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a month agoHummels on Man Utd target Sancho: He’d walk into any team in the world

a month agoHummels on Man Utd target Sancho: He’d walk into any team in the world

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Hummels on Man Utd target Sancho: He’d walk into any team in the worldby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveMats Hummels is full of praise for Borussia Dortmund teammate Jadon Sancho.The England winger is being linked with Manchester United.”I could imagine him in just about any team in the world,” Hummels told Bild.”Although he’s not mature yet, Jadon is already an outstanding footballer. His one-on-one, the pace. He loves to prepare goals.”He is an absolute weapon that even has potential for improvement.” last_img read more

Video: Louisville’s Rick Pitino Thrashed A Student Reporter During Thursday’s Press Conference

Video: Louisville’s Rick Pitino Thrashed A Student Reporter During Thursday’s Press Conference

first_imgRick Pitino in a press conference.Louisville’s men’s basketball team went one-and-done in the ACC Tournament, losing its quarterfinal game to North Carolina Thursday afternoon. Following the contest, Cardinals’ coach Rick Pitino held a brief press conference with reporters. The first question came from Derek Brightwell, a reporter for the school’s student newspaper, the Louisville Cardinal. Brightwell asked Pitino why his team has struggled against the zone so much this season; Pitino was apparently not impressed with the question. The question starts at the 0:56 mark.  It is fairly clear why Louisville has struggled against the zone this season; they don’t shoot the ball well, which is typically a requirement for good offense when facing a zone defense. But Pitino pulled the I’m a big-time college basketball coach and you’re a student reporter that doesn’t know anything move, and he came across as a pretty big jerk in the process. The student reporter was apparently OK with it, though. Got thrashed by Pitino at the presser, but the @CardChronicle comment section was talking about me. Also picked up 4 followers. #illtakeit— Derek Brightwell (@derekbrightwell) March 12, 2015Louisville will learn its NCAA Tournament fate Sunday night.[Courier-Journal]last_img read more

Video: New York Knicks Fans Wildly Boo Pick Of Kristaps Porzingis

Video: New York Knicks Fans Wildly Boo Pick Of Kristaps Porzingis

first_imgkristaps porzings during a game with the knicksPHOENIX, AZ – JANUARY 26: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 26, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)New York Knicks fans are not happy. The franchise, unfortunately slotted with the fourth pick (despite having the second-worst record in the league) in this year’s NBA Draft, chose Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis over former college stars like Justise Winslow, Frank Kaminsky and Stanley Johnson. The decision, which certainly may not turn out to be the wrong one in the long run, was met with a chorus of boos at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. One young fan was beside himself when he heard the news.Porzingis is just 19, so he may need a year or two to develop into a quality NBA player. It doesn’t look like Knicks fans are going to be patient heading into it all.last_img read more

More businesses are mellowing out over hiring pot smokers

More businesses are mellowing out over hiring pot smokers

first_imgWASHINGTON – FPI Management, a property company in California, wants to hire dozens of people. Factories from New Hampshire to Michigan need workers. Hotels in Las Vegas are desperate to fill jobs.Those employers and many others are quietly taking what once would have been a radical step: They’re dropping marijuana from the drug tests they require of prospective employees. Marijuana testing — a fixture at large American employers for at least 30 years — excludes too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs is more challenging than it’s been in nearly two decades.“It has come out of nowhere,” said Michael Clarkson, head of the drug testing practice at Ogletree Deakins, a law firm. “I have heard from lots of clients things like, ‘I can’t staff the third shift and test for marijuana.’”Though still in its early stages, the shift away from marijuana testing appears likely to accelerate. More states are legalizing cannabis for recreational use; Michigan could become the 10th state to do so in November. Missouri appears on track to become the 30th state to allow medical pot use.And medical marijuana users in Massachusetts , Connecticut and Rhode Island have won lawsuits in the past year against companies that rescinded job offers or fired workers because of positive tests for cannabis. Before last year, courts had always ruled in favour of employers.The Trump administration also may be softening its resistance to legal marijuana. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta suggested at a congressional hearing last month that employers should take a “step back” on drug testing.“We have all these Americans that are looking to work,” Acosta said. “Are we aligning our … drug testing policies with what’s right for the workforce?”There is no definitive data on how many companies conduct drug tests, though the Society for Human Resource Management found in a survey that 57 per cent do so. Nor is there any recent data on how many have dropped marijuana from mandatory drug testing.But interviews with hiring executives, employment lawyers and agencies that help employers fill jobs indicate that dropping marijuana testing is among the steps more companies are taking to expand their pool of applicants to fill a near-record level of openings.Businesses are hiring more people without high school diplomas, for example, to the point where the unemployment rate for non-high school graduates has sunk more than a full percentage point in the past year to 5.5 per cent. That’s the steepest such drop for any educational group over that time. On Friday, the government is expected to report another robust jobs report for April.Excluding marijuana from testing marks the first major shift in workplace drug policies since employers began regularly screening applicants in the late 1980s. They did so after a federal law required that government contractors maintain drug-free workplaces. Many private businesses adopted their own mandatory drug testing of applicants.Most businesses that have dropped marijuana tests continue to screen for cocaine, opiates, heroin and other drugs. But James Reidy, an employment lawyer in New Hampshire, says companies are thinking harder about the types of jobs that should realistically require marijuana tests. If a manufacturing worker, for instance, isn’t driving a forklift or operating industrial machinery, employers may deem a marijuana test unnecessary.“Employers are saying, ‘We have a thin labour pool,’ “Reidy said. ” ‘So are we going to test and exclude a whole group of people? Or can we assume some risks, as long as they’re not impaired at work?’”Yet many companies are reluctant to acknowledge publicly that they’ve dropped marijuana testing.“This is going to become the new don’t ask, don’t tell,” Reidy said.In most states that have legalized marijuana, like Colorado, businesses can still, if they wish, fire workers who test positive. On the other hand, Maine, which also legalized the drug, became the first state to bar companies from firing or refusing to hire someone for using marijuana outside work.Companies in labour-intensive industries — hoteliers and home health care providers and employers with many warehouse and assembly jobs — are most likely to drop marijuana testing. By contrast, businesses that contract with the government or that are in regulated industries, like air travel, or that have safety concerns involving machinery, are continuing marijuana tests, employment lawyers say. Federal regulations require the testing of pilots, train operators and other key transportation workers.Dropping marijuana testing is more common among employers in the nine states, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized pot for recreational use. An additional 20 states allow marijuana for medical use only. But historically low unemployment is driving change even where pot remains illegal.After the Drug-Free Workplace Act was enacted in 1988, amid concerns about cocaine use, drug testing spread to most large companies. All Fortune 500 companies now engage in some form of drug testing, according to Barry Sample, a senior director at Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest testing firms.In Denver, in a state with just 3 per cent unemployment, 10 per cent of employers that screen for drugs had dropped marijuana as of 2016, according to a survey by the Employers Council, which provides corporate legal and human resources services.“It’s because unemployment is virtually non-existent” in Colorado, said Curtis Graves, a lawyer at the council. “People cannot afford to take a hard line against off-duty marijuana usage if they want to hire.”That’s particularly true in Colorado’s resort areas, where hotels and ski lifts are heavily staffed with young workers, Graves said: “They can lose their jobs and walk across the street and get another one.”FPI, a property-management firm in San Francisco that employs 2,900 around the country, from leasing managers to groundskeepers, has dozens of jobs listed on online boards. Its ads say applicants must pass a “full background check and drug screening.”But it adds, “As it relates to marijuana use, FPI will consider any applicable state law when dispositioning test results.”FPI didn’t respond to requests for comment, which isn’t unusual given that companies that have dropped marijuana tests aren’t exactly billboarding their decisions. Most still seek to maintain drug-free workplaces and still test for harder drugs.“They’re pretty hush-hush about it,” Graves said.AutoNation, which operates dealerships in 17 states, is one of the few that have gone public. The company stopped testing for marijuana about a year ago. Marc Cannon, a company spokesman, said it did so mostly in response to evolving public attitudes. But it also feared losing prospective employees.“The labour market has tightened up,” Cannon said.AutoNation heard from other business leaders, Cannon said. They said things like, “‘We’re doing the same thing; we just didn’t want to share it publicly.’”Relaxed attitudes among employers are spreading from states where recreational marijuana is legal to those where it’s lawful only for medical use, such as Michigan and New Hampshire.Janis Petrini, who owns an Express Employment staffing agency in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says that with the area’s unemployment rate below 3 per cent, employers are growing desperate. Some are willing to ignore the results of drug tests performed by Express, which still screens for marijuana and won’t place workers who test positive.“We have had companies say to us, ‘We don’t worry about that as much as we used to,’” Petrini said. “We say, ‘OK, well, we are still following our standards.’ “One of Reidy’s clients, a manufacturer in New Hampshire, has dropped marijuana testing because it draws some workers from neighbouring Massachusetts and Maine, which have legalized pot for recreational use. Another client, which runs assisted living facilities from Florida to Maine, has stopped testing its housekeeping and food service workers for marijuana.The stigma surrounding marijuana use is eroding, compounding pressure on employers to stop testing. Sixty-four per cent of Americans support legalizing pot, a Gallup poll found, the highest percentage in a half-century of surveys.In Las Vegas, where recreational use is legal, marijuana dispensaries “look almost like Apple stores,” said Thoran Towler, CEO of the Nevada Association of Employers.Many high-tech companies have been moving from California to Nevada to escape California’s high costs, and they’re seeking workers. Towler says the most common question from his 400 member executives is, “Where do I find employees?”He estimates that roughly one-tenth of his group’s members have stopped testing for marijuana out of frustration.“They say, ‘I have to get people on the casino floor or make the beds, and I can’t worry about what they’re doing in their spare time,’” Towler said.___Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber___Follow AP’s marijuana coverage here: https://apnews.com/tag/LegalMarijuanalast_img read more

Transparency in payments price

Transparency in payments price

first_imgThe importance of the flow of capital into the power and housing sectors in India cannot be overemphasised. Recent developments in both sectors once again bring to the fore the critical issues of effective payment mechanisms and price transparency as vital factors in boosting the economy. Let us examine the issue in the two sectors separately. The Supreme Court striking down the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular giving stressed power companies more time to find resolutions outside the bankruptcy court has started debates around paths that are ideal for resolving woes of the power sector. Amid the din and noise, it is essential to not lose sight of the core issues at hand, i.e., the late and, in many cases, non-payment of dues by state-run power distribution companies (discoms) in India. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhile not all the stressed assets of thermal power sector are attributable to non-payment issues from discoms, delayed payments are significant contributors to the mess. Late payments lead to debt servicing issues and major negative-working capital problems. The most critical aspect of the problem is that not just thermal power sector assets but energy sector assets in general, including the high-growth renewable energy sector, will face identical or similar issues in the foreseeable future unless the delayed payments issue is gradually sorted out. Also Read – Insider threat managementFor instance, in the solar energy sector, which is known for its high capital intensity with the majority of the capital expenditure required upfront, the entire business model is highly dependent on the power purchase agreement (PPA) being honoured. Given the fixed-income nature of payments, it is only natural that debt is utilised to fund a significant component of the business. Delays in payments from discoms will lead to solar energy developers facing debt-servicing issues and therefore, eventually adding to the non-performing assets (NPAs). The issues around debt-servicing and NPAs has serious ramifications from a cost of capital perspective. An improved payment mechanism, timely payment of interest coupons and lower-risk have the cascading positive effect of the lower cost of capital for any given sector. Hence, as the cost of capital in general declines, energy projects with a lower return on asset become viable. Therefore, a lowering of the cost of capital in the energy sector provides a significant boost to asset creation. The reverse holds true: when risk perceptions amongst investors for a sector rise, they reduce the flow of capital to the sector and thus render projects unviable. Resolving issues around discom payments is critical for India’s push towards renewable energy. While solutions will require some hard decisions to be made, the government must push in the right direction. Most importantly, the new sunrise sectors such as renewable energy must learn lessons from the thermal power sector of avoiding payment delays, excessive leverage and unsustainable tariffs. Issues in the thermal power sector provide a template of the pitfalls to avoid in energy sectors across the spectrum. The second sector of our concern here that has seen interesting developments of late is housing finance. Given the recent liquidity crunch faced by the Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), the news that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a panel to review the development of the housing finance securitisation market is a welcome step. The broader aim of the panel is to facilitate the flow of high-quality capital to the NBFC sector to boost credit creation in India. Of all the steps towards the standardisation of the housing finance securitisation market, one that deserves most attention is ensuring a mechanism that allows for mark-to-market valuation of the securitised loans. In the long-run for the housing finance securitisation market to indeed facilitate the flow of sizeable quantities of capital and yet avoid major mishaps during periods of credit busts, access to constant pricing information in the market is vital. Standardisation of the pricing of debt-securities can be more challenging than that for equity-based securities. The difficulty arises from the fact that debt-based instruments are issued for multiple tenures as opposed to equity that does not have a maturity date. Hence, standardisation is harder in the case of debt-instruments. Lessons from credit markets in the developed economies in creating credit-based indices that assist the market in pricing loans in the secondary market are crucial. Going forward we must not lose focus on the core issues of “ensuring payment mechanisms” and “price transparency” to boost investor sentiment regarding the crucial power and housing markets in India. (The author heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. The views are strictly personal)last_img read more

56 lakh housing units worth 451 lakh cr delayed in 7 cities

56 lakh housing units worth 451 lakh cr delayed in 7 cities

first_imgNew Delhi: Around 5.6 lakh housing units, worth Rs 4.5 lakh crore in seven major cities are running behind the delivery timelines mainly due to demand slowdown and fund diversion by developers, according to property consultant Anarock. These 5.6 lakh flats were launched before 2013 in these seven cities — National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. “The top 7 cities currently have a total stock of 5.6 lakh delayed housing units worth a whopping Rs 4,51,750 crore,” Anarock founder and chairman Anuj Puri said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”Lakhs of buyers across top cities particularly MMR and NCR – have been left in limbo, leading to inconceivable mental stress and financial pain,” he added. As per the Anarock data, the NCR and MMR account for 72 per cent of the total stuck housing units. In MMR, as many as 1,92,100 apartments worth Rs 2,17,550 crore are delayed, while the NCR has 2,10,200 units worth Rs 1,31,460 crore running behind the schedule. The main southern cities of Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad together account for a mere 10 per cent of the overall stuck housing units of a total worth of Rs 41,770 crore. The Southern cities have predominantly been driven by service-class end-users, leaving limited scope for developers to be unprofessional. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”It has become a ‘chicken and egg’ situation – buyers have understandably stopped releasing funds to builders, and builders claim they have no funds to complete construction,” he added. Every delayed project results in cost overruns which compound the funding crunch even further. Anarock chairman said the lack of project clearances for whatever reason also contributes to the piling up of housing stock. In the pre-RERA era, many builders launched greenfield projects without the requisite approvals in place, resulting in their projects getting stuck. The consultant said that by amending the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and treating buyers at par with banks and other creditors, the government has safeguarded the interests of affected buyers. “Whichever government is in power after the upcoming general elections, it has a mammoth task to complete. Delayed projects have severely weakened faith in under-construction properties and reviving buyers’ trust is a herculean task,” Puri said. If buyers stop purchasing under-construction properties, builders would have a far more challenging time to get funds from external sources for project construction, he added.last_img read more

PROPOSED EXPANSION OF MANDEVILLE REGIONAL HOSPITAL

PROPOSED EXPANSION OF MANDEVILLE REGIONAL HOSPITAL

first_img Related Items:Alwyn Miller, manchester, Mandeville Regional Hospital Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Dec. 29 (JIS):(BY: DOUGLAS McINTOSH) The management of Mandeville Regional Hospital, in Manchester, has secured an additional four acres of land, which will form part of its strategic plan to further develop and expand the institution’s facilities and services.The property, which is adjacent to the hospital on Caledonia Road in Mandeville, was acquired from the previous owner, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Alwyn Miller, tells JIS News that consideration is being given to relocating the outpatient department, which is earmarked for expansion. He informs that the department, which provides pharmaceutical and laboratory services, has “outgrown” the area it currently occupies, resulting in the staff being “overwhelmed (by) the volume of persons using these facilities.” This situation, he points out, makes it “more challenging for them to manage (the significant number of clients seen) within that space.”Mr. Miller says the proposed upgraded laboratory is highly anticipated in light of the fact that “there are some services required in the Manchester and wider Southern Health Region that we have to get done as far (away) as Cornwall Regional Hospital (in Montego Bay)”, which incur significant costs.He notes that the entire Southern Region (residents and other medical institutions) will benefit from having a regional laboratory at the hospital.Additionally, the CEO says that for “security reasons,” the management also wants to separate outpatient from inpatient services, “to be better able to monitor and manage all visitors to the hospital.” Mr. Miller tells JIS News that acquisition of the property will also provide the hospital’s management with the opportunity to explore development and installation of several additional cost effective features, capable of enhancing the institution’s operations.These, he informs, include installation of additional water storage tanks and rainwater harvesting facilities to assist in maintaining consistent supplies at the institution, particularly during periods of restriction or disruption. “One of the concerns we have always had is that while we do have our storage facility here, the hospital’s consumption rate has grown since the facility was established, and it can no longer store sufficient water for us beyond, maybe, a few days,” Mr. Miller points out. “Additionally, it is always a bit disconcerting in times of severe weather, for example, when the National Water Commission (NWC) may be affected by flooding…and damage to its pumps, and we have no water in Mandeville. So, we want additional storage space to harvest water from rainfall,” the CEO adds.Mr. Miller says the management is also hopeful that these projects will be complemented by the installation of eco-friendly renewable energy facilities, such as solar or wind, “to support the energy needs of the hospital.”“We are hoping that in the 2015/16 budget year, we will be able to get the funding to secure the necessary technical services to help us in the developmental stage,” he tells JIS News.Built in 1877, the Mandeville Regional Hospital is a Type B institution, which caters to just over 1,000 clients daily. The institution, which is administered by the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), was initially called the Mandeville Public Hospital. It was renamed in 2001. The facility has undergone significant infrastructural upgrading and service expansion over the years, totaling in excess of $700 million. The most recent was the completion of five major projects during 2013/14 at a cost of approximately $105 million, with financing from the National Health Fund (NHF).These included: renovation and other supporting infrastructure works on four operating theatres; installation of new chillers and supporting air conditioning systems; procurement of food trolleys and meal wares; procurement, installation and commissioning of an X-ray machine; and renovation of Block H, which houses the internal medicine, paediatric and postnatal wards. They were symbolically handed over to the hospital’s management by Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, and according to Mr. Miller, are expected to expand the hospital’s bed complement to approximately 230. Implementation of the projects and the development being proposed for the hospital are consistent with the Government’s Human Capital Development priority, focusing on development and strengthening of health care.Emphasising that the Mandeville Regional Hospital “must” be transformed into a Centre of Excellence, Dr. Ferguson assured that “the Ministry will continue to allocate resources to improve the quality (of the) infrastructure, even as we improve the manpower needs for the institution.”last_img read more