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Category Archives: Immortality

Conditional immortality – Sunbury Daily Item

Posted: July 8, 2017 at 4:12 am

As he neared the end of his life, American patriot and deist Thomas Paine turned his attention to the possibility of postmortem survival.

In a posthumously published essay, he conjectured that humans who had been exceptionally righteous would likely experience bliss and those who had been exceptionally wicked would suffer. But the rest of us, having done nothing in our lives to merit either eternal reward or punishment, would simply cease to be.

By his own admission, Paine wasnt much of a reader. So I suspect he didnt know that his defense of conditional immortality bears some resemblance to a position defended by the 2nd-century Christian theologian Theophilus of Antioch.

Before his conversion to Christianity, Theophilus had been a pagan philosopher steeped in the writings of Plato, who lived 6 centuries earlier. Plato taught that humans are born with immortal souls, a doctrine which gained widespread currency in the Greek-speaking ancient world before Christ. These souls, trapped in physical bodies, yearn to return to the blissfully immaterial realm whence they originated.

Theophilus embraced Platos belief in inherent or unconditional immortality before he became a Christian. But after converting, his study of Hebrew scripture and early Christian writings convinced him that the doctrine was incompatible with both. Instead, Theophilus argued, soul-immortality isnt a given. The soul has the potential for immortality if certain conditions are met, but also for utter dissolution. Immortality, in other words, isnt an essential or inherent characteristic of human nature.

His argument is ingenious. Everyone, Theophilus asserted, acknowledges death to be an evil. God, therefore, couldnt have created humans as mere mortals doomed to die, because doing so makes God the author of deathwhich means that God, the supreme source of all goodness, is responsible for evil. This is logically impossible and morally repugnant.

On the other hand, if God had endowed humans with inherently immortal souls, freedom and self-direction, essential conditions for moral behavior, would be jeopardized. Theophilus reasoning is a bit murky here. But his point seems to be that a carte blanche bestowal of immortality on humans would somehow weaken our moral fiber, perhaps because we would take the gift for granted. If Im confident I can never die, why bother to do much of anything? Its our awareness of the fragile brevity of life that motivates us to make the most of the time we have.

In order to avoid both of these undesirable possibilities, concluded Theophilus, God created humans in neutral mode, as it were, when it comes to mortality and immortality.

If a person freely and conscientiously chooses to keep the commandments of God, those efforts will be rewarded with the emergence of soul immortality.

If, however, a person should incline towards those things which relate to death by disobeying God, then the consequence of this free choice is, literally, ceasing to be. No eternity in heaven or hell, no possibility of redemption, and no resurrection on Judgment Day, because no soul has emerged.

Today, Theophilus is largely forgotten except by church historians. But his better remembered contemporary, St. Irenaeus, was so impressed by the doctrine of conditional immortality that he defended a similar theory. He argued that humans are created as imperfect (mortal) creatures, but that we can grow souls and acquire immortality by how we deal with lifes adversities.

When faced with suffering, said Irenaeus, we can allow it to crush us spiritually, diminishing our capacity for soul-growth, or we can respond by cultivating soul-growing virtues such as patience, trust, humility, and fortitude. Irenaeus intuition is a religious version of the contemporary slogan, No pain, no gain.

Although conditional immortality remains a minority opinion in the Christian worldit was, in fact, condemned as heretical in 1513 by the Lateran Councilit has been defended by learned theologians such as Origen in the 3rd century, Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th, and John Hick in our own day.

But perhaps the best-known defense of conditional immortality is found in an 1819 letter by the poet John Keats, written when he was already suffering from the tuberculosis that killed him 2 years later. Life, he declared, with all its joys and vicissitudes, is a vale of soul-making capable of igniting the divine spark within each of us into a full-fledged soul.

Kerry Walters pastors Holy Spirit American National Catholic Church in Montandon. His video-essays may be found on the YouTube channel Holy Spirit Moments with Fr. Kerry Walters.

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Conditional immortality - Sunbury Daily Item

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‘Biggest game ever’ for Lions as immortality beckons – Irish Times

Posted: at 4:12 am

New Zealand v British & Irish Lions

Venue: Eden Park.

Kick-off: 7.35pm NZ time/8.35am Irish/UK time.

On TV: Live on Sky Sports

The Lions embarked upon a tour described as suicidal by Graham Henry and both they and their head coach were derided after a scratchy opening win over the Barbarians and a loss to the Blues, and at various points along the way. Come the final Saturday, they stand on the cusp of immortality.

Its been quite the journey; a rollercoaster ride up and down the Land of the Long White Cloud which scaled epic heights in Wellington last Saturday when they became the first side to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand in eight years.

For the momentous climax came the hardest part of all, ending the All Blacks 37-match winning run at Eden Park since France won 23-20 in 1994.

Sen OBrien has played 49 Tests for Ireland and four for the Lions. Hes been part of a Lions Test series win, been in an Irish Six Nations-winning team and three European Cup-winning squads with Leinster. So how does this rate?

The biggest, he says with a steely-eyed intent. This is the biggest game Ive ever been involved in, I think, this weekend.

The former All Blacks winger and Italian and Blues head coach, John Kirwan, said earlier this week that regardless of the third Test result, Warren Gatlands legacy is secure, and theres even been grudging respect from the New Zealand Herald.

Yet the portrayal of him as a clown amid an almost daily demonisation of him will not be easily forgotten. One of his assistants with Wales and here, Rob Howley, said: The way Warren Gatlands been treated, its been a disgrace, hasnt it? Its an absolute disgrace. We all love sport and rugby and you can be critical of technical or tactical elements of the Lions or New Zealand, but when that becomes personal criticism I think we all step over the mark and thats happened over the last four weeks of the tour.

Hes a Kiwi. You have to applaud what Warren Gatlands achieved as a Kiwi in the northern hemisphere and Ive no doubt what hell achieve when he comes back to New Zealand as well. Hes probably one of the best coaches in world rugby at this moment in time.

Asked if he envisaged Gatland being All Blacks coach one day, Howley said: Yeah, I got no doubt he will be. Citing Gatlands success with Connacht, Ireland and Wales, not to mention Wasps, where Howley played, he added: I learned more as a player when I was coached by Warren Gatland at the age of 31 than I had by any other coaches. And Ive been very fortunate to be coached by a lot of coaches.

He understands the games, he understands players, and I think thats the biggest asset that hes got, said Howley, which was perhaps a legacy of his time as understudy to Sean Fitzpatrick.

All the while, Howley said, Gatland remained calm and relaxed in steering the Lions through a relentless schedule. At the start of the tour you were going at 25mph and now were going at 18mph, said Howley.

Having their key decision-makers, Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton and Dan Biggar all available for the pre-tour camp in the Carton House was key.

The emergence of the Sexton-Farrell axis may have contributed to the All Blacks recalling Julian Savea, and an indication that they would defend pretty flat.

I think they will revert to the kicking game, he added, and theyll come off 9. Its about making sure that our systems in place that were good last week are better than they were the week before.

If we can do that, its making sure that when weve got the ball, we take our opportunities. Its one game, as a coach and a player that you are going to be so excited because it is the ultimate challenge of creating history. Thats what weve got to look forward to.

New Zealand: Jordan Barrett (Hurricanes); Israel Dagg (Crusaders), Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), Ngane Laumape (Hurricanes), Julien Savea (Hurricanes); Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), Aaron Smith (Highlanders); Joe Moody (Crusaders), Codie Taylor (Crusaders), Owen Franks (Crusaders), Brodie Retallick (Chiefs) Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders), Jerome Kaino (Blues), Sam Cane (Chiefs), Kieran Read (Crusaders, captain).

Replacements: Nathan Harris (Chiefs), Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders),

Charlie Faumuina (Blues), Scott Barrett (Crusaders), Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) or Lima Sopoaga (Highalnders), Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders).

British & Irish Lions: Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales); Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, Wales), Owen Farrell (Saracens, England), Elliot Daly (Wasps, England); Johnny Sexton (Leinster, Ireland), Conor Murray (Munster, Ireland); Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England,) Jamie George (Saracens, England), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, Ireland), Maro Itoje (Saracens, England), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, Wales, capt), Sean OBrien (Leinster, Ireland), Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), Jack McGrath (Leinster, Ireland), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, England), Courtney Lawes (Northampton, England), CJ Stander (Munster, Ireland), Rhys Webb (Ospreys, Wales), Ben Teo (Worcester Warriors, England), Jack Nowell (Exeter, England).

Referee: Romain Poite (France).

Previous meetings: Played 40, New Zealand 30 wins, 3 draws, Lions 7 wins.

Betting (Paddy Powers): 2/7 New Zealand, 22/1 Draw, 7/2 Lions. Handicap betting (Lions +11 pts) Evens New Zealand, 19/1 Draw, Evens Lions.

Forecast: The Lions to win.

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'Biggest game ever' for Lions as immortality beckons - Irish Times

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Reliving Edhi’s journey to immortality – The News International

Posted: at 4:12 am

As it were this time last year, grey clouds are hovering over Merewether Tower as the clock strikes 12 in the afternoon. Buses, cars and motorbikes halt for a group of pedestrians trying to cross the busy thoroughfare, II Chundrigar Road, to reach the decades-old Edhi Centre in Mithadar.

With the passing of Pakistans greatest philanthropist, Abdul Sattar Edhi, on July 8 last year, the centre like all others is now looked after by his son Faisal Edhi, while one of the foundations longest serving representatives, Anwar Kazmi, sits in the office managing the day-to-day activities.

Clad in a grey shalwar kameez, he sits behind a desk teeming with stacks of files and two telephone sets that ring almost incessantly. Kazmi, 72, had known Edhi since 1962 when he took a friend to the Mithadar dispensary.

Edhi called for a compounder to tend to my friend, while he sat down on a bench and spoke to the rest of us for a long time. We discussed local and world politics; I was quite politically charged at the time and was associated with the left. Over the course of that conversation, it turned out that we shared similar thoughts and he asked me to come by more often. That was the start of a bond that lasts to this day, he reminisced.

Referring to the famous strike by students in 1964 near DJ Science College in which many were injured, he said Edhi had stepped in personally at the time to tend to the victims. We had to strategise because had we taken those students to the civil hospital they would have been booked by the police. So we took them straight to Edhi sahab who tended to the injured.

Our friendship grew stronger because of our like-mindedness and finally in 1970, I started working with the Edhi Foundation; at the time, though, the foundation was much smaller in scale as compared to what we see today.

Speaking about the late humanitarian, Kazmi said that Edhis four core principles simplicity, truthfulness, hard work and punctuality were what catapulted him to greatness. His thoughts always translated into actions. Also, I dont remember him ever mincing his words; he couldnt care less about repercussions.

Against the tide

When Edhi pursued his mission, he was going against the norms of his community, said Kazmi.

He told the Memon community that he only wanted to work for humanity and wasnt interested in the dynamics of any particular community system, solely because they were controlled by men seeking profits. He said he didnt want to pave the way for those who would always be needy.

Known for his journey from an 8x8 dispensary to one of the worlds largest humanitarian organisations, Edhi had told the world that he would not seek donations because he was sure that common people would come forward to help him when they saw his efforts.

The people did help him. When they saw his tireless work ethic, they came forward in droves to donate. It was with their assistance that after a few years Edhi acquired a second-hand vehicle that he transformed into an ambulance. At the time that was our only ambulance and it went all over the city to help people in distress, Kazmi narrated.

Faith and fury

Though he was considered a man of few words who had an impassive expression, Kazmi recalled a time when he saw Edhi immensely angry.

One of the worst tragedies to have occurred in Karachi was the 1987 bombing in Bohri Bazaar, the first of its kind in the city. I was sitting with Edhi when the news started filtering in; within minutes calls were made to all units of the city and all ambulances were told to rush to the scene.

Kazmi recalled that all vehicles were soon out in the field, except for one that remained parked at the centre. We found out that the ambulance driver had gone to say his prayers. I seldom saw Edhi sahab as upset as he was when we told him the reason; he was incensed that the driver had chosen to go for prayers instead of helping those battling for their lives. His words at the time were, Any man who cant understand the essence of humanity cannot work with us.

A motorcyclist (R) pays his respects to Abdul Sattar Edhi (2nd L), as he travels to his office in Karachi.

He had also once called out the military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, for giving room to religious fanaticism, urging him to instead provide basic necessities for the people.

At the time, Edhi sahab spoke at a well-attended event and told all those present that neither did Pakistan need enforcement of religious laws nor did the people want it. He said the villages needed more schools and hospitals, not mosques and madrasas. The criticism against him after this speech was instantaneous but Edhi never did back down from voicing his opinion, said Kazmi.

Ignoring naysayers

It is hardly a secret that there was a widespread propaganda campaign against Edhi owing to his secular notions.

He was called chanda khor, dehriya, and other such names but he never responded to anyone. We were young and always itching to give a rebuttal but he said apna rasta khota na karo (dont add obstacles in your own path), Kazmi laughed.

Instead, he added, Edhi would always refer to an example of a beggar entering a village. He would say that a beggar carries a stick with himself to ward off stray dogs. If a dog comes too close, he just waves the stick to make it step back. Similarly if they would come near me I will signal them with the stick because I cant let them impede my path. If the beggar would waste his efforts in fighting all the dogs, he wouldnt be able to survive.

Passing the mantle

Over the course of the year that has passed since Edhis demise, many questioned the capability of his son, Faisal Edhi, to pick up where his esteemed father left off.

He raised Faisal to one day fill his shoes. Ever since his childhood, Faisal accompanied his father on relief work. He knew he would depart one day and while Edhi sahab is undoubtedly irreplaceable, he moulded Faisal in way that I am sure he would prove his mettle in a few years.

Yaar it only takes a minute, get more of them

Recalling the time when the charity foundations communications system was being transformed into a wireless one, a visibly amused Kazmi said Edhi had stopped talking to him owing to their disagreement over the new system.

Faisal Edhi

Edhi sahab was reluctant because he feared it would be costly and useless. We would be sitting right next to each other but he grew silent on me and refused to come near the vehicles after the system was installed. Finally, a Sri Lankan engineer took him to test the system and from the Tower centre Edhi was able to connect with the volunteers in different areas of the city. When he found himself speaking to Haji Iqbal from Moosa Lines or Raju in Korangi, Edhi sahab started laughing and turned to me and said, Yaar, it only takes a minute, get more of them.

He said Edhis chief concern was that public money would be wasted on what he thought would be a huge investment. To our luck, the person who took up the task felt he was indebted to Edhi sahab because he had found his intellectually disabled daughter through an Edhi home.

I cant dodge a bullet with my name on it

Going back to the time when the army patrolled the streets of Karachi, Kazmi said an incident in Aligarh Colony made them take the risk of venturing out during curfew time.

Nobody was stepping out because of the volatile situation in the city during the 90s. When we received the news about shootout and that causalities were feared, Edhi sahab and I headed to Aligarh Colony.

Soon, security personnel intercepted us and told us we could not proceed further. We tried to reason with them and, finally, a senior officer who recognised Edhi sahab told the men to let us through. It was a fierce clash between Mohajirs and Pakhtuns but both sides stopped as soon as we entered the area.

That was the kind of risk Edhi sahab was always willing to take. There were times when even we would advise him against a certain plan. However, his reply was always the same; if a bullet is fired with my name on it, no force on earth can divert it elsewhere.

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Ronan O’Gara suggests how Sean O’Brien should have responded to immortality question –

Posted: at 4:12 am

Sky Sports get carried away an awful lot but last Saturday was understandable.

Professional rugby was brought in not long after Sky's launch and the pair have been tight for two decades now. One hype machine feeds into the next until we get to the stage where beating New Zealand brings men to within a step of immortality.

That's how it went down at The Cake Tin, in Wellington, as Sky Sports' Graeme Simmons caught up with Lions flanker Sean O'Brien. Looking ahead to the third and final Test, on July 8, Simmons proclaimed:

Simmons:"Immortality beckons. That's what it is. Immortality is beckoning.

O'Brien:"Sure that's what we're here for."

Carlow's finest handled the question well, refused to get carried away and focused on the task at hand. There was a quizzical look fired Simmons' way but O'Brien let the hype-man worry about the hype.

O'Brien ploughed off to join his victorious teammates and soak up the applause.

Ronan O'Gara feels 'The Tullow Tank' will be disappointed with letting that bombastic question slide quite so easily. The former Ireland and Lions outhalf toldThe Hard Yardsrugby podcast what O'Brien should have responded with. O'Gara commented:

"It was such a missed opportunity by Seanie. I'd say it was because he was so fatigued but normally he'd bury him!

"It was such a chance for him to go viral there. Seanie, he's an unbelievably good craic character. Very witty.

"It would ave been his style there to come up with an absolute cracker of a comment like,'I'm already a superstar in Carlow, I'm not too bothered anyway lads!'"

O'Gara added:

"That's Seanie though. He's an unbelievable character and that's why lads play for him.

"Je's got a thing about him now where you just need him in your team."

Immortality may be a tad over the top but imagine the comments if the Lions get the job done in Auckland. And imagine O'Brien's comments in return.

*Check out the full O'Gara chat on O'Brien from 36:00 below:

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Lions have what it takes to claim immortality against All Blacks – Irish Times

Posted: July 7, 2017 at 2:12 am

How to quantify this one? Rugbys greatest series, to quote Sky Sport NZs advertising campaign and that hyperbole doesnt seem excessive has reached its first series-deciding showdown since 1993. Viewed in that light, its possibly the biggest game of the professional era outside of World Cups.

For the back-to-back world champions, its an opportunity for a somewhat remodelled, younger team, captained by Kieran Read in his 100th test, and marshalled by the world player of the year, Beauden Barrett, and his brothers, to emulate illustrious names of the All Blacks past in the post-Richie McCaw and Dan Carter era and cement their own status.

For the Lions its an even rarer chance to grasp a slice of rugby-playing immortality, and emulate something only one Lions squad has ever achieved before. Then it was the sepia-tinged class of Willie John, Gibson, an array of Welsh legends and others, back in 1971.

Thats all then. Truly, its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, never to be experienced again.

The very nature of the tour and the series so far has set up the climax perfectly. The Lions were largely written off before this suicidal tour and from the outset. Gradually the quality of their players was honed into two strong teams, albeit one stronger than the other.

Even then, in the first test, they left opportunities behind, whereas the All Blacks clinically took theirs, whereupon the Lions defied expectations as 5/1 outsiders a week ago with a drama-filled comeback, admittedly against 14 men for 45 of the last 55 minutes on a raucous night in a rain-sodden Westpac Stadium. They were the clinical ones, with two nicely created and strongly finished tries. The Red Army were in raptures and are liable to be buttressed by further re-enforcements here. The All Blacks fans have been provoked into finding their voice. Another filthy forecast will only add to the drama.

Whod have thought, at the outset, that coming into this climactic third test, the Lions would not only have the momentum, but would have an unchanged side in a test for the first time since 1993? And meanwhile, that the All Blacks would be making three changes in personnel, including a 20-year-old (Jordan Barrett) and 24-year-old (Ngani Laumpape) making their first test starts in an untried back three and new midfield?

Revenge is a powerful spur in rugby, not least when the matches come close together. Wounded pride, and a whiff of cordite and all that, and therell plenty in the Auckland air. The Lions had it last week, the All Blacks this, and Ireland felt the full, brutal force of this blacklash in November.

Yet Warren Gatland is adamant, as is Johnny Sexton, that this Lions team can be even better again.

We also still dont think were at our best, we still think we can improve. Obviously theres going to be an improvement in the All Blacks but its something we dont think is going to be a shock to us. Rory Best spoke earlier in the week about how the Irish felt they didnt handle the physicality that the All Blacks brought in the game two weeks after the Chicago game, even though theyd spoken about it. Were ready for it.

I think theyre going to try to dominate us up front, particularly in the tight five, and try and give some of their inexperienced backs some go-forward. If they dont get that advantage up front and were aware of making sure we try and negate the threat of their tight five it should make the game interesting.

Despite their Queenstown time-out, and satisfaction from last week, theres no sense that the Lions players are content with their lot, according to Gatland.

I havent witnessed that. I hope I dont see it on Saturday night because that would be pretty disappointing. Theres a group of players there who are incredibly competitive and realise this is a massive opportunity to win a series in NZ. It doesnt come round very often. These Irish players who played in Chicago know what it was like two weeks later; theyve another chance to make sure they dont get caught with their pants down.

As in the previous two tests, the lines in the sand are liable to again be drawn close in along the gain line. The All Blacks won the collisions in round one, the Lions with some tampering in personnel in round two. The personnel now largely remains the same, with Laumape on from the start after being the All Blacks most potent runner, but also their weakest defender, a week ago.

Sean OBriens availability is a game changer, or at any rate his nonavailability would have been. If the Lions can reproduce the same strength and accuracy in the tackle close in, and if OBrien, Sam Warburton and co can slow down the All Blacks customary high-tempo game in other words, if they can stifle Beauden Barrett, they have every chance.

With yet more biblical rain forecast, the scrums could be a significant factor, as again will the referee, in this instance Romain Poite. He showed in the series decider four years ago that, as ever, he is both a strong, thick-skinned personality and favours the scrum going forward, whatever the means. The All Blacks will assuredly go after the Lions at scrum time.

The Lions have lost the penalty count by a combined 24-15 in the tests to date, and Gatland clearly feels the Lions havent been given a fair deal yet, and particularly in this series. He will meet with Poite, his assistants Jerome Garces and the hitherto unsatisfactory Jaco Peyper, a description that could also apply to the TMO George Ayoub.

All Gatland wants is that they have an open mind.

Thats the message I will hopefully give to the officials tomorrow night when I meet them. Weve got the confidence and self-belief to win this Saturday and win the series, so all we ask of them is to be open-minded, not to be surprised by us being in front and good enough to win. Thats an important message I am trying to deliver. I am not questioning their integrity or anything. Its just that sometimes its a mindset. The message is just, if there are some 50-50 calls, to be open-minded.

To support Gatlands theory that there is more in this team, the Sexton-Farrell combo was at the heartbeat of the two tries that turned the game on its head and has given the lie to Warrenball while giving them a cutting edge, which has been sharpened by a brand-new back three who have only played two games together. They also have a core of proven Lions. They wont be fazed.

The All Blacks havent lost at Eden Park since France won 23-20 in 1994, and have won 37 tests in a row there. They are hot favourites, and could win well, but if opportunity knocks, these Lions have tries in them.

After all the verbal sparring up until this point a week ago, both Gatland and Steve Hansen assumed a more restrained, balanced mindset, culminating in them both being quite philosophical on Thursday. Indeed, both had the exact same choice of wordswhen maintaining this game will not define these players.

Nor should it. They all have or will achieve plenty more.

Nevertheless, immortality beckons, and all that.

NEW ZEALAND: Jordan Barrett (Hurricanes); Israel Dagg (Crusaders), Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), Ngane Laumape (Hurricanes), Julien Savea (Hurricanes); Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), Aaron Smith (Highlanders); Joe Moody (Crusaders), Codie Taylor (Crusaders), Owen Franks (Crusaders), Brodie Retallick (Chiefs) Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders), Jerome Kaino (Blues), Sam Cane (Chiefs), Kieran Read (Crusaders, captain).

Replacements: Nathan Harris (Chiefs), Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders),

Charlie Faumuina (Blues), Scott Barrett (Crusaders), Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) or Lima Sopoaga (Highalnders), Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders).

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS: Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales); Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, Wales), Owen Farrell (Saracens, England), Elliot Daly (Wasps, England); Johnny Sexton (Leinster, Ireland), Conor Murray (Munster, Ireland); Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England,) Jamie George (Saracens, England), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, Ireland), Maro Itoje (Saracens, England), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, Wales, capt), Sean OBrien (Leinster, Ireland), Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), Jack McGrath (Leinster, Ireland), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, England), Courtney Lawes (Northampton, England), CJ Stander (Munster, Ireland), Rhys Webb (Ospreys, Wales), Ben Teo (Worcester Warriors, England), Jack Nowell (Exeter, England).

Referee: Romain Poite (France).

Previous meetings: Played 40. New Zealand 30 wins, 3 draws, Lions 7 wins.

Betting (Paddy Powers): 2/7 New Zealand, 22/1 Draw, 7/2 Lions. Handicap betting (Lions +11 pts): evens New Zealand, 19/1 draw, evens Lions.

Forecast: The Lions to win.

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British and Irish Lions 2017: Warren Gatland tells Lions to seize immortality after naming unchanged side for third … – City A.M.

Posted: July 5, 2017 at 11:11 pm

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has urged his side to seize immortality after naming an unchanged matchday squad for Saturdays decisive final Test against New Zealand in Auckland.

A first series win over the All Blacks since 1971 beckons after the Lions restored parity in the three-match showdown with a 24-21 victory over the world champions in Wellington on Saturday.

Gatland cited the need to hand the players who had dragged the Lions level the opportunity to administer the knockout blow at Eden Park, where New Zealand have not lost a Test match since 1994.

This is a huge chance for this group of players to show their abilities and reap the benefits of the work everyone has put in, said Gatland. It is their chance to make Lions history.

We are all aware of how big this game is and we are expecting a backlash from the All Blacks. But the pleasing thing about the second Test is just how strong we were in the last 10 or 15 minutes, in terms of energy and enthusiasm so we still feel there is another level in us.

Just as he did at the Westpac Stadium at the weekend, flanker Sam Warburton will lead the Lions, who have named an unchanged starting XV for consecutive Tests for the first time since 1993.

We felt we should reward the players for the result and the courage that they showed in coming from behind, from 18-9 down, digging themselves out of a hole and then finishing strongly in that last 10 to 15 minutes, added Gatland.

There are some players who are pretty disappointed not to be selected and I understand that. It is what you would expect from competitive top athletes, they back themselves.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have made three changes to their XV for the series clincher. Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape are set to make their first starts for the All Blacks at full-back and inside centre respectively, while Julian Savea returns on the left wing.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 presenters announced –

Posted: at 11:10 pm

Jerry Jones received the invitation to football immortality back in February. His wife will be the one leading him there in August.

The owner of the Dallas Cowboys has selected his wife, Gene, as his presenter for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio, the team announced in a news release Wednesday. The two celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013 and have three children, all of whom work as executives in the Cowboys' organization.

Jones is part of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, which includes Kurt Warner, who will also have his wife, Brenda, present him for induction. Brenda Warner and Gene Jones will be the third and fourth wives to present their spouses for induction into the Hall of Fame, joining Kim Singletary (husband, Mike, was in the Class of 1998) and Deanna Favre (Brett, Class of 2016).

LaDanian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley and Morten Andersen are also in this year's class. Here's the complete list of presenters:

Morten Andersen: Sebastian Andersen, Morten's son

Terrell Davis: Neil Schwartz, Terrell's agent & friend

Kenny Easley: Tommy Rhodes, Kenny's high school coach

Jerry Jones: Gene Jones, Jerry's wife

Jason Taylor: Jimmy Johnson, Jason's coach with Dolphins

LaDanian Tomlinson: Lorenzo Neal, LaDainian's teammate with Chargers

Kurt Warner: Brenda Warner, Kurt's wife

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British & Irish Lions 80 Minutes From ‘Immortality’ In New Zealand – Jamie George –

Posted: at 9:13 am

Details Published on Wednesday, 05 July 2017 10:48

The British and Irish Lions will be 80 minutes from "immortality" when they face New Zealand in Saturday's deciding Test, says hooker Jamie George.

Victory in Auckland would secure only the Lions' second series win over world champions the All Blacks, who have not lost at Eden Park since 1994.

"We are fully aware of what is at stake," said England's George, 26.

"It is going to be a fantastic occasion on Saturday and one again that we will never forget."

The Lions, whose only series win in New Zealand came in 1971, were comprehensively beaten 30-15 in the opener in Auckland, but edged a thriller 24-21 in Wellington on Saturday.

That was the All Blacks' first defeat at the Westpac Stadium in seven years, while they have not lost successive matches anywhere since 2011.

George said: "We knew the importance of what Saturday was to get ourselves back level.

"I have said it before and I will say it again - we cannot get carried away with the emotional side of the game.

"We have got to make sure that physically we are on it, mentally we are on it, that we know our stuff and we can go into the game with clear heads and really attack it, because sometimes you can get overawed by the whole occasion.

"Thinking about making history and all that, I don't think we can think about it. We just think about play by play, minute by minute."

Sean O'Brien is available for the Lions after being cleared of dangerous play in the second Test.

New Zealand will be without centre Sonny Bill Williams, who was banned for four weeks for a shoulder charge on Anthony Watson.

Despite winning 17 England caps, George has never started a Test, yet has been in the starting XV for the Lions in both Tests on this tour under coach Warren Gatland.

George's parents 'gutted' at missing decider

George's parents will not see him in action in the deciding Test, having flown home for work commitments.

He said: "They are gutted. They were trying to change their flights but they cannot make it.

"I have jut said my goodbyes now and they were a little bit more teary again. I don't think they expected me to play.

"My parents have got to go back to work and stuff but I am sure they will be there in spirit."


BBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter Chris Jones in Auckland

The All Blacks don't lose very often, especially in New Zealand.

While they were beaten by Ireland as recently as November, that was in the relative anonymity of the American city of Chicago, not in their own backyard.

The Kiwi public is loyal, but expectant. They haven't lost successive matches since 2011, before head coach Steve Hansen took charge.

Lose to the Lions on Saturday and the public inquest really will begin.


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Fancy a vitamin infusion? – EsquireMe

Posted: at 9:13 am

We hate to break it to you but it looks like all those superfood salads youve been putting yourself through have been a bit of a waste. Actually eating your fruits and vegetables? That is so 2016. The hottest new way to get your vitamins is via an Intravenous Vitamin Infusion.

Dont worry if you arent exactly sure what that involves yet as The Elixir Clinic, a leading clinic specialising in Intravenous Vitamin Infusions, has only just opened a Dubai branch in order to match its Harrods outlet. A space where clients can indulge in a range of aesthetic and holistic treatments, The Elixir Clinic is set to become the ultimate health and wellbeing destination for the same set of people youve seen shilling Bootea on Instagram.

Described as an effective, natural and safe way to sustain long-term wellbeing, the patented VitaDrip is perhaps the most unique treatment The Elixir Clinic has on offer. The range of VitaDrips available at the clinic include drips that specialise in: Adrenal Fatigue, Anti-ageing, Antioxidant, Diet and Detox, Fitness, Hairgrowth, Immunity, Jet Lag, and Mood support. If an IV drip that adjusts your mood still doesnt sound Orwellian enough then you can always try out the VIP Elixir. Exclusive to Harrods, this Harrods VIP Exclusive infusion features a custom blend of essential vitamins and minerals along with a combination of anti-ageing, anti-stress, antioxidant and beauty properties to help combat the very passing of time itself.

Other than intravenous vitamin infusions, The Elixir Clinic also offers clients the option to pamper themselves with Intra-Muscular Injections or an Oligoscan. Gathering accurate and precise information on aspects such as anti-oxidants, heavy metal accumulation and mineral deficiencies, the Oligoscan can probably pinpoint the exact number of minutes that last doughnut you ate took off your life-span.

If you do fancy having a go at living forever, the Elixir Clinic have a local branch on the 33rd floor of the Al Habtoor Business Towers. Theyre open 9:00AM to 7:00PM Saturday Thursday (not that time will exactly matter once you obtain immortality).

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Fancy a vitamin infusion? - EsquireMe

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Immortality crowned best at Italian film festival – Tehran Times – Tehran Times

Posted: July 4, 2017 at 8:17 am

TEHRAN -- Immortality by Mehdi Fard-Qaderi won the award for best feature movie at the 15th Ischia Film Festival on the Italian island on Saturday, the organizers announced.

The film was competing in the official section of the festival, which began on June 24.

A jury composed of Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, Portuguese screenwriter Miguel Barros and German producer Dagmar Jacobsen picked Immortality for the courageous use of a single location in a single shot.

Beyond his mastery, we recognize that it is a well-written and recited movie whose purpose is to provide a unique fresco in modern Iran. What a success, the jury said in a statement.

Immortality, which is a one-shot feature film, tells the story of some strangers who have to spend a rainy night together on a train.

Photo: Director Mehdi Fard-Qaderi holds an award for his movie Immortality at the 15th Ischia Film Festival in Italy on July 1, 2017.


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