Watersheds to be Discussed at Multi-Agency Meeting Oct. 10

first_img The meeting will consist of representatives from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), the National Water Commission (NWC), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. A high-level multi-agency meeting is scheduled with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) on Wednesday, October 10, to discuss the maintenance of watersheds in the Municipality. Story Highlights This was disclosed by Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, at today’s (October 9) sitting of the Corporation in downtown Kingston. A high-level multi-agency meeting is scheduled with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) on Wednesday, October 10, to discuss the maintenance of watersheds in the Municipality.The meeting will consist of representatives from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), the National Water Commission (NWC), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.This was disclosed by Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, at today’s (October 9) sitting of the Corporation in downtown Kingston.“We will be asking all the agencies to look into watersheds across the Municipality. We are not just going to focus on what is happening at the Constant Spring Water Treatment Plant. We really want to begin to look at other practices across the Municipality, in particular with watershed areas,” he said.He said the technical officers at the KSAMC have been asked to review and monitor the monthly water quality reports when they are received.“I have also asked our officers here to coordinate with all agencies and to begin to put together a report for us that outlines the various activities taking place adjacent to or within our watershed areas, such as farming and industrial action… any activity that can affect the turbidity levels,” he said.Senator Williams informed that the matter regarding the water quality arose out of the KSAMC’s Public Health and Disaster Committee Meeting.“The issue raised there was in relation to the water quality and the turbidity levels at the Constant Spring (Water) Treatment Plant, which supplies a significant section of the urban area.Subsequent to that, we made contact with the NWC, and they have assured that the quality of water outflow from the Treatment Plant is of a high quality.We have also been assured by the Chief Public Health Inspector, so there is no issue with the quality of water,” he said.He noted too that a multi-agency team also visited the area and carried out an assessment.last_img read more

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Yildirim Holdings to Sell Its Stake in CMA CGM

first_imgzoom Turkish port operator Yildirim Holdings AS has announced plans to sell its 24 percent stake in the French shipping major CMA CGM.As revealed by the company’s Chairman Yuksel Yildirim in an interview with Bloomberg, Yildirim mandated China Citic Bank Corp. to find investors from Asia or the Persian Gulf for its interest in the world’s third biggest container shipping company.According to Yildirim, the current value of the shares ranges between USD 2.5-3 billion based on recent deals in the industry.The sale has been linked with Yildirim’s acquisition of the US maritime terminal operator Ports America Holdings from Oaktree Capital Group, with whom the company has an exclusivity agreement valid until the end of July.The move is said to be part of the group’s USD 10 billion expansion plan covering ports and mine sector.Under the proposal, USD 5 billion would be spent on acquisitions, while the remaining USD 5 billion would be assigned for construction of Turkish power plants.With the latest investments Yildirim Holdings aims to become one of the top 10 international port terminal operators in the world.When approached by World Maritime News on the matter CMA CGM denied to comment.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

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Les cas doreillons continuent à augmenter

first_img Les responsables de la santé publique commencent aujourd’hui, le 20 avril, à enquêter sur 120 cas d’oreillons qui se sont déclarés en Nouvelle-Écosse. Cette vague se poursuit dans la Municipalité régionale d’Halifax, et certains cas sont apparus dans plusieurs autres régions de façon sporadique. La majorité des cas concernent les personnes âgées entre 20 et 25 ans. « L’on s’attend à une augmentation des cas puisque les médecins sont très attentifs aux symptômes et les gens sont désormais bien informés sur la maladie », a déclaré Shelly Sarwal, médecin conseil en santé publique. Les symptômes les plus courants sont les suivants : fièvre, maux de tête, douleurs musculaires, glandes enflées et sensibles à l’angle des mâchoires. Les responsables de la santé publique continuent à inciter les gens à consulter leur médecin de famille s’ils ont certains de ces symptômes. Les oreillons se transmettent par la toux, les éternuements, ou encore quand on embrasse quelqu’un ou quand boit on dans le verre d’une autre personne. Ce virus peut être transmis pendant une semaine avant l’apparition des premiers symptômes, et jusqu’à neuf jours après le déclenchement de la maladie. La docteure Sarwal insiste sur l’importance de ne pas aller à l’école, au travail, ou encore participer à des activités sociales pendant cette période. Tous les médecins sont tenus, en vertu de la loi, de signaler les cas d’oreillons aux bureaux de la santé publique de la province pour faire en sorte que les responsables de la santé publique soient tenus au courant des nouveaux cas et peuvent identifier toute autre personne ayant pu être infectée. Pour éviter la propagation des oreillons ou de toute autre maladie : Pour en savoir plus sur les oreillons, veuillez visiter le site suivant : www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/mumps.html . lavez-vous bien les mains de façon régulière avec du désinfectant pour mains; ne buvez pas dans le même verre que quelqu’un d’autre et n’utilisez pas les couverts d’une autre personne; quand vous éternuez ou vous vous mouchez, protégez-vous avec un mouchoir ou une manche. center_img PROMOTION ET PROTECTION DE LA SANTÉ — Les cas d’oreillons continuent à augmenter.last_img read more

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Nova Scotians Business Ready for Opportunities

first_imgNova Scotian business owners and employees are getting the boost they need to sharpen their skills and prepare for the good jobs that are coming. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More met with business owners and employees in Sydney today, Oct. 17, to launch free tools that will help employers and employees prepare for some of the most exciting opportunities in the province’s history. “Nova Scotians want good jobs for themselves and their children,” said Ms. More. “They want to live and work in a province that has a strong economy and a promising future so they have the confidence to build a life here. “The world is changing, and Nova Scotia is changing with it. People are working hard to make the most of opportunities on the horizon, and these tools will help them do that.” The HR Toolkit, SkillsOnlineNS and Welcoming Workplaces are a $1.5-million investment in Nova Scotias workers and businesses. The HR Toolkit is a free, online resource that helps employers recruit, develop and motivate staff. Employers can access information on how to create a diverse job description or advertisement, ideas on how to find and keep workers, and manage a diverse workforce. There are downloadable guides and templates, and access to programs like the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit. “As a business operator, I want to be sure that the HR practices I have in place are current and best of breed, that my employees’ needs are fulfilled to the best of our abilities, and that the people I hire are the best fit for the rewarding jobs we offer here at AG Research,” said Pierre LaRochelle, chief operating officer with AG Research Ltd. “These last few months, I have actively looked for online HR support. The new HR Toolkit is timely and will ensure I am following the right processes and doing what is best for my employees and my business here in Nova Scotia.” SkillsonlineNS promotes learning in the workplace with quick and easy access to thousands of online courses, from Microsoft Office, to the fundamentals of globalization. The courses include things like 15 minute tutorials on how to work with Generation Y, or how to be a good coach. The two-year pilot project aims to help Nova Scotias workers and businesses more easily get the skills and training they need. “In the past, time away from work for training was very expensive and usually only a few employees had the benefit of traditional training,” said Paul Jamieson with Maritect Investigations and Security Ltd. “Now our employees will have more opportunities for learning through advanced education sources in areas that influence their jobs. “The available information has also assisted myself and my management team. We have a better grasp on today’s talent pool and selecting the right people to assist my ever growing business.” Welcoming Workplaces helps employers engage and retain a more diverse and productive workforce. A free, online workbook with practical advice and strategies will help employers make workplaces more inclusive and welcoming through methods such as making diversity part of strategic business goals and reworking hiring procedures to be more inclusive. It also helps employers be more fair and understanding with diverse groups such as visible minorities, immigrants and persons with disabilities. “When employees feel supported and valued when they are at work, they are more motivated to do a better job,” said Ms. More. “An investment in this province’s workers is an investment in the long-term prosperity and success of Nova Scotias businesses.” For more information about the HR Toolkit, Online Learning Lab and Welcoming Workplaces visit www.business.novascotia.ca .last_img read more

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Kane stunner earns Spurs victory over Juventus

first_imgSingapore: Harry Kane scored a stunning 93rd minute winner from the halfway line as Tottenham Hotspur edged Juventus 3-2 in an entertaining pre-season friendly in Singapore on Sunday. The England captain latched onto Lucas Moura’s short pass and launched a first-time shot high over a scrambling substitute keeper Wojciech Szczesny as Spurs rallied past new manager Maurizio Sarri’s Italian champions in front of a delighted National Stadium crowd. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”It’s probably one of the best goals of my career. I noticed the keeper was often off of his line and thought if I get a chance to shoot I will and it just went in,” Kane said in a post-match interview. A youthful Spurs dominated the first half as Juventus struggled to adapt to their new coach’s “Sarri-ball” tactic of playing out from the back with short, quick passes. Instead of moving the ball forward, Juventus often found themselves defending desperately after being caught in possession as Spurs pressed high up the pitch with the Premier League side going on to take a deserved lead on the half-hour mark. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterSon Heung-min started the move by holding up play and feeding Troy Parrott for a clear run at Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal, with the 17-year-old forward’s low strike parried by the veteran keeper straight into the path of an unmarked Erik Lamela for a routine tap-in. “It was a very good game, very competitive. To be honest, we are still short in our preparations and I wasn’t planning to play this way so early in the pre-season … we were still hoping to give some players more rest after a long campaign,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “The result was not the most important thing today, the performance was and how we continue our preparations for the upcoming season.”last_img read more

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Feds push back following opposition to federal carbon tax

first_imgOTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – With Ontario and Alberta ramping up their efforts to oppose the federal carbon tax, the Trudeau government is pushing back.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is taking aim at her opponents and lashing out at Ontario Premier Doug Ford for launching new ads against the carbon tax.“Literally having a misleading advertising campaign using taxpayer dollars, not telling people the cost of climate change that we are all paying right now or the money that’s going back,” she adds.RELATED: Alberta premier says provincial carbon tax will die May 30McKenna says Conservatives want to take the country back in time instead of supporting a clean economy.“You have conservative politicians who want to take us back in time, they don’t take climate change seriously, they are using taxpayer money to run misinformation campaigns,” McKenna adds. “You got Andrew Scheer developing a climate plan with oil lobbyists behind closed doors.”She adds it’s disappointing Alberta Premier Jason Kenney plans to scrap his provincial carbon tax by may 30, forcing the feds to impose one.RELATED: NDP unveils parts of climate plan in motion as the Green Party edges closerMcKenna won’t speculate on how quickly the Trudeau government would act but says Albertans will end up getting more money in their pockets thanks to the rebate.These latest jabs are thrown as a new Abacus poll shows 78 per cent of Canadians believe a climate change plan must or should include a price in pollution.last_img read more

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Trans Mountain pipeline work to resume in August Kinder Morgan Canada boss

first_imgEDMONTON – The head of Kinder Morgan Canada says work is to resume next month to prepare a route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Ian Anderson says the company will secure, survey and prepare the right-of-way in coming months, and First Nations will monitor the work to look for traditional artifacts and medicines.“We anticipate laying physical pipe in a prepared, surveyed, environmentally protected right-of-way early next year,” Anderson said Friday.A completion date for the project is to be announced at a later date.“The project has been in a suspended mode for a good number of months,” said Anderson. “We’re ramping up hard and we’re evaluating schedule.“The most important thing for me at this point is to get started to demonstrate to Canadians and to our prospective new owner that this project can be executed in a manner that serves the interests of everybody.”Anderson was speaking at an event west of Edmonton on the Enoch Cree Nation. Also present were Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Enoch Chief Bill Morin.Notley and Morin announced that Enoch land will be a staging and stockpiling area for the line with at least 35 to 40 kilometres of pipe on site beginning next month.“Today we see the benefit of people working together for the benefit of everyone — Albertans and Canadians — not working against one another for the benefit of a few,” said Notley.The project’s aim is to expand an existing Trans Mountain line from Edmonton to the British Columbia coast to allow more oil from Alberta to be shipped to foreign markets.Alberta says the line is critical given the oil price discounts the province currently must swallow due to pipeline bottlenecks and lack of access to markets outside the United States.The pipeline has been the focus of fractious debate, confrontation and court challenges. The B.C. government, environmental activists and some Indigenous groups all oppose it.Rancour reached such fever pitch earlier this year that Alberta passed legislation giving it power to reduce oil shipments to B.C., which would potentially increase automobile and jet fuel costs in that province.Morin acknowledged the dispute among Indigenous people over Trans Mountain, but said his First Nation wants to move with the times to benefit everyone. Profits will be reinvested in green projects such as a solar farm, he said.“Some of our philosophy out here is the best way to sovereignty and self-determination for us is through business,” said Morin.“You can choose to get left behind or you can choose to get in front and direct change, and that’s what this project is.”Kinder Morgan Canada suspended work on the project in April, saying the dispute had put the line’s financial viability at risk.In late May, the federal government agreed to buy the $4.5-billion pipeline to ensure it got built, but the Liberals say they don’t plan to be the long-term owner.The regulatory hurdles may not be over.Sohi and Anderson acknowledged the project may be subject to U.S. approval because the purchase includes the Puget Sound pipeline.“We are very confident that this is a normal process and we will get through it,” said Sohi.(Companies in this story: TSX:KML)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the pipeline cost $4.5 million.last_img read more

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Scarlet Sway and Adam Winn in the top 100 of CBCs Music

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Local music group Scarlet Sway, and solo-artist Adam Winn have made it into the top 100 of CBC’s Music Searchlight.Searchlight is an annual competition by CBC Music to discover up-and-coming musicians from across the country. Voting is open until March 19th, and both groups are looking to get the vote of Peace Region residents.If both bands pass the voting stage and a panel of judges, they’ll get to partake in a residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary, and will get to perform at JUNOFest 2019. Adam Winn. Photo courtesy Facebook page. Adam Winn. Photo courtesy Facebook page. Dawson Creek's Scarlet Sway, who have made it into the top 10 of the CBC Searchlight national music contest. Photo by Scarlet Sway/Facebook Dawson Creek’s Scarlet Sway, who have made it into the top 10 of the CBC Searchlight national music contest. Photo by Scarlet Sway/Facebook Anyone wanting to vote for Scarlet Sway and/or Adam Winn can do so once a day by visiting:www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlightlast_img read more

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Roll out of higher CPP costs expected to affect HR budgets for wages, benefits

David Paddon, The Canadian Press TORONTO — It may not happen this year, or next year, or even the year after that.But sometime between now and 2025, Canadian employers will almost certainly need to re-think their retirement policies in response to Canada Pension Plan expenses that began to go up in January.Canadian pension experts say higher mandatory contributions to the CPP and the Quebec Pension Plan, will inevitably ripple through human resource budgets over the next six or seven years.“When a corporation designs a pension plan . . . they take into account government pensions,” says Faisal Siddiqi of EY Canada, where he’s associate partner, people advisory services.“I would think every plan sponsor would be looking at this.”Under the enhanced Canada Pension Plan authorized by Ottawa and the provinces, expenses go up in two ways.One way involves a series of higher contribution rates from 2019 to 2023 and the other will involve a higher ceiling on how much annual income is subject to contributions in 2024 and 2025.By 2023, the employer’s contribution rate will be 5.95 per cent of an employee’s pensionable earnings, up from 4.95 per cent in 2018 and prior years. In 2024 and 2025, the ceiling on maximum pensionable earnings will be raised.Siddiqi predicts that every plan sponsor will have to look at these costs.“Then they have to make a decision . . . to fully offset, partially offset or not offset these changes.”However, he and other pension experts say that only a few early adopters have begun that process.Andrew Hamilton, who leads the Ontario retirement practice for Aon, a consulting firm, says there’s anecdotal evidence that organizations are beginning to consider the impact of the CPP enhancements.“But very few, if any, have actually made any design or structural changes to their programs to reflect the changes.”That’s because the additional CPP cost faced by employers in 2019 is very modest and each year’s incremental costs will also be relatively small until all the increases are implemented in 2025.“I think some organizations look at that and there probably isn’t a sense of urgency to do something now,” Hamilton says.“But they may feel differently when we’re closer to being fully implemented and they’re feeling the full impact of the increase in costs.”Jean-Philippe Provost, senior partner at Mercer Canada’s wealth business, notes the employer portion of contributions will be a full percentage point higher in 2023 than in 2018 before the increases began.“If you’re working in an industry that has very, very low margins, a per cent can make a big difference — especially if people costs (are) the lion’s share of your expenses.”Surveys conducted prior to implementation of the enhanced CPP indicate pension plan sponsors have been looking at what’s being considered by other companies, but few have taken action yet.“I would say a very small minority of our organizations have used that … to re-open design,” Provost says.Ryan Silva, head of the pension segment at RBC Investor and Treasury Services, also says higher contribution rates haven’t affected private plans yet but he thinks they will “somewhere in the future.”“At the end of the day, it’s a simple formula — matching the assets to the liabilities. And the increasing contributions essentially adds to the liability and so they will have to consider it.”Provost says a majority of Canadian organizations set an annual budget for human resource expenses.“Part of that budget goes towards salary increases for employees. Part of it … pays for the cost of the retirement plan. Part of it’s for the benefit plan. Part of it’s for perks.“It can be sliced and diced in various ways.”EY Canada’s Siddiqi says employers are always trying to find the right balance between their human resource needs and their overall financial costs.Siddiqui adds that once those costs have been assessed, the bigger challenge will be to communicate effectively so the changes are understood throughout the workforce and unintended consequences are minimized.“A change to a pension plan design is a pretty big deal . . . because it impacts the entire organization.” read more

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Brock prof explores John Miltons discussions on toleration nationalism in new book

John Milton was a revolutionary. For instance, he championed divorce in an era when Protestant reformers maintained a fervent commitment to the doctrine of the marriage contract as an indissoluble bond.But John Milton was, in some ways, a conservative: he championed Cromwell’s campaign against the Catholic Irish, fueled English-Spanish antipathy and lapsed into silence over the proposed readmission of the Jews at a time when Amsterdam Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel presented his vision of England as a religiously and culturally inclusive society.This contradiction in the 17th century polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England is one of many themes Elizabeth Sauer explores in her new book, Milton, Toleration and Nationhood (Cambridge UP, 2014).The professor of English Language and Literature examines Milton’s many works – the most famous including Areopagitica and Paradise Lost – to see how Milton developed concepts of toleration and liberty that informed discourses of English nation-building.Milton produced his poetry, essays, speeches and other works during the political, social and philosophical turmoil of an England ruled by Oliver Cromwell, who contributed to varying degrees to a climate of ‘toleration.’“Toleration wasn’t an acceptance of difference but it was the accommodation of difference at the time,” says Sauer. “The notion of toleration was considerably restricted even by those who accepted the idea.”Toleration usually referred to the temporary forbearance of difference or the accommodation (often reluctantly) of “beliefs … deemed to be conscionably held.” “Milton had an expansive notion of a religious society at the time, pluralistic, accommodating of more difference than had been the case under the monarchy to date in England.”Milton was also passionate about ideals of liberty. In his Areopagitica – a speech to the Parliament of England in 1644 – he outlined principles opposing licensing and censorship.“In his own day Areopagitica had no impact and only one edition of it was produced,” says Sauer. “Today, a work like his Areopagitica is hailed as a key work advocating freedom of expression and the liberty of the press.”Milton, Toleration and Nationhood highlights such themes as exceptionalism (national election); exclusionism (foreign relations, anti-Catholicism); “‘Temple-worke’” (ecclesiology and church politics); “Reduction” (conquest of the Irish); “Natural Law” and constitutional law; “Disestablishment” (divorce of temporal and spiritual authority); “Geography” (the formulation of nationhood and foreign relations through geo-political knowledge); and “Exogamy” (mixed marriages, cultural and racial difference, coexistence).Sauer’s work is supported by the Killam Fellowship, an award that comes with two years of funding to focus exclusively on one’s area of research. The Killam Fellowship is a highly prestigious honour. At the time she won it in 2009, Sauer was one of only nine scholars in Canada to get the award.“I feel deeply honoured by the award, which I view as validation of my research and as testimony of the importance accorded at the national level to scholarship at Brock, particularly in the humanities,” Sauer said at the time. read more

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Steep drop in aid for DPR of Korea could endanger child health

Speaking from Beijing after a weeklong tour observing the humanitarian situation in the DPRK, Mehr Khan, UNICEF’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, highlighted the dramatic drop in levels of funding for humanitarian assistance to the country since early 2003.Ms. Khan noted that UNICEF’s appeal for $12 million in emergency assistance had so far received less than $500,000, and cautioned that recent gains in children’s nutritional status and childhood immunization rates, as well as the agency’s work in other critical areas, such as water and sanitation and education, will be endangered unless funds are urgently provided.Advising that essential medicines, vaccines and food are urgently needed, Ms. Khan added that unless new contributions are forthcoming, child malnutrition rates could easily rise again very rapidly. read more

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Nordstroms 1Q sales rose 14 pct but profit only 27 pct as

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Nordstrom’s 1Q sales rose 14 pct but profit only 2.7 pct as it spent on promotions, shipping by News Staff Posted May 10, 2012 7:48 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Upscale retailer Nordstrom Inc. said its first-quarter net income rose a slim 2.7 per cent as it spent more on free shipping and other initiatives that boosted sales but squeezed its profit margin.The earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations, and the department store chain’s shares fell more than 5 per cent in after-hours trading Thursday evening following the report.Sales have rebounded since late 2009 for Nordstrom and many other luxury retailers as well-heeled shoppers have gotten more comfortable with splurging again, despite the vagaries of the stock markets. But Nordstrom and others also face a new challenge in shoppers, armed with smart phones and tablets, who are rethinking customer service. That’s pushing the upscale merchant, long known for its service, to light new paths in the digital era.“Selection, speed and convenience have always been important to our customers,” company President Blake Nordstrom told investors during a conference call following the earning release. “But they are becoming even more critical going forward. We’re moving more quickly. We’re accelerating our learning.”Last September, Nordstrom started offering free shipping on all online purchases with no minimum dollar amount. Previously, customers had to spend at least $200 to qualify. Return shipping is free now too. The company also is giving sales associates devices that let them check out shoppers anywhere in the store. It’s providing free Wi-Fi access in all of its full-line department stores. And, early this year, it enhanced its loyalty program, Fashion Rewards, allowing customers to qualify for prizes with less spending.These changes — particularly the free shipping — helped Nordstrom’s online sales rise 44.2 per cent, compared with a year ago, while revenue at Nordstrom stores open at least a year climbed 8.5 per cent. That comparison is key for retailers because it’s unaffected by sales at stores that recently opened or closed.But the cost of the initiatives — especially the shipping and Fashion Rewards changes — depressed Nordstrom’s gross profit and caused most of the 0.31-percentage-point drop in its gross margin, the company said. The gross profit margin was 37.5 per cent for the most recent quarter.The Seattle-based company report net income of $149 million, or 70 cents per share, for the three months that ended April 28. That compares with $145 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.Analysts were expecting higher earnings of 75 cents per share, according to FactSet.Nordstrom’s net sales rose to $2.54 billion, just shy of analysts’ average forecast for $2.55 billion.The company maintained its full-year forecast. It calls for earnings of $3.30 to $3.45 per share, while analysts on average were expecting $3.49 per share.Nordstrom’s shares fell $2.83, or 5.3 per cent, to $50.70 after hours. They ended regular trading down 39 cents at $53.53. read more

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Pitchers Wont Throw Strikes So Batters Are Getting Better At Hitting Bad

You see the stories everywhere. “Baseball teams are striking out more than ever,” blared an NBC Sports headline back in April. In 2015, The Hardball Times wrote a story entitled “The Strikeout Ascendant.” And the year before that, friend of the program Ben Lindbergh hosted a “rising strikeout rate symposium” on his popular podcast, Effectively Wild. Clearly, the baseball world is well aware that strikeout rates are up — way up.What’s less well-known, but equally true, is this: Baseball’s recent rise in strikeout rates has little to do with how good batters are at making contact. That’s a bit counterintuitive, I know, because strikeout rates have increased (up nearly 26 percent since 20021That’s the first year for which we have plate-discipline statistics, so that’s as far back as we can look using the data mentioned throughout this article.), and when you think of a strikeout, you usually imagine a batter taking a mighty hack and missing. And indeed, swinging strikes are up as a percentage of all pitches.But keep in mind that this isn’t only about the batters — pitchers also have a big say in the matter.And in 2009, pretty much all of a sudden, they started throwing way fewer pitches in the strike zone, as measured by Fangraphs’ zone percentage statistic.2It’s worth noting that Pitchf/x’s version of the same statistic, which uses a slightly different methodology, shows roughly the same trend, but with a different start date and a shallower slope. From 2002 (the earliest year for which we have data) through 2008, pitchers put the ball through the zone about 52 percent of the time, year in and year out. In fact, over the seven seasons from 2002 to 2008, the league-wide rate of pitches in the zone never dropped below 50.5 percent or rose above 54.2 percent. When it came to tossing strikes, MLB hurlers were a model of consistency.But during the 2009 season, pitchers threw balls in the zone just 48.3 percent of the time. In 2010, that number kept falling — to 45.4 percent! — and by 2011, the league-wide rate of pitches in the zone was just 44.6 percent. In just three years, about one out of every nine pitches that had previously been thrown in the zone started missing its mark. (Since then, MLB’s zone rate has basically leveled off: Last year, it was exactly the same — 44.6 percent — as it was in 2011.)But despite that drastic change, batters haven’t really changed how they react to pitches inside the zone. Batters still swing at basically the same proportion of pitches in the zone as they did in 2002, and they still make contact with those pitches at essentially the same rate.Instead, the big changes have come outside the zone. The trend here is striking. As pitchers started throwing outside the zone more and more — again, the really big decline in strike-throwing started around 2009 — hitters not only started swinging at more pitches outside the zone, they also started getting much better at making contact on those wayward pitches. Add it all up, and you see that instead of making contact on just 10 percent of all balls thrown outside the strike zone, as they did back in 2002, hitters made contact on nearly 20 percent of such pitches in 2016.3Note that this isn’t the same as the “contact rate” listed at FanGraphs, which only looks at balls that the batter took a swing at. This figure looks at all pitches outside the zone, which will include, for example, some pitches that were essentially unhittable or thrown as part of an intentional walk. That’s double the rate! That’s unbelievable!Let’s step back for a second, because this is a pretty counterintuitive finding. Batters are striking out more often, but they haven’t gotten any worse at their core task: hitting the ball. They’re also not getting as many good pitches to hit as they used to, but they’re about as good as they ever were at making contact on balls inside the strike zone, and far better than they used to be at making contact on balls outside the zone. Normally that should add up to swinging and missing less often, not more often. But because more of the balls they’re swinging at are outside the zone, and those balls are fundamentally harder to hit, the effect on overall contact is just about level. It’s a classic Simpson’s Paradox.So if MLB hitters suddenly started channeling their inner Vladimir Guerrero, making better contact on bad pitches, why are they still suffering so many strikeouts? We don’t really know for sure, and there’s a lot more digging to be done before anything can be said conclusively. For one thing, it’s not entirely clear which came first: pitchers throwing more outside the zone or hitters swinging at those pitches. I tested whether one month’s zone rate predicted the next month’s swing rate and vice versa, but I found almost no case for either.4The r-squared was less than 0.03 in both directions. This suggests that the complex interactions between batters and pitchers are happening on a much smaller scale than a month, and that they deserve more granular research.But here’s one possible (as-yet-untested) hypothesis for the big-picture story: Sometime in the late 2000s, pitchers began throwing more breaking pitches outside of the zone — hence the decline in zone percentage.5We know that fastball usage has dropped over the period in consideration, and given the trend in zone rate noted above, it’s not ridiculous to guess that some portion of that drop came from pitches outside the zone. At the same time — possibly out of necessity — hitters became increasingly willing to swing at pitches outside the zone, even finding some reasonable success doing it. But pitchers had another weapon: The fastball on the corner of the strike zone. Perhaps the adjustment that hitters made in order to hit breaking stuff outside the zone also made them vulnerable to hard stuff inside it — for which they were not mechanically prepared — and they started getting called out on strikes by the boatload.Again, that’s only a theory. But the fact is that batters are striking out more on called strikes in the zone even as they’re getting better at hitting pitches outside of it. So the next time you see a hitter preparing for a breaking ball out of the zone, remember: It’s not the pitches you swing at that get you. It’s the ones you don’t. read more

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Scottish breast cancer patients denied drug approved for English NHS

first_imgPerjeta is available for patients on the NHS in EnglandCredit:PA Perjeta is available for patients on the NHS in England Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Professor Jonathan Fox, the SMC’s chairman, said he knew some decisions would be “hard for patient groups and clinicians”.But he added: “When we considered all the evidence in front of us, it was not strong enough for us to be able to accept these medicines for routine use.” The SMC now plans to meet Roche to discuss the next steps.But Richard Erwin, the company’s general manager, said Nice had already established the drug’s cost effectiveness and Roche had offered the SMC the same discount as in England.He said: “Today’s decision is a devastating blow to women in Scotland with this very aggressive form of breast cancer.”This means that these women will be denied this early-stage treatment which allows for reduction of large tumours to a size that is operable, potentially enabling breast conservation surgery instead of mastectomies.”Nicolas White, head of Breast Cancer Care in Scotland, described the decision as “outrageous”. He added: “It adds further insult to injury that patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive access to this innovative treatment.”This is the ultimate postcode lottery and more must be done to tackle this imbalance in the UK.”Miles Briggs, the Scottish Conservatives’ public health spokesman said: “When the SNP set out on modifying the drugs approval system, it said it would reduce the chances of things like this happening. “Yet here we are again talking about how Scotland is the only part of the UK where a vital treatment is unavailable.”Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour’s health spokesman “These cases are becoming more frequent and it is clear the system isn’t working for patients.” Breast cancer sufferers in Scotland have been denied routine access on the NHS to an “innovative” new drug despite it being approved last month for use in the English health service.Campaigners said the Scottish Medicines Consortium’s (SMC) decision not to accept Perjeta – also known as pertusumab – had created the “ultimate postcode lottery”.The agency, which decides which new drugs should be provided on the NHS, said it had rejected the treatment over concerns about its long-term survival benefits and not because of cost.But drugs company Roche said the ruling was a “devastating blow” to Scottish breast cancer sufferers and pointed out National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the English equivalent of the SMC, approved the drug last month.Cancer charities described the decision as “outrageous” and said it added “insult to injury” that women in the UK’s other three home nations could access the drug on the NHS.Perjeta is used in combination with another drug and chemotherapy for the treatment of “locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer.” Tests found it could reduce the need for patients to undergo a mastectomy.According to the submission by Roche to the SMC, 426 women in Scotland would have been eligible for treatment in its first year, with 256 patients using it at a cost of £3.1 million to the medicines budget. This would have increased to 391 patients at a cost of £4.7 million in year five.last_img read more

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Hounding of Newmont continues in Indonesia

first_imgOmar Jabara, Newmont Mining’s Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations, reports that “a three-judge panel at the Indonesian Supreme Court is in the process of reviewing the government’s appeal of the Manado District Court’s full exoneration of Newmont and its President Director, Richard Ness (even though appeals of full acquittals are supposedly forbidden under Indonesian) in April 2007, in the Buyat Bay pollution case. There could be a ruling in the coming weeks and there is concern that the panel may overturn the unanimous acquittal by the Manado District Court.”In stark contrast to that possibility is a report from The Jakarta Post, “which is based on interviews with Buyat Bay residents who say they were tricked by NGOs to leave their village and claim they were sick in exchange for promises of money and better housing. This is a remarkable account of how residents were manipulated by NGOs for political purposes.”Jongker Rumteh, writing in The Jakarta Post of November 27 this year, says “evacuees from the Buyat Bay area in South Minahasa, North Sulawesi, who have been living in Duminanga, Bolaang Mangondow regency, have returned home after rights groups failed to supply the amenities they had initially promised to provide them with.“As many as 30 of 68 families have now returned to Buyat because the Buyat Bay Humanitarian Committee (KKTB) and a number of non-governmental groups, including the Health Legal Aid Institute (LBHK), reneged on their pledge to provide aid.“The Buyat residents said they were even required by the NGOs to claim they had contracted various illnesses from tailings dumped by gold mining company PT Newmont Minahasa Raya into the bay area.“A number of residents who spoke to The Jakarta Post in Buyat recently said they had been enduring cramped quarters built by the KKTB and administered by Abit Takalamingan, a South Sulawesi legislator from the Prosperous Justice Party.“One returnee, Sudirman Modeong, who arrived back in Buyat six months ago, said that, unlike in Buyat, he was not able to catch fish in waters off Duminanga, because the area was too rocky. They lack the larger boats necessary to catch tuna, which is only available further from the coast and during certain seasons.“‘When we moved to Duminanga, we were not provided with motor boats or equipment to catch tuna, so most of us could not sail to the open sea. We had to rely on fishing along the coast,’ Sudirman said, adding that had he and his family not been lured by the promises of KKTB and other NGOs, their lives would likely be better.“Sudirman and his family now live in a substandard house, but say they are happy now, because Buyat Bay offers more hope for them.“Sudirman said he no longer owned a home because he and a number of other residents burned their homes, after being lured by the promise from activists that they would be provided with fully furnished homes in Duminanga.”“We were cheated by the KKTB and other rights groups,” Sudirman said.The Jakarta Post article concludes that these returning Buyat Bay residents “are currently looking for a legal adviser to bring the case to court.”last_img read more

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Feedback encouraged at Tourism Symposium

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI: Savory favors investor residency status, heralds KPMG economic report, says Caicos link is economic lifeline Tourism Strategy calls for greater information disclosure and analysis Local Atty says Govt going against public consultation; says NO to taller resort plan Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Nov 2015 – The National Tourism Symposium is set for November 17 in The Turks and Caicos on the world’s #1 island destination: Providenciales and the Permanent secretary with responsibility for Tourism, Desiree Lewis, said this will not be an event held in a vacuum. “Voice your opinions on the report that is going to be laid on the table, give us your feedback so that you would have your input on how we would remain the #1 destination in the world.”Last year, KPMG was contracted to find out what residents, visitors and others want to see as the TCI tourism product is maintained and enhanced. The findings of that study will be unveiled at the symposium as the country joins with regional counterparts to commemorate Tourism month. Related Items:feedback, KPMG, national tourism symposium Recommended for youlast_img read more

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American Media Moves Toward Chapter 11

first_imgIn announcing the financial restructuring plan, AMI also said it terminated a previous offer to exchange its outstanding 14 percent senior subordinated notes due 2013 for a combination of cash and shares of common stock. The process had been extended several times over the last several weeks past its initial deadline.Last July, AMI underwent a financial restructuring that it said cut its debt by $200 million by exchanging AMI’s bonds for equity in the form of AMI common stock. Following that transaction, AMI said its leverage will be reduced from 7.2X to 5.1X and that the company will have an extra $50 million in free cash flow on a pro forma basis.That deal followed a similar one in February 2009 that had the publisher transfer ownership of 95 percent of its common stock to bondholders, effectively slashing its debt by $227.2 million.Pecker and Evercore Partners bought American Media in 1999 for $850 million. Evercore, together with Thomas H. Lee Partners, were the principal shareholders.AMI publishes several magazines including Men’s Fitness, Shape, Star Magazine and the National Enquirer. Despite its many efforts over the years, American Media Inc. ultimately has been unable to manage significant debt load. The company this morning said it is moving toward filing a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan in order to “significantly de-lever” its balance sheet. The company did not immediately indicate how much debt the financial restructuring would eliminate. An AMI spokesperson tells FOLIO: the company is not releasing any further details about the restructuring.So far, roughly 80 percent of AMI’s bondholders have agreed to the terms of the financial restructuring, which revolves around a debt-for-equity swap. Once AMI secures the requisite percentage of bondholder approval it says it will file its Chapter 11 plan and expect to emerge within 60 days after filing. The reorganization should not affect American Media’s operations,” AMI chairman, president and CEO David Pecker says in a statement announcing the Chapter 11 plans. “Publications will function seamlessly, staff will be unaffected by the reorganization and customers should not notice any difference during the 60 day process.”last_img read more

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Senate Appropriators Reject DOD Plan to Trim Commissary Subsidy

first_imgSenate appropriators on Thursday restored $322 million in funding for military grocery stores while marking up the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill, matching a similar move by their House counterparts.The Obama administration’s budget request recommended the cut — out of a total allocation of $1.4 billion for commissaries — which would have been accommodated by reducing days of operation and operating hours, laying off staff and closing some stores, reported Military Times. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.), the committee’s top Democrat, criticized the proposal as a shortsighted idea from “Pentagon bean splicers” and said those savings should not come at the expense of military families.“The president is wrong,” she said. “[Defense Secretary] Ash Carter is wrong on this. These are false savings,” Mikulski said.The defense authorization bill now on the Senate floor endorsed the commissary cuts called for in the administration’s budget request, however, setting up a possible showdown before next year’s defense budget is completed.The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 27-3 to pass the $575.9 billion defense spending bill and set up a battle next week when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tries to bring the bill to the floor. Democrats are planning to block the legislation from advancing. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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One Take Lil Kim Shows Love For Brooklyn SaltNPepa Scarface More

first_img Watch One Take With Julia Michaels Email Watch One Take With Logic Facebook Watch: One Take With Deva Mahal Watch: One Take With Pronoun Watch: One Take With Dorothy One Take With The Mrs One Take With Amber Rubarth Watch: One Take With Lil’ Kim one-take-lil-kim-shows-love-brooklyn-salt-n-pepa-scarface-more One Take With Grupo Fantasma Watch One Take With Afrojack Prev Next Watch: One Take With Khalid Watch: One Take With Pronoun Watch: One Take With MØ Watch: One Take With MØ One Take With Amber Rubarth Watch One Take With Marian Hill Twitter Watch: One Take With Pronoun Watch One Take With Little Big Town One Take With Superstar DJ Tiësto Watch One Take With Anthony Hamilton NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Sep 6, 2018 – 11:36 am One Take With Rapper Lil’ Kim One Take With Singer/Songwriter Kacey Musgraves Watch: One Take With Brandy Clark Watch: One Take With Brandy Clark One Take With Singer/Songwriter Kacey Musgraves Watch One Take With Superfruit One Take With Superstar DJ Tiësto Watch One Take With Afrojack Watch One Take With Logic One Take With Demo Taped Watch: One Take With Dorothy Watch G-Eazy Take On One Take One Take With Australian Singer/Rapper Mallrat Watch G-Eazy Take On One Take Watch One Take With Julia Michaels One Take With Indie Pop-Duo Freedom Fry Watch One Take With Superfruit Watch One Take With Little Big Town Watch One Take With Superfruit One Take With The Mrs One Take With Producer Greg Wells Watch: One Take With MØ One Take With Producer Greg Wells One Take With Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley Watch One Take With Nick Cannon News One Take With Pop Trio Ocean Park Standoff One Take With Indie Pop-Duo Freedom Frycenter_img Watch: One Take With Gramps Morgan Watch One Take With Anthony Hamilton One Take With Grupo Fantasma One Take With Pop Trio Ocean Park Standoff In this episode, Lil’ Kim tells us her favorite spot to hang out in Brooklyn, the first concert she attended, her dream vacation spot, her favorite lyric from “Nasty One,” and more. One Take With Australian Singer/Rapper Mallrat One Take With Amber Rubarth Watch One Take With Halestorm Watch: One Take With Lights One Take With Superstar DJ Tiësto One Take With Singer/Songwriter Kacey Musgraves One Take With Demo Taped One Take With Grupo Fantasma Watch G-Eazy Take On One Take Watch: One Take With Dorothy Watch One Take With Logic Watch: One Take With Deva Mahal Watch One Take With Marian Hill One Take One Take With Le Butcherettes Watch: One Take With Deva Mahal Watch One Take With Julia Michaels One Take With Producer Greg Wells One Take With Le Butcherettes Watch One Take With Nick Cannon One Take With Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley Watch One Take With Nick Cannon Watch One Take With Anthony Hamilton Watch: One Take With Lights Watch One Take With Little Big Town The hip-hop legend reveals her first concert, first album she ever bought, favorite studio snacks, shoe preference, and more in this rapid-fire Q&A challengeNate HertweckGRAMMYs Sep 6, 2018 – 11:36 am GRAMMY winner Lil’ Kim dropped a brand-new single, video and sound this summer with “Nasty One,” proof that the hip-hop legend still has plenty more to share with her fans. We sat down with her recently to play One Take, GRAMMY.com’s rapid-fire question game that challenges your favorite artists to see how many questions about life, music and everything in between they can answer in just 60 seconds. Watch One Take With Halestorm Watch: One Take With Khalid One Take: Lil’ Kim Shows Love For Brooklyn, Salt-N-Pepa, ‘Scarface’ & More Watch: One Take With Gramps Morgan Watch: One Take With Khalid One Take With The Mrs Watch One Take With Halestorm Read more One Take With Demo Taped One Take With Pop Trio Ocean Park Standoff One Take With Le Butcherettes One Take With Indie Pop-Duo Freedom Fry Watch: One Take With Gramps Morgan One Take With Reggae Artist Ziggy Marley Watch: One Take With Brandy Clark One Take With Australian Singer/Rapper Mallrat Watch One Take With Marian Hill Watch One Take With Afrojack Watch: One Take With Lightslast_img read more

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