Population explosion

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first_imgEyebrows were raised when Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern about the population explosion in the country in his Independence Day speech on Thursday. The surprise was because it has been a ‘No-No’ issue to many politicians from the days of Emergency when the Indira Gandhi government used coercive population control measures. Her family planning programme received widespread condemnation and effectively never realised its purpose. Later, the ministry’s name was changed to Family Welfare. Also Read – A special kind of bondIndia’s population is 1.34 billion, which is nearly a fourfold increase since independence. Modi has reasons for concern, as according to the World Population Prospects 2019 of the United Nations, India is further expected to add nearly 273 million people between 2019 and 2050. Inevitably, with these figures, “India is projected to surpass China as the World’s most populous country around 2027”, the report said. The biggest challenge for India is its unpreparedness to accommodate such a huge population. Looking at all these figures, “The time has now come that we should take such challenges ahead”, the Prime Minister said. Also Read – Insider threat managementInterestingly, while Modi had been talking about India’s demographic dividend in his first term, he has realised in his second term that a large population by itself may not be a bad thing but it has to contribute to the growth. This needs to be supported by capital, technology and infrastructure as well as skills. That is why the Prime Minister is now talking of education as a means of both moderating the rising population and also making them productive. The country is already facing acute drinking water crisis, sewage treatment, inadequate rainfall, climate change, increased level of pollution, high infant and child mortality rate and poor standard of living in poorer sections. The Prime Minister’s speech was mainly targeted towards these poorer sections and his appeal to them for the small family norm is aimed at improving their standard of living. He has noted that the poor are missing out on going up the ladder because of too many hands to feed. Making it a nationalistic issue, he said, “Those who follow the policy of small family also contribute to the development of the nation; it is also a form of patriotism”. Why did Modi talk of population explosion now? It obviously stems from the fact that his hands are strengthened after the massive mandate he received in 2019 polls. Politically, Modi is much stronger today while the opposition is weak. Added to that was the recent success in Parliament where he could get controversial bills like Triple Talaq and scrapping of Article 370 pertaining to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir passed despite being in a minority in the Rajya Sabha. Secondly, the Indian right-wing including the BJP has always expressed concern about the increasing minority population. They feel that the Muslims were trying to overtake Hindus in the country by multiplying fast. The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, during his annual Dussehra address some time ago, noted, “We need to rise above vote bank politics to formulate a holistic approach, equally applicable to all citizens, towards the population policy.” In Parliament too, the BJP members have raised the issue. Recently Rakesh Sinha, a BJP Member of Parliament, has introduced a private member’s bill to regulate the population. Earlier another BJP member, Sanjeev Balyan, who is now a minister, had also introduced another bill with the backing of 124 members. Atal Bihari Vajpayee too had made an attempt in 2000 by bringing a forward-looking National Population Policy but it made the two-child norm a voluntary commitment for individuals. The Modi government has also followed this same approach that family-planning programme in India is target-free and voluntary in nature. Modi’s speech has triggered speculations that a mild interventionist population policy is not far off. It is a very sensitive issue both at the state level as well as the religious level. The north-south divide and the Hindu-Muslim divide are the two issues on population control. The southern states feel that its great success in bringing down the population level is costing them in terms of resources devolved from the Centre. Minority affairs minister Naqvi has claimed this week that it is social reform. The Prime Minister is not one who wastes words and he has used the Independence Day speech to prepare the country on population regulation. There is an urgent need to aggressively push concepts like two-child policy, advocating child spacing, contraceptive methods, promoting small family size, and persuading voluntary sterilisation. Two-child norm should be made a uniform criterion for government jobs, getting aids and subsidies and other benefits. Perhaps incentives and disincentives might work better in containing the size of the family. The Health ministry is already implementing many of these schemes but much more will be needed to create awareness. As India aspires to become a major economic power, it is time to define whether a growing population is an opportunity or a danger. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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In the news today Jan 23

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first_imgSix stories in the news for Wednesday, Jan. 23———TRUDEAU MAKING FREQUENT STOPS IN SASKATCHEWANPrime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to visit Saskatchewan for a seventh time in the last year and experts say it’s part of a political strategy to show he has not given up on certain provinces. Trudeau is to be in La Loche today — one day after the third anniversary of shootings at a home and a high school left four people dead in the remote northern community. Seven others were injured. Although Trudeau’s visit Wednesday isn’t as political as the town hall he held in Regina two weeks ago, longtime Liberal pundit Rob Silver said the party isn’t giving up on areas that are harder to win.———PRIDE TORONTO VOTES TO KEEP OFFICERS OUT OF PARADEMembers of Pride Toronto have voted against allowing the city’s uniformed police officers from participating in this year’s parade. The vote comes about three months after the organization lifted a ban on uniformed officers taking part in the annual event, saying the force was welcome to apply to be a part of this summer’s festivities. But the decision to keep them out was made by a margin of 163-161 on Tuesday night. Uniformed officers were first banned from the parade in 2017 over concerns of racial profiling, and again in 2018 over criticism the force had not taken the disappearances of several men missing from the city’s gay village seriously.———CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN CASE OF SLAIN FOOTBALL PLAYERFinal arguments are to be heard today at the trial of a man accused in the fatal shooting of a Calgary Stampeders football player. Nelson Lugela, 21, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Mylan Hicks outside the Marquee Beer Market in Calgary on Sept. 25, 2016. The final witness was called more than a month ago. A number of Stampeders players, including Hicks from the team’s practice roster, had been celebrating a victory over Winnipeg in a game hours earlier.———BURNING SHIP HEADED FOR BAHAMAS: EXPERTA massive container ship that has been burning in international waters off Canada’s east coast since Jan. 3 now appears headed for the Bahamas instead of Halifax, its original destination. Satellite tracking shows the smouldering, 320-metre ship is being slowly towed to the southwest, travelling about 130 kilometres per day. No one was hurt after the fire broke out as the ship sailed about 1,900 kilometres southeast of Halifax, but the vessel’s 22 crew members were evacuated from the ship as the fire grew and the weather turned ugly.———ENERGY, TRADE ON AGENDA FOR ATLANTIC PREMIERSAtlantic Canada’s premiers are scheduled to meet today in Charlottetown. Premier Wade MacLauchlan says the premiers’ discussions will focus on four areas of interest including: energy, regulatory alignment, internal trade and health care. MacLauchlan says the talks will also explore clean energy and climate change.———CANADIAN ILLUSTRATES MCCARTNEY’S KIDS BOOKSToronto-based illustrator Kathryn Durst says she’s found a true collaborator in Paul McCartney after working closely with the rock legend to bring his bedtime tale for grandchildren to the page. On Wednesday McCartney revealed the cover of his upcoming children’s book “Hey Grandude!,” which features the Sheridan College alum’s drawings of a ponytailed man surrounded by a brood of kids. Durst, who has been working on the project for about a year, said she still has a hard time believing she’s sharing a cover with one of The Beatles.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— The trial continues today for Dennis Oland, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his father.— Sentencing is expected today for Christopher Brass, who was convicted of manslaughter in the March 2017 shooting death of Jeanenne Fontaine, Tina Fontaine’s cousin.— The Toronto Black Film Festival announces its official program, events lineup and special guests.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Egypts AlAzhar Denies Removing Tunisia from Islamic States List

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Rabat – Rumors that historical Egyptian Islamic university Al-Azhar revoked Tunisia’s categorization as an “Islamic state” due to the country’s recent women’s rights proposals stirred controversy across social media last week. In order to de-escalate the buzz, Al-Azhar finally broke its silence and denied the rumors via Twitter on January 28. “Al-Azhar Media Center has followed astonishingly the rumors spread recently across social media about Al-Azhar removing Tunisia from the list of Islamic states,” tweeted Al-Azhar on January 28.Social media users’ responses to  the rumors have been conflicted. While some were outraged by the alleged decision, others supported the spread of such rumors, as they consider Al-Azhar a proponent of religious extremism in Egypt and the Arab world. The latter claim is connected to Al-Azhar’s refusal to consider the Islamic State an apostate institution. Amazgh political activist Ahmed Asid expressed his views on Al-Azhar’s alleged decision: “Al-Azhar’s intrusion in the affairs of another country is a sign of cultural degeneration.” Asid added that Tunisia’s reforms concerning women’s rights have set an example that Morocco should follow.On August 15, 2017, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi promised to push forward an agenda in support of gender equality with his proposal to revoke imbalanced inheritance laws and allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men.Al-Azhar issued a statement on August 20 that indirectly criticized Essebsi’s attempts at reform and refused any alternative interpretation of the Islamic law, saying, “Islamic texts, including verses from the Holy Quran on inheritance, are fixed provisions.” However, Al-Azhar has not made any threats about removing Tunisia from a list of Islamic states;  in spite of its rich Islamic history, Al-Azhar does not have the authority to make such a decision, and furthermore, no such list actually exists. read more

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Maple Leaf Foods raises dividend reports Q4 profit down 80 from year

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The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI) MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. raised its dividend as it reported its fourth-quarter profit fell nearly 80 per cent from a year ago.The company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 14.5 cents per share, up from its previous payment of 13 cents per share.The increased payment to shareholders came as the company reported a profit of $11.9 million or 10 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31. That is down nearly 80 per cent from a profit of $59.1 million or 45 cents per diluted share in the last three months of 2017.Sales totalled $893.9 million, up from $876.8 million.Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter amounted to 29 cents per share, down from 41 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2017.The average analyst estimate was a profit of 34 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. read more

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Government says one law for all

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The Sri Lankan delegation also said it welcomes the observations made by some delegations on the issue of intimidation or reprisal against individuals and groups who corporate or have corporate with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights. (Colombo Gazette) “The government has made every endeavor to address any concerns brought to its notice,” the Sri Lankan delegation said. The delegation said this while speaking at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva today during the interactive dialogue on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. The government informed the UN Human Rights Council today, that in Sri Lanka, all are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.The Sri Lankan delegation at the Council also said that the government condemns acts of intimidation or reprisal alleged to have been committed against civil society in the country. read more

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Pakistan Army chief to visit Lanka on Friday

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Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of the Pakistan Army, General Raheel Sharif, NI (M) is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on Friday, the Ministry of Defence said today. The Pakistan army chief is making the visit upon an invitation extended by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva.During his five-day visit, General Raheel Sharif is expected to call on President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Defence, Secretary to Ministry of Defence, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Chief of Defence Staff, Commanders of the Navy and Air Force and also visit several military establishments, army media sources state. The General is an alumnus of Government College Lahore and graduate of Pakistan Military Academy. He is also a graduate of the Canadian Staff College, National Defence University Pakistan and Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom. (Colombo Gazette) His father Major Muhammad Sharif was a war veteran of Second World War. His elder brother Major Shabir Sharif (Shaheed) made his mark in the history of Pakistan by first earning Sitara-i-Jurat in 1965 war and then ‘Nishan-e-Haider’ the highest gallantry award of Pakistan for sacrificing his life in the most heroic manner in 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. Captain Mumtaz Sharif, his second elder brother is also a war veteran and recipient of ‘Sitara-i-Basalat’. Born into a military family in Quetta in June 1956 General Raheel Sharif, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military) was commissioning with 54th Pakistan Military Academy Long Course in October 1976. read more

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UN conference on tsunami response calls for more healthoriented disaster preparedness

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These were among the key findings sketched out by some 400 health practitioners from more than 130 countries, organizations and the military, capping a three-day conference convened in Phuket, Thailand, by the World Health Organization (WHO) to look at lessons learned and ways to improve the health response to natural disasters.The meeting stressed that a global network of experts and clear procedures on handling psychological trauma and mass fatalities were crucial to improving the response to future disasters. WHO was also asked to play a stronger role in disasters – directing volunteer doctors and nurses, distributing donated equipment and medicines and monitoring the health of affected communities.”The tsunami has shown that countries can prevent disease outbreaks but that the world must be prepared to deal more effectively with psychological trauma, the health needs of women and mass fatalities,” said Dr. David Nabarro, Special Representative of the WHO Director-General. “By applying what we have learned, we can be better prepared. When disaster strikes, more lives will be saved and affected communities will recover more rapidly.”The meeting’s recommendations will be taken up at the World Health Assembly from 16 to 25 May in Geneva, the annual meeting of WHO’s governing body where decisions are made on how to respond to global health needs.Among the other findings, the experts recommended setting up a pool of forensic pathologists for mass fatalities and dead bodies. Pointing out that following the tsunami, in Thailand alone, the Government found itself coordinating forensic experts from around 30 countries using several different standards for victim identification – ranging from Polaroid photos to DNA testing, they stressed that disaster professionals should work to agreed standards and be made available for large-scale emergencies. WHO has now been asked to take a lead on harmonizing techniques and identifying experts to provide this assistance.The meeting also urged a focus on health threats faced by women. In disasters, women are particularly vulnerable and their maternal, obstetric and gynaecological services have to be given special priority. read more

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APPLE EVENT Apple updates software MacBooks unveils music service at conference

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SAN FRANCISCO – Apple announced a digital radio service, new MacBook Air laptops and updates to its operating systems for Mac and mobile devices Monday.The announcements came at the company’s annual conference for software developers in San Francisco.Among the highlights: Apple showed off a simplified look on iPhones and iPads. It is the most radical design change since the iPhone made its debut in 2007. It’s part of iOS 7, the new operating system for mobile devices coming this fall.That system will also come with a new radio service, iTunes Radio. In the past, Apple has sold songs and albums one by one. With iTunes Radio, people will get a continuous feed of music chosen by the service based on what they’ve listened to and what they’ve purchased on iTunes. It’s free, with ads.The two-hour keynote kicked off at about 10 a.m. PDT. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference goes through Friday.Here’s a running account of the event, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are PDT. Presenters include CEO Tim Cook; Craig Federighi, senior vice-president for software engineering; and Eddie Cue, senior vice-president for Internet software and services.___NoonCook concludes by touting the new radio service as the “absolute best way to discover new music” and reiterates that iOS 7 is the biggest change ever to the iPhone.He also unveils a new Apple ad that emphasizes the company’s products making life better.___11:58 a.m.Apple says iOS 7 will be available on the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later and the iPad Mini. A test version is available to developers starting Monday. It will be available for everyone else this fall. That’s when Apple is likely to introduce a new iPhone as well.___11:55 a.m.Apple unveils a streaming music service, iTunes Radio. It is built into iOS 7 and works on Apple’s mobile devices. It will also work with Apple’s iTunes software on Mac and Windows computers.It’s free with ads, though subscribers of Apple’s $25-a-year iTunes Match service will get it ad-free. Availability will start in the U.S.___11:50 a.m.Apple unveils a feature for organizing photos you take on iPhones. Instead of the endless streams of the past, they will be organized into moments — such as “home” or “trip to San Francisco.” Federighi says that while you may not remember when you did something, the device’s software does.Apple also says its Siri virtual assistant will use search results from Microsoft’s Bing — furthering its avoidance of Google services. Last year, Apple unveiled its own Maps app to replace one using Google’s mapping service.The company also says it will come out with a version of iOS built into cars.___11:40 a.m.Apple takes a jab at one of its rivals, Samsung Electronics Co. The South Korean giant has been touting Android phones that let you share photos and other content by bumping phones together. Samsung phones have a near-field communication chip that iPhones lack.Federighi says iOS 7 will let you share content wirelessly with a feature called AirDrop.He says, “No need to wander around the room bumping your phone with others.”___11:35 a.m.Apple shows off new features in iOS 7.Apple demonstrates a new weather app with animation: It shows thunder when a thunderstorm is forecast, for instance. The calendar has been cleaned up and looks more streamlined. You can also get to your contacts list quickly while reading messages by swiping from the left of the screen.Also coming to iOS 7: full multitasking. In the past, the ability to use multiple apps at once was limited.You can also swipe up from the bottom to access a control centre, for such functions as turning on the airplane mode and adjusting brightness. It’s similar to a feature available at the top on rival devices running Android.Apple’s software will also figure out which apps you tend to use and make sure content is regularly updated for those.___11:20 a.m.Cook touts the advantages of Apple’s iOS software for mobile devices and introduces a new version, iOS 7. He says it’s the biggest change to the system since the iPhone’s introduction in 2007.Apple’s design chief, Jonathan Ive, appears in a video showing a unified look that is applied across the system.Icons in iOS have had a three-dimensional look that tries to mimic the real-world counterparts of certain apps. For instance, the icon for the Notes app looks like a yellow notepad and the Contacts app is represented by a leather-bound address book.With iOS 7, Apple is favouring simplicity and consistency. Ive says Apple is introducing a new structure to bring order to complexity.While design modifications could help Apple distinguish its devices from rival phones and tablets, they risk alienating longtime users. However, the audience cheered after seeing a video on the changes.___11:10 a.m.Apple unveils a long-overdue upgrade to its iWork suite of productivity software. The new version will tap Apple’s iCloud online syncing service and will let you run the programs from a Web browser.The current version dates back to 2009. The suite includes Pages for word processing and Numbers for spreadsheets. It’s cheaper than Microsoft’s Office, but has worked only on Apple devices. Because the new version works on a Web browser, you can now use it on a Windows computer, too.___11 a.m.Apple shows a video previewing an upcoming Mac Pro. It promises faster connectivity through Thunderbolt 2 ports and better graphics performance.It will be available later this year and will be assembled in the United States, consistent with Apple’s previous pledge to move manufacturing of one of its existing lines of Mac computers to the U.S.___10:55 a.m.Apple announces new MacBook Airs with better battery life. The 11-inch model will have nine hours of battery life instead of five, while the 13-inch model will have 12 hours, instead of seven.The new MacBook Airs start shipping Monday: The 11-inch one starting at $999 and the 13-inch model starting at $1,099. The Airs are thinner and lighter than traditional laptops.___10:50 a.m.Federighi says the maps team has been making improvements to the service, which had been panned when it came out last fall. You can search for directions on a Mac and have it sent to the iPhone, for instance. Apple will be competing with Google Maps, Bing and others on desktop and laptop computers. Apple’s Maps app currently is available only on Apple’s mobile devices.The Mac is also getting the iBooks app previously available on iPhones and iPads. It’s the latest evidence of Apple’s software for mobile devices and traditional computers converging, although Apple has said it prefers to keep the two separate because the Mac software is designed for non-touch devices such as desktops and laptops.The new Mac operating software will be out this fall.___10:40 a.m.Federighi unveils improvement in the Safari Web browser coming in the next version of Apple’s Mac operating system. He demonstrates Apple’s power-saving technology while browsing and announces one-click bookmarking. There’s also an infinite scrolling feature — when you get to the end of an article, it will simply go to the next one as you scroll downward.Need help remembering all your website passwords? Apple has a new feature on its iCloud file-storage service. It will keep track of all your passwords — encrypted for security — across your various devices.And when you’re shopping, it will automatically suggest credit card numbers you’ve used in the past. You will still have to enter the security code on the back of your card, though.___10:30 a.m.Apple has had a practice of naming Mac operating system updates after cats. But Federighi worries that the company is running out of names. After joking that Apple will call the next one Sea Lion, Federighi says the next will actually be called Mavericks, a reference to a big wave area in the San Francisco area.The new operating system will support tagging to help you find files more easily. Simply assign one or more tags such as “important” or “movies” to a particular document as you save it.Mavericks will also work with multiple monitors, with docks and menus going across the various display screens. TVs connected via Apple’s AirPlay can serve as one of those displays.The new system also promises better battery life.___10:10 a.m.Cook opens the keynote by talking about the status of Apple’s more than 400 retail stores worldwide. He says Apple’s newest store is in Berlin, at a century-old building that was one of the city’s first theatres.He also touts Apple’s online store and says the company has 900,000 apps there, including 375,000 specifically designed for the iPad and its larger screen compared with the iPhone.___10 a.m.Cooks walks on stage to applause from an audience of software developers and other Apple fans. APPLE EVENT: Apple updates software, MacBooks, unveils music service at conference AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted Jun 10, 2013 1:06 pm MDT read more

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REACH for a guide to how chemical rules affect companies in the

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A tailored-guide to REACH chemical rules has been developed by the motor industry. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation (and Restriction) of Chemicals. It aims to reduce the risk from chemicals to humans and the environment and encourages the substitution of unsafe chemicals. The rules affect manufacturers and suppliers in the motor industry and also companies in other industry sectors. The Regulation itself runs to around 900 pages, so a task force was set up to make it more relevant and straightforward to the auto supply chain. Comprising SMMT and representatives of major vehicle manufacturers (ACEA, JAMA and KAMA) as well as CLEPA, the body representing European suppliers, the group created an Automotive Industry Guideline (AIG). This has been published today. The aim is for a live document with future versions available for download free of charge at www.acea.be/reach REACH has on-going deadlines for at least the next decade. SMMT is therefore encouraging companies to bookmark the ACEA web address and return regularly for updates. Download version one below:DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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The 53 Best Franchise Players In The NBA

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20. Bradley Beal (31.5)Beal, the Wiz’s 22-year-old shooting guard, doesn’t have any stunning comps among his top five. But look down to No. 10 and you’ll find … Kobe Bryant. Guys who log so much playing time at such a young age can sometimes see radical improvements in their shooting efficiency, and if that happens, Beal will be an All-Star-caliber player. 29. Derrick Favors (26.6)Why are we optimistic about the Utah Jazz? Because Favors ranks among the top 30 long-term NBA players — and yet, he ranks only third on the list among members of the Jazz frontcourt. Coming off his best year yet, Favors is, as Ian Levy writes, “already one of the better defensive bigs in the game,” with an improving offensive skill set. The Jazz hope he blossoms into the next Reignman. 32. Khris Middleton (25.3)Middleton is a Swiss army knife. As Ohm Youngmisuk writes, Middleton’s comps indicate that his game is old-school: “Middleton may not be flashy, but he plays hard, and his throwback game is a nice complement to his flashier and younger teammates.” He has one decidedly new-school skill, however: Middleton is a career .403 shooter from 3-point range. There’s a universe where Middleton develops into Peja Stojakovic (his No. 10 comparable) but with much better defense. 51. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (20.1)Kidd-Gilchrist, like Embiid, will miss the 2015-16 season. The injury could preclude the Hornets from what might otherwise have been a breakout season. It will also preclude Kidd-Gilchrist from gaining a year of experience he needs to round out his offensive game. So far, he has neither been adept at creating good looks for himself nor shooting the ball well when he has. Nonetheless, Kidd-Gilchrist has precocious defensive abilities and will be just 23 when he returns to competition next season. Health willing, he could develop into a Matrix-like player. 53. Joel Embiid (Upside WAR projection through 2020-21: 19.9)Embiid sneaks onto our list at No. 53. (Where would he rank if he hadn’t been hurt for the past two seasons? A lot higher — probably about where Karl-Anthony Towns does at No. 26.) CARMELO still harbors dreams about how Embiid’s shot-blocking could make him the next Joakim Noah. But given Embiid’s injury history, the Greg Oden comp looks increasingly scary. 4. LeBron James (59.9)LeBron is a multipositional freak of nature, as his Larry Bird-Magic Johnson-Charles Barkley comps demonstrate. (What about Michael Jordan? He’d rank high on LeBron’s list too if he hadn’t spent his age-30 season playing minor league baseball.) Even on the downward slope of his career, the King is still the King and projects to have several good years left. We know that some of you will object to any list that doesn’t have LeBron at No. 1, but consider the following: The only other 31-or-older player to make our long-term value list is Marc Gasol, and LeBron projects to have almost as much career value remaining as three Gasols put together. 2. Stephen Curry (65.4)Shocker: The 27-year-old reigning MVP has a bright future. An ultra-efficient shooter and a high-usage passing talent, Curry is a legitimate fusion of Ray Allen and Chris Paul — and is one of the few players to draw Michael Jordan as a top five comparable. But let’s pose the same question that we did for Westbrook and Harden: What might Curry do to become even better? The answer is probably to shoot a bit more. His usage rate is a couple of ticks behind Harden’s and well behind Westbrook’s and Jordan’s. 52. Cody Zeller (20.0)CARMELO’s best guess is that Zeller will produce like a solid starter over the next handful of seasons. But remember, that’s just the mean forecast. The variance is wide because Zeller’s closest historical comparables are all over the place. Maybe he’ll develop into a star, like No. 1 comp Jack Sikma,3Yes, Jack Sikma! Check the numbers if you don’t remember how good he was. Al Horford (No. 3) or Rasheed Wallace (No. 9). Then again, maybe not — Zeller’s comp list is also littered with names like Kwame Brown, Tyrus Thomas and Stromile Swift. 8. Chris Paul (46.3)Paul is one of just two players in his 30s to make the top 10 (you’ll have no trouble guessing the other). The precedents are reasonably favorable here: Point guards tend to age well compared with players at other positions, and well-rounded players like Paul tend to age better than one-dimensional ones. Given his reputation for postseason struggles, however, we couldn’t help but notice that none of Paul’s top five comps (Mark Price, John Stockton, Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, Terrell Brandon) won an NBA title in his prime.4The “in his prime” qualifier is important. Kidd won a title as a 37-year-old with the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks, and Payton did so at the same age with the 2005-06 Miami Heat. 37. Kyle Lowry (24.0)Lowry is a stout and tough point guard, so his comps to Rod Strickland and John Starks are spot on — and both players aged relatively gracefully. But if he can expect a gentle decline, a breakout season is probably not in the cards. “Many of the guards CARMELO sees as most similar to Lowry had already peaked by his age,” Carl Bialik noticed. In other words, at 29 years old, Lowry’s probably not getting any better. 18. DeAndre Jordan (35.1)You know what you’re getting here. Jordan’s skills are either elite (rebounding, shot-blocking) or cringe-worthy (shooting, passing). But as we wrote in our Clippers preview, “dunk-and-defense” guys like Jordan, Dale Davis and Tyson Chandler can be cogs in championship-caliber teams. 43. Jared Sullinger (21.2)With a bevy of crafty post moves, the undersized Sullinger has made an old-school playing style work for him. Although he sometimes struggles to score around the basket, the development of his outside shot keeps the Celtics happy and is one of several reasons CARMELO expects the Celts to have a breakout season. The throwback comp to Lonnie Shelton is dead on, though Sullinger has to do some work to move past where Shelton was at the same age. 42. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (21.2)Caldwell-Pope is young and athletic and has a silky-smooth jumper. The problem is that these skills offset weaknesses elsewhere: His shot selection, playmaking and rebounding all need work. As we wrote in our Pistons preview: A “second coming of Ray Allen (Caldwell-Pope’s sixth-closest comp) would be a bonanza, but don’t bank on it.” Still, players as young as Caldwell-Pope have lots of opportunities to defy the odds. 26. Karl-Anthony Towns (27.4)As we pointed out in our Timberwolves preview, Karl-Anthony Towns has some discouraging comps. If the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft flames out like Anthony Bennett or Greg Oden, that’s a disaster for Minnesota. But CARMELO projections are based on dozens or hundreds of comparables for each player and not just two — and there are plenty of more optimistic names (such as Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins) farther down Towns’s list. 41. Chandler Parsons (21.8)Parsons is a lanky wing defender with an efficient outside shot. He’s a blend of Tayshaun Prince on defense and Rashard Lewis on offense — and his skill set could become even more diverse if, as Tim MacMahon writes, the Mavs have him play more point-forward. The question is whether, at age 27 this season, Parsons can develop a signature skill that transforms him from a well-rounded, above-average player into a star. 47. Nicolas Batum (20.7)Batum’s shooting regressed last season in Portland, but the newly signed Hornet still provides stellar perimeter defense. Hence the two types of comps: shooters such as Robert Horry and Dorell Wright, and defenders such as Tayshaun Prince. Players who combine both of those elements — i.e., the 3-and-D player — are all the rage in today’s NBA, but unlike many of his peers in that category, Batum also adds a playmaking dimension to his team’s offense. 21. Kevin Love (31.3)If everyone was a bit too optimistic about what the addition of Love might mean for the Cavs last season, he may be underrated now. Sure, Love had trouble integrating into Cleveland’s system last year and experienced a major decline in the number of shots he generated near the rim, which also had some knock-off effects on his other statistics (for instance, he drew fewer fouls and grabbed fewer offensive rebounds). But as was the case for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he may be better in his second year playing with LeBron, and he still projects to be a valuable rebounding hawk/stretch power forward. 33. Jrue Holiday (25.0)Holiday has loads of talent and even made an All-Star team a few years back, but injuries have plagued his development. They’ve also concealed improvement in Holiday’s efficiency, however. When he played last season, Holiday shot the ball better and turned it over less often than during his All-Star campaign in 2012-13. The Pelicans will limit Holiday’s playing time at the start of the season, perhaps recognizing that all that may stand between Holiday and a breakout is being healthy enough to play in 82 games. 40. Mike Conley (22.5)The Isiah Thomas comp provides a vision of Conley at his best: a gritty, undersized point guard with a great passing instinct and solid jumper. But as Carl Bialik notes, “his defense has dropped off in recent years,” so there is reason to worry he’ll be a worse-shooting Jason Terry in his later career. 11. Kyrie Irving (40.6)The upside is obvious: Irving has the killer first step and tight handle of Stephon Marbury. And while he’s not an all-time great passer like Isiah Thomas, he’s every bit as good a shooter. Plus, he’s just 23 years old this season. Advanced stats still don’t like his defense, however, and while Irving became a much more efficient offensive player last season, there’s some question about how much of that can be attributed to playing with LeBron and Love. Still, we have to give Kyrie the benefit of our doubt. More than a year ago, back in our unenlightened, pre-CARMELO days, we wrote that Irving probably wasn’t worth his $90 million extension. Now it looks like a good deal for the Cavs. 5. Russell Westbrook (54.9)What is there to say? Westbrook averaged a triple-double per 100 possessions last season. And yet CARMELO gives him about a 40 percent chance of being even more valuable this year. His path to achieving that is obvious enough: by improving on his wildly entertaining (but often just plain wild) shot selection, which can sometimes overshadow the ridiculous box-score stats. 27. Jusuf Nurkic (27.2)The big Bosnian defies every outmoded stereotype of “soft” European players. Instead he has a mean streak as a bruising defender and talented young rebounder. Aside from Shawn Kemp, the top comps may not wow you, but if Nurkic’s shooting efficiency improves, the Nuggets have landed their franchise center. 50. Victor Oladipo (20.3)Although CARMELO loves the other young Magic point guard (Elfrid Payton) even more, Oladipo’s projection isn’t too shabby. But of course, there’s still some uncertainty about what Oladipo can become: “His first two seasons have been so hard to get a bead on that you can peg him for just about any future you want,” we wrote. Whether Oladipo turns into Ray Allen or Ben Gordon will depend largely on whether he can develop a more consistent shooting stroke. 6. Kawhi Leonard (53)We might call Leonard a sleeper — except that the rest of the basketball analysis community has woken up to his talents as the best lock-down wing in the game. Leonard won the Defensive Player of the Year award last season, and ESPN’s #NBARank list places him among the top 10 overall players in the game. Leonard’s offensive game has also developed, and, as Michael Wright notes, he could see fewer double-teams with LaMarcus Aldridge on the Spurs’ roster, leading to even better production. All of this is why Leonard is one of just eight players CARMELO labels as MVP candidates. 13. Marcus Smart (38.2)Given how much CARMELO likes Payton, it’s not surprising that it likes Smart also. He fits a broadly similar profile: His shooting just isn’t there yet, but most of his other skills were already league-average or above last season, when he was just 20. The thing about players like these is that they can be superstars if their scoring develops (Smart’s No. 1 comp is James Harden, for instance) but reasonably valuable all-around players even if it doesn’t. 25. D’Angelo Russell (29.6)CARMELO would have taken D’Angelo Russell ahead of Towns for the No. 1 pick, however. With good size and strength to round out a nice shot and excellent passing, Russell draws comparisons to other scoring point guards/combo guards such as Derrick Rose and James Harden. Don’t expect much efficiency this year: As Baxter Holmes wrote, the rookie “will probably pile up some head-shaking turnovers” for a Lakers team with miserable discipline. But Russell has superstar upside. 36. Danny Green (24.3)Green already has overshot low expectations since he was chosen with the 46th pick in 2009. Green is a 3-point threat — comps to Brent Barry and Dan Majerle show that. But he’s also a great wing defender, like Bryon Russell. The only catch is that players who overachieve as much as Green don’t necessarily have much room to get better as they enter their late 20s. CARMELO gives Green only about a 15 percent chance of bettering his career-high 9.2 WAR from last season. 38. Nerlens Noel (23.9)Noel’s defense was a bright spot among the garbage heap that was the Sixers. As Ian Levy wrote, Noel ranked “among the top 5 percent of all players in steal rate, block rate and overall defensive plus-minus.” That’s awfully impressive for a guy who was just 20 years old. But with no discernable offensive skills — his 49 percent true shooting percentage was abominable for a guy who spends so much time around the rim — he gets stuck with a Stromile Swift comp along with more optimistic options like Nene. NBA player rankings, from ESPN’s #NBARank to Bill Simmons’s annual trade value column, are like the honey butter chips of sportswriting: just way too hard to resist. So — with the regular season starting today — here’s our special recipe, fueled by CARMELO, our new NBA player projection system.What makes our version a little different is that we’re focused on the long term and not just this season. Specifically, we’ve projected the next six seasons of wins above replacement (WAR) for all 572 players in our database. Then we added the cumulative WAR totals over six seasons, with a slight tweak to reflect upside potential.1In calculating this version of our ratings, comparable players who project to have a negative WAR are zeroed out instead. The thinking here is that, while some players are projected to have negative WAR totals, it’s hard for a player like Zach LaVine to have negative long-term value when his teams could always bench him if he’s not playing well. This has little effect on players in the top 53, however. You can check out all the rankings in the sortable table (way, way down) below, but we also wanted to count down the top 50 players — well, make that the top 53 players2Why 53? Because, ya know, it’s in our name. — first.Two things we can’t stress enough: First, these ratings are purely statistical; there’s no manual tweaking involved. And second, focusing on the long term makes a lot of difference. Tim Duncan doesn’t appear in the top 53, but Jusuf Nurkic does.A few more notes: Player ages are as of Feb. 1, 2016. And because we’re trying to forecast what the NBA will look like a few years out, these WAR projections do not account for injuries or minutes limitations — with the exceptions of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Joel Embiid, who are out for the season and whose WAR figures we’ve zeroed for this year. These upside WAR totals will not necessarily match the raw six-year WAR totals in the player cards. 12. Damian Lillard (40.5)Lillard is now the face of the franchise in Portland. Although he has the complete package on offense as a high-volume, efficient scorer and excellent passer, he’s a middling defender. Since high-usage point guards like Lillard want the ball in their hands as much as possible, the question is whether they’re good enough that you can build a championship-caliber roster around them. The results in Lillard’s case are mixed on that question, according to CARMELO. Lillard draws Steph Curry as a comp, but also Steve Francis and Gilbert Arenas. 3. James Harden (64.8)Harden’s stats were nearly as ridiculous as Westbrook’s last season. Compared with Westbrook, however, it’s not as clear how Harden can improve. He’s already an incredibly efficient offensive player. He can’t stay much healthier, having led the NBA in minutes played last year. So Harden might have to settle for 2014-15 as his career year unless … he keeps working on his defense, which while better than past seasons still rates as league average. 44. Nikola Mirotic (21.2)Mirotic finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, behind Wiggins, and is now a huge building block for the Bulls. The Detlef Schrempf comp is just too perfect: a tall, international forward with an excellent 3-point shot. Now all that’s left is for Mirotic to guest star on the 2040 equivalent of “Parks and Recreation.” 24. Eric Bledsoe (30.4)Bledsoe is a long way from being “mini LeBron,” but he has a lot going for him: strength like Kyle Lowry’s alongside the speed of Ty Lawson. What he lacks is a consistent outside shot: His .324 3-point percentage last year ranked just 69th out of 76 players who took at least 250 3-point shots. He turns 26 this season and has passed the point where he can necessarily expect rapid improvement; he might be better off mothballing his 3-pointer and concentrating on the rest of his otherwise well-rounded game. 31. Klay Thompson (26.2)Thompson’s No. 31 slot on CARMELO’s list might seem disappointing; by contrast, he slots in at No. 16 in #NBARank. His scoring is superlative, of course; Thompson is not only one of the best shooters in the game but also has the size and quickness to get to the rim. However, his defense and rebounding are below average. You can be an All-Star on the basis of scoring alone, but probably not a superstar. 39. Marc Gasol (23.3)The big Spaniard (and Conley’s fellow Grizzly) was once again one of the league’s best centers last year, and he’s definitely inherited comp Vlade Divac’s gene for great post passing. But at 31 years old, Gasol has only so many years left. Big men tend not to age as well as wings and point guards, and the Grizz should worry about a decline to Brad Miller levels of production. 49. Paul Millsap (20.6)Last year Millsap had a banner season, making his second All-Star team. It came because of all-around excellence: Millsap is a solid defender, like top comp Gerald Wallace, and well-rounded on offense (even if the Julius Erving parallel is a bit much). But as we’ve pointed out, Millsap is projected to regress a lot this season; more often than not, a career-best season at age 29 proves to be a career year. 30. Ricky Rubio (26.5)Can Rubio, an exceptionally gifted passer and ball thief, ever develop a jump shot like comparable Jason Kidd did in his later years? CARMELO, seeing how Rubio is just 25, is optimistic, projecting him to improve his offensive efficiency to career-high levels. But if not, the shadow of his Brevin Knight comp looms over him. 17. Jimmy Butler (35.4)Bulls fans won’t be happy with the omission of Derrick Rose from our list (Rose ranks just 165th after three injury-filled seasons). But that’s OK: The Bulls have a new star in Jimmy Butler, an athletic wing defender with a growing arsenal of offensive moves. If Butler’s comps seem a little underwhelming, that’s partly because, consistent with the Bulls’ team-oriented philosophy, some of his contributions are subtle and unselfish. He’s outstanding at drawing fouls and avoiding turnovers, for example. 19. Giannis Antetokounmpo (34.2)The sky’s the limit for the Greek Freak. Antetokounmpo has an unusually well-rounded skill set for someone who’s about to turn 21 years old, including certain skills (he’s already a good defender and excellent at drawing fouls) that are usually associated with more mature players. He’s still working out what sort of player he wants to be on the offensive end — he dramatically cut down on his 3-point shot last year (but, oddly enough, took a lot of long twos). All of this leads to an eclectic set of comparables that includes superstars like Kevin Garnett and Tracy McGrady — along with busts like Darius Miles and Marvin Williams. 15. Blake Griffin (36.5)Griffin would have ranked higher on this list a year ago. There are a few mildly troubling signs in his stats, particularly a decline in his rebound rate last season. Furthermore, a number of his comparables (such as Terry Cummings and Derrick Coleman) had fairly early career peaks. But let’s not get carried away. Although his fame may stem from his ferocious dunks, Griffin has evolved into a great all-around player whom every NBA team would love to have. He’s increasingly stretching opposing defenses with his outside shot, and he’s an underrated passer and defender. 22. Gordon Hayward (31.2)The third jewel in the Jazz’s frontcourt crown, Hayward has come an awfully long way for a guy who — we mean this as a compliment — once came across as a bit of a nerd. The question is not whether he’s a legit NBA player (Hayward was already playing at a borderline All-Star level last season), but which path his future might take. His comparables include a mix of versatile, jack-of-all-trades players such as Andre Iguodala and hard-edged scorers such as Chris Mullin. The Mullin comp is particularly interesting given that Mullin (like Hayward) struggled with 3-point shooting consistency early in his career. 16. Draymond Green (36.4)Arguably the breakout star of last season, Draymond Green is a defense-first bulldog with versatile offensive skills. A Dan Majerle comp beside a Robert Horry one? Yeah, it’s a strange pairing — but Green is an unusual player. The only caveat was that Green improved so much last year that he could be due for a pinch of reversion to the mean. Even so, CARMELO projects that he’ll produce $130 million worth of value to the Warriors over the next five seasons, a great return on his $85 million contract. 45. Paul George (21.0)George’s future was in jeopardy after he suffered a catastrophic leg injury in the summer of 2014. So his playing at all last season (he came off the bench in six games late in the year) was a moral victory. There’s some further good news: Seriously injured NBA players like George have a better track record of recovery than their counterparts in other sports. Nonetheless, the Clark Kellogg comp is scary; a fellow Pacer, he started his career with great promise, only to be rendered a shell of his former self after a series of knee injuries. 28. Andre Drummond (26.7)Drummond is a “100th-percentile rebounder and elite rim protector,” as we wrote in our Pistons preview. That’s nice, but it can also be a recipe for being too one-dimensional, and Drummond’s dreadful free-throw shooting limits his value on the offensive end. At age 22, he has reasonable odds of making a leap forward at some point, but he’s an oddball player with comps ranging from Andris Biedrins to Moses Malone. 48. Jahlil Okafor (20.7)Okafor is a great prospect, though possibly also a guy who will look better in the box score than on the court. His lack of elite athleticism and sketchy defensive potential could make him something like Kevin Love without the outside shooting (hence the comp to bust Derrick Williams). But he’s also a great rebounder with nifty post moves, a classic combination for any aspiring big man. And if he does develop like top comp Derrick Favors on defense, the sky could be the limit. 23. Rudy Gobert (30.7)The second member of the Jazz frontcourt to make the top 30, Gobert went from an afterthought in his rookie season to a guy who leads his draft class in WAR. Ian Levy summed up the Stifle Tower nicely: “an elite rebounder and shot-blocker and an efficient finisher around the rim.” He also lacks much in the way of a jump shot, having shot under 22 percent last season on shots more than 3 feet from the basket. But if Gobert proves to be the next DeAndre Jordan or Tyson Chandler, Jazz fans won’t have much basis to complain. 46. Andrew Wiggins (20.8)Wiggins’s top CARMELO comp is … well, Carmelo (Anthony). As we wrote, the NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year could be “very good, but between mediocre defense and average efficiency, not quite as good as his box-score stats suggest.” Wiggins’s upside and versatility are apparent in his comp list, though — witness the presence of Derrick Rose (No. 5) and Chris Bosh (No. 8), two stylistically different players who were bona fide superstars at their peaks. 7. Kevin Durant (48.9)The 2014 MVP winner was out with injuries most of last season. But even with the typical reduction in long-term value for a player who suffers a severe injury, Durant still ranks seventh on our list. At age 27, he remains a scoring monster — a lankier Bernard King, with Ray Allen’s shot. Royce Young said it best: “Not only does he want to re-establish his rightful place among the game’s most elite, but also this could possibly, maybe, potentially be his last chance at a title in Oklahoma City.” 34. Serge Ibaka (25.0)As Royce Young observed: “Ibaka isn’t quite ‘big’ enough to help form a Thunder big three, but he’s without question integral to the team’s success.” But is there any chance Ibaka could develop into more than that: an All-Star talent alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? Just maybe. Kevin McHale, Ibaka’s No. 1 comp, is a favorable precedent: He had his best seasons in his late 20s and early 30s as he developed more of an outside shooting stroke. Ibaka, likewise, has improved his outside shooting almost every season and shot .376 from 3-point range last year. Below is a sortable table for all 572 players in our database, as of Oct. 27. 35. Greg Monroe (24.4)Monroe, the newly signed Buck, is “an offensive-minded center who can average a double-double [and] score inside and from the perimeter,” as Ohm Youngmisuk wrote. His skilled footwork in the post makes the Al Jefferson comp perfect. Still, Monroe didn’t improve his productivity between his age-22 season in 2012-13 to his age-24 season last year. He could be a WYSIWYG player: someone whose current skill set provides plenty of value to an NBA lineup, but who isn’t a great bet to develop further. 14. Elfrid Payton (38.0)So we have bona fide stars like Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin … and then we have Elfrid Payton?!? Is this CARMELO’s version of PECOTA’s infamous Wily Mo Pena projection? Time will tell, but Payton logged almost 2,500 minutes as a 20-year-old rookie last year while flashing excellent passing and defensive skills. He can’t shoot at all yet, but one thing we’ve learned from CARMELO is that shooting skills sometimes take a few years to develop. If Payton develops some shooting touch, he could be the next Isiah Thomas; if he doesn’t, then for better or worse, he could be Ricky Rubio or Rajon Rondo. 10. John Wall (41.1)We wrote about Wall extensively in our introduction to CARMELO. Coming off his best season ever, and second All-Star nod, he’s entering what should be his peak. But the variance on his projection is high, with outcomes ranging from future MVP to overrated ball-hog. 1. Anthony Davis (73.8)The Brow combines Kevin Garnett’s ferociousness in rebounding and on defense with the stretch shooting ability of Chris Bosh. But even those names might understate his upside: There’s never been a player quite like him. (Garnett and Bosh, Davis’s top comparables, have just medium-high similarity scores when compared with him.) In other words, Davis will be terrorizing teams on both ends of the court for the foreseeable future: We’re just not quite sure how. The one thing to watch out for is injuries, which shorten big men’s careers more often than those of guards. 9. DeMarcus Cousins (42.6)Speaking of high upside: Wow. Hakeem, Garnett, Duncan — those are some awfully exciting comps for Cousins. We even have a Shaquille O’Neal sighting on Boogie’s list (Shaq, who rarely appears as a CARMELO comparable because he was such an outlier, is Cousins’s No. 10 comp). But Cousins has never quite gelled into a superstar, as factors ranging from injuries to his frustration with Kings management have gotten in the way of his success. He can’t rest on his laurels because so far he’s just an average finisher around the rim, where he’ll need to improve before the Hakeem and Shaq comparisons bear out. read more

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Commodity trader improves data management

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first_imgResearch from a company called Attunity looked in part at how managers within companies are spending more time than they think they should researching, compiling and analysing information. Attunity says that as a result, managers are frustrated they don’t have the time to focus on key issues. As a topline overview: An inordinate amount of time is being spent by highly valued and highly paid employees to gather, collate and massage data versus analyzing it and acting on it; UK managers spend an average of 11 hours per week; US managers spend an average of 12 hours per week; nearly 30% of the week 30% of US managers spend over 20 hours a week gathering, compiling and reviewing information and 31% indicated one of their top frustrations was sourcing accurate, complete and reliable information 50% of managers think they spend more time than they should handling information The research also covered how business managers view their environment, daily workload and their organization’s effectiveness. Balli is among the world’s largest privately owned independent commodity traders. Headquartered in the UK and using a global network of offices, the Group has consolidated sales exceeding $1billion. It specialises in the trading of primary, industrial and consumer commodities, including steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals and agricultural products.The group has a number of traders who negotiate deals, a treasury department which arranges the credit with a number of banks, a shipping department that arranges the transportation and a risk department that assesses the risk of a deal given the countries involved and Balli’s current financial exposure in that country. The company has a general desire to get better visibility of deals and the associated information including lines of credit from banks, financial risk limits by country and positive and negative amendments to deal profit. The company used to get visibility of any changes to these deals once a week when an Excel spreadsheet was produced. This is built using an extract from the trading system that is used by a reporting engine to create the Excel file. This is then augmented by information from the previous week’s report. This was a time consuming process and is performed by one person. If the person is ill or away then this process can be delayed or not happen at all. Although the spreadsheet contains a lot of information details of any changes to the deals are difficult to identify and analyse.Attunity allowed Ballt to:Deal Visibility and Control – early potential problem identification, and exception management; greater understanding of overall commitments; risk exposure and resolution Enhanced Agility – pro-active tracking and monitoring of real-time information and subsequent actions; faster response to changing market conditions Increased Effectiveness – focused and contextual deal-centric information; faster trader review of forward book, positive and negative amendments, exchange rates etc; management of subsequent actions taken.last_img read more

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Sen Murray Bill includes money for bus rapid transit

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first_imgU.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Wednesday that she has secured federal funding for transportation projects, including in Vancouver, and new oil train safety measures as part of the 2015 government funding bill.Murray, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, said the bill is expected to pass the House and Senate in the coming days. The transportation funding includes $38.7 million for C-Tran’s planned bus rapid transit line in Vancouver.The oil train safety measures include:• Setting a Jan. 15, 2015, deadline for the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a final rule for new tank car design standards.• Mandating comprehensive oil spill response plans for rail carriers.• Paying $10 million to improve the safety of railroad grade crossings.• Funding continued research into the volatility of Bakken crude; design standards for tank cars carrying liquefied natural gas; and retrofitting tank cars to meet new safety standards.• Adding 15 new hazardous materials and rail safety inspectors.last_img read more

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Paul McCartney Unearths His 1977 Film The Bruce McMouse Show For Theatrical

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first_img Paul McCartney Unearths His 1977 Film ‘The Bruce McMouse Show’ For Theatrical Release News Paul McCartney’s ‘The Bruce McMouse Show’ paul-mccartney-unearths-his-1977-film-bruce-mcmouse-show-theatrical-release Twitter Email Facebook Blending footage from the 1972 Wings tour, Sir Paul’s 1977 film featuring cartoon mice has been unearthed and is coming to theaters on Jan. 21Philip MerrillGRAMMYs Jan 10, 2019 – 1:31 pm Paul McCartney and animator Eric Wylam completed the film The Bruce McMouse Show in 1977, but put on a shelf… until now. The unearthed rarity featuring adorable animated mice who live beneath the 1972 stage where Wings performed will see it’s first-ever screening in theaters will be on Jan. 21.The film was directed by Barry Chattington. Joining Linda McCartney, his wife at the time, and Paul on the voiceovers for the mice are Pat Coombs, Deryck Guyler, and Derek Nimmo. One can imagine that concert promoters would not celebrate the idea of mice in the audience, but that’s the finale after Bruce McMouse’s storytelling is interrupted by his son rushing in to tell his family Wings is performing above their heads. Now the tale will play out for audiences on the big screen more than 40 years after its completion.At the 14th GRAMMY Awards for 1971 Paul and Linda’s “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” from their album Ram brought Paul a win as arranger for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). For The Bruce McMouse Show, the 1972 footage from four shows in Germany and the Netherlands is edited into a more fictional performance above the home of the mice. But nothing can obscure the energy and adorable youth of McCartney in this period, with the 1973 Wings album Band On The Run still ahead.Visit the Bruce McMouse website for a showing near you. Paul McCartney Teams Up With Emma Stone For “Who Cares” Short Music FilmRead morelast_img read more

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Wireless headphones on sale AirPods are just 136 Beats for 180 and

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first_img Post a comment Tags Save $24 • Read Apple AirPods 2 review Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET Once upon a time, Apple products were almost never discounted. Now, Apple seems to be letting the price on some of its keystone products dip southward. The new 2019 version of the AirPods is a case in point: At the Apple Store, they cost $179, or $199 for the version that includes the wireless charging case. But even before Prime Day, those models have been selling nearly everywhere else at $15 to $20 off, respectively. And recently, we’ve been seeing them dip even lower. It’s not just Apple-branded products, either. Beats models are also nicely discounted now, and Sony’s awesome noise-canceling models — the ones that beat Bose on many fronts — are also far below their list price. Let’s get to the deals!Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Apple Save $85 Share your voice Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Read Sony WH-1000XM3 review Sony Apple Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier Sarah Tew/CNET Beats Solo3 Wireless: $180 See All $180 at Amazon Read the Beats Solo3 Wireless review reading • Wireless headphones on sale: AirPods are just $136, Beats for $180 and Sony’s best for $265 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors $265 at Rakuten When these updated Beats models hit back in 2016, we liked nearly everything about them except the exorbitant $300 price. They’ve been selling for closer to $220 recently, but right now you can snag the Beats Solo3 Wireless for $180. That’s a far better value.  Sarah Tew/CNET These wireless Bluetooth models are the current CNET Editors’ Choice for full-size noise-canceling headphones — and even the new-for-2019 Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ($400) didn’t take that crown. The list price of the Sony is $350, and it’s dipped as low as $240 this summer. But it’s currently holding at $265 at Rakuten, which is still an amazing deal (that’s less than Walmart’s refurb offer).  Sony WH-1000XM3: $265 Mobile Accessories Headphones Apple’s wireless AirPods are awesome and expensive. You’ll pay $159 for the little beauties at Apple, and Amazon currently has them for $145. Sign up for a free account at Rakuten, and the price drops to $136 with code HND24. Hurry, though: The deal ends at midnight tonight, July 31. 0 $136 at Rakuten Apple AirPods 2: $136 Save $120 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean itlast_img read more

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Keynote speakers announced for Elders and Youth

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first_img(Dancers perform during the 2016 Elders and Youth conference in Fairbanks. Photo courtesy of the First Alaskans’ Institute)The First Alaskans Institute has announced the keynote speakers for the Elders and Youth conference just ahead of the Alaska Federation of Natives this October in Anchorage.Listen nowThe elder keynote address will be given by Clare Swan of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, a long-time advocate for Native fishing rights in Cook Inlet and on the Kenai Peninsula. Swan also served on the board of directors for CIRI, the regional corporation for Cook Inlet.The youth keynote speaker is Chris Agragiiq Apassingok of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. The 16-year-old gained notoriety earlier this year when he landed a harpoon strike on a whale during a successful subsistence hunt. An online backlash ensued after a radical animal rights activist criticized the teenager online, sparking national attention.First Alaskans Institute is also hosting a private dance party with Canadian First Nations DJ group A Tribe Called Red during the conference. It’s the group’s second time performing in Alaska.The 34th Elders and Youth conference begins October 16th.last_img read more

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Goods train witnessed spreading out smoke at Nandaluru

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first_imgKadapa: The coal loaded goods train witnessed spreading out smoke from the bogies at Nandaluru railway station on Saturday. Fire officials immediately rushed to the spot removed coal from the bogies of the train to avoid fire mishap occurring to the train. According to the Nandaluru railway station master M.Venkatasubbaiah, the goods train which is on the way to Gunthakal from Vijayawada stopped at Nandaluru railway station on Saturday. Around 8 AM railway authorities noticed smoke spreading out from the 3 bogies as they immediately alerted the fire officials rushed to the spot situation brought control.last_img read more

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Jabong ropes in Benetton Indias Sanjeev Mohanty as its new CEO

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first_imgFashion and lifestyle online retailer Jabong has roped in Benetton’s Sanjeev Mohanty as its new chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD), as the company seeks to revive its fortunes amid growing competition from the likes of Flipkart, Myntra and Amazon.Mohanty’s appointment will be effective from December, said the company.Mohanty, with over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, worked at Benetton India for more than 11 years, including eight of them as the MD. Before joining Benetton India, Mohanty worked as general manager at Madura Garments and brand head for SF Jeans.”We are delighted to have Sanjeev spearhead the development of Jabong as CEO. His strong leadership skills and deep understanding of fashion and the Indian consumer, coupled with the continued commitment from GFG’s shareholders, will allow Jabong to further strengthen its position as the leading online fashion destination in India,” Livemint quoted Romain Voog, chief executive of Jabong’s parent company Global Fashion Group (GFG), as saying.While four of Jabong’s five founder-managing directors have left the firm in the past one year, the fashion retailer has appointed Nils Chrestin, chief financial officer at GFG, as interim CEO.GFC is planning to infuse fresh capital into the firm, as it looks to revive Jabong’s business with the new team.”Jabong will be among the first Indian e-commerce firms to turn profitable,” said Chrestin.In September, Jabong reportedly to have held talks with Snapdeal, India’s second-largest online retailer, to sell stake in the company following a rapid rise in losses.Jabong recorded a five-fold increase in losses to Rs 160 crore during the calendar year 2014 due to high discounts on its offerings, although its revenue went up 136% to Rs 811 crore.last_img read more

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Central America migrant caravan reaches Mexico City

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first_imgCentral American migrants begin their morning trek, as part of a thousands-strong U.S.-bound caravan leaving Cordoba, Veracruz state, Mexico, Monday, 5 November 2018. Photo: APThousands of Central American migrants traveling in a caravan arrived in the Mexican capital Monday and began to fill up a sports stadium, still hundreds of miles from their goal of reaching the US a day before midterm elections in which president Donald Trump has made their journey a central campaign issue.By afternoon 2,000 or more had arrived at the Jesus Martinez stadium, which has a capacity of about three times that, and eagerly began sifting through donations of clothes, gave themselves sponge baths, lunched on chicken and rice under the shade of tents and picked up thin mattresses to hunker down for the night.Many went to medical tents to get treatment for blistered and aching feet, illness and other maladies. “Since we got here, we have not stopped,” said Tania Escobar, a nurse with Mexico City’s public health department.Melvin Figueroa, a 32-year-old from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was traveling with his pregnant wife and two children, 6 and 8. He brought the 6-year-old girl to the tent because her eyes were irritated and “she throws up everything she eats.”Several thousand more migrants were trudging along the highway between the city of Puebla and the capital, catching a lift from passing vehicles when possible.Nashieli Ramirez, ombudsman for the city’s human rights commission, said the city was preparing to accommodate as many as 5,000 migrants from the lead caravan and several smaller ones hundreds of miles behind it, for as long as necessary.”We have the space in terms of humanitarian help,” Ramirez said.As US election day neared, Trump has seized on the caravan and portrayed it as a major threat, even though such caravans have happened regularly over the years and largely passed unnoticed.He ordered thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border when the migrants were still hundreds of miles to the south, threatened to detain asylum seekers in tents cities and has insinuated without proof that there are criminals or even terrorists in the group.In dozens of interviews since the caravan set out from Honduras more than three weeks ago, migrants have said they are fleeing rampant poverty and violence. Many are families traveling with small children. Some say they left because they were threatened by gang members or had lost relatives to gang violence; others say they hope to work, secure a good education for their children and send money to support loved ones back home.Alba Zoleida Gonzalez, 48, from Valle, Honduras, said she had walked for five hours and hitched a ride on a tractor-trailer with about 150 people. Her calf muscles were aching, but that was a small price to pay for the chance at a life better than the one back home.”I looked for work, and nothing,” Gonzalez said, adding that her husband had been robbed and had to hand over everything he made selling crabs so his assailants wouldn’t do worse. “And when one does find a little job they kill you for the money,” she said.Arriving in Mexico City, some migrants stopped at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a major pilgrimage site, to thank the Virgin Mary for watching over them during the journey.Many had struck out ahead of the larger caravan but intended to regroup in the capital. Oscar Ulloa, 20, an accountant from Honduras, said he arrived by bus from Puebla thanks to handouts from Mexicans. He expected the group would assemble and vote in the coming days on their next moves.The 178-mile trek (286 kilometers) Monday from the Gulf state of Veracruz to Mexico City was the longest single-day journey for the group of about 4,000 migrants.But there were obstacles on this latest stretch.Truck after truck denied the migrants rides as they trudged along the highway into the relatively colder November temperatures of central highland Mexico.At a toll booth near Fortin, Veracruz, Rafael Leyva, an unemployed cobbler from Honduras, stood with a few hundred others for more than 45 minutes without finding a ride.”People help more in Chiapas and Oaxaca,” Leyva said, referring to the southern Mexican states the group had already traversed and where pickup trucks frequently stopped to offer rides.Migrants converged on tractor trailers, forcing the big rigs to stop so they could climb aboard. Such impromptu hitchhiking is precarious with dozens scrambling onto vehicles at a time.Cesar Rodas, 24, had pushed a friend’s wheelchair for 24 days across three countries. But he couldn’t lift his friend and the chair onto a truck bed crammed with 150 people. Rodas was trying to get Sergio Cazares, a 40-year-old paraplegic from Honduras, to the US for an operation that Cazares hopes will allow him to walk again.Mexico City is more than 600 miles from the nearest US border crossing at McAllen, Texas, and a previous caravan in the spring opted for a much longer route to Tijuana in the far northwest, across from San Diego. That caravan steadily dwindled to only about 200 people by the time it reached the border.Many said they remain convinced that traveling together is their best hope for reaching the USYuri Juarez, 42, said he thinks there’s a “very low” chance he will get asylum in the United States. But he said he had no way to work back home in Villanueva, Guatemala, where he closed his internet cafe after gang members extorted him, robbed his customers and finally stole his computers.Mexico faces the unprecedented situation of having at least three migrant caravans stretched over 300 miles (500 kilometers) of highway in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz. The largest group has been followed by about 1,000 who crossed over from Guatemala last week and a second group of about the same size that waded over the Suchiate River on Friday.Mexico’s Interior Ministry estimated over the weekend that there are more than 5,000 migrants in total currently moving through Mexico. The ministry said 2,793 migrants have applied for refugee status in Mexico in recent weeks and around 500 have asked for assistance to return to their home countries.The presidents of Guatemala and Honduras, which have been under intense pressure from the Trump administration, called Monday for an investigation to identify the organizers of the caravan.Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said that “thousands” of his countrymen have returned to Honduras. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales went further, calling for an investigation of people who “promote or participate” in the caravan, saying they “should be judged based on international laws.”Most of the migrants interviewed say they joined the caravan spontaneously to stay safe, and many were already on the road when it caught up to them. Activist groups that have been trying to help organize things appear to have emerged only after it formed and began moving north.last_img read more

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WATCH Mother And Son Reunite At Airport US Had Split Them Because

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first_img Share A Guatemalan mother and her son who were caught up in the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy along the southern U.S. border have now been reunited, after more than a month apart. The two held an emotional reunion early Friday morning, at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.“I started crying when I saw him, because he is the only child I have,” Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia told reporters at the airport, in a translation from Spanish by the Associated Press. “I thank God because I have him here with me. He is now sad, but nobody is going to separate us again.”As Mejia-Mejia spoke, her son, Darwin, 7, stood by her side, seeming to struggle to take in the moment – but clearly relieved to be back with his mom.To gain their release from custody and last night’s reunion, Mejia-Mejia sued the U.S. government.NPR’s Adelina Lancianese reports for our Newscast unit:“According to her lawsuit, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia and her son crossed over the U.S. border into Arizona last month, fleeing domestic violence, and were immediately taken into custody. Two days later, border agents abruptly transferred her son to a juvenile detention center an hour away.“After making bond, Mejia-Mejia filed a lawsuit against the federal government, which was settled before a Thursday hearing.”Mejia’s asylum case is still pending. For her lawsuit, she worked with Nexus Derechos Humanos, a law firm that specializes in human rights and immigration cases – and which is also linked to Libre by Nexus, a bail bond company that’s been criticized for how it handles the cases of immigrants who are desperate to make bail. The company is the subject of at least one investigation; several lawsuits have also been filed against it.The tearful reunion is one of several stories that have put a human face to the broad and deeply felt effects of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy that has split more than 2,300 children from adults at the U.S. southern border, in cases where they had crossed into the country illegally.Earlier this week, an audio recording of children crying at a large holding facility was released by ProPublica, fanning outrage and calls for a change in how the U.S. handles such cases. There is also growing pressure on the government to show how it plans to reunite the families it separated – a tough challenge, particularly in cases where children as young as 4 are involved. Many of them are now hundreds of miles away from their parents.The recording at the detention center included the voice of six-year-old Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador with her mother. Amid the sounds of crying, the girl can be heard asking someone to call her aunt, and she clearly recited her relative’s telephone number – a crucial clue that has helped her connect with her family.“Jimena and her mom are being held in separate detention centers,” as NPR reported today. “Jimena is in a facility in Phoenix, while her mom is detained more than 1,200 miles away in Port Isabel, Texas.”In a rare about-face, President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that ends his policy of separating migrant children from their parents, saying, “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”The president ordered Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to keep detained families in custody as the adults go through criminal proceedings – for some, simply for the crime of entering the U.S. illegally – and as their asylum claims work their way through the system.Trump has blamed Congress – and specifically, Democrats, who do not currently control either house of Congress – for the current state of U.S. immigration policy, which has been shaped over recent years by lawsuits, court agreements, and executive orders, rather than being driven by a comprehensive law.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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