Football statistics WhoScored cast their expert eye over an exciting Liverpool signing. For more stats on the Reds, check out WhoScored.com’s Liverpool page.After landing James Milner and Danny Ings, Liverpool finally made the marquee signing fans have been craving when they announced the £29m acquisition of Roberto Firmino early on Wednesday morning.The young Brazilian attacker is currently on international duty with the Seleção at the Copa America as the Brazil national team looks to land their ninth Copa America title.It was his league performances for Hoffenheim in recent seasons, however, that convinced Liverpool to make him the second most expensive player in their illustrious history. Only Arjen Robben (8.47) and Kevin De Bruyne (7.95) gained better WhoScored.com ratings than Firmino (7.79) in the Bundesliga last season, in what was a thoroughly commendable campaign for the 23-year-old.Firmino is clearly viewed as a replacement for Raheem Sterling, who is being linked with a move for Premier League title contenders Manchester City, but the Brazilian is certainly a player who could outdo the previous exploits of the young Englishman. Over the last two Bundesliga seasons, only Robert Lewandowski (48) and Thomas Müller (46) have been directly involved in more goals than Firmino (44). Given the former Figueirense trainee plied his trade for perennial Europa League contenders Hoffenheim, it’s a notable return from the youngster. Comparatively over that same period, Sterling was directly involved in 28 league goals for Liverpool.It isn’t just Firmino’s creative ability that stands him in good stead either, with his dribbling – a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of his – a particular highlight. Indeed, only Karim Bellerabi (153) completed more successful dribbles in Germany’s top tier last term than Firmino (140).When given the time and space to run into with the ball at his feet, the youthful attacker is difficult to stop, especially once he gains a head a steam. However, unlike a number of players who are good with the ball at their feet yet lack the final pass, there is an end product to Firmino’s game.Only De Bruyne (20) and Zlatko Junuzovic (12) registered more assists in the Bundesliga last season than Firmino (10). Meanwhile, only De Bruyne (74) played more key passes from open play than the Brazilian (69) in the top division of German football over the 2014/15 campaign.If Liverpool can sufficiently strengthen their frontline this summer – links with Carlos Bacca and Salomón Rondón suggest this is high on the list of the Reds’ priorities – and get Daniel Sturridge fully fit and firing on all cylinders, the goals could flow freely once again at Anfield, especially if Firmino can hit the ground running in England.In any Brendan Rodgers team, though, he prefers his offensive players to defend from the front, helping to catch the opposition out and spring surprise attacks in the process. Firmino is capable of doing just this.Only Bellerabi (33) won possession more times in the attacking third in the Bundesliga last season than Firmino (28), accentuating his statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘defensive contribution’. Compared to Liverpool players, only Sterling (29) did so on more occasions in the league last term than the Reds’ new acquisition.Either way, Liverpool have got themselves a real gem of a player in Firmino. He may have cost a pretty penny to land, but is widely regarded as one of the finest young attackers in Europe. If he can help fire the Merseysiders back to the Champions League, the £29m spent to secure his services could yet look a real steal.For more stats on Liverpool’s new signing Roberto Firmino, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page 1 Roberto Firmino
Advertisement “The Showrunner has all the drama of All About Eve and the attention to detail of The Devil Wears Prada. Moritsugu nails the California sun-drenched anorexic ethos. She rivals Nathaniel West’s fabulous descriptions of Hollywood where the hopefuls become twisted by their own ambitions.”– Catherine Gildiner, bestselling author of Too Close to the Falls and Coming Ashore“I am addicted to Kim Moritsugu’s writing. I love her clever wit, her quick, light pacing, her chick lit that’s written with flawless literary skill. The Showrunner is my favourite of her books yet … the plot is so delicious.” – Robin Spano, author of the Clare Vengel Undercover novelsTORONTO – White Pine Pictures has secured the rights to the next novel by Toronto author Kim Moritsugu with assistance from the OMDC From Page to Screen Program. The darkly humorous novel was optioned from independent book publisher Dundurn Press and is a work of suspense fiction set in contemporary Los Angeles about three strong-willed women: two co-creators of a hit TV show locked in a battle to destroy each other, and the actress who comes between them. This is the first novel by Moritsugu to be optioned and the intent is to develop the property into a scripted television series. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement V.P. Scripted Development at White Pine Pictures, Karynn Austin was drawn to the novel’s spot-on portrayal of inside Hollywood and its quick writing: “I could instantly see this being adapted into a riveting dark TV drama that would take viewers behind the curtain of the industry, while also engaging them with relationship-based storylines of strong leading women; something we’re finally seeing come to the forefront of production.”Author Kim Moritsugu was born and raised in Toronto and holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Toronto. The Showrunner, set to be published in June 2018, is her seventh novel to-date. Previous works include the romantic comedy Looks Perfect (shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award), the domestic comedy Old Flames, the literary mystery The Glenwood Treasure (shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel Award), the domestic novel The Restoration of Emily (serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers), the Rapid Reads short novel And Everything Nice, and The Oakdale Dinner Club.White Pine Pictures is the producer of the award-winning TV dramas The Border (38 x 1hr) and Cracked (21 x 1hr) and are in development with CBC on a dramatic series penned by Drew Hayden Taylor in addition to four new documentary projects slated to release in 2018, including a feature length film about rock ‘n roll legend Robbie Robertson..About White Pine PicturesWhite Pine Pictures is an independent Canadian film, television, and new media production company based in Toronto, Canada. Headed by award-winning filmmaker, Peter Raymont, the company has produced over 100 films, including the Emmy award-winning feature documentary Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, two Oscar-shortlisted features: A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, and Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould. White Pine is also the producer of the award-winning TV drama series The Border (38 episodes), and Cracked (21 episodes) created for the CBC and sold worldwide including France, Germany, and the USA. www.whitepinepictures.comAbout Dundurn PressDundurn Press was founded in 1972 by Kirk Howard. At first a small publisher of Canadian non-fiction, Dundurn has, in its 45 years to date, grown and changed along with Canada. Over the years it acquired twelve other distinguished Canadian publishers, keeping hundreds of Canadian titles in print and expanding the company’s publishing program into new areas. In 2014, Dundurn formed new partnerships with the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History and the Commonwealth Foundation. Dundurn was a founding member, in 2015, of the Commonwealth Book Publishers Association, which provides a strong voice to authors and publishers in the 52 countries of the Commonwealth.About OMDC From Page to ScreenThe OMDC From Page to Screen event has been created to promote the adaptation of Canadian fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature published by Ontario publishers to the big and small screens. It provides a forum for Ontario film and television producers to meet with publishers in scheduled, one-on-one meetings. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter
A plane carrying 35 Russian diplomats expelled from the United States over Moscow’s alleged interference in the presidential election took off from Washington on Sunday, Russian news agencies reported.“The plane has taken off, everyone is on board,” said the Russian embassy in Washington, quoted by the state-owned RIA Novosti agency.Relatives of the diplomats are also onboard the plane flown specially from Russia, for a total of 96 passengers onboard.The expulsions were part of a package of sanctions ordered by President Barack Obama on Thursday in the final weeks of his administration.“We can confirm that the 35 Russian diplomats declared persona non grata have, along with their family members, departed the United States,” a State Department spokesman told AFP.The diplomats, described as intelligence operatives based at the Russian embassy in Washington and the consulate in San Francisco, had been given 72 hours on Thursday to leave the country.US intelligence says the Kremlin ordered a hack-and-release of Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign staff emails in a bid to put Donald Trump in the Oval Office.Obama also ordered the closure of two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland that the United States says were used “for intelligence-related purposes.”Economic sanctions were also announced against Russia’s FSB and GRU intelligence agencies. Four GRU officers including agency chief Igor Korobov also face sanctions.Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations.President Vladimir Putin has ruled out sending home US diplomats in retaliation—a move interpreted as a sign he is looking to Trump to rebuild US-Russian ties after the US inauguration on January 20.Trump has cast doubt on the US intelligence findings, saying he knows “things that other people don’t know” about the situation. The populist billionaire is seeking closer ties with Putin.
Share Illustration by Todd WisemanDallas and Austin are potential candidates for Amazon’s HQ2To hear Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings tell it, attracting Amazon is “like a poker game.”“Bring the bidding war on,” he said shortly after Dallas made the shortlist to house the tech giant’s second headquarters. And in that war, he’s “all in,” he made clear in an interview weeks later.A few hundred miles south, Austin Mayor Steve Adler has yet to ante up.“I don’t know that we want to be” Amazon’s second home, Adler said last week.Austin and Dallas are the only two Texas cities still in the running to land Amazon’s second headquarters, a coveted $5 billion capital investment the company says will employ as many as 50,000 people.Both cities are considered strong contenders. Various algorithms have ranked each one first, and both made the top five in a recent survey of site selection consultants. But the cities’ most public spokesmen seem to be taking opposite approaches to the deal. Adler said Austin’s initial bid did not contain any financial incentives, for example; Rawlings has promised that Dallas will be “aggressive.”Those approaches highlight the divergent business climates within the two cities — and could affect the two cities’ standing in the tech behemoth’s eyes, some experts say.“One approach is better than the other,” said Ron Starner, who has been following the Amazon bidding war for Site Selection magazine. “If you’re up against an Atlanta and a Dallas-Fort Worth which you know are going to hold nothing back, that historically have a long track record of winning projects like this… saying ‘Um, yeah, I’d really like you to come here but as part of the long-term package we’d like you to help us solve our problems’ — I’ve never been aware of that being a winning strategy.”The full details of the two cities’ wooing efforts are all but impossible to know at this time. Amazon has reportedly asked local officials not to discuss details of the deal publicly; Rawlings’ office declined to comment for this story, citing a non-disclosure agreement. And both Texas cities have refused to make public most of their communications with the Seattle-based company, as well as the proposals themselves.But in interviews and public statements, Rawlings has spoken at length about all that Dallas has to offer Amazon. Adler, despite touting his city’s perks, seems to be wondering what Amazon can offer Austin. “We have really severe traffic issues and really severe affordability issues,” Adler said last week in an interview with Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune. “If, because of your scale, because of the resources and power you bring, you can actually help us deal with mobility in a way that we can’t deal with it on our own or aren’t going to be able to deal with it for a significant period of time, well then I want to have that conversation.”“But that’s the conversation we should have,” he emphasized.Meanwhile, Rawlings, the former chief executive of Pizza Hut, has indicated that he sees the bidding process like any other: catering to a client.“This is about taking care of a customer, and saying, ‘Customer, what do you like? Blue? Red? You like something that is slimming?’” Rawlings said. “It’s all about, ‘The customer’s right.’”He also made that clear in a promotional video that the city released with its application: “I love DFW because it’s easy. It’s a great place to live.”In his initial pitch, Adler asked Amazon to see Austin’s “greatest challenges as an opportunity.”The Dallas approach is markedly more traditional, experts said.“Most often, you’ll see the communities competing for the site to really be coming up with very, very competitive solutions, and that’s what we may be witnessing from the Dallas competition,” said Jeff Moseley, CEO of the Texas Association of Business.The two mayors’ rhetoric squares with what several experts describe as a pattern from the two cities’ economic development departments. Dallas has historically been more business-centric and more generous with financial incentives. Austin — a city that sometimes clings to its free-spirit, college town reputation — has tended to be more skeptical of corporate relocation deals.The two cities are “kind of the polar ends,” said Nathan Jensen, a University of Texas at Austin professor who studies the impact of financial incentives.Austin is also “more progressive” when it comes to economic development, said Dallas City Council Member Philip Kingston — meaning the capital city is less likely than its northern neighbor to hand out substantial financial incentives.“The business community and the political leadership [in Dallas] really believe in all of that old-school, civic boosterism hokem that if you spend a bunch of money then you get all this ‘economic impact’ in your city,” Kingston said. “I have yet to be able to fill a pothole with ‘economic impact.’”Kingston said he is part of an “insurgent” minority on the Dallas City Council that doesn’t support generous financial incentives. Along with Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, Kingston recently signed an online “non-aggression pact” asking Amazon’s candidate cities to band together in rejecting “egregious tax giveaways and direct monetary incentives for the Amazon headquarters.”That view seems more dominant among members of Austin’s City Council, many of whom have publicly expressed skepticism about the deal-making process and the prospect of Amazon coming to Austin at all. Adler said this city council has “operated in the best interest of the city overall.”“There was some question or concern that people expressed to me, that you can’t send that letter in because it’s going to take us out,” Adler said. “But this is who we are and this is the conversation this community would want to have as part of that.”
Listen 00:00 /20:22 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share X Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia talked to Houston Matters about the role of Congress in American politics, immigration and health care, as part of a series of interviews with candidates running in important races in the November 6 midterm elections.Garcia is a Democrat who represents District 6 in the Texas Senate and has a long trajectory in local, regional and state politics. She served as Controller for the City of Houston, as well as Harris County Commissioner, and she is now running to represent the Texas 29th Congressional in the U.S. House of Representatives.The Senator highlighted the checks and balances function of Congress and said “it is appropriate that we hold the other two branches [of government] accountable when necessary,” although she added there is no need to “obstructionists.”Garcia also addressed the work that still has to be done in Congress to accomplish a full recovery from the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused last year in Texas.For the State Senator, the Texas Congressional Delegation must make sure that “Houston and our whole region and the state gets all the dollars we need for full recovery, not just recovering some parts of town, not just for flood mitigation projects, but recovery to put people back in their homes and make sure their homes are back to where they were pre-Harvey.”Al Ortiz/Houston Public MediaTexas State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-District 6), who is running for Congress, was interviewed on Houston Matters on September 4, 2018.Garcia also advocated for an equitable distribution of recovery funds that should be used to meet housing needs, as well as flood mitigation infrastructure.Regarding immigration, the Senator said she supports a comprehensive reform and noted that immigration is a broad subject that is “too hard to piece meal because it’s so inter-connected.”For Garcia, undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements, including having a clean criminal record, deserve a path to citizenship. She also addressed the Trump administration’s zero tolerance at the border policy, which led to family separation, and called it “heartless.”When asked about health care, she said it must be made “more affordable and more accessible” and underlined the need to have more health care facilities in east Harris County. She also expressed her support for increased funding for federally qualified clinics and for not making any cuts to Medicare nor Medicaid.Garcia, who took questions from listeners, addressed the rights of transgender persons and assured that she is “fully committed to ensuring that no one is discriminated and that we protect all our rights.”The Senator also talked about the controversy surrounding her resignation from the State Senate and contended a letter she sent to Texas Governor Greg Abbott this summer “was a resignation letter as a matter of law.”Houston Matters interviewed Phillip Aronoff, who is Garcia’s opponent, last month.