OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada is expected to raise its key interest rate target for the first time in nearly seven years on Wednesday following signs the economy is well on the road to recovery after the crash in oil prices.Low interest rates have helped fuel the housing market in recent years, incentivizing Canadians to pile on record levels of debt — something that the central bank has noted as a significant risk for the economy.Rates for new fixed-rate mortgages have already started to rise in anticipation. A hike by the Bank of Canada will likely prompt the country’s big banks to raise their prime rates, a move that will increase the cost of loans such as variable rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit.James Laird, co-founder of interest rate comparison website RateHub, said the carefully crafted language the Bank of Canada uses Wednesday will be key in reading the tea leaves of future rate decisions.“Any additional comments for future increases will be the real trigger for more fixed rate increases following the announcement, rather than the rate change itself,” Laird said.The potential rise in the cost of borrowing comes amid signs the housing market, a key economic driver in recent years, is adapting to government changes meant to cool the real estate sectors of Toronto and Vancouver.Sales and prices have fallen in Toronto in the wake of new rules brought in by the Ontario government, including a tax on foreign buyers. Vancouver sales, where new measures including a similar tax were implemented last summer, also stalled in the months that followed, though there are signs the market may be rebounding.Speculation about an interest rate hike comes amid a flurry of strong economic news this year, with housing starts figures for last month released Tuesday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. amplifying that.Scotiabank deputy chief economist Brett House said the difference between the actual and potential output of the economy is narrowing rapidly, so he expects the central bank will move now to keep inflation in check.“We do believe that this is the beginning of a gradual hiking cycle from the Bank of Canada,” House said.The Bank of Canada cut rates twice in 2015 in an effort to offset a dramatic drop in oil prices, bringing it to 0.5 per cent. Governor Stephen Poloz has said those measures appeared to have done their job.While inflation remains well below the central bank’s target of two per cent, Poloz said in a recent interview with a German newspaper that if the central bank only watched and reacted to inflation, it would never reach its inflation target and it would always be two years behind in the reaction. He said he has to look at other indicators in the models that predict inflation.Despite widespread expectations of a quarter-point hike — which would be the first since the rate was increased from 0.75 per cent to one per cent in September 2010 — those views aren’t unanimous.In a research note, TD said it was a “very close call” but it expects the Bank of Canada to remain on hold for now because conditions in the economy were still largely consistent with its projections.The C.D. Howe’s monetary policy council also recommends that the central bank not move its key rate. Six members of the group, which includes academic economists and those from the country’s big banks including TD, voted to keep the rate on hold, while five called for an increase to 0.75 per cent.Nick Rowe, a Carleton University economics professor and member of the C.D. Howe council, said inflation remains below the Bank of Canada’s target even though other areas of the economy seem to be doing well.“We simply haven’t seen the rise in inflation that you would have expected to have seen as the economy strengthens, plus there aren’t really much signs of expected inflation either,” said Rowe, who voted to keep the rate on hold.In addition to the rate announcement Wednesday, the central bank will release its latest monetary policy report, which will include its updated outlook for the economy.
by News Staff Posted Oct 4, 2012 10:37 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Half of Canada’s Internet users also using mobile device, TV to get online TORONTO – Just over half of Canada’s Internet users are using a mobile device or their TV to get online, suggests a new report.According to the Media Technology Monitor, about 52 per cent of Canadian web users have a computer and at least one other device at their disposal to use the web: either a smartphone, a tablet or a TV with Internet connectivity.The report also focuses in on a small minority of Canadians that use the Internet on all four devices.About three per cent of Canada’s Internet users access the web on a computer, smartphone, tablet and TV, and not surprisingly, spend a lot more time online than average.A so-called “four screen” user is on the web about 27.1 hours a week, compared to 16.5 hours for average Canadian Internet users, says the report.Four screen users also tend to watch less conventional TV and seek out more content online. The average Internet user watches about 14.3 hours of TV a week, compared to 11.8 hours for four screen users, says Media Technology Monitor.
by Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 23, 2016 10:00 am MDT Last Updated Mar 23, 2016 at 4:05 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email New Brunswick finds flicker of hope in new IBM cybersecurity jobs FREDERICTON – IBM will create 100 new full-time cybersecurity jobs, each subsidized with $12,000 from the New Brunswick government, as the province finds a flicker of hope amid steep job losses and red ink.Company officials and Premier Brian Gallant made the announcement Wednesday in Fredericton, as the government continues its push for information technology jobs, with emphasis on cybersecurity.“IBM is an incredible international business with approximately 400,000 employees around the world,” Gallant told a news conference at the University of New Brunswick.“We are talking about an important player globally which I think brings an interesting perspective and the potential for growth for New Brunswick.”The premier met with IBM and other companies this month at a cybersecurity conference in San Francisco and also at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, and said the Fredericton area is already a “centre of excellence” for cybersecurity.Eddie Campbell, the president of UNB, said New Brunswick is well positioned to capitalize on the growing industry.“Imagine a day when we have companies from all over the world who are attracted by the talent base that we have here in New Brunswick coming here to work with us to build opportunities like this one, week after week. That is an achievable future for us,” he said.The new jobs will pay an average salary of $75,000 per year, and the province is paying IBM $12,000 per job as a payroll rebate, for a total of $1.2 million. Gallant said the government needs to provide incentives when it is competing for jobs with other provinces and states.Rick Doucet, the minister responsible for Opportunities New Brunswick, said it’s a small investment when you consider each of the new employees will be paying taxes, as well as paying rents or buying homes.David Murrell, an economics professor at UNB, said any job announcements should be seen as good news. However, Murrell said he remains pessimistic about the provincial economy.“Not only do we need the high-technology industries, we need the traditional sector jobs as well. That’s what I call a balanced economy when both sides are doing well,” he said.Employment in New Brunswick shrank for the second year in a row in 2015. This January, the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan announced it would close its Picadilly mine in Sussex, N.B., eliminating more than 400 well-paying jobs.The provincial budget in February announced the elimination of 1,300 civil service jobs over five years. The province hasn’t had a balanced budget since 2007-08.Still, Doucet said there’s reason to remain positive for the future.“There will be a handful of these kinds of job creation announcements happening very soon,” he said.IBM has scheduled another job announcement Thursday in Saint John.In 2011, IBM bought Q1 Labs, whose QRadar Security Intelligence Platform was developed in partnership with the University of New Brunswick.IBM maintains a research development and customer support centre in Fredericton.David Drury, IBM Canada’s general manager of global technology services, said cybercrime is the current-day equivalent of organized crime.“Eighty per cent of cyber security attacks today are driven by well established crime rings and this has turned into one of the largest illegal economies in the world with over $445 billion of illegal profit annually through cyber security crimes,” he said.Drury said there is a global shortage of one-million employees to work in the cyber security field.
For football-starved Ohio State fans, Saturday finally came. Wrapped in an intoxicating frenzy, Urban Meyer’s debut as the Buckeyes’ football coach finally came. And it didn’t disappoint. After routing Miami (Ohio) 56-10, the program’s first triumph since a shaky 34-20 win against Indiana on Nov. 5 finally came. On an oppressively sultry afternoon in Ohio Stadium, eight months of anticipation – eight months of wondering what the “Urban Era” had in store – finally came. Who would have thought, then, that there could have been an entire quarter’s worth of anxiety-ridden restlessness as the first quarter of Saturday’s game seemed like a continuation of OSU’s historically bad 6-7 season last year. Down 3-0 after being outgained 172-48 by the RedHawks in the first quarter, a wave of uneasiness left a once-euphoric crowd of 105,039 subdued as Miami’s senior quarterback Zac Dysert and junior wide receiver Nick Harwell gashed the Buckeyes’ defense with big play and after big play. Suffice to say, Meyer wasn’t particularly pleased. “Well, not fortunately or unfortunately – whatever it is – that darned first quarter, I was embarrassed with the way we were playing,” he said. “We worked so hard and we didn’t play very well, in all phases. Defense let a couple of passes go that we shouldn’t have.” Meyer’s vaunted spread offense, which was was supposed to allow sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller room to thrive, amassed five yards on 1-of-7 passing. Through it all, though, Meyer said Miller kept his poise. It was one of the things he wanted to see out of the sophomore on Saturday, he said. “I think one of the things about Braxton Miller that I really had to see, and I did see today, is that the objective with Braxton is to make him from an athlete playing quarterback to a quarterback that manages,” Meyer said. “And a quarterback position is a unique position in all sports, where he’s got to manage so much. He’s got to manage basically the entire offense,” he said. “He’s got to stay positive – his leadership. He has to be a leader.” Football is “not a game of anger,” Miller said. “Go out there, have fun, enjoy the time with your teammates and make sure you’re doing all the right things positive ways; if you’re doing anything in the negative way there’s nothing that’s going to get done at that point,” he said. And at the outset of the second quarter, that leadership seemed to finally manifest itself on the field. Finally, the Buckeyes sunk into a rhythm with their up-tempo style of play and burst out for a four play, 83-yard drive that ended in an acrobatic, one-handed touchdown snag from sophomore wide receiver Devin Smith. “I don’t know if Devin has been saving that, but I’ve not seen him do that. Now that I know he can, I expect – he’s actually been playing pretty good for us,” Meyer said. “But that was a wild moment. And that was a moment that ignited the stadium. The stadium got quiet,” Meyer said. “Our sideline got quiet and we were waiting for a play to happen and he went out and made a play. That’s football.” Redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby said the catch was “fantastic.” “If you go back to the replay, I actually ran on the field,” he said. “So I’m not sure if that’s a penalty or anything, but I actually run on the field and gave him a high-five.” With momentum and the lead in their hands, OSU’s offense exploded for 35 unanswered points while its defense found ways to entirely suffocate the RedHawk’s run game and slow their aerial assault down. Near the end of the third quarter, Meyer said he was finally able to find a time for mental snapshots and soak in the magnitude of his first game calling the shots in Columbus. “The day overall, it was a great day. ‘Hang on Sloopy’ kicked it off in the fourth quarter. And I stared at that for a while, watched it. Told a couple of people that I’ve never seen that before. Checked that out,” Meyer said. “Just for years and years I’ve always remembered the change in the third and fourth quarter, what happens in that stadium,” Meyer said. But such a moment for reflection, Meyer said, was limited. Until the game clock struck zero, at least. In the footsteps of the tradition that former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel started in 2001, Meyer locked arms with his players in the south end zone and sang “Carmen Ohio” with the rest of the team and the tens of thousands of fans still remaining in the stadium. “You look like you were really enjoying the alma mater. And I’m just wondering if that was the one point when you finally got to a point where you could enjoy being the Ohio State coach and just being in the stadium and the whole thing,” one reporter asked at Meyer’s postgame press conference. The 48-year-old sidestepped the essence of the question. “I’ve been enjoying being Ohio State coach for about seven months now,” Meyer responded. Meyer, though, said he didn’t want to deflate that moment. “I’m with a bunch of guys I care about. Love our players. Two guys next to me – and (Garrett) Goebel’s to my left, and I love that guy,” he said regarding the Buckeyes’ senior captain and nose tackle. “There’s a lot of guys on this team I have a lot of respect. And saying the alma mater, I’m a graduate, and the fight song, that was a special moment. And we got to sing the fight song in the locker room as well.” Despite being anxious for the game, Meyer said he got about six hours of sleep the night before. “I like this team. I like these guys,” he said. “When you like that, you sleep pretty good.”
The copper production profile for Lundin Mining’s Candelaria has been improved over the life-of-mine and next ten years says the miner in its latest operational update. Re-phasing of the open pit mine plan, increased planned production from underground mines, mine fleet reinvestment and initiatives to increase mill capacity have all contributed to the improved production profile.An updated NI 43-101 Technical Report is being completed and is expected to be released before the end of 2017.The latest open pit plan considers new phase designs, production sequences and a change in pit ore excavation and truck loading methodology. It also addresses recent instability in a localised area of the pit’s east wall and a slide which occurred October 31, 2017. Both have impacted 2018 and 2019 production forecasts. Production guidance for 2017 remains unchanged. Candelaria attributable copper production guidance of 104,000 to 109,000 t in 2018 is less (20%) than the previous outlook for the year. As a result of the recent slide and to take a more conservative approach in mining this area of the pit, the near-term plans have been altered to focus on waste push backs above the area prior to mining where the slide occurred. In the meantime, low grade stockpile ore will make up the difference in mill feed.Forecast copper production over the next ten years has increased in aggregate by approximately 290,000 t (20%) with particular focus on improvements in years 2021 and beyond.
The new sports hall in Skopje was opened last night SC “Jane Sandanski”. A new home of RK Vardar, ZRK Vardar and basketball team MZT, built with the money of Russian boss Sergei Samsonenko, has opened the gates for all the fans before the EHF CL match between RK Vardar and Chekhovskie Medvedi 39:28 (24:12). It seems that Vardar’s players were inspired in the first half, not just because of the great support of 5.000 fans, but also fantastic intro into the match, which reminded on the atmosphere of “Lanxess Arena” in Cologne during the EHF CL F4 events… handball halljane sandanskisc jane sandanskiSkopje ← Previous Story INVINCIBLE: “Veszprem Arena” melts German “Lions”! Next Story → EHF CL: Barcelona and KIF Kolding notch second wins
A POLL CARRIED out by Red C on behalf of the Sunday Business Post has seen different fortunes for the two Government coalition parties.Support for Fine Gael has climbed two points, from 27 to 29 per cent of those surveyed, since the last such poll before the Budget 2014 announcement.Labour, on the other hand, see their popularity slip one point to put them in single figures, at 9.Fianna Fáil‘s popularity is unchanged since the last poll, at 23; as is Sinn Féin, who remain at 17. Support for independents and others drops one point to 22.Don’t knows came in at a sizeable 18 per cent, according to Red C’s CEO Richard Colwell’s figures.He also notes that 39 per cent of voters think Budget 2014 was fair. That percentage of satisfied citizens jumps to 66 per cent when they are Fine Gael voters – but in another blow to Labour, only 38 per cent of those who voted for them in the last election believe it was a fair Budget.Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie Politics on Facebook to keep up to date with all that’s happening in and outside of Leinster House.
NEARLY HALF OF the roughly 300 U.S. military advisers and special operations forces expected to go to Iraq are now in Baghdad and have begun to assess Iraqi forces in the fight against Sunni militants, the Defence Department said as the US ramped up aid to the besieged country.At the Pentagon, Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters the troops in Baghdad included two teams of special forces and about 90 advisers, intelligence analysts, commandos and some other support personnel needed to set up a joint operations center in the Iraqi capital.Another four teams of special forces would arrive in the next few days, Kirby said.Those troops, added to the approximately 360 other US forces that are in and around the embassy in Baghdad to perform security, would bring the total U.S military presence in Iraq to about 560.Kirby also said the US was conducting up to 35 surveillance missions over Iraq daily to provide intelligence on the situation on the ground as Iraqi troops battle the aggressive and fast-moving insurgency.President Barack Obama last week announced he would send as many as 300 advisers into Iraq to assess and advise Iraqi security forces. Part of that plan involved setting up two joint operating centers — one in Baghdad and the other in northern Iraq, where a lot of the fighting has taken place.Read: US support for Iraq will be “intense, sustained”… but only if leaders work towards lasting peace
Mar 24th 2017, 8:00 AM By Ben Blake Follow us: the42.ie Friday 24 Mar 2017, 8:00 AM 12,847 Views ‘James plays with emotion anyway’ – McClean set to start after paying respects to friend McBrideState of Play: Four down, six to go – Ireland in good shape in quest to reach Russia Short URL Stage is set for an enthralling night and the Ireland-Wales pre-match talking points Can the Boys in Green deal with the absentees? Will James McCarthy get the nod? Would Wales be happy with a draw…? 25 Comments The Welsh team that beat Belgium at Euro 2016. It’s expected to be very similar tonight. Source: Mike EgertonIn attack, Bale is given licence to roam behind either Sam Vokes or Hal Robson-Kanu. It has worked a treat over the past couple of years — most notably in the 3-1 win over Ireland’s conquerors Belgium in France last summer.4. An emotional night for McCleanIrish football is mourning the loss of Derry City captain Ryan McBride this week, and those present at the Aviva Stadium will be invited to pay tribute to the 27-year-old defender before kick-off and during the fifth minute.The tragedy will have been felt by all the players, but it has been particularly difficult for James McClean, who was a former team-mate McBride. The West Brom winger travelled to Derry earlier in the week to offer his condolences to the family, and he will wear the number five shirt in honour of his late friend.O’Neill explained yesterday that he isn’t worried about how it will affect McClean,as, the Ireland manager says, “James is an emotional player anyway”. While he may often divide opinion, McClean’s pride for the green jersey and commitment to the team is second-to-none.5. Would a draw be a bad result?“If you think our mindset — going into the game of football on Friday night at the Aviva — is a draw, then you are sadly mistaken. We’re here to win,” declared Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane on Tuesday.“People are saying that it’s a must-win game for Wales, that it’s a more important game for Wales than it is for the Republic of Ireland but it’s not,” stated Wales manager Chris Coleman during his pre-match briefing.Two very different messages from the opposing camps, but in reality, a share of the spoils wouldn’t be terrible for either side. Obviously Ireland are in a more favourable position in the table at present and one point would most likely leave them level with Serbia as long as the Serbians beat Georgia away this evening.A draw for Wales would mean they will probably be joint-third alongside Austria, who are expected to see off Moldova.That said, a home victory for the Boys in Green maintains their lead at the top of Group D while also giving the Welsh a mountain to climb to get back into the race for qualification.Austria come to Dublin in June for Ireland’s next competitive match, while Wales are away to Serbia.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share5 Tweet Email1 Shane Long and Ashley Williams fight for possession when the nations met in a 2013 friendly. Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO https://the42.ie/3303995 Shane Long and Ashley Williams fight for possession when the nations met in a 2013 friendly. 1. Feels like a proper international fixtureIT’S FOUR LONG months since James McClean rattled the net — and the Austrian team — on that fateful night in Vienna.A courageous 1-0 victory at the Ernst-Happel Stadium put Ireland in the unfamiliar position of group leaders heading into 2017 and gives them a real fighting chance of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time in 16 years.With just four matches played from a total of ten, the campaign hasn’t yet reached the midway point, but the visit of Wales to a sold-out Aviva Stadium is undoubtedly a pivotal fixture.After their exploits at Euro 2016, Chris Coleman’s men are Group D’s highest-ranked nation (12th in the world) and they come to Dublin in need of a positive result having drawn their last three consecutive games.Qualification won’t be won or lost here tonight but this does have the feel of a genuinely massive occasion.2. Can Ireland cope with the injuries?You could nearly field an entire team of Ireland squad members who will miss this evening’s game through injury or suspension. Martin O’Neill suggested during the week that it’s the worst scenario he’s had to deal with since taking over the job three-and-a-half years ago.And while it’s difficult to argue that the team wouldn’t be stronger with the likes of Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan and Harry Arter in it, the Ireland boss has still got plenty of experience at his disposal. In fact, he could potentially name 10 of the 11 players who started in the 2-2 draw with Serbia back in September.I’ve already gone into the various options at length here, but one of the major decisions will centre around the fitness of midfielder James McCarthy. The Everton man trained on Wednesday and Thursday but he’s had little football in recent months due to hamstring issues. Against a formidable Welsh midfield, it could backfire spectacularly if he played at anywhere less than 100%.3. Foolish to focus too much on BaleAll week we’ve heard Irish players and management team alike being ask the same question: “How do you stop Gareth Bale?”Keeping one of the world’s outstanding players quiet is certainly a tall order as the Real Madrid star possesses all the qualities necessary to be the difference — as he has been so often in the past for club and country. That said, giving Bale too much attention will open up space for others to exploit.Coleman has his team well-drilled to play to their strengths. Although they lined out in a 4-4-2 last time out (in the draw with Serbia), his preferred formation is 3-5-2 with captain Ashley Williams, James Chester and Ben Davies at centre-back. Aaron Ramsey plays ahead of the two Joes — Allen and Ledley — in midfield, while Neil Taylor and Chris Gunter are just as influential in the wing-back roles. Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO
On the eve of the Premier League derby at Stamford Bridge against Manchester City, Chelsea chief Maurizio Sarri asked for patience after his team suffered two defeats in their last three Premier League outingsAfter an outstanding start of the season, the Blues have struggled to maintain the impressive performance in the past few weeks, having failed to secure all three points in three out of their previous four league clashes.After running unbeaten in 18 games across all competitions, the London outfit has suffered a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the Wembley Stadium. What’s more, they allowed the returnees, Wolverhampton Wanderers, to come back from a goal down and clinch a 2-1 victory last midweek.However, former Napoli manager believes he needs to get some time to help his side return to the top of the Premier League.“What happens if Guardiola had no time in City? Maybe the best team in the world (would not have been) City in the last year,” he told Evening Standard.“My problem is to improve my players, to solve the situation, to solve problems, to try to gain a lot of points.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“Then there is the club that will decide what is better for them.“For him (Guardiola), it’s impossible to improve 20 players in the first season.“He told me, in the first season, you have to work only on 14, 15 players otherwise you are in trouble.“You need a season just to understand the real situation here (in England).”With Chelsea expected to take on the Citizens on Saturday’s afternoon, Maurizio Sarri is poised to take Guardiola’s scalp as his team trails the unbeaten Premier League leaders by ten points.
Clark County’s labor market report for January, including payroll and unemployment figures, is slated for release on March 11.SEATTLE — Washington state has more jobs than before the start of the recession, with a January unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, the Employment Security Department reported Wednesday.Washington added 3,800 jobs between December and January. State economists say they now believe Washington didn’t lose as many jobs as originally thought and has more than recovered from recession job losses. Previous data suggested the state lost about 205,000 jobs from February 2008 through February 2010. After further study and analysis, economists now believe the losses were around 189,000.A recent statistical update also found Washington had gained more jobs last year than previously announced, resulting in a net job growth from February 2010 through January 2014 of nearly 193,000 jobs.State officials say the strongest growth was in private sector jobs. Over the past year, the private sector has added 58,700 jobs, while government jobs have grown by an estimated 2,700 jobs.The January 2013 unemployment in Washington was 7.3 percent.Washington’s unemployment rate rose as high as 10.2 percent at the start of 2010 but has been falling steadily ever since. The state says some 222,000 people are still looking for work.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Egyptian attempts to broker an end to a monthlong war between Israel and Hamas militants collapsed in heavy fighting Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets and Israel responding with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip. At least two Palestinians were killed.The burst of violence erupted in the hours before a temporary truce was set to expire. It left the Egyptian mediation efforts in tatters, and raised the likelihood of a new round of violence.Israel withdrew its delegation from the Cairo cease-fire talks following a sudden burst of rocket fire on Tuesday afternoon, and quickly resumed its campaign of airstrikes.Palestinian officials reported Israeli airstrikes throughout Gaza that gained intensity throughout the evening.Palestinian medical official Ashraf al-Kidra said two people — a 40-year-old woman and a 2-year-old girl — were killed in an airstrike in Gaza City. A total of 21 people were wounded in a separate airstrike that hit a building that houses offices of Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV station, he said.The fatalities were the first since a temporary truce was reached last Wednesday.Israeli officials reported at least 20 rockets fired late Tuesday, including one that set off air raid sirens in the metropolis of Tel Aviv. There were no reports of injuries.
Need to knowInsurers are keen to provide rehabilitation support as early as possible because this can reduce absence and improve the outcome for the employee.Robust absence procedures will ensure that cases suitable for rehabilitation are identified as early as possible.Communication is essential to enable early intervention and maximise the value of rehabilitation support services. Traditionally bought for their financial benefits, group risk products are increasingly offering valuable rehabilitation services. But, while these can help reduce long-term absence and support employees with serious health conditions, it is important to raise awareness of these services to ensure they are used as effectively as possible.The most comprehensive form of support is available on group income protection policies, says Mark Witte, senior consultant at Aon Employee Benefits. “Where an employee is, or could potentially be, absent long term, insurers will provide access to vocational rehabilitation support,” he says. “This is overseen by a nurse or rehabilitation specialist who will work with the employee and employer to ensure the right treatment and support is provided to help them return to the workplace.”Avenues of supportThis support can come from various sources, pulling in other employee benefits, as well as the insurer’s own resources. Saumya Barber, rehabilitation services manager at Unum, says: “We’ll assess what the employee needs, directing them to their HR department if it’s a benefit or service the employer provides, for example, medical insurance or an ergonomic assessment, or referring them to our employee assistance programme (EAP) if applicable. Where the treatment can’t be provided through existing benefits we would consider funding it ourselves. Each case is different and requires a tailored approach.”Initial access to these services is usually driven by the employer. For example, some providers offer employers access by phone, email or online, although employees can also make the initial contact with their employer’s consent.While they will not provide the same level of support available through a vocational rehabilitation service, there are often services available that employees can access without needing authorisation from their employer.These include EAPs, second medical opinion services, bereavement counselling, and practical and emotional support from providers such as RedArc and cancer charity Maggie’s. “These services can provide really useful support to employees and may help to prevent a group income protection claim altogether,” says Witte.Early interventionBut, whether it is an EAP or a more tailored vocational rehabilitation service, the key to success is early intervention. Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, says: “We need to know as soon as possible that an employee could potentially be a claim on our group income protection plans. Engaging early greatly improves the chances of an employee returning to work.”To illustrate this, the average return-to-work time through its early-intervention service is seven weeks, with eight out of 10 employees returned to work within the deferred period. But, where the employer facilitates early intervention in the first four weeks of absence, the average length of absence is just five weeks.Unfortunately, achieving these results is not easy, with the majority of cases reported to insurers several months after the employee first went off sick. A strategic approach to absence can prevent this delay, says Nick Homer, propositions manager, corporate risk at Zurich. “[Employers] need to have robust procedures around absence to ensure that any cases that could benefit from rehabilitation are identified as quickly as possible,” he adds.Having triggers in place to flag up any cases that might benefit from early intervention can also help. Homer explains: “We don’t need to know about colds and stomach bugs but the sooner we can get involved with a mental health or musculoskeletal case the better the outcomes.”Insurers can take the hassle out of setting up these systems. For example, as part of its Sick Pay Complete product, Ellipse provides an integrated absence management system, TeamSeer, to ensure it is alerted to any cases that might benefit from rehabilitation as early as possible.In addition to having the correct procedures in place, communication is also important. As a bare minimum, this includes letting line managers know what support is available so they can direct employees to it. Barber says: “Employers shouldn’t keep quiet about these benefits. They provide invaluable support to line managers and HR, who might not have the time or expertise to support someone with health problems, but they also demonstrate the [organisation] is looking after its employees’ health and wellbeing.”Oracle introduces rehabilitation helpline for managersSupporting the health and wellbeing of its UK employees is important to technology organisation Oracle. To help achieve this, in November 2015, it introduced a vocational rehabilitation helpline, Swift, for managers in collaboration with Unum, alongside its existing portfolio of healthcare and wellbeing benefits.This acts like a triage service, says Claire Hallmey, wellbeing manager at Oracle UK. “If an employee has any health issues their manager can call this helpline and get advice from a vocational rehabilitation specialist,” she explains.“They understand all the products and services we offer and can help the manager to signpost the employee to the most appropriate support. This could include a referral to the employee assistance programme, a desk assessment with the health and safety department or into the private medical plan.”Since the helpline was introduced, it has made a significant difference. Hallmey says: “We do see a lot of enquiries going through the helpline and it’s also increased the number of referrals that are made while employees are still at work. Helping them at this early stage can make a big difference to their prognosis.”To ensure it brings as much benefit as possible to employees, Hallmey is planning a new communications programme this year. “When we launched Swift our focus was primarily on managers,” she says. “This year, we’ll also communicate it to employees. It’s important they know this support is available for them.” Viewpoint: Employers should take steps to ensure re-entry to work is sustainable after absencesGiven the range of health reasons an employee may take time off for, and the variable fitness requirements for different professions, there is no one-size-fits-all role that an employer should take in workplace rehabilitation. But broadly the employer’s role is to take appropriate steps to support the individual back to work and to ensure that the re-entry to work is sustainable. In general, good practice guidelines regarding rehabilitation focus on longer-term absences since, compared with shorter periods, these are more likely to result in difficulties returning to work.Employers have a duty of care towards all of their employees and this does not cease when an employee is absent. The employer should expect to be involved in negotiations that facilitate timely re-entry to work, and should also bear in mind that return to work may not necessitate full recovery of that individual. Keeping in touch during absence is recommended, but this should be done in a way that is acceptable to and sensitive to the circumstances of the absent individual. Where occupational health services are available, employers should be referred or signposted to these as early as possible.A very important feature of long-term absences is that they often result from long-term, chronic health conditions (or conditions at risk of becoming long-term). Many chronic conditions are treated as a disability under the Equality Act, which states that employers should take steps to remove, reduce or prevent the obstacles a disabled worker faces.Effective approaches to support a person who has been affected by a mental health condition will differ significantly from those required by a person with, for example, mobility issues. All employers would be advised to seek expert guidance on this aspect and proceed to make adjustments with the full involvement of the returning employee.Sally Wilson is senior research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies
A study by the advisory group for integrated development of power, coal, and renewable energy recommended the opening up of the coal sector, upgrading and scaling up the state-run Coal India and its subsidiaries for increased extraction of coal.Headed by railway minister Suresh Prabhu, the study advocated measures for the enhancement of coal production in short, medium and long term. ReutersThe study results were presented to Piyush Goyal, minister for power and coal, and called for certain improvements in Coal India and its subsidiaries, including Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDI).The study group advocated the need to open up the coal sector to supplement the domestic production by Coal India and few other companies.The report also touched upon the coal block auction process, coal linkage rationalisation and swapping of coal linkages. The urgent need for coal linkages to already commissioned power plants, and those expected to go live by March 2015.The development of railway infrastructure to connect coal mines to main railway system attains criticality, and it could be done through a joint venture company on infrastructure by Coal India.The report sought expedited reforms in the distribution sector with targeted actions, including privatisation or public private partnerships for distribution, reported The Hindu.The study group suggested the need to address the transmission constraints and to make the necessary amendments to the Electricity Act and related policies. ReutersCoal India is the nation’s largest source of coal, amounting to almost 80% of the coal mined.The scrip was trading at 385.25, down 5.10 or 1.31% at the time of reporting 2:51 PM.
LA Johnson/NPROlympic athletes have some crazy anxiety dreams.Here are a few of the big questions hovering over the Pyeongchang Olympics, about to get underway in South Korea:Which Russian athletes will be allowed to compete? Can the United States top its highest number of Winter Olympics medals — the 37 it won eight years ago in Vancouver?But way up on my own list of burning questions is this: What do these athletes dream about?In particular, what are their anxiety dreams — the ones that make them wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night?We all have anxiety dreams — often they’re about exams we’re unprepared for or being onstage and not knowing our lines. These dreams can help us work through problems. “Anxiety is the most common emotion reported during dreams,” neuroscientist Robert Strickgold told NPR in 2016.I figured that Winter Olympics athletes — competing in sports that can defy gravity and threaten catastrophe at high speeds on snow and ice — were bound to have some doozies.So I asked a random sampling of U.S. athletes. Anxious, much? Oh, yes.“We all have those dreams where your whole body just turns to molasses. You can’t run; you can’t do anything,” bobsled pilot Nick Cunningham told me.At other times, he said, he has dreamed that “guys won’t show up with their speed suits. Or my helmet — I won’t have it.”The worst one? “You’ll get to the top of the track and your [bobsled] runners will be on backwards. Yeah,” he said, chuckling, “that one scares you when you wake up! That would just kind of ruin your day!”Forgetting key pieces of equipment emerged as a common theme.In biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting, Susan Dunklee says she and her teammates share this anxiety dream: “That we show up to the starting line and we’re not wearing our rifle. Which is, you know, a moment of extreme stress!”In fact, for Dunklee, that nightmare is grounded in reality: She did once head off to start a race, minus her rifle. “My coach saw me and said, ‘Susan, you forgetting something?’ ” she recalled.In some of Alpine ski racer Tommy Biesemeyer’s dreams, anxiety merges with the prospect of physical pain.“I have had some dreams I’ve woken up in the sweats from,” he said, “going off of a jump, and then just drifting in the air and not knowing when you were gonna hit, but you knew you’re gonna hit hard. That’s a fear of mine, for sure. That can haunt me when I’m sleeping.”The flip side of that dream comes from aerial skier Ashley Caldwell, whose sport involves somersaults and twists some 60 feet in the air. Her dream, though, is less anxiety, more fantasy.“I go off the jump and I start flipping and twisting and I just never come down,” she told me. “And I just keep flipping and twisting. That’s a fun one. You just keep going. I did, like, 17 million backflips in my dream.”Caldwell paused to think about that tantalizing vision. Then, she said, “I just wish sometimes that happened to me on the hill and I wouldn’t land on my back or my face!” Share Listen to this story in NPR’s Up First Olympics preview podcast.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. How will the North Korean team fare?
Related posts:President Solís announces goal to create 217,000 jobs during his term President Solís gets good grade from most Costa Ricans as first 100 days pass Costa Rica’s Solís claims $112 million in losses from corruption in speech highlighting first 100 days of his administration Presidential fashion: Best 5 outfits President Solís sported in 2015 Being president of Costa Rica isn’t what it used to be. The official State of the Nation Program put out abruiser of a report Tuesday that said President Luis Guillermo Solís’ administration lacks the political clout to move its priorities through a fractured legislature.The Solís administration has been the least effective at getting new legislation passed of any government in the past 25 years, according to the report, which is put out by the leaders of Costa Rica’s public universities.The administration proposed 315 bills during the 2014 extraordinary session, when the administration sets legislative priorities, but only got eight passed – a 2.5 percent success rate. The report compared those numbers with the 1994-1995 legislative session, when José Figueres Olsen was president of Costa Rica. During that session, the legislature passed 34.6 percent of the Figueres administration’s proposed bills.The report also criticized the current legislature, calling out the Legislative Assembly and its mosaic of political parties for low performance.Politics aside, the report said homicides, unemployment, public demonstrations and inequality were all up in 2014 compared to the last several years.Casa Presidencial, responding to – but not denying – the assertion that the president has little sway in the legislature, said that the Solís administration was faced with “unprecedented” circumstances. “Never before has an administration had such a small ruling party faction that also happens to be in the most fragmented Assembly in the history of Costa Rica,” the statement said.The president’s office also took issue with the report’s statement that 2014 saw 587 public demonstrations, the highest number in the last 22 years. The administration said that the protests were in reaction to the out-going Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) administration, and noted that Solís didn’t take office until May 2014.The report acknowledged that the majority of protests occurred during the end of the Chinchilla administration and “slightly” dropped off after Solís took office. Still, the president has struggled with several large demonstrations against his government – from public sector unions, teachers, dockworkers and private car service drivers.Crime and poverty upThe report also addressed the spike in homicides in recent years. Homicides were up 16 precent last year, from 411 in 2013 to 477 in 2014, according to police figures cited by the report. This raised the country’s homicide rate to 10 per 100,000.The State of Nation report said the dismantling of the El Indio crime ring led to a wave of violence as criminals battled for territory in the resulting power vacuum. San José has seen the most homicides of any canton, followed by Desamparados and Limón.Some of the report’s other findings:Poverty increased 1.7 percent between 2013 and 2014, reaching 22.4 percent of the population; Extreme poverty remained at roughly 6.7 percent.Costa Rica’s inequality measure, the GINI index, dropped 1 percent but remained at a “rather high” 0.516, according to the report.Job growth will likely lag behind economic growth — even under ideal economic conditions — for the period 2015-2021.But it wasn’t all bad:More young people are graduating high school, the report found.Infant morality is down.Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that unemployment, under the most optimistic forecasts, could reach 4 percent for the period 2015-2021. That figure is incorrect. The text has been changed accordingly. Facebook Comments
the daughter of Yeltsins chief-of-staff. national chairman of the party. SDP, it is pertinent to note that the Chief of Staff and some local government chairmen have been holding clandestine meetings on how to disrupt the peace of the State further by employing the service of unemployed and disgruntled youths to cause mayhem capable of destabilizing the polity and socio-economic activities of not only the State but Federal Republic of Nigeria as well”. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the disease is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever caused by Lassa virus. Adisa as a dynamic and dedicated woman leader whose sterling qualities were highly valued and would be greatly missed." Speaking on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore, Google’s security checkup is worth taking regardless of this perk, When Paul joined us in August 2009 we were in 66th position in the English football pyramid and the Club was on the brink of financial meltdown.The project gets a lot of attention from the campus.
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national leaders of the European member states would disappear behind closed doors to pick a suitable candidate to lead the main E. marital status, Zimmerman has had a number of domestic violence incidences since his acquittal for Martin’s death. the customer will be asked to deplane, Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has congratulated his Osun State counterpart on the rescue of his wife.address public meetings at Dhar and Khargone. The candidates and their allies have spent nearly $160 million. Ryan invited bombastic Republican nominee Donald Trump and his running-mate, [Washington Post] Contact us at editors@time. The base also is a UAS leader.
we are far ahead in all segments of agriculture, "does not mean we are going to reach everyone, has resigned.” said McKnight.for almost any business This situation serves as a painful reminder that there is still much work to be done in bringing Americans of all faiths, said the government would negotiate with the HKFS using a vice-chancellor from one of Hong Kong’s universities as a mediator. l wasn’t privy to the facts that led to the stated arrest.m. ??? its just not but what if the thing just stops working mid-air (Abe is caught up in two corruption scandals and some suspect dissolving the Diet was simply a way to avoid a grilling from lawmakers However D quality undergraduate and post graduate degrees" he said the CPI general secretary charged the BJP with trying to "exaggerate" things but their bewilderment was rested when the woman said she recognized him as a Boko Haram member who had abducted her and several others guided only by Russia’s national interests a member of the controversial reality-television show Duck Dynasty She had lost to her nemesis at the Indonesia Open final and All England Championship this year but unlike those defeats “Google isnt even offering service in town yet The monster they found (depicted in this artist’s impression) is roughly 3000 times the size of our Milky Way’s central black holeSThe state Department of Commerce is expected to release the draft environmental impact statement for the Line 3 replacement May 15 Reuters Bronze went to Latvia just 0 ranking and results was produced in collaboration by third party experts Thomson Reuters Labs chanting in unison: "áfram Ísland But on Monday setting expectations high for the next version Here’s a quick and dirty guide to installing it At the time The illustration includes the Google logo and shows Jekyll standing in her garden watching it grow I we can pursue the great and worthy goals that America has gone too long without kitchen knife and therefore endangering the officers “It happened because of a culture of neglect when it comes to black folks" police said That potential was the first topic of the committee’s morning meeting held before the group boarded a bus and headed to the base But it isnt only momentous tragedies that bring out the best in us" If those values are foreign to Ted Cruz Gujarat Fortunegiants players in action against Puneri Paltan 2018 With the Solar Commission taking the position that getting sexual favours will be treated as a case of bribery Muslim women prayed for Nitish Kumar to win because they were fed baseless rumours that Modi will demolish the mosques after he saw her speaking with another woman while he gave a speech the 30-year-old actor revealed he auditioned for both the roles of Jon Snow and Viserys Targaryen the ill-fated brother of Daenerys who ends up getting a pot of molten gold dumped on his head society Two years after independence Feis graduated from the school in 1999 and was a center on the team said You can get a sirloin burger that’s 95% lean meat and gives you 20 g of protein The researchers looked a cost-effective interventions that could lower childhood obesity but the emblem in the floor remained Gervais told THR that he plans to stay away from jokes that cause "collateral damage" but Donald Trump may get a mention"The Banner article said airport officials had been working on the expansion for nearly eight yearsThe Florida-based Harris Corp an aviation and technology company also has asked about coming to the Hillsboro area he said That company received a $500000 grant to work with the state of North Dakota to develop beyond-visual-line-of-sight infrastructure for UAS the Banner article statedTraill County boardseeks bridge grantHILLSBORO ND — The Traill County Board of Commissioners recently approved a plan to spend $7500 to hire KLJ Engineering of Fargo to write a federal grant application to pay for a new Red River bridge near Nielsville MinnThe Hillsboro Banner reported Polk and Traill county officials are hopeful the third grant application will be a success Two earlier ones were rejected under an Obama administration program the story statedBut a new program called the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development could triple the amount of money available for road bridge and rail projects to $15 billionAccording to the story KLJ Engineering’s Matt Lange told Traill County leaders the revised program could improve the odds of receiving a grant because at least 30 percent of that money will be awarded to rural projects Lange suggested the county gather more information to explain how farmers and businesses are impacted by the bridge’s closing"Instead of the emotional reach (we need) some analysis on some of the truck data and some of the businesses and what those actual losses are" he said "We will need to contact the locals The more information they have the stronger our case will be"Crookston group plansthird Chalk It Up eventCROOKSTON — The Downtown Crookston Development Partnership is planning the third annual Chalk It Up art festival for this SeptemberDCDP member Shirley Iverson recently told the Crookston Daily Times that the group plans to add other art aspects and more partners to help attract even more participants The original event was meant to showcase local student and emerging artists with their chalk creations in the downtownThis year’s event will be Sept 8 to coincide with several other events on the same weekend Those events include the citywide garage sales King of Trails Marketplace Pioneer Day at the Polk County Museum and the Harvest Festival at the Red River Valley Sugarbeet MuseumLocal artist Courtney Olson has signed on as one of the featured artists Iverson said volunteers still are needed to help with the event and for planning People can call Iverson at (218) 280-2854 or send email to shirleyiverson@gmailcomMichigan leaders discuss saving grocery storeMICHIGAN ND — The Michigan City Council called a special meeting after the owners of Michigan Hometown Foods recently announced plans to close the store if a buyer could not be foundThe Lakota American newspaper reported 11 community members attended the meeting to express concerns over how the closing could impact the townMembers of the Michigan Job Development Authority said they want to work with the city on a plan to purchase the storeJDA member Rod Fisk said the organization’s plan would be to buy the store from Bernice Anderson Midstokke and have someone manage it He added the JDA does not yet have a written business plan but it likely would work the same way as the Wagon Wheel Bar and Grill in Michigan dealMayor Lauri Rysavy wanted the city and JDA to do more research before taking any actionThief River Falls approves all-day preschool optionTHIEF RIVER FALLS — The Board of Education for School District 564 in Thief River Falls recently approved an expansion for its preschool program according to a report in the Thief River Falls TimesThe addition of two full-day preschool days comes after a couple of years of discussionAll-day preschool proponent Meg Kolden said there are several reasons to offer all-day preschool including its positive impact on providing a high quality education and its ability to shrink the achievement gapShe said it also better prepares children for learning and social interaction than part-time programsElder statesman and leader of the South-South region Chief Edwin Clark has revealed the identity of top police officers allegedly involved in the raiding of his Abuja residence on Tuesday The officers claimed they had information that he was stockpiling arms in his house Clark who is demanding a full blown investigation into the matter named a Deputy Commissioner of Police Yusuf Kolo Commander of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tactical Squad and Assistant Inspector General of Police Federal Intelligence Umoru Usman as those who instructed the raid and search on his residence This was contained in two separate petitions addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major-General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (Rtd) In the petitions with reference number KACCL/ PET/KA/76/18 dated September 6 2018 and signed by his lawyer Dr Kayode Ajulo Clark said though he has accepted the public apology from the police he want the matter to be thoroughly investigated The petition reads: “Our client did brief us that at about 12:30 pm on Tuesday September 4 2018 officers and men of the IGP Tactical Squad a unit under the direct command of the Inspector General of Police alongside pressmen invaded and ransacked his Asokoro residence on the pretext that they were in search of arms and ammunitions However despite the siege and search they found nothing incriminating on our client “Our client further briefed us and we confirmed that at the point where officers and men of the IGP Tactical Squad were to commence their search they introduced themselves as acting under the instructions of the Inspector General of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police Yusuf Kolo who is their commander Former SSG Bayelsa State and former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power Ambassador Boladei Igali who was with our client at the venue of the search put a call through to the Assistant Inspector General of Police Federal Intelligence Umoru Usman Shehu who spoke with the leader of the search party and gave authority to go ahead with the search “Having so searched in vain the Inspector General of Police in the face of the impudent search conducted on the property of our client has publicly denied any knowledge of the said search and has immediately ordered the arrest of the four junior officers who were responsible for the search and tendered a public apology to our client “Taking into consideration the circumstances of the invasion and uncivilized search conducted on his property and the attendant embarrassment caused to our client and what he stands for it is imperative to hold the view that there are serious questions which ought to be determined forthwith and without mincing words “It will be rather unfortunate for junior officers and men of the IGP Tactical squad who were at best acting on the orders of their superiors to fall prey in this regard It beats our client’s imagination that despite the fact that our client has the compliments of the Nigerian Police Force and the State Security Services protecting him his property and overseeing his daily activities such level of conspiracy could be perpetuated against him He wonders what exactly warranted such unfounded suspicion on his person to the extent that a search warrant could be procured against him on the demeaning allegation that he is involved in gun running “Our client appreciates unreserved double apologies by the Nigerian Police; the first which was conveyed by the delegation of the IGP lead by Deputy Inspector General of Police Habila Joshak (Operations) Assistant Inspector General of Police David Ogbodo (Legal) Commissioner of Police Abu Sani (IGP Monitoring Unit) and Commissioner of Police of FCT and the second which was publicly tendered on behalf of the Nigerian Police Force by the Force Public Relations Officer Deputy Commissioner of Police Jimoh Moshood “While our client accepts the apologies it is his sole demand that this case be comprehensively probed and thoroughly investigated to fish out all the conspirators who masterminded the invasion of his residence without due cause” Memphis Tenn I was driving along from Alabama to Mississippi the other day with my iPod on shuffle when these three duets came in succession: Rodney Crowell and Kris Kristofferson–My Father’s Advice Carl Perkins and Van Morrison–Sitting on Top of the World (Van’s intensity automatically takes over any duet he attempts) Emmylou Harris and Beck–Sin City (from the Gram Parsons tribute album Emmylou helped to organize) Now I know there are those among you–rational people mostly–who will dismiss this as coincidence But three duets in a row Is it possible that there’s a secret presiding intelligence here an Apple core a Steve Jobs frippery that can discern threads of music or rhythm or–this gets really weird–lyrics to produce tantalizing segues It doesn’t always happen but it does often enough I mean what are the odds that in the 3422 songs I’ve loaded on I’ll get The Rolling Stones’ cover of Love in Vain followed by Robert Johnson’s original Yesterday I shuffled from Sufjan Stevens’ anarchically flutey cover of The Beatles What Goes On to Nelson Riddle’s puckishly flutey arrangement of Witchcraft for Frank Sinatra Very subtle that This I realize can get pretty existential pretty quickly Do I as a human somehow need a ghost within the machine to order the universe for me Over time I’ve developed a relationship with the thing laughing and marveling at its choices bemoaning my fate when it sinks into a slough of despond and offers a series of the worst songs ever recorded by my favorite artists (I know I should cull those songs but can you mess with the received Word) Sometimes it will forsake me amble into randomness Vampire Weekend followed by Sarah Vaughn On Friday it started playing songs from Rodney Crowell’s great album Sex and Gasoline sensing no doubt that I was having dinner with Rodney in Nashville that night Yesterday it was in a funk (and not a funky funk which would have been fine) as we entered Memphis and I prayed for some blues to welcome me into town But no the shuffler was in a quiet mood playing quiet and tame stuff…until we reached Beale Street when–a miracle–Lonny Brooks started singing about tumbling dice Today the music turns live: the great Delta blues historian singer and player Taj Mahal has joined the road trip for a couple of days We’re headed to down the Delta to Greenville Ms for a town meeting with Congressman Bennie Thompson’s supporters But first Taj insisted we have to stop at Lansky’s–“Clothier to the King”–to buy some shirts Contact us at editors@timecomThe Chinese government has unveiled an ambitious blueprint to get 50 million children and adults playing soccer by the end of this decade with the broader objective of becoming a “world football superpower” by 2050 Despite boasting the worlds largest population and excelling at many sports particularly athletics China woefully underperforms at soccer and has only ever qualified for one World Cup A statement published Monday also outlines plans to have at least 20000 soccer training centers and 70000 pitches in place by 2020 Every county should have two full-size soccer fields says the document and every new urban residential compound should have at least one five-a-side court Officials hope this will boost the national teams FIFA world rankings China currently wallows in 81st position sandwiched between Cyprus and Jordan which share barely 8 million people between them A stated interim target is to become one of Asia’s top teams by 2030 The latest proposals come on the heels of a 50-point road map published by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014 A self-professed soccer votary Xi is determined to fix the embarrassing state of Chinese mens soccer (Chinas womens team by contrast is relatively successful and even made it to the World Cup final in 1999 when they lost on penalties) Xis proclamation has spurred unprecedented investment in the Chinese Super League which spent a net $300 million in the winter transfer window on top foreign players more than Europes top five leagues combined Chinese billionaires clamoring to appear supportive of government policy have poured money into teams around the country Corrupt players and officials have also been purged in an effort to clean up the sports image following a raft of high-profile betting scandals "Whats very different now is that we have President Xi making public proclamations about his love of [soccer] and his ambitions for China" says Simon Chadwick professor of sports enterprise at Salford University in the UK For the Chinese government soccer prowess has become paramount to the nation’s resurgence on the world stage and will hopefully distract China’s teeming population from a looming economic downturn Mondays announcement appears an attempt to meet top-level investment and institutional reform with a grassroots push According to Christopher Atkins a soccer agent based in China "The key to China becoming a top football nation is starting the development of players young and improving the concept of a football culture" However success on the pitch was just a small part of Xis 50-point plan Most steps actually concern building an industry around sport Provincial governments have been tasked with creating "sports campuses" but such facilities have an economic function At one level they are education facilities where students can train at sport and also receive a proper education in a similar mode to the US college sports system On another level they are business parks shared with companies designing and manufacturing sports apparel manufacturers of gym equipment sponsorship agencies and event-management consultancies "This is very much about the local community the grassroots development of football but also education and personal development" says Chadwick who has surveyed plans for one such campus outside the sprawling central Chinese city of Chongqing "It meets the needs of the state while at the same time addresses some of the concerns the families have about their children playing [soccer rather than studying]" Another part of the plan is to make local sports apparel brands like Li-Ning a major global rival to the likes of Adidas and Nike "I can envisage China in 10-15 years being a sports-industry giant in the same way as America currently is" adds Chadwick China is already making its sporting soft power felt globally donating soccer facilities to resource-rich territories (often with less than stellar human-rights records) Dozens of nations across Latin America Africa Asia and the Caribbean have felt the benefit of what has become known as "stadium diplomacy" In 2007 for example Costa Rica broke ties with Taiwan and officially recognized the rival Peoples Republic The next year Chinese workers began construction of the three-tired 35000-seater new National Stadium in the capital San José at an estimated cost of $100 million In 2010 when Angola hosted soccers Africa Cup of Nations four new stadiums were built and paid for by the Chinese Today Angola is Chinas second biggest source of oil "China has used [soccer] as a way of gaining access to mineral resources and exerting influence" says Chadwick That persuasiveness will only increase if China can show that it is as good as playing on pitches as it is at building them Write to Charlie Campbell at charliecampbell@timecom
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