‘A blessing in disguise?’ Fans react to SHOCK UCL final injury blow

first_img Giorgio Chiellini 1 The biggest game on the European football calendar is just two days away.The stage is set.Careers are ready to be defined.Now is definitely not the time to pick up an injury.Nobody told Giorgio Chiellini.The veteran Italian has been struck down with a calf problem and will play no part in Saturday’s Champions League final against Barcelona. Ouch.That’s the definition of untimely.But how did football fans across the world assess the news? Are the Bianconeri’s hopes of an unlikely victory now all but over?Or will the Catalan club still have their work cut out if they are to lift a fifth European title?And just how is poor old Luis Suarez feeling about the whole situation?last_img read more

Global food crisis addressed

first_imgStatistics released by the World Bank indicate that food prices have increased by a staggering 83%(Image: World Food Programme) Khanyi MagubaneWorld leaders, starting to feel the pressure from disgruntled poor people, are taking the global increase in food prices and its effects seriously.On 22 April the World Food Program (WFP) hosted a summit on the food crisis in London. Josette Sheeren, the WFP’s executive director, warned that a “silent tsunami” of hunger is sweeping the world’s most desperate nations. She noted that the price of rice has more than doubled in the past five weeks and that China and India are currently facing an increased demand for their produce.British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who co-hosted the talks with Sheeren, said the spiralling prices threaten to plunge millions back into poverty and reverse progress on alleviating poverty in the developing world. “Tackling hunger is a moral challenge to each of us and it is also a threat to the political and economic stability of nations,” Brown said.In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also voiced his concern over the increase in food prices, calling for both immediate and long-term measures to tackle the crisis. “We need not only short-term emergency measures to meet urgent critical needs and avert starvation in many regions across the world, but also a significant increase in long-term productivity in food grain production,” he said.French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested setting up global partnerships among financial institutions, governments and the private sector to tackle the main reasons behind rising food prices.Scale of the problemRecent statistics released by the World Bank indicate that food prices have increased by a staggering 83% increased by a staggering 83%The organisation says high food prices are threatening recent gains in overcoming poverty and malnutrition, and are likely to persist over the medium-term. “Poor people are suffering daily from the impact of high food prices, especially in urban areas and in low-income countries,” said World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick.According to a World Bank policy document entitled Rising Food Prices: Policy Options and World Bank Response, increases in global wheat prices reached 181% over the 36 months leading up to February 2008, and overall global food prices increased by 83%. Food crop prices are expected to remain high in 2008 and 2009.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also concerned. Head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn recently told French radio that soaring world food prices could have dire consequences, such as toppling governments and even triggering wars. The IMF chief says the problem could also threaten democracies, even in countries where governments have done all they can to help the low-income earning population.South Africa searching for solutionsSouth Africa has not gone untouched by the food crisis. Trade union federation Cosatu recently held a march in Johannesburg to protest against soaring food prices. They called on government to find a lasting solution to the problem.The government and the agricultural industry have also been in discussions to find ways to curb food-price inflation, which in recent months has seen the price of basic foodstuffs increase by 14% in South Africa.Government spokesperson Themba Maseko says the government is developing a strategy to address this challenge. He said the government is confident that the competition authorities, who regulate food prices in different industries, will continue to be vigilant and take strong action to curb negative practices that had also contributed to higher food prices.A researcher from the Institute for Security Studies, David Zounmenou, recently told the Mail & Guardian newspaper that in African countries where unemployment rates are high and social delivery low, an increase in food prices will certainly continue pushing people over the edge. “High food prices can only add fuel to this [unrest] and can be exploited by the opposition or other interest groups to create instability.”Other areas of Africa where violence has flared due to high food prices include Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.Useful linksUN food and agriculture organisationWorld Food ProgramWorld BankInternational Money FundDepartment of AgricultureDo you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

TelePresence: meetings without travel

first_img14 October 2009South African telecommunications operator Neotel has launched the first TelePresence facility in Africa, making a virtual “public room” available for businesses to interact with their global counterparts.TelePresence, which uses Cisco technology, integrates advanced audio, high-definition video and interactive elements to deliver “a virtual meeting experience that feels real”.Neotel says it has introduced the value-added service in response to continued global economic pressures resulting in organisations looking for ways to cut down on overseas corporate travelling in particular.“The launch of this TelePresence facility is in line with Tata Communications’ global strategy to launch more of these facilities across the globe this year,” Neotel MD Ajay Pandey said in a statement late last month.By working closely with Tata Communications, Neotel is able to tap into their global network, providing South Africans with true global connectivity.“We see this as a wonderful opportunity to enable our customers’ businesses by providing them with access to a solution that will streamline operations and reduce travel time and associated costs,” Pandey said.Reducing business costsIn a recent report, research firm Gartner predicted that, due to the current world economic crisis, high-definition based video meeting solutions would negatively affect the global travel industry.Locally, businesses are looking to reduce operational costs and are reducing their travel budgets significantly, says Neotel.TelePresence creates the perception that the different parties are sitting in the same room, having a face-to-face meeting, without having to travel to the meeting.“This means the effective use of this technology will save time and money,” said Pandey. “The business case associated with TelePresence is phenomenal.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Will You Be My “Friend”?

first_imgAs HR professionals, a challenge we all face is how do we strike a balance between being open, approachable, and relatable to all while maintaining healthy professional boundaries? Are we supposed to be everyone’s friend or no ones friend at all? I have learned over the past few years that there is a lot of gray area in our field, especially when it comes to this topic. Luckily, if you’re like me, most of us chose this profession because we like complex social situations and don’t mind ambiguity.Behavioral research tells us that building trust requires openness and vulnerability but how much is too much? This can be challenging for any HR professional, especially those of us who are early in our careers and making the transition from being a peer to being someone in a supervisory role.In the digital era, we have a whole new set of challenges to overcome. It is no secret that we live in a society where “friending” someone on social media as soon as you meet them has become the norm. As HR professionals, we are thrust into a unique situation that requires us to carefully consider, and at times overthink, each invitation we receive before determining whether to accept or decline.There are of course the obvious legal risks such as exposure to information protected under Title VII, but what about the less obvious risks? Connecting with our employees is important, but why expose ourselves to every detail of our employees’ personal lives? If an employee calls in sick and then spends the day posting selfies at the beach, do you really want to know about it? I sure don’t!I firmly believe in keeping work and personal life separate to a certain extent.As an HR professional I want to be seen as a resource for my employees; someone who can coach them through difficult times and help them reach their full potential, not a rule enforcer who is watching their every move. If you know too much this can sometimes be challenging, but I do want to encourage them to speak openly with me about their concerns and trust that I will do my best to help resolve them.How can we build this positive relationship with a generation is accustomed to be so interconnecting with everyone they know without crossing a line?Ask them how their day is going and show a genuine interest in their wellbeing. Allow them to share but maintain a professional tone and healthy boundaries. Listen to their concerns and offer solutions. Steer the conversation back on course if it veers towards TMI topics.If you do make the choice to decline an invitation to connect, make it a universal decision to not connect on social media with anyone at work. Don’t pick and choose. That way you can do it tactfully while still being cordial.That being said, it can get lonely at the top. Build your network of HR professionals who are dealing with or have dealt with similar situations and be open with them about your struggles. It is so beneficial to have people you trust outside of your organization that you can lean on when you need advice or just need to vent or laugh about your day over a good glass of wine.If all else fails, delete your social media accounts and get a flip phone. Just kidding…sort of.last_img read more

India vs Bangladesh: All eyes on comeback man Harbhajan Singh

first_imgCamera shutters went click as veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh made his way onto the field at Eden Gardens on Saturday, having returned to the Indian squad after a gap of two years.For the next one and a half hours, he was the cynosure of all eyes.The 34-year-old played his last Test match against Australia in 2013 in Hyderabad. He was recalled to the Test side for the Bangladesh tour replacing left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.Clad in a deep-blue jersey and shorts with a touch of fluorescent green, the ‘turbanator’ slowly made his way onto the field and inched towards the warm-up sessions with the rest of the team members.After some light exercises which involved stretching, Harbhajan shifted his attention to sprinting.All members were asked to run a few metres, which was supposed to be the fitness test. Kohli led with the first attempt sprinting with his mirrored wayfarers on.Harbhajan too ran hard but somehow lacked a little pace, customary of spinners which one could again gauge by leg-spinner Karn Sharma’s sprints.After three or four attempts, the players along with the offie were allowed to sip water and energy drinks amid sultry conditions as team director Ravi Shastri and physio Nitin Patel reviewed the results of the fitness test.The session over, Harbhajan left the ground on his own, without waiting for the team bus.The team is scheduled to have a training session again on Sunday before leaving for Bangladesh on Monday morning.last_img read more

Husky offshore oil vessel SeaRose suspended after close call with iceberg

first_imgOil-related operations on the SeaRose FPSO vessel off the Newfoundland and Labrador coast have been ordered suspended by a federal-provincial regulator in response to a close call with an iceberg it had last March.The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said Wednesday the vessel operated by Husky Oil Operations Ltd., a division of Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE) of Calgary, will remain suspended from operating until it is sure that “corrective and appropriate actions” have taken place to address its ice management procedures and other organizational issues.“While this is to be initiated immediately, it will require a few days to complete,” noted petroleum board spokeswoman Lesley Rideout.C-NLOPB said the floating production, storage and off-loading vessel was operating with 84 people and upwards of 340,000 barrels of crude onboard in the White Rose field, 350 kilometres east of St. John’s, when an iceberg entered its 0.25-nautical-mile ice exclusion area.“The SeaRose FPSO should have disconnected and sailed away from the threatening iceberg,” it said in a statement. “That action was not taken and personnel were at one point instructed to muster and ‘brace for impact.’”No impact occurred, it said.“We have approved off-loading of the current inventory as this is safer than keeping it onboard,” Rideout added.In a statement, Husky said it will comply with the order.“We could have and should have responded differently according to the pre-existing plan, and we will learn from this incident. We will work with the C-NLOPB and take the actions necessary to satisfy the regulator,” said CEO Rob Peabody.The company said a number of measures have already been put in place to further improve ice management operations. It said the SeaRose FPSO is currently producing about 27,000 barrels of oil per day net to Husky, which owns about 70 per cent of the production.The SeaRose is expected to play a key role in the new $5.2-billion West White Rose offshore project sanctioned by Husky and its partners, Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) and provincial Crown corporation Nalcor Energy, last spring.First oil is expected in 2022 and the project is expected to reach peak output of about 75,000 barrels per day in 2025, using a fixed platform tied back to the SeaRose.The SeaRose FPSO began operations in 2005 with first commercial production from the White Rose field.The regulator said the vessel’s operations are to be suspended in a safe, controlled and environmentally prudent manner while maintaining the integrity of the installation, adding its decision is based on preliminary results from an inquiry held last year.The board said it is taking no action against drilling operations involving the mobile offshore drilling unit Henry Goodrich, also operated by Husky, as it has demonstrated acceptable adherence to ice management in the past.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

PM calls premiers to autumn meeting to reduce internal Canadian trade barriers

first_imgOTTAWA – With Canadian companies facing a hardening of the border with the United States, Justin Trudeau wants to talk with his provincial and territorial counterparts later this year about breaking down trade barriers from within.The prime minister announced Thursday he will host a first ministers meeting in the fall aimed at making the country’s economy more interconnected.The gathering will likely also be the first opportunity for long-time Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc to sit down face-to-face with all of the premiers as the federal minister responsible for intergovernmental affairs, a portfolio he took on when Trudeau shuffled his cabinet Wednesday.It makes little sense that companies based outside Canada are met with fewer restrictions to Canadian markets than Canadian companies from within their own country, Trudeau said in a statement.“Foreign companies shouldn’t have easier access to Canadian markets than Canadian companies from another province.”Trudeau has pledged to hold meetings with the premiers annually.The announcement of the theme of their latest get-together came after premiers were briefed on international trade issues by Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, at their gathering Thursday in New Brunswick.Canadian steel and aluminum producers were slapped last month with punitive duties on exports to the United States and car makers face the prospect of further tariffs on automobiles and auto parts crossing the border.Ontario’s auto industry would be particularly hard hit by such tariffs, and while the newly installed Progressive Conservative government under Premier Rob Ford has fundamentally disagreed with the federal Liberals in some key areas, such as on carbon pricing, it stands “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Ottawa when it comes to reducing trade barriers, the province’s economic development minister said Thursday in Washington.A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office did not provide details on the exact timing and location of the first ministers meeting.The federal government said internal trade is worth about $370 billion, or just under one-fifth of the country’s overall economic output.It predicts that removing interprovincial trade barriers could create an economic benefit roughly comparable to the projected benefit of the Canada-European Union free trade agreement known as CETA.last_img read more

UPDATED Missing man located in Fort St John

first_imgUPDATE: According to Constable Chad Neustaeter with the Fort St. John RCMP, 29-year-old Brian Wied has been located safe and unharmed.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St John RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a man who hasn’t been heard from in a year and might be in the Peace Region.According to RCMP Constable Chad Neustaeter, 29-year-old Brian Wied was declared missing earlier today. Cst. Neustater said that Wied’s mother has not spoken with him for a year and tried to message Brian over Facebook three days ago but has not received any response and believes him to be missing.Wied is thought to be in the Fort St John/Dawson Creek/Tumbler Ridge area of B.C.Wied is described as Caucasian, standing 6’3”/190 centimetres tall, weighing 200 lbs./91 kg, with brown eyes and brown hair. He has a tattoo of his surname in large letters on his forearm, and a tattoo of a Christian Cross on his shoulder and upper arm.Wied is not known to be in possession of a vehicle but does have a German Shepherd dog named Marley that is said to go everywhere with him.If you have any information about Brian Wied or his location, please contact the Fort St. John RCMP at 250-787-8100. If you wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip online at www.crimestoppersnebc.ca. You do not have to give your name, address, or telephone number.last_img read more

GOT prequel adds five more series regulars

first_imgLos Angeles: The ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel pilot is beefing up its cast. Marquis Rodriquez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan, and Dixie Egerickx have all been cast in series regular roles, reports variety.com. As with all things ‘Game of Thrones,’ the exact nature of the characters each will be playing is being kept under tight wraps. Rodriguez will next be seen starring in the Netflix miniseries ‘When They See Us’ from director Ava DuVernay, which is based on the true story of the Central Park Five. He also had a role in the Marvel-Netflix shows ‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Iron Fist’. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaSimm’s previous television credits include ‘Collateral’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Catch’, ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘The Canterbury Tales’. McCabe has appeared in shows such as ‘Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams’, ‘Harlots’, ‘Collateral’, and ‘Peaky Blinders’. Heffernan’s TV credits include ‘Dracula,’ ‘Brexit,’ ‘Collateral,’ ‘The Crown,’ and ‘Luther’. Egerickx recently wrapped on ‘The Secret Garden’ and previously appeared in the films Summerland and The Little Stranger. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod KhannaThe five join previously announced cast members Naomi Watts, Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp, Toby Regbo and Miranda Richardson. Taking place thousands of years before the events of ‘Game of Thrones,’ the new show chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend-it’s not the story we think we know. Jane Goldman co-created the project with George R R Martin, whose ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ novel series serves as the basis for ‘Game of Thrones’. The news comes as ‘Game of Thrones’ prepares to launch its final season.last_img read more

Its TMC healing touch vs BJP NRC vow in Basirhat

first_imgBasirhat: Known as one of Bengal’s most porous border areas with Bangladesh and a hub of illegal migration, Basirhat is set to witness a high octane electoral battle between Nusrat Jahan, Bengali screen actress and Trinamool Congress candidate, and Sayantan Basu, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary, in the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls on May 19. Basirhat town is dotted with sugar mills, metalware manufacturing units and is a major trade depot for rice, jute, mustard, dates and potatoes produced in the surrounding areas. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIn the semi-urban and rural parliamentary constituency, comprising seven Assembly seats of Baduria, Haroa, Minakhan, Sandeshkhali, Basirhat Dakshin, Basirhat Uttar and Hingalgunj, Muslims dominate by accounting for over 50 percent of the population. In July 2017, Basirhat, located on the southern bank of the river Icchamati, witnessed “communal” tensions following a derogatory social media post on Prophet Mohammad. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Trinamool’s Idris Ali defeated Communist Party of India’s (CPI) Nurool Hooda by over one lakh votes. While Ali secured around 38 percent votes, his nearest rival Hooda received around 30 percent. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayBJP’s Samik Bhattacharya, though a distant third, had secured over 18 percent votes, increasing the party’s vote share by 11.81 percent compared with 2009 elections. In 2019, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee replaced sitting MP Idris Ali with a political greenhorn Nusrat Jahan. The Congress nominee is a veteran local leader Abdur Rahim Kazi, while the CPI has fielded Pallab Sengupta. The choice of Trinamool candidate is being seen as its attempt to project a fresh face with a mass outreach. During her election rally in the constituency, Banerjee termed Jahan as “a young girl who does not have deep understanding of politics” and appealed to the people to render whole-hearted support to Jahan. The BJP candidate has courted controversies by asking the Central Forces to shoot potential miscreants in the chest. “If Trinamool goons come to loot votes on polling day, I will ask the Central Forces to shoot them in the chest and not feet. The state police work for the Trinamool Congress. “We will make sure that they are confined within the police stations, and only CRPF does the poll duty,” Basu said during his campaign. This statement drew sharp criticism and led the Election Commission to issue a show-cause notice against him. On the other hand, Banerjee’s decision to oppose both NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill is all set to make her party a clear favourite among the Muslims. Jahan, campaigning nearly 12 hours a day, said she was confident that her message of love would win over people across communities as nobody liked violence. “It is not about me. The people know voting for any other party will not cause them any good. I am representing the party that has worked for their good for years,” she remarked.last_img read more