US Demand Revives Jewellery Units in India

first_imgA spurt in jewellery demand from America, the world’s largest consumer of luxury ornaments, has revived diamond processing and jewellery manufacturing units in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Processing Zones (EPZs). Related Itemslast_img

GST: Crisil says 6 months reqd for stability, benefits in 3yrs

first_imgMumbai, May 19 (PTI) Domestic ratings agency Crisil today said it will take six months for industrial stabilisation after GST is introduced but gains of the biggest indirect tax reform will take up to 3 years to materialise.”Industry stabilisation, under the new tax regime, will take a couple of quarters. However, the benefits of GST on business practises and company strategies will be seen only in the medium term of 1-3 years,” its research wing said.Of the two, the efficiency in goods will be higher than that in services, it said in a note.As against the present system where tax arbitrage plays an important role for manufacturers, a seamless tax treatment in the GST regime will eliminate the need of multiple warehouses across states.Companies will modify their supply chains based on the assessment of tax saving, inventory carrying cost and response time to meet market demand, it added.Commenting on the tax rates, it said for major sectors the e tax rates announced by GST council are mostly in line with the present effective tax incidences, while there is a marginal difference in consumer durables, construction material and FMCG.Tax saving will be relatively higher in automobiles sector, specifically sports utility vehicles (SUVs), as the tax incidence will reduce from current effective tax rate of over 50 per cent to 43 per cent (28 per cent GST plus 15 per cent cess), it said.Beyond the existing warehouse hubs located near urban centres, there will be an emergence of other warehousing hubs which will prove effective for pan India logistic players.advertisementThe all-powerful GST Council today finalised four tax rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent for services including telecom, insurance, hotels and restaurants under the biggest tax reform since the Independence.The rates are in line with those finalised for goods. With this, rates of all items except a handful including gold, have been decided ahead of the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from July 1. PTI AA NRBlast_img read more

Splash! Rosario, Alonso Power Mets to 6-3 Win Over Braves (Vid)

first_imgATLANTA — Pete Alonso has made a powerful splash during his first two weeks in the majors.The rookie rocketed his latest homer into a terrace fountain far beyond the center field fence, and the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Thursday night.Amed Rosario homered and drove in a career-high four runs, and Steven Matz pitched six effective innings to snap the longest streak of no-decisions in Mets history.Alonso lined a two-run shot in the seventh off reliever Jonny Venters, a 454-foot laser with a 118 mph exit velocity that splashed into the tank beyond straightaway center and wound up floating softly in the water.“Honestly, when you kind of get a ball like that, you just don’t even feel it,” Alonso said. “You get this weird sensation. I can’t really explain it. You don’t feel the ball off your bat. You just hear the sound, and it just goes.”Unmatched power. ? #Crushed— New York Mets (@Mets) April 12, 2019The only players with harder-hit home runs recorded by Statcast are Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Mike Trout.“I’ve got to do a couple more pushups,” Alonso cracked, drawing laughs.Alonso has 17 RBIs, a Mets record through 12 big league games. His 12 extra-base hits are the most by any major league player since 1900 in the first 12 games of a career.The big first baseman is batting .378 with six doubles and a 1.362 OPS. His sixth homer put New York up 6-2.With runners at second and third in the ninth, Edwin Diaz struck out Freddie Freeman with a 99 mph fastball for his fifth save.Rosario hit an early three-run drive and New York ended Atlanta’s three-game winning streak in the opener of a four-game series — the first meeting this season between the NL East rivals.New York Mets’ Amed Rosario (1) celebrities in the dugout after hitting a three-run home run during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Ronald Acuña Jr. went deep off New York reliever Luis Avilán in the eighth, his fifth homer sailing 462 feet over the left field wall and into the second level of stands.Matz (1-0) had gone eight straight starts without a decision, a streak that began last Sept. 1. He allowed two runs and four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts, crediting his changeup for much of the success.“It’s just been a huge pitch for me,” Matz said. “It wasn’t as sharp as I’d like in the first inning, but I just stayed with it and it came along.”Rosario’s homer gave the Mets a 3-1 lead in the second. New York had three other hits against starter Kevin Gausman — Juan Lagares’ single in the fifth, Wilson Ramos’ single in the sixth and Jeff McNeil’s single that advanced Ramos to third and chased Gausman.Wes Parsons gave up Rosario’s run-scoring single to make it 4-2.Gausman (1-1) allowed four runs, three walks and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings. He walked his first two batters in the second before facing Rosario.“That one pitch kind of got too much of the plate,” Gausman said. “Unfortunately, there were guys on base because I kind of had some struggles finding the zone early in the game. It turned into a three-run shot. I battled back after that, but Ramos did a really good job in that sixth of battling and fouling off some good pitches and getting my pitch count up, and I wasn’t able to get through that sixth.”Atlanta led 1-0 in the first on Acuña’s RBI triple. Johan Camargo’s first homer cut the lead to 3-2 in the second.Matz improved to 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA in eight career starts against the Braves. The left-hander has a 2.10 ERA in his last 10 starts dating to last season.TRAINER’S ROOMMets: Manager Mickey Callaway said 3B Todd Frazier, on the injured list with a left oblique strain, is close to returning. Frazier played five innings at third base and four at first in a rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie. He went 1 for 3 and is hitting .217 with no homers and four RBIs in six games, a span of 23 at-bats. Frazier played a few innings at shortstop on Tuesday.Braves: Manager Brian Snitker said RHP Mike Foltynewicz needs to make another rehab start to get his pitch count up to 90 before coming off the injured list. Foltynewicz, an All-Star last season, will make his third rehab appearance with Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. He is sidelined with a right elbow bone spur.EVENTFUL DAYA few hours before the first pitch, Ozzie Albies and the Braves agreed to a $35 million, seven-year contract, a deal that includes team options for 2026 and ’27. Albies struck out against Robert Gsellman with the bases loaded in the seventh and went 0 for 5. The second baseman made a dazzling play on defense in the fourth, leaping to snag Ramos’ liner.RED HOTAcuña homered in his third consecutive game and has multiple hits in three straight, too. He’s batting .636 with five runs and five RBIs during that stretch.EARLY EXITSnitker was ejected in the bottom of the eighth by plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing balls and strikes.UP NEXTMets: RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1) brings a 10.24 ERA into his third start after walking a career-high seven in his last outing. In 10 career starts against his hometown Braves, Wheeler is 5-3 with a 3.21 ERA.Braves: RHP Kyle Wright (0-1) improved in his last outing, a no-decision in which he allowed five hits and two runs in six innings against Miami. He will face the Mets for the second time in his career.By: George Henry, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Football team not cleared, says IOA chief Narinder Batra

first_imgThe Indian Olympic Association has slammed the All India Football Federation for circulating wrong news that the men’s team has been cleared for the Asian Games. A fortnight ago, the AIFF officials had met the IOA office bearers in the Capital. At that time they were told to come back with projections on how they envisaged the team performing in Indonesia this August.”I am surprised to read reports in media that the football team has been cleared. No team has been cleared as of date and I wish the AIFF would tell us how the team can finish in the top eight. Only then can we think of clearing the team,” Narinder Batra, president, Indian Olympic Association today, told MAIL TODAY on Wednesday.From Thursday, the IOA will be dis-cussing prospects of various teams before the final clearance for the Asian Games. The deadline has been set for June 30, by which time, all national sports federations need to satisfy the IOA how their respective teams can perform in the Asiad. On Sunday, it was national football coach Stephen Constantine who had spoken to the media and said the team had been cleared. For its part, the AIFF, which met in the Capital on Wednesday to discuss the I-league, made no mention of the Asian Games. Batra also spoke about the mess created by the Equestrian Federation of India.”I was surprised to see a letter from the EFI they are going to hold a selection committee meeting again. They had informed us in written a fort-night ago no team was being sent as qualifying standards had not been met. They certainly have to provide us details on qualifying norms in the event of sending us team nominations again,” said Batra.advertisementOn Tuesday, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta had sent a stinker to the EFI, mentioning how they had dealt with the Asian Games selection in a very callous manner. The EFI officials have been running helter-skelter, not knowing how to deal with the selection mess. The bigger worry is how to reply to the IOA on its own constitution, elections and related issues. Batra also made it clear he will not tolerate national sports federations which are run in a haphazard manner. “We have taken up the EFI and will look at other errant sports federations. People need to realise the IOA is no longer in sleep mode,” he said.last_img read more

Diet in India is a lot about tasty food, overseas focus is only on nutrition: Neeraj Chopra

first_imgFrom a chubby kid to one of the fittest athletes in India and one of the best javelin throwers in the world, Neeraj Chopra has travelled a long journey. When he made his foray into sports, it was only to lose weight but little did he know it would change his life. He is just 20 but Neeraj is already an Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a genuine medal hope for India at the Olympics.And it all started with a gym, javelin and a diet.Diet, Neeraj said, is something that is a huge focus point abroad. Perhaps, he has imbibed it after several exposure tours and tournaments outside India.In India, he revealed, people do focus on a good diet but it has to come with a bit of taste.”Diet is something they focus on a lot abroad. Here in India, there are good diets you can follow but it is about taste as well. Overseas, the food may not be very tasty but that diet is really good for the athletes,” Neeraj told is a well-built athlete and maintains a standard diet but he shared that they make sure to let go of oil and sweets when competitions are closer.”Due to our weight categories, our diet usually is continuous but say during competitions and all, we reduce the intake of oil and sweets,” Neeraj conceded.Neeraj called for improved facilities in India for the athletes to do better. He had a special request — build indoor stadiums so that their training session do not get disrupted by weather.advertisementOffseason training killing it Chopra (@Neeraj_chopra1) December 1, 2018″Outside the weather and environment is better too, our population is high and there are things that pull us back.. In other countries, there’s not much problem with that. Things are improving here though. Like I said, outside there are indoor stadiums that is why they are somewhere ahead of us. Athletes here are very hard working and if the facilities improve, the performance will improve as well.”Neeraj also had a thing or two to say about the increasingly dangerous pollution levels in India and especially, Delhi. He said that as human beings, our bodies get used to whatever the weather is but was quick to point out that such air harms the insides and it will have a long-term effect on people.”Pollution is a problem but with human beings it’s like you get used to it. For example, if here [Patiala] also some problem arises, in a month or so, we’ll get used to it. But of course, there is some part of us inside that is harmed and so this is something that needs to be look at here.”Also Read | Exclusive: Neeraj Chopra says Diamond League was his biggest experience in 2018Also Read | Neeraj Chopra wins India’s first javelin gold medal in Asian Games historyAlso Read | Neeraj Chopra’s personal best could have won him an Olympic gold in 2012Also Watch | Exclusive: Hima Das keen to inspire Gen Nextlast_img read more


first_imgFinancial analysts say Iowa is taking in less-than-expected revenue and must address a new shortfall of about $131 million for its current budget.The three-member Revenue Estimating Conference announced Tuesday that Iowa was expected to take in about $7.1 billion for the current budget year, which ends June 30th.It’s the third time the revenue forecast has been cut since last fall.Iowa Department of Management Director David Roederer says the situation is not dour, as the state is still projected to collect four percent more in taxes this year compared to last:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………still about 4 percent. ;10Roederer says the state should offset the deficit by tapping its cash reserves rather than make additional cuts.Iowa lawmakers have already cut more than $117 million from the current budget to address an earlier shortfall.The analysts didn’t point to one reason behind the revenue decline, but panel member David Underwood says he is surprised there’s not more income growth shown on the 2016 personal income tax returns filed in Iowa so far:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..a lot of sense. ;11One possibility is an increase in online purchases where Iowa customers can avoid paying state sales tax.Radio Iowalast_img read more

Barcelona secure young star Alena

first_imgTransfers Barcelona secure young star Alena Dom Farrell Last updated 2 years ago 04:13 7/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) CarlesAlena - cropped Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Primera División The 19-year-old is tipped as the next big thing off La Masia’s production line and he has now pledged his future to the Catalans Barcelona youngster Carles Alena has signed a previously agreed contract extension with the La Liga giants.The 19-year-old midfielder penned renewed terms for three years at Camp Nou, with Barca retaining the option to extend by a further two years if Alena becomes a regular first-team fixture.Barcelona 2/11 to beat Espanyol Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Alena scored on his senior debut against Hercules in the Copa del Rey last season and went on to make three substitute appearances in LaLiga.A product of La Masia, having joined Barca’s famed academy aged seven, Alena is viewed as one of the club’s brightest prospects.The buyout clause in his new contract is set at €75million.@Carlesale10A life at Barca#ForçaBarça #BeBarça— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 6, 2017Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu tweeted: “The deal between @CarlesAle10 and FC Barcelona has been signed.”Dedication and talent from the youth ranks. Congratulations!”last_img read more

England and Australia to start World Test Championship with 2019 Ashes

first_imgEngland and Australia have agreed to make next year’s Ashes the first series that will count towards the new nine-team World Test Championship.A league structure for Test cricket from 2019 was signed off by the International Cricket Council board at a meeting in Kolkata last week and it has now been confirmed that the format’s longest standing rivalry will see in the new era. Share via Email Australia eye pink-ball Test against India at Adelaide Oval It means both the Ashes and points will be at stake when England and holders Australia meet at Edgbaston, Headingley, Lord’s, Old Trafford and the Oval in what is already a bumper summer given the World Cup that comes before.Under the new Test championship rules, each of the nine teams must play three series at home and three away over a two-year period – it will not, therefore, be all plays all – with points allocated to a league table and the top two then playing a final.The first of these showpiece finals is scheduled to be played in June 2021 and Lord’s is currently the favourite to host, given its prestige in the eyes of all touring nations and London’s diverse population.The ICC is yet to announce the full details as the points system is still being devised. The governing body’s general manager, Geoff Allardice, and his department are working through various mathematical models.One idea being explored is the allocation of 100 points to each series – which must be between two and five Tests – with the winners taking 60 and the remaining 40 allocated based on the results of each match; so-called dead-rubbers will therefore have a fresh incentive. Share on Pinterest Topics The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Australia sport Australia cricket team Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Cricket Share on Messenger Since you’re here… England cricket team Support The Guardian news The Ashes Share on LinkedIn Read more Ashes 2015 Another consideration is the final. The ICC must decide how best to create a marquee finish and what occurs in the event of a draw, with a concern being that the top-ranked side may not play to win if a stalemate is enough for glory. A six-day Test match was used to ensure a result in the Super Test between Australia and an ICC World XI in Sydney in 2005 – the hosts, at it happens, won in three and a half days – and could be one possibility.Zimbabwe and the two sides most recently granted Test status – Ireland and Afghanistan – will not be included in the competition at this stage. … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Reuse this content Share on WhatsApplast_img read more

Elegant Ozil is a huge talent – Gundogan

first_imgMesut Ozil may be enduring a tough time at Arsenal, but Manchester City rival Ilkay Gundogan considers his fellow German to be “elegant” and a “huge talent” who is misunderstood by many.Questions continue to be asked of a World Cup winner at Emirates Stadium amid a testing campaign which has seen him fall out of favour under Unai Emery.It has been suggested that his days may be numbered in north London, with a summer transfer being mooted after seeing the January window slam shut. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Gundogan, who is a former international colleague of Ozil, is baffled by the criticism being aimed at a fellow countryman, with it his opinion that a player proven at the very highest level remains among the best in the world.The City star told Sport360 when asked about Ozil’s current situation and how he compares to Kevin De Bruyne: “Both are game changers. Kevin is a little bit more aggressive in his style and, at Mesut’s best, both are on a similar level.“I think people always criticise Mesut because they think his attitude on the pitch is not a good one, that he doesn’t care that much.“But I think people just struggle to accept that you can have the more emotional kind of players, the more aggressive ones and you have players like him, you know, that need maybe this calmness for their game.“It looks a bit more elegant and slow, but believe me it’s so difficult to defend against these kind of players. They make everything look so easy and I think sometimes you forget to appreciate these kind of things.“Obviously we always watch games and, even me, we always think we know better. But on the pitch it’s always a different story.“A player like him, with his huge talent, I don’t think it just surprises just me, but a lot of people, that he doesn’t play regularly.”Mesut Ozil Ilkay Gundogan Germany 2018Gundogan added: “Of course I have sympathy for him. Also, because I know the more regularly you play, the easier it is because you have the rhythm and just keep going and you don’t think about certain things too much.“My experience from the last couple of years at City is that you get your game time and then the next few games there’s always someone coming in with similar quality, ridiculous quality, and our manager in these kind of cases has a very tough job.“He always has to choose who to pick and try to divide game time throughout the whole squad. That’s a very tough thing to do. In a team like Manchester City, Arsenal, and other big clubs, it’s quite difficult just to have the same 11 players starting every week“From my own experience, the more you play, back-to-back games, the better you feel, with more self confidence and rhythm.”Gundogan may get the chance to line up against Ozil on Sunday if he is recalled to the Arsenal side for a heavyweight Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium.That contest is set to take place with talks ongoing regarding an extension to the contract of a key playmaker in City’s ranks.Quizzed on his future, a man already tied to terms through to 2020 said: “I’m happy where I am right now. I enjoy my football, I don’t think in a sporting way there is any other place to be right now.“But I still have 18 months to go. I’m 28 now, not the youngest anymore, but I don’t think there is any pressure, not for the club, not for me to rush it.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

NSBI Invests in Intelivote Systems Inc

first_img FOR BROADCASE USE: The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is supporting Intelivote Systems of Dartmouth with a venture capital investment of 800-thousand-dollars. Having secured most municipal elections in Nova Scotia, Intelivote is aiming for new contracts in growing national and international markets. -30- Intelivote Systems of Dartmouth is positioning itself to remain a leader in the market, stay competitive, and attract new contract opportunities, thanks to a significant investment by the province. The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is supporting its growth with a venture capital investment of $800,000. “Supporting a world-leading company like Intelivote will help it to position itself to reach larger markets,” Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris said today, July 6. “Intelivote’s unique technology and its ability to seek global opportunities are in line with the jobsHere plan to help grow the economy.” Having secured most municipal elections in Nova Scotia, Intelivote Systems Inc. is aiming for national and international markets. “The interest and demand for electronic voting services is significant, particularly from Ontario and British Columbia municipalities who will hold their next municipal elections in 2014,” said Dean Smith, president and founder of Intelivote Systems Inc. “This investment from NSBI Venture Capital will help us add new features for our clients, and pursue new contracts in bigger markets.” Of the about 730,000 eligible voters in Nova Scotia, more than 490,000 will be able to vote using telephone, wireless devices or the Internet during the election period. “The primary benefit is that electronic voting increases the accessibility and convenience of voting,” said Mark Phillips, chief administrative officer of the town of Kentville. “We hope it will increase the voter count through all demographics.” Intelivote’s unique features and integrated Internet and telephone voting sets them apart as a world leader in electronic voting technology. “The company has already done the hard work of setting themselves apart as a world leader in its field,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. “We’re looking to capitalize on the economic opportunity for the province by growing this business.” Intelivote is an electronic voting technology provider in Dartmouth. The company is globally recognized as a leader in electronic voting technology. For more information, visit . Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s private-sector-led business development agency. Through trade development, investment attraction, business financing and venture capital, NSBI helps local companies and attracts international businesses to Nova Scotia.last_img read more

As growth slows developing countries face uncertainties over debt UN conference told

“As the frequency and severity of such debt crises have increased, and they are no longer isolated to developing countries, the need for timely, impartial and transparent resolutions of debt problems has become more acute for all countries,” the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mukhisa Kituyi, told participants in Geneva.This will require reforms to the international financial architecture that create more effective mechanisms for the prevention of crises as well as their timely resolution, he added.Mr. Kituyi called for the UNCTAD-formulated set of Principles on Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing should be increasingly applied, and called for international reforms leading to an “agreed mechanism for debt workouts” to be used if a new round of debt crises occurs.The three-day Debt Management Conference – organized every two years by UNCTAD – focuses on debt sustainability, mechanisms for preventing crises, and management strategies.The event brings together representatives of Governments, international organizations, academia, the private sector, and civil society, according to its website. This year’s meeting comes as the trend of debt to GDP has reversed for the first time since 2000 to 22 per cent, up from 21 per cent in 2011.Continued stagnation in advanced economies recently caused a “sharp contraction of export growth” in developing and transition countries, Mr. Kituyi said, noting also the impact of high levels of unemployment and a corresponding need for social services increased Government expenses. Additionally, capital flows to poor countries had become more volatile as the picture for long-term interest rates in the advanced economies shifted, over speculation on when government stimulus measures there would be “tapered off.”While “no reason for alarm”, Mr. Kituyi said, the new challenges are a cause for vigilance. read more

The Most Disciplined MLB Batters

In the course of researching an article about Albert Pujols, I looked at measuring a hitter’s “decision-making” skills at the plate. Some great work on the topic was done years ago by the great Russell “Pizza Cutter” Carleton (who now writes at Baseball Prospectus), and I’m not adding to the research except by updating it. (The Hardball Times’ Derek Carty also wrote on this topic many years ago.)Basically, Russell’s idea was to apply signal-detection theory to baseball by measuring a hitter’s ability to discern balls and strikes compared to pitch-tracking systems such as PITCHf/x. If the PITCHf/x strike zone says a pitch was a ball, but the player swung at it, that’s akin to a “false positive” — the player thought the pitch was in the strike zone when it wasn’t. If PITCHf/x says a ball was in the zone, but the batter didn’t swing, that’s a “false negative” — a hittable ball disregarded by the player. (Of course, swinging at a ball in the zone, or taking a pitch outside the zone, would be coded as correct decisions by the batter.)This is all theoretical and a gross oversimplification of baseball in general. For instance, sometimes players have a good reason to lay off a pitch in the zone, and, conversely, sometimes they have to expand their strike zone because of the situation. Even so, it’s a fun application of the “Plate Discipline” section of stats at FanGraphs, which lists the percentages of pitches that were in the strike zone for each player, as well as the proportion of pitches swung at inside and outside the strike zone (as determined by Baseball Info Solutions‘ pitch-charting data, which goes back to 2002).The best decision-making season in the data set belongs to Moises Alou in 2002. Alou faced 1,785 pitches, 54.5 percent of which were in the strike zone. Of those pitches in the zone, he swung at 80.1 percent, while he let all but 14.8 percent of balls outside the zone go by without a swing. As a percentage of his total pitches faced, then, Alou made the “correct” decision 82.4 percent of the time — the tops of any season in the FanGraphs data.(I, too, was surprised that Vladimir Guerrero would should up as a positive example of plate discipline.)Meanwhile, the worst decision-making season happened last year; A.J. Pierzynski spent the season swinging. Pierzynski correctly swung at 76.7 percent of pitches inside the zone (the Major League Baseball average was 65.5 percent), but he was undone by his hacking of 49.6 percent of balls outside the strike zone — about 1.6 times the rate of the average hitter. That gave him a “good decision” rate of just 61.1 percent. (For what it’s worth, no qualified season in the FanGraphs data saw a hitter swing more at pitches outside the zone than inside.)Among active players, the best decision-maker by this metric (since 2012) is Dexter Fowler of the Houston Astros. Over the past three seasons, Fowler has made the correct decision 74.2 percent of the time, swinging at 71.9 percent of balls in the strike zone and laying off 75.9 percent of pitches outside the zone.And the worst? Martin Prado of the Arizona Diamondbacks made the correct call on only 62 percent of the pitches he faced. But unlike Pierzynski, who had the worst decision-making season of anyone since 2002 because he hacked too much at pitches outside the zone, Prado comes in last among active players because he wasn’t aggressive enough on pitches inside the zone. The average MLB player offers at about 66 percent of pitches inside the strike zone, but Prado has only swung at 50.8 percent of balls in the zone over the past three seasons. Prado does a good job at avoiding swings on balls outside the zone, but he can’t seem to tell when a hittable ball is coming in over the plate, often committing what statisticians would call false negatives, or Type II errors.Again, this metric is by no means a perfect gauge of plate discipline. There are many situations in which it would be a suboptimal strategy to strictly follow the “good” or “bad” decision algorithm measured by the charts above. But it’s illuminating to begin to measure which players appear to have the best and worst conceptions of the strike zone as determined by an objective standard. read more

The NBAs Age Limit Is Broken

Could the NBA’s age limit be on its way out? In October, during an appearance on ESPN’s Mike & Mike, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that “it’s clear a change will come.” Silver indicated that he was open to working with the players’ union to potentially eliminate or at the least revise the age restriction. It was a reversal for Silver, who, as recently as 2014, made raising the league’s age minimum from 19 to 20 years old his top priority.The commissioner cited three reasons for his change of tune: recent NCAA scandals; that the two most recent No. 1 overall picks came from programs that didn’t make the the NCAA tournament;1Markelle Fultz at the University of Washington and Ben Simmons at Louisiana State University. and an increase in one-and-done college players declaring for the draft.Silver’s comments suggest that the league is ready to acknowledge that the age restriction is broken. In fact, the recent draft cycles indicate the draft is trending in the opposite direction of the age policy’s intended effect: Prospects are getting younger, not older.In 1995, Kevin Garnett was the fourth player ever drafted straight out of high school. His selection that year led the way for the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and other high school phenoms to make the leap. But since 2006, players have had to be at least 19 years old, or one year removed from high school for international players, in order to be eligible for the draft.Initially, the age limit worked like anyone would have expected. The players who were taken in the 2006 draft were, on average, older and more experienced than the year before. In the first year under the age restriction, only two one-and-done players were drafted.Fast forward to 2015, when a record-breaking 13 freshmen were taken in the draft. The next year, that number increased to 14, and in the most recent draft, 18 one-and-done players were selected. That upswing in the number of freshmen in the draft has led to an overall decrease in the average age of draftees.Twenty players under the age of 20 were drafted this summer. In fact, more teenagers were drafted this year than in 2005, when 17- and 18-year-olds were eligible. Not many could have predicted that when the age limit was introduced.Below is a distribution of the ages of each player drafted each year since 1995. The past two draft classes were among the three youngest on average since the prep-to-pro era. In 2017, the youngest players were selected early and often. Nine of the top 10 picks were one-and-done players,2Frank Ntilikina, a 19-year-old international player, was the lone exception. and eight of the top 10 were under 20 years old. Meanwhile, the last picks of the draft were used on some of the oldest, most experienced college players. The only seniors drafted in the first round this year, Derrick White and Josh Hart, were taken with the last two picks by the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz.This makes sense from a talent development perspective. Why draft a 22-year-old prospect when you can take a 19-year-old and spend those three additional years on developing him? The counterargument is that upperclassmen may be more NBA-ready their first year in the league. Malcolm Brogdon, last year’s 36th overall pick at 23 years old, was a fifth-year senior at the University of Virginia and later became the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year for the Milwaukee Bucks.With so much demand for the youngest players in the draft, you’d think organizations would be the most vocal supporter of eliminating the age restriction. But when GMs were polled this month about which NBA rule they believed needed to be changed the most, the age minimum received fewer votes than revisions to playoff seeding, the draft lottery/odds system, the timing of the draft combine and the advance-the-ball rule.The NBA itself is also partially to blame for the increase in one-and-done players. That’s because the incentives to leave school early are becoming harder to resist.Under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, rookies are offered a base salary that’s scaled according to when they’re taken in the draft3Rookies can sign to a team for as little as 80 percent and as much as 120 percent of that base salary. and is far below their true market value. That base that has increased sharply in recent years, with this year’s No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz at a base of $5,855,200, 36.6 percent more than the base salary five years ago for Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick from 2012, and 56.1 percent more than the base 10 years ago for Andrea Bargnani, the No. 1 overall pick from 2006.But higher base salaries aren’t the only motivation for young players to enter the draft as early as possible: It also starts the clock on the rookie scale. Talented young players on a rookie contract are the most underpaid group in the league, and they remain that way for the duration of their deal. For a first-round pick, that means four seasons, with a massive bump in pay in their fifth season. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s salary leaped from a little under $3 million in 2016-17 to more than $22 million this season. The sooner a player enters the league, the sooner he has access to that second contract.In the end, it’s difficult to say what brought the influx of one-and-done players because of the inherent chicken-and-egg nature of the question. Did the demand for young talent drive up the supply? Or did the supply of young players increase because the incentive to leave college early became irresistible?Regardless, barring opposition from the players’ union, which has supported dropping the age minimum to 18, we’re likely to see a change that will send shockwaves through the NCAA, future drafts and the league as whole. Who or what is responsible for the sudden change?For starters, we can look at NBA organizations, which are increasingly valuing youth. In recent years, the difference in the age between the earliest and the last draft picks has increased. read more

Back to school costs fall in 2014 but are still crippling too

first_imgCLOTHING, FOOTWEAR AND school book expenses continue to put pressure on family finances as a new school year approaches, according to the latest education costs survey by Barnardos.Over 2,000 parents responded to this year’s survey – the ninth annual review of school costs carried out by Barnardos.While some of the price categories surveyed by the children’s charity stayed level with 2013 expenses, each category was less expensive than last year – though all were hundreds of euros higher than the back to school allowance. (You can read an interactive version of the survey results here.)On average, this year’s survey said the per-child expenses for three different age groups are:Senior infants: €345 (down €5)4th class: €380 (down €20)1st year: €735 (down €50)Footwear increased €10 to €55 on average for senior infants while remaining at €60 for 4th class kids and 1st year students.The average clothing costs for senior infants showed the highest rise since last year – up from €95 to €110, while the average for 4th class pupils stayed level at €120 per child. Clothing costs for students heading into their first year of secondary school fell from €275 to €200 on average.The voluntary contribution fell €25 to €75 for senior infants, rose €25 to €75 for 4th class, and stayed level at €125 for 1st years.Books varied significantly in cost even among students in the same categories, with some parents paying €85 for 4th class texts, and others paying over €140 for the same curriculum. While 68% of parents with children in primary school had access to a book rental scheme, just one-fifth of parents with secondary school kids could access one.Extra expenses such as school bags, trainers and expenditure surrounding extra-curricular activities were not included in the survey.‘Crippling’ cost of ‘free’ educationBarnardos chief Fergus Finlay says the costs of sending children back to school “is crippling too many families”:We are told we have a ‘free’ education system, but as our annual survey shows, this is far from the case.We are pleased to see ‘parent pressure’ is having an effect, with indications school uniform costs are levelling off and the voluntary code for publishers (to minimise reprinting) is being adhered to. This coupled with the introduction of more school book rental schemes in primary schools is encouraging. But it is nowhere near enough.Finlay said it is time for the government to show “real leadership” on cheaper uniforms and school book rental schemes.“As one of the parents said, ‘The great equalizer in any society is education. A poor child has the right to the same education as a child from a wealthy family’,” Finlay added.“Only the government has the power to ensure that every single child in Ireland can access a complete education irrespective of their parents’ ability to pay.”Comments made by parents to the children’s charity about the costs they are facing in sending their children back to school in September included:I am struggling to ensure my son has what he needs to return to school even if that means having to skip a dinner or count how many slices of bread we have before I can make a sandwich for what? So my son can sit in a class of 33 kids and maybe get five minutes’ attention a week. I cannot afford to pay for all the school necessities in September and through the school year since the Child Benefit payments have been reduced and cost of living is increasing constantly. I am stressed, struggling and ill from worry because of family finances.Barnardos is calling on the government to raise the applicable rate for the back to school allowance and to remove the 23% VAT applicable to e-textbooks. It also wants to see the government quickly finalise and implement the Department of Education’s digital strategy concerning the use of technology in the classroom, including low-cost devices.Read: Hundreds of teachers won’t be trained for the new English curriculum by September >last_img read more

NASA Starts Testing Habitat Designs for Its Lunar Gateway Space Station

first_img NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor NASA’s Lunar Gateway space station is a cool concept, yet no one knows what the massive structure will look like when it’s built. However, NASA is taking the next step in the Gateway’s design process: It announced five new deep space habitat prototypes that it will test on the ground over the next few months.The mock designs, which were constructed by five U.S. companies, show different perspectives on how astronauts will live and work at the Gateway, the first spaceship that’s designed to stay in orbit around the Moon, said a NASA press release. These habitat prototypes won’t actually serve as designs to use at the moon, but NASA will test them to learn more about the design standards, common interfaces, and requirements for a future U.S. Gateway habitat module, noted.“These tests were formulated so that we can do a side-by-side comparison of very different and innovative concepts from U.S. industry,” Marshall Smith, who leads human lunar exploration programs at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in the press release. “While we won’t dictate a specific design when we procure the U.S. habitat, we will enter the procurement phase with far less risk because of the knowledge we gain from these tests.”In 2015, NASA’s NextSTEP Habitation effort started with four companies that completed 12-month concept studies. Those studies helped the project move to prototype development from 2016 to 2018, with five companies submitting concepts to NASA. Their prototypes are shown below, along with a concept study outline from NanoRocks, a sixth company. Each company’s prototype also includes basic necessities for astronauts, such as environmental control and life support systems, sleeping quarters, and more.Lockheed Martin – Testing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FloridaLockheed Martin’s Gateway habitat design. (Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin/NASA)Based on a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), the Lockheed Martin prototype design leverages capabilities of Lockheed’s robotic planetary spacecraft and the Orion capsule, which will transport astronauts to and from the Gateway station. The prototype combines hardware prototyping and software simulation during the test, and focuses on how logistics could help benefit astronauts in space.Northrop Grumman – Testing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, TexasNorthrop Grumman’s Gateway habitat design. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman/NASA)Delivering supplies to astronauts is critical, and Northrop Grumman’s Gateway habitat design leverages the company’s Cygnus spacecraft, which took its maiden flight six years ago. This mock habitat highlights a comfortable and suitable living environment for cosmonauts.Boeing – Testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AlabamaBoeing’s Gateway habitat design. (Photo Credit: Boeing/NASA)Boeing’s Exploration Habitat Demonstrator leverages space station heritage hardware. It emphasizes heritage design elements, and prioritizes interior volume and isolated areas that provide the capability to use different atmospheres for payloads.Sierra Nevada Corporation – Testing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, TexasSierra Nevada Corporation’s Gateway habitat design prototype. (Photo Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation/NASA)Inflatables (also known as expandables) have a final configuration that’s capable of providing astronauts with a larger living space. Sierra Nevada’s Large Inflatable Fabric Environment (LIFE) mock habitat is designed to launch a “deflated” configuration that will inflate once it’s in space. The cool part? Cosmonauts will have three floors of living areas.Bigelow Aerospace – Testing at Bigelow Aerospace, North Las Vegas, NevadaBigelow Aerospace’s Gateway habitat design prototype. (Photo Credit: Bigelow Aerospace/NASA)Larger living spaces are also key for Bigelow Aerospace’s B330 prototype, an expandable module that gets larger in space and provides soft-goods resilience to the solar system’s tough environment. The company sent the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to the International Space Station four years ago, where it eventually became a storage unit after it was expanded at the ISS.NanoRacks – Concept StudyNanoRack’s habitat concept for the Lunar Gateway space station. (Photo Credit: NanoRocks/NASA)Maximizing habitable volume for astronauts is key with NanoRocks’ Gateway habitat concept. The company aims to refurbish and repurpose a spent rocket propellant tank, which would be used as a high tech “deep space habitat” for cosmonauts.More on Reveals Top Three Designs for Space-Friendly Homes on MarsNew NASA Robots Will Be ‘Busy As a Bee’ Aboard ISSNASA’s Curiosity Rover Captures Two Solar Eclipses on Mars Stay on targetlast_img read more

ECOWAS fact finding delegation meet stakeholders in election

first_imgBy Kebba JeffangThe five men team from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by the chairperson, who arrived in Banjul on Tuesday, December 13 2016, held discussions with the outgoing president Yahya Jammeh and the incoming president Adama Barrow and his team at a hotel in Bijilo.The team comprised Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia who doubles as the chair of ECOWAS, Mr. Muhammadou Buhari, the president of Nigeria, Mr. John Mahama, the outgoing president of Ghana and Mr. Earnest Koroma, the president of Sierra Leone.The delegation held separate talks with the out-going president, the president-elect, IEC chairman and heads of security apparatus.Speaking to journalists, Halifa Sallah, the spokesperson for the elected coalition government said they still maintain that Adama Barrow is the president-elect of the Gambia and he will assume office after the expiration of the term of the outgoing president Yahya Jammeh. According to Sallah, there will be constitutional crisis if Jammeh refuses to step down at the end of his tenure in January on the 19 and there is likely to be conflict in the country. He said they have indicated this to the delegation formed by ECOWAS, AU and the UN who have been following the situation in the country as a fact-finding mission to know what all the sides are saying and help the Gambia not to move into crisis.“We have cleared it to them that there is a relative peace in the Gambia today because of our adherence to the Constitutional provision that even though president-elect Barrow is the incoming president we are also conscious of the fact that there is transition in our Constitution that makes President Jammeh to stay in office until the expiration of his term,” said Sallah.Mr Sallah could not share with the media what Jammeh’s stance is as he said they are concerned to share their own position.Also speaking briefly, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the chairperson of ECOWAS said they have met with all the stakeholders including the outgoing president, the incoming president and his team, the IEC and the security chiefs. She said they got assurances from all stakeholders that peace will be maintained in the country throughout the transition period. She could not speak further as they will report to the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja regarding the findings. She concluded: “We came to help The Gambia find its way to a transition and that’s something that can’t happen in one day.”However, attempts to talk to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Ousman Badjie, could not materialize as according to him, he does not have the permit from his commander in chief to talk to the media.last_img read more

Police search for carjacking suspect in Mission Valley

first_img KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A man robbed two women, then took off in their friend’s car in Mission Valley, police said Sunday, and officers were still searching for both the suspect and the car.A 22-year-old woman, a 31-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were talking in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant on Rio San Diego Drive near Camino Del Este at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday when a man approached the trio with a small black pistol, according to San Diego Police Sgt. Michael Tansey.The suspect took the two women’s purses, then got in the male victim’s car and drove away, Tansey said.The stolen car was a 2010 Chrysler 300 sedan with a California license plate number of 6KVX405.Police described the suspect as a black man in his early 20s, about 5- feet-9-inches tall with a thin build. He had short dreadlocks and was wearing a light-colored hoodie and blue jeans, Tansey said. May 27, 2018 Posted: May 27, 2018 Police search for carjacking suspect in Mission Valley KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

School workers set noconfidence vote on superintendent

first_imgVancouver public school employees distributed ballots to members Tuesday, setting the stage for a “no confidence” vote in Superintendent Steve Webb.About 140 members of the Vancouver Association of Education Support Professionals (VAESP), mired in a contract dispute with the district, approved the proposal to conduct a building-by-building vote this week.The VAESP represents more than 600 clerical workers, school secretaries, tech assistants and paraprofessionals who work with students. Votes must be turned in Friday morning.Several members of the Vancouver Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers, also attended the one-hour meeting at the Water Resources Education Center.If the school workers do approve a no-confidence vote against Webb, it would be a public-relations move.“There is no legal action, but it is a shout-out to the community,” said Lynn Davidson, regional UniServ union representative for the VAESP.“It’s not about the superintendent’s leadership; it’s about a labor dispute,” Missy Hallead, Vancouver’s executive director of human resources, said later Tuesday evening.While money does come into play for both sides, the disagreement centers on a contract provision dealing with seniority and layoff language. It was part of the new two-year contract unilaterally approved a week ago by the Vancouver school board after a one-year contract extension expired.last_img read more

Annual Wear Your Life Jacket To Work Day Promotes Safe Boating Practices

first_imgKelli Toth the Education and Spokesperson for The Office of Boating Safety: “This is actually a national effort, and the national safe boating council has started this effort internationally now. There are places all over the world participating in wear your life jacket to work day.” The annual “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” event is the public kickoff for Safe Boating Week in Alaska, which runs from May 19-25. The goal of this event is to raise awareness of the versatility and comfort of modern life jackets. Boating is a way of life in Alaska but every year, several people die in boating accidents. Participants in this event can post their photos on Facebook at or Instagram using #AKBoat and #SafeBoating.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Alaskans are invited to join the Office of Boating Safety in promoting safe boating behavior by wearing their life jackets to work on Friday, May 18, and sharing their photos on social media. The Office of Boating Safety works to promote safe, and enjoyable boating. Additional resources for boaters can be found atwww.alaskaboatingsafety.orglast_img read more

More on the FY 2020 Budget

first_img ADC AUTHOR The Pentagon comptroller has launched a website with all the materials it has released about the fiscal 2020 budget request.House Armed Services Committee Republicans released a policy paper supporting the growth in the budget.The committee’s chairman continued to push back against the President’s wall funding request and padding the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund to get around budget caps. “It’s FOCO – fake OCO,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in a speech Wednesday, according to CQ.DOD’s budget request cuts commissary funding by 21 percent, but the Defense Commissary Agency insists it will not impact customers, according to Military Times.The budget would also cut about 15,000 military medical positions, making them civilian positions instead, according to read more