first_imgCRYSTAL PALACEVS ASTON VILLAAston Villa won five away games in the Barclays Premier League last season, including the 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park. Yet they beat AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on the season’s opening day and must decide whether to give a first start to new striker Rudy Gestede. Palace miss Fraizer Campbell while Villa are without Gary Gardner, Chris Herd and Jack Grealish.LEICESTER VS TOTTENHAMLeicester City have a 100 per cent record from two games, their best start to a top-flight season for 88 years. A third win would represent their best ever start at this level. Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, have yet to win this season but they have beaten Leicester on their last two visits.NORWICH CITYVS STOKE CITYNorwich have never lost at home to the Potters in the Barclays Premier League, winning one and drawing two. Stoke last won at Carrow Road in March 2008, in the Championship, while they have never won there in the top flight, in 24 attempts. Overall, Stoke have won just three, lost 12 and drawn nine.SUNDERLAND VS SWANSEA CITYSunderland failed to win in their last three Barclays Premier League last term and have started as they finished, losing both games and conceding seven goals in the process – their worst top-flight start for 10 years, when they lost their first five. Swansea have failed to score in three of their four Premier League visits to the Stadium of Light.WEST HAM VS BOURNEMOUTHIn five games in all competitions Bournemouth have never beaten West Ham, drawing two and losing three. Three home games have seen the Hammers win all three and scoring nine goals. Bournemouth have lost their first two in the Barclays Premier League, their worst start at any level since 2001. They last lost their first three in 1994 (they actually lost their first seven in the old Second Division).WATFORD VS SOUTHAMPTONOver recent years these teams have been more used to meeting in the lower leagues; this is their first clash in the Premier League since April 2000 when Saints won 2-0 at home, while Watford, who have opened this Barclays Premier League season with successive draws, won 3-2 at Vicarage Road that season.last_img read more

N. Ireland under joint rule

first_img“I believe we are starting on a road to bring us back to peace and prosperity,” he added. For all the oratory, the precise moment when former sworn enemies agreed to work together passed in an almost humdrum exchange of formalities. “I affirm the terms of the pledge of office as set out in Section 4 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998,” Paisley said as he was sworn in as first minister, referring to the legislation that established the power-sharing authority. McGuinness echoed the pledge a few seconds later to become Paisley’s deputy. Yet, as they shook hands in a crowd of dignitaries and supporters, there was no sign of them shaking hands with each other. The events on Tuesday at the Stormont Parliament building – once an emblem of Protestant hegemony in Northern Ireland – ended direct rule from London, which was reinstated in October 2002, after the Belfast authority was suspended in a dispute over allegations of espionage by the Irish Republican Army. The proceedings were dominated by two parties – the republicans of Sinn Fein, seeking a united Ireland, and the Democratic Unionist Party, which wants continued union with Britain – that were once seen as bitter adversaries. Paisley and McGuinness reiterated their commitment to their divergent visions of Ireland’s future. BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Paying tribute on Tuesday to the thousands of victims in one of Europe’s bloodiest sectarian conflicts, the leaders of Northern Ireland drew a formal line under decades of hostility and strife, re-establishing a power-sharing local authority of once implacable foes. Watched by dignitaries from Britain, Ireland, the United States and elsewhere, the Rev. Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionists, the dominant party among Northern Ireland’s Protestants, and Martin McGuinness, of the republican and mainly Catholic Sinn Fein party, were sworn in as leader and deputy leader, respectively, of the Northern Ireland executive government. “Today, we will witness not hype but history,” McGuinness said. Paisley, once the most strident voice of Protestant opposition to peace efforts, told reporters, “While this is a sad day for all the innocent victims of all the Troubles, yet it is a special day because we are making a new beginning.” The agreement to share power, struck in late March, followed years of negotiations in which the IRA, affiliated with Sinn Fein, abandoned its armed struggle and said it would embrace politics. Paisley dropped his refusal to share power with his republican foes. Peter Hain, Britain’s Northern Ireland minister, said the deal to restore local government “is going to stick” because “these are the two most polarized forces in Northern Ireland’s politics; they have done the deal.” In 30 years of violence known as the Troubles, more than 3,700 people died in sectarian fighting and conflict with the British Army in Northern Ireland that sometimes spilled into England in bomb attacks. Since cease-fires in the 1990s, successive British governments have struggled to cement the peace, enshrined in the 1998 Good Friday agreement. “It’s a day that no one thought ever to see, Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party in government with Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein,” said Sydney Elliott, a professor of politics at Queen’s University here. “They have a big program of work ahead. A lot of things were neglected over the years of the conflict. There is a lot of pent-up energy here in society to make things work.” Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and his Irish counterpart, Bertie Ahern, attended the ceremony, each pursuing political goals. Blair is expected to announce this week that he will step down in June or early July and is seeking to build a legacy of achievement. “Look back, and we see centuries marked by conflict, hardship, even hatred among the people of these islands,” he said in a speech beside Paisley, McGuinness and Ahern. “Look forward, and we see the chance to shake off those heavy chains of history.” Ahern hailed Blair as the driving force behind the Northern Ireland peace effort and declared: “We cannot undo our sad and turbulent past. And none of us can forget the many victims of the Troubles. But we can, and are, shaping our future in a new and better way.” Ahern is seeking a third term in Irish elections on May 24; Sinn Fein is challenging his party. The combination of Paisley as first minister with McGuinness as his deputy offered a once-unthinkable constellation of personalities. Paisley long accused McGuinness of being an IRA “terrorist” and acquired the nickname “Dr. No” for his rejection of the Good Friday agreement and cooperation with his adversaries. The deal between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party followed elections in March that enabled both to say they had a mandate to strike a deal. In chance conversations on the streets of Belfast, Protestants seemed to have more misgivings than did Catholics. Joan McCoubrey, 70, a Catholic retiree who lost a brother in 1971 early in the conflict, said, “I don’t want my grandchildren to go through what I went through.” Isabelle Fagan, 81, said, “We have all suffered, and I think it will work out.” Deborah Harbinson, 48, a Protestant homemaker, had doubts. “There are still a lot of problems left to be tackled,” she said. “There’s still hidden violence and division and few job opportunities.” The United States played an important role at various stages in the Northern Ireland negotiations. President Clinton made three visits to Northern Ireland, and President Bush came here in 2003. In 2005, however, Bush and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., snubbed Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA’s political arm, when he visited Washington to register distaste at the killing of Robert McCartney, a Northern Ireland Catholic, by a group including IRA members. “Northern Ireland has shown the world that peace is possible, even in the face of tragic history,” Kennedy said in a statement after he attended the ceremony as part of an American delegation.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Waste Connections debuts naturalgasfueled trucks

first_imgNormally, buying four new yard debris trucks isn’t cause for celebration at Waste Connections Inc.Normally, those trucks don’t run without a drop of diesel fuel. But the latest additions are something different — the vehicles rolled out locally last month are fueled by the county’s first compressed natural gas fueling station.Waste Connections officials and local leaders dedicated one of the new trucks Thursday at the company’s hauling facility in the Five Corners area off Northeast 94th Avenue. As the specially equipped truck started up next to the fueling station, the gathering took note of one benefit some residents may have noticed already during their morning pick-up.“They’re quieter,” said Chris Thomas, Waste Connections’ district manager. “They’re noticeably quieter.”The company has a nationwide system of compressed natural gas infrastructure, but the program had never reached Clark County until now. The new station draws from an existing gas line in the ground, then sends the gas through an on-site compressor. The fuel is then pumped into the trucks, usually through a slower overnight fueling process.The trucks look slightly different than the rest of the fleet. The fuel tank is positioned on top of the vehicle, each able to power the truck with the equivalent of 75 gallons of diesel fuel. The cheaper cost of natural gas is one of the key factors contributing to the technology’s popularity, said Tim Hurst, a regional sales manager with manufacturer Labrie Enviroquip Group.Just a few years ago, compressed natural gas trucks accounted for about 5 to 10 percent of Labrie’s business, Hurst said. Now it’s closer to 25 percent.last_img read more