If you thought you smelled smoke in the air on Saturday, you were not imagining things, nor were you alone.Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s Captain Albert Borroto issued a statement Saturday morning that it all originated in the Everglades.“There are no active brush fires currently in the county. This smell of smoke is coming from fires outside the county and it is being pushed in by the weather front that was predicted to move in this weekend,” Borroto said.Improvement is expected through mid-morning as daytime heating will increase the wind which will help the atmosphere mix and disperse the smoke more easily. pic.twitter.com/tcVq4TmxKj— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) May 9, 2020 However, officials added that the weekend smoke was unrelated to several wildfires that have been burning in Florida’s Panhandle since last Monday.The Five Mile Swamp fire in Santa Rosa County burned through more than 2,000 acres and destroyed at least 17 homes, according to the Florida Forest Service.Rather, the reason for Saturday’s smoky air was due to the Moon Fish Wildfire that was discovered on Thursday at the southeast corner of Big Cypress National Preserve and close to the Everglades National Park boundary.According to a news release from Laurie Humphrey, Big Cypress’ lead park ranger, the fire was “human caused,” a truck fire. The person was cited, she said.By Friday evening, the Moon Fish Wildfire was covering about 12,181 acres, and was burning through sawgrass and cypress as aerial and ground crews tried to contain it.The National Weather Service also said smoke from fires in the Everglades could impact visibility over portions of South Florida during the early part of the weekend.
Sipping from the drink in the paper cup in his left hand intermittently, Mikel attributed the good run that afternoon to the commitment of the players and the coaching crew. “I have the belief that we can reach new heights with this team. The boys are so committed that it makes you happy. The coaching crew is made up of very matured and brilliant people who respect the players,” observed the midfielder who is now the second longest serving player at Chelsea FC having spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge.In his analysis of the game with the Chipolopolo, Mikel admitted that the combination of the experience of the mostly Europe-based players helped to give Eagles the edge over Zambia. “They (Zambians) got confused by the short passes between our forwards and the midfielders. They perhaps were expecting long balls but we opted not to do that but take the game to them in the way that got us the two goals in the first half,” stressed Mikel who led Nigeria’s Olympic team to bronze medal finish at the last Games in Rio, Brazil.With Eagles in firm control of the Group B pairing on three points with both Algeria and Cameroun having just a point each following their one-all draw same Sunday night in Algiers, the Blues midfielder insists that Nigeria cannot afford to allow any slip now. “Each and every one of us is determined to go to the World Cup. Now that we are top of the table, we have to remain there,” said Mikel as he took another sip from the content of his paper cup.What perhaps is giving the Eagles supremo the confidence to remain on top of the group is the fact that Nigeria’s next two games of the qualifiers are at home in Uyo to Algeria and Cameroun in November and early next year. “We should be able to consolidate with this advantage. By the time we will be going away to Cameroun and Algeria, we should have maximised the advantage to stay at the top of the group.”At 29 years, Mikel believes he has the capacity to continue playing at top level till his 35th birthday. “I am 29 years now and my desire is to continue playing till I am 35 years old. The boys need my experience to guide them. I want to lead the team to the World Cup in Russia and make impact.”Although Mikel had earlier admitted at the post-match conference that the group is a tough one having three teams at the last World Cup in Brazil and a 2012 AFCON winner paired together, he however believes with the Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr, in charge and forging a new spirit in the team, Nigeria is in safe hands.Midway into the four hours and 20 minutes flight from Ndola to Abuja however took a new tempo with the blaring of Nigeria’s hip-hop star, Phyno’s tune, ‘Connect’ from a Bluetooth speaker, turning the Airbus 737-800 series into one large party hall. Interestingly, it was a double celebration for one of Mikel’s players, Brown Ideye, whose birthday fell on that match-day one of the Russia 2018 qualifiers.Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung; former NFF President, Aminu Maigari; NFF President, Amaju Pinnick; his other board members on board the flight like 1st Vice-President Seyi Akinwunmi; 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko; Chairman of the Technical Committee, Chris Green; board member and Chairman of Enyimba FC, Felix Anyasi-Agwu; former COJA chieftain, Mainasara Illo; and several chairmen of state FAs and clubs joined in popping champagne to celebrate Ideye’s birthday.Dalung, who was equally as happy as every Nigerian on that flight, showed some dancing skills to the delight of all. The Plateau State lawyer-politician hinted he last danced 22 years ago but happy doing so again to celebrate Nigeria’s victory over Zambia.But the anticlimax of the night was the news on arrival at 11-20pm at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport that the Indomitable Lions played one-all with Algeria to deny the Desert Foxes from sharing the glory of another three-point winners in the group.Nigeria won a competitive away game for the first time in 23 months as Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho scored before Collins Mbesuma pulled one back in the Zambian Copper-belt capital. Manchester City of England prodigy Iheanacho has now scored in each of his last four matches for Nigeria: against Mali in France; Luxembourg in Luxembourg City; Tanzania in Uyo and; Zambia in Ndola.The Zambians had hoped to get Nigeria’s Europe-based contingent rendered weak and dehydrated with an early afternoon start (2.30pm), but the Eagles approached the match in a matured manner, not engaging in too much running in the first half-hour, and then taking their chances without blinking.The quintet of goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Stopilla Sunzu, Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba and Collins Mbesuma were familiar faces in the Zambian starting line-up. But Fwayo Tembo, Chisamba Lungu and Winston Kalengo are also known to be tough customers.They tried to run hard and wear the Eagles down in the 35-degree heat, but after surviving the first half-hour, the Nigerian attack stepped up a gear and scored two brilliant goals in 10 minutes. Eagles’ goalie Carl Ikeme and Williams Troost Ekong however stood out of the Nigerian pack with their five-star performances in Ndola.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria began the march to Russia 2018 World Cup on a bright note on Sunday afternoon in Ndola, grabbing maximum points against the Chipolopolo of Zambia. DURO IKHAZUAGBE who witnessed the encounter reports…Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, was a very happy man on Sunday night aboard the Arik Airline flight from Ndola in Zambia to Abuja. The reason for Mikel’s expansive laughter and hand pumping was obvious to all who know him. To some, the Chelsea star is more of a recluse, who hardly mixes with teammates or even fans. But that night was different. As captain of the Super Eagles, Mikel was like the commander of a battalion who has just led his army to conquer a very crucial territory. Beating the Chipolopolo in a World Cup qualifier right in front of their President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola was no mean feat.Grinning from ear to ear and shaking hands of some of the football stakeholders partying aboard the aircraft, Mikel opened up to THISDAY: “This victory is good. It has given us the edge in our Group B. Winning away in a tight group like this is not easy. Now, we have a very good chance to qualify for the World Cup if we keep our heads and play at our best level.”
Crowds of tourists wait to go tubing in Vang Vien – SOURCE : smh.com.au While most visitors leave Vang Vieng with nothing more serious than a hangover, the once tranquil setting in Laos is now a craze of river tubing and riverside bars, making this latest ‘must do’ activity also the most dangerous place in Laos for travellers.To many adventurous travellers visiting Laos, a highlight would be floating down the Nam Song River on a tractor tyre inner tube, while riverside bars serve just about any alcoholic beverage you please. In the past month, two Australian travellers have died while ‘tubing’ in Vang Vieng, with reports at the time counting at least 22 deaths in the river last year. These recent deaths have sparked concern about the safety of the craze and the impact on the local tourism. A local organic farmer Thanongsi Sorangkoun told Sydney Morning Herald that tubing was dangerous because everyone goes there and they are drunk, with the unregulated bars “very bad” and a disaster waiting to happen.”They don’t respect any law, regulations. There’s no inspections, no control. Two years ago it was paradise,” Mr Sorangkoun said.Twenty-three year old Melbourne woman, Brooke Pritchett described her experience after she injured her ankle while jumping off a Tarzanrope and hitting a rock in shallow water while in Vang Vieng on Christmas Day in 2010.Ms Pritchett said getting medical help proved a nightmare as she was piggybacked by a fellow backpacker up a hill to where a tuk-tuk driver could take the Australian woman to small hospital in town, a 30-minute drive away. While the recent deaths are being described as a ‘freak accident’, it appears to be more of an accident waiting to happen, with The Department of Foreign Affairs does advise “extreme caution” when undertaking “river-based sporting activities including in Vang Vieng”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W