BC Conservatives asks NDP and Liberals to work together to resolve Province’s forestry downturn

first_imgSource: Trevor Bolin / Twitter FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – British Columbia Conservative Leader Trevor Bolin, on behalf of the B.C. Conservative Party, has written a letter to Premier John Horgan regarding the Province’s forest industry.Currently, communities across B.C. are witnessing the devastating effects of the downturn in the forest industry, which in turn has led to unemployment and the loss of community tax bases.Within the letter, Bolin is requesting for both the NDPs and Liberals to stop the “blame game” and start to sit down and work together to get this issue resolved in the interest of British Columbians.- Advertisement -“Andrew Wilkinson and the B.C. Liberals are blaming you and The NDP, The NDP are blaming years of poor management leftover from the B.C. Liberals… but all this blaming isn’t helping British Columbian families, and the communities we all call home… I firmly believe the solution to this devastating downturn can be found through communication and working together as one.”Bolin is asking for the Government to form a committee that will allow community leaders and industry members to talk about the future of forestry within B.C. and that they need to secure a “Made in B.C.” approach to ensure a sustainable future.The full letter can be found below:Advertisementlast_img read more

WhatsApp Alexis? Vidal messaging Arsenal’s Sanchez urging him to join Bayern

first_imgArturo Vidal has been sending WhatsApp messages to Alexis Sanchez urging him to quit Arsenal for Bayern Munich.Sanchez has just over a year to run on his current contract and, as he is refusing to pen an extension, the Gunners could be forced to sell him this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in 12 months.Bayern Munich have been alerted to the forward’s situation and reports have claimed they would offer £50m to land the 28-year-old.And now the German champion’s hopes of signing Sanchez have been given a boost after Vidal revealed he has been sending messages to his Chile team-mate telling him to join him at Bayern.“I told him it was the opportunity for him to be in a big team,” Vidal told reporters in Chile.“If he wants to compare with the best, he has to go to the best team.” Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal playing for Chile 1last_img read more


first_imgLetterkenny Youth Information Centre, which is managed by the Donegal Youth Service, will hold Student Grants Information seminars for parents and young people in Donegal Town and Milford this week.The first seminar takes place in Donegal Town Family Resource Centre this Tuesday at 7pm, with the second seminar takiing place in Milford Youth Project on Wednesday at 7pm.These are the latest in a series of seminars being run by Letterkenny YIC across the county, with seminars also planned for Clonmany and Falcarragh next week. The seminars are providing vital information and guidance on how to apply for third level grant assistance for young people and parents of those who recently completed their Leaving Certificate, or those who are entering the third level system as mature students. The Student Grant process has seen significant changes this year, with all new applications now having to be completed online. The grant is now administered nationally through Dublin VEC’s Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), meaning Youth Information Centres now provide vital mentoring support at local level for those who need help in filling out the online application.The dates and locations for the remaining seminars are as follows:Tuesday 3rd July – Donegal Town (Family Resource Centre)Wednesday 4th July – Milford Youth Project 10th July – Clonmany (St Brigids Youth Club)Wednesday 11th July – The Yard, FalcarraghAll seminars get underway at 7pm.The deadline for applying for the grant is 31st August.The Youth Information Centre also offer a free consultation service for those who are experiencing difficulties completing the new online application form, and are open on a daily basis from Monday to Friday for those with specific queries in relation to this. They will also be running a special late evening clinic on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm through July and August for those who need help in filling in the form online. Bookings for this evening clinic must be made via telephone. STUDENT GRANT SEMINARS CONTINUE IN DONEGAL TOWN AND MILFORD was last modified: July 2nd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:STUDENT GRANT SEMINARS CONTINUE IN DONEGAL TOWN AND MILFORDlast_img read more

New era in health care?

first_imgNearly two years after President Bush signed into law the most sweeping change in Medicare’s history, beneficiaries can begin signing up today for coverage of their prescription drugs.Despite recent polls showing widespread confusion about how the benefit will work and concern coverage choices are too complicated, administration officials say they are confident the drug program will catch on.By the time the open enrollment period ends next May 15, beneficiaries will have a better understanding of the program and “those polls will change,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.“This is the beginning of a new era in Medicare,” Leavitt said. “We will slowly build understanding.”Administration officials stress there is no need for beneficiaries to hastily enroll. The drug benefit will not take effect until Jan. 1, and beneficiaries can continue signing up until May 15 without paying a penalty. But those eligible and do not sign up by then will pay a 1 percent a month penalty when they do enroll. The next enrollment period after May 15 will be in November 2006.With the enrollment period about to begin and beneficiaries being flooded with information from Medicare and dozens of prescription drug providers, interest in the program is quickly growing.Several local senior centers have been holding information sessions to help seniors navigate the maze.The West Covina Senior Center had workshops in June and October, and will hold a health fair 9 to 11:30 a.m. today with representatives from various HMOs, the Social Security administration and the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. In addition to the workshops, the center has two social workers who can answer questions.“We’ve attempted to be proactive because we knew the seniors would need help,” said Vanessa Carter, the senior center’s director.“It’s very complex legislation,” she said. “But there’s also been a campaign to get the info out.”Carter said she’s gotten good attendance at the workshops, but she didn’t know any seniors eager to sign up.Carol Wacker of Covina, a regular volunteer at the West Covina Senior Center, is already enrolled in an HMO so won’t sign up for the Medicare program, she said.But she’s heard the buzz around the senior center, and it hasn’t been too favorable for the new benefits.“It is too complicated for the average senior to comprehend,” said Wacker, 76, a retired Mt. San Antonio College secretary and avid tap and hula dancer, as she enjoyed a cup of bread pudding during the center’s daily senior lunch. “If you have this much income, you pay this much. If you have that much, you pay this. You have copayments, discounts…“It’s especially confusing for the foreign-speaking ones, unless they have a younger adult to explain it.”At the Whittier Senior Center, staff may have to cancel a session scheduled for Wednesday morning because not enough seniors have signed up.“The seniors seem to be kind of blase about it,” said Ruri Pierre, community services supervisor. “They say, `Oh, I’ll figure it out.’ Nobody’s panicking; they’re weighing their options.”Pierre said they need 25 seniors to have the workshop, sponsored by the Center for Health Care Rights, and 10 have signed up. Any seniors interested in attending should RSVP to the Whittier Senior Citizens Center, (562) 464-3370.Advocates of a drug benefit for the elderly had lobbied for years to expand the program within Medicare, but when Congress finally acted, it tossed the benefit to the private sector with a hefty government subsidy. The result is that beneficiaries must enroll in private plans – not in Medicare directly – for the prescription drug benefit known as Medicare Part D.In virtually every state, beneficiaries are confronted with more than 40 competing drug plans, many of them different options offered by the same company. It’s like deciding which cell phone service to buy from competing companies and then selecting a particular calling plan within the chosen company.A survey conducted by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that 37 percent of beneficiaries said they do not plan to enroll in a plan; 43 percent were undecided and only 20 percent said they planned to enroll for the drug benefit.A study of the prices scheduled to be charged under the drug law for the top 25 most commonly prescribed medications used by the elderly found that the drug benefit will result in average savings of 20 percent on brand name drugs bought at a retail pharmacy and 27 percent through a mail order pharmacy.For generic drugs, the savings are 44 percent for retail and 64 percent for mail order. The study, based on filings with the Medicare program, was conducted by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the national trade organization representing pharmacy benefit managers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

SA to crack down on tender fraud

first_imgMeasures to curb tender fraud Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has proposed levying penalties of up to double the value of the contract on those who obtain contracts fraudulently as one of a number of proposed measures to eradicate fraud in public procurement in South Africa. Implementing measures to ensure that officials who have breached the buying rules remain under suspension while an investigation into them is under way. Making public officials who assist in tender fraud liable for the resulting losses incurred by the government. A total of R25-billion of procurement and tender fraud was currently being investigated by the government, Gordhan said, adding that the government was recently awarded preservation orders worth about R200-million on a Lear jet, a golf course, a holiday home and a hotel, following the arrest of prominent business people and senior government officials. Gordhan also outlined further measures to reduce the amount of wasteful expenditure within the government. Some of the other measures Gordhan proposed to curb tender fraud include: In a bid to increase the detection of fraud, government departments and agencies would be required to provide specific information to the National Treasury on procurement practices. The government was also looking at improving administrative capacity to help departments to deliver services more cost-effectively, and called for a new initiative to ensure that funds for training programmes were spent. He added that IT systems and management consulting services would also be subject to additional scrutiny within the supply chain regulatory framework. Revising procedures for the issuing of tax clearance certificates, so that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) can more easily check whether a bidder has the required tax compliance or not.center_img “As a result of these efforts, Honourable Speaker, we are beginning to see a change of attitude on the part of service providers. In a recent case, a firm which was paid R10-million by a department for work that they had not done, voluntarily returned the money to the fiscus,” he told Parliamentarians. Improving administrative capacity Presenting his medium-term budget policy statement to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan said the National Treasury had been working with other departments to crack down on fraud and corruption. He said R12.4-billion budgeted for capital projects in the last financial year had gone unspent, pointing out that the approach included technical support to those agencies and departments that underspent. “Where necessary, the cash disbursements process of government agencies will be temporarily assumed by Treasury, thereby ensuring that only valid contracts are honoured and government is charged a fair price,” Gordhan said. 27 October 2010 With the proliferation of quasi-independent agencies in recent years, he said the government also planned to scrutinise non-departmental agencies with a special focus on staff establishments, remuneration and governance. Strengthening tax compliance measures associated with government procurement, including the introduction of a withholding tax on payments made to businesses selling to the government. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Owner of Wind Turbines Fined $1 Million in Bird Deaths

first_imgDuke Energy Renewables has become the first wind energy company prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and will pay a $1 million fine for the deaths of eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms, the Associated Press reports.The case represents the first time the government has used environmental laws to protect birds from the hazards of wind energy installations, and it follows an earlier report by the AP that dozens of eagles had died in collisions with wind turbines.“In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths,” Robert G. Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a statement Friday, according to the AP.Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf said the company deeply regretted the deaths. “Our goal is to provide the benefits of wind energy in the most environmentally responsible way possible,” he said.One of the two wind farms is located in Campbell Hill, Wyoming, northwest of Casper, and the other is the Top of the World farm outside Casper.The AP said that turbine blades look as if they’re moving slowly, but blade tips can move at speeds as high as 170 mph. Eagles scanning for food on the ground don’t look up as they fly, the report said, and don’t notice the spinning blades until it’s too late.Utilities have tried a variety of tactics to reduce fatal collisions. As part of the agreement, Duke will continue to use biologists to identify eagles and shut down turbines when they get too close, the AP said. The company also has agreed to install new radars.last_img read more

Going High-Tech With an Induction Cooktop

first_imgDrawbacks of induction cooktopsFerrous metal cooking vessels required. Aluminum, copper, and some stainless steel cookware won’t work, so buyers of induction cooktops may have to invest in new pots and pans. Use a magnet; if it sticks to the bottom of the pot, it will work on an induction cooktop. Fortunately, there are lots of options, including plenty that are reasonably affordable.High cost. While the cost of induction cooktops has dropped in the last few years, they are still pricey. We spent $1,400 on our 30-inch KitchenAid Architect Series II induction cooktop, and the list price of that model is $1,849. A comparable KitchenAid standard electric cooktop (non-induction) lists for $1,299. The high cost of induction today is partly because of the induction technology, and partly because induction is only available in the high-end product lines from appliance manufacturers. I think the cost will come down and induction gains popularity and spreads into lower-priced product lines.Health concerns? There is some concern that the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) created by induction cooktops could be hazardous. I understand that the field drops off (attenuates) very quickly with distance from the cooktop, though I haven’t borrowed a gauss meter to actually measure EMFs from our cooktop. I haven’t read credible reports of health problems from induction cooking, but discovering a problem can’t be ruled out. What is induction?Without getting into too much physics, induction (electromagnetic induction), which was discovered in the early 1800s by Michael Faraday, is the process in which a circuit with alternating current (AC) flowing through it induces current in a material placed nearby. It is key to the functioning of induction (asynchronous) motors and most electric generators.In the case of induction cooking, there’s an electric coil under the glass surface of the cooktop through which AC electricity flows. This current, in turn, generates current in a ferrous metal (iron or steel) pan that’s very close to it (separated by the glass cooktop). Electromagnetic current flows through the bottom of the pan, but because iron and steel aren’t very good electrical conductors, that electric current is converted into heat. In physics lingo, that’s electric resistance heat (since the material resists the flow of electric current).The result is that the pan or skillet heats up and transfers that heat to whatever is being cooked. So, in effect, the pan becomes the heat source.If you have a rice cooker, you’re probably already using induction cooking, since that’s how most rice cookers work. So, for our new house we bought a KitchenAid induction cooktop for our kitchen island. I had wanted to go with the technology leader, Miele, but at about $2,500 for Miele’s 30-inch model, the cost was just too high for our budget. Even the much less expensive KitchenAid version stretched our budget considerably. Deciding on inductionWe were surprised back in the late ’80s how quickly we adjusted to an electric cooktop. It’s not as controllable as gas, but we made do just fine for 25 years. Nonetheless, friends always complained about electric cooktops being too slow or not controllable enough, so we wanted to try out the electric option that top chefs are increasingly turning to: induction. RELATED ARTICLES An Induction Cooktop for Our KitchenAll About Microwave OvensSaving Energy In the KitchenChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorMakeup Air for Range HoodsEMFs and Human Health Advantages of induction cookingSpeed and controllability. Because the pan generates the heat directly, induction cooking is very fast — heating up immediately when turned on and cooling down immediately when the current is reduced or turned off. Heat output can be adjusted even more quickly than with gas burners.Energy efficiency. Induction cooktops are the most efficient of any option. According to a study done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, gas cooktops are about 40% efficient, electric-coil and standard smooth-top electric cooktops are 74% efficient, and induction cooktops are 84% efficient (see Table 1.7, page 1-22). Before you get all excited, though, be aware that cooking accounts for less than 3% of average household energy consumption — so don’t expect an attractive payback for the extra cost of an induction cooktop!Less waste heat. Another aspect of that energy efficiency is greater summertime comfort. We’ve only been in our house for a couple months so haven’t used it in hot weather (that’s for sure!), but a friend who has an induction cooktop raves about the summertime benefit of not heating up his kitchen as much as he used to with a gas cooktop.Safety. Induction cooktops, like other electric cooking elements, avoid combustion and gas lines, so are inherently safer than gas burners. But induction cooktops go further, dropping a piece of paper on a cooktop that’s on can’t cause a fire. In fact, as shown in the photo, you can cook with a piece of paper between the cooktop and the pot (though doing so probably isn’t a good idea). The electromagnetic induction happens through the paper.center_img Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. The bottom lineI like our induction cooktop a lot. I’ve only had one frustrating experience: the time last month when I set out to make a big batch of chili for an office gathering and discovered that the largest of the skillets in our cookware set doesn’t work with induction elements, even though all the others do. I’m assuming that because the diameter of that pan is so large, the manufacturer used a disk of aluminum or copper, rather than steel, to conduct the heat to the edges more evenly.Overall, my wife and I are very pleased with induction, though it does take some getting used to. We got a rimless model, and the black ceramic-glass surface blends in quite well with the black Richlite countertop material. One of our early decisions in the planning for our farmhouse renovation/re-build was to avoid any fossil fuels. If the State of Vermont can have a goal to shift 90% of our energy consumption to renewable sources by 2050, we should be able to demonstrate 100% renewables for our house today.That decision meant using electricity, rather than propane, for cooking. Electric cooking was actually a very easy decision for us. Roughly 25 years ago, when our daughters were very young, my wife and I replaced our gas range with a smooth-top electric range. I had read too many articles about health risks of open combustion in houses; I didn’t want to expose our children to those combustion products.And I knew that even the best outside-venting range hoods don’t remove all of the combustion products generated when cooking with gas.last_img read more

Did you know Cooperative Extension provides programs and resources to help with family life?

first_imgWith continued efforts to better leverage the Cooperative Extension System as a force multiplier in Military Family Readiness and Capacity Building, we have identified the programs and resources that Cooperative Extension offers to help with family life.Below are family focused programs and resources for our pilot states:Florida State:Healthy LivingFamily TimeFamilies & ConsumersIndianaAgingFood & HealthHome & MoneyParenting & Care for ChildrenRelationshipsSchool ReadinessMarylandContact your local Cooperative Extension to get more details about these programs and resources that are offered in Maryland:Parenting Programs and Quality of Life ProgramsFood Safety in the CommunityMyPlateObesity/MyPyramidHealthy Snacks for Kids“Smart Choice$” – Food ShoppingEmergency Preparedness for Child Care Providers and Assisted Living FacilitiesMississippi StateChildren and ParentingEquine Assisted Therapy ProgramsFamily DynamicsFamily Financial ManagementHealthy Homes InitiativePetsNew Mexico State:Family Health & WellnessFamily Life & Child DevelopmentFamily Resource ManagementOklahomaContact your local Cooperative Extension to get more details about programs and resources that are offered in Oklahoma.last_img read more

Here’s a list of 10 newly-discovered species in 2017

first_imgIn 2017, around 18,000 new species were discovered and named. This may sound like a lot, but with millions more thought to be living on the planet, this is a mere scratch on the surface. Through billions of years of planetary change, much of what is alive today didn’t exist during different stages of Earth’s structural evolution.Continental plates have shifted, while ice ages and meteor strikes have forever altered the scope of what lives and breathes on our planet. Despite all of that (or also because of all that) there are literally millions of unique species on Earth.While new species are constantly discovered and described, some of them weirder than the last, we have a list of top 10 species discovered in 2017:1. Eriovixia gryffindori The newly discovered spider is named after the fictional wizard Godric Gryffindor in Harry Potter because of the arachnid’s resemblance to the Sorting Hat. Though it looks like the Sorting Hat, it is highly advised that you should not put it on your head.Found in India, the spider is less than a tenth of an inch long and might use its leaf-like shape as camouflage.2. Uromys vikaImage credit: Velizar Simeonovski, Field Museum Uromys vika or the Vangunu giant rat, found on the Solomon Islands, is four times the size of a city rat. Locals had known for years about the existence of this two-pound rodent, but in 2017 scientists officially documented the first of its kind when it crashed down with a logged tree.3. Scolopendra cataractaadvertisement Scolopendra cataracta was found in Southeast Asia. This new species is the first centipede ever discovered to be amphibious, hunting in both land and water. Scolopendra cataracta is a carnivore and can potentially reach almost 20 centimeters (8 in) in length. Centipedes are venomous, and the bigger the centipede, the more painful its bite.4. Nyctibatrachus Seven new frog species were discovered in the Western Ghats of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.The new frog species belong to the genus Nyctibatrachus, commonly known as Night Frogs. Out of the seven newly discovered frog species, four are miniature-sized species, which can comfortably sit on a coin or a thumb-nail and are among the smallest known frogs in the world, Prof S D Biju, who led the new study team said in a release, according to PTI.  5. Neopalpa donaldtrumpi Donald Trump was gearing up for the inauguration ceremony for taking the oath to be sworn in as the President of the United States, when the species was discovered. The moth was named Neopalpa donaldtrumpi because of his yellowish crown. Dr Vazrick Nazari, the evolutionary biologist who discovered the moth, said he chose the name to bring awareness to conservation challenges of the species of moths.6. Nettorhamphos radula A new clingfish species was found in a specimen jar from the 1970s in the collection of the Western Australian Museum in Welshpool, Australia.Nettorhamphos radula is a tiny translucent fish, just a few inches long but holds between 1,800 and 2,300 teeth in its duckbill-like mouth. No one has ever seen N. radula in the wild. What the team found, and reported April 14 in the journal Copeia, was not an average clingfish. It has about 10 times as many teeth as other clingfish, all of which are cone-shaped and point inward, toward the fish’s throat. This may suggest that the teeth are used for gripping.The fish also has a wide upper jaw. All these features call for a new genus, and not just a species, since this fauna is pretty-well studied but this species has many unique characteristics.7. Avicularia aviculariaThree new species of massive, furry “bird-eater” spiders have been discovered, named Avicularia avicularia. The genus was first described in 1818, and they narrowed the number of species from 50 to 12, including these three species that hadn’t been discovered before. The three species were quite different from each other, but didn’t fit in any other genus. Therefore, the researchers named them also in the Avicularia genus.One, A. caei, is found only in Brazil. Another, A. lynnae, can be found in Ecuador and Peru. A. merianae, found only in Peru, was given its name in honor of Maria Sibylla Merian, a naturalist born in 1647 who famously painted an illustration of an Avicularia spider eating a bird.8. Hoolock gibbon A new gibbon species was discovered in southwest Asia, and scientists have named it for the famous Star Wars character, Hoolock gibbon. This new name is connected both to the high tree-top home and the ideas around the primate in the Chinese history.The primate joins two other species in the genus of hoolock gibbons: the western (Hoolock hoolock) and eastern hoolock (H. leuconedys) gibbons, which are geographically divided by the Chindwin River.advertisementIn studying the genetic characteristics of wild gibbons and museum specimens, the researchers defined apparent differences between the Skywalker hoolock and H. leuconedys. For instance, the Skywalker gibbons’ eyebrows are thinner and farther apart, and the shape of their skulls and teeth differentiate them from the other hoolock gibbons.9. Synalpheus pinkfloydi A new species of pistol shrimp- small, burrowing crustaceans with one oversize claw was discovered in waters off the Pacific coast of Panama. The researchers who described the shrimp proposed a name for the new species that is inspired by the English rock band Pink Floyd, who just happened to be the scientists’ favourite band. Therefore, the species was named Synalpheus pinkfloydi. The crustacean sports a large snapping claw colored a brilliant pink, which provoked the researchers’ name choice.10. Hydrolagus erithacus A new ghost shark species with bucktooth was discovered in the region between South Africa and Antarctica in the southeastern Atlantic and southwestern Indian Oceans. This is the 50th ghost shark species known to science and is the second largest species of ghost sharks ever discovered!This previously unknown ghost shark has rabbit-like teeth and a bulky head, and is nearly three feet in length.Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to education.intoday@gmail.comlast_img read more

US Soccer Takes On Nigeria

first_imgJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The U.S. soccer team is hoping one African club will teach them a thing or two about another.The Americans will use their final send-off series game against Nigeria on the night of June 7 to get better prepared for their World Cup opener against Ghana on June 16.Coach Jurgen Klinsmann called Nigeria a team “that will really give us a lot of answers to many of your questions.”The U.S. will use the friendly at EverBank Field to settle its World Cup lineup and maybe quell concerns about its sometimes shaky defense. More importantly, it will provide the Americans with a glimpse of what they will face against Ghana in Brazil.“Tactically, they’re very similar to Ghana, and we’re going out there to try to understand what an African team is all about, how they use their speed, their power, their skills,” defender Geoff Cameron said.Klinsmann broke down the matchup in greater detail, saying Nigeria and Ghana plays similar, fast and physical styles and have equally dangerous strikers.“They counter-break you very fast in transition defensively, they’re fit, they’re very physical, which is good for us because it will give us a little bit of a wake-up call now because this is what, at this point, now we really need,” Klinsmann said.“Gives us a little bit of indication of how to approach Ghana, how to beat Ghana, which is so crucial for us to start the World Cup with.”Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi even acknowledged that playing his team, which features talented forwards Victor Moses and Peter Odemwingie, could benefit the U.S. down the road.“I think Nigeria, Ghana, we play similar football,” Keshi said. “I think it’s going to be a good thing for the United States. The fact that they have Ghana in their group, I think they should be able to capitalize on that and make use of the best out of it.”Nigeria is coming off consecutive draws, a 2-2 tie against Scotland last week and a scoreless one against Greece on June 3.The U.S., meanwhile, beat No. 85 Azerbaijan 2-0 in San Francisco last week and topped No. 39 Turkey 2-1 in New Jersey on June 1. The 18th-ranked Americans have spent much of the week working out in Florida’s sweltering heat and humid while getting ready for the 44th-ranked Super Eagles.Klinsmann insisted many position battles remain open.“We’ll still use this game as seeing things and giving players an opportunity to be out there on the field and to fight for that spot,” he said. “Do we have a (Ghana) lineup in mind? Absolutely. Every coach has that at this point. Still, this is why you have these send-off games, friendly games. You give minutes to players that are right there and you want to see how they perform.”Although goalkeeper Tim Howard has his position locked up, he will be in the spotlight. The veteran will earn his 100th cap on June 7, becoming the 15th U.S. player to accomplish that feat.“It’s a proud moment for myself and my family,” Howard said. “I’m excited that it’s happening now during this process because this is a great time for the team. Everyone’s excited for the World Cup and wants to come. I couldn’t think of no better place to do it.”Of course, the best way to celebrate would be to finish with a clean sheet.The Americans were far from perfect against Turkey, giving up several decent scoring chances early in the first half. The defense settled down later, but the rocky start caused more conversation and maybe more concern about what many believe is the team’s glaring weakness heading into Brazil.The back line’s inexperience has been a popular theme since Klinsmann announced his 23-man roster last month. This is the first time since 1990 the U.S. heads to a World Cup with no central defenders having played previous minutes in soccer’s showcase event.“There’s a lot of stuff that we need to get fixed and done and fine-tuned,” Klinsmann said. “It’s not just the back line. But if you give Turkey that amount of chances in a game, then you know that you have to fix a lot of stuff the day after. We have to minimize the mistakes the closer we get to the Ghana game because mistake in the World Cup cost you really.“Turkey didn’t take advantage of our mistakes thankfully. Hopefully (Saturday) is the next step in minimizing mistakes and getting better connected. … Hopefully it looks better in many ways.”(MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more