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Vietnam’s Communist Party leaders warn of challenges ahead

first_imgHANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Senior members of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party caution that their country faced opportunities and challenges ahead, as they began a key meeting to set the nation’s path for the next five years. Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong declared, “Globalization and global integration are on the right track, but they are met with the rise of extreme nationalism, strategic competition and trade wars.” Trong said the coronavirus pandemic compelled the world to strategically adjust policies. The National Party Congress will also be choosing the nation’s top leaders. Trong is likely to be selected for a third five-year term as the nation’s most powerful leader.last_img read more

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Two Australia states push ahead with green energy purchases

first_imgTwo Australia states push ahead with green energy purchases FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Australia’s Victoria state on Tuesday agreed to back six new wind and solar farms to help meet a target of getting 25 percent of its power from renewables by 2020, just weeks after a year-long attempt at crafting a national energy policy collapsed.The announcement came the same week as South Australia, the state most reliant on wind and solar energy, said it would invest A$100 million ($71 million) to help households buy battery storage from Germany’s sonnen, which will link the batteries into a “virtual power plant”.The two states are forging ahead on their renewable energy programs, providing some certainty to investors who have been asking the federal government for stability in the national energy policy after more than a decade of turmoil.The conservative federal government last month scrapped its National Energy Guarantee (NEG) plan – which aimed to make the grid more reliable, cut emissions and lower prices – yielding to pressure from politicians wanting more coal-fired power.The Australian Industry Group, which had been pressing the for a national policy rather than uncoordinated state policies which have led to power outages on the grid, said the new generation in Victoria will help energy users. “With national uncertainty inhibiting needed investment, even second-best options are frankly welcome,” Australia Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said in a statement.Victoria sought bids last November for 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy last November, but attracted so much interest that on Tuesday it chose projects that will deliver 928 MW of capacity at a combined cost of A$1.16 billion. The wind and solar farms will generate about 6 percent of the state’s power.More: Australia states power ahead with renewables after national policy collapseslast_img read more

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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant serves as mentor for several NBA’s young stars, role players

first_imgGeorge endlessly mimicked Bryant’s mannerisms in pick-up games, ranging from his fadeaway jumpers to his jaw strutting. Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson took similar notes, the former Santa Margarita standout often imitating Bryant’s footwork and post-ups. Of course, plenty would love to reach Bryant’s resume that entails five NBA championships, a career-high 81 points and the Lakers’ all-time leading scorer. “To get on his level is going to take a lot of work. It’s basically impossible,” Thompson said. “But he’s never afraid to take the big shot, and that’s what I’ve always tried to do.” Plenty of players have seen Bryant’s offseason regimen that has helped maintain his prolific play and longevity. NBA stars, such as James, Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Anthony Davis witnessed Bryant’s routine during different stints with Team USA in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Both Thompson and Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings attended Bryant’s summer camps years before turning pro. Bryant’s teammates, such as Young and Wesley Johnson, worked out privately with the Lakers’ star this past summer.All accounts tell the same story. Bryant’s work day started at 5:00 a.m. He worked out without any interruptions. Bryant’s approach involved repetitive drills on his footwork, shooting stroke and weight training. “For a guy to be able to do that and still get ready for practice was pretty amazing,” said Jennings, a Compton native. “That just made me want to work harder every day.” Memorable interactionsBryant proudly calls himself the “O.G. of the league,” characterizing himself as the NBA’s ambassador that imparts wisdom to any young star or role player willing to listen.“I help them, mentor them and give them advice,” Bryant said, “because I’ve pretty much seen it all.”Bryant has both exchanged text messages and talked extensively on the phone with Durant as late as 3 a.m, offering unspecified advice on how to improve his scoring and demand more out of his teammates. Bryant contacted George shortly after fracturing his right leg with USA Basketball this summer, offering sympathy and encouraging him to devote his on-court absence toward film study. Washington Wizards guard John Wall, Thompson and Young report Bryant has provided positive reinforcement by praising their play and encouraging them to stay hungry. “I always want to get better and I want to show my worth,” Young said. “Playing on a team like Kobe and him taking me under his wing has been one of the best things for me.”Yet, Bryant still unleashes his on-court intensity on the same players he mentors. In 2012, Bryant continuously jawed with Durant, Westbrook and Harden when they all played together in Oklahoma City during a regular-season game. Bryant did the same thing to Thompson during an exhibition game. “I knocked into him in the lane and he told me, ‘If I did that again, he would knock my (butt) over,” Thompson said. “I lit a fire under his belly. He has an edge at all times, even at the beginning of October. He wasn’t messing around.”It appears Bryant welcomes the give-and-take. Bryant and Young traded profanity-laced barbs during a recent practice. Young proclaimed, “Nobody in the world can guard me one-on-one.” Bryant then responded, “You’re going exactly where I want you to go.” Two years earlier at Team USA’s pre-2012 Summer Olympic training camp in Las Vegas, Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving challenged Bryant to a game of one-on-one. “I know your dad doesn’t think you can beat me one-on-one,” Bryant told Irving at the time. “Get your dad on the phone right now. Be like, ‘Pops, I’m trying to bet Kobe 50 grand I can beat him one-on-one.’ He’ll be like, ‘Son, are you crazy? Are you crazy?’”Passing the torchBryant may have embraced serving as the NBA’s elderly statesman. But no rising star has become labeled as the next Bryant the same way the Lakers’ star immediately sparked comparisons to Jordan.“That door is closed. Good luck waiting on another Kobe Bryant,” said ESPN analyst Jalen Rose. “The sport is his first, second and third priority.”Bryant expressed indifference on whether he will pass the torch to anyone. But he still believes he has served a purpose in instilling values that he believes has influenced the NBA’s current generation that he described as “gym rats.” “The common denominator is always the competitive spirit, and how to get into that frame of mind night in and night out to go out and compete,” Bryant said. “I grew up watching Michael. Michael grew up watching others play. So it’s really just about watching, observing and learning from those that have come before you. You try to have that help you become a better basketball player.” His pre-draft workout just ended, leaving Nick Young with one responsibility that has become as natural as his infectious smile. He talked. But reporters did not ask probing questions that often prompt Young to show off his goofy personality as a Lakers’ reserve. Instead, Charlotte owner and NBA icon Michael Jordan peppered Young on various topics to evaluate how the former Cleveland High of Reseda and USC standout might fit on his roster. Jordan eventually threw Young a curveball that both made him feel uncomfortable and compromise his allegiance to his childhood hero. “He asked me where I learned my fadeaway from,” Young recalled after working out for the former Charlotte Bobcats seven years ago. “Jordan was looking at me dead in my eyes. I was going to say Kobe Bryant, but I was forced to say Jordan at that moment because I wanted him to pick me.” When Lakers (7-16) play the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-17) today at Target Center, Bryant will need to score only nine points to eclipse Jordan’s 32,292 career points for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Unsurprisingly, Bryant’s upcoming milestone has fueled the never-ending comparisons to Jordan, something that has followed Bryant throughout his 19-year career. But Young’s uneasiness to Jordan’s question provided a snapshot on how the current generation of NBA players idolize Bryant the same way the Lakers’ 36-year-old star admires Jordan. “It’s so hard to compare anyone to Michael, but I think it’s fair to say Kobe is the second coming of MJ,” said Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, who grew up watching Bryant while playing for Knight High in Palmdale. “Kobe has transcended the league the same way I felt Michael did.”Idolizing BryantBryant’s presence struck a chord in different ways.Cleveland forward LeBron James recently told reporters he had a Bryant poster on his bedroom wall growing up. The poster served as an inspiration for James as he followed Bryant’s path in morphing from high school phenom to NBA star. Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant told L.A. News Group last year he endlessly watched Bryant’s scoring outbursts with hopes he could somehow replicate them. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more