Morocco to bid for 2026 World Cup – Federation

first_imgRabat, Morocco | AFP | Morocco’s football federation (FRMF) announced on Friday it had told the sport’s world governing body FIFA it will bid to host the 2026 World Cup.It would be Morocco’s fifth candidacy having come up short already in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.“Morocco considers itself capable of organsining a World Cup,” youth and sports minister Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.“We have the necessary infrastructure in terms of stadiums, transport, hotel capacity and sanitation.”In April, the United States, Canada and Mexico had already announced a joint North American bid to host the tournament.If successful, Morocco would become only the second African country to host football’s flagship event following South Africa in 2010.The north Africans have received backing from African confederation (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad. “We are convinced that Morocco could organise this competition just as was done by South Africa in 2010,” said Malagasy Ahmad after he was elected to succeed Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou as head of the African body.However, FIFA last year accepted that the country had paid bribes to the former head of the North and Central American Confederation in trying to win the right to host the 1998 and 2010 tournaments — something that could prejudice any future bid.But FIFA president Gianni Infantino has echoed Ahmad’s endorsement, saying that Morocco has the necessary “infrastructure and organisational capacity” to host the World Cup.The 2026 tournament will be the first with an expanded 48-team tournament, up from the current 32 qualifiers.Morocco had won the right to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations but pulled out at the 11th hour over concerns related to the Ebola outbreak in western Africa at the time.But the country has embarked on a professionalisation drive to improve its football infrastructure while increasing it’s candidacies for various tournaments in order to improve its chances of landing a much coveted World Cup.Morocco has hosted two Club World Cup tournaments, in 2013 and 2014, although that is a vastly smaller and shorter tournament.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Bedfordshire golfer leads East qualifiers for Grand Medal Final

first_img Bedfordshire teenager Sophie Mills shot an impressive net score of three-under par to lead the East region qualifiers for England Golf’s 2012 Grand Medal Final. The 14-year-old from Wyboston Lakes scored net 71 and was three shots clear of the field at the East region medal final at John O’Gaunt Golf Club in Bedfordshire. The event was contested by the best women club medal players from six Eastern counties and the top 10 qualified for the Grand Medal Final to be held at Worcestershire Golf Club on Saturday, June 23.   The 10, who will join qualifiers from five other regions to compete for the title of England’s champion medal player, are: Sophie Mills (Wyboston Lakes), Sarah Howe (Ipswich), Jean Jolley (Rushcliffe), Chelsea-Mae Laundon (Chelmsford), Amy Crowson (Aylesbury Vale), Dawn French (John O’Gaunt), Anna Fairs (Fynn Valley), Leah Plester (Theydon Bois), Tina Tuckwell (Cretingham) and Julie Richards (Letchworth). All the regional finalists returned the best four scores at their club in the English Women’s  Medals during 2011. This will be Sophie’s second trip to the Grand Medal Final where she tied second last year, taking third place on countback. At that time she was playing off 11 handicap and has since reduced to eight – and another hefty cut is on its way after her performance at John O’Gaunt. “I’m really excited about going back,” said Sophie. “And Dad’s excited too!” Her father, Stuart, is a former professional and caddies for her. He also got her interested in the game, which she has been playing seriously for just two years. Sophie played steady golf in yesterday’s regional final, starting with seven straight pars. She had a birdie on the 17th and approached the last hole having dropped only three shots all day – only to take a double bogey. “I was disappointed, but it was still ok – and I did hole some good putts out there as well,” she said. Net qualifying scores Par 74, CSS 77, handicaps in brackets 71 Sophie Mills (Wyboston Lakes, 8) 74 Sarah Howe (Ipswich, 3), Jean Jolley (Rushcliffe, 19), Chelsea-Mae Laundon (Chelmsford, 12), Amy Crowson (Aylesbury Vale, 12), Dawn French (John O’Gaunt, 7), Anna Fairs (Fynn Valley, 19) 76 Leah Plester (Theydon Bois, 19) 77 Tina Tuckwell (Cretingham, 17), Julie Richards (Letchworth, 24). 13 Apr 2012 Bedfordshire golfer leads East qualifiers for Grand Medal Final last_img read more

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Inside Conditions…Emancipation Documentation

first_imgFILE – In this Nov. 5, 2011 file photo Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, left, shakes hands with Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell after an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb. Colter has become the face of a movement to give college athletes the right to form unions and bargain. After a decision this week by a regional director of the National Labor Relations board, he also could leave a legacy as the athlete who formed the foundation of a dramatic overhaul of college sports that could potentially give athletes a chance to fight for a piece of an industry that generates billions based on their performance. (AP Photo/Lincoln Journal Star, Laura Pales, File)Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, glory hallelujah! Now you may think that I don’t know, but I’ve had my troubles here below. One day when I was walkin’ along. The sky opened up and love come down. (From 1867 book Slave Songs of the United States)Last week a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board backed a bid by football players at Northwestern University to unionize. “I find that all grant-in-aid scholarship players for the Employer’s football team who have not exhausted their playing eligibility are ’employees’ under” the National Labor Relations Act” wrote Peter Sung Ohr, director of the board’s Chicago regional office in his ruling.Aubrey BruceAs part of the ruling Ohr also wrote that; ”walk-on players — those without scholarships — do not qualify as employees.”The ruling pointed out that; “scholarship football players at Northwestern [basically qualify as] employees: that they perform services for the benefit of their employer and receive compensation (in the form of a scholarship) in exchange and that scholarship players are “subject to the employer’s control in the performance of their duties as football players.”Ohr also differentiated the case of Northwestern’s football players from those of graduate teaching assistants at Brown University (in which the NLRB ruled for the university in 2004) because “the players’ football-related duties are unrelated to their academic studies unlike the graduate assistants whose teaching and research duties were inextricably tied to their graduate degree requirements.”“The players spend 50 to 60 hours per week on their football duties during a one-month training camp prior to the start of the academic year and an additional 40 to 50 hours per week on those duties during the three or four month football season,” the NLRB ruling said.“Not only is this more hours than many undisputed full-time employees work at their jobs, it is also many more hours than the players spend on their studies.”Wow 50 to 60 hours per week on their football duties and 40 to 50 hours per week on those duties during the three or four month football season, that is a lot of time to work for nada, zilch, nothing.Training camp 50-60 hours a week let’s take the middle road. 55 hours a week for 4 weeks of training camp; 220 hours for one month equals $2222.00 just for one month of training camp. Now 40-50 hours a week of practice, film studies and conditioning; let’s again take the middle road and say 45 hours a week during the 4 month football season, 45 hours a week time 4 weeks monthly come out to be 180 hours a month multiplied by 4 equals 720 hours times $10.10 is $7272.00 and that is the bare minimum.Players that perform in the pro football ranks have roughly the same training and practice schedule and ya know what ladies and gents? The minimum salary for rookies in 2012 was $390,000.00.  In 2013, 2012′s rookies were scheduled to earn $480,000.00 in salary as second year players in the NFL, if they make a squad as an active player.In 2014, the 2012 rookies will earn $570,000.00 in salary, if they make a squad as an active player.Hey if college players get injured they won’t even have a chance to receive the theoretical $7272.00 base salary that they should receive yearly.Remember Terrelle Pryor, the Western Pennsylvania and Ohio State standout, (now currently being paid to play for the NFL Oakland raiders)? On December 26, 2010 espn.com news services published an article titled; “Ohio State football players sanctioned.” “Welcome to Tattoo U. What started out as a trip to a Columbus tattoo parlor by a couple of football players has created all sorts of mayhem for star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State. Pryor and four teammates were suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of [2011] season for selling championship rings, jerseys and awards. They also received improper benefits — from up to two years ago — from the tattoo parlor and its owner. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.“As a student-athlete, you’re not allowed to use your persona to get discounted services.” Oh, but Mr. Smith what are you allowed to receive?”It is time for the takers to become the borrowers and the low to become the high. It is time for the NCAA to be tied to the economic whipping post singing; “Nobody knows the trouble they are about to see. Will the NCAA pay the costs of future litigation from the blood, sweat and tears of scholarship players? Love is not coming down for the NCAA. The “freedom” chickens are on their way home to roost, later.(The sources for this article were insidehighereducation.com, Associated Press and espn.com news services)Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412.583.6741last_img read more

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Whiskey distillery breathes new life into famous Donegal factory

first_imgThree Donegal men are on the cusp of completing their new venture into whiskey distilling – and bringing the craft back to Donegal for the first time in 180 years.Crolly Distillery, located in the former Crolly Dolls Factory, will be a fully-functional distillery and visitor centre which aims to attract tourists and whiskey enthusiasts from all over the world to West Donegal.Joe Devenney from Annagry, Conor McMenamin from Ballybofey and Kieran Davis from Letterkenny are the men behind the exciting Donegal whiskey revival project. The team are delighted to be bringing new life to the former Crolly Doll factory and envisage the first liquid gold will flow through their pot stills in early 2020. Founders of Crolly Distillery – Kieran, Joe and ConorA state-of-the-art visitor centre will open in 2021 for specialist whiskey tours and tastings. It aims to attract 20,000 visitors in year one, with hopeful growth in these projected tourism figures going forward. Whiskey was last (legally!) produced in Donegal by William Leatham at the Bohillion Distillery in Burt but those stills fell silent in the early 1840’s. Three years ago, Joe, Conor and Kieran set about reviving the craft and reviving the famous  Crolly Doll factory, which has lain dormant for twenty years until now.Crolly Distillery constructionThe location was selected alongside the Dore River as it provides ideal climatic conditions to slowly age a high-quality single malt Irish whiskey. Authenticity and originality are at the core of this endeavour and this sets Crolly apart. ‘If it’s Crolly on the bottle, it’s Crolly in the bottle’ is the mantra of the boutique distillery, which will produce in small batch volumes of an artisan, delectable single malt whiskey (50,000 litres of pure alcohol annually). The promoters have invested heavily to create a distillery which will be as sustainable and green as possible, harvesting rain water and recycling heat energy from the mashing and distillation process. The founders have also sourced two beautifully restored ex-cognac copper pot stills from the South of France and grade A ex-bourbon oak casks shipped from the United States for their premium product.Crolly WhiskeyThe Crolly Distillery story has already begun with the Founder’s 180 Club Cask Programme. The investment programme invites whiskey lovers to acquire one of the very first casks of Donegal-produced Irish whiskey from The Crolly Distillery. There are just 180 individually numbered casks available, and owning a cask allows members to be part of an exclusive Crolly club.Since the Crolly Factory renovations began, the distillery founders and promoters have been struck by the fond memories and anecdotes shared with them from locals – and they want to preserve those memories in the visitor centre and online in the future. The team are requesting your Crolly memories, be they pictures or written word, to [email protected]  The worldwide chatter about the ‘the goings on’ in Crolly has already resulted in 50 Founders 180 Club casks sold at home and abroad.Cheers to that!Tugann an ghníomhaireacht rialtais, Údarás na Gaeltachta, tacaíocht don tionscnamh seo.Whiskey distillery breathes new life into famous Donegal factory was last modified: December 6th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Winter Meetings wrap up: Bumgarner at first base?

first_imgLAS VEGAS–The Winter Meetings are billed as the ultimate destination for baseball’s deal-makers, a hub where executives and agents lock themselves in hotel rooms late into the night to negotiate, strategize and take care of business.The reality, however, is far different from the public perception.If you’re the type that enjoys exchanging pleasantries, shaking hands and discussing over-priced restaurant options, the lobby of the Mandalay Bay resort and casino was the place to be this week.The …last_img

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Did a Global Flood Move Rocks Across Continents?  No, uh…

first_imgPaper View Sept 14, 2010 — Geologists were baffled.  Something moved rocks up to 3,000 miles across whole continents.  They found evidence in Asia and also in America.  How on earth could that happen?  Their list of explanations omitted one possibility: the transporting power of water.  Maybe it’s because it would have implied a global flood like the world had never seen.    An international team publishing in the GSA Bulletin wrote about “Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian�Ordovician.”1  They found similar detrital zircon samples across a wide swath of the Himalayan foothills, covering “great distances” of at least 3000 km and perhaps as much as 5000 km.  They used assumptions to rule out time as a factor, suggesting that this “extraordinary” transport of material occurred at one time.  What does it imply?  “In any case, by examining samples within a small window of well-constrained depositional ages from across the length of the Himalayan range, our data not only indicate extraordinary transport distances, but a high degree of sediment mixing and homogenization.”  They emphasized it again: “In this regard, both transport distances and sediment mixing within early Gondwana are extraordinary for the geologic record.”  It likely applies to “much, if not the whole of Gondwana” (the hypothetical supercontinent that broke up into today’s continents).    The Himalayas are not the only location.  They referred to evidence published earlier that assigns the origin of many of the Grand Canyon sediments to the Appalachian mountains thousands of kilometers to the east (09/15/2003).  Again, extraordinary long-distance transport mechanisms must have been in operation.  What could possibly do it?  Their short list of possible mechanisms omits one that creation geologists would probably be saying is intuitively obvious: a global flood.The causes of such a pattern might be unique to time and place, and may include a combination of (1) lack of continental vegetation, (2) clustering of continents near the equator, (3) increased continental weathering rates, (4) widespread uplift and erosion associated with regionally extensive and relatively synchronous orogenesis [mountain-building] recording supercontinental amalgamation, and (5) production of significant relief, providing stream power for large-scale river systems.A closer look reveals that none of those mechanisms contradicts a global flood; in fact, they would each appear to be consequences of one.  What else would produce any one or a combination of those causes?1.  Myrow, Hughes et al, “Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian�Ordovician,” Geological Society of America Bulletin Sept. 2010, v. 122 no. 9-10 p. 1660-1670, doi: 10.1130/B30123.1.Composite explanations are generally avoided in science because of Ockham’s Razor: “plurality should not be posited without necessity.”  If a scientist explains the yard being wet by saying, “It might have rained, or the sprinklers might have come on, or a water-spraying truck drove by,” the power of the explanation is decreased.  Here, the scientists admitted that something extraordinary – something possibly unique in the geologic record – occurred to move sediments so far at one time.  (Notice, incidentally, this amounts to a rejection of uniformitarianism.)  Nothing like that is seen happening today.  Special pleading is also to be avoided when explaining things scientifically, but isn’t that what they just did?  They did not explain with reference to natural law and observable, repeatable processes.  They said, essentially, that an extraordinary one-time effect might have been caused by five things or any combination of them.  On the surface of it, the explanation sounds weak.    A scientific explanation is strengthened when a single cause explains multiple effects.  Suppose your yard is wet, some objects are knocked over and a swath of wetness covers several homes in a line.  Which explanation is better?  (A) House #1 turned the sprinklers on, house #2 had a watering truck drive by, house #3 got rained on and house #4 had an above-ground pool that leaked, and the houses just happened to be in a line.  (B) There was a brush fire nearby and a water-dropping plane doused the area.    A global flood would produce all 5 effects that the geologists listed as causes: (1) a lack of continental vegetation, because it had been stripped away at the onset of the flood; (2) clustering of continents near the equator, because creationists generally agree the continents split apart as the fountains of the great deep opened; (3) weathering rates increased dramatically (well, duh); (4) widespread uplift and erosion associated with regionally extensive and synchronous mountain building occurred (because the mountain ranges formed as a consequence of the dividing continents, and erosion was intense); and (5) production of significant relief, providing stream power for large-scale river systems, because the new mountains caused dramatic runoff as the waters receded, transporting soft sediments over vast distances.  One more for good measure: a global flood would explain the “high degree of sediment mixing and homogenization” of sediments they observed.    Notice that the secular geology explanation cannot account for increased weathering rates, widespread erosion, homogenization, synchronous mountain building and large-scale river systems (cf. 04/30/2009, “Are Secular Geologists Ready to Consider a Global Flood?”).  In the current example, the composite, special-pleading scenario in the paper leaves much to be desired as a scientific explanation.  Biblical creationists can point to a single cause that explains all the effects.  They have eyewitness testimony, too: Yes, uh… Noah.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Turning Astrobiology Surprises Into Evolutionary Fiction

first_imgThere’s never been a surprise that a good astrobiologist hasn’t been able to spin into an evolutionary tale.For a recent example, see the post “How old are the first planets?” on NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine or the reprint on PhysOrg.  In this article, every surprise or anomaly became fodder for Keith Cooper’s imagination.  Here are a few of the unexpected observations in the article that Cooper worked into the grand scenario of cosmic evolution and the origin of life:1.  Rocky planets:  The Kepler spacecraft has found rocky worlds around metal-poor stars that were previously thought to lack ingredients for planets.  Solution: “one way of looking at terrestrial planets is to see them as failed gas giant cores.”  Even more exciting, it means (contrary to earlier beliefs) that rocky planets – and maybe life – may abound around metal-poor stars!  “If Earth-sized planets do not require stars with high abundances of heavy elements, then that has huge implications, expanding the possible abodes for life throughout both space and time.”  Cooper even jumped from his imaginary solution to the conclusion that it implies the “Galactic Habitable Zone” might be wider than thought.2. Fermi Paradox:  Point #1 raises the ghost of the Fermi Paradox: if there are so many rocky worlds with life, how come none have visited the earth by now?  (Their inhabitants, presumably, have had billions of years to evolve advanced technology.)  Solution: Dodge the question with a distracting discussion of how and when gas giants can evolve around low-metal stars.3.  Heavy metal galaxies:  The evolutionary scenario predicted heavy elements would gradually increase over time; early galaxies, therefore, should be depleted in heavy elements.  “Twelve billion years ago the chemistry of galaxies should have been fairly primitive,” Cooper confessed, yet a distant galaxy matched the sun in heavy elements.  Solution: “The best explanation so far is that a starburst – a ferociously rapid bout of star formation – within the inner regions of the galaxy has blown the heavy elements into the galactic outlands.”  In philosophy of science, this is known as a post hoc rationalization.4. Planet billiards:  Gas giants should wreak havoc with rocky planets, sending them careening out of a star’s planetary system as the gas giants migrate inward, but Kepler has found rocky planets interspersed between gas giants. Solution: claim that “what difficulties gas giants can cause for habitable planets, they don’t necessarily have to be a show-stopper“.  But if they are, it only takes one to stop the show.5. Impoverished gas giants:  Gas giants were thought to require an abundance of heavy elements to form cores for accretion of gas, but some have been found around metal-poor stars.  Solution: “it must have formed very early in the history of the Universe,” or, “Why gas giants have been able to form around these heavy-metal deficient stars is unknown, perhaps hinting at an alternative process for gas planet formation.”These and other anomalies, failed expectations and surprises are dealt with accordingly by Cooper and his astronomer interviewees.  Given a lively imagination, no problem is too damning to falsify biological evolution, planetary evolution, stellar evolution, galactic evolution and cosmic evolution.  Here’s how Cooper roused his readers’ imaginations in a sweeping set of glittering generalities (after dodging the 4th point above about planet billiards, and while dodging example #2 about the Fermi Paradox):Regardless, one thing is becoming clear: that sufficient raw materials for building terrestrial planets were available very soon after the Big Bang, raising the possibility that there could be life in the Universe far older than we. Perhaps they reside around long-lived red dwarf stars, or have moved on from their home system after their star expired. Or, perhaps, we really are the first, which means that if life has happened just once throughout the entire history of the Universe, our existence must be a fluke and our planet very, very special indeed.Such a conclusion would allow for any eventuality: even the uniqueness of life on earth would fit an evolutionary scenario.In another article on PhysOrg, planetary theorist Alan Boss came up with a novel way to get refractory compounds into comets, where they were previously thought not to exist: cook them near the sun, then send them out to the fringes by special delivery.  “Their meandering trips back and forth could help explain the different compositions of their rims.”  This, along with a discussion of calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs) in meteorites, was touted as solving two solar system puzzles at one blow.  “It’s nice to solve two problems at once,” said Boss. “But there are still many more puzzles about meteorites for us to work on.”  Incidentally, his theory of disk instability for the formation of gas giants runs counter to the core accretion model Keith Cooper assumed in his article.Astronomer Stephen Weinberg once defined an expert as “a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.”  In this case, Cooper and his Darwin Party experts don’t avoid any errors: they actually use the large errors to sweep on to the grand fallacy.  We might also recall that an expert (ex-spurt) used to be a spurt, but is now just a drip.  Oh, their empirical observations are doing fine: the Kepler spacecraft, the spectrometers, the equations – all built using intelligent design – are pulling the scientific load.  But the scenario, the play, the imaginary story they repeat in spite of the observations – these are what illustrate the skill of evolutionist gumbies to twist any falsification into a celebration of their gnostic powers.  Historical note:  Johannes Kepler, for whom the planet-hunting spacecraft was named, was a creationist. 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Conway to ‘swim for the rhino’ at Midmar Mile

first_img31 January 2014Sean Conway, the first and only man in history to swim the length of Great Britain, was in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on Wednesday to attend the official press launch of the 2014 aQuelle Midmar Mile, and to lend his support to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s efforts to save the rhino.Conway’s love of endurance events began with his participation as a schoolboy in the Midmar Mile and he has since gone on to cycle around the world and climb Mount Kilimanjaro in a penguin suit for charity.Eight Mile ClubThe former Clifton Prep and Hilton College schoolboy will be again be doing his bit for charity in the Midmar Mile as part of the Eight Mile Club and as one of 20 swimmers raising money for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s fight to save the rhino.A total of 120 swimmers, divided into six sections, will be participating in the Club, with the beneficiaries including Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Pink Drive, the Red Cap Foundation, The Princess Charlene Foundation, the Childhood Cancer Foundation (Choc) and a group of swimmers with disabilities, who will be raising funds directly for the groups they wish to support.Father’s work“My dad [Tony Conway] has dedicated the last 35 years of his life to saving the rhino. I grew up in KZN in a game reserve, so being surrounded by rhinos was very much part of my upbringing,” Conway told SAinfo.“Just to put it into figures, in 2007 South Africa lost only 13 rhinos to poaching. We’re now losing three a day. Something really needs to be done. They could become extinct and we can’t have that happen.“Also, if they keep getting shot they become scared of humans, and in some of the game reserves now you just don’t see rhinos anymore because they are so afraid of people. It’s such a shame that we can’t get to appreciate these incredible animals. It’s only when you see them up close and in person that you do realise how amazing they are.”ThanksThe CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Bandile Mkhize, lauded Conway for his efforts to assist in the fight to save the rhino. “I’m very happy that he has decided to come and swim for the rhino. And I must thank Wayne [Riddin] for his efforts in helping us to raise money for saving the rhino,” Mkhize said.“It’s a very important opportunity to push the story [of the rhino],” Mkhize said. “As I always say, we are not going to give up on this war. The more people who hear about it the better because there is no way we are going to give up. If we give up and stop talking about it, then it means that we don’t care about our rhinos anymore, but we can’t afford that.“The fact of the matter is that if we don’t do anything about saving these rhinos, if we don’t get everybody involved, we are going to lose this battle.”‘Very, very important’Mkhize also praised the Midmar Mile, which brings Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife property almost half of its annual income from gate takings, terming the event “very, very important.”“We are very proud of the association we have with the organisers of the Midmar Mile. It is one of the highlights of our calendar of events and we are very proud to be hosting it,” he said.While there is a serious side to Sean Conway’s participation in the Midmar Mile, he said he had also returned from the United Kingdom to his roots to have fun.‘A very different race for me’“The Midmar Mile is a very different race for me,” Conway explained, “because in my world it is a sprint. I would normally go out and swim 10 miles really slowly. To be there with all the whippersnappers, doing it quite quickly is going to be quite tough for me, but I’m here to have fun and to promote saving the rhino.”EntriesThe entry figure for the Midmar Mile is at an all-time high ahead of the event, which takes place on 8 and February just outside Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.A flurry of late, on-the-day entries is expected, but 14 687 people had signed up by Wednesday, said event organiser Wayne Riddin.Riddin has been organising the Midmar Mile since 1991 when the field comprised 4 890 swimmers. His goal is to grow the event to 20 000 participants, but for that to happen he said he would need help from government departments.Call for assistanceRiddin praised Tourism KZN for their support, but said he had not received so much as an e-mailed reply in his efforts to get support from government despite the event’s outstanding track record, which includes raising R1-million for charity annually, and the high esteem in which the swimming world holds the Midmar Mile.“Could you imagine what we could do with more money?” the former South African national swimming coach asked, citing the development of swimming as a primary goal. At present, money brought in by the Midmar Mile is funnelled back into the event, into supporting the host club, Pietermaritzburg Seals, and running a swimming development programme.A significant fund-raiser for charities, it is an event for everyone and participants include swimmers with multiple disabilities through to Olympic champions and world record holders.last_img read more

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World’s second biggest wearables maker debuts new smartwatch

first_imgTags:#Fitbit#fitness trackers#Huami#Internet of Things#IoT#wearables#Xiaomi Chinese wearables maker Huami recently launched its latest product —  the Amazfit smartwatch. Anhui Huami Information Technology Co. Ltd. launched its new connected wearable device in late August.Huami, which is headquartered in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, is better known as the maker of the Xiaomi fitness tracking wrist band which has sold more than 20 million units.“The Xiaomi band reminds us of the success and glory we have achieved, while the smartwatch represents our ambitions for the future,” said Huang Wang, Huami chief executive officer.Huami was established in early 2014 and financed by Shunwei Capital Partners and Xiaomi Corp, one of China’s leading electronics and smartphone makers. By August Huami had rolled out the Xiaomi wrist band on the market.Since then, Morningside Ventures, Banyan Capital and Sequoia Capital invested another $35 million in Huami. And as the company’s valuation hits $800 million, is now preparing for a third round of funding, according to Huang.Huami takes global second placeThe company was ranked as second in the global wearables market, after U.S. rival Fitbit. As well, Forbes named Huami one of China’s 50 fastest growing technology firms in late 2015.The company’s total sales revenue in 2015 was $151.5 million with 2016 projections expected to grow to $225 million.According to a report on second-quarter wearable sales, Fitbit retained the top spot in the wearables market. It sold 5.7 million fitness trackers in Q2, a 28% year-on-year (YOY) growth. Xiaomi also retained its second place, but only had 2.5% growth YOY.“Basic wearables, which include most fitness trackers, have benefited from a combination of factors: a clear value proposition for end-users, an abundant selection of devices from multiple vendors, and affordable price points,” said IDC’s Ramon Llamas. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Follow the Puck Donal Powercenter_img Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

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The Leadership Playbook: Relentless Accountability

first_imgI watched an interview with Jamie Dimon, famed CEO of Chase. The interviewer had heard about a list Dimon carried with him in his pocket. It was handwritten, and he carries it with him at all times. The list is pages long, and it is a record of everything that any of his direct reports owe him at that time.Whenever one of Dimon’s direct reports sits down to meet with him, out comes the list. Dimon holds them accountable to their commitments by reviewing the list with them.It can’t be easy to run an organization of the size, scope, and complexity of Chase. And a paper record of commitments folded in thirds and carried in your pocket hardly sounds like the sophisticated tool someone in Dimon’s position might need. But it isn’t the tool that matters; it’s Dimon’s relentless insistence on accountability for keeping commitments that matters.Leaders don’t often fail because they have a poor vision. Good leaders normally end up in their role because they can see the future and the path to getting there.Leaders don’t usually fail because the strategy they pursue isn’t right either. Good leaders almost always know what decisions need to be made and what actions need to be taken.Where leaders normally fail is in the execution of the vision and the strategy.A great leader holds people accountable to pursuing the initiatives that move the organization forward. She is relentless in keeping her people–and their people–focused on their priorities because she continually inspects their progress. She knows what commitments have been made, what outcomes are necessary, and she begins and ends every conversation with a review of these commitments.Leaders struggle to maintain this level of disciplined focus. There are too many demands for their time and attention. There are too many urgent matters that require that they make a decision. And there are too many opportunities that might be pursued. All of these distractions, even the important ones, can prevent the leader from insisting on the execution of their initiatives.Execution is about making and keeping commitments to act. A great leader holds her people accountable for those commitments, and by relentlessly verifying their progress, she ensures that the right things are being done and that she is helping where she is needed–and not allowing the organization to spend time on the distractions that might take them off course.QuestionsHow do you hold your team accountable?What do you use to retain all of the commitments that your team makes?How frequently do you need to review these commitments?Is execution your greatest challenge? If not, what is?last_img read more

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