South Africa’s rand largely flat, bonds extend losses

Photo illustration of South African bank notes displayed next to the American dollar notes in JohannesburgSouth Africa's rand was stable against the dollar early on Tuesday and was expected trade in a narrow range for most of the session given a dearth of market moving data. Government bonds extended recent gains, pushing yields to their highest in nearly 2 weeks, in line with U.S. Treasuries after higher than expected factory data stoked rate hike expectations in the world's largest economy. "The rand will continue trading in a narrow range as participants wait on the sidelines ahead of the Germany factory order release on Thursday and the all-important U.S. employment report on Friday," Barclays Africa said in a note. "A move above 8.13 percent could cause another bout of price weakness and the medium term objective of 8.5 percent could become a reality sooner rather than later," Standard Bank trader Warrick Butler said.

Obama tells Letterman: we must let young people of colour know that their lives matter – video

The US president, Barack Obama, has spoken about the Baltimore riots on the Late Show with David Letterman, saying the government must address pockets of poverty ‘all across this country’. Obama said it was important to ‘send a message to young people of colour’ that the government will invest in them before the ‘crisis’ happens, acknowledging that police are ‘put in a really tough spot’ Continue reading…

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Breaking Down Aaron Ramsey’s Performance in Arsenal’s Game vs. Hull City

Technically, Aaron Ramsey was playing out of position in Arsenal’s Premier League win over Hull City. It didn’t show, as the Wales international scored a goal to cap an excellent 67-minute display. 

Since coming back in to the team, Ramsey has been forced to play wide on the right-hand side of Arsenal’s midfield. The unusual deployment is necessitated by the form of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil in the middle of the park. Arsene Wenger seems to view that pair as the creative hub of the team, and everyone else has to be accommodated around them.

Playing wide is not entirely unfamiliar to Ramsey, but it’s something he hasn’t enjoyed in the past. His best performances have almost all come as a central midfielder, and it was playing in that role that earned him the title of Arsenal’s Player of the Year last season.

His natural inclination is to drive infield and that can occasionally prove problematic. When Arsenal came up against Reading’s packed defence in the FA Cup semi-final, they looked too narrow on that right flank. Mathieu Debuchy was playing behind Ramsey at full-back, and having just returned from injury, he seemed to lack the stamina required to provide an overlap. 

Against Hull, there were no such problems. The presence of Hector Bellerin at right-back meant Arsenal always had someone willing to occupy the touchline on that side. As a consequence, Ramsey flourished. 

His heat map shows how often he drifted infield to pick up possession in the centre:

However, a look at Bellerin’s areas of involvement demonstrate the way he utilises the space Ramsey avoids:

The advantage of having Ramsey shift in to the centre is that he is able to capitalise on his movement and anticipation to offer a persistent goal threat. On three occasions, he burst in to the penalty area to get off a shot at goal.

In the first half, he was picked out by Santi Cazorla before executing a wonderful turn and firing a deflected shot beyond Steve Harper. Ramsey has now scored four times in his last eight appearances. The goalscoring knack that accompanied his outstanding form of last year is beginning to return. In the second half, he almost added another but a toe-poked effort from just inside the box rolled agonisingly wide.

There was more to Ramsey’s game than the goal. He also showed real consistency in his passing, finding the target on 89 percent of occasions—higher than his season average of 85 percent. 

Ramsey might be more comfortable in the middle but it’s clear he’s capable of doing a very effective job for Arsenal out wide.

In some respects, his performances there are reminiscent of Freddie Ljungberg’s. Ljungberg regarded himself as a central player, but Arsene Wenger recognised that by playing him wide the Swede could use his brilliant movement to evade markers in the centre. The result was an excellent partnership between Dennis Bergkamp, the arch-creator, and Ljungberg the predator. 

Ramsey has the potential to do a similar job for Arsenal, with Mesut Ozil and Cazorla the possible successors to Bergkamp’s visionary role. Ramsey on the right is something we may be seeing more of in future.


All stats via Squawka

James McNicholas is Bleacher Report’s lead Arsenal correspondent and is following the club from a London base throughout the 2014-15 season. Follow him on Twitter here.

Cruz hits 14th HR, Hernandez pitches Mariners past Angels (Yahoo Sports)

Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz, left, celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels as Logan Morrison walks up to bat during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 4, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. Morrison also hit a solo home run in the inning. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Nelson Cruz and Felix Hernandez are both off to a scintillating start, and that combination was too much for the Los Angeles Angels to overcome. Cruz hit his major league-leading 14th home run hours after being selected AL Player of the Month for April, and Hernandez won his fifth straight decision to begin the season as the Seattle Mariners beat the defending AL West champions 3-2 on Monday night. Cruz hit a leadoff shot against Matt Shoemaker that snapped a scoreless tie in the seventh. It came in the Mariners’ 26th game, tying Cruz with four other players for the most homers at that stage of a season.

Microsoft makes Office 2016 Preview available for download

Microsoft launched Office 2016 Preview and you can get your hands on it now


Microsoft today launched Office 2016 Preview, making it available to download for users who want to get an early look at the latest iteration of the company’s productivity suite. This new version includes several new features for home and business users, and is designed to work seamlessly across a wide range of devices, including Apple’s iPad, Mac OS X, and Android tablets.

.. Continue Reading Microsoft makes Office 2016 Preview available for download

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Sami Zayn Injury: Updates on WWE Star’s Shoulder and Return

Sami Zayn certainly made a name for himself in front of the Raw crowd Monday night, but his fantastic effort against John Cena might have come at a physical cost.


Continue for updates.

Zayn Injured in Match with Cena

Tuesday, May 5

According to, Zayn suffered a shoulder injury in pursuit of Cena’s United States Championship. The former NXT champion will have an MRI to determine what, if any, damage was caused.

As usual, Cena issued his open challenge for the U.S. title. That brought out Bret Hart, who introduced Cena’s next challenger: Zayn. The two had a very good match, which the champion won with two Attitude Adjustments.

It was the perfect kind of match to introduce Zayn to any fans unfamiliar with his previous work.

Of course, the injury could stunt all of the momentum Zayn built Monday night. It would be a shame if he has to follow that great bout with a prolonged spell out of the ring. 

‘A Queen For A Day’ Starring Vincent Pastore Opens At St. Clement’s Theater

This classic mafia crime story with a twist is playing at the Theatre at St. Clements on 423 W. 46th St, New York.


Set in an abandoned warehouse in New Jersey, Michael Ricigliano Jr.’s new play, Queen for a Day, is a story about organized crime, family, loyalty, and love.  The play follows mafia member Giovanni “Nino” Cinquimani (David Proval) as he agrees to meet with prosecutor Patricia Cole (Portia) for a “queen for the day” or proffer agreement under the guidance of his lawyer, Sanford Weiss (David Deblinger).  By signing this agreement, Nino can confess anything and everything with immunity from the law.  However, Patricia Cole needs him to rat out his own brother, made man and mob boss Pasquale Cinquimani (Vincent Pastore).

Personal connection is found in this story, as it grapples with several universal themes, allowing the play to distinguish itself from other, clichéd mafia/Italian-American stories.  Nino finds internal conflict with his will to survive and his loyalties to his brother, to his family/co-workers, and to his integrity.  He also struggles with what “family” really means and how his childhood memories and experiences shaped the course of his life.  The inclusive, “family” idea of the mafia is also challenged in this play by exposing the bigoted nature of this organization.

The production itself is very simplistic and lets the story speak for itself.  The set consists of several walls representative of the warehouse, with a white door on a black downstage right wall.  A large, grimy paned window is set on the upstage left wall and is softly lit from behind.  The set’s color palate consists of varying shades of fading grays, blacks, and whites.  The lighting is also as simplistic, sparse, and very realistic.  The natural lighting shifts slightly as the play progresses, with false sunlight setting through an unseen window, communicating the passage of time as Patricia interrogates Nino.

The small ensemble cast of Queen for a Day was strong and solid. Portia’s Patricia Cole was powerful, in command, and a formidable force on stage.  She had an extremely clear voice and it demanded your attention.  David Deblinger’s Sanford Weiss was very entertaining and fleshed out.  Watching David Proval and Vincent Pastore work together was extremely exciting as an audience member.  They both played off of each other well and embodied gangsters expertly.

Overall, Queen for a Day was a solid production.  Ricigliano Jr.’s writing was very tight and well done, and while it felt drawn-out and predictable at times, his plot twists were surprising while still being realistic to the world and plot he created.  It’s definitely a production worth seeing, regardless of whether or not you’re a Sopranos fan.

Photos Credit: Russ Rowland

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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