Lampert blames Sears Canada management for exacerbating the retailers woes

first_imgTORONTO – Eddie Lampert, the chairman and chief executive of Sears Holding Corp., is blaming Sears Canada for exacerbating its problems before it filed for creditor protection.Lampert’s ESL Investments is the largest shareholder in Sears Canada, which is in the process of liquidating and closing its remaining stores.In a post on his blog, Lampert says the retailer’s reinvention strategy was risky and untested.“In particular, ESL noted that it would be risky and unwise for the company to pursue additional borrowings on onerous terms to fund a new, untested strategy,” he wrote.“Despite this advice, management decided to proceed with these actions and the company’s operating losses and cash drain rapidly worsened.”Lampert posted the comments in response to a report by the Globe and Mail that chronicled Sears Canada’s troubles.Sears Canada has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act since June, but had been struggling for years.It had hoped to restructure and keep many of its stores open, but the retailer received court approval earlier this month to begin its liquidation sales after failing to find a buyer for its operations.A group led by Brandon Stranzl, who stepped down as the company’s executive chairman following approval of the liquidation sales, had been in talks to purchase the retailer and continue to operate it, but no deal was reached.last_img read more

Freeland steps up diplomatic pressure on Venezuela warns of refugee crisis

first_imgTORONTO – Canada is concerned that the political and economic turmoil in Venezuela will spark a refugee crisis for the South American country and its neighbours, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday.Freeland said that she and Peru’s foreign minister would take that message to the United Nations in New York City on Monday, following her appearance at a business conference in Toronto.Canada and Peru co-chaired a meeting of ministers from the Lima Group of countries last week in Toronto. Freeland and Peru’s foreign minister Ricardo Luna were delegated to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.Apart from Canada, the group’s 12 members are in Latin America.But Freeland said Monday that Venezuela and Canada are in the same geographic “neighbourhood” and that Canada has a role to play in supporting the country’s democratic institutions and respect for human rights.“I do think. . . this is a humanitarian crisis as well as a political one. We are seeing real preventable suffering of the people of Venezuela,” Freeland said at the Toronto Global Forum before heading to New York for the U.N. meeting.“And I think . . . there are mounting signs of a regional refugee crisis as well. Colombia and Brazil are facing a lot of pressure. So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged.”Venezuela — an oil-rich country that was led by outspoken socialist Hugo Chavez from 1999 to 2013 — has suffered an economic meltdown since his death.The dramatic drop in global oil prices since late 2014 and the devaluation of the country’s currency have fuelled triple-digit inflation that has resulted in shortages of food, medicine and other basic necessities.The government of President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Chavez, has also been accused of grabbing power by creating a new constitutional assembly that claims supreme authority over other arms of the government, including the opposition-controlled congress.In September, Freeland announced that Canada had imposed sanctions against 40 key figures in the Venezuelan regime, including Maduro, who she said had helped undermine the country’s stability.Freeland said Monday that support from allies would help pressure Venezuela further.“So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged. . . . We’d be delighted to see the EU joining us in applying pressure on the government of Venezuela,” Freeland said.Earlier in an on-stage interview by Frank McKenna, a former Liberal premier of New Brunswick and a former Canadian ambassador to the United States, Freeland acknowledged that the NAFTA trade talks have included some “troubling” proposals from the United States.Freeland specified two issues: the U.S. insistence of removing dispute-resolution measures contained in Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as its proposal to review the trade pact every five years.But she said the Canada-U.S. relationship is “robust and very deep” — noting the two countries are partners in the NATO and NORAD military alliances and that Canada is a bigger market for the United States than China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined.Freeland also said that barriers to trade under World Trade Organization rules have been reduced since NAFTA was signed by the United States, Canada and Mexico.“We looked at the actual trade — not the just the agreement but the actual trade that is happening — we found that around 40 per cent of Canadian exporters to the United States don’t use the NAFTA preferences that are available to them,” Freeland said.That suggests the differences between WTO and NAFTA rules have decreased and that administrative red-tape involved is a bigger barrier to trade than preferential tariffs in the three-country agreement, she said.“It’s very technical. Things like electronic forms at the border, things like regulatory harmonization,” Freeland said.“It really matters to Canadian and U.S. businesses and in most chapters (of the agreement) we’re going gangbusters in a very positive way.”last_img read more

Alberta utilitys late reporting of 2015 PCB spill earns hefty fine

first_imgHINTON, Alta. – The electrical utility FortisAlberta has been fined $300,000 for a spill of potentially dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in west-central Alberta nearly three years ago.Environment and Climate Change Canada says in a release that a provincial court judge ordered the fine Wednesday after the company pleaded guilty to two charges of violating federal regulations.The department says the charges relate, in part, to FortisAlberta’s failure to quickly notify an enforcement officer or other designated person of the release.Court heard that on May 12, 2016, the utility reported a spill at one of its transformers in Hinton, but an investigation showed the company had discovered the problem on Oct. 19 of the previous year.Test results showed that about 325 litres of oil containing PCBs was released into the environment.The department says FortisAlberta will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry, which contains information on convictions of corporations under certain federal environmental laws.The fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.Officials said scientific data suggest PCBs are probable human carcinogens and are toxic to fish at low concentrations.There was no indication from the department if anyone outside of Fortis came in contact with the oil, or if it leaked into any waterway.last_img read more

Timeline Key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. — Here are some key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline and Kinder Morgan Canada’s efforts to expand its capacity:October 1953: The Trans Mountain pipeline begins shipping oil with an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day. The project features four pump stations along its 1,150-kilometre route and a marine dock that connects loading facilities on the east side of Edmonton with ocean tankers in Burnaby, B.C.1957: Pipeline capacity is expanded via the construction of a 160-kilometre pipeline loop. The Westridge Marine Terminal is built and commissioned in Burnaby, B.C. Jan. 12, 2016: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says in a written submission to the NEB that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the best interests of both Alberta and Canada.Jan. 27, 2016: The federal Liberal government says pipeline projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion will now be assessed in part on the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil they carry. Proponents will also be required to improve consultations with First Nations.May 17, 2016: Ottawa appoints a three-member panel to conduct an environmental review of the Trans Mountain expansion project.May 29, 2016: The NEB recommends approval of the pipeline, subject to 157 conditions, concluding that it is in the public interest. Jan. 14, 1985: Trans Mountain’s biggest spill occurs at a tank farm in the Edmonton area. Nearly 10,000 barrels of oil are released.2006 – 2008: The Anchor Loop project adds 160 kilometres of new pipeline through Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park between Hinton, Alta., and Hargreaves, B.C. The extension includes 13 new pump stations and modifications to existing stations, increasing capacity from 260,000 bpd to 300,000 bpd.Feb. 21, 2012: Kinder Morgan says it wants to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline after receiving support from oil shippers and will begin public consultations.Dec. 16, 2013: An application is made to the National Energy Board (NEB) to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Construction is proposed to begin in 2017, with the aim of having oil flow through the expansion by December 2019.November 2014: More than 100 people are arrested after they camp out in a conservation area on Burnaby Mountain, east of Vancouver, to block crews from conducting drilling and survey work related to the pipeline expansion. Most of the charges are later dropped.August 2015: The NEB postpones public hearings after striking from the record economic evidence prepared by a Kinder Morgan consultant who was to begin working for the regulator.center_img Nov. 29, 2016: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sanctions the Trans Mountain expansion, part of a sweeping announcement that also saw approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement but the end of its Northern Gateway project.Jan. 11, 2017: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her support for the project, saying Kinder Morgan has met five government conditions including a revenue-sharing agreement worth up to $1 billion.May 15, 2017: The Federal Court of Appeal grants Notley’s government intervener status in a lawsuit filed by municipalities and First Nations against the project.May 25, 2017: Kinder Morgan makes its final investment decision to proceed with the development, now estimated to cost $7.4 billion, subject to the successful public offering of Kinder Morgan Canada.May 29, 2017: The B.C. NDP and Greens agree to form a coalition to topple the Liberal party, which won a minority government in an election earlier in the month. The parties agree to “immediately employ every tool available” to stop the project.May 30, 2017: Kinder Morgan Canada debuts on the Toronto Stock Exchange after a $1.75-billion public offering.June 29, 2017: The B.C. Liberals lose a no-confidence vote, clearing the way for NDP Leader John Horgan to become premier.Aug. 10, 2017: The B.C. NDP government hires former judge Thomas Berger to provide legal advice as it seeks intervener status in the legal challenges against the project filed by municipalities and First Nations.Oct. 26, 2017: Kinder Morgan Canada asks NEB to allow work to begin despite a failure to obtain municipal permits from the City of Burnaby.Dec. 7, 2017: NEB allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass Burnaby bylaws.Jan. 17, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada warns the Trans Mountain expansion project could be a year behind schedule.Jan. 18, 2018: NEB establishes a process to resolve permitting issues between Kinder Morgan Canada and provincial and municipal authorities.Jan. 30, 2018: B.C. government moves to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies, a move that increases the uncertainty for Trans Mountain.March 9, 2018: B.C. Supreme Court grants interim injunction aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby.March 15, 2018: B.C. Supreme Court grants indefinite injunction preventing protesters from coming within five metres of two work sites for the project.March 23, 2018: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart arrested at a protest against the pipeline expansion; Federal Court of Appeal dismisses a B.C. government bid challenging a NEB ruling that allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass local bylaws.March 27, 2018: City of Burnaby, B.C., says it will file an appeal to the Supreme Court in connection with the Federal Court of Appeal ruling.April 8, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada suspends non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain expansion project and sets a May 31 deadline to reach agreements with stakeholders.last_img read more

Cong free to field its candidates in all LS seats of UP: Mayawati

first_imgLucknow: BSP chief Mayawati Monday advised the Congress to refrain from spreading confusion by leaving seven Lok Sabha seats for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh. In a series of tweets, she said the Congress is free to field its candidates in all the 80 parliamentary constituencies of the state. Mayawati made it amply clear that her party will not enter into any alliance with the Congress. She also said that the SP-BSP-RLD alliance is capable enough of defeating the BJP on its own. Also Read – MP woman hangs herself after killing three children The Congress on Sunday said it would leave more than a dozen Lok Sabha seats for other parties, including seven for the SP, BSP and RLD alliance in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. Apart from this, the grand old party also said that it will leave two seats for the Apna Dal, and entered into an electoral agreement with the lesser known Jan Adhikar Party. The SP and the BSP had forged an alliance on 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As per the deal, the SP will contest 37 Lok Sabha seats in UP and the BSP 38, leaving three for the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal and two for Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and Rahul Gandhi (Amethi).last_img read more

Central Forces in 98.8% booths for phase four

first_imgKolkata: Central Forces will be deployed in 98.8 percent of the booths in the fourth phase of the seven phase Lok Sabha elections, where poll will be held in eight constituencies spreading over five districts on Monday.Poll will be held in Berhampur (Murshidabad), Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (Nadia), Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol (Burdwan West) and Bolpur and Birbhum (Birbhum). Over one crore voters will exercise their franchise on Monday. The Election Commission of India has taken elaborate measures to ensure free and fair polls in the eight constituencies. Chief Election Commissioner Sudip Jain has recently held a video conference with the CEO and election observers and taken a stock of the situation. 561 companies of Central Forces will be deployed on Monday. There will be 88 Quick Response Teams under the Central Forces. In Asansol, there will be Central Forces in all booths along with Birbhum and Bolpur. In Asansol, 87 companies of Central Forces will be deployed. There will be 15,277 polling booths spread over 9,803 premises. In Bolpur, there will be web casting facility in 300 booths. In Krishnanagar, there will be Central Force deployment in 97 percent booths. It may be recalled that in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool had established its control over six of the eight seats. At Berhampur in Murshidabad and Asansol in Burdwan West, Adhir Chowdhury of Congress and Babul Supriyo of BJP had been elected. Chowdhury is set to face his one-time aide Apurba Sarkar who recently joined Trinamool Congress in Monday’s poll, while Babul Supriyo will face Moon Moon Sen, the Trinamool Congress MP who was elected from the Bankura Lok Sabha seat in 2014. Political experts feel that in both the Berhampur and Asansol seats, there will be a tough fight for the winners of the 2014 election. If Trinamool Congress can win the Berhampur seat, it will be a major victory for Suvendu Adhikari who is looking after Murshidabad district. In the Panchayat election held in 2018, Trinamool had bagged the Zilla Parishad. In Krishnanagar, Trinamool has fielded Mahua Moitra, the party’s MLA from Karimpur whereas in the Ranaghat (SC) seat, Trinamool has fielded Rupali Biswas, widow of Satyajit Biswas, the former Krishnagunj MLA who was murdered in February. In Burdwan East and Burdwan Durgapur, Trinamool has retained two sitting MPs, namely Sunil Mondol and Mumtaz Sanghamita. In the Bolpur (SC) seat, the party has fielded Asit Mal while Satabdi Roy, the sitting MP, is contesting from the Birbhum seat.last_img read more

Schools re-open in Sri Lanka amid tight security

first_imgColombo: Schools in Sri Lanka resumed classes on Monday with few students arriving in classrooms, two weeks after the devastating Easter Sunday bombings forced the authorities to close the educational institutions. Amid tight security, the classes commenced for mid-to-upper stream (grades 6 to 13) and will be followed by lower grades (1 to 5) on May 13. “The second academic term for school children in grade 6 and above classes, commenced today (Monday). The three armed forces, police, civil security officers, parents and old boys gathered at their respective schools to provide protection,” News 1ST channel reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportNine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others. Following the attack, the authorities closed the schools until further notice. Despite the tight security arrangements, most classrooms were near empty. Private schools, including Catholic institutions, remained closed. The attendance of teachers was also low, the report said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsAn extensive security programme has been implemented in schools. Special circulars have been issued by the Education Ministry about the security of the schools. Children will have to carry transparent or see-through school bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Parking vehicles near schools have been completely banned. Separate places have been prepared to park school vans, buses. Special search operations will also be conducted from Sunday in schools. The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). Sri Lanka banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the blasts. Sri Lanka has imposed a state of emergency since the attacks and given sweeping powers to soldiers and police to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.last_img read more

Iran suspends nuclear deal curbs in push for relief from US sanctions

first_imgTehran: Iran said Wednesday it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under a 2015 deal with major powers until they find a way to bypass renewed US sanctions. The well trailed announcement came as Washington stepped up its rhetoric against Tehran, accusing it of planning “imminent” attacks and deploying an aircraft carrier strike group with several nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region. Iran said it was responding to the sweeping unilateral sanctions that Washington has reimposed since it quit the agreement one year ago, which have dealt a severe blow to the Iranian economy. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportIt said it would stop implementing some of the restrictions it had agreed with immediate effect. Tehran said it would abandon more if the remaining parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — failed to start delivering on their commitments to sanctions relief within 60 days. President Hassan Rouhani underlined that the ultimatum was intended to rescue the nuclear deal from his US counterpart Donald Trump who has repeatedly called for it to be scrapped since he pulled out on May 8, 2018. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”We felt the (deal) needed surgery and that the year-long sedatives have not delivered any result. This surgery is meant to save the (deal) not destroy it,” Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting broadcast live on state television. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on an official visit to Moscow, stressed Iran’s actions were not in breach of the nuclear deal, which UN inspectors have repeatedly certified its compliance with. “We are not operating outside of the JCPOA (nuclear deal) but are in fact working in its framework,” Zarif told state television. Under the landmark deal agreed by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, the parties to the agreement were supposed to lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran in return for it reining in its activities to ease fears it was seeking the capability to produce an atomic bomb. But the promised sanctions relief has failed to materialise as European and Asian banks and oil companies have moved swiftly to abide by the renewed US sanctions for fear of financial or commercial repercussions. Rouhani slammed European countries for seeing the US as the world’s “sheriff” and said this keeps them from making “firm decisions for their own national interests.” “You have responsibilities, too … for keeping your youth away from drugs, the flood of immigrants and other cooperation Iran has had with you so far. If this trend continues, the cooperation will cease.” The three European parties to the deal — Britain, France and Germany — tried to save the accord with a trade mechanism meant to bypass reimposed US sanctions, but their attempt was dismissed by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a “bitter joke”. China underlined that it “resolutely opposes” the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran but called on all parties to uphold the nuclear deal. “We call on all relevant parties to exercise restraint, strengthen dialogue and avoid escalating tensions,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. Russia said it remained committed to the nuclear deal and denounced what it called “unreasonable pressure” on Iran. Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said the measures were necessary to “secure its rights and bring back balance” after the unilateral moves by the Trump administration. “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not at the current stage consider itself committed to observing restrictions regarding storing enriched uranium stocks and heavy water stocks,” the Supreme National Security Council said. “The remaining parties to the (deal) are given 60 days to implement their commitments, in particular in the fields of banking and oil,” the council added. “In the next stage Iran will also stop observing restrictions on the level of uranium enrichment and measures regarding modernising Arak heavy water reactor.” Uranium enriched to much higher levels than Iran’s current stocks can be used as the fissile core of a nuclear weapon, while heavy water is a source of plutonium which can be used as an alternative way to produce a warhead. The council called for swift action by the remaining parties to the deal, warning time was running out. “The window which is now open for diplomacy will not remain so for long, and the responsibility of the (deal) failing and any possibile consequences are completely on the US and the remaining parties,” it said. On the eve of the Iranian announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad in an effort to consolidate relations as Washington pushes ahead with its “maximum pressure” against Tehran — a US arch-rival, but an ally of Iraq. Pompeo said he made the trip because Iranian forces are “escalating their activity” and said the threat of attacks was “very specific”. He declined to go into further detail on the alleged plot, which has been met with scepticism in many quarters, with leading Democratic lawmakers fearing that Trump’s administration is seeking to spark a war with Iran. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been a consistent opponent of the nuclear deal, seized on the Iranian announcement as evidence that it was pressing ahead with its nuclear programme. “We shall not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon,” he said.last_img read more

Robert Griffin III Dominates Michael VickLess Eagles

Robert Griffin III looked forward to playing opposite the Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick on Sunday. But a concussion kept Philly’s quarterback sidelined. Vick had to be impressed with what he saw in Griffin, though, who played virtually a perfect game in leading the Washington Redskins to a rare easy win, 31-6.Griffin was 14-f0r-15 passing for 200 yards and a career-high four touchdowns for a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. Griffin also rushed for 84 yards.The newly appointed rookie captain had touchdown passes to of 6 yards to fullback Darrel Young, 49 yards to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson, 61 yards to wideout Santana Moss and 17 yards to tight end Logan Paulsen.The Redskins, coming off their bye week, ended their losing streak at three games and improved their record to 4-6. In the oh-so-forgiving NFC East, that’s good enough for them to be two games behind the idle New York Giants and a game behind the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins play a Thanksgiving Day game at Dallas.It was the Redskins’ largest margin of victory under their third-year coach, Mike Shanahan. Their most lopsided win under Shanahan previously had been 14 points.The last-place Eagles (3-7) extended to six the longest losing streak of coach Andy Reid’s 16-year tenure in Philadelphia. With Vick concussed, rookie starter Foles did nothing to secure the position. He looked lost most of the time and threw a pair of early interceptions and led the Eagles to only a pair of field goals. Tailback LeSean McCoy lost a fumble in the final seconds of the first half to set up a Redskins a field goal that gave Washington a 17-3 halftime lead.Cornerback DeAngelo Hall and safety Brandon Meriweather had the Redskins’ interceptions, but Meriweather, playing his first game this season, also suffered what the team called a sprained right knee.The Redskins go to Dallas for a Thanksgiving Day match that pits bitter rivals trying to move up the NFC East and earn a playoff spot. read more

In 126 Years English Football Has Seen 13475 NilNil Draws

For his day job, James Curley, 36, is an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University, working on the neuroendocrinological basis of social behavior. But in his downtime he tries to answer different kinds of mysteries: What was the first soccer game he ever went to? (He remembered the vague details, but not the specifics.) How often have his two favorite teams played each other over the last century? And is soccer really as dull as some people say?The answers to those questions were surprisingly difficult to find. But Curley used the same approach he uses in his academic career: data, lots and lots of data. By cobbling together game results from several different sources, he has compiled what is almost certainly the world’s biggest compendium of English football scores. Sitting on his GitHub page, devoid of any fanfare whatsoever, are the scores of nearly 200,000 English soccer games played in the top four leagues since 1888, the days of Jack the Ripper and Queen Victoria.1These games are from the English football “league” system. Currently, this encompasses the top four tiers of the English football pyramid, or 92 teams. These 14 megabytes can tell remarkable stories, dating back more than 125 years to the founding of the English football league.Take the most common final score, for example. In 188,060 league games,2For context, this is very similar to the total number of major league baseball games played since 1900. the final tally was most often 1-0, proof, for Curley, that soccer was as low-scoring as he suspected. This result has occurred in more than 30,000 games — 16 percent of the total. Other common scores: 2-1 (about 27,000 games), 2-0 (about 22,000) and 1-1 (about 22,000).In 85,694 games — dangerously close to half the total — at least one of the teams forgot to score at all. That led Curley to an answer for one of his questions: “Soccer is a bit dull,” he told me.Here is the distribution of home and away teams’ goal-scoring throughout history:Scores are likely to be low. In more than 85 percent of all games, neither team scored more than three goals.Those low scores help lead to thousands of draws — 47,412 since the foundation of the league system, to be exact. That’s more than a quarter of all games. And 7 percent of games overall have ended with no one scoring, and no one winning — there have been 13,475 nil-nil draws.In another testament to the sport’s “dullness,” draws have become more common over football’s long history. (Last season, 27 percent of games ended without a winner. ) This chart shows the prevalence of drawn games3Throughout, the year refers to the start of the season, e.g. 1950 refers to the 1950-1951 football season.:In 1890, just 12 percent of games were drawn, and in 1977, 626 games out of 2,028, or 31 percent, were draws. While this number is down slightly today, we’re near the historical high.That’s partly because of a decrease in scoring generally. As English soccer has wound its way through the decades, its scoring has withered. Here are the historical averages of goals scored per game, by league level: The average number of goals per game has at times wildly fluctuated, particularly with the sudden spikes and subsequent declines in the two postwar eras. In 1925, FIFA amended the offside rule. Prior to the change, three players had to be between an attacker and the goal when the ball was passed to him. The new rule changed this to two players (typically a defender and the goalkeeper), giving more leeway to attackers, and led to a dramatic, instant increase in scoring.The reasons for the other big shifts are less clear. Rule changes — the kinds of things that would usually explain variation in goals — are quite rare in soccer’s history.In 1958, substitutions were allowed for the first time, but only for an injured player. This roughly corresponds with the beginning of a steep decline in scoring in the 1960s. This could make for a plausible causal explanation: Perhaps playing with an injured player left teams extremely vulnerable on defense, leading to many goals. The addition of the substitute may have mitigated these effects.Other rules changes — the introduction of red and yellow cards in 1970, another tweak to the offside rule in 1990, banning goalkeepers’ handling of back-passes in 1992 — don’t seem to correlate with any major changes in scoring. In particular, the decline after 1930, and the rise after 1950, aren’t well explained. Some of these changes may be due to the evolution of football tactics, something that is laid out, for example, in Jonathan Wilson’s “Inverting the Pyramid.” In the early days, soccer featured a large number of forwards, but tactical changes led to a larger number of defensive and midfield players. The shifts in the game, and in the game theory of its tactics, may well have led to shifts in overall scoring.In 1981 there was a rule change of another type: To calculate standings, teams were given three points for a win and one point for a draw. Before 1981, only two points were awarded for a win. This change gave teams less incentive, generally, to settle for a draw. This could have led to more aggressive play, and more goals. However, the effect may not operate in just one direction. Once a team does score, that team has all the more incentive to shut the game down and hold out to win having scored just a goal. 1981 did indeed see a small jump in goals, and goal-scoring was elevated for a few years after.However, the change was not large and has not persisted. Goal-scoring seems to have reached something of an equilibrium in the past 30 years or so, corresponding with some of the lowest levels of scoring of the past 125 years.Curley’s reticent about how long his mammoth database took to put together. “I’m not sure I want to tell you, actually,” he joked, “Because then my wife would find out.”Curley is also quick to add that the data did exist elsewhere — although it’s typically scattered, proprietary, or hard to access. He assembled it from the webpages of the Rec.Sports.Soccer Statistics Foundation, from other compilers and GitHub users, from ESPN’s own database, and elsewhere, and made it freely available.“Because I believe in open access to data — I’m a strong advocate of that in science — I just generally have a view that if data is out there, and as long as it’s not owned by someone, then it’s good to have it out in the public,” he said. “I knew there were people who would enjoy it, so I thought, ‘Well, why not give it to them?’”Curley’s academic work and soccer work overlap. Much of his academic work, for example, is concerned with pairwise contest models — contests where two entities compete at a time — and social hierarchies. These issues are often tackled with formulae like the Elo system, which calculates soccer rankings. The parallel to his soccer hobby is obvious. Soccer games, after all, are pairwise contests.Other psychological concepts infused our discussion of soccer. Unlike most fans of English football, Curley roots for two teams. Aston Villa is nature — Curley’s father, and his father’s father, back 100 years, were season ticket-holders — York City is nurture. Conveniently, using the data set of his own creation, he can chart his two teams’ shared history, answering one of his questions. (“Fortunately, they’ve barely ever even crossed paths. So I’ve never had to choose.”)And like the academic he is, he’s performed a sort of peer review of other sources’ soccer data. Case in point, on Nov. 26, 1983, Doncaster Rovers played Chester to a 0-0 draw, in a fourth-tier match. This game is unknown even to ESPN’s database. But not to James Curley’s.“An appropriately completely dull game,” he said. And just one of 188,060.CORRECTION (Oct. 4, 5:30 p.m.): A footnote in an earlier version of this story misstated the number of teams in the top four tiers of the English football league system; there are 92 such teams, not 94. read more

Lopetegui will be a great coach for Real Madrid – Isco

first_imgSpain ace Isco is excited over Real Madrid’s appointment of former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui as the new manager.Lopetegui was fired for accepting the appointment without adequate information to the Spain football governing body last week just a day before the World Cup began but while the situation has seen some criticism of Lopetegui, Isco says he’s happy to see the former national coach take charge of the European champions.“He’s a coach who I’ve known for many years; we worked together right the way up the Spain set-up. He’s given me confidence when I haven’t been enjoying a central role at my club, and he’s a great coach,” he told a press conference on Monday via Goal.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.He also stressed that even though Spain have not won their opening game at a World Cup since 2006, they will look for improvements in their upcoming matches in Group B against Iran and Morocco. He also believes last week’s incidents have brought the squad closer together.“This team has so much heart, pride and desire to do well,” he added. “When the tough gets going, we rise to the challenge. We were dealt a setback and the team got on with it.“Even when we conceded a goal in the third minute [against Portugal] we refused to go under. This team never gives up.”last_img read more

Latest on gas tax repeal effort and its impact on other primary

first_imgLatest on gas tax repeal effort and its impact on other primary elections KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsWith last night’s primary behind us, we are now seeing the large impact the recent car and gas tax is having on voters and how the issue is influencing other races as well.KUSI’s Logan Byrnes has more on what we can expect leading up to the November election. June 6, 2018 Posted: June 6, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Decision 2018 FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Double amputee Xia Boyu allowed to summit Everest

first_imgThis photograph taken on April 4, 2018 shows Chinese double amputee climber Xia Boyu, who lost both of his legs during first attempt to climb Everest, during an interview with AFP at Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu, ahead of another attempt to climb the mountain. AFPA Chinese climber who lost both legs to frostbite on Everest four decades ago is hoping to finally reach the summit after Nepal’s top court overruled a controversial government ban on blind and double amputee climbers.Xia Boyu is the first double amputee to be given a permit to climb the world’s highest mountain after the ban was revoked.The 69-year-old said the measure, introduced in December to much criticism, was “discriminating against the disabled”.“I panicked after I heard the news because it meant I couldn’t fulfil my dream. I thought, ‘How can I now get a climbing permit?’ Xia told AFP.But last month, disability advocacy groups successfully overturned the ban in Nepal’s highest court, arguing it contravened the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities.Xia’s bid to summit the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain will be his fifth.He was part of a Chinese national team in 1975 when the group encountered bad weather just below the summit.Oxygen-starved and exposed to frigid temperatures, Xia suffered severe frostbite and lost both his feet.In 1996, his legs were amputated just below the knee after he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.The tenacious climber returned to Everest in 2014 but an avalanche killed 16 sherpa guides early in the season, forcing most expeditions to call off their summit bids.Xia was back the following year, but the climbing season was again cut short when a powerful earthquake struck Nepal, killing around 9,000 people-including 22 on Everest.His last attempt was in 2016 when bad weather again forced him to turn back just 200 metres from the summit.‘Challenge fate’ -“Climbing Mount Everest is my dream. I have to realise it. It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate,” Xia said.Xia’s guide, Dawa Gyalje Sherpa-who has summited Everest eight times-is hopeful the plucky Chinese climber will finally make it to the top this time.“He has been training and has climbed above 8,000 metres before,” Sherpa said.“I am hopeful he will fulfil his dream.”The legal wrangling over disabled climbers did scupper ex-soldier Hari Budha Magar’s bid to become the first above-the-knee double amputee to scale Everest.Magar-a 38-year-old former Gurkha soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan-postponed his attempt and said he will return in 2019.The only double amputee to summit Everest is New Zealander Mark Inglis, who achieved the feat in 2006.Hundreds of climbers flock to Everest every year during the brief spring climbing season starting April, when winds and temperatures are more forgiving than other times of the year.Last year, 634 people made it to the top and seven died trying.Nepali and Chinese authorities, who monitor all climbs on the southern and northern faces of the mountain respectively, are yet to release the number of climbing permits issued for this year.But the season-which marks the 65th anniversary of the first summit of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay-is expected to be busy.last_img read more

Cuba president welcomes US senator Google CEO

first_imgCuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Photo: ReutersCuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel welcomed US republican senator Jeff Flake and Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the island country.During their meeting on Monday, Diaz-Canel and the US visitors exchanged views on the state of bilateral relations and possible areas of cooperation and “mutual interest”, reports Efe news.Flake, who has visited Cuba several times, the most recent trip being in January, is one of the main promoters in the US Congress of the rapprochement with Cuba and, in particular, of a bill that would eliminate travel restrictions to the island for US citizens.President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed new limitations on the travel of US citizens to Cuba, a country which Americans cannot visit as tourists due to Washington’s financial embargo.During their meeting, Rodriguez thanked Flake and the Google executive for their interest in contributing to the debate in favour of an improvement in bilateral relations.Google has been one of the tech giants that has been interested in moving into the Cuban telecommunications market since former US President Barack Obama launched the thaw in relations, although to date it has had only a very limited presence on the island.Three years ago, the firm offered to broaden internet access in Cuba, which is still far below average international levels, but the proposal never developed into a concrete programme.Flake and Schmidt were accompanied by US charge d’affaires in Cuba, Philip Goldberg, and Brett Perlmutter, the Google CEO’s adviser on Cuba.Cuba and the US reopened their embassies in Washington and Havana in 2015 and signed numerous cooperation accords in security, immigration, education, healthcare and culture, but Trump halted the normalisation process.last_img read more

Fake goods factory sealed off owner arrested

first_imgFake goods produced in Turag Factory in Chandpur. Photo: UNBPolice in a drive in Chandpur on Saturday sealed off a factory that had been producing fake brands of items like turmeric chutney, detergent powder, tang and mustard oil in the city’s Wireless area, reports UNB.Jahed Patwary, additional superintendent of police (Chandpur sadar circle), said acting on a tip-off executive magistrate Morshedul Islam with others led a drive and sealed off the ‘Turag Factory’ that had been operating for four to five years in the area.Morshedul Islam said, “We’ve sealed off the factory and ordered to stop all kinds of production.”Turag Factory owner Md Tanvir Ahmed, 40, was fined Tk 200,000 with one month imprisonment, he added.The factory workers were ‘set free’ with an alert not to work in such a criminal enterprise.Executive magistrate Uzzal Hossain, acting OC of Chandpur sadar model police station Md Nasim Uddin and police inspector Jahangir Hossain were also in the team conducting the drive.last_img read more

Pedalling to good health Cyclists to participate in 1st World Bicycle Day

first_imgKolkata: Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will observe the first-ever World Bicycle Day on Sunday in New Town. The United Nations has declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day this year and it will be celebrated globally. Bicycles are not only an eco-friendly mode of transport but also keeps the cyclists physically fit and mentally alert. It helps to reduce obesity and improves the cardiovascular system.In New Town, the celebration is more significant as it is the only place in India where the Cycle Sharing Scheme has been introduced and it has become extremely popular. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHousing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) under the ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had awarded the scheme introduced by New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) in the Urban Transport category at a function in New Delhi in April.On Sunday, the World Bicycle Day will be celebrated with HIDCO keeping cycles in front of the golf course off Eco Park to be used by the enthusiasts. The ride is free and cycle lovers can take a ride to popularise cycling. Eco Park has a special zone where people come and do cycling and duo cycling as well and it is extremely popular among visitors. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn the evening, Zoomcar, the company that has introduced the Cycle Sharing Scheme will host a programme at the NKDA football ground where people will be given free rides. They will be given modern cycles fitted with GPS which are used in the Cycle Sharing Scheme. There will be a treasure hunt show for the participants and the winner will be awarded.New Town has graded cycle paths and the Cycle Sharing Scheme is becoming popular. It may be recalled that to popularise cycling, Jagadish Chandra Bose used to come to Presidency College riding a cycle just to show that Indians are equally capable of riding bicycles like the British. At times, he was also accompanied by his wife Abala who was also an expert cyclist.last_img read more

Easy tips for smudge free makeup

first_imgFor flawless make-up, moisturise your skin well before applying the products and use fixtures to get a refreshed look. Here are some tips by make-up artist Kanikka Gauraav Tandon for keeping your make-up perfect, always:Moisturise: Moisturise your skin before applying make-up, but be sure that the moisturiser is oil-free to make the make-up stick to its place. Besides that, use a primer. Go for mineral powder foundation which works great for oily skin. Apply it with foundation applicator brush. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Eyes: Before applying eyeliner to your bottom lashes, dust a brush over some baby powder and apply it on the lower lash line which will soak the extra moisture from the area, making it easier for the eyeliner to stay in place for longer. Also, avoid putting eye cream directly on your lids and apply primer specifically made for your eyes.Lips: Try to get rid of extra skin from your lips with the help of sugar scrub. Apply foundation to your lips to make your lipstick last longer. Line and fill the lip with neutral lip pencil. Apply one coat of lipstick and then blot, and finish with a light layer lip gloss.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBlush: Use powdered blush-on in natural earthy shades or apply the blush on in a dotted format on your cheeks and rub it gently with your ring finger. They are also known as flushed cheeks. For blush-on, you can use colours like ruby, strawberry, orchid lilac colours.Refresh your make-up: Fixtures are generally used to give your make-up a refreshed look. It is basically a misty spray which is sprayed on the face. After spraying it let it settle for approximately six to seven seconds. Get ready with a fresh face on a hot and sweaty day.last_img read more

Iguanas on the loose in WestJet aircraft causing delay

first_img Share Posted by TORONTO — A WestJet flight was grounded in Toronto after customs officers determined there were iguanas loose in the aircraft.WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart says a passenger on a flight from Cuba to Toronto was discovered to be carrying iguanas in his checked luggage.Stewart says the passenger had hidden four iguanas in his luggage but when they were discovered by customs officers in Toronto, only two of the lizards were in the suitcase.The flight crews were notified and the plane was stopped in order to have the cargo hold fumigated to prevent the escaped lizards from chewing through wires or damaging the aircraft.Stewart says the aircraft couldn’t fly on to Vancouver due to the delay, but passengers were transferred to another plane that left 50 minutes later.Stewart says this type of incident is uncommon but reminds customers to always book their pets with the airline ahead of time and bring them in proper carrying cases to ensure they are safe and comfortable.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe incident comes after a pet Gecko was lost on a flight in July. Tags: LOL The Canadian Press center_img Monday, September 19, 2016 Iguanas on the loose in WestJet aircraft causing delay << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

By land and by sea 2018s hotel happenings cruise news

first_imgBy land and by sea, 2018’s hotel happenings & cruise news TORONTO — Vertical integration is still the name of the game so it’s no wonder tour operators pressed on with plans for new resorts, and new resort alliances, in 2018.Rounding up the industry stories making headlines this year, we also look at the 2018 good-news recovery stories from the wild 2017 hurricane season, and a volcano that seemed to attract twice as many visitors as it kept away. Plus, a major closure that could hit the travel compensation funds in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. for millions of dollars.Through it all agents kept doing what they do best: counseling their clients, selling just about everything under the sun and staying sane knowing that no matter what the industry comes up with, they can handle it.HOTEL HAPPENINGSSunwing Travel Group, already a major player on the resort scene with its Blue Diamond Resorts hotel division with 15,000+ rooms across more than a half dozen brands, fortified its position even further with a blockbuster deal with Planet Hollywood. Announcing the venture in February 2018, Sunwing Travel Group and Planet Hollywood said initial plans called for two resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica, with more to come. Right on time, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica opened in fall 2018. In Mexico, Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun is slated to open in spring 2019. Sunwing is also transforming the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay in St. Maarten into a Planet Hollywood resort. And in October Sunwing announced plans to expand its hotel division again with the addition of six of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels, part of a newly formed strategic alliance that will see Sunwing grow its presence in destinations including Grenada, Tobago and Barbados.Transat’s resort plans meanwhile are taking shape like never before, as the company makes good on its decision, first divulged in 2017, to develop its own hotel chain in the Caribbean. In September 2018 Transat announced it had purchased a stretch of land in Riviera Maya, in Puerto Morelos on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is ideally situated midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen some 20 kilometres from Cancun International Airport.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe company has also entered into a promissory agreement to purchase a second adjacent property for a total consideration of between US$54 and $57 million to build a new beachfront resort.Transat says its new hotel division will include some 5,000 owned or managed hotel rooms at its main Sun destinations by 2024.There was more hotel news from Hilton and Playa, with the introduction of Hilton La Romana, an All-inclusive Resort, and Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort, adding 1,269 new Hilton guest rooms to its existing global portfolio as part of a strategic alliance. In September 2018 Playa took over management of the resort currently known as Dreams La Romana (rebranded as the Hilton La Romana) while The Royal Playa del Carmen became Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort. The agreement between Playa Hotels and Hilton also includes the potential for the conversion and management of eight additional resorts by 2025.And in other news, Sandals Resorts released new details about its ground-breaking Tobago development, saying it planned to build a Sandals Resort and a Beaches Resort side by side, with close to 300 rooms and 450-500 rooms respectively.WILD WEATHERThis was the comeback year for destinations like Puerto Rico, Dominica, Anguilla and St. Maarten, all of which took a hit from 2017’s hurricanes. Sunwing Travel Group’s newest Planet Hollywood resort is taking shape on the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay, which had closed after Irma hit the island in September 2017. Meanwhile AMResorts is bringing a new Secrets resort to St. Martin, on the site of the former Riu Palace St. Martin. A $20 million reno will get the place in shape in time for its 2019 reopening.In October 2018 Hawaii confirmed it was ‘open for business’ despite a volcano eruption and two close calls with hurricanes. Kilauea volcano’s eruptions began May 3 with lava flowing continuously until Aug. 6, and generated headlines worldwide, but it was only a small area that was affected on the Island of Hawaii.More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaSINORAMAIn August 2018 Sinorama Holidays closed its doors after 13 years in business, with a voluntary termination of its Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 registration.Over its 13-year history Sinorama Group expanded from Canada into Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S., began trading as a public company in the States and reportedly sold $123 million worth of travel in 2017, up 27% over the previous year.And yet by April 2018 the company was allegedly running a $10.9 million shortfall and scrambling to bring in new money to cover the deficit, at least according to reports in consumer paper La Presse, which covered Sinorama’s financial tailspin extensively.Quebec’s travel regulator, the Office de la protection de la consommateur (OPC), first notified the Montreal-based operations of Sinorama that its license would not be renewed in that province, citing insufficient funds. Soon alarm bells were going off at Consumer Protection B.C. too.At the same time, TICO issued a closure advisory for Markham-based Sinorama Holidays Inc. as the company voluntarily terminated its Ontario registration. The hit to Ontario’s Travel Compensation Fund from the Sinorama Holidays Inc. closure could exceed the $5 million legislated maximum. The six-month window to file a claim is Feb. 11, 2019.CRUISE CONTROLAccording to CLIA’s latest stats, some 30 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2019, up from 28.2 in 2018. Close to 20 new ships will debut in 2019, bringing the number of CLIA-member ship to 272. Revenues are up, yields are up and interest in cruising continues unabated, especially thanks for headline-grabbing newcomers like Symphony of the Seas (March 2018), Norwegian Bliss (May 2018) and Celebrity Edge. Sales for river cruising, despite difficulties with low water levels in Europe in 2018, are still through the roof. And all eyes are on the first of Virgin Voyages’ four new ships, Scarlet Lady, getting ready to set sail, and set new benchmarks for adults-only cruising, in 2020. Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line, Planet Hollywood, Sinorama, Transat, Virgin Voyages Posted by Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group Thursday, December 27, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Video technology specialist Synamedia has used the

first_imgVideo technology specialist Synamedia has used the NAB Show to unveil new automation capabilities for its Virtual Digital Content Manager (DCM) with smart rate control that it says will save operators up to 50% of bandwidth and storage costs.Using machine-learning and Synamedia Stream Video Quality, the company’s patented quality metric technology, the solution automatically scales based on bandwidth requirements, according to Synamedia.The video processing technology uses machine learning to automate setting the quality level and cap bitrate. It can operate on the individual bitrate profile level, and does not assume that two channels behave the same nor that the content of a channel is equally complex over the course of time, according to SynamediaJulien SignesCurrently, standard Adaptive Bit Rate solutions use output profiles that are set to constant bit rates with varying picture quality, potentially resulting in more bandwidth usage than is required due to varying quality level targets, such as switching from a high impact football game to a more static interview, according to the company. Synamedia’s Virtual DCM with Smart Rate Control and Automation scales as needed according to bandwidth requirements.Synamedia says that TV operators looking to deploy on a large scale quickly benefit from its automation capabilities because the need for trial and error testing is eliminated. This is particularly important when distributing sports content, which can be complex to encode due to the many movement variations that would traditionally require individual encoding settings.Synamedia’s Virtual DCM with Smart Rate Control and Automation sets target quality levels and bitrate caps per the ABR bitrate profile for each channel in a network. It also automatically makes adjustments when needed. The technology supports both H.264 and H.265 coding.“Today, competition is fierce, and no one is more keenly aware of that than our customers. They need a competitive edge and they look to us to help them discover one.  Our new Virtual DCM with Smart Rate Control and Automation delivers on that challenge head first,” said Julien Signes, SVP and general manager, video processing at Synamedia.“Operators tell us that our new automation capabilities are a first in the industry and can open up efficiency and scalability possibilities like never before. This is one of the many ways we help them win and keep viewers.”last_img read more