Garda polar plunge raises a cool €12,000 for Special Olympics!

first_imgBrave volunteers who got chilly in the Swilly last December are celebrating a major fundraising success for Special Olympics Ireland.The grand total of the Rathmullan Polar Plunge was revealed last week, with a cool €12,038.67 raised from the charity event.Mrs Brown’s Boys actor Danny O’Carroll was joined by Team Ulster Special Olympians and students from Little Angels school for the official cheque presentation on Thursday at Milford Garda Station. Gardaí in Milford and Letterkenny and many other local groups got ‘freezin for a reason’ on 15th December 2018 when they did the sponsored dive at Rathmullan.Garda members who took part are dedicated to supporting and raising funds for Special Olympics Ireland along with taking the Flame of Hope across the country to raise awareness of people with intellectual disabilities.Law Enforcement Polar plunge at Rathmullan 2018Law Enforcement Polar plunge at Rathmullan 2018Local Gardaí have thanked all of the different agencies and organisations which got involved in their fundraising initiative, and the general public who supported the event in large numbers.The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics worldwide which includes Garda members from each Garda Division. Danny O’Carroll with Special Olympics Ulster athletes and students from Little Angels School at the Polar Plunge cheque presentation in Milford Garda StationAnd they’re getting ready to go again with another plunge in 2019!Date for the Diary: The 5th Law Enforcement Polar plunge will take place on the 7th December 2019 in Rathmullan!Garda polar plunge raises a cool €12,000 for Special Olympics! was last modified: March 11th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Danny O’CarrollfundraiserGardaiLittle angelsPolar PlungeSpecial Olympics Ulsterlast_img read more

Veterinary Feed Directive implementation deadline coming soon

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The clock is winding down on implementing the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.Some livestock farms are well on their way to have the necessary changes in place at the start of 2017, but others have much yet to do.“This is a huge issue. We will see over the coming months growth promotion and nutritional efficiency labels and uses of antibiotics that are also important to human medicine will be going away. The labels will change,” said Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council. “If those antibiotics are used in feed, it will be illegal to use them to improve growth or improve nutritional efficiency. The remaining uses — the therapeutic uses for disease prevention control and treatment — will require a veterinarian to write a prescription if those are in water or a VFD if they are delivered in feed. This will be a huge cultural change and a very interesting transition. This is going to affect most of the antibiotics used in animal agriculture.”A current “VFD drug” is a drug intended for use in or on animal feed. These include tetracycline, penicillin, neomycin, tylosin and many others. Injectable over-the-counter antibiotics are not included in this rule, but mineral preparations and salt blocks containing affected antibiotics are a part of the VFD regulation.In the future, when a new animal drug application is submitted to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) for approval, CVM will evaluate the drug for safety and effectiveness, and as part of the review process, to determine whether the drug will be an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, a prescription (Rx) drug, or a VFD drug (limited to drugs used in or on animal feed).The changes are being mandated by the FDA due to ongoing concerns about the use of antibiotics (antimicrobials) in livestock production contributing to serious, and real, resistance issues.“We cannot deny that antibiotic resistance happens and that it makes human disease more difficult to treat. We also have resistant diseases in animals that make them more difficult to treat. It is a big public health concern that has been a driver for the FDA to make more changes,” Wagstrom said. “We can talk about how much, if any, contribution the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture contributes to human illness, but I think we are now to a point that it is not worth arguing how much. We just need to get our own house in order and use antibiotics responsibly and do our share to protect both animal health and pubic health.”The key moving forward for livestock operations is a close, and well documented, relationship between the farm and a veterinarian.“If a producer doesn’t have a strong relationship with a veterinarian, we are encouraging them to find one. You are going to need one and that veterinarian needs to be a part of your team who needs to know your animals, facilities and management before they can legally write you a VFD,” she said. “We hope you can view that as a contributor to your bottom line rather than an expense because we believe that relationship will strengthen your business as well as legally allow you to use antibiotics.”Frank Burkett III farms in Stark County with three uncles on a 690-cow dairy with another 700 replacements on feed. He sees the value in a close relationship with the veterinarian.“We have a great relationship with our veterinarian. When we look at the effect it will have on us, in addition to having a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR), we’ll have to take an extra step in the future. Specifically for our farm, one example I can think of right away is that we use tetracycline to treat calves with respiratory issues,” he said. “So rather than just going to our feed supplier and getting it, we will need to take another step with our vet to write something along the lines of a prescription for that product for us to supply to our feed company so they can provide that product to us.”Without a well-established VCPR, the potential use for many of the important antibiotics in the operation could no longer be legal on the farm after Jan. 1, 2017. The final rule issued by FDA specifies the key elements that define a VCPR. These include that the veterinarian engage with the livestock producer to assume responsibility for making clinical judgments about animal health, have sufficient knowledge of the animal by virtue of patient examination and/or visits to the facility where the animal is managed, and provide for any necessary follow-up evaluation or care. The final rule will require veterinarians to follow state-defined VCPR requirements and all veterinarians will need to adhere to a VCPR that includes the key elements in the final rule.“The main concern is for people who don’t have that relationship with their veterinarian. There are areas of the state that are underserved by large animal vets — we are well aware of that. The livestock producers in those areas have been treating and making decisions on their own for their livestock and raising healthy animals for years. They can consult a vet when they need, but they have been making decisions on their own and using antimicrobials in a responsible way. Now this will put them in a position where they will have to establish that relationship and agreement in order to continue to use antimicrobials on the list,” Burkett said. “For our farm, it will just be some more paperwork involved with the process. The intention is more oversight so we can be sure antimicrobials are being used responsibly to prevent resistance in animals and humans. It looks like it will just be some additional paperwork and communication with our vet and our feed suppliers that we get those products from.”In addition, the label changes will mean some differences on the farm.“These antimicrobials in feed and water will have to be used based on the label. Right now they can legally be used under an extra label use but that will not be able to be done legally once this change takes place. The important thing is communication so producers are not surprised about this change as this moves forward,” he said. “We were at risk of losing the use of this class of antimicrobials altogether. This is a compromise to allow us to use them but add securities so we don’t build resistance. We want to make sure that this is not expanded in a way that becomes more burdensome.”In December 2013, the FDA published a guidance document on this issue, which called upon animal drug manufacturers of approved medically important antimicrobials that are put into water or feed of food-producing animals to voluntarily stop labeling them as drugs that can be used to promote animal growth and change the labeling of their products for the remaining uses to require veterinary oversight of these drugs when they are used for therapeutic purposes. All of the affected makers of these drugs committed in writing to participate in the strategy. Then in June of 2015, the FDA announced the VFD final rule to bring the use of these drugs under veterinary supervision so that they are used only when necessary for assuring animal health.“The actions the FDA has taken to date represent important steps toward a fundamental change in how antimicrobials can be legally used in food-producing animals,” said Michael R. Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods. “The VFD final rule takes another important step by facilitating veterinary oversight in a way that allows for the flexibility needed to accommodate the diversity of circumstances that veterinarians encounter, while ensuring such oversight is conducted in accordance with nationally consistent principles.”last_img read more

I Run 13 Browsers At Once; 11 of Them Just Went Open Source

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick FluidApp is what’s called a Single Site Browser and is a great way to pull key websites you use throughout the day out of your primary browser and onto your Mac dashboard as standalone applications. It’s super easy for anyone to use. The service has a thriving community of users – I have 10 Fluid browsers running on my computer right now and wouldn’t want to work without them. In fact, I’m writing this blog post from Movable Type inside a Fluid Browser.In a quiet mid-December move, FluidApp developer Todd Ditchendorf put “most of the code behind Fluid” up on Github under an open source license. That’s very good news – new developments are already coming fast and furious. If you haven’t checked out Fluid before, now is a great time.There’s something magical about the way single site browsers let you use different web apps. They don’t get lost in tabs. They don’t fall prey to browser crashes. You can put a handsome icon in your doc to jump over to them.Windows users looking for a similar experience should check out Bubbles or Mozilla’s Prism. Now that Fluid for the Mac is open source though, it will be very exciting to see what features are added next. Creator Ditchendorf says he has some more exciting plans under his hat but nothing to show off yet. Watch this space.What’s your favorite Fluid App? One of my favorites is LazyFeed.Next: 15 Fluid Apps You Can Build For Your Business. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Browsers#web Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

B2B Customer Experience, 13 Actions Bringing Better Results

first_imgTechnology is always making headway in the business world, entrepreneurs and many business veterans have been incorporating the innovational ways to transcend their rivals.            They say if Content is the king, Customer experience is the queen.  Customer experience purely depends on how you make your customers feel during the interactions. The way you sort your priorities and your business representation needs to excel.Compared to B2C, B2B is more demanding in terms of productivity and thus needs special attention for the providers. And why not, a B2B buyer offers you orders in big volumes. Remember the efforts you put on for insisting a B2C customer to purchase one item. This time, the desired effort magnitude is a thousand times higher.This article illustrates everything you need to know about how you can improve the B2B customer experience with your e-commerce endeavours. But before delving deep, let’s have: A sneak-peak at why customer experience matters in B2BThe B2B decision-makers every time have a vendor selected in mind even before a purchasing group is formed. As a result, the stakeholders offer a fat chance to let a new party in. And, that is the only space you are provided in the process.B2B offers very little room to allow aberrations. You can’t just play around when your prospects are that reserved with their choices. It turns really important to strike the right note in the limited time frame. Above all, their existing vendors have set a threshold with the services and retention offers. Your strategies need to whipsaw the existing filters to initiate the possibilities.Now, here is a pie-chart that explains the ill-effect of serving bad. According to Groove, 82% of customers let go of a company due to bad customer experience in the past.From the sales point of view, the ratio is alarmingly high and needs to be addressed right.The same source also claims that the customers are willing to pay extra, in exchange for a better CX. The clients are ready to spend around 140% more than usual, based upon their past user experience with the company. That being said, a B2B owner can expect their clients to come round again with more revenue. The only condition is if they develop a more Customer-centric approach.Proven Steps To Improve B2B customer experienceB2B business owners can dramatically enhance customer experience and achieve the bottom line gains by utilizing buyers’ familiarity with some common B2C site functions. Above all, they need to make sure that they are saving the clients’ precious time and pitching their best in the nutshell.Being said that, we have jotted down the most tried-and-tested ways that can level up the way customers perceive your business.An interactive ChatBot optimizes the chances of conversionA famous quote says “The first impression is the last impression.” That’s why Chatbots find themselves useful on most websites these days. Keeping the prospects engaged is one way of making the interaction more riveting. Attending the customer can actually take them down the lead funnel quicker. Compared to Email Marketing and cold call attempts, Chatbots are rather dynamic and can fetch their details with much ease.Modern-age Chatbots can make the rate negotiations on your behalf, even when you are off the system. Concise Content that defines your purposeThe businesses are well aware of the market and prefer to research before entering into any deal. While they are in touch with you, they are alongside considering other vendors to get the best product at the best price, they have already explored your websites deep and the surveys that relate to you.You can take this as an advantage; strengthen your contents, let them speak of your motto well aloud, let them define your endeavours and objectives with clarity. All this be done in a well-directed manner.User case studies bridge the gap effectivelyCase studies have played a crucial role in bridging the gap between a customer and the business. It needs a good grip on the buyer’s persona and a clear understanding of your product. The B2B owner can take help of their existing clients, who play the lead character in the plot. Case study portrays main character’s problem and the solution offered by the product.In most cases, the customers find themselves on the character’s shoes thus offering the much-needed connection.With Product Personalisation, customers can have a better choiceWhat if the customer liked the design of your product, but not the colour? What if he denied just because he disfavored the text? There are tools that can save you from losing the ground.Product Personalization allows your customers to have products of their choice. They can select the design and variant on their own. It is now a part of the major State of the art eCommerce websites. With several variants of the same product, the customer has better chances of getting converted.B2B owners can find such applications across all the major e-commerce platforms. Image SourceWith personalized recommendations, make them feel more valuedKeeping in mind that the other side of the B2B model is a procurer, the content needs to be highly personalized for specific customers. Features like product recommendations and customised best-seller lists can give B2B companies the chance to grow personal relations with the buyers.The Sellers can pitch Upselling and Cross-selling strategies to enhance the possibility of closing the deal.Influencing the C-Level decision makerA chain of multiple decision-making layers is one of the major factors that differentiate B2C from B2B. At an average, 6.8 people are involved while making a B2B purchase. The Champion stakeholder among the decision makers plays the lead role. Friendly referrals or impressing the champion can effectively break the obstacles.C-Level decision makers seek concise and focussed interactions. Time is a big constraint at these sessions. The best part- they favour a lasting relationship.Adding a lead score on customer’s growing interestAttaining a lead is not the end of the journey. A lead, if nurtured well can get you bulk orders. Adding lead score for every advancement by the customer can help you classify their status and the chances of them being converted. Most B2B owners pitch further knowledge of services with the rising lead score. Image SourceThe picture above is an example that represents the way, the lead score is offered at every step.Managing Abandoned Cart to remind them of the purchaseB2B prioritises a lot of segments, thus wrapping up for the deal can often take time. On average, more than 60% of the purchases are cancelled during the checkout. It is thus necessary to manage the cart abandonment with utmost priority.Most B2B owners pitch discounts within 15-30 minutes of cart abandonment. As per Salecycle, 28% of the carts are rescued in the process.Data Analytics attracts BuyersThe B2B customer is a marketer, and data is their native language. How easy would it be for the buyer if you lt them keep a track of their orders on the website?With Data Analytics being integrated into the b2b website, the Buyer can view order histories and other related information. These user-specific graphs are highly personalized and offer a special treatment to your buyers. Here is an example of the same: Handshake for B2B.Detailed Data Sheets with important points making the top of the listData Sheet is a must in the store. You need to describe your product for sure. More than that, are you prioritizing the descriptives?For instance, if your business is selling PCs in bulks to organizations, you are expected to put up the screen size and CPU specifications more than the mouse and keyboard.You must understand, figure out and present the data that is crucial to your sellers, which can be represented in datasheetsMoreover, you need to keep the description brief, yet detailed. An article here will help you with the same.Standard Certification and Easy Return policy for the productsB2B relies on trustworthiness. With standard certifications by your name, you can easily replace the existing vendors in the list.With your landing page showcasing the awards and the certificates, your branding is already a few levels up.Easy Return plays a key role in offering high-end customer experience. The option to return, reassures them for the quality of service offered and thus steering them to the next stage of the lead funnel. Here is one example of the same where the business owner is a SaaS provider and offers B2B services:The B2B owner presents the certifications they received on the landing page while they take charge of the product quality as wellA precise search engine saves time and trustA customer at B2C often scrolls for random products and is quite unpredictable with the choices. However, a customer at B2B is more focussed and understands his niche products better. Your Internal search engine should offer the customer highly refined searches with lesser possible inputs. The best-known eCommerce sites keep a track of the searches and repeat purchases in the past to make things more precise for specific buyers.B2B Progressive Web Apps to empower your mobile presenceMobile phones have certainly helped to boost B2B and B2C models at large. The involvement of a regular mobile phone in the business endeavour is credited to Progressive Web apps or PWA.The new-age application model combines the features offered by modern browsers along with the benefits of mobile experience. The parties can thus engage in a continuous loop on and off the systems.Final Thoughts On B2B Customer ExperienceIn a survey of about 10,000 US-based consumers, Tempkin Group once found that around 86 per cent of the users who received a great customer experience were more likely to resume. There are several more stats that advocate the importance of Customer Experience in recent times, across all the known business models. B2B is a highly focussed arena where the customer is specific to its needs. The Seller thus needs to come up with better efforts to channelise a highly delivering business. Above all, it is the way you approach and retain your customers, that matters the most. The demand for B2B services and competition are at an all-time high; differentiate yourself from the crowd and earn the right to ask for the place. Tags:#B2B#customer experience#Ecommerce business ideas Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry With This One Question, You’ll Never Need an Ic… Kunal Khullar Related Posts Kunal has 10+ years of experience in software services, development, and team management with diverse offshore software consulting firms in India and abroad. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not…last_img read more

Grips, Gaffers, and Best Boys: The Grip and Electric Departments

first_imgTo achieve the best looking shot, a cinematographer not only relies on the camera department, but also the lighting technicians, electricians, and grips. But what do they all do on set?A Director of Photography is usually associated with the camera department, but the DP actually oversees the Electrical Department and Grips as well. Before the days of unions, there was not a differentiating line between members of these departments. As job titles have become more solidified, so have the departments.You may also hear the term Lighting Department, but it’s not accurate. Most of the time you will hear Grips and Electric called G&E. Here is a breakdown of the G&E Departments.The Electrical DepartmentThis department is in charge of all electrical needs on set. That covers everything from powering set lights to powering the coffee machine.GafferImage via FM Grip and LightingA gaffer is the head of the electrical department. They may also be referred to as the Chief Lighting Technician. The gaffer is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They work directly with the Director of Photography to achieve the desired look. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Key Grip to shape the light.Best BoyThe Best Boy in the Electric department is the head assistant to the gaffer. They are the second in charge, typically watching over the electric truck and rentals, while managing and scheduling the rest of the electricians and lighting technicians. Where the Gaffer remains on set with the Director of Photography, the Best Boy carries out and manages all other jobs in the Electrical Department.They may also be referred to as Best Boy Electric or Assistant Chief Lighting Technician. Before the different departments were established, the Gaffer would ask the Key Grip to borrow his “best boy” to assist in the electric department. It became a common term in both departments, which is why there are two different Best Boys. If a female holds this position, she is still referred to as the Best Boy.Electrical Lighting TechnicianImage via ShutterstockThey are responsible for getting power to the set. They are also called; ELT, Electrician, Set Lighting Technicians, Lamp Operator, Electric, Spark or Juicer. They not only get power to the lights, but also everywhere on set. This includes trailers, catering, offices, and more.Generator OperatorFor location shoots, films will use generators for power. Generators, commonly called a Genny, produce electricity from diesel fuel. The person in charge of a generator is called the Genny Operator.Lighting Board OperatorDepending on the size of the set, or the amount of lights, there may be a Lighting Board Operator. These are not common on small sets with a few fixed lights. They are really only used if the scene being shot requires dimmable lights. All the set lights will be run to a control panel that this person will use to adjust and dim the lights. This position is more common on television sets, especially those with a live studio audience.The Grip DepartmentThis department supports all non-electrical components on set. They set up any gear for the camera, like tripods or cranes.Key GripImage: Key Grip Robert Adams on set of Wild Safari via Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryThe Key Grip, also called a Key for short, is the chief of the grip department. They work with the Director of Photography to achieve the correct lighting and blocking for shots. They diffuse and cut light on set. They are also in charge of the physical camera movement, covering everything from a dolly, to cranes, to vehicle mounts.Best BoyThe chief assistant to the Key Grip. Also knows as the Best Boy Grip. Just like the Best Boy Electric, they are in charge of the organizing and maintaining the grip truck and all other grips working on the project.GripImage via ShutterstockGrips are specialized as camera and lighting rigging technicians.  They work with the non-electrical components of light and camera setups. This includes setting up tripods, cranes, flagging, overheads, and bounces. They make any adjustments and perform maintenance on production equipments. They will cover all duties from camera movement, focusing lights, and any mechanical rigging like dolly tracks.Dolly GripImage via What If MovieThis grip is specifically in charge of working with the camera dolly. They lay and level the dolly track on set.  They will also push and pull the dolly during filming.Do you now know the difference between a Best Boy and a Best Boy? Want more articles like this? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Stop Complaining That You Have Clients

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Your customer is difficult. The challenges they provide you are extremely hard to overcome. Many of the problems stem from the changes they need to make, and making those changes would help you help them. You can be unhappy about that fact, or your can be grateful that this is your client.Your client expects you to respond to their needs quicker than you believe you should have to. What they want is something you can and will provide them—with or without the conversation they seem to need. You can work yourself up about having to hold their hand, or you can be grateful they have asked for your help at all.Your client makes a lot of changes. Once you figure out how to execute, they move the goal post, and you have to start over again. This takes time and energy, and it means you repeat the same work over again. You can wish you didn’t have to do this work, or you can be grateful that you are the one doing it.One of the contacts at a client is super needy. They take more time than any other contact you deal with—even at much larger clients. You can resent that you get their phone calls and emails, or you can be thankful that you have a relationship all locked up, free from a competitive displacement.Here’s the rub. The client you believe is a burden is the very client your competitors are trying to take from you right now. What you perceive as problems, challenges, and obstacles, they see as opportunities. Your competitors would be happy to relieve you of the burden of having to work with challenging clients. They would be overjoyed by the opportunity to respond to their needs in your stead. They would make the changes needed to execute, even if wasn’t easy. Right now, one of your competitors is hoping that you don’t pick up the phone when your client calls, and they hope your absence creates an opportunity for them to be there for your client.Complacency kills. Neglect kills. Entitlement kills even faster.If you don’t like your clients, you don’t have to keep them. Someone else will gladly take them off your hands. You don’t have an absolute right to keep their business. Stop complaining that you have clients.last_img read more

10 reasons why India lost No. 1 Test rank, series to England

first_imgIndia’s fielding has been a huge disappointment in the series.Those who follow Indian cricket must have been at a loss of words to describe the way the team has been playing in England. So epic has been the capitulation of the Indians, who were the number one Test team in the world for the best part of two years, that words like humiliation and whitewash seem incapable of summarising the tragedy.India suffered their third heaviest defeat in Tests on Saturday and by the time S. Sreesanth edged one to Kevin Pietersen, watching the team play had become a strain on the eyes, mind and heart.Once the dust settles on what is left of the current Indian team, answers will have to be sought as to what could have possibly gone wrong. There can’t be one single factor for such annihilation. But there are certainly a few which can be collectively held responsible.The Indians were simply not prepared for the series; players broke down at crucial junctures; M.S. Dhoni didn’t have the firstchoice team at his disposal; the Indians are playing too much cricket; England are simply too good and have put in their all to win the series? the list is quite long.Let’s look back at what happened this year. India had a full tour of South Africa, including three Tests and five one-dayers. After that came the World Cup. Being held in the subcontinent, India wanted to win it badly. The pressure and expectations were so high that the players admitted by the time the knockout stages came, they couldn’t eat properly and threw up regularly.advertisementEmotionally and physically, the Indians were drained by the time they tamed the Aussies, overpowered Pakistan and lorded over the Sri Lankans.Lifting the coveted trophy after 28 years at home should have meant a long break for the battered mind and body of the players. But six days after Dhoni deposited Nuwan Kulasekara over the mid-on boundary in Mumbai, the players were back to the field for the Indian Premier League, this time their corporate bosses holding the reins.So instead of cooling down after putting themselves through the ultimate grind, they threw themselves into the maniacal cauldron of T20 cricket. And before long the wheels started to wobble.Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir injured their right shoulders. Sehwag chose to play as long as the Delhi Daredevils were mathematically in the tournament. The day they were out, Sehwag was ruled injured and he flew to Germany to treat his shoulder. Gambhir said he wasn’t informed about the full extent of his injury by the Knight Riders’ physios, and that probably aggravated his condition.When the IPL jamboree finally ended on May 28, the players decided to take a break. So putting aside national interests, they decided to give the West Indies series, which followed soon after the IPL, a miss. Some players opted out of the entire tour or part of it, citing injury, fatigue and various other reasons. Sachin Tendulkar did not tour the Caribbean, Dhoni didn’t play in the ODIs, Zaheer Khan rested his hamstring and ankle.How and why did the players agree to play in the IPL and not in the West Indies has very little to do with cricket. It is a nobrainer that money power silenced cricketing logic.Arriving in England with hardly any practice as a team – no Sehwag for the first two Tests; the fitness of pace spearhead Zaheer untested and just one practice game under their belt – it was a disaster waiting to happen. And it was a disaster unlike anything seen by this generation.10 steps to disaster1. Zaheer’s hamstring: India’s pace spearhead injured his hamstring on the first day of the first Test at Lord’s. India had pinned all its hopes on one man and it all went downhill from there.2. Sachin’s viral: Sachin Tendulkar was indisposed due to a viral infection with India needing to bat out almost four session to save the first Test.3. Gambhir’s elbow hit: Got hit on the elbow after Matt Prior swept one straight at him. Was in considerable pain and missed the second Test. Struggled while batting at Lord’s as his hand movement was restricted.4. Broad-Swann stand: India had reduced England to 124 for eight on the first day at Nottingham. But a counter-attacking partnership between Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann took England to 221 on a bowler’s wicket.5. Broad hat-trick: In Trent Bridge, India had another chance to shut England out of the game when they were well placed at 267 for four. But Broad picked up a hat-trick as India collapsed to 288 all out. A possible lead of 150 and more became just 67.advertisement6. Harbhajan’s stomach strain: Dhoni was again short of bowling options in the second innings at Trent Bridge as Harbhajan Singh developed a stomach strain. Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina took up the bowling responsibilities and England carted them around gleefully.7. Butterfingers: With a number of straightforward catches dropped so far, including Rahul Dravid dropping sitters at first slip and MS Dhoni struggling to collect deliveries, Indian fielding sunk to depths rarely seen in international cricket.8. Lack of killer instinct: India had a golden chance to finish off England on the first two days of the second Test and also restrict them at Lord’s when the hosts were 107 for six. But they let them off the hook and have been thrashed as a result.9. Sehwag’s king’s pair: All eyes were on Virender Sehwag, returning from a shoulder surgery. Whether or not he was match-fit wasn’t looked into and despite his failure in the warm-up against Northants, it was hoped he would come good on match day. The king’s pair at Edgbaston dashed India’s hopes.10. Birmingham shootout: With Sehwag failing and England batsmen scoring runs at will, the writing was on the wall by the second day itself. England scored a little less than 400 runs on Day Two and Team India was simply waiting for the last rites.last_img read more

Tata JLR to create 5,000 new jobs

first_imgBy Aditi KhannaLondon, Jun 19 (PTI) Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plans to hire 5,000 new recruits, thousands with strong software skills to enhance the luxury carmakers focus on autonomous and electric vehicle technology.The UK-based JLRsaid more than 1,000 of the new roles would go to electronic and software engineers, who will be set code-breaking challenges through an app in partnership with virtual band Gorillaz.The remaining jobs will include manufacturing positions, majority of them being based in the UK.”As the automotive industry transforms over the next decade, fuelled by software innovation, we have to attract the best talent and that requires a radical rethink of how we recruit,” said Alex Heslop, JLRs head of electrical engineering.”Here weve found an engaging way to recruit a diverse talent pool in software systems, cyber systems, app development and graphics performance. It will be the first of its kind,” he said.JLR is the UKs biggest car manufacturer and one of the countrys largest exporters, with about 80 per cent of its 24 -billion-pound annual revenues generated from cars sold abroad.The brand, which has seen a remarkable turnaround since the Tata Group took over the struggling company in 2008, has indicated that half of all its new models will be available in an electric version by the end of the decade.The company is set to build its first electric vehicle, the I-PACE, in Austria, necessitating the latest recruitment drive.”The best performers will be fast-tracked through the recruitment process, helping to meet Jaguar Land Rovers ambition to employ thousands of bright new talents over the next year. Its a major change in the way the business looks for candidates, aiming to tackle the engineering skills gap, inspire and attract a diverse range of talent and new thinking,” JLR said in a statement.advertisementPotential candidates will be set challenges via the app, including assembling the Jaguar I-PACE Concept, Jaguars first all-electric five-seater sports car.There will also be code-breaking challenges to test applicants “curiosity, persistence, lateral thinking and problem solving skills”.The Tata Group company, which employs 40,000 people globally, has said it would continue to accept applications through traditional routes, via a CV through the JLR careers website.The news comes against the backdrop of concerns over the impact of Brexit on the UK automotive industry.There are fears of a potential loss of competitiveness, which would require compensation to maintain the industrys work in Britain. PTI AK ABHlast_img read more

Minimum Wage Commission Wraps Up Consultations

first_img Concern expressed over the exploitation of employees in establishments such as certain haberdasheries and retail entities Story Highlights The consultation received recommendations and concerns from representatives of a wide array of sectors. There was general consensus among the group for an increase ranging from six per cent to 30 per cent. The Minimum Wage Advisory Commission (MWAC) on September 26, concluded its series of island-wide consultations on the national minimum wage, at a two-hour session held at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Kingston.The consultation received recommendations and concerns from representatives of a wide array of sectors central to the discussions on the national minimum wage.These included private sector entities, and groups such as, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), the Sugar Producers Federation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), the Household Workers Association, as well as governmental agencies such as the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the HEART Trust/NTA, and the Bureau of Women’s Affairs.There was general consensus among the group for an increase ranging from six per cent to 30 per cent, as well as an endorsement for fixed periods of two to three years, for increases.Chief Executive Officer of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited, Audrey Hinchcliffe, argued that the way in which increases in the national minimum wage are currently administered poses significant challenges for companies in terms of reconfiguring contracts, and collecting retroactive payments. She suggested that the increases should be tied to macroeconomic factors, such as inflation.Mrs. Hinchcliffe urged the government to consider other forms of support and benefits for minimum wage workers, such as transportation subsidies and called on individual companies to examine innovative means of easing the economic burden of their workers, such as discount arrangements with retailers.Security and Safety Manager of the HEART Trust/NTA, Suzanne Scarlette, who spoke specifically to wages for security personnel, advocated for minimum incremental increases over fixed periods.“This is so that we would know in advance that this is the thought process going for the next five or six years, as opposed to a sudden 10 per cent,” she said.Security officer, Wayne Hanchard, while suggesting a 30 per cent increase in minimum wages for that group, expressed concern over what he said, is the “exploitative treatment” of workers by companies, and lack of benefits. He called for the Ministry to investigate the flouting of the law by some security companies, which pay below the minimum wage.Meanwhile, a concerned member of the public, Senu Virtue-Burke, suggested that the minimum wage be increased from $5,000 weekly to $7,000. She asserted that the increase would enable minimum wage earners, who are among the most vulnerable groups in the society due to their limited income, to be better able to contribute to the National Housing Trust and the National Insurance Scheme.Ms. Virtue-Burke highlighted the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing/NHT/Food for the Poor low-income housing scheme, which is accessible to workers, who earn $5,000 to $7,000 weekly.In his remarks, Assistant General Secretary of the JCTU, Keith Comrie expressed concern over the exploitation of employees in establishments such as certain haberdasheries and retail entities, which often pay below the minimum wage.“They don’t get a payslip…it is wrong…we must have a wage that they (employers) don’t exploit our workers …there must be other benefits than the bare minimum wage, and that must take into consideration…cost of living,” he said.Meanwhile, Director of Industrial Relations and Training at the Sugar Producers Federation of Jamaica, Michael Martin, recommended an increase of six per cent. Explaining his rationale, Mr. Martin pointed out that some sugar industry workers receive other benefits, which complete their remuneration package.“Most of the workers – we have task-based rates and time-based rates. For the time-based rates, they mainly work at the factory, so although you might have a minimum wage of $5,300 per week, you’re talking about adding a shift premium, an out of base allowance, a meal allowance, …some of them (the allowances) is a percentage of what the basic rate is, so with any increase in the minimum wage, all of these would also go up,” he outlined. Mr. Martin also suggested applying trade/industry specific minimum wage rates.Presenting the PIOJ’s submission to the Commission, Labour Market Analyst at the agency, Deidra Coy, said the PIOJ recognises the importance of the minimum wage in providing a foundation for creating and maintaining an adequate wage structure.She said the agency also recognises the importance of ensuring that workers receive remuneration that allow a reasonable degree of security and enable them to live with some amount of dignity.Ms. Coy noted that the government continues to provide measures to cushion economic conditions, by expanding and improving social protection for the most vulnerable. She highlighted the increase of 15 per cent for Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiaries, and post-secondary grant; expanded school feeding programme; and transportation allowance. She pointed out that many PATH households include minimum wage earners.She added that the government is in the process of developing a strategy, which will facilitate a much wider social protection framework. The PIOJ has proposed a nine per cent increase in the minimum wage.Commissioner Bernita Locke, assured that all submissions and concerns would be presented to Labour Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier for consideration in arriving at an increase in the minimum wage.Chairman of the Commission, Silvera Castro, reminded that the minimum wage is a guide for employers. “Those who can pay more, pay more…government alone can’t do everything, we must assist the process,” he stated.Other members of the Commission include: Danny Roberts; and Latoya McCatty (Secretary).The national minimum wage was last increased in September 2012, from $4,500 to $5,000 per 40-hour work week, while the minimum wage for security guards was also increased from $6,655 to $7,320 per 40-hour work week.last_img read more

Dr. Tufton Hails National Baking Company’s Balance Your Life Campaign

first_img Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has commended National Baking Company for responding to the need to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Jamaicans through its ‘Balance Your Life’ campaign. Story Highlights National Baking Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Butch Hendrickson, said, in addition to providing clear labelling on its products, the company has reduced the sugar content in some of its breads by 33 per cent. Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has commended National Baking Company for responding to the need to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Jamaicans through its ‘Balance Your Life’ campaign.The initiative, which was launched on Tuesday (November 14) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, will provide consumers with information on how to make healthy consumption choices to suit their lifestyle.This is based on the understanding that some products can contribute to health issues such as NCDs.“I thank National and wish you all the best with this campaign,” Minister Tufton said in an interview with JIS News at the launch.“Let us start with our own health and make better lifestyle choices that will give us more moments and more memories with our families and friends,” he added.Balance Your Life is the National Baking Company’s response to changing consumer preferences and the Government’s focus on promoting healthier lifestyle.It is being positioned as a choice campaign, with the focus placed on educating consumers on how they can make wise decisions regarding their diets and how to incorporate wellness in their everyday life. The campaign rests on four pillars – eat, move, play and rest.Dr. Tufton said the campaign complements the series of programmes and initiatives that the Ministry has employed to encourage healthy living.“It is imperative that we get Jamaicans to choose healthier lifestyle practices. The establishment of the National Food Industry Task Force (NFITF) in March is a singularly critical development aimed at garnering the support of the food sector in helping to combat nutrition-related diseases,” he said.He noted that the taskforce is specifically focused on activities related to product reformulation, food labelling, marketing, advocacy and communication, adding that a national stakeholder consultation has already begun.The Minister urged all Jamaicans to join the move towards NCD prevention as the Government seeks to lower the incidence of untimely deaths due to chronic conditions by 25 per cent, by 2025.National Baking Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Butch Hendrickson, said, in addition to providing clear labelling on its products, the company has reduced the sugar content in some of its breads by 33 per cent.He pledged that the team will continue to look at healthier options and provide consumers with information so that they can make wise choices. He noted that the taskforce is specifically focused on activities related to product reformulation, food labelling, marketing, advocacy and communication, adding that a national stakeholder consultation has already begun. last_img read more