UEFA Intertoto Cup

The UEFA Intertoto Cup called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the major UEFA competitions, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and until 1999, the Cup Winners' Cup. The competition was discontinued after the 2008 tournament. Teams who would have entered the Intertoto Cup now directly enter the qualifying stages of the UEFA Europa League from this point; the tournament was founded in 1961–62, but was only taken over by UEFA in 1995. The tournament ended with a single champion, who received the Intertoto Cup. Starting in 1967, the tournament ended with a number of group winners; when UEFA took on the tournament, it became a qualifier for the UEFA Cup, with 2 to 11 Intertoto winners advancing to the Second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. Any club who wished to participate had to apply for entry, with the highest placed clubs at the end of the season entering the competition; the club did not have to be ranked directly below the clubs which had qualified for another UEFA competition.

The cup billed itself as providing both an opportunity for clubs who otherwise would not get the chance to enter the UEFA Cup and as an opportunity for sports lotteries to continue during the summer. This reflects its background, as a tournament for football pools. In 1995, the tournament came under official UEFA sanctioning and UEFA Cup qualification places were granted. Two were provided; the Intertoto Cup was the idea of Malmö FF chairman Eric Persson and the FIFA vice-president and founder of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Ernst B. Thommen, the Austrian coach Karl Rappan, who coached the Swiss national team at the 1938 FIFA World Cup and at the 1954 World Cup; the "Cup for the Cupless" was heavily promoted by the Swiss newspaper Sport. It derived its name from the German term for football pools. Thommen, who had set up football betting pools in Switzerland in 1932, had a major interest in having purposeful matches played in the summer break. UEFA were disinclined to support the tournament, finding its betting background distasteful.

Clubs which qualified for one of the official continental competitions, such as the European Champions Cups and Cup Winners Cup, were not allowed to participate. The first tournament was held in 1961 as the International Football Cup; the Cup had a group stage, which led to knock-out matches culminating in a final. By 1967, it had become difficult to organize the games, so the knock-out rounds and the final were scrapped, leaving the tournament without a single winner. Instead, group winners received prizes of CHF10,000-15,000. By 1995, UEFA had reconsidered their opinion, took official control of the tournament and changed its format. Two winners were given a place in the UEFA Cup; the success of one of the first winners, Bordeaux, in reaching the final of the 1995–96 UEFA Cup encouraged UEFA to add a third UEFA Cup place in 1996. Many clubs saw it as disruptive in the preparation for the new season; as a consequence, they did not nominate themselves for participation if entitled. In particular, following its 1995 relaunch, clubs in England were sceptical about the competition.

Following the threat of bans of English teams from all UEFA competitions, the situation was resolved with three English clubs entering weakened teams, none of them qualified. In following years, UEFA made it possible for nations to forfeit Intertoto places. For example, in 1998, San Marino and Moldova forfeited their places, England and Greece forfeited one of their two, Crystal Palace being the sole English entrant despite finishing bottom of the Premier League. Other clubs have built upon their success in the UI Cup, following it up with great campaigns in the UEFA Cup. Furthermore, UEFA rejected this assertion, they point out that in the 2004–05 season, two of the three 2004 Intertoto Cup winners went on to qualify directly for the Champions League, whilst the 3rd one qualified by winning its 3rd qualifying round tie. In December 2007, following the election of new UEFA president Michel Platini, it was announced that the Intertoto Cup would be abolished as of 2009; this was a part of a range of changes.

Instead of teams qualifying for the Intertoto Cup, they will now qualify directly for the qualifying stages of the UEFA Europa League, expanded to four rounds to accommodate them. When the competition was taken over by UEFA in 1995, the format was both a group stage and a knock-out stage. In 1996 and 1997, just the 12 group winners entered the knock-out round, with now three finalists advancing. Nations were allocated places according to their UEFA coefficients, much as with other UEFA tournaments; the group stage was scrapped for the 1998 t

Lower Mississippi River

The Lower Mississippi River is the portion of the Mississippi River downstream of Cairo, Illinois. From the confluence of the Ohio River and Upper Mississippi River at Cairo, the Lower flows just under 1600 kilometers to the Gulf of Mexico, it is the most travelled component of the Mississippi River System. Unlike on the upper rivers, there are no dams on the Lower Mississippi; the river is, constrained by levees and dikes to control flooding and secure a navigation channel for barges. The Old River Control Structure, the Bonnet Carré Spillway, the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet Canal and other man-made structures on the lower reaches of the river seek to manipulate the flow of water in the vicinity of New Orleans; the political and engineering focus in the 20th century was to separate the Lower Mississippi River from its floodplain. Levees and channelization—along with substantial loss of bottomland forests to agriculture in the alluvial valley—have resulted in a loss of wildlife and fish habitat, decreased water quality, an expansion of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Agricultural runoff has resulted in increased turbidity, pollution from pesticides, toxicity to aquatic organisms, oxygen depletion and eutrophication. Channel depth of 9 feet is maintained by the Corps of Engineers from St. Louis, Missouri to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On the lower Mississippi, from Baton Rouge to the Gulf, the navigation depth is 45 feet, allowing for container ships and cruise ships to dock at the Port of New Orleans and bulk cargo ships shorter than 150 foot air draft to fit under the Huey P. Long Bridge and traverse the Mississippi to Baton Rouge. There is a feasibility study to dredge this portion of the river to 50 feet to allow New Panamax ship depths. List of crossings of the Lower Mississippi River 2011 Mississippi River floods

The Age of Longing

The Age of Longing is a 1995 novel by Canadian author Richard B. Wright and published by HarperCollins; the novel was nominated for the 1995 Scotiabank Giller Prize and Governor General's Award in the English-language fiction category. Howard Wheeler returns to his home in Northern Ontario. Upon his mother's death, he comes back to sell off the property and reminisces about his childhood memories, his father Ross'Buddy' Wheeler is an unsuccessful hockey player and his mother Grace Wheeler is a schoolteacher. Grace is a taciturn woman who considered her decision to marry Ross as her biggest mistake, she had assumed that Ross' fascination for hockey would end after marrying and assuming responsibilities, their married life is on rocks. Howard lives a life in-between his two parents. After the couple separates, Howard lives with Grace. Years when Howard accidentally meets his father, he regrets not having been in contact with him for these many years; the two meet in an unceremonial and awkward way, pondering over their past and their mistakes which they could have remedied.

The book was the first of Wright's books to be published by HarperCollins, his eighth novel overall. It was edited by Phyllis Bruce who went on to work with Wright on various other projects. In a 2004 interview with the magazine Quill & Quire, Wright called The Age of Longing his "favourite among his novels". Wright met success only after the publication of this novel in 1995; the novel was short-listed for the 1995 Scotiabank Giller Prize along with A Fine Balance, The Piano Man's Daughter, Mister Sandman, Like This. Judged by writer Mordecai Richler, critic David Staines, novelist Jane Urquhart, the award was presented to Mistry. Wright was nominated for the Governor General's Award for the English-language fiction category, presented to Greg Hollingshead for The Roaring Girl. Wright won both the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award in 2001 for his novel Clara Callan. Herman Goodden of The London Yodeller mentions that "If you've only got time to read one of his books, make it this one"