Touch Football Australia have released the fourth edition of the High Performance Herald Newsletter. The Christmas edition gives the latest news and views from deep inside the Australian Camp as the seven National Teams approach the closing stages of their preparation phase for the Federation of International Touch World Cup in Stellenbosch, South Africa 17-21 January 2007.Please open the below attachment to read the High Performance Herald – Volume 4.Related Fileshigh_performance_herald_volume_4-pdf
Leonardo Spinazzola pens new Roma dealby Carlos Volcano19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeonardo Spinazzola has extended his Roma contract to June 2024.The fullback arrived from Juventus over the summer with a deal running to June 2023.But he has convinced the Giallorossi so much that they already got him to sign a new and improved deal.The 26-year-old made the move from Juve for €29.5m as part of an exchange with Luca Pellegrini going to Turin. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp snappy over claims Man Utd underdogsby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has played down their favourites tag against Manchester United.The two fierce rivals will go toe-to-toe at Old Trafford on Sunday.”On Sky you made a combined line-up and had 11 players of Liverpool. It’s like a joke, like building a banana skin,” Klopp said in his Friday press conference.”The world at the moment is like a circus, and we are at the centre. I’m not influenced by it. I am 100 per cent sure of the strength of Manchester United.”The German also casted doubt on the injuries of Paul Pogba and David de Gea who have been ear-marked to miss the encounter.He added: “Yesterday, Pogba and De Gea there is ‘no chance’. Today it is ‘maybe’, tomorrow it is ‘a chance’!”
A number of Government ministries and agencies will participate in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Pilot Project, slated to get underway in July.This was disclosed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate on May 28, in the House of Representatives.The six-month project, slated to end in December, is aimed at providing the Government with a viable and sustainable alternative to proprietary software products, thereby reducing costin the procurement and management of software licences.“Every time in every Government department, if you have a desktop computer that, for instance, has Microsoft on it or any other software, the Government has to pay a licensing fee…it costs the Government significant sums to pay these fees,” Mr. Robinson said.He informed that the project is expected to: produce an inception report outlining the allocation of resources and the plan for knowledge transfer to the Government; conduct a critical review of the previous FOSS pilot undertaken by the Government as part of the Inter-American Development Bank/Information and Communications Technology (IDB/ICT) Project and produce a report on the same; and develop a FOSS migration strategy and corresponding guidelines.He noted that under the project, three pilots, one in each of the selected ministries, departments, and agencies, will be implemented to validate and adapt the FOSS migration methodology.Mr. Robinson informed that the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) will act as the interface between the Government and the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI) in Havana, Cuba to facilitate the development of the project.Contact: Chris Patterson
BEDMINSTER, N.J. – President Donald Trump’s top advisers say his proposed tax plan would not cut taxes disproportionately for the rich — despite an early non-partisan analysis that says it will.The White House and congressional Republicans released the broad strokes of a plan last week that would dramatically cut corporate tax rates from 35 per cent to 20 per cent, reduce the number of personal income tax brackets and boost the standard deduction.The Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution released an analysis Friday that found the plan would deliver 50 per cent of its total tax benefit to taxpayers in the top 1 per cent, those with incomes above $730,000 a year.But White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that it was too early for analysts to gauge that figure because the plan leaves out for now many crucial details, such as which income levels the new tax brackets would apply to.“In fact, I don’t think anybody can. And anybody who says they can is simply lying to you,” Mulvaney said. “It is impossible to sit down and say, this will be the impact on this wage earner or this family at this particular time.”Still, that didn’t stop Trump from doing just that during a speech in Indiana last week pitching the plan. In his remarks, Trump pointed to a number of locals, including Jonathan Blanton, an industrial janitor from Greentown, who earns a combined $90,000 a year with his wife.“Under our tax plan they would have saved more than $1,000, and it could be substantially more,” Trump told the crowd. “And that’s just on federal taxes.”Trump has also insisted that the plan wouldn’t reduce his personal tax bills, telling supporters: “It’s not good for me. Believe me.”The plan includes a number of provisions that favour the rich, including cutting the top income tax rate, getting rid of the alternative minimum tax, and eliminating the federal estate tax. Under current law, the first $11 million of an estate is exempt for a married couple, meaning only the wealthiest Americans pay it.But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump’s goal is to boost jobs and lower the tax burden for the middle class.“The president has been very clear. And I’ve been clear from the beginning. Our objective is not to create tax cuts for the wealthy. Our objective is about creating middle-income tax cuts,” he said.In a separate appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Mnuchin was asked whether he could guarantee Trump would not get a tax cut under his plan.“Again, as I’ve said all along, the objective of the president is that rich people don’t get tax cuts. And we’re perfectly comfortable, as we go through this process, we’ll explain to the American public how that works,” Mnuchin said.The Tax Policy Center and Brookings found that, under the plan, the after-tax incomes of the wealthiest Americans would increase 8.5 per cent next year.For other taxpayers, though, the benefits are far more modest or non-existent, the report finds. Taxpayers in the bottom 95 per cent would see tax cuts averaging 1.2 per cent of after-tax income or less next year.And about 12 per cent of taxpayers would face a tax increase next year, of $1,800 on average. That includes more than one-third of taxpayers earning between about $150,000 and $300,000, mostly because of the elimination of many itemized deductions.By 2027, taxes would increase for about a quarter of Americans, including nearly 30 per cent of those earning about $50,000 to $150,000 a year, and 60 per cent of people making $150,000 to $300,000, according to the study.
TORONTO – The Sobeys grocery business will be cutting about 800 office jobs across Canada as part of efforts to create one efficient national organization out of five regional operations, the company announced Friday.“The future success of Sobeys, and our continued service to over 900 communities across the country, depends on our steadfast commitment to transform our business,” said Michael Medline, who is chief executive of Sobeys and its parent company, Empire Co. Ltd. (TSX:EMP.B)Local reports of the news began to emerge late Thursday ahead of an internal announcement to Sobeys staff. The company confirmed the reports Friday morning.Sobeys is Canada’s second-largest grocery company, after Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX:L), and faces many of the same challenges in the industry: competition from new rivals, higher costs from rising minimum wages in some areas and technological change.However, the company has also been struggling for several years with problems arising from its acquisition of Safeway Canada — which gave Sobeys a much bigger presence in Western Canada.“The first phase of our plan to transform our business, which has been focused on resetting the foundation of Sobeys and creating a new organization structure, is now substantially complete,” Medline said in a statement to the media.“This will allow us to be more efficient in many ways and to be more agile as we pursue new opportunities to compete and win the loyalty of Canadians.”In September, Empire reported that it was on track to achieve $500 million in annual cost savings as part of its transformation plan, dubbed Project Sunrise.It also reported that Sobeys had achieved same-store sales growth in the first quarter of its 2018 financial year. It was the first time in 18 months that Sobeys had reported higher year-over-year sales at stores open at least a year.Shares of Empire — which owns Sobeys Inc. and has an interest in the publicly-traded Crombie real-estate trust — were up about one per cent Friday morning.The stock has been stepping up in stages since the beginning of the year, when they were worth about $$15.55 each, and were above $25 each last week.Analyst Irene Nattel of RBC Dominion Securities wrote in a note to clients that the elimination of about 20 per cent of the Sobeys office workforce is a “critical step” towards reducing the company’s operating burden — but she remains cautious.“In our view . . . successful and timely implementation of the strategic plan boils down to execution and the process is unlikely to move forward in a straight line, with the CEO reiterating on the most recent conference call that quarterly performance is likely to ebb and flow as they execute Project Sunrise,” Nattel wrote.“Given the magnitude of the task that lies ahead, the competitive environment, EMP’s structural disadvantage in the discount space and rising ecommerce penetration, we recommend investors remain cautious . . . “Among the major challenges that face Canada’s major domestic grocers, including Loblaw, Sobeys and Montreal-based Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU), is Amazon.com’s increased presence in food retailing — including its recent acquisition of the Whole Foods chain of grocery stores.While Whole Foods has few stores in Canada, the country’s domestic grocers have worked to improve their efficiency to defend themselves from Amazon’s move into a bricks-and-mortar business to complement its disruptive online presence.Additionally, Sobeys and other national retailers have said they expect labour costs to rise as a result of higher minimum wages in Ontario — the country’s biggest provincial economy — as well as higher food costs.The Competition Bureau is also investigating the grocery industry amid allegations of price-fixing in the packaged bread space. Loblaw, Sobeys and Metro have said they’re co-operating with the federal agency’s probe but details of the files have been sealed by court order, limiting their comments on the matter.
Governing a country is a mammoth task per se, however, with the resources readily at disposal, the task becomes easier. Accusing the former UPA dispensation of a heap of failures, the then Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and BJP had left no stone unturned to showcase UPA’s inconsistencies, citing them detrimental to the development of the country. Marred with scams, UPA-II saw an obvious conclusion to its tumultuous regime with a right-wing nationalist voted to power. A plethora of welfare schemes and opposition failures raked up the saffron party’s popularity enabled BJP to register a thumping majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Since then, India has unarguably progressed. The government perceives the past five years under Modi as an exponential rise in terms of development due to their proactive efforts as summed up by various leaders of the lotus party – drawing sharp contrast from UPAs combined ten years. While development, undoubtedly, happened as it should have given the government’s responsibility, terming it exponential would be an exaggeration. And, with development came the hiccups that blemished the current dispensation’s “acche din” narrative. Also Read – A compounding difficultyDemonetisation remains the biggest of decisions in policymaking, singlehandedly bringing the entire nation to a standstill. The country listened as PM Modi in his speech on November 8, 2016, around 8 PM announced how from midnight onwards, all 500 and 1000 rupee notes would no longer be valid currency. The expectation was concise and focussed that with demonetisation, those holding onto untaxed black money will be caught. At the time, 500 and 1000 rupee notes comprised 86 per cent of all cash in circulation and hence their withdrawal meant undertaking a massive operation. Modi’s speech had three sharp aims of ending corruption – a predominant feature of BJPs manifesto – along with slashing down fake notes and financing to terrorists. Markets struggled as demonetisation hit the floors with long queues for changing the void currency visible across the country. Demonetisation did not impact the GDP much but it landed a heavy blow to the informal sector. Demonetisation, based on its initial aim, was somewhat influential in the thumping victory that BJP registered in UP elections as well. However, as Modi’s tenure progressed, the aim of demonetisation shifted drastically with the motive being to make India a cashless economy which will pave way for digital payments. In this regard, the government treats demonetisation as a success but still limits references to same in its campaign. If demonetisation was such a success as it is claimed to be, curiosity pertains as to why it is not at the tip of the tongue of BJP leaders and the government, who stopped mentioning the move. GST followed demonetisation as the new tax regime further affected the economy owing to a hasty implementation. The haste was such that streamlining products and processes took the entire of the remaining tenure. Also Read – An askew democracyWhile India was overcoming the economic shock, mob violence saw a drastic rise. Five years saw a rise in religious fanaticism and fake news on social media as catalysts to a spate of mob attacks across India. Cow protection was at the heart of this as cow vigilantes rose to assault those accused of either killing cows or transporting them to slaughter. These vigilantes enjoyed impunity under the garb of political support which did not do much to prevent lynching from becoming prominent in society. Dadri (September 2015), Jharkhand (March 2016), Una (July 2016), Rajasthan Highway (June 2017), Hapur (June 2018), et al, are instances where civilians were attacked by the enraged mob and justice remained a far cry. Since 2015, according to IndiaSpend, 117 cow protection-related incidents of violence happened and as per Quint, 88 people have been killed in lynchings across India. Lynching did not soar high just because of cow protection but other apprehensions such as child lifting were also singled out as reasons behind the unruly mob justice. Social media facilitated lynching via its massive outreach as fake news ushered mob gatherings and eventual killings. The government went largely silent on this as an incapable administration struggled to find a remedy. The infamous CBI infighting – an unfortunate spectacle for the entire nation – further corroborated popular beliefs that CBI functions as a political tool. Famously called the “caged parrot” by SC in May 2013, CBI was tagged as UPA’s puppet by Modi himself when he said “Congress will not fight the next Lok Sabha elections but will field CBI instead” back in 2013 as PM candidate. Yet, Modi could do little to remedy this tarnished reputation of CBI. Instead, in his tenure, CBI ascended to unprecedented turmoil with the top two cops of the agency accusing each other of graft charges. No Lokpal – additional watchdog on government and agencies – was there to check the regressive affairs of the most prestigious investigation agency despite the Lokpal Act being passed in 2013. NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) rocked the North East as their terms offered conflicting definitions of citizenship. BJP’s claim that CAB aims to give shelter to persecuted minorities came in conflict with dissents from JPC members who posed the question that why did CAB discriminate between migrants on the basis of country and religion when it rode on a humanitarian impulse to provide relief to people. Both NRC and CAB have kept the North East on the edge as the government’s actions promoted regional polarisation in Assam. Meanwhile, Kashmir witnessed increased militancy, mass protests, rising death toll and polarisation between Muslim-dominated Kashmir and Hindu-majority Jammu. In the five years, recruitment of youth to militant groups proliferated and so did the anti-militancy operations which ensured turmoil in the troubled valley, indefinitely. In 2017, gunfights concluded in the killing of 213 militants while 2018 saw 225 gunned down and civilian casualty as collateral damage was overlooked. Surgical Strikes along LoC and increased ceasefire violations (sharp rise since the UPA regime) featured as Kashmir and peace became the two ends of a continuum, if they were not already. In June 2018, the state government collapsed as BJP walked out of the BJP-PDP coalition and the state assembly was dissolved despite a historic partnership between NC and PDP with Congress to claim power. As far as Pakistan is concerned, Modi’s stance meandered across his term. From holding talks and formulating what could be better Indo-Pak ties, the situation deteriorated to heightened tensions along the border. Uri and Pulwama forced Modi to take up an offensive stance as India retaliated on both occasions. However, as always, the issue of the troublesome neighbour saw no gross improvement with Modi’s tenure being no different than any others’ in this regard. The controversial Rafale deal is stuck in the corridors of the apex court and arouses curiosity over the leaked documents which cite PMO’s indulgence in defence deals – yet another issue which blemishes Modi’s credibility. All in all, development went hand in hand with controversy, and as such, did not let Modi’s “acche din” narrative stand apart in utter limelight. Governance in the past five years has definitely been constructive but simultaneously regressive on some fronts too and it all depends on how one perceives these two sides of the five years before choosing a new government.
Hong Kong: A group of Hong Kong activists face jail after being convicted Tuesday on colonial-era “public nuisance” charges for their role in organising mass pro-democracy protests that paralysed the city for months and infuriated Beijing. The convictions followed a trial that has renewed alarm over shrinking freedoms under an assertive China which has rejected demands by Hong Kongers asking for a greater say in how the financial hub is run. Nine activists were all convicted on Tuesday of at least one charge in a prosecution that deployed rarely-used colonial-era public nuisance laws over their participation in the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, which called for free elections for the city’s leader. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIt is the latest blow to strike the beleaguered pro-democracy camp which has seen key figures jailed or banned from standing as legislators since their civil disobedience movement convulsed the city but failed to win any concessions. Among the most prominent members of the group on trial were sociology professor Chan Kin-man, 60, law professor Benny Tai, 54, and Baptist minister Chu Yiu-ming, 75. The trio founded the pro-democracy “Occupy Central” movement in 2013, which joined the student-led Umbrella Movement a year later that brought parts of the city to a standstill for months. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAll three were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Tai and Chan were also convicted of incitement to commit public nuisance although all three were acquitted of incitement to incite public nuisance. Of the remaining six defendants — a group of younger protest leaders, including two sitting lawmakers — all were convicted of at least one public nuisance charge. In an unusual move prosecutors tried the group under Hong Kong’s common law system, which carries a much steeper sentence than statutory public nuisance laws. Each protest leader could now face up to seven years in jail, rather than three months had the charges been brought under statutory law. Judge Johnny Chan ruled that the 2014 protests, which took over key intersections for many weeks, were not protected by Hong Kong’s free speech laws because the demonstrations impinged on the rights of others. “The unreasonableness of the obstruction was such that the significant and protected right to demonstrate should be displaced,” he said. “The act was one not warranted by law.” The defendants remain on bail with the court expected to continue hearing mitigation arguments in the coming days before handing down sentences. There were emotional scenes on Tuesday afternoon as the oldest defendant, Reverend Chu, delivered a statement in which he described the dock as “the most honourable pulpit of my ministerial career”. He warned Hong Kong’s leadership against ignoring youth-led calls for greater democratic freedoms. “The bell tolls. It gives out a warning sound, that something bad and disastrous is happening,” he said. In a submission sent to journalists fellow defendant Shiu Ka-chun added: “I want to warn the authoritarian government, even if you kill all the roosters, you cannot stop the dawn’s arrival.” Human rights groups and critics hit out at the convictions, saying the use of the vaguely worded public nuisance laws — and wielding the steeper common law punishment — would have a chilling effect on free speech in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong courts, by labelling peaceful protests in pursuit of rights as public nuisance, are sending a terrible message that will likely embolden the government to prosecute more peaceful activists,” said Maya Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch. Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, said it was “appallingly divisive to use anachronistic common law charges in a vengeful pursuit of political events which took place in 2014.” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang fired back at those criticisms, saying other countries would also have brought such a prosecution to “maintain order”. “The central government resolutely supports (Hong Kong) in punishing the main organisations and planners of the illegal Occupy Central movement in accordance with the law,” he told reporters. Hong Kong enjoys rights unseen on the Chinese mainland, which are protected by the 50-year handover agreement between Britain and China, but fears are growing that those liberties are being eroded as Beijing flexes its muscles. At the trial, prosecutors argued that the mass protests had caused a “common injury done to the public”, who had been affected by the blockage of major roads, and that the leaders of the movement deserved to be punished. In his verdict Judge Chan denied his ruling would impact the ability of Hong Kongers to protest. The Occupy movement highlighted widespread frustration, especially among the young, over Hong Kong’s direction but failed to win any reforms from Beijing.
New Delhi: A 52-year-old wife of a former IAF wing commander was found dead at her house in Dwarka, police said Saturday. The deceased has been identified as Neenu Jain, they said. According to a senior police officer, the father of the deceased called her Thursday night and asked about her health as she was not well. He wanted to visit her but she refused, he said. On Friday morning, he again called her but she did not pick up the phone. Thereafter, her father and brother came to see her but noticed that the gate of the house was locked from outside, police said. They entered the house from her neighbour’s side and saw Jain lying on floor unconscious, they said. They called police and rushed the woman to a nearby hospital where she was declared brought dead, police said, adding the call was received at around 9 am. A mobile phone, some cash and jewellery was found missing from the house, following which a case under sections 302 (murder) and 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered and investigation initiated, police said, adding the cause of the death is yet to be ascertained. Neenu’s husband is a retired Indian Air Force wing commander and currently working as a commercial pilot with IndiGo. The couple has a son and a daughter. While the son, who works in an MNC in Noida, visits his parents on weekends, the daughter is a doctor in Goa, police said.
Ohio State football coaches are currently working hard to recruit incoming freshmen to fill out the team’s roster for next season, but the Buckeyes got their most important commitment from a current member of the team on Saturday.OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby, a second-team Associated Press All-American this season, told The Columbus Dispatch on Saturday he will return to OSU next season rather than declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.The Buckeyes figure to be among the top contenders for next year’s BCS National Championship Game, and Roby’s return increases the likelihood of that possibility.Although banned from the postseason, OSU became one of the nation’s best teams in 2012, winning all 12 of its regular-season games. A big reason for the team’s success was Roby, who blossomed into one of the nation’s best cornerbacks under coach Urban Meyer and cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.On a consistent basis throughout the season, Roby matched up in one-on-one coverage against the opposing team’s best wide receiver – and shut his opponent down.Roby consistently showed his ball skills and playmaking ability too. With 19 passes defended in 11 games, Roby had a rate of 1.73 passes defended per game, the best rate in the nation according to cfbstats.com. He also scored three total touchdowns, one each on an interception return, fumble return and punt block return.The Buckeyes’ pass defense was very shaky at times during the 2012 season. They gave up 243.5 passing yards per game, ranking just 78th nationally in yards allowed, and gave up 32 passing plays of 20 yards or more according to cfbstats.com. Those shortcomings, however, were rarely a result of mistakes by Roby. When targeted during a game, Roby has proven to be far more likely to come up with a big play than the opposing receiver.The Buckeyes already had a number of key players from this year’s defense not returning next season. Second-team AP All-American defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins declared for the draft as a junior, while six senior starters graduated, including defensive end John Simon, who was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and linebackers Etienne Sabino and Zach Boren.None of those losses, however, will hurt the Buckeyes next season as much as losing Roby would have.Returning safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant, who will both be seniors next season, are physically-gifted playmakers but inconsistent in deep pass coverage. Roby was the Buckeyes’ only consistently strong performer in the secondary this season, and with fellow cornerback Travis Howard lost to graduation, the Buckeyes would have had to replace both of their starting cornerbacks.With Roby’s return, what could have been an area of major concern looks like a strength for the Buckeyes. He will lead a talented trio of returning starters in the secondary, while OSU has numerous talented young players to compete for the other starting cornerback spot.Sophomore Doran Grant showed promise as the team’s nickel cornerback this season and freshman Armani Reeves is a gifted young talent at the position too. Defensive backs Eli Apple and Cam Burrows, both rated as four-star recruits by Rivals.com and Scout.com, are enrolling early this semester as incoming freshmen.By making the decision to return to OSU, Roby surpassed the opportunity to be a first-round pick in this year’s draft. He was expected to be the third cornerback selected in the 2013 Draft, following Alabama’s Dee Milliner and Mississippi State’s Jonathan Banks. Even so, his decision to return could result in personal dividends.By coming back and making OSU’s national championship chances stronger, he puts himself in position to potentially leave Columbus with a championship ring, even if he declares for the 2014 Draft.In the process, Roby could go from being one of the top cornerbacks in college football to the best at his position.Assuming Milliner declares for the draft as a junior, both first-team AP All-American cornerbacks and all three Jim Thorpe Award finalists from this season will have moved on to the NFL, leaving the door wide open for Roby to be college football’s top defensive back.Roby will have plenty of competition to be the top cornerback drafted in 2014, including Florida sophomore Loucheiz Purifoy. But Roby made significant development in his play between his freshman and sophomore seasons, and could do so again as a junior.By returning to school, Roby takes the risk of having a disappointing season and having his draft stock fall as a result. That risk, however, comes with big potential rewards: the chance to be the best cornerback in the nation, and perhaps most lucrative of all, the chance to help lead the Buckeyes to their first national championship since 2002.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed that it is exciting to be a part of Liverpool right now and that he is loving it at AnfieldThe England international joined the club last summer from Arsenal and has thrived in his new role under Jurgen Klopp this season with Chamberlain having played a key part in Liverpool’s climb to third place in the Premier League and in reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.But, while enjoying his new role, Chamberlain revealed that it is the club supporters that have helped him live “the moments you dream of as a young lad”.“I love it. It’s not hard to go and enjoy it when you go out there and you hear the fans singing,” the 24 year-old told the club website.“Again today was amazing. It’s not hard to enjoy your football here, really. It helps when your form’s going well and when the results are going for us like they are at the moment.Report: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“We’re in a good spell at the moment, it’s really enjoyable, but we need to keep focused and I need to keep focused to keep performing at this level and improve to help the team move forward.“Even when we were doing our walk today before the game, the buzz around the city at the moment is amazing.“As a player, you can’t thank people enough for that, they are the moments you dream of as a young lad.“To play for a club like Liverpool that has support like this and to see the appreciation from the fans, it just makes me want to go on the pitch and every time we can keep making them happy.”
With Netflix touting more than a trillion possible permutations for its first grown-up stab at an interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, there’s a lot to unravel.Netflix has been making interactive choose-your-own-adventure videos for more than a year, but Bandersnatch is the first that isn’t a cartoon for kids. The interactivity is simple: A or B choices that branch the plot. But Bandersnatch gives the model a self-referential spin by building the story around a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Netflix press materials note the movie has “five main endings, with multiple variants of each.” Discussions on Black Mirror subreddit, Discord and social media have tried untangling the knot. The pathways can be so convoluted that Netflix has nudged viewers to find scenes that few have uncovered weeks after the movie’s premiere. In fact, Netflix said that of the five main endings, one in which Stefan follows his mother onto the train remains the most hidden, with the fewest number of viewers taking that path. The company has shared that 73 percent of viewers chose for Stefan to accept Tuckersoft’s job offer, and that British viewers were slightly less inclined to spill tea than viewers in the rest of the world. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings dropping important financial disclosures during the company’s earnings call. Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even broke into the company’s earnings discussion in January to disclose that 73 percent of Bandersnatch viewers chose Frosties over Sugar Puffs. After two relatively inconsequential interactions about cereal and music, the story starts to offer crucial choices that take you to different plot points or assign attributes to your account that determine what choices you may see in the future. These determine the possible passwords you can enter into the locked cabinet in Stefan’s dad’s office, and they influence the options for how to respond when Stefan calls out “Give me a sign!” when he’s grappling with the idea that somebody is controlling him.Whatever Netflix defines as an “ending” to add up to “five main endings” isn’t really clear, but here are some of the permutations and endings that viewers have mapped out:You choose for Stefan to work with Tuckersoft. Backed by a team, the game is a messy failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. After watching the game review on TV, Stefan yells out that he wants to try again and you loop back with the opportunity to reject Tuckersoft’s offer instead. Stefan jumps from Colin’s balcony, and the game is published after the “tragic accident” without getting a rating. You’re eventually forced to have Stefan discuss his mother’s death with Dr. Haynes. You take the pills that Dr. Haynes prescribes. The game is published but with Stefan’s madness under control, it’s a failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. But hey, nobody dies this time!When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose Netflix, the story takes a meta turn where you either end up with Stefan laughing maniacally as he’s dragged out of the building or Stefan facing a reality where he’s actually on a movie shoot, much to his confusion. When Stefan explores his father’s locked study, if he enters the passcode TOY on the file cabinet and then chooses to leave with his mother to board the train that derails and kills her, Stefan dies in the present day in his therapist’s office because of a timeline paradox. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose PAC, Stefan learns about a government conspiracy, kills his father and ends up in prison after calling Dr. Haynes’ office; the Bandersnatch game is released with a 2.5 star-rating. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you chose the little glyph that Bandersnatch novel author Jerome F. Davies painted all over his walls, then Stefan ends up in prison without Bandersnatch ever being released. Various choices determine whether Stefan ends up in prison after seeing (or sometimes killing) Colin, Tucker, or Colin’s girlfriend Kitty. If you choose to make Stefan chop up his dad’s body, Bandersnatch is released to acclaim with a five-out-of-five rating, but a present-day news report explains the game was pulled after Stefan was imprisoned for murder. A report describes how Colin’s daughter, the baby Pearl that viewers meet briefly during the trip to Colin’s apartment, is a game programmer who wants to revive Bandersnatch. She encounters a bug similar to the one Stefan does, and your choice about whether she destroys her computer or pours tea on it seems to loop you back to earlier points in the story. The interactive story seems to eventually force some choices. No matter how much I tried to avoid talking about Stefan’s mother with the therapist Dr. Haynes, eventually I had no choice but to hear Stefan hash out his mommy issues. And no matter how many times I just wanted to bury Stefan’s dad instead of (gag) chopping up his body, the story eventually just went to repeat loops until I agreed to dismemberment. (Of course, the grisliest choice led to the Bandersnatch game getting the highest possible critical rating…) Protagonist Stefan (left) interacts differently with his game programming hero, Colin (center), and Tuckersoft CEO Tucker (right) depending on the choices you make. Netflix But the way that movie’s interactivity is set up, it also seems that after you’ve followed the course of a few of the endings, it’ll keep prompting you to return to certain choice points that are crucial to unlocking parts of the story you haven’t seen yet. It also seems that you get different endings presented as the “official” end — with video vignettes interspersed into the end credits like other linear episodes often do — depending on where you arrive around the 90-minute mark. And there are sideways trips that the story can take depending on various factors. Sometimes when you choose to pick up the book before Stefan goes to sleep, he dreams that he breaks his bathroom mirror when he touches it. Other times, if you choose to pick up the book, he dreams that he can reach through the mirror to travel back in time. Netflix’s UK and Ireland Twitter account teased viewers on Jan. 8 by suggesting they have Stefan “try picking up the family photo, ~twice~.” That might not be a hard science as our particular playthrough required selecting the photo three times. This will trigger a scene where Stefan is working in his room and suddenly Jerome F. Davies appears before stabbing Stefan in the chest. Stefan will then wake up, the attack being an apparent dream, and the story will continue. Picking up the book to read can unlock different elements depending on previous answers. Netflix/Black Mirror You can also unlock different nightmares (or realities?) depending on the password you enter into the father’s locked file cabinet. TOY seems to be the only way to get to the ending where Stefan dies in his present-day therapist’s office because you choose for him to join his mother on the train in the past. PAC explains a government conspiracy that’s experimenting on and surveilling Stefan, while JFD and PAX give you some creepy jump scares. There’s also a post-credits scene where Stefan listens to his Walkman but instead of hearing music he hears digital noise. Discussion on Reddit says that decoding the sound results in a QR code that leads to a separate online Easter egg. Some viewers have speculated that some elements of the story are chosen at random, a little chaos purposely inserted to drive everyone crazy who attempts to flowchart all the different narrative branches. And there are additional Easter eggs sprinkled outside the video as well. A website for Tuckersoft, the gaming company in the movie, has a landing page that looks like something you’d load with an AOL dial-up connection. Its job recruitment page is styled like a 1980s magazine ad, with actor Asim Chaudhry’s Mohan Tucker pictured. And the Tuckersoft game that Colin is developing when he first meets Stefan — Nohzdyve, an early allusion to the trip off the balcony that Colin and/or Stefan can take later in some Bandersnatch plot branches — is available to play through an emulator. Mike Sorrentino contributed to this story. Editors’ note: This story was first published Dec. 28, 2018 and is updated as more Bandersnatch pathways are discovered. Share your voice 12 17 Photos Comments Aquaman director James Wan the latest celeb to take social media break Tags Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech. What we know about the Disney+ streaming service: It’s getting ready to rival Netflix. TV and Movies Digital Media Netflix
reading • Dark mode color scheme is coming to iPhones with iOS 13 At the end of 2018, there were 1.4 billion Apple devices actively used around the globe, the company said in late January during its quarterly earnings report. More than 900 million of them were iPhones.Meanwhile, Apple has more different operating systems than ever before. There’s iOS for iPhones and iPads, MacOS for its computers, tvOS for Apple TV and watchOS for the Apple Watch. Then there’s Apple Pay, iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store, iCloud, HomeKit and various other apps and services. It’s critical that Apple make a strong impression at WWDC with the next versions of its software. See also Apple’s annual developer convention kicked off Monday at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California (fittingly enough for fans of dark mode, the show’s opening video featured the song “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep” by Jack White). The confab is in its 30th year, and it’s the third year for Apple to hold its developer conference in San Jose. The city — the third biggest in California and 10th largest in the US — is about 50 miles south of San Francisco and only about 10 miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.WWDC is where Apple details its newest software and services that will arrive on devices later in the year. The company may be best known for its hardware, but the seamless integration of its hardware with its software is what sets Apple apart from rivals. Apple’s ability to control every aspect of its products — something that began when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company in 1976 — has been key in making it the most powerful company in tech. Now playing: Watch this: Apple iOS 13: New Siri voice, camera tools, Dark Mode for iPhone New Mac Pro makes its debut, starts at $5,999 Apple gives the iPad its own OS Returning to Apple’s WWDC after 20 years, now with 5 OSes instead of 1 Get all the latest from WWDC 46 Photos See All Dark mode for iOS 13: iPhone’s dark side never looked so good The long-rumored announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise. Just last week, leaked screenshots showing off Apple’s take on dark mode surfaced on 9to5Mac. It’s also worth noting that Google introduced a similar feature for Android Q users at its I/O developer conference last month. Dark Mode comes to Apple iOS Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad 2:45 As of February 24, 83% of Apple’s mobile devices on the market were running iOS 12, the company’s mobile software from late 2018. Another 12% used iOS 11, and 5 percent of devices ran an older version, according to the company’s developer dashboard. By comparison, only about 10% of Android devices ran Google’s latest software, dubbed Pie, as of May 7At the end of Apple’s WWDC presentation last year, the company gave a sneak peak of Project Marzipan, its effort to make it easy to take apps developed for iOS devices to Macs. Its MacOS update released in September included four of Apple’s own apps that originated on iOS — News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home.. CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this story. Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now Post a comment Share your voice Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? WWDC 2019 Apple Event Tags Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now 0 • Apple WWDC 2019 With iOS 13, native Apple apps and interfaces can ditch the white backgrounds in favor of black. James Martin/CNET WWDC, Apple’s annual developers conference, brought the usual slew of software announcements meant to power Apple’s hardware through the new year. Among them: An alternative dark mode color scheme for devices running iOS 13, the newest version of Apple’s operating system for iPhones. Enable it, and your phone will replace the light-colored interfaces in native Apple apps like Maps, Mail and Messages with a much darker design. 9 Photos Mobile Tech Industry Wellness WWDC 2019: A quick visual recap of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote
Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Limited (BDMCL) shares flared up on the BSE on Thursday, hitting an intraday high of Rs 54.40 before closing at Rs 53.85, a gain of 5.80 percent. In the past four trading sessions this year, the stock has appreciated about 13 percent.BDMCL is in the news for its revival plans that are expected to bring the loss-making company back in black in the next few years.As part of its efforts to exit non-core activities, the company sold land on December 31, 2016 for ~ Rs 185 crore in Maharashtra, including a flat in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area for Rs 9.4 crore. The other sale effected was “MIDC Land & Building and some specific utility machinery of Ranjangaon unit” for Rs 174.45 crore, the company said in regulatory filing on January 1, 2017.”What Bombay Dyeing aims to do now is to revive the loss making flagship textile business by investing in the brand, expanding store network, growing product portfolio and liaising with international designers. Manufacturing will be outsourced,” brokerage Dynamic Levels said in an update a few days ago.”From now till 2020, the Wadia group owned company plans to invest over Rs 100 crore in the brand, double its multibrand outlets to 10,000, more than double its franchise stores to 500 and commence three to four new products every year,” Dynamic Levels added.For the quarter ended September 2016, the company incurred standalone loss of Rs 71 crore on sales of Rs 430 crore. In 2015-16, the company posted loss of Rs 84 crore on total sales of Rs 1,804 crore. The company’s chairman is Nusli Wadia, who was in the news recently in the context of the ongoing corporate battle saga within the Tata Group.
Pope poses with Aung San Suu Kyi during a meeting at the presidential residence in Naypyidaw on 28 November 2017. Photo: ReutersPope Francis on Tuesday urged the leaders of majority-Buddhist Myanmar, mired in a crisis over the fate of Muslim Rohingya people, to commit themselves to justice, human rights and respect for “each ethnic group and its identity”.The pope avoided a diplomatic backlash by not using the highly charged term “Rohingya” in his addresses to officials, including leader Aung San Suu Kyi.However, his words were applicable to members of the beleaguered minority, who Myanmar does not recognise as citizens or as members of a distinct ethnic group.More than 620,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh – where the pope heads on Thursday – since the end of August, escaping from a military crackdown that Washington has said included “horrendous atrocities” aimed at “ethnic cleansing”.Francis made his comments in Naypyitaw, the country’s capital, where he was received by Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate and champion of democracy who has faced international criticism for expressing doubts about the reports of rights abuses against the Rohingya and failing to condemn the military.”The future of Myanmar must be peace, a peace based on respect for the dignity and rights of each member of society, respect for each ethnic group and its identity, respect for the rule of law, and respect for a democratic order that enables each individual and every group – none excluded – to offer its legitimate contribution to the common good,” he said.Myanmar rejects the term “Rohingya” and its use, with most people instead referring to the Muslim minority in Rakhine state as illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.The pope had used the word Rohingya in two appeals from the Vatican this year.But before the diplomatically risky trip, the pope’s own advisers recommended that he not use it in Myanmar, lest he set off a diplomatic incident that could turn the country’s military and government against minority Christians.Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, which has accused the army of “crimes against humanity”, had urged him to utter it.A hardline group of Buddhist monks warned on Monday – without elaborating – that there would be “a response” if he spoke openly about the Rohingya.RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES “A FORCE FOR UNITY”Richard Horsey, a former U.N. official and analyst based in Yangon, said the pope’s speech was “very cautiously worded” and “crafted to avoid antagonising local audiences”.”He has clearly taken the advice of his cardinals to avoid weighing in too heavily on the Rohingya crisis, but he certainly alludes to it with a message in his speech on some of the specific points that he makes,” Horsey said.Vatican sources say some in the Holy See believe the trip was decided too hastily after full diplomatic ties were established in May during a visit by Suu Kyi.The pope met privately with Suu Kyi at the presidential palace in this sparsely populated town that became the capital in 2006, and then they both made public addresses at a conference centre.Suu Kyi said in her speech that there had been an erosion of trust and understanding between communities of Rakhine state, but did not refer to the Rohingya.Francis, speaking in Italian, said that as it emerged from nearly 50 years of military rule, Myanmar needed to heal the wounds of the past.He called for a “just, reconciled and inclusive social order”, adding that “the arduous process of peacebuilding and national reconciliation can only advance through a commitment to justice and respect for human rights”.Myanmar’s army, whose leaders the pope met on Monday, has been battling various autonomy-seeking ethnic minority guerrillas for decades.The military has denied the accusations of murder, rape, torture and forced displacement of the Rohingya that have been made against it.The Rohingya exodus from Rakhine state began after Aug. 25, when Rohingya militants attacked security posts and the Myanmar army launched a counter-offensive.Referring to the country’s communal tensions, Francis said religious differences “need not be a source of division and distrust, but rather a force for unity, forgiveness, tolerance and wise nation-building”.He made the same point at an earlier meeting with leaders of the Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish and Christian faiths in Yangon, where he called for “unity in diversity”.Aye Lwin, a prominent Muslim leader who was at the interfaith meeting, told Reuters he had asked the pope to appeal to Myanmar’s political leaders “to rescue the religion that we cherish, which could be hijacked by a hidden agenda”.Only about 700,000 of Myanmar’s 51 million people are Roman Catholic. Thousands of them have travelled from far and wide to see him and more than 150,000 people have registered for a mass that Francis will say in Yangon on Wednesday.Francis is expected to meet a group of Rohingya refugees in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, on the second leg of his trip.
Submitted to the AFRO by Dr. Kaye Wise WhiteheadFor the past five months. I have spent my days driving around and visiting the Black Butterfly neighborhoods of Baltimore City. I visited the schools, the corner and liquor stores, and the churches. I rode the bus through the neighborhoods, listened in on some conversations, and talked to some of the residents. There were days when I was overwhelmed by the feelings of despair, the rows of boarded up houses, and the ever-growing piles of trash. There were days when I walked on some blocks and it felt like time had stood still. The streets looked abandoned. The houses looked old almost as if the world had moved on and had forgotten that they existed. On my third week of walking around, an elderly woman, who reminded me of my grandmother, wanted to know what I was doing and why I kept showing up. She wanted to know if I was cop or if I was lost. I fumbled around for an answer because how do you tell someone that you are walking through their neighborhood so that you could bear witness to their suffering. I tried to explain that I was the host of “Today With Dr. Kaye” and that I wrote for the AFRO and that I wanted to document what was happening in our city. I knew that I was rambling and that I probably sounded like an outsider or an interloper, but I wanted her to understand why I was there and why I had to document what I saw. I also wanted her to understand why I kept coming back. She looked at me, long and hard, and then, as she turned to walk away, she said, “Dr. Kaye, we’re invisible to them. They don’t see us. They don’t hear us. They don’t care about us. You tell them that we’re not invisible. Tell them that we matter.”I thought about Miss Janet and about what she said every time I walked through her neighborhood. I used to look for her because I wanted her to know that I heard her. I wanted her to know that I saw her. I wanted her to know that she was not invisible to me. I have written this letter to her a dozen times in my mind, trying so hard to put words down on paper, especially on the days when I read about the increasing neighborhood violence, or walked past another sidewalk vigil with candles and teddy bears and handwritten notes. I tried to write something on the day when I walked into one of the schools and saw the bars on the windows, the trash in the hallways, and our children, sitting in overcrowded classrooms trying to learn. I wanted to share her message with them, to let them know that they are not invisible and that their lives and their futures do matter. I wanted to do that to speak some truth into the void, to fill the pockets of pain with her words of hope.Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead (Courtesy Photo)I understand Black invisibility in a city where politicians argue about policies and theories while their most vulnerable residents suffer in silence. I understand Black suffering and the reality of life in the Black Butterfly versus life in the White L. I understand this the system is designed to keep certain communities impoverished, thriving on its suffering and breeding on its pain. I understand that when you live in the Black Butterfly, you are living in a conflict zone within a stressful environment that causes severe, prolonged trauma. I understand all this, intellectually, but emotionally, it makes no sense to me. I visited these neighborhoods, met some of the residents and listened to their stories, and there were days when the pain was so real to me that I experienced trauma. There were days when I got home, sat in a chair in my living room, and cried. Those were the days when it took me a few hours to decompress, breathing slowing and talking myself through my pain. I can only imagine what it must be like if you are unable to leave.What do you do when you realize that the most dangerous place that you can imagine is a place that some people call home? What do you tell people when you know that they cannot afford to move and they cannot imagine another way forward? When you listen to their stories of pain and sorrow, what can you say to offer some type of solace? How do you deal with the everyday reality that comes from knowing that there are people living in the Black Butterfly and dealing with Black invisibility and Black suffering? I believe that you send up an emergency flare; you put a note into a bottle and toss it into the water; you find a place and speak their pain into the wind; you disrupt life and yell out their truth with every breath that you have; and, you tell everyone you know, everyone you see, that they are not invisible and that they do matter. And when you are finished, you find the strength within yourself, to do it all over again.Karsonya Wise Whitehead is the #blackmommyactivist and an associate professor of communication and African and African American studies at Loyola University Maryland. She is the host of “Today With Dr. Kaye” on WEAA 88.9 FM and the author of the forthcoming “Dispatches from Baltimore: The Birth of the Black Mommy Activist.” She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and their two sons.The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.Send letters to The Afro-American • 1531 S. Edgewood St. Baltimore, MD 21227 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to email@example.com.