Ki … Another day, another definitive, superlative, because-I-said-so appraisal of the undefeated, untied and untested 2-0 49ers.Earlier this week, 49ers icon Jerry Rice declared his former team had a great chance of winning the Super Bowl.On Thursday Ryan Clark checked in with what you might consider a divergent viewpoint.“They are pretending,” Clark said on ESPN’s “NFL Live.” “They are faking us out. They are imitators, whatever you want to say. They are not the real deal at 2-0.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Bayer and Monsanto today announced that they signed a definitive merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for a whopping $66 billion.That number combines $128 per Monsanto share (putting the St. Louis-based company’s equity at about $56 billion) and roughly $10 billion in debt Bayer is taking on with the merger. The next hurtle will be getting the massive deal approved by regulators, which some experts feel will not happen. If regulators prevent the deal, Bayer must to pay $2 billion to Monsanto.Monsanto’s Board of Directors, Bayer’s Board of Management and Bayer’s Supervisory Board have unanimously approved the agreement.“Today’s announcement is a testament to everything we’ve achieved and the value that we have created for our stakeholders at Monsanto. We believe that this combination with Bayer represents the most compelling value for our shareowners, with the most certainty through the all-cash consideration,” said Hugh Grant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto.Based on Monsanto’s closing share price on May 9, 2016, the day before Bayer’s first written proposal to Monsanto, the offer represents a premium of 44% to that price.“We are pleased to announce the combination of our two great organizations. This represents a major step forward for our Crop Science business and reinforces Bayer’s leadership position as a global innovation driven Life Science company with leadership positions in its core segments, delivering substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large,” said Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG.In a combined press statement Bayer and Monsanto said the transaction brings together two different, but highly complementary businesses. The combined business will benefit from Monsanto’s leadership in Seeds & Traits and Climate Corporation platform along with Bayer’s broad Crop Protection product line across a comprehensive range of indications and crops in all key geographies. As a result, they say farmers will benefit from a broad set of solutions to meet their current and future needs, including enhanced solutions in seeds and traits, digital agriculture, and crop protection.The combination also brings together both companies’ leading innovation capabilities and R&D technology platforms. Over the mid to long-term, the combined business will be able to accelerate innovation and provide customers with enhanced solutions and an optimized product suite based on analytical agronomic insight supported by Digital Farming applications.“The agriculture industry is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to feed an additional 3 billion people in the world by 2050 in an environmentally sustainable way. It has been both companies’ belief that this challenge requires a new approach that more systematically integrates expertise across Seeds, Traits and Crop Protection including Biologicals with a deep commitment to innovation and sustainable agriculture practices,” said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and head of the Crop Science Division.The combined agriculture business will have its global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, its global Crop Protection and overall Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, and an important presence in Durham, North Carolina, as well as many other locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. The Digital Farming activities for the combined business will be based in San Francisco, California.“This combination is a great opportunity for employees, who will be at the forefront of innovation in our sector. This transaction also enhances Bayer’s strong commitment to the U.S., building on our 150-year history with operations across 25 states employing more than 12,000 people in the country. I am convinced that Monsanto will flourish as part of one of the most respected and trusted companies in the world,” Baumann said.There are, of course, significant concerns with a merger of this size in the agricultural industry. The National Corn Growers is taking a closer look at the potential ramifications of the merger.“The National Corn Growers Association is committed to protecting the best interests of our nation’s corn farmers. Our primary concern with respect to any merger is how it may affect input costs — particularly given the current farm economy. With respect to a previously announced merger, we completed a thorough analysis that informed the comments and information we provided to the U.S. Department of Justice during their investigation into the merger,” said Chip Bowling, Maryland farmer and president of the NCGA. “We would anticipate following a similar path with respect to this merger so that we can truly understand the merger’s impact on agricultural research, innovation, and competitive pricing of farm inputs.”John Colley is a professor at the United Kingdom-based Warwick Business School in the Strategy & International Business group who researches large takeovers. He said mergers such as this potentially create a number of challenges.“Apart from Monsanto’s shareholders, who have hit the jackpot, this looks like a lose-lose bid. Bayer has been forced into paying too much and face major integration and competition authority risks,” Colley said. “By the time the competition authorities have finished with their demands Bayer may regret setting a German record. The farmers will lose out as product ranges are rationalized and attempts are made to increase prices. Bayer may have won the bid now, but could regret the move at their leisure. Bayer CEO Werner Baumann may be cursing his luck. Bayer’s shareholders may be cursing him.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal in contact with Man Utd midfielder Andreas Pereiraby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal are in contact with Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira.UOL reports Pereira is considering an offer to join Arsenal.The young midfielder is a target for Unai Emery and could move in the January window. Pereira is off contract in June.The Gunners’ transfer supremo Sven Mislintat sees Pereira as an ideal addition.The fee is likely to be an initial £10m but may rise to double that with performance-related add-ons.
The human brain appears to be “hardwired” for laziness, that’s according to new research from the University of British Columbia. According to the study, the researchers recruited young adults, sat them in front of a computer and gave them control of an on-screen avatar. Small images were flashed one at a time that either depicted physical activity or physical inactivity, the subjects then had to move their avatars quickly to the image. They used electrodes and discovered participants were faster at moving towards pictures of activity but it also required their brains to work harder. “What public policy has tried to re-enforce right now is the intention to be physically active but if you don’t work on the other part, the automatic part, that prevents you to be so due to automatic processes in the brain you won’t serve the program,” researcher Matthieu Boisgontier said.Boisgontier added the question now is whether people’s brains can be re-trained.
South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) pressures the quarterback during a game against Arkansas Oct. 12 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. South Carolina won, 52-7.Credit: Courtesy of MCTOne of the most debated topics in college sports this year has been the saga of South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Year has the stats, athletic measurements and all-around beastliness made him almost a unanimous consideration for the Heisman Trophy, and a sure top 3 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.The only problem is, Clowney’s play (or lack thereof) has himself on the outside looking in. He only has two sacks this season, well off the pace he had last season, when he finished with 13. More notably, he recently held himself out of a game against Kentucky with a rib strain, causing a ton of controversy.Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier initially expressed a lot of displeasure with Clowney sitting out a game with an injury that most players play through, and hinted that Clowney has been taking plays off this season. Later, however, Spurrier retracted this sentiment, praising Clowney for all that he has already done for the program.What this brings us back to is the endless debate of how much an unpaid college athlete should leave out on the field, when millions of dollars from a top NFL draft pick are right on the horizon.One side of the argument might say star college athletes’ only inspiration for playing is to prove their values to professional teams (and, of course, that whole education thing, but since when was that ever the interest of anybody?) and improve their stock in the draft. However, how can an NFL team trust your work ethic and want to draft you if you aren’t showing the competitive desire to play?If Clowney plays and gets hurt, his draft stock goes kaput. After all, it was just last season that the Gamecock star saw his former teammate, then-junior running back Marcus Lattimore, suffer a horrifying knee injury and drop millions of dollars in draft position. However, if he stays on the sidelines, or plays with reduced effort, he gives off the vibe he is a me-only guy, someone who does not have the best interest of his team.My solution: The NCAA has to either pay athletes based on the revenue they generate or rework its insurance policy. Currently, the only way you get any compensation for a terrible injury is if it ends your career. By these rules, Lattimore, who will never be the same explosive player he once was, and potentially not make as much money, still is not entitled to a settlement because he was still able to work toward a professional career after going through rehab. If Clowney were to suffer an injury that would be so terrible he can never make it in the pros, he would receive the maximum settlement from the Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Program of $5 million, compared to the average $21.2 million contract the top three picks signed in 2012.With college athletes not getting paid and not having much in the form of insurance, final years like Clowney’s are going to become increasingly common. Players will be looking ahead to the NFL, making their primary concern keeping themselves in one piece. College games will lose grit and passion, as the players become more and more complacent.Can you really blame a top prospect for sitting out games, either? Redshirt-junior Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby has taken himself out of the first round in many mock drafts with his underwhelming performance this season. Last year, former USC quarterback Matt Barkley chose to stay for his senior year, because he likely would have been drafted behind two of the biggest quarterback prospects in a decade. He ended up being taken in the fourth round of one of the weakest quarterback drafts in some time because of his poor senior year.Clowney’s cautious performance is a sign of things to come for any players with an inevitable NFL future, as long as their only hope to make a living out of the sport they built their life around is to make it through their college years unscathed. It’s hard to be a fan of this attitude, and I’m sure NFL teams aren’t either, but college athletes are here for the same reason every student is: to build necessary career skills and make your way into the professional circuit. If they have to play it safe in order to make a living later, that is what many will choose to do.And, to be honest, I cannot blame them at all for that.
Redshirt-sophomore outside hitter T.J. Read hits the ball during a game against Grand Canyon Feb. 21 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0. Credit: Jonathan McAllister / Lantern photographerFor the Ohio State men’s volleyball team, the stakes are high this weekend.The team is hoping to get out of its four-match slump as it seeks revenge against No. 12 Ball State, which defeated the Buckeyes earlier this season.The Buckeyes are set to travel to Muncie, Ind., to take on the Cardinals for the second time this season, this Sunday at 4 p.m.The last meeting for the Buckeyes and the Cardinals ended in a 3-1 loss for OSU at St. John Arena in February. Coach Pete Hanson said the team is preparing for an even harder match against Ball State this weekend.“Ball State is on a roll right now. They are in their home court and they beat us the last match, so this is going to be another tough match for us,” he said.Ball State is currently 15-5 for the season, and just won its eighth consecutive match against Harvard on Sunday.“It is going to be an uphill battle,” Hanson said.The Buckeyes fell to Harvard Tuesday, making that their fourth consecutive loss of the season and putting their record at 8-12.Redshirt-freshman outside hitter Alex Judkins said the most important thing the team is working on in preparation for Ball State is its offense.“We will be doing a lot of serving and passing during practice, after what we saw in our match against Harvard,” he said.Freshman setter Christy Blough said the main thing the Buckeyes have to work on is teamwork, which has been their focus during practice over the past weeks.“We need to play more as a team for our match against Ball State. We played individually in the beginning during the Harvard match and I think that is what really hurt us,” he said.Hanson said although the team is starting to improve in certain areas, there are still many aspects of the game that need to become better.“We are continuing to work on the same things, which is serve/receive, being strong with our attacking and trying to get better with our block and defense. All phases of the game need to become better. It’s not one big thing that has to improve; it is a little bit of everything,” he said.
Sophomore punter Cameron Johnston (95) and freshman kicker Sean Nuernberger (96) walk off the field during a game against Maryland on Oct. 4 in College Park, Md. OSU won, 52-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorDuring the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State, Buckeye fans knew what to expect: a largely conservative offense with an emphasis on special teams.One of those things remains true under third-year OSU coach Urban Meyer. Following an Oct. 4. win over Maryland, in which the Buckeyes held the explosive Terrapin return game to just 12.7 yards per kickoff return, Meyer was ecstatic about his special teams unit.“That kickoff team, those are my guys. I might put them in first-class on the flight home. I have so much respect for those guys,” Meyer said after the game. “I love their demeanor and how they answer challenges. I was very impressed with our coverage units.”Not only did the Buckeye kickoff team shut down the Terrapins, the punt team, despite only seeing the field twice, did not allow Maryland to attempt a return. In fact, one of those punts — a 69-yard boot from sophomore punter Cameron Johnston — pinned Maryland inside its own 10-yard line. OSU redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee picked off Maryland redshirt-senior quarterback C.J. Brown on the first play of the ensuing drive, eventually leading to a Buckeye score. Johnston said seeing his teammates capitalize on the exceptional special teams play is always enjoyable.“It was nice to be able to get it down there and then Darron (was) able to take that.” Johnston said. “It definitely feels good.”Junior linebacker and special teams specialist Craig Fada said Wednesday that the special teams units get a lot of attention in practice.“We work on special teams countless periods every day in practice and it’s just a way for us to change the game,” Fada said. “It’s a way for us to have our defense in a better position, our offense in a better position, just to help all around.”He added that playing special teams for the Buckeyes is another way for younger players or unproven players to show the coaches they are deserving of more playing time. “We put a big emphasis on special teams and it gives younger guys a place to make an impact on the game,” he said. “And all the younger guys always want to get on those, and even the guys that aren’t fully equipped to get on defense yet want to get onto special teams, and that’s just a way to help.”During last Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference, Meyer mentioned one specific player whose play on special teams has kept him in a scarlet and gray uniform. Redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn, who has seen limited time on offense this season, saved his Buckeye career on special teams, Meyer said. “He was gone. He would not be renewed next year if he would not have made a jump on the field and off the field,” Meyer said. “He earned it, for about two, three weeks in a row in practice on scout punt rush he was our best player. (Gave) incredible effort, and he earned some playing time. He is now starting on three special teams phases and we are going to think about working him into the offense now.“What an incredible journey he has been on, and we hope it sticks.”Johnston, Fada and Dunn might not be household names in Columbus but neither were Mike Nugent, Jake McQuaide or Nate Ebner when they first entered Ohio Stadium. All three are now on NFL rosters as special teams standouts.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Rutgers on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. The homecoming kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Benevento will be, almost for sure, relegated to the Serie B but Gian Piero Gasperini could see that they have improved a lot lately and can possibly cause a lot of problems to his Atalanta.The experienced Italian knows that his team will have to put one of their best performances to be able to succeed against the last-placed Serie A team and he urged his players to remain fully-focused despite the difference between the sides.Gasperini spoke about his side’s upcoming game as he said, according to Football Italia:“There’s no such thing as a game that can be taken for granted, especially not this one, seeing as Benevento have been putting in their best performances lately.”Maurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“We need to win because we won’t go far if we keep picking up one point at a time, but we’re going to have to work for it.”“Our performance against Inter was very strong, especially the first half, but if you don’t score goals then you don’t win games. This is the moment to grit our teeth and push forward, even if we’re missing a few players.”“We are still in the running for a Europa League place and the other results at the weekend also kept everything in the balance. We aren’t at the final hurdle yet, but we can see the finish line.”
A former football coach George Ormond, who assisted in setting up the youth side of Newcastle United’s youth has been found guilty and convicted of sexually abusing young players for almost 25 years.Ormond was found guilty of 35 charges of indecent assault and one of indecency but was only cleared of one charge relating to an older Newcastle United player, according to Sky Sports.Ormond was remanded in custody and will be sentenced later this week since hasn’t given any visible reaction for his actions.“For over two decades, George Ormond abused young men and boys while working in the youth football scene in the North East of England,” Gary Buckley from the CPS said.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“To many of his victims he was a figure of authority, trust and influence.“Instead of nurturing and supporting them, he exploited his role to subject them to sexual abuse.”
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini has faced off against numerous amounts of world-class strikers across his playing career and rates Mauro Icardi as one of the bestThe Inter Milan star is one of the most highly-regarded forwards in European football right now and has been frequently linked with a move to Real Madrid.In total, Icardi has scored 119 goals in 200 appearances for Inter and has found the net against Juventus eight times since arriving at Italy in 2011.And Chiellini has nothing but respect for Icardi, who he rates as the most deadliest striker in the penalty area behind team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.“In my opinion, Icardi is the second best striker in the penalty box who I’ve ever marked,” Chiellini told DAZN, via Football-Italia.“He chips away at you mentally, in the sense that you have to be concentrated all the time. I’ve only encountered one who is worse for that, but he’s playing with me this year!”The Italian defender then gave his take on the downside of Juventus’ campaign this season.Gasperini reveals why he rejected Inter Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has revealed why he rejected Internazionale Milan’s job proposal over the summer transfer window.Massimiliano Allegri’s side finished top of Group H in the Champions League on Wednesday night, despite losing 2-1 to BSC Young Boys in their final game, and already lead the Serie A by eight points from nearest challengers Napoli.But Chiellini highlighted October’s 1-1 home draw with Genoa and their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United last month as low points in their season.“There are some, like that draw we had with Genoa. Those were definitely two points dropped, and with all due respect for Genoa we can’t afford to drop points to them at home,” said Chiellini.“We’ve also been at 1-0 close to the end too many times. It’s almost always been fine because of our attitude, but against Manchester United we paid for it with interest.“I’d say 1-0 is a perfect result up until about 60 minutes, then you need to get the second and manage things better.“Not conceding gives you confidence for the next games, but having a little cushion means you expend less physical and mental energy.”