By By Captain Jessica Plummer, Security Cooperation Office, U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 14, 2016 The Security Cooperation Office – Haiti (SCO-Haiti) and theLouisiana National Guard (LANG), in partnership with the U.S. Southern Command(SOUTHCOM) Human Rights Office, sponsored The Caribbean Human Rights Initiative(HRI) Conference on May 24th-25th, 2016 at the Jackson Barracks in New Orleans,Louisiana. The conference included participants from SOUTHCOM’s Human RightsOffice, SCO-Haiti, LANG, and military/security force personnel, andrepresentatives of human rights and civil society organizations from partnernations, including Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, DominicanRepublic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of the conferencefocused on the shared human rights and security challenges faced today byCaribbean partner nation security and defense forces. Representatives from Colombia and Brazil served assubject-matter experts, sharing their expertise on areas such as human rightsconsiderations in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief efforts, and theimportance of institutionalizing respect for human rights within the armedforces by establishing a strong program at all levels of the defenseinstitution. Trinidad and Tobago described their recent efforts of integratinghuman rights within the Armed Forces, while the Inspector General of theHaitian National Police (HNP) provided an overview of the country’s successfulCommunity Policing program. The conference initiated dialogue and enhanced cooperationbetween SOUTHCOM and Caribbean partner nation defense and security forces in aneffort to begin building a regional network focused on human rights andsecurity challenges for our Caribbean partner nations.Over the years, the security and defenseinstitutions in the Caribbean and Latin America have made steady progresstoward respect for human rights, but many countries still face dauntingchallenges in the face of rising levels of violence and the use of defenseforces in public security missions throughout the region. During each day ofthe conference, working group break-out sessions allowed participants todiscuss and share best practices and challenges on specific areas of concern ina smaller setting. Some of the challenges facing security and defense forces inthe region discussed by participants included gang violence, the need foradequate use of force protocols, human trafficking, high crime rates, poverty,transnational organized crime, narcotics trafficking, and politicalinstability. The May 2016 Caribbean HRI Conference followed last year’ssuccessful Human Rights Initiative conference in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Incoordination with SOUTHCOM’s Human Rights Office, SCO-Haiti and LANG willcontinue to support human rights initiatives with our military and securitypartners in the Caribbean. For more information about the last year’s human rightsconference in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, follow the link below: http://www.southcom.mil/newsroom/Pages/SOUTHCOM-ho…
This post is currently collecting data… 2020 will certainly go down as a year to remember (or forget, depending on your perspective). This T-shirt I saw on Amazon says it well:As we enter the last weeks of the year and look to 2021, successful strategic planning is a must. Starting your new year without a workable strategic plan is like starting a road trip with your “check engine” light on. Strategic planning for 2021 has to happen…even if you do it a few months into the year.We all know the rebound from 2020 won’t be easy, so here’s how to specifically do strategic planning for 2021: This is placeholder text continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
‘It’s a Tense Time’Some Muslim Americas are already living the nightmare.It’s not uncommon for people to hurl disparaging remarks or gestures at families leaving Masjid Darul Quran, Jabbar says.“Go back where you came from!” people yell, he says. “Sometimes they would use the ‘F’ word.”“This is quite derogatory and full of hatred,” Jabbar continues. “And this has never been before—and this is because of Trump.”In June, CAIR and U.C. Berkeley Center for Race and Gender released a report that found attacks on mosques in the US nearly quadrupled from 20 to 78 between 2014 and 2015. Nearly half of those incidents were recorded in November and December, which coincides with the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., and Trump’s subsequent Muslim ban proposal.In September, Adelphi University in Garden City shared with the Long Island Press preliminary results of a study scrutinizing how the election has impacted Muslim Americans. Respondents overwhelmingly blamed the rancorous presidential election for their feeling unsafe in the US. A majority also said they felt obligated to prove their patriotism and have experienced their loyalty come under fire.Dr. Hussein Rashid, an ex-professor of religious studies at Hofstra University in Hempstead who is currently an adjunct at Columbia University, says Trump is holding on to a “mythic past” in which he challenges “the notion that the vast majority of Americans are in fact American.”“It is troubling that he is being so successful in undermining the principles of our nation and that people believe that he is right,” he says in an email. “Both his followers and his victims.”As the election winds down, Muslim American voters are experiencing a mixture of both anxiousness and relief that the incessant campaigns are coming to an end, says the trustee at the Valley Stream mosque who wished to remain nameless.“It’s a tense time,” he says.But now Muslim Americans, a group that accounts for about 1-percent of the US population and one that is often used as a tool by some to sew fear in the hearts of concerned Americans, will finally have their moment to have their voices heard—at the polls.“As far as politics go, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I can tell you straight forward that the amount of rhetoric that is coming out of certain corners has really motivated our congregants to get out there and be a part of the conversation,” says Iqbal of Masjid Noor. “Because right now we feel we’re not a part of the conversation.“Old, young, rich, poor—this is the topic of conversation right now,” he continues. “People are very motivated to get out there and vote and flex their muscle…to get their mandate across.“We have doctors, lawyers, engineers, social workers, sports stars—our narrative is being hijacked and controlled by somebody else and we want to take back our narrative.” Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]F[/dropcap]or much of the US presidential election cycle, the coverage of Muslim Americans in the country has almost exclusively focused on national security—that their religion inherently makes them a danger to society and even the good ones are somehow responsible for failing to weed out troublemakers in their own communities.Muslim families watched in horror last December when Donald Trump, a reality TV star and businessman vying for the Republican Party’s nomination, proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the US.They cringed, but were not surprised, when he suggested law enforcement spy on their mosques—a controversial tool that has become all-too commonplace after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks—and have the federal government establish a database of all Muslims living in the US.There were moments, although fleeting, that made them swell with pride, like when Ghazala and Khizr Khan, the parents of a fallen Muslim soldier, became the unexpected stars of this election.With the vitriolic presidential election careening toward a welcomed end, Long Island Muslims interviewed over the course of the final weeks of the race say they’re motivated, perhaps more than ever, to flock to the polls. Muslims aren’t the only segment of the population who feel they have been unfairly maligned this election, but the long-list of inflammatory remarks, perhaps buttressing a troubling rise in attacks on mosques and rampant Islamophobia, has them confident people will be inspired to turn out in droves, according to surveys and chatter in mosques.“Until this year we were not serious,” about getting involved politically, Dr. Safdar Chadda of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, tells the Press. “This is the first time we’re doing it in an organized way.”To ensure strong turnout on Tuesday, a coalition of mosques across the Island held a picnic at Belmont Lake State Park in September to encourage people to head to the polls. In Nassau County, community leaders gathered at a local restaurant to strategize how best to mobilize volunteers and their plans for upcoming meet-the-candidate events.The campaign to bolster the ranks of registered voters is not only about Tuesday’s presidential election. Leaders hope to channel the motivating factors contributing to voter enthusiasm into something more tangible, perhaps even encouraging some to run for office.What community leaders quickly realized, however, was Muslim Americans here were already motivated to register, but also vote come Nov. 8. The unifying force, strangely enough, was Donald J. Trump.“Donald Trump, believe it or not, is the best thing to happen to Muslims in America because it kind of gave them a kick in the pants,” Dr. Mamoon Iqbal, a leader at Masjid Noor in Huntington, tells the Press.“People themselves want to register,” Chadda adds, “because their own future is at stake.” Switching AllegiancesA recent CAIR survey found that 86-percent of Muslim voters polled said they intend to vote this presidential election, with 72 percent vowing to support the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.There was a time when Republicans dominated the Muslim vote. In 2000, Muslims overwhelmingly supported George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore. Four years later, however, the pendulum had swung in favor of the Democrat John Kerry.The level of support from Muslims directed at Democrats has only grown since. According to CAIR, 49 percent of Muslims identified as Democrat in 2008, compared with 67 percent going into this election.Chadda, of the Islamic Center of Long Island, was one of those Republicans. But in September he changed his party status to Independent and has pledged to vote for Clinton.“It has been on everybody’s minds and some people are really worried and scared,” he says of some of Trump’s remarks.Recently one of his daughters gave an ultimatum. If Trump wins the election, she said, “I don’t want to live here, I want to go back to Canada”—the country of her birth.Dr. Yousuf Syed, trustee at the Selden Mosque, is also a registered Republican voting for Clinton.“I’m not too happy as a Republican,” he says, adding: “If somebody personally picks on [a religion], it’s a matter of concern.”Muslim Americans are historically socially conservative, which would appear to be a tantalizing segment of the electorate for Republicans outspoken about religious liberty. But the never-ending War on Terror, Bush-era surveillance of Muslims, and now Trump’s perceived attacks on the religion has damaged that once promising relationship, maybe even irrevocably.Muslims who immigrated to the US “gravitated toward their social polices and fiscal conservativeness,” Iqbal says. “That has definitely changed.”As nonprofits, Mosques are careful to remain apolitical. But with one particular candidate using anti-Islam rhetoric to spur support in an age of terror on TV and 24/7 cable news, it’s hard for them to not wear their heart on their sleeve.Imam Muhammad Abdul Jabbar of Masjid Darul Quran in Bay Shore says the mosque doesn’t endorse or advocate for a certain candidate “but everybody knows who to vote” for.“People say that after this hype is over, hopefully something good will come,” he says.If Trump wins, he adds, “it will be a nightmare for the Muslims.” Embed from Getty Images Get Out The VoteDespite the apparent enthusiasm, mosques across Nassau and Suffolk counties say they’ve collectively registered more than 10,000 new voters over the course of eight months—beginning during the primary season and continuing through the general election.Surprisingly, the most sought after segment of potential new voters were 50-and-60-year-olds who have lived in the US for decades but mostly shrugged when election season rolled along.“The way the political atmosphere is, and how charged the election is, everybody is a stakeholder in this election,” says Iqbal. “So they want to have their voices heard. The way to get your voices heard is to go out to the ballot box.”The same thing goes for older generations of Muslim Americans in Nassau County.“They’re inspired now, obviously,” says a trustee at Masjid Hamza Islamic Center of South Shore in Valley Stream, who requested anonymity because of the toxicity of this election. “The rhetoric is directly aimed toward Muslims.”Long Island Muslims are not alone.Muslim advocacy groups across the country report mobilizing voters at unprecedented levels through voter registration campaigns online and through traditional canvassing efforts.The US Council of Muslim Organizations said last week its Get Out The Vote campaign it initiated last December “has been overwhelmingly success.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has had similar initiatives, as has Emerge USA, which focuses its efforts entirely in swing states like Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, and has used the hashtag #Muslimswingvote to galvanize voters.Inspired by Trump’s attacks against the Khans, Mirriam Seddiq, a criminal defense attorney and Muslim advocate, created the American Muslim Women PAC. The political action committee has endorsed Clinton and has raised money for her campaign.“We are awake and motivated now and we are getting organized,” Seddiq tells the Press in an email. “Not the real task is not to be complacent again, because it is that complacency that allowed us to be put in this position in the first place.”
Urging other participants in the massive fraud to come forward in exchange for leniency in sentencing for any convictions, prosecutors warned however that “the value of information” is diminishing as the investigations progress.The huge scam had unraveled in June when auditors Ernst & Young said they were unable to find 1.9 billion euros of cash in the company’s accounts.The missing cash makes up a quarter of the balance sheet. The sum was supposedly held to cover risks in trading carried out by third parties on Wirecard’s behalf and was meant to be sitting in trustee accounts at two Philippine banks.But the Philippines’ central bank has said the cash never entered its monetary system and both Asian banks, BDO and BPI, denied having a relationship with Wirecard.The German-based group was finally forced to admit the sum likely did not exist. German prosecutors said Wednesday they have arrested the former chief executive and two board members of Wirecard for “commercial fraud”, saying investigations show that trickery was already happening in 2015.The widening probe suggests that banks in Germany and Japan as well as other investors were conned into providing funds of up to 3.2 billion euros ($3.7 billion) to Wirecard, said prosecutors, adding that the sums are now “very likely lost because of the insolvency of Wirecard”.Described by Germany’s finance minister as an “unparalleled scandal”, the collapse of the payments provider in June shocked the nation and has since snowballed into a political hot potato for the government. Ex-CEO Markus Braun, who had already been arrested before being freed on bail over market manipulation, and the board members were detained on Wednesday in Munich, prosecutors said.All three, plus another suspect who was identified only as the managing director of Cardsystems Middle East FZ-LLC, a Dubai-based subsidiary of Wirecard, are suspected of “inflating the balance sheet and volume of revenues by falsifying the company’s intake.””The company was to be presented as financially strong and attractive to investors and clients, so that loans could be obtained from banks and other investors on a regular basis, as well as keep it generating its own income,” said Munich prosecutors.”In reality, it was already clear to the accused by the end of 2015 at the latest, that Wirecard group was making losses with its actual businesses.” Topics :
Press Release, Weather Safety On the busiest travel weekend of the year and with ice and snow forecast tonight through Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf is alerting all Pennsylvanians and travelers to the state to be prepared for potentially significant travel impacts.“As always, the safety of everyone in the state is my priority,” Gov. Wolf said. “The Thanksgiving holiday weekend will end with some potentially dangerous winter weather, making safety and preparedness even more important as folks travel. Please heed the advice of weather forecasters and emergency professionals and consider altering travel plans if necessary. I want everyone to have had a wonderful holiday weekend and safe travel is tantamount to that goal.”Beginning in southwestern Pennsylvania this evening and traveling northeast, much of the state will feel the effects of two powerful winter storms that have made their way across the country, bringing with them snow, ice, heavy winds and difficult travel conditions.The most significant impact of the storm will be felt in the northern tier to the Laurel Highlands across southern Pennsylvania, but all parts of the state could experience sleet and freezing rain, power outages and downed trees depending on how temperatures settle in overnight.From Sunday evening through Tuesday morning, much of the state will see snowfall with northeast Pennsylvania experiencing the highest amounts, potentially topping 10 inches before the storm exits the state Tuesday morning.“With a storm like this, a difference of just a few degrees can quickly change weather and road conditions,” said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield. “Make sure you have emergency supplies in your car if you must travel, and stay in touch with neighbors so you can help each other if you lose power.”Gov. Wolf asked Pennsylvanians to please stay home if possible, but if you must travel, check available PennDOT and Pennsylvania Turnpike resources for the latest information, consider getting ahead of the storm by leaving earlier or alter your route to avoid impacted areas.Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 950 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.For more information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for motorists, visit the department’s winter website, www.PennDOT.gov/winter.For a list of up-to-the-minute travel advisories for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, visit their website or view a travel conditions map to help you safely plan your trip.The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) advised Pennsylvanians to write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website. The PUC also encourages Pennsylvanians to call their utility company if an outage occurs and not to assume someone else has already done so.Gov. Wolf also reminded Pennsylvanians that the application period is open for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant.“Making sure all Pennsylvanians are safe and healthy is my top priority every day, but especially as we conclude the busiest travel weekend of the year,” said Gov. Wolf. “I cannot stress enough the importance for everyone to heed weather forecasts, listen to directions from emergency officials, plan accordingly, and check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly.” November 30, 2019 Gov. Wolf: As Powerful Winter Storms Reach Pennsylvania, Travelers Should Prepare and Heed Forecasts SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Gerard Frankema, director of Stap, attributed the growth of his organisation slowing down to “missing out on attracting a few large pension funds”.“However, we are still open to new clients and are currently in discussions with potential customers,” he said.De Nationale APF attracted the largest customer in terms of assets, with the €1.8bn pension fund of automobile organisation ANWB joining with 12,000 participants.Het Nederlandse Pensioenfonds was joined by the company schemes Randstad and Owase, which added €900m and €1.2bn, respectively. Randstad joined with 12,000 participants.Last year, the Centraal Beheer APF expanded with the pension funds Equens (€700m), Sligro (€370m) and Chemours (€330m).Assets at Volo, the APF established by PGGM, rose to €325m. However, PGGM has decided to cease operating the vehicle to focus on its core tasks as a pensions provider for the care sector instead. Its current two clients, Ortec and the former pension fund Jan Huysman, are still seeking another provider.The Delta Lloyd APF is still in liquidation, and following the take-over of Delta Lloyd by NN which has its own APF, it has no further assets. The Dutch general pension funds (algemeen pensioenfonds or APF) saw their combined assets under management increase by no less than 73% to almost €17bn last year.With €6.6bn, Stap – the consolidation vehicle established by insurer Aegon and its subsidiary TKP Pensions – is still by far the largest provider, but the competition is catching up, a survey by Dutch pensions publication PensioenPro has revealed.Het Nederlandse Pensioenfonds of insurer ASR is runner up, with €3.8bn of assets under management, followed by Centraal Beheer APF (Achmea) and De Nationale APF (NN Group), with €3.2bn and €3bn, respectively.Last year, the four APFs welcomed eight company pension funds in total. Delta Lloyd’s APF is in liquidation, following the takeover by NN, which has its own APFDespite the significant growth in assets, combined assets under management of the APFs represented only a limited part of the €1.56trn of total Dutch second pillar assets at the end of October.However, assets managed by APFs now exceed those of the low-cost defined contribution vehicles (PPI), whose combined assets stood at €11.3bn at the end of October.Based on the number of participants, the Centraal Beheer APF is now the largest player on the APF market. It saw the total number of participants increase by 66% to 157,000.The four remaining consolidation vehicles said they expect to attract at least six new pension funds, representing €2bn of assets, in 2020.With these new customers, their total annual contribution volume will increase to €361m.Centraal APF and Stap said they expected to be part of at least 15 and 10 tenders, respectively, for new clients.Het Nederlandse Pensioenfonds added it had already signed three declarations of intent for value transfer of €200m in total for 2020.Roel Knol, executive trustee at De Nationale APF, said “several pension funds had started moving, as clarity about the elaboration of the pensions agreement seems to be increasing”.
577 Ipswich Road, Annerley, has loads of parking space in the back, but that’s not where the income comes from.This house earns more than an average heart surgeon thanks to 22 quirky features — just one of several like it on the market in Brisbane.Investment property specialists Adam Holmes-Barry and Clive O’Kelly of Ray White West End have property in Brisbane’s southside on the market with a whopping 22 fully furnished bedrooms.It’s part of what they call “a unique investment property” at 577 Ipswich Road, Annerley, that nets around $200,000 a year in income, according to Mr O’Kelly.MORE: Best excuse for a bigger boat, everResidents cash up as revheads move inRugby star’s dream home revealed The home has 22 bedrooms which are individually let out.The layout is a revelation in use of space.Mr O’Kelly said a 30-bedroom investment property sold yesterday at 65-67 Eureka St, Kelvin Grove for $2.55m.“Income there was just under $300,000 a year,” he said, “Close to 12 per cent return”.According to payscale.com the average cardiac surgeon in Australia earned a salary of earned a median salary of $203,000 — though the top level got about half a million.Mr O’Kelly said properties like the rooming houses were proving popular with investors in the city. “There’s a huge market in Brisbane at the moment for budget accommodation.”65-67 Eureka Street, Kelvin Grove, sold for $2.55m yesterday.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market12 hours agoIt has 30 beds, 4 baths and 10 carparks on a large 810sq m block.Mr Holmes-Barry said the properties included student accommodation, guesthouses, boarding houses, and “bed and breakfasts”.“Rooming accommodation is what rents to young single professionals, there are a lot of blocks of units, 12 packs and six packs as well.”Among other recent sales was a building with 13 single-bedrooms in Fortitude Valley that sold for $1.65m.12 Vulture Street, West End, has 29 fully furnished rooms.The property earns about $280,000 a year.Another property at 12 Vulture Street, West End, currently earning about $280,000 a year, with 29 rooms was on the market for around $3m.“This is what we do,” Mr O’Kelly said. “Last week we had three (sell), another one settled today.”“Winter makes no difference whatsoever. The demand is there. Vacancy is very low at less than 2 per cent.”FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOKVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58
Former transitional President of Guinea General Sekouba Konate has reportedly pleaded guilty in the US to smuggling tens of thousands of dollars into the country.Prosecutors say that Gen. Konate, who is also a former African Union general, attempted to smuggle more than $64,000 into the US, much of it hidden in luggage, on a 2013 flight from Ethiopia to Dulles International Airport.Gen Konate served as the interim president of Guinea during the political turmoil in the West African country in 2010, and was later appointed by the African Union as its “high representative” in efforts to establish a standby force to intervene in conflicts in Africa.He had been due to go on trial on Tuesday in a US court, but instead pleaded guilty to the charges.Gen Konate’s plea may result in him getting a prison sentence of up to five-years. According to a statement he signed as part of his plea, the general called the searches improper given his status as the former president of Guinea and commanding general of the African Union forces, Reuters reports court documents to show.
Walcott, 26, hit the only goal of the game as Arsenal beat Wolfsburg 1-0 to secure Emirates Cup success for the Gunners for the first time since 2010. His future at Arsenal had again been questioned but Wenger now expects him to sign a new contract and, with the Frenchman adamant he does not need to add a striker in the transfer market – believes Walcott can produce the goods. “Not yet but we’re getting closer and closer. Hopefully we can finalise it very soon,” he replied when asked if Walcott had already signed a new deal. “It was another goal for Theo and I’m not surprised by that because I played him through the middle. “I’ve always said that he’s a goalscorer because he has the movement, he has the timing of the run, the speed for the finishing, and he has an eye for taking his chances at the right moments. “When he gets into these positions he finishes well. Yesterday he nearly scored when he came on as a substitute, today he scored. I believe that Theo will score goals.” Walcott missed a couple of good chances to break the deadlock in the first-half when deployed in a central role. Ironically, his goal came after the introduction of Chuba Akpom had seen Walcott switched to the flank – and Wenger believes the England international can perform in a number of roles. When asked what Walcott’s best position was, he answered: “It’s a good question because it’s a complicated answer. I think in all the three positions. “If you ask him where he loves to play, I believe that even he will say that it depends a little bit on the period. Sometimes he prefers left. When I’ve played him on the left he likes it as well because if he makes a good run he can score goals as well. “In his ideal world he would like to play with a strong guy next to him, a player who is very strong physically, and play off him. We have so many offensive players which makes that very difficult to combine all of them together. “He’s not an aggressive striker, he’s a mobile striker. He’s the striker who lives from the quality of his movement and the speed of his movement. “He turns up in the right spaces in the box and you cannot give that to a player. He anticipates well, he understands quickly and when that is linked with his speed and execution it always makes him very dangerous.” Arsenal may have not matched the heights of Saturday’s 6-0 thrashing on Lyon but Wenger was still pleased with his side’s performance – which also saw Petr Cech make his first appearance at the Emirates Stadium. “It was maybe less spectacular than yesterday because we had a big problem starting and getting going,” he said. “But overall it was a good performance where our technical level was good, our passing was good, maybe our final ball and finishing was not top sometimes. “In the second half we defended higher and gave them many more problems than in the first where we defended a bit too deep. Overall we had two good days.” Press Association Arsene Wenger has said Theo Walcott is likely to pen a new deal at Arsenal very soon – and has backed him to score plenty of goals this season.
Theo Walcott believes Arsenal’s ability to grind out a victory over Newcastle on Saturday proves they have title-winning credentials. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum came closest to scoring for the visitors, who came up against an inspired Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal. But it was Koscielny, scoring his third goal of the campaign, who ensured the points stayed in north London and Walcott feels Arsene Wenger’s side have now matured into one capable of winning ugly when required. “The three points are crucial at this moment in time, especially when teams slip up as well,” he said. “We’ve had a blip at times but it’s important that we get those hard-fought three points today. In previous seasons we would have lost that or drawn, so that’s a very good sign for 2016. “The title is anyone’s to be honest but there’s such a belief in this team that we can do it this year. It’s been a long time and everyone understands that, but you could just sense with that performance that we know what we need to do. “It’s up for grabs but we have the strength in depth in this squad and I believe that we can push on this season and hopefully be successful. “A lot of games have been like that this season. The Premier League is starting to open up a little bit and a lot of teams are ready for the battle this year. “The performance wasn’t there to be honest, but the work rate is always there and when you have work rate you always get the success that you need, want and deserve.” The Gunners opened up a two-point gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League as Laurent Koscielny scored the only goal in a scrappy 1-0 win. Newcastle actually created the better chances at a wet and windy Emirates Stadium but were made to pay for their continued wastefulness. Newcastle have now drawn a blank in their last three matches, losing all three by a tight 1-0 scoreline as they remain in the Premier League bottom three. Steve McClaren’s side have now taken one point from their last four outings after back-to-back victories over Liverpool and Tottenham gave them renewed hope of survival. Wijnaldum may have passed up one of the better chances of the game at Arsenal but insists the players will keep going as they look to end their goalscoring hoodoo. “I thought we were the better side,” he said. “We had good precision play and created chances but we didn’t take them, so it was going to be difficult. They had one set-piece and scored. “We had a lot of confidence that we could play football here, but in the end we have nothing and we’re sad – it’s really frustrating. You know they have the quality to score but if we had taken two chances we would have won. “You must keep faith that you are going to score goals, but every time you don’t you get frustrated and disappointed. But we have to keep our heads up and we must fight to get the points.” Press Association