Copa America Blue Samurai to unleash Japanese Messi

first_imgTokyo: On a continent where “imitation” Galacticos are a dime a dozen, Japan’s Takefusa Kubo could just be the real deal. Snapped up by Real Madrid on Friday from under the noses of some of the world’s other top clubs, the teenage sensation is about to demonstrate why he is known as the “Japanese Messi” at the tender age of 18. The youngster, described by Real as one of the most promising players in world football, is set to create a buzz at this month’s Copa America in Brazil after earning his first senior call-up for the Blue Samurai. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevRarely an Asian football tournament goes by without a “Thai Zico,” an “Iraqi Cristiano Ronaldo” or even a “North Korean Wayne Rooney” among the team rosters. But it was Kubo who was invited to Barcelona’s youth academy as a scrawny nine-year-old where he earned his nickname for his mazy dribbling skills. Though the Catalan giants were keen to retain him, Real Madrid took the plunge, heading off interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsThe midfielder signed from FC Tokyo could come face-to-face with Argentina wizard Messi at the Copa America depending on results in the group stage. Kubo is one of 17 uncapped players in coach Hajime Moriyasu’s new-look Japan squad as the tournament guests look to build for next year’s Tokyo Olympics but is destined to attract by far the most interest. The world’s biggest clubs have been tracking his progress since he appeared in the 2017 Under-20 World Cup — at just 15. Earlier the same year he became the J-League’s youngest goalscorer, triggering the sort of hype once reserved for the likes of Japan greats Hidetoshi Nakata and Keisuke Honda. A YouTube sensation as a pint-sized toddler, Kubo none the less rejects comparisons to Barcelona hero Messi. “I don’t like being compared to Messi,” he said. “But one day I hope to be able to play like him.” Slightly taller than Messi at 1.73 metres (5ft 8in), Kubo has a similarly low centre of gravity to the Argentina legend and an eye for a defence-splitting pass. Japan face Chile in their opening Copa America in Sao Paolo on Monday, while Uruguay and Ecuador, also in group C, meet Sunday. Kubo, who could become the face of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, insists Japan’s “Baby Samurai” will go into the competition with no fear. “Teams like Brazil will definitely be serious about winning,” he told local media. “We will have to match the desire of our opponents when we get on the pitch.” Earlier this year, Moriyasu left big-name players such as Honda, Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki out of the Asian Cup squad that were beaten 3-1 in the final by Qatar. “We are looking to bring in a new generation of players,” Moriyasu said of his Copa selection. “It’s a good opportunity for them to gain some valuable experience.” Kubo’s former club manager Kenta Hasegawa backed the midfielder to seize his chance to shine on the world stage. “Takefusa doesn’t need a babysitter, he has matured a lot,” the FC Tokyo boss told Japanese media. “This kind of opportunity might only come around once in a lifetime — he will only benefit from the experience.”last_img read more

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Malaysias Petronas to buy Progress Energy in deal worth 55billion

Progress Energy chief executive Michael Culbert says his company requires extensive funding to get into international LNG markets and believes the Malaysian company has the necessary resources. The two companies have already been working together on a project to tap natural gas in northeastern British Columbia and export it in liquefied form — an alternative to shipping gas by pipeline across North America.The companies announced along with the deal that they’ve selected Prince Rupert, B.C., for the location of its proposed LNG terminal.Petronas is offering $20.45 per share for the Calgary-based company.That’s a 77% above the price of Progress Energy stock at the end of trading Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The board of Progress is recommending that the company’s shareholders accept the Petronas offer, which includes a commitment to keep all of the Canadian company’s employees.“Our relationship with Petronas has been very productive and they have clearly demonstrated a commitment to the local communities, both economically and environmentally,” Culbert said in a statement.“Petronas offers the size and scale that will enable our company to continue to grow and not be limited by the same cash flow challenges faced by many producers in the North American natural gas market today.”[np-related] CALGARY — Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas company is offering $5.5 billion to buy Progress Energy Resources Corp., its partner in an effort to tap Canadian natural gas for export by ship from British Columbia.Petronas says the Calgary-based company will strengthen its position as a supplier of liquefied natural gas.Postmedia News read more

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Duchess of Sussex warns of Instagramfiltered life saying it skews young peoples

The Duchess of Sussex opened up about the pressures of social media during a conversation with mental health advocates in New Zealand.During a visit to a beachside cafe in Wellington, Meghan talked to people supporting others in the area of mental health about the impact that unrealistic images on the likes of Instagram and Twitter can have on youth.“Young people find it so difficult,” she said during a conversation with staff and volunteers from Live For Tomorrow, an online youth initiative focused on reaching millennials with messages of hope and positive change.“You see photos on social media and you don’t know whether she’s born with it or maybe it’s a filter.  Your judgement of your sense of self worth becomes really skewed when it’s all based on likes.”The Duke added: “Issues stemming from social media and gaming are a major problem for young people in the UK — and globally.”Fingers are often pointed at the parents but that’s not always fair as they too need to be educated about these things.” The Duchess of Sussex talks people from a number of mental health projectsCredit:Ian Vogler The Duchess of Sussex pours herself a teaCredit:Ian Vogler “What’s great about this is that it’s done without judgement, it’s a safe place for people that just need to talk,” Meghan commented.Added Harry, “It’s a real topic that doesn’t just need to be openly discussed amongst the younger generation but also parents.”At the third table Harry and Meghan met 21-year-old Ezekiel Raui, founder of Te Kotahi (which means to stand as one), a peer-support programme run by young volunteers that focuses on creating a positive society and removing judgmental attitudes that come prior to crisis.The programme has already been rolled out in four New Zealand schools and will reach even more in the months ahead.Raui received a Queen’s Young Leader award in London earlier this year for his service, which he started in 2012 after a series of suicides, including that of a nine-year-old boy, rocked his Auckland high school and the Northland region of the country.“It’s about educating children at school from an early age so they don’t grow up feeling isolated or anxious about mental health problems or being judged… and hopefully they will pay that forward in the future,” said Raui.“It’s a programme built by young people and it’s great to see how far it has come.  Sign up for Your Royal Appointment – for everything you need to know about the Royal Family, direct to your inbox each week. “There’s a fear of embarrassment of having these problems in the first place,” Harry said, “The fact you’re going to schools and offering it online, which is where so many people spend most of their time, is really important.”  After the group chats concluded, Harry and Meghan took photographs with each table and seemed motivated by their chats, both smiling and laughing.“This has been so inspiring,” said Meghan, who started a round of applause. “You’re all doing really excellent work.”  The volunteers from Lifeline handed over gifts to the couple — two goody bags containing a baby onesies and t-shirts from their 72 Club campaign. “This is so sweet of you,” Meghan said after thanking the group.Maranui Cafe owners Kate Richardson and Bronwyn Kelly also handed gifts for the couple — t-shirts and a book about the history of the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club, which was founded in 1912, and trains Wellington lifeguards.“They were both so warm and friendly,” Richardson later remarked. “What they’re doing is so important.”After leaving the venue, Meghan had an aide return to the venue and request that the plates of small pastries that had been laid out on each table were shared with the children from Houghton Valley School they earlier met outside the venue. Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex with Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex meet young people from a number of mental health projects operating in New Zealand, at the Maranui Cafe in Wellington The Duchess of Sussex talks people from a number of mental health projects Harry and Meghan — who are both strong advocates for mental health awareness — were at Wellington’s Maranui Cafe on Monday, October 29, to learn about initiatives and programmes supporting mental wellbeing in New Zealand, with a focus on youth. Harry was interested to learn that around 50% of the callers that phone in to the three helplines are men. “They’re able to call from a private number if they want and it’s a place they can open up and speak freely, without judgement,” said Lifeline’s Clinical Manager, Renee Matthews. “Our goal is long term, to push for an intergenerational change that will create better methods of understanding and communication between young people and their peers, young and adult, and also help create a better representation of [young people] in society.”“I take my hat off to you,” Harry said. “Having a 10 or 20-year strategy is much better than three or four. You want to take it to the point where you’re out of a job, that the work you have done is so successful that the issue you have been tackling is no longer an issue.”“It’s important to focus on longterm planning and then creating that ripple effect,” added Meghan.At the age of 18 Ezekiel Raui took part in the first White House United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference and met President Obama.Harry was so impressed by the young man’s dedication to philanthropy that he asked for his name badge so he could get in touch again at a later date. “We need more people like you,” Harry said.The last initiative they spoke to was youth mental health project Live for Tomorrow, which is part of New Zealand youth organisation Zeal. The Duchess of Sussex pours herself a tea Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex with Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex meet young people from a number of mental health projects operating in New Zealand, at the Maranui Cafe in WellingtonCredit:Reuters Manager Andrew Sutherland told the couple how their project tells real-life stories from young people, both online and in school, through documentaries, music videos and other resources. “It’s amazing what you have done,” Harry remarked. “I think anyone who has overcome mental health problems often go out of their own way to help others.”The Duke spoke about his own struggles with mental health during the conversations, admitting that it took him years to confront his own inner turmoil.“It took me about three or four years to start the journey and then after that you still have to find the right people to speak to,” he started.On the same table the couple also spoke with volunteers and staff from Lifeline Aotearoa, a 24-hour crisis service offering free community helplines and text message support to people of all ages in New Zealand.The organisation has been established for 53 years and has over 200 volunteers and 50 staff. “Kidsline buddy” volunteer Leroy, told the couple about how the service doesn’t just offer support but also gives callers tools to cope with mental health struggles in their daily lives. They arrived just after 10am and were escorted in by Lucia Kennedy, founder of Luminary Legacies, which honours people who have impacted positively on individuals, families and communities. “It smells so great in here,” Harry said after walking past the cafe’s colourful cake counter.Before sitting at their first table, the couple were offered drinks by the cafe’s co-owner Bronwyn Kelly, with the Duke asking for water, the Duchess having a “milk tea”.At the first table the couple met Jazz Thornton and Gen Mora from Voices of Hope.“We’ve both had battles with mental health of our own and so we wanted to create a platform where people can share stories of hope,” Thornton said of their website, which contains videos and personal blogs which promotes mental wellbeing, empowerment and recovery.Harry and Meghan heard the two women from Voices of Hope share how their 2017 viral video “Dear Suicidal Me” – which features young people who have overcome mental health problems reading their own suicide notes – saved the life of a 15-year-old young girl in Canada.“Her mother contacted us and said that her daughter was planning to take her life but then saw the video and went to speak to her instead,” explained Thornton. “It saved her life.” read more

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