France Fracking Ban Upheld After Challenge From Energy Giant

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, FILE) British police secure the area where demonstrators erected a mock fracking rig with a banner reading ‘No fracking in the UK’ in a protest against hydraulic fracturing for shale gas outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS SPRINGVILLE, PA – JANUARY 18: A truck with the natural gas industry, one of thousands that pass through the area daily, drives through the countryside to a hydraulic fracturing site on January 18, 2012 in Springville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MAY 30: Protestors stage a demonstration against fracking in California outside of the Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building on May 30, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of protesters with the group Californians Against Fracking staged a protest outside of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s San Francisco offices demanding that Gov. Brown ban fracking in the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) People demonstrate on August 3, 2013 in La Petite Brosse, near Jouarre, outside Paris, to protest against an exploratory oil shale drilling, considering that it opens the door to the exploration of shale gas in the Parisian Basin. Banner reads ‘Stop gas and oil shale’. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE ANDRIEU In this Nov. 26, 2012 photo, Steve Lipsky demonstrates how his well water ignites when he puts a flame to the flowing well spigot outside his family’s home in rural Parker County near Weatherford, Texas. The U.S.

PBA Trade Alert: Air 21, TNT, and Meralco complete three-team deal SlamOnline – 4 hours ago The Air 21 Express, Meralco Bolts, and Talk N Text Tropang Texters agreed to a three team deal that had Mac Cardona and Rabeh Al-Hussaini at the middle of it all. In three different deals, a total of eight players and one draft pick was sent to different teams. There [] The post PBA Trade Alert: Air 21, TNT, and Meralco Complete Three-Team Deal appeared first on SLAMonline Philippines . France head into their final qualifier with Finland knowing that they are unlikely to secure automatic passage to World Cup 2014 . With a three-point gap separating them from Group I leaders Spain, Didier Deschamps’s men need not only a win on Tuesday in order to top the group but also for Georgia to inflict a first defeat on La Roja in World Cup qualification since March 1993. Yet even that could still not be enough for France, who also require a four-goal swing in goal difference to ensure their place at next year’s tournament in Brazil. However, although France look destined to finish second, Deschamps’s outfit will be eager to gain momentum ahead of a prospective play-off. Les Bleus hammered Australia 6-0 in a friendly on Friday and will be confident of clinching victory against a Finland side that have never before beaten them. Striker Olivier Giroud goes into the game on the back of a double against Australia, while Karim Benzema will be out to find the net again after ending a 16-month goal drought for his country in the same game. However, Finland – who have already been eliminated from World Cup contention – should provide stern opposition at the Stade de France, having tasted defeat in just two of their last 11 outings. A goal from Roman Eremenko gave Mixu Paatelainen’s men a 1-0 win against Georgia on Friday but they will need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to end their unsuccessful campaign on a high. Finland have scored just five goals in qualification, with midfielder Kasper Hamalainen and striker Teemu Pukki, who have scored two each, the main threats.

France out to win hearts and minds

A poll published on Sunday in Le Parisien newspaper found that 82 percent of French people have a “bad opinion” of the national football team while 54 percent expect them to fail in their bid to reach Brazil next year. While France’s bid to reach the global footballing showpiece is likely to rest on a two-legged play-off clash in November, barring an unlikely Spanish defeat to Georgia on Tuesday, it seems Didier Deschamps’s players face an infinitely tougher task in winning over the hearts and minds of their countrymen. It is the personalities of the players who infamously refused to get off the team bus and train one day during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that still irks the French public. It seems they have not been forgiven. Judged unpleasant (85 percent), overpaid (86), individualist (84), talentless (76) and vulgar (73), it seems almost as if the French public would rather see their national team fail. And yet it can’t all be doom and gloom as six million people tuned their televisions into a festival of attacking and creative football as France dismantled Australia 6-0 at the Parc des Princes on Friday. Yet even then, on what was supposed to be a celebratory evening, there was more than a hint of the antagonistic relationship between players and fans. Star forward Karim Benzema was jeered more than cheered when he entered the fray as a second-half substitute for Olivier Giroud, paying for a run of 1222 minutes without scoring in the blue shirt of the national team. When he did find the net, six minutes after his introduction, he did seem to be forgiven his previous profligacy. Marseille playmaker Mathieu Valbuena was roundly booed every time he touched the ball, paying for his association with the fierce and bitter rivals of the host club at the Parc des Princes, Paris Saint-Germain. Valbuena, though, failed to let the moment pass and his reaction could only serve to further tarnish an already strained relationship. “Not much affects me. You have to forgive them, maybe they thought Paris were playing,” said the diminutive midfielder after the game.