XXX The Return of Xander Cage: Deepika Padukone and Vin Diesel’s first look is out

first_imgDeepika Padukone’s Hollywood debut has been the talk of the town for a while now. Deepika recently flew down to the US to begin the shoot for her first Hollywood film XXX The Return of Xander Cage. She will be seen opposite Vin Diesel in the action flick, directed by DJ Caruso.Vin, who plays the role of Xander Cage in the film, took to Instagram to share the first look with Deepika. The Bajirao Mastani actor will be seen playing Serena in the film. He captioned the image: “First day of filming…Xander and Serena…P.s. 17 million beautiful souls. Thanks for the love (sic).” He also shared one more picture from the sets on Facebook. In the pictures, Vin has gone shirtless actor sporting numerous tattoo and Deepika looks stunning in her racy avatar. Director DJ Caruso also shared a picture on Twitter and  wrote, “#academyaward winner #Russellcarpenter sets his 1st shot with @deepikapadukone. #xandercagereturns #xxx3  stunning (sic).” Deepika has been working out really hard for the film. From a lot of weight training to a heavy protein diet, she is all set to pull off all stunt sequences in the action flick. In an earlier, Deepika had said, “In the few two or three interactions that I have had with him (Vin Diesel), he is just a very warm person. He is very generous among most of my co-stars that I have worked with. I think it will be a fun experience working with him.”Apart from Deepika and Vin, the film also stars Nina Dobrev, Samuel L Jackson, Ruby Rose, Jet Li and Tony Jaa.advertisementlast_img read more

Pakistan Cricket Board buys bulletproof buses to woo back visiting teams

first_imgThe Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has bought four bulletproof buses in its effort to try and convince other international teams to shed their security apprehensions and visit the country. (Misbah leads the way for Pakistan with maiden Lord’s ton on Day 1)Pakistan has largely been shunned by teams since 2009 when gunmen attacked a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, injuring six players and killing six security personnel and two civilians. (After jail and ban, Mohammad Amir returns to scene of crime)The incident has forced Pakistan to play their ‘home’ matches at the United Arab Emirates and the country has since remained starved of international cricket at home, barring Zimbabwe’s limited-overs tour in 2015.EFFORTS DOUBLED BY PCB”We have bought these four Coaster buses as part of our efforts to revive international cricket in the country,” a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. (Sorry no talent! Shahid Afridi blasts Pakistan cricket)”There will be high expectations from teams willing to visit Pakistan and we want to ensure that we provide them with the best possible arrangements.”Having these bulletproof vehicles would play a major part in convincing teams (about security arrangements).”The spokesman said PCB wanted to host the final of the Pakistan Super League, the inaugural edition of which was held in UAE earlier this year.”We have to have discussions with the (overseas) players about their safety and security and I think this new addition in our security facilities will definitely give us an edge,” the spokesman said.”Our ultimate goal is to revive international cricket, and we are doing our best to make sure we can.”advertisementlast_img read more

Messi selfless after winning award

first_imgLionel Messi Messi hails Barcelona team-mates after European Golden Shoe triumph Ben Spratt Last updated 1 year ago 02:31 11/25/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Lionel Messi Barcelona Getty Images Lionel Messi Barcelona Primera División The Argentine star picked up the award for the fourth time on Friday and thanked his colleagues for helping him to 37 league goals Lionel Messi paid tribute to his Barcelona team-mates after collecting a fourth European Golden Shoe award.The Argentina star scored 37 La Liga goals last season to clinch the honour and move level with Cristiano Ronaldo as a four-time winner, having previously topped Europe’s scoring charts in 2010, 2012 and 2013.UCL top scorer odds: Messi 7/1 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But Messi was quick to point out he could not have found the net on such an outstandingly consistent basis without the help of his fellow players at Camp Nou.”I’ve always said the individual prizes are won by the team,” he said. “If the team is doing well then we have the fortune to be able to pick up these awards.”It is true that this prize belongs to everybody. Without them I wouldn’t have scored all the goals I did last season. It is for the whole group.”Lionel Messi Luis SuarezScarily for opponents across the continent, Messi feels he is getting better with age as he again leads the way for goals in La Liga this season, with 12 to his name from as many matches.”I always said I don’t consider myself a striker,” the 30-year-old said. “I have been lucky to score a lot of goals.”I think I have grown on and off the field. On it, I have been getting better, adding things to my game and every day I enjoy being a footballer more.”last_img read more

Working to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases

first_imgPosted on October 13, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)MHTF partner, The Global Network for Tropical Diseases and the World Health Organization cordially invite you to a reception marking the release of the first-ever WHO report on Neglected Tropical Diseases, “Working to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases.” The program will include remarks from two renowned leaders in NTD research and advocacy: Wednesday, October 20, 20105:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.1777 F Street, NW Washington, D.C. 8th Floor The World Health Organization (WHO) will release its first comprehensive report on the state of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), “Working to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases,” on Thursday, October 14, 2010. The reception will highlight the report which assesses global progress, takes stock of achievements and identifies the future challenges that impact the control and elimination of NTDs.center_img Dr. Lorenzo Svaioli, Director, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHODr. Peter Hotez, President, Sabin Vaccine InstituteTo RSVP, please visit this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Publication du rapport intérimaire révisé

first_imgLa Commission indépendante de délimitation des circonscriptions électorales a soumis son rapport intérimaire révisé au ministre de la Justice, aujourd’hui 20 juillet. La Commission avait publié son rapport intérimaire le 1er juin dernier. La révision du rapport intérimaire a été effectuée à la suite d’une lettre datée du 14 juin de la part du ministre de la Justice, Ross Landry, indiquant qu’il n’était pas en mesure d’accepter le rapport intérimaire tel que soumis parce que le mandat donné à la Commission était obligatoire et non pas un simple guide. Après avoir été avisé que le mandat était juridiquement contraignant, le ministre a déclaré le rapport intérimaire nul et a demandé à la Commission de préparer un rapport intérimaire révisé qui respecte entièrement son mandat. « Nous avons pris les directives du ministre très au sérieux, a dit Teresa MacNeil, présidente de la Commission. Comme dans le rapport intérimaire, il a été difficile de respecter la parité relative du nombre d’électeurs dans les limites établies. Toutefois, nous sommes d’avis que le document actuel démontre que le mandat a été entièrement respecté. Nous avons hâte d’entente les commentaires des Néo-Écossais lors de notre deuxième série de rencontres publiques. » Le rapport intérimaire révisé met l’accent sur les circonscriptions protégées et sur les soumissions présentées par les Néo-Écossais depuis le 1er juin. Tel que requis, le nombre d’électeurs dans chaque circonscription électorale de la province ne varie pas plus de 25 p. 100 du nombre moyen d’électeurs. La Commission propose : qu’il y ait 51 membres dans l’Assemblée législative; que trois circonscriptions soient éliminées, c’est-à-dire une au Cap-Breton, une dans le nord-est de la Nouvelle-Écosse et une dans le sud-ouest de la Nouvelle-Écosse; que deux nouvelles circonscriptions (Fairview-Clayton Park et Sackville-Beaver Bank) soient créées dans la région d’Halifax. La circonscription de Preston sera étendue pour inclure des parties des circonscriptions de Cole Harbour et Dartmouth, et sera renommée Dartmouth-Preston. La nouvelle circonscription proposée se rapproche de la région urbaine de la MRH. La circonscription de Richmond sera étendue pour inclure des sections de Cape Breton West et de la ville de Port Hawkesbury, et sera renommée Cape Breton-Southwest. Les circonscriptions de Clare et d’Argyle seront fusionnées à la circonscription adjacente de Yarmouth. La circonscription proposée de Yarmouth-Argyle inclura la ville de Yarmouth et le district d’Argyle. La circonscription proposée de Clare-Yarmouth inclura le reste du district de Yarmouth et le district de Clare. Les ajustements des limites dans les autres circonscriptions ont été guidés par l’objectif de la parité relative du nombre d’électeurs, dans la mesure du possible. En ce qui a trait aux circonscriptions protégées, la Commission propose ce qui suit : La deuxième série de rencontres publiques débutera le mardi 7 août à Port Hawkesbury. Le rapport final doit être soumis au gouvernement au plus tard le vendredi 31 août. La Commission de délimitation des circonscriptions électorales a été nommée à la fin décembre 2010 pour établir un maximum de 52 sièges à l’Assemblée législative et pour maximiser la parité du pouvoir électoral. Elle a été chargée de créer des circonscriptions dont la population varie seulement de plus ou de moins de 25 p. 100 du nombre moyen d’électeurs. Elle était aussi chargée de fournir des conseils sur la façon dont les législateurs peuvent aborder les préoccupations liées aux régions géographiques, à l’histoire et aux intérêts communautaires, ainsi qu’à la diversité linguistique et culturelle, particulièrement en ce qui a trait aux populations acadienne et afro-néo-écossaise. Le rapport intérimaire révisé et l’horaire complet des rencontres publiques peuvent être consultés sur le site Web read more

Vancouver shuts down Downtown Eastside residence due to deplorable negligence

first_imgVANCOUVER – The City of Vancouver is shutting down a decrepit residence on the Downtown Eastside, where some of the city’s most vulnerable have been living in what the CEO of a non-profit housing society said are mould- and feces-ridden conditions.Janice Abbott, the CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society, which took over management of the Regent Hotel about three months ago, said the building is in horrific condition.An order was issued Wednesday giving the occupants eight days notice to leave the building and the province is offering tenancy at one of two nearby buildings it recently purchased.Atira Women’s Resource Society was in negotiations with the building’s owners, the Sahota family, for about 18 months before reaching an agreement to take over management of it, Abbott said.While the building appeared relatively clean each time she visited it during the negotiation period, Abbott said it was a different story once she was able to visit without giving advance notice and had the opportunity to meet people in their rooms.It’s still difficult to estimate how many actual tenants there are, because there were about 100 extra people sleeping in hallways, stairwells and elevators, she said.“There was mould in the rooms, ceilings had collapsed under the weight of water ingress, people were living without health care or attention from the health-care system,” Abbott said. “So unrelated to the shape of their rooms, they would be living in their own feces, urine-soaked mattresses.”This, in addition to rampant violence against women, assaults and cases of tenants being forced out of their rooms by others who wanted to rent them out, Abbott said.Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the Regent Hotel has been the subject of more than 1,000 outstanding bylaw violations, including 445 that were referred for prosecution.“After many years of deplorable negligence by the owners of the Regent Hotel, the city and province must intervene for the safety and well-being of tenants,” Robertson said in a statement.The city’s chief building official determined that, due to decades of underinvestment and mismanagement by the building’s owners, structural and life-safety deficiencies constitute unsafe living conditions.About 80 residents will have the option to move into one of two buildings called the Jubilee Rooms on nearby Main Street, which the province recently purchased for $12.5 million.With the support of Atira and other service providers, including RainCity Housing, approximately 50 Regent tenants already have moved to other locations in the past several weeks.The Sahotas could not immediately be reached for comment.last_img read more

BC First Nation wont be able to return home for months after

first_imgMembers of a tiny First Nation in northwest British Columbia remain scattered across the province in hotels and relatives’ homes after fleeing destructive wildfires this summer.It will take months to clean up the damage in Tahltan First Nation territory in Telegraph Creek, which was devastated by four wildfires that merged into one 1,180-square-kilometre blaze in August, said Chief Rick McLean.Crews must clear debris and burned-out houses, ensure the water is drinkable, restore police and health services and even restock store shelves, he said. Rebuilding 21 destroyed homes can’t even begin until spring, when the ground isn’t frozen.“It’s mixed emotions,” McLean said. “Some people are happy they got out and have their safety and lives. Other people are taking it a little bit harder after losing all their stuff, everything.”The 2018 wildfire season was the worst in B.C. in terms of land burned, scorching more than 13,000 square kilometres. The flames hit First Nations especially hard and sparked complaints of poor funding and communication with Indigenous groups.The federal government is responsible for funding emergency planning for First Nations on reserve lands, while the province funds regional districts. Indigenous groups say the result is a complicated, bureaucratic system that left them ill-prepared.McLean said the Tahltan did not have adequate resources to battle wildfires. Its fire department runs on $10,000 a year, he said, which is not nearly enough given that maintaining and fuelling a fire truck costs several thousand dollars on its own.But he said he spoke in mid-August with Premier John Horgan, who raised his concerns with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Since then McLean has had further talks with the province and Indigenous Services Canada and believes they’ll help the nation rebuild.“Between (government funds) and our insurance, if you put all the pieces together, we hope to come up with enough to rebuild those homes that were lost and rebuild the community,” he said.Mobile homes will eventually be set up in the community for people whose houses were destroyed, said Kristina Michaud, who lives in Prince George but whose family is from Telegraph Creek.“It’s been difficult,” she said. “There are still lots of people who are in need and who are still displaced from the fires.”A benefit concert was recently held in Whitehorse and the First Nation is also accepting donations of money and furniture, said Michaud.“The whole nation has taken a hit. Even the homes that are still standing suffered a great amount of either water damage or smoke damage,” she said.“Our wildlife has been significantly hit hard. Even our rivers, we may not even be able to go home and fish for a few summers.”Forests Ministry spokeswoman Vivian Thomas confirmed Horgan spoke with McLean in August and raised the chief’s concerns about training and resources with Trudeau.The prime minister met with Horgan during a cabinet retreat in Nanaimo, said Rachel Rappaport, an Indigenous Services Canada spokeswoman.During the cabinet retreat, Trudeau flew on Aug. 23 to Prince George, where he pledged to “clear up those lines of flowing resources” to Indigenous communities.Ottawa and B.C. have a 10-year, $29.6 million agreement to deliver emergency services to on-reserve First Nations, enabling them to receive comparable support to local governments, said Indigenous Services Canada spokeswoman Martine Stevens.But she said significant efforts have been made this year to improve support for B.C. First Nations affected by wildfires, including streamlining a process to apply for funding for emergency preparedness and response projects.“Our department is working with the Tahltan First Nation community to assess impacts. We are working closely with the First Nation and partners to assist on immediate re-entry needs as well as recovery planning,” she added in a statement.B.C. has also established a new $50-million, three-year program that allows communities to apply for funding to cover up to 100 per cent of their wildfire risk reduction projects.McLean said he planned to apply for the funding and he urged other communities to do the same.“Clean up your debris, cut your guards, clean up all your old stumps, trees, and dry wood and grass,” he said. “Get your community members trained for fighting fires.“With the climate changing like this … fire is going to be the norm.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

Moroccan Police Arrest 10 People Over Alleged Ties with Spanish Criminal

Rabat – The judiciary police of Tetouan arrested, on Monday in coordination with the services of the general directorate of national territory surveillance, ten people suspected of having ties with an international criminal network which was recently dismantled in Spain for operating in drug trafficking and money laundering.The suspects were nabbed during simultaneous operations in Tetouan and Martil, said a statement by national police (DGSN), noting that they are three Moroccans and seven Spaniards, two of them wanted internationally by an arrest warrant issued by the Spanish judiciary authorities, due to their implication in a case of international drug trafficking and money laundering.Search operations led to the seizure of nearly 99,000 euros, three cars, 23 cell phones, a quantity of marijuana and hashish, in addition to a forged Spanish passport, said the statement. The accused, including the two Spanish nationals, were remanded in custody, to complete the probe conducted under the supervision of the competent public prosecutor, and to start the extradition proceedings of the Spanish nationals. These security operations are part of the cooperation between the Moroccan police and its Spanish counterpart in the fight against organized crime networks operating at the regional level, it recalled. read more

Its 420 and Ottawa and the provinces should share power to tax

OTTAWA — Federal and provincial governments should have the power to levy taxes on marijuana, with Ottawa responsible for taxing manufacturers and imports, and provinces levying taxes at the retail level, says a prominent think tank.[np_storybar title=”Marijuana could be Big Tobacco’s next pot of gold and pot industry keeps growing buds” link=””%5D Right now, the marijuana sector is messy, shadowy and highly fragmented, but as legalization takes hold in more jurisdictions, that will change. Read on [/np_storybar]In a newly released policy paper, the C.D. Howe Institute also recommends the government focus on achieving public-health goals and avoiding a black market in marijuana.The Liberals have promised to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana to keep it out of the hands of children while denying criminals the financial profits.The current system of prohibition does not stop young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of pot, the Liberals say.The government plans to remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new laws to more severely punish those who provide the weed to minors or drive while under its influence. The paper recommends Ottawa consider pardoning people convicted of pot possession — and drop any outstanding charges — to free up much-needed resources for legalization of the drug, says the prominent think tank.It’s now taking time to sort out the details.Podcast: Supreme Pharmaceuticals CEO John Fowler on becoming Canada’s next medical marijuana producer (CNSX:SL)Pharmacists, pot producers in brewing dispute over distribution as Ottawa holds the final decisionWhat to do if your employee asks to use medicinal marijuana at workThe C.D. Howe paper, written for the institute by Anindya Sen, an economics professor at Ontario’s University of Waterloo, says the federal government should retain powers over health and safety regulations, and provinces should have the freedom to design their own distribution systems.The federal government should discourage black-market activity by defining the legal amount of pot someone can possess, as well as maintaining and building on penalties for illegal production and trafficking, the paper argues. It also suggests work will be needed to settle on the level of psychoactive chemical in marijuana that dangerously impairs driving skills.Pot legalization could initially result in an increase in consumption and a need for more police monitoring and enforcement, prompting more government spending, the paper notes.“This discussion suggests that dropping charges against individuals for illegal possession who have no other Criminal Code convictions or charges would save considerable government resources without other significant offsetting adverse spillovers,” it says.“Similarly, the federal government should consider pardoning individuals who have been convicted for illegal possession but have not been convicted or charged for any other Criminal Code offence.”A pardon, formally known as a record suspension, doesn’t erase a criminal record. But it can make it easier for someone to find work, travel and generally return to society. This could also spur economic benefits, the paper says.Trudeau has said that while there’s potential for “a bit of revenue” from a revamped pot regime, the federal government isn’t looking for a financial windfall.Any cash that flows to public coffers through marijuana taxation should go towards addiction treatment, mental health support and education programs — not general revenues, he said.However, collecting the tax money and how it is spent “are economically two different questions,” said Ben Dachis, associate director of research at the C.D. Howe Institute. read more

Why Slack Should Be Concerned about Microsoft Teams

StewartButterfield.JPG If you’re an organization looking for a collaboration software, you should consider both Slack and Microsoft Teams, and maybe even Cisco Webex Teams. Most importantly, though, you should, without regard to a particular technology, clearly define what measurable business benefits you’d need to achieve success. Emotions can run hot when discussing Slack versus Microsoft; however, ultimately, your top concern should be delivering improved and provable business effectiveness. In the interview, Butterfield is poised, articulate, relaxed, and even self-deprecating when he talks about how he has grown to become a good manager, admitting “if you go back 10 years … I was just a horrible, horrible manager.” He comes across as both very likeable and knowledgeable. However, when it comes to dismissing Microsoft Teams, he’s wrong.Slack needs to be concerned about Teams. And here’s why: Taming Teams: Where’s My Data? Kevin Kieller July 02, 2019 This simple storage question has a complex answer that any multinational organization considering Teams needs to explore. Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack, suggested in an interview at Fortune’s recent Brainstorm Tech 2019 conference that he isn’t concerned by Microsoft Teams and its recently announced 13 million daily active users (DAU), which surpasses Slack’s DAU count. Moving to Teams: Upgrade Paths, Untangled Kevin Kieller and Dino Caputo July 01, 2019 Everything you wanted to know about Teams upgrade modes but were afraid to ask Slack Modernizes Desktop Client Beth Schultz July 22, 2019 Touts greater efficiency, responsiveness, and reliability… all of which should help workers be more productive. Tags:News & ViewsSlackMicrosoft Teamsworkspace collaborationintegrationTeam Collaboration Tools & WorkspacesAPIs & Embedded CommunicationsConsultant PerspectivesNews & ViewsTeam CollaborationVendor Strategy Articles You Might Like Stewart Butterfield, Slack CEO, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Conference Slack Debuts New Enterprise Security Controls Beth Schultz August 06, 2019 Enhancements aim to provide the ability to deploy Slack at enterprise scale in “safe, secure, and centralized way.” I spend my time helping organizations succeed when implementing communication and collaboration systems. Bringing together key stakeholders as part of a Vision session is a great way to better understand both the objectives and the obstacles that might be associated with your cloud project; and ultimately increases the chance that you will be successful. If you have questions about how to run an effective Vision session or collaboration solution questions please comment below, tweet @kkieller or message me on LinkedIn. Taming Teams: Microsoft Looks to Inspire Partners Kevin Kieller July 16, 2019 Pushes the multiplier effect of the cloud, and highlights embedded Teams capabilities Log in or register to post comments See All in Team Collaboration Tools & Workspaces » Butterfield suggests that Bing competing with Google search shows Microsoft doesn’t win all market share battles. Indeed, this is true. However, the example fails because with Microsoft’s recent announcement, Teams market share has surpassed Slack’s.He suggests that Slack is more focused on quality and user experience than Microsoft. This is Butterfield’s strongest argument. Slack users love the app with a fervor the like of which I haven’t heard from Teams’ users, and Slack’s UX, newly updated for the desktop, “feels” more accessible and approachable. Indeed, Microsoft has been rolling out new features and making user interface changes for Teams at a frantic pace, which for many users may be off-putting. The flipside is that with Microsoft iterating quickly, in short order it may uncover the “secret recipe” that accelerates adoption of Teams, at the expense of Slack.Butterfield suggests that users now have more choices, contrasting this to a time in the past when virtually everything only ran on Windows (before iPhone, Android, and the Internet in general). The trouble for Slack is that with Teams as an option, more users are picking the Microsoft choice than the Slack choice. Slack is the “Windows” of workflow collaboration tools while Microsoft is the upstart.Butterfield talks about Slack as a fabric for integrating 98% of the other software in enterprise use. Perhaps… and yet, Microsoft excels at energizing and engaging developers, perhaps better than any other company, so I’m not sure this is a sustainable advantage. In fact, a key message Microsoft delivered last week at its Inspire event was around Teams as an integration platform.Slack has an edge simply by virtue of being “disruptive,” Butterfield contends. Sure, being disruptive is terrific and it may help you achieve a “first mover” advantage and other “blah, blah, blah” attributes that can launch an IPO. However, what happens when the “fast followers” decide to compete in your market? Slack is the Netflix of streaming. Being successfully disruptive often galvanizes competition from organizations with deep pockets, and which, because they have broader product bases, can choose to fund a competitive battle for years and years. This is when Slack’s “focused” approach potentially transitions from a positive to a negative.Microsoft has focused on larger organizations and Slack has faired better with SMBs. True. And yet, another key message from Inspire is the opportunity for Microsoft partners within the under-serviced SMB market. As such, I expect the free Teams offer (for up to 300 users) to gain increased traction and focus as an account entry point.In summary, Slack can, will, and should compete with Teams. This competition is healthy and benefits both end users and organizations. However, to compete effectively, Slack should focus on areas where it can win, and this doesn’t necessarily include all those mentioned in Butterfield’s recent interview. read more

UN meeting aims to solve some trade problems of landlocked countries

“At our invitation over 40 global organizations are coming to Almaty next week to undertake a serious dialogue aimed at coming up with practical solutions for establishing efficient transit systems in Asia, Africa and Latin America,” said the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Anwarul K. Chowdhury.The meeting is expected to hear about strategies for implementation and priority projects in infrastructure development and trade facilitation, he said.The organizations expected to attend included the World Bank, the World Customs Organization, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Trade Organization, the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Road Transport Union. read more

Canadian dollar lower amid tame US inflation mixed commodity prices

Canadian dollar lower amid tame U.S. inflation, mixed commodity prices by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 22, 2014 6:53 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Canadian dollar was lower Tuesday as U.S. inflation figures for June came in as expected.The loonie edged down 0.06 of a cent to 93.14 cents US, off early lows as the U.S. Labor Department reported that the consumer price index rose 0.3 per cent in June, which matched the expectations of economists.Analysts note that readings on U.S. inflation are considered key these days to get a clue as to when the Federal Reserve might start hiking rates since the American employment situation has improved so much over the last few months. There had been speculation that a higher than expected inflation reading would have pulled forward expectations for such rate hikes.Scotiabank’s Camilla Sutton observed in a commentary Tuesday that Fed funds futures are pricing in a conservative July 2015 interest rate hike, while “our Scotiabank house view is for Q215.”“There has been a bit of back and forth with expectations for the first interest rate hike with it being pulled forward and then pushed back,” said Sutton, chief FX strategist and managing director, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets.Many analysts expect the Bank of Canada could also begin hiking rates next summer.Meanwhile, geopolitical concerns eased somewhat while traders continued to consider the impact of potentially tighter economic sanctions against Russia for its support of Ukrainian rebel militias accused of shooting down a Malaysian airliner last week.The European Union agreed Tuesday to expand a list of Russian organizations and individuals subject to asset freezes and travel bans. It also threatened to target vast sectors of the Russian economy if Moscow did not act swiftly to rein in the rebels.But the EU stopped well short of moving to jump quickly to so-called Phase 3 sanctions that could cripple the Russian economy but also hurt recovery in Europe as well.On the commodity markets, September copper rose one cent to US$3.21 a pound.The September crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped 47 cents to US$102.39.August gold bullion declined $7.60 to US$1,306.30 an ounce. read more

Got a Billion Dollars Buy the Clippers

UPDATE (May 29, 7:45 p.m.): The Los Angeles Times has reported that Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, will purchase the Clippers for $2 billion. Earlier this month Nate Silver wrote about team valuations in the NBA, and whether the Clippers were worth more than was commonly believed. The original piece is below.A billion dollars? For the Clippers?That’s the price my Grantland colleague Zach Lowe’s sources are saying the Los Angeles NBA team could fetch if its current owner, Donald Sterling, agrees to sell the franchise or is forced to do so. With stars from Magic Johnson to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., to Oprah Winfrey to Larry Ellison reportedly interested in a piece of the club, it’s not hard to see why league officials have starry-eyed visions about what the team could be worth.And yet, when Forbes Magazine published its valuations of the 30 NBA teams earlier this year, its figure for the Clippers was considerably more modest: $575 million.1It’s not as though the valuation doesn’t account for the Clippers’ recent on-court success. Two years ago, Forbes valued the Clippers at only $324 million. NBA officials, I’ve found in the past, aren’t fond of the Forbes figures. The league has incentives to underplay its financial performance when in the midst of a labor dispute, and to frame its finances in a more favorable light when it has a couple of franchises up for sale.In this case, however, there’s reason to think Forbes considerably undervalues the Clippers. You might describe why with the old real estate adage: location, location, location. It’s not breaking news that there are lots of people with lots of money in Los Angeles and its suburbs. What’s more interesting is that the number of billionaires in a given community historically has been a strong predictor of the degree to which its NBA franchise appreciates in value.Take a look at the annualized change in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014, according to the Forbes estimates. In the chart below, we’ve highlighted the teams that played in metro areas that had a gross domestic product of at least $250 billion as of 2004. You can see that there’s a relationship. The New York Knicks, despite their mostly poor play over the past decade, saw their franchise value appreciate by 13.3 percent per year, according to Forbes. The Lakers and Clippers saw theirs grow by 11.7 percent and 10.7 percent per year, respectively. Most other big-market teams, like the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, have also done well.There are also some exceptions to the pattern, the most obvious being the Seattle Supersonics, who saw their franchise value increase a lot after moving to Oklahoma City and becoming the Thunder.2This even though Oklahoma City is a considerably smaller and less wealthy market. The Miami Heat, despite playing in a mid-sized market, have seen a massive increase in franchise value. On the flip side, the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards have considerably underperformed the rest of the league despite playing in reasonably large markets.These differences partly reflect on-court success: Building a future around LeBron James is a much more attractive option than building one around Gilbert Arenas. But they also reflect the differences in the number of super-wealthy people in these cities. In 2004, there were 14 people from the Miami metro area3The Forbes lists do not specifically break out the list of wealthy people by metro area; I did this by hand. I tried to follow the Census Bureau’s definition of Metropolitan Statistical Areas as much as possible — however, there are some debatable cases. Those interested in using this data for rigorous research should double-check my work and ensure that it corresponds to the particular definition of urban areas that is most suitable for their project. on the Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest people, compared to eight from Washington and seven from Philadelphia. The differences have grown since then: On last year’s Forbes 400 list, whose threshold was about $1.3 billion in net worth, there were 26 really rich people in Miami, compared to eight in Washington and just three in Philly.4The Forbes 400 list includes data on the United States only. For Toronto, I’ve compiled data from other sources to reflect the number of Torontonians that would have made the Forbes 400 list if Toronto were in the U.S. The correlation between the rate of increase in franchise value and the number of billionaires in a metro area has been reasonably strong,5The correlation coefficient is 0.53, or 0.67 without the Sonics/Thunder included. as I’ve mentioned, with the Sonics/Thunder representing the main outlier. This helps explain why the Golden State Warriors have seen their value increase so much, for instance. The San Francisco-Oakland metro area6By the Census Bureau’s definition, this MSA does not include San Jose, Calif., or most of Silicon Valley. ranks 11th in the U.S. in population and eighth in gross domestic product. But it has ranked second or third in billionaires, behind only New York and sometimes Los Angeles, depending on the year.Why do we see this relationship? Owners of sports franchises tend to hold onto their teams for a long time — the average NBA franchise last changed hands 14 years ago. In a period that long, the player roster will completely turn over, perhaps several times. The coaching and front office staff will very likely turn over, too. A team’s uniform might change; its nickname might change; it might move into a new arena. What’s a lot more permanent is a team’s home city. Franchises can move, but that doesn’t happen often. The Clippers’ greatest asset isn’t Chris Paul or Blake Griffin. It’s the City of Los Angeles and the billionaires who live there.We’ve seen evidence in other sports that franchise values are driven less by profits and losses — many player contracts are plainly irrational from that standpoint — and more by the extent to which a team can be resold to another billionaire or multimillionaire at a higher price down the line. There aren’t that many billionaires in the United States — about 500 — but there are far fewer NBA franchises. In a city like Los Angeles or New York or San Francisco, there will be several billionaires, perhaps even dozens of them, competing for sports franchises when one comes up for sale.7The limited supply of sports franchises may also explain why we don’t see much, if any, of a valuation penalty for NBA franchises that play in multi-team markets. The Lakers and the Clippers, like the Knicks and the Nets, compete with one another to some extent for fans. However, there’s an undersupply of NBA franchises relative to the number of billionaires in these large cities. If one of the 77 billionaires in the New York metro area buys the Knicks, there are still 76 billionaires left to buy the Nets.It’s also worth contemplating whether cities that attract hedge-fund billionaires and oil barons have an intrinsic advantage in recruiting multimillionaire NBA players. Compare Miami and Philadelphia, for example. Philadelphia’s gross domestic product is about 33 percent higher. But — and meaning no offense to Philadelphia — Miami is presumably a lot more fun for a really rich person. Miami will still have South Beach long after LeBron takes his talents to the next town. It will also have no state income tax.But if NBA franchises in billionaire-rich cities can be counted on to appreciate at a higher rate, shouldn’t the market account for that? In other words, shouldn’t they be selling at a higher value to begin with?Keep in mind that we’re looking at Forbes’s estimates of franchise values and not actual sale prices. It could be that Forbes is lowballing the values of big-market clubs. We don’t get all that many data points on actual sale prices because the rate of franchise turnover is low, and because the transactions are often complicated and involve other assets that are bundled with the sports teams. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with some real estate assets) sold for $2 billion two years ago, a figure that far exceeded Forbes’s estimated value of the MLB team.Nonetheless, it’s plausible that the market will eventually catch up to the pattern, or that it already has to some degree. To check this, I ran a regression analysis that sought to explain the increase in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014 based on two variables: the number of people a team’s metro area had on the 2004 Forbes 400 list, and its Forbes franchise value in 2004 relative to the league average.8I included the Sonics/Thunder in the regression despite their having changed locations. Although NBA franchises change metro areas only rarely and face restrictions when seeking to do so, some of the value in purchasing an underperforming franchise consists of the potential to relocate the team. The coefficient on the 2004 franchise value variable is statistically significant and negative. What that means is that a franchise can be overvalued by Forbes, and prone to seeing its value revert to the mean, when that value is out of line with the number of billionaires in the area.We can use this regression equation to create estimates of NBA franchise values that may be more reliable than Forbes’s. (The process for this is explained in the footnotes.9To do this, I used the regression equation to determine each team’s projected rate of return over the next 10 years, based on its current Forbes franchise value and the number of billionaires in its metro area. However, I assumed that rates of return in excess of the league average would be captured immediately and reflected in a team’s potential sale price. This is how a rational market would behave, unless the higher projected rates of return were associated with higher risk.) I calibrated the estimates such that the average value of an NBA franchise is the same as what Forbes lists — about $630 million. (The NBA would probably contend that Forbes’s estimates are low across the board — based on the recent sale prices of the Sacramento Kings and the Milwaukee Bucks, for instance — but our interest here is mainly in seeing how franchises are valued relative to one another.) Because the estimates are not all that precise, I’ve listed them as a range based on their standard error.For the Clippers, for instance, the range runs between about $580 million and $950 million. So the billion-dollar estimate might be a little high, but the Forbes valuation of $575 million is probably too low.There are two other teams whose Forbes valuations fall outside the recalibrated range. One is the Brooklyn Nets, which our formula estimates is worth between about $900 billion and $1.5 billion, and not the $780 million that Forbes estimates. Perhaps Mikhail Prokhorov knows what he’s doing in throwing his resources behind establishing the Nets as a major brand in New York. The number of billionaires in New York continues to skyrocket — so he’ll have plenty of people to sell the franchise to at a profit down the line.The other team that falls outside of the range is the Lakers. The formula implies that their Forbes valuation, at $1.35 billion, is a little too high.I personally don’t think the Lakers would have much trouble selling for something in that range if the team were put on the market today. But the logic behind the calculation is something like this: Sure, the Lakers have a much more powerful brand than the Clippers, but they don’t have much of an advantage apart from that brand. The two teams play in the same city, in the same arena. The Clippers have the better roster and a very good coach. The brand advantage can shift over time: At various points in the past 50 years, for instance, the New York Mets have outdrawn the New York Yankees. Another couple years of Blake and CP3 making deep runs into the playoffs while the Lakers struggle with the albatross of Kobe Bryant’s contract will erode some of the Lakers’ edge.Are the Lakers still worth more? Yes, but the formula implies that they should be worth 20 or 25 percent more than the Clippers — and not 135 percent more, as the Forbes valuations say. Perhaps that means the Clippers are undervalued and not that the Lakers are overvalued. If you’d consider buying the Lakers at the Forbes price of $1.35 billion, and would require a 25 percent discount to take the Clippers instead, that implies you’d pay about $1.1 billion for the Clips.The Clippers’ other big handicap, of course, has been Donald Sterling. But that problem resolves itself the moment he sells. He may be banned from basketball. He may have embarrassed himself and his franchise. But if he sells quickly — before doing further damage to the Clippers’ brand — he could have a billion-dollar check coming his way.Correction (May 3, 11:20 a.m.): An earlier version of the NBA Team Valuations chart misstated what the range in green indicated. It signifies a team’s valuation adjusted for number of billionaires in metro area. read more

SKM recognised for integrated Air Quality Control System

first_imgAn innovative approach to manage air quality and noise issues in the coal fields in the Hunter Valley and Western regions of New South Wales has won the NSW Minerals Council 2013 Environment Excellence Award. Glencore Xstrata and Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) were recognised for the development of an integrated Air Quality Control System (AQCS) now in use at mines across New South Wales. A key feature of the project is that it increases awareness of environmental management amongst employees and allows them to plan their operations to minimise impacts.The awards were independently judged by an expert panel, including senior representatives from the NSW Environment Protection Authority, the NSW Department of Planning, the Department of Trade and Investment, the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and engineering firm Umwelt. NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee announced the award as part of the industry’s annual Environment and Community Conference, attended by around 300 delegates who had gathered to discuss topics such as sustainability, mine rehabilitation and air quality.The initial objective of the project was to develop a process that encompassed both a reactive and predictive component to assist Glencore operations in minimising impacts from blasting, air quality and noise management activities. SKM Project Manager, Shane Lakmaker said one of the key objectives of the initiative was to raise awareness of environmental issues at all levels of Glencore’s NSW open cut mine sites. “To achieve this objective, Glencore initiated the development of the AQCS so as to provide site personnel with information on daily environmental risks associated with air quality, noise and blasting,” Lakmaker said. “The AQCS was developed based on daily, automated modelling of meteorological conditions, dust emissions and noise attenuation.”The final system consisted of: an environmental forecast summary report emailed to site personnel each morning; a website that allows users to garner a better understanding of the detailed information used to support the environmental forecast summary report, and a tool to assist sites in predicting blast plume paths for any time of day within the next 48 hours. SKM advised on the modelling approaches and developed the system using the inputs from Glencore and site representatives. Initial system development commenced in November 2011 and was followed by consultation at various sites, with feedback collected on usage and improvements.The system is now in place at Mangoola, Bulga Complex, Mt Owen Complex, Liddell, Ravensworth Surface Operations and Ulan. For each site, the system makes use of detailed mine plans, equipment inventories and material handling quantities in order to calculate dust emissions. Meteorology is predicted from synoptic scale forecasts (NCEP), nested down to the site and taking account of local topography and landuse, while dispersion calculations are made using the CALPUFF model. “The early involvement of mine staff meant that the final system was more easily understood by end users, resulting in a greater acceptance of the intent and implementation,” Lakmaker said. “Similarly, the involvement of Glencore was important to address the higher level compliance objectives, and to review transferability to other sites.” Implementation of the system has contributed the following benefits:• Higher employee awareness of potential environmental issues• An increase in the number of employees empowered with responsibility for environmental management (from 10 to 120+ people receiving the daily environmental forecasts)• Productivity improvements due to the identification of favourable environmental conditions• No exceedances of project specific air quality criteria at sites• Provides the community and regulator additional confidence that Glencore is proactively managing impactslast_img read more