Pharmalot, Pharmalittle: setback for Merck, Valeant to offer discounts at Walgreens

first_img Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. And it is especially busy in front of the Pharmalot campus, where a work crew is installing new water mains. This is all very exciting, but we are retreating to the quieter Pharmalot cafeteria to fire up our latest coffee kettle. A few cups of stimulation should do the trick. Meanwhile, here are your tidbits. Have a smashing day and drop us a line when something fascinating arises …A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel dealt Merck a setback by voting that the drug maker should not be allowed to claim that its Vytorin cholesterol-lowering treatments lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with coronary heart disease, Reuters reports. An 18,000-patient trial called Improve-It showed the drug did lower cardiovascular risks, but most panel members believed the benefit from the drug is too small.Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim are in exclusive talks over a $25 billion swap of the French drug maker’s Merial animal health business for the family-owned German company’s consumer health operation, Bloomberg News writes. A deal would give Sanofi the largest market share in the fragmented global consumer health-care business, while Boehringer Ingelheim would become the world’s second-largest supplier of animal-health products.advertisement By Ed Silverman Dec. 15, 2015 Reprints @Pharmalot Natco, which has a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, won regulatory permission to launch a generic version of the Harvoni hepatitis C treatment in India, The Economic Times says.Amgen has reacquired all product rights to three drugs — Prolia, Vectibix and Xgeva — from GlaxoSmithKline in 48 markets around the world, Pharma Times writes.The FDA is trying to sort out how to negotiate three new user fee agreements this year, as well as fill a large number of staff vacancies, Regulatory Focus tells us.The FDA approved the first and only medicine that is able to treat a chemotherapy overdose or severe allergic reactions, according to Pharma Times. Ed Silverman Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Alex Hogan/STATcenter_img About the Author Reprints PharmalotPharmalot, Pharmalittle: setback for Merck, Valeant to offer discounts at Walgreens Valeant Pharmaceuticals reached a 20-year agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance in which the drug maker will offer discounts for a range of products, CNBC reports. For instance, Valeant plans to cut prices on its branded prescription-based skin and eye care products by 10 percent. The deal comes after Valeant has sustained withering criticism of its pricing practices.Want to put a halt to tax inversions? The solution is simple enough — change the tax code, writes investor Carl Icahn in an op-ed in The New York Times.advertisement [email protected] Tags cholesterolMerckValeant Pharmaceuticalslast_img read more

City Staff reflection

first_imgHomeNewsCity CouncilCity Staff reflection Jan. 25, 2016 at 7:35 amCity CouncilColumnsEditorialGovernmentInside/OutsideOpinionCity Staff reflectionMike Feinstein5 years agoandy agleBarbara Stinchfieldcity employeesgigi decavalles-hughesgovernment employeeskaren ginsbergKubanimike feinsteinminimum wagesanta monica minimum wageworking for citySanta Monica City Hall’s lobby. (Daniel Archuleta [email protected]) By Michael Feinstein. Inside/Outside. January 25, 2016The recent passage of Santa Monica’s comprehensive Minimum Wage law was a landmark public policy achievement – and there is a lot of credit to go around. The movement to support local workers and pay a living wage began in the mid-1990s and has continued through this day. Many City Councilmembers over the years have also been bold and unequivocal in their support for the idea that we don’t want our parks, schools and police funded by tax dollars generated on the backs of underpaid workers.But also noteworthy has been the role of City Staff. The draft Minimum Wage ordinance brought to the City Council on Jan. 12 was the result of intensive collaboration between the Finance Department, the Housing and Economic Development Department and the City Attorney’s office.That effort showed how working for our local government can provide exceptional opportunities for City Staff to be part of great cutting edge accomplishments, just like being elected to the City Council gives our local politicians the opportunity to voice support for and vote for them.Minimum wage mini-dissertationIn Santa Monica, we often takes on issues that go beyond what many consider to be the regular operations of municipal government, and this requires becoming expert in many areas.With the City’s draft Minimum Wage law, not only did City Staff need to be well versed in state and federal labor law, but also it necessitated an understanding of how such a comprehensive minimum wage law would specifically apply to our local economy.To do that, City Staff convened an intensive eight-month local stakeholder outreach process, taking input from a range of interests – from big hotels and small restaurants, to car washers, housekeepers and a variety of advocacy organizations and think tanks. Staff then issued their draft recommendations almost a month before they were due to come to Council, to give opportunity for even more feedback, then further fine tuned their recommendations in response.Of course, such work is not without its political context, and City Staff deftly offered some thoughtful compromises that made their recommendations more likely to be accepted. At the same time, they charted out several alternative approaches to key issues as advocated by a range of stakeholders, and analyzed their pros and cons as well.The result was a Staff report that serves as a de facto primer on how a comprehensive minimum wage law might apply to Santa Monica – as well as a potential resource for other communities seeking to do the same, and for academics and others who want to study the issue.Attracting and retaining great City employeesIn addition to the City Attorney’s office (which plays a key role in developing most City policies), both the Housing and Economic Development (HED) Department and the Finance Department deserve special recognition for this professional work on behalf of our community – and how it demonstrates how staying with the City can also lead to great personal professional achievement.Andy Agle is the director of HED and Gigi Decavalles-Hughes the director of Finance. From my own early years on the City Council in the late 1990s, I remember both as junior staff members sitting in the front row in the Council chambers, as is customary, while their own department directors would be giving a Staff report to the Council. Now today almost twenty years later, they are leading their own departments in this historic effort.After serving as a community development project manager for the City of Anaheim, Agle came to Santa Monica in 1998, serving first as a special projects manager in the City’s Planning and Community Development Department (PCD), then as assistant PCD director in 2001, PCD interim director between 2005 to 2006, and then director of HED ever since.Decavalles-Hughes started with Santa Monica in 1997 as a senior budget analyst, then moved up to principal analyst and budget manager in 2001. Then as should be in a progressive city, she was able to take an extended maternity leave of 18 months, before coming back to work in the City’s Community and Cultural Services Department (CCS) as a senior administrative analyst on a part time basis while her kids were young. She coordinated the department’s budget and worked on special projects such as the construction of the new OPCC Shwashlock/Access Center facility and the Annenberg Beach House, before moving to HED in 2009 to serve as Agle’s administrative services officer, then returned back to Finance as director in 2011.In both cases Agle and Decavalles-Hughes gained experience working in different City departments before landing in their present positions, something also true of current CCS director, Karen Ginsberg, who cut her teeth in PCD before moving to CCS to take over when previous director, Barbara Stinchfield, retired in 2011. This long-time practice within City Hall of working in different City Departments further builds intellectual dexterity in our City’s workforce, helping them better understand how the City works and the connections between different policy areas.Achieving many ‘firsts’ for Santa MonicaAnother long-time City employee who has been part of many of Santa Monica’s groundbreaking achievements has been Environmental Programs manager Dean Kubani. Kubani has been with the City since 1994, and helped shape and implement Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan, one of the first municipal sustainability programs in the world. Along the way he’s been part of many “firsts”: first city to buy 100-percent renewable power, first municipal urban runoff treatment system, one of the first to ban Styrofoam containers ,and more. Based on the experience gained and lessons learned, Kubani has also helped countless other cities and other government agencies develop their own sustainability efforts – and many other cities now have sustainability plans based upon the work done here in Santa Monica.Also in the rank-and-fileDoing cutting-edge work in Santa Monica is not limited to department heads, as there are countless City employees behind every program and service. Hence the opportunity to be part of something special professionally extends to hundreds and hundreds of City employees.Back in the late 1990s when the City wanted to switch to more environmentally-friendly cleaning projects, I remember being impressed with how the City’s custodial staff had played an important role in evaluating the new products which they would work with, and for this reason ultimately embraced the change when it came to Council. This is only one example among many that continues to this day.What this should tell us is that the opportunity to work for the City of Santa Monica brings with it many benefits, and that our high quality of life as residents is partly the result of many long-time employees being able to achieve greatness in their fields, fields that by definition are also in public service and the public interest. Such longevity and commitment by city workers isn’t present in every community, and we are fortunate that it exists here.Michael Feinstein is a former Santa Monica Mayor (2000-2002) and City Councilmember (1996-2004).  He can be reached via Twitter @mikefeinstein‘Inside/Outside‘ is a periodic column about civic affairs Feinstein writes for the Daily Press, that takes advantage of his experience inside and outside of government. Tags :andy agleBarbara Stinchfieldcity employeesgigi decavalles-hughesgovernment employeeskaren ginsbergKubanimike feinsteinminimum wagesanta monica minimum wageworking for cityshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentKnow Before You Go: Week of Jan. 25, 2016Local student wins regional DECA marketing titleYou Might Also LikeColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author18 hours agoColumnsFeaturedNewsOpinionWhat’s the Point?whats the pointGAY PRIDE MONTH IS HERE FOR ALL OF USDavid Pisarra2 days agoColumnsNewsOpinionYour Column HereYour column hereGuest Author2 days agoColumnsFeaturedNewsOpinionYour Column HereSaving Santa Monica LibrariesGuest Author3 days agoColumnsFeaturedNewsOpinionYour Column HereBusinesses need helpGuest Author6 days agoColumnsFeaturedNewsOpinionYour Column HereSaving energyGuest Author6 days agolast_img read more

City of Malibu Receives Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Grant from SoCalGas

first_imgHomeBriefsCity of Malibu Receives Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Grant from SoCalGas Jan. 13, 2020 at 5:00 amBriefsEarthEnvironmentNewsCity of Malibu Receives Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Grant from SoCalGasGuest Author1 year agoclimate changeClimate Change Resiliencekaren farrersocalgas The City of Malibu received a SoCalGas 2019 Resilience and Adaptation Planning Grant to help fund the Community Resilience and Adaptation Plan that the City is developing to address the local impacts of climate change.   “The City Council recognizes we are in a state of climate emergency, and we must take positive steps toward reducing the impacts of climate change on the City of Malibu’s population and infrastructure,” Mayor Karen Farrer said. “We sincerely appreciate the support of SoCalGas to create a comprehensive plan to become a more resilient community.”Malibu’s mountainous coastal landscape is especially vulnerable to climate change, including extreme weather, wildfire and sea level rise. The City, one of only three 2019 grant recipients, will use the $50,000 grant funds to help develop an actionable Community Resilience and Adaptation Plan.The Plan will build upon the City’s environmental policy and efforts to address climate change, including purchasing 100% renewable energy through the Clean Power Alliance, retrofitting municipal buildings with LED lighting and installing electrical vehicle charging stations.The Plan will also be guided by the Las Virgines-Malibu Council of Governments’ Hazard Mitigation Plan, Malibu’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which was completed in 2019 by the L.A. County Office of Sustainability, and Malibu’s Coastal Vulnerability Assessment, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.Central aspects of the planning process will include community stakeholder engagement and building regional collaborations with neighboring cities, L.A. County, community organizations, neighborhood groups and subject matter experts.The Plan will have a special focus on identifying solutions to challenges that seniors face. Seniors comprise more than 22% of the City’s population and are considered particularly vulnerable to climate change.The Plan will be incorporated in the update of the City’s General Plan Safety and Housing Elements scheduled for the fall of 2021, ensuring compliance with California Senate Bill 379.Submitted by Grace SmithTags :climate changeClimate Change Resiliencekaren farrersocalgasshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentEnrolling Next Year’s Kindergarteners in SMMUSDConversations: Scenes from Film and TheaterYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall7 hours agoBriefsLos Angeles Sheriff’s deputy accused of destroying evidence of 2019 assaultAssociated Press10 hours agoBriefsCalifornia State Treasurer Fiona Ma to Speak at Online Santa Monica College Commencement Ceremony June 25Guest Author10 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agolast_img read more

Pulhams Coaches appoints new Ops Manager

first_imgSamantha Kinch has joined the team at Pulhams Coaches as its new Operations Manager.Sam has been in the industry for over 11 yearsIn her new role Sam will be working closely with General Manager, James Baugh, who joined the team in January 2017.Sam has been working in the public transport industry for over 11 years, joining her father’s family firm, Minety-based Kinch Coaches, at the age of 18.Says Sam: “Joining Pulhams felt like the most natural move for me. The whole team has been very accommodating and that’s made my transition into the business easy.“The professionalism and duty of care shown by the staff at Pulhams is second to none and I’m looking forward to contributing to that going forward.“I’m already proud of the fact that we are one of 23 members in the Guild of British Coach Operators. “All the staff work hard to ensure we remain at the top of our game and I’m excited about being part of that in the future.”Kathryn Pulham, Director at Pulhams, adds: “We’re thrilled to welcome Sam into our business.“We know she will bring superb leadership skills to an excellent team of operations and driving staff.”last_img read more

PAI: At year-end for workers, it’s ho ho ho hum

first_imgPublic Assets Institute Nonfarm payroll jobs decreased in November to 315,000 —a drop of more than 1,000 jobs since January. But the total number of employed Vermonters, both payroll workers and those who are self-employed, has held steady for most of 2016, up less than 1 percent since the start of the year.Race mattersNewly released US Census data show that nearly a quarter of black Vermonters live in poverty, as do 20 percent of those who check two or more races on the Census form. More than a quarter of the 1,900 American Indians and Alaska Natives in Vermont are poor—the highest percentage of any category.The poverty rate is lowest for white Vermonters: 11 percent.Although the sample size for nonwhites is small, the estimates take in five years of data, increasing the reliability of the picture.More college degreesMore Vermonters had high school diplomas in 2015 than a decade earlier. Since 2005, the proportion of Vermonters without a high school degree has shrunk, while the share with a four-year college degree has grown. The U.S. as a whole has also seen improvement in both the share completing high school and those finishing college, but Vermont remains better educated than the nation. Source: Public Assets Institute publicassets.org(link is external) 12.16.2016last_img read more

Heady Topper brewer recognized for water treatment excellence

first_imgVermont Business Magazine More beer, more visitors, cleaner water, less waste? That’s what the team at The Alchemist have accomplished with their new brewery in Stowe, and they were recently recognized for their environmental success with an award from the Green Mountain Water Environment Association (GMWEA). Steve Miller, Lead Cellar and Water Operator for The Alchemist, was presented with the award at GMWEA’s spring meeting at the Killington Grand Hotel on Thursday, May 25. Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation nominated the Alchemist for the award, which is presented each year for demonstrated commitment to clean water and pollution prevention, including implementation of water or wastewater treatment changes to address problems common to similar industries.The Alchemist opened its new brewery and visitor center in Stowe last summer with a state-of-the-art water treatment system designed to reduce waste throughout the brewing process. Their moving-bed biofilm reactor, built by World Waterworks, allows them to exceed state standards for wastewater, and surpasses environmental management standards in the brewing industry. Their million-dollar investment in water management has allowed them to dramatically reduce their high-strength effluent load into Stowe’s water and sewage system.“We are honored to receive this award,” said Jen Kimmich, co-owner and General Manager of The Alchemist. “This was an incredible collaboration with our consultant, Chief Water Operator Gary Audy; Stowe’s water treatment team; the State of Vermont; and our staff, who all worked together to help us dramatically reduce our wastewater. Clean, fresh water is critical for great beer and we believe that Vermont’s brewers can lead in reducing water waste and keeping water pure for generations to come.”ABOUT THE ALCHEMISTThe Alchemist, founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich, operates in Waterbury and Stowe, Vermont, They are known for their award-winning Heady Topper and Focal Banger IPAs as well as a rotating selection of distinctive ales and porters available at their 16,000-square foot brewery and visitor center in Stowe. They employ 51 people and distribute their beer only within 25 miles of its manufacture. Learn more at www.alchemistbeer.com(link is external)Source: Stowe, VT – June 1, 2017 – Alchemistlast_img read more

St. Ann students selling raffle tickets for school’s largest fundraiser

first_imgSt. Ann Catholic School students are preparing for one of their community’s biggest celebrations of the year.The annual Tiger Trot raffle helps the school community pay for upgrades to St. Ann facilities and support programs at the school. Students are out selling $25 raffle tickets for the grand prize drawing to be held next Friday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m.The holder of the winning raffle ticket will win $2,500 — and the student who sells the winning ticket gets a $50 prize. There will also be a drawing for a $100 and a $250 prize. Weather permitting, St. Ann families will be gathering on the east side of the building for the big event next week where there will be a disc jockey playing music and an obstacle course set up for the students to run.You can find more info about purchasing Tiger Trot tickets here.last_img read more

Want to Learn More About the Industry’s Only Proposed AV-over-IP Standard, IPMX?

first_imgThe Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) launched a new website Monday dedicated to the alliance’s Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX) proposed set of open standards and specifications.“The IPMX website makes it easy for anyone to learn more about this exciting approach to AV over IP,” said David Chiappini, working group chair, Pro AV Workgroup at AIMS. “In addition to outlining the fundamentals of IPMX and the benefits it enables, the website provides up-to-date information on related events and presentations by industry experts. The site is a one-stop shop for those interested in finding out more about IPMX and how it can be implemented within their operations.”Implementing a standards-based approach built on SMPTE ST 2110, IPMX proposes open standards and specifications designed to enable carriage of compressed and uncompressed video-, audio- and data-over-IP networks. The proposed IPMX roadmap also includes specifications beneficial to ProAV installations, such as AMWA NMOS IS-04 for discovery and registration and AMWA NMOS IS-05 for connection management and others for copy protection and security.The new AIMS website details the proposed IPMX road map, provides further information about the standards on which it is based and offers educational and reference materials including AIMS presentations, news and white papers focusing on IP for the media and ProAV industries.last_img read more

Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter

first_img December 15, 2016 Rayven Wright Regular News Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Pro bono attorney prevents wrongful eviction of mother and daughter Special to the News On the eve of her 21st birthday, Brittney and her mother Tina were shocked to receive a notice of noncompliance from their property manager. According to the notice, Brittney’s emotional support animal, Panga, was in violation of the community’s height and weight guidelines under the pet policy. If Panga was not removed in seven days, Brittney and Tina were told they would face eviction from their home of six years. “Our reaction was utter devastation and chaos and sadness,” Tina said. “I know, physically, I was in hives over it. [Brittney] had some major manic attacks.” Brittney suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her 40-pound Labrador-mix, Panga, provides emotional support through periods of depression and anxiety. According to Tina, Panga has been instrumental to her daughter’s well-being. Since living with Panga, Brittney has not been Baker Acted, nor has she harmed herself. Tina and Brittney had been going back and forth with their property manager prior to being issued the notice, and their therapist connected them with Pamela Fields of Legal Aid of Manasota. After they received the notice, Fields connected them with pro bono attorney Merissa Mort the very same day. “I just can’t even express how thankful and grateful I am that there are people like Merissa who will fight for those who can’t fight,” Tina said. “[Pro bono lawyers are] good people fighting for good people. I think there is not enough of that in the world.” Fields discussed this case with Mort because she had recently tackled a similar case through Legal Aid of Manasota and had a successful outcome. “I asked [Fields] if I could take [Brittney and Tina’s] case because I am passionate about housing rights,” Mort said. Brittney and Tina live in a federally subsidized housing complex with a 20-lb. weight restriction on dogs. However, under the Fair Housing Act, comfort animals, like Panga, are exempt from any community rules including breed, size, pet limits or no pet policy. Mort wrote a demand letter to the property manager explaining that the notice was in violation of Brittney’s rights under the Fair Housing Act. Two days later, the community’s attorney responded with a letter stating that Brittney’s disability meant she would be granted reasonable accommodations regarding Panga and that the seven-day notice would be withdrawn. “It was a godsend.” Tina said. “I think if things had not turned out that way, if legal aid did not accept our case, if they didn’t find Ms. Merissa Mort, I think we would be homeless today, for sure. It was happy birthday to Brittney.” This is the second case Mort has handled through Legal Aid of Manasota. Mort feels fulfilled knowing that through pro bono she can help change someone’s life in their greatest time of need by simply doing what she loves to do. “JFK said it best,” Mort said. “‘For those to whom much is given, much is required.’ As attorneys, we have the unique ability of helping people in life-changing matters. Pro bono work doesn’t have to be time- consuming. Sometimes pro bono cases take months to complete, and sometimes they are resolved through one simple letter.  We should do what we can, when we can, to help others in need.” Brittney says she is thankful to everyone involved in providing legal aid to those who need it, calling them true heroes. “My life has been a whole lot brighter because someone stepped in and spoke up for me,” Brittney said. “It’s an amazing thing to feel whole again.” RayvenWright is an intern from the University of Central Florida assigned to The Florida Bar Foundation.last_img read more

Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Email The findings come out of a novel study published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions that collectively examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness. The other theory favors motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.“When asking whether the performance difference we see is the result of ability or motivation, this research has more of an answer than any study that comes before it,” says UB psychologist Larry Hawk, the paper’s principle investigator.The results of the research conducted by Hawk, Fosco, UB graduate student Michelle Bubnik and Keri Rosch of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, have clinical parallels as well.Behavioral therapy, which uses positive consequences to increase the likelihood of achieving certain behaviors, is among the leading psychosocial interventions for children with an ADHD diagnosis.The authors point out that the benefits of reward are not specific to children with ADHD.“The major difference is that typically developing kids usually perform well even when simply asked to do their best,” says Fosco. “But kids with ADHD typically need an external or an additional reinforcement to perform their best.”It’s a tricky area of research area, according to Hawk, since some of the subjects are being tested on tasks on which they have a demonstrated history of poor performance.There is also a degree of variability between the two groups. The authors say that having a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t necessarily mean that a child will perform poorly on any given task, and neither does the absence of a diagnosis mean that the child will perform well on any given task.“You can’t say kids with ADHD respond more to reinforcement because they were doing poorly to begin with,” says Hawk. “We showed that was not true. It was greater motivation to obtain external rewards that drove the effects we observed.” A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – more so than it would for typically developing kids.That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn’t clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.“Our results suggest that the motivation piece is critical,” says Whitney Fosco, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “Kids with ADHD showed more improvement because they are more motivated by the opportunity to gain rewards, not because they simply did worse from the beginning.”center_img Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Ellie Norman Spending Time At Mesa Public Library Tuesday

first_imgEllie Norman, 2.5, spending time Tuesday at Mesa Public Library, is the daughter of Robin and Jason Norman. Photo by Jenn Bartram/ladailypost.comlast_img

Kenya to re-introduce betting tax

first_img“The removal of this tax happened during the committee stage of the bill…The National Treasury will be proposing to the National Assembly the re-introduction of the excise duty on betting within the next six months.” Kenya announces new sports betting regulations Tax on betting companies was scrapped after an obscure stakeholder group — identified only by a non-existent website shade.co.ke made the proposals on May 15.FILE PHOTO: A gambler uses his cell phone to launch the Sportpesa online betting link, along the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. /ReutersAnd the parliamentary committee justified the reversal saying the taxes hurt the industry, which has led to the closure of betting companies in Kenya, yet international players continue to operate. The scrapping of the excise duty tax has coincided with restructuring of ownership at SportsPesa raising speculation the company is about to return. A sports enthusiast holds a betting slip while different games are broadcast on screens at a sports betting shop in July 15, 2019 in Nairobi. – Kenya’s Betting Control and Licence Board announced sweeping restrictions in May 2019, on gambling advertisements, including outright bans on celebrity endorsements and social media promotions, in a blow to the fast-growing gambling industry in East Africa. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images) The leading sports betting firm SportPesa Global Holdings made a profit after tax of almost Sh1.6 billion in 2018, according to its financial statements. Last year, the government again slapped the industry with additional taxes, introducing a 20 percent excise duty charge on any amount staked. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani blamed the Parliament, saying the industry has been lobbying the government for the removal of the taxes. “The players in the industry have been petitioning the government to reduce taxation in the industry,” said Mr Yatani. This saw the government and the betting industry face off in a move that led to SportPesa losing its betting licence last July before it withdrew from Kenya last September in response to what it called “the hostile taxation and operating environment in the country”. Their withdrawal resulted in 400 job losses and cancellation of its local sports sponsorships. In 2018, the National Treasury introduced a 15 percent tax on betting companies and 20 percent withholding tax on all winnings. Betting gained prevalence in Kenya, which saw the industry expand on the back of mobile payments and digital applications, creating a multi-billion industry. Entrepreneurs worried as Kenya plans to introduce digital tax Related Tax paid by betting firms in Kenya almost triples in three years The Kenyan government will bring back excise tax on betting companies in the next six months after a public outcry over scrapping of the 20 percent duty in the Finance Bill 2020.last_img read more

China Telecom, State Grid, and Huawei Jointly Release Report on 5G Network Slicing for Smart Grids

first_imgChina Telecom, China’s State Grid, and Huawei have jointly released a report which details results of the 5G network slicing project, a major national initiative. Entitled 5G Network Slicing Enabling Smart Grid, the initiative marks a new stage of cooperation between operators and China’s electric power industry in the 5G field. It illustrates challenges encountered during smart grid development, potential application scenarios of 5G network slicing in smart grids, and analysis from the aspect of 5G network slicing and smart grid.This report elaborates the service features and technical specifications in different smart grid applications emerging in the 5G era. 5G network slicing technologies allow for intelligent operation of the power grid. The 5G core network provides network slices with differentiated capabilities to fulfill the communication requirements of new services in specific scenarios. In addition, 5G network slicing enables grid utilities to control and manage network resources visually in the entire process, which significantly decreases the 5G network slice deployment cost and promotes application innovation for a smarter grid.The three parties will continue to work together to develop solutions for typical services and further verify the 5G network slicing capabilities in power grid service instances. They aim to build, on top of 5G network slices, a world-leading, green, smart grid featuring low carbon, high efficiency, great convenience, and robust reliability.Click here to read more about 5G Network Slicing Enabling Smart Grids.last_img read more

Clemson Beats USC 35-17, Snaps Streak

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-18:a0d2d59f9566fcfd29536f79 Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-761216-3915693687001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Clemson players doused coach Dabo Swinney, carried him off the field and celebrated as if they’d won a championship – and why not after the five straight defeats.“That’s too long,” said senior defensive tackle DeShawn Williams.Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 269 yards and ran for two touchdowns, Wayne Gallman rushed for 191 yards and a score and Artavis Scott took two short inside flip passes for scores of 53 and 70 yards.Scott finished with seven catches for 185 yards.Swinney said afterwards that Watson had torn the ACL in his left knee at practice on Nov. 20. He will play in Clemson’s bowl game, then have surgery and return next summer. The school said Watson can’t injure the ligament anymore while wearing a brace.“He is a mental and genetic freak,” Swinney said of Watson. “I don’t know how else to put it.”Gallman believes it may be Clemson’s time to string several wins together. “We’re all coming back,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere.”Watson has missed four full games and most of two others with a broken hand and, most recently, a sprained knee ligament. He hobbled off twice in the opening half, yet was around at the end and finished 14 of 19 for 269 yards and two 1-yard rushing TDs in first significant action since defeating North Carolina State on Oct. 4.“I knew I was going to feel some pain because I wasn’t 100 percent,” Watson said. “I just go out with a confident mindset and have fun.”Clemson’s top-ranked defense also helped out, twice stopping the Gamecocks on fourth down in the second half. Defensive end Vic Beasley had two sacks and forced a fumble.South Carolina could not keep Steve Spurrier’s mastery over the Tigers going. The Gamecocks hadn’t ever won more than four straight in a Palmetto Bowl series Clemson leads 66-42-4.It was also a humbling defeat for a South Carolina team coming off three straight 11-2 seasons and picked to win the SEC East at league media days last July.“I told the guys, ‘6-6 might be what we are,’” said Spurrier, who coached his 400th career game in the pros and college.Thompson 21 of 39 for 249 yards – enough to push him past former passer Todd Ellis as the school’s all-time single-season yardage leader at 3,254 yards.With Watson in control, the Tigers’ offense soon got moving. He had a 25-yard pass to Mike Williams before Scott’s first TD to tie things at 7-all.Beasley’s 10th sack of the season forced a fumble by Thompson – the seventh time in Beasley’s 31 career sacks he’s forced a fumble – at the South Carolina 36. Beasley added his ACC-leading 11th sack in the second half. CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina found again what it’s like on the wrong side of the Palmetto State’s biggest sports rivalry.After an unprecedented run of five consecutive wins, the one-time Southeastern Conference Eastern Division favorites fell 35-17 to the 23rd-ranked Tigers on Saturday.“This isn’t going to define who we are,” Gamecocks quarterback Dylan Thompson said. “We’ve had many wins, many wins over these guys. But today they came to play and beat us.”Clemson (9-3) hadn’t won since 2008 when Dabo Swinney was still interim coach and the victory helped earn him the fulltime job. The Gamecocks (6-6) had used young playmakers like tailback Marcus Lattimore in 2010, quarterback Connor Shaw in 2011 and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in 2012 to grab a stranglehold on the rivalry. PHOTOS: USC vs. Clemson CLEMSON, SC – NOVEMBER 29: Head Coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers is splashed with Gatorade after beating the South Carolina Gamecocks at Memorial Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Clemson, South Carolina.Even Thompson, a sophomore backup, came on for injured starter Shaw to lead a 27-17 win at Death Valley two years ago. This time, it was Clemson’s No. 1 ranked defense and young offensive stars who took control.“It’s kind of upsetting not beating this team in this rivalry your senior season,” Gamecocks guard A.J. Cann said. “But in the past, we really did a good job against them, beating them five times in a row.” VIDEO: Steve Spurrier Talks After the Game Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUNDlast_img read more

Hookey cans his first hole-in-one

first_imgMasa Takano (center) with John Pearce (left) and Andrew Kelleher.PSC Golf from the Pattaya Links Golf SocietyMonday, Feb. 25, Burapha C & D – StablefordA Flight (0-15)1st Alan Thomas (6) 38pts2nd Dave Hewson (8) 38pts3rd Pete Seil (8) 38pts4th Garry Bright (11) 37pts5th Connie Walsh (14) 37ptsB Flight (16+)1st Wayne Greenwood (17) 36pts2nd Gordon Loviolette (24) 33pts3rd Tip Briney (27) 32pts4th Darren Beavers (17) 31pts5th Richard Dobson (25) 31ptsGarry Hookey. The ball took one bounce on the green and dropped straight into the hole. Garry Hookey didn’t see it, but the caddies did and screamed, but not as loud as Garry and his playing partners once they knew, and could be heard three fairways away.Thirty-nine golfers lined up on the first tee at Burapha and the course was presented in the usual excellent condition with nicely mown fairways.The B flight (16+) was won by first time Links player, Wayne Greenwood, and 36 points was a very good first up effort, and Gordon Loviolette took second place with 33. The next three places sawTip Briney return 32 points followed by Darren Beavers and Richard Dobson, both on 31.The A flight (0-15) saw a shoot-out at the top with three scores of 38 points. Alan Thomas came out on top in the countback ahead of Dave Hewson and Pete Seil respectively. There was then another countback required to separate Garry Bright and Connie Walsh, both on 37 points.Near pins went to Chris Barker (C5), Gary Hookey (C8), Nigel Harrison (D2) and Alan Thomas (D8).Beat consolation nines came from Frank Jelmo (19pts) and Petur Petursson with 21 points.Wednesday, Feb. 27, Royal Lakeside – StablefordA Flight (0-14)1st Masa Takano (8) 41pts2nd Paul Smith (5) 40pts3rd Chris Barker (12) 40pts4th Connie Walsh (14) 39ptsB Flight (15+)1st Nigel Harrison (22) 40pts2nd Colin Service (16) 36pts3rd Derek Phillips (19) 35pts4th Gordon Laviolette (23) 33ptsWe usually expect high stableford scores here and today was no different. The surprise packet was Nigel Harrison with 40 points taking out “B” flight (15+), making this his best score for quite some time. Colin Service has been wondering where his game went, but it was back today and he racked up a cool 36 points, for second place. Derek Phillips got third spot with 35 points, while that man Gordon Laviolette was there again, even after a handicap reduction, scoring 33 for fourth.Masa Takano made another 41 points to win A flight (0-14) and don his second Green Jacket in 7 days. Paul Smith, sporting an unusually high handicap, and consistent Chris Barker, were both right behind with 40 points each. Paul had 21 points on the run in to just edge into second. Connie Walsh quietly slipped into fourth with a nicely done 39 points.Near pins were claimed by Paul Smith (x3) and Mark Oliver.The best front nine (non winners) went to Andy Kelleher with 19 points on c/back whilst the best back nine score was recorded by George Mueller (17 points c/back).Friday, March 1, Pleasant Valley – StablefordA Flight (0-17)1st Phil Davies (12) 37pts2nd Masa Takano (8) 36pts3rd Steve Truelove (10) 35pts4th Dennis Eager (17) 34pts5th Chris Barker (12) 34ptsB Flight (18+)1st Phil Mitchell (24) 38pts2nd Len Jones (31) 37pts3rd Bjorgvin Hallgrimsson (22) 35pts4th Alan Walker (27) 34pts5th Mike Firkin (25) 34ptsForty-two golfers made up the field which was divided into two flights at seventeen and under and play got away on a decently prepared course on time and under blue skies.In the top flight three points covered the top five golfers with Chris Barker taking fifth place with 34 points, losing on c/back to Dennis Eager. Third place saw Steve Truelove return 35 points with Masa Takano, playing his swansong round this trip, taking second with 36 points. The flight winner, fittingly on St. David’s Day, was Welshman Phil Davies with 37 points. “Chwarae da iawn” Phil!In the second flight scores mirrored the top flight with Mike Firkin losing on c/back to Alan Walker with 34 points. In third place was Icelandic golfer Bjorgvin Hallgrimsson with 35 points, a couple behind Welshman Len Jones, runner-up with 37 points. The best score of the day was recorded by Phil Mitchell who returned in the final group with a score of 38 points.Near pins went to Phil Davies (5), Dennis Eager (13) and Masa Takano (8 and 17) whilst the best front nine score (non winners) was logged by Paul Durkan at 19 points, John Chelo taking the award for his 18 points on the back nine.last_img read more

NADO Leaders Advance Urgent Reforms in Wake of Second McLaren Report

first_img“With the best interests of clean athletes at heart, it is our hope that these proposals will help sport move past these dark times and pave a path towards a brighter future – one where the promise of clean competition is fulfilled.” said the leaders in a joint statement. “But in order to do so, steps must be taken, and it is imperative that those responsible for Russia’s state-supported system are held accountable, that calls for a truly independent anti-doping model are finally heeded and those athletes affected by this abhorrent behavior are given back at least some of what was taken from them.”Meeting for the third time in six months, the NADO leadership group once again reaffirmed commitment to the Copenhagen Reform Proposals, a series of urgent reforms brought forth last August following the release of the initial McLaren Report, while calling on the international sport community to bolster anti-doping efforts and restore athlete’s faith in fair competition around the globe.With new, irrefutable evidence of Russia’s institutionalised doping system uncovered by McLaren and his team, the leadership group has called for the exclusion of Russian sport organisations from all international competition until the sport and anti-doping systems in Russia are brought into full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.However, in line with the approach taken by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and with the understanding that there may be some Russian athletes who have been subject to the robust anti-doping practices of other countries, the leadership group has offered to help in applying standardised criteria by which athletes can be assessed in order to compete as neutrals.The leaders have also called for IFs and other major event organisers to remove all international competitions currently set to take place in Russia, as well as a moratorium on awarding any new competitions to the country.In an attempt to prevent the type of malfeasance seen in Russia, NADO leaders advocate for a more independent global anti-doping model. The leadership group re-affirms its position that all anti-doping organisations, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), should be independent and adopt the necessary reforms, including a proposal that no decision-maker within an anti-doping organisation hold a policy-making position within a sport or event organiser.While there was continued recognition of the value in maintaining close collaboration with sport – especially in regard to anti-doping education, funding and intelligence sharing – the leaders stand firm that investigatory, testing and results management functions be separate from sports organisations. These reforms would help prevent the inherent conflict of interest that exists when a sports organisation is tasked with both promoting and policing itself.NADO leaders also recognise the need for a system of checks and balances with greater transparency for anti-doping efforts in international sport. International athletes should be subject to harmonised and robust testing from independent national anti-doping organisations and anti-doping organisations overseen by WADA in order to ensure fairness.Lastly, with many IF’s now facing extensive evidence of doping and cover-ups following the publication of McLaren’s efforts, the NADO leaders look to WADA, the global regulator, to monitor and act – as required by the Code and UNESCO Treaty Against Doping in Sport – to ensure evidence is investigated and appropriate consequences are applied.While those affected athletes can never reclaim the moments that were stolen from them, the international community must do everything in its power to honor these victims and ensure justice for them. Including, if it is the athlete’s wish, the opportunity to have a formal medal ceremony conducted at the Olympic Games or World Championship following the approval of medal re-allocation.Former Irish international race walker Olive Loughnane was one of those affected athletes, having seen her 2009 World Championship medal upgraded from silver to gold in 2016. Today she backed the NADOs work in bringing about change to the anti-doping system: “As an athlete, I was shocked and appalled following the revelations in the McLaren Report that those tasked with the protection of clean athletes and the integrity of sport were in fact aiding and abetting deception of a seismic nature. I welcome the important work of the National Anti-Doping Organisations and their calls for reform. Strong action needs to be taken to ensure a message is sent out to all that doping in sport is completely unacceptable.”The proposals were written and endorsed by anti-doping leaders from around the world, including: Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Following the devastating evidence of wide-spread systemic corruption exposed by the second McLaren Report, leaders from 19 National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) came together for a special summit, hosted by Sport Ireland, with hopes to restore the faith of clean athletes and to ensure that the integrity of sport is never again brought into such disrepute. Special leadership Summit held in Farmleigh, DublinIn light of the second McLaren Report, leaders call for the exclusion of Russian sports organizations at all international competitions – with a uniform process for athletes to compete as neutrals until substantive progress in reform efforts are madeLeaders also call for the removal of all major international competitions, as well a moratorium on the awarding of new competitions to RussiaLeaders endorse WADA as global regulator and offer support for ongoing reform effortsLeaders reject concept of a new one size fits all, global “Independent Testing Authority” controlled by sport and consider guidelines for development of independent testing authorities to manage anti-doping responsibilities formerly conducted by International Federations (IFs)last_img read more

Sarsfields Book Place In All-Ireland Senior Camogie Club Final

first_imgThe Sarsfields Panel before yesterday’s All-Ireland Club Semi-Final with St Vincents. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Michael McGrath’s side were 1-13 to 0-8 winners over St Vincents from Dublin while defending champions Slaughtneil were 2-10 to 1-10 winners over Scariff in the other Semi-Final. Sarsfields will play Slaughtneil in the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Final on the 1st of March following their Semi-Final win yesterday afternoon. Here is the match report from Tommy DevaneAfter the game, Tommy spoke to Sarsfields Manager Michael McGrathTommy then spoke to Player of the Match Siobhan McGrathlast_img read more

Manchester United ready to splash £50m on Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld

first_imgMANCHESTER UNITED are ready to launch a £50m bid for Toby Alderweireld this week – and offer him a bumper deal to entice him away from Tottenham.The Belgian defender is stalling on a new Spurs contract at present, and looks set to be sold this summer.2 Toby Alderweireld joined Tottenham in 2015 but Manchester United are keen to sign the defenderCredit: REUTERSUnited boss Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of the 29-year-old, and has scouted him for a number of seasons.And the Red Devils chief is looking to make a huge offer to land his target, and sure-up his defence.A United insider said: “The manager considers the player one of the best in the world in his position.”The club know there could be a bargain to be had. He is an unbelievable talent for the money.MOST READ IN FOOTBALLLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea news LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Stamford BridgeLive BlogUNITED LIVEMan Utd news LIVE: All the latest updates and transfer gossip from Old TraffordLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea transfer news LIVE: Havertz deal LATEST, Willian move updatesLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordLive Bloggunners newsArsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesAZPI BETTERAzpilicueta reveals turning off phone saved his season after horror startART ATTACKInside Arsenal’s celebrations as Arteta is showered with champagne as he dancesLive BlogTRANSFER NEWS LIVEStones update, Sancho latest, Havertz to Chelsea news”His wages certainly aren’t a problem for United. They know they can pay what he wants if they have to.”There is a feeling Alderweireld would still like to stay at Spurs if they decide to meet with his demands.”Alderweireld is demanding Spurs double his £50,000-a-week wages to put him near parity with top-earner Harry Kane.United have no issues giving him a hefty amount on top of that though, as the Old Trafford wage structure is more flexible.Tottenham, Man United, PSG… where does Toby Alderweireld’s future lie? 2 Alderweireld could be on his way to Old Trafford after refusing to sign a new contract at TottenhamCredit: PA:Press AssociationBut if he does decide to stay at White Hart Lane, the Red Devils will not come back in for him.It is thought there is also a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave on the cheap next season.DANE DEAL Real Madrid to battle Barcelona for Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen as they seek Luka Modric replacementTottenham chiefs are understood to be willing to let Alderweireld leave, depending on the offer.Spurs are keen on Anthony Martial, and would like the French winger as part exchange of any deal.Football legends look ahead to the FIFA World Cup in Russialast_img read more

Higgins expects tough semi-final against Kyren Wilson

first_imgThe pair begin their match at 1pm and Higgins is wary of the threat the young Englishman carries to his title aspirations.The Scotsman told Eurosport: “He’s a great young talent.“He’s maybe a bit like myself, he’s maybe not as flamboyant as people like Jack Lisowski and Judd Trump but nonetheless he’s such a tough competitor to play against.“He’s such a tough all-round player, pots the great long balls and every credit to him. John Higgins is expecting a difficult match as he faces Kyren Wilson in the World Championship semi-final at the Crucible on Thursday.The 42-year-old is going into the clash in a buoyant mood after defeating Judd Trump 13-12 in a thrilling quarter-final encounter.He now faces 26-year-old Wilson who overcame Northern Irishman Mark Allen 13-6 to reach the semi-final stage for the first time in his career.The match-up will be Higgins’ eighth World Championship semi-final and the world-number-five is looking to close in on winning his fifth title in Sheffield. “He’s learning every year and he’s a really professional young man.“It’s going to be a really tough game.The winner of the tie will face either the 2013 runner-up Barry Hawkins or veteran Welshman Mark Williams who compete in the other semi-final at 7pm.last_img read more

World Summit action plan

first_img4 September 2002After more than a week of tough behind-the-scenes bargaining, over 100 heads of state and government at the World Summit on Sustainable Development have agreed on a plan of action to eradicate poverty and protect the environment, finally concluding negotiations that have taken place over nine months and on three continents.Negotiators at the Summit in Johannesburg finally reached on renewable energy sources, the last major stumbling block in the action plan. The agreed text calls on all countries to: “With a sense of urgency, substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources, with the objective of increasing its contribution to total energy supply” – but without setting any percentage target or target date.The European Union had been pushing for a target of making 15% of energy come from “renewable energy” sources such as windmills, solar panels and waves by 2015. The US and Opec oil-exporting countries, however, were opposed to such targets.Children of the world present a message to the Summit (from left to right): Analiz Vergara (Ecuador), Liao Mingyu (China), Justin Friesen, (Canada), Julius Ndlovena and Tiyiselani Manganyi (South Africa). (Photo: UN Johannesburg Summit)The plan of action, together with a political declaration, was formally adopted at the close of the Summit.Among the provisions agreed on are commitments to increase access to clean water, proper sanitation and energy services, to improve health conditions and agriculture, particularly in drylands, and to protect the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems.Environmentalists scathing, politicians upbeatEnvironmentalists have slammed the plan as toothless, criticising it for, among other things, failing to set targets for the use of renewable energy sources, failing to ensure accountability of multinational corporations, and making no mention of the “ecological debt” that resource-greedy richer nations owe less developed nations.Ministers, however, have praised the plan, describing the environmentalists’ expectations as unrealistic.South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin told the Star newspaper that issues such as getting the United States and Japan to agree on specific renewable energy targets had been politically impossible to resolve, adding: “But we brokered a deal. There are no targets, but there’s no question about it – renewable energy is now a new issue on the sustainable development agenda.”Erwin said that South Africa’s technical and brokering skills in chairing the “Johannesburg Process” that led to final consensus had been appreciated by the world’s trade and environment ministers, adding that the plan contained “about 41 substantial agreements relating to the environment in one way or another”.Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai said that renewable energy targets had been a worthwhile goal, “but the reality is that, with sustained action, we can build up the renewable energy industries to the point where they have the critical mass to compete with fossil fuel-generated energy. We have a commitment to make it happen, and now we need the follow-through.”South African Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Mohamed Valli Moosa said the Summit had made some very significant advances. “In some areas, it has made seminal advances.”Valli Moosa said the breakthroughs came during three days of round-the-clock ministerial negotiations. The idea of ministers sitting for days dealing with the “nitty-gritty” of the issues involved was a surprise, he said. “It represents the seriousness with which the [Summit] is taken by developing and developed countries.”The high-level negotiations were necessary, he said, because the remaining issues needed to be resolved at the political, not technical levels.Sustainable production and consumptionCountries have agreed to establish a voluntary world solidarity fund to eradicate poverty and promote social and human development that, without duplicating existing UN funds, will encourage the role of the private sector and individual citizens.Also agreed on was a provision that encourages countries to develop a 10-year framework of programmes to shift towards sustainable consumption and production – that asks countries, in other words, to live within the means of their supporting ecosystems.Desai, detailing some of the commitments, said that country agreements on water and sanitation were backed up by a United States announcement of an investment of $970-million in water projects over the next three years, and a European Union announcement to engage in partnerships to meet the new goals, primarily in Africa and Central Asia.The UN had received 21 other partnership initiatives in this area, with at least $20-million in extra resources.In energy, Desai said countries had committed themselves to expanding access to the two billion people that do not have access to modern energy services. He added that while countries had not agreed on a target for phasing in renewable energy, they had commited to green energy and the phasing out of subsidies for types of energy that are not consistent with sustainable development.Bolstering these commitments, Desai said, a group of nine major electric companies had signed agreements to undertake sustainable energy projects in developing countries, while the EU had announced a $700-million partnership initiative on energy, and the US had announced investments of up to $43-million for energy in 2003.On health issues, in addition to actions to fight HIV-Aids and reduce waterborne diseases and the health risks due to pollution, countries had agreed to phase out, by 2020, the use and production of chemicals that harm human health and the environment.Proposals for the Global Environment Facility to fund implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification have already been adopted, and will have a major impact on improving agricultural practices in drylands. The United States had said it would invest $90-million in 2003 for sustainable agriculture, Desai said, and 17 partnership submissions to the UN contained at least $2-million in additional resources.There were many commitments made to protect biodiversity and improve ecosystem management, Desai said. These include commitments to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010; to restore fisheries to their maximum sustainable yields by 2015; to establish a representative network of marine protected areas by 2012; and to improve developing countries’ access to environmentally sound alternatives to ozone-depleting chemicals by 2010.These commitments were supported by 32 partnership initiatives submitted to the UN, with $100-million in additional resources, and a US announcement of $53-million for forest management in 2002-2005.“It’s impossible to know just how many resources the Summit has mobilised”, Desai said, “but we know they are substantial. Furthermore, many of the new resources will attract additional resources that will greatly enhance our efforts to take sustainable development to the next level, where it will benefit more people and protect more of our environment.”Boost for Kyoto ProtocolOn Kyoto, countries agreed in the Summit plan that states that have ratified the Kyoto treaty on global warming “strongly urge states that have not already done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in a timely manner”.The Protocol received a huge boost at the Summit, with Russia, China, Canada and Japan announcing their intentions to ratify the treaty, leaving the US and Australia as the only major powers holding out.Minister Valli Moosa told the Star that Russia’s surprise decision meant that the anti-global warming pact could now come into force, as it would bring a “big chunk” of carbon dioxide emissions into the equation.‘There is still the other half’The commitment to a target of 2015 for reducing the numbers of people who lack access to proper sanitation followed the already agreed upon goal of halving the proportion of people who lack access to clean water, one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.“It is hard to imagine how we can implement sustainable development when two billion people lack proper sanitation facilities”, said Desai. “This is an historic commitment, because for the first time the world has made the issues of water and sanitation a high-level political priority. We need this political commitment, and now we need the practical measures and partnerships to ensure that the new goals are met.”Desai cautioned, however, that the new targets, if met, would only bring clean water and proper sanitation to half of the people who lack these necessities. “There is still the other half, and we cannot stop until everyone benefits.”SouthAfrica.info reporter. Sources: Johannesburg World Summit 2002, United Nations: Johannesburg Summit 2002last_img read more

Bafana frenzy grips the nation

first_imgBafana Bafana has captured the hearts ofSouth Africans.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)  Vuvuzelas blared from the residential block of flats in Sunnyside, Pretoria’s lively, cosmopolitan suburb. South Africans hung out of their windows and burst from the corridors to celebrate and blow their favourite plastic trumpets. It was a short-lived moment, but one I had been expecting.South Africa’s national football squad Bafana Bafana was playing Denmark in a friendly match that day, 5 June, and I had decided to go loll at a park in nearby Troy Street – I was against the idea of being glued to a television screen.I knew the noise made by the throng of football fans in the area would be a pretty good indication of the score: I anticipated a spirited round of vuvuzela toots for every Bafana goal, and a collective sigh of “aaaaahs” if our opponent scored.I was kept in suspense for some time, but eventually I heard the eruption of noise. I knew very well our boys had scored a critical goal – the only one of the match. It came in the 76th minute from striker Katlego “Killer” Mphela.The celebrations went on for about three minutes at that stage, but the lasting sense of excitement came as the referee blew the final whistle. We had won.The vuvuzelas were out again, and the hubbub resonated throughout central Pretoria. Masses of young football fans, clad in their Bafana gear, celebrated the victory with their trumpets, song and dance. And cars whizzing past showed their support too, with mini South African flags attached to their roof tops.It’s scenes like these that show the pride in the 23-man national squad, which will play the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in a few days’ time.“We’re very elated and excited about what see throughout the country every day. Scores of people are wearing the Bafana jersey,” the team’s media officer Matlhomola Morake said.“[South Africans] are giving us courage,” Morake added. “We’d like to thank them and hope that this support will continue throughout the World Cup.”Support for Bafana is streaming in through various channels countrywide, as fans’ good-luck wishes are publicised on television, radio, newspapers, online social network sites and mobile phones. “That’s ayoba,” my colleague, Lesego Madumo, would say.‘We’re behind you’A day before the Demark clash, friends Mzukisi Zuzile and Masanda Nomeva joined hundreds of other South Africans outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg to show their confidence in Bafana Bafana. And they weren’t shy about where their allegiances lay: “We’ll support them up until the end of the World Cup. South Africans will stand by them,” Nomeva said.“Bafana Bafana must play their hearts out, knowing very well that the nation is behind them,” Zuzile added.The team has gone without a loss in its last 12 matches, making the craze well-deserved. Notable wins include the 5 June Denmark friendly and a 5-0 record defeat of Thailand a few days’ before.The group stage matches involving Bafana were sold out even before World Cup ticket collection centres were opened, another indication of strong belief in the national side.This also means that vuvuzelas will be out in full force. “We need the vuvuzela – it is our 12th man, and it will help us a lot,” Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said during his announcement of the final player selection on 1 June.The national team has been drawn into Group A to face Mexico, France and Uruguay. It’s been tipped to pick up at least six points, but must win the first clash against Mexico to achieve this, experts say.Promise of victoryPresident of the South African Football Association Kirsten Nematandani has promised the nation that Bafana will make it proud. He is confident that the team is well-prepared and ready to tackle the stiff competition.“The boys are ready … they will make us proud,” he said during the celebrations at Luthuli House.“Come the 11 June, Mexico won’t know what hit them.”South African politicians are showing they’re not immune to the Bafana frenzy either, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, both sending out messages of support.“Bafana, you carry the hopes and aspirations of all South Africans …” said ANC chairperson Baleka Mbethe, on behalf of her party. “We have complete confidence and trust in you.”Good dose of Madiba MagicPresident Jacob Zuma and Fifa head Sepp Blatter are among the legions of World Cup fans who are hoping that Nelson Mandela will make it to the tournament’s opening ceremony at Soccer City on 11 June.It’s still not entirely clear whether the frail, 91-year-old statesman will be there, but Zuma has said it will be a bonus if he is.“We have hope that Mandela will be there,” said Mbethe.Mandela’s presence will undoubtedly give Bafana Bafana a good dose of “Madiba Magic” ¬– a term coined during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, when the then-president donned a replica of the captain’s jersey to spread national pride and show his support for the host team.He did the same during the African Cup of Nations a year later, and many say this helped inspire the South Africans to win both tournaments. In recent years South Africans have increasingly used Madiba, Mandela’s clan name, as a fond term of reference.The Bafana World Cup squad was introduced to their former president on 3 June at a gathering at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg. On this day too, Mandela chose to wear the captain’s jersey.last_img read more

Monitoring and Measuring Interviewer Performance

first_imgLoss prevention associates are measured and evaluated against the organization’s expectations in a variety of areas. LP managers are ranked based on shrinkage numbers, cash handling in the store, internal and external apprehensions, plus asset recovery, to mention but a few.Many of these tasks are easily measured, while others are more difficult to benchmark.Evaluating interviewer performance is one area that can be difficult to measure against the department’s overall expectations, but can be a major return on investment for the interviewer and organization.- Sponsor – A number of factors will influence an interviewer’s overall success, making it difficult to compare performance between interviewers. Differing employee populations, frequency of cases, interviewer style, training, management support, availability of a mentor, and emphasis on performance are just some of the factors that make it difficult to compare one interviewer against another.Unfortunately, many interviewers have learned to interview by observing coworkers who may or may not have had the skills to excel in an interview or to train the observer. In other situations, interviewers have been rewarded with a confession even when they have applied improper or ineffective strategies. Receiving this positive result translates into the misguided belief in the strategy’s effectiveness. If novice interviewers had the ability to test strategies in a large number of confrontations, they would discover for themselves the ones that are ineffective, but that requires time and insight. Meanwhile, management is left with a group of interviewers who are each marching to their own drummer.Why Monitor Interviewer Performance?There are a number of benefits for monitoring interviewer performance. The primary ones are related to lawsuits, employee morale, shrinkage numbers, and department reputation.Spending the time to monitor and measure an interviewer’s performance requires an investment of time, effort, and money by the organization. Employee development could be reason enough to institute a program, but it may be easier to justify the effort once a needs analysis has been conducted. Looking at the numbers alone won’t give a clear indication of the skills of the organization’s interviewers. Anyone who has worked in a company for any length of time knows that what should be happening and what really goes on are not always the same.Focus GroupsPrior to making any changes, the pulse of the organization should be taken. What is being done well, and where are the opportunities for change? The most effective way to determine this is through the use of focus groups. When well planned and used effectively, a focus group offers a bright-light solution to quickly identify the opportunities to improve.It is often useful to bring in a neutral party to act as the moderator for the group discussions. This removes obstacles to communication in the group. Associates will be more candid in their comments and observations when speaking to a third party. Using a third party who understands the business may help give the group’s responses a context and insight that an unfamiliar moderator might not possess. Of course, this assumes the moderator listens and does not encourage a particular outcome toward which he is biased.Selecting the topics of inquiry is generally done with senior management based on their knowledge of the organization and perception of existing problems. Once these topics have been determined, the focus group moderator develops questions to explore them and establishes an outline for the focus group’s discussion.When selecting individuals for the focus groups, it is useful to separate senior management from lower-level associates so there is the freedom to speak candidly at all levels without fear of repercussions. Including various levels of competence in the group may also assist in developing additional insights that would not have come to light otherwise.The moderator is responsible for controlling the discussion and preventing the meeting from deteriorating into a gripe session or one which is controlled by a single individual. Looking for problems and possible solutions, the moderator explores the agenda and identifies information that may be useful to institute future change. It is here that the moderator explores the methods and techniques used to elicit admissions from dishonest associates during interviews.Once the moderator has identified the performance baseline for the organization, a plan can be instituted to develop solutions. The next step is to establish best practices against which performance will be measured.Best Practices for Measuring Interviewer PerformanceOne of the most disconcerting things to discover from focus groups is that the top performers are not necessarily using best practices to achieve their results. Confessions may be obtained through the use of ineffective strategies, threats or promises, or something not observable when looking at a statistical analysis alone.Because of their lack of experience, many interviewers fail to follow a plan, instead selecting bits and pieces of things they have observed in an attempt to build “their own style.” Unfortunately, these bits and pieces do not necessarily make for a compatible technique that gives the best return on the investment of their time and energy.Define Superior Performance. The first decision that management must make is what constitutes superior performance in an LP interview. Using the established policy, the department examines and critiques the performance of investigators as they develop the complaint from inception to conclusion. Each case, with its resulting reports, is matched against the expectations of the department, and the investigator is given feedback on his efforts. It is here that many organizations fails to monitor and measure what occurred afterward in the interview room, simply accepting a successful conclusion has occurred because a confession was obtained.Determine Preferred Methods. The initial step in developing an interviewer is to determine what strategies will be the preferred pattern of the organization. Many methods and variations could be used to confront a dishonest associate. This alone would make it difficult to mentor a large number of interviewers if they were allowed to mix and match loss prevention interview techniques on a whim. The monitoring program should not be so stringent that it does not allow for a flexibility of options that might be necessary should special circumstances arise. However, there should be a clear preference for a method that gives a consistent, desirable result and against which the interviewer can be evaluated.Standardize Evaluation. Once the preferred method has been selected, the real work begins to set in place a program that allows the development of the organization’s interviewers against the established benchmarks. Besides the coaching of the interviewer, the organization will standardize the evaluation by creating a universal process against which all interviewers are measured. This process will identify training opportunities and correct inappropriate behavior while encouraging the implementation of techniques that consistently achieve desirable results.One by-product of this standardization is peace of mind for senior executives, who no longer have to guess what occurs during the interviews. In addition, the organization is focusing on the interviewer’s communication skills, which can have a positive application in so many other areas of the job.TrainingAn important component in the development of an interviewer is providing an intellectual understanding of the loss prevention interview process selected. Too often, interviewers are allowed to observe an interview, and, while they see and hear what is being said, they lack an understanding of why it is being done in that way.The training process supplies the interviewer a context and an overview of the components in which he will later be asked to become competent, plus modeling their proper ruse. Supplemental testing of the interviewers can enhance their retention of the material and confirm their understanding of the content. The training mirrors the benchmarks against which the interviewers will be expected to perform during the interview.The Role of Coaches. The second component of the program is to train coaches who will evaluate the interviewers’ performance against the established best practices. The coaches must understand the mechanics of each component and use the selected method as their yardstick for measuring interviewer performance.The coaches undergo specialized training to hone their skills at observing and assessing the interview process, while practicing evaluations of the concepts being developed. This turns out to be the key component in making a mentoring program work, since the failure to correctly critique an interviewer results in encouraging inappropriate techniques, plus failing to identify additional training opportunities.An important part of the coaching experience is learning to give accurate feedback in a positive way that encourages change in the interviewer. The mentor-coach uses modeling, roleplay, and feedback to test understanding and mold the desired change in the interviewer. Changing an interviewer’s existing habits requires consistent practice with feedback in the selected method to reach the desired benchmark of performance.Practice the Script. The third part of the equation for change is self-practice and critique by the interviewer himself. Having been presented with a model of expected performance, the interviewer, through practice and self-critique, can modify his own performance in anticipation of the required role plays with the mentor coach. The interviewer has received the training and been apprised of the coming expectations of performance so he can now practice to exactly model the material and structure of the interview.Like with any skill, an individual who wishes to become proficient at interviewing must practice. Expecting to be able to perform without putting in the time to make the skill one’s own will result in sub-par efforts. These efforts will likely be confused and may contain patterns of behavior from what the interviewer used to do. A reversal to old patterns happens because those actions feel comfortable and do not require thinking or effort by the interviewer. The old adage, “Practice like you want to play,” is just as true in interviewing as in sports.The interviewer can initially prepare by using a written “script” that closely matches the model of the best practice interview. Reading the script multiple times familiarizes the interviewer with the flow of the material and prepares him for following the correct sequence of the interview’s internal structure.Next, the interviewer reads the script out loud a number of times to hear himself actually say the words. By now the interviewer has practiced the exact model of the structure perhaps a dozen times without the stress of having to improvise the words or flow of the material. At this point, the interviewer reads the script into a tape recorder and reviews his work, listening to the pacing and emphasis of the words. Each listening will help the interviewer modify his delivery making the words sound more natural and spontaneous. This consistent practice allows the interviewer to know what is coming next in the presentation making the transitions between parts more fluid.Practice without the Script. By now, the material has been practiced enough that it is beginning to replace the former patterns of the interviewer. The next stage of practice is to attempt the presentation without the use of the script.Again using a recorder, the interviewer goes through the structure using only an outline instead of the entire script. Reviewing the material, the interviewer will identify areas that are missed or misstated. Repeated self-corrections soon lead to ownership of the material with an easy flow and delivery.Finally, delivering the material without any notes and self-critiquing one’s efforts leads to the final polish of the interviewer’s presentation. The self-critique incorporates many of the facets that the mentor-coach will be looking for during the role plays or actual interviews.FeedbackThe mentor-coach uses a sheet that lists the preferred structure of the interview and all its subcomponents with space for ranking the interviewer’s efforts. This worksheet can be used by the interviewer or coach to evaluate the performance of the interviewer in role plays or actual interviews. The worksheet includes the structure of the interview so the coach can follow the interviewer’s progress as he moves through the framework. Skipped topics or improper emphases in the structure are noted for feedback at the exercises conclusion. Each area is rated from one to five indicating an ineffective to effective performance.For example, if the coach was evaluating an interviewer’s handling of denials, these would be some of the areas that would be considered in evaluating effectiveness.Interviewer’s timing in recognizing a subject’s emphatic denial was about to occurWords or statements that triggered the emphatic denialTone of voice and speed of deliveryPhysical behavior used to stop the subject’s emphatic denialVerbal behavior used to stop the subject’s emphatic denialTimeliness in re-accusing the subject after a denialEffectiveness at handling denials overallEffectiveness at avoiding denials all togetherTransition back to rationalization after the denial was handledEach of these will have subcategories that will be taken into consideration to determine the overall effectiveness of the interviewer. For example, the interviewer’s words or statements that trigger a subject’s denials have many elements that could be evaluated.Was the denial triggered by an inappropriate rationalization or by personalizing a rationalization before the subject was ready? Either might cause a subject to deny and the interviewer would need to be coached to correct this even if he was handling denials in a satisfactory manner.The subject might deny because the interviewer had mistimed the component parts of the interview.Denials could also be encouraged because the interviewer had misstated evidence or ignored the strength of the individual’s denials.The complexity of the evaluation requires that the coaches have a clear understanding of the process and the underlying strategies of the chosen method. The mentor-coach is attempting to move the interviewer as close as possible to the best practices model selected by the organization.One difficulty of this approach is controlling the mentor-coach’s natural tendency to teach outside the system. This requires that the mentor-coaches be monitored to assure a consistent accurate message is being delivered to the interviewer. Remember, the goal is to provide a solid foundation for the interviewer so that he can use that foundation for future growth.Monitoring the MonitorsThe final piece of the program is the commitment by senior management to the success of the program. This will require supervision of the coaches to make sure that the evaluations are being completed with the interviewers and that the feedback is having the desired effect.This can be accomplished with a reporting system spreadsheet listing the interviewers and their progress.It is also useful to sample performance on a random basis during visits to the interviewer either with the coach or in his absence to compare the evaluations to actual performance. The larger the number of interviewers, the more difficult it can be to manage without commitment of senior managers.While this process requires a significant commitment of time and effort, the end result is a significant return on investment, including better performance and case resolution, a more qualified valuable employee, and peace of mind for management. This article was originally published in 2004 and was updated July 18, 2018.  Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Live Blog: Apple’s Fall Event (New iPods, iOS 4.1, iTunes 10, Apple TV)

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 9:55 AM: Audience is settling in. Eric Clapton playing in the background.10:00 AM: Steve Jobs takes the stage.Perfectly on time.10:01 AM: Steve points out that Woz is in the audience. His “old partner in crime.”10:03 AM: Update on Apple retail. New stores in Paris, London and China. There are now 300 Apple stores. On some days, more than a million people visit Apple’s stores on a single day. Apple teaches 80,000 one-on-one classes in its stores per week.iOS Update10:05 AM: iOS update: Apple has shipped 120 million iOS devices. Apple activates 230,000 new iOS devices per day. Steve Jobs notes that some of Apple’s competitors seem to count upgrades as well.10:06 AM: 200 apps per second being downloaded from App Store.10:07 AM: iOS 4.1 Coming today (iPhone and iPod): bugs fixed: proximity sensor, bluetooth, iPhone 3G speed. New features: High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos, HD uploads over WiFi, TV show rentals, Game Center.10:11 AM: Game Center: play games with friends online. Showing how it works in Angry Bird.10:09 AM: shows off HDR photos – very standard implementation of HDR with three different exposures. Coming next week.10:12 AM: Epic on stage to demo new game: Project Sword. Role-playing game (looks great on the iPhone). Uses Game Center. Show how easy it is to find other players (friends and strangers) to play with. Going to be available in time for the holiday season.10:15 AM: Sneak Peek at iOS 4.2: Update for iPad10:17 AM: Air Play: stream audio, video and more over WiFi.New feature: wireless feature and something called Air Play (“we will talk about this later”).Demo of printing: iPad will get an option to print – print queue will be in the multitasking bar at the bottom.10:18 AM: Demo of iOS 4.2 on iPad. Steve shows off multitasking, folders, etc. Everything looks just like iOS 4 for the iPhone.Release date for iOS 4.2: November for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.iPod Update10:20 AM: 275 million iPod’s sold to date. 10:21 AM: “We have gone wild.” All-new designs for all models. Shuffle: “It’s been a really big hit.” Recaps history of the Shuffle. People missed the buttons on the last generation shuffle.New Shuffle: buttons, voice over and playlists. Also includes Genius mixes.Will come in five different colors. Will sell for $49.10:24 AM:iPod nano: “How do we make this better. The iPod nano has been super popular. We want to make it smaller and better. The nano is now a really tiny iPod touch. Space for four icons. Comes with FM radio, volume buttons and 24 hour battery life.“One of our board members plans to use this as a wrist watch.10:26 AM: Demo of new iPad nano. 10:30 AM: New nano will come in 8 different colors, including a Product RED edition. Price: $149 for 8GB and $179 for 16GB10:30 AM:iPod Touch update: “It’s an iPhone without a contract.” Also: most popular game player in the world. Now Apple’s most popular iPod.Over a 1.5 billion games and entertainment devices have been downloaded to the iPod touch.10:32 AM: New iPod touch won’t get the iPhone 4 look. Instead: thinner, Retina display (“the best display in the world”), A4 chip, 3-axis gyro, iOS 4.1, front-facing camera. Support for FaceTime (also between iPhone and iPod touches).Also: rear camera with HD video, 40 hours of music playback.Pricing: 8GB for $229, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399.Available next week. Pre-order starts today.10:37 AM: Showing new ads. iTunes Update10:38 AM: “People have downloaded over 11.7 billion songs from iTunes.” 100 million movies, 35 million books, 450 million TV episodes. “It’s clearly the #1 digital media store in the world.10:39 AM: iTunes 10New logo10:39 AM: New feature: hybrid view – instead of long list with the same album title, you can now choose to see cover in the list view instead.Discovery: “How do you find out about new stuff?” “What are my friends listening to? What concerts do my friends go to?”Find out what your friends are listening to and downloading. With status updates, too.Ping: a new social network all about music. Right in iTunes.10:42 AM: Custom Top 10 chart based on what your friends and the people you follow are downloading from iTunes. “Just for you.”Shows Lady Gaga’s Ping page. You can follow her, Twitter-style. If you want to, you can also allow anybody to follow you.“It’s super easy to use. Most of us will live in our feeds and all the music from people we follow will be delivered to us.”10:44 AM: Strong privacy controls: choose who can follow you, follow and be followed. “You can be as private or as public as you want.” Available immediately.10:46 AM: Demo time. Jobs shows how ping works. 10:48 AM: Posts to Ping can include text, video, audio. Shows profile pages. Looks a lot like Facebook.10:49 AM: Ping will be available on the iPhone and iPod touch. Will show up right in the iTunes store on iOS (but not the iPad yet, apparently). 10:50 AM: iTunes 10 will be available later today.One More Thing10:51 AM: “We’ve got one more thing. Actually – it’s one more hobby.” “We have sold a lot of them, but it has never been a huge hit.” But the people who have them tend to love them.10:51 AM: “What do Apple TV users want? Hollywood movies and TV shows (“they don’t want amateur hour” – a little swipe at YouTube), lower prices for content. Consumers don’t want a computer in the living room. Don’t want to manage storage. 10:53 AM: People don’t want to manage storage. Want a silent, cool and small device. 10:53 AM:2nd generation AppleTV. Extremely small. One-fourth of the size of the original. Black. Built-in power supply, 802.11n wifi, Ethernet, HDMI.10:56 AM: No more downloads. All HD (when available). Prices:First run HD movies for $4.99 the day the DVD comes out.$0.99 cent TV show rentals. Only ABC and Fox for now. Jobs hopes others will get on board soon.Netflix support. YouTube streaming.10:58 AM: New UI – includes ratings from Rotten Tomatoes for movies.11:00 AM: Jobs shows demo of Netflix (instant queue, etc.), photo slideshows, movie rentals. 11:03 AM: Apple TV demo continues with TV rentals (Jobs apparently like ‘Glee’). The user interface looks very slick. 11:04 AM: “This is by far the easiest implementation of Netflix to use.” (a swipe at Roku)11:05 AM: With Air Play, you can stream movies from iOS devices to Apple TV. Seamlessly switch back and forth between iPad and Apple TV. See photos from your iPhone on your Apple TV. No apps, though.11:08 AM: Pricing: “$200-$300 price range was a bit too high” New lower price: $99. 11:08 AM: Available in about four weeks.11:10 AM: Recap of today’s announcements. 11:11 AM: Obligatory music performance at the end of the event: Coldplay’s Chris Martin (“I have no new products to reveal.”)11:14 AM: And while Chris Martin plays “Yellow,” that pretty much wraps it up for today’s event. Thanks for reading everybody! frederic lardinois Apple is holding its annual Fall event today. Historically, these events have always focused on the iPod line. While we definitely expect to see a revamped iPod lineup, the rumor mill also points towards a new Apple TV and a major update for iTunes. A number of pundits also expect Apple to release iOS4 for the iPad today.To find out what really happens, check out our live blog below. The event is scheduled to start at 10am PT/1pm ET.Live StreamingFor the first time in years, Apple plans to provide a live video stream of today’s event. By default, this stream will only be available to Mac, iPod and iPad users. There are some workaround for this for Windows users, however, and we also expect to see numerous rogue streams on sites like USTREAM and Justin.tv.Live Blog9:42 AM:The live video stream will be available here. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Related Posts Tags:#Apple#news#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How IT Leaders Can Save Money on Software by Upgrading Hardware

first_imgRecently at Intel, we were faced with an important question: Are our data centers driving up our software costs?After several rounds of research and testing, we found our answer. When running software that is licensed on a “per-core” basis, the answer is probably “yes.” In the past few years, many enterprise applications, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2012, have started licensing based on computing power. Rather than licensing based on users or physical processors, some software providers are now offering the option to purchase licenses based on the number of cores you’re using in your server cluster.By upgrading to single-socket servers, companies are experiencing a modest increase in performance while significantly decreasing their software costs. As Intel CIO Kim Stevenson revealed in a recent interview, we know from experience:We are seeing up to 35% performance increase in our Electronic Design Automation application workloads. We have deployed more than 5,000 of these servers, achieving better rack density and power efficiency, while delivering higher application performance to Intel silicon design engineers.By moving from one two-socket server to four single-socket servers, we have reduced the number of cores in use while retaining equal throughput. Since there are fewer cores in a single-socket server cluster than there are in a two-socket cluster, the cost of any per-core software licensing can be dramatically reduced.It’s a win-win: By upgrading to single-socket clusters, we’re seeing a 35 percent increase in performance while reducing the need to add software licenses. If your data center seems to be causing higher software costs, it might be time to re-think your server clusters.For more information on optimizing your data center, check out the Intel Server Configurator tool. To join the conversation on Twitter, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter.last_img read more

Maryland Announces Melo Trimble Suffered A Concussion Against West Virginia

first_imgMelo Trimble gets looked at by Maryland trainer.Maryland’s men’s basketball program announced Monday evening that star freshman guard Melo Trimble suffered a concussion against West Virginia. The Terrapins’ guard hit his head twice during his team’s NCAA Tournament third round loss to the Mountaineers in Columbus; first on this legal-but-clearly-illegal moving screen and, later, when teammate Damonte Dodd accidentally kicked him in the head. After the first collision, Maryland’s doctors checked him for systems, but he passed all tests and was placed back in the game. After the second hit, he did not pass the necessary tests, and was rightfully forced to sit out the remainder of the game. Maryland’s Melo Trimble suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game vs. WVU, but doctors cleared him to fly home with team, per UMD spokesman.— Don Markus (@sportsprof56) March 23, 2015While Trimble’s removal from the game clearly played a big role in Maryland’s season coming to an end, it’s nice to see an athletic team take the necessary precautions when dealing with a potentially-concussed player. Trimble and the Terps should have a chance to make some serious noise in the NCAA Tournament in 2016.last_img read more

Constant rollbacks will worsen economic situation Congress

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Friday said the government’s “constant rollbacks” may give an “impression of progress through stock market bumps” but these will lead to worsening of the economic situation and are unlikely to revive investments.Questioning the timing of the corporate tax cut announcement, the opposition party alleged that it has been dictated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘HowdyModi’ event in the United States. Terming ‘HowdyModi’ the “world’s most expensive event ever”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he is “amazed” at what Prime Minister Modi is ready to do for a stock market bump ahead of the event in Houston. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”Amazing what PM is ready to do for a stock market bump during his Howdy Indian Economy jamboree. At + 1.4 Lakh Crore Rs. the Houston event is the world’s most expensive event, ever! But, no event can hide the reality of the economic mess ‘HowdyModi’ has driven India into (sic),” Gandhi said on Twitter. The Congress party said in its official Twitter handle, “The constant rollbacks and erratic decisions taken by this government may give the impression of progress through stock market bumps but will further decrease investor confidence and lead to worsening of the economic situation in the country.” Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThe government on Friday slashed the corporate tax rates for companies by almost 10 percentage points to 25.17 per cent and offered a lower rate to 17.01 per cent for new manufacturing firms to boost economic growth rate from a six-year low by incentivising investments to help create jobs. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh welcomed the reduction in corporate tax rates but expressed doubts on whether the step will revive investment. Asking whether it was the prime minister’s “trump card”, he said the government’s move does nothing to dispel the fear that pervades India Inc. “A headline-itis afflicted, panic-stricken Modi Sarkar has cut corporate tax rates less than 3 months after a Budget and 4 months before the next one. This is welcome but it is doubtful whether investment will revive. This does nothing to dispel fear that pervades in India Inc,” Ramesh said on Twitter. “Timing of FM announcement dictated by #HowdyModi event. PM can now say, ‘I have come to Texas promising lower Taxes’. Is this his ‘trump card’?,” the Congress leader asked. Another Congress leader, Abhishek Singhvi, said drastic reduction in corporate tax rate is good but the arbitrage between highest effective individual tax rate of 42 per cent and higher effective corporate rate of 25 per cent begins to look absurd. “Good: GOI, FM reduce corporate tax rate drastically. But arbitrage between highest individual tax rate (42% effective) and highest effective corporate rate of 25% begins to look even more absurd. If animal instincts are required for growth, I predict 35% Individual rate yields more than 42% (sic)!” he tweeted. Announcing the latest set of measures to jump-start flagging growth, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the reduction in tax rates has been done by promulgating an ordinance to an amendment to the Income Tax Act. Battling a six-year low economic growth and a 45-year high unemployment rate, Sitharaman announced the step two-and-half-months after presenting her maiden Budget, that was hailed as “development-friendly” and “future-oriented”. The fiscal measure announced by her will cost the government Rs 1.45 lakh crore in revenue annually. In the fourth phase of post-budget economic stimulus measures, Sitharaman cut base corporate tax for existing companies to 22 per cent from current 30 per cent and for new manufacturing firms, incorporated after October 1, 2019 and starting operations before March 31, 2023, to 15 per cent from current 25 per cent.last_img read more

Tamannaah confirms special appearance in Mahesh Babus next

first_imgMumbai: Actress Tamannaah Bhatia will soon be seen in a special song opposite superstar Mahesh Babu in Telugu action film “Sarileru Neekevvarua”. In the film, Mahesh Babu essays the role of Major Ajay Krishna. The song is composed by Devi Sri Prasad. “Yes it’s true and I’m looking forward to just having fun and being myself for this song as the script demands it,” Tamannaah said. “After ‘F2: Fun & Frustration’, Anil Ravipudi was keen to collaborate with me and when this opportunity came up, I said yes. I’m happy with the phase I am in with regard to my career today as the directors I’ve worked with in the past want to work with me again and it makes me really feel content,” added the actress, who has performed special numbers in films such as “Speedunnodu”, “Jai Lava Kusa”, “Alludu Seenu” and “KGF: Chapter 1”. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger Also featuring Rashmika Mandanna and Prakash Raj, “Sarileru Neekevvarua” has been written and directed by Anil Ravipudi and produced by AK Entertainments, GMB Entertainments and Sri Venkateswara Creations. It is slated to hit theatres on January 10, 2020. On the work front, Tamannaah will also be seen in the horror comedy “Petromax”, the Tamil remake of Mahi V. Raghav’s Telugu film “Anando Brahma”, romantic drama “Bole Chudiyan” opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and period drama “Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy”.last_img read more

Police file charge sheet against IPS officer accused of raping FB friend

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Police has filed the final charge sheet against an IPS officer of West Bengal cadre, over a year after a woman who he befriended on Facebook accused him of raping her, sources said on Sunday. The Delhi-based woman had in 2018 accused the officer of raping her on the promise of marriage. The charge sheet was filed earlier this month, the sources said. According to the charge sheet, the woman and the IPS officer became friends on Facebook and within a few months of chatting and video calls, the IPS officer met her in Delhi on January 27. The woman alleged that he kept promising that he would marry her. On their first meeting, the two went to a mall in Vasant Kunj for dinner.last_img read more

Ghaziabad A 3yearold girl has died after she fe

first_imgGhaziabad: A 3-year-old girl has died after she fell into an open drain in Sahibabad area on Tuesday. The incident took place around 11 am when the child went missing from her home. The body was recovered after three hours of extensive search by her family members, said police. According to police, the victim, identified as Ananya, was playing near her house while her parents had gone out for work. Police said that she got drowned into the open drain which was earlier covered with cement slabs but they were recently removed by municipal staff for annual monsoon cleaning. Anil Kumar, father of deceased said that when he returned home from work, he found Ananya missing while the other two children were playing outside the house. The family members immediately informed police and went on to look for the child. Later a local person saw her body floating into the drain and was fished out. The child was immediately rushed to a government hospital but she was declared brought dead.last_img read more

Thane Konkan Divisional Commissioner Shivajirao D

first_imgThane: Konkan Divisional Commissioner Shivajirao Daund has directed officials concerned to ensure all facilities for disabled persons and senior citizens during voting and to shun use of plastic at the polling booths. Voting for the 288 Assembly seats in Maharashtra will be held on October 21. During a review meeting on Tuesday, Daund asked senior officials of the Konkan division districts, including, Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurgh, to make the voting process easier for disabled and elderly people. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad He asked them to make adequate arrangements of first aid facilities, drinking water, and information boards providing proper guidance to voters at the polling booths. In addition to free transport facilities for people with disabilities, he asked the officials to set up auxiliary polling stations, provide braille-coded voter ID cards to visually impaired electors, and also ensure ramps and availability of wheelchairs. Volunteers from youth organisations like the National Service Scheme and Scouts and Guide will also be roped in to provide assistance to disabled and elderly voters, he said. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi Daund also asked the officials to desist from using plastic items at the polling stations. He suggested that efforts be made to increase voter turnout in areas having large housing complexes. There are over 2.22 crore voters in the Konkan division, with Mumbai suburbs having maximum 72,26,826 electors, followed by Thane-63,39,385 and Mumbai city- 25,04,367, an official release said. The Konkan division has 75 Assembly seats where 24,087 polling stations will be set up, includingMumbai suburbs having maximum 7,397 booths, followed by Thane- 6,621, Raigad- 2,693, Mumbai city-2,594, Palghar- 2,163, Ratnagiri 1,703 and Sindhudurg 916, it added.last_img read more

San Francisco WhatsApp is testing a key feature t

first_imgSan Francisco: WhatsApp is testing a key feature to give its users an ability to self-destruct their messages after a set period of time. The developers have seen the feature that allows users to set their messages to self-destruct in the recently released public beta version of WhatsApp for Android a” dubbed as “v2.19.275”. According to WABetaInfo that keeps track on WhatsApp features, the Facebook-owned platform is finally working on new features, including the new “Disappearing Messages” feature. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “As the name suggests, any message eligible to be ‘disappeared’, will be automatically deleted from the chat!” said the website When the chat is marked as “disappeared,” all messages will be automatically removed after a certain interval. The user will be able to mark the chat as “disappeared” enabling the option “Disappearing messages”, in Group Info. It’s one of the most popular features on highly-encrypted chat platform Telegram. Disappearing Messages feature would be useful for those who share sensitive information on WhatsApp.last_img read more

New Delhi The government will launch the fourth i

first_imgNew Delhi: The government will launch the fourth installment of Bharat-22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on Thursday, which is expected to help the exchequer garner up to Rs 8,000 crore from investors. The issue will open for anchor investors on Thursday and for other institutional and retail investors, the next day, according to scheme information document filed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, which manages Bharat-22 ETF. The investors would get a 3 per cent discount over the issue price. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra”The offer is likely to have a base issue size of Rs 2,000 crore, with a greenshoe option to retain another Rs 6,000 crore, taking the total amount to Rs 8,000 crore,” a source privy to the development said. The decision has been taken after receiving robust response for earlier stake sale by the government in the product. The government has so far raised around Rs 35,900 crore through Bharat-22 ETF — Rs 14,500 crore was garnered in November 2017, another Rs 8,400 crore was mopped up in June 2018 and Rs 13,000 crore in February this year. Proceeds from the ETF will help the government meet its disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore for the current financial year. The central public sector enterprises that are part of the Bharat-22 ETF include ONGC, IOC, SBI, BPCL, Coal India and Nalco. Bharat Electronics, Engineers India, NBCC, NTPC, NHPC, SJVNL, GAIL, PGCIL, NLC India, Axis Bank, ITC and L&T are the other constituents.last_img read more

London A UK High Court judge on Wednesday ruled i

first_imgLondon: A UK High Court judge on Wednesday ruled in favour of India in a decades-old legal dispute with Pakistan over funds belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad at the time of Partition in 1947 and deposited in a London bank account. The Nizam’s descendants, Prince Mukarram Jah the titular eighth Nizam of Hyderabad and his younger brother Muffakham Jah, had joined hands with the Indian government in the legal battle against the Pakistan government over around 35 million pounds lying with NatWest Bank plc here. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkIn his judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Marcus Smith ruled that the “Nizam VII was beneficially entitled to the Fund and those claiming in right of Nizam VII the Princes and India are entitled to have the sum paid out to their order”. “Pakistan’s contentions of non-justiciability by reason of the foreign act of state doctrine and non-enforceability on the grounds of illegality both fail,” the verdict notes. The dispute revolves around 1,007,940 pounds and nine shillings transferred in 1948 from the then Nizam of Hyderabad to the high commissioner in Britain of the newly-formed state of Pakistan. That amount has since grown into 35 million pounds as the Nizam’s descendants, supported by India, claimed it belongs to them and Pakistan counter-claimed that it is rightfully theirs.last_img read more

New Delhi Delhi witnessed a dip in temperature by

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi witnessed a dip in temperature by two notches on Friday morning, a day after rain lashed several parts of the national capital. According to a MeT department official, the minimum temperature recorded was 19.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average. The humidity level was 86 per cent at 8.30 am. The weatherman has predicted light rains later in the day. “There is possibility of light rains in several areas today. The maximum temperature is expected to settle at 34 degrees Celsius,” he said The Safdarjung observatory, the recording of which is considered official for the city, recorded 47.3 mm rainfall in last 24 hours. At the Palam observatory, 30.2 mm rainfall was recorded during the same period. On Thursday, the minimum temperature settled at 23.8 degrees while the maximum temperature recorded was 34.8 degrees Celsius.last_img read more

KMC announces recipients of Kolkata Shree Awards

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Friday announced the name of Puja committees that will be the recipients of Kolkata Shree Awards 2019. Prizes are given every year to thebest Pujas in the city by the civic body. Mayor Firhad Hakim along with Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parks and Gardens) Debasish Kumar read out the names of the community Pujas, who will be receiving the awards at a function organised by the KMC, soon after the Puja. The Kolkata Shree awards are being given since 2010 after the Trinamool Congress board assumed charge of the KMC. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”There were 400 applications for the awards out of which 99 puja committees are being awarded. Apart from various categories, a total of 63 awards are Mayor’s Choice Awards,” Kumar said. Mayor said there is 100 percent transparency in awarding community Pujas. The panel of judges include noted personalities from different fields such as Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Dola Banerjee, Ajoy Chakrabarty, Pranati Thakur, Dona Ganguly. The nine other categories in which prizes were announced includes ‘Serar Sera’, ‘Serar Pujo’, ‘Sera Pratima’, ‘Sera Sailpik Utkorsho’, ‘Sera Bishoy’, ‘Sera Aloksajja’, ‘Sera Paribesh’, ‘Sera Parichanna Pujo’, and ‘Sera Sambhabana’ Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe Pujas that won in the category of ‘Serar Sera’ are Suruchi Sangha, Naktala Udayan Sangha, Tala Park Prattoy and S.B Park Thakurpukur. In the ‘Serar Pujo’ category, the winners were Kashi Bose Lane, Rajdanga Nabauday Sangha, Samaj Sebi Sangha and Hatibagan Sarbojanin. The awards for Sera Pratima have given to Ajeya Sanghati, Chakraberia Sarbojonin, Gouribari Sarbojonin and Barisha Club. The awards for ‘Sera Sailpik Utkorsho’ category have been bagged by Avenue South, 41 Pally Club, Kalighat Milan Sangha and Ballygunge Cultural. In the ‘Sera Bishoy’ category prizes were announced for Abasar Sarbojonin, Gariahat Hindustan Club, North Tridhara and Hazra Park while Sera Aloksojjya (Lighting) has gone to Ekdalia Evergreen, 25 Pally Sarbojonin, Chalta Bagan and Hindushtan Park Sarbojonin. The Sera Paribesh award was given to Beleghata 33 Pally, Bosepukur Sitala Mandir , Alipore Sarbojonin and Daskshin Kolkata Sarbojonin while the Sera Porichhanna Puja awards’ recipients were 66 Pally Club, Bakul Bagan Sarbojonin, Jodhpur Park and Shib Mandir, Mudiali Club, 21 Pally, Golmath Durga Puja Samity and Baghajatin B and C Block. “For the Mayor’s Choice award, the Mayor himself will visit several pandals during the Puja days. This is a category in which Puja committees are not required to send applications,” said Kumar.last_img read more

Another jolt for Aarey activists as HC refuses stay on felling of

first_imgMumbai: Green activists suffered a second jolt in two consecutive days when the Bombay High Court on Saturday refused to stay ongoing felling of trees at Mumbai’s prominent green lung, Aarey Colony, to make way for a proposed metro car shed. The application was taken up for urgent hearing by Justices S C Dharmadhikari and A K Menon in their chamber in the high court. The bench, after hearing brief arguments, said it would not interfere with the Friday’s order and refused to grant a stay on the MMRCL action.last_img read more

15member NC delegation meets Farooq Omar Abdullah

first_imgSrinagar: In the first major political development post withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, a 15-member National Conference delegation on Sunday met detained party leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah here. The delegation discussed developments in the state and upcoming local body polls during the separate meetings with the two leaders. The Jammu and Kashmir government had given permission to the delegation to meet the leaders. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The delegation led by Jammu’s provincial chief of the party Davinder Singh Rana met former chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Hari Nivas for little over 30 minutes. This was the first meeting of Omar with a party delegation after he was detained on August 5, a day when the Centre announced abrogation of special status to the state under Article 370. Omar, who was sporting a beard, was seen clicking a selfie with party leaders. The delegation then drove to Farooq Abdullah’s residence. Also Read – Afghan Taliban frees 3 Indian hostages in exchange for 11 top militant leaders: Reports Emerging after the meeting, Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, the leaders of the party need to be released. There is “anguish about developments particularly about lockdown of the people and we, as a party, appeal that the political process to start and democracy to revive in Jammu and Kashmir political detenues anywhere and everywhere, whether from mainstream political parties or otherwise who have no criminal record, may be released to initiate the process and the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir are won,” he said. He said the party, which has a legacy, history and a chequered track record, was of unanimous view that it would continue to strive for the welfare of the people and shall continue to work for communal harmony, brotherhood, togetherness and keep the secular fabric of the state shining. On a question about the party’s participation in block development committee elections, he said, “See there is a complete lockdown. If the political process has to start then these members have to be released. Rana said,”After restrictions on political leaders in Jammu were removed, we held a meeting in which it was decided that we will approach governor (S P Malik) to seek his permission to have an audience with the president and the vice president of the party”. We are happy they are both well and in high spirits. Of course, they are pained and anguished about developments, particularly lockdown of the people,” he said. Asked about the party’s stand on the upcoming Block Development Council (BDC) elections, Rana said for any political process to start in the state, the mainstream political leaders should be released first. In case of NC, even if we want to contest the BDC elections, the 380 panchayats that exist, the mandate has to be signed by the party president who has been unfortunately detained under the PSA, he said. The NC leader said the party’s working committee would decide on the future course of action whenever the party leaders including the NC president and vice-president would be released. Let them be released, then the working committee of the party will meet and discuss and then we will formulate a strategy for the future, Rana said when questioned about the party’s future strategy.last_img read more