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Sanders seeks support for Vermont State Hospital

first_imgUS Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has brought together Obama administration officials, Vermont state lawmakers and the state Department of Mental Health commissioner to discuss federal funding for the Vermont State Hospital. Restoring the hospital’s certification could yield $10 million or more a year in federal reimbursements for the facility that the state now spends more than $20 million annually to operate and maintain.The state hospital in Waterbury first lost its federal certification in 2003, regained it in 2004, but lost it again in 2005. The lack of certification makes the facility ineligible to claim Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements that could cover more than half of the hospital’s costs.In July, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, citing concerns about supervision of a single patient, again denied certification for Vermont’s only state-run mental hospital. The decision followed an unannounced visit by investigators to the 54-bed psychiatric hospital.While federal investigators have cited lapses, the hospital was certified in 2008 by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, an independent, not-for-profit organization which accredits and certifies more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.“The quality of patient care must be our top priority, but the state and Vermont taxpayers deserve a reasonable process for correcting problems and restoring the hospital’s certification,” Sanders said. “In these difficult financial times, it is unfair to Vermont taxpayers that the state is losing out on $10 million a year in federal reimbursements.”Sanders convened the meeting of representatives from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Commissioner Michael Hartman of the Vermont Department of Mental Health, and state Sens. Susan Bartlett (D-Lamoille) and Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden).“We are on the same page and they gave us a path forward,” Sanders said afterward.Sen. Bernie Sanders meets in his U.S. Senate office in Washington, D.C., with (L to R) Cynthia Mann, director of Medicaid and State Operations for the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Commissioner Michael Hartman of the Vermont Department of Mental Health, and Angela Brice-Smith, deputy director of surveys and certification for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Photo by Frank Fey for the U.S. SenateSource: Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON, October 20, 2009last_img read more

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Colombia Trains Guatemalan Marines in Anti-Narcotics River Operations

first_imgBy Manuel Ordoñez/Diálogo August 15, 2016 Colombian Marine (COLMAR) troops spent two months training Guatemala’s Naval Infantry Brigade on intercepting narcotics shipments on rivers as part of the U.S. Colombia Action Plan (USCAP) sponsored by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and executed by U.S. Marine Corps Forces South (MARFORSOUTH) in this case. The training took place on the waters of the Dulce River in the northern department of Izabal, according to Lieutenant Colonel Karen Pérez, spokesperson for the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense. Between April 4th and June 2nd, seven COLMAR teaching assistants and one officer trained 14 Guatemalan Marines in daytime and nighttime environments in military swimming, small boat maneuvering, river combat, tactical shooting, first aid, survival in water, procedures for leading a river combat team, and riverine operations, Lt. Col. Pérez explained. “The purpose of the training is to give naval infantry units techniques and skills for the fight against drug trafficking in riverine operations,” Lt. Col. Pérez said. USCAP program The USCAP is a regional security cooperation program by which SOUTHCOM Service Components and National Guard Bureau facilitate Colombian Military-led “Countering Transnational Criminal Organizations Building Partner Capacity” mobile training, subject matter expert exchanges, and military academic instruction in the region. “Colombia is a key U.S. partner that is instrumental in SOUTHCOM’s mission to counter transnational organized crime. Colombia’s military is professional, tactically capable, and able to export their counter narcotics training amongst the U.S. partner nations in Latin America,” said U.S. Marine Corps Forces South Captain Hector Infante, South and Central American desk officer. In addition to sponsoring the event, SOUTHCOM, also provided MARFORSOUTH personnel who supervised the Colombian sailors during their stay. “The partnership between the Colombian Marines and MARFORSOUTH is an example of the close relationship between Colombia and the United States. Together, they enhance the capacity of Guatemala’s Marine Brigade through mobile training teams combined with U.S. Marine Corps Security Cooperation teams,” added Capt. Infante. “The goal of the mission is to export Colombian training so that others can use their experience in confiscating narcotics and in riverine operations. This is so that they can later transfer this knowledge to other countries in Central America,” said U.S. Marine Corps Captain Joseph Thiel, officer in charge of the MARFORSOUTH team in Guatemala. Capt. Thiel added that SOUTHCOM collaborates with regional-level training to allow regional partner nations to support each other in any training they may need. Lieutenant Manuel Alejandro Calderón Ramírez, member of the Colombian Marine Corps who was part of the team that trained their Guatemalan counterparts, said that the intention of the river operations course is for the Guatemalan Navy to be able to apply the training to all of the country’s navigable rivers. “For us to be able to deny the enemy or criminals the use of the nation’s rivers and to make Guatemala one of the countries free of drug trafficking.” Colonel Nelson Guillermo Tun Cortez, Commander of the Marine Corps Brigade in Guatemala, said that the training is extremely important for the young brigade, created just three years ago. “This training has been very important because it helps us fulfill our vision of being the most well-trained strategic brigade of the Guatemalan Army,” he said. Guatemalan Army fights against drug trafficking Jorge Chinchilla, spokesperson for Guatemala’s National Civil Police (PNC), said, “The Army supports us in two ways: through the Special Naval Force, since neither the PNC nor the Public Prosecutor’s Office has the ships to pursue drug traffickers in open sea, and they also collaborate with patrols through the Chortí and Tecún Umán task forces.” Chinchilla stated that the Army’s collaboration in seizures of drug shipments has been important, especially on the country’s coasts and rivers. The Army’s naval forces are collaborating with anti-narcotics forces in finding and seizing drug shipments in the high seas. According to Chinchilla, they have carried out operations and found drugs at a distance of up to approximately 50 nautical miles offshore. According to official data from the General Department of Anti-Narcotics Information and Analysis (SGAIA) of the National Civil Police, as of July 11th, the Guatemalan security forces have confiscated 5,777.5 kilograms of cocaine transported through Guatemalan territory. This quantity constitutes an increase in comparison with 2015, when only 6,000 kilograms of the substance was confiscated that entire year.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Announces 50 New Jobs with Gordon Sinclair Expansion in Indiana County

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter January 13, 2017 Governor Wolf Announces 50 New Jobs with Gordon Sinclair Expansion in Indiana Countycenter_img Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Gordon Sinclair, a promotional products supplier, will expand operations with a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and decorating facility in Indiana County and create 50 new jobs.“Gordon Sinclair chose Pennsylvania over New York and Florida for its operations expansion due to the commonwealth’s highly qualified manufacturing labor force and its desirable location with excellent highway access to top markets in the U.S. and Canada,” said Governor Wolf. “We applaud the company for its decision and for its significant investment into one of Pennsylvania’s rural communities where job creation efforts and economic contributions are sure to have a long-lasting, positive impact.”Gordon Sinclair will purchase a 60,000-square-foot facility at 771 Indian Springs Road, White Township, Indiana County. The company has committed to investing $5,048,000 in the project and to the creation of 50 new, full-time jobs over the next three years. The company has commenced hiring and hopes to begin production at the facility by mid-to-late February.“We’re extremely appreciative of the warm reception we have received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and for the timely assistance we have received from the Governor’s Action Team and from the officials in Indiana County,” said Gordon Sinclair Founder and President Robert Gluck. “All of the Pennsylvania agencies have worked together seamlessly to speed the process, simplify our work and meet our timetable, which has been invaluable to us in making this investment.”Gordon Sinclair received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $200,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, $22,500 in WednetPA funding for employee training, and $200,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon the creation of the new jobs. The company has also been encouraged to apply for a low-interest loan up to $1,876,500 million from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Indiana County Development Corporation (ICDC).“We are pleased that Gordon Sinclair has decided to expand its manufacturing operations into Indiana County. The available facility, our premier workforce, as well as our quality of life all created a perfect mix to enhance the company’s decision to relocate to Indiana County,” said ICDC Executive Director Byron G. Stauffer, Jr. “We thank our partners at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for their assistance and support.”Gordon Sinclair is a leading supplier of drinkware and other high quality logoed items and sells exclusively through promotional products distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Promotional products are a $21 billion industry that provides logoed merchandise of all types for advertising, safety programs, and other promotional purposes.Last year, DCED approved nearly $1.1 billion in low-interest loans, tax credits, and grants for projects across the commonwealth and secured private sector commitments for the creation and retention of more than 245,000 full-time jobs. In the same timeframe, the Governor’s Action Team completed 77 projects – creating and retaining more than 36,800 jobs.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED visit dced.pa.govLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

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Behind enemy lines: How Khalil Mack has taken Chicago by storm

first_imgFive questions with Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, who offers some insights on Khalil Mack, his effect on the city of Chicago, and the Bears in general heading in to Sunday’s game in London against the Raiders:Q: In a sense, Khalil Mack seems perfect for the Chicago sports landscape and the Bears in particular. No nonsense, serious-minded, tough . . . can you give me an idea of how big Khalil is in Chicago?Campbell: Not only is he an icon here, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to …last_img read more

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SA’s 10-year growth streak ends

first_imgSouth Africa’s quarterly deterioration was “modest compared with that of other countries,” according to Business Report, which noted that, for the same period, GDP had fallen by 3.8% in the US, 4.3% in Thailand, 8.4% in Taiwan and 12.7% in Japan. It was the first quarterly contraction since the third quarter of 1998, and the biggest contraction since the fourth quarter of 1992, when South Africa’s GDP declined by 3.5%. South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) figure at market prices for the fourth quarter of 2008 shrunk by 1.8% quarter-on-quarter, from 0.2% growth in the third quarter, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on Tuesday. Sectors that contributed to the negative fourth-quarter GDP figure include manufacturing and the electricity, gas and water industry. The wholesale and retail trade and hotels and restaurants sectors did not contribute to growth at all. SAinfo reporter and BuaNews 25 February 2009 Positive contributions to fourth-quarter economic growth came from finance, real estate and business services; agriculture, forestry and fishing; as well as general government services. “So in plain English terms, the economy has receded, but we are not in a recession,” Lamberti said. The wholesale and retail industries, as well as mining, quarrying and manufacturing, experienced either no growth or negative growth in 2008. The global economic crisis has resulted in declining demand for South Africa’s commodity exports, putting the country’s mining and motor manufacturing sectors, in particular, under increasing pressure. The main positive contributors for 2008 as a whole were the finance, real estate and business services industry; agriculture, forestry and fishing; construction; and general government services. South Africa’s economy contracted for the first time in a decade in the fourth quarter of 2008, despite positive growth in agriculture, finance and construction, as the country’s mining and manufacturing sectors came under increasing pressure from the global economic recession. The construction, transport, storage and communication, as well as personal services sectors, also experienced positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2008. Econometrix Treasury Management economist Russell Lamberti told BuaNews that the country was not technically in a recession yet, noting that the textbook definition of “recession” was two consecutive quarters of negative growth. South Africa’s growth figures for the first three quarters of 2008 were 1.7%, 5% and 0.2% respectively, Stats SA reported, with annual GDP growth coming in at 3.1% compared to 5.1% in 2007. Global crisis hits commodity exports Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Ag Leader preferred application controller for GVM MAKO 400HC sprayers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ag Leader Technology, Inc. is pleased to announce a new collaboration with GVM, Inc. as the supplier of the ISOBUS-compatible application control technology for their latest high clearance sprayer, the MAKO 400HC.“Early in the development of the MAKO, we recognized prospective owners likely already have a functional display in their tractor or combine,” stated Mark Anderson, President of GVM. “It was very important for us to offer a grower-focused machine with ISOBUS application control technology for end-user flexibility. Ag Leader’s superior quality and advanced pressure and flow-based controls made them a great partner for us with this new machine.”GVM has selected Ag Leader’s most advanced generation of DirectCommand™ application control products to integrate into the MAKO. Taking advantage of the industry standard ISOBUS interface, the system easily connects to Ag Leader and other manufacturers displays. Features of the system include:Easy system calibration: Easily calibrate the flow, pressure and ground speed sensors critical to accurate system performance.Continuous system monitoring: Monitors product flow rates and system pressure to detect and warn of sensor failure or system error.Droplet size monitoring: Ensures in real-time that the proper application is occurring.Additional technology from Ag Leader including the Versa™ display, OnTrac3 Assisted Steering System and GPS 6500 receiver will also be available to order.“We are excited to be a part of this new sprayer platform available from GVM,” said Travis Green, Territory Manager of Ag Leader. “MAKO owners have the flexibility to utilize their existing ISOBUS display or choose the factory-installed Ag Leader display and GPS option to leverage Ag Leader’s intuitive display user-experience providing accurate data collection across all seasons.”GVM MAKO with Ag Leader application control will be on display at the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association’s 2015 MAGIE tradeshow this week. About Ag Leader Ag Leader Technology, Inc. is a pioneer and recognized technology innovator of precision agriculture hardware and software. Located in Ames, Iowa, USA, the company manufactures and markets industry leading precision farming technology designed to help growers make smart, profitable business decisions. Founded in 1992 the company has achieved consistent growth and expansion by providing value-based products that help growers and agricultural professionals achieve and maintain a successful, profitable operation. For more information visit www.agleader.com.About GVM Inc. GVM is a premier manufacturer of agricultural application equipment. They place a large emphasis on designing and building the most reliable, innovative, and versatile equipment on the market today. Their ultimate goal is to provide end users with the best available products for a constantly changing marketplace. They focus on speed, comfort, fuel efficiency and mechanically friendly equipment. GVM is headquartered in East Berlin, Pennsylvania.last_img read more

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Investors seek stability as they bail out of tech stocks

first_imgNEW YORK — Goodbye iPhones and Facebook feed. Hello power plants and bleach.Since stocks began tumbling two months ago, investors haven’t abandoned the market. At least, not all of it. In recent weeks, as they’ve pulled money out of funds that invest in go-go technology companies, they’ve also been buying utilities, companies that make everyday necessities for consumers and other stocks that tend to have smaller swings in price than the rest of the market.It’s part of a big shift in investor behaviour as fears about rising interest rates, a global trade war and slowing economic growth around the world have roiled markets. The S&P 500 plunged a combined 3.4 per cent Monday and Tuesday, with technology stocks again suffering particularly sharp losses, and the index has lost 9.6 per cent since setting its record on Sept. 20.Technology stocks’ fall marks a big turnaround from earlier this year, and from much of the bull market that began nearly a decade ago. After leading the market higher on the backs of their strong profit growth, Facebook and other big-name tech companies have recently stumbled on concerns that increased government regulation will dent their profits, on top of all the other concerns dragging on the rest of the market.Apple has slumped particularly hard on fears that its newest crop of iPhones isn’t as popular as expected after phone-part suppliers gave discouraging forecasts. Apple has plunged 19.7 per cent since the S&P 500 set its record two months ago, nearly double the loss of the index. Amazon, the third-most valuable U.S. company after Apple and Microsoft, has fallen 21.3 per cent over the same time, during which it gave a forecast for revenue growth this holiday season that fell short of Wall Street’s high expectations.After their years of eye-popping returns, those stocks had become some of the most popular to own among hedge funds, mutual funds and other investors. But just as they bought the stocks together on the way up, investors are now heading for the exits en masse as well.“There’s no doubt that tech companies are widely owned, people have made a lot of money on them and we’re finally seeing for the first time where the rotation is having some legs,” said Nate Thooft, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. “They’re selling the winners and redeploying the money somewhere else.”For now, at least, that somewhere else has been areas of the stock market seen as holding steadier during economic downturns. Last week, for example, investors plowed $1.47 billion into exchange-traded funds that focus on utility stocks. The thinking is that utilities’ customers will continue to turn on their lights and buy power regardless of how many tariffs get placed on Chinese goods.Utility stocks have not only held up better than the rest of the market in recent weeks, they’ve been among the few areas to thrive. Shares of Duke Energy and Xcel Energy have both climbed more than 7 per cent since the S&P 500 began its downturn after Sept. 20.Besides utilities, investors have also been putting money into real-estate stocks and companies that make everyday items for consumers, such as Church & Dwight. The maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda and Oxiclean stain fighters has climbed nearly 10 per cent over the last two months. Clorox, which last month reported stronger profit than analysts expected, is up 5.1 per cent.All these companies are common fodder for “low-volatility” ETFs that have surged in popularity in recent weeks as investors seek out stocks that have historically had smaller price swings than the rest of the market. Last week, $1.3 billion went into “low-volatility” ETFs.At the same time, nearly $500 million left technology stock ETFs. It’s a huge about-face in interest. As recently as two months ago, these ETFs had attracted $8 billion in net investment for 2018. But subsequent waves of selling mean they’re now down to $525.9 million in net investment for the year, according to Jefferies.“These things had outperformed the S&P by a mile over the last three years,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide Investment Management. But that’s changed now. “On good days they’re not the leaders, and on bad days they’re the laggards.”Stan Choe And Marley Jay, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Portugal fetes China risking tension with Western allies

first_imgLISBON, Portugal — While some powerful European Union governments are uneasy about China possibly capturing control of the bloc’s critical energy and transport infrastructure, one of western Europe’s smallest economies is grabbing the opportunity with both hands.Chinese President Xi Jinping is due in Portugal on Tuesday for a 24-hour state visit. The Portuguese government hopes Beijing will invest in the country’s biggest Atlantic port and help expand national energy company Energias de Portugal overseas.France and other EU countries, and the European Commission, have deep misgivings about Portugal possibly signing up to China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative that seeks to link Asia to Europe, saying Beijing’s strategy could help fracture the EU.But Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva says Portugal is “very interested” in the multibillion-dollar infrastructure loan scheme.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Keeping alive the ancient art of kantha embroidery

first_imgIndia International Centre is coming up with an exhibition of Kanthas from the late 19th century till pre-independence; and contemporary Kantha created in the 1990s initiated by the renowned sculptor, late Meera Mukherjee. Titled ‘The Needle Reverence’ – a story stitched by the thrift of Bengali women, the art show will feature collection of Siddhartha Tagore and Mahesh Naithani as well as Meera Mukherjee’s kanthas from the collection of Dolly Narang. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainTo be inaugurated on April 3, at 5:30, by Jasleen Dhamija, veteran historian on Indian textiles, the exhibition is organised to honour Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay. It will be on view from April 4 to 12, 11 am to 7 pm daily at the Art Gallery, IIC Annexe, New Delhi. A creation that started as a way to make life more comfortable has overtime developed into a more detailed and amplified Kantha tradition. Most Kanthas were made by illiterate rural women who would stitch stories into the quilts. Conventionally, these women used a simple running stitch and basic embroidery techniques to create quilts in addition to embroidered cloths for their homes with running stitches along the edges. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardFor generations of Bengali women, the technique of the age old craft were and still are being passed down from mother to daughter. These women would often personalise their work by either putting their name on it or by illustrating their relationship with the person for whom the gift was intended. As has been stated in the book ‘The Scared Textiles of India’, kanthas are as diverse as there have been women designing and embroidering them. Subsequently, the craft took a backbench, like many Indian handicrafts. In the 18th and 19th century the East India Company ruled a considerable section of the country. Though Kantha continued to be practised amongst rural women, the recognition of the craft faded as by then England was printing its own Indian textiles, with machinery and newly developed synthetic dyes. In the post-independence period, there were many a great attempts to revitalize and restore the dying craft with a new life. And now for decades the embroidery craft has been a source of economic independence for rural women. A revolutionary for Kantha today, Shamlu Dudeja took a great initiative in the early ’80s to empower women. Dudeja has worked to incorporate Kantha in today’s market with home decor, urban furnishing and clothing such as sarees. She points out that “creating new Kantha means lots of experimentations and payment to the artists, especially from the semi urban areas”. Kantha embroidery is a popular force even in the fashion world now. With designers displaying beautiful works with a contemporary flair. Kantha has been around for ages however, there is a growing need to maintain its authenticity. Although, a great boon to the handloom sector, which is now the second largest employer in rural India, some fear that with the profit oriented markets, the age old Indian heritage of hand weaving communities may lose their genuineness. The exhibition at IIC is organised in collaboration with MATI – Management of Art Treasures of India; with the support of Art Konsult; The Village Gallery; and Art and Deal Magazine.last_img read more

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Hamilton seeks hattrick as Ferrari aim for revival

first_imgBarcelona: Lewis Hamilton will seek to complete a hat-trick of Catalan triumphs and regain the lead in this year’s drivers’ world championship as Formula One returns home to this year’s first European race at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. The defending five-time champion is a single point behind his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the embryonic standings, following their unprecedented four successive season-opening one-twos. But, like his Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff, he is wary of any suggestion that rivals Ferrari are a fading force and knows that the Italian team, armed with an upgraded power unit being introduced two races sooner than planned, will mount a fierce challenge on the track where they shone in pre-season testing. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”The results may seem to paint a clear picture, but the truth is that they’re too flattering,” said Wolff, who rejected the notion put forward by Ferrari’s four-time champion Sebastian Vettel that his team were now the underdogs. “The performance has fluctuated in the first four races. Our opponents were blisteringly quick in the winter testing here so this Spanish Grand Prix will be anything but easy.” The pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, where Sunday’s race is to be run, seems a long time ago now as Vettel and his new team-mate Charles Leclerc struggle to rediscover those dominant displays when it matters. Predictably, most of the teams will arrive in Spain with an array of updates for their cars that may make it more difficult to predict performance, but Ferrari appear to have chosen to adopt a downbeat approach in advance. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”Obviously, Mercedes are very strong at the moment so I am pretty sure they will be very strong as well in Barcelona,” said Mattia Binotto, the newly-installed team boss facing the challenge of ending Mercedes five years’ domination. “The last four races, on average, we were not quite there,” added Vettel. “So we are not the favourites.” Binotto added that Ferrari were pushing hard to catch Mercedes. “We will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule,” he said. “This second specification was due to be taken to Canada and it’s only down to a big team effort that we have been able to do this.” Hamilton, almost perversely, has said he wants to see Ferrari lift their performance to ensure a thrilling season of competition for himself and Bottas, as their intra-team rivalry promises to turn into a scrap for the drivers’ title. After a winless year in 2018, Bottas has come back determined to prove his pace and power this year – he and Hamilton have two wins each, the Finn adding an extra point to his total by clocking the fastest lap in Australia. “Lewis has been world champion many times so being his team-mate is great for me,” said Bottas, revelling this year in the competition. “It’s a good reference and a benchmark and it also gives us an opportunity to have a very strong team. “On the other hand, it’s not easy. It’s so difficult to get ahead of him, but I know it’s possible. I see it as a great opportunity and I would not choose another team-mate even it made my life easier.”last_img read more