Dollar creeps higher as virus worries return

first_imgThe US currency rose most against the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars, gaining about 0.5 percent on each to sit at $0.6142 per Aussie and $0.5951 per kiwi .”Risk aversion and the US dollar are going hand in hand,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney.”Improvement has been based on less-bad statistics coming out of various parts of the world…but our view is that markets are going to remain choppy – we can’t expect an uninterrupted flow of singularly good or singularly bad news.”The dollar edged 0.1 percent lower to 108.55 yen. It rose a fraction against the British pound to $1.2321 and euro to $1.0878. The Aussie was also knocked by ratings agency S&P downgrading the outlook on the sovereign AAA rating from stable to negative.New York overnight reported 731 fatalities from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, the sharpest single-day spike, but state Governor Andrew Cuomo drew hope from an apparent levelling off in the number of hospitalisations.Across the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has the illness, is in intensive care for a second night although his condition is stable.Elsewhere in Europe, Spain’s daily toll of coronavirus deaths rose for the first time in five days, but officials there and across the continent pushed forward with plans to begin lifting some lockdown measures soon.In Asia, the dollar rose 0.5 percent against the Korean won and lifted from a three-week low against the Chinese yuan – rising 0.1 percent to 7.0730 yuan in offshore trade.Investors are keenly watching as lockdowns lift in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the pandemic, for clues as to how the rest of the world may fare when the worst has passed.Authorities are walking a fine line between allowing greater freedom of movement and preventing a second wave of infection, with particular concern people who show no symptoms but can still pass on the virus.Later on Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve releases minutes from its emergency meeting last month, which may include more commentary on the depth of the economic contraction that looms.”While the virus’ curve is flattening, the economic effects of the corona crisis will linger for years,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Joe Capurso.”Economies will take time to re-open, some businesses will not re-open, and unemployment will take years to (recover). We think that means the dollar and yen will re-strengthen.”Topics : The dollar found a footing on Wednesday as investors returned to safe-havens, unwinding some risk currency gains made on hopes the coronavirus crisis in Europe and New York was slowing.The greenback rose on most majors besides the safe-haven Japanese yen, a day after suffering its worst drop against a basket of currencies in nearly two weeks.Safe-haven gains were slight but gathered pace in morning trade as the two-day rally in Asia’s equity markets lost steam and bonds and gold firmed.last_img read more

Steve Ballmer, Clippers fixing L.A.’s neighborhood basketball courts

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error When the project is complete, basketball players throughout L.A. – as well as volleyball and badminton players, square dancers, bingo aficionados and all other visitors to these popular community spaces – might associate their favorite pastimes with the Clippers, whose logo is displayed on every court renovated with the Ballmers’ donation.“I do love those, I have to admit,” Zucker said. “The idea that at your court, where you are, your dream of perhaps one day playing in the NBA, or pursuing some other profession, when you see (the logo), I think it helps with reminding you of those dreams.”Recently, the teens and 20-somethings hustling back and forth over the center court “LAC” monogram during open gym at Jim Gilliam Recreation Center said they were thankful to everyone involved with restoring their neighborhood court. That job required replacing the faded, lumpy, twice-water-damaged surface with shiny new hardwood and new padding beneath it.“When I first saw it, all I said was, ‘Wow,’ ” Jamar Luttrell, 15, said. “And then I started playing on it, and now when you run and try to stop, you stop. You don’t slide like you used to.”It’s safer that way, but also in other ways, 22-year-old David Sharp said.“It’s good to finally get a new floor, finally give the kids a reason to come back and play in the gym,” said Sharp, who grew up playing in the Jr. Clippers youth basketball league in the facility, where he now coaches.“It’s important because I believe it keeps everybody out of trouble, keeps the smaller kids out of trouble, gives them a place to come here without having to worry about outside problems,” Sharp said. “After they come out of school, instead of going and doing something they’re not supposed to, they come in here and play, you know? Keeps ’em safe like it kept me from a lot of the outside problems that go on in just this community.”“This is a very at-risk community,” said Denise Stansell, senior recreation director, noting that just in the prior six weeks, three people had been killed in close proximity to the gym.“So to have them come inside, it’s a safe shelter, you know? It’s one way in and one way out, so if they’re gonna start some trouble, they know they’re gonna be caught.”Because the polished new surface is drawing young people inside, Stansell is serious about keeping it pristine: “No Food or Drink” signs are taped every few feet along the walls inside the gym.They guys playing pick-up games said they’re happy to honor the new rules, even to police themselves, though they’re not yet ready to switch their NBA loyalties – whether it’s to the Lakers, the Golden State Warriors or Kyrie Irving.Garcetti gets it.“As a lifelong Lakers fan, I told Steve, ‘I now root for the Clippers every single time they’re playing – except those times they’re playing the Lakers,’ ” the mayor said.Garcetti said the city has committed to the Clippers that, thanks to the team’s donation, it will be able to maintain all of the remodeled courts.“We were on a cycle, scraping together as much as we could each year,” he said. “This would’ve taken a couple of decades to do and (in the meantime) other courts would have been falling apart. So instead of us spending that money to fix 10 percent of the courts, we’ll be maintaining all of them.”Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters The gift was spurred by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of improving access to sports for children – especially girls – across the city ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games.Initially, he planned to recruit multiple donors to help finance the refurbishing of just L.A.’s indoor courts ahead of the Olympics, starting with a donation from the Annenberg Foundation to help restore gym floors at three L.A. city parks that needed it most. But the plan shifted after he reached the Clippers, who told him they wanted to fix all of L.A.’s courts.“It was a phone call from the Mayor’s office,” said Gillian Zucker, the Clippers’ president of business operations. “He called and laid out his excitement around all of the money that was being committed by the International Olympic Committee for the sake of sports programming for youth, and his belief that with that money, they were providing L.A. an opportunity to become the healthiest city in America – which was really exciting and inspiring when you have a vision that’s that big.”Especially for someone such as, say, Steve Ballmer.But before she filled in her boss, Zucker wanted to know more: How many courts, and where? Who would use them? PreviousClippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. So far, at least 140 have been completed. (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)Denise Stansell, senior recreation director of the Jim Gilliam Recreation Center, is serious about keeping the facility’s newly refurbished basketball court pristine: “No Food or Drink” signs are taped every few feet along the walls inside the gym. (Photo by Mirjam Swanson, SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsDenise Stansell, senior recreation director of the Jim Gilliam Recreation Center, is serious about keeping the facility’s newly refurbished basketball court pristine: “No Food or Drink” signs are taped every few feet along the walls inside the gym. (Photo by Mirjam Swanson, SCNG)“I do love those (Clippers logos), I have to admit,” Clippers president of business operations Gillian Zucker said of the logo that is emblazoned on all of the 140-plus courts the team has already helped refurbish in L.A. “The idea that at your court, where you are, your dream of perhaps one day playing in the NBA, or pursuing some other profession, when you see (the logo), I think it helps with reminding you of those dreams.” (Photo by Mirjam Swanson, SCNG)Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. So far, at least 140 have been completed. (Photo by Mirjam Swanson, SCNG)Clippers guard Lou Williams speaks at the ribbon cutting for one of the basketball courts the organization has renovated for the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks over the past year. So far, the work on at least 140 of the 343 that are part of the plan has been completed. (Photo by courtesy of the Clippers)Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the unveiling of one of the Clippers courts that the team has paid to refurbish. “I was blown away,” Garcetti said of the Clippers’ $10 million donation to refurbish the 300-plus public courts run by the L.A. Recreation and Parks Department. “We’ve never had such a huge commitment in such a short period of time.” (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts (indoor and outdoor) operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. So far, at least 140 have been completed. (Photo by Mirjam Swanson, SCNG)Martin Luther King Recreation Center’s coordinator Paul Nichols, left, facility director Eric Griffin, center, and recreation coordinator Haymen Gebru pose next to the facility’s new concrete basketball court, part of the project the Clippers are paying for. (Photo by Mirjam Swanson, SCNG)Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)Clippers guard Patrick Beverley works with some of the kids at the ribbon cutting for one of the basketball courts the organization has renovated for the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks over the past year. So far, the work on at least 140 of the 343 that are part of the plan has been completed. (Photo by courtesy of the Clippers)Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. So far, at least 140 have been completed. (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)NextShow Caption1 of 12Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. (Photo courtesy of the Clippers)ExpandLOS ANGELES — It’s fitting, Clippers coach Doc Rivers says, that the team with a roster full of gritty, lace-’em-up-and-go-play gamers would sponsor a program to refurbish all the public basketball courts in the city.“We call ourselves the ‘blacktop team,’ ” Rivers said. “So I think it connects that the blacktop team is refurbishing courts so kids can get outside and play on the blacktop.”With his wife, Connie, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer last year donated $10 million to the L.A. Parks Foundation for renovations at all of Los Angeles’ public basketball courts.“I met some of my best friends at the basketball court, even if they didn’t play basketball, so I feel like that’s important when it comes to growing up,” Clippers guard Patrick Beverley said. “It helps you stay out of trouble – and social media’s so big now, so getting out for a pickup game in L.A., that’s all you can ask for.” Less than a year after the project was announced, 142 courts are finished being fixed, said Kieffer, adding that all of them are expected to be completed before the stated three-year timetable is up.The organization will unveil an additional batch of “Clippers Courts” on Tuesday at the shared campus of University Pathways Public Service Academy High School (“The U”) and Charles Drew Middle School.The facilities include an updated gymnasium with a full-size indoor basketball court and more than 110,000 square feet of refurbished outdoor space, which includes 9-1/2 basketball courts, two volleyball courts, two tennis courts, two four-square courts, four handball courts, new garden space and a walking path, plus a new exterior paint job for the school gym.Garcetti said he remembers a visit from Connie and Steve Ballmer, who is reportedly valued at $41.2 billion, making him the wealthiest team owner in American sports, soon after he purchased the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014.The mayor said the Ballmers wanted to know how they might get involved in the city in a meaningful, long-term way. Still, he couldn’t have imagined such a substantial contribution.“I was blown away,” Garcetti said. “We’ve never had such a huge commitment in such a short period of time; we wanted to make sure it would get done.” In response, the Department of Recreation and Parks delivered a couple of “crazy enormous” binders, she said, detailing the status of every public court throughout the city, including all of the indoor wooden courts as well as those outdoors with asphalt or concrete surfaces.Each received an A, B or C grade determined by the amount of renovation needed, whether it was a court requiring just some sanding, repainting, sealing and staining, or one that needed to be entirely torn out and rebuilt.“We put it all together and I went over it with Steve,” Zucker said. “I said, ‘There’s a number of directions we can go. We can chip in to the level that other community members will … or we can do something disproportionate. Why don’t you take a look at the scope of this and let me know?’ ”The Ballmers took the materials with them on a flight.“And when they landed,” Zucker said, “he called me and said, ‘Let’s do them all.’ ”Connecting the dots between and youth sports opportunities and the successful pursuit of “the American Dream,” the Ballmers made a contribution last spring that will, by 2021, have covered the renovation of 343 basketball courts operated by the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks.“This is so far and away the largest corporate donation to the city in many, many years, and certainly to the Rec and Parks Department altogether,” said Judith Kieffer, co-founder, special projects for the L.A. Parks Foundation, which is coordinating the multi-stage projects around the busy schedules at each community center, from Van Nuys to Sunland to South L.A.“And it’s been seamless working with the Clippers,” Kieffer added. “They knew their niche – its basketball, obviously – and we have all the public facilities in the city, so why not? Let’s make a match.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum last_img read more

Gemma beats Ôhorrendous’ weather to retain title

first_img30 Mar 2015 Gemma beats Ôhorrendous’ weather to retain title England international Gemma Clews beat both the field and atrocious weather to retain her title in the Delamere Comboy Scratch. She scored two-over par 75 around her home course of Delamere Forest in Cheshire, to win by a stroke in what were described as “the most horrendous conditions imaginable.” The scratch event, which was started last year, should be played over 36 holes but organiser Jackie Hesketh recounted how the competition was reduced to 18 holes after two failed attempts to start the first round. “We eventually managed to get them out at the third attempt, after making it a one-round competition.” she said. “Shortly after they had all started and the rain had stopped, the wind speed got up to 40mph, the balls were moving on the greens and the gazebo for the starter on the first tee took off and landed halfway down the first fairway! “The Delamere members did a wonderful job in clearing rain from a few greens and all the competitors appreciated the effort that everyone went to and thoroughly enjoyed the course.” Clews (Image © Leaderboard Photography), who is a member of the England Golf women’s squad, was one shot clear of regional squad player Billie-Jo Smith of Lincolnshire and Surrey’s Iona Stephen. Leading scores Par 73, CSS 76 R/O 75  Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) 76  Billie-Jo Smith (Woodhall Spa); Iona Stephen (Wentworth) 77 Eloise Healey (West Lancashire) Click here for full scoreslast_img read more