President George Weah makes football comeback aged 51

George Weah turned back the clock by lining out for Liberia in a friendly against Nigeria. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 September 2018
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President George Weah makes football comeback aged 51

  • The international match in Monrovia was organized to ‘retire’ the number 14 shirt worn by Weah, who was voted world, European and African footballer of the year in 1995
  • Instead of watching the match against Nigeria from the grandstand, he captained his country and showed glimpses of former skills

JOHANNESBURG: Liberia president and former world footballer of the year George Weah made a surprise return to international football Tuesday at the age of 51 in a 2-1 friendly defeat by Nigeria.
The international match in Monrovia was organized to ‘retire’ the number 14 shirt worn by Weah, who was voted world, European and African footballer of the year in 1995.
Weah, who scored a landslide victory in presidential elections last December, is the only African footballer to win the world and European awards.
Instead of watching the match against Nigeria from the grandstand, he captained his country and showed glimpses of former skills before being substituted 12 minutes from time.
Weah received a standing ovation when leaving the pitch in the capital of a west African country where football is the most popular sport.
Team-mates of Weah wore shirts with “Thank you King George” on them as a tribute to the legend who retired from international football 16 years ago.
Libera are ranked 47th of 54 African football nations and 158th in the world. The last of their two Africa Cup of Nations tournament appearances was 16 years ago.
Weah played in Liberia, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon before moving to Europe, where his clubs included Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Marseille and AC Milan.
He also had brief spells with Chelsea and Manchester City before finishing his career in the United Arab Emirates playing for Al Jazira.
In the friendly match, Nigeria built a two-goal half-time lead thanks to Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo and Sherman Kpah converted a late penalty for Liberia.


First ‘song’ recorded from rare, lovelorn, right whale off Alaska

Updated 20 June 2019
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First ‘song’ recorded from rare, lovelorn, right whale off Alaska

  • Scientists’ best guess is that this serenade of the seas is a mating call from a lonely aquatic mammal
  • There are only about 30 whales in this population and males outnumber females

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: For the first time, scientists have recorded singing by one of the rarest whales on Earth, and it just might be looking for a date.
The crooning comes from a possibly lovelorn North Pacific right whale and its song was documented by researchers in the Bering Sea off Alaska’s coast, and announced on Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The song may not be a greatest hit, but is classified by marine biologists as an underwater call using a distinct pattern of sounds.
And it is the scientists’ best guess that this serenade of the seas is a mating call from a lonely aquatic mammal.
Scientists surveying endangered marine mammal populations first heard the tune in 2010 but could not be sure what kind of whale was singing, said Jessica Crance, of NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center.
At the time, the researchers were traveling in thick fog and could not see the animal, she said.
But scientists figured out it was indeed a right whale after analysis of a lot of collected acoustical data, followed by a specific sighting during a 2017 marine-mammal research cruise, Crance said.
That year, “We saw the whale that was singing,” she said.
The right whale’s caroling is described in a study published in the current issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and is the first confirmed song from any right whale population.
This history-making discovery sheds light on behavior of one of the planet’s most elusive marine animals, NOAA said.
While this is the first known tune, right whales are not mute. They are known to be chatty by making “gunshot” sounds.
What made this newly-recorded noise a song was its repeated pattern, “timing in between gunshots and the number of gunshots,” she said.
The singing whale spotted in 2017 was a male, and is in the tiny population where dates are hard to find.
There are only about 30 whales in this population and males outnumber females by a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 ratio, Crance said.
Right whales were hunted nearly to extinction by commercial whalers. The species was named “right whales” in whaler lingo of old, because they were the right whales to hunt. They are slow, easy targets and hold so much body fat that they float when killed, according to NOAA.
“It’s really exciting whenever we see one. Every single sighting is very, very important,” she said.