Putin Pushes Blatter For Nobel Prize

first_imgMOSCOW — Vladimir Putin and Sepp Blatter just can’t stop praising each other.The Russian President, speaking with Swiss TV on July 27, said the embattled head of FIFA deserves a Nobel Prize for his work.Two days after Putin and Blatter hosted the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup, Putin said “people like Blatter … deserve special recognition.”Blatter had opened the draw ceremony Saturday — held at a palace in St. Petersburg that is an official Putin residence — and warmly congratulated his host.“Thank you, President Putin, you make us happy and comfortable,” said Blatter, who was making his first trip outside his native Switzerland since American and Swiss investigations of corruption in soccer were revealed in May.Besides Blatter, Putin suggested to Swiss state broadcaster RTS that heads of international sports federations and Olympic committees would also be worthy recipients.“Let’s have Nobel Prizes for people like that,” said Putin, who approved lavish spending on the 2014 Sochi Olympics that cost $51 billion to prepare and stage.On July 25, Blatter told Putin that the Russian people “can be proud” of him and that FIFA says “yes to Russia, we are providing our support.”Russia’s successful bid to host the World Cup is central to the Swiss federal investigation. That case also focuses on the 2022 bidding campaign, won by Qatar.The American case has named three former FIFA Vice Presidents among 14 soccer and marketing officials indicted in May on widespread racketeering charges.A further four men have made guilty pleas in the widening case that is also expected to target Blatter and the 2018-2022 World Cup bid contests.Putin said in the Swiss interview, recorded July 25 in St. Petersburg, that he was sure Blatter was not corrupt. He added that, by making allegations against FIFA, the Americans and their allies in Britain were continuing to fight the World Cup bidding contest. Both the United States and Britain bid for the tournaments won by Qatar and Russia.Blatter made a similar comment in his first interview after being re-elected president of FIFA on May 29.Four days after the interview aired on RTS, Blatter announced he would step down within months. The new election is scheduled for Feb. 26.Blatter has long coveted a Nobel Peace Prize for FIFA on behalf of world soccer, but the corruption cases appear finally to have ended that hope.On June 15, the Nobel Peace Center in Norway terminated its cooperation with FIFA in a project called Handshake for Peace. FIFA criticized the Nobel organization the next day for lacking fair play and announcing the split via the media.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

The NFC East Could Produce A 610 Playoff Team

AFC West12.90000 PROBABILITY OF WINNER HAVING THIS RECORD OR WORSE NFC North1520875346 AFC South9.1692010 NFC South14971336253 AFC West15321455352 NFC East7.99877292 AFC East153611663%61% ELO RATINGNON-DIVISION RECORD AFC East13.10000 NFC West12.70000 AFC South14141113537 What’s striking about the NFC East, though, is just how bunched together the teams are. Through 13 weeks of the season, the standard deviation of its teams’ Elo ratings is the fifth-lowest of any division since the NFL expanded to eight divisions in 2002. Translation: This year’s NFC East is unique in that every team is almost exactly the same amount of meh as the others. That parity in available talent is a major reason why every NFC East team is within a game of each other in terms of their records within the division.If the NFC East champion does end up assuming a place alongside the worst division winners of all time, it will be an undeniably great thing for the NFL’s schadenfreudist fan base. But it’s also worth noting the unusual confluence of intra-divisional parity and plain bad luck outside the division that will have helped the NFC East make history.Check out our NFL predictions for each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. NFC South15.20%0%0%0% AFC North12.50000 AFC North15151434755 If there’s one thing that can unite a diverse group of NFL fans, it’s ridiculing awful divisions. I think it’s a kind of defense mechanism: We know divisions are at root arbitrary and buck at the notion of a sub-.500 squad making the playoffs (and hosting a game!) while the superior runners-up of other divisions sit at home (which is stupid).That brings us to this year’s Division of Shame, the NFC East. No team in the division is over .500. None has an Elo rating1A measure of team strength that updates with the outcome of every game. better than the league average, and the division’s best team by Elo (Philadelphia) has only a 37 percent chance of winning the division, meaning that an even weaker team could very well represent it in the playoffs. Dallas would have to win Monday night’s game against Washington by 20 or more to reach a league-average Elo rating; Washington has no chance of hitting average, no matter their scoring margin tonight. The division is thoroughly devoid of excellence, and there’s a good chance that will hold true through the end of the regular season.In our NFL predictions module, we use Elo ratings to simulate the remainder of the 2015 schedule 20,000 times, and we can track how often those simulations call for the winner of each division to end up with any given record. According to Elo, the eventual NFC East winner has a 77 percent probability of finishing 8-8 or worse, with a 29 percent chance of at best matching the 2010 Seattle Seahawks for the worst record by a playoff team in NFL history at 7-9: And it could get worse. Before the season, USA Today’s Chris Chase speculated about the worst record a playoff team could ever realistically have, short of technically possible but practically impossible scenarios, such as no team in a division beating a non-divisional opponent and all intra-division games ending in ties. He settled on 6-10 as the most remote practical possibility. Fast forward nearly four months, and our Elo simulations say there’s roughly a 2 percent chance that the NFC East winner will end up with exactly that record, thereby setting a new — and perhaps unbreakable — achievement in the field of “getting in by default.”Should that happen, the 2015 NFC East would be the subject of undying scorn. Yet there’s also evidence that it hasn’t been nearly as bad as some of the NFL’s other “worst division of all-time” candidates. The NFC East’s collective winning percentage in non-division games is 33 percent, which currently ranks 17th-worst in history, but its members have also gotten a bit unlucky in close games outside the division. The division’s Pythagorean winning percentage — i.e., the win rate we’d expect based on points scored and allowed, which is traditionally a better predictor of future outcomes than raw winning percentage — in those games is 42 percent, a mark that doesn’t even rank in the bottom fifth of all divisions since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.In fact, that number isn’t the worst of 2015 — the AFC South’s Pythagorean percentage outside the division is 37 percent. And the average NFC East team’s Elo rating isn’t the lowest of any division in football right now, either: NFC West15541455354 DIVISIONAVERAGESTANDARD DEVIATIONWIN%PYTHAG% NFC North10.92000 NFC East1471323342 DIVISIONAVERAGE WINS9-78-87-96-10 read more

Lobster Season opens midAugust

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Crawfish Season opens August 15 and closes on March 15 2017. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppLobster season will not open on the first day of August, it will open on the 15th day of August and officials issued notice Friday for restaurants and fishermen and the residents to be aware of the legal open season.  DECR Director, Dr John Claydon calls the two week change a benefit to the country’s number three industry, fisheries.  “Last season the fishing community of the Turks and Caicos benefited from an increase in crawfish landings. This appears to be the result of the stock starting to rebuild…” last_img

Sandals kicks into Overdrive with Unveiling events for Travel Agents across North

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppUnited States, October 26, 2017 – On the personal invitation of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, over 6,000 travel agents across the United States and Canada are currently being invited to attend a series of ‘Overdrive Unveiling’ events.   The events are designed to showcase not only the Sandals and Beaches brands and their various and upcoming innovations, but also the wider Caribbean destination which is up and running and awaiting visitors.The 21 city high-energy trade-show-styled presentations and dinners will run from September 25 through to December 6.  Stops along the route include Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Long Island, Toronto and Montreal.   The Unveilings provide an avenue for travel agents to view and gain first-hand information on product updates through direct interactions with senior Sandals and Beaches Resorts executives.The Unveilings also present the opportunity for the agents to engage with Tourist Board representatives from several Caribbean islands.The Sandals Chairman shared that, “One of the main reasons for Sandals’ success these past 36 years, and why we continue to be named the Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand year after year, is our commitment to our travel partners.   We have the biggest sales team globally and we are constantly on the road, engaging the trade.   We take the time to actively educate them on our Caribbean destinations, our resorts and our products, thus providing them with the necessary tools to effectively sell to our mutual clients.”The expos are a long standing tradition for Sandals Resorts and feature personalized presentations each year.   Things are ramped into ‘overdrive’ this year however as the company is steadfast in showcasing the Caribbean’s continued readiness to welcome vacationers.    Along with highlighting the much-anticipated opening of its latest resort, Sandals Royal Barbados, the unveilings provide a sneak peak of Sandals’ new wedding inspirations scheduled for roll-out later this year.  Exciting upgrades to its flagship Sandals Montego Bay and the jewel of Jamaica’s southern coast, Sandals South Coast, as well as plans for Saint Lucia were also on display.Gary Sadler, senior vice president of global sales states ‘We recognize that our clients are not sitting and waiting for us, nor are they under our desks.  It is therefore necessary for us to go where they are and the best way for us to get them to help the Caribbean particularly at this time, is for us to promote the Caribbean.   We are aggressive about marketing the Caribbean and our Unveilings are doing just that.”Working alongside the company’s North American sales force at each leg of the tour are more than 30 team members from various departments at Sandals and Beaches resorts across the Caribbean, all dedicated to the Unveilings’ success.Press Release: DPA news Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

From a movement to a political party

first_imgWouldn’t it be nice to know more about the journey of the Chief Minister from an IIT student to a political leader and youth icon that led to the birth of a new political party? Bloomsbury India launched the book ‘Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party: An Inside Look’ in the presence of the author, Pran Kurup, and the Chief Minister of New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal at the national Capital recently. The event was also presided over by Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia who unveiled the book. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The book provides a fresh and unique perspective on Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) through keen observations and first-hand insights of an active AAP volunteer and close personal friend of Kejriwal from his undergraduate days at IIT Kharagpur. The book ultimately looks at the aftermath of AAP’s most recent power struggle, and the road ahead for AAP and its role in Indian politics.At the event, Arvind Kejriwal, said, “I am very happy to be at the launch of this book. Pran is a dear friend and a steadfast believer in AAP and my work over the years. I am happy to be here in the presence of my supporters and well-wishers at the launch of this book which is an excellent chronicle of AAP’s journey to bring politics back to our people. A keen observer of events with impressive analytical abilities Pran has been able to look at AAP’s journey through a lens of objectivity, providing his own perspective and suggestions for improvement at the same time. I wish him the very best.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPran Kurup, author, added, “This is a book for people across the world hungering to know more about Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and their meteoric rise in Indian politics. My book shows the true nature of Arvind and AAP, which is to have faith and inspire people into believing that they can do whatever they set their sights on, which is reflective of the young start-up culture our country is witnessing today. Startups are about faith and belief. Arvind has managed over the years to instill this belief and faith in scores of young men and women who play a critical role in both the party and in governance” Rajiv Beri, Managing Director, Bloomsbury India, said, “This book is one of the first few titles we have published in our strategic push towards bringing political and contemporary books to the market.”The launch also included a panel discussion between Pran Kurup, Raghav Chadha, Spokesperson and Treasurer of Delhi Unit of AAP; Ashutosh, journalist-turned-politician and spokesperson of AAP; and Dilip Pandey, Convenor of the Delhi Unit of AAP that gave the audience insights into the past, present and future of the Aam Aadmi Party. The discussion touched upon a variety of topics including the act of writing a book about a friend, the importance of objectivity while doing so and the turn of events in 2014. The session was moderated by Abhinandan Sekhri, Co-founder and CEO, Newslaundry.last_img read more

Inspired by the iPad

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min read April 15, 2010 This story appears in the May 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Apple’s January announcement of its new tablet computing device triggered a full-on sprint among application developers, giving them 66 days to adapt their successful apps from the desktop or the mobile phone to the iPad, a tablet PC, if they wanted to be on-screen for the iPad’s April launch date. For The Omni Group, it represented the opportunity of a lifetime.”It’s the first platform that really has made sense for our applications,” says founder and CEO Ken Case.The group is the Seattle software developer behind the Omni web browser for the Mac and popular productivity applications OmniFocus, OmniGraffle and OmniGraphSketcher. The firm has five productivity apps for the Mac, but only one–OmniFocus, a self-organization app that Case calls “a to-do list on steroids”–has been available for the iPhone. That’s because its other apps, such as OmniGraffle, a diagramming and website mock-up program, wouldn’t have translated well to the small iPhone screen. The roughly 9.5-inch-by-7.5-inch iPad changes all that.”It’s clear that this is the direction computing devices are going in,” Case says. “Touching a screen to push text and scroll the screen is a much more natural way.” Having business-focused apps ready by the iPad’s launch date “is our chance to get in on that future, and the extra visibility that comes with it,” he says.Adapting apps for the iPad after working on the iPhone and Mac was made simpler by the fact that some of the operating system underpinnings are the same as the Mac’s, and some of the programming layer elements and APIs are the same as the iPhone’s. But one fact made the job harder: “With the iPhone, we had our hands on one for a year, but we didn’t have an iPad in our hands, and Apple couldn’t guarantee us we’d test one before launch day,” Case says.He had one-half to two-thirds of his staff working on adapting OmniFocus and OmniGraffle for the iPad. But he says the overtime was worth it. “We want to put all five of our apps on this platform, but inspired by the iPad, we now have ideas for at least five more.”  Register Now »last_img read more