CDC Chief Calls It Quits

first_imgJeffrey Koplan, the director who guided the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta through the country’s first fatal bioterrorism attacks last fall, is stepping down on 31 March. Koplan unexpectedly announced his resignation in a statement yesterday.Koplan did not give a reason for his departure in his statement. However, some public health experts, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say his departure may have been triggered by tensions between Koplan and top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about the way the CDC handled the anthrax crisis. In newspaper reports, Koplan denied that he was pressured to leave. HHS secretary Tommy Thompson called his departure a “loss,” adding that “I am going to miss [Koplan’s] counsel, leadership, and dedication to public service.”The anthrax-laced letters put unprecedented pressure on CDC, and Koplan was criticized by Congress and some media for not acting aggressively enough. The main problem, says Tara O’ Toole, director of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns Hopkins University, is that Koplan failed to become an effective spokesperson during the crisis. “Koplan is a very knowledgeable and credible doctor and the country would have been better off if it had seen more of him,” she says. 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As a member of the agency’s famed Epidemic Intelligence Service in the 1970s, he helped eradicate smallpox in Bangladesh, one of the scourge’s last holdouts. In the 1980s, he was involved in fighting the burgeoning AIDS epidemic. Researchers also credit Koplan for doggedly supporting the rebuilding of public health infrastructure in the U.S. and upgrading old facilities at the CDC.Koplan’s statementSecretary Tommy Thompson’s statementKoplan’s biographyThe Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlast_img read more

Somerset book CLT20 semifinal berth

first_imgSomerset made a remarkable fightback with a superb bowling show after Craig Kieswetter shone with the bat as they defeated Warriors by 12 runs to qualify for the semifinals in the Champions League Twenty20 here on Wednesday. ScoreElecting to bat, Somerset scored 146 for four with opener Kieswetter carrying the bat with a gritty unbeaten 56 and the bowlers then came up with a disciplined display by coming back strongly after it looked like that match had gone out of their grasp.Chasing 147 for a win, Warriors were comfortably placed at 71 for one at the halfway mark but some tight bowling and quick wickets saw the match tilting to Somerset’s favour.Warriors needed 37 from the last three overs with five wickets in hand but they could score just 24 runs to end at 134 for eight and hand Somerset a 12-run victory in the Pool B match at M A Chinnaswamy Stadium.For Somerset, captain Alfonso Thomas, Steve Kirby and Murali Kartik bagged two wickets apiece while Adam Dibble and Roelof van der Merwe chipped in with a wicket apiece.With the win today, Somerset collected five points from four matches and booked a berth in the semifinals from Pool B.Warriors, however, started their run chase on a strong note with openers Ashwell Prince and Jon-Jon Smuts finding the boundaries early on.The duo took 13 runs from the third over of the innings bowled by Dibble with Smuts hitting two fours and Prince one.Prince was, however, out soon in the next over off the bowling of Kirby with Alfonso Thomas taking a running catch.advertisementWarriors were comfortably placed at 71 for one at the halfway mark but were pegged back after losing two quick wickets in the 12th and 13th overs.First Ingram was dismissed by Dibble while trying to play a pull shot off a slower short ball only to get the top edge and for Nick Compton take an easy catch at deep square leg.Ingram’s 31 came from 25 balls and had one four and two sixes in it.Next over, Kartik had his man Smuts who unnecessarily attempted a wild pull shot off a ball which turned and looped up for Suppiah to take a sliding catch. Smuts’ 38 came from 39 balls and had four fours in it.Somerset came back into the match with Kirby dismissing captain Botha in the 15th over as the batsman was lured to playing a shot a tad early and the ball ballooned to long-off for Suppiah to take the catch.Four wickets — Smuts (38), Craig Thyssen (12), Wayne Parnell (0) and Athenkosi Dyili (0) — fell in the last five overs for the addition of 35 runs as Warriors lost the plot at the dead overs.Earlier, Kieswetter scored a patient unbeaten half century as Somerset posted a fighting 146 for four.Electing to bat, Somerset made a shaky start, losing opener Peter Trego (0) in the very first over but recovered well when Kieswetter (56 not out) got the game going.Fast bowler Lonwobo Tsotsobe gave the Warriors an early breakthrough, removing dangerous Trego, who had also scored a half century against Royal Challengers Bangalore, in his first over to start off with a maiden over.Tsotsobe’s joy was short-lived when he was treated with disdain by Roelof van der Merwe. Van der Merwe took 17 runs in an over, laced with two boundaries and a six.Thanks to van der Merwe’s quick-fire 16-ball 32, Somerset recovered from early jitters. Kieswetter and van der Merwe stitched an impressive 29-ball 48 from 4.5 overs for the second wicket.With wickets falling at regular intervals, the onus of bailing Somerset out of danger shifted to Kieswetter and he did it quite well by batting through the innings and taking the team score to near 150 mark.Jos Buttler (30) and James Hildreth (21) chipped in with cameos for Somerset to post a fighting total.last_img read more

Dravid named new Rajasthan Royals captain

first_imgVeteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid was on Friday named captain of the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals, replacing Australian spin legend Shane Warne who quit the IPL after the fourth edition earlier this year.”…gotta make another huge announcement,The New Captain fr Rajasthan Royals..Proud 2 have RAHUL DRAVID head the Team this season.Yipee,” tweeted the franchise’s co-owner Shilpa Shetty.”So its Official now!The “WALL” it is;)Congratulations Rahul, am sure u will make us all very proud at RR..Go Royals,” she added.The fifth edition of the Twenty20 league will be played from April 4 to May 27 next year.The 38-year-old Dravid, who was part of Royal Challengers Bangalore team to start with, was bought by the Rajasthan team for USD 500,000 in the players’ auction before the start of IPL 4 this year.Rajasthan was without a captain after Warne announced his retirement from the IPL in May this year.The 42-year-old Warne, who coached and captained Royals since the first edition in 2008, is currently playing in the Australian Big Bash Twenty20 Tournament for the Melbourne team.Dravid was reasonably successful in his debut season for the Royals this year, scoring 343 runs at an average of 31 in 12 matches.last_img read more

London Games: Two goalkeepers in 16-man hockey squad

first_imgIndia will go into the Olympics with two goalkeepers in Bharat Chetri and PR Sreejesh while old warhorse Ignace Tirkey makes a comeback into the 16-man hockey squad for the London Games.There was an option to select just one goalkeeper but the national selectors, who met in Pune on Thursday after the two-day trials, decided that it was the safer option to have two goalkeepers in the squad.Forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi, who injured his hamstring during the four-nation Olympic test event in May, also comes back into the team after missing out during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.The official announcement of the team will be made on Friday. Chief coach Michael Nobbs and exercise physiologist were present during the hour-long selection meeting with the national selectors.According to sources, Yuvraj Walmiki, who was injured during the Olympic qualifiers in the Capital, and defender Rupinder Pal Singh, both part of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in which India finished third, were left out.Ignace Tirkey was part of the Indian team that competed in the Olympic test event in London in May but was rested for the Azlan Shah Cup. However, the 30- year-old Orissa defender has been selected.The panel didn’t find Rupinder and Walmiki good enough to make the cut for the Olympic squad after going through their performances in the Azlan Shah in Malaysia.The changes were on the expected lines with selectors banking on tried and tested players. Nobbs has been going through video footages of the players and comparing players competing for the same position.advertisementIt is learnt that the decision to include two goalkeepers was also a contingency measure in case of injury to one of the custodians.”In most of the tournaments that India participated in recently, Nobbs has persisted with two goalkeepers and putting aside the speculations, two goalies were picked for the Olympics,” said a source.It has also been learnt that midfielder Kothajit Singh and forward Sarvanjit Singh will travel with the team as standbys.As many as 48 probables were selected after the Olympic qualifiers in February and the list was pruned to 16 on Thursday. India failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics after losing to Great Britain in the Chile qualifiers.After the qualifiers, India have played two tournaments and have had mixed results. The eight- time Olympic gold medallists competed in a four-nation Olympic test event in London.Besides, the team for India’s 22-member European tour of France and Spain was also selected on Thursday with Rupinder, Chinglensana Singh, Walmiki and Pradhan Somanna making the cut.At the Olympics, 12 nations are divided into two groups. India has Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea and Belgium in their pool.last_img read more

Ind vs SA 2nd Test Day 3 Review: India clean up the visitors with…

first_imgAdvertisement Image Courtesy: Hindustan TimesAdvertisementAfter batting for almost two days straight, India showed their lethal touch with the ball as well on Day 3 in Pune. Virat Kohli has a decision to make with the option of follow-on available as well heading into the penultimate day of the clash.Image Courtesy: Hindustan TimesHaving cleaned up the top order on the second day itself, the Indian seamers took things right from where they had left. Two quick wickets left the Proteas reeling at 53-5 before captain Faf Du Plessis and Quinton de Kock joined forces to do some damage control.The 75-run stand for the sixth wicket was broken by Ravichandran Ashwin after managing to bamboozle Quinton de Kock all over. The spinners took things over to pick up the remaining wickets despite heavy resistance from the tail order.Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander were involved in a massive 99-run stand for the ninth wicket. The spinner managed to get his maiden fifty in the process as well.Maharaj was eventually dismissed for 72 while Philander stayed unbeaten for 44 for which he faced 192 deliveries.At Stumps on Day 3, South Africa’s first innings ended with the wicket of Kagiso Rabada. The Proteas managed to score 275, handing India a lead of 325 runs.Read Also:Indian batsmen pile on the misery as they milk South African spinners for over 900 runs in this test series so farAnil Kumble takes KXIP reins as head coach for IPL 2020last_img read more


first_imgAfter months of jabbing from afar, President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are both visiting Iowa today, a state that’s critical to their political futures.The former vice president will speak in Ottumwa, hoping to hold his party’s front-runner role.Trump seeks to shore up support in the state he wrested from Democrats in 2016.Trump begins his trip in Council Bluffs to speak at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, which produces and sells the corn-based fuel additive ethanol.He will later address an Iowa GOP dinner in Des Moines.Biden is coming two days after nearly 20 Democratic rivals were in Iowa for a state party dinner.Several took verbal shots at him over his absence.Photo courtesy CBS Newslast_img read more

Major Program’s Boosters Reportedly Trying To Undercut Head Coach

first_imgA general view of Jordan-Hare Stadium during the game between the Auburn Tigers and the West Virginia Mountaineers.AUBURN, AL – SEPTEMBER 19: A general view of Jordan-Hare Stadium during the game between the Auburn Tigers and the West Virginia Mountaineers on September 19, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)A major college football program’s boosters are reportedly trying to “undercut” their head coach in an attempt to get a change.There’s been major speculation about Gus Malzahn’s future at Auburn, with reports surfacing about the program’s top boosters being unhappy.Today, Alabama reporter Josh Moon is reporting that several of the program’s top boosters are trying to “undercut” the head coach.“This is the situation at Auburn now: top donors and university officials are so unhappy with the head football coach that they are seeking to undercut him by limiting assistants’ contracts to single year deals. This is currently preventing AU from hiring Hugh Freeze as OC,” he reports.“Freeze is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal from future employers. Sources said Malzahn has asked AU to wave the recent restriction on multi-year contracts in order to hire Freeze. AU response: Nah.”“To be clear, I have no source that can say AU is Freeze’s top choice. Only that Malzahn, in putting together an offer for Freeze, asked for the waiver. There seems to be better ways to run a football program.”Freeze is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal from future employers. Sources said Malzahn has asked AU to wave the recent restriction on multi-year contracts in order to hire Freeze. AU response: Nah. /2— Josh Moon (@Josh_Moon) December 5, 2018To be clear, I have no source that can say AU is Freeze’s top choice. Only that Malzahn, in putting together an offer for Freeze, asked for the waiver. There seems to be better ways to run a football program. /F— Josh Moon (@Josh_Moon) December 5, 2018Clearly, there’s a lot going on with Auburn’s football program right now.Stay tuned.last_img read more

Restorative Justice Building a Responsive Justice System Oped

first_imgImagine what it might be like if those affected by crime could be part of a plan to work towards repairing the harm. What if there was a way for everyone to have a better understanding of the impact that a crime had on individuals and community? We have that now in Nova Scotia’s Restorative Justice Program. This week, Nov. 18-24, marks Restorative Justice Week in Canada. A time to reflect on how our justice system is moving to be more open in dealing with crime and conflict. We all know that crime can impact our safety, security and wellbeing. Crime can impact the lives of families and loved ones. Restorative justice responds by having those responsible for the crime to be part of a process to repair harm. Every restorative justice case is different, however everyone impacted by the crime can be part of making things better. Restorative justice looks at why a crime occurred, how it impacts people and develops detailed actions that gets at the reasons why a crime occurred and helps address the hurt done. For the past 20 years Nova Scotia has been taking a restorative approach in our justice system. Since the program was launched in 1999, more than 25,000 cases have gone through restorative justice. Evaluations have shown to reduce repeat offences by 12 per cent. The key to our success is that many parts of the justice system have worked together. This includes police, the court system, the judiciary, public prosecution services, correctional services, the restorative justice agencies across the province and the Mi’kmaq Legal Support Network. All these groups support restorative justice by working with all of those involved. This work leads to positive outcomes for healthier relationships and communities – things that benefit us all. This success has led us to use a restorative approach in other ways outside of the justice system. We now use it in schools across the province and in the public inquiry for the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. As a province, we will continue to explore new and innovative ways to take a restorative approach to benefit all Nova Scotians. Nova Scotia’s leadership in restorative justice is founded on one of our greatest resources – people and communities that care about relationships. -30-last_img read more

SOCAN Confirms Recordsetting Royalty Collections and Distributions to Music Creators and Publishers

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement 2 SOCAN is one of very few music rights organizations worldwide that returns 100% of royalties collected from international sources to its members, with no administration percentage applied. “We are delighted to deliver to our members a record overall amount of royalties in 2017, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that Canada’s music creators and publishers receive what they rightfully have earned and deserve a larger piece of the pie for their extraordinary work,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “Today, SOCAN is accessing, creating and harnessing technology so that we can even more fully and completely identify, license, track, match and distribute more for our members. SOCAN continues to fight for the rights of our members to receive a fair portion from businesses that use music to help their bottom line.”An example of SOCAN’s increasing use of technology is the company’s work with the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science & Innovation Lab. At the annual general meeting, SOCAN Vice President of Information Technology Janice Scott led a special session with Adjunct Professor of Music Technology & Digital Media Catherine Moore. The technology leaders discussed the two organizations’ exclusive work together, including in artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing a snapshot of technology-driven projects designed to find and match more music performances with even better volume and accuracy.At the meeting, SOCAN also announced that it surpassed the 150,000-members milestone when songwriter Ariel Goldof Toronto joined Canada’s largest organization in the Canadian music ecosystem. This summer, Ariel is planning to release her next single, “Weather,” from her upcoming album of the same name.The company also introduced its board of directors for the 2018-’21 term. The new 18-member SOCAN board now counts eight women, improving gender balance, reflecting the balance and diversity long enjoyed in the organization’s management team and overall staff.For full financial statements and an overview of 2017, please visit SOCANSOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 100,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and unique data as well as a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: ______________________ 1 As always, SOCAN’s revenue information is subject to pending decisions of the Copyright Board and the courts and such potential changes are discussed in SOCAN’s audited financial statements in accordance with applicable accounting standards.  Advertisement Twitter Highlighted by a 44 percent increase in revenue from Internet sources to just less than $49-million, and a 13 percent surge of $76-million in royalties from countries outside of Canada, a record $295-million was distributed to music creators and publishers.SOCAN 2017 Financial Highlights:Record total revenue – approximately $352-million in overall revenue in 2017, an 8% year-over-year increase.$49-million from Internet collections – while growing with the popularity of music from digital sources, the reality is that because of the dynamics of digital services and the relatively poor discoverability of Canadian content, the average SOCAN creator-member who earned royalties from digital sources collected only a few pennies more than $37 in 2017.Nearly $300-million sent to members – SOCAN’s administration rate is one of the smallest of the world’s top-10 performing rights organizations.A 48% increase in foreign royalties2 since 2013 – royalties identified, collected and distributed to SOCAN members from international radio, television, online, on-stage and other public performance uses came to $76-million, an all-time high and SOCAN members’ #1 royalty source. TORONTO, June 19, 2018 – SOCAN confirmed today at its annual general meeting in Toronto that a record $352-million1 in total royalties from the use of music by its songwriter, composer, and music publisher members were collected in fiscal year 2017, continuing a seven-year trend, surpassing the previous record set in 2016 by eight percent. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Nissan exboss Ghosns new lawyer questions handling of case

TOKYO — The newly appointed star defender for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn says he believes the case against his client does “not meet international standards.”Junichiro Hironaka also said Wednesday that he believed Ghosn’s trial on charges of falsifying financial reporting and breach of trust might not begin until after the summer.Speaking to reporters at a conference room in downtown Tokyo, Hironaka said the defence team was still working out its strategy. That could mean months more of detention for Ghosn, who headed Nissan for almost two decades before his arrest on Nov. 19.Hironaka refused to say if Ghosn will try, for a third time, to gain release on bail. He said he viewed the case as a chance to improve Japan’s legal system and human rights.The Associated Press read more

Cancer diagnostic firms to join in 28 billion deal

MADISON, Wis. — Cancer diagnostic companies Exact Sciences and Genomic Health are combining in a $2.8 billion a cash-and-stock deal.The companies said Monday that they expect to generate revenue of $1.6 billion and gross profit of $1.2 billion in 2020. The deal is expected to close this year.For each share of Genomic Health they own, shareholders will receive $27.50 in cash and $44.50 in shares of Exact Sciences, subject to a 10% “collar” in case of big stock price fluctuations.Genomic Health Inc., based in Redwood City, California, specializes in genomic-based diagnostic tests for use in cancer care. Exact Sciences Corp., based in Madison, Wisconsin, focuses on early detection of cancer.The Associated Press read more

UN chief condemns latest terrorist attack in Kenya

In a statement issued today by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban conveyed his “profound condolences” to the families of the victims while pledging the UN’s “continuing support” to Kenya and the countries of the region “in their multidimensional efforts to address the scourge of terrorism.”According to media reports, militants claiming to belong to the Al-Shabaab extremist group hijacked the commuter bus travelling to Nairobi, the country’s capital, in the early morning hours of 22 November, executing at least 28 of the passengers. Al-Shabaab’s operations have sown terror across Somalia and Kenya in recent years with coordinated attacks against hotels, shopping centres, and other civilians areas. Mr. Ban expressed his solidarity with the people and the Government of Kenya and voiced the hope that those responsible for today’s attack would be brought to justice “swiftly.”At the same time, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, echoed Mr. Ban’s outrage with his condemnation of the “horrendous terrorist attack,” adding that the killing showed “complete disregard for humanity.”In a separate statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Kay reiterated the UN’s “unfaltering commitment to fighting the scourge of terrorism” and his office’s continuing support for Somalia and the region “to ensure security and stability.” read more

What Happens If Alabama Loses What If Every Favorite Wins We Have

At the core of the College Football Playoff is the assumption that four reasonably well-differentiated teams will be left standing at the end of the regular season and conference championship games, ready to be neatly penciled into a bracket.Unfortunately, such a tidy setup seldom actually happens in real life.This season is a good example. If you break things down into tiers of teams, at the top are three Tier 1 teams — undefeated major-conference squads plus independent Notre Dame1Because they are Notre Dame. — in Alabama, Clemson and the aforementioned Irish (two of which could potentially be conference champions as well). But there are also four Tier 2 teams — one-loss major-conference teams and undefeated minor-conference ones — in Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia and Central Florida. Even if you grant that poor UCF is likely to get little consideration (particularly with starting QB McKenzie Milton out with a leg injury), and that UGA would drop below Tier 2 with an SEC title-game loss to Bama, the math doesn’t quite work out to shield the selection committee from criticism. It still leaves too many deserving teams for too few slots.So with the help of our playoff odds algorithm, let’s run down the various permutations of what could happen on Championship Saturday to see who the model thinks would make the playoff in each.2Including every set of results that has at least a 2 percent probability of actually happening — with one special exception. Based on how the selection committee (and, before that, the BCS) has behaved in the past, we’ll break down how our system expects it to react this year. And we’ll go in order, from the least controversial to the most…(Note: These chances reflect the results from Week 13 but not the latest playoff committee rankings, which are released Tuesday night. Instead, they use our model’s expectation of how those rankings will change.)Alabama and Clemson win; Oklahoma OR Ohio State loses.Chances of happening: 23 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (greater than 99 percent), Clemson (>99), OU or OSU winner (98), Notre Dame (94)Others: UCF (3 percent), Texas (2)This is one of the dream scenarios for the committee, as it would give them three top-tier teams and only two Tier 2 teams to choose from, one of which is non-Power 5 UCF with an injured QB. From there, picking the four playoff teams would be relatively straightforward.Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma win; Clemson loses.Chances of happening: 2 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Ohio State (94), Notre Dame (93), Oklahoma (92)Others: Clemson (11 percent)According to our model, this result would also benefit the selection committee. If Clemson were to lose the ACC title game to Pitt when favored by more than three touchdowns, the Tigers would suddenly be a Tier 2 team battling with a couple of fellow candidates (the Buckeyes and Sooners) who would each boast conference championships in this scenario.Clemson wins; Alabama and either Oklahoma OR Ohio State loses.Chances of happening: 14 percentLikely playoff field: Clemson (>99 percent), Georgia (99), Notre Dame (88), OU or OSU winner (83)Others: Alabama (24 percent)This is a variation of the first scenario listed above, where everything goes more or less to form except Georgia beats Alabama for the SEC title. I suspect our algorithm might be undercounting the chances that the committee stamps a playoff ticket for the Crimson Tide — who’ve had one of the most dominant seasons in college history — even with the loss. But taken on face value, a pair of conference champs (Oklahoma/Ohio State and UGA) might have a better case than a one-loss non-champ (Bama) within Tier 2.Clemson wins; Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State lose.Chances of happening: 3 percentLikely playoff field: Clemson (>99 percent), Georgia (>99), Notre Dame (98), Alabama (65)Others: Texas (16 percent), UCF (12), Washington (7)Despite the scary-sounding prospect of dealing with a one-loss, non-conference-champ Crimson Tide team, this sequence of events gets the committee off the hook to some extent. Clemson, Notre Dame and UGA would be easy calls, and it’s not hard to see Alabama rising over any of the other candidates for the No. 4 slot in the playoff field.Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma AND Ohio State win.Chances of happening: 31 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Clemson (>99), Ohio State (69), Oklahoma (69)Others: Notre Dame (62 percent)Under this very plausible situation — the most likely on this list, in fact — the committee would have to make a tough choice among Ohio State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame for the third and fourth playoff seeds. Lacking any kind of special Notre Dame adjustment, the model thinks OSU and OU would come out ahead. Realistically speaking, however, it’s difficult to imagine that the committee would exclude an undefeated Irish squad, right or wrong. So that means it would come down to splitting hairs between the Buckeyes and Sooners. Good luck with that.Alabama and Clemson win; Oklahoma and Ohio State lose.Chances of happening: 4 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Clemson (>99), Notre Dame (98) and … ???Others: Texas (31 percent), Georgia (29), UCF (23), Washington (12), Ohio State (5)Most of the scenarios on this list involve too many good teams for too few slots. But in this particular case, there wouldn’t be enough. The committee would be staring at three clear-cut deserving squads, plus a whole bunch of flawed lower-tier teams in the mix for the fourth and final bid. Our model actually thinks three-loss (!) Texas would be the most likely candidate, though this is also one of UCF’s best, most viable paths to that elusive playoff berth.Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State win; Alabama loses.Chances of happening: 19 percentLikely playoff field: Clemson (>99 percent), Georgia (98), Ohio State (66), Oklahoma (62)Others: Notre Dame (60 percent), Alabama (13)This is the combination the selection committee has to be fearing the most, in part because it could happen so easily. It would simply require the Tigers, Sooners and Buckeyes winning a trio of games as favorites, and Georgia pulling off a not-unthinkable upset against the Tide for the SEC crown. Remember, the Bulldogs were in great shape for about a half in last year’s national championship game — before Bama stormed back to force overtime and eventually win. If UGA avenges that loss on Saturday, the committee would have a very tricky choice on its hands.Alabama wins; Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State lose.Chances of happening: 0.2 percentLikely playoff field: Alabama (>99 percent), Notre Dame (>99), Clemson (64) and … ???Others: Texas (44 percent), Georgia (36), UCF (31), Washington (16), Ohio State (4), Oklahoma (4)This chaotic option isn’t as immediately apparent as the obvious “Georgia beats Bama” doomsday scenario above, but it might end up wreaking just as much havoc. Our model thinks Clemson would still have a reasonable 2-in-3 chance of making the playoff even after losing to Pitt, provided the Sooners and Buckeyes also lose. But the model is doing an algorithmic shruggie at the idea of having to pick the fourth team, which could be any of six schools with at least a 4 percent chance according to the model. The odds of this happening are very low (about 1 in 444), but if it does, it could be the most challenging decision the committee has faced in its five seasons of existence.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

Trusts companies and superannuation

first_imgWhen assets are held in a trust, company or superannuation fund, they also need to be brought into your estate plan. Documents other than your will are usually necessary. In a good estate plan, normally your executors also control your entities, for consistency. Companies If you own or control a trading or investment company, important decisions need to be made about: – who will own or control the company shares – who replaces you as director – how you want the company’s investments or business to be managed. (Note: Business Succession Planning is a large topic in itself, and not considered in detail here). – how you want income and capital distributed. If independent persons are your executors, they will generally not act as directors of your companies. Usually, the spouse or a child or children become directors. The executors can still control the company, by holding (but not owning) the shares. This is so that they can control that the directors are carrying out your wishes. The company’s constitution needs to be reviewed as part of your estate plan. Changes may be needed, including: – dispute resolution between directors – important decisions are referred to the shareholders (i.e. executors). For example, selling or mortgaging assets. Trusts No family member owns the assets held in a discretionary ‘family’ trust. The trustee holds the assets and chooses who to distribute income and capital to. Therefore, control of the trustee is important. Control of a trust is determined by its deed. Your estate plan lawyer will need to read and understand the deed and what documents will be needed to ensure control passes as intended. Children might have day-to-day control of trust investments, but your executors (if different) should make the final decision about income and capital and other important decisions. If independents have that control as executors, this potentially protects trust assets from your children’s ex-spouses. Superannuation Fund Many people now have large wealth in superannuation. When you die, your superannuation balance must be paid: – directly to any of your spouse and children; otherwise – to your estate and distributed (or controlled) under your will. There are a number of complex tax and estate planning reasons to consider when deciding who to pay your superannuation to. You can either: – give binding directions as to how your superannuation will be paid; or – allow the trustees of your superannuation fund to decide where to pay your superannuation. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. A binding direction is inflexible and needs to be reviewed often. If circumstances change after your death (for example, a child separates) it can have bad consequences. Also, laws may change and a binding nomination may lead to higher taxes. Flexibility also has its issues. If you have a self-managed fund, it is harder to ensure the right persons hold the power to decide where to distribute your superannuation. With a market fund, there is risk of your family fighting over who should receive payment. There may be a costly and lengthy court case before the market fund decides what to do. All of the issues surrounding control of your assets, whether they are in a company, trust or superannuation fund, need to be carefully considered against your goals and the right plan chosen. Once chosen, the plan needs to be carried out carefully and skilfully, with the right documents. If you have any questions or require further information please do not hesitate to contact Harry Giannakidis on Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

THI Australia renews grant to Emfasis Foundation

first_imgThe Hellenic Initiative Australia has announced an AU$35,000 grant to fund the Emfasis Mobile Support Unit (MSU) for a second year, supporting more than 1300 homeless people and rough sleepers in Athens and Piraeus.The Hellenic Initiative Australia President, Nicholas Pappas AM, said the expansion of Emfasis’ social streetwork programs over the past 12 months had provided much-needed assistance to people living on the street, on the verge of homelessness or facing serious survival challenges and social exclusion.“With the support of THI Australia, Emfasis has been able to reach out to more people in need and make a difference in these people’s lives. We are pleased to be supporting Emfasis for a second year,” Mr Pappas said.ALSO READ: Hellenic Initiative Australia funds SOS children’s villages in GreeceEmfasis Mobile Support Unit teams cover neighbourhoods where homeless and vulnerable groups are living rough. As well as addressing people’s immediate needs by distributing food and survival kits, they provide a critical link to social support services.“The economic hardship experienced in Greece over the last decade has led to a dramatic increase in homelessness and people living in a street situation,” said Emfasis Co-founder, Maria Karra.“The critical support from THI Australia will allow us to continue to help improve the life conditions of people living on the streets in Athens, where the need is as great as ever.“This is not just immediate relief and one-off assistance, we provide long-term support to help people find temporary housing and employment and reintegrate gradually into the community,” Ms Karra said.Founded in 2013, Emfasis teams of sociologists, psychologists and other specialists and trained volunteers aim to improve the personal and living conditions of those in need, empowering people to reintegrate by helping them access social support services and medical care, assisting them to re-establish ID card or social insurance benefits and providing other follow-up care.ALSO READ: The Hellenic Initiative Australia supports Axion Hellas medical mission to remote Aegean islandsEmfasis also conducts detailed demographic mapping of underprivileged areas and populations, in order to identify the exact needs and profile of vulnerable groups in Athens.“The grant from THI Australia has enabled us to provide a consistent presence in the field through the Mobile Support Units during the past 12 months. We have been able to establish relationships of trust and significantly increase the number of follow-up cases,” said Ms Karra.“Having a stable team and a stable presence has almost tripled the number of people that we have helped empower to attempt a better life.” *Watch the video below showing a shift with the MSU at Piraeus: Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Henry pleased with Monacos appointment of exdistance runner

first_imgAS Monaco manager Thierry Henry has backed the club’s decision to appoint Bouabdellah Tahri as a member of the medical staffThe Monégasques have brought in the former distance runner in order to aid the players with mental preparation and their respective injury problems as they bid to turn around their disastrous start to the 2018/19 campaign.Currently, Monaco are 19th in Ligue 1 with just three wins from their opening 16 matches.Henry’s own arrival as the new head coach has done little to change their fortunes with Monaco winning just two games under the Arsenal legend.Now Henry hopes the appointment of a 2009 World Championship bronze medallist will have the desired impact.“I didn’t know him personally, but I think it is a good thing for the club,” said Henry, according to Fox Sports.“We know what he achieved in his professional career. It’s great for the club, he’s not the only one who just joined us in Monaco.“Every team needs it. We had one at Arsenal, one at Barcelona, they are everywhere. That’s it.”Neymar responds to PSG criticism with a stunning winner Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Despite all the backlash he got today at Parc des Princes, Neymar responded by scoring a stunning winner vs Strasbourg.We all knew that Neymar’s…Monaco will take a trip to the Groupama Stadium on Sunday to face Lyon, who are fourth in Ligue 1 and qualified for the Champions League knockout stages on Wednesday by drawing 1-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk.And Henry is well aware of the challenge that awaits his Monaco side in what will be their first Ligue 1 game for two weeks after last weekend’s fixture against OGC Nice was postponed due to riots in Paris.“We have to play this game now,” added Henry.“Winning two games in a row is just anecdotal. You know that we couldn’t play our game against Nice and it may have been better for us to have another win.“That’s what I would have hoped for. We’ll play away once again. It’s going to be a tough game in Lyon.“It is never easy to play them away especially when they just went through in Champions League.”The Lyon-Monaco game will begin at 21:00 (CET) on Sunday.last_img read more

Soy Growers Urge Trump Administration to Support Innovative and ScienceBased Decisions for

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) and several other agriculture representatives urged President Donald Trump to prioritize issues of great importance to the industry and consumers everywhere, in a letter earlier this week.“The policy and regulatory environment your Administration establishes can ensure that agricultural innovation flourishes and American farmers are able to meet the food production goals necessary to feed billions more people,” the groups state in the letter. “We are ready to provide the White House and the Executive Branch Departments and Agencies, as well as Congress, with policy concepts that foster stability in the U.S. agriculture economy with a strong and predictable farm safety net and promotes American competitiveness through research; marketability and trade of agricultural commodities; rural economic growth; and plant, animal, and environmental health, among many other things.”The letter reiterated the significant challenges the agriculture industry faces and how important it is for the U.S. government to support innovation and science-based regulatory decisions to make sure farmers have the tools needed produce sustainable food and meet demands of a growing population.Click here to read the entire letter.last_img read more

Frontier Agriculture embeds values through peernominated awards

first_imgEmployee Benefits Live 2016: Frontier Agriculture celebrates and reinforces its key values through a peer-nominated awards initiative.The organisation’s ICE Awards, ‘ICE’ acting as an acronym for the principles the organisation wishes to promote – integrity, customer focus and expertise – are based around peer recognition, with colleagues nominating each other for awards.Jon Berry (pictured), head of human resources at Frontier Agriculture, said: “This is for truly exceptional contributions in line with the ICE values. It is an employee-nominated process, so it’s not about management making those decisions; it’s employees nominating their colleagues. It’s actually a really powerful way of embedding those principles.”With 950 employees across more than 40 UK locations, Frontier Agriculture’s mission is to be a first choice employer within the agriculture sector.The organisation is working to promote other initiatives that align with its core values, such as sustainability, health and safety, and enabling staff to engage more easily with the local community.Berry spoke alongside Tim Kensey, HR director at Nomad Foods Europe, and Rebecca Seymour, head of HR at Peugeot Citreon, in the Employee Benefits Live 2016 session titled HR’s role in helping establish corporate and brand identity.Kensey outlined the challenges of creating a brand identity from scratch following a merger, which saw heritage brands such as Birds Eye, Iglo and Findas join together to form the Nomad Foods Group last year.The organisation had to adjust the already established Iglo and Me identity into something that would resonate with the new business, expanding to incorporate the 17 countries in which it operates and with the agility to adapt to any future expansions that may take place.Looking to adopt a consistent approach across the business, the organisation had to reestablish its core values and mission for the new Nomad and Me identity, and connect these back to business objectives.Next month, Nomad Foods Group will launch eight new values, as well as sharing the organisation’s mission with staff, and updating its HR processes to deliver consistency across the business. Employees will be encouraged to embrace the organisation’s values, with outstanding recognition celebrated in the quarterly People Awards, which will name a value champion.Kensey said: “We’re a new [organisation], coming together, with really great heritage brands. We’ve got some really great strategic brands, we’ve got that history, we’ve got [the] current culture in many of the markets and we want to bring it together under one new brand. We are trying to align the things that we do together, all one way across the organisation.”During the session, Peugeot Citreon’s Seymour highlighted the challenges around establishing a succinct corporate identity. The organisation plans to review its reward platform, PSA Pretium, next year in order to better align it with its business values. Seymour said: “What was a mistake [with the platform] was that we moved away from our brand and our true identity.”The organisation continues to learn and develop its approach to corporate identity, explained Seymour. Recent steps include opening out its office space, gathering feedback questionnaires from staff, and looking at its recruitment process and strategy.last_img read more