Two journalists targeted in murder attempts

first_imgNews Follow the news on Iraq IraqMiddle East – North Africa News to go further IraqMiddle East – North Africa Recent decisions by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s government and signs of its growing hostility to pro-Sunni media are another source of concern. The government’s actions clearly point to a desire to closely control coverage of the ongoing tension and fighting. December 28, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information February 15, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is very concerned to learn that two Iraqi TV journalists were badly hurt in targeted attacks in the past eight days. The first was Al-Mosuliya TV cameraman Salah Nezal in the northern city of Mosul on 12 January. The second was Sharqiya News reporter Saïf Talal near Baqubah, 60 km northeast of Baghdad, on 18 January.“We firmly condemn these criminal attacks,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The appalling climate in which journalists have to work in Iraq constitutes a major threat to freedom of information in this country. “We urge the authorities to deploy all necessary resources so that these crimes are independently investigated with the aim of arresting both the perpetrators and instigators and bringing them to trial. We also call for effective measures to guarantee journalists’ safety.”Nezal was doing a report on the University of Mosul campus on 8 January when he and his driver were seriously injured by a bomb planted in the back of his car. They are both recovering.Talal was driving near Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province, when unidentified gunmen repeatedly opened fire on his car, injuring him seriously.Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened to learn that Firas Mohammed Attiyah, 28, a freelance reporter working for Al-Fallujah TV, was killed today by a bomb in Khaldiyah, in the western province of Al-Anbar while accompanying police officers to the inauguration of new police station.Muayad Ibrahim, a freelance reporter working for Al-Anbar TV, was badly hurt by the bomb, which was targeted at the police.Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the impact of the expansion of Jihadi groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and its impact on media personnel in Iraq. A knock-on effect from the conflict in Syria, it is resulting in a decline in the safety of journalists in Iraq. The past few months have been particularly deadly, with at least 10 media personnel killed in attacks by Jihadi groups.center_img Organisation January 20, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists targeted in murder attempts Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News RSF_en RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” December 16, 2020 Find out more Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Receive email alerts Newslast_img read more

Lyon demand big money for Man Utd, Chelsea target Dembele

first_imgLyon will seek £60m to sell Moussa Dembele this summer. L’Equipe says Manchester United and Chelsea frontrunners for the striker. The ex-Fulham star, 23, has scored 16 times in 27 French top-flight matches this season, attracting the attention of the Blues and United. It is believed that Dembele could cost any potential suitor in the region of £60million and the French outfit are expecting numerous offers for their star.Advertisement He remains a top target for Manchester United and Chelsea, despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak casting doubt over the schedule and threatening financial problems. United have been linked with the Frenchman as far back as last May. read also:Barcelona would only sell Ousmane Dembele for ‘golden’ offer They were poised to make an offer for the Lyon ace in August when boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hunting for a Romelu Lukaku replacement. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Promoted Content7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?12 Marvel Superheroes When They Were Kids5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldSuper Recognizable Outfits That Actors Wore In The Famous Movies7 African Actresses With Thick Skin Who Got Famous In HollywoodThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growthlast_img read more

England return to training next week as West Indies series moves closer

first_img(ESPNCricinfo) – England men’s players will move one step closer to a return to international cricket next week, when they resume training in controlled environments at arange of venues across the country.The announcement comes in the wake of official government advice, published on Wednesday, which sets out the safety protocols and social-distancing measures necessary to safeguard the players and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.And with a possible seven weeks to go until the delayed first Test against West Indies is earmarked to get underway behind closed doors, a squad of 30 players – with a red-ball focus at this stage – will begin to assemble at seven venues across the country from Wednesday onwards, to resume individual skills-based training programmes.The move is intended to mitigate the potential of injury for England’s players, who have not set foot on a cricket field since the abandonment of the Sri Lanka tour, midway their first warm-up match in Colombo on March 12.The players’ initial focus will be on “individual field-based skills”, with full nets sessions deferred for a further two weeks, until the bowlers have reached their desired workload after having their fitness regimes interrupted by two months in lockdown.Although the venues have not yet been confirmed, it is understood that Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, Emirates Old Trafford, Kia Oval, Chester-le-Street, Taunton and Hove are among those that have been earmarked for the initial period, with four more to be utilised when batting and wicket-keeping practice resumes.At first, the players will be required to train individually on a staggered basis, with a coach, a physio and, where possible, a strength and conditioning coach in attendance. To assist with these one-on-one activities, ECB will fund the short-term appointment of several county coaches, many of whom are currently furloughed.“These are the first steps for players’ return to training ahead of international cricket potentially resuming later this summer,” said Ashley Giles, England men’s managing director.“The safety of players, staff and our community is our first priority throughout this protocol. We are committed to adhering to public health guidelines and Government directives intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.“To be clear, we will only train and potentially play cricket behind closed doors if we know it is absolutely safe to do so and is fully supported by the Government.“We are in constant dialogue with players, coaches and counties to determine what is possible during this period and what facilities will be available to us. We are thankful that we have a united front across all of cricket’s stakeholders to prepare the players in a safe and secure environment.”To minimise the risk of infection during this period, strict social-distancing and hygiene protocols will be observed. The temperature of all participants will be taken before they are allowed to take place in training sessions; public areas such as dressing rooms and venue facilities will be closed, and the players and support staff will be asked to arrive at the venues in their training gear.In the event of injury to any player during the training sessions, medical officers will be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), which will be sourced and funded by ECB. No media outlets will be permitted to attend the sessions, although ECB’s communications team will distribute imagery and video where appropriate.Giles admitted that the circumstances for England’s players remained “far from ideal”, but he acknowledged that the timing of the government guidelines had been helpful in framing the conditions for their return to action.“We are working back seven weeks from what could be the first Test match,” Giles said. “We know that isn’t confirmed at this point but we have to give our bowlers enough time to get their loads up and get some overs back in their legs.“We are going to be asking approximately 30 players to go back to training so there is no official selection process at the moment. We will need a larger group of players, given we are planning for the strictest of conditions behind closed doors.“We will need to take a bigger group of players in with us whether that be to cover injury, for net bowlers, or for practice matches.”As per the government’s protocols, all players and support staff will have to have “actively opted in” to the training programme and should not be penalised if they feel uncomfortable with the conditions. However, Giles insisted that no-one had yet come forward to express their reluctance to take part.“It may happen and that’s fine,” he said. “These are different circumstances and there will be no prejudice. It is what it is, it’s an individual choice, but I hope we can put things in place and an environment that’s safe enough for guys to trust us that they can go back and take those first tentative steps to cricket.”ECB would continue to liaise with the 18 first-class counties to ascertain when a ‘back-to-training’ protocol could be rolled out for the county game. Further updates are expected towards the end of the month, with all professional and recreational cricket remaining on hold until July 1 at the earliest.last_img read more

Uganda Cranes’ focus turns to Ghana after Togo World Cup warm-up defeat

first_imgForward Miya brought down by a Togo player. PHOTOS FUFA MEDIAJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda suffered friendly defeats on Tuesday as they warmed up for 2018 World Cup qualifiers this weekend.The Congolese lost 1-0 to Kenya at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa and the Ugandans fell 1-0 against Togo at the Stade de Kegue in Lome.Uganda, who qualified earlier for their first Nations Cup finals since 1978,  are away to Ghana on Friday in the opening World Cup group-phase fixture in Africa and DR Congo host Libya in another of the five sections the following day.Kenya continued their recent improvement with a surprise win in the Congolese capital thanks to a 62nd-minute goal from Michael Olunga.The Sweden-based striker pushed a rebound into the net from close range after Paul Were struck a post from a tight angle.Harambee Stars succeeded despite lacking star midfielder Victor Wanyama, who could not reach Kinshasa in time after helping Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 2-0 in the English Premier League at the weekend.Another Sweden-based striker, Atakora Lalawele, was the 30th-minute match-winner for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Togo.Uganda beat Togo 3-0 at home and 1-0 away last November in a qualifying tie for the World Cup group stage. Togo host Mozambique on Saturday in another friendly.Cranes line up, captains Massa and AdebayorUganda starting XI :Salim Jamal,  Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Murshid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Denis Iguma, Hassan Wasswa, Khalid Aucho, Kizito Luwagga, Faruku Miya, Geoffrey Massa (Captain).Subs: Benjamin Ochan (GK), Kizito Geoffrey, Kiiza Hamis, Santamun Yunus, Joseph Ochaya, Mawejje Tony, Oloya Moses. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Tax, tax, tax— now they want your grocery bag

first_img(NNPA)—Local and state governments are just like the federal government. They want to keep their largesse ways and not face the demand for austerity and good fiscal management. When times get tight they seek to get into your pockets via obscene taxation on any and everything they can find. There is no regard for the underserved or populations that can least afford damaging taxation for the sake of keeping massive governmental infrastructures. Many cities and counties are slipping taxes on cell phones like they are luxury items. The truth is cell phones are security items, family management tools and access to the Internet. Black citizens use cell phones as their number one vehicle to the Internet. So, when they start slapping taxes on your child’s phone and you are on a limited fixed income or assistance it becomes terribly damaging. They are doing this with reckless abandon and that is why we are pushing for a federal bill that will declare cell phones interstate commerce and prohibit any further local taxes for at least 10 years.Let’s say you purchase a download through the Internet. You live in Philadelphia and you buy it from a firm in Seattle, Washington. The server used in this transaction is located in St. Louis. What may happen is a triple tax on this transaction. You may pay Philadelphia, Pa. sales tax, Seattle, Wash. sales tax, and a St. Louis, Mo. sales tax all on one transaction. It is becoming crazy and somehow we must bring good management and governance in this new age of doing business.Now comes taxing grocery bags. Washington, D.C. started this under the last mayor. My wife and I no longer shop in D.C. We shop in Montgomery County, Md. However, the Montgomery County Council has just decided to implement their own five-cent grocery bag tax. Shall we now cross the Potomac River into Virginia? Better yet, let’s start getting a handle on this one.The stated goals of the tax are to raise revenue and curb the use of grocery bags. The bags, the county says, are an environmental hazard. Instead, county officials say they want to encourage Montgomery County shoppers to use reusable bags.Unfortunately, the measure misses the mark. What bag taxes like these result in isn’t very “green” at all. And, what might be affordable for one of America’s most affluent counties certainly wouldn’t be affordable for working class communities, let alone the entire state.Eliminating free grocery bags at the checkout means consumers must search for alternatives — presumably reusable plastic or cloth bags. Both options weigh more and take more energy to produce, contributing to greater emissions, not less.As alternatives, plastic reusables and cloth bags must be used repeatedly over time before their environmental impacts are less than that of plastic. If they aren’t reused to that extent, we only succeed in introducing more waste into our landfills. To illustrate, it would take 7.5 years of using the same cloth bag (393 uses, assuming one grocery trip per week) before it’s a better option than a plastic bag reused three times, like to carry lunch and then line a garbage can.And since so many people (nine out of 10 according to market surveys) reuse plastic grocery bags, without them, consumers would naturally replace plastic grocery bags with other, heavier gauge plastics, for household uses. After Ireland implemented its bag tax, consumption of purchased plastic trash bags increased by 400 percent. So, if the goal is to promote less waste in our landfills and use fewer plastics, bans and taxes don’t achieve those outcomes.Bag taxes also skirt the real issue of litter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says plastic grocery bags make up less than 0.5 percent of the litter stream. Junk food wrappers, cigarette butts and paper, all make up bigger portions of litter, but plastic bags make for an easy target because they are visible, white, and often can get blown around. In effect, getting rid of plastic bags is negligible in cleaning up litter. Addressing litter requires more than just banning a product, it requires a change in habits, more recycling, and greater education.A tax on grocery bags is regressive. A growing number of Americans rely on government assistance for food, and taxes like this hurt these groups the most. In a time of rising gas prices, and with the rising cost of commodities driving up our grocery bills, the added financial burden at the check-out for a cause that has an arguable impact on improving the environment just doesn’t make sense.Though well-intended, a bag tax does more harm than help. Non-recyclable reusables are no better for the environment. The worst part is that the tax ends up hurting those that can least afford it. Fight this increased taxation effort whenever and wherever it comes up.(Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: [email protected])last_img read more

Ambulance Hits Pedestrian in Red Bank

first_imgThe MONOC ambulance at right hit a pedestrian crossing Broad Street, against the light. The ambulance at left responded to the accident. Photo credit: Jessica LosardoA MONOC ambulance was traveling north on Broad Street in Red Bank when it struck a pedestrian crossing the street against the light, at Monmouth Street.The pedestrian, Thomas Thatcher, 66, of Hackettstown suffered a minor injury but refused treatment at the scene from the crew of a second MONOC ambulance called to the scene less than two minutes later, at 1:17 p.m., said MONOC Director of Operations Andy Caruso.“He was struck and knocked down and immediately got up,” said Caruso. “He refused medical attention and went on his way.”Caruso said the ambulance driver had come from the Spring Street First Aid station in Red Bank, headed to a call in Middletown for a person suffering abdominal pain.“We were traveling within the safe speeds, going through downtown Red Bank with regard to pedestrians when unexpectedly this person stepped out in front of the ambulance,” said Caruso. “Our drivers are well trained in operating emergency vehicles and act with due regard.”He added, “The driver of our ambulance was naturally shaken up.”Police Chief Darren McConnell confirmed the pedestrian was crossing against the light. Police did not issue any summonses, he said.In meetings with civic leaders, The Two River Times is exploring why pedestrian accidents happen in Red Bank, a town that boasts lots of shoppers on foot as well as vehicular traffic. The newspaper is reporting on problems and potential solutions to issues like jaywalking, left-turning vehicle-pedestrian accidents, confusing crosswalk signals and speeding in its Crosswalk series.Kelsey Guthrie, the manager of Yestercades, said crossing Broad Street can be dangerous. “I see a lot of people not stopping for people at the crosswalk — including myself. I’ve almost been hit multiple times,” she said on Wednesday, after witnessing the aftermath of the accident across the street. “People are driving in town definitely have to be more aware that this is a pedestrian town. It’s full of people walking around.”Mayor Pasquale Menna, another stakeholder in the TRT initiative, said Wednesday that pedestrians must be mindful of traffic rules, “How is any government, how is any regulation, how is any rule going to protect someone who’s not looking where they’re going?State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), another participant in the Crossroads initiative with an office on Monmouth Street, said the incident is an important reminder. “It elevates and highlights the importance of pedestrian safety in the popular town of Red Bank.”— Christina Johnson and John Burtonlast_img read more

Newman and Pena Win Weekly MVC Softball Awards

first_imgPena batted a team-high .545 (6-of-11) in the four wins. She had one stolen base, two doubles, two runs and six RBI while compiling a .667 on-base percentage and slugging .727. Pena, who is on a five-game hitting streak, started the week with a 1-for-3 performance at Iowa with one RBI. She followed by going 1-for-2 with one double and two RBI in the first win over Bradley. Pena then went 2-for-3 with two RBI in a 9-8 victory over Bradley, including driving in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Drake erased a 7-3 deficit. She closed the Bradley series with another 2-for-3 performance and had one double and drove in one run. Last week, Newman earned two of Drake’s four wins as the team went 4-0, including a three-game sweep over Bradley and in-state midweek victory at Iowa. She pitched a complete game in the series opener versus Bradley where the Braves scored two unearned runs off her in a 10-2 five-inning victory. She allowed four hits with seven strikeouts and zero walks. Newman helped herself at the plate going 3-for-3 with one double, her first home run of the season and three RBI. Newman’s solo home run ended the game early in the fifth inning. Newman followed that performance with five scoreless innings where she allowed one hit with nine strikeouts and two walks in the series finale win over Bradley. In 32 starts this season, Pena is batting .295 with one home run, three stolen bases, seven doubles, 10 runs scored and 13 RBI. Newman, who is 11-2 on the season, moved to third all-time in career strikeouts at Drake with an impressive 677. She is just three punchouts away from tying Brynne Dordel (2008-11) with 680. Newman leads the MVC in earned run average with an impressive 0.66 mark, ranks second in strikeouts with 122 and third in wins. In her career, she has won MVC Pitcher of the Week nine times.center_img ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Redshirt junior pitcher Nicole Newman (Madison, Wis.) the Drake University softball team has been named Missouri Valley Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week for a league-leading fourth time this season while junior infielder Taryn Pena (Columbia, Ill.) was tabbed the MVC Player of the Week for the first time in her career, the league office announced Monday, April 2. Newman and Pena have helped Drake to a 25-9 overall record, including an 8-0 start to MVC play. Drake, which sits in first place in the MVC, will travel to Southern Illinois, April 7-8, for a three-game series. The series with the Salukis was originally scheduled to be played at Buel Field in Des Moines, but was moved to Carbondale, Ill. due to cold temperatures and inclement weather forecasted for this week in central Iowa. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Mahela Jayawardene declines Sri Lanka Cricket’s World Cup offer

first_imgFormer Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene has declined to play a role in Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign, saying he is disillusioned with the general state of the sport in the island nation.”I was (invited) but I have several other commitments. More than that, I didn’t understand the role I am expected to play,” Jayawardene was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as telling to the Sunday Times.”There’s no point in me getting involved tactically, or whatever, if I don’t have a say in the whole structure. The team is selected and everything is done and dusted. There is no room for me to come in and add something.”I am still happy to contribute in my little way with the management of the team, but nothing to do with the SLC. That’s something I have told myself as well. I just don’t have the appetite to come and work for anybody when I know that it’s not the right place for me.”Previously, Jayawardene submitted plans to overhaul Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket sructure but all went in vain.Last year, a committee featuring Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva had also submitted a report on Sri Lankan cricket, only to be ignored.”We created a professional cricketing structure spending eight months,” he said. “We offered to set it up for them but they rejected it. We did it because we don’t want to lose our cricketers going to Australia and to league cricket in England. We need those experienced players in our system.advertisement”There are some teams in our first class system where the average age is 25, which is sad. When we played, we had so many senior cricketers to guide us. Without them in our system, we cannot build a strong domestic cricket structure. And without doing that, there’s no point in building stadiums.”Jayawardene also came down heavily on the leadership of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, saying some of their decisions were responsible for the chopping in changing in captaincy.Since Jayawardene retired in 2015 and Mathews took over, Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedara and – most-recently – Dimuth Karunaratne have held the reins.”The only advice (Kumar and I) gave Angelo was not to give in to cricket politics,” Jayawardene said.”He needs to be a stronger leader, to be with the players and do the right thing. But he gave in to cricket politics. He allowed other people to make decisions and did not stand up for his players. I am being honest. I have told him this as well and he accepts it. If he hadn’t give in, we would probably not be in this situation today. Even if I see him today, that’s the only complaint I will have against him.”The number one rule in Sri Lanka is, if you are the captain, lead by example and do not allow any outsiders coming into that setup. That’s the only way we ran the show and survived. It was unfortunate and it was not easy, either.”You need to deal with a lot of unwanted elements. But if you are a strong character, that’s something you have to do. I have nothing against him. He is a brilliant cricketer and a wonderful person but he did not handle this situation well. He should be the one who is leading this team at the World Cup. He had to give up because it was too much for him. But it was his fault.”I think (Chandimal) was another victim of cricket politics. In the sense, he was another player like Angelo Mathews who was snared to elements behind the scene and went along with them rather than taking control of the team and being a strong leader,” he added.Also Read | Unfancied Sri Lanka head to World Cup 2019 with hope for miracleAlso Watch:last_img read more

NBA Power Ratings And Playoff Odds What The Trade Deadline Hath Wrought

MILPHO+0.0 NOPMIA, OKC, PHO-0.1 DETBOS, OKC+1.4 BOSDET+2.1 SACWAS+1.8 OKCNOP, UTA-0.7 TEAMTRADED WITHNET WAR MINBRK-0.2 PHIDEN, HOU, MIL-0.1 DENPHI, POR+0.7 UTAOKC+0.2 WASSAC-0.9 NYKHOU-0.5 After a week’s hiatus because of the All-Star break, we’re back with FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings.There are more than a few trade deadline-related changes to the rankings this week, but before I get to those, a quick explanation of how these numbers work: Teams are ranked according to a projection of their strength over the upcoming week using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on these numbers, see our introductory rankings post.In many ways, ranking the league after a reshuffling of players — like Thursday’s trade deadline — is precisely what power ratings such as these are intended to do. Because they’re based on the underlying talent of the players on each team’s roster, they ought to be able to account for player movement more quickly than ratings that require the new-look teams to play together a bunch of times.So, how much did the deadline really shake up the league? Here’s a look at the statistical effect of deadline trades on each team, in terms of the RPM wins above replacement (WAR) they are projected to gain or lose over the remainder of the 2014-15 schedule: HOUNYK, PHI+0.3 (Note that all of these gains and losses are for 2014-15 only — they don’t take into account draft picks exchanged or even the future implications of picking up a player and his contract.)As SB Nation’s Paul Flannery noted, this trade deadline didn’t really make much difference despite all the chaos in the final hectic minutes.Sure, the top team, Miami, added about 2.4 wins over the rest of the season, and Phoenix brought up the rear with a loss of more than 3 WAR when the dust settled. The moves may have kept the Heat afloat for the playoffs (especially in light of the subsequent news that Chris Bosh would be lost for the season with blood clots) and signaled the death knell for the Suns’ postseason chances.But the rest of the biggest movers and shakers on deadline day either had already locked up a playoff slot (Washington and Oklahoma City took steps back but are near 100 percent playoff probability by our projections anyway) or didn’t have a prayer no matter what they did (the Celtics, for all their improvements on deadline day, are still staring at a mere 12.1 percent chance of making the playoffs).The exception to this might be the Detroit Pistons. Two weeks ago, the Pistons clung to a meager 9.9 percent probability of making the playoffs, according to our model. Now they have a 47.8 percent chance of making the postseason and have jumped from 21st to 16th in the power rankings — some of that thanks to the 1.4-WAR boost they picked up at the trade deadline with Reggie Jackson (an upgrade made doubly positive by the discarding of sub-replacement level guard D.J. Augustin).Aside from the Pistons, however, it seems as though few of Thursday’s moves will upend the playoff picture in either conference.At any rate, many of the trades yielded positive WAR simply by jettisoning a poor player from the roster. Take, for instance, Sacramento’s trade of Ramon Sessions to Washington. It netted a solid player in return — Andre Miller is expected to generate 0.8 WAR for the Kings over the rest of the season — but removing Sessions was the bigger windfall in terms of 2014-15 WAR. Sessions’ -5.1 predictive RPM combined with an expectation of 17 minutes per game to potentially deliver -1.0 WAR to Sacramento before it traded him away.As for the rankings themselves, the New Orleans Pelicans were the biggest movers since two Mondays ago — and in a very bad way. They lost all-everything forward Anthony Davis to a shoulder sprain that will cost him several weeks of action, which coupled with an ongoing injury to Jrue Holiday — and the addition of RPM disaster Norris Cole — to drop the Pelicans 11 ranking slots. RPM says their depleted roster projects to be the fourth-worst in basketball over the next week.The Dallas Mavericks dropped eight slots in this edition of the rankings. Adding Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t help, but the biggest changes were an injury to Chandler Parsons and the return of statistical enigma Rajon Rondo to their lineup. Rondo’s having a subpar season by the numbers, and short-term RPM gives him a rating near the replacement level. But at least Dallas is still 99.5 percent likely to make the playoffs, according to our simulations.Looking for good news? The Los Angeles Clippers rose six spots in the rankings from two weeks ago. Usually changes to the power ratings are due to player movement, injuries or other reallocations of minutes, but in the case of the Clippers, the improved play of Jamal Crawford has also played a role. Crawford still carries a negative RPM rating, but he’s averaging 22.8 points per game over his last four outings and has been present for some of the Clippers’ best basketball — they’ve averaged a +17.5 scoring margin per game with him on the floor over the past two weeks.Finally, let’s give a hand to the New York Knicks. While they’ve been a fun punchline all season, they’ve been in a dogfight with the Philadelphia 76ers for last place in our rankings all season. But after a season-ending injury to Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks have separated themselves from the pack, easily ranking as the least-talented team in the NBA this week. With the likes of RPM ne’er-do-wells Jose Calderon, Jason Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. projected to soak up huge minutes for the rest of the season, Jim Dolan’s team is truly a fitting “Hope Diamond in his loser’s tiara.” PORDEN+0.4 MIANOP, PHO+2.4 PHODET, MIA, MIL-3.2 BRKMIN+0.4 read more

CWC AGREES TO ACQUIRE COLUMBUS INTERNATIONAL INC TO ACCELERATE GROWTH STRATEGY AND

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Cable and Wireless and Wikimedia Foundation Sign Partnership Deal Mobile Phone Customers can now browse Wikipedia at no extra cost Related Items:acquire, cable & wireless, columbus international, phil bentley. Brendan Paddick C&W BUSINESS WINS 2015 TOP FORTINET PARTNER AWARDS Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 6 Nov 2014 (CABLE & WIRELESS NEWS RELEASE) –The combined business will: Deliver broader pro-consumer product offerings and improved services Inject state of the art TV and next-generation super-high-speed broadband technology into CWC Deliver huge opportunities to the Business and Government sectors Provide rapid lead in fixed mobile convergence through premier network platformCable and Wireless Communications PLC (CWC) has reached a conditional agreement to acquire Columbus International Inc. The proposed acquisition, valued at US$3.025bn will enable the combined company to significantly accelerate its growth strategy, improve service delivery to customers in the region, offer customers a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality products and services, and strengthen their position against larger competitors. The increased scale and capabilities of the combined company will provide the technical platform and financial capacity to help enable CWC to drive greater innovation and expand our geographic footprint.The combination of the two companies is consistent with global industry trends, where convergence of fixed and mobile networks, increasing content consumption growth, and continuing development of online applications are driving requirements for high bandwidth, fixed line networks and TV capabilities. Operators in Europe and North America, as well as regional competitors, are acquiring and constructing networks that are capable of supporting ever-growing data needs along with new video capabilities. The combination of the two businesses supports CWC’s new strategy and its four primary areas of focus: Drive Mobile Leadership; Accelerate Fixed-Mobile Convergence; Reinforce TV Offer; and Grow Business to Business and Business to Government sectors. This strategy is underpinned by CWC’s announced US$1.05billion Project Marlin capital investment programme. Additionally, CWC believes that the combination of the two businesses will generate material operating cost and capital expenditure synergies. Similarly, Columbus believes that the combined strengths of both companies will accelerate growth, provide the necessary scale to enhance the customer experience, and help to allow Columbus to achieve its goal to become the “Best service provider” and “Employer of Choice” in the region.The proposed combination of CWC’s region-leading mobile footprint and existing fixed line infrastructure with Columbus’ pay TV capabilities and next-generation, state-of-the-art fibre networks will significantly expand the product and service offerings for customers and also advance the companies’ quad play ambitions. The combined business will also deliver the benefits of superior quality network infrastructure, fixed-mobile products and bundles, superior TV content at competitive rates, and a more attractive portfolio of products and services in the B2B and B2G segments.Phil Bentley, CWC’s Chief Executive Officer said: “This is a transaction that transforms CWC, providing a step-change in growth and returns. Columbus offers complementary TV, Broadband and B2B capabilities in complementary markets. Together, we will create the best-in-class quad-play offering in the region, delivered on a superior mobile, fibre and subsea network. This is a significant opportunity to better serve our customers and improve the ICT infrastructure of the communities in which we operate, whilst accelerating our strategy and delivering materially enhanced returns and synergy benefits.”Similarly, Columbus’ chairman and CEO, Brendan Paddick indicated that, “Together we will form a truly world-class company focused on our customers in the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean regions. The proposed acquisition makes both companies stronger, faster and smarter in competing with their larger competitors. The proposed transaction reinforces our commitment to transform connectivity in the region, to increase the attractiveness of the region to investors, to support the growth of the communities we serve by making them more globally accessible and to ensure that our customers always have access to the best products and services available.”For both companies, the proposed acquisition also enables greater focus on the Caribbean, Andean and Latin American markets as a region that offers attractive growth. The proposed acquisition will provide new opportunities and focus in Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Peru.“Our goal is to provide customer-focused solutions and the highest level of service across the region. This agreement will accelerate our efforts through a strengthened set of assets and capabilities,” Bentley affirmed.The recent acquisition of both Groupo Sonitel in Panama, combined with Columbus’ Lazus in acquisition in Colombia will accelerate CWC’s progress against the new streamlined strategy.About Cable & Wireless Communications Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) is a full-service communications provider operating in 16 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Operating four leading businesses: – Cable and Wireless Panama, LIME, (the Caribbean excluding The Bahamas), BTC (The Bahamas) and Cable and Wireless Seychelles; CWC offers mobile, broadband, TV, domestic and international fixed line services in most of our markets serving over 5.6m customers. CWC also provides premium data centre hosting, telecoms, domestic and international managed data network services and custom IT Service Solutions to businesses and governments through the new unit, Cable & Wireless Business Solutions. Our mission is to grow customer relationships and lifetime value by becoming #1 for Customer Service. We are the market leader in most products they offer and territories they serve. For more information visit: www.cwc.comAbout Columbus International Inc.Columbus International Inc. is a privately held diversified telecommunications company based in Barbados. The Company provides digital cable television, broadband Internet and digital landline telephony in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Curacao under the brand name Flow and in Antigua under the brand name Karib Cable. Columbus also provides next generation connectivity and IT solutions, managed networking and cloud-based services under the brand Columbus Business Solutions. Through its subsidiary, Columbus Networks, the Company provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 42 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region. Through its fully protected, ringed submarine fibre optic network spanning more than 42,300 km and its 38,000 km terrestrial fibre and coaxial network, Columbus’ 3,150 plus professionals provide advanced telecom services to a diverse residential and corporate client base of over 700,000 customers.For more information visit www.columbus.co Columbus Business Solutions, part of Cable & Wireless Communications, recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for its Disaster Recovery as a Service solutionlast_img read more