Odds & Ends: Idina Menzel Hits the Top, a Royal Miss Saigon & More

first_img Jonathan Groff Star Files View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Menzel & Buble Are the TopsIt’s the most wonderful time of the year—particularly if you’re Idina Menzel. Days after the If/Then and Frozen star performed “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Michael Buble on the UK’s X Factor, the tune (from her album Holiday Wishes) has hit the top spot on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. Let’s all say it together, now (again): the cold never bothered her, anyway.Saigon & More Go RoyalThe 2014 Royal Variety Performance, the annual UK gala featuring performances of all sorts, included an electric performance from the cast of the West End’s Miss Saigon. Take a look as Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer sing “The Last Night of the World” and Jon Jon Briones lets loose on “The American Dream”. The evening also included a performance of “Let It Go” by Demi Lovato (the one who’s not Idina Menzel) and the Sondheim staple “I’m Still Here” by Dame Shirley Bassey. #PeterPanLive Was Hardcore TrendingThe December 4 broadcast was the biggest non-sports program for that Thursday’s Twitter TV ratings, according to Deadline. A total of over 475,000 tweets reached approximately 5.3 million unique users. And it’s a good thing too, because our tweets were what saved Tinker Bell’s computer-animated life! Also trending that night? #ChristianBorle. And yes, his arms have their own Twitter account now.Jonathan Groff Salutes Bradley CooperWe were already excited for The Elephant Man star Bradley Cooper’s latest film, American Sniper, but now, we have even more reason to be. As it turns out, he’s not the only Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner to appear in the flick. Take a look the TV spot for a quick glimpse of a rather toned Jonathan Groff! We’ll salute to that. Double Date with Stage & Screen FavesOrange in the New Black costars Michael Chernus and Tracee Chimo, who recently appeared together in off-Broadway’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart, are joining forces again—and you can join them! Space on Ryder Farm, an artist resident program in Brewster, New York, is auctioning off a double date with the pair at Rose Water in Park Slope, Brooklyn. And no, we’re not banana lobby bullsh*tting you. Does Rose Water have lentil soup? Idina Menzellast_img read more

Broadway Will Dim Lights for John McMartin

first_img View Comments John McMartin(Photo: John McMartin) Broadway theaters will their lights in honor of John McMartin, the Tony-nominated actor and original Follies star who died at the age of 86 earlier this month. Marquees will go dark on July 13 at 7:45 PM for exactly one minute. “John McMartin has been a frequent and beloved actor on Broadway for over six decades. He originated memorable roles in shows that are now considered classics,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, in a statement. “Our sincere thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans.”McMartin made his Broadway debut in The Conquering Hero before receiving Tony Award nominations for Sweet Charity (for a role he later went on to reprise in the film adaptation), Don Juan, Show Boat, High Society and Into the Woods. He last appeared on Broadway in the 2014 Tony-winning Best Play All the Way.last_img read more

Leahy scorches Pentagon over stop-work order for GE’s F35 engine

first_imgGE Aircraft Engines – Rutland Operation,Senator Patrick Leahy yesterday lambasted the Pentagon for its decision to issue a stop-work order on General Electric’s version of the jet engine for the F35 fighter jet. Some of the components for the engine are made by GE in Rutland. The principal contractor for the engine is Pratt & Whitney. Leahy and others in Congress had been able to continue funding for the GE version through stop-gap measures as Congress continues to work on a new federal budget. However, the House declined to add the GE funding to the latest interim budget bill. The Pentagon subsequently ordered GE and partner Rolls Royce to stop work on the engine. However, GE has decided to self-fund continued work on its engine. Leahy’s spokesman, David Carle, issued the following statement Thursday evening:”Today Defense Secretary Gates and Ash Carter, undersecretary for acquisition, issued a stop-work order to GE and Roll Royce on the F136 alternate engine for the F-35.  They did this administratively, during the current short-term budget bill ‘ the current stop-gap appropriations bill that funds the government until April 8.  Senator Leahy engineered language in the first continuing resolution, last December, which prevented the Pentagon from doing this back then.  Subsequent stop-gap bills written since then by the House have not included his preventive language, and they are doing now what he knew they wanted to do last year, if given the chance.  Senator Leahy believes this is an opportunistic power grab by the Pentagon, egged on by Pratt & Whitney, to circumvent what should be a decision by Congress, not by a federal agency.  He believes it is the wrong decision, which would eliminate competition for the troubled Pratt & Whitney engine and cost taxpayers more.”Senator Leahy’s Twitter tweet yesterday: “Pentagon’s stop work-order for #GE #AltEngine is wrong for #F35 & taxpayers. No competition=higher cost & inferior engine for F35. “Carle also said that Leahy’s allies on this have also criticized the stop-work order. He said they will continue to push for continuation of the alternative engine program.  Carle said Leahy commends GE Aviation for continuing work in the meantime.last_img read more

Mountain Mama: Step-up Your Backcountry Cooking With These Recipes

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I’m taking my girlfriend on her first overnight backpacking trip and want to do everything possible to ensure she enjoys it. Normally, I don’t put much thought into food. I’m easy – my only request is no tofu. But my girlfriend is a foodie and I want to impress her.Do you know of any good one-pot recipes for dinner and breakfast?Thanks,BackpackerDear Backpacker,Aww, that’s so sweet that you’re putting so much thought into the small details. I’m a woman after all and it’s in my DNA to gush a little. If I’m vicariously thrilled by your effort, just imagine how pleased your lucky lady will be.After a long day of hiking, this Gnocchi with Bacon recipe dishes up warm, comfort food. At home, combine ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of dried sage, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder and store in a zip-loc bag. Boil shelf stable gnocchi (sold at Trader Joe’s) until the gnocchi floats to the top, drain and add cheese mixture. Add shelf stable bacon as desired.Breakfast burritos are a yummy way to fuel up in the morning. To minimize the pot scrubbing, put the eggs into a plastic bag (you can use the leftover zip-loc bags from dinner) and then boil into the eggs don’t run. Add avocado and shelf stable bacon, season with salt and pepper, and roll up using the flavored tortilla wrap of your choice.Backpacker, just keep in that your girlfriend will expect good food on future backpacking trips, so don’t make the food too elaborate. And remember that so much of how food tastes depends on the dining experience. Set the mood by creating soft lighting.  Wrap your headlamp around a colored Nalgene bottle (length-wise), make sure the light shines through the plastic, and, ta-da, your water bottle is now a soft glowing lantern.Bon Appetite!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

New Protections Proposed for Pisgah-Nantahala

first_imgThe United States Forest Service is considering adding as much 264,000 acres of the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests to its wilderness inventory—a move that would protect the selected acreage from logging, road building, fracking, and mining. While most of the inventoried lands will not ultimately be designated as wilderness, the inventory suggests that the Forest Service is committed to protecting the wild character of the Pisgah-Nantahala.The new developments are the latest stage in a lengthy planning process that will guide the future of the Pisgah-Nantahala—a swath of land that encompasses some 1 million acres of public land in Western North Carolina—for the next 15 years.In addition to the potential wilderness additions, Pisgah-Nantahala stands to gain as many as 53 Wild and Scenic River designations under the newly proposed plan.Currently, there are only three Wild and Scenic rivers in the entire state of North Carolina: the Chattooga River, The Horespasture River, and Wilson Creek.Newly eligible rivers include the Davidson River, the French Broad, the Linville River, the Nolichucky, the entire Mills River system, and the East Fork Pigeon River, just to name a few.One portion of Pisgah National Forest that would benefit immensely from the Forest Service’s proposed wilderness inventory additions is Buncombe County’s Big Ivy.Big Ivy, which was previously on the chopping block for potential timber production, has long been a popular hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and trail running destination for Western North Carolina locals and visitors alike. The terrain includes the Black and Craggy Mountains, with summits that top out above 6,000 feet, and over 3,600 acres of biologically significant old growth forest. Big Ivy also houses the 70-foot, free-falling Douglas Falls.“All of Big Ivy except the areas west of Stony Fork and north of Highway 197 are included in the inventory,” reads a statement on the Friends of Big Ivy website. “This would ensure that all current recreational and cultural uses can continue and that Big Ivy’s wild forests and creeks will be protected long-term.”Our hope is that most of Big Ivy could be protected as wilderness, especially its old-growth forests and pristine headwaters. Big Ivy’s trail system should not be in wilderness but should be managed as a backcountry area, where recreation is prioritized and commercial logging is prohibited.The latest version of the revision plan would also inventory lands adjacent to existing wilderness areas like the Linville Gorge, the Middle Prong Wilderness, the Southern Nantahala Wilderness, and the Ellicott Rock Wilderness. For a detailed, interactive map that highlights the proposed inventory areas click here.Right now the Forest Service is actively seeking public input and feedback about the proposed changes. Let them know where you stand by attending the public meeting on from 6 to 8 p.m. November 16 in the Mountain View Room of the Kimmel arena on the campus of UNC-Asheville.last_img read more

Great Lake: Explore Lake Jocassee

first_imgIt’s no wonder Jocassee Valley held a central place in Cherokee myths. Places like Jocassee inspire stories. Water tumbles off the sides of the mountains from rivers and countless unnamed creeks, all converging into a crystal clear lake. The lake’s surface reflects mile after mile of pristine shoreline steeped with jagged rock formations, fading into uninterrupted mountain vistas for as far as the eye can see. The area is also a hotspot for diversity. Some of the rarest plants and animals in the world make this lush gorge home.Lake Jocassee has been called many things over the years, from the “Lake Tahoe of the East” to “South Carolina’s Little Switzerland.” But perhaps the greatest praise came in the autumn of 2012 when National Geographic named Jocassee Gorges as one of “50 of the World’s Last Great Places.” Most of the list includes destinations of a lifetime, like Easter Island or Loire Valley. By comparison, Lake Jocassee in South Carolina is right in our own backyard.While part of the area’s appeal is the area’s inaccessibility, it seems a shame to have a world-class destination so close to home be unseen by folks who live within a few hours drive. Devil’s Fork State Park offers lake access, and the Jocassee is ideal for many different types of lake paddling trips, from a leisurely afternoon paddle to a multi-day kayak camping trip.How the Valley Became a LakeThe name “Jocassee” is derived from a Cherokee word that means “place of the lost one.” The name was created from a Cherokee legend, but it would also foreshadow the events that would unfold in the area centuries later.Cherokee legend goes that rival tribes lived in the area, and one day, a young warrior broke his leg while hunting in territory claimed by the rival tribe. A young maiden named Jocassee came to the young warrior’s rescue and nursed him back to health.  The two fell in love, but the warrior was killed in a battle between the tribes. Heartbroken, Jocassee entered the water to end her life. But her body didn’t sink. She walked across the water’s surface to be embraced by, and forever disappear with, the young warrior’s ghost.The Cherokee fair maiden Jocassee wasn’t the only thing to disappear here. Jocassee valley once provided an idyllic summer retreat for families. When Duke Energy Co. dammed the river in the 1970s, an entire valley became forever submerged. Duke Energy bought most the land in Jocassee Valley and razed all the buildings. But the owners of Attakulla Lodge Hotel refused to sell. Scuba divers report the hotel remains unscathed 300 feet below the lake’s surface. The peeling paint is just as it was back in the 1970s, and the basketball court remains intact. Divers have also found an underwater cemetery.Many feared that the fairy tale of the idyllic summer get-away gave way to progress when the dam caused water to flood the valley. Fortunately, Duke Energy partnered with dozens of local, state and natural conservation organizations to forever preserve the 43,000 wild acres surrounding the lake, including Gorges State Park.Gateway to the GorgesDevil’s Fork State Park, the aptly dubbed “Gateway to the Gorges,” offers the only public access to Lake Jocassee. Lake Jocassee’s relatively remote location and small parking lots limit the number of visitors. Even on busy summer weekends when boaters, anglers, and swimmers fill other lakes to capacity, Lake Jocassee remains relatively empty.If you don’t have your own boat, both Jocassee Lake Tours and The Jocassee Outdoor Center rent kayaks, as well as offer tours and provide shuttle services for hikers and kayakers.If you do have your own boats, bypass the main boat ramp and parking lot area to avoid pontoon and power boats and head over to Devil’s Fork remote ramp. Duke Energy recently rebuilt the ramps there and added changing facilities. Either way, consider stopping by the park store to buy your own waterproof map of the lake.Lake Jocassee is shaped like a hand with three fingers extending outward. The boat launch facilities are located deep at the palm of the hand. All the options below outline routes to explore the fingers of the lake.Day Trippin’Even at the launch ramp, when the sun’s rays hit the lake water at just the right angle, you’ll see just how clear and green the water is. If you only have an afternoon, paddle left. Within a few minutes, you’ll see houses on the point of Fisher Knob, where about twenty massive summer homes provide the only reminder of development in this otherwise wilderness area. The homes disappear when the lush canopy provides a welcome disguise, and the docks remain the sole reminder of civilization.To really get a sense of wilderness area, paddle past Fisher Knob toward Whitewater River and Thompson River. Stay left and paddle all the way to where Whitewater River flows into the lake. Pull your kayak well up onto shore and hike alongside the river. In the summer months, the eddies along the river provide nature’s version of cold water plunges, where small falls massage knots out of shoulders and the oxygenated water provides an energizing boost. Hours can be spent boulder-hopping, discovering waterfalls or cooling off at the river’s edge. The intrepid hiker can piece together a path to view both Upper Whitewater falls and Lower Whitewater falls.If you still have time, paddle toward Wright Creek Waterfall and Thompson River. When lake levels are high, the falls flows directly into the lake and kayakers can paddle behind the waterfall. Lower lake levels reveal golden sandy beaches around the falls that make ideal picnic spots. When the lake is low, walk behind the falls and be treated to a view of the lake from the lens of the watery curtain.Water cascading down the Wright Creek waterfall.OvernighterDevil’s Fork State Park maintains Double Springs, a boat-in campground. Some say that Double Springs provides the best stargazing spot in the Southeast. Brooks Wade was skeptical of the claim initially. When his friend told him about the phenomenal camping in South Carolina, he replied, “You drink too much moonshine.” Reluctantly he agreed to visit. After a week of camping at the lake, he and his wife moved and opened the guiding company Jocassee Lake Tours. He spends every day on the lake, which he describes simply as paradise.Most kayakers paddle across the lake to unload their boat and set up camp before exploring the endless inlets and waterfalls. The paddle across the lake takes between forty minutes to one hour, depending on your paddling speed and wind conditions. Double Springs is a primitive campground with ten boat-in campsites. Because of low lake levels, wooden steps help visitors negotiate the steep embankment, beyond which the campsites are located.With an empty boat, you’ll have an easier time paddling, and can either follow the day trip route above or paddle up to Mills Creek Waterfall and the Horsepasture River.Along the way to Mills Creek Waterfall, you’ll notice the low lake levels. Ever since the summer of 2011, the lake has been at drought levels, which means that incredible rock formations are exposed. Marvel at the granite formed 500 million years ago, and the beautifully intricate roots systems that have eroded off the mountainside.Expedition StyleThe only other legal option for camping lakeside is to paddle all the way up the Toxaway River and camp along the river’s banks and share campsites with hikers walking the Foothills Trail, an 80-mile footpath from Table Rock State Park in the east to Oconee State Park in the west. The sites are remote and secluded, rewarding kayakers willing to paddle a fully loaded kayak ten miles each way. Plan to paddle for at least three and a half hours.As you paddle up the Toxaway River, the shore transforms from outcrops of pine trees to a marsh-like setting where sea grasses grow and birds build nests. At the mouth of the river, the dirt ribbon that is the hiking trail can barely be viewed from the vantage point of a kayaker. When you see the trail, pull your kayak securely on shore and unload to carry your gear. In low water years, it’s impossible to paddle up the river all the way to the campsites, and slugging along the inlet involves sinking into knee deep mud.  Within approximately a hundred feet, you’ll see an opening under a canopy of evergreens and will see remains of other campfires. Here you’ll find camp spots along the river’s bank, and will be lulled to sleep by the flowing water and gentle breeze.The Oconee BellIncluded among the rare plants found in the area are 90 percent of the world’s Oconee Bells. The Oconee Bell is only found in a few isolated locations in Southern Appalachia. The Gorges provides a perfect habitat, meeting the wildflowers’ requirements for humid, rocky outcrops and cool, shady woods. The flower’s nearest relative lives in China and Japan. The Oconee Bell, a white, delicate bell-shaped wildflower blooms from mid-March to April in the Jocassee Gorges.An Oconee Bell in Jocassee Gorges.A French botanist, Andre Michaux first collected the Oconee Bell in 1788. He placed the specimen in a herbarium in Paris, where it went unnoticed for fifty years. Then American botanist Asa Gray discovered the specimen. Botanists searched without luck for the flower. But in 1877, a teenager named George Hymans found Oconee Bells when walking along the Catawba River in North Carolina.Related Articles:last_img read more

Brazil Blames Vast Blackouts On Short Circuits

first_imgBy Dialogo November 18, 2009 Blackouts that darkened much of Brazil last week were caused by short circuits in a power substation that prompted the shutdown of three key transmission lines from the planet’s second-largest hydroelectric dam, officials said. The short circuits happened Nov. 10 at the substation in the Sao Paulo state town of Itabera while lightning, wind and intense rain were pummeling the area, Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry said in a statement, but it did not say weather caused the problem. Mines and Energy minister Edison Lobao came under criticism last week for blaming severe weather, though experts said the area experienced no lightning strikes. The blackouts raised questions about Brazil’s ability to supply a stable energy supply for World Cup football competition it will host in 2014 and for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. More than 60 million people lost power for up to four hours in 18 of Brazil’s 26 states. All of Paraguay was briefly darkened and 7 million people in Sao Paulo lost water service. The short-circuits prompted the automatic shutdown of the lines that carry energy to much of Brazil from the Itaipu dam straddling the border with Paraguay, the statement said. And the loss of power from Itaipu triggered automatic orders that shut down other Brazilian power plants, including the nation’s two nuclear generators. It was the first time that Itaipu — which provides about 20 percent of Brazil’s electricity — had been shut down in the dam’s 25-year history. The dam was the largest producer of electricity in the world until China’s Three Gorges dam recently surpassed it. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday on his weekly radio show that an investigation will determine why the short circuits happened and that his administration will work hard to make sure similar outages don’t occur. Lobao said last week that the transmission lines were knocked offline because of the storm. That prompted confusion and criticism because the National Institute for Space Research said that satellite images indicated the closest lightning strikes were at least six miles (10 kilometers) from the affected transmission lines. Organizers of the 2016 Olympics are pitching host city Rio de Janeiro as a potential “power island” immune from blackouts, though experts have said that creation of such a safe energy haven would require large investments. Both Rio and Sao Paulo — South America’s largest city — were completely darkened during the blackouts.last_img read more

Bulgarian government drops bombshell on second-pillar pensions

first_imgThese changes, notes the BASPSC, show the lack of an overall concept of pensions protection, have created instability in the pensions industry, including discouraging investors, and generated uncertainty and insecurity for insured members.The pensions association’s statement says it is ready to offer various types of payout mechanisms, including variable and guaranteed rates, and lump-sum pensions.But it insists the final decision should be up to individual members, as was the case in 2015, when members were allowed to switch between the first and second pillars.The BIA added that the common payout pool proposal renders the concept of personal pensions savings meaningless.It called for the draft to be tabled before the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation, the governmental, trade union and employers’ organisation advisory council.The objectors are also furious about the way the draft was slid into the legislative agenda.It was published late on Friday, 22 April, with a three-week consultation period that covered weekends and the Orthodox Easter public holidays, with even relevant ministers unaware until then of the document.This, they claim, is reminiscent of the government’s rushing through controversial changes to the pensions system in 2014, shortly before Christmas.The objectors have called for any discussions, let alone decisions, to postponed until after the asset quality reviews and stress tests of the pensions sector have been completed.The remit of the reviews in any case overlaps with the finance ministry’s proposals on issues such as investments and risk management.The reviews themselves were recently postponed until July, and will not be completed until December.Yesterday, Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission published a list of eight approved independent external reviewers for the pensions sector. Bulgaria’s pensions sector is up in arms following a set of draft amendments to the Social Insurance Code (SIC) published by the finance ministry on its website.While many of the suggestions are uncontroversial, covering long-standing issues such as investment by funds in related parties, the ministry dropped a bombshell by proposing a common payout asset pool for second-pillar fund retirees that would prevent them from passing their savings on to their heirs.Both the Bulgarian Association of Supplementary Pension Security Companies (BASPSC) and the Bulgarian Industrial Association-Union of the Bulgarian Business (BIA) have published strongly worded objections to the minister’s proposals.Both have objected to the continuing piecemeal amendments to the SIC – 45 times since 2010 and 117 times since its implementation – which make it among the most altered pieces of Bulgarian legislation.last_img read more

Dominicans told to be on their guard despite end of 2011 hurricane season

first_imgLocalNews Dominicans told to be on their guard despite end of 2011 hurricane season by: – December 6, 2011 Share Share Share Photo credit: amild-us-blogspot.comActing Senior Meteorological Officer at the Dominica Meteorological Service, Marshall Alexander, says despite the fact that the hurricane season is over, Dominicans should remain vigilant.He says weather features could affect the country even outside the hurricane season and this is not an excuse for Dominicans to let their guards down.“We could be faced with a weather feature resulting in excessive rainfall causing flooding and landslides. We must remain vigilant and stay on the side of caution,” he said.According to Alexander, the Meteorological Office will continue to work hard to keep the public safe and informed.“We will continue to monitor and put the information out through the daily weather reports on the radio and other mediums,’ he said.Alexander is also urging the public to make it a daily routine to listen to the weather reports.A flash flood watch has been issued on at 12:00pm Friday, December 2nd, 2011 is in effect and has been extended until Tuesday December 6th 2011.The Meteorological Office has advised that a trough system is expected to produce some unsettled weather over the Eastern Caribbean over the next 12 hours, consequently, generally cloudy skies with scattered showers and periods of light rain can be expected across the island. Therefore, the general public should be vigilant and exercise caution as increased showers may cause rivers to overflow their banks and already saturated soils to slip. Hikers should be vigilant and exercise caution.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Tweet Sharing is caring! 24 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Enrique fit for season opener

first_img All will have to work extremely hard to fill the gap left by Luis Suarez’s departure for Barcelona but Enrique sees no reason why they cannot match last season’s second-placed finish. “Everyone says about Luis and of course Luis was a top player for us, one of the top players in the world,” said the Spaniard. “But we’ve spent a lot of money on good players as well, we have a very good team. Hopefully we can do the same thing as last season.” One advantage for Liverpool may be that the former Southampton trio are all experienced Premier League players. “It depends on the player but normally (it’s an advantage),” said Enrique. “It’s a different league, a completely different type of football. This one probably is the hardest in terms of fitness because in the Premier League you run a lot, going wide and back more or less all the game. “Of course if you are used to this league, normally you do well. That doesn’t mean that a player that comes from another league can’t do well as well, but it is more risk.” Strength in depth is key for Liverpool this season as they return to the Champions League for the first time in five seasons. Enrique, whose only trophy with the Reds was the Capital One Cup in 2012, cannot wait to make his debut at Europe’s top table. He said: “Liverpool has been for a while without Champions League. “I’ve never played in the Champions League and I’m so excited to play in this competition because the best teams in the world are in this competition. I think Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world so Liverpool have to be there as well. “We’ll try to go as far as we can but of course not forget about the league and the two cups. We have a big squad and we want to compete for everything. “Hopefully, like the manager says, we can win a trophy. We won one before with Kenny (Dalglish). I know it wasn’t a Champions League or a league title but it was really exciting and for the fans it’s really good to win trophies.” Press Association Jose Enrique has declared himself available for Liverpool’s opening Barclays Premier League match against Southampton a week on Sunday. The Spanish left-back made just nine appearances last season before undergoing knee surgery in November that brought his campaign to a premature end. He resumed training in July and enjoyed some playing time on the Reds’ pre-season tour to the US. Speaking to Press Association Sport at Liverpool FC Members’ Family Day, Enrique said: ” I’m feeling good. “I was training on my own and running a lot, and it’s not the same when you play with a team because it’s a lot more with the ball and a different type of running. “I’m still getting my fitness back but I feel really good and confident that I can play soon. “It’s little by little, and not just me, everyone is getting their fitness. If the manager wants me to play in the first game of the season, I am ready of course.” Enrique’s fitness is a boost to boss Brendan Rodgers, who was left without a specialist left-back last season and has not been able to strengthen in that area. The Reds have been heavily linked with young Spaniard Alberto Moreno but so far he has stayed with Sevilla. Rodgers has still been busy in the transfer window, spending significant money on Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, Belgium World Cup star Divock Origi, Benfica’s Lazar Markovic and Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen. Liverpool fan Rickie Lambert was another player to leave Southampton for the Reds while right-back Javier Manquillo has joined on loan from Atletico Madrid. last_img read more