Kevin Cassidy believes the current crop of Tyrone stars have to do what Donegal did in 2011 – and that is to slay the dragon that has dominated Ulster football. In 2011, Donegal faced Tyrone in an Ulster SFC semi-final, the odds were stacked against them. Tyrone were an experienced dominant force, that had won numerous Ulster titles and three All-Ireland titles.However, under the tutelage of Jim McGuinness, they made the breakthrough and went on to land their first Ulster title in 19 years.Cassidy said that psychological breakthrough was huge, and Donegal kicked on to win the All-Ireland the following year.Since that semi-final in 2011, Donegal have contested every single Ulster final, winning titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – and have been the dominant force in Ulster. Former star Cassidy feels there are many similarities between that Donegal team of 2011 and this current Tyrone team.In his column with the Gaelic Life, Cassidy wrote, “In 2011, we trained like animals all year, and every night at training the word Tyrone would be mentioned at least three times.“Are we training as hard as Tyrone? Can we beat Tyrone? How can we beat Tyrone?“In a way we were obsessed with them, but we had to be to be in with any chance of defeating them.“Tyrone were top dogs at the time, and they had this air of invincibility about them, so once we breached that the sky was the limit for us, which is exactly where that team went in 2012.“This young Tyrone team reminds me of us back then, they are fresh, hungry and probably sick to the teeth of watching Donegal succeed while they sit at home twiddling those thumbs. “Like 2011, the time has now come for them to back up their talk, the Donegal dragon will enter the Clones arena so it’s up to to this young Tyrone team to slay it.“There is very little between the sides, and a lucky bounce of a ball could decide it, but I fancy Donegal to sneak it by two.”“IT’S TIME FOR TYRONE TO SLAY THE DONEGAL DRAGON” – KEVIN CASSIDY was last modified: July 14th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:donegalGAAKevin CassidynewsSportTyroneUlster SFC Final
By Alejandra Arredondo/Voice of America (VOA)Edited by Diálogo Staff August 31, 2020 Venezuela is now less prepared for free and fair elections than it was in 2018, when the results of the presidential elections were rejected by more than two dozen countries, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams said on July 28.“The conditions for free and fair elections are actually much worse today than they were in May 2018, when [Nicolás] Maduro held the presidential elections,” Abrams said in a phone press conference.The Nicolás Maduro regime has called for new parliamentary elections for December 6, 2020, a measure that the opposition has criticized as another attempt to squelch their political representation.Civil rights groups have denounced the elections, which seek to renew the opposition-controlled National Assembly, as designed to favor the ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV, in Spanish).“The parliamentary elections in December are already rigged,” Abrams said, as he pointed to the National Electoral Council (CNE, in Spanish), an institution under government control designed to regulate elections and whose members were appointed by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ, in Spanish).“The CNE […] is supposed to be an independent body […], however, the TSJ stopped negotiations to elect the members and appointed them itself,” Abrams said.U.S. in contact with Norway about VenezuelaThe diplomat also spoke about the visit of Norwegian government representatives, who have attempted to mediate a solution to Venezuela’s crisis. Abrams said that the United States is in contact with Norway and that he has spoken with some Norwegian diplomats.“As for the Norwegians, we are, of course, in contact with Norway, and I’ve spoken to Norwegian diplomats since the return of the group that was in Caracas — a difficult trip for them if you think about it, from Oslo to Caracas in a time of COVID,” he said.“I can’t say that I feel particularly optimistic about this trip, because it seems that the regime has already made up its mind […]; it seems to want to go forward with this phony election,” the U.S. official said.Venezuela and North KoreaThe United Nations (U.N.) warned Maduro that the military agreement with North Korea would violate Security Council regulations. U.N. investigators discovered that Diosdado Cabello himself signed that agreement.In this respect, Abrams said that a violation of U.N. sanctions is potentially serious for the Maduro regime, because many countries would be willing to impose sanctions, although they have not yet done so individually.“It also shows, again, the nature of this regime. We’ve seen recently the regime begin to build its relationship with Iran. Iran, Venezuela, a pair of pariah states. Iran and North Korea now — North Korea and Venezuela. And I think one of the other impacts, besides the potential sanctions themselves, is reminding countries worldwide about the nature of this regime and the partners that it seeks worldwide,” Abrams said.
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He said interest rates were unlikely to increase to the level of past decades, but could climb to 1.5% or 2%. The main interest rate for the euro-zone has been 0% since March 2016.Tuch said almost 80% of German government bonds and more than 60% of Dutch government bonds traded against a negative rate. He added that he didn’t expect a profit could be made on government paper during “the coming years”, and argued that Germany’s low interest rate was “simply unsustainable”.The average duration of government bonds was increasing, Tuch added, with some governments issuing paper with an extremely long duration – sometimes 100 years.“Most pension funds will be exposed to this development through their index portfolio,” he added.According to Tuch, interest rates on credit and high yield bonds were also at historic lows, with owners also not prepared for a rate increase.In his opinion, pension funds should consider replacing their liquid bonds with illiquid fixed income investments.“These aren’t bought by the ECB, have a lower bubble potential, and deliver extra returns,” he argued.Tuch cited residential mortgages as an alternative, “as they produce considerably better returns than Dutch government bonds against an acceptable risk-return ratio”.Illiquid corporate loans as well as loans with a government guarantee would also be an alternative to government bonds, he said.Aegon was anticipating the ECB’s policy by going short on Italian interest-rate derivatives and regularly taking profits, Tuch said.Aegon had also cautiously switched to an underweight duration for government bonds, relative to the benchmark. He recommended pension funds follow this example and cash in when interest rates rise.Tuch also suggested that pension funds revise their interest rate hedges, arguing that central clearing of derivatives – as required by EMIR regulations – had “important advantages” relative to bilateral swaps. He said that Aegon AM had already fully switched to central clearing. However, he didn’t elaborate on the advantages.The last time the ECB raised its main interest rate was in 2011, when the rate increased by 25 basis points in April and July, reaching 1.5%. However, it was forced to reverse this move by the end of the year as several euro-zone economies struggled to pay off debt. Pension funds should start considering the impact of an interest rate rise and instruct their asset managers to make adjustments, according to Aegon Asset Management.Without changes, interest rate increases would cause considerable damage to schemes’ portfolios of euro-denominated government bonds, warned Hendrik Tuch, head of interest and money markets at Aegon AM.Speaking at the annual congress of IPE’s Dutch sister publication PensioenPro in Amsterdam last week, he said rates were likely to rise as a consequence of the European Central Bank (ECB) reducing its quantitative easing policy.According to Tuch, Aegon AM expected that the ECB would signal its intentions after the summer. Government bond yields would rise later this year as a result.