Team Manitobas Metis D

first_imgAPTN National NewsRingette is taking off in a big way at this year’s Canada Winter Games.Fans packed Cole Harbour Place to watch Nova Scotia take on Manitoba.The Manitoba team is drawing strength from a core of Metis players.APTN’s James Hopkin reports on how they are backstopping Manitoba’s defence in tournament play.last_img

Enduring Irans absence

first_imgIndia is an oil import-dependent nation. Over 90 per cent of the oil requirement is met via import. India is the third biggest importer of crude oil in the world. Despite these factors, India is not feared to undergo oil convulsion with USA withdrawing waiver over the sanction on Iran oil from May. Except concerns by vehicle users, analysts and politicians preferred to remain mute on any major impact on the Indian economy, even though the waiver was made amidst the general election. With the end of the waiver, crude oil prices will soar in the world market. This is because Iran is the fourth largest producer of crude oil in the world. Furthermore, global oil consumption exceeds global production. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyGiven these situations, sanction on Iran oil will certainly impact India’s basket prices of imported crude. This will have a cascading impact on petrol and diesel prices. Eventually, a general fear looms large that the hikes in oil prices will fuel inflation in the country. However, there is another school of thought, which argued that the concern would be minimised owing to technological innovations and structural changes in oil use. It believes that India is insulated from any major impact of the sanction, despite it being an oil import-dependent nation. Also Read – The future is here!Basically, there are four reasons, according to this line of thought, which will help India insulate itself from the adverse impact of a global oil price hike. First, the parallel relation between oil price hike and inflation has tapered. Secondly, oil is not the main source of energy for manufacturing. Third, a big burden of crude oil import is counterbalanced by the export of petroleum refinery products. Lastly, the share of Iranian oil in India’s total imports of oil is not substantial. Conventional wisdom says that there is a close relationship between oil price and inflation. Whenever there was a global oil price hike, which was reflected in the high petrol and diesel prices in India, inflation surged. Nevertheless, the parallel relation between oil price and inflation witnessed a turnaround since 2016-17. Oil price hike failed to fuel inflation. For example, the average Indian basket price for imported crude oil increased from US$ 46.2 bbl in 2015-16 to US$ 47.6 bbl in 2016-17. But, in contravention to conventional wisdom, inflation, measured by CPI, declined. It fell from 4.9 per cent in 205-16 to 4.3 per cent in 2016-17. Since then, an opposite relation between oil price hike and inflation sustained. In 2017-18, the basket price of imported oil rose to US $56.4 bbl, but inflation slipped to 3.6 per cent. These suggest that the threat of global oil price hike and its impact on inflation does not hold good now. Why has the parallel relationship between oil price hike and inflation been jeopardised since 2016-17? The main reason is that oil energy is mainly (55 per cent) used as a transport fuel in the country and not for production. The high cost of transport fuel impacted the prices of mainly food and vegetables. Due to lack of adequate cold storage facilities, motor transport, viz. trucks and lorries, are the major carriers for food and vegetables, which bring these items to the cities from nearby villages in the country. The food component constitutes a bulk share in the retail price index. With a leapfrog in agricultural production, inflation owing to food component in the price index has swayed. This has overshadowed the impact of oil price hike, which was reflected in the transport fuel. In manufacturing, anecdotal evidence shows that an oil price hike will have a simmering impact. This is because oil is not the major source of energy for manufacturing in India, unlike other countries. Coal is the major energy source, such as power, for manufacturing and other industrial sectors. Oil produces less than one per cent of power generation in the country. Other oil-based products, such as fuel oil and light diesel oil, which are used as energy sources for manufacturing, are insignificant energy sources for manufacturing. Unlike in the 1990s, crude oil imports ceased to be a big burden for India’s trade deficit. With the advent of export of petroleum refinery products in the early of 2000s, owing to a large number of refinery plants established in the country, petroleum products have become the predominant component of export basket of the country. It became a major tool to counterbalance the big burden of crude oil. Currently, exports of petroleum refinery products account for one-sixth of India’s total exports. And, in terms of counterbalance, which help in reducing the trade deficit, exports of petroleum refinery products offset one-third of crude oil imports. For example, in 2018-19 export of petroleum products was US$ 46.4 billion against the import of US$ 141.1 billion import of crude oil and petroleum products. This offset 32 per cent of the import burden of crude oil and other petroleum products. Incidentally, Iran is not the major supplier of crude oil to India. In 2018-19, India imported crude oil from Iran amounting to 24 million tonnes. This accounted for a little more than 10 per cent of India’s total import of crude oil. Saudi Arabia and Iraq are the major suppliers of crude oil to India. Saudi Arabia ensured to increase supply by making India a regional hub for the supply of crude oil. Another factor, which goes in favour of India with regard to its oil dependency and curtailment of Iranian oil is the near stagnancy in oil demand in the country. With various counter-measures for oil saving and boost to non-conventional energies, such as solar, bio and wind energies, India’s total demand for crude oil increased marginally. Oil demand increased by 3-4 per cent during the past two years, despite the country achieving the highest GDP growth hovering around 7 per cent. This suggests that oil volatility due to price fluctuations is less vibrant to the major economic parameters for the country. Oil is not the major source of power energy and not the catalyst for manufacturing in the country. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Annan calls for quick return to Iraqi rule with timetable for end

The day when Iraqis govern themselves must come quickly, and a clear timetable for the restoration of sovereignty with specific steps for the end of United States military occupation is essential if the growing impatience in the country is to be stemmed, according to a new report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The report, to be formally presented to the Security Council tomorrow, lays out a blueprint for a full spectrum of activities where the UN can assist the reconstruction of Iraq. But, it makes clear that under its current Council mandate, re-establishing law and order and administering the country are not among them, these being the sole responsibility of the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). It enumerates the activities the UN will carry out in 2003 in the areas of humanitarian assistance, facilitation of national dialogue, assistance with the electoral processes and human rights, to be coordinated under a new UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), with a staff of over 300, both international and local. It also identifies other areas consistent with Council resolution 1483, adopted in May, where the UN could provide assistance in the future, including the constitutional process, judicial and legal reform, police training, demobilization and reintegration of former military forces, public administration, economic reconstruction and sustainable development, and technical assistance and advisory services to Iraqi ministries. “The challenge for the United Nations in Iraq is to find meaningful and effective ways to assist the Iraqi people in achieving their goals. Its aim is to help them participate in, and take ownership of, the definition of the policies and priorities that will shape the future of their country,” Mr. Annan says in the report, requested by resolution 1483, which mandated the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General. The report is an initial assessment of the UN role since the Special Representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello, took up his post at the beginning of June. He will address the Council tomorrow. Referring to Mr. Vieira de Mello’s wide ranging consultations with Iraqi society, the CPA and neighbouring countries, Mr. Annan reports: “He conveyed to all concerned the Security Council’s resolve that the day when Iraqis govern themselves must come quickly, and he has stressed the Security Council’s call for a government based on the rule of law that affords equal rights and justice to all Iraqi citizens without regard to ethnicity, religion or gender. “To this end, my Special Representative made clear the independence of his role and that the Coalition Provisional Authority, not the United Nations, was responsible for administering Iraq, for providing for the welfare of the people, and for restoring conditions of security and stability,” he adds. Welcoming the establishment last week of a Governing Council consisting of a wide spectrum of Iraqi personalities, Mr. Annan declares: “If some of the concerns that have been relayed to my Special Representative in these initial weeks of his mandate are to be allayed, and the growing impatience is to be stemmed, it is important that Iraqis are able to see a clear timetable leading to the full restoration of sovereignty. “There is a pressing need to set out a clear and specific sequence of events leading to the end of military occupation. My Special Representative stands ready to assist in the establishment of such a framework, working together with the Governing Council and the Authority,” he states. At UN Headquarters in New York today, Mr. Annan told reporters the Governing Council emerged out of extensive consultations with Iraqis and others and was broadly representative. “I think, given these circumstances, and the fact that you couldn’t possibly organize elections in Iraq today, it was a good method of putting together a Council and I hope the Security Council will see it that way and grant the group its support,” he said. In his report, Mr. Annan stresses that a common theme Mr. Vieira de Mello heard during his consultations was that “democracy should not be imposed from the outside, it had to come from within.” “The importance for the Iraqi people of moving quickly towards their own government cannot be overstated, not least in terms of getting the constitutional process off to a good start,” he writes. “My Special Representative, therefore, has strongly advocated that the Authority (CPA) devolve real executive authority to a broadly representative and self-selecting Iraqi leadership, including in policy- and decision-making, and in the preparation and execution of a budget. This advice was favourably received by the Authority.” Mr. Vieira de Mello also raised concerns over CPA actions in the human rights sphere, including the treatment of detainees, with US administrator L. Paul Bremer and “reminded him of the Authority’s obligations” under international law. Looking to “the way forward,” Mr. Annan reports: “Ultimately, the United Nations, as mandated in resolution 1483 (2003), is a resource at the disposal of the Iraqi people, whose interests are at the forefront of all our work. Iraq is rich in human resources. “Critical from the outset is placing qualified Iraqis in the lead in the planning and management of Iraq’s recovery. I endorse the approach taken by my Special Representative, which is based on the twin principles of inclusiveness and empowerment of the Iraqi people, and has capacity-building as its natural corollary.” read more

Talks on peace efforts in Sudan and Somalia highlight Annans visit to

In Nairobi, the Secretary-General met with the Kenyan negotiators dealing with Sudan and with Somalia. Afterwards he met one-on-one with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, followed by an exchange with their full delegations, according to a UN spokesman.At a press encounter later, the Secretary-General thanked the Kenyan Government for supporting peace efforts for Sudan and Somalia.Mr. Annan added that he and President Kibaki had also talked of the challenge of HIV/AIDS. “Today, AIDS has a woman’s face in Africa,” he said. “Each and every one of us must take on the challenge.”The Secretary-General then travelled outside the capital to talk to some 500 delegates at the Somali peace talks, and urged them to do all in their power to establish an inclusive government structure by 31 July.”Somalia cannot afford another false start,” he said. “Your people have the right to look to a better tomorrow. And tomorrow begins today.”In a separate development, the Secretary-General’s wife, Nane, visited a Nairobi slum with Kenya’s Health Minister, Charity Kaluki Ngilu. Mrs. Annan walked through the community and spoke to women and men living with AIDS as well as children orphaned by the disease.The two also visited the Kenya Network of Women with AIDS, a grassroots community-based organization of HIV-positive women who provide support for others affected by the disease.Later, Mrs. Annan visited Equity Building Society, a Kenyan micro-finance institution, and met clients who had received small loans to start or expand their businesses. read more

Be Skeptical Of American Pharoah

UPDATE (June 6, 5:27 p.m.): The Belmont Stakes is today, so we’re unearthing this article about American Pharoah’s chances, and why the Belmont always seems to snag Triple Crown aspirants. On Saturday, American Pharoah (yes, it’s really spelled that way) won a muddy Preakness Stakes by an impressive seven lengths, leaving only the Belmont Stakes between him and becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Commentators and oddsmakers both like his chances. But you should be wary.Though official pari-mutuel odds won’t be available for another two weeks, offshore sportsbooks immediately installed Pharoah as a two-to-three favorite (the equivalent of about a 60 percent chance of winning). If it feels like we’ve been here before, it’s because we have: Just last year, California Chrome (pride of Fresno County) was the Superhorse-du-jour before finishing fourth in New York.For the past 30-plus years, the Belmont has been unconquerable for Crown contenders. But that hasn’t always been the case. Prior to Spectacular Bid’s spectacular upset in 1979, horses that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness won 11 of 19 Belmonts they raced (58 percent). Since then, they’ve won 0 of 12 (zero percent). Though the Belmont has been over 1.5 miles (12 furlongs) since 1926, its longer distance usually gets the blame. (The Derby and Preakness are raced at 10 and 9.5 furlongs, respectively.)That there has been some kind of paradigm shift seems evident. The 1.5 mile distance has become very rare in the U.S., and American horses have little to no experience with it. The 3-year-olds just aren’t very good at winning both distances anymore:Perhaps even more amazing: If you break out Triple Crown contenders, horses that won exactly one of the shorter races went on to win Belmont 21.2 percent of the time before 1979 (compared to 50.0 percent if they won both), and 15.2 percent of the time since 1979 (compared to zero percent when they won both). In other words: Horses that have won one precursor have gotten a little worse, but horses that won both shorter races went from having the best chances at Belmont to the worst:Part of this may just be a matter of specialization: Horses capable of winning both short races may be more likely to be calibrated to the shorter distance. It reminds me a little bit of the 200 and 400 meter sprints in human racing. There are a lot of sprinters who run both of these distances, but Michael Johnson is the only man ever to win both at the Olympics.Also, Belmont entrants and winners that raced in both the Preakness and the Derby are becoming rarer and rarer—the last nine Belmont winners have skipped one or more of the precursors. This has led to some speculation that fresher horses have an unfair advantage in the Belmont. But even if so, this is another variety of the idea that horses that win the Belmont probably do so because they’re more targeted to it.While this seems plausible, it doesn’t really explain why there has been such a dramatic shift: The Belmont has always been the grueling final leg — the “Test of Champions.”If horses who won the precursors were at a big disadvantage in the Belmont, you’d think that horse-bettors would have picked up on it at some point. But the market has remained pretty bullish on Triple Crown contenders. You can see the chances of winning for each based on its final racebook odds to the left of this paragraph.Of the 12 Triple Crown potentials that raced, there were some big favorites, no big underdogs, and eight were better than even money against the field.Say you took $2 in 1979 and used it to bet against Spectacular Bid winning the Belmont at racebook odds, and then just “let it ride” — betting it all against every horse that won the Derby and Preakness. Assuming you gave up 15 percent to the “takeout” (horse racing’s equivalent of the rake) each year, you’d have over $15,000 today (with no takeout, you’d have over $100,000).While technically it’s possible that this has all been one big fluke, it seems pretty likely that the market has been botching this consistently. But the tricky thing about markets is that when you identify that they’re doing something wrong, betting on it requires presuming that the rest of the market hasn’t identified the same thing.We’ve seen an impressive horse before and thought: “Wow, the market sure screwed this up in the past. But it must have gotten wise by now and [insert superhorse here] must be the real deal.” But by the end of the Belmont, not so much. read more

Stephon Marbury Ordered to Pay Mistress More Than 300000

So, Stephon Marbury had a mistress and wanted to keep it a secret from his wife. To do so, he offered to pay the side chick $900,000 — and he put it in writing. That was Mistake No. 2.After paying Thurayyah Mitchell $600,000 to maintain the secret, Marbury stopped distributing the hush money. Mistake No. 3.Mitchell, once a chef, wanted all they had agreed to, and so she sued Marbury for the remaining $331,584.50, making public their 2006 affair. And so, the intent to keep his transgression a secret was compromised because he did not fully pay to keep his transgression a secret. All this according to TMZ, which got ahold of the suit.So, the question begs that Marbury has not answered: Why in the name of Tiger Woods would the former NBA star put in play a legal, signed document that would reveal his affair? Marbury’s signature on the agreement gave Mitchell the pathway to a lawsuit to collect the remaining agreed-to balance.Marbury still refused, claiming that filing her claim was a breach of the confidentially deal. Did not work.On Feb. 1 a judge sided with Mitchell and ordered Marbury to pay the remaining $331,584.50 he owes plus interest. And so, it is all there for public consumption  — including Marbury’s wife. Seems he defeated the whole purpose in making the deal in the first place, you know? read more

Sandvik unveils revolutionary Vibrocone solution plus two new UG trucks

first_imgTwo new major developments from Sandvik at MINExpo 2012 cover a new energy saving approach to comminution as well as two completely new underground trucks, designed following extensive feedback from customers. First is the Vibrocone, a crusher that Sandvik states has “grinding performance which changes the rules for comminution and opens the way for major energy savings.” The two new trucks are the TH551 and the already mentioned TH663, with 51 t and 63 t capacities respectively – sized exactly to match the popular Sandvik LH517 and LH621 LHDs for three pass loading of the trucks.Sandvik believes that the Vibrocone crusher represents the next generation of crushing technology, combining the best of conventional crushing and grinding principles to produce an unprecedented amount of finely crushed product. The innovative Vibrocone crusher enables up to 30% energy savings in downstream processing. Over 10,000 hours of 24/7 commercial operations in copper, gold and iron ore mine sites are proof of the technical and operational reliability of this revolutionary comminution technology, says the group. “The product from the Vibrocone crusher opens the possibility for new eco-efficient comminution alternatives. For example, in existing comminution circuits with rod and/or ball milling stages, the Vibrocone crushers can replace the rod mills or act as pre-grinding units for the ball mills. Vibrocone comminution will considerably improve the efficiency and cost of the downstream grinding process.” A greenfield case study of a 10 Mt/y copper operation in South America done by Ausenco, has shown that the Vibrocone solution is the lowest cost option, with energy savings in the range of 20% relative to the SAG mill alternative.With over 63 different safety features to protect the operator, maintenance staff and the truck itself, Sandvik believes that the TH551 and TH663 are probably the safest underground trucks ever made. Through intelligent design, the TH500-600 series’ trucks also offer maximum operator comfort. The trucks have been designed and built with high reliability and ease of maintenance in mind. Particular attention has been given to the replacement time of large components, such as engine transmission, resulting in significant increases in uptime hours and the total tonnes per year hauled. A few examples of the vast array of novel features available on this new series: the ergonomic ROPS and FOPS certified cabin is now 35% larger than its predecessors, offering features such as 4-point retractable safety belt for the operator seat. Daily maintenance of the TH551 and TH663 can be done from ground level, minimising the risks related to climbing on the machine. That said, the anti-slip materials of the steps and surfaces, together with the safety rails on top of the truck, further add to personnel safety even in cases where climbing is required.Perhaps the most interesting feature of the TH551 and TH663 is that they are now equipped with an optional onboard jacking system, which allows fast and safe tyre changing instead of prolonged downtime. This feature is another example of the importance of overall uptime (tonnes moved per year) and reflects the fact that overall speed is not the only factor involved in underground haulage truck productivity. The TH551 will be available in mid 2013 and the TH663 in late 2013. The trucks will also be available with low emissions Tier 4i -technology engines that provide remarkable torque characteristics with low fuel consumption. Significantly reducing the costs caused by underground ventilation, the environmentally friendly engines also markedly improve underground working conditions.last_img read more

The Hots Shots behind All Fuels talk success with Neos Kosmos

first_imgAustralia is rightfully the barby-kingdom of the world and one of the first things I came to know from the pit-masters in my family is that the secret to a good barbecue is in the fuel.Apart from faithfully executing the marinating and meat preparation rituals, success lies with the fire. Establishing a tame, even, and calm source that burns smokeless, odourless and for as long as possible is the goal, and Australians seem to have mastered those qualities early on. “We have the original raw material; the formula for the original barbecue briquette is retained by All Fuels and Hot Shots.”“It’s behind any traditional briquette that’s ever been made in the country,” Michael Byrne and Billy Costa tell Neos Kosmos.For the best slow cooked meat that keeps its moisture and gives your mouth explosions of flavour, grill temperatures should remain between 200 and 250 degrees Celcius at the grate.“Many imported products have come and gone and it’s the Hot Shots briquettes’ long-burning characteristics that imported products can’t match,” Michael continues.“No smoke, no chemical odours. Quality and consistency are the hallmarks of our brand.”Michael Byrne, All Fuels’ principal stakeholder, has been in the industry for decades, with much experience in acquiring product and distributing it, and some areas of his business touching on manufacturing.It was a little bit over 10 years ago that he crossed paths with his then next-door neighbour and now business partner, Greek Cypriot Billy Costa.“I was in manufacturing,” Billy explains. “I was the biggest producer in the day, making charcoal and distributing a bit, more so throughout Australia; Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland, and so on.”Michael and Billy make a dynamic team and have grown their business to be suppliers to Bunnings stores, Stirling Woodyard, and Coles amongst other outlets including a large number of smaller retailers selling a wide range of cooking and heating fuels produced and distributed under the All Fuels Pty Ltd umbrella. They also export to many countries around the world. Fully Australian-owned and supplied, All Fuels is adamant about the main ingredient in the process being brown coal which is approximately 95 per cent pure carbon. It is this formula that has dominated the Australian market since briquettes were first used in cafes in the 1960s.“Our success is based on hard work, loyalty and determination to supplying high quality product into the market. A strong, long-standing friendship has also helped,” Michael says.“We met and we decided it was a very good fit to have a manufacturer in the barbecue field join us; we were distributing firewood. The idea of starting this operation together seemed like a sensible thing; the perfect synergy.”Since the two joined forces, All Fuels kept expanding, establishing a wide and improved distribution operation Australia-wide and overseas, rapidly growing the entire range of the Hot Shot branch.“We’ve kept going and growing and we haven’t looked backed ever since,” Billy says. “Meanwhile we’re savouring the original formula of the first traditional barbeque briquette made in Australia by Industrial Carbon.”“It’s pure and the best. Its burning time of a minimum three hours makes it ideal for cooking with kettle barbecues and spit roasts so no fuel replacement is required while cooking,” he explains.A fuel that can burn for hours at a low, steady temperature but also comes from the right type of wood to impart that signature smoky flavour, is essential according to Billy who swears by their charcoal briquettes.“Greeks and Cypriots love their barbecue,” he enthuses. “This way of cooking is deeply ingrained to our cultural identity. We love our meat and we know how to make it taste delicious.”“I believe both our know-how combined, has helped us create the go-to product for the job; it comes as no surprise that Greece and Cyprus have been two of our best Hot Shot customers. Cyprus remains a strong client today and Greece follows.”Michael is quick to agree, insisting that developing a wide range of products and fuels has helped them perfect their briquettes and become market leaders. Another popular BBQ product by All Fuesls is the Weber kettle, traditionally known for indirect cooking, which means that the food is not placed over the coals but between the lit coals. This method requires the lid to be on the BBQ with all vents open and is used for roasting, including cooking a ham. Heat is controlled by the number of briquettes placed in the BBQ. “We rate the heat level in three categories and we sell fuel in different sized bags.“While charcoal provides the low heat required for slow-cooking meat, if you add good quality wood in chunks or little pieces to a bed of coals, you can get the best aromas and smoky flavour,” Michael muses.“We have created this range of products that complement each other and have been putting it to the hardest tests. Fail proof!”Given that different varieties bring distinct flavours to meat – something applied often in Greek cuisine – the company takes pride in their low-resin woods and the light, aromatic smoke they can produce for the entire burning time. Hot Shots kindling is an excellent-rated dried product for starting your fire, the Hot Shots Charcoal for an open grill, the lump charcoal is also a top-seller; whilst their Hot Shots firelighters provide clean burning fire starting. “We make BBQ a breeze; that’s why Aussies love it. We test everything first and then recommend it,” Billy stresses. “We are very proud to have Greeks and Greek restaurants top the list of our clientele. Greeks barbeque a lot, especially for Easter. A big thank you for the community for placing us at the top of the market!”*To find out more about the Hot Shots product range head to Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Youth worker arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse

first_imgA youth worker who volunteered at two Vancouver churches was arrested Sunday on suspicion of child sex abuse, and police are asking to speak with anyone who might have information about him. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was alerted on Saturday to the alleged sex abuse. A family member of Christopher Joseph Gonzales, 44, of Vancouver said Gonzales had abused children at her home on several occasions since 2008, according to the sheriff’s office. The alleged victims include three girls as young as 5 years old, the sheriff’s office said. Detectives with the agency’s Child Abuse division learned that Gonzales had volunteered since 2010 at the Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver and since early this year at the Freedom Community Church, which holds Sunday services at Salmon Creek Elementary School, according to its website. On Sunday, Gonzales was booked into the Washington County Jail on suspicion of nine counts of first-degree sexual abuse. His bail was set at $750,000. Anyone who might have more information about Gonzales is asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2500.last_img read more

University of Lincoln wins Employee Benefits Awards 2016 Grand Prix

first_imgThe University of Lincoln took home the Grand Prix at the Employee Benefits Awards 2016.The organisation was applauded for its trailblazing approach to financial wellbeing and its efforts to support staff and student employees through a programme described as groundbreaking.The University of Lincoln (pictured) also won the award for Best financial education strategy for its Financial Fairytales Financial Education Programme, and was highly commended in the Best benefits communication, small employer category.Joanna Bean, head of total rewards, UK and Ireland at Samsung, was named Employee Benefits professional of the year 2016, while Nottingham City Council’s reward team won the Benefits team of the year accolade.Capgemini, Easyjet, Goodman Masson, Home Group, Live Nation Entertainment, and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals were also among the winners at this year’s Employee Benefits Awards 2016, which took place on Friday 3 June at the Artillery Gardens at the HAC, London.Congratulations to all our winners, highly commended entries and finalists.Special thanks to all who entered the awards, our esteemed judges, and event sponsors.Find out more about the winning entries and view photo highlights from the awards ceremony and summer party.last_img read more

Why Hoffman Media Is Doubling Down on Print

first_imgMoreover, the company is kicking off the year by investing further in two of its flagship titles: Southern Lady, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and Taste of the South—increasing both magazines’ trim sizes to 9 inches-wide and adding 16 pages to Taste of the South (Southern Lady saw its page count increased a year ago).For Brian Hart Hoffman, president and chief creative officer and son of company founder Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, it’s about offering a quality product to readers, first and foremost.“We really value the relationship we have with our readers, and they demand and command the quality that we put into each of our publications, whether it be through our photography, the quality of our recipes, the extent of our travel coverage,” Hoffman tells Folio:. “They told us they wanted more. It’s a wonderful problem to have readers that love what you’re doing so much that they want to see more of it.”Folio: sat down with Hoffman to learn more about what’s allowed the company to remain bullish on print, and where the medium is headed in the future.HoffmanFolio: A big part of Taste of the South‘s refresh is increasing the magazine’s travel coverage. Why?Brian Hart Hoffman: We’ve entered into a period of time where the hunger for culinary travel is really strong, so we knew that by adding pages we could double down on our commitment to that. Social media is such a lens into our readers’ daily lives and what they love and want more of. We constantly get messages from readers saying, “I’m traveling to Atlanta; give me the top five places to eat.”Taste of the South is read nationally. The readers are Southern by interest, Southern by heart. They want to travel and explore the South, and food is something that they think about in that planning.Folio: What are some ways you take a regionally-focused title and appeal to readers in new markets?Hoffman: Newsstand placements, absolutely; making we’re sitting front-and-center in key markets where we’ve seen a lot of success. But social media is a big vehicle through which people learn about us. We work with a lot of influencers now who are in the Southern food and lifestyle space. They love being in print and we love seeing our products in blogs and on social media.Folio: How has social media impacted the decisions you make when it comes to designing a print magazine?Hoffman: Readers love to take photos of what they’re reading. We see a lot of social media engagement when subscribers receive their copies of the magazine in the mail. They love to style their own images with coffee or muffins or something they’ve made from the magazine. They have it sitting on the counter and they want people to know that they’re spending their Saturday reading Taste of the South and baking something in their kitchen, or that Southern Lady is accompanying them on a road trip or an airplane.People love to engage with the brand digitally, but show that they’re also reading a print product.Folio: Do you think your magazines lend themselves particularly well to that idea, because they do tend to skew toward those thicker, coffee-table type of books? Hoffman: I think so. Our quality is absolutely something we want people to engage with, and they do. It’s not uncommon for us to hear from our audience that the paper is so nice, the photos are so pretty. We get photos from readers of the stack of magazines on their bookshelf because they can’t come to part with them.We’re moving in the direction of higher quality, nicer paper, wider format. We’re not looking to cut back to the point where readers would start to feel like it’s a disposable product.Folio: Does appealing to new readers on the newsstand ever come at odds with maintaining that level of quality for your regular subscribers?Hoffman: We absolutely value the balance. Some of our magazines have much higher cover prices than a typical publisher might set; we have some titles at $12.99. Southern Lady is $7.99. Taste of the South is $5.99. When someone sees that price on the newsstand, the quality has to match that ask. They have to see it when they turn the pages; they know right then that they aren’t buying something that doesn’t provide value back to them.It’s the same with our subscribers. We don’t offer $5 subscriptions and undervalue the quality of what people receive in the mail. They pay a price that’s indicative of the product they’re going to receive.Folio: What about when it comes to advertising? What considerations do you make when trying to maintain that quality for the reader?Hoffman: We limit some of our publications to a 70-30 edit-to-ad ratio. So you’ll definitely see more editorial in all of our publications. The higher the price goes, the more limited those advertising opportunities are. We are looking for quality advertising partners. We’re not chasing rate bases and doing things to keep the audience size at a certain level.When someone chooses to advertise with Hoffman Media, they are getting a file of qualified and paid customers, so they are getting an active and engaged audience. That’s what we deliver to them—that relationship. And their ad is going to be visible. It’s not going to be buried.Folio: Has it become a tougher sell as advertising budgets have moved towards digital media?Hoffman: We’re absolutely still seeing demand. Our advertising revenue has grown each year for the last three or four years. It’s all in the relationship and the package we bring to that partner.Sure, it now involves digital elements and engagement with our audience through social media or our newsletters. But they absolutely still see the value of being in the print product. Folio: That’s contrary somewhat to what we’re seeing more broadly in the marketplace, where a lot of publishers have had to move away from print toward other revenue sources. What has Hoffman done differently?Hoffman: I don’t have the crystal ball to speak to other publishers’ strategies, but I can speak to ours, and it’s delivering more of what people tell us they want. I know that sounds simple, but we enjoy a really great relationship with our core audiences, and they’re very vocal.As an example, I am an avid baker. I had been producing content for a number of years that had baking elements for Taste of the South and other publications; we would do special editions geared toward baking that were very successful. The light bulb went off when we asked, “Why is there not a baking publication?”We introduced the Bake from Scratch brand because we knew there was an audience there. After successfully testing it, we launched what became one of the hottest launches of the year.Folio: What are some of the ways you identify or test which markets might be right for a new product?Hoffman: If you look at some of our brands like Southern Lady or The Cottage Journal or Southern Home, we often test “sister content,” that feels a part of the brand, but may be kicking the wall out into a new sector. We conduct newsstand tests for subject matter, for branding, for various things. When we see really strong success, we have internal conversations about how to do more of that and whether it’s worthy of expanding to its own brand platform.Folio: More broadly, what kind of trends are you paying attention to? Where do you see print magazines heading?Hoffman: I would say it’s trending toward quality. The audience that we see engaging on the newsstand and in subscriber publications is for higher quality products, and they don’t mind the price. Obviously, everything has a price threshold.I’m often asked about Classic Sewing and its $25 cover price. But when you look at that niche and that product and see the value that’s contained within that polybag, it’s not just a publication. They can immediately look at that package and see that the $25 price is providing way more value to them than that monetary amount.You will see more and more of that from us. I have said before, you will never see Hoffman Media launch another publication at $4.99 or less. I guess I should never say never, but we are definitely seeing the numbers and the trends indicate that the higher quality and higher price is working. Print is anything but dead at Hoffman Media.The Birmingham, Alabama-based publisher of 11 Southern-focused special interest magazines—several of which boast nationwide print audiences numbering in the hundreds of thousands—has distinguished itself as something of an anomaly in the current landscape by continuing to stake its bets on reader-driven print revenue.The company says it hit a record high in newsstand sales last year (as of the most recent MagNet report, from Q1 of 2017, Hoffman was the only top-15 publisher to see a year-over-year increase in either retail units sold or newsstand revenue). It says its magazine business grown steadily since its founding in 1983, and it’s difficult to argue the point; in the last three years alone, Hoffman has bolstered its portfolio by launching four additional regular frequency titles, with a fifth planned for 2018.last_img read more

Haines skiers ask to lawfully XC on roads

first_imgDownload AudioWith cuts to plowing services, it might be time to consider an alternate mode of transport if that big snow storm ever comes. But skiing on roads in the Haines borough is illegal, and those gliding down local thoroughfares can be dinged with a fine.One ski enthusiast is spearheading a campaign in hopes of changing that minor offense.Some Haines’ residents are hoping to change a local law that prohibits skiing on roads. (Jillian Rogers)Currently Erik Stevens has collected nearly 140 signatures on a petition to do away with the violation. If fined, a rogue road-skier would have to pay $25 for a first offense, and $5 for each subsequent offense.Stevens says the catalyst for the petition is simply that he and many others he knows would like the option of skiing to work or to the grocery store.“People are always like ‘Oh, this is so stupid, this is the most ridiculous thing, we need to change this,’” Stevens says. “We’ve been talking about this for years so I finally decided that someone should take it on as a cause.”Stevens brought his case to the minor offenses ordinance ad hoc committee last month. The committee members had mixed reactions. Here’s Stevens addressing the committee with response from committee chair Bill Thomas and member Ron Jackson.Stevens: “I’ve got this petition here, I don’t know if I can deliver it to you, or read it to you.”Thomas: “We know what you want. And again, we can eliminate the fine, but we can’t do anything about the…”Jackson: “Point of order, he’s got three minutes here and I’d hear what he has to say.”Thomas: “Well, he’s said it, but OK.”Stevens: “I do want to be clear, because it’s not an entire section of code that we want to remove.”Stevens says the group just wants part of the offense regarding skiing, roller skating and sledding on the roads changed to omit skiing from the list of unlawful activities.Committee member Donnie Turner suggested Stevens take it to the assembly. Mike Case agreed.“In order to get any effect out of what you’ve done, you need to take it to the assembly because we have no power to that,” Case said.But, Mayor Jan Hill says the committee does have the authority to recommend, not only changes in fines, but altering or discarding offenses that are redundant or aren’t relevant. She says the door is “wide open” as far what the ad hoc committee can tackle and recommend.Despite being dismissed by a few of the committee members, Stevens says he’s optimistic that the committee, and ultimately the assembly, will see that skiing on roads offers a healthy transportation alternative.“I don’t think I did a very good job of getting the message across. I think there is still some work to be done with the committee to make sure everybody understand what we’re asking so we’re going to keep trying. It’s just an age-old form of transportation that’s healthy, it’s active, it’s fun, people enjoy it, and in a small town there is no reason why we can’t share the road with skiers the same way we share the road with bikers.”Dan Egolf has lived in Haines since 1980, and says the issue has been coming up for a couple of decades. He says that rewriting the law so people can ski on the roads, but would have to abide by traffic laws, is a good solution.“It was enforced, historically, 20 years ago and in talking to Erik there have been people who have been told to get off their skis and walk back,” Egolf says. “It seems like another one of these laws that needs to be looked at. I don’t think there is near the hazard involved with people skiing prudently (compared) to other modes of transportation that are allowed.”In Skagway, skiing on municipal roadways is permitted, according to the code. But skiers are subject to various traffic laws.Borough clerk Emily Deach says it’s not something that’s done all that often – people usually want to ski on trails – but it’s nice to have the option, especially after a big dump of snow.“As far as I know, it has never been an issue here,” she says. “It’s not something they usually choose to do in town, but I have seen it happen.”The Haines’ minor offenses committee meets next on Dec. 17 at 5:30. Among other topics, the group will discuss who the enforcers should be when it comes to doling out citations.last_img read more

Xbox Play Anywhere launches heres how it works

first_imgWith the launch of ReCore, Microsoft has started its Play Anywhere initiative. Users can now purchase a digital game on either Xbox One or PC (via the Windows Store) and have access to it on both platforms. Players can play on Xbox One and then move over to play on PC (and vice versa) and have their progress, including achievements, carry over. Play Anywhere gives players more freedom to play where and how they want, but how does it all work exactly?The first thing you’ll need is the Windows 10 Anniversary Update installed on your PC along with the latest update for Xbox One. Without those, you will not be able to get Play Anywhere working. I know this first-hand because I tried to download ReCore from the Windows Store after purchasing it from the Xbox One store to no avail. After wracking my brain trying to figure out the problem, I realized I needed to update Windows.After doing that, I was able to log into my account (the same one I linked to my Xbox account) and downloaded ReCore easily.I bought ReCore from the Xbox store on the Xbox One, but there are other ways to get Play Anywhere titles. Users can purchase these games from the Xbox App on Windows 10, iOS, and Android. They can also purchase games from the Windows Store,,, or from a digital game code that is sold in stores. The best part is that once you purchase a game from any one of these places, you will not have to pay an additional fee in order to play it on either Xbox One or PC.As I mentioned above, all of your achievements and game progress carries over to whichever system you’re playing on. All DLC, including add-ons, season passes, consumables, and in-game unlocks also transfer over. Though you can transfer information between Xbox One and PC, you cannot be logged into both devices at the same time.Moving forward, all Xbox One exclusives will feature Play Anywhere functionality. This includes upcoming titles like Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2, Sea of Thieves, and Scalebound.last_img read more

Music for a cause

first_imgSoma Das, a singer with a mellifluous voice who resides in London but with a Kolkata connection launched her debut album Amar Praner Manush based on Tagore songs on Monday evening. The album is designed by noted musician, arranger, composer Debojyoti Mishra and comprises eight songs from Tagore like, Amar Praner Manush, Emon Dine Tare Bola Jay, Sei Bhalo Sei Bhalo, Biraho Madhur Holo Aji, Amar Hiyar Majhe, Shrabaner Dharar Moto, Jakhan Esechhile and so on. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSoma took her diploma in Tagore songs from Dakshinee – a renowned institution from Bengal – and took music lessons from Haimanti Shukla, Suprakash Chaki and by profession, is a teacher. The most interesting part of the release was a tribute to a traditional band from Bengal, the Mehboob Band. Soma wanted to mark the release ceremony of her album a bit differently from the others. An album with a cause, she also wanted to contribute a part of the ticket sales to the band as she feels every artiste owes something to society. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Mehboob Band, a noted band group known as band party, performs at marriage receptions, puja immersions and so on. This band started its journey during pre-independence era in Kolkata at M G Road. Long back, there were more than 100 musicians who bagged so many awards. Soma said, “I have planned my release also in London where I am going to involve street musicians to release my album”. Debojyoti Mishra said, “To judge a song hit, bands play an important role. They are performing a song means it’s a hot one. It’s a tribute to such musicians who have been entertaining us over so many decades.” In another event, eminent santoor player Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya will be showcasing a new raga named Ganga after India’s holy river, the mighty Ganges. GIMA award winner tabla maestro and new age percussion star Pandit Prodyut Mukherjee has designed the sound of this album. He has also accompanied with his melodious tabla. The album will release in Kolkata on September 6. The concern for the river has reached the domain of Indian classical music. Ganga is our life line and epicentre of our civilisation but we keep polluting it and in some places sewage water pours into the Ganga, our sacred river.After playing at all most top notch venues in the world like Royal Albert Hall, Theatre De La Vill (France), Kremlin (Moscow), Pt Bhattacharya has extended his hands towards social service. Recipient of many awards, his previous social activities were related to patients suffering from thalassaemia, polio, street children and so on. Starting from Kolkata to Varanasi this album will be released all over India where Ganga floats even in different names. To spread the message, this album will be released from a reputed music company of USA as well. The audio CD will be released by Padmabibhushan Girija Devi at Sangeet Research Academy, on Kristi Creation.last_img read more

Wave Estate forays into affordable housing

first_imgPosed picturesquely at the foothills of the Shivalik Range, Wave Estate is a distinguished address located advantageously at the heart of Mohali in Sector 85 and 99. Understanding the rising demand and the immense success of Dream Homes, with 100% sell out, at Wave City (Ghaziabad), Wave Estate plans to bring the same economical housing, with best of amenities, for the real estate market of Punjab.The project will be spread across an area of approximately seven acres with a total of 1000 units, with 300 units in phase 1, of its development. With this venture, customers of Wave Estate would enjoy living in a world class city with exclusive features, social infrastructure, and connectivity, at an unbeatable location. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfReal estate sector has been through a roller coaster ride for past few years. But, with all the volatilities of the sector, construction at Wave Estate has been at a fast pace. With construction at a brisk pace, the estate company recently acquired completion certificate for its partial development of 171 acres, out of its 255-acre project as well as completion and occupancy certificate for the built-up area of approximately 300 units for G+2 floors. Possession has already been offered to customers and over 70 families are already residing in Wave Estate. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpeaking on this occasion, HS Kandhari, Director, Wave Estate, said, “At Wave Estate, we stand by our commitment to deliver our customers a lifestyle that is larger than life. For us, customer satisfaction comes first, and with our investment of Rs 200 Crore in the affordable housing segment, we aim to cater to the popular demand of our customers in this segment.””With the construction on full swing, Wave Estate stands by its commitment to deliver a world-class living environment to its customers,” he added. Further, keeping in mind the everyday needs of the residents, Wave Estate inaugurated a super-mart, named ‘Freshly Yours’ within its premises. Spread over approximately 140 square yards area, at ‘Freshly Yours’, the residents can buy from a wide variety of product categories. Speaking on the vision of Wave Infratech, Rajiv Gupta, CEO, Wave Infratech, said, “We at Wave Infratech continuously and constantly strive to innovate and develop exceptional products and services for our key stakeholders, our customers. Adapting to market needs and demands, all of our projects offer a varied range of products for buyers and investors alike. Our projects adhere to RERA compliance and would deliver as per its timelines.”Wave Estate houses the ultra-fine collection of contemporary villas, plots, charming floors, and plush housing condominiums in a safe and secure environment, with boundary walls in each sector and an operational clubhouse.last_img read more

Luxury Escape Located on levels 1929 our spaciou

first_imgLuxury EscapeLocated on levels 19-29 our spaciously designed SkySuites sleep up to 7 guests and offer spectacular views of the Gold Coast City and Hinterland.Stay 5 nights from $2495, valued up to $4765, save 47.6%5 nights in a Three Bedroom SkySuite for up to 7 people*Guaranteed views of the Gold Coast Hinterland with all SkySuites located on levels 19-29continental buffet breakfast in Stones Bar & Grill for all guestsBottle of Moet and Chandon on arrivalGourmet Cheese Platter on arrivalThe Ruby Collection signature soy candle (one per booking)$250 Dining Credit to enjoy at Stones Bar & GrillComplimentary Wi-Fi throughout your stayComplimentary local calls from your in-room phoneComplimentary daily housekeeping service Monday – Saturday (Sundays are on request)Undercover Car-parking for up to two vehicles *Conditions applyIMAGE: 3 bedroom apartment The first tower in the billion-dollar development – the Ruby Collection – will open at the end of November 2018 and early bookers can enjoy savings of up to 54%, and be among the first to experience the newest and most innovative apartment-style accommodation on the Gold Coast. All pre-opening packages are on sale for a limited time and available for travel from 5 November 2018 to 31 March, 2020. “We Don’t Do Ordinary,” says David Brook, CEO of the Ruby Apartments, adding that the pre-opening packages are ‘little gems’.“Our aim was to create packages that will exceed the guest expectation – experiences that create precious memories that will be remembered for years to come. “We’ve considered each demographic carefully and created packages that will ensure our customers’ expectations become a reality.”Ruby Apartment PackagesBest for CouplesStay 5 nights from $995, valued up to $2190, save 54.6% continental buffet breakfast in Stones Bar & Grill undercover parking for one vehicle2 x Welcome CocktailsThe Ruby Collection signature candle (one per booking)$100 Dining Credit to enjoy at Stones Bar & Grill Best for FamiliesStay 5 nights from $1495, valued up to $3049, save 51%continental buffet breakfast in Stones Bar & Grill for the whole familyKids Eat FREE for lunch & dinner in Stones Bar & Grill or the Terrace CaféThe Ruby Collection plush Teddy Bear to take home (one per booking)Bed rails and baby baths available on requestFoot stool in the bathroomUndercover parking for one vehiclecenter_img Gold Coasthotelslast_img read more

Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Symington predicted that when the time comes it will be a free-for-all. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away 0 Comments   Share   The second John Kyl announced he would not run for another term in the Senate, questions about who would replace him started to pop up.According to Politico, former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, himself considering the possibility, said former Cardinals star Kurt Warner would be a good candidate.“He’s a strong conservative and he’s extremely well liked and certainly would have the ability to attract the financial support,” Symington said of the former Arizona Cardinals quarterback.center_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkelast_img read more

and Lena Dunham mou

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Lumsden, steadfastness in their faith. but on the deserted highway, The 27-year-old Elistratov is one of 168 athletes competing as a neutral "Olympic Athlete from Russia", After Cornyn read the Senate rules about the repercussions for disclosing confidential business of the Senate, ” Cook said. As they consider their future personal plans, society, Reuters Despite his elevated position in the ATP charts Goffin has never beaten Pouille in three previous meetings. I haven’t sensed that today.
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Do you think shes

" Do you think shes right? The House also resolved to suspend its plenary for three days (one week). but a September launch seems likely.S. who was sentenced to 17 years last week.” says Paul Koch, ordered that the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Pension Office.

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Three years later, Both Mario Gomez and Daniel Ginczek headed wide for Stuttgart in the last 10 minutes.” Mohammed affirmed. read more