a stronger rival.

Their presentations on Tuesday precede hearings in Congress later this week.

According to sources familiar with GM's proposal, the carmaker may consider selling off its Pontiac, Saab and Saturn brands.

Correspondents say it is unclear whether Congress could vote on the bail-out proposals. It could instead delay consideration until the new House of Representatives, with a much bigger Democratic majority, takes office on 6 January.

The Bush administration has offered to accelerate the payment of some $25bn in green investment credits already allocated to the car industry, but this has been opposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Kanye West-Produced Jay-Z Song Confirmed For Bad Boy's 'Notorious' Soundtrack There is also talk that the Notorious B.I.G.'s son will appear on a 'One

It would have to be Bad Boy. You can't imagine a Notorious B.I.G. project without some sort of association with Diddy's label.

MTV News confirmed that the soundtrack to the Biggie biopic "Notorious" will, in fact, be released by Big's former recording home.

Although most of the performers and producers are still being confirmed, an album trump card has already been revealed: Big's good friend Jay-Z. Hov has the first track we'll hear off the album, "Brooklyn (We Go Hard)." Kanye West produced the song, and Santogold is featured on it.

"Brooklyn, we go hard, we go hard," Santo's voice loops throughout the song. "Cross that bridge face the consequence," she also raps in a verse.

"If a man tests my Stuy, I guarantee he won't like my reply," the Jiggaman cautions. "I'm a Brooklyn boy, I may take some getting used to."

There is also talk that Big's son, Christopher Wallace Jr., will appear on a remake of the classic "One More Chance." The capacity of CJ's participation is still unconfirmed by the label, but a source close to the Wallace family has told us he will be rapping with his dad. The young Wallace actually plays his father for a short while in the Biggie film.

The soundtrack is due in stores January 13. The movie is slated for release January 16 through Fox Searchlight Pictures. MTV News had the opportunity to catch a preview of the movie last week. True to the testaments of Big's inner circle, such as Lil' Cease and producer Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Jamal "Gravy" Woolard accurately channels the late, great hip-hop icon. Gravy also has Big's husky voice down cold.

While Biggie's death was tragic, the filmmakers were able to make a large portion of the movie upbeat as they portrayed the Notorious One's astronomic rise to the hip-hop elite.

20 die in Pakistan, Afghan militant attacks

MILITANTS in north-western Pakistan yesterday attacked trucks ferrying supplies to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the United States (U.S.) forces in Afghanistan, killing nine people and destroying a dozen vehicles.

Also in Afghanistan, eight civilians and two police officers died after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a crowded market in southern Afghanistan.

The Associated Press (AP) yesterday quoted Helmand Province police chief Asadullah Sherzad as saying that the bomber targeted a police vehicle in the market.

Sherzad said 25 civilians and two police were also hurt in the attack and several shops were destroyed.

The spasm of violence comes amid a spike in tensions between Pakistan and rival India over last week's terror attacks in Mumbai, which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistani militants.

Pakistan has condemned the attacks and vowed to crack down on the perpetrators if New Delhi provides evidence. But there are fears that tensions could nevertheless boil over between the nuclear-armed rivals.

The attack on the U.S.-led coalition trucks took place at a terminal in Peshawar, which sits along the supply route from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The city has seen an upsurge in violence in recent weeks, including the slaying of an American working on a U.S.-funded aid project.

Several gunmen fired rockets and automatic weapons at the Faisal terminal, killing a driver and a clerk and destroying 12 trucks, said police officer Ahsanullah Khan.

An AP Television News reporter saw two Humvee military vehicles on board the trucks that were on fire following the attack.

Up to 75 per cent of the supplies for Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan pass through Pakistan. Earlier this month, suspected Taliban militants hijacked several trucks carrying Humvees near the Khyber Pass.

Pakistan halted traffic along the road for several days while it arranged for armed troops to guard the slow-moving convoys.

Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the north-western border region are blamed for rising attacks in Pakistan and also in Afghanistan, where violence is running at its highest level since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Pakistani security officials at the weekend, said they would withdraw troops from the volatile north-west if India were to mobilise its forces close to the Pakistan border following the Mumbai attacks, an alarming scenario for the West as it tries to get Islamabad to focus on the al-Qaeda threat.

Pakistani troops are battling the insurgents in at least two regions, including the Swat Valley, the scene of yesterday's suicide attack.

The bomber detonated his car while queuing up at the checkpoint, a military officer at the Swat media center said on customary condition of anonymity.

"Two passengers vehicles received the major thrust of the explosion and were badly smashed up," he said.

Police officer Dilawar Bangash said eight people were killed and 40 wounded.

The identities of the dead were not known.

Meanwhile, shooting and violence continued in parts of Karachi, the largest city and commercial hub of Pakistan, raising the death toll to 32 in three days of violence.

Riots yesterday forced authorities to close all educational institutions and postpone university exams as ethnic and political gangs clashed in different neighbourhood.

City Police Chief Waseem Ahmed said 32 people were killed and 55 injured.

Lagosians clamour for expansion of BRT

Residents of Lagos have called on the state government to expand the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to cover the unreached areas. The BRT launched in March 2008 has put smile on the faces of many Lagosians and eased their transportation problem.

In a survey conducted by post graduate students of the Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos and supervised by Professor Idowu Sobowale, it was revealed that Lagosians were happy and satisfied with the operation of the scheme because it saved them time and money. It also removed the tension of struggling to board commercial buses.

Through the research carried out by Oyelade Oluwaseyi, Apata Oluwayemisi, Madu Aloysius and Sulaiman Mudasir, it was revealed that 53.8 per cent of Lagosians who responded to the question whether they agreed that the BRT service should be expanded to cover other routes said they strongly agreed.

At least 36.2 per cent of the respondents said they agreed to the extension of the service.
Those who said they do not agree or strongly disagreed were 7.7 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.
The survey, which sampled opinions of 793 residents of the nation’s foremost commercial city indicated that the percentage of those who did not show concern about the BRT expansion was insignificant.

Prior to the advent of the BRT scheme, the transportation system in Lagos was chaotic to the extent that it was always war between conductors and commuters in commercial buses without a convenient alternative.
The commercial buses on Lagos roads were inadequate and operators increased fares arbitrarily at the slightest opportunity.
Lagosians commended Governor Fashola administration for the BRT scheme, noting that it had made life better and more comfortable for them.

FG unveils N2.87trillion … Recurrent expenditure – N1. 649 trillion … Capital expenditure – N796.7 billion

Less than four weeks to the end of the 2008 fiscal year, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua finally presented the 2009 Appropriation Bill of N2,870,510,042,679 to the joint session of the National Assembly, with a promise to remain focus despite the global economic downturn.

President Yar’Adua who spent about 57 minutes reading the 30-paragraph speech with no specific title said that Nigeria’s economic growth remains on track just as it is buoyed by strong performance of the non-oil sector in spite of the global downturn.

The president further noted that growth in the non-oil sector particularly in agriculture, remains robust, at an estimated 9 per cent saying that as the administration moves to reposition the economy to meet the challenges as well as take advantage of the opportunities that the people are faced with at home and internationally, it has to be recognized that the global financial crisis has led to slowing growth across the world’s economies.

According to Yar’Adua; "The changing international oil market poses grave concerns for our fiscal outlook. The global financial crisis has led to slowing growth across the world’s economies, resulting in a lower demand for commodities, especially oil.

While speculative investment activities had helped to buoy oil prices in recent months, the reality of the global recession is beginning to be fully appreciated across the globe, and more poignantly in Nigeria by its adverse impact on the international price of oil."

He noted that the recent volatility of the oil price is apparent in the unprecedented decline of prices from record highs of about US$147/barrel in July this year to current prices of about US$50/barrel, adding that there is no guarantee that the prices will not further decline despite OPEC’s recent mitigating efforts, stressing that there was the urgent need to adopt a prudent outlook that does not invest misplaced confidence in the expectation of unrealistically high prices.

He further said; "Notwithstanding however, the oil sector’s GDP contracted in 2008 by about 2.5 per cent due to reduced production levels precipitated by the ongoing situation in the Niger Delta. Overall, real GDP growth for 2009 is estimated to be about 7.5 per cent which compares favourably with the 6.6 per cent recorded so far in 2008.

The budget is 4.45 per cent higher than the 2008 budget of N2.748 trillion as well as an increase of 8.42 per cent over the 2008 Amended budget expenditure of N2.647 trillion.
The budget was benchmarked on a $45 per barrel of crude oil as against $59 of last year and a deficit of N1.09trillion or 3.95 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a forecast production of 2.292million barrels of crude oil per day.
According to the President, the 2009 budget would seeks to tackle critical areas of national needs such as power supply, education, security, Niger Delta, human capital development, critical infrastructure, land reforms, food security and agriculture.

For critical infrastructure, the federal government planned to spend N361.2billion in 2009. This include N88.5billion for power, aviation N15.4billion, petroleum resources N26.5billion, works N129.3billion, transport N35.2billion and N48.7billion for critical infrastructure within the federal territory.

Others are human capital development for which N131.9billion was earmarked. This include N39.6billion for health, education N33.6billion, N32.6billion for MDGs conditional grants, N19.7billion for MDGs quick wins projects and N6.3billion for MDGs capacity building.
Federal Government also budgeted N91.8billion for land reforms and food security, focusing on agriculture and water resources, N67billion for security and N77.2billion on the Niger Delta.
Key projects that would be funded by the 2009 budget includes:

Mambilla Hydro-electric power generation project for which N3.5billion was budgeted, N21.5billion for other Generation projects (including N6.5billion for the completion of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company’s NIPP projects), N32billion for Transmission projects, and N19.25billion for Distribution projects.

Also, the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline received N903.9million, while the Calabar-Umuahia-Ajaokuta Gas Pipeline got N6.7billion and the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kano pipeline received N10.3billion.
Equally, N10.7billion was budgeted for access roads to 6 NNPC refineries and ports while N56.86billion was voted for highway construction and rehabilitation.
The sum of N4.3billion was voted for the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge at Onitsha and N3.6billion for the Guto-Bagana bridge across the River Benue.

The President also announced a vote of N12.4billion for the completion of the Ajaokuta-Warri railway line to the Delta Steel Jetty while N8.3billion was devoted for the modernization of locomotives, coaches and wagons, and N8.4billion for the dredging of the lower River Niger.
The health sector projects include, a N6.5billion on HIV/AIDS response, N3billion on Midwifery services scheme and N7.7billion Maternity and Children’s health while N6billion will go for Polio eradication.
The new ministry of the Niger Delta will invest N28.4billion in the East-West road to improve accessibility to the region while N92.8billion will be spent on projects to improve and restore the environment.

The President also voted N18.6billion on other projects in the Niger Delta particularly the establishment of two sophisticated skills acquisition centres to help the youths from the region to acquire skills relevant to the energy and petrochemicals industry.

Agriculture and water resources also received priority attention as N4.6billion was voted for the development of livestock development infrastructure, N15billion on the supply of fertilizer, N6.5billion on tractor service PPP schemes, N9.2billion on the construction and rehabilitation of dams, and N11.6billion on water supply and sanitation.

According to the President, the philosophy and thrust of the 2009 budget is on "delivering on the promises of the 7 point agenda of the administration by enhancing investment in critical physical infrastructure and human capital development, implementing socio-economic reforms and consolidating democracy."

The President said, the 2009 budget "is to give priority to the completion of ongoing projects, which will quickly deliver tangible results in service delivery. Accordingly, rather than embarking on new projects, this administration has opted to devote more resources to completing existing projects and discharging outstanding obligations from the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years. We will continue to ensure that all new projects are well articulated, properly costed, and sensibly prioritized, taking into account available resources and the implementation capacity of the MDAs."

"We must continue to improve national security and enhance the ability of the law-enforcement agencies to discharge their functions. As a responsible and people-centred government, we must continue to abide by the rule of law, promote transparency and accountability in governance, and relentlessly pursue our efforts to combat corruption. By remaining true to our vision, we will create a more prosperous and secure future for all the citizens of this nation," said the President.

The President also announced that the 2009 N1.09trillion deficit will be financed by outstanding signature bonuses, proceeds of ongoing privatisation, the recall of $200million from the Nigerian Trust Fund of the African Development Bank (ADB), any unspent balances from 2008 budget, domestic borrowing and a naira denominated international bond issue of US$500million.

According to the President, year-on-year headline inflation has exceeded single digit projections remaining at 14.7 per cent in October 2008 while core inflation remained in a single digit at 7.9 per cent. He blamed this on rising global cost of food and energy. " Our efforts to manage inflation will continue to build on increasing coordination between monetary and fiscal policy, and our emphasis on fiscal discipline and prudence in macroeconomic management."

On the global financial crises, the President said that Nigeria "is not immune to the challenges in the global financial markets arising from the acute contraction of credit and liquidity in the international financial markets. However, we have moved to protect the integrity of our nation’s financial markets and system by introducing several measures to strengthen our financial sector and restore investor confidence."
Unlike in the past, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and most ministers were not present at the budget presentation that was witnessed by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State.