Liverpool and Southampton target Dries Mertens will NOT be leaving Napoli in January, according to his agent.The Belgian forward has been linked with both English clubs as well as Inter Milan after two impressive seasons in Serie A since arriving from PSV in 2013.He has started this campaign well, too, and his future remains under the spotlight despite being under contract until 2018.But now Mertens’ agent Soren Lerby has insisted that his client will definitely be staying put at Napoli at least until the end of the 2015/16 season.Lerby told FCInterNews: “I have heard these rumours but there is absolutely nothing concrete.“We are not talking about these rumours. Dries is not leaving Napoli in January.” Dries Mertens 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Rome daily La Repubblica reported Saturday that Vatican officials recognized the monsignor’s office in the background of the program, which aired Oct. 1. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said the Italian monsignor was suspended while the case was under investigation. “Higher-ups are evaluating the situation with the necessary reserve and with the obligatory respect for the person involved, even if this person has erred,” Lombardi said. Vatican officials “had to intervene decisively and with the severity required by conduct not compatible with priestly service and with the mission of the Holy See,” he added. While the Vatican rarely comments on individual sex scandals, this case directly touched the Holy See, apparently prompting the confirmation of the report. Vatican teaching holds that homosexual activity is a sin. Stenico said to call back later in the day when he would have more to say, but later attempts to reach him were not successful. The Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying he had sent his superiors “a dutiful memo” about the case. Milan daily Corriere della Sera had previously reported that a young man had contacted La7 and said he had been in contact with several priests on chat lines popular with gay men. Corriere said La7 then filmed encounters between the man and priests with a hidden camera. A woman identifying herself as a producer for La7’s “Exit” program declined to comment about the case, saying only that the program could be viewed on the network’s Web site. In the program, the faces of those speaking with the young man are obscured and their voices altered so they would not be recognized. The man La Repubblica identified as the Vatican official can be heard saying that “he didn’t feel he was sinning” by having sex with gay men and asking his visitor if he liked him.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said Saturday it has suspended a monsignor from a senior post at the Holy See after an Italian TV program using a hidden camera recorded him making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful. The Vatican did not identify the monsignor by name. But Monsignor Tommaso Stenico confirmed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he had been suspended from his post at the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, an office which aims to ensure proper conduct by priests. “Don’t condemn me,” Stenico said, adding that the program “was done fraudulently” because it used a hidden camera. In the program on private Italian network La7, a man identified as a priest is heard saying that he “didn’t feel he was sinning” by having sex with gay men.
WHITTIER – A man suspected of running over a Los Angeles police officer during a narcotics investigation turned himself in Tuesday night. Authorities say Joe Ortiz Jr. walked into a Whittier police station, hours after officials said he deliberately struck an undercover officer who was trying to arrest him, and then fled in a white Mazda. An LAPD spokesman says Ortiz surrendered around 8 p.m. He will be taken to a Los Angeles jail and be booked for investigation of attempted murder on a police officer. The officer, who suffered two broken legs, facial and head injuries, is recovering at a hospital. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Everton may be without seven first-team players including Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley as they look to remedy their poor home form against Southampton.Only bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa have fewer points than the Toffees when playing in their own stadium this season as just 16 of their total haul of 40 points have come at Goodison Park.They will attempt to record just a fifth home win in the Premier League this term against Saints on Saturday with a squad that has been stretched by injuries and suspension.Phil Jagielka and Tom Cleverley are not yet ready to return, while James McCarthy is suspended following his dismissal against Crystal Palace in a game that saw Leighton Baines, Aaron Lennon, Barkley and Lukaku all pick up knocks.“Leighton Baines, Aaron Lennon and Ross Barkley will be assessed; they picked up some knocks against Crystal Palace,” manager Roberto Martinez said.“Obviously James McCarthy will be missing. Romelu Lukaku has been carrying a little bit of a problem, we’re going to assess him today if he can make the squad or not.“In the Crystal Palace game he stretched for an action in the second half and he felt his groin slightly. He didn’t train yesterday and we’re hoping he can train today and we’ll assess him from there.“I don’t think any of those is a long-term injury, they are more the effect of a big amount of games in this period and it’s probably a question of hours rather than weeks.”Everton’s most recent home game saw them defeated 2-0 by Arsenal and the hosts produced a performance their manager termed “fearful”.It was an eighth reverse of the campaign for the Toffees at Goodison Park and Martinez knows that if their away form matched their results at home, they would be a lot higher up the table than 12th.“We haven’t been able to celebrate enough victories in front of our own crowd; that’s been a real disappointment this season,” Martinez admitted.“There are contrasting results, I wouldn’t say performances – I think at times we’ve had performances that have been good enough to get positive results.“You are looking at two defeats in 16 away from home that’s as good as we’ve been. Our first away game was against Southampton in that 3-0 victory, from that point on our performances away from home have been really, really strong. That’s what we wanted. That’s an away record that would be top four.“At home it’s totally contrasting – eight defeats is nowhere near good enough, that’s where you build your season on the strength of the results at home. That’s a contrasting story that is very, very difficult to explain.” 1 Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku celebrate an Everton goal
1 Domenico Scala FIFA has been hit by fresh turmoil after Domenico Scala quit as president of the organisation’s audit and compliance committee over fears that new powers handed to the ruling Council could “impede” future corruption investigations.The FIFA Congress in Mexico City voted on Friday to hand the Council, which replaces the executive committee, the power to appoint and dismiss members of the independent judicial committees until the next Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.That includes the two chambers of the ethics committee which have respectively investigated and suspended a number of officials in the past year, including former president Sepp Blatter.A package of reforms voted on at the extraordinary Congress in Zurich on February 26 included a motion to ensure that in future the judicial committees would be completely independent of the Council in order for them to investigate and punish wrongdoing without fear or favour.However, Friday’s decision appears to compromise the committees’ ability to fulfil their duties independently, at least until next year, and it has now led to Swiss-Italian businessman Scala tendering his resignation.Scala said in a statement: “On the occasion of its meeting on Friday, the FIFA Congress has delegated the election, or the dismissal respectively, of the members of the independent supervisory bodies – such as the ethics committee, the appeal committee, the audit and compliance committee and the governance committee – to the exclusive competence of the FIFA Council.“With this decision, it will henceforth be possible for the Council to impede investigations against single members at any time, by dismissing the responsible Committee members or by keeping them acquiescent through the threat of a dismissal. Thereby, those bodies are factually deprived of their independence and are in danger of becoming auxiliary agents of those whom they should actually supervise.“I am consternated about this decision, because it undermines a central pillar of the good governance of FIFA and it destroys a substantial achievement of the reforms. For this reason, I herewith declare my immediate resignation as president of the audit and compliance committee of FIFA.”FIFA’s new president Gianni Infantino said in his Congress speech on Friday that FIFA’s corruption crisis was over.“FIFA is back on track,” he told delegates.“So I can officially inform you here, the crisis is over.”Infantino also announced the appointment of Senegalese diplomat Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura as the organisation’s first female secretary general.
1 Hector Bellerin will be included in Spain’s squad for this summer’s European Championship if Dani Carvajal fails to prove his fitness, Vicente del Bosque has confirmed.The Arsenal full-back only made his debut for the reigning champions on Sunday, playing the full 90 minutes of the 3-1 friendly win over Bosnia.Bellerini, orignally named on the standby list for Euro 2016, was only given his chance due to the fact six Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid players were not involved after the Champions League final a day earlier.But the 21-year-old is now in line to be included in the 23-man party for France after Carvajal suffered an injury in Real’s penalty shootout triumph over Atletico.Scans have since shown Carvajal has a grade two tear of hip flexor muscles and he is a major doubt for the finals.“It all depends on what the medical staff say about Carvajal’s fitness,” Del Bosque said on Sunday.“Bellerin will stay with the squad until we know the extent of Carvajal’s injury.“I also considered [Villarreal defender] Mario [Gaspar], but we have to remain consistent and bear in mind this training camp was in order to prepare for the Euros. That’s why Bellerin will stay with the squad.” Hector Bellerin in action for Spain against Bosnia
A general view of Goodison Park 1 Everton have signed Oldham Athletic starlet Chris Renshaw.The 18-year-old goalkeeper is tipped for a big future and he featured on the bench for Oldham last season.Everton have now moved for the youngster and he has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Goodison Park.“I’m really excited for the challenge,” Renshaw told Everton’s official website.“I know about the record of how many players Everton have brought through the Academy. That interested me a lot because there seems to be a serious pathway to the first team.“Every time we played friendlies at Everton, I always used to say the training ground and facilities would make this an amazing club to be at.”
Roy Hodgson takes England training ahead of the last 16 match with Iceland 1 Roy Hodgson has warned his England team that failure to start converting chances into goals will see them crash out of Euro 2016.The Three Lions were on the offensive for large periods of their three group games, but drew against Russia and Slovakia after failing to capitalise on their perceived dominance, and needed a last gasp goal to see off Wales.That meant England finished runners up in the group, setting up a showdown with Iceland in the round of 16 on Monday night.And Hodgson made clear that the time for talk about scoring goals is about to end.“I’m happy with the work they’re doing,” Hodgson said of his attackers. “I am just unhappy that the dominance is not leading to the goals.“Obviously we have to be better in that area and everyone knows it because if we don’t score goals we can’t continue in the competition. It’s no good.“You don’t get prizes for possession, you don’t get prizes for the most corners, you don’t get prizes for having the best of the play. You get prizes if you win.“And really our performance against Wales was no better than our performance against Slovakia or Russia.“Arguably in many areas it perhaps wasn’t even as good. But we won so that was a great game and the other two were bad games. That’s how it is. We know that.“And now it’s very simple: if we don’t win now, we go home. So we had better start making sure we score our goalscoring chances.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson It’s not just retirement plans that small businesses need to budget for. Bonuses, which many business owners also don’t think about until year’s end, will be much more affordable if they’re planned for in advance. Capital spending needs to be considered now, not impulsively a few months from now. And Jeffrey Chazen, a tax partner at the accounting and consulting firm Richard A. Eisner & Co. LLP in New York, noted that companies that had a profitable 2005 should set aside money for taxes owed in April. If they also anticipate a good 2006, they should be planning for next year’s tax bill, too. That kind of forward-looking strategy is absent at many small companies. “What normally happens to a small business is when they did well, they took all their extra cash and put it back into the business,” Chazen said. A lack of planning does more harm than leaving a company with not enough money at tax time or with a retirement plan that’s falling short of its earnings potential. It leaves a business vulnerable to failure. “You can’t not do it, because it’s going to cost you in the long run,” Maloney said. “To be a good business owner, you have to control the administrative part of it.” One way to keep a better handle on your company is to invest in software that will help you track your sales and expenses – or as Chazen put it, “getting your books into some short of shape so you can really look at it (the business) on an ongoing basis.” There are also many employee issues that need your attention at the start of the year. For example, January is an excellent time to implement a vacation policy and avoid disputes over conflicting days off. Bonnie Beirne, director of service operations for Administaff, a Houston-based human-resources firm, suggested owners look at vacation policy as part of a comprehensive review of their benefit packages, and keep in mind that they need to be competitive to attract and retain good workers. Beirne noted that employers are expected to find it harder to find the new hires they want in 2006, as many companies plan to expand their staffs, increasing the competition for a shrinking pool of job applicants. That means, if you’re planning to hire in the coming year, think now about where you’ll look for prospective employees, and what you’ll offer them. Beirne’s advice: “A small-business owner needs to be creative in their recruiting efforts and their strategies to drive their businesses.” Along that line, you need to think about the staff you already have – whether you’re doing enough to retain them or whether you need to think about making some changes. Beirne also suggested owners be sure that they’re in compliance with government labor regulations. Be aware that regulations often change or go into effect on Jan. 1. And while you’re at it, think about other regulatory issues, such an environmental laws, that might affect your company. You need to consider regulations at all levels of government – federal, state and local. You might also be facing price increases from your vendors and suppliers with the start of the new year. Be sure you’ve considered them when putting your budget together. One that’s affecting all of us: New postal rates go into effect Jan. 8. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – The arrival of 2006 offers small-business owners a chance for a fresh start in running their companies. For those who haven’t done financial planning or had a budget in the past, January is the time to start working in a more organized fashion. It’s also an opportunity to deal with human-resources issues such as creating a vacation policy or thinking seriously about your hiring plans for the coming year. “Most small-business owners work from the seat of their pants and don’t realize that a good plan will help them,” said Joseph P. Maloney, a certified public accountant with Maloney Reed Scarpitti & Co. LLP in Erie, Pa. He suggests owners start by putting together a budget that, among other things, will allow them to set aside money for retirement-plan contributions – something that often gets pushed back until the end of the year or is never dealt with at all.