Nova Scotia needs and values the significant contribution businesses of all sizes make to our communities and our economy. Their success is our success. They employ people, build skills through training, innovate, invest, provide Nova Scotians with the goods and services they need, and export those goods and services abroad. They also volunteer their time and expertise in countless areas. For these reasons, we’re always looking at ways to help businesses succeed. Jan. 23 to 27 is Red Tape Awareness Week, drawing attention to ways governments can reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and free up needed time to grow their business – and the economy. Across government, we’ve made reducing red tape a priority. Just 18 months ago, we created the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness to help with this work. The office, together with many departments, has made progress I’m proud of. We’ve removed unnecessary or redundant requirements such as eliminating the video retailer licence and the requirement for alcohol manufacturers, like our local wineries, to maintain a separate retail space. We’ve made changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to make compliance easier for landlords and tenants. We’re moving services online, like new vehicle registrations for car dealerships, to make things simpler and faster for business. We’re piloting a new service, the first of its kind in Canada, to help businesses navigate what can be a complex regulatory environment. We have people dedicated to answering questions and providing advice to help businesses. We’re also working with our regional neighbours to eliminate unnecessary differences to make it easier for businesses to succeed across the region. For example, there’s now one date for changes to the minimum wage and one standard for record-keeping requirements across the Maritimes. There’s a shared look and feel for some procurement documents to make bidding for government work across the Maritimes easier. Soon, businesses across the region will be able to register for all four Atlantic workers’ compensation systems through Canada Revenue Agency’s One Business Number, saving time and money. And we’re harmonizing trucking standards from Ontario to Nova Scotia for long-combination vehicles, lowering costs for trucking companies and their customers. A handful of these initiatives will save Nova Scotia businesses $2.2 million every year and that’s only a fraction of what’s been saved overall. This is the work we’ve been doing over the past year. There’s much more to do – but we’re on it. -30-
Mamata set to address states biggest ever peoples rallyMamata set to address states biggest ever peoples rally
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will reiterate her demand for the reintroduction of ballot papers replacing the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) from the stage of the Martyrs’ Day rally on Sunday. The police had gunned down 13 Youth Congress supporters who took part in the march to the Writers’ Buildings demanding “no ID card no vote” on July 21, 1993 under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee who was the then Youth Congress president. The day is observed as the Martyrs’ Day by the Trinamool since the inception of the party on January 1, 1998. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersWhile on her visit to the venue on Saturday evening, she said she has been rooting for the electoral reforms since 1995 and added: “For preventing black money (in polls), restoring democracy, ensuring transparency on the part of political parties, the reforms are must. It should include state funding. Why should a party collect funds? Why should black money be there?”. Maintaining that the EVMs have been discarded by many countries, including England, France and Germany, the Chief Minister said: “Those who introduced EVMs are not using it. When there are so many complaints, ballot papers should be revived. We are saying no to EVM, and asking for the return of ballot papers.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanerjee visited the venue in front of the CESC House on Chittaranjan Avenue to see the last-minute arrangements on Saturday afternoon. She was accompanied by Mayor Firhad Hakim and Trinamool state president Subrata Bakshi. She inspected the main podium and the arenas where the party leaders and functionaries will sit on Sunday. It may be recalled that during her election speeches, Banerjee had spoken over and again about the manipulation of the EVMs. After the result of the general elections was declared, all the Opposition parties had echoed her thoughts. But till date, none has launched any concrete movement on the issue. Banerjee proposes to launch an all-India movement on the issue and is expected to highlight the same during the mega rally. Large sections of Trinamool supporters are suffering from fear psychosis because of the BJP’s unprecedented result in the Lok Sabha elections. From two Lok Sabha seats in 2014, the party has bagged 18 seats in 2019. Ironically, Jangalmahal and North Bengal are two areas where the TMC failed to get a single seat despite massive development taking place in the region in the past eight years. In the meetings with the presidents and other functionaries of the districts, the party supremo has told them not to get worried as the party’s vote percentage has gone up by 4 percent. She has also assured them that TMC will be back to power in 2021. Meanwhile, many Trinamool leaders who had joined the saffron party have come back to the party fold. It is to be seen how Banerjee can cheer up the party’s rank and file and inspire them to carry out the party’s ongoing programmes successfully.
Feds spool up outreach to Hispanics in US to ward off moreFeds spool up outreach to Hispanics in US to ward off more
OTTAWA – A Liberal MP is heading to Los Angeles this week for a pre-emptive strike against misinformation about Canada’s immigration system circulating in the Spanish-language press that officials worry could inspire a new wave of asylum seekers.Central Americans have long been thought of as the next population primed to make the journey across the Canada-U.S. border due to major changes on the horizon in U.S. immigration policy. That includes the potential end of temporary protected status for nearly 350,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans, meaning all could face deportation to their home countries.Spanish-speaking MP Pablo Rodriguez had already been tapped as the likely federal point-person for outreach to Hispanics in the U.S., but his trip to L.A. on Friday has been given new impetus.On Aug. 30, the Spanish-language publication La Prensa reported that the Canadian government was set to welcome Hondurans living in the U.S. with temporary protected status, quoting a community organizer who said he had been contacted by the Canadian Embassy to explore programs.Except that never happened.The piece mirrored those that had been circulating in Creole-language traditional and social media earlier this summer, cited by some of the Haitians who have arrived in Canada in recent weeks as the reason they decided to come north from the U.S. Since July, some 7,000 asylum seekers have crossed into Canada from Quebec, the majority Haitian.The surge prompted the Liberal government to hastily arrange for a Creole-speaking MP to visit Miami to try to stem the flow of arrivals. The number of people crossing per day currently sits at under 100, from a high of over 250 this summer. According to multiple government sources, just over 60 people arrived Tuesday.But the Liberals are mindful that a decline now doesn’t mean the problem is over. Rodriguez is being dispatched to “neutralize” any misunderstandings about Canada’s system before they gain too much ground, a senior government official said.The Montreal MP, born in Argentina, will make the rounds of Hispanic media in L.A. as well as meet with members of the Honduran and El Salvadoran communities and local officials.“I’ll be able to communicate with them and tell them exactly how things are in Canada,” Rodriguez said Wednesday. “We have a system in place, a system that works and that has to be respected.”The La Prensa piece was spotted as a result of a much broader monitoring effort launched by the Liberal government at the height of the surge in Haitian arrivals in late July and early August.Consulates are on alert to keep close tabs on local media for discussion of Canada’s immigration and asylum policies, so when officials in Honduras spotted the La Prensa article they flagged it immediately to their bosses in Ottawa.The reporter at the paper was contacted, and the next day another article appeared clarifying that Canada has no program in the works for Hondurans, and if someone has temporary protected status in the U.S. it is not granted automatically in Canada.The unnamed government spokesperson in the article also noted that if people seek asylum in Canada, they could risk their protected status in the U.S.Refugee claims by Salvadorans and Hondurans do appear to be increasing in Canada. In the first three months of 2017, 255 claims for asylum were lodged, compared to 380 in all of 2016.Canada currently deports failed asylum claimants from El Salvador and Honduras back to their home countries.
Insurgents realizing violence not the answer says UN envoy to SomaliaInsurgents realizing violence not the answer says UN envoy to Somalia
“There is a need for Somalis to talk to each other inside the country to solve the ongoing problems,” Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, wrote in a letter to the diaspora. “Somalis speak the same language, share the same culture and religion, they are more than able to reconcile between themselves going beyond all personal suspicion,” he added. A recent African Union (AU) summit in Tripoli, Libya, ended with a strong call for African nations to support the Somali Government, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said. “Those in the African Union, and particularly in the regional grouping IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development, bringing together seven East African countries], are in the best position to support Somalia given their close ties to the country,” he noted. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate last week that there is an urgent need for support for his Government and stressed the importance of reconciliation. Mr. Ahmed was elected earlier this year as leader of Somalia, where violence has continued despite the signing in June 2008 of the UN-facilitated Djibouti Agreement by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), in which they agreed to end their conflict. In his address to the Assembly, he also pointed the finger at foreign extremists for much of the fighting and humanitarian suffering that continues to engulf Somalia, where anarchy has prevailed for nearly 20 years. The renewed surge in fighting this year – which has driven more than 250,000 people from their homes since May – is part of a new type of rebellion under way in his country, the President said. Mr. Ahmed said this rebellion was being conducted mainly by foreign extremists and went against Islam, but was able to continue in part because Somalia has not had a functioning nation-wide government since 1991. “At this difficult moment in history, we need assistance and support,” he said, urging the international community to back the efforts of the TFG to defeat the rebels, restore law and order and distribute humanitarian aid to the millions of people in need across the country. In his letter to the diaspora, Mr. Ould-Abdallah also mentioned the 17 September suicide attack against the headquarters of the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which claimed the lives of 22 people and wounded many others, and was roundly condemned by the UN, AU and other organizations and countries. The Governments of nations contributing troops to AMISOM “have made it clear that they will remain in Mogadishu and are determined to protect themselves,” he said. “Regrettably those leaders who made public statements supporting the attack have made their international case even more difficult to defend.” The envoy voiced hope that progress towards attaining a durable peace will continued to be made, “and that after 20 years, the guns will finally fall silent.” 30 September 2009It seems that in recent months some of those fighting Somalia’s Government are coming to understand the impact of the violence on the people of the struggling Horn of Africa nation, a senior United Nations official said today.
Driver of Defender jeep which killed cop further remandedDriver of Defender jeep which killed cop further remanded
The driver of a Defender type jeep which killed the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the traffic division of the Borella Police, IP Sarathchandra, has been further remanded till March 18.IP Sarathchandra was injured in a hit and run incident in Bambalapitiya last month and succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Saturday. The son of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage and seven others were arrested over the hit-and-run accident. However Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s son and seven others were later released on bail while the driver was remanded. (Colombo Gazette) A Defender type jeep in which the son of a Parliamentarian was travelling, was involved in the accident.
UN legal expert calls on Ecuadors Congress to rectify removal of judgesUN legal expert calls on Ecuadors Congress to rectify removal of judges
A top United Nations legal expert who visited Ecuador to study the “serious crisis” that “could irreversibly affect the independence of the judiciary,” has called for urgent steps to fully re-establish the rule of law in the South American country and “rectify” congressional measures replacing Supreme Court judges.The Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, visited Ecuador last week, citing urgent concerns over the replacement of 27 of the 31 Supreme Court judges with magistrates of Congress’s own choosing and the resignation of the court’s president.During a news conference in the capital Quito, the Special Rapporteur identified a number of serious irregularities in the measures adopted by the National Congress concerning both the removal of the previous magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and the designation of the new ones.“It is the duty of the National Congress, as the organ that adopted the key measures of removal and designation which provoked the current crisis, to take measures to rectify the situation,” he said.The formula for the establishment of the Supreme Court of Justice should include the independence of the judges, a procedure to fill vacant posts through election by the rest of the judges of the Court, a system of designation of judges guaranteeing their capability and probity, and including a transparent process for the participation of citizens.Mr. Despouy thanked the Government and all the authorities and sectors of the civil society that cooperated very openly in making the visit possible and for having provided valuable information.During his weeklong visit, which ended 18 March, he met with President Lucio Gutierrez, Congressional leaders, judges from courts at various levels, as well as with judicial associations, jurists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
UN launches 92 million appeal to stave off new hunger deaths inUN launches 92 million appeal to stave off new hunger deaths in
Facing a difficult new lean season which could mean death for more than 300,000 children in four West African sub-Saharan countries unless steps are taken now, the United Nations today launched an appeal for nearly $92 million to feed one of the world’s poorest regions.“We cannot wait for thousands of people, the majority of them women and children, to die of hunger or malnutrition to react,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, said. The new request covers the four Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which suffered a food crisis last year, and includes 22 projects in the areas of agriculture, food, nutrition and health.“This year, malnutrition will be the cause of death for more than 300,000 children in the Sahel if the necessary measures are not taken in time. We know what must be done, but we need the resources to do so immediately,” the Deputy Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional office, Théophane Nikyema, said. In the countries of the Sahel, the first victims of malnutrition are the children; according to UNICEF studies, with those under three years of age the most vulnerable. The programmes will be implemented by seven UN agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNICEF, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) along with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Afrique verte.Today’s appeal revises the 2006 Consolidated Appeal for West Africa, originally launched in November 2005, which requested $145 million. In the absence of a good harvest, the countries of the Sahel are preparing for a difficult new lean season this year (April to October). Many households are already vulnerable due to the impact of past crises, OCHA said. For example, many are still paying off debts incurred during last year’s crisis. In another crisis hotspot, the UN is appealing for $4.5 million to feed up to 50,000 people in the Central African Republic (CAR) for the next six months to prevent what it warns could be a “humanitarian tragedy.” Over half of those at risk are believed to be internally displaced persons (IDPs), uprooted by warfare in 2002-2003 and living in the forest without food supplies, adequate medical care, or shelter, OCHA said. Attacks, looting and the burning of fields have intensified since December and food scarcity is rapidly increasing, it added. In a related development, WFP reported today that its emergency funds are perilously low as it struggles to feed more than 50 million people in Africa this year, with only $20 million left in its Immediate Response Account (IRA) after it was forced to allocate an unprecedented $100 million from the account in 2005.Despite persistent appeals to the international community to support its operations across the continent, an acute shortage of project donations has increasingly forced WFP to deplete its own reserves to finance immediate needs. Many people are now only receiving aid because the agency has drawn down substantially from these reserves to stave off suffering and starvation. “We have put financial systems in place to help ensure people do not starve if donations are not immediately forthcoming. But these internal loans cannot be repeated if the international community does not step in to replenish funds,” WFP Executive Director James Morris said.
Its old vs young with a chip Goliath as World Series ofIts old vs young with a chip Goliath as World Series of
FILE – In this July 14, 2015, file photo, players compete at the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. The World Series of Poker’s main event returns Sunday, Nov. 8, offering a $7.6 million prize to the victor. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) by Kimberly Pierceall, The Associated Press Posted Nov 6, 2015 1:01 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The World Series of Poker main event returns Sunday offering a $7.6 million prize to the victor and it appears to be 24-year-old Joe McKeehen’s to lose.The Pennsylvania poker pro and mathematics graduate will have more than twice as many chips as his nearest competitor when the cards get dealt for no-limit Texas Hold ’em at the Rio All-Suites Las Vegas casino-hotel on Sunday.Its eight Davids versus a self-described “average Joe” with a Goliath chip stack at the final table. Or if 61-year-old Neil Blumenfield gets his way, he has another tale in mind: going head-to-head with 72-year-old Pierre Neuville, “and the young kid wins it all.”Blumenfield, who once founded a tech startup, and Neuville, a former board game executive, are the oldest competitors in recent history to make it this far.“It says a lot for the ability, my generation, to hang in there in a game that’s become dominated by kids,” Blumenfield said.World Series of Poker tournaments began in May and continued for 51 days with 68 events, culminating with the annual main event. It’s a grueling multi-day poker marathon that whittled down the competition from 6,420 entries at $10,000 each to nine players, all already guaranteed at least $1 million each.Among the remaining “November Nine” are a poker star turned daily fantasy sports pro, an Israeli software developer and four young poker professionals from New York, New Jersey and Italy.McKeehen has the largest lead a player has had since the World Series of Poker switched its format in 2008 to give people more chips. Chips have no monetary value in the tournament — a player must lose all his or her chips to be eliminated or win all the chips in play to take the title.Since 2008, only one other player has entered the main event as its chip leader and won the whole thing: Jonathan Duhamel in 2010.“He’s certainly not even-money to win,” said popular poker celebrity Daniel Negreanu, who narrowly missed his own chance at the final table after being knocked out in 11th place by McKeehen in July. “I expect him to make it down to the final three.”The inclusion of Blumenfield and Neuville has changed the dynamic of the final table, too, he said.“They don’t play the typical style of poker,” Negreanu said. “They’re more unpredictable. They’ll add a little wrinkle.”Casino owner Benny Binion started the series in 1970 as an invitation-only event. It was so casual the ultimate winner was chosen by the other, usually older, guys at the table.Poker caught fire in 2003, when an accountant from Tennessee in need of no nickname — Chris Moneymaker — entered a $39 online poker satellite contest, won an entry to the main event and won the whole thing, inspiring other amateur players. Caesars Entertainment Corp. bought the tournament in 2004.The number of poker tables in Las Vegas-area casinos ballooned from an average of 293 to 707 between 2003 and 2006. Online poker sites multiplied, too, until a U.S. law sent them packing overseas in 2006 and eventually a federal crackdown shut the sites down to American customers in 2011, with just a few states legalizing the sites since. The number of poker tables dropped every year starting in 2011 until there were about 603 in Las Vegas last year.Poker pro Max Steinberg, for one, had replaced the card games with a new game for much of the last year: daily fantasy sports. Late to the poker boom but just on time predicting the rise of the fantasy sports contests, the Las Vegas resident won his entry into the World Series of Poker main event via a DraftKings fantasy basketball contest. Now he’s back playing cards, singularly focused since Nevada regulators recently shut down unlicensed fantasy sports sites in the state since they consider it gambling.For someone who needed to keep an eye on the poker prize in the days leading up to Sunday’s main event start, the state’s decision was, “sort of a blessing in disguise for me.” It’s old vs young with a chip Goliath as World Series of Poker returns to crown $7.6M champ
Super Bowl XLIX Was Not The Most Exciting Super Bowl EverSuper Bowl XLIX Was Not The Most Exciting Super Bowl Ever
Well, that was quite a game. Despite a 10-point fourth quarter comeback, the New England Patriots looked like they were headed for another gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of a circus catch (this time with the Seattle Seahawks’ Jermaine Kearse playing the role of David Tyree), before undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler stepped in front of a Russell Wilson pass and sealed the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl crown since 2001.Much will be made of the Seahawks’ decision not to run the ball from the Patriots’ 1-yard line, instead opting for the fateful pass that Butler intercepted. During the 2014 season, 57.5 percent of all rushing plays from the opponent’s 1 yard-line ended in touchdowns — and, as Harvard Sports Analytics Collective pointed out Sunday night, you could make a strong case for Seattle’s probability of scoring being even higher against New England’s defense: But I’ll leave most of the second-guessing to others for now. In the moment, I was mainly interested in where this game ranked among all classic Super Bowls in terms of excitement. (After all, it featured an impressive comeback and some wild swings in win probability late in the game.) To quantify how thrilling the game was, we once again turn to the Excitement Index, which we wrote about in our Super Bowl preview Friday. The Excitement Index measures the sum of the absolute changes in win probability throughout a game, which theoretically captures how many extreme ups and downs there were in a given Super Bowl.Perhaps surprisingly, though, this year’s game only ranks 12th all-time if you use the data from NumberFire’s in-game Win Probability tool:(Consider this an unofficial early return; the numbers we used last week were from Pro-Football-Reference, which won’t post Super Bowl win probability until Monday. It’s worth noting that some of the NumberFire probabilities don’t completely match what Brian Burke’s model lists.)Certainly, there were some plays that moved the probability needle dramatically. According to NumberFire’s model, Wilson’s interception dropped Seattle’s chances of winning from 64 percent to essentially zero. The bobbled completion to Kearse several snaps earlier raised the Seahawks’ probability by 30.8 percentage points. But most of the changes before that sequence were more gradual. The Patriots built a modest cushion for most of the first half before the Seahawks tied the game; likewise, the Seahawks rise to 91 percent win probability early in the fourth quarter was a slow march.At the same time, models like the Excitement Index are, well, just numerical representations of football reality. No index can really capture the craziness and excitement of what just transpired on the field — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12), under pressure, puts the ball in the air against Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The host Wolverines won, 14-7. Credit: Courtesy of TNSLocation: Madison, Wisconsin2016 record: 11–3 (7–2)Head coach: Paul Chryst2017 record so far: 2-0All-time record vs. OSU: 18-58What has happened thus far in 2017Wisconsin made quick work of Utah State and Florida Atlantic, outscoring both by a combined score of 90-24. Its offense rode the legs of two running backs, freshman phenom Jonathan Taylor and redshirt sophomore Bradrick Shaw. Taylor ran all over Florida Atlantic, racking up 223 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Badgers have been lights out against their opponents, limiting them to an average of only 276 yards per game and just 24 total points. Wisconsin travels to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU in its next test Saturday.Impact playerWhile eyes might gravitate to 6-foot-6, 249-pound senior tight end Troy Fumagalli, the Badgers’ season hinges on the play of redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook. He’s been steady through the team’s first two games, throwing for 445 total yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Hornibrook grew into the starting role last season, and though his numbers from a season ago indicate he might not put up eye-popping stats, he should be able to, at least, remain a steady presence for the team under center.StrengthsWisconsin fields another all-around solid team in 2017. There’s plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but the Badgers’ offensive line has the potential to be the best unit on the team. If redshirt sophomore left guard Jon Dietzen can stay healthy, the line could provide Hornibrook with some of the best protection in the conference. With Taylor and Shaw also lining up in the backfield, Wisconsin boasts its latest grouping of talented running backs.WeaknessesYou’ll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pencil a different Big Ten West team ahead of Wisconsin. Why? The Badgers are extremely talented and have one of the easiest schedules in the country, with neither Ohio State nor Penn State on the docket. The problem with the Badgers last year, though, was their inability to close out games, losing by seven points to Michigan, to Ohio State in overtime and then to the Nittany Lions in the conference-title bout. Wisconsin must come out on top in those kind of matchups if it is to take the next step this season.
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Imagination Award Winners Revealed at IMAG ConferenceImagination Award Winners Revealed at IMAG Conference
Revenue: Atlantic Re:think & Netflix House of Cards’ “The Ascent” – The Atlantic A panel of 25 judges from various “independent” magazine companies—essentially, those titles not published by Hearst, Condé Nast, Time Inc., and the like—refined more than 100 entries for the inaugural awards down to winners across six categories, plus a special, “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” award. See the full list of winners below: “Counter to the meganormous companies who are trying to appeal to the largest audience possible, tonight’s awards demonstrate that you don’t have to be everything to everyone in order to be successful—and that’s a wonderful accomplishment to celebrate,” said Seymour. Why Didn’t I Think of That?: The Factory – Surfing Magazine Audience: Leveraging Online Engagement – Roadkill Magazine Lesley Jane Seymour, quipping about her own newfound independence, served as emcee. The winners of the inaugural Imagination Awards, recognizing the best work produced by independent magazine media brands, were revealed by the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) in San Francisco last night as part of the IMAG 2016 proceedings. Leadership: Catapult Creative Labs – Active Interest Media Digital: PORTER Shoppability: Enabling Real-Time Purchases Through Content – PORTER Magazine Content: National Park Service Centennial – Backpacker Projects completed between January 1 and December 31, 2015 were considered, but digital-only brands were not. MPA membership was not a requirement. Active Interest Media took home a pair of awards: in the Content category for Backpacker’s National Park Service Centennial, and in the Leadership category for its content marketing unit, recently branded as Catapult Creative Labs. Accepting the award, Jon Dorn, AIM’s SVP of digital and creative services, gave reference to the upheaval and associated challenges that have consumed the independent space of the magazine media industry for the last several years, predicting, “If we stick with this, it’ll be the most fascinating and satisfying time of our lives.” Events (tie): Dwell Presents The Monogram Modern Home – Dwell and Gingerbread BLVD – Taste of Home
GE to sell 14 billion US hotel franchise loan portfolioGE to sell 14 billion US hotel franchise loan portfolio
General Electric Co said it had agreed to sell GE Capital’s U.S. hotel franchise loan portfolio to a unit of Western Alliance Bancorp.The business, which includes outstanding loans of about $1.4 billion, provides real estate financing to owners of limited service hotels.GE said it would also sell to an unnamed buyer its business that provides financing to Canada’s hospitality and restaurant industries. The unit has about $300 million of loans.GE said it would gain about $200 million from the deals, which are expected to close in the second quarter.Both the businesses represent a large part of GE Capital’s franchise finance unit, which is the last North American business to be sold as part of a plan to cut down the size of GE Capital, GE said.The deal is expected to immediately add to Western Alliance’s earnings, the bank said in a separate statement.
Dwarakish death hoax Veteran actorfilmmaker is alive clears the air with aDwarakish death hoax Veteran actorfilmmaker is alive clears the air with a
A screen shot from Dwarakish’s video.PR HandoutVeteran Kannada actor and filmmaker Dwarakish has become the latest victim of a death hoax. There were rumours doing rounds that he passed away following which his fans started sharing their condolence messages on social media.”This is to clarify once again. Dwarakish sir is fine and well. Please don’t allow rumors to spread [sic],” director Chaitanya KM gave a clarification on Twitter when the speculations started going viral.Meanwhile, Dwarakish himself has issued a statement in a video to put an end to the rumours. “Hello everyone, this is your Karnatakada Kulla. I am hale and healthy. Please do not believe any rumours on my health,” Dwarakish said. He added that with the people’s blessings and love he is “doing well.”Since Monday evening, speculations were doing rounds on WhatsApp which had come as a shock to the fans of Kannada films. The clarification has come as a relief to the cine-goers which are still recovering from the death of veterans like Ambareesh, Parvathamma Rajkumar and Kashinath in recent years. Dwarakish is a multifaceted actor, who has produced and directed quality movies in Kannada. Known as Prachanda Kulla by his fans, he directed, acted and produced the movies of legends like Dr Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan. He found a place in the hearts of millions of fans as a comedian. Gradually, he displayed his directorial skills and made landmarks movies like “Mayor Muthanna”, “Kulla Agent 000”, “Singaporenalli Raja Kulla”, “Guru Shishyaru”, etc.
November 25, 2014 5 min read This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Imagine you are in a changing room at a Nordstrom store trying on some clothes. You are looking for shoes to complete the look, or want to read product reviews, or maybe just summon an associate to bring you an item in a different color or size, rather than have to get decent again and go back out to the store floor (if you even decide not to leave).At two Nordstrom locations, one in Seattle, the other in San José, the upscale retailer is about to provide customers with technology by eBay to do just that: next week, in select departments at those stores, Nordstrom will begin to test full-length mirrors that, with the tap of a customer’s finger, turn into interactive screens, effectively creating smart fitting rooms.The idea is to bring tech to an untapped part of a store where many customers ultimately make their purchasing decisions: the fitting room.“The way customers shop for clothes has evolved,” Jamie Nordstrom, the retailer’s head of stores and former leader of its Nordstrom Direct digital business, told Fortune. “How do we take all the information that’s available to customers while they’re sitting on the couch at home browsing and add that to the dressing rooms, so it’s the best of both worlds?”Getting the best of both worlds is the holy grail for retailers eager to take full advantage of their physical stores in this e-commerce era. Nordstrom, widely considered a technology leader among brick and mortar retailers, plans between this year and 2018 to have spent $1.2 billion on tech, including e-commerce, fulfillment centers, and in-store service enhancements, such as these connected fitting rooms. Last quarter, comparable sales at its department stores were unchanged, showing how important it is to keep pushing to get more out of each shopper’s visit to the stores.And Nordstrom is not alone in looking for what’s next in retail tech. Bloomingdale’s, the upscale chain owned by Macy’s Inc, recently began trying out smart fitting rooms, equipped with wall-mounted iPads rather than Nordstrom’s interactive mirrors, at five of its stores.“You have shoppers used to having all that content and help in the palm of their hand,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail. “Here, you have a literally captive audience, so there’s the opportunity.”While Nordstrom’s smart fitting rooms build on what eBay also recently developed for fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff‘s two boutiques, it is a more complicated project given how much bigger Nordstrom department stores are and how much more inventory they hold. And so in that regard, this test will be more telling of how the smart fitting rooms can be adopted by retailers broadly. Nordstrom won’t say how much of a roll-out it is planning—the success of these tests will determine that.Mirror, mirror on the wall-should I buy this?In the Nordstrom smart fitting rooms, shoppers will be able to enter with items selected on the sales floor, along with suggestions from the associate. They will also be equipped with barcode scanning to identify what is in the store so if a customer needs an item in another size or color, she can see for herself if it is in stock and instruct the associate to bring it.For eBay, the technology is yet another step forward in the capabilities it built for Minkoff, and before that for Kate Spade, for which the tech giant created an interactive storefront at four Manhattan stores that allowed customers standing on the street to pick merchandise, and place an order. The Minkoff stores have the ability to remember what a customer tried on during a previous visit, a capability Nordstrom won’t have right out of the gate.While one might think such a state-of-the-art technology and how it facilitates high-touch customer service would more suitable to upscale stores, eBay thinks the technology could work even in more value-oriented retail chains. It could takethe shape of a big screen on a wall on the sales floor, rather than a sleek mirror in a changing room. Indeed, Jamie Nordstrom said the tech could potentially work at the off-price Nordstrom Rack stores, though there are no firm plans for a pilot there.The partnership with Nordstrom is also a way for eBay, best known by consumers for its marketplaces and PayPal payments service, to burnish its reputation as a retail tech innovator, including in physical stores, where more than 90% of sales still take place. Another new eBay initiative is the connected mall it has developed with Simon Property Group, consisting of an interactive mall directory that among other things, highlights events and deals happening that day. Growth in tech services will also help as the company gets ready for life after the upcoming spin-off of PayPal in 2015.“This is about us saying, ‘Hey, are we really just an e-commerce company, or are we really a partner to anyone who does commerce,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of innovation and new ventures at eBay. Register Now »
Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before says IATAAirlines are connecting more people and places than ever before says IATA
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, July 31, 2019 Share Travelweek Group “Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before,” says IATA MONTREAL — Global air connectivity is more accessible than ever, says IATA, which just released performance figures for 2018.According to its report, 4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018, an increase of 6.9% over 2017, and record efficiency was achieved with 81.9% of available seats being filled. Fuel efficiency, meanwhile, improved by more than 12% compared to 2010.The world continues to shrink thanks to increased connectivity. A total of 22,000 city pairs are now connected by direct flights, up 1,300 over 2017 and double the 10,250 city pairs connected in 1998. “Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever, and our world is a more prosperous place as a result,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. However, de Juniac notes that with any human activity, this comes with an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing.“We understand that sustainability is essential to our licence to spread aviation’s benefits. From 2020 we will cap net carbon emissions growth, and by 2050 we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels,” he added. “This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for.”More news: GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsHere are additional highlights of the 2018 airline industry performance:• The development of the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment continues to outpace that of network carriers. Measured in ASKs (available seat kilometres), LCC capacity grew by 13.4%, almost doubling the overall industry rate of 6.9%. LCCs accounted for 21% of global capacity in 2018, up from 11% in 2004.• Some 52 of IATA’s 290 current member airlines classify themselves as LCCs and other new model airlines.• Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers system-wide. North America airlines had 22.6% market share, or 989.4 million passengers, up 4.8% over 2017.• The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometres flown were: American Airlines (330.6 billion); Delta Air Lines (330 billion); United Airlines (329.6 billion); Emirates (302.3 billion); and Southwest Airlines (214.6 billion).• The top five nationalities travelling (international routes) are: United Kingdom (126.2 million, or 8.6% of all passengers); United States (111.5 million, or 7.6% of all passengers); China (97 million, or 6.6% of all passengers); Germany (94.3 million, or 6.4% of all passengers); and France (59.8 million, or 4.1% of all passengers).More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in July• Star Alliance maintained its position as the largest airline alliance in 2018, with 21.9% of total scheduled traffic (in RPKs), followed by SkyTeam (18.8%) and oneworld (15.4%). Posted by Tags: IATA
The 4 Oscarnominated films that are currently showing in Costa RicaThe 4 Oscarnominated films that are currently showing in Costa Rica
The Academy Award nominations were released Friday morning, with somewhat-true crime caper “American Hustle” and visually stunning space flick “Gravity” leading the way, with 10 nods each. Of the nine best picture nominees only “Captain Phillips” is playing in Costa Rica. Alfonso Cuarón’s ” Gravity” received a wide release, but is no longer in cinemas. The other seven best picture nominees haven’t shown here yet.A few more of the alleged best films of the year probably will get here before the awards show on March 2. But right now only four films that received any nominations are playing in Costa Rica.Best animated picture nominee “Frozen” (which also received a nomination for best song) is playing in just about every cinema in the country. But like most animated releases in Costa Rica, theaters are only showing a Spanish-dubbed version of the film.That leaves English-speaking cinema-goers with a trio of options if they want an Oscar-nominated film: the aforementioned “Captain Phillips”, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.”Unless you’re a Lord of the Rings zealot, the Tom Hanks survival film or the Coen Brothers latest picture seem like better choices to see here.“Captain Phillips” tells the true story of a U.S. man whose shipped was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. Hanks missed out on an Oscar nomination, but supporting actor Barkhad Abdi and director Paul Greengrass each grabbed one. The film received six nominations overall, and is playing at Plaza Paraíso in Cartago.“Inside Llewyn Davis” follows a hard-luck folk singer who’s not quite good enough for a week in the 1960s. The movie was shut out of all the major categories despite universal praise from critics (including much love for the movie’s Guatelaman-born star Óscar Isaac). But the movie still managed nominations in the categories of best cinematography and best sound mixing. The latest Hobbit film also landed nods in the thrilling technical category of best sound mixing category, along with best visual effects and best sound editing.You have a week to catch “Inside Llewyn Davis” at the historic Cine Magaly in downtown San José (the theater gloated on Facebook about the 5-star review the film received in La Nación. Here are the showtimes). “Inside Llewyn Davis” also is playing at Mall Multiplaza Escazú, according to the cinema’s website.If a gloomy folk film doesn’t interest you either, one other quality English-language film option in theaters is the Formula 1 flick “Rush.” Actor Daniel Brühl’s lack of an Oscar nomination is considered one of this year’s biggest snubs. The film is playing in most of the Central Valley as is “The Hobbit” sequel.See a full list of the Oscar nominations here. We listed the major categories below:Best Picture• “American Hustle”• “Captain Phillips”• “Dallas Buyers Club”• “Gravity”• “Her”• “Nebraska”• “Philomena”• “12 Years a Slave”• “The Wolf of Wall Street”Best Actor in a Leading Role• Christian Bale, “American Hustle”• Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”• Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”• Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”• Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”Best Actress in a Leading Role• Amy Adams, “American Hustle”• Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”• Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”• Judi Dench, “Philomena”• Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”Best Supporting Actor• Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”• Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”• Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”• Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”• Jared Leto, “The Dallas Buyers Club”Best Supporting Actress• Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”• Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”• Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”• Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”• June Squibb, “Nebraska”Best Director• David O. Russell, “American Hustle”• Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”• Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”• Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”• Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”Best Original Screenplay• “American Hustle” – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell• “Blue Jasmine” – Written by Woody Allen• “Her” – Written by Spike Jonze• “Nebraska” – Written by Bob Nelson• “Dallas Buyers Club” – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa WallackBest Adapted Screenplay• “Before Midnight” – Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke• “Captain Phillips” – Screenplay by Billy Ray• “Philomena” – Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope• “12 Years a Slave” – Screenplay by John Ridley• “The Wolf of Wall Street” – Screenplay by Terence WinterBest Animated Film• “The Croods”• “Despicable Me 2”• “Ernest & Celestine”• “Frozen”• “The Wind Rises” Facebook Comments Related posts:Little Devils’ games and other happenings around Costa Rica Waste time today playing this awesome politically inspired ‘PACMAN’ game Latin America ‘presente’ at the Oscars VIDEO: President Solís invites Oscar nominee Emma Stone to celebrate in Costa Rica
FOMC Minutes Show Interest Rate Hike Delayed Due to Global Economic WoesFOMC Minutes Show Interest Rate Hike Delayed Due to Global Economic Woes
The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) September meeting showed that the Fed’s concern mostly lingers around global economic troubles, but they still intend to raise rates before the end of 2015.”The concerns about global economic growth and turbulence in financial markets led to greater uncertainty among market participants about the likely timing of the start of the normalization of the stance of U.S. monetary policy,” the minutes said. “Based on federal funds futures, the probability of a first increase in the target range for the federal funds rate at the September meeting fell slightly.””Many participants judged that the effects of these developments on domestic economic activity were likely to be small, but they acknowledged the risk that they might restrain U.S. economic growth somewhat.”Even though most officials indicated that economic conditions will allow the hike to happen later this year, “the committee decided that it was prudent to wait for additional information confirming that the economic outlook had not deteriorated.’’According to the minutes, Fed officials are pretty optimistic about the U.S. economy. Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a moderate pace in the third quarter, and labor market conditions continued to improve, although compensation gains were modest.Consumer price inflation remained under the Fed’s 2 percent objective due to headwinds from failing energy prices and non-energy import prices. The minutes also highlighted that employment expanded in both July and August.In terms of housing, the minutes explained that it remains on an “upward trend,” as new single-family starts rose in the third quarter.Now, what concerns officials most is that foreign economic growth remains weak due to GDP contractions in Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Taiwan, even as activity expanded at a moderate pace in the euro area and the United Kingdom.Economic downfalls abroad raise one question: How will this affect U.S. net exports, GDP, and inflation?”Although U.S. economic data releases generally met market expectations, domestic financial conditions tightened modestly as concerns about prospects for global economic growth, centered on China, prompted an increase in financial market volatility and a deterioration in risk sentiment during the intermeeting period,” the minutes explained. “Tighter financial market conditions and greater volatility contributed to a reduction of the odds that market participants appeared to place on the first increase in the federal funds rate occurring at the September FOMC meeting and to a flatter expected path for the policy rate thereafter.”The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) Chief Economist and Director of Research Curt Long commented on the recent FOMC minutes noting that “the minutes from the FOMC’s September meeting frames the decision to hold off on increasing rates as one driven by global weakness rather than on the subsequent reaction of financial markets.”The committee reiterated that it intends to raise rates this year, but low inflation and the continued downward pressure from currency values, oil prices and weakness abroad represent significant obstacles.”At the FOMC September meeting, officials decided to keep the federal funds target rate at zero to 1/4 percent, where it has been for nine years.”In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress—both realized and expected—toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” the Fed said in a statement. “This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.”Click here to view the FOMC minutes. Federal Funds Rate Federal Open Market Committee Global Economy 2015-10-09 Staff Writer October 9, 2015 609 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Market Studies, News Share FOMC Minutes Show Interest Rate Hike Delayed Due to Global Economic Woes
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling In 1984, Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams set an NFL record with 2,105 rushing yards — a mark that still stands today.Through that season’s first four games, however, Dickerson only had 378 yards on the ground for an average of just 94.5 per game. Over his last 12 games of that season, Dickerson averaged an ungodly 143.9 yards per game to break the record.So, getting off to a really good start isn’t necessarily imperative in putting up huge rushing numbers, but it certainly helps. 5 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Your Trivia Tuesday challenge this week is to name the 31 greatest rushing totals through four games since 2000. We’ve given you the year, the team he did it for and a generous eight minutes on the clock — you just have to name the runner. (Last names only are acceptable!)Good luck! The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
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