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How to Better Solve Problems

first_imgIf you are solving a problem, you first have to define the problem. What is it that’s wrong? What needs to change? What new result do you need to produce? Defining your problem is the critical first step of problem solving.But the second step is just as important. It’s identifying all of your options.Too Few OptionsOne of the reasons that resourcefulness is critical to success is that overcoming all of the challenges you encounter requires ideas.A lot of people find one solution to a problem and decide that is the only way the problem might be solved. Then they get hooked on that idea, usually the most obvious idea and the one that will make a lot of people unhappy.Most people identify two possible ways a problem might be solved. You can choose option 1 or option 2. Both options aren’t ideal, but at least it is a choice. But for most problems, there are far more that two options. But it’s work to identify them.By identifying a few ideas, none that are ideal, you don’t do the real work of problem solving.The Real WorkThe real work of solving problems is identifying all of the options available. You brainstorm; no idea is too wild, nothing’s off the table.You ask yourself what else is possible? Is there a substitution that can be made, a way to avoid solving the problem altogether? Is there a solution that means that you look for a different result than you were when you originally set out to solve the problem? Is there a new outcome that will leapfrog your present results?A Quick ExampleRight now I am helping to guide a startup Nano-technology firm to market. Most of the problems we encounter are complicated, but they generally revolve around resources. Most of the problems are framed up as a choice between A or B, neither of which is ever ideal.Instead of choosing between A or B, we have decided to spend more time identifying options. In one case, we thought we had two options, but it turns out that we have five options—one of which was never considered but eliminates any negative outcome. Even better, someone else has agreed to do it for us. We would have never gotten to that idea if we stopped at a choice between two ideas.Defining a problem is easy. Creating more than a few options to solve that problem is more challenging. But the more work you do here, the better your solution.QuestionsHow often do you solve problems by choosing the lesser of two evils?What problem are you trying to solve now?How many options have you identified?How many of those options allow you to do something very different than you first imagined?Who can you get to help you identify more options?last_img read more

Vijender Singh knocks out Hungary’s Alexander Horvath to continue winning spree

first_imgStar Indian boxer Vijender Singh continued his winning spree in the professional arena with an easy win over Alexander Horvath of Hungary at the Liverpool Echo Arena here on Saturday evening.As with his previous professional bouts, the Indian dominated the fight. The Hungarian forced to retire around one minute into the third round after a powerful punch from Vijender hit his left shoulder.This was Vijender’s fourth win in a row in professional boxing in the middleweight (75kg) category – all of them by knockout or technical knockout.In his debut bout, Vijender defeated English boxer Sonny Whiting by technical knockout in the third round. In his second bout, Dean Gillen, also of England, did not even last for one full round as the Haryana boxer knocked him out in the last minute of the opening period.Bulgaria’s Samet Hyuseinov went down in the second round of the third fight as Vijender registered another technical knockout.Saturday’s bout was important as it is the last before Vijender appears in his first pro bout in India in July. The bout was scheduled around a month earlier, but it was postponed due to some technical reasons.I dedicate this victory to the Martyrs of the Indian Armed Forces during terrorist attacks in Jammu and Pathankot ???? pic.twitter.com/rvuX0zFUy9 Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) March 12, 2016Horvath was the more aggressive boxer to start with, while Vijender was a bit tentative. As the opening round wore on, the Indian seemed to get the measure of his opponent’s strategy, easily ducking the punches while landing some powerful blows of his own.Although Horvath showed more urgency, he was unable to pierce Vijender’s defence and in his efforts to force the pace, often walked into the Indian’s counter punches.advertisementIn the closing stages of the first round, the Indian landed a power-packed shot which knocked out the Hungarian’s gumshield.Surprisingly, Horvath seemed a bit exhausted in the second round. Vijender also adopted a cautious approach as the bout became a bit of a slow affair, much to the displeasure of the extremely vocal Indian supporters in the arena.Most of Horvath’s punches were a bit aimless while Vijender was more composed and better with his accuracy.Both boxers came out swinging at the start of the third round. But a right from Vijender caught Horvath on the left shoulder, forcing the Hungarian onto his knees.With the referee giving the count, Horvath refused to carry on with the fight, as Vijender and the sizeable Indian contingent among the crowd erupted with joy.”I got an extra month of training. He was a more experienced boxer (than the previous opponents) so I am happy. I don’t know what happened to his arm. Maybe he is making excuses,” Vijender said after the fight.”This is my fourth professional win, so I am doing good.”last_img read more

Injury-hit Manchester City enter Champions League quarters for first time

first_imgManchester City’s players trudged off the field. Many fans left early. The final whistle was greeted with only a smattering of cheers.It was hardly the way the English club envisaged marking progress to the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in its history.Another landmark feat for Abu Dhabi-owned City was achieved on Tuesday thanks to a lackluster 0-0 draw with Dynamo Kiev at Etihad Stadium, which sealed a 3-1 victory on aggregate. Progress came with little fanfare and at a cost, with captain Vincent Kompany hobbling off in the fifth minute with a recurrence of his long-standing calf problems that could keep him out for a month.”It was really satisfying to make history for this club,” City defender Pablo Zabaleta, although it was hard to tell by the end.Injuries to Kompany and fellow center back Nicolas Otamendi, who hobbled off in the 23rd after a clash of knees, were the major incidents in a soporific match as City advanced with the minimum of concern but without impressing, either.Kiev, seeking a first Champions League quarterfinal berth since 1999, needed to score three goals to stand a chance of advancing but barely threatened until creating a couple of opportunities in the final minutes. City’s reorganized defense stayed relatively solid and the team took few risks, with winger Jesus Navas striking a 61st-minute shot against the post for City’s best chance.”Unfortunately we have lost our match in Kiev,” Dynamo coach Sergei Rebrov said.Atletico Madrid beat PSV Eindhoven 8-7 on penalties to advance after the night’s other match finished 0-0 after both legs and extra time. City’s ownership in the Middle East has had tangible reward for their influx of cash since 2008 in the shape of five domestic trophies, including two Premier League titles. Yet progress beyond the last 16 in five seasons in the Champions League has eluded them – until now.advertisementCity will be hoping to avoid the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona – should the Spanish champion advance, as expected, on Wednesday – as likely the only English club in Friday’s draw for the quarterfinals.”When you are at this stage, all the teams are difficult,” Pellegrini said. “I keep having in my mind that the team that it is better than all the other teams is Barcelona. I think all the other teams are at a similar level.”Aside from possibly Sergio Aguero, Kompany was the last person Pellegrini would have wanted to see come off injured given his importance to the team and the assuredness he brings to an often shaky defense. The Belgium international appeared to get hurt over-reaching as he turned to retrieve the ball under pressure. He immediately kicked the ball out before signaling to the bench and slumping to the ground.As he stared glumly in anticipation of a third injury layoff this season, the Etihad fell silent and groans were heard. City’s problems exacerbated when Otamendi indicated to come off in the 23rd as he thumped a clearance downfield. Minutes earlier, he had come off worse after a clash of knees with Vitaliy Buyalskiy and had been hobbling around.City, fortunately, had two center backs on the bench in Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis, who dealt adequately with Dynamo’s sporadic attacks.”We knew before the game that Dynamo had to score three goals to qualify,” Pellegrini said. “We didn’t want to force the game. Dynamo didn’t take any risks, also. But so many times I think this team receives criticism that we don’t know how to defend. I think we defended today without any problems.”last_img read more

Sharon Stone enjoys vacation with new man

first_imgLondon, Dec 4 (PTI) Actress Sharon Stone has reportedly found love again after jetting off to the Caribbean with her new man for a romantic vacation.The “Casino” star, 58, was photographed in a plunging black swimsuit on a beach in St Barts, where she is holidaying with sports agent Lonnie Cooper, reported Contactmusic.Sharon was pictured smiling as she and Lonnie headed for a dip in the ocean and walked along the waters edge.The new romance emerges six months after the mother of three, who had been single for some time following her divorce from second husband Phil Bronstein in 2004, said she wasnt interested in dating unless it was serious.Sharon shares adopted son Roan with Bronstein, while she also took in two more boys, named Laird and Quinn, after her divorce. PTI JCH CKlast_img read more

Leander Paes and Alexander Zverev crash out of Cincinnati Open

first_imgIndian tennis ace Leander Paes and his German partner Alexander Zverev were knocked out of the 2017 Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after going down in the opening round of the men’s doubles event here on Wednesday.The Indo-German pair, who comfortably won the first set, failed to continue their momentum and fell to a 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 10-6 defeat against Spainiard duo of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in a jam-packed outer stadium match.Following the defeat, Zverev reflected on his debut partnership with Paes.The 20-year-old said that although they have lost the match today, it was fun playing with him.”I know him quite well. He’s a good guy. Unfortunately we lost today, but it was fun playing with him,” the ATP website quoted Zverev, as saying.Zverev also admitted that the doubles’ event can improve his singles game.”The serve and return helps. You get used to the conditions a little bit more, the match conditions. That’s very good. Obviously the volleys improve,” the right-hander said.Zverev has already clinched five titles this year, while Paes is a veteran of 54 doubles titles.last_img read more

If you want to kill I-League, kill it in style: clubs lash out after telecast row

first_imgNew Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) The move to telecast live only select 30 matches in the second half of I-League has attracted widespread condemnation from club owners, who said a “concerted effort is on to kill” the league.The decision means that the number of games of the ongoing I-League to be broadcast live now will be 80 out of a total of 110 games. However, before the start of the season, Star Sports said they will telecast live all the 110 matches. A total of 61 matches still remain from December 29 till the end of the league in March. Reigning champions Minerva Punjab FC, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Real Kasmir FC and Chennai City FC are some of the clubs to have raised concerns over live coverage of the games. As per the list of games to be telecast live in the second half of the league, Minerva Punjab FC are the worst affected. While Star Sports is the telecast partners of I-League, the production rights are with FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited), one of the wings of IMG-Reliance, the commercial partners of All India Football Federation (AIFF) and promoter of Indian Super League (ISL). Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj was scathing in his attack on the broadcasters and FSDL. “There is a concerted effort to destroy the I-League. The time has come for all of us to protest unitedly and, if needed, approach the court,” Bajaj told PTI. Rohit Ramesh, owner of league leaders Chennai City FC, was also vocal while expressing his disappointment.advertisement “My point is if you want to kill the I-League, then kill it in style, instead of doing all this. See if I have nothing against ISL but at least give I-League its due,” Ramesh said. A reliable source close to the AIFF claims,”They said verbally that all the matches will be telecast live, but there was no official confirmation, though.” People connected to the I-League say it is no secret that the ISL feel threatened by I-League’s popularity and the traction it gets. Flavour of the season, Real Kashmir FC, lying second in the peking order after a fine start in only their maiden season in top-flight, hoped the issue will be sorted. “I hope that all matches will be telecast live as was decided earlier. The organisers, AIFF, have been playing a wonderful role in encouraging all teams of I-League,” Real Kashmir FC co-owner Sandeep Chattoo said. “For us at RKFC, our fans back at home have been following the matches on television sets and Internet and I hope their enthusiasm will not be dampened by this decision.” Real Kashmir FC are the first club from the valley to play in India’s top domestic football league. Chattoo added, “We hope that all people will put their act together and score a goal in ensuring that I-League leaves an indelible mark on the country’s football fans.” Even traditional heavyweights Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have came in support of these clubs, saying they should be united in this fight while urging the AIFF to do its best to protect the I-League. Underminig the I-League is not acceptable at any cost, the two giants of Indian club football said, whose face-offs attract some of the biggest turnouts. With most of his team’s games missing out on live telecast, Bajaj also hit out at the move in a series of tweets. “Today I am feeling so helpless and sad that the top football league of the country has just been killed off by the rich guys. “Point is, why bid if you are not going to telecast matches? This is nothing but a cheap tactic to kill I league. Why don’t all I league clubs combine and protest or boycott the league? I’m furious. “We have more combined attendances than ISL even though we start our matches at 2 pm,” the Minerva Punjab owner tweeted. PTI AH ATATlast_img read more

‘Football’s biggest issue’: the struggle facing boys rejected by academies

first_imgHaving worked part-time in a nursery, Morgan began working as a delivery driver, then qualified as an engineer for washing machines, fridges and other white goods. He is happy with the job and has plans to take his HGV license and start his own business; he has had the same partner for 10 years, plays for Beaconsfield Town in the Evo-Stik South East League, and feels, at 27, his life has come together.“But I feel I had wasted years; I could have had this life six or seven years ago. I could have done things, gone travelling, but instead all I was thinking about was football. Really, there are hundreds of boys across the country, being set up to fail.”Morgan’s son, Kairon, six, has been spotted by a Chelsea scout playing children’s football locally, and has been asked to go to their development centre. Clubs can run these pre-academy sessions for six-year-olds, before the first formal affiliation can start at eight. Morgan says he rejected three letters from Chelsea before succumbing to the classic parents’ dilemma, that he may be denying his son an opportunity, however remote. Kairon went, and there were 60 little boys there, says Morgan, who can see the disappointment stretching ahead for most of them.He says he will try to guide his son to have realistic expectations, to enjoy it but take it sceptically. But so far, he has never gone along to watch, to actually see his boy taking his first steps into English football’s youth development system.“I don’t know if I am mentally ready for that,” he says.• In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org. Despite what football clubs say, the support for rejected boys is not there Share via Email Pinterest Share on Facebook The Premier League and Football League adamantly defend the professionalism of their youth processes, coaching and facilities, which have undoubtedly improved since the introduction in 2012 of the Elite Player Performance Plan. Both leagues stress that boys who are taken on for the 16-18 scholarship must continue with education – commonly this is a BTEC sports diploma – and receive a broad range of welfare provision and courses in life skills including emotional wellbeing. The EFL says it is “supportive of the holistic development of young players”, and the Premier League aims “to support the development of well-rounded young players”.The EFL says that its League Football Education department, which delivers the welfare programmes, tracks what happens to players for four years after they have been released; the Premier League says its clubs keep in touch. All the outcomes they cite for these young men are positive.Fifteen Premier League and nine Championship clubs have Category One EPPP academies and operate under-23 teams, so they report a relatively high number of 18-year-olds given initial professional contracts – 65% last year, according to the Premier League. But Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, says that of the boys who make it into the elite scholarship programme at 16, past PFA research has found that five out of six are not playing professional football at 21. Taylor describes this as “a matter of major concern”. The leagues report that many who are released find their level in non-league football, some go to university or secure scholarships in US colleges, and the LFE says it has examples of former apprentice footballers working as solicitors, accountants, cardiothoracic physiotherapists and radio producers. When they are released, they are suddenly rushed into the normal world, and many struggle to cope with it “He was just finding himself then,” she says. After Alex died she and his close friend, Eddie Oshodi, who had been with him in Watford’s academy, set up a foundation with the intention of helping boys’ mental health.“My husband and I aren’t football people; we didn’t know too much about the system,” Faye Stephens says. “Now I think they sign children much too young; they are building boys up to think they’re going to be footballers, giving them false hope, then all of a sudden it’s taken away. I would say boys should wait until 14, at least. Alex loved playing football – for fun, and at a young age they should be playing for fun.”Oshodi, a defender, who left Watford at 19 having made one first-team league appearance as a substitute, then played four seasons at Forest Green Rovers, says that looking back, the academy boys were “in a bubble”, and the wider education provision was limited.“As a youngster you are fed a dream, you know very little else,” he says. “That is all you aspire to: football, football, football. You see the glitz and glamour; 24-year-old players turning up in a new Range Rover or Ferrari, everybody doing everything for you, and you think that’s life, that’s reality.”Oshodi himself was academic as a teenager, but says he did nine rather than 11 GCSEs because training took up a chunk of school time, then studied for the BTEC rather than A levels. The EFL accepts that many clubs struggle to timetable A levels given the amount of training the 16-18-year-olds do, and that only “a small number” take A-levels.Oshodi believes that clubs did not provide enough preparation or support for release: “Being in an academy from such a young age cuts down on normal socialising,” he says. “Football is the centre of everything, and when people are released, they can doubt who they are.” Eddie Oshodi, in action here for Rushden & Diamonds in in 2011, was in Watford’s academy. ‘As a youngster you are fed a dream, you know very little else,’ he says. Photograph: Pete Norton/Getty Images Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn The Premier League and Football League adamantly defend the professionalism of their youth processes Gordon Taylor says that of the boys who make it into the elite scholarship programme at 16, past PFA research has found that five out of six are not playing professional football at 21. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Read more Pinterest Twitter Pitfalls and pressure await little diamonds in cut-throat youth football Really, there are hundreds of boys across the country, being set up to fail Share on WhatsApp Football youth development in England: ‘We’re shouting and screaming. What have we become?’ Read more He now plays semi-professional football for Wealdstone in the National League South, and is taking a psychology degree at Birkbeck College. He says he advises young players not to sign for an academy until they are 16, to avoid having their social experience and development narrowed. “It becomes like a job from the age of 10,” he says. “It completely dominates your growing up. Some people fall out of love with the game.”Gordon Taylor points, like many working in the system, to boys who have benefited from the experience of playing high‑quality football in academies and secured US scholarships or university places after being released. But he acknowledges that although the PFA and clubs have some provision to prepare and help the 500-600 boys who are released every year, he sees some for whom “it’s as though their lives have come to an end”.The PFA sees “the extreme end” of this distress; part of the union’s offer is a 24-hour telephone helpline. This is a recognition of the severe consequences built into England’s and Wales’s modern football system, for fit and healthy young men who have been the best footballers of their generation. “It’s the game’s biggest issue,” Taylor says. The Premier League’s advocacy of the EPPP system was fundamentally challenged last month by one of its own clubs, newly promoted Huddersfield Town, who announced the blunt conclusion of an extensive review by scrapping the academy altogether in the 8-16 age groups. Parents of 100 boys were called to a meeting with the chief executive, Julian Winter, and told that their association with the club was to end in a month. Half the academy’s 25 permanent staff are to be laid off, along with part-time people working evening and weekends. Huddersfield had found that of all the boys who had come through their system, not one had played in the Premier League since Jon Stead, who graduated in 1999. That is 18 years of boys being taken out of local and school football from the age of eight, the overwhelming majority not securing a career.Huddersfield’s landmark Premier League promotion was secured after hiring a German manager, David Wagner, and by signing a clutch of German players. The club’s academy, which has produced several players now at lower-division clubs, was regarded as a model, and ranked as the EFL’s 12th most “productive” of its 72 clubs last season.Oshodi says that in his experience of the many young men he has seen released, he saw a broad class divide in the consequences. Better-off, middle-class parents had absorbed more clearly the bleak chance of their sons attaining a professional football career, had emphasised the importance of continuing education throughout and could draw on more resources to support their boys into alternative options. Many whom Oshodi knows from less advantaged backgrounds struggled to negotiate the system with that perspective, he says. Many, having spent years in the academies, have hard landings back into their disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and fall into crime and drug dealing. The inquest was told that the young man had been “a happy and bright and fun child who was a talented footballer”. The Guardian has agreed not to name him following a request from his family to spare them further distress.He was spotted playing junior football, brought into the academy of a lower-division club, then picked up by the Premier League club, who had him in their system for three years from the age of 13. At 16, when the cut is made for who will be asked to join the scholarship programme, in which boys leave school and have a full‑time, two-year association with the clubs, the young man was released.“I find that it was … that pivotal point that crushed a young boy, a young man’s life and all the dreams that go with it,” the coroner said. “It is the one, I find, the single most important factor that led to the events which ended [in his suicide].”She continued: “I think it’s very difficult to build up hopes of a young man and for them to be dashed at a critical age, when a boy becomes a man. To be found wanting in every way, it’s very cruel …“I am not here to pronounce on football clubs that make the arrangements about … young footballers and giving them hopes, because they are not here to explain it. But it feels to be let go, and from all the evidence that I have heard today there’s not much [support]; to have no support for that letting go seems to be adding cruelty upon cruelty. And that lack of support, I find in absentia of the football clubs … to be a certain and compelling factor in what happened ultimately … and I find [the young man] was a statistic of that.” Share on Messenger Huddersfield Town have scrapped their academy in the 8-16 year groups. They found that of all the boys who had come through their system, not one had played in the Premier League since Jon Stead, who graduated in 1999. Photograph: Reuters David Conn features That view is supported by Geoff Scott, chief executive of the welfare organisation for former footballers, XPRO, who reports a high casualty rate for boys “tossed aside” by academies. “The boys are released and that is the last many ever hear from the club they may have been with for years,” says Scott. “That is the cold, harsh reality of it.”In recent years Scott has visited 108 young former footballers in prison, he says, most convicted of intent to supply class A drugs. One of the most notorious tragic cases was the death in 2009 of Reece Staples, 19, just months after he was released by Nottingham Forest following years in the club’s academy. He was trying, as many do, to get back into football but had not found another club when in May 2009 he became involved in amateurish drug dealing, swallowing 19 packets of cocaine in Costa Rica and flying back to the UK. One burst in his stomach, and the young man died on the floor of a police cell, in dreadful circumstances. The Independent Police Complaints Commission later upheld his mother Clair Dunne’s complaints that Nottinghamshire police officers failed to provide her son with the appropriate level of care.Chris Green, whose 2009 book Every Boy’s Dream chronicled the institutionalised disappointment delivered to so many boys taken into academies so young, believes that the FA inquiry by Sheldon should look at the emotional and psychological impact of the youth development system now.“It is very complacent to imagine that all the abuse was in the past and now we have a perfect system,” says Green. “There are different forms of abuse. These are children, very young, they are not being given the time to play and enjoy their sport, before being taken into a system where they are seen as commodities, then discarded with too little concern about the damage it does.”Green’s book has been followed this year by Michael Calvin’s No Hunger in Paradise, an alarming critique of the system, in which Calvin describes boys released by academies, still trying to catch the eye and clamber back in, as “ghosts in the machine”.Another of Alex Stephens’s friends in the Watford academy, Aaron Morgan, recalls that he too fell into the fringes of criminality after being released by Queens Park Rangers at 18. He recalls that he found the expected disciplines and routines difficult at Watford and QPR, as a teenager from Shepherd’s Bush with only his mother as his rock of support.“As a young footballer, everybody is selling the same dream to you: if you work hard, you will make it. But that just isn’t the case,” he says. “You realise now that a lot of boys are kept there just to make up the numbers. Then for it to be taken away in one second, mentally, that was a lot to deal with, especially for somebody with no father figure. I went through a stage of depression, back home, not wanting to leave the house, and I know loads of people in the same position, struggling. Every year there is a new batch, and people do end up in crime and drug dealing; I see it.”Morgan says that after years of clinging to the dream of being a footballer, his salvation-in-disguise came when he broke a bone in his ankle while playing for non-league Hendon.“The injury finally opened my eyes to real life,” he says. “I was out of the football bubble. My mind became clearer; I was thinking straight and realistically.” In March 2013 a young man killed himself after suffering years of mental health difficulties following his release by a Premier League football club’s academy at the age of 16. The summing up by the coroner who presided over the inquest into his death could hardly have been a stronger or more salutary warning about the potential dangers of English football’s youth development system.Relentlessly ambitious and commercialised professional clubs recruit thousands of boys into intensive, four‑times‑a‑week training from the age of eight, in numbers still broadly based on those first sanctioned by the Football Association’s “Charter for Quality” 20 years ago this month. Hundreds of these boys are released each year, as the clubs narrow their focus on who might have a faint chance of making a career in professional football and becoming a valuable financial asset. Despite the huge numbers housed in this system, currently 12,000 boys, the chinks of first-team opportunities have diminished every year since 1997. In each transfer window, most Premier League clubs overlook their young graduates and instead spend multimillions of pounds on fully formed overseas stars. Facebook Topics Football Facebook Pinterest Twitter Twitter The provision is less sophisticated and holistic for boys who may have been in the academy system for years from infancy, their family lives dominated by travelling long distances to train during the week and play a match at weekends, only to be released at 16 or younger. The starkly unequal nature of British society and its national game means that these boys drop from multimillion-pound, plush youth development complexes back into the generally scrappy environs of the underfunded grassroots.Although the Football Association has set up its inquiry headed by Clive Sheldon QC into the sexual abuse now known to have blighted youth football in the past, there appears to be no thorough assessment of the mental and emotional impacts on young men dealt by the current industrialised academy system.The few academic studies based on limited access to clubs and young players have all produced serious concerns. Dr David Blakelock of Teesside University found in 2015 that 55% of players in his study were suffering “clinical levels of psychological distress” 21 days after being released. Himself previously a youth footballer with Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest, Blakelock says the academy experience can narrow young boys’ perspectives into an “athletic identity”, in which they see themselves almost wholly as footballers, so they can suffer “a loss of self-worth and confidence” when that is taken away. Share on Pinterest Chris Platts, whose 2012 doctorate for Chester University was based on questionnaires and interviews with 303 17- and 18‑year‑olds in 21 clubs’ academies, says only four have professional contracts now – a drop-out rate of 99%. Platts stresses that there are many well-intentioned, hardworking coaches and welfare officers, and regards the EPPP as a well-considered system, although he cautions that there is a quality gap between the Premier League and clubs lower down. His overriding concerns were that education was not taken seriously enough by many of the young men who believed they were within sight of being footballers, that despite the welfare programmes the academies were a high-pressure, “unreal” environment, and there was not enough support for players released.“The clubs have got huge resources and have children from young ages,” Platts says. “For those who leave, the whole process of the academy has had a huge impact on them as a human being, emotionally, psychologically and on their social development. When they are released, they are suddenly rushed into the normal world, and many struggle to cope with it.”In 2014 Alex Stephens, a former academy footballer from Willesden, north London, died aged 21 in an accident while on holiday with friends in Barcelona. His mother, Faye Stephens, says she felt Alex had at that time just “started to find happiness again” after being “a bit lost” following his release by Norwich City at 18, having endured some struggles in Watford’s academy from the age of 10.She says she appreciated the great benefits which serious football involvement gave her son, but that he suffered under the constant scrutiny of his performance and conduct. He developed anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, which she believes was exacerbated by the pressurised academy environment, and was unhappy away from home at Norwich from 16 to 18. After Norwich released him he went for trials, sustained an injury, then struggled for direction, his mother recalls, before starting a plumbing course, widening his circle of friends, and working towards becoming a DJ. Read more Reuse this contentlast_img read more

‘It’s not like I wanted to miss’ – Danny Welbeck hits back after Arsenal win

first_imgShare on Pinterest Reuse this content Read more Danny Welbeck Share via Email “In professional football, there are always going to be critics,” said Welbeck, who also created Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener. “You see people are criticising Cristiano Ronaldo and he’s at the pinnacle. Every day in every single walk of life, you can do something good and people will have something bad to say about you. You just get on with it and do your job as best you can.”As Meat Loaf’s song said, “Two out of three ain’t bad” – and Welbeck duly made no apology for refusing to beat himself up over his failure to make the most of an opening conjured by Alex Iwobi and Jack Wilshere. “It isn’t like I wanted to miss,” Welbeck said. “I just couldn’t stretch enough to get there – but that’s football.“In your mindset you just have to know there’s going to be another opportunity and you have to keep focused. I’ve been through much tougher stuff than that. So it’s nothing. You just have to keep your mindset strong.”After missing more games than he cares to remember in the wake of serious injuries to both knees sustained between May 2015 and January 2017, Welbeck has scored nine goals this season, his best return since the 2013-14 campaign.“Danny is getting sharper and has slowly come back to his best,” Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s manager, said. “He had every reason to feel sorry for himself and think that this mountain was too big for him to climb but he worked hard with people questioning him. It’s the most difficult test for a sports person. What he has done is exemplary.”With a knee injury prompting Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s absence from Wenger’s side for the Europa League quarter-final second leg at CSKA Moscow on Thursday night, Welbeck is likely to start in Russia as Arsenal aim to extend their 4-1 first-leg lead.“As you’ve seen I can play with Pierre [Aubameyang] and Lac [Alexandre Lacazette],” he said. “It’s nice. The competition for places gives you that added motivation to improve and better yourself. I’ve had it my whole career. It’s healthy but I know I can link up with plenty of players in this team.”Like Wenger he will always have his critics but, right now, Welbeck feels the north London horizon is bright enough to quite possibly help him ensure a successful return to Russia in England colours this June. “I’ve been through seasons where I’ve not played a lot of games and its been difficult due to injuries and stuff like that,” he said. “But that’s past, that’s gone.“I’m looking forward now. I just want to carry on progressing and improving. That’s my mindset. It’s fully focused on Arsenal at the moment. The England stuff will take care of itself.” Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Share on Facebookcenter_img Arsenal Share on LinkedIn Danny Welbeck has learned to deflect criticism and is no longer overly influenced by those who wonder whether he really belongs at the highest level of club and international football.The Arsenal and England forward confounded the doubters by scoring twice in his club’s 3-2 home win against Southampton on Sunday but somehow spurned a three-yard sitter that looked a strong candidate for “miss of the season”. features Share on Messenger Topics Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck atones for horror miss and sinks Southamptonlast_img read more

Krzysztof Piatek’s glorious run goes on as Genoa swat aside Chievo

first_imgThank you for your feedback. 8Genoa5-19 Twitter Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek celebrates after scoring against Lazio. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA Share on WhatsApp 17Bologna6-54 Pinterest PosTeamPGDPts 3Lazio6312 12Atalanta616 Italian football is running out of precedents. By scoring in the sixth minute of his Serie A debut, at home to Empoli, he became the fastest foreigner to open his account in the division since Luis Vinicio for Napoli in 1955. Piatek has as many goals as Andriy Shevchenko did at the equivalent stage of his first Serie A season but, unlike the Ukrainian, has struck in every match.His latest victims were Chievo on Wednesday. Piatek opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, but you could feel the goal coming long before. In the 22nd minute, he took a pass from Goran Pandev and shot over from the edge of the D. Soon after, he bullied a defender off a bouncing ball, pivoted away from two more and crashed a low shot against the post.Piatek appeared incredulous at the ball’s refusal to go in. He would be even more so at a decision by the referee, Fabrizio Pasqua, to book him for simulation after the striker appeared to be fouled by Luca Rossettini in the box.None of it mattered. With half-time approaching, Darko Lazovic launched a forceful dribble down the left. Four Chievo defenders were caught ball-watching. Piatek, noting that his marker was one of them, halted his own run and waited for the space to create itself. A cut-back duly arrived, and he took a touch to help the ball across his body before finishing right-footed into the far corner. Inter 2-1 Fiorentina, Udinese 1-2 Lazio, Atalanta 0-0 Torino, Cagliari 0-0 Sampdoria, Genoa 2-0 Chievo, Juventus 2-0 Bologna, Napoli 3-0 Parma, Roma 4-0 Frosinone 13Torino6-26 Facebook Was this helpful? Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP Share on Pinterest Serie A Hide Such cool-headed opportunism has been Piatek’s calling card in Serie A. These are early days yet, and not even he might predict that his current strike rate can endure, but his poacher’s instincts are clear.Several of his goals have come from outside the box but none have required more than three touches. That is because he has often done the hard work already, either by forcing defenders into mistakes or simply by recognising the errors that they are about to make and putting himself in position to take advantage.“On the pitch I think constantly about how a move could develop, where I need to position myself to receive a pass,” Piatek told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Often it plays out that way for real. In Italy there was a striker who seemed to draw the ball to him: [Pippo] Inzaghi. I would like to be the same way.”He insisted in the same interview that he had not been surprised by his own fast start. “I only have one target: to score goals in every game,” Piatek continued. “That doesn’t mean I have to succeed every time, it’s just the mentality with which I want to step onto the pitch for each match.”As a kid he had posters of the Brazilian Ronaldo on his wall, though curiously another of his idols is now playing alongside him at Genoa. Piatek’s favourite team to play on Fifa was the treble-winning Inter side in which Pandev played a supporting role to Diego Milito and Samuel Eto’o. Now the Macedonian serves as the wise old head in an otherwise youthful Genoa attack.The formation preferred by manager Davide Ballardini so far this season has been a 3-4-1-2, with Pandev in the No 10 role. Piatek has started every game up front, and alongside him on Wednesday was Christian Kouamé, a 20-year-old Ivorian with pace to burn. The success of their partnership has thus far restricted the 21-year-old Italian Andrea Favilli to just a single substitute’s appearance, but he produced two assists in his 45 minutes on the pitch against Sassuolo.It was Pandev who sealed the win for Genoa on Wednesday, producing what Italians sometimes refer to as “un biliardo” – literally, a billiards shot – aimed with gentle spin along the floor and through a crowd of defenders into the bottom corner of the net. The game ended 2-0, raising Genoa to a share of seventh place with a game in hand.They are not kidding themselves about the season’s ambitions. This team has plenty of flaws – exploited vividly during defeats to Lazio and Sassuolo in which they conceded a combined nine goals. Their first target is simply to avoid relegation.A prolific Piatek can go a long way in that regard. The striker has explained his goal celebration, in which he uses his hands to mimic pistols held across his chest, as a reference to the lexicon of Polish football – where strikers are often likened to gunslingers. For followers of Italian football, it carries echoes of Gabriel Batistuta and his famous machine gun.Piatek has a very long way to go yet before he could be compared to Batigol. Then again, perhaps there is no need to draw parallels for a striker who is already scoring goals at a rate that nobody else in the division can match.Talking points (to follow)• I’m not sure anyone still cares for statistical evidence of Juventus’s domestic hegemony buy, hey, this is now the first time since 1930 that they have won seven consecutive games to start a Serie A season. More significant, with Saturday’s game against Napoli looming into view, is that Paulo Dybala opened his account for this campaign, and for the first time looked like he was working out how to play with Cristiano Ronaldo. • Napoli were brilliant as they dispatched Parma 3-0 – all the more impressive when you consider they had changed 9 out of 11 players from the team that beat Torino 3-1 on Sunday. Carlo Ancelotti is showing his team they can rotate and win, and his decision to shift Lorenzo Insigne into a more central role as a second striker is also paying dividends. • Three wins in a week for Inter. Corner turned? I’m not convinced – with better finishing Fiorentina might have won and Stefano Pioli’s team played the more engaging football. But there is a confidence and aggression that was missing previously.• An emphatic and much-needed win for Roma. A gorgeous strike by Cengiz Under. Another backheel goal by Javier Pastore. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This Frosinone team have no wins, no goals scored, and 16 conceded after just six games. 15AC Milan405 5Sassuolo5410 1Juventus6918 2Napoli6515 Share on Twitter Share on Facebookcenter_img 9Sampdoria668 11Udinese618 20Chievo6-10-1 14Cagliari6-36 16Empoli5-24 10Roma628 7SPAL509 Reuse this content Share on Messenger 19Frosinone6-161 Krzysztof Piatek did not require any act of misdirection to save himself from getting mobbed at the airport when he arrived for his medical at Genoa this summer. There was no need to keep travel plans secret, or to wait until everyone was busy watching the World Cup final.Why would there be? This was not another Cristiano Ronaldo arriving to upend Italian football, but an uncapped striker one month away from his 23rd birthday. At €4.5m, Piatek was only Genoa’s fifth-most expensive signing of the summer.So far, though, he it outscoring the Portuguese by two to one. On Wednesday night, the Rossoblu played their fifth league game of the season, and Piatek grabbed his sixth goal. He is the first Genoa player to find the net in five consecutive games to start a top-flight campaign. Throw in the four strikes he piled up in a Coppa Italia rout of Lecce, and Piatek has already hit double figures. Quick guide Serie A results 4Fiorentina6710 European club football 6Inter Milan6310 Paul Pogba: which clubs could offer him escape from Manchester United? Topics Genoa Show Share on LinkedIn Read more features 18Parma6-22 Share via Emaillast_img read more

Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal withdraws from semi-final vs Roger Federer with knee injury

first_imgIndian Wells: Rafael Nadal withdraws from semi-final vs Roger Federer with knee injuryRafael Nadal had to withdraw from the semi-final match against Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open with knee injury. Federer advances to the final by walkover in Indian Wells.advertisement Next Reuters Indian WellsMarch 16, 2019UPDATED: March 17, 2019 00:21 IST Rafael Nadal had to withdraw from the semi-final vs Roger Federer due to a right knee injury (Reuters Photo)Rafael Nadal withdrew of the BNP Paribas Open due to a right knee injury on Saturday, shortly before his the semi-final match against Roger Federer. It would have been the first meeting between the pair since 2017.Spaniard Nadal had required treatment on the knee during his hard-fought quarter-final against Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6(2) 7-6(2).”I warmed up today and I felt that my knee was not good to compete at the level I needed to compete in semifinals. It’s tough for me to accept all these things that I’m going through in my career. Sometimes I feel sad because I’m in a disadvantage to all my opponents,” Rafael Nadal said after pulling out of the tournament.”[I need to] be positive and grateful for all the things tennis has given to me. I feel fortunate for all the things I’ve done in my life and the world of tennis,” Nadal added.Good morning, @RafaelNadal #BNPPO19 #Fedal pic.twitter.com/9atdTnaUswBNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 16, 2019Nadal had actually walked out to practise on Saturday and that too without any on his knee, before withdrawing from the BNP Parivbas Open.Federer advances to the final by walkover, where he will looking to win his record sixth BNP Paribas Open title. The 37-year-old Swiss will play either Milos Raonic or Dominic Thiem in the final, bidding for his 101st career titleFor 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 Tags :Follow Rafael NadalFollow Roger FedererFollow Indian WellsFollow BNP Paribas OpenFollow Nadal injurylast_img read more

How to Pick a Lock: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting in Without a Key

first_img The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers AndreyPopov/GettyAndreyPopov/GettyWhile there are a vast variety of technical definitions surrounding lock picking, none quite resonate well with the absolute beginner. So, let us define it in terms of the layman.Lock picking is the art of tricking a lock into believing that you are using that lock’s correct key.Locks are extremely simple and senseless creatures that have but one fixed path of operation. This simplicity makes lock picking a very easy skill to acquire and implement for anyone looking to do so. But to acquire this skill, we must first learn the very basics of how a key works so that we can learn to mimic it.How a Key WorksFor the purpose of this guide, we will be looking at the most simple and commonly utilized lock today: the pin tumbler lock. This type of lock has been in use for over 6,000 years (yes, really!) and dates back to early Egypt. This type of mechanism can be found in over 90 percent of the locks used around the world, making it the most practical suitor for our bypass shenanigans. So, let’s take a look at how they work.The basic pin tumbler lock has 6 essential components:Housing: The housing contains the entirety of the lock’s functional components and is typically fixed into a door or padlock.Plug: The plug is a cylinder where we can insert a key and, unlike the housing, can rotate once the correct key has been inserted.Shear Line: The shear line (green) is the most important component when it comes to picking a lock. It can be defined as the physical gap between the housing and the plug.Springs: The springs have the simple task of pushing the pins down into the plug.Driver Pins: The driver pins (blue) are the reason that a lock can, and stays, locked. When the correct key is not in the plug, the driver pins typically sit halfway between the housing and the plug. This creates a bind that restricts the plug from fully rotating and in turn keeps the device locked.Key Pins: When a key has been inserted into the plug, the key pins (red) make contact with the top of the key. Each key pin is cut to a different length that correlates directly with the pattern of the correct key. When this correct key is inserted, each key pin is pushed up flush with the shear line.Additionally, the driver pins are pushed out of the plug and also remain flush with the shear line. It is at this moment, when the gap between the key pins and the driver pins is exactly equal to that of the shear line, that we can turn the key and disengage the lock.As we can see, the goal of lock picking is to manipulate the pins so they no longer restrict the plug from rotating, just as a key does. Now, let’s get down to some good old fashioned locksmithing.Basic Lock Picking ToolsYou’ll need two tools: a lock pick and a torque wrench. The purpose of the lock pick is to push the pins to the shear line. There are of course a ton of different styles of picks that can be used and each of them utilize their own technique.However, because this is a beginner’s guide, we will be looking at the quickest and easiest method of lock picking, aka raking. This method of picking requires a “rake” style lock pick. Out of all the different styles of rake picks, the most popular is the snake rake. These picks have an elongated, jagged end that can manipulate multiple pins at once, just as a key does.In addition to the pick, there is also the very important little tool called the torque wrench. This “L” shaped wrench accomplishes two very important tasks. Firstly, it gives us the leverage we need to rotate the plug, just as the key does. Secondly, and more importantly, it provides the torque necessary to set and hold the pins at the shear line as we pick them. Without this torque, the pins would simply fall back into the plug and the lock would forever remain locked.Lock picking sets like this fully loaded one (which even includes a clear padlock for practice) can be easily purchased on Amazon. However, be certain to check your local laws because some may prohibit the possession of lock picks. If you live in the United States, check out this quick and dirty guide to lock picking laws. For the Macgyvers out there, basic pin tumber locks can be sucessfully picked using bobby pins as lock picks.Picking Your First Lock in Six StepsAndrey Popov/Getty ImagesAndrey Popov/Getty ImagesSo now that we have a fundamental understanding of the pin tumbler lock and the tools required to pick them, let us finally learn what we came here to learn. These six simple steps will guide you in how to pick a lock.Step 1: Insert the short end of your tension wrench into the bottom of the lock’s keyway. Using a finger, or two, apply extremely light pressure on the wrench in the direction that you would naturally turn the key (typically clockwise). Continue to hold this pressure on the wrench throughout the remainder of these steps. *Note that understanding exactly how much pressure to apply is what separates the novice from the master. Tension is single most important technique that can only be developed through practice.Step 2: Still continuing to apply slight pressure on the wrench, take your rake pick and insert it into the keyway and push it all the way to the back of the lock.Step 3: Next apply an upward pressure to the pins with the end of your rake and gently snap the pick out in a scrubbing motion. Be certain to bump all the pins on your way out.Step 4: If a reasonable amount of tension has been applied, several pin will have set at the shear line and the lock’s plug will have slightly rotated. But take note that this rotation to the novice will likely be unnoticeable.Step 5: Once again, insert your pick into the back of the lock and repeat the motion of scrubbing the pins. Repeat this process until all the pins have set. However, if after five or six scrubbings the lock doesn’t open, release the tension on the wrench and take care to listen for pins to drop. If you don’t hear any drop, it is a good indicator that you were applying too much pressure on the torque wrench. Start over by applying a different amount of pressure on the wrench and re-raking the pins.Step 6: Once you have found an appropriate tension and set all the pins, the plug will give and allow you to fully rotate it with the torque wrench, just as if the correct key was used.Congratulations, you have successfully raked your first lock. Now, don’t go practicing these tips on houses in the neighborhood–that’s called breaking and entering. And that’s a misdemeanor.Article updated March 8, 2016 with new pricing and products.  The Big List of Brands with Lifetime Warranties: Buy It Once, Have It Forever If You Haven’t Visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, What Are You Waiting For? The Lazy Man’s Guide on How to Make Hard Apple Cider center_img Editors’ Recommendations AndreyPopov/GettyAndreyPopov/GettyIf you’re like every other human being on this Earth, you’ve likely misplaced your house key once or twice.Maybe you left them at a friends house one night and you don’t feel comfortable leaving a spare under the mat. Then what? Well, learning how to pick a lock could help you through those hard times.With some help from Ryan Brown, founder of Art of Lock Picking, you’ll be picking locks as easy as a kindergartner picks his nose. Aside from being a flight instructor, Brown has over 10 years of experience in lock picking and he’s has chosen to share this knowledge and love for the craft with all of us below. You know, just in case the world ever goes to shit and our survivalist instincts kick in; lock picking will go a long way.What is Lock Picking? A Guide to Bodywork: Massage, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and More last_img read more

G20 leaders debate whether to stop flowing money to kidnappers for ransom

first_imgHAMBURG – Whether or not the world’s wealthiest countries should promise not to pay ransoms to terrorist kidnappers formed part of the discussions about international security Friday as G20 meetings got underway in Germany.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged more than a year ago to push other world leaders to stop paying kidnappers after Canadians John Risdel and Robert Hall were killed by a terrorist group in the Philippines in April and June 2016.A Canadian official, speaking on background, said the current draft of the final document outlining what the leaders agreed to at the G20 in Hamburg currently includes the ransom discussions — at Trudeau’s urging.Risdel and Hall were kidnapped in September 2015 along with two other hostages who were later freed. The Norwegian man who was taken with them was freed after Norway paid a ransom of about US$630,000, but Canada refused to pay.Trudeau repeated the oft-heard Canadian claim, including from his predecessor Stephen Harper, that Canada does not pay ransom because it funds terrorist activity and encourages further kidnappings.There has been language about ransom payments in the G20 communiques in both 2015 and 2016, but neither summit resulted in a full pledge not to pay them at all. The 2013 G8 summit made such a pledge, but it was not heeded by all signatories.Canada has long had an unofficial policy against paying ransoms but has done so on some occasions, including in 2009 when it paid $1.1 million to an al-Qaida affiliate in Africa to free diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay.Trudeau also pushed for the language about terrorism to reflect a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. Officials wouldn’t further explain that component, but it comes as Trump finally gets to impose at least part of his ban on travellers from six mainly Muslim countries in the guise of national security.Trudeau has never publicly criticized Trump for the ban, although he did tweet shortly after it first came to light, promising that Canada would remain open to all refugees regardless of their faith.Trump was at the table during the security discussions, which also focused on combating the threat posed by the militant Islamic State group.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Trudeau at the start of a bilateral meeting Friday that he was very happy to hear Trudeau’s “interventions” in the terrorism discussions and would be backing him all the way.“The wavelength was the same, yours and mine,” Modi told Trudeau in Hindi.Trump was also pushed on his position on climate change and the Paris agreement.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is attending the meeting with Trudeau, said the U.S. position on that issue was no surprise, nor was it expected to change.In May, Trump made good on a campaign promise to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement. He was already the only non-Paris supporter at the G7 meeting in May, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to construct a 19-to-1 scenario in the communique that will be made public Saturday.As part of her G20 presidency, Merkel produced an energy action plan as an appendix to the communique which could end up calling for everything from an end to fossil fuel subsidies around the world to requiring corporations to take climate change impacts and risks into account during financing decisions.Merkel had a one-on-one with Trudeau early Friday where much of the discussion focused on strategies to get as many countries as possible on board the climate change action train.Whether she will get everyone but Trump on her side may depend on Russian President Vladimir Putin. He met privately with Trump on Friday, a much-anticipated meeting given long-standing allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and of collusion with Russia by American officials.That meeting, which lasted more than two hours, included Trump pressing Putin on the election issue, as well as discussions about Russia’s presence in Ukraine and the conflict in Syria.Their meeting came at the same time as the afternoon climate change discussion session, which angered German officials.Russia is one of the countries observers fear may be weakening its resolve on its Paris commitments in the wake of Trump’s decision to withdraw. Russia is not among the 152 countries who have so far ratified the accord.Trudeau also met privately with French President Emmanuel Macron, where the focus was largely on climate change. He will meet Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Saturday before the meeting concludes.Outside the meeting, an estimated 100,000 protesters continued demonstrating against what they consider an offensive gathering of the world’s wealthiest nations, which make all the decisions at the expense of disadvantaged people.Most of the protesters marched peacefully, but violence broke out repeatedly, with cars set ablaze and rocks thrown through storefront windows.The zone around the conference centre where the meeting was being held was tightly guarded by thousands of police who lined the streets with cars and blocked passage with a giant water cannon.Many Hamburg stores chose to stay closed during the summit and those in the vicinity of the protests, including an Ikea, boarded up their windows and doors.— Follow @mrabson on Twitterlast_img read more

Toronto stock index Wall Street gain ground as Canadian dollar weakens

first_imgTORONTO – Mining companies led a largely broad-based gain on Canada’s main stock index Monday as the loonie lost ground to the U.S. dollar.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 63.64 points to 15,236.67 — with base metals gains of more two per cent helping to offset gold sector losses of about one per cent.“Broadly we’re seeing small gains in equity market indices, not only domestically but also around the world,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones in St. Louis.“I’d probably categorize it as another one of these days where in the absence of bad news, the direction for equity markets continue to be higher. And I think that’s a reflection of the fact that economic growth and corporate profits continue to be the undercurrent for equity market gains.”On Wall Street, it was also another positive day as investors looked ahead to the latest two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, set to begin Tuesday.Traders will be listening for indications on the timing for the next rate hike and when the Fed might start shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds. Forecasters expect the Fed to leave rates unchanged and stick to plans to raise rates in December.The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 63.01 points to 22,331.35, the S&P 500 index edged ahead 3.64 points to 2,503.87, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 6.17 points to 6,454.64.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.71 cents US, down 0.38 of a U.S. cent.In commodities, the November crude contract gave back nine cents at US$50.35 per barrel while the December gold contract fell $14.40 to US$1,310.80 an ounce.The December copper contract was up two cents at to US$2.97 a pound and the October natural gas contract gained 12 cents at US$3.15 per mmBTU.– With files from The Associated Press.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

China has no hegemonic aspirations UN hears

China is pursuing a path of peaceful development, building its military strength only to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the General Assembly’s high-level debate was told today.“China does not seek hegemony now, nor will it do so in the future,” Premier Wen Jiabao told delegates at United Nations Headquarters.Noting that it poses no threat to others, he said that China takes great pride in its economic development, social justice, civility of the people and moral strength.“China will, through its own development, contribute to the peace and development of the world,” the Premier said.The Asian nation believes in resolving differences through dialogue and negotiation, he said. “As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to play an active and constructive role in promoting peaceful settlement of international hotspot issues and regional conflicts.”But Mr. Wen also declared that his country will make its own decisions regarding international issues based on both its national interests and the welfare of the world’s people.“We will neither blindly follow the position of others nor give way to the pressure of any forces,” he said. “In international relations, China does not seek to build [alliances] or become a leader and will never do so in the future.” 24 September 2008China is pursuing a path of peaceful development, building its military strength only to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the General Assembly’s high-level debate was told today. read more

Holt Renfrew growing its footprint in downtown Vancouver with major expansion

Holt Renfrew is staking a bigger claim on the streets of downtown Vancouver with plans to expand its existing store just as competition heats up in the luxury goods market.The Canadian retailer announced details of a plan Friday to grow the size of its Dunsmuir Street store by 30 per cent, or nearly 40,000 square feet to the location.The additional floor space will give the retailer room to nearly double the size of its personal shopping area, where professionals offer style advice, while other departments like its leather goods and footwear, will nearly triple in size.Holt Renfrew will launch renovations this summer as part of a bigger $300-million investment announced last year.Vancouver is a popular tourist destination and one of the main hubs of commerce for Western Canada. Those factors haven’t been lost on the influx of luxury retailers coming to Canada and almost all have made plans to plant their flags in the coastal city.Why Target’s exit may actually be a good thing for some Canadian mallsHow these three women built profitable businesses in crowded markets“Any form of competition is great,” said Mark Derbyshire, president of Holt Renfrew in a phone interview. “Our goal has always been to position ourselves as the dominant luxury specialty retailer across Canada. To me, that’s all about ensuring that we think luxury is dynamic and constantly evolving.”This fall, U.S. retailer Nordstrom will open its third Canadian location in downtown Vancouver, just around the corner from Holt Renfrew.Even fellow Canadian brand Simons, based in Quebec, is pushing into Vancouver as part of a five-city expansion that leads into 2017.While Saks Fifth Ave. hasn’t announced a Vancouver store, the city is almost certainly one of its considerations as it ponders where to launch its next shops after its Toronto stores open next year. If that sounds crowded, consider that Vancouver already has The Room, the high-end clothing store run by Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC).Holts says its expansion in Vancouver will be completed by the end of 2016. Part of the new space will come from moving into a store that was previously home to SportChek.The retailer wants to distance itself from competitors by having a better grasp on the relationship it creates with loyal customers.“We are not a department store and we do not approach our business as a department store,” Derbyshire said.“And we don’t look at it as a transaction, we look at it as a relationship.”He points to the Vancouver store as a prime example of how Holts approaches its clients. Between all of the staff members, employees can speak to customers in 30 different languages or dialects, which he said enhances the overall experience and creates repeat business from clients who could be shopping elsewhere.“That customer can buy those Louis Vuittons anywhere she travels,” he said. “She can buy them online. There’s lots of places where she can do it.”Web stores could be the next big challenge for Holts in the coming years, as more Canadians become comfortable shopping online. Luxury goods have been one of the few areas of retail that has generally been unaffected by the gradual migration to e-commerce.While Holt Renfrew has said it plans to launch an online shopping portal later this year, the retailer has placed most of its bets on the value of an in-store experience.The company has already made plans to update other flagship stores in Calgary and Toronto before the end of 2017, and new stores are also planned for Montreal and Mississauga, Ont. read more

2010 Faculty of Business Distinguished Graduate named

Kristian Knibutat (BAdmin ’86)The Faculty of Business is pleased to name Kristian Knibutat (BAdmin ’86, accounting co-op) as its 2010 Distinguished Graduate.Knibutat is the national leader of PricewaterhouseCooper LLP’s Deals practice working in the Toronto office.  He has appeared as an expert witness in the Ontario Court and has presented papers on valuation of intellectual property and fair value on financial reporting at various conferences sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators, Infonex, Association Internationale pour la Protetion de la Propriete Intellectuelle, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, Federated Press and The Canadian Institute.In 2006, Knibutat was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, earning the designation FCA.An active member of his community, Knibutat is the chair of the YMCA of Oakville’s board of directors.Please join us as we honour Knibutat and his accomplishments at a special reception on Nov. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the St. Catharines Club. If you are interested in attending, please contact Susan LeBlanc at sleblanc@brocku.ca read more

UNbacked conference aims to tackle sexual violence in conflict and beyond

The three-day International Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond convened by UNFPA on behalf of the European Commission and the Belgian Government comes at a time when sexual violence is increasingly being recognized as a significant public health, human rights and development issue in countries affected by conflict. Participants include heads of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human rights activists and researchers, government ministers, doctors and other field-based humanitarian workers, parliamentarians, representatives from the International Criminal Court (ICC), military and police officers, war correspondents and other members of the media.Although sexual violence in wartime is not new, a growing body of evidence suggests that it may be becoming more common, UNFPA said. The trend towards more civil and regional conflicts means civilians are targeted more than ever before. Systematic rape has been a prominent feature of recent conflicts across the world. Sexual violence does not occur only during armed attacks; women and young people also become highly vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation during flight, in displacement camps, and even during aid distribution. High levels of sexual violence may persist even after conflict has officially ended, due to a residual culture of violence and shattered legal systems that fail to protect survivors or prosecute perpetrators. read more

Alex Tilley makes plans to hang up his hat puts Tilley Endurables

Alex Tilley makes plans to hang up his hat, puts Tilley Endurables up for sale AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Alex Tilley is making plans to hang up his hat.Canada’s prolific hat and travel clothing designer says the company he founded more than 30 years ago is up for sale.Tilley, 77, says “it’s time” to put the company on the auction block, though he offered few other details behind the move.The decision was announced in a newspaper advertisement near the back pages of The Globe and Mail’s business section on Tuesday.Calls to the Tilley’s headquarters were not immediately returned.Tilley founded his company with the goal of designing his idea of the perfect sailing hat.Quickly the company built its reputation in Canada for making durable hats, jackets and other products, many which came with lifetime guarantees.Its international presence grew over the years, and the image of the “Tilley Man,” a nature enthusiast often dressed in beige, became iconic in some circles.Soon the company was producing jackets and hats, and eventually branched into women’s and children’s clothing.Tilley operates six Canadian shops, a web store, and has over 3,800 retail partners in 18 countries, the majority of them in the United States.The company has hired an advisory services firm to oversee the transaction. Alex Tilley poses in this undated handout photo. Alex Tilley is making plans to hang up his hat. Canada’s prolific hat and travel clothing designer says the company he founded more than 30 years ago is up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Tilley Endurables by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 13, 2015 3:30 pm MDT read more

And then there was 1 Buckeyes only undefeated mens basketball team

In 2002, it took Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel 14 games to complete his only undefeated season at the school. OSU basketball coach Thad Matta has kept his team undefeated through its first 22 games this season, and is now finding himself jealous of the length of his football counterpart’s season. “Coach Tressel and I were texting, I don’t know, a week or so ago,” Matta said. “I said, ‘Be thankful you only have 13 of these as opposed to them coming at you like this.’” With their 22-0 record, Matta’s Buckeyes are the only undefeated team remaining in college basketball this season, an accomplishment that was reflected in Monday’s polls — OSU was a unanimous first-place selection in both The Associated Press’ Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Though the Buckeyes still have half of their conference schedule ahead of them, as well as the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, Matta said remaining undefeated at this point in the season is an accomplishment in and of itself. “We’re the only team that’s still undefeated,” Matta said. “It’s such a long season, and I think that’s one of the great challenges.” OSU junior guard William Buford agreed with Matta that remaining unbeaten can be viewed as an achievement, as well as a vindication for preparation both before and during the season. “It’s kind of amazing,” Buford said. “It lets us know that all the hard work has paid off.” Buford said the key to the Buckeyes’ undefeated streak has been ignoring the big picture, and focusing on each task at hand. “We just take one game at a time,” he said. “We try to get better and better, day by day.” Matta said the Buckeyes have remained so focused on each step ahead of them that he doesn’t think they know how many games they’ve won this season. As for the team knowing how many losses they have — that’s a different story. “They do know that; I know that for sure,” Matta said. “I mean, you have six freshmen who have never lost a college game.” One of those freshmen is forward Deshaun Thomas, who said he doesn’t get as excited after a win as he did earlier in the season. “I used to get all hyped ’cause I was a freshman, but now it’s just on to the next one,” Thomas said. “It’s not over; we still got a long season.” The second half of the Big Ten schedule isn’t likely to be any easier than the first was for the Buckeyes. They still have road games against ranked Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as a home game against Illinois, which led OSU by as many as eight points in the second half of their Jan. 22 matchup. Matta said he knows it’s going to take the Buckeyes’ best effort each night for them to remain undefeated. “I think our guys understand now that this is for real,” Matta said. “On any given night, if we don’t play well, we’re not going to like the outcome.” OSU will look to advance to 23-0 on Thursday when it hosts Michigan, which the Buckeyes beat, 68-64, on Jan. 12 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. read more