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first_imgSAN JOSE — The first 20 games of the Sharks season could be used as an ink-blot test to determine whether someone is a glass half-empty or half-full person?On one hand, the Sharks (10-7-3, 23 points) are holding down first place in the Pacific Division by a point despite the natural adjustment period of adding Erik Karlsson into the mix, Joe Thornton’s reintegration into the lineup after two major knee surgeries and the team’s league-worst 88.97 percent save percentage in even strength play.Th …last_img read more

first_img10 December 2009Online applications for accommodation during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ are now open to international and local soccer fans on the Fifa.com website.This follows the recent launch of the online accommodation service by the World football controlling body, Fifa.Accommodation and ticketing provider Match has secured 1 725 190 room nights for next year’s World Cup, and 43% of the entire inventory (741 832 room nights) in the 1 007 properties will be reserved for the general public.Instant accommodation searchThe accommodation service will enable fans to instantly search the available inventory and make bookings.The process is simple: one just visits the Fifa World Cup section on Fifa.com and clicks on “Destination” and then on “Accommodation”. Enter the desired dates and location to view the available options, and you can immediately book the accommodation of your choice.Chartered domestic flightsMatch has also signed a service agreement with South African Airways to lease 20 aircrafts for the duration of the World Cup. These will provide 100 000 seats on scheduled domestic flights on match days during the month-long tournament.The domestic flights will fly to destinations such as Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, Polokwane and Port Elizabeth.This will help supporters find flight connections to smaller city destinations from their accommodation base.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgThe new plant, which will be located 85 kilometres north of the town of Brits and adjacent to Continental Cement’s limestone deposits, will be designed to initially produce 2 500 tons of pure ordinary portland cement per day, with the capacity to significantly increase production according to market demand. Growing SA, China links Lower costs, job creation “We have significant experience in the developed and highly competitive Asian markets, where we have built plants that have added substantial capacity to the Asian cement industry,” said Jidong chairman Zhang Zengguang. The investment “will significantly increase South Africa’s cement production capacity, while also contributing to economic activity and job creation in Limpopo,” Women Investment Portfolio Holdings’ (Wiphold’s) Gloria Serobe said in a statement last week. The deal represents a significant foreign direct investment into the local cement industry, with an inflow of over R800-million from China, 45% of which will be equity investment and the rest in the form of commercial debt. Skills, knowledge transfer Jidong will both build and operate the plant, which will be based on the best technology available. She added that the project had significant black economic empowerment (BEE) spinoffs through Continental Cement’s existing BEE shareholders and Wiphold’s broad base of BEE beneficiaries. South Africa’s Women Investment Portfolio Holdings and limestone miner Continental Cement have announced a joint venture with the China-Africa Development Fund and Jidong Development Group to build a R1.65-billion cement manufacturing plant in Limpopo province. Jidong, a leading developer of cement plants and the largest cement producer in Northern China, and the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) are the majority shareholder in the joint venture, holding 51%. Wiphold holds 23.9% in the joint venture, with the remaining 25.1% stake held by Continental Cement. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The joint venture consortium expects to distribute most of the cement to the regional market in Gauteng, and believe they have a significant competitive advantage in that the cement plant will be closer to the province than any other cement plant, resulting in lower transport costs. “We are pleased that we will be able to transfer our knowledge, skills, best practices and efficiencies to South Africa.” “A large proportion of this labour contingent will be sourced from this community.” “The plant is in close proximity to the Raputi community which is dependent on the local farming community for employment. The plant will provide work for 600 people during the construction phase and 170 people during operation,” said Continental Cement CEO Anton Weavind. The venture follows an agreement between Wiphold and Jidong, signed in 2007, in terms of which Wiphold would import and distribute Jidong/Wiphold-branded cement into South Africa, Tanzania and Angola. 24 May 2010 “This deal underlines the growing links between South Africa and China, and an increasing appetite for South African and Chinese institutions to provide export credit and debt finance,” said CADFund CEO Chi Jianxin. “This creates increased opportunities for projects between our two nations.”last_img read more

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma will on Sunday, 22 May 2016, officiate at the National Day of Prayer at Absa Stadium in DurbanThe prayers will be for, amongst other things, successful and peaceful 2016 Local Government Elections as well as for the further consolidation of democracy.On the day of the prayer service, leaders of religious and civil society formations will join government in praying also for national unity, social cohesion as well as for rain and the promotion of water conservation under the persistent drought conditions.The event will further observe Africa Month which was launched on 03 May 2016 at the Cradle of the Humankind in Mogale City by the Department of Arts and Culture. From last year, government decided to organise activities in May to mark Africa Month, to promote unity, cohesion and prosperity in the African continent.The 2016 celebrations will be held under the theme; “Building a Better Africa and a Better World” and the sub-theme: “There shall be Peace and Friendship”.The Africa Month activities, which will be implemented by various government departments and provinces, will showcase and promote African renewal and renaissance, arts and culture, economic development in the continent as well as African sports and recreation.This year’s celebrations will also reflect on tragic events of last year in parts of Durban and Johannesburg where some foreign nationals, especially those from the African continent, were tragically attacked.The prayer service will further promote unity and peaceful co-existence and encourage communities to continue fighting xenophobia, racism and any form of intolerance.Members of the media are invited to cover the event as follows:Date: Sunday, 22 May 2016Time: 09h00Venue: ABSA Stadium (Kings Park), DurbanWe wish to request media covering the event to please send their details to Professor Ndawonde on [email protected] or [email protected] or 079 891 2782.Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or [email protected] by: The PresidencyPretoriaWebsite: www.thepresidency.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I went into this winter with the most firewood ever. I was ready to take on winter’s worst after battling multiple severe winters with a less than adequate firewood arsenal in the past.But, due to what has been a fairly mild season, it looks that I will have a head start on next year. I can give my chainsaw a bit of a rest in part thanks to the El Niño this winter that been shaping the weather patterns throughout the Midwest.According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an El Niño develops when sea surface temperatures are warmer than average in the equatorial Pacific for an extended period of time. In El Niño winters, the polar jet stream is typically farther north than usual, while the Pacific jet stream remains to the south.With the Midwest positioned between the storm tracks, warmer and drier conditions can develop during El Niño winters and typical extreme cold weather may be milder and less frequent. Warmer conditions may reduce total snowfall and the frequency of heavy snowfall events in the Midwest.This winter’s weather does share some similarities with the typical El Niño winter pattern. Temperatures have been clearly above normal with the warmest December on record for Ohio and Michigan and areas have seen below normal snowfall. On the other hand, overall precipitation has differed from the typical El Niño winter pattern with some very wet regions in the Midwest this winter.The February-April outlook for the Midwest from NOAA calls for enhanced chances of above-normal temperatures for Ohio and greater chances of below-normal precipitation, mainly across the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins. But, at this point, there is a high degree of uncertainty about predictions.A key to anticipating the weather trends moving forward according to climatologist Elwynn Taylor from the Iowa State University is watching what the El Niño does next.“If the El Niño manages to stay with us at least until the first of July, we have a 70% chance of an above average crop yield for the whole Corn Belt. If it switches out of El Niño to a La Niña, it is a 70% chance of a below normal average yield with extremely volatile weather. We hope the El Niño stays with us because it is the friend of the Midwest farmer. Should it disappear, keep track of it. It takes about a month before its effects go away,” Taylor said. “It is No. 3 of the top five recorded El Niño events and it is still going strong. A strong El Niño is often followed by a drought. Around April 15 will be a good time to assess the weather situation with the El Niño.”Another trick Taylor suggests for getting a good estimate on yield by watching the weather is to track the nighttime temperatures during the growing season.“If we want a large yield, we like to see the nights being a little cooler than usual with normal daytime temperatures. Clear nights will make things cooler. If the nights are warmer than usual, it shortens the time for our crop to put on weight and we do not want to shorten that,” he said. “From the first of July to the first of September, if the nights are cooler than usual, it is helping our yields. If they are warmer than usual it hurts them.”Looking out longer term, Taylor points out that sometime around 2025 could be a tough year for U.S. agriculture.“The Gleissberg cycle has to do with the condition of the sun. We pay attention to this roughly 89-year cycle. The harshest year of the 1800s was 1847. The harshest year of the 1900s was 1936. These were the coldest wettest winter followed by the warmest driest summer and they are 89 years apart,” he said. “If we are going to have Dust Bowl like weather in this century, that would put the harshest year for this century around 2025.”There is also a long-standing weather pattern that leads to periods of increased yield variability in the United States.“There is a pattern of 25 years of highly variable yields followed by 18 years of more consistent yields. Bet on that pattern,” Taylor said. “This year was the first year in the period of variability for 25 years.”Ultimately, understanding that variability can lead to more profitable farms.“Weather is the No. 1 risk we have. We can’t manage the weather, but we can manage the risk,” Taylor said. “Risk always has numbers. Uncertainty never has numbers. Uncertainty can be avoided and risk can be managed. You can make money on your farm from the volatility. Sometimes that is by accident, but you can make it on purpose. By knowing the weather, you can come out ahead.”last_img read more

first_imgRemember WHO stands behind Independence DayIf it was not for our military service members, America would not have been celebrating Independence Day a few days ago on the 4th of July.  In honor of remembering those who stand behind Independence Day, fighting for our freedom, we would like to share some information about our military service members and their families.Did You Know?5 million Americans are part of today’s military family2 million children are military youth6 to 9 times is how many times our military youth move between Kindergarten and High SchoolDepartment of Defense, 2015last_img read more

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Your competitors sell at a lower price. It’s tough to win when your competitors are willing to give away what they should be selling. But there is nothing you can do about your competitors.If this is your struggle, one or more of the following four reasons is the root cause of your losses.1. You Don’t BelieveThis is the first–and most pernicious–reason you have trouble selling at a higher price than your competitors. If you don’t believe in your heart–and with every fiber of your being–that you are creating more value than any alternative, then you won’t be able to capture more value. If you don’t believe you are worth more, than no one else is going to believe it either. And they are right not to.2. You Are Selling From BehindWhenever I hear from salespeople and sales leaders that they are having trouble capturing some of the greater value they create, I believe it is because they are struggling to justify a higher price point. But more often than not I discover that they are selling from behind. Instead of calling on their dream clients, that are reactive, sitting by waiting for someone to reach out to invite them to an RFP.Selling from behind eliminates the ability for you to create value during the buyer’s journey. You are too late in the process.3. You Can’t Justify Your Higher PriceIf you want to capture a greater portion of the value that you create, you need to be able to justify your higher price. You need to be able to help your client understand the additional value they are receiving, and you need to be able to help them defend the value you create within their organization.If you want your dream client to perceive the value, help them by sharing what makes you different and how it makes a difference. Then give them the logic, language, and evidence to defend that value.4. You Aren’t Selling to Your Dream ClientsThere are some prospects with systemic challenges to paying for value. In some cases, what you do doesn’t create enough value. In other cases, your prospect’s low margin prevents them from making the necessary investments in their own business. And there are some who have a mindset that only accepts lowest price as the greatest value. These are not your dream clients.If you want to capture value, you have to sell to people who perceive that value. This is why it is critical that you invest your time and energy on the right targets.QuestionsDo you believe your higher price is justified? Do you believe you create more value?Are you in front of the buyer’s process or behind it?Can you justify your higher price? Can you describe the ways the greater value you create benefits your clients?Are you selling to people who can’t, don’t, or won’t perceive value in what you sell?last_img read more

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now At the end of every year, sales leaders and sales managers direct their salespeople to close strong, to win every deal they can, and to be creative in pushing deals across the line. “Pushing” isn’t a very good word in sales, as it is likely to cause the one being pushed to push back or to walk away. A better word is “compel,” but even that word also comes with a set of problems.Some companies believe they should offer a discount for taking action now, a tactic that sometimes works. One well-known software company has a history of doing everything they can to close their year strong, and by doing so, has a reputation for being very loose with pricing at year-end. You may win business now and also train your clients to crush your margin.Other companies often sweeteners instead of discounting by adding extra services in trying to move their prospective clients to act before the year ends. These additional offerings, like discounting, sometimes work. However, they don’t generally do enough to move enough clients to change the results for a lot of sales organizations significantly.Some companies threaten to take pricing or terms or solutions away, hoping that the threat of losing something is enough to get their dream client to sign a contract.To understand why and how these attempts fail, you have to understand the underlying reason the deal is difficult for your client to accept.First, unless your pricing is holding up a deal, then a discount isn’t likely to motivate the client. Instead, it is proof that you need the deal enough to give up margin to get the deal. That same client will likely ask you for the offer on the other side of the calendar year and may use your offer to discount against you later.Second, if the sweetener you offer isn’t something valuable enough to already part of the deal, it may not be the kind of offer that compels action. If it were valuable enough to cause them to take action sooner rather than later, it might have been better to use it as part of the solution in the first place. Mostly these sweeteners are things that cost you little to give away and aren’t all that important to the client.Third, the idea of taking something away can strike people the wrong way. It can feel like pressure, and it can feel like a change in the relationship to some of your clients (even though there are many ways to talk about these kinds of things that are neutral or that improve relationships).Here’s what’s most important to know about why it is difficult to compel buyers before the end of the year: They have not gotten through the process they need to get to get through to make a decision. When you try to compel them to buy now instead of later, you are trying to get them to decide before they have the confidence to do so.In The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the ten Commitments That Drive Sales, I outlined the ten commitments that occur in most B2B sales. It’s a non-linear view of the sales conversation, but it’s helpful here. If you can look at the commitments you are missing and help the client accelerate them, you can increase the velocity of your deals—and their speed to better results.Here is a list of commitments: Time, Explore Change, Change, Collaborate, Build Consensus, Invest, Review, Resolve Concerns, Decide, and Execute. There are eight commitments before Decide, and if you are missing them, do what you can to gain them.last_img read more

first_imgItaly 1 Macedonia 1: Azzurri fail to clinch play-off spot with disappointing draw Guy Atkinson Last updated 2 years ago 04:52 10/7/17 Leonardo Bonucci - cropped Getty Images Italy were pegged back by a late Macedonia goal, failing to get a win that would have confirmed a World Cup play-off spot next month. Italy failed to secure a World Cup play-off spot as they were held to an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Macedonia at the Stadio Olimpico.Victory would have assured Gian Piero Ventura’s side of another chance to qualify behind group winners Spain, but they were unable to see out a win in Torino.The Azzurri barely got out of second gear against their stubborn visitors but took a first-half lead through Giorgio Chiellini. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. They were made to pay for their sluggish second-half display when Palermo forward Aleksandar Trajkovski lashed home in the 77th minute to claim a memorable point for Igor Angelovski’s side.Italy travel to Albania on Monday for their final Group G game and will want a significantly improved performance to try to secure a play-off spot.The Azzurri, captained by Gianluigi Buffon wearing their traditional blue shirt on his 172nd international appearance, looked sharp in the early stages and should have been ahead inside eight minutes.| A strange sight, but a beautiful one! #ITAMKD #WCQ pic.twitter.com/qb9PNRsnBf — Italy (@azzurri) October 6, 2017 Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne combined cleverly on the edge of the Macedonia area to allow the latter to break through a static defence and force Stole Dimitrievski into a smart save.Macedonia, clearly not content to sit back and soak up pressure, carved out an excellent opportunity of their own 10 minutes later, but Goran Pandev’s crisp volley was well held by Buffon.Italy then wasted two glorious opportunities to take the lead.Insigne met Marco Parolo’s clipped cross in the middle of the area but his header lacked direction and was gathered by Dimitrievski.The Macedonia goalkeeper should have been called into action again shortly after when Davide Zappacosta pulled down a deep cross inside the area. The Chelsea defender scuffed his half-volley horribly over, though.The mounting pressure paid off five minutes before the break as Chiellini scored his eighth goal for his country.Insigne sliced open the Macedonia defence with an incisive pass into the path of Immobile, who slid in a first-time cross for the Juventus defender to coolly slot through the legs of Dimitrievski.The second half was played out at a pedestrian pace with the first attempt on goal not coming until the 64th minute. Stefan Spirovski tried his luck from distance, but Buffon was equal to his sweetly struck shot.  The Juventus stopper was in the right place again a few minutes later to keep out Ilija Nestorovski’s header from a teasing cross.Macedonia’s positive second-half display was rewarded 13 minutes from time when Trajkovski latched onto Pandev’s throughball to fire an unstoppable shot past Buffon into the bottom-left corner. Substitute Federico Bernardeschi drilled a long-range effort wide in the closing stages, but three points would only have served to flatter Ventura’s side after a hugely disappointing performance.  read morelast_img read more

first_imgJapanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has taken delivery of the Ethane Crystal, the world’s first very large ethane carrier (VLEC) which was built for Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Limited (Reliance), from South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).The 80,000 cbm Ethane Crystal is the first in a series of six VLECs ordered by Reliance from SHI in July 2014.Under the agreement signed in December 2014, MOL was appointed by Reliance to undertake site supervision of newbuilds and to be operator and ship manager of the vessels.Last month, the Ethane Crystal and its sister vessel, the Ethane Emerald, were inaugurated in Geoje, South Korea. The ships are said to be the largest VLECs ever built.Featuring a length of 227.85 meters and a width of 36.49 meters, the 57,494 dwt Ethane Crystal has membrane technology provided by French marine engineering company Gaztransport et Technigaz (GTT).The six ethane carriers will be used to transport ethane from the United States to India.With a market value of USD 97.12 million per ship, the remaining four VLECs being built for Reliance are scheduled for delivery in 2017, according to data provided by VesselsValue.last_img read more