Man in custody for 4 ‘brutal’ killings that shook Reno communities: Officials

first_imgWashoe County Sheriffs Office(RENO, Nev.) — A man was taken into custody this weekend in connection with four “brutal” murders that shook communities in the Reno, Nevada, area, officials said.Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, was apprehended Saturday, Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said at a joint news conference Sunday.“We feel confident we have evidence that will link him to all four homicides,” Balaam said. “The information we have now indicates there are no outstanding suspects.”Martinez-Guzman “was likely in the United States illegally and was detainable,” immigration officers verified Saturday afternoon, said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong.Martinez-Guzman, who has been living in Carson City for about a year, is being held in the Carson City Detention Facility on immigration charges and charges related to possession of stolen property, Balaam said.Investigators will be seeking an arrest warrant for the murders in the coming days, Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks said at the news conference.No motive has been released, and authorities added that Martinez-Guzman was not known to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.All four victims were found shot dead in their homes, reported ABC Reno affiliate KOLO.The first of the four victims, 56-year-old Connie Koontz, was killed Jan. 9 or 10, KOLO reported.Sophia Renken, 74, was found dead Jan. 13, according to KOLO, and then Gerald David, 81, and his wife Sharon David, 80, were found shot dead in their home on Jan. 16.“Our communities were shaken by these brutal murders,” Hicks said.From Jan. 10 to Saturday, Jan. 19, investigators were following up on tips and leads in the four killings, and by Friday, those leads allowed agencies to focus on several specific locations in Carson City, Furlong said.Friday afternoon surveillance teams were sent to find Martinez-Guzman and anyone associated with him, and by 7 a.m. Saturday, according to Furlong, investigators found him at a home in east Carson City.Authorities said family members of all four victims were at Sunday’s news conference.A relative of Gerald and Sharon David told reporters, “We’d like to express our sincere sympathies to the families of the other victims. They are in our prayers. We will continue to keep our eyes on God, trusting in him, as we walk through the aftermath of this tragedy.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Dinosaur Extinction Was Global

first_img(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Whatever killed the dinosaurs took place quickly in both North America and Europe simultaneously.Did you know that most of the evidence for dinosaur extinction by an asteroid impact comes from North America?  Steven Brusatte is quoted in a EurekAlert article:Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences (UK), an author on the report, added: “Everyone knows that an asteroid hit 66 million years ago and dinosaurs disappeared, but this story is mostly based on fossils from one part of the world, North America. We now know that European dinosaurs were thriving up to the asteroid impact, just like in North America. This is strong evidence that the asteroid really did kill off dinosaurs in their prime, all over the world at once.“By analyzing European dinosaur fossils, researchers at the University of Bucharest are tying two continents together:In the Pyrenees of Spain and France, the best area in Europe for finding latest Cretaceous dinosaurs, meat and plant-eating species are present and seemingly flourishing during the final few hundred thousand years before the asteroid hit.Details of the analysis are published in the Pensoft journal Zookeys.  The abstract states, “there is no clear evidence that dinosaurs or other groups were undergoing long-term declines in Europe prior to the bolide impact.”The way science news gets reported is very misleading. If Gerta Keller (12/21/14) had a chance to respond, there would be a hefty debate about the asteroid theory vs. the lava theory. Instead, each institution gets to put out its talking points without rebuke by those who disagree. Reporters regurgitate the press releases without asking hard questions, giving the public an impression that each one-sided presentation is solid science.Both the asteroid and lava theories leave many questions unanswered. Why did dinosaurs get hit so hard, but not butterflies, turtles, alligators, mammals and freshwater fish?  Both secular hypotheses depend on Darwin years instead of real years. Both ignore the powerful dinosaur soft-tissue evidence, and ignore hard evidence about human-dinosaur contact (e.g., dragon legends, carvings).The only theory that makes sense of all the data (including the ignored data) is that a few dinosaurs survived the Flood, but were hunted down to extinction as pests or as trophies of conquest by men (dragon slayers). Worldwide, dinosaurs were buried in the Flood (that’s why they appear in mass graveyards in the “dinosaur death pose” indicating drowning. The few that came off the ark were killed by man over the next 3,000 years or so, without leaving fossils. Dinosaurs, in other words, haven’t been gone all that long. Humans are pretty good at wiping out species they don’t like, as 21st-century conservationists are well aware.last_img read more

Dingaan Thobela: The Rose of Soweto

first_imgDingaan Thobela established himself as a charismatic, gifted fighter and a favourite of the South African public.Former boxing champion Dingaan Thobela is known as “The Rose of Soweto”.(Image: Cara Viereckl, via IOL)Brand South Africa reporterDingaan Thobela has proved himself as one of South Africa’s most talented boxers, although perhaps not the most hardworking fighter. The charismatic Thobela started his professional career in 1986 as a junior welterweight, but has since moved up to the light heavyweight ranks – representing a rise of almost 16 kilograms.He has even spoken of possibly campaigning as a heavyweight whether he was serious or not remains to be seen.After an amateur career that saw him win 80 times and lose just three bouts, Thobela’s first professional fight pitted him against Quinton Ryan, a bout he won in four rounds. The slick-punching Thobela was held to a draw in his fourth fight, but proceeded to win 25 fights in a row over the next five years, registering 19 wins by knockout along the way.Dingaan Thobela starts his professional career in 1986 as a junior welterweight, but later moved up to the light heavyweight ranks – representing a rise of almost 16 kilograms. (Image: African Ring)Fighting outside South AfricaAs he scored more and more wins, Thobela became increasingly marketable and began to fight outside of South Africa. In 1990, three of his five fights were in the United States and all three ended in victories, two by knockout over Pascual Aranda and Mauricio Aceves who he both disposed of in the fifth round.In 1991, Thobela’s three contests were all won on points, and in 1992 he fought only twice, defeating Tony Foster over eight rounds and stopping Peter Till in nine rounds.At the beginning of February 1993, “The Rose of Soweto” took on Tony Lopez for the WBA lightweight title. Lopez had previously fought twice against South African boxing legend Brian Mitchell. Mitchell, who retired as WBA champion after 13 successful title defences, had fought Lopez in Sacramento on both occasions. The first bout ended in a controversial draw and Mitchell left the matter in no doubt the second time around.Controversial lossThobela discovered how difficult it was to win in Lopez’ backyard when he lost on a controversial points decision. Four months later he faced Lopez at Sun City, and this time he captured the title.Thobela made his first defence in October, but came up against a superior fighter in the unbeaten Orzubek Nazarov, who claimed a convincing 12-round decision. Thobela challenged for the title again in March 1994, but Nazarov had his number and won over 12 rounds in a repeat of his previous victory. Later in the year Thobela faced journeyman Karl Taylor in England and was surprisingly knocked out in the eighth round of their contest.In 1995 Thobela got back on track with five victories, all of them by knockout, and added a further two KO victories by June 1996. However, matters went haywire again for “The Rose” when he faced Geoff McCreesh in November. McCreesh, who came into the fight with a record of 15 wins and three losses, mostly against little-known British opponents, stunned Thobela in the second round, sending the South African to the canvas for a huge upset victory.Beaten by a journeymanIn his next fight, in March 1997, Thobela was beaten by American journeyman Willy Wise, who came into the fight with 21 wins – only six by knockout – three losses and four draws. The South African was favoured to win, but Wise secured a points victory.Questions were being asked about Thobela’s commitment, but he secured a big win later in the year, defeating fellow South African Gary Murray on a fourth-round TKO. In 1998 he fought only once, drawing against Carlos Baldomir over 12 rounds. Thobela looked rusty and out of shape and doubts grew about his boxing career.However, he returned for two fights in 1999. He won in seven rounds against Walter Danett, but was beaten on points by Cornelius Carr for the WBF middleweight title.World title winIn early 2000 he won a points decision over Soon Botes to earn a crack at Glen Catley’s WBC super middleweight title. The Briton was heavily favoured to retain his crown, but Thobela, way behind on all three judges’ scorecards, staged a strong finish, dramatically knocking Catley out with only seconds remaining in the bout. He was once again a world champion.As had happened previously, Thobela was unable to defend his world title, losing to Canada’s Dave Hilton on a controversial points decision in Montreal. Shortly afterwards, Hilton was jailed for rape and Thobela was given another crack at the title against Eric Lucas in November 2001. He struggled to make the weight, however, and Lucas dominated the fight before winning on a TKO in the eighth round.Thobela was a natural: a gifted boxer who, at the the height of his career, established himself as a charismatic, gifted fighter and a favourite of the South African public.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

The world’s fastest downhill racer

first_img16 September 2008South African downhill mountain-biker Greg Minnaar was crowned World Cup champion at the weekend. His fifth place in the season’s final race at Schladming, Austria was enough to secure him the title after he won three of seven Nissan UCI Downhill Series events.After a brilliant win in Canberra in the season’s penultimate event, Minnaar took a 116-point lead over Australia’s Sam Hill into the final round of the series. Hill managed second overall in Austria but, with fifth place, Minnaar finished 61 points clear at the top of the final points’ standings.Hill was favoured to take victory at Schladming because he had won at the venue on a number of previous occasions, but New Zealand’s Sam Blenkinsop took the win, his first ever, in four minutes, 10.16 seconds, which was 1.64 seconds clear of the Australian.Gee Atherton finished in third, followed the Santa Cruz Syndicate teammates, Steve Peat and Greg Minnaar. South Africa’s Andrew Neethling claimed tenth place.PressureAfter securing the World Cup title, Minnaar commented: “All week there was obviously a lot of pressure on from being so close to winning the overall. It’s not because of the race, as such, but because you are so close to winning it that you don’t want to lose it.“Sam (Hill) and I both had a lot of pressure on both of us and I think it affected both our riding. I don’t feel I rode to my full potential.“My race was hard. I started off really comfortable, I felt good and after just a little slip up top I decided to back things off a bit because I didn’t want to risk a crash or anything else. I heard someone shout at me on the course that I was going slow. I was thinking a lot of stuff and I just didn’t want to crash.“I think from that aspect it was a pretty bad race, so at the bottom I wasn’t really that stoked just because of the fact that I didn’t have a good race. It felt pretty bland and I also didn’t have all the adrenaline pumping from having a good ride, so it was mixed emotions at the bottom, even knowing that I had just won the overall.”Double celebrationDespite feeling little let down by his performance, Minnaar was ready to celebrate when he received a magnum of champagne on the podium and he had some teammates to share his success with; Minnaar’s team, Santa Cruz Syndicate, finished top of the UCI team standings.During the season, Minnaar recorded victories at Fort William in the UK, Mont-Saint-Anne in Canada, and Canberra in Australia. He also finished second at the World Championships at Val-di-Sole in Italy, third in Bromont, Canada, and fourth in Vallnord, Andorra.Minnaar won the South African Downhill title in March in Pietermaritzburg. He hails from the KwaZulu-Natal capital, which will host the first leg of the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from 2009.UCI DOWNHILL SERIES OVERALL RESULTS Greg Minnaar 1354Sam Hill 1293Gee Atherton 1207Steve Peat 1099Sam Blenkinsop 794Fabien Barel 717Nathan Rennie 620Justin Leov 614Chris Kovarik 608Julien Camellini 505 SCHMADLING DOWNHILL FINAL RESULTSSam Blenkinsop 4:10.16Sam Hill 4:11.80Gee Atherton 4:12.36Steve Peat 4:13.20Greg Minnaar 4:17.56Justin Leov 4:18.33Fabien Barel 4:18.49Aaron Gwin 4:21.44Mitch Delfs 4:21.60Andrew Neethling 4:21.87UCI MTB TEAM STANDINGS Santa Cruz Syndicate 618Animal Commencal 582Yeti Fox 351Monster Energy/Iron Horse 325Team Maxxis 303Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 257Playbiker/Iron Horse 247Subaru Mt. Bike Team 246Suspension Center 246Kona 228 SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Books on Insulation and Energy-Efficient Building

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Two new books that might interest green builders recently caught my eye: The BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation Products and Practices by Alex Wilson and The JLC Guide to Energy Efficiency by the editors of The Journal of Light Construction.Full disclosure: I was a minor participant in the creation of both books. At Wilson’s request, I reviewed portions of his manuscript before publication and provided feedback. I also wrote several of the articles appearing in the JLC book.Alex Wilson’s book, Insulation: The BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation Products and Practices, is a short (83-page) electronic book that sells for $129. (BuildingGreen members can purchase the book at a $30 discount.)Wilson’s downloadable report seems aimed at designers and architects rather than at builders or insulation contractors. The book includes no installation tips.Wilson provides basic background information on the three modes of heat transfer, as well as solid information on R-value, U-factor, and air leakage. The guide also includes separate articles on many types of insulation, including batts, rigid foam boards, and spray foam products.Much of the information in this guide is written for those who are interested in green construction; for example, there is detailed information on the possible environmental effects of phenol formaldehyde and halogenated flame retardants.A few quotes will provide a sense of the topics featured in this guide:Wilson doesn’t just describe the insulation products on the U.S. market; he also provides guidance. Readers of Environmental Building News are probably already aware of Wilson’s fascination with FoamGlas, also known as cellular glass insulation. In a table listing material recommendations, FoamGlas is BuildingGreen’s “top pick” for insulating slabs and the exterior of foundation walls. Since an R-19 layer of this rarely used insulation has an installed cost of $6.20 to $7.50 per square foot,… center_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

Just How Expensive Are Real Cinema Lenses?

first_imgNext to Zeiss and Panavision is Cooke. In particular, the S4 line has been used for many years, dating back to the late 90s. These primes offer an insanely sharp image that rivals most of what Zeiss and Panavision provide, yet at a fraction of the cost. In fact, Cooke has been working for years to develop cheaper lens options for independent filmmakers. While not used as frequently as it was in years past, with the resurgence of the Panavision Primo, the Cooke S4 has a firm legacy as solid glass.*T-Stop is the measurement of the amount of light passing through the lens and actually making it to the sensor.Technical SpecsControl of flareSpherical aberrations at full apertureCam-type focusT-stop 2.0*Selected Filmography12 Years a SlaveHarry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2O Brother, Where Art ThouJohn WickNeed for SpeedPrice Points35mm: $19,000.0050mm: $19,000.00135mm: $21,900.00Angenieux Optimo Zoom The lenses above are the most widely used by big-budget cinematographers, and the Angenieux Optimo line is the zoom lens of choice for these same filmmakers. With the ability to capture an incredibly sharp image that’s compatible with the latest digital cameras and 4K resolution, the Optimo is the premier option. While Canon has the sport arena zoom lens on lockdown, Angenieux has a firm grip on cinema.*T-Stop is the measurement of the amount of light passing through the lens and actually making it to the sensor.Technical SpecsZoom lens of choice for most cinematographersWeight Range 4.2-16lbsClose focus 1’9″T-stop 2.2*Selected FilmographyThe Book ThiefCaptain PhillipsWhiplashKingsman: The Secret ServiceIron Man 3Price Points17-80mm: $59,400.0030-80mm: $18,073.0056-152mm: $80,880.00Honorable MentionsWhile these are the most widely used lenses in the industry, there are several other lenses that we need to mention. These particular pieces of glass are used in big-budget productions, just not to the extent as those listed above. These options include Canon K35, Hawk Anamorphic, Fujinon and Leica Summilux. You can see the quality of these lenses in films such as Selma, The Theory of Everything and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.Want more content on lenses? Then check out these articles from PremiumBeat.The Science Behind Nikon Lenses10 Things to Know About Shooting with Vintage LensesAffordable Filmmaking: An Overview of Rokinon’s New Wide Angle LensesWhat are your thoughts on these lenses? Would you use these? Have you ever used any of these? What was your experience like? Sound off in the comments below. We’ve rounded up some of the most widely used real cinema lenses utilized on big-budget films. Let’s explore the high cost of high-end lenses.Top Image from RedUser.There’s just something about the look and feel of a studio-backed film. For many filmmakers who have the good fortune to utilize top-level gear, this look and feel is within reach. For the rest of us who are strapped to a finite budget, we have to make due with what we can. But what if we could break beyond our current budget and get our hands on some of that top-level gear, particularly lenses? What would it cost us? The answers to this question is, well, a lot.For many of the high-end lenses we’ll discuss, the price tag is such that if you have to ask for it, chances are you can’t afford it. Regardless, let’s take a look at some of the top-level glass that big-time filmmakers use on big-budget films. We’re going to start off with the top five cinema lenses being used by cinematographers on films such as Life of Pi, Gravity, Interstellar, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.Zeiss Master PrimesFirst up on our list is ol’ reliable Zeiss, who’s been manufacturing lenses since the late 1800s. The Master Prime lenses are an incredibly popular tool for directors and cinematographers. The Zeiss Master Primes are one of the most widely used lenses on big-budget productions.*T-Stop is the measurement of the amount of light passing through the lens and actually making it to the sensor.Technical SpecsBuilt specifically for the ARRI line of camerasWeight ranges from 6-8lbsFront diameter ranges from 114-134mmT-stop 1.3*Selected FilmographyLife of PiBirdmanSkyfallFurious 7The Imitation GamePrice Points35mm: $19,790.0050mm: $21,100.00135mm: $26,820.00Panavision Primo VNext is the Panavision Primo V line of prime lenses. While their roots aren’t as deep as Zeiss, Panavision does date back to the 1950s. Originally started as a manufacturer of anamorphic lenses for Cinemascope, the company expanded to cameras by the mid-1960s. Like Zeiss and its Master line of lenses, Panavision’s Primo V line of lenses has been a mainstay in the industry. Beginning in 2001, the company began buying up major motion picture rental houses around the world, but in 2010 the bottom fell out when Panavision called for debt restructuring. As of 2013, creditors were still suing over unpaid debt.*T-Stop is the measurement of the amount of light passing through the lens and actually making it to the sensor.Technical SpecsLens Range (14.5mm – 35mm)Classic Series Range (21mm – 125mm)Uses both Legacy Glass and New Glass designsT-stop 1.9*Selected FilmographyJurassic WorldMad Max: Fury RoadGuardians of the GalaxyAmerican SniperStar Wars: The Force AwakensPrice PointsPanavision does not sell any standalone lenses. If a studio wants to purchase the lenses, they are usually restricted to purchasing them with a camera like the Panavision Genesis. For this bundle, one would be looking at shelling out $500,000-$750,000 to purchase or $4000.00/day to rent.Cooke S4last_img read more

Oil and gas sector cautious as clock ticks down to Trans Mountain

first_imgThe company counts Imperial Oil Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. among its customers, both of whom have delayed building or completing steam-driven oilsands projects because of uncertainty about how they will get the oil to market.Analyst Samir Kayande, a director with RS Energy Group, says the expansion to triple capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline will help with market access when it comes on stream but that likely won’t happen until 2022 and could be held up by more legal challenges.He says the pipeline isn’t big enough to fix Western Canada’s oil transportation woes on its own, nor does it address the general downturn in energy investing in North America and the lower quality of Canada’s resources compared to premier U.S. oil and gas basins.“Even though it’s positive and it’s important, the impact on the investment climate will probably be a little bit muted at least until you can actually start construction,” said Kayande.“It really depends on what the next round of legal challenges looks like.” CALGARY, A.B. – Observers on the front lines of Western Canada’s oil and gas sector are looking forward to what’s widely expected to be approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Tuesday while acknowledging the decision by Ottawa won’t solve all problems.CEO Clayton Byrt of Pimee Well Servicing LP, a service rig company owned by six northern Alberta First Nations, says approval of the pipeline is a “big deal” because it will encourage investment by the oilsands producers he counts as customers.He says more activity will support Pimee’s ability to retain its 140 employees, almost all Indigenous, and eventually grow the company to continue to offer good jobs to First Nations members.last_img read more

20 private schools in Ggn operate without fire NOC

first_imgGurugram: In an alarming figure that puts a serious question mark over the safety of school children over 20 private schools in Gurugram are functioning without the NOC from the fire department.The information has been revealed from the survey conducted by the fire department. The information cites that most of these Private schools are prominent schools in the schools in the city. The fire officials have cited that while most of the schools have not applied for the renewal of the license, there are also certain schools whose license were rejected due to inadequate fire safety systems. Sources in the fire department have cited that lack of action by the authorities is resulting in most of the establishments including schools in the city getting away and not renewing their fire safety licenses. Besides the Private schools, there are certain Government establishments including the city’s civil hospital that does not have a fire safety clearance certificate. For safety precautions, the city fire department has already started issuing notices to various establishments that are functioning without the fire safety clearance. Recently over 200 buildings that are over 15 metres in height were served notices by the Gurugram Fire department for not renewing their NOC on fire safety.”With summers resulting in a lot of fire incidents in the city, the fire department does not want to take any chances. We are serving a lot of establishments in the city with notices and warned them of punitive action if they do not renew their license,” said a senior official from Gurugram fire department. “As per law, major establishments in the city have to renew their licences after every year. However, many establishments in the city do not renew their licences and continue to play with the lives of the people in the city. While the fire department is expected to take action, even the residents must put pressure on these establishments,” added the official.last_img read more

China and North Korea open new border crossing

first_imgBeijing: A Chinese city has opened a new border crossing with North Korea — fitted with radiation detectors — even as talks between Washington and Pyongyang have languished over disagreements for nuclear sanctions relief. The new highway border crossing opened in the northeastern city of Ji’an on Monday, complementing its three existing ports with the North, the city said in a statement published to its website Tuesday. “After three years of unremitting efforts, the China-North Korean Ji’an-Manpo Highway Port was officially opened,” the city said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The project cost 280 million yuan ( 42 million) and the city estimated 500,000 tons of goods and 200,000 people would cross through the new port each year. But crippling UN sanctions imposed on the North by the UN Security Council in 2016 and 2017 have crimped trade between the two Cold War-era allies. China is by far the North’s biggest trading partner. While Pyongyang publishes virtually no economic statistics of its own, Chinese Customs figures show exports to China have plummeted by more than 90 percent since 2016, down to 213 million last year — although some observers question their reliability Sanctions relief was top of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s agenda for his Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump in February. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls But the meeting broke up without a statement or even a lunch as the two sides disagreed over walking back Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme in exchange for loosening sanctions. After the opening ceremony, the first 120 tourists crossed the border. Chinese tourism to the North has picked up as relations between the countries have improved in recent years. The crossing also has a nuclear radiation detection gate, the city said. China has long been worried about any fallout from North Korea’s nuclear activities and Jilin was rocked by an earthquake after a massive bomb test across the border in September 2017. The main artery for North Korean trade with China has traditionally been through the Chinese border city of Dandong, to the south. Ambitious city planners there started work on a Dandong New Zone in 2012, capped by a massive project to open a bridge connecting the city with the North Korean city of Sinuiju on the other side. Authorities expected billions of dollars in investment to flood into jointly-run free trade zones on both sides of the border. But after construction on the four-lane, 350-million bridge completed, it never opened, and the concrete runs into fields on the North Korean side. (AFP)last_img read more

The US Draws An Easy Group At The 2019 World Cup France

South Africa23.758.2 Japan98.389.3 Brazil96.089.7 Australia95.390.2 Cameroon24.957.7 Argentina14.732.9 Group avg.—65.1 ANorway66.879.7 Jamaica22.053.3 Germany95.292.6 ENew Zealand69.779.5 Group avg.—78.6 Group avg.—78.9 CItaly58.368.2 Group avg.—80.7 Chile22.343.8 United States99.896.4 Despite underperforming at the youth level, the U.S. still boasts the best senior-level women’s soccer team on the planet.2Both our SPI and FIFA put the Americans in the top spot. The Americans have won the most World Cups (three), and they’ve played in the past two finals, but they’ve never repeated as champions.3Only Germany has done so — it won the championship in 2003 and 2007. That could change this year, as they’ve been drawn into Group F with Sweden, Thailand and Chile. According to our SPI, it’s the second-easiest of the six groups. At 99.8 percent, the Americans have the highest chance of advancing to the Round of 16 of any of the 24 teams in the tournament.The Swedes are always strong at the World Cup — they’ve finished in third place twice and were runners-up in 2003 — but the same cannot be said for the other two teams: Thailand didn’t advance out of the group stage in its first World Cup appearance at Canada 2015, and Chile is making its first ever World Cup appearance. If U.S. stars like captain Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe bring their goal-scoring boots to France next summer, fledgling teams like Thailand and Chile will be in a world of trouble.The weakest group in terms of average SPI is Group D, which contains England, Japan, Scotland and Argentina. England and Japan are two of the best teams in the tournament,4According to both our SPI and FIFA’s rankings. but Scotland and Argentina5Unlike their male counterparts, the Argentina women’s team is without a Lionel Messi. are two of the weakest. SPI has them ranked as the third-worst and worst teams in the tournament, respectively.That said, Group D still promises to be interesting: England will get the chance to avenge its semifinal loss to Japan at Canada 2015, and Scotland will get the chance to spoil the plans of its neighbors to the south. If the feelings of the England squad reflect those of its star winger Karen Carney, they won’t be looking forward to playing their rivals.“I wouldn’t want them,” Carney told BBC Radio 5. “It’s good to have the rivalry, but you want to win the group. They’d have a lot of fans coming over, and the rivalry can be a leveler.”The Scots better hope that’s true — the last time they played England in a major tournament, they lost 6-0. But even if they do get shellacked again, Scottish women will be able to say something Scottish men haven’t been able to say for two decades: They played at the World Cup. England98.787.9 groupteamMAKE ROUND OF 16SPI Rating Group avg.—75.3 BSpain74.380.3 FThailand38.053.8 DScotland45.250.1 The hardest (and easiest) groups in the Women’s World CupEach team’s chance of advancing to the Round of 16 and each group’s average Soccer Power Index* rating Netherlands89.488.7 Canada91.289.5 France94.9%93.4 Nigeria37.767.7 China78.283.2 Sweden93.283.1 It was fitting that Didier Deschamps drew the first lottery ball for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, which placed France in Group A. He’s lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy for France on two occasions, as team captain in 1998 and as team manager of France’s men’s team in 2018. But what first felt poetic felt anything but by the time the rest of Group A had been fleshed out: He couldn’t have known it ahead of time, but Deschamps had doomed his beloved French to the dreaded group of death.Joining the French in Group A are Norway and South Korea — each ranked in the FIFA top 15 — and Nigeria, three-time defending champion of the Africa Women Cup of Nations. According to our Soccer Power Index (SPI), the French are the second best team in the world at the moment,1FIFA has them ranked third. ranked behind tournament favorites the United States.Host nations have never failed to advance to the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup, and the French roster, led by creative midfielder Eugenie Le Sommer, will be full of class. The French will almost certainly make it out of the group stage and challenge for the hardware next summer. Our projections give them a 94.9 percent chance of advancing past the group stage, which is the second lowest number of any top team in a group. (Only Canada at 91.2 percent is lower.) Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg’s absence from the Norwegian team will make it less a threat to France’s chances of finishing at the top of the group — but playing in the group of death will ensure France’s path isn’t an easy one. * FiveThirtyEight’s measure of team strength on a scale of 0-100. Group avg.—69.3 South Korea72.181.9 read more