Fall Softball

first_imgWe just got back from a trip to see our daughter & son-in-law’s family in Minnesota.  Besides just wanting to see them, our granddaughter was participating in a 12 and under fall softball state championship series.  This tournament was a conclusion to their fall softball league.  Audrey was a pitcher in the summer league, but this fall she played outfield and some infield since she was the youngest member of the team.  It was great fun begin there to watch her.This is the first time I have heard of extending a normal summer program into the fall.  Besides that fact, the temperatures were certainly not fall like.  The Saturday of the tournament found a temperature of 92 degrees.  Instead of us being wrapped up in blankets and coats they were taking ice to the players to keep them from suffering heat exhaustion.  Audrey’s 5-year old brother, Andrew, put an ice pack on his head, and he was just watching.Maybe there is something to this global warming!last_img read more

Tough Asia backdrop sees Playtech issue new profit warning

first_img Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 Submit Share Related Articles Share StumbleUpon Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 FTSE250 gambling technology group Playtech Plc has today issued a corporate profit warning, detailing continued Asian market woes.Issuing its second Asia related profit warning over the past year, Playtech governance details a continued slowdown of its Asian market operations and services.“As previously reported, average daily revenue in Asia continues to be impacted by an increasingly competitive backdrop. Towards the end of the first half, this market has seen a particularly aggressive pricing environment from new entrants to the market and this has impacted revenue” details Playtech in its corporate announcement.Updating investors, Playtech governance has detailed that it sees ‘no material improvement’ with regards to its Malaysian position, a major territory for Playtech’s Asian market operations.Due to the impacts, The FTSE firm anticipates its Asia market revenues to be circa €70 million below its original expectations, which will consequently impact Playtech full-year 2018 corporate run rate.Playtech governance has moved to revise its full-year 2018 corporate forecast, targeting adjusted earnings between the range of €320-360 million.Playtech’s revised forecast will not include the +€220 million of profits made from the operator selling divesting its stake in the enlarged GVC Holdings.Commenting on the update,  Mor Weizer, Group CEO of Playtech Plc, said: “Clearly the recent trading performance in Asia is disappointing. We have taken steps to further support our partners in the region and we will continue to work to preserve our position in the face of an increasingly competitive environment.“In line with our stated strategy, progress in fast-growing, regulated and soon to-be-regulated markets continues apace. Momentum in key regulated markets continued in the first part of 2018 with new agreements with Gala Leisure in the UK, SAS in Portugal and Totalizator, the Polish national lottery. Additionally, regulatory developments in the US represent a significant opportunity for the Group. The organic growth reported in the non-Asian B2B gaming business combined with the recent acquisition of Snaitech in Italy provides management with confidence that this strategy will materially improve the quality and diversification of Playtech’s performance in 2018 and beyond.”last_img read more

Beefing up the criminal justice system

first_img22 October 2008Reducing the levels of crime and enhancing citizen safety was one of the five main priorities of this year’s medium term budget policy statement, unveiled by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in Cape Town this week.Addressing members of Parliament in Cape Town, Manuel said the government would intensify the fight against crime through “strengthening the criminal justice sector, especially detective and investigative services, and by improving court processes”.The Department of Safety and Security’s budget increases significantly over the medium term, enabling an increase in the number of police officers to more than 200 000 by 2011, up from some 131 000 in 1997/8.Manuel pointed out that while general crime levels have been on a downward trend since 2003, with the all-crimes rate falling by 18.2%, reducing crime – particularly violent crime – remained a pressing challenge.Partnership with communities, businessHe said this was mainly because the criminal justice system had experienced coordination failures, and suffered from poor management and ineffective systems.“In partnership with communities and business, government aims to restructure the criminal justice process and establish a more modern, efficient and integrated system,” he told Parliament.“Funding priorities include the rollout of the integrated electronic docket management system, a case management system, upgrading of network and associated infrastructure in all police stations and national fingerprint identification.”He said the government would prioritise an increase in the number of policing personnel who specialise in crime prevention, detective work, crime intelligence and forensics.In addition, provision for additional expenditure will be made to cover the cost of increased operations during next year’s general elections.Correctional servicesManuel added that the government was also placing focus on reducing the number of detainees facing trial, while also increasing the capacity of the country’s correctional facilities.“Six new prisons that are more focused on rehabilitating offenders before release are expected to be completed over the next three years,” he said.Securing bordersManuel said that the government was also taking steps to strengthen security at South Africa’s borders and ports of entry, increasing patrol capacity and upgrading technology to prevent organised cross-border crime.Such efforts were also aligned with the country’s preparations to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, he said.The South African Revenue Service will establish a national centre to coordinate all border activities, including emergency response and integrated intelligence, while customs will monitor imports, exports, transit, excise and travellers across the region.“The Department of Home Affairs will install a passenger information system and establish a port control unit,” Manuel said. “The passenger system will allow for new pre- and post-departure clearance processes and act as an early warning system.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

There’s room for improvement in CSR

first_imgMelissa JavanSkills development should be linked to corporate social investment programmes, Brand South Africa board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama tells business leaders at the 2016 In Good Company Conference on 30 August. (Image: Brand South Africa)Engaging with people involved with corporate social investment (CSI) to understand their needs and expectations is one of the guidelines mentioned in a new research report.The report, The Case for Social Investment in South Africa, suggests that if CSI budgets are spent wisely, it could generate R25-billion worth of the country’s economic activity. Undertaken by the University of Stellenbosch, the report was commissioned by the Nation Builder Trust. The trust found that the South African private sector CSI budget for 2015 amounted to R8,1-billion.The report suggests that if CSI is done effectively, it has the potential to support 63 000 jobs. It also says effective CSI could generate another R7,7-billion in labour remuneration.ABOUT THE REPORTThe Case for Social Investment in South Africa was released internally in June 2016, but handed out to delegates at the In Good Company Conference on 30 August 2016. In Good Company is part of an ongoing initiative run by Nation Builder, the conference organisers. Nation Builder is an initiative founded by Muthobi Foundation. It helps companies channel their CSI into initiatives to help build sustainable change in South Africa.Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in the country still has room for development, according to the report. Its findings are to assist initiatives such as Nation Builder to help businesses to achieve the best possible impact for their CSI programmes.For example, the report found that in 2014, 72 local companies listed on the JSE’s 2013 Socially Responsible Investment Index were assessed. Based on its latest reporting on CSI, none of these were rated as “excellent” for the overall quality of their reporting. Only 12 of the 72 (17%) achieved a “good rating”.One of the challenges highlighted was that the companies found it difficult to meet reporting requirements within the limited space allocated to CSI in their annual reports. “An understanding in the business of rationale for CSI is therefore is crucial,” reads the report.The assessment further shows that only 39% of companies reported on impact assessments.Apparently the companies acknowledged that it was difficult and expensive to measure and report on the effects of CSI projects and that their budgets often did not allow for this. As a result, many companies relied on anecdotal evidence of the impact of their CSI projects.THE GUIDELINESEach company’s strategy will depend on factors such as industry, resources, complexity, core business and location, says the report. “There is no one size fits all approach for successful CSI activities… What works for one community won’t necessarily work for another.”Brand South Africa board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama challenged business leaders to go above and beyond to change society for the better. Speaking at the 2016 In Good Company conference, she said: “It’s only when we create sustainable, durable solutions that we overcome challenges.”She urged corporate leaders to show the way forward by being courageous, tenacious and resilient, reported SouthAfrica.info reported. “Let’s improve the social conditions and build a strong nation brand.”She suggested that skills development should be linked to CSI and CSR programmes.Corporate social responsibility programmes increase employee morale and motivation, according to a Canadian study. (Image: Brand South Africa)BENEFITS OF DOING GOODA survey of Canadian companies, included in the report, Corporate Social Responsibility: Lessons Learned, Natural Resources Canada, found that respectively 70% and 40% of respondents cited “cost savings” and “reduced business risk” as business benefits of CSR.The authors found more than 50% of respondents noted that their CSR programmes contributed to increased employee morale and motivation, which, in turn, led to higher productivity.Policies may therefore decrease costs related to employee turnover and performance evaluation, as well as increase worker productivity through better motivation, according to the report.It said more consumers were taking CSR performance into account and tended to be loyal to companies with a good record. Thus, CSR may entice consumers to buy the company’s products or services.CSR can also aid to capital. In South Africa, for example, the JSE’s Responsible Investment Index assesses CSI activities and allows investors to invest in companies with good CSR records.COMPANIES DOING IT RIGHTWhile companies in South Africa are already making a positive impact, more can be achieved by strategic and effective spending, according to the local report.It suggests companies that engage in CSI programmes should make what they are doing as effective and impactful as possible. Best practice principles include engaging with stakeholders, building partnerships, and measuring and communicating outcomes properly.South African companies putting best practice into action, according to the report, include:Virgin Active’s Future Crew Programme: It initially donated gym equipment to schools, but expanded to include training learners and adults in underdeveloped communities to become accredited coaches and trainers. Once qualified, they are either employed by schools or absorbed into the business. Community members can also train to become qualified dance instructors, and start their own income-generating studios.Discovery’s programme to train healthcare workers: It is expected to create 40 000 new jobs by the end of 2016. Discovery has partnered with Umthombo Youth Development Foundation to support youth from rural areas to pursue a health care qualification. A benefit of this programme is that it alleviates the shortage of health care workers and the unemployment problem in the country.last_img read more

Why “SUCCES” Spells Success in Social Media

first_imgThis is part of the “Hi AleX,” series — advice to AleX NetLit about enhancing her levels of network literacy through day-to-day personal and professional social networking. AleX Netlit is a fictional persona created by Network Literacy Community of Practice to serve as a guide to Military Families Service professionals, Cooperative Extension educators and others seeking to learn more about using online networks in their work.More about Alex NetLit This article (Why “SUCCES” Spells Success in Social Media) was originally published Monday December 10, 2012 on the Military Families Learning Network blog. Author: Jim Langcuster This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Hi, AleX:Many years ago, a high school journalism teacher, unaware of it at the time, imparted an enormously valuable lesson—and a “sticky” idea —to one of his students.He challenged his students to write a story lead about a local high school principal’s decision to send his faculty to another city the following Thursday for a day-long training session.After quickly scanning all the submitted leads the teacher offered this entirely unexpected observation: “The lead to the story is ‘There will be no school next Thursday.’”This brilliantly disruptive response stuck forever in the mind of at least one student, Nora Ephron, who was inspired that day to train as a journalist and who later went on to become one of the most successful screenwriters in motion picture history.The Science of StickinessThe story is related by Chip and Dan Heath, authors of “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Thrive and Others Die,” as a stellar example of how the element of surprise can be used to create messages with lasting impressions—”sticky” ones, in other words.There’s an important lesson here for you too, AleX.  If there is one critical social-media skill you should develop in the immediate future, it is mastering what the Heaths describe as the “science of stickiness.”You must learn to create messages that stick to the Velcro of your clients’ minds. Equally important, AleX, you must learn to distinguish your messages from the thousands of others that bombard your clients day after day.By ensuring that your messages stick with your audiences, you deepen the levels of engagement with them.  Equally important, they come to appreciate you as a valuable resource. In time, you not only build valuable social capital with your clients but also enhance your networking effectiveness.So, how should you go about mastering stickiness?The Heaths have devised an acronym, “SUCCES”—with stickiness in mind—to help readers focus on how to craft the most effective messages.Simple – strip the message of everything but its core.Unexpected – when possible, add an element of surprise.Concrete – put the message in visual or sensory context.Credible – ensure the message is believable.Emotional – underscore the message’s importance by connecting with a reader’s, listener’s, or viewer’s feelings.Stories – use narratives to get people to act on these messages.How to Post Sticky MessagesThe next challenge is putting this SUCCES formula to work in social-media venues such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter.The Heaths put simplicity at the top of the list for good reason. Simplicity can be immensely helpful to people struggling to make sense of the welter of messages they encounter daily on Facebook and Twitter news feeds and other other social media venues.For example, medical professionals could develop an enormous amount of goodwill among their Facebook friends and Twitter followers by linking regularly to news articles about the most timely and relevant health-related topics, introducing each with a concise description that focuses solely on the core message.Space constraints forced newspapers into mastering simplicity centuries ago. Here are some recent examples of headlines from the online Health section of the New York Times: “High Blood Pressure Tied to Brain Changes,” “Can Exercise Protect the Brain from Fatty Foods?” and “Can Foods Affect Colon Cancer Survival?”Of course, all elements of the Heath’s SUCCES formula can be used in effective social-media messaging—the reason why it is worth investing the time to read the book and taking its lessons to heart, AleX.Crafting sticky messages will be one of the most valuable job skills in this new information order.last_img read more

Fishing idiots should be charged for indecency BC angling group

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsA boatload of ignorant fishermen should be charged for drinking, urinating and exposing themselves to families, said an angling group working to reduce conflict on B.C.’s Fraser River.“It’s the worst incident reported this summer,” said Rod Clapton, co-chair of the Fraser River Peacemakers.“They’re idiots…As far as we’re concerned they should be charged with indecent exposure if the information reported is accurate.”Clapton said he sent an email to the RCMP Monday asking them to find the five men caught on camera Saturday getting into a heated argument with members of the Union Bar First Nation.“We’re not going to let this go,” Clapton added in a telephone interview with APTN News. “No member of the sport fishing community would excuse this. It’s unacceptable.”Photos of the men in an aluminum boat were posted on Facebook. The men are seen drinking, urinating and making lewd gestures.One witness said a man dropped his pants and underwear and exposed himself to women and children cleaning fish on the shoreline.“They were casting, talking loud, swearing – and their voices carried,” said Stacy McNeil.“We said, ‘Hey, there’s children here.’ But instead of moving on one guy started peeing and told us to shut up.”McNeil said the man made “disrespectful” and unwanted sexual comments while exposing himself.“As adults, we see this all the time. But our kids were so confused and scared, with no idea why it was happening.”McNeil said several families were working in the fish camp between Hope and Yale when the incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on Aug. 25.She said her hands were shaking as she called Hope RCMP and described the scene to a dispatch operator on the line.No officer was available to come out but RCMP did provide an email address for witnesses to share their photos and video.She said three boats piloted by community members pulled up to the anglers and “told them to move along.”She said there was shouting back and forth and a fight came close to breaking out.“They said, ‘We started it, the women started it.’ They were calling down First Nations (people), saying we were stealing all the fish.”McNeil said the incident could have escalated into something more dangerous.“I was trying to be calm because my children were there,” she said of the kids that are between three- and 15-years-old.“My body was shaking because I was so angry. I was trying not to stoop to that level and respond.”She said she is proud the community was able to defuse the incident and there was no violence.Sto:lo Chief Ernie Crey, who co-chairs the Peacemakers group with Clapton, agreed.“We encourage people to share the river instead of getting into a fight over it,” he said.Crey said misunderstandings crop up when anglers are unaware they’ve anchored in a traditional fishing hole.“In the past they used to throw rocks at one another,” said Crey, “or branches of trees.”In 2009, he said former chief Willie Charlie was shot in the face with a pellet gun. That’s when Peacemakers was formed.“We don’t get involved in criminal activity,” added Clapton. “We go and talk and help resolve differences.”The group recently received an award from the federal government for its 10 years of advocacy and mediation.But this encounter shows it still has work to do.“This is a pretty nasty incident,” said Clapton.“We really expect the RCMP to pursue this and identify these individuals.”[email protected]last_img read more

Finance Minister keeps making headlines talks tourism finance and foreign policy

first_img Recommended for you Related Items:beaches resort, finance, finance minister, foreign policy, global forum, ta haven, tourism, washington misick Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 30 Jun 2015 – The Finance Minister was featured in a number of local and regional articles where he is speaking to several key issues in the aftermath of alarming comments made during a debate on cleanliness in the TCI which went askew. Hon Washington Misick is vocal on the situation in the Dominican Republic where Haitians are being expelled from that country; the inclusion of the Turks and Caicos on the EU’s recently released Tax Havens list and even the value of Beaches Resort to the TCI tourism economy and product. On the EU categorization, Minister Washington Misick takes exception to us being on that list and said the TCI is compliant with Global Forum standards and that the country plans to work with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Global Forum and its sister territories to express collective concern to the EC. A Jamaica Observer article quotes Minister Misick on Beaches being the single largest contributor and a major employer and having positive effect on the airlift to the country; Misick was explaining that his recent controversial comments in the House of Assembly had nothing to do with legal workers in the Turks and Caicos however the various flag days are held and organized by the legal expat groups in the TCI; those events were the subject of the Finance Minister’s ridicule. On the new legal position of the Dominican Republic which has forced tens of thousands of Haitians to leave the neighboring country, the Minister in response the Jamaica Observer question, which appeared to be aimed at ferreting out whether foreigners in this country would be treated similarly said, “The Policy is blatantly abusive and wrong. It is something the Turks and Caicos Islands would never do.” Magnetic Media has learned that journalists from around the region have taken keen interest in the comments of Minister Washington Misick and others who appeared to be anti-foreign. Misick, who is also a former Chief Minister, has taken exception to the comments featured first in the TCI Sun Newspaper; saying the remarks are not in keeping with his reputation and are misunderstood. Survey shows TCI beaches keep visitors coming Baha Mar deal should not be secret Turks & Caicos drops to #4 Island in the World; Hotel owner sounds off Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more