Azarenka withdraws from US Open amid child custody dispute

first_imgFILE – In this Sept. 3, 2015, file photo, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Yanina Wickmayer, of Belgium, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka says her participation in the U.S. Open is in doubt because she might not be able to bring her baby son with her to New York as a result of her separation from the child’s father. Azarenka says via a posting on Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, that she is “faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)NEW YORK — Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the U.S. Open on Monday because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father.The 28-year-old star from Belarus gave birth to her first child in December and she returned to the tour in June. She detailed the dispute with the boy’s father in a long Twitter post last week, saying she might not be able to bring her son with her to New York.ADVERTISEMENT “I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s U.S. Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” Azarenka said in a statement.In last week’s post, Azarenka wrote that she separated from Leo’s father shortly after Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“As we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the U.S. Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California,” Azarenka wrote, “which I’m not willing to do.”Azarenka has not played since Wimbledon, and the former No. 1 player is now ranked 204th. She was the runner-up in New York in 2012 and 2013, losing in the final each year to Serena Williams. Those were also the years that Azarenka won her two Grand Slam singles titles in Australia. Williams, who is pregnant with her first child, also will not play in this year’s U.S. Open. On the men’s side, three top-10 players have withdrawn with season-ending injuries: defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Rugby World Cup winner reveals heart surgery after tick bite Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR View commentslast_img read more

10 months agoPremier League trio up for African Player of the Year

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Premier League trio up for African Player of the Yearby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe Premier League is again dominating the African Player of the Year awards.The Daily Mail reports Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, along with Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, have again made the shortlist for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) player of the year award.It is the second year running the trio have battled it out for the prestigious prize, to be named Africa’s finest player.Egypt striker Salah claimed the honour last year and will be favourite again, hoping to become the fourth player to win back-to-back titles after Senegal forward El Hadji Diouf, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure.The award is voted for by the national team coaches and captains of CAF’s 56 member associations and the winner for 2018 will be announced in Dakar on January 8. last_img read more

Spotted DP World Brisbane Welcomes 2 Giant ASCs

first_imgImage Courtesy: KalmarThe phase 2 of the DP World Brisbane Automatic Stacking Cranes (ASC) project has kicked off with a delivery of two new 9-wide ASCs, according to Finnish port automation solutions provider Kalmar.The two cranes were transported fully-erected from China to Australia and unloaded in Brisbane in July. The delivery completes Module 1 which is an addition to existing seven ASC modules, Kalmar said.“The delivery of the two Kalmar ASCs marks the fourth successful fully erected ASC shipment from China to Australia,” the company said.To date, Kalmar has provided DP World in Brisbane with 16 Kalmar ASCs and 16 Kalmar shuttle carriers.The two new ASCs bring the number of modules servicing container trade to eight and increasing capacity by 14 percent to 720,000 TEU.last_img read more

ASPCA And Jill Rappaport Team To Develop TV Series Celebrating Shelter Pets

first_imgThe ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and award-winning animal advocate Jill Rappaport, announced today they are developing Best in Shelter, a television series and prime-time special showcasing the special appeal of shelter pets.The first program is intended to culminate on Valentine’s Day 2015.Beginning February 2014 and with the help of ASPCA animal welfare and shelter experts, Ms. Rappaport will visit shelters around the country on a year-long search for a variety of outstanding canine and feline contestants. Chosen animals will then strut their stuff for a panel of judges for a chance to be crowned Best in Shelter – and score a loving home in the process.Creator, Executive Producer and Host Jill Rappaport said: “It has been my dream – ever since I created my beloved ‘Bow to Wow’ series six years ago on the TODAY Show – to develop a program that celebrates the beauty, inside and out, of shelter animals. The time has come – and long over-due – for shelter pets to shine as the true superstars they are! The win-win here is that hopefully every one of our featured fur angels, whether on the show or in the shelters I will be visiting across the country, will find a loving permanent home, which is what they deserve. The ASPCA is a critical national voice for shelter animals, and I look forward to partnering with them to truly make a difference for animals in need.”The series will be designed to showcase the dogs and cats – young and old, big and small and on four or three legs – discovered at shelters. Much like other reality show competitions, selected finalists are expected to compete in front of a live studio audience in a primetime special, Best in Shelter. In addition to Jill Rappaport and special celebrity guests, the judging panel would feature experts, such as a veterinarian and a certified animal trainer, who would be faced with the task of narrowing down their favorites. There would be trophy winners in several creative categories, such as “sizzling seniors”, and one Best in Shelter superstar.The ASPCA will be the exclusive animal welfare organization partner for the television project, leveraging its extensive relationships with animal shelters around the country and sharing its expertise in adoptions. The program is expected to feature the ASPCA’s Onyx and Breezy Shefts Adoption Center in NYC as well as non-profit and city-run shelters nationwide.Each of the animals featured on the program would be available for adoption, giving them an incredible platform in front of a national audience. Regardless of whether they’re awarded Best in Shelter, they’re sure to win the hearts of millions of viewers and hopefully a one-way ticket to a new home.The ASPCA estimates that approximately 5 to 7 million animals enter shelters nationwide each year, and approximately 3 to 4 million never make it out alive. The ASPCA works nationwide every day to change this, providing support and resources to animal welfare organizations across the country to provide positive outcomes for those animals most at risk.“Shelter animals can bring as much love and happiness to your life as any animal anywhere – the only difference is they don’t yet have homes of their own,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker. “Best in Shelter would not only celebrate how wonderful these animals are, but would bring attention to the fact that many are already waiting in your own community. I’ve no doubt this program will both change lives and save lives.”Bershadker added: “As a leading voice for shelter animals on network television, Jill shares our passion for spotlighting animal victims of cruelty and homelessness. Jill’s a gifted storyteller and her life-long work has created national awareness for critical animal welfare issues, helping many animals find homes. We are thrilled to partner with her on this important new program.”Jill Rappaport has worked as a correspondent for TODAY and NBC News for the more than 22 years, the first 15 as entertainment reporter. While chronicling her beloved dog Jack’s bone cancer diagnosis and medical treatment on TODAY, she realized that animal welfare issues were her calling, and so her career path changed. In Rappaport’s award-winning “Bow to Wow” and “Meow to Wow” series, she helped make over shelter pets, giving them a second chance at life by putting a national spotlight on homeless animals and had a 100 percent adoption record. Rappaport is also the best-selling author of People We Know, Horses they Love, and has written three others books, including Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail To Tell, about her beloved dog Jack, and 500 Cats.Rappaport is the recipient of numerous national honors and awards for her work on behalf of animal welfare. She was named the ASPCA Good Will Equine Welfare Ambassador and received the coveted Presidential Service Award for Media Excellence at the 2012 ASPCA Humane Awards. Rappaport recently launched her own line of leashes and collars called “Jill Rappaport’s Rescued Me Collection”, and has an equestrian jewelry line called “Hannah’s Heart” named after her beloved late mare and benefiting horses in need. In the spring she will be launching “Jill Rappaport’s Shelter Shake”, a wonderful toy to be given out to various shelters across the country, so animals feel like they are “one step closer to a loving home”. Rappaport lives on a farm with her five rescue dogs and seven horses, to whom she refers as her “fur angels.”last_img read more

Canadas bank CEOs get 7 pay raise to earn 536 million in

first_imgTORONTO – The chief executives of Canada’s five biggest banks collectively earned roughly $53.6 million in the latest fiscal year, up more than seven per cent from a year earlier.But it was a particularly good year for Toronto-Dominion Bank’s chief executive Bharat Masrani, who got a more than 20 per cent increase in total direct compensation to pull in $10.85 million in the twelve months ended Oct. 31, 2017.Still, Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive Dave McKay was paid the most among his peers with $12.43 million in total direct compensation, up 7.9 per cent from a year earlier, according to the banks’ latest proxy circulars.The rise in total direct compensation — which includes base salary and performance-based incentives — in part reflects the increasing demands for chief executives in the banking industry, said Bill Vlaad, president of financial services recruitment firm Vlaad and Co., which also monitors compensation trends.Financial institutions are now in the midst of a rapid technological shift, he said, as consumers increasingly do transactions online and via mobile phone.“The speed and velocity of change at these firms has been increasing, and to stay on the leading edge has required a lot more stealth by these CEOs,” said Vlaad. “I think it’s been a good time to be a CEO, but it is not for a lack of effort.”The Bank of Nova Scotia’s Brian Porter was second-highest paid at $10.86 million in total direct compensation, marking a 7.4 per cent increase from fiscal 2016.Bank of Montreal’s Bill Downe, who retired from the top role on Oct. 31, was paid $10.5 million in total direct compensation, down roughly one per cent from a year earlier.Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s chief executive Victor Dodig received $8.94 million in total direct compensation in 2017, up 1.71 per cent.These pay increases came during a fiscal year where each of the five biggest Canadian lenders reported record annual profits. During that time, these banks collectively earned $40.3 billion in net income for fiscal 2017, up nearly 13 per cent from a year earlier.The banks had benefited from the surprising strength of the Canadian economy, even amid worries about overheated housing markets and the fallout from government steps to cool them down.While these chief executives received a 7.17 increase in collective direct compensation for the fiscal year, they received even more when taking into account other elements such as pension value.Collectively, these five executives earned total compensation for fiscal 2017 of $58.6 million, marking an 8.2 per cent bump from fiscal 2016.McKay received the highest total pay at $13.36 million, followed by Porter at $12.84 million. Masrani’s compensation package was third-highest at $12.44 million, while Downe and Dodig received total pay of $10.53 million and $9.44 million, respectively.last_img read more

Kate Spade Foundation to donate 1M for suicide prevention

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Kate Spade New York has announced plans to donate $1 million to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes in tribute to the company’s late founder.To start, the company said Wednesday the Kate Spade New York Foundation is giving $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line , a free, 24-hour confidential text message service for people in crisis.The company also said it will match public donations made to the service from June 20 through June 29, up to an amount of $100,000.Kate Spade New York also says it will host a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for employees as part of its Wellness Program.The 55-year-old fashion designer was found dead by suicide June 5. Her husband says she had depression and anxiety for many years.___This story has been corrected to show that Spade was found dead June 5, not last month.last_img read more

City seeking resident feedback on facility fees and charges

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is asking for feedback from residents on updating the bylaw that designates the price of fees and charges collected for the use of City facilities, including the Pomeroy Sport Centre, North Peace Leisure Pool, and Surerus and Kin Park sports fields.Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey explained that the City typically updates the Community Services Fees and Charges bylaw every five years, with the current bylaw having been adopted on March 10, 2014.He said that the current schedule of fees and charges for activities such as ice and meeting room rentals will expire at the end of next August, and the City wants to get residents’ thoughts on the current fee schedule, and any ideas from residents on what to include in the next bylaw update. Harvey explained that the City uses a benefit-based approach to its fee schedule, with programs that have a larger benefit to the community as a whole getting a larger subsidy.“Potentially, a private birthday party or a private company function would pay more for that service because it doesn’t benefit a wide population.”The City has included a survey on its Let’s Talk public engagement website, along with the fee schedules from Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie so that residents can compare charges with neighbouring municipalities.Harvey said that the public engagement on the fees and charges will be wrapping up this fall, with staff taking that feedback into account when presenting the bylaw update to Council next spring.The public engagement campaign can be found here: https://letstalk.fortstjohn.ca/engage/community-services-fees-charges/last_img read more

Why Alabama Is Terrible On Third Down

As you might expect, this isn’t Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry’s fault. When the running back’s number is called on third down, he converts more than 50 percent of the time. He rushes mainly on short third downs, which helps keep that number high, but on all third-down carries with fewer than 10 yards to go, he converts 61.1 percent of the time. The other ’Bama running backs aren’t as impressive, converting their carries at 41.9 percent from all distances. Still, that’s higher than the national average of 40 percent — and not too far off from ’Bama rushing attacks of the past. (Clemson, meanwhile, is really, really good at running on third down, converting 49.5 percent of the time.) Predictably, the Crimson Tide’s trouble comes with the pass — just not in the way you might think.Like most schools, Alabama passes more often than it runs on third down. (The national average is 59.1 percent; ’Bama throws it 56.3 percent of the time.) It’s not that quarterback Jake Coker panics in these situations. He completes 58.8 percent of his third-down throws, better than celebrated Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, who completes only 52.9 percent of his throws in the same situation. But when Watson throws, he gets a first down 42.3 percent of the time. Coker gets a first down only 30.9 percent of the time. The split is even more pronounced in third-and-long situations. Coker gets more accurate; completing 59.6 percent of his throws. Watson falls to 43.8 percent. But Watson still gets more first downs from his throws in those situations: 31.3 percent to 22.8 percent. The last seven years of Alabama teams have looked a lot alike. They’ve had a dominant defense, a dominant running attack, the occasional dominant wideout and a quarterback who doesn’t screw things up. ’Bama has finished in the top 10 of the final AP poll in each of those seven seasons and on Monday will play for its fourth national title in that period. It’s been a nice little run. But this Alabama team has one major weakness that its predecessors didn’t: It sucks at converting on third down.If you watched Alabama thrash Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl, this may be about the only weakness that showed through the beating, a small consideration within the more global Brute Squad performance. Look a little closer, though, and one small crack can tell you quite a bit about this year’s Crimson Tide.Last year, Alabama converted 51.3 percent of its third downs, good for fifth among FBS schools. This year’s team converts 36.2 percent, good for 96th. There are only 128 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, so this is not an encouraging figure. Meanwhile, Clemson is 13th, converting 47.7 percent of its third downs. The average conversion rate for FBS teams is just less than 40 percent. Alabama faces, on average, 14 third downs each game. Last year’s team would have converted seven of them; this year’s converts only five. Considering that this year’s team is also far worse at converting on fourth down (12 of 24 compared with 10 of 13 last year), that means ’Bama’s offense is losing at least two drives a game because of this regression in third-down efficiency. What gives?Cautious play-calling. Without the protective blanket of Amari Cooper, the all-world receiver who bettered Alabama’s single-season receiving yards record by more than 50 percent last year, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has resorted to the conservative play-calling that defined his ill-fated tenure at USC. (Seriously, Google “Kiffin bubble screen” to get a taste of how the Trojan fan base felt about his play-calling when he was the head coach there.) With relatively untested Coker under center, Kiffin will all too often call for quick throws out near the sideline to receivers Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart, who then proceed to get tackled before crossing the sticks. I call these wasted completions, though of course that’s oversimplifying things. By moving the ball down the field even a little bit, ’Bama sets itself up for a better punt, field-goal attempt or even fourth-down try. (Although as noted above, the latter doesn’t really help.) Most of the time, the receivers stay inbounds, so it also wastes time. That’s generally OK, too, because most ’Bama games turn into a slow march to drain the clock. But still, a first down is always better than a fourth down, and Alabama would be extending its drives significantly more often if the team simply ran plays that allowed receivers to catch the ball beyond the yellow line. That’s a play-calling problem, exacerbated by a personnel problem, and one that could come back to haunt the Tide in the national championship game.Of course, with Alabama’s incredibly efficient defense picking up the slack, it may not. Did you notice the team going 1-12 on third down while it was dismantling Georgia 38-10 earlier this season? Or 4-12 while squeezing the life out of Michigan State in the semifinals? If you’re a spoiled ’Bama fan (like me), you probably did. Otherwise you simply watched the Tide roll. read more

Xavi finally accepts his similarities with Arthur Melo

first_imgDuring his long interview with Catalunya Radio, Xavi Hernandez finally took some time to talk about the comparisons with Arthur Melo.The main conversation at FC Barcelona besides Lionel Messi is Brazilian Arthur Melo, everybody is calling him the new “Xavi” due to the style of play that is very reminiscent to the one that the Catalan player practices.A central midfielder who has a unique talent to protect the ball, always make the best passing choice because of his GPS-like qualities inside the pitch, and with an insane last pass that will bring him a high number of assists playing for a club like Barcelona.One match is all that Arthur needed to earn the trust of the manager and the respect of all his teammates, who are really enjoying the club’s offensive game which left the club when Xavi retired.There hadn’t been a public opinion from Hernandez where he spoke freely about the Brazilian until now, Xavi is very happy with Arthur’s appearance in Barcelona and he did confess that there are many similarities between the two of them that will help the Catalan club a great deal during crucial matches.VÍDEO. Què opina Xavi sobre Arthur? Aquest dimecres no et perdis la conversa amb @RTorquemada al ‘Parlem de futbol amb…’Escolta la primera part de l’entrevista a @latdt del Cultural Leonesa a partir de les 20.30h a @catalunyaradio! pic.twitter.com/cCXvnjxAuQ— LaTdT (@LaTdT) October 30, 2018“I see myself when I see Arthur on television. He is a very quick thinker. He has a natural talent, but most of all, he has a lot of room to improve through training,” finally said Xavi on Catalunya Radio. “Arthur is already a mature player and I still see that he has a massive untapped potential. The priority during any match is to never lose the ball, he comes out of a tricky situation with ease and he has a strong personality already.”“He needs at least twenty more matches in order to show all his resources. He has impressive shooting skills and he will do a lot more for the team once he gets more confidence.”“Take Abidal for example, when he arrived in Barcelona he only did a couple things right. But through hard work and dedication during practice, he became the best defender in the world.”“Nothing comes easy in a club like FC Barcelona because playing in that club, means that you are going through the final exam of your career. In a club like this, you have to do at least two hundred things that you wouldn’t normally do in other clubs.”Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…“Getting an OK grade at Barça is not good enough, you have to always be excellent in everything,” he added.A @LaTdT, @RTorquemada parla de futbol amb Xavi Hernández. La retirada, Arthur… i Messi: “És un motlle fet per al futbol” https://t.co/ylLQCNd0Nv pic.twitter.com/uOPEKtE31d— Catalunya Ràdio (@CatalunyaRadio) October 30, 2018“In Barcelona you have players who always have to set the trend and play in that particular style, that’s why you always have to sign the players who are adapted to that specific game philosophy,” Xavi continued.“Signing a player like Arthur was a major hit for the club, he has the Barça DNA. You can already tell by the way he plays, how he conducts the ball, the way he thinks, how he makes his turns, he is a very quick thinker.”“There are other players who have come and they are not Barça style in the past. There are some transfers that have been a clear miss for the club, great players who had to leave because they don’t have the Barça philosophy.”“We haven’t lost the style and doing so would be a massive historical mistake. There are many players in the world who play the Barça style and we have found one, fortunately: Arthur. But there are more players who can do it, like Marco Verratti.”“But in order to keep finding those players, you have to keep trusting the philosophy and help it prevail,” he concluded.Primero El Clásico para siempre en la memoria. ¡Gran partido de nuestro equipo! #forçabarça 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/yt1KgEsV0m— Arthur Melo (@arthurhromelo) October 28, 2018What do you think about Xavi Hernandez’s analysis of Arthur Melo’s similarities with his game? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Indian IT companies support over 4 lakh jobs in US says Nasscom

first_imgIndian IT companies have been playing a big role in creating jobs in the US besides being responsible for generating million of jobs at home.According to a report released by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the Indian IT companies currently support over 4 lakh jobs directly or indirectly in the US, including 3 lakh jobs held by its citizens and permanent residents.”Indian IT organizations benefit from access to the U.S. market, just as American IT organizations benefit from their investments and operations in India,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said while introducing the report on the sidelines of US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.The annual growth of jobs created by India-based IT firms in the US stood at 10% from 2011 to 2014, which is six times more than the average employment growth rate of 1.7% in the country in those years, Firstpost stated citing the report, titled “Contributions of India’s Tech Industry to the U.S. Economy”.”This momentum is surely going to increase manifold with new partnership opportunities emerging in the areas of Digital India and Smart Cities for American technology firms,” Sitharaman added.According to the report, California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Ohio, Washington, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are the states that saw the highest number of job offers by the Indian IT companies.The report showed that domestic companies had made investments worth $2 billion during 2011-13, paying $22.5 billion in taxes to the US government in the same period.”The two-way flow of investments and intellectual talent is central to the growing commercial and strategic relationships between India and the US,” said Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar.Besides this, the Indian companies carried out philanthropic activities impacting over 120,000 American lives in 2011-2013, the Nasscom report said.last_img read more

Bus driver held again over Akifas death

first_imgAkifa. File PhotoThe driver of ‘Ganjeraj Paribahan’ bus was arrested on Wednesday after a Kushtia court cancelled his bail in a case filed over the death of a baby girl in a road accident in the district town on 28 August.Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested the bus driver Mahit Mia alias Khokon from Bangeswari area in Faridpur sadar upazila, said additional superintendent of police in Kushtia Muhaimenul Rashid, reports UNB.On Tuesday, senior judicial magistrate MM Morshed issued arrest warrants against the bus owner Joynal Abedin and driver Khokon following a petition filed by Kushtia model police station sub-inspector Sumon Quaderi, also the investigation officer of the case.Presenting evidences before the court in support of holding the bus owner and driver responsible for the incident, the IO prayed to it for cancelling their bail.Later, the court issued the arrest warrants cancelling their bail, granted by the magistrate on Monday.A RAB team arrested the bus owner Joynal Abedin from his house in Faridpur district town on Sunday.Besides, Khokon surrendered before the court on Monday morning.Akifa, a one-year-old daughter of one Harunur Rashid, sustained injuries after she fell from her mother Rina Akter’s lap when a bus of ‘Ganjeraj Paribahan’ hit her in Kushtia district town on 28 August.Later, the child died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on 30 August.The victim’s father filed a case against bus driver Khokon, its owner Joynul and supervisor Yunus with Kushita model police station on the same day.The video footage of the incident went viral on social networking site, Facebook, sparking uproar across the country.last_img read more

DIG Mizan sent to jail

first_imgMizanur RahmanA Dhaka court on Tuesday sent suspended deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Mizanur Rahman to jail in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).Judge of KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka senior special court passed the order after police produced him before the court in the case, reports UNB.On Monday, the High Court rejected a petition filed by the DIG seeking anticipatory bail in the case and handed him over to Shahbagh police station.ACC director Manzur Morshed filed the case against Mizan, his wife Sohelia Anar Ratna, nephew sub-inspector Mahmudul Hasan and younger brother Mahabubur Rahman on 24 June last.They were accused of accumulating wealth worth Tk 302,868,000 illegally and concealing information of assets amounting to Tk 30,705,000.A private TV channel reported recently that Mizan gave Tk 4 million to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director Khandaker Enamul Basir to get clean chit in a corruption case.DIG Mizan was an additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP). He was withdrawn on 9 January last year following the allegation of threatening a female news presenter of a private television channel.He had also reportedly married a woman forcibly and tortured her. Mizan allegedly picked the 25-year-old woman up in July, 2017 and then forcibly married her.He had also implicated her in a false case whereby she was arrested and remained in jail for three weeks.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Wed Mar 15

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uDr. Stacey Patton of Morgan State University, penned an opinion piece, which appeared in the New York Times called, “Stop Beating Black Children.” Tonight at 5, we open the phone lines to ask our listeners, is beating children still an acceptable or effective way of disciplining them? Also, the  Mod Squad, Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network, report on law enforcement and politics, including two more Baltimore City Police officers suspended in connection with the seven charged with racketeering.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img read more

Some dramatic celebrations in order

first_imgNot so much a part of the music scene? Prefer theatre insted? Here’s some great news for you. Sahitya Kala Parishad ,Department of Art, Culture and Languages under the Government of Delhi presents the Bhartendu Natya Utsav 2013. Starting 18 March, this theatre festival is spread over eight days at the Shri Ram Centre and will play host to eight plays over the span of the festival. Kicking off on 18 March, Monday – Laila Majnu is the first play scheduled to be staged. Over the next week plays like Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Ek Kutte Ki Kahaani, Chitralekhaa, Anaavrit, Uljhan, Kissa Maujpur Ka, Metamorphosis and Seventeen. Plays start from 6:30 pm everyday and entry for all is free.Sahitya Kala Parishad, the cultural wing of the Government of NCT of Delhi was setup in 1968 for the promotion and propagation of Art and Culture in Delhi. As one of the most interactive department of the Delhi Government, Sahitya Kala Parishad for the past three decades and more has been carrying out its mandate with full vigor and dedication. The Parishad has, on one hand, revived and projected the age old, time tested traditions of the country and on the other hand, it has tried to encourage and provide platform to the new and innovative trends in plastic and performing arts which represent our lives and times.DETAILVenue: Shri Ram Centre, 4 Safdar Hasmi Marg, Mandi HouseDate: 18 to 25 Marchlast_img read more

OVL seeks financial autonomy to invest 1 bn

first_imgONGC Videsh Ltd has sought greater financial autonomy to decide on investments of up to $1 billion (about Rs 6,400 crore) without government nod to speed up acquisition of overseas oil and gas fields.Board of OVL, the overseas arm of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp, currently has powers to decide on investment of up to Rs 300 crore. An amount higher than that has to first go to an Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) and then to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash“We are seeking at least Navratna PSU status for OVL… $1 billion investment powers should be granted to us,” the company’s Managing Director Narendra K Verma told reporters here. Navratna status gives boards of public sector units financial powers to decide on investment projects of up to Rs 3,000 crore. “We are are seeking more than Navranta powers,” he said. “We are seeking powers to decide on investments of up to $1 billion.” Greater financial powers will help the company make quicker decisions on acquiring oil and gas assets abroad. Verma said the Rs 300 crore financial power for OVL was set in 2000 when the rupee-US dollar exchange rate was completely different. “Right now Rs 300 crore is nothing,” he said. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsOVL has 35 projects in 16 countries from Brazil to New Zealand and is looking at certain acquisitions in oil and gas rich regions.Navranta PSU status is granted to a state firm if it has made consistent profits above a certain level. One of the conditions for grant of Navranta status is that the company should be listed on stock exchanges. “Listing is a requirement but there exemptions can also be granted,” he said. OVL is currently 100 per cent owned by the ONGC. Recently the parent firm turned down a request from the Department of Disinvestment (DoD) to get the company listed saying low oil prices do not offer favourable valuations.  “I don’t think this is the ideal time to list an oil exploration company. Low oil prices are not ideal time for listing,” Verma said. “Our portfolio predominately consists of exploration assets and a few producing properties. Markets typically do not fully value exploration assets and all our exploration assets will not get true valuations,” he added.He said the company does not need funds and has been raising loans from parent ONGC as well as the market to meet cost of acquisitions and development of assets.The company has Rs 6,614 crore loan from ONGC and another Rs 29,000 crore from the market. The Rs 5,000 crore ONGC loan is being converted into equity, he said.Listing will lead to certain other stipulations including change of ownership. “Currently we are seamlessly integrated with ONGC and all our requirements of funds, technology and manpower are fully met from ONGC. Listing will change that,” he said.Also, it is challenging to value assets during times of low oil prices. “I do not want to comment on the issue (of government seeking listing of OVL) but I can explain to you the rationale for a listing. A company is listed to leverage additional financial resources. We are leveraging debt financing,” he said.Converting Rs 5,000 crore ONGC loan into equity will raise the equity capital of OVL to Rs 15,000 crore, Verma said. This will improve its debt-to-equity ratio and help it independently raise funds on the strength of its own balance sheet instead of relying on ONGC’s financial status. ONGC had in 2013 done a similar loan-to-equity conversion for OVL.last_img read more

Virgin Voyages Epic Sea Change 10 commission and elimination of NCFs

first_img Posted by Tags: Ancillary Fees, Commission, Virgin Voyages << Previous PostNext Post >> Virgin Voyages’ Epic Sea Change: 10% commission and elimination of NCFs Tuesday, January 29, 2019 center_img MIAMI — If we needed any proof that Virgin Voyages really does want to work with travel agents, here it is: the cruise line is offering a base commission of 10% and says it will eliminate non-commissionable fees (NCFs).The end of NCFs means agents can earn on everything, says Virgin. The cruise line’s first ship, the Scarlet Lady, sets sail in 2020 with three more ships on the way, all geared to an adults-only market. Agent registration opened Dec. 31, 2018 on FirstMates.com, Virgin’s dedicated online platform for travel sellers.Virgin says its base ticket prices include all food, basic beverages, workout classes, gratuities and more, with 10% commission on the entire transaction.The cruise line says its sales strategy “was built from research conducted with travel professionals and potential Sailors with the specific aim of abolishing long-standing pain-points.”The company confirmed the elimination of NCFs and says it’s banishing nickel-and-diming from passengers.“You asked us to work with you to build a strong partnership, so we’re excited to announce one of the most rewarding travel partner programs ever created,” says Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages. “We are committed to delivering an ‘Epic Sea Change’ by getting rid of the things that annoy you and offering incredible value and experiences for your clients.”No part of a booking with Virgin Voyages is non-commissionable, so agents will earn across their client’s entire transaction, he added. This includes all add-ons like flights, hotel stays, voyage protection, ‘Shore Things’ (shore excursions), spa treatments, any premium package, ‘Sailor Loot’ (onboard credits) and even taxes and fees.“While the debate is often about this percent versus that one, the underlying issue travel professionals have is not being compensated for their hard work on the entire sale. With Virgin Voyages you will be,” says Stacy Shaw, Vice President of Sales for Virgin Voyages.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT“With our combination of premium pricing that includes so much more, no NCFs and the ability to earn on everything you sell, total dollars earned on every sale with us will be more. Percentages don’t matter, total dollars do.”Consistent with its aim for no nickel and diming, Virgin Voyages unveiled further details on its value proposition for ‘Sailors’ (passengers) including abolishing a major pain point for consumers – gratuities.The base ticket fare for all Virgin Voyages sailings “will be incredible value for Sailors with all eateries, group fitness classes, basic beverages and now gratuities in the voyage fare,” says the company. “These things are always included and not tied to a short-term promotion.”With a more inclusive ‘Rebellious Luxe’ experience, agents have the opportunity to sell voyages based on the total value proposition rather than price and to reach a new client base, which translates to more commission earned.Continuing with the ‘Epic Sea Change’, Virgin Voyages also confirmed that it is eliminating penalties and change fees.Booking policies have been designed to appeal to passengers who are serious about sailing but also offer flexibility after booking.Passengers and agents can hold cabins for 24 hours with no money down. Once they’ve placed a 20% non-refundable deposit, they’ll have a grace period of seven days where they may change their mind for any reason at all. Passengers and agents may also change voyage dates and names on bookings without penalties or fees.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalVirgin Voyages is introducing a base commission of 10% on the entire transaction, with nothing held back or excluded.In addition, all agents or affiliated organizations can earn a ‘Red Hot Bonus’ paid annually on sailed revenue up to an additional six percent if they meet certain production thresholds.“We’re giving 10 a makeover. Our First Mates asked us for something simple and they’ll be able to earn more total dollars on every transaction with Virgin Voyages. So it simply isn’t the same old 10, we call that ‘The Perfect 10,’” said Shaw.FirstMates.com is currently registering travel agencies and individual travel sellers to do business with Virgin Voyages in advance of the company opening voyages for bookings on Feb. 14.Beginning Feb. 5, FirstMates.com will offer all of the tools needed for agents to become immersed in everything Virgin Voyages has to offer including downloadable digital and in-store marketing materials, interactive learning materials and more.All individual agents who register to do business with Virgin Voyages before Feb. 14, will have the opportunity to enter to win afternoon tea with Sir Richard Branson. Agents must opt in to sweepstakes by 11:59 EST on Feb. 13 to qualify.Virgin Voyages will also host an immersive learning campaign beginning Feb. 6 called Cabin Fever, which will help agents learn about cabins and RockStar suites, a key product differentiator.Any agency or individual seeking assistance with registration from Virgin Voyages’ Sales Crew can reach out at FirstMates@virginvoyages.com or by call 1-833-VVSAILS. Travelweek Group Sharelast_img read more

TripAdvisor review system remains under a cloud

first_imgThe screening processes of TripAdvisor remain firmly under the spotlight as the travel review website faces renewed allegations of manipulation of reviews and ratings by hoteliers. Among the recent criticisms made of TripAdvisor were those published in an article in the UK’s Telegraph, which claimed that two readers had been offered nearly US$300 by an English hotel to delete a negative review they had posted of the property. A London restaurant that was not even open ranked as the 17th best in the city, the newspaper also reported.After just nine reviews made over two weeks, the restaurant, which appeared briefly in the British capital last summer, was ranked by TripAdvisor as the 11th best in the capital (out of nearly 10,000) – before falling to 76th place after it had closed. Then, just one month after the submission of three fake reviews (two of which were identical) in mid-February by reputation management company, Kwikchex, the restaurant had risen to the 17th best in London.   “Such case studies blow apart TripAdvisor’s claims about sophisticated filtering systems, and illustrate how unreliable its reviews are,” Kwikchex founder Chris Emmins said. In another case, following the publication of a negative review they had posted of a property in Gloucestershire (UK), two guests were offered a refund of GB£180 (US$287) by hotel management under the proviso they remove their scathing review, which criticised the hotel’s “bland” food, “dusty” rooms, “noisy” fellow guests and “brusque” staff. The regular TripAdvisor users subsequently declined the offer.A third incident brought to light the glowing appraisal of a luxury Caribbean resort, which was later discovered to have been submitted by an investor of the hotel. Fellow shareholders had written “at least half” of the other reviews of the property, the investor claimed in a later posting.Since 2010, Kwikchex has been campaigning for TripAdvisor to accept only reviews from authenticated patrons rather than anonymous users, the Telegraph reported.However, TripAdvisor backs the “integrity” of its content, which it says is “fundamental” to its success.  “Without it, we wouldn’t have the loyalty we enjoy from the 50 million visitors who use our site each month,” the website stated.”We stand by the proven model we already have in place, because we believe all travellers, not just the one individual who made the reservation or has the receipt, are entitled to share their honest feedback about where they have stayed. “Requiring a proof of stay would dramatically reduce the number of reviews on the site, and we know from user feedback that our visitors value both the quantity and quality of the reviews available.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Existing Home Sales to Pick Up in September Market Shifts to Buyers

first_imgExisting Home Sales to Pick Up in September; Market Shifts to Buyer’s Favor Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News Auction.com Buyer’s Market Existing-Home Sales Realtor.com 2015-09-29 Staff Writercenter_img September 29, 2015 518 Views Existing home sales had a less than promising performance in August, but Auction.com’s Real Estate Nowcast projects that they will pick back up in September.Auction.com predicts that existing home sales for the month of September will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.23 and 5.57 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.4 million, an increase of 1.7 percent from August and 5.9 percent from a year ago.”While the modest growth that the Auction.com Real Estate Nowcast predicts for September will not be enough to completely recoup all of the losses experienced in August, it shows that sales are expected to move back in the right direction and maintain solid year-over-year progress,” the report said.”All the right underpinnings are in place to support continued demand, from improving labor markets and wage growth to a more approachable lending environment.”According to Auction.com, home prices have also experienced recent declines on a seasonally adjusted basis, but remain healthy. The Nowcast predicts that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $216,372 and $239,148 in the month of September, with a targeted price of $227,760, an 8.9 percent year-over-year increase.“All the right underpinnings are in place to support continued demand, from improving labor markets and wage growth to a more approachable lending environment,” said Peter Muoio, Auction.com chief economist. “That said, we’re expecting growth to assume a much more modest pace as we approach the end of 2015.”Realtor.com also released their ‘Advance Read of September Trends’ report Tuesday.The data shows home price declines and increased time on the market has moved the September housing market from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. This transition means that it is easier for buyers to purchase a home compared to any other time so far this year.“The spring and summer home-buying seasons were especially tough on potential buyers this year with increasing prices and limited supply,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “Buyers who are open to a fall or winter purchase should find some relief with lower prices and less competition from other buyers. However, year-over-year comparisons show that fall buyers will have it tougher than last year as the housing market continues to show improvement.”Median list prices are also falling from July’s peak as demand in a seasonally weaker period, the report found. Inventory has also peaked for 2015, which means that buyers will not have as many choices for the rest of the year.The national median list price is $230,000, down 1 percent over August and up 6 percent year-over-year. Inventory levels stand at 80 days, up 6.7 percent from August, but down 5 percent year-over-year. Realtor.com predicts that listings inventory will end the month 0.5 percent lower than August’s numbers.Click here to view Auction.com’s Nowcast.last_img read more

March 22 2017ANDREAS KAPSALIS returns to Arcosant

first_imgMarch 22, 2017ANDREAS KAPSALIS returns to Arcosanti for a Solo Guitar Performance in the Arcosanti cafe on Sunday afternoon, March 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm. “I am very impressed that Andreas could cover on guitar what I had written for piano. It is quite amazing to hear my own music performed by great instrumentalists.” – Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer“Andreas is reinventing the art of guitar playing. He is the next level.” – Jim Tulio, Grammy Award winning producerConcert Ticket: $20 ($10 for students)
Buffet Lunch available at Cafe: $10For ticket purchase, please call 928.632.6217Andreas Kapsalis is a Greek American guitarist and composer born in the suburbs of Chicago. His first exposure to music was through his mother, Frances, a student of opera, and his father Peter, a violinist. Andreas began teaching himself guitar at the age of 11, reading and writing music as well as music theory. At the age of 18 he suffered a hand injury; during his recovery period, he began developing his 10 finger tapping techniques. Under the tutelage of composer and producer Jim Tullio, a student of Aaron Copland, he refined his compositional approach on the guitar using these techniques. Tullio produced Andreas’ first EP with Andreas’ arrangement of Dave Brubeck’s composition Blue Rondo a la Turk, which garnered attention from the composer himself, who said “I am very impressed that Andreas could cover on guitar what I had written for piano. It is quite amazing to hear my own music performed by great instrumentalists.”Andreas began performing nationally with the Andreas Kapsalis Trio and recorded two discs featuring his compositions. While performing in LA, he was invited to apply for the Sundance Composers Labs. He was awarded the fellowship, an honor awarded to only six composers a year. This was his initiation into film composing. At the end of the Sundance Composers Lab, Andreas was invited by the directors to complete a score for their documentary film “Black Gold” among the documentaries selected for the January premier at the Sundance Film Festival. Founder of the Sundance Institute and Festival, Robert Redford, noted this was the first time in Sundance Institute history that documentary fellows and a composer fellow had an “official selection” at the Sundance Film Festival. Subsequently, he composed scores for several documentary and feature films such as “Pig Business” and “Mulberry Street” to name a few. He also has been commissioned by Northwestern University and Notre Dame to compose music for their silent film festivals as well. Following this, Andreas performed and recorded several discs with Polish singer/contra bassist Megitza and the AKGI duo. He has been performing internationally, solo and in various ensembles for festivals and concert series in North America, Europe and Asia, such as Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Calcutta Guitar Festival in India, the Canadian Guitar Festival and the Guitar Festival in the Phillipines.In addition, concerts have taken place in Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia. 
Most recently Andreas was invited to Armenia to participate in “Sounds of Peace” a musical exchange featuring 60 artists from 10 different countries. Throughout his career he has also enjoyed teaching guitar for many years, first at the Kapsalis Music Shoppe, Elgin Community College, and Northwestern University Mini Courses. Being very much a self taught musician with a relatively unique playing technique and musical perspective, together with the variety of cultural experiences in the world of music, and as a traveler, Andreas continues to be inspired and eager to share the beauty of music and how it can enrich one’s life. Among his many projects, Andreas is composing and arranging pieces for a solo album.last_img read more

House approves Rep Vaupels plan protecting Michigan children

first_img08May House approves Rep. Vaupel’s plan protecting Michigan children Measure gives parents more opportunities to choose health care coverageThe Michigan House this week unanimously approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Hank Vaupel to help children have access to affordable health care coverage.Vaupel’s plan allows parents involved in certain court proceedings to meet legal requirements by having their children enrolled in affordable public health care coverage programs.Current Michigan law requires parents involved in child custody or divorce cases to provide their children with health care coverage through employment or private coverage. This new plan would allow parents to enroll their child in an affordable and accessible public health care plan to meet their obligations.“This plan gives parents more opportunities to ensure their children are getting health care coverage for long-lasting health benefits,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “With these changes, Michigan would be in compliance with federal guidelines, ensuring parents can afford a health care plan fitting the needs of their children.”House Bills 4304-05 now move to the Senate for further consideration.### Categories: Vaupel Newslast_img read more