The article “Love and Loss on Two Continents” on Namesake (March 2007) was more than just the story of the making of the movie. Each word in the article evoked emotions and feelings I feel here everyday in the United States as an international student. Back home in India we think about NRIs as a happy, rich and prosperous family who have all the gifts in the world. We do not realize the pain they feel leaving their homeland in search of better opportunities and future for their children. Many Indians feel the grass is surely greener on this side of the world and are convinced that the United States is a much better place to live than their own country. But Indians wherever they go will always be looking for that Little India, which is settled deep inside our hearts.RAGHVENDRA SINGH, Warrensburg, Mo.AS ALWAYS, IT IS STIMULATING TO READ Little India. I feel the urge to respond to Jayant Patel’s letter on skin color, good looks and Hindi cinema versus hollywood (March 2007).We keep propagating the notion that white is beautiful, but are then perturbed when someone else points out our human foibles. Granted some of the top heroes and heroines today and in the past were dark skinned, but they were a rarity, often in artsy movie.Can we quickly identify strikingly good looking and fantastic actors like Sidney Poitier or Denzel Washington in Hindi cinema without making them look white? Some of us tend to associate good looks with being lighter-skinned. Our matrimonial advertisements say it all.But then again, the whole problem of skin color applies globally, from East to West and North to South. Conscious or subconscious bias toward lighter skin color is unfortunately prevalent worldwide. LAJU K, Via eMailI WAS GLAD TO SEE THE FOCUS ON YOUNG Indian Americans (“Generation X,” March 2007). My teenage daughter has enough role models to discover and grow in whatever her heart desires. Please also cover articles that make them proud of their heritage and culture. I hope Indian American children will feel proud of their culture and bring the best values of their own and adopted cultures to become model citizens of this country. I also hope they will stand up and fight injustices against any culture under any name. SATYA HITAYA, Via eMailTHE INTERVIEW WITH BIKRAM CHOUDHURY of Bikram Yoga (March 2007) is very interesting. I find it curious that he thinks vegetarians die quickly, that fruits and vegetables are chemicals and that the secret for a youthful life are in eating meat, fish, eggs and chicken. His remarks reminded me of a recent BBC interview with centenarians from Cuba. Their secret to longevity and youth were very similar to Choudhury’s, except they added three other important points, which Choudhury neglected to mention – alcohol, cigars and women.SIVAKUMAR RAGHAVAN, Gainesville, FlI AM 80- YEARS-OLD, JUST NOW GETTING TO know the ropes about computers, thanks to my grandsons. Little India has nothing little about it… it’s all grand and great. It is a pleasure to read your magazine VENGRAI PARTHASARATHY, Via eMailONCE UPON A TIME, TIPS WERE ONLY given to restaurant or bar waiters, but now everywhere you go from barbers shop and gas stations to cabbies, if a customer doesn’t tip workers scowl. We should not tip unless the service is both prompt and exceptional. And these workers need to understand that a tip is not their right, but a customer’s prerogative. TAJ AHMAD, New JerseyI THOROUGHLY ENJOYED LAVINA MELWANI’S article on the “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” Bhutan (March 2007). It opens a beautiful window into a magical kingdom high up in the Himalayas, governed by lofty ideals. The idea of using Gross National Happiness as an indicator of a successful society, rather than GNP or GDP is a noble concept. Implementation and maintaining that policy needs commitment by the public at large and that could be a challenge. The immense forces of globalization and market economy are bound to put enormous pressure on that wonderful ideal.It is a challenge worthy of the support of the global community. As the article explains, the wildlife and environmental treasures of this small kingdom are quite remarkable. The picture of Tiger’s Nest Monastery in the article is both mystical and magical. It sounds like the current king and the crown prince are both very progressive thinkers and we all hope that their goals of GNH will be a successful model for other countries in the world. I hope Indian leaders look up north to the Himalayas even as they look West for ideas on progress, prosperity and happiness for the Indian public. JAY BHANDARY, Shelton, Conn. ENTREPRENEURIAL INDIA MAY ULTIMATELY overshadow the much touted start-up cultures of the West. We need to adapt to behaviors that allow us to keep pace with the never-ending bandwidth technology offers. Most countries, developing and developed alike, view innovation as a vital input of their economic growth and spend substantial portions of their national budgets to support companies and research labs. India should focus on “user-centered innovation” as a national priority. VIVEK DIXIT, Houston, Texas “THE KILLER BELLY,” (NOV 2006) ADDRESSED the growing problem of heart disease and diabetes amongst Indian population. I visit India every year as a part of a group of 140 Westerners to attend a meditation retreat with my guru Sri Karunamayi in Andhra Pradesh. We always have a problem with very spicy, oily and carb rich food (especially white rice) that they serve us at the ashram.ZORAN TODOROVIC, Los Angeles, CalifI LOVE YOUR MAGAZINE AND THINK THAT IT evolves at the pace we are evolving in America, which is very fast. There is no hreference point to compare the information you offer to anything else we know in the US. It’s amazing to see your range of subjects and your ability keep them so interesting. SIMI CHAWLA, Via eMailI HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED YOUR ARTICLES and am impressed with the wide range of topics you cover. In your article on Ganesha (Feb 2007), you mention the existence of Ganesha sculptures in 5,000-year-old temples. If I am not mistaken, that would be in pre-Vedic times. It will be of great interest to know where such a temple exists.PRAKASH, Via eMailI WANT TO EXPRESS MY APPRECIATION FOR Shekhar Deshpande’s article, “Hear This: The Silence of Sounds” (Feb 2007). I was born and raised in America and am not of South Asian heritage. However, I have been to semi-rural Tamil Nadu five times. I think there is some truth to his comment that much sound in America is limited in open spaces, while the sound pumped into the individual grows continuously. He left out the fact that many, many Americans, when they return to the house every day after work, immediately flip on the TV set.So, the external sounds of a place like India are classified as “noise,” while the constant stream of inanities pouring into everyone from TVs and radios are welcomed. The simple fact is that most people are afraid of peace and quiet, or perhaps they are afraid to discover that their mind is also continually “noisy” with the most useless drivel. It is a big subject, which, ironically enough, was opened up for me through Indian traditions.The first time I went to India was during the Tamil month of Margazhi, a time for prayers. I went to sleep my first night there after a long trip from America and promptly dropped into a sound sleep. At 3:30 am, I was more or less ejected from my bed by chanting from outdoor loudspeakers nearby. I wasn’t angry. Rather I felt a mixture of amazement, disbelief and mirth. It was one of those experiences you instantly recognize as a first in your life. India has provided a number of firsts. A full assault on your senses is normal in India. Expecting the unexpected is normal in India. This is partly why I love to go there.MARTIN WOLFF, Via eMail Related Items
Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ Ateneo played without its starting libero Dani Ravena who is recovering from her appendectomy operation on Tuesday, and opposite hitter Ponggay Gaston, and the diminished lineup proved to be a factor in the loss that saw the Lady Eagles slide to a 4-3 record.“Even though Dani is just a rookie, she’s a crucial player in our rotation, and of course Ponggay too because she subs in for Jules [Samonte], so when one player has a bad game we don’t have a substitute,” said Madayag.The Lady Eagles enjoyed a 21-11 lead in the third set but squandered it all and allowed the Lady Spikers to take the 24-22 match point before Madayag and Kat Tolentino teamed up to extend the match to the fourth set.La Salle held off Ateneo in the fourth set when Kianna Dy gave the Lady Spikers a 24-19 lead with a block on Tolentino before Samonte ironically awarded the victory to the Lady Spikers when her final serve hit the net.“We know our lapses, so we’ll get back to training and fix what needs to be fixed,” said Madayag who had 10 points in the loss.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coach’s ‘barangay level’ remark fires up La Salle to get back on track Read Next Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The Lady Eagles managed to hold on to a big third set lead to extend the match to four sets but the defending champion Lady Spikers proved too much for the depleted Ateneo lineup.Captain Maddie Madayag said they weren’t able to display the much-needed maturity in a high stakes game that 18,537 witnessed inside Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It was obvious that the team wasn’t enjoying the game as it should be, there was no happiness in the play whatsoever,” said Madayag in Filipino after her team lost in four sets, 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20.“The team has to learn from its mistakes. They have to get back up after falling down, because when an error is committed, more errors will follow. We really need to have maturity.” Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games There isn’t much that to be said with how Ateneo lost to La Salle in its first meeting since Season 79’s finals—the Lady Eagles just fell short.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Manchester United are likely to sign Real Madrid winger Angel Di MariaReal Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says Argentina forward Angel Di Maria has asked for a transfer.The 26-year-old Di Maria has spent the last four years at Madrid and helped it win the Champions League last season.Ancelotti says “Di Maria has asked to leave and he has rejected an offer (to renew his contract) from the club.”Di Maria, who is under contract with Madrid until 2018, has been linked to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.Madrid signed two more attacking midfielders in James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos this summer, increasing competition for Di Maria to maintain his place in its starting lineup.
AdvertisementHaving joined Manchester United in 2015 for £36 million which made him the highest paid teenager then, the french forward had finally decided its time to move on after a lack of playing time under current United manager Jose Mourinho. The arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January has limited his playing time drastically. Known for his defensive approach, Jose Mourinho often plays Lingard and Rashford as wingers ahead of Martial, with Sanchez making his chances of starting slimmer.A statement from Anthony Martial’s agent to the french news outlet RMC Sport read :(photo credits:Twitter)Martial made a name for himself as a player with close dribbling and great technical ability. Often compared to his nation’s greatest forward, Thiery Henry, for his style of play, Martial couldn’t replicate his fellow countryman’s success in the premier league. A memorable goal against Liverpool in his first season made the Red devils believe that they have found a new superstar in the making. By far, he has made 86 appearances for United over the past 3 years scoring 24 goals. A promising talent is being underutilized at a club that is known to nurture talent and make them global footballing icons.As far as accolades are concerned Martial has won the EFL Cup, FA Cup and the Europa League. Advertisement Read also :Football: Premier League Fixtures For 2018/19 AnnouncedFootball : USA, Canada and Mexico to co-host FIFA World Cup 2026
England clearly have their backs against the wall going into the fourth and penultimate Test in Mumbai on Thursday. The injury to their young opener Haseeb Hameed has only made matters worse at a time when the visitors can do with any kind of inspiration. (Wankhede pitch will be a slow turner, say groundsmen)Having lost the second and third Test in Vizag and Mohali, respectively, the Englishmen are clearly struggling in Indian conditions. (England recall Morgan, Hales for limited-overs series vs India)But is everything lost for the England? They were after all, expected to be a lot more competitive than New Zealand, who went down tamely in a three-match series.With the roll of the dice not going England’s way so far this series, they might want to take some solace in history. (Pitched battles: India may have learnt lessons from Mumbai 2012)For England, history will be their best motivational preacher. All is not lost for Alastair Cook’s tourists and they have reasons to believe it.Mumbai it is and Mumbai it has always been, at least in the recent past. The last time England toured India in 2012 for a four-Test series, not many gave them a chance to even draw the series, let alone win it.First Test in Ahmedabad and a nine-wicket win for India meant the script was exactly the way one had predicted. Off to Mumbai for the second Test and tables had turned. England spinners — Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann — forced the famed Indian batting line-up, that had the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, among others, to surrender. The series was now level at 1-1 and with it, England had secured their confidence back. What happened next was something that many teams only aspired to do as England won a famous Test series on Indian soil.advertisementTheir captain Alastair Cook was the leader of that pack as well and can surely recount many happy memories from that victory at the Wankhede Stadium. Cook led from the front with a century in the first innings that allowed England to surpass India’s first innings score of 327. Next innings, the England captain was at the crease to see his team home with a 10-wicket win.In 2006, England were trailing the three-Test series 1-0 when they headed to Mumbai for the third and final Test. Andrew Flintoff was in-charge of that team and when England returned home after the series they held their heads high. The series ended in a draw after England bundled out India for just 100 in the second innings to script a 212-run win.In 1980, England made special arrangements while on their way back from Australia to play a one-off Test to mark the golden jubilee of the Indian cricket Board. As it happened, England won the match by 10 wickets with Ian Botham turning out to be the wrecker-in-chief.Not that England have not lost to India in Mumbai or Bombay, as it was formerly called, but lately, in the last one decade, they have found Wankhede as one venue where they like to revel against the odds.Once again, like on a few occasions in the past on their tours of India, England find themselves in a spot and after brief break in Dubai, they would surely hope for a turnaround in the series. And, what better place to do it than Mumbai!
Gianluigi Donnarumma — the man destined to succeed Gianluigi Buffon — just shocked Italy and one could say the world of football with a massive U-turn.”Everyone knows that my wish is to stay at Milan. I’m looking for a house in the city to live with my family. I’m calm, all the parties involved know the decision I’ve made. I’m very much tied to these colours,” said the 18-year-old, a week back.Fast forward a week and he decides to turn his back on the team that handed him a dream start to a promising career.The 6 ft 4 inches tall goalkeeper decided not to renew his contract that ends next year despite a strong proposal from the club.”We were taken by surprise, as we had hoped Donnarumma would be the goalkeeper taking Milan into the future. Naturally, the decision leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but now we have to go forward,” AC Milan CEO Marco Fassone said in a statement.Club legend Enrico Albertosi slammed the 18-year-old for turning his back on the club.”He betrayed Milan, turning his back on a great club that put its faith in him and launched him in Serie A at the age of 17,” he said.PROMISING STARTThe lanky goalie rose to fame back in 2015 with some brilliant displays for the Rossoneri. He became the second youngest goalkeeper ever to debut in Serie A at the age of 16 years and 242 days. He went one step further and became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play for his country. He was aged 17 years and 189 days when he made his debut against Israel. advertisementHe started off as a third choice keeper behind Diego Lopez and Christian Abbiati after his promotion into the first team squad. He made his debut in an International Champions Cup match against Real Madrid, replacing Lopez in the 72nd minute. His next game against Sassuolo in the final of the TIM Trophy saw him save two penalties in the shootout to secure Milan’s victory.He made his Serie A debut against Sassuolo few months later and helped Milan earn a 2-1 victory. Donnarumma kept his first clean sheet in a 1-0 win against Chievo and he was making rapid progress in the club. And by the start of 2016, he had more or less replaced an experienced and able goalkeeper in Lopez as Milan’s No. 1 and was offered a new improved three-year contract.He was now the next big thing in Italy and Buffon had even asked Juventus to sign him up. That’s a big thing for an 18-year-old kid. He didn’t let the big man down as he helped lead Milan win the Supercoppa Italiana, saving Paulo Dybala’s penalty in a 4-3 shoot-out win following a 1-1 draw after extra time.Reuters PhotoHe became Milan’s key figure and a focal point of their ambitious plans to re-conquer Europe after their new Chinese owners started injecting money and signing big players. But June 15, 2017 — the world turned upside down for the club because his agent Mino Riola informed them that he has no intentions of sporting the Red and Black of Milan once his contract expires.So what next? ‘DOLLAR’-UMA?Well, it’s hard to turn down a club of Real Madrid’s stature for an 18-year-old. Ain’t it?Real are apparently interested in his services as their chase for Manchester United’s David De Gea has stalled again. And so are Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United — if they end up losing DDG to Real.But the player, according to reports, has set his sights on the sunny shores of the Spanish capital as he has no intentions of guiding Milan back to the top of Europe. THE ITALIAN DREAM?The dream remains because Gigi is in the twilight of his career and he is the young dashing guy coming through but what about the fans and the unconditional support he was destined for?That has taken a major hit because he has been termed as a backstabber already in Milan. Unlike Buffon, who stayed at Juventus through the club’s thick and thin and has tasted enormous success with the Old Lady — becoming a club legend and worldwide hero for his loyalty…Donnarumma’s decision has already left Italian’s questioning his move.Buffon signed for Juventus back in 2001 and has spent the last 16 years at Turin. He has won 10 Serie A titles and also the Serie B, when Juve were relegated to the second division for match-fixing allegations.While some players left — he didn’t. He stuck in there along with some others and guided his beloved team back to the top. Juventus have won the last six Serie A’s and is miles ahead of the rest in Italy.advertisementHe won the World Cup with Italy back in 2006 and also guided Italy to the 2012 Euro finals, where they lost to Spain.His list of individual honours with Juventus goes on and on and Donnarumma was expected to follow path after his ground breaking performances but that is highly unlikely now.Donnarumma’s shot at greatness in the future is not in any kind of doubt but his claim for being a cult figure has certainly taken a masive after he turned his back on his club.
New Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) Indian Olympic Association is yet to get an official confirmation about shooting being scrapped from the programme of 2022 Commonwealth Games but said it will ask the organisers to reconsider its decision.There have been reports that shooting would not be included in the Birmingham Games programme though some media outlets said such a decision is not yet finalised.Shooting is an optional sport and is not among the 10 core sports which are mandatory in every Commonwealth Games. A host country can include up to seven from a list of optional sports/disciplines.It has been contested at every Commonwealth Games since Kingston 1966, with the exception of Edinburgh 1970.India are among the top performing countries in shooting in the Commonwealth Games. The country is currently second on the all-time medal table having won 56 gold, 40 silver and 22 bronze.Reacting to the development, IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said, “We have not yet received any official communication from the 2022 CWG organisers or the CGF about this. So I cannot say with certainty (that shooting has been scrapped).”We will take it up with the organisers and the CGF and present our objection if such a decision (to scrap shooting) is taken,” he said. The International Shooting Sport Federation and British Shooting had both claimed earlier this year that the sport should be contested at the 2022 Games.But shootings inclusion in the Birmingham Games has been uncertain from the very beginning as the closest Olympic- standard range to the Midlands city is more than 200km away at Bisley in Surrey.advertisementIn fact, on the representation of National Rifles Association of India (NRAI), the IOA had written a letter to the CGF President Louise Martin in September, asking the organisers to include shooting in their programme.”Shooting has been part of Commonwealth Games since 1966 and Commonwealth Shooting Championship is organised regularly. It is a popular sport with many medallist in the Commonwealth countries, including India, Australia, England, Canada, New Zealand … The exclusion of shooting from the sports programme of 2022 CWG is not at all conceivable,” the letter by Mehta said.”As for India, our shooters have won a number of medals in the Commonwealth Games. The victory in the CWG has been a catalyst in the development of shooting in our country. It is significant in our review of sporting performance.”The IOA-CGA India strongly recommends to the executive board of the CGF and also Commonwealth Games England for continuity and inclusion of shooting in 2022 CWG,” the letter had stated. However, lack of facilities has not deterred the 2022 CWG organisers from staging track cycling at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London — the venue used at the 2012 Olympic Games — which is also more than 200km away from Birmingham.With the building of a new velodrome in Birmingham not feasible due to time constraints and financial concerns, organisers have decided to stage the event at the venue located at the Queen Elizabeth Park in London. PTI PDS AH AH
Analog Devices announced a broad range of solutions within its advanced Industry 4.0 roadmap aimed at helping industrial equipment OEMs accelerate their path to Industry 4.0. These new solutions deliver next-generation flexibility, connectivity, and efficiency for today’s existing factory infrastructure.ADI is now providing new hardware-based identity solutions that enable security at the edge of the network within a factory control loop, and improve a field device’s security posture to meet security standards and requirements. These new capabilities are integrated with a real-time Ethernet multi-protocol switch with TSN features, including time synchronization (802.1AS) pre-emption (802.1Qbu/br), to control industrial applications via OPC-UA. By combining security capabilities with TSN features, ADI is enabling state-of-the-art field device communication solutions at the edge of industrial networks, in an easy-to-use model that accelerates customers’ time to market and adoption of Industry 4.0.The ADcmXL3021 module is a complete sensing system based on ADI’s micromechanical sensor technology, which increases productivity and reduces equipment repair by monitoring early indicators of machine fatigue and failure across industrial equipment and transport vehicles. This triaxial vibration sensing module combines the MEMs sensor with several signal processing functions within a compact form factor to simplify development and provide significant bill of materials savings of smart sensor nodes in CbM systems.Symeo, now part of Analog Devices, recently introduced the 60GHz Industrial RADAR Sensor Family LPR-1DHP-200. These next-generation positioning systems feature highly precise, robust 1D distance measurements with an accuracy in the millimeter range for advanced automation, transport, and production processes.ADI’s industrial automation solutions will be showcased at electronica 2018.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous Lanner: next gen industrial cyber security platformNext ERNI and Amphenol sign second-source agreement on MicroSpeed connector system
Asansol, a city over which a thin cloud of coal dust hangs in the air and where foetid, open sewers are more the norm, is getting a dose of glamour this election season.In 2014 Asansol voted for popular singer Babul Supriyo of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) to be its representative in the Lok Sabha. In 2019 BJP has renominated him. Up against him is Moon Moon Sen, former film star and daughter of Bengali cinema icon Suchitra Sen.Moon Moon is also the mother of Riya Sen and Raima Sen, both had harboured Bollywood dreams.Both Babul Supriyo and Moon Moon Sen have hit the campaign trail.Supriyo on a songClose to 100 party workers, all in various shades of orange kurtas, T-shirts, caps and scarves, are waiting for close to two hours under a huge gulmohar tree at Chakrambati in Raniganj coal belt of Asansol. It’s past noon and the sun is searing the skin. Fatigued and famished, they keep their spirits high by chanting Jai Shri Ram to every passing vehicle on the highway; the chants growing louder, every time a Trinamool Congress flag-bearing car passes by.Soon a whisper buzzes around — “he’s round the corner” — and the workers, fans and followers spring to their feet shouting “Swagatam, Swagatam”. The white SUV with tinted glasses screeches to a halt and out comes BJP MP and former minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprises, Babul Supriyo.In an aubergine-coloured kurta and aviator shades, sporting a casual stubble, Babul Supriyo looks every inch a film star and like a filmy hero he slings the loud speaker on his shoulder and balancing himself on the running board apologises to the crowd for keeping them waiting.advertisement”What can I do? Some are asking me to go right, some to the left, some above (meaning heaven) and some underground (hell),” he jokes. The crowd cheers, “Jiyo, jiyo.” Poll paradeClimbing down from the comforts of the SUV he gets on to a small van. The Jai Shri Ram-shouting foot soldiers march ahead with a band. At the head of the candidate’s convoy, a car winds its way, playing Babul Supriyo’s hit but controversial poll song, “Ei Trinamool aar na/ Aar na. Didi-r paaye hawai choti/ Didir bhaira kotipati [Didi is wearing chappals but her brothers are crorepatis/ This Trinamool not again/ Not again].As the music wafts in the air women and kids, stirred up from their siesta, come out in droves to lap up the rhythm of the tune and easy-to-remember lyrics.The Election Commission has banned the song, but BJP says playing the video has been banned, not the audio. Strains of the catchy tune could be heard at the plush hotel, where Trinamool Congress candidate Moon Moon Sen was camping for the election. Babul Supriyo interacts with the crowd. An 80-year-old woman tells him she’s living in penury without a widow pension. A bare-bodied middle-aged man in a gamchha (thin cotton towel) complains about the water crisis in the dry industrial belt and the choking pollution because of illegal mining of coal.”I can see there’s no tube well, no municipal taps and you know why? All money has gone to print Didi’s posters. The Asansol municipality is being run by Didi’s man, a coal mafia. He’s choking the lungs of Asansol and depriving people of water. Look at those huge posters of Trinamool candidate, the blue-white colour all around, even the SBI bank is painted in party colours,” he says. Contrasting stylesTrue, the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency is wrapped up in flex, hoardings and graffiti with a smiling Moon Moon Sen and Mamata Banerjee and the party’s twin-flowers symbol. The people of the seven assembly segments of Asansol Lok Sabha seat are yet to see Moon Moon Sen in person.They have heard she’s the daughter of the Bengali film legend, Suchitra Sen. The all-pervasive presence of Suchitra’s daughter on the walls, huge hoardings and bill boards, as a good-looking candidate, has generated quite a bit of curiosity.”But, where is she? We have seen on TV that she’s asking for votes in halls, at different programmes, but we haven’t seen her on the road,” said Lilabati Devi of Raniganj.Babul Supriyo, on the other hand, points out that he loves being with the people rather than being on the wall. His party’s presence on the walls is minimum because as he says the writing on the wall is already clear – “Phir ek baar Modi sarkaar.”advertisement “This time Modiji wouldn’t have to request the people of Asansol — mujhe Babul chahiye. Main khud aapne aap ko bhet dunga Modiji ko,” he says with a bright smile.The young boys with stylish mohawks and fading undercuts, who have gathered around him, were affectionately chided for taking care to be fashionable but not taking enough care to protect their booths from Trinamool hooligans.”The Gully Boy style looks good, but I want to see the gully boys in every booth to ensure people can vote freely,” Babul Supriyo has hit the right nerve.Communalism’s ugly headThe Left-dominated Raniganj and Jamuria — two out of the seven assembly segments of Asansol Lok Sabha seat — which couldn’t vote in the panchayat polls are seething with anger.”Even Trinamool Congress workers were sent home from polling booths where Trinamool had won in the 2016 assembly polls. The rampant rigging and booth capturing will boomerang this time,” says Sohan Rawani, a BJP worker.Going by the 2016 assembly results, five out of seven assembly segments are with Trinamool Congress and two with CPI (M); BJP is a distant second in two. Two years before, in 2014 Lok Sabha, BJP had got huge leads in four segments (Kulti, Asansol South, Asansol North and Barabani), which helped Babul Supriyo secure a comfortable winning margin of 70,000 votes with a 36.75 per cent vote share.But last time, Trinamool Congress suffered the most because of infighting within the party and the CPI (M) candidate Bangsho Gopal Chowdhury, a former MP and minister from this colliery belt, polling 22.39 per cent votes.But all the poll arithmetic may come to nothing in Asansol. Apart from the Modi wave, Bengal is awash with a strong swell for Hindutva. Last year’s riot in Raniganj around this time over a Ram Navami procession has left scars, too deep to be completely healed. A police patrol party in Raniganj, Burdwan, were clashes and incidents of arson were reported following a Ram Navami procession. (Photo: PTI)Coupled with this factor, Trinamool Congress is facing its old problems — the infighting has not lessened and the CPI (M) candidate, Gouranga Chatterjee, a local, is quite popular. He’s battling an assault on him by Trinamool Congress goons.”There are at least four different factions in Asansol and they are all at daggers drawn. Mamata by sending an outsider and on top of that a celebrity hoped to neutralise the warring factions; but the candidate lacks enthusiasm and energy to take on Babul Supriyo’s verve and valour,” said a Trinamool Congress party member on condition of anonymity.Sen-sationalMoon Moon Sen is travelling in a white SUV, her convoy of five to six cars kicks up a dust storm in the locality with no announcement, no prelude. In a touch-base exercise she’s dropping in at organised party programmes, with a feel-good ambience and the right kind of questions thrown at her, preferably all in covered areas — halls, auditoriums and shamiana-covered enclosures.Dressed in starched tangails and chiffons and a big red bindi, Moon Moon Sen is playing the typical Bengali married woman and asking the people for their precious vote in memory of her mother and for the peace of her mother’s soul.advertisement”Please promise me, you’ll not send me empty handed. Today’s is my mother’s birthday. Promise me you’ll vote for me to make her soul rest in peace,” she pleads in her husky tone, oozing charm, but then like a shooting star she is gone.”It’s not just for Moon Moon they are coming. I think there’s a Trinamool Congress wave. Look I have no big promises to make as I have nothing in my hand. But one person can and she will, because her parents have rightly named her Mamata. I am telling people that if they vote for me, Mamata and I will surely try to create some employment opportunities for them,” Moon Moon Sen says. Real issuesLack of job opportunities, no industry and above all closure of the state-owned Hindustan Cables, despite having the MP as junior minister for heavy industries, have displeased many, more so because Babul Supriyo had in 2014 promised to revive the sick company.True Babul Supriyo had failed to keep his words, but he’s going around telling people that he played a major role in ensuring a handsome closure package of Rs 4,777 crore from the Union cabinet.Perhaps the only feather in Babul Supriyo’s cap was release of a Central grant of Rs 50 crore for a 50-bed second hospital building of the ESI Hospital in Asansol. The hospital will be upgraded to 150 beds following its completion in 2020.As for bumpy roads, water crisis and other sundry problems, Babul Supriyo has passed the ball to the state government’s court and is echoing Narendra Modi in calling Mamata Banerjee the biggest “speed breaker” ( an epithet being generously used for the West Bengal CM and her reluctance to Central projects).Development or lack of it, is no longer an issue in Asansol. The flash riot over a Ram Navami procession in Raniganj last year around this time has shaken the secular demography of the constituency. Asansol Lok Sabha seat has an interesting mix: 75 per cent Hindus and 21 per cent Muslims; close to 50 per cent Hindi-speaking voters, mostly immigrants from neighbouring Jharkhand and Bihar, living elbow-to-elbow and in peace.Dangerous divideBut the communal flare-up on March 25, 2018, which claimed lives of at least three, has left a deep scar in the people’s psyche, resulting in a religious polarisation for the first time.Perhaps sensing this, both the Trinamool Congress and the CPI (M) have put up hoardings — “Daangabaaz BJP ke ekti vote o noi” [Not a single vote for the rioter BJP]. The objective is woo the 21 per cent Muslims and another 10 per cent Hindi- and Urdu-speaking Bihari Muslim voters.The Hindu-Muslim divide is getting sharper by the day with Vishva Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu wings campaigning for the BJP candidate and criss-crossing the constituency with a saffron swagger. While faces with sandalwood paste and tilak smeared on foreheads are growing in numbers in processions and rallies, Jai Shri Ram cries are also getting louder and louder in Asansol.Moon Moon Sen also admitted that people are getting increasingly involved in the Hindu-Muslim narrative and it has been possible because Babul Supriyo has allowed himself to be wrongly advised. “It’s [Hindu-Muslim division] happening everywhere. I was talking to Mahua [Mahua Moitra, TMC candidate from Krishnanagar] and she also said the same thing,” Moon Moon Sen rued.Fifty-two-year Deepak Raut, a motor mechanic who has lived in Raniganj since birth says Modi has a strong pull among the Biharis. “Though the CPI (M) candidate is very good, he’ll eat into Trinamool votes and will help BJP,” he says.Asked to elaborate he said: “Hindu voters will vote for BJP and Muslims are likely to support Trinamool Congress and no other party will come in between,” says Raut.Actor or singer?Rabinath Mahato, who owns a small cloth shop for the past 30 years, also felt that the issues in the coming election have got all mixed up. “On the surface people are talking about this and that but they have made up their mind in the context of the last year’s riot,” he says.Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, a hawker by profession, is clear that BJP will find it difficult this time. “Woh uss samay [during the riots] ekdam khullam-khulli kiya” [They were so brazenly open about it],”he says.But this time Muslim votes, however marginalised it is, is going to fall in the Trinamool’s kitty and banking on it, the warring Trinamool leaders are trying to bury their differences and root for Moon Moon Sen.”There are 1,830 booths in Asansol. It’s not possible for her to reach all. But vote for her as Mamatadi’s soldier,” said Trinamool Congress MLA of Kulti, Ujjwal Chatterjee.As Trinamool workers sweat it out, Moon Moon Sen makes guest appearances.And as far as Babul Supriyo is concerned “You can click photos, take selfies with Moon Moon di, but don’t give your votes. She was a sitting MP of Bankura and this time she’s from Asansol and next time, God forbid, if she becomes an MP, she’ll be shifted from Asansol and you know why,” he winks with a chuckle.Also Read | NHRC report blames WB Police for Ram Navami riotsAlso Read | Mamata vs saffron brigade erupts over Ram Navami celebrations in BengalAlso Watch | Right-wing groups continue to defy law in West Bengal
Clothes by young New York-based designer Kevin Shahroozi are proof that made to measure garments are no longer limited to classic three-piece suits. His eponymous collection of mostly jackets and outerwear is modern with a mild edge and utilizes only high quality fabrics from Italy. Not available in stores, it is produced per piece and customized to each private client.Shahroozi recently told me about his work and services and explained why making his clients look great is so important to him.What is your background and why did you start the line?I am born and raised in Queens, New York City. My father is of a Persian background and my mother has a Taiwanese background. I started the line because I love fashion and I just wanted to help people look good, especially professionals. I want them to look good and feel better. I believe the clothes you have on does affect your confidence and how you feel about yourself and how people first recognize you. Ever since I was a child I loved style. I remember being nine, ten or eleven years old and I would offer to buy groceries for my parents just so I could put on my nice shirt and jeans and gel my hair and go out.When did you start the line?About two years ago. About a year since it has been mostly working on the craft and testing and perfecting the designs. For the past year I have been doing mostly private clients. One of my jackets, the black bomber jacket, was in the Macy’s fashion show about a year ago and I was in store called Ina that is in SoHo. I’ve had a few professionals that get the garments made to measure and custom made for them and they really love it.How do you describe your aesthetic?I would describe my aesthetic as something that is professional yet also a little bit edgy at the same time. It is high-end. All of the materials I use are high quality from cashmere, lambskin leather, Japanese denim, and silk linings. It’s also dressy as well as casual. There’s the hoodies with denim and lambskin sleeves. Then there’s the bomber jacket with neoprene and lambskin leather and then there are the sports coats made in Japanese denim with snap buttons. It is something that people can wear a lot, especially in the city. It gives a good sharp look to people and it’s high-end yet not too stuffy.How long does it take to get a piece after ordering it?About four to five weeks. It’s pretty quick compared to other brands that do custom where they take a couple of months. It’s all made in New York City. We have a tailor based in the Garment District. But the fabrics are all Italian fabrics. We work with a mill that’s based in Italy.How does one order from you?People can make an appointment, try on things and feel them. But if they are not able to come to New York they can send us a garment that fits them very well and we will just make the new garment in that same exact fit and measurements.What’s the price range?About $1,000 to $2,000. The cashmere jackets are about $1,500 and the coats and suits are about $2,000. These things can be altered if they make an appointment. We can show them swatches of other fabrics and other colors. The gray neoprene jacket that a tech client ordered was done in cashmere sleeves and a thinner neoprene, for example.How many different styles are you currently offering?Approximately 15. It’s mostly jackets. We have one suit, a couple of coats and a few that are specifically womenswear such as the lambskin trousers. We can make dress shirts as well. The jackets are mostly casual but a couple of times we have made for formal occasions. We also are working on more jackets and a couple of new sport coats and suits in the next collection.What’s your favorite piece?I really like the bomber jacket with neoprene and lambskin leather. It’s trendy right now but it’s just so easy.Will you ever make the line more mass market and non-custom?I’m open to the idea but it’s not something that I’m driven towards or aggressively going after but I’m open to it if it’s the right people, ideas and opportunities. I really love what I do and I love helping people look good and feel better. Of course I believe it’s important what’s on the insides and who you are as a person – there’s no doubt about that – but as you know, people judge you before they meet you just by how you look and it really affects how someone will deal with you. When people order made to measure it gives it a more intimate environment and a more personal connection and I really try to give people something perfect for their lifestyle. Most of the time that requires me to really get to know them and I really like that.In the meantime, people should just email you if they want to set up an appointment?Exactly! Call my cell phone or email directly. Check out the website and if I can help you in any way possible I would love to style you, dress you and make you a garment. So call me up! The Barbershop Renaissance and Men’s Grooming Revolution, According to Fellow Barber’s Sam Buffa Zach Klein Is the Reason We’re All Obsessed with Cabin Porn A Peek Inside the Joseph Abboud Factory: Italian Fabric, Made in America Save Your Eyes from the Scourge of the Screens with the Best Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Men Tuxedo Tips: Your Guide to Nailing Black-Tie Attire Editors’ Recommendations
Students and families from Porters Lake and surrounding area are celebrating their new school today, Oct 18. Education Minister Ramona Jennex and representatives from the Halifax Regional School Board, and Halifax Regional Municipality joined students, teachers, parents and the schools’ communities to celebrate the opening of Porters Lake Elementary School. “Putting kids and learning first means providing students with a school that will enhance learning in the classroom,” said Ms. Jennex. “Porters Lake Elementary is not just for the students, it’s also a place where families and community members can gather for activities after school hours.” Porters Lake Elementary has been open since September and has 349 students in grades Primary to 6. The new school has a large gymnasium, raised classroom that could act as a stage, community room and studio, and a cafeteria available after hours for use by the community. “As a former teacher, I am pleased for the students, staff and the community who will have this school, as well as the community centre to serve their needs for generations to come,” said Steve Brine, Halifax Regional School Board member for the area. “I want to commend and thank all partners – the province of Nova Scotia, HRM and HRSB – as well as the people from Gaetz Brook to Porters Lake and all communities in between that worked hard to make this dream come true.”
Dennis Ward APTN National NewsDozens of people from Garden Hill First Nation have flown south in search of a missing man from their community.It’s been more than a month since Derwin Beardy was last seen.
Alberta’s battle with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline hasn’t much impacted Rachel Notley’s approval rating, according to the latest numbers from Angus Reid.But, the quarrel may have added to John Horgan’s popularity.Notley is sitting at 33 per cent — in the middle of the pack compared to other provincial leaders.“What that says to me is that — the trade war that started between B.C. and Alberta over wine, certainly the war of words and rhetoric is something that hasn’t hurt Notley or her approval levels, (but) it hasn’t necessarily given her much of a bump. Being up a point really means being statistically unchanged,” Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid’s Executive Director, said.B.C.’s premier is tied with Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, with the highest approval rating at 52 per cent.“It looks like the face-off against the government of Alberta does appear to have helped John Horgan, a little bit. A three point increase in approval is not massive but it’s certainly in the right direction.” Kurl said.Kurl said we’ve heard the opposition saying Notley has lost the conflict with Horgan.“The numbers would indicate, well nothing necessarily lost, nor nothing necessarily gained,” she said.
Dollarama Inc. plans to add bulk purchases of its low-priced offerings to the e-commerce rush later this year as it looks to capitalize on the success of its bricks-and-mortar discount stores, the company said Thursday as it reported fourth-quarter earnings were up 17 per cent.But as competitors, including Candian grocers scramble to launch online sales to compete with online shopping behometh Amazon, CEO Neil Rossy tempered expectations about the extent of the rollout and its profit potential.“By no means are we e-commerce experts,” he said. “We’re taking our time and doing lots of data testing and we’re somewhat introducing a new concept.”He hopes to launch the platform by the end of the year and might first offer it in “a province or two” to get more feedback before it becomes available nationally.So far, he said the system is “up and running internally,” but is still being tweaked.Dollarama plans to use it to sell items from all of the categories of products it stocks in its 1,160 stores, but Rossy warned that there will be some limitations.“If you’re buying wine glasses at our store and you’re hoping to buy 400 wine glasses on our e-commerce site, it’s highly doubtful that will happen because the wine glasses, (with) the way we bring them in to our retail operation, aren’t built to handle drop tests for courier companies,” said Rossy.“There’s a bunch of items that will drop off or be added or removed based on the practicality within our system, so that’s why it’s still a work in progress.”As for whether shipping costs from orders made through the platform will be passed onto customers, Rossy said they’re “mostly hammered down but not enough that I’m willing to say they’ve put a final stamp on it.”But Rossy added, how the company, which has been expanding agressively and on a revenue run even amid a dire retail landscape, will fare online is “a complete unknown”The Montreal-based retailer’s executives said that 65 new Dollarama locations that opened in fiscal 2018 helped its fourth-quarter profit climb to $162.8 million, compared with $146.1 million a year earlier and boosted sales by about 10 per cent to $938.1 million.To keep up with demand, the company said it will expand its distribution centre in Montreal by 50 per cent to about 500,000 square feet.Rossy said Dollarama purchased two adjacent properties and the current centre, which was previously leased, meaning the expansion will ensure Dollarama owns its distribution operations in its entirety.He hopes construction will be completed by the end of 2019.But before that, in June of this year, Rossy’s father Larry, who founded Dollarama and is currently chairman of its board, will retire from the business. He will be succeeded by lead director Stephen Gunn. Kristin Williams Mugford has been appointed as an independent director effective immediately.“My father being, let’s say, a seasoned retailer, has simply decided to slow down a little,” Rossy said. “It’s rightly deserved… he was still at the office every day of the week and I can tell you for a fact that he put in six hours last Saturday as well.”In addition to taking on the e-commerce business, Dollarama will also have to defend its traditional bricks-and-mortar discount turf against China’s low-cost reatailer Miniso, which opened a handful of stores in Canada last year, but reportedly hopes to introduce 100 to the market by the end of this year and 500 in the next three years.Neil Rossy said the company hasn’t seen any impact in locations where Miniso opened stores in the same mall as Dollarama.“The actual competitive environment is relatively stable. It’s always very competitive,” said Rossy.“From that perspective, whether there are new retailers coming into the market and other retailers leaving the market, we’re always attentive to all competition.”It also rolled out technological initiatives to improve store productivity throughout its last fiscal year.Among the new kinds of technology it is using are handheld scanners for store associates, which can improve efficiency, smart cameras in stores and improved data analytic tools that can help Dollarama identify and target “risk areas.”Rossy said Dollarama next has its sights set on a new cash management process in stores to prove the efficiency of activities involving cash handling.The company’s stock jumped as much as five per cent to around $163 per share Thursday after it announced the better-than-expected results and plan to pay a quarterly dividend of 12 cents per share, up a penny from its earlier payment to shareholders.It also plans to split its shares on a three-for-one basis, subject to the approval of shareholders, which if approved, will decrease the price of individual stocks while increasing the number of outstanding shares, making it more attractive for retail investors seeking a small position in the company.Companies in this story: (TSX:DOL)
Rabat – An explosion targetting a tourist bus near the Grand Egyptian Museum in the city of Giza, neighboring Cairo, injured at least 17 people on Sunday.According to undisclosed security sources, Reuters reported that most of the wounded are foreign tourists, including South Africans.Sources added that a device went off close to the museum fence as the bus was passing. The victims are suffering from minor to serious injuries, however no deaths have been reported.It is the second bombing in six months in Egypt. In December 2018, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured in a similar incident.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska has awarded a contract to study whether the state can become the first in the nation to change its Medicaid program into a block grant system.Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday that the state Department of Health and Social Services issued a notice May 29 of its intent to award the contract to analyze the prospect of implementing block grants for federal Medicaid payments, work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, and shifting some Alaska Medicaid recipients to private insurance.The $100,000 contract calls for Boston-based Public Consulting Group to draft a paper by June 30 studying whether the initiatives will save Alaska money.Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent a letter to President Donald Trump March 1 that discussed Medicaid block grants.Alaska House Democrats have denounced the idea.___Information from: (Anchorage) Alaska Journal of Commerce, http://www.alaskajournal.comThe Associated Press
5 March 2008The United Nations and its partners are clearing a road in Katanga province in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after two anti-tank mines were discovered on a key route, the UN peacekeeping mission in the country said today. Led by the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (MACC), the operation focuses on demining eight kilometres of the road linking the towns of Kabalo and Katutu, which was shut down in December after local residents came upon the explosives.The non-governmental organization (NGO) Danish Church Aid and the South African mine clearance company Mechem are part of the joint effort.Meanwhile, the peacekeeping mission – known as MONUC – reports that 25 former Rwandan rebel troops and their 13 dependents were repatriated to Rwanda in February, as part of the renewed drive to disarm and reintegrate members of armed groups spurred by the Nairobi agreement reached between Rwanda and the DRC in November last year.
Who’s the best team in the NFL?The answer is as muddled as at any point in the season. According to our Elo ratings, the answer is technically the New England Patriots, who overtook the Denver Broncos after beating them in Week 9. But the Broncos gained ground by beating the Oakland Raiders on Sunday while the Patriots had a bye. Just one Elo point now separates the teams; they’re tied for all intents and purposes.A case could also be made for the Arizona Cardinals, who have the NFL’s best record at 8-1. But the deeper we go, the less impressive the Cardinals look. Jeff Sagarin’s “pure points” rating, based on margin of victory and strength of schedule, has the Cardinals just eighth in the league. Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) ratings, based on an analysis of play-by-play data, has them 15th. The Cardinals’ top quarterback, Carson Palmer, is out for the year. Elo, which tends to strike a middle ground between conventional wisdom and advanced statistics, has the Cardinals fourth.A credible case could also be made for the Seattle Seahawks on the basis of their longer-term performance. They came into the season ranked No. 1 and are the fourth-best team so far this year on the basis of DVOA. And they looked as good as they have since Week 1 while beating the New York Giants 38-17 last week. The Seahawks’ next six weeks consist of home-and-home games against the Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, and road games at Kansas City and Philadelphia. Within a couple of weeks, we could be talking about how the Seahawks playoff hopes are torpedoed, or how Seattle was the best team in the league all along.So far, however, this season has been characterized by the lack of any one truly dominant team. It’s also been characterized by a bunch of awful teams, such as the Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Raiders have a 31 percent chance of finishing at 0-16, according to our simulations. The Jaguars and the Raiders also have an outside shot at finishing with the lowest Elo rating of all-time.If the elite teams aren’t as great as usual, and the worst teams are worse than usual, that means there are more wins (and Elo ratings points) to go around among the upper-middle class of the league. There is a glut of 12 teams at an Elo rating between 1532 and 1608 — somewhere between “slightly above average” and “pretty good.”The Cincinnati Bengals, who lost at home Thursday against the Cleveland Browns, fell out of that group last week. These types of games — a clear underdog (the Bengals were 8.5-point favorites, according to Elo) winning definitively (the Browns won 24-3) — produce the biggest swings in the Elo ratings. In fact, the 53-point shift against the Bengals and toward the Browns is the largest of the season so far. (The largest swing of all time, 77 points, came Sept. 21, 2008, when the Miami Dolphins ended the Patriots’ 21-game regular-season winning streak by beating them 38-13 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.)Even the result in Cincinnati, however, did nothing to clarify the playoff picture. The Browns, at 6-3, are first in the AFC North; the Bengals, 5-3-1, are second. Both have lower Elo ratings than the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are tied for third at 6-4. No AFC North team has better than a 31 percent chance or worse than a 20 percent chance of winning the division. Playoff odds for the rest of the league follow:My ESPN colleague Gregg Easterbrook wrote this week about the inequities of the NFL playoff system. As Gregg noted, the 4-5 New Orleans Saints would make the playoffs if the season ended today (as NFC South champions). The 6-3 Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, would miss out.One might protest that the Saints aren’t such a bad team: They have plenty of talent and a +26 point differential, and they’re 12th in the league in DVOA. Still, what division a team plays in makes a huge amount of difference to its playoff odds.To demonstrate this, I extracted some additional data from our Elo simulations this week, estimating a team’s chances of winning its division based on its regular-season record. In the NFC North, for example, a roughly average division, teams finishing the season with 10 wins won the division 30 percent of the time.The same 10-win finish would produce a drastically different result in other divisions. In the NFC West, 10 wins were good enough for the division title just 4 percent of the time. In the Saints’ NFC South, meanwhile, 10 wins took the division more than 99 percent of the time.Even an eight-win finish would be good more often than not in the NFC South; teams finishing with that win total won the division 65 percent of the time. (This includes cases where the Carolina Panthers, who tied a game this year, finish at 8-7-1.) Seven wins might be enough. In one of the 5,000 simulations we ran this week, the Panthers even won the division with a 5-10-1 record.If anything, this understates the importance of divisional placement. Not only are teams from weaker divisions more likely to make the playoffs with, for instance, a 9-7 record, they’ll also have an easier time achieving that record because they’re facing softer competition. And the NFL protects division winners in the playoffs, giving them a higher seed than wild cards and a home game in the opening round.These problems will be hard to avoid so long as the NFL insists on having such small divisions and placing such importance upon them. In a four-team division, there’s a 1-in-16 chance that all four teams will be below average — one of them will make the playoffs anyway. Because there are eight divisions, a case like that will come up about once every other season.This is one reason I’d like to see the NFL expand to 36 teams, which would allow for six-team divisions. Short of that, the league could adopt any number of approaches to make division placement less important. The least radical would be to no longer prioritize division winners in setting playoff seedings. (A 7-9 division winner could still make the playoffs, but it wouldn’t get a home game.) More fun: The league could “bump” any division winners that failed to finish with a winning record and replace them with an additional wild-card team.Elo Point SpreadsRecord against point spread: 70-67-3 (6-5 in Week 10)Straight-up record: 103-43-1 (9-4 in Week 10)The point spreads implied by Elo ratings have just barely climbed to a winning record against closing Las Vegas lines. Still, we wouldn’t recommend that you bet on them. Indeed, as the season has worn on, there have been fewer and fewer differences between them, and most of those that exist are easy to explain. Elo is more bullish on the Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles this week than Las Vegas lines imply, for example, but it doesn’t know that their starting quarterbacks are sidelined.Still, there’s a difference of opinion in what’s undoubtedly the biggest game of the week. Whereas Vegas has the Indianapolis Colts as 2.5- or three-point favorites at home against the Patriots, Elo has the Patriots just slightly favored. New England has been one of Elo’s favorite teams this year. It’s strange to think Vegas could underrate a team as high-profile as New England, but that’s been the case historically: The Patriots have covered the point spread about 57 percent of the time since Bill Belichick took over as coach.
Andrew Forrest, Chairman Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) says that “under the leadership of Nev Power the company flourished and earned its reputation as one of the largest and most consistent seaborne iron ore suppliers, taking its place as the lowest cost most efficient producer in the world. Fortescue is now rapidly evolving, drawing on the entire Fortescue family to continue and improve on that efficiency and establish itself for dynamic future growth. It is devolving authority to greatly empower its people to create a nimble, fast moving organisation capable of meeting the challenges of a world whose pace of change is historically unprecedented. Be it for iron ore, or any other products required for such a rapidly changing global market place, Fortescue’s growth is being planned to meet it.“Into this environment, and where required, I will be calling on Fortescue directors to step in, on an occasional and part-time capacity, to further drive this product diversification and asset development. I will actively join this effort while encouraging our new CEO to maintain her focus on lowest quartile competitiveness in all existing and future production lines, in all our endeavours and at all times. A change in marketing focus directly related to flexible operations and new markets will also lead to greater penetration in global iron ore markets. Complementing this is our target that in the future a majority of Fortescue’s production will be >60% Fe competing head to head in the higher grade markets.“This strategic target will be achieved through the Firetail replacement project without losing the company’s focus on minimum mine lives of 20 years. As a result of these challenges Fortescue will move from its traditional leadership focus to our new Core Leadership Team (CLT) with active Board support which is capable of and will devolve authority throughout the organisation. It is with considerable satisfaction and on behalf of the Board that I report that all appointments are internally originated. The new CLT will comprise; Chief Financial Officer Ian Wells will be appointed to the role of Chief Financial Officer, moving from his current role as Group Manager, Corporate Finance. Ian’s role will be to promote the understanding and competence in global capital markets throughout the exploration and development teams of Fortescue. While maintaining tight reins on the company’s finances, Ian will empower others reporting to him to maximise efficient discovery and/or acquisition of new projects. Utilizing strong operational expertise and rapid Fortescue execution, with ingrained non-recourse finance capability, we expect targets to be expediently converted to valuable assets.“Deputy Chief Executive Officer Ms Julie Shuttleworth will take up the new role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer, having most recently held the position of General Manager of Fortescue’s Solomon Operations. Julie has been an outstanding operator and leader and will broaden her expertise to all aspects of procurement, corporate finance and Fortescue diversification to support the Chief Executive who will be both running a high performance company and expanding it. Julie’s leadership capability, cultural understanding of Fortescue and phenomenal intellect will be invaluable in this role. Chief Operating Officer.“Greg Lilleyman will be appointed as Chief Operating Officer, having most recently held the position of Director of Operations. While all roles of these executives have changed, none perhaps more so than Greg. Greg will be charged with maintaining the world’s lowest cost iron ore operations, including now Fortescue’s mining and infrastructure assets while lifting the grade of the bulk of Fortescue’s production to 60% plus Fe and holding true to Fortescue’s minimum 20 year mine life. In addition Greg will accept accountability for all sales and marketing as well as the expanded operations into his portfolio. Greg will continue the active diversification of the company’s client base and ensure that the culture of innovation, personal ownership, empowerment over authority within all aspects of the company’s culture is fully cemented throughout Fortescue’s vast operational team.“Ms Elizabeth Gaines will be appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer, moving from her current role of Chief Financial Officer. Elizabeth will lead an organisation where every person seeks advice from their immediate principal as opposed to industry accepted management method of upwards unilateral authority. It will take considerable perseverance and determined leadership to differentiate Fortescue from the more typical command and control environment in the resources sector. At Fortescue, every person in the organisation must live responsibly the decisions they make on behalf of the company, through the culture of Fortescue. Elizabeth has shown strong aptitude to encourage her colleagues and sleet recognition to them while actively supporting all those around her to be as successful as possible. It is this aversion to being the smartest person in the room, her obvious and effective collegiality and ability to communicate at all levels of both the organisation and the community that led to the Board’s decision to select Elizabeth over an outstanding international field of CEO applicants.“This team brings together a group of incredible individuals who are ingrained with Fortescue’s culture, who all possess the experience, talent and personal values required to lead our company’s new direction. Collectively, they will champion Fortescue’s unique culture, which is built on the strength of our family values, looking out for your mates and having the courage and determination to set immensely challenging stretch targets and to, in general, deliver against them.”CEO-elect, Gaines said she was both privileged and humbled to be chosen as Fortescue’s third Chief Executive Officer and is excited to support the CLT to take Fortescue through its next stages. “Fortescue is a unique company and a feature of our success is the strong relationship between the Chairman and CEO. I embrace the culture and values that truly set this company apart and I look forward to working with Andrew, the Board and the newly appointed leadership team of talented individuals to continue to deliver success and value for our shareholders.”Commenting on his appointment as Chief Operating Officer, Lilleyman said, “The opportunity to combine my operational role with the immense responsibility of driving a unique culture of empowerment and personal responsibility throughout the operations team is humbling. I am now particularly encouraged and excited to couple this with the unique ability to drive our global market and product strategy. I am looking forward to taking this on and working closely with our highly effective CLT, Operations and Marketing team.”Shuttleworth said, “I am absolutely thrilled to take on this new role of Deputy CEO for Fortescue and contribute my operational experience and drive to our new leadership team. Working with Elizabeth, Greg and Ian will be a highlight of my career and I intend to use it to maximise Fortescue at every opportunity.”CFO-elect, Wells said, “Joining Fortescue’s new leadership team as Chief Financial Officer is the opportunity I have been looking for to really empower the full team around me and contribute to a very strong development ethos and culture. I am excited to be sharing this with the Fortescue team and look forward to supporting Fortescue’s continued success through delivering extreme value.”Forrest concluded that the appointments “will mark a smooth transition of cultural change and encouragement by Power and is expected to be complete early in the New Year. Nev has agreed with me, with his normal enthusiasm and Fortescue commitment, to settle the new team in to his fullest ability before the final handing over of the reins.”
SUPERVALU HAS STRUCK a deal worth €160,000 with an Irish cheese-maker.The independent supermarket has announced that it has signed the deal with Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers to stock its Cashel Blue Cream Cheese.The deal will mean that Tipperary-made Cashel Blue Cream Cheese, which is 100 per cent Irish, exclusively available in SuperValu stores.The newly launched product is a mix of Cashel Blue, cream cheese and fresh cream.Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu, said that Irish food producers are globally renowned for the quality of their produce.Our partnership with Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers is part of our on-going commitment to Irish suppliers and the Irish agri-food sector. Delivering quality Irish produce to our customers is an important part of our business, so partnering with innovative producers enables us to bring the very best to our customers.Sarah Furno, managing director, Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, said they have been making cheese on their farm for over 30 years and are delighted to offer the cream chesse exclusively to SuperValu customers.Three quarters of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland, contributing over €1.6 billion to the Irish economy and helping to sustain almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector, the company said.Read: THE VERDICT: Tayto’s cheese and onion crisp chocolate bar>