Games Council disappointed by Tonga’s withdrawal

first_imgThe Council was formally advised of the government’s decision to pull out on Wednesday, because of financial concerns, five days after the move was approved by cabinet.The Pacific Games Council said it was not consulted in the decision and no attempt was made to seek their assistance to address the Government’s financial concerns over staging the Games.”We have a contract that we signed in 2012, when our General Assembly awarded Tonga the Games and there are termination and suspension clauses in the contract,” said Council CEO Andrew Minogue.”So there are procedures that can be activated if one of the parties wishes to not go ahead and there’s a process that needs to be followed and of course in this case it has not been followed.”So that’s why I think it’s come in a shock and it’s why we’ve said in our statement we haven’t been consulted in the decision,” Mr Minogue said.”I think if finances are a concern of the Tongan Government – and I have no reason to doubt that that’s a concern for them – the Games Council would always stand ready to address those concerns where possible by looking at the size and the scope of the Games.”The Pacific Games Council said it believed preparations had been on track for staging the event despite interference by the Prime Minister in the workings of the independent Games Organising Committee.”Tonga hosted the Pacific Mini Games back in 1989 and there’s some legacy venues from those Games, like the Atele Stadium and Queen Salote Hall, said Mr Minogue.”Those are very very good, very very compact venues that we’re happy to use in 2019.”That’s a very good foundation for a lot of the sports and the Chinese Government have committed to building facilities at Tonga High School, the main (Teufaiva) stadium is being upgraded and Tonga is actually on the verge of having all the facilities that they need to run the Games.”And that’s why the decision is so confusing and so difficult to understand,” he said.Council President Vidhya Lakhan, said the government’s withdrawal from hosting is “an extremely disappointing and confusing decision which robs Tonga’s youth and future generations of the golden opportunity to receive badly needed sport and recreation facilities.”He said “Tonga’s citizens and businesses will also miss out on the many vital employment and commercial opportunities associated with the heightened economic activity around the Games.”Andrew Minogue said the Pacific Games Council’s Executive Board would hold an emergency meeting next weekend to discuss the way forward.last_img read more


My Elle Belle for Subratie feature

first_imgMY ELLE BELLE has a great record running out of the mile chute and should make it four wins from six attempts in this afternoon’s Errol ‘Big Sub’ Subratie Memorial. The United States-bred three-year-old filly enjoys the long backstretch where she is able to relax, watch the airheads on the lead and make her move entering the straight, before producing a telling last-furlong kick when most are tiring. In her five races out of the chute, only COMMANDER TWO and SUPER SPARKLE, both lone-speeds on the day, have ever got away from MY ELLE BELLE. A fast finisher, the American appears to have the ‘Big Sub’ Memorial set-up for her to mow down the speedsters in the stretch run. SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS, ROYAL VIBES and BIRDIE MY LOVE are expected to hog the lead, alternating as far as their respective stamina limitations will carry them. Super-light at 110lb, MY ELLE BELLE is better than fellow closers BRUCE WAYNE, SUPERTRONICS, BIBLICAL LEGEND, and certainly has the stamina to outfinish any of the speedsters, who might be hanging around inside the last furlong. Last time out, MY ELLE BELLE gave it away at the start on October 13, raring at the gate and violently swerving on landing, causing Oneil Scott to lose his stirrup, which he managed to get his leg back into at the round mile. However, the filly was too thrown-off by the incident and never got into the race, finishing fifth behind FRANCIA’S PRIDE, SUPERTRONICS and BRUCE WAYNE. Returning at a mile, MY ELLE BELLE renews rivalry with four runners from the nine-furlong and 25-yard race, for which she was made the 6-5 favourite to complete back-to-back wins, after impressively collaring LICI’S PEPSI at seven and a half furlongs in September. SUPERTRONICS, BRUCE WAYNE, SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS and BIBLICAL LEGEND, Gary Subratie’s hopes of winning the trophy named after his father for a second time, all ran admirably behind FRANCIA’S PRIDE but none had an excuse not to win. On the contrary, MY ELLE BELLE’s horrible start, drawn outside at gate 10, compounded by the fact that Scott had lost his stirrup, forced the chestnut filly wide at the clubhouse turn, a Bermuda Triangle from which very few horses ever recover at nine furlongs and 25 yards. Bad luck aside in September, reverting to the backstretch moves the ‘Big Sub’ Memorial into MY ELLE BELLE’s territory, her three victories coming out of the mile chute – a pair of seven-and-a-halves and a one-miler in which she closed on splits of 23.1, 45.4 and 1:11.0 to blow past HONEYT RYDA and MY SUUGARMAN on June 16.last_img read more


Per Mertesacker hails Arsenal’s counterattacking game plan in brilliant Bayern Munich win

first_imgArsenal defender Per Mertesacker hailed Arsenal’s counterattacking game plan as the Gunners clinched a famous and dramatic 2-0 win over Bayern Munich to keep their Champions League last 16 hopes alive.Substitute Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil struck in the final 15 minutes in an absorbing encounter at the Emirates, with Arsene Wenger’s side going some way to avenging two aggregate defeats to the German giants in the last four years.The Arsenal defence repelled everything the Bundesliga champions threw at them, and Mertesacker felt their patient approach would always pay dividends.“No one was expecting us to drop that deep and to get them on the break. That was a good game plan – we had to keep the clean sheet as long as possible,” said the German defender.“In the second half we knew we would get our chances and it worked completely for us.“We are pretty delighted with the performance, with the defensive unit and obviously how we executed it at the end.”While Arsenal still sit bottom of their group after three matches, they know their destiny remains in their hands ahead of the return trip to Bavaria in two weeks’ time.last_img read more


Council ponders hiring a pro to do the listening task

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesTo remedy that, Zine proposed that the council hire an ombudsman who would direct the public to a council member or a city office for help. “Every constituent who takes time out of their day to be heard by the City Council deserves to have their problems resolved by their council member or the proper city department,” Zine said. In addition to limiting time, the council further restrained public comment with the rules formally approved Tuesday to ban “personal, impertinent, unduly repetitive, slanderous or profane remarks,” as well as “loud, threatening, personal or abusive language.” The rules also prohibit “whistling, stamping of feet or other acts which disturb, disrupt or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of meetings.” The speaker will get a warning for the first offense and be ejected from the meeting for the second. Even as the City Council unanimously approved final wording Tuesday of rules for what it calls “decorum,” a move was afoot to help members of the public get their voices heard – albeit in hushed tones. Councilman Dennis Zine said he believes the council still needs to help citizens who want to be heard, although their remarks might be restricted by a new time limit. The council allows 10 minutes for public comment at each of its Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday meetings. But the council – frustrated by activists and gadflies who use their time to chastise and shout at council members – has reduced individual public comment time from two minutes to one minute on busy days. “Unfortunately, due to the large number of speakers in attendance and the short length of public comment, sometimes constituent concerns are not fully heard,” Zine said. The American Civil Liberties Union and other free-speech advocates have warned that while the rules might be legal, the council needs to be careful about such restrictions. For their part, residents have complained that the comment period is inadequate and that council members, while calling for decorum, display rude behavior themselves – typing on laptops, talking on cell phones, lobbying each other for votes or simply ignoring the public speaker. Zine offered few details of his proposal for an ombudsman. A report, including potential cost, will be prepared for the council for a decision later. “We need to empower our residents, not discourage them from creating unity in their communities and solving their neighborhood problems,” Zine said. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Vehicle thefts decline

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’In September, the number of car thefts fell to 32, he said. That was one fewer than September of last year, the numbers show. “It’s a continual war with car thieves,” sheriff’s Detective Jeff Lammers said, “but when you can get the community to help back you up with preventable car thefts, it helps.” Car owners exercising more precautions against thieves contributed to the decline last month, Lammers said, but sheriff’s Sgt. Al Leyva said that proactive policing also worked to lower the number of incidents. Deputies on patrol now receive weekly crime reports that enable them to focus on hot spots, he added. In addition, the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station recently has stepped up probation- and parole-compliance sweeps, he said. “People involved with these crimes are being taken into custody for other things. When you put a lot of people in jail, your crime tends to go down,” Leyva said. Residents can thwart car thieves by simply rolling up their car windows at night, not leaving their cars running unattended, locking their car doors, and by keeping their valuables out of sight, Lammers said. sandy.mazza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – Auto thefts declined in Pico Rivera last month, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department statistics show. In January, 61 auto theft were reported, a 40 percent increase from January 2005, when there were 44 car thefts, said sheriff’s crime analyst Joe Walker. From January to July of this year, auto thefts increased monthly, rising between 10 percent and 60 percent compared with the same months last year, Walker said. “Every month of this year, we have had increases over the year before,” he said, adding that August was the first month when the number of auto thefts did not rise. last_img read more


Liverpool set to make football history thanks to Champions League run and Coutinho

first_img Jurgen Klopp is hoping to finally bring the Premier League title to Anfield 2 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Liverpool are set to become the first football club in history to record pre-tax profits in excess of €100million (£88.2m) mark.Jurgen Klopp’s men enjoyed a remarkable 2018 on and off the pitch, and are hoping 2019 will bring them silverware. 2 The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 REVEALED Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions revealed Liverpool are set to announce record-breaking profits center_img Most Read in Football Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade gameday cracker Experts are already predicting the Reds will announce a record-breaking profit to match the incredible numbers Mohamed Salah and co. have notched up on the pitch.According to Inside World Football, reaching the Champions League Final in Kiev last season – and selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142million – will help boost the club’s profits in their accounts for the 2017-18 season, which will be submitted to Company House in early March.The run to the final against Real Madrid alone earned the Merseysiders a reported €81.3m (£71.7m). Having not competed in Europe’s elite competition the previous season, the financial growth will be huge.The current pre-tax profits record for a football club is held by Leicester City, who enjoyed their first and only campaign in the Champions League after their miraculous Premier League title-winning season. latest Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT RANKED They posted a record-breaking figure of £92.5million for the 2016-17 season after reaching the quarter-final.However, UEFA appear to ahve already let slip the Foxes’ figure will be beaten by the current Premier League leaders.In their Club Licensing Benchmarking Report for the financial year 2017, UEFA mentioned Liverpool are set to break Leicester’s record-breaking profits in the coming year. BEST OF last_img read more


A Joburg factory hits a milestone

first_img11 September 2015Skyworth Digital’s Joburg factory had successfully completed its first shipment, delivering a total of 70 000 set-top boxes across South Africa, it was announced earlier this week.A set-top box is a device that usually has a TV-tuner input and displays output on a TV. It turns the source signal into a content form to be shown on a TV set. It is used by satellite television, and over-the-air television systems.The devices are necessary as South Africa migrates its broadcasting services from analogue to digital – a process called Broadcasting Digital Migration. The main focus is Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), which will enable South Africans to receive free-to-air digital television signals via satellite.When DTT arrived, City Press explained in a report unpacking the issue, we would all need decoders to receive the new TV signals. These were the decoders that all pay TV customers already had. Other viewers would have to buy new ones; yet others would receive theirs for free.Once the migration happened, said the newspaper, if you wanted to keep watching free-to-air TV (SABC, e.tv and community TV), you would need a decoder, or set-top box.“Skyworth Digital invests in its customers, their countries and the local people in order to foster long-term relationships, and so our strategy is to put our factories as close to where our customers are as possible,” said Angelique Boissy, the vice-president of global sales at Skyworth Digital.The company calls the strategy “edge manufacturing”. “It not only allows us to contribute to our customers’ local economies, but also speeds up time-to-market and reduces operating expenses: savings which can then be passed on to our customers,” Boissy said.The Johannesburg factory is the first in a series of new manufacturing centres Skyworth Digital plans to open as it looks to implement its edge manufacturing concept across the business.“Through partnering with local companies such as Bua Africa and increasing involvement in community initiatives and charities in South Africa, we have created hundreds of local jobs for underprivileged men, women and people with disabilities,” added Boissy.“We provide training and educational services to our staff to further develop their skill sets and provide them with tools for the future.”PartnershipsSkyworth Digital has partnered with various organisations in South Africa, including the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), which helps people access vital government services, and Disabled People South Africa (DPSA), which helps to promote disability awareness.Currently, Skyworth Digital produces about 150 000 shipments a month, but it plans to increase this number to 400 000 shipments a month.About the companyShenzhen Skyworth Digital Technology Company provides solutions for the smart home through various devices.“With a strong background in consumer electronics, Skyworth Digital delivers more than 20 million units annually to more than 90 countries by partnering with customers to provide value-added, end-to-end solutions with the highest quality products and services.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more


Retail AP Snapshot: Michaels

first_imgThe Michaels Companies, Inc. is the largest arts and crafts specialty retailer in North America (based on store count), providing materials, project ideas and education for creative activities. Established in 1962, the company now operates more than 1,200 stores in 49 states and Canada under the brands Michaels, Aaron Brothers and Pat Catan’s.LPM’s Retail AP Snapshots highlight major AP department programs or strategies that see singular success, according to an outside nomination.*Give us a snapshot of your department by the numbers. 2017 public figures: $5.36B revenue, 1,238 stores, AP dept. 80-100 people size range- Sponsor – Website: michaels.comWhat program or strategy has seen unique success for your department?The deployment of a return authorization system.How did the idea or program/strategy originate?The project began as a collaboration between LP and IT, and it had two major parts. First, refund management to address customer service for receipt look-ups and better managing tenders in order to fill in the holes in their current procedures. Second, return authorization to identify situations where the Michaels return policies were being broken and addressing those risks.How has your department exceeded the expectations of senior leadership?Senior leadership challenged us to get more “bang for the buck.” An important way to accomplish this is by focusing on innovation.—such as focusing on high-dollar SKUs during returns, as opposed to continuing to refine return rules and policies. This quest for “more bang for the buck” extends to other LP stalwarts like exception reporting, case management and CCTV.The LP team is eager to accept responsibility to identify solutions to complex problems. Often, solutions can be found from within the company.What were the obstacles?We all get comfortable in the way things are being done. The director had to focus much of her time at changing the status quo since she is relatively new at Michaels. Benchmarking, learning, and building business cases are all key to selling internally to get the funding and the appropriate ROI.What does your department do that pushes the envelope in terms of technology, tools, or approach?We have created a very innovative spirit, and that is what drives our decisions and projects. The Michaels LP team is bringing several new technologies live very soon and are modifying how we use many others.Do you think other retailers are facing this struggle?Yes, they are, and benchmarking is critical for everyone. It’s so important to learn about different technologies and about different retail verticals. For example, someone with a big-box background will have to learn new ways to benchmark when it comes to specialty retail.How can retail LP departments help one another succeed?The retail LP community is great because everyone wants to win and share successes. Benchmark and ask questions! Be innovative, try new things, take risks, and leverage solutions from vendor/partners.What is your department most proud of in the last year?Since it was the director’s first year at Michaels, we focused on innovation and teamwork. Learning and testing ideas for successful results and building internal business cases.*Editor’s Note: This Snapshot of the Michaels loss prevention department was submitted by Tom Rittman, vice president of marketing for Appriss Retail. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more


Trucks and Drivers Targeted for Cargo Theft, Kidnapping and Hostage-Taking

first_imgTruck-borne freight is the most popular target for thieves, according to a new global study by cargo insurer TT Club and supply chain consultant BSI. Trucks and truckers face a variety of threats including firearm-bearing kidnappers and fake ‘police.’Trucks were the overwhelmingly favorite target of thieves in 84 percent of all incidents globally. Unfortunately, the report “Global Cargo Theft Intelligence Report for 2018” did not provide absolute numerical data. However, the report does say that there were, on average, 15 “cargo theft incidents” per day, which would imply a global total of about 5,340 global cargo theft incidents… FreightWaves Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more