Outside the venue, dozens of demonstrators sought to revive a massive anti-government protest movement that had rocked Lebanon from October, before the virus forced a nationwide shutdown.They drove a noisy convoy of cars covered in slogans, drivers honking their horns and passengers brandishing the national flag and leaning out of the windows — while wearing face masks.Another item on the agenda of the three-day session were proposals for a divisive general amnesty, but that motion was sent back for revision by a parliamentary committee.”Today, instead of passing a general amnesty law… they could pass a law on the independence of the judiciary,” said Jad Assaileh, a young demonstrator. Lebanon’s parliament voted to legalize growing marijuana for medical use on Tuesday, amid an economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.The lawmakers met in a 1,000 seat conference hall to maintain appropriate social distancing, while outside anti-government protesters demonstrated in a vehicle convoy.As the country struggles with a battered economy, MPs also approved the re-allocation of $40 million from a World Bank loan to help fight COVID-19, which has officially infected 677 people and killed 21 nationwide. “We want to recover the stolen money,” he said, referring to allegations that Lebanon’s ruling elite transferred billions out of the country while regular citizens were prevented from withdrawing their savings by the banks.Similar protests took place in the cities of Sidon and Tripoli.The vote to legalize the growing of cannabis for medical use was aimed at boosting revenues for the crippled economy.Lebanon previously banned growing, selling and consuming cannabis, but illicit production in the country’s east has developed over decades into a multi-million-dollar industry.Lawmakers also passed a law to fight corruption in the public sector and set up a national body in charge of stamping out graft. Topics : No dollars Lebanon’s worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war is now compounded by the lockdown. Poverty has risen to 45 percent of the population, according to official estimates.Protests had petered out after a new government took office in January, and demonstrators have largely remained at home since the coronavirus lockdown started mid-March.But on Friday, hundreds again protested in Tripoli to mark six months since the street movement started to demand an overhaul of a ruling class widely deemed inept and corrupt.One of the most indebted countries in the world with a debt equivalent to 170 percent of its GDP, Lebanon defaulted on payments for the first time last month.As the country faces an acute liquidity crisis, banks have banned transfers abroad and gradually restricted dollar withdrawals until suspending them last month.The Lebanese pound has for decades been pegged to the dollar, but in recent months lost half of its official value on the black market.The official exchange rate remains 1,507 Lebanese pounds to the dollar. The banks earlier this month set their rate at 2,600 pounds to the dollar, but money changers were offering more than 3,200 pounds for the greenback on Tuesday on the black market.On Tuesday, the central bank asked banks to allow depositors with foreign currency accounts to withdraw their savings in Lebanese pounds at the “market rate”, likely to signify 2,600 pounds to the dollar. Discord over amnesty plan The proposal for a general amnesty to free thousands of detainees and to suspend arrest warrants for thousands more remains a contentious issue.Supporters — which include Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal as well as the Sunni Future Movement — say an amnesty could lessen overcrowding in jails housing 9,000 prisoners.But its detractors, including the president’s Christian parliamentary bloc, say the bill is merely an attempt to boost popular support.The amnesty has long been a demand of the families of some 1,200 so-called “Islamist detainees”, most of whom hail from the Sunni-majority city of Tripoli, where the former premier’s Future Movement is dominant.They are accused of carrying out crimes including fighting and assaulting the army, taking part in clashes in the city, and planning explosives attacks.Families have also clamored for the release of thousands more detainees from the eastern regions of Baalbek and Hermel, where Hezbollah and the parliament speaker’s Amal Movement are powerful. Most of these are accused of drug-linked crimes including growing hashish illegally, or other offences such as stealing cars.
Getty Images)Despite being born in London, Gomes joined the United academy at the age of just six and has risen through the various age groups up into the first-team in subsequent years.Gomes has been no stranger to setting new records, becoming the youngest player ever to score a hat-trick for the club’s youth team aged 15 years, 11 months and 29 days, as well as being the first player born in the 21st century to play for the first-team when he made his debut against Crsytal Palace in May 2017.AdvertisementAdvertisementThat appearance on the final day of the 2016-17 season, also meant that Gomes became United’s youngest first-team debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953. Gomes has since represented United twice more, in last season’s FA Cup tie against Yeovil Town and for Solskjaer against Huddersfield in December.At international level, Gomes was involved in England’s U17 World Cup winning squad in 2017, scoring twice in the competition and coming on as a 90th-minute substitute during the 5-2 victory over Spain in the final. Tahith Chong is one of three teenagers in Manchester United’s squad for the game against Crystal Palace (Getty Images)From the ‘Busby Babes’ to the ‘Class of 92’ to ‘Solskjaer’s starlets’, perhaps?Manchester United’s proud history of integrating graduates from their esteemed academy has continued under their interim manager with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaning heavily on Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, amongst others, during his time in charge.Much has been made of the fact that United have named at least one of their academy players in every senior matchday squad since 1938 and quite rightly, it is a statistic that supporters have clung onto during the increasingly global phenomenon that is Premier League football.It is unlikely that it will stop anytime soon either, considering Solskjaer is currently negotiating a crippling injury list which has resulted in him dipping into Ricky Sbragia’s U23 squad to select his three most promising youngsters for Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace.ADVERTISEMENT Angel Gomes Kieran McKenna on Angel Gomes ‘Angel is clever and I think with him, first of all, he’s got a really fantastic attitude towards the game. He loves his football and is bright and curious. He’s interested in every training session and you can see that on the pitch.‘He’s always bright, always looking for his team-mates and always looking at the opposition too, trying to find a way to exploit any weaknesses they have got. He has a fantastic football brain really and a good attitude to go with it.’ Kieran McKenna on Tahith Chong’s promise ‘Tahith has hit the ground running in his time here and I think he’s just a fantastic professional. He has the right attitude to training and looks after himself really well off the pitch.‘He’s really personable and good with the staff and players, which has helped him to settle in quickly. On the pitch, everyone has been excited by his performances; he’s an eye-catching player.‘We’ll just keep pushing him to add to that with an end product so he can add goals and assists, as he has been doing, and can have a bright future in the game.’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on James Garner ‘James Garner is a Michael Carrick but 20 years younger, I’m sure he’ll do well.’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed the teenage trio would be involved against Crystal Palace (Getty Images)Included in Solskjaer’s travelling party down to London will be 19-year-old winger Tahith Chong, 18-year-old Angel Gomes and 17-year-old James Garner, all of whom will be hoping to make an impact in the absence of seasoned professionals like Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial and Lingard.AdvertisementAdvertisementSpeaking about the trio pre-match, Solskjaer said: ‘They’ve been part of our training for a long time now and I’m sure Angel has been successful with England’s under-17s, the 2017 team with [Jadon] Sancho, [Phil] Foden and [Callum] Hudson-Odoi, so he’s been a big part of that. I’m definitely sure that if he gets a chance he’ll do well.‘James Garner is a Michael Carrick but 20 years younger, I’m sure he’ll do well and Chongy will be taking people on if he comes on. They’re ready, they’re kids.‘It’s hard if you’re a defender coming on if you’re 16 or 17 but as an attacker, you go out there and express yourself, and there’s your chance. They can win you the game, not lose it for you.’So without further ado, who are United’s latest crop of promising young players?Tahith Chong Advertisement Oliver Young-MylesWednesday 27 Feb 2019 7:01 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link18Shares Comment More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors James Garner Getty Images)The least well-known of the three having not appeared for the first-team yet, James ‘Jimmy’ Garner does appear to have plenty of admirers at Manchester United regardless with Solskjaer comparing him to his assistant manager Michael Carrick ahead of the Palace game.While Chong and Gomes are attack-minded players, Garner has developed at the opposite end of the pitch, playing in central defence and midfield for United’s youth team as well as for England at various age groups.Following an exceptional 2017-18 season, Garner was named the captain of England’s U17 squad for the European Championships last summer, leading the team to the semi-finals where they were defeated on penalties by the Netherlands.Like Chong, Garner was also selected to go on United’s pre-season tour under Mourinho and has been named on the bench for United’s Champions League game against Valencia and their FA Cup tie with Reading. Who are the three Manchester United youngsters who could feature against Crystal Palace? Tahith Chong featured for Manchester United in the FA Cup tie against Reading in January (Getty Images)Born in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, Chong started his career in the Netherlands, joining Feyenoord’s academy at the age of ten and developing his skills there for six years prior to moving to Manchester in 2016. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City were all credited with an interest in Chong before he signed for United.After making a seamless transition from the U18 to U23 team last season, Chong was included in United’s squad for their pre-season tour of America last summer and was handed a place on the substitutes bench by Jose Mourinho for October’s Champions League game against Juventus.Solskjaer did likewise in one of his first matches in charge against Newcastle before handing him a professional debut a few days later as a substitute against Reading in the FA Cup at the start of January.The Dutch youth international has predominantly played as a right winger for United’s youth teams and he is renowned for his speed, close control and propensity to cut inside onto his favoured left-foot. He’s also easy to spot, courtesy of his Marouane Fellaini-esque flowing curly locks. Advertisement More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityJames Garner
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell is confident regional governments will assist Cricket West Indies (CWI) whose financial woes have been exacerbated by the current novel coronavirus pandemic, but insists restructuring is vital.Mitchell, who has served as chairman of Caricom’s subcommittee on cricket, said while he was “not unhappy” with what CWI has done so far, “they still have some way to go”.“I think there are some initiatives which have been good…Generally speaking, so far, I must say they have been trying. It’s not a finished product yet, but I don’t expect you can dismantle everything overnight,” he said on the Mason & Guest cricket radio show here on Tuesday night.The Grenadian leader said a meeting with CWI leadership and Caribbean leaders is in the works, to discuss the way forward as far as the structure of the regional game is concerned.And given CWI’s financial situation which has worsened as a result of its inability to host revenue-generating matches during the novel cornavirus pandemic, Mitchell said “the whole question of the finances of the board will clearly have to be looked at”.“I am confident that regional governments, despite the fact that they are all going through enough pressure, they know the value of West Indies cricket and the enormous potential it holds for economic activity,” he said.“So, I honestly believe that we will be prepared to help in whatever way we can. All that will be part of the discussion going forward — how can we help more in terms of the finances and what ideas do we have to aid the structure of Windies cricket going forward.”However, Mitchell believes CWI already has a foundation on which to build the required improved structure.He alluded to previous recommendations which he said should be acted on.“They have the genesis of a lot of information provided at a regional level, in terms of the structure of the board, and I think they should use a good bit of that in going forward,” he said, stressing that this should be done based not on personalities but on “the structure and the whole system that we set up that is going to determine the success or failure of West Indies cricket going forward”.Mitchell, an avid cricket fan, also pointed to the need for changes in the sport at the community and youth level in the regional cricketing territories.“I think the board has to look at what is happening with the Windward Islands, what’s happening with Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, and I think at each level of the various boards, I think some serious restructuring has to be done,” he said.“There is not enough information, there is not enough involvement of the players at all levels of the cricket. I think the youth level is an area of further opportunity and work that needs to be done in going forward.“The board has to make that change. The board is responsible for this. They have to restructure the board at different levels and make it more accountable to the people of the region,” Mitchell added.