Keep politics out of sports: Anurag Thakur

first_imgShimla, March 2 (PTI) Commenting on fresh controversy over the scheduled World T20 match between India and Pakistan in Dharamsala, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur today said sports should be kept out of politics. Thakur, who is also President of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), said he was ready to quit as HPCA president ,ifit helped in the development of the state in any way. “It is an international event andnot a bilateral series and I will go to any extent to request anyone with folded hands in the interest of Himachal,” he said while advising all stakeholders to rise above petty politics in the larger national interest. “Even if the state is against HPCA, they should forget it for the time being. Court cases and inquiries are pending and I am ready to ready to step-down but please don?t let Himachal suffer,” Thakur pleaded. He said when Assam can host 750 players from Pakistan during recently held South Asian games, then why not the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh. Impressing that providing security is the responsibility of state government, Thakur asked “are we not capable to provide security to 15 players from Pakistan?” He said that large number of people had invested in booking air tickets, rail tickets, taxis and hotels and cancellation of match between India and Pakistan would create trouble and would be a setback for them. Cautioning that the cancellation of the match would also attract ire of ICC which cold impose ban on Himachal Pradesh to host international matches for long duration.advertisement He said that those opposing match today were at the forefront in receiving and welcoming Pakistan team in 2005 after Kargil war. Hosting of match would help in promoting the state as it would be telecast live in 220 countries. PTI PCL BS BSlast_img read more

US swimmer Ryan Lochte gets 10-month suspension over Rio scandal: Reports

first_imgAmerican swimmer Ryan Lochte has been suspended for 10 months, US media reported on Wednesday, following a scandal involving the US Olympic athlete and three other swimmers at the Rio Games.The suspension was handed down by the US Olympic Committee and USA Swimming, USA Today reported, citing an unnamed source. Celebrity gossip website TMZ, citing unnamed sources, also reported the suspension. No further details were available.Reuters could not independently confirm the reports. Neither the US Olympic Committee nor USA Swimming immediately responded to requests for comment.Lochte, 32, was dropped by four of his major sponsors after admitting he “overexaggerated” a tale about being robbed and held at gunpoint with the three other swimmers after a party during the Rio Olympics. (Ryan Lochte loses all his major sponsors)Brazilian authorities said the group destroyed a bathroom and urinated in public, and have recommended that Lochte be charged with falsely reporting a crime.USA Today also reported that the three other swimmers were suspended, although for shorter lengths of time, and that Lochte would be banned from a championship swim meet in Budapest in 2017.Late last month, ABC television said Lochte was joining the cast of “Dancing With the Stars,” a competition in which celebrities are paired with professional ballroom dancers.That announcement came as the gold medalist said he thought reaction to his Rio de Janeiro tale had been blown out of proportion.last_img read more

Abhinav Bindra to soon deliver lecture at Panjab University

first_imgOn the occasion of Abhinav Bindra’s 34th birthday today, September 28, Panjab University (PU) has announced that the varsity is planning to invite top shooter Abhinav as visiting faculty.(Read: Happy Birthday, Abhinav Bindra: 17 quick facts about the star marksman ) More details about the invite:After finishing 4th in the finals of 10m Air Rifle Even at Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and announcing his retirement, the champion will be delivering a lecture in the Department of Physical EducationEarlier, the proposal was made by an academic committeeFurther, the officials said that Bindra who has achieved Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards, should be called to interact and inspire students studying under sports departmentAfter the proposal gets a nod from the Syndicate and Senate, the University VC will send a formal invitation to BindraAs per leading media daily report, the proposal for invitation will be tabled in the University’s Syndicate meetingAs scheduled, the meeting will be held on October 8Meanwhile, the Syndicate will also look upon other things like introduction of eight new games in the inter-college competition. The games include:E-sportsHockey 5Korf ball (mixed)Roll ballSepak takrawSoft tennisTug-of-warWushAlso, the games have recently been included by All India University in the sports calendar.Other initiatives to be tabled this year: Also, in a way to increase research on campus, Panjab University Alumini Association (PUAA) will also be creating a Research Promotion Fund.Anil Moudgil, in a recent report, said he will make efforts to raise funds from alumni and other agencies for the promotion of research.advertisementMoreover, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will also be delivering lectures at the university as the Jawaharlal Nehru chair professor as parliamentary panel has given approval. Read: Delhi govt’s ‘Chunauti 2018’ aims to meet the target ‘100 per cent ability to read’ Read: Maharashtra govt announces 5 lakh jobs for youngsters Click here for more education related news.last_img read more

Slovenia sack Kavcic

first_imgSlovenia have sacked head coach Tomaz Kavcic after winning just one of their seven games in 2018.Kavcic was only appointed in December last year but has overseen a torrid run of results, with Slovenia languishing at the foot of League C Group 3 in the Nations League standings.Slovenia opened Nations League play with a 2-1 loss to Bulgaria before falling 2-1 to Cyprus in the team’s second match of the competition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! A 1-0 loss to Norway was likely the final straw for the manager, even though he was able to steady the ship with a 1-1 draw at home against Cyprus on Tuesday.However, it was not enough to save his job as the federation decided to move on to a new manager.There have been suggestions that Kavcic’s difficult relationship with goalkeeper Jan Oblak – who missed the recent games with Norway and Cyprus – was to blame for his departure, but the Football Association of Slovenia’s president Radenko Mijatovic denied that was the case.He told a media conference: “It will never be because of a player that we change coach.”Slovenia will hope to have Kavcic’s replacement in place when their Nations League campaign resumes in November with fixtures against Norway and Bulgaria.The team currently sits three ponts behind third-place Cyprus, while Bulgaria and Norway sit joint top with nine points through four matches.last_img read more

Formula One’s Force India pair clear the air after Spa collision

first_imgForce India’ s feuding team mates met on Thursday to reset their relationship after French rookie Esteban Ocon accused Mexican Sergio Perez of trying to kill him at last weekend’ s Belgian Grand Prix.”I went to Esteban’ s room and had a talk with him,” Perez told an Italian Grand Prix news conference at which Ferrari’ s championship leader Sebastian Vettel sat between the two drivers.Perez, who said the conversation had been “really good”, added that they had agreed to forget the past and push on with the interests of the Silverstone-based team.”We cannot afford to lose any more points … we will move forward and I’ m very sure that these things will not happen again,” the Mexican said.Giro d’Italia-ready! @SChecoPerez and @OconEsteban pose with their new @WyndyMilla bikes, helmets and jerseys! #ItalianGP pic.twitter.com/gxU5Lb4UUT- Sahara Force India (@ForceIndiaF1) August 31, 2017″A new relationship starts from now on. I really hope that from now on we can be working as a team.”Force India are fourth in the constructors’  championship but collisions between their drivers have cost them plenty of points already this season.They clashed twice at Spa, with Ocon squeezed towards the wall as he tried to pass Perez in the second incident that most upset the 20-year-old and led to a Twitter outburst against the Mexican.Ocon posted a clip of the incident on Sunday evening and told his 64,000 followers: “Perez tried to kill me 2 times!”Damage limitation today, we were having a good race until Perez tried to kill me 2 times! Anyway he didn’t manage to do so ending up P9???! pic.twitter.com/00kmub96B4advertisement- Esteban Ocon (@OconEsteban) August 27, 2017The collision was the latest in a build-up of bad blood, with the drivers warned in June about their conduct after they collided at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with podium places up for grabs.Force India principal and co-owner Vijay Mallya has said he will now “implement a policy of team orders” to prevent more such incidents.Reuters Photo”I think we both crossed the line, that’ s for sure,” said Ocon, agreeing that they needed to put the team first.”I think also we need to get the bosses’  trust back and maybe after some races they will let us race again,” added the Frenchman, who confirmed he would follow any instructions issued by the team.Perez, 27, said both were experienced enough to know how to handle the situation.”Esteban has been racing for a long time as well … there will be some instructions coming up for us. I think we will put everything in place that the interests of the team come first, before us,” he said.last_img read more

IPL 2019: Mumbai Police rubbishes rumours of possible attack at Wankhede Stadium

first_imgMumbai Police on Saturday clarified that there is no input about a threat to Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 matches at the Wankhede Stadium in the city. On Friday, rumours about a possible terrorist attack at an IPL match and one field stadium was being circulated.The rumours led to concerns among people who had booked tickets for the upcoming IPL matches involving Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. Notably, Mumbai Indians host Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2019 match at the iconic venue on Saturday.Mumbai Police PRO, DCP Manjunath Shenge clarified that these were nothing but rumours. He went on to clarify that agencies don’t have any input regarding an attack. Sources with the police said that at this may be a conspiracy aimed at affecting the crowd turnout for IPL matches in Mumbai.The clarification from the Mumbai Police came as a relief for cricket fans, players and management of Mumbai Indians and IPL.In a statement, Mumbai police said, “Since yesterday, there is fake news being circulated about a threat at Wankhede stadium. There is no specific input or intelligence about a threat to IPL matches at Wankhede. Mumbai Police has been and will always take the highest possible security measures to keep Mumbai Safe. Please do not buy this fake news and do not believe in rumours, Mumbai Police is always alert!”As per the rumours, there was input from the agencies about a possible terror attack on the bus of international players. However, Mumbai Police has reiterated that Mumbai is safe and police are always on alert.advertisementAlso Read | Sourav Ganguly on MS Dhoni’s on-field outburst at umpires: Everyone is humanAlso See:last_img read more

TOUCH-e-TALK JULY EDITION

first_imgHere is the latest edition of the ATA newsletter Touch-e-Talk July 2005. It’s full of great stories on the SGM, retirement of Bill Ker, the All Nations, a local association, two Volunteers of the Month and much more! Please click here to download the newsletter: TOUCH-e-TALK JULY 2005 EDITION All past editions can be found using the ‘Newsletter’ link on the left hand side of the homepage. If you would like to join the mailing list for the next edition simply email media@austouch.com.aulast_img

CMA CGM Orders Four Boxships from COSCO Zhoushan

first_imgzoom French shipping giant CMA CGM has ordered four 3,300 TEU container vessels from the Chinese COSCO (Zhoushan) Shipyard, a subsidiary of COSCO Shipyard Group.Under the contract signed between the parties, the new containerships are scheduled for delivery between March 31, 2018 and August 31, 2018.COSCO Zhoushan and CMA CGM have agreed to keep the contract prices confidential, according to the shipbuilder.“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the above transactions are not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of the company for the year ending 31 December 2016,” the shipbuilder said.At the beginning of May, COSCO Zhoushan signed a contract to build two 113,000 DWT crude oil tankers for an undisclosed European buyer. The crude oil tankers are scheduled for delivery in the first and second quarters of 2018, respectively.The contract comes with the option to build two more 113,000 DWT tankers.COSCO Corporation (Singapore) Ltd, majority owner of COSCO Shipyard Group, saw a 26.9% drop in turnover from its shipyard business to USD 716.6 million from USD 980.8 million in Q1 2015.As at 31 March 2016, the group’s order book stood at USD 7.6 billion with progressive deliveries up to 2018.last_img read more

Golden Ocean Inks Refinancing Deal for 10 Bulkers

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: GOGL Norwegian dry bulk shipping company Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) has secured a USD 120 million loan facility to refinance ten ships at favorable terms, the company said.The loan would be used to refinance USD 58.3 million due under two loan facilities maturing in 2018 and seller credit loans of USD 65.5 million.The facility has a seven year tenor, will be repaid in quarterly installments based on a 20-year age profile, and bears interest of LIBOR plus a margin of 2.25 pct.“Our new USD 120 million loan facility that refinanced 10 vessels was completed on attractive terms. It reduces our interest expense and pushes out the average tenor of our debt. We remain focused on maintaining a moderate amount of leverage on our balance sheet, and have repeatedly been successful at accessing attractively priced capital,” Per Heiberg, Chief Financial Officer of Golden Ocean Management AS, commented.Since the start of the year, GOGL was busy making room for the arrival of five newbuilding Capesize bulkers and one second-hand acquisition, the Golden Monterrey.In April, Golden Ocean sold the 2010-built Golden Eminence, a Panamax vessel, to an unnamed buyer for USD 14.7 million. The vessel is expected to be delivered to its new owners in the third quarter of 2018, and the estimated net cash flow from the transaction is expected to be approximately USD 5.4 million in the third quarter of 2018.In terms of financial performance for the first three months of 2018, the company ended the quarter with USD 16.7 million of net profit, rebounding from last year’s loss of USD 17.8 million.Operating revenues amounted to USD 149.9 million, up from last year’s USD 81.9 million. However, on a quarterly comparison, there was a decrease of USD 1.5 million due to a softer freight rate environment, in particular for the company’s Capesize vessels, which was partially offset by an increase in the number of vessels chartered in on spot voyages.“Golden Ocean continued to generate positive results in the first quarter of 2018 despite some seasonal weakness late in the quarter, reflecting primarily a strong entry into the year and period charters at decent rates,” Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, Chief Executive Officer of Golden Ocean Management AS, said.“As market conditions improve, we are well positioned to generate substantial cash flow with a large, modern fleet and competitive cash breakeven levels.”In terms of outlook, Golden Ocean said that average rates are steadily increasing, and that the outlook appears positive for tonne-mile demand growth on the back of positive trends in the global economy.“The risk on the demand side is primarily related to a slowdown in the global economy and steel production in particular. The number of newbuilding orders reported is slowing, and this remains the most important factor for a prolonged positive rate environment,” the company concluded.last_img read more

UNled talks between Greece former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia set for this

9 June 2008The envoy spearheading United Nations attempts to resolve the dispute between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the latter’s name is this week renewing efforts to broker a solution between the two European neighbours. Matthew Nimetz, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy on the talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, will be meeting with representatives of the two countries in New York, a UN spokesperson told journalists today.A formal meeting – which will involve Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece and Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – is scheduled to be held at UN Headquarters on Thursday.Mr. Nimetz has frequently held talks with both Athens and Skopje in recent months to try to reach a deal, but he told journalists in March that there has been no progress on the issue, despite an acknowledgement by both sides that a solution was in their best interests.He had proposed several compromise names but the two countries remained far apart on what they considered a satisfactory name for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.The Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was brokered by the UN, details the difference between Athens and Skopje on the issue. It also obliges the two sides to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General in a bid to reach agreement. read more

Media Minister says he has no issue with Ministry secretary

Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka says he has no issue with his Ministry secretary of the Director General of the Government Information Department.Speaking to reporters today, the Media Minister said that he also has no concerns over his Ministerial post. (Colombo Gazette)

Climate changedriven bug infestations fires wreaking havoc on Canadas forestry industry

Mills in the heart of Canada’s timber industry have fallen quieter this winter as wildfires and infestations made worse by climate change have made vast tracts of once valuable forest into barren stands of dead trees.After seeing record high softwood lumber prices earlier this year, Canada’s forestry industry is facing an uncertain future due to falling demand from a cooling U.S. housing market, increasingly frequent and intense forest fires and the continuing damage from pests such as the mountain pine beetle.“We’re kind of at that point in the cycle where, unfortunately, permanent reductions have to happen,” said Ed Sustar, a forestry products analyst at Moody’s Investor Service.“It’s going to be a relatively sizable part of the B.C. lumber industry, but it’s not a surprise.”‘A handout without addressing the root cause’: Oil industry recoils at Ottawa’s $1.6 billion loan offeringOur trade with China is bigger than you think — and exporters are getting worried‘This could really change people’s lives’: Cannabis company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in small B.C. townBritish Columbia, home to close to a third of Canada’s wood manufacturing jobs, is showing the most visible effects of reduced supplies as numerous companies have cut back mill production in recent months.West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. cited timber supply shortages brought on by the mountain pine beetle for permanently cutting 300 million board feet of production, at a cost of upwards of 75 jobs in the new year, at its Fraser Lake and Quesnel sawmills. That was on top of production cuts in the last stretch of the year at a string of interior mills from log supply constraints.Interfor Corp. cut about 20 per cent of production for this last quarter, citing escalating log costs, while Canfor Corp. curtailed B.C. production by 10 per cent due to log supply constraints. Conifex Timber Inc. cut production by 15 per cent at its Fort St. James, and then by another 10 per cent for the next half year.The supply issue has, however, been looming for some time, as the large swaths of B.C. forest killed by a pine beetle epidemic decay into worthless dead stands. The tinderbox created by the outbreak, combined with warmer, drier weather, have in turn helped create back-to-back record forest fire seasons in the province.In 2017 wildfires destroyed about 1.2 million hectares of forest. This fiscal year it’s estimated at 1.4 million, compared with an average of 151,000 hectares for the 10 prior years.The decrease in the amount of healthy B.C. forest has pushed companies to expand further into the U.S. or abroad, said Sustar.“All these companies where B.C. was their base, they’re all expanding and diversifying outside of B.C., and B.C.’s become a smaller portion.”The provincially-set amount of timber that industry can harvest has already dropped by about 25 per cent in the past decade to around 52 million cubic metres, noted Sustar. B.C. government projections on the impacts of the 2017 fires alone are expected to reduce the mid-term supply by more than half in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House and by about 44 per cent in Quesnel.“We do and we will have a mid-term challenge with respect to availability,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries.“Fibre availability is a key issue for the industry, it’s our main product input, so of course it’s very significant.”The wild card in all of this continues to be the effects of climate change, and how much it will change the supply picture.“It’s already really created huge problems in terms of timber supply,” said Sally Aitken, a professor at the University of British Columbia.“Climate change will touch pretty much everything we do in forestry, and everything that lives in forests.”She’s studying how to create forests that will be more resilient to climate change, by selecting genetic varieties of trees that could better withstand the changes coming.The impact of climate change on the health of forests is hard to predict, however, as changing weather patterns lead to both wetter and drier conditions, while a variety of threats including insects like the pine beetle, fir beetle, spruce budworm as well as diseases and fungi get worse.Barry Cooke, a forestry researcher at Natural Resources Canada, describes the trend as climate weirding, since so many factors are at play.“You have climate changes percolating through this cascade of physical and biotic consequences,” said Cooke.His research has focused in part on Canada’s far north forests, where melting permafrost has let to what he describes as drunken trees falling over in the waterlogged soil.But he notes that government research is showing climate change impacts are coming to all areas of the Canadian woods, including the fires of the west coming east. He also sees a deterioration in the quality of the forests, as growth-rings thin and faster-growing but lower quality plants and trees mask the decline of core species.“Yeah there are a lot of trees here, but they’re not as healthy as they used to be…the forest is in a process of transforming,” said Cooke.“We are seeing growth declines in Eastern Canada, and this wasn’t predicted to happen this soon. We thought maybe in 20, 30 years we might see this, but it’s happening already.”The changing trends means lots of uncertainty for Canada’s forests going forward, said Cooke. Trees can endure wide fluctuations of weather, he noted, but their health can change suddenly once critical thresholds like moisture balance are tipped.“Everything looks fine until it’s not.” read more

UNESCO publishes history volume on Central Asia

The latest volume on the histories of the empires that rose and fell in the vast Central Asian region will be launched today in Paris, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said.The fifth and penultimate volume, called Development in Contrast: From the Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Century, covers the last medieval empires – the Uzbeks, Safavids, Mughals and Dzungars – and early colonialism. The territories covered also include Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern China and western India.”It describes the last phase of nomadism as a viable system of social organization; the effects on Central Asian economies of the shift of the main lines of international trade from the Great Silk Route to the oceanic routes; the various schools of art; the last great age of classical Persian literature and the growth of Turkic literatures,” UNESCO said in a news release.In the religious sphere, the 936-page volume also covers the Shi`ite ascendancy in Persia, the conversion of the Mongol peoples to Buddhism, and the rise of Sikhism, it said. The chief editors were Charyar Adle of Iran and Irfan Habib of India, with Karl Baipakov of Kazakhstan as co-editor.The launch was timed to take place during UNESCO’s 190-member General Conference, which ends on Friday.The sixth and last volume in the series, Towards Contemporary Civilization: from the mid-Nineteenth Century to the present time is due out in the next two years and will be edited by Olivier Roy of France, with Madhavan Palat of India and Anara Tabyshalieva of the Kyrgyz Republic as co-editors, UNESCO said.The series, which started with Central Asia at the dawn of time, is the work of 300 scholars, mainly from the area, it said.

Is This The Year The Chiefs Finally Have A Playoff Breakthrough

Atlanta156.36-0.3 According to Elo, Kansas City was expected to win about about eight of their 16 playoff games, four more than they actually won. That’s a testament to how good the Chiefs’ regular seasons have been, but also to how many ways they’ve fallen short in the playoffs. They’ve choked late in games (Chiefs fans surely remember the team’s slow collapse against Indy in 2014) and been blown out early (they fell in quick holes against the Colts in 2004 and the Bills in 1994). According to their win probability added (WPA) at various stages of the game, the Chiefs have done plenty of both during their run of playoff futility. Cincinnati94.21-3.2 Kansas City167.64-3.6 Houston62.63+0.4 Cleveland10.30-0.3 Arizona114.26+1.8 Tampa Bay115.35-0.3 Miami177.46-1.4 Philadelphia2613.212-1.2 WINS After a hard-earned bye in Week 1 of this year’s NFL playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the divisional round for the second straight season. You’ll have to forgive K.C. fans, however, if they aren’t all that optimistic.Simply put, the second round of the playoffs is where Chiefs seasons usually go to die. Including this year, they’ve made seven trips to the divisional round since 1990 (when the league expanded its playoff field to 12 teams). They haven’t made it any further than that since 1993, when they lost to the Bills in the AFC Championship Game.And it hasn’t been for lack of trying. From 1990 through this year, K.C. has been in the postseason 13 times, the eighth-most of any team. But the Chiefs own one of the most disappointing playoff records in modern history: They’ve won a grand total of four playoff games over that span — the fifth-fewest of any team in football. Kansas City’s playoff record is an abysmal 4-12 during that stretch.In fairness to the Chiefs, they’ve played more than half of those playoff games on the road. They’ve also run into more than their share of tough opponents, including the 2015 Patriots and 2010 Ravens in recent years and the Super Bowl-bound Colts, Broncos and Bills in an earlier era. But even if we account for those factors using FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings — which can be used to create a prediction for each game — K.C. still has the biggest shortfall between its actual and expected playoff wins of any NFL team since 1990: Washington146.67+0.4 Buffalo189.610+0.4 Chicago125.95-0.9 San Diego167.87-0.8 Detroit103.91-2.9 Oakland136.76-0.7 New England3822.625+2.4 Minnesota199.16-3.1 Green Bay3619.620+0.4 Biggest playoff underachievers in the 12-team era, 1990-2016 Jacksonville114.55+0.5 Los Angeles105.66+0.4 New Orleans157.97-0.9 Pittsburgh3318.619+0.4 Dallas2413.514+0.5 This funk has lasted so long that it’s hard to assign blame for Kansas City’s struggles. The Chiefs’ stretch of underachievement spans seven different coaches and 11 primary quarterbacks. (Under the team’s current QB, Alex Smith, K.C. has a 1-2 record in the playoffs.) Maybe there’s something in the water — or at least in Arthur Bryant’s barbecue sauce — that precludes the team from making a deep playoff run. Or maybe, given enough teams and enough time, these kinds of droughts will inevitably happen to somebody.VIDEO: The Chiefs are chronic underachievers Indianapolis2913.814+0.2 Denver2613.715+1.3 Carolina167.49+1.6 Seattle2312.013+1.0 N.Y. Jets155.87+1.2 N.Y. Giants229.714+4.3 Baltimore2511.416+4.6 San Francisco2715.215-0.2 Forecasted wins are based on the game’s location and each team’s pregame Elo ratingsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com Tennessee168.16-2.1 FRANCHISENO. OF GAMESFORECASTEDACTUALDIFFERENCE Either way, this could finally be the year for a Chiefs breakthrough. On Sunday, they’ll play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Elo gives them a 64 percent chance of moving on to the AFC Championship Game — K.C.’s best odds in a playoff game since they hosted the Colts in a divisional-round game in 1996. (Naturally, the Chiefs lost that one, too.) Furthermore, Kansas City is built like a team that traditionally succeeds in the postseason, with a strong special teams and passing defense, plus a surprisingly efficient aerial attack featuring quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Travis Kelce.None of this guarantees that K.C. will overcome its long history of postseason disappointment, nor does it mean the Chiefs are necessarily “due” for a playoff turnaround after such a long wait. But with Elo giving the team a 15 percent chance of winning this year’s Super Bowl, Kansas City’s championship odds are the highest they’ve been at this stage of the playoffs in a long time.1Specifically, since K.C.’s divisional-round game against Denver in 1998, before which it had a 21 percent chance of winning the championship, per Elo. Now it’s up to this team to break with Chiefs tradition and win a dang divisional game.Check out our latest NFL playoff predictions. read more

Arthur D Little demystifies sustainability for the board in latest publication

first_imgWhile ‘sustainability’ has become a corporate watchword in the 21st century, many companies remain unclear about what are the most appropriate practical actions to take for business… In The Board’s Sustainability Handbook, innovation consultancy Arthur D. Little (ADL) demystifies the concept of sustainability in business, and sets out the key ideas for non-specialist senior executives in an easily digestible format.Sustainability has now moved into the heart of the business, and touches on nearly every company function. Investors, customers and society in general take more interest today in how a company operates, rather than just what it makes or offers.The Board’s Sustainability Handbook outlines tools and approaches to assess a company’s readiness to deal with the reality of sustainable business: the risks, opportunities, imperatives and options, to ensure that actions are aligned with business needs. Chapter headings include:– Is there more to sustainable business than we’ve recognised?– How sustainable is our business – really?– What opportunities are we missing to create value?– What can we do to change?Commenting on the book, Michael Traem, Global CEO of Arthur D. Little, said, “Based on our sustainability work with leading companies, we hope that this book will help to clarify what has become a complex and confusing area for the non-specialist. It is vital that executives get to grips with this topic – in 20 years’ time, no one is likely to be talking about ‘sustainable’ or ‘unsustainable’ businesses because the unsustainable ones will have gone to the wall.”If you would like a PDF copy of The Board’s Sustainability Handbook, please send an email request to adlittle@saycomms.co.uklast_img read more

NCA following up on parents complaints as Schoolbooksie problems continue

first_imgRefundsThe company acknowledged a backlog of orders and apologised, claiming in a series of statements that the backlog was about to be cleared but some parents are still awaiting the delivery of books ordered in August while others have cancelled their order but not yet been refunded.Father-of-two Conor Buckley placed an order for €200 worth of books for his son and daughter on 17 August but did not receive all of the books when they were delivered a few days later. Now in October, he is awaiting €70 worth of books and has been unable to contact the company to find out when they will be delivered.He said: “It’s ridiculous because we have used them for three or four years and it’s all been perfect but this year… We’ve heard nothing from the company, no communication at all from them. My wife called twice a week, emailed them twice a week, that’s been since the 30 August. So over a month and no response at all.”Buckley says he will “never, never” use Schoolbooks.ie again. Galway-based Lorainne Kilcar is waiting for over €60 worth of books that she ordered on 7 August when she placed an order totalling €348, most of which only arrived on 21 September.In an email to the company, which she has not received a response to, she wrote:  ”My daughter goes to and from school on a bus which picks her up five miles away from home; therefore, it is not an option to go into school early or to stay late after school to use someone else’s books for study and homework; the situation for those affected by the inefficiency of SchoolBooks.ie is untenable and is causing undue stress to students.”Out of pocketIn another case, mother-of-one Emma Dowling says she is still waiting for a refund of €60 for a book order she cancelled on 20 September.  ”It’s just a point of principle,” she said. “My sum of money is quite small, it’s only €60 euro but then I had to go out and purchase the books, I am a lone parent so €120 out of pocket is significant.”She has not ruled out pursuing the matter through the Small Claims Court. One other parent who contacted TheJournal.ie said she did apply to the court, eventually receiving a cheque for €211.14.Another parent, Teresa Duffy cancelled her order for €73 worth of books at the end of August but is still awaiting a refund having been told it would clear in three to five days. Both she and her husband have been calling and emailing the company to no avail and are still waiting for their money back.“We’ll just take the hit,” she said adding that while she had used the company with no problems in recent years she would not be doing so again.Mitchell-O’Conner said that it was unacceptable that parents would be out of pocket “especially in these difficult times” and added: “I am calling on the company’s managing director to make a statement and clarify exactly what he is going to reimburse parents.”A spokesperson for the NCA said: “The National Consumer Agency is very concerned that some parents are still out of pocket as a result of their dealings with schoolbooks.ie.The NCA has received approximately 250 queries from consumers regarding schoolbooks.ie and has been in contact with the company on a number of occasions in relation to these queries and to remind them of their obligations to consumers under EU law. The NCA is following up on the complaints received.It also said that parents who are experiencing problems with Schoolbooks.ie can request a chargeback from their credit card or can go through the Small Claims Court where the application fee is €25.TheJournal.ie has called Schoolbooks.ie a number of times but has been unable to speak to anybody at the company and repeated emails asking for comment have not been responded to.Last month: As parents wait for books or their money back, Schoolbooks.ie stays silentRead: ‘We have cleared our backlog’: Schoolbooks.ie’s statements in full THE NATIONAL CONSUMER Agency (NCA) says it has received around 250 queries in relation to problems parents have been experiencing with the online book retailer, Schoolbooks.ie.The NCA says that it is “very concerned” that some parents are continuing to experience problems and are being left out of pocket nearly three months after the retailer first encountered problems with a backlog of orders.Some parents are now resorting to getting refunds for undelivered books through the Small Claims Court having been unable to contact the company regarding money they are owed.The Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor has called on the managing director of the Schoolbooks.ie, John Cunningham, to make a statement but the company has so far not responded to numerous calls and emails from TheJournal.ie asking for a comment.The problems first began in mid-August when dozens of parents raised concerns that their children were about to return school in some cases with no books at all after orders failed to materialise weeks after they were placed.last_img read more

Eamon Gilmore resigns as Labour Party leader

first_imgI’ve had the honour and privilege of leading Labour for 7 years. I asked the party to take on the role of government in worst crisis ever. I did so because I believed that we had a responsibility. It was a course that carried a high political risk and has led to election results.The party has seen support slip from 14 per cent in 2009’s elections to just over half that this time around and looks set to take just 60 seats in the locals. Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTubeHe said Labour must now find a new course.“We must hear, heed and act on the clear message we heard on Friday, “he said. “I believe that the work of renewing the party is best done under new leadership.”I take responsibility for what happened on Friday. This party needs renewal. I think everyone has a sense of the scale of the job.Gilmore said he still intends to seek re-election in Dún Laoghaire at the next general election and will remain as Tánaiste.“I never considered withdrawing from government. That would have be an iresponsible thing to do. We got a message and we have to respond to that. We have to regroup, renew and rebuild.Read: Eamon Gilmore to face two no-confidence motions>Read: Joan Burton: The Labour Party has taken a shellacking from citizens> Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTubeEAMON GILMORE HAS announced his resignation as leader of the Labour Party, following his party’s disastrous performance in the local election.Gilmore told reporters in Dublin this afternoon that he intends to stand down with immediate effect from 4 July. He said he made the decision last night, spoke with his staff this morning and told the General Secretary at around 10.30am.The announcement follows news earlier today that Gilmore would face two no-confidence motions in the coming weeks, to be tabled by both the party’s central council and the parliamentary party.It comes after Labour’s humiliating defeat in the local elections, with the party losing seats in councils all across the country while Sinn Féin, independents and more left-wing candidates gained ground.Speaking today, Gilmore said:last_img read more

Greece hoping to conclude troika talks this week

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram There were no comments on Wednesday night after Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras resumed talks with troika representatives on Greece’s new austerity package but sources told Kathimerini that the government is hoping to clinch a deal on the cuts in the next few days.According to sources, the government hopes that the 13.5 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes will be settled this week and approved by the three coalition leaders early next week. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has made it clear that he would like all the measures, bar the details, to be agreed before he heads to the European Union leaders’ summit on October 18.Sources suggested Stournaras would try to convince the troika that the amount of measures to be implemented next year should be limited to 7.8 billion euros, rather than reach 9 billion, as Greece’s lenders have suggested. However, the finance minister also informed the troika that a strike by tax collectors had led to revenues in first nine months of the year being about 500 million euros off target.Beyond the fiscal measures, the 89 structural reforms Greece is bound to implement this year as part of its bailout were also discussed. Sources said Stournaras outlined plans for trimonthly reviews for the heads of tax offices and to make the position of general secretary for information systems at the Finance Ministry a permanent one.Stournaras is due to continue talks with the troika at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday.The government is hoping the momentum provided by German Chancellor Angel Merkel’s visit to Athens on Tuesday will help it secure the release of its next tranche of bailout funding by November. Athens received another boost yesterday from two more European leaders.After meeting in Paris, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said they shared “the same concept of what needs to be done” and called for progress to be made on the the role of the European Central Bank and a banking union at the upcoming EU summit.Both men were supportive of Greece’s continued eurozone membership.“I am convinced that between us we will find formulas so that Greece can respect its commitments and so the others can take timely decisions that allow Greece to remain in the euro,” said Rajoy. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

The Hellenic Initiative in Australia

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Australian launch of The Hellenic Initiative (THE), a United States based global non-profit institution whose vision is to mobilise the global diaspora and the Philhellene community of the world to invest in the future of Greece, is to be launched in Sydney on Wednesday 26 March.The Australian launch will be hosted, as revealed by Neos Kosmos earlier on this month, by journalist Helen Kapalos and will have as its featured speaker THI’s chairman, Mr Andrew N. Liveris AO, the Darwin born and Queensland educated Greek Australian who serves as chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company.THI was launched in 2012 in Athens and in New York, is headed by Andrew N. Liveris, and claims as its president and honorary patron the former President of the United States of America Bill Clinton. The board members of the organisation include, amongst others, John A. Catsimatidis, Arianna Huffington, James Chanos, Nicholas Lazares, Drake Behrakis and other prominent Greek American business people. The Hellenic Initiative aims to provide immediate and vital support in ensuring the prosperity of established and new organisations, as well as to encourage ongoing education, entrepreneurism and investment that will provide a sustainable foundation for Greece’s future. THI is also answering the call for crisis relief in Greece and offers targeted financial support to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that provide help to Greek families.The SOS Children’s Villages, for abandoned and orphaned children, Apostoli, an organisation that distributes food to destitute families and Praksis, an NGO that operates a network of free health and dental clinics for low-income families, are some of the humanitarian projects supported in Greece.Only last week, The Hellenic Initiative announced a $300.000 grant to the NGO Médecins du Monde-Greece (MdM) to provide critical childhood immunisations and free dental services for children and adults. MdM estimates that at least 3,500 children and 1,500 adults will receive dental treatments through this program. The vaccination program on the other hand will be centred in Athens, Perama, Thessaloniki, Chania and Patra and is expected to provide more than 7,000 vaccinations to nearly 3,900 children.The Australian launch of The Hellenic Initiative in Sydney on Wednesday aims to achieve similar objectives by bringing together a select group of industry and community leaders of Greek heritage from around Australia.last_img read more