A crisis has been unfurling in Darjeeling following the GJM’s call last week for an indefinite shutdown from Monday. Even as a semblance of normality seemed to return on Wednesday, the situation took a turn for the worse on Thursday.
Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta will be crucial for Spain at the World CupSpain has a surplus of talented players at nearly every position, so picking the right team will likely be Spain coach Vicente del Bosque’s biggest dilemma.The defending champions have been afforded little time to experiment with tough matches against the Netherlands and Chile before facing Australia in Group B.The team’s core is aging but still capable, while an incoming crop of young talent will offer Del Bosque further options.Here are five Spain players to watch:DIEGO COSTADiego Costa brings a new dynamic to the world champions, if coach Vicente del Bosque uses the Atletico Madrid striker correctly.The Brazilian-born Costa has chosen to play for his adopted homeland of Spain, which has not possessed a player with his qualities since it began its trophy-winning ways at the 2008 European Championship.Costa’s gritty, physical play lends better to open space and long balls compared to Spain’s short passing, possession style, with the quick-tempered striker terrorizing defenses when given space to run at them.But the tight confines of Spain’s play could limit Costa’s impact unless Del Bosque embraces his qualities and character, which will be under duress from the home fans for choosing to play for Spain.IKER CASILLASIker Casillas has been relegated to backup goalkeeper at Real Madrid, but the Spain captain has been stellar in that role by leading his club to the Copa del Rey final and deep into the knockout stages of the Champions League.No player has made as many appearances for Spain as Casillas, who will be at his eighth major championship, including four World Cups.XAVI HERNANDEZAt 34, this could surely be Xavi Hernandez’s last World Cup.Spain’s key midfield navigator has spoken about his desire to lead the team in South America, and it is hard to imagine Xavi failing to be one of the difference-makers in the tournament, especially when motivated.Much of Spain’s play is directed off his boot, and much of Spain’s success over the past six years can be attributed to his ability to set the tempo of a match.ANDRES INIESTASpain’s wealth of midfield talent is a key difference-maker for the world champions, and Andres Iniesta is a key cog in that engine.Iniesta, who scored in the 116th minute to give Spain its first World Cup title four years ago, has had a subdued season at Barcelona with occasional flashes of brilliance. But he seems to turn it on for Spain, when he normally proves to be a key player in unlocking defenses that tend to stack the area and stay behind the ball.SERGIO RAMOSOnly 27, Sergio Ramos has already made 115 appearances for the national team. And with Carles Puyol gone, the Real Madrid center back is the natural successor to lead the team from the back.While teammate Gerard Pique may be more attuned to a “sweeper” role of carrying the ball forward, Ramos has been stellar in the center of defense where his speed, size and ability to read the game means he rarely gets beat.While much of the talk of Spain’s success surrounds the midfield, the defense has not conceded a goal in the knockout stages of the past two European Championships and the World Cup – a span of 10 games.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says he will formally launch a commission to study violence in Jamaica early next year.He said the commission will be mandated to make recommendations to the Government as to what can be done to ensure that Jamaica is a more caring and loving society.He was speaking at a town hall meeting held on November 26 at the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington DC.The Prime Minister told the audience that the crime situation is one that the Government “takes very seriously”.He pointed out that the Administration has invested significantly in providing the security forces with the necessary resources to do their jobs.“We have invested in marine patrol aircraft to have surveillance of our borders to help with the interdiction of drug traffickers and gun smugglers and contraband movement through our waters,” Mr. Holness said.He further noted that the Government is undertaking a number of other measures to improve security, including the full mobilisation of the security forces in communities where crimes are being committed.“We are working very hard to address this problem, but it is not in a haphazard way. There is Plan Secure Jamaica, which is a multifaceted approach to making security a Whole-of-Government endeavour, and, indeed, we are bringing on the entire government to address the security issue, and it is working,” he added.