Llorente makes Spurs history under Pochettino

first_imgTottenham Hotspur Llorente makes Spurs history under Pochettino on Premier League bow Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 02:39 17/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Fernando Llorente Tottenham Getty Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City Swansea City Premier League The Spanish striker, who joined Tottenham over the summer, has become the oldest outfield player to represent the club under their current coach Fernando Llorente’s first Premier League appearance for Tottenham has seen him make his own piece of club history under Mauricio Pochettino.The Spanish striker linked up with Spurs on transfer deadline, with the 32-year-old revealing that he took that decision after snubbing the opportunity to join defending champions Chelsea.Spurs 14/1 to win Premier League 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 He was handed his debut off the bench in a Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund.Pochettino then gave him his first league appearance in an immediate reunion with Swansea at Wembley on Saturday, with Llorente marking a change in philosophy from Spurs and the faith that they have put in youth over the last three years under their Argentine coach.32 – Fernando Llorente (32y 201d) is the oldest outfield player to make a PL appearance for Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino. Experience.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 16, 2017While much of the club’s success of late has been built around exciting youngsters, Pochettino is aware of the need to blend youth with experience.Llorente has brought plenty of that with him to north London, as a proven performer at the very highest level.He has represented the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Juventus and Sevilla – netting over 180 club goals in the process – while forming part of Spain’s victorious squads at the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.An impressive season with Swansea in 2016-17 saw him adjust immediately to the demands of life in the Premier League, as he scored 15 times, and Spurs are now hoping to benefit from more of the same – as Llorente provides support and competition to leading marksman Harry Kane.last_img read more

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Conte hails impressive Ethan Ampadu

first_imgChelsea Conte hails Ampadu after impressive Carabao Cup performance Matt Dorman 07:32 12/21/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Ethan Ampadu - cropped Getty Images Chelsea League Cup Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth The young debutant “could have a great future” at Stamford Bridge, according to his delighted manager Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised the potential of Ethan Ampadu following the teenager’s accomplished display in the dramatic Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Bournemouth.Conte’s side prevailed 2-1 at Stamford Bridge thanks to Alvaro Morata’s stoppage time winner, which came immediately after Dan Gosling had equalised for the visitors.Ampadu was booked in the second minute of the match for a late tackle on Jermain Defoe, who was subsequently forced off with an ankle injury. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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 Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But the teenager walked the tightrope well and was the most influential of a defensive trio that also featured Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger.”It is not simple for a defender to play after a yellow card in the second minute but he showed great maturity and personality,” Conte told reporters at his post-match press conference.”I said in the past that this player, despite his young age, has shown great maturity.”I do not like to make gifts for someone. If they deserve it, I am ready to play with very young players. Why not? Ampadu deserved to play this game, and against Everton and Huddersfield in the league.”Now he has to stay calm. He could have a great future, but he has to continue in this way, to improve and to work.”#CarabaoCup result:@ChelseaFC 2-1 @afcbournemouth.Late drama, but Morata’s winner sends the Blues into the semis. pic.twitter.com/SBB0C0BHyg— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) December 20, 2017Chelsea appeared set for a comfortable progression to the semi-finals when Willian opened the scoring in the 13th minute.Morata’s late intervention eventually sealed a place in the final four, although the striker’s yellow card amid the ensuing celebrations means he will miss Saturday’s trip to Everton.”He is a big loss for us, especially because we have to play a tough game against Everton. It is a pity,” Conte said.”[But] we must be happy with this achievement, to reach a semi-final in one of the two cups in England. It is great for us, especially because we reached the semi-final with a lot of rotation.”I am very happy because I have had a good response from my players.”last_img read more

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MS Dhoni shows off his artistic skills. Have you watched yet?

first_imgMS Dhoni shows off his artistic skills. Have you watched yet?MS Dhoni revealed, in a video going viral on social media, that he always wanted to become a painter since childhood and is now thinking of taking it up professionally.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiMay 20, 2019UPDATED: May 20, 2019 19:40 IST MS Dhoni showed off a couple of his paintings in the video which is going viral on social media (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSMS Dhoni said in the video that he is thinking of taking up painting professionallyDhoni revealed that he wanted to become a painter since childhoodDhoni even showed off a few of his paintings in the videoMahendra Singh Dhoni is already chalking out his post-retirement plans once he is done playing cricket. The former India captain on Monday revealed that he is planning to take up painting as a profession after he retires from cricket.In a video message, former India captain Dhoni revealed that he always wanted to become a painter since childhood and is now thinking of taking it up professionally.Dhoni also showcased a few of his paintings in the video and is preparing for his first art exhibition very soon.”I wanted to share a secret with all of you. Right from childhood I always wanted to become an artist, I have played a lot of cricket so I decided it’s time for me now to take up what I wanted so I have made a few paintings,” Dhoni said in the video.The first painting was a landscape drawing, the second one was of what he described as ‘something which can become a mode of transport in future.’Describing the third one as his favourite, Dhoni said it was a replica of him while batting in Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Chennai Super Kings’ jersey.Dhoni has been on a break from the sport after leading Chennai Super Kings to the final of the IPL 2019 in which they lost by 1 run against Mumbai Indians.Dhoni will be joining the Indian cricket team very soon in Mumbai before they depart for London on May 22 to play in the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales.advertisementTwo-time champions India will start their campaign against South Africa in the 8th match of the tournament in Southampton on June 5.This edition of the World Cup will be Dhoni’s fourth and second as a player. He led the team to the title in 2011 in India while in 2015, the team was knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions Australia.Dhoni is the most-experienced player in Virat Kohli’s team this time having played 341 ODIs in which he has amassed 10,500 ODI runs at an average of 50.72 with 10 centuries and 71 fifties.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow MS DhoniFollow Dhoni paintingFollow MS Dhoni artistlast_img read more

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BoJ Governor Encourages Consumers to Shop Around for Low Interest Rate Loans

first_img Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, is encouraging consumers to aggressively shop around to identify financial institutions offering low interest rate loans. Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, is encouraging consumers to aggressively shop around to identify financial institutions offering low interest rate loans.“We have the benefit, in Jamaica, of many entities (and) you have a choice (of) where you can borrow from. We have a tendency to look at just one (institution). I think that it’s a good time for individuals, stakeholders and companies, to aggressively shop around,” the Governor said.He was speaking during a press briefing at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston on Wednesday (August 22).Mr. Wynter said individuals and companies should seek to exploit the opportunities that Jamaica’s competitive financial market offers.“When you look at the large corporate sectors, they are not complaining about interest rates because they are getting very competitive interest rates in Jamaican dollars. Some of that comes from the fact that they can issue bonds, as a competing element, directly to the public… (so) they have pricing power,” he argued.Mr. Wynter added that “what we want to focus on is how we make sure that, that kind of competitive process drives lower rates in the banking systems for the medium-sized smaller enterprises”, which he contended “is not an easy problem to solve.”Since June 2017, the BoJ has reduced its policy rate six times. The overnight policy rate was reduced four times by 25 basis points on each occasion to 2.50 per cent, at May 2018.Monetary policy decisions are intended to guide the interest rates set by commercial banks and other financial institutions.Meanwhile, Mr. Wynter indicated that the National Financial Inclusion Strategy contains a component focusing on financing for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).The Strategy has as one of its impact indicators, the goal of achieving an increase in the percentage of total private-sector credit extended to MSMEs to 11 per cent.Mr. Wynter said, currently, there are various initiatives being implemented to this end, led mainly by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).“But we are very much involved to make sure we are looking at the elements to help to unclog this. We have Ministries of Government that are very much trying to push that sort of reform,” he stated. “We have the benefit, in Jamaica, of many entities (and) you have a choice (of) where you can borrow from. We have a tendency to look at just one (institution). I think that it’s a good time for individuals, stakeholders and companies, to aggressively shop around,” the Governor said. Story Highlights He was speaking during a press briefing at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston on Wednesday (August 22).last_img read more

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Port of Virginia Delivers 4th Consecutive Year of Growth

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license The Port of Virginia handled 2.8 million TEUs during fiscal year 2018 (FY18), a rise of 2.4 percent when compared with last fiscal year, mostly due to an increase in imports.The port’s fiscal year closed June 30 and in that month the port handled 223,842 TEUs, which was a drop of 3.4 percent when compared with last June.As in April and May, June’s volumes were off when compared to the same months last year because of an ongoing effort to limit the number of empty containers flowing across the terminals during construction.“We finished the fiscal year in positive territory – our fourth consecutive fiscal year of growth,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.Reinhart added that the port was off from its forecast, mostly due to the effort to limit the empty container imports and exports.“As a result, our total empty container volume was down by more than 76,000 TEUs. What’s important is that our action is having its desired intent, which is to increase efficiency at the terminals and ensure that loaded containers are our priority right now.”The port is currently in the midst of a USD 700 million capacity expansion at its two primary container terminals, Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).“Our expansion is on schedule and on budget … And, we have the federal approval to begin the process to widen and deepen the commercial shipping channels serving the Norfolk Harbor,” Reinhart concluded.last_img read more

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48magnitude quake strikes Bengal

first_imgKolkata: iaAn earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale struck West Bengal’s Bankura district on Sunday, authorities said. According to Regional Meteorological Centre Kolkata, the earthquake occurred at 10.39 a.m. at a depth of 10 kilometres in Bankura region. Tremors were felt in Purulia, Jhargram and other adjoining areas.last_img

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Embattled MMIW inquiry asked for twoyear extension gets six more months

first_imgOTTAWA – The commissioners of Canada’s national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls say the government’s decision to extend their work by only six months does a “disservice” to victims, survivors and families.Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, announced Tuesday that the inquiry — which had requested an extension of two full years — is getting only six more months to complete its hearings and until April 30, 2019, to submit a final report.“In seeking a two-year extension, we were striking a balance between the urgency of the issues and the need to do this work thoroughly,” chief commissioner Marion Buller said in a statement.“Now, we believe political expediency has been placed before the safety of Indigenous women, girls and (LGBTQ and two-spirit) people.”The commission, which has been plagued by chronic delays, staff turnover and complaints from families about disorganization, poor communication and a lack of transparency, was originally supposed to have its final report ready by Nov. 1 of this year.The Native Women’s Association of Canada warned last month that the ongoing challenges were obscuring the needs of victims and survivors, with the unanswered question of a deadline extension adding to the uncertainty.Bennett said the decision to extend the mandate by just six months was made in part because provinces and territories were not unanimously supportive of extending the terms of reference for the inquiry into next year.“In the conversation with provinces and territories it was clear … that we weren’t going to get an extension of the terms of reference from some of them,” Bennett told a news conference.She called the extension a “creative solution” that allows the terms of reference to be honoured in all of the provinces and the territories, meaning the commission will have to complete its research and witness testimony by Dec. 31.At least one commissioner served notice Tuesday that she would reconsider her role with the inquiry as a result of the government’s decision.“I am currently filled with a sentiment of incomprehension and deep disappointment,” Michele Audette said in a statement in French.“I am giving myself the next few weeks to reflect, to analyze the decision, give my personal opinion and validate my future participation in the work of the national inquiry.”Bennett would not say which provinces rejected the request to extend the terms of reference, but did indicate there was more than one.Tuesday’s decision also follows consultations with survivors, families, Indigenous organizations and provinces and territories.“We found support for giving the inquiry more time to submit its final report, but little support for the commission’s mandate to extend beyond the next election,” Bennett said. There are more survivors and families who want to take part, she added.“The commissioners will decide how to use this additional time to hear from the remaining families and survivors, further examine institutional practices and policies and undertake the research necessary inform their recommendations on the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.”After submitting the final report, the commission will have until June 30 of next year to wind down its operations.Department officials say they will work with the inquiry to determine the budget. The Liberal government had initially earmarked $53.8 million and two years for the inquiry to complete its work.In March, inquiry officials asked for a two-year extension in order to give commissioners until Dec. 31, 2020, to make recommendations and produce findings.The inquiry’s interim report, released in November, called for an investigative body to re-open existing cold cases and for an expansion of an existing support program for those who testify.The government says it will spend $9.6 million over five years to support the RCMP’s new National Investigative Standards and Practices Unit, and will fund a review of police policies and practices regarding their relations with Indigenous Peoples.An additional $21.3 million will be provided to expand health support provided by the inquiry.“Together with Indigenous peoples and partners across the country, we continue our collective efforts to help prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls, and protect future generations,” Bennett said.last_img read more

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Stars Line Up For MDA Show Of Strength

first_imgCarrie Underwood, Pitbull, will.i.am and Carole King are set to headline the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day weekend entertainment special – now called MDA SHOW of STRENGTH.The show, featuring more than a dozen of today’s top entertainers, also will include inspirational “stories of strength” about families affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases.“We couldn’t be more excited about the show and the incredible talent we have lined up this year,” said MDA Interim President Valerie Cwik, M.D. “MDA is in business to save and enhance lives. Our show will both entertain and urge the American public to answer the call to support critically important research and services for more than a million Americans affected by neuromuscular diseases.”MDA SHOW of STRENGTH, a three-hour prime-time broadcast special, will air on Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT. The show will include performances and celebrity appearances from Hollywood, Nashville and New York.In addition to Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, Will.i.am and Carole King, the following stars also are scheduled to appear: All-American Rejects, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, B.o.B, Brandy, Luke Bryan, Gavin DeGraw, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Alanis Morissette, OneRepublic, Eva Simons, Paula Abdul, Max Adler, Jann Carl, Diana DeGarmo, Lou Ferrigno, Benji Madden, Joel Madden, Jesse McCartney, Tim McGraw, The Miz, Nancy O’Dell, Khloe Kardashian Odom, Alison Sweeney, Ace Young and more.The show will be broadcast over MDA’s “Love Network” of almost 150 television stations across the country and streamed from mda.org. Local cutaways in each market will feature area families, sponsors and MDA service programs. For a list of stations, visit mda.org/showofstrength/love-network.“This year’s show gives everyone involved a unique opportunity,” said MDA SHOW of STRENGTH Executive Producer RAC Clark. “We have a chance to tell a series of compelling stories about MDA families while delivering quality entertainment. In doing so, we can raise public awareness of MDA’s long-standing mission of help for today and hope for tomorrow.”Clark is a longtime executive producer of the “Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards” and the son of the late Dick Clark.“RAC has a history and knack for making shows and events successful, and MDA SHOW of STRENGTH will benefit from his talent,” said Pete Fisher, vice president and general manager of the Grand Ole Opry. “MDA is in good hands with RAC. He’s done a phenomenal job with the ACM Awards and has helped continue country music’s growth and popularity. He’s connected with the biggest names in the business.”Through the years, MDA’s iconic fundraising show has presented some of TV’s most memorable moments. What started as a 21-1/2 hour Labor Day weekend telethon was shortened to six hours in 2011 in response to changing television viewing habits.“The broadcasting and entertainment industries have experienced dramatic change; as a result, our show has changed with it,” said MDA Executive Vice President of Business Development Kevin Moran. “But our cause remains the same and our commitment to our families is unwavering. MDA has assembled an outstanding team focused on putting together a jam-packed, three-hour special that drives home our mission and inspires our audience to contribute generously.”Joining Clark as co-producers are Los Angeles-based entertainment professionals Suzanne Bender and Debbie Williams, a popular TV stage director. Some of Bender’s current credits include the “Golden Globes,” “American Idol,” the “Academy of Country Music Awards” and “America’s Got Talent.” Williams’ credits also include the “Golden Globes,” “American Idol,” the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” as well as the “Academy Awards” and the “MTV Video Music Awards.”“Suzanne and Debbie are the best in the business. Having worked with them and having seen their results, I know they’re a tremendous asset to this MDA team,” Clark said. “We’re all invested in this cause – we’re going to deliver a fabulous show this Labor Day weekend.”Stories of Strength Six “stories of strength” will be told from the individuals’ and families’ perspectives. They include MDA’s new National Goodwill Ambassador Bryson Foster, a spunky 12-year-old who envisions a future as an NFL quarterback; Veronica Nino, a 45-year-old mother of three who is fighting for one more day with her family after being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease); and a teacher affected by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) who credits MDA summer camp with giving her the confidence to pursue and achieve her dreams.“I live independently, I work and have my own home — all of that is because of MDA,” said Angela Wrigglesworth during her show profile shoot in Houston.The complete list of profiles includes: Veronica Nino, 45, of Friendswood, Texas; Angela Wrigglesworth, 35, of Houston; Kennedy Healy, 17, of Omaha, Neb.; Latondra Chappell, 14, of Charlotte, N.C.; MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Bryson Foster, 12, of Concord, N.C.; and Justin Moy, 12, of Concord, Mass.Learn more about all the MDA SHOW of STRENGTH profile families at mda.org/showofstrength.“Of the utmost importance is that our show audience be introduced to the incredible individuals and families served by the Association,” Cwik said. “Their stories of strength are what inspire all of us at MDA to seek out and fund the most promising research in muscle disease, and to improve their daily lives through our services programs and advocacy efforts.”About MDAMDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.In addition to funding some 300 research projects worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters living with progressive muscle diseases.For more information, visit mda.org and follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/MDAnational and Twitter @MDAnews.For information on the rich history of the telethon, visit mda.org/about/telethon-history.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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Small businesses add 46000 jobs in October ADP reports

first_imgNEW YORK — Small business hiring bumped higher in November, extending its string of fluctuations that started early in 2018.That’s the finding of a report from payroll company ADP, which counted 46,000 new jobs at its small business customers, those with up to 49 staffers. That total is up from 30,000 in October, and in line with a monthly average of 43,000 this year.Small business hiring has slowed from 2017, when ADP said companies added an average 61,000 each month. Economists say hiring is being curtailed by companies’ inability to find qualified candidates to fill their open positions. And many owners have said in surveys they won’t hire until their revenue justifies the added expense and risk of taking on new staffers.Owners may also be more cautious because the tight labour market is forcing them to pay more to attract new staffers. And while the economy remains strong, many companies are facing higher prices due to rising interest rates and the Trump administration’s trade tariffs and other countries’ retaliatory tariffs._____For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssbThe Associated Presslast_img read more

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Judge dismisses part of Judds lawsuit against Weinstein

first_imgLOS ANGELES — A federal judge has reportedly dismissed part of Ashley Judd’s lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein.Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of United States District Court in Los Angeles ruled Wednesday that the actress’ sexual harassment claim does not fall within the scope of a California statute. But he said Judd may go proceed to trial with separate allegations against Weinstein of defamation and economic interference, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.Judd says that after she rejected Weinstein’s sexual advances two decades ago, he defamed her to “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson, hurting her career.Weinstein, 66, also faces criminal prosecution in New York City and is the target of other criminal investigations.The former movie mogul has denied engaging in nonconsensual sexual activity.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Grande Prairie RCMP Seek Assistance in locating Jordyn McCartney

first_imgCaucasianBrown hairGreen eyes5’2″/ 155lbsTattoo on left wrist with word “stay”Wearing black leggings, pink hat and pink sweater.There is a concern for Jordyn’s well-being.The RCMP would like to locate and speak with her as soon as possible.RCMP are asking the public’s assistance for any information in relation to her whereabouts.Please contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700 or your local police.  If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB – RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Jordyn McCartney (14).  She was last seen in the Grande Prairie area on March 27, 2019.Jordyn is described as:last_img

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Casablanca: Police Officer Arrested for Corruption

Casablanca – A Moroccan policeman was arrested on Wednesday the 26th after being caught engaging in corruption, threatening to shut down a Corniche bar if the owner didn’t pay up. Moroccan publication Assabah reported that authorities arrested the police officer after the owner of a bar in Ain Diab pressed charges against the man for corruption.The officer allegedly threatened the bar owner, saying he’d shut down her business if she didn’t pay him the requested amount. He insisted on getting regular sums of money paid to him in cash, and the owner would oblige, for fear of having her business shut down. Seeing the demands of the policeman increasing in frequency, the owner finally pressed charges against the officer with the crown prosecutor. In response, authorities tapped into the bar owner’s phone and caught the police offer in the act. Though the PJD Moroccan government has pledged to combat corruption, corruption remains a big socio-political challenge faced by the nation. The latest Corruption Perceptions Index reported that Morocco lost eight ranks from 2014 to 2015, going from 80th to 88th place out of 168 countries. read more

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Revised UN estimates put world population at over 9 billion by 2050

“There have been no big changes for the recent estimates and we have not changed the assumptions for the future,” Hania Zlotnik, Director of the Population Division at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), told reporters in New York.“We’re still projecting that by 2050 the population of the world will be around 9.1 billion,” she said, as she presented the 2008 Revision of the World Population Prospects.The Revision also says that nine countries are expected to account for half of the world’s projected increase from 2010 to 2050: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, China and Bangladesh.Ms. Zlotnik noted that current projections are based on the assumption that fertility is going to decline from the current global level of 2.5 children per woman to 2.1 children per woman from now until 2050. The population of the 49 least developed countries (LDCs) is still the fastest growing in the world, at 2.3 per cent per year, according to a news release issued by the Population Division.While the population of developing countries as a whole is projected to rise from 5.6 billion in 2009 to 7.9 billion in 2050, the population of more developed regions is expected to change minimally, passing from 1.23 billion to 1.28 billion.The latter would have declined to 1.15 billion were it not for the projected net migration from developing to developed countries, which is expected to average 2.4 million persons annually from 2009 to 2050.The UN adds that projected trends are contingent on fertility declines in developing countries. Without further reductions of fertility, the world population could increase by nearly twice as much as currently expected.“It is going to be extremely important to continue funding and increasing the funding that has gone down for family planning because, if not, our projections on declining fertility are unlikely to be met,” Ms. Zlotnik stated.She added that the projected population trends also depend on achieving a major increase in the proportion of AIDS patients who get anti-retroviral therapy to treat the disease and on the success of efforts to control the further spread of HIV.Among the other findings, she noted that most developing countries are unlikely to meet the goal of reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015, one of eight globally agreed targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 11 March 2009The world’s population will hit 7 billion early in 2012 and top 9 billion in 2050, with the majority of the increase taking place in developing countries, according to revised United Nations estimates released today. read more

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Financial market highlights on Friday SPTSX 1572832 down 4798 points

Highlights at the close Friday at world financial market trading.Stocks:S&P/TSX Composite Index — 15,728.32, down 47.98 pointsDow — 22,773.67, down 1.72 pointsS&P 500– 2,549.33, down 2.74 pointsNasdaq — 6,590.18, up 4.82 points (record high)Currencies:Cdn — 79.69 cents US, unchangedPound — C$1.6383, down 0.93 of a centEuro — C$1.4707, up 0.08 of a centEuro — US$1.1720, up 0.06 of a centOil futures:US$49.29, down $1.50(November contract)Gold futures:US$1,274.90 per oz., up $1.70(December contract)Canadian Fine Silver Handy and Harman:Daily quote unavailable from source; office closed on Fridays(Thursday: $21.786 oz., $700.42 kg.)

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Tamil schools closed tomorrow for Thai Pongal

The Government announced that all Tamil schools will be closed tomorrow (Monday) Thai Pongal.Thai Pongal will be celebrated on Tuesday and a decision had been taken earlier to close all schools in the North tomorrow. However Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that all Government Tamil schools in other parts of the country will also be closed tomorrow.

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SLFP says only Sirisena can be Presidential candidate

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) says only President Maithripala Sirisena can be the Presidential candidate of the party.SLFP member Duminda Dissanayake said that the SLFP had decided that Sirisen will be the Presidential nominee of the party at the next election. As a result, he said that no one else from the SLFP can contest for the post.

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Nielsen sues Bubba The Love Sponge says he tried to tamper with

by Tamara Lush, The Associated Press Posted Oct 16, 2015 9:45 am MDT Last Updated Oct 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Nielsen sues Bubba The Love Sponge, says he tried to tamper with radio show ratings ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Nielsen company has sued radio host Bubba The Love Sponge Clem, claiming the DJ paid a radio listener who was participating in a radio survey to inflate his show’s ratings.Among the allegations in the federal lawsuit filed Thursday: fraud; conspiracy to defraud; violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act; and interfering with business and contractual relations between Nielsen and Beasley, the company that owns the station that carries Clem’s show. The lawsuit says the listener — who is not named in the lawsuit — eventually contacted Nielsen and told the company about Clem.Nielsen said in a statement Friday it does not comment on pending litigation.“Nielsen is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data and panel integrity and will continue to act swiftly to ensure that those standards are upheld and protected,” the statement said.A phone call to Clem rang unanswered. On Oct. 6, several days after the allegations were made, Clem said during a news conference that he was “humbled and embarrassed” about the incident and said the claims were true.“I take full responsibilities for what happened and subsequently the consequences that probably are here forward,” he said. “There’s no excuses, there’s nobody to blame, I am the person to blame and I’ll accept whatever happens moving forward.”In the lawsuit, Nielsen said Clem learned that a listener’s acquaintance was participating in Nielsen’s ratings survey. Clem then met with the acquaintance several times and offered to pay $300 a month if the listener helped increase his ratings, and a bonus of up to $400 a month if a target result was reached.Normally, the identities of the listeners participating in the survey are anonymous. Nielsen calculates ratings by putting listening devices that resemble pagers on people.Nielsen alleges Clem sent the listener texts, telling him to stay quiet. “U have to PROMISE NOT TO SAY A WORD … This could ruin me.”Clem also told the listener to switch to other stations to avoid suspicion but told him not to tune to 102.5, which airs Clem’s rival, the lawsuit says.The lawsuit says after a ratings drop, Clem contacted the listener and implored him to try harder: “Please buddy. Please. I’m paying u!!!”The DJ also allegedly had radios shipped to the listener’s home.“Bubba Clem boasted to the Cooperating Panelist that he had detailed working knowledge of the PPM device which included knowledge of how to circumvent the PPM’s motion-sensing technology,” the lawsuit says. “He described that by using certain tricks the Cooperating Panelist could make it appear that he was listening to Bubba Clem’s show even when the Cooperating Panelist was not carrying the PPM device.”Nielsen also said in the lawsuit that Clem may have tried to influence other panelists.Earlier in the month, Beasley said it would require Clem and his staff to undergo ratings compliance training. The lawsuit says Clem was suspended for eight days from his live broadcast.Clem provides syndicated programming as an independent contractor to WBRN 98.7 in Tampa. In Florida, he’s also carried on stations in Fort Myers, Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Ocala, West Palm Beach and Melbourne. read more

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When to Sign an NBA Player to the Max

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery on Tuesday and will make the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick for the third time in four seasons. There’s a lot riding on whom they choose. Earlier this week I looked at the value produced by first-round NBA draft picks. These players, especially the highest draft picks, are valuable assets while they’re still on rookie-scale contracts. The average No. 1 overall pick produces the equivalent of $63 million in value during his first five NBA seasons, based on the number of wins he generates for his club. Yet the player drafted first overall this year can be had for about $35 million in salary. These averages, of course, conceal a wide range of outcomes — from LeBron James to Anthony Bennett — but the odds of acquiring a valuable player at a discount are stacked in the team’s favor.Edges like those aren’t easy to come by in the NBA, however. And the Cavs’ most difficult choice this summer may not be between Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, but what to do about Kyrie Irving, their No. 1 overall pick three drafts ago. They’ll need to determine whether to offer Irving a maximum extension, which would kick in during the 2015-16 season and pay him around $90 million through 2019-20.These decisions can easily go wrong. The very best players in the league might be worth 20 wins per season or more, which can translate into valuations in the range of $40 million a year — much higher than the maximum salary. However, only the top few players in the league — James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and perhaps a half-dozen others — are worth considerably more than the max. And not all players who look to be on a LeBronian trajectory stay the course. The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose won the MVP after his terrific 2010-11 season — a lot more than Irving has accomplished — and the Bulls signed him to a “supermax” extension afterward through 2016-17. Rose has played in just 49 regular-season games since; the deal could wind up being a curse for Chicago.My earlier article considered cases like these on an anecdotal basis; this one will do so in a more formal way. Here’s the issue: Irving has played his first three NBA seasons, and his team needs to decide whether to offer him a maximum extension. This is a fairly common dilemma for NBA teams; the Indiana Pacers faced it last year with Paul George, for instance, and the Houston Rockets did two years ago with James Harden.Maximum extensions lock up a player for five years,1Offering a 5-year extension requires the team to use its Designated Player status on the player; otherwise, it can only offer a 4-year extension. for his fifth through ninth NBA seasons. If you’ve been reading carefully, you may be wondering what happened to a player’s fourth season. The short answer is that the team needs to decide on a max extension a year ahead of time. Essentially, it loses out on a year’s worth of information. This makes more difference than you might think2In a regression analysis modeling the player’s performance in seasons five through nine, adding his fourth season improves the explanatory power of the model by about 15 percent.; the fourth season is sometimes pivotal in young players’ development. Penny Hardaway’s performance regressed significantly during his fourth season, for instance, the start of a rather steep decline, and his fourth season is when Rose’s injury problems began.As the name implies, a maximum extension is for the league’s maximum salary and maximum annual raises of 7.5 percent. The maximum salary for a player in his fifth NBA season was $13.7 million last season. However, assuming inflation under the salary cap is 3.5 percent per season,3This assumption is perhaps on the conservative side. it will be closer to $16.3 million by 2018-19, when the players chosen in the draft this June will enter their fifth year. Factoring in annual raises, that means the price of a maximum extension will be about $94.5 million over five years when Andrew Wiggins or Julius Randle become eligible for one. Or, Wiggins or Randle instead could be eligible for a supermax extension if they meet certain criteria, such as starting on the All-Star team at least twice. Those supermax extensions are 20 percent more expensive, or $113.4 million over five years.My apologies if this has begun to read like a legal brief. The NBA’s contract rules aren’t simple; there’s a reason that Larry Coon’s salary cap FAQ runs for more than 60,000 words. The “fun” part of the story starts now.First, let’s look at the typical aging curves for NBA players, based on their position in the draft and the number of years since they were drafted.The chart shows that the typical first-round draft pick improves significantly during his first and second seasons in the league. Then he has a long and relatively flat peak that persists from about his third through eighth NBA seasons. After that, he begins to decline. The shape of the aging curve is fairly similar regardless of where a player is chosen in the draft. Players chosen higher in the draft are better as rookies, better at their peak, and better in their declining years — but they don’t peak substantially earlier or later than other players.This represents a reasonably favorable set of circumstances for an NBA team considering a max extension. In buying up a player’s fifth through ninth NBA seasons, it’s still getting him at something close to peak performance.4This is especially likely to be the case for a player who entered the draft as soon as he was eligible, as most potential NBA superstars now do, because he may be a year or two younger than the typical player represented by these aging curves. The situation is better than in baseball, when the average player doesn’t hit the free-agent market until he’s something like 30 years old, and already in his decline phase.So suppose that the No. 1 overall draft pick was always signed to a max extension. Would teams come out ahead on those deals on average?No; this would be a silly strategy. Based on the past performance of No. 1 overall picks, you’d expect the player chosen first this year to produce the equivalent of $80.5 million in market value from 2018-19 to 2022-23.5This calculation assumes 3.5 percent inflation in the price of a win on the free-agent market. That’s not bad, but his max deal would cost his team $94.5 million instead.So let’s allow teams to take a more sophisticated approach. They run a regression on all first-round picks from the lottery era, which provides them with a projection of their player’s performance in his fifth through ninth seasons based on his age, his draft position and his performance in his first three seasons (as measured by win shares).6The three years are not weighted equally in this regression; instead, weighting the most recent seasons more heavily produces a considerably better prediction. If the player’s projection comes out in the 80th percentile or higher, they offer a max extension. This means that 20 percent of first-round draft picks would get max extensions, or an average of six players per draft class.This strategy is also not any good for the teams; it’s much too liberal in giving out max contracts. The average player from this group produces about $75 million worth of market value in his extension seasons — about $20 million less than his team would need to pay him.We have to set the bar a lot higher. Suppose teams extend only the top 5 percent of players, or the equivalent of one or two players per draft class. These players do provide some surplus value during their extension years. Their performance is worth an average of $105.7 million in market value, compared to their $94.5 million in salary. That’s a profit of about $11 million for the teams.Even so, most of these are good deals for the teams rather than great ones. The majority of these players are worthwhile at the maximum salary, but the majority would not be worth the supermax salary of $113.4 million.7Also, all of the team’s profit comes from the first four years of the extension; teams should be indifferent about whether to lock the player up for a fifth year.To find players worth the supermax deal, teams need to be pickier still — offering it only to players who rank in the 99th percentile of all first-round picks. There are about 700 players in our sample of lottery-era first-round picks, which means only seven meet this definition: James, Durant, Paul, Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan. This is a noisy estimate because of the small sample size,8And because Durant and Paul have not yet had the chance to play nine seasons in the league; my method adjusts for this by not including their win shares in the average for the seasons they’ve not yet played. but these players produced an average of about $130 million worth of value in their fifth through ninth seasons, well more than both the max and supermax contracts.9Even within this exclusive club, however, there were two players, Hardaway and Hill, who would have been bad deals.But it’s not much of a challenge to identify the 99th percentile players. Instead, the hard part is distinguishing between players in the 95th through 98th percentiles, who generally are worth max extensions, and those in the 90th through 94th percentiles, who usually are not. According to our model, in fact, players in the 90th through 94th percentiles are expected to produce a significantly negative return on investment when signed to max extensions, receiving almost $20 million more in salary than their production is worth.This is an awfully abstract way to think about NBA players, so let’s look at some examples. The table below lists all players from 2000 through 2014 who would be classified in each grouping after their third NBA season. The guys on the right are the ones you’d have wanted to extend — given what you knew about them at the time. The guys on the left are the ones you wouldn’t.Each side of the list has a few mild oddities (Ronnie Brewer?), but for the most part the breakdown is reasonably intuitive. The guys on the right side are those who by their third season in the league were serious candidates for one of the three All-NBA teams. In fact, 57 percent of the players on the right-hand list had made at least one All-NBA team by their third season, and almost all the others would have been very reasonable picks. By contrast, just two of the 21 players on the left-hand list had done so (the exceptions were Russell Westbrook and Paul George and they both rated in the 94th percentile, just barely missing the right-hand side of the list).If you were an NBA team actually contemplating a max-extension offer, you’d want to do more homework on the decision. Still, the following is a pretty good rule of thumb:Has your guy made an All-NBA team, or would it have been entirely reasonable for him to do so? Then offer him the max extension. If not, then don’t.If it’s a close call, you might consider the player’s age, his injury history, his advanced defensive metrics, his leadership abilities, positional scarcity, your cap flexibility or whatever else pleases you.Kyrie Irving hasn’t made an All-NBA team and he isn’t going to this season. But is he a close call or a flat ‘no’? He’s squarely on the left-hand side of our chart10He rates in the 92nd percentile and is not a true borderline case like George or Westbrook. based on win shares — and that metric likes Irving a lot better than some other systems. ESPN’s NBA real plus-minus rated Irving as just the 37th (!) best point guard in the league, by contrast, in large part because it rates his defense as awful.Perhaps Irving’s disappointing season had more to do with motivation and mindset than talent. But it’s important to consider the downside as well as the upside of a max deal. Unless you have a potential 99th percentile player on your hands, the downside is sometimes larger. A very, very good but not quite world-class NBA player — say, Russell Westbrook — is worth a little more than the maximum salary. But a guy who gets hurt or who burns out early — say, Steve Francis — can be a huge albatross. If Irving has a 50 percent chance of turning into Westbrook and a 50 percent chance of following the Francis course, the Cavs probably shouldn’t sign him. (The team also has other options to explore: trading him, locking up his fifth season by making him a qualifying offer, and so forth.)This analysis also implies that there isn’t much intrinsic value in a draft pick above and beyond what a player gives you while he’s still on the rookie salary scale. Your player will be worth signing to a max extension only 5 percent of the time, and your expected profit on those extensions is only $11 million a pop. Having a 5 percent chance at an $11 million profit is worth just $550,000. By contrast, being too liberal about giving out max extensions to players like Irving can chip away at the value gained from them during their first several seasons. read more

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How Teams Did In FirstRound NFL Draft Trades

The biggest trades of NFL draft picks took place weeks in advance, when Los Angeles and Philadelphia traded up with Tennessee and Cleveland, respectively, to acquire the top two spots. Then, on draft night, five more trades of picks were finalized. We can’t grade whether a team won or lost a trade until we see how those players turn out in the NFL, but we can analyze whether the trade made sense and whether a team under- or overpaid for the right to acquire that player. For that, I created a draft value chart to measure the expected marginal value provided, on average, by a draft pick based on the production of players historically drafted from around that draft spot. Let’s start with the splashiest move not involving a Twitter account of the night.Cleveland gives up: eighth pick overall, sixth-round pick (No. 176 overall)Tennessee gives up: 15th pick overall, third-round pick (No. 76 overall), second-round pick in 2017The Browns traded down and eventually selected Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman; if he was Cleveland’s target all along, this was an excellent move — Coleman was at little risk of going before the 15th overall pick. Tennessee moved up to take offensive tackle Jack Conklin after the Baltimore Ravens began the run on offensive linemen at No. 6, with Ronnie Stanley. Cleveland extracted significant value in this move, perhaps because of a mental accounting effect, as the Titans may have viewed the picks involved as found money after the Rams trade.Based on my marginal value chart, the Browns win the trade … even without considering the second-round pick in 2017! The 76th pick is a valuable one — more valuable than the difference between the eighth and 15th picks. If we value the 2017 second-round pick as equivalent to the 48th pick in this year’s draft, the Browns received a whopping 148 cents on the dollar for this trade. (The 48th pick is likely a worse pick than Tennessee’s 2017 second-rounder will be, but we’re eyeballing a markdown for having to wait a year.)The Jimmy Johnson chart is used by many teams as a framework for constructing trades even though its values are not reflective of how players from each round perform. In general, it overvalues higher selections. In this case, it would have the Browns receiving only 89 cents on the dollar before considering the 2017 second-round pick. However, even on that chart, this trade is a home run for Cleveland. Consider that if the Titans had traded the 85th pick in this draft rather than the second-rounder in 2017, the old Jimmy Johnson chart would still give a slight edge in this trade to the Browns. The Browns may have benefited from the Titans’ panic that the Giants wanted to take Conklin 10th overall.Chicago gives up: 11th pick overall, fourth-round pick (No. 106 overall)Tampa Bay gives up: ninth pick overallThis was a small price for Chicago to pay to move up two spots to select Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd; the trade may be a little harder to understand from the Buccaneers’ perspective. My chart has this as a nice deal for Tampa Bay — the team picked up 117 cents on the dollar. The Jimmy Johnson calculator has this trade as nearly dead even (it has Tampa Bay losing the deal by a tiny margin), which suggests that teams really do use that chart as a framework for trade discussions. Sometimes, teams need to overpay to acquire the players they want: The Giants were heavily linked to Conklin and Floyd at 10th overall and then saw teams trade up (and overpay) to No. 8 and No. 9 to take those two players. Giving up a high fourth-round pick is not insignificant, but the draft was light on pure edge rushers, so the trade makes sense if Chicago viewed Floyd as a great prospect (and far ahead of, say, Clemson’s Shaq Lawson) and pass rusher as a big need position.The only reason this struck me as a bit odd was that Tampa Bay traded down two spots to take a corner, Vernon Hargreaves, but watched the Giants draft cornerback Eli Apple in between! There’s no way of knowing how the Bucs valued Hargreaves relative to Apple, but presumably Tampa Bay got the man it wanted considering that Hargreaves had a higher grade by most analysts and was born in Tampa. Still, the Bucs could have lost Hargreaves to New York, so Tampa Bay likely viewed a free early fourth-rounder as worth the risk.Washington gives up: 21st overall pickHouston gives up: 22nd overall pick, sixth-round pick in 2017Using a trade chart to analyze this trade doesn’t make sense because it’s best understood as a matter of risk allocation. Houston, which was known to be after a wideout, traded up one pick to draft Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller. In addition, many mock drafts had the Vikings and Bengals selecting wide receivers with the 23rd and 24th picks, respectively. With Cleveland grabbing Coleman at No. 15, one fewer receiver was available for Cincinnati and Minnesota. And if either the Bengals or Vikings (or another team later in the draft) had Fuller as the top wide receiver left on their board, it would have made sense for either team to pay a small price to leap Houston by trading with Washington.The Texans presumably had Fuller and perhaps Coleman a tier above wide receivers Josh Doctson of TCU and Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss even though most mock drafts had Fuller as the fourth player in that group. Houston’s giving up next year’s sixth-round pick is hardly a significant price for eliminating the risk of missing out on the man they were targeting, but it only makes sense if Fuller truly is a better prospect (or fit for the Houston offense) than Doctson or Treadwell. Putting aside value, we can safely say that Houston really wanted Fuller, which could mean good things for his fantasy football value this season.For Washington, which drafted Doctson at No. 22, the only knock on this trade is that it probably could have gotten more by trading with, say, Minnesota and picking Doctson or Treadwell. We can’t know for sure, but Washington likely was going to take Doctson over Fuller anyway, so the team simply picked up a 2017 sixth-rounder selection for free.Seattle gives up: 26th overall pickDenver gives up: 31st overall pick; third-round pick (No. 94 overall)On my chart, this was a great trade for Seattle — the Seahawks picked up 132 cents on the dollar. Seattle moved down five spots to pick up a third-rounder and selected Texas A&M offensive lineman Germain Ifedi 31st overall. Seattle was heavily linked to him ahead of the draft, so this worked out beautifully for the team. Picking up a third-round pick, even a late one, is still very valuable: Remember, that is the same round where Seattle drafted Russell Wilson in 2012 and Tyler Lockett in 2015.The Broncos moved up to take Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. The trade was pretty even on the traditional chart, with the Seahawks picking up “only” 103 cents on the dollar. But even if Denver paid a premium based on my chart, that is often the cost of doing business when a team wants to trade up. Lynch was a possible top-15 pick in this draft, and given that he was the top quarterback prospect remaining in the draft, he likely would not have made it to No. 31 (Lynch would have made a lot of sense for Arizona at No. 29, and the Cowboys acknowledged a desire to trade up in front of Denver for Lynch). The Broncos didn’t get Lynch for cheap, but this was a much more reasonable trade than the franchise-altering ransoms paid by Los Angeles and Philadelphia for the top two quarterbacks.Kansas City gives up: 28th overall pickSan Francisco gives up: second-round pick (No. 37 overall), fourth-round pick (No. 105 overall), sixth-round pick (No. 178 overall)The 49ers traded up for Stanford guard Joshua Garnett but paid a serious price. Kansas City received 136 cents on the dollar according to my chart and 96 cents according to the traditional chart. San Francisco gave up an early fourth-round pick to move up just nine spots … for a guard! It’s one thing for the Broncos to trade a pick at the back end of the third round to move up five spots for a quarterback; to pay essentially the same price for Garnett is much harder to defend.Whereas Lynch was viewed as a potential first-rounder by many teams, the market for Garnett appeared to be much softer. Trading up for the last player in a tier at a position of significant value makes sense, but this trade by the 49ers is much tougher to justify. Valuable players are still available at No. 105; consider that since 2010, Kirk Cousins, Everson Griffen, Jordan Cameron, Devonta Freeman, Alterraun Verner and Perry Riley were all selected between pick 100 and 110. On the other side, a fourth-rounder is a valuable commodity — it’s the sweet spot of getting a solid prospect on a cheap contract for four years — so kudos to the Chiefs for pulling off a nice trade in exchange for waiting nine selections. read more

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NHS plan The key points from the new 134page strategy

A GENETIC REVOLUTIONGENETIC tests will be offered to all children with cancer and adults with some of the most hard to treat diseases in a bid to save half a million lives in a decade.By the end of this year, every child diagnosed with cancer will be offered tests which mean they can be offered personalised treatment, boosting its effectiveness.The same steps will THEN be taken for adults with major cancers such as breast and prostate disease, as well as those at high risk of heart attacks and strokes.  BOOSTING OUT OF HOSPITAL CAREONE of the most fundamental shifts in the plan is an attempt to strengthen community services, and ensure more patients treated at home, or closer to home. Wherever possible, illness should be treated by community or primary care, the plan says.As a result, GP and community services have been given £4.5bn of the funding.It means that a third of new funds will go towards community and mental health services, in a determined effort to provide more services outside hospitals. Questioned on whether the changes are being made because the A&E target has repeatedly been missed, he insisted this was not the case.Mr Stevens said: “The top doctors in the NHS are looking at what are the most appropriate clinical standards to improve outcomes in emergency care and then they will make their recommendations and on the back of that we will meet them.”The review is due to report this Spring.Asked whether the target would be scrapped, Mrs May indicated that changes were likely.She said: “What the Long Term Plan is about is saying, actually what are the right sort of targets for the future?  CEO of NHS England, Simon StevensCredit:WPA Pool/Getty Images TARGETSThe flagship four-hour Accident & Emergency target looks set to be scrapped, the head of the health service has indicated.Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said a review was considering introducing a set of “tougher, faster standards” for the most urgent cases, such as sepsis, heart attacks and strokes – suggesting the time limit for less serious cases could be relaxed. The 2012 Health and Social Care Act created more than 200 health bodies, and encouraged more competition within the health service in a bid to boost efficiency.The measures led to a major reorganisation of the NHS – much of which could now be changed.Today’s plan calls for new legislation, in order to streamline bureaucracy, and place a duty on health organisations to work together, in the interests of patients.Officials said the measures could help to save £700 million from the NHS budgets.However, previous reorganisations have proved costly, with managers being paid generous redundancy packages, in some cases, only to be rehired elsewhere in the NHS.Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, said: “The NHS of 2030 will have a different set of demands on its services than the NHS of 1948 or even 2008. As part of our Long Term Plan for the NHS we want to foster a culture of ambition and innovation in the way our health sector organises the services it delivers – and I am prepared to make the changes necessary for this to become a reality, including changing the law.”“Our ambition is to ensure local NHS leaders can put integrated, patient-centred care and value for taxpayers above all else and to equip our health service with a flexible framework which allows them to be more cost effective and deliver world-leading care for years to come.” BONFIRE OF THE BUREAUCRACYThe new plan calls for the reversal of controversial reforms introduced by Andrew Lansley, which could herald redundancies for thousands of NHS managers. The plan calls for a major expansion of policies which have so far only been offered to a tiny minority of patients.Both Matt Hancock and Simon Stevens have expressed enthusiasm for “social prescribing” – calling on GPs to recommend gardening, dancing and art classes to patients, in place of traditional medicine.The schemes aim to reduce loneliness, and reduce reliance on painkillers and antidepressants. Research from pilot schemes found that GPs who referred patients to classes like gardening, tango dancing and fishing saw a 25 per cent reduction in visits to Accident & Emergency units.The plan also calls for a major expansion in personal budgets – a controversial policy, introduced under Labour, which means patients with chronic health problems can choose how funds on them are spent.Under the schemes, patients have been able to opt to have a massage rather than see a physiotherapist, or choose art classes instead of counselling.But the policy has attracted criticism when patients have opted to use their budgets on more luxurious items, with horse riding, holidays and even pets funded under such schemes. So far fewer than 40,000 patients have received the budgets.But the plan says the NHS “personalised care model” – encompassing personal budgets and social prescribing – should be expanded to cover 2.5 million people within five years, to reach 5 million within a decade. “We and NHS leaders can look at that question but everything need to be based on clinical evidence. It needs to be based on what is right for the patient. We do need to look at performance against existing targets but as we look ahead for the NHS let’s make sure we are setting standards that are the right standards for the future.”Dr Chris Moulton, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, raised fears that patient would be left increasingly suffering delays and overcrowding, if the four-hour target is axed. He raised fears the changes “may not be driven by patient interests alone” with the flagship target now missed for more than three and a half years.The NHS has also repeatedly missed targets for 92 per cent of patients needing operations to receive them within 18 weeks.The long-term plan does not commit the NHS to meeting either target, but says that action must be taken to cut long waits, and reduce the waiting list.  And it says a new faster standard will mean that from 2020 most patients with symptoms which could mean cancer should receive a definitive diagnosis or the all-clear within a month. The plan says efforts to keep patients out of NHS wards also mean hospitals and community services need to work more closely together. And it calls for more joint efforts between councils and the NHS, to prevent wrangles over funding, and needless long stays in patients for the elderly.However, Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, made clear that the health service plan for the next decade depends on social care getting sufficient funding.This in turn depends on a long-delayed social care green paper. The vexed issue of how to fund care of the elderly almost cost Mrs May the last election, but ministers insist that the paper will be published soon. And it examining how to introduce a four week minimum treatment time for all children and young people in need of specialist mental health services.  CEO of NHS England, Simon Stevens NHS officials said the cutting edge breakthroughs, combined with the national rollout of far speedier testing, using rapid diagnostic centres, could save 487,000 lives by 2029. The target to treat, admit or discharge 95 per cent of A&E patients within four hours has not been met since July 2015.Mr Stevens said: “On A&E services we think we need a tougher faster set of standards for some major conditions than we have at the moment.“It doesn’t distinguish between turning up at A&E with a strained finger or turning up with a heart attack. So what senior doctors are telling us is that they think the standards should focus particularly on those major conditions – that’s things like sepsis, heart attack and stroke.” Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The fact NHS bosses are now proposing significant changes to the Health and Social Care Act confirms what a wasteful, bureaucratic disaster it was in the first place.” POWER TO THE PATIENTSFIVE million patients will be offered “personal budgets” to fund their own choice of treatment, or prescribed hobbies like gardening and dancing under a “personalisation” agenda.  Theresa May heralded the launch of a long-term plan for the NHS as a “truly historic moment” for the country. Backed by £20.5bn funding, the new 134 page strategy sets out a series of ambitions to save almost 500,000 lives.Some of the changes promised – such as genetic tests for all children with cancer – will move quickly, and take advantage of major advances in science.Others – such as the pledge to put the health service on a “digital first” footing – will take far longer to achieve, and are harder to envisage, given the NHS’ poor track record on IT.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––But there were some notable omissions from the plan; most crucially, information on what might replace the A&E four hour target, which sounds likely to be scrapped. And charities are eagerly awaiting publication of a long-delayed green paper on social care, which will set out future models of funding for care of the elderly.  MENTAL HEALTHThe plan puts aside an extra £2.3bn for mental health, with pledges to massively expand access to services for children.Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS has repeatedly expressed concern that the health service has been left “picking up the pieces” of a mental illness fuelled by social media.The plan says an extra 345,000 children and young people receive help from teams based in schools and community NHS services. EFFICIENCY The NHS is one of the world’s most efficient health services, achieving better value of money than European neighbours, the head of the NHS has said.Simon Stevens referred to OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) figures showing that Germans pay roughly a third more per person than taxpayers in the UK for healthcare services, while the French pay double for health administration.“The good news is that we have one of the most efficient health services in the world, that doesn’t mean we can’t do better,” Mr Stevens said.“Let’s just remember, it costs the Germans a third more per person to run their health service than we do in the NHS.“The French spend twice as much on administration as we do.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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