first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

first_imgTamiflu (generic: oseltamivir), the go-to drug for combatting influenza has a new challenger. Japanese drugmaker Shionogi has announced that test results are in: its drug kills the flu virus in 24 hours. With one pill. The drug, named Xofluza (generic: baloxavir marboxyl), was recently granted accelerated approval by the Japanese government after trials of the drug showed great promise. In a year that’s seen an epidemic—even pandemic—of flu cases, some resulting in unexpected deaths of people not in high-risk groups, the influenza outbreak in the United States this year has reached levels not seen since the swine flu epidemic of 2009. Though it likely won’t be for sale until May 2018 in Japan and not in the United States until 2019 or very late 2018, it could be a sign of better news to come. How does it work?The key is that by inhibiting the enzyme that the flu virus needs in order to replicate, it kills the virus within a human in 24 hours. The symptoms continue for about the same amount of time as when Tamiflu is used, however, but they’re lessened and begin to go away faster. And both drugs lessen the effects of the flu versus no drug at all. Tamiflu-maker Roche was involved in the study and development so it will be the company marketing this, in addition to Tamiflu—at least in the United States.Given that the flu vaccine this season was only 36% effective, this is especially welcome news. Sourcelast_img read more

first_imgA version of this article was originally posted on TheHill.comThis post is part of WRI’s blog series, The Trump Administration. The series analyzes policies and actions by the administration and their implications for climate change, energy, economics and more.With the selection of Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy (DOE), President Trump continued an unmistakable pattern of picking individuals with close ties to the fossil fuel industry. But Governor Perry, who is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks, has also demonstrated a wider view on energy, including strong support for wind power.If the Trump administration wants to create jobs, protect people’s health and support American competitiveness, it would do well to embrace Americans’ most popular energy choices — renewable energy use and energy efficiency.The new cabinet has work to do to overcome President Trump’s skepticism when it comes to clean energy. President Trump apparently doesn’t fully grasp the scope of clean energy manufacturing and employment in the United States.In recent years, clean energy has been surging globally, with more than $285 billion in total global investments in 2015, one of its best years ever. In the United States, investment in renewables jumped by 19 percent in 2015 alone.The United States can either move to the head of the pack or risk falling behind.Gov. Perry should recognize the benefits of expanding investment in renewables. During his time as governor of Texas, wind power expanded from 115 megawatts in 2000 to nearly 18,000 megawatts in 2015. Today, Texas is the nation’s top state for wind power, which employs around 25,000 people in the state.Here are some compelling reasons why the president and his new cabinet should consider clean energy:1. Renewable energy is already providing hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs for Americans. Clean energy is the fastest-growing energy sector in the United States, with more new electricity from wind and solar than any other source since 2014. Wind and solar power now support hundreds of thousands of workers, including more than 21,000 factory workers who make the majority of domestic wind farm components in states like Florida, Kansas and Colorado.Compared to overall job creation, the solar industry had 12 times faster job growth last year. Solar jobs now outnumber those for oil and natural gas extraction.2. Clean energy is popular across the political spectrum. There is strong, bipartisan support for wind and solar power, which provides people with greater flexibility and independence. That’s why renewable energy is expanding in states from Texas to Maine and Iowa to Florida.In Gov. Perry’s home state of Texas, 85 percent of registered voters, including 78 percent of Republicans, favor more clean energy deployment. A post-election survey found that 75 percent of Trump voters support “action to accelerate the deployment and use of clean energy.”3. American businesses are committed to clean energy. Google recently announced it would draw electricity from 100 percent renewable sources by 2017. Earlier this fall, GM committed to moving all of its operations and manufacturing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, which its CEO, Mary Barra, said would bring cleaner air and low-cost energy to the business.Overall, more than 82 major companies have now signaled they are moving to 100 percent renewable energy. Many companies, including those in the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, are working with utilities and regulators to bring more clean energy to the electrical grid.4. The United States can export clean energy technology to overseas markets. Just recently, Argentina’s government awarded more than 1,200 megawatts of clean energy capacity – the United States can help provide clean tech and expertise to support these projects. Forty-seven countries recently committed to 100 percent renewable energy and 155 countries have government policies that support the deployment of renewables.5. The U.S. government saves taxpayers between $150-200 million every year through Energy Service Performance Contracts. These programs bring in private sector funding and knowledge to upgrade energy efficiency and supply renewable power at U.S. government facilities at no cost to the American taxpayer.The DOE plays an important role in supporting innovation that fills a critical gap for U.S. businesses seeking to get new technologies off the ground. For example, the DOE has programs to advance the development of battery storage, solar panels and electric vehicles. These vital initiatives should be expanded, not curtailed by the new administration.The DOE can also encourage private sector investment and expand federal funding for clean energy research and development. Bill Gates, who announced a new $1 billion clean energy investment fund, has called for the government to triple its energy-related research and development to $18 billion.The DOE can provide training programs for clean energy workers and support communities that are shifting away from traditional energy sources.If confirmed, Gov. Perry will have the chance to champion clean energy. With $25 trillion in global energy infrastructure to be built by 2030 and wind and solar becoming cost competitive, a clean energy revolution is underway. The American people and the economy would benefit from joining this movement.last_img read more

first_img Topics: Agency Talent This post originally appeared on The Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to The Agency Post.When it comes to interviewing candidates, our greatest enemy is ourselves. We lose objectivity and justify guesses with subjective evidence. We find arguments to justify our decisions and prove our analysis is correct.To make matters worse, we hamstring our honest and good-faith efforts before we even get to the interview. Most hiring managers walk into an interview without a strategy or framework for finding the best candidate.Consider this: You have six candidates interviewing for a position, and each person is interviewed by four different people. That results in 24 interviews where people ask the same questions, hear different answers, and form different opinions.This sort of interview process propagates subjective decision-making and leads to costly mistakes in hiring. A well thought-out interview process and candidate evaluation framework provides guideposts to keep the hiring team objective and rooted to assessing each candidate on the same proven criteria.Identify Your Primary CriteriaLet’s use the example of hiring an account manager to walk through the process.First, you need to boil down the skills, talents, and experience you are looking for to a list of 8-12 criteria that will be used to evaluate each candidate. Here’s an example of a few points you might include:1) Self-StarterAs the lead point person for multiple clients, an account manager must have an exuberance for tackling the highest priorities without direction or approval from her supervisors.2) Marketing AptitudeAccount managers are known to be jacks-of-all-trades, but you need a candidate who has specialized knowledge in a specific field such as inbound marketing, search, retail marketing, and so on.3) Emotional IntelligenceThe client-agency relationship is never without some bumps, and the best account managers have a sixth sense about how happy clients are. Often the fate of a long-term relationship is not determined by the original mistake, but by how your agency responds. The account manager is on the front lines and needs to be equipped to handle these situations.4) CuriosityClients are looking to agencies for the “big ideas.” The ideal account manager is not only interested in the needs of their clients but is also invested in self-education.5) Team PlayerServing clients is a team sport, and the account manager must thrive in a collaborative environment.Create a ScorecardThe next step is to compile your criteria into an interview scorecard that each interviewer must use in her assessment of a candidate.An example might of an interview scorecard might look like this:You should have multiple people interview a candidate, but their opinions should be formed around the same criteria.While the goal is to find quality employees, a successful interview is one in which you accurately judge whether a candidate will be a good fit for the role and your agency.Your Hiring StoolWhile you’ve outlined a large list of criteria to judge candidates on, you should also identify skills or attributes a person must have to qualify for the position. This could be either personality traits that are key to maintaining your agency’s culture or specific skills for the position.Imagine these criteria are like the three legs of a stool. Without one or more of those legs, the stool will fall over. A candidate who doesn’t meet all three points can’t be successful in her individual role or at the agency. If a candidate is missing one of these key traits, you can’t hire the candidate. This way, you can objectively rule out many applicants and can judge all those that make it through interviewing on a focused set of issues.What are the three criteria that make up your hiring stool?Want more content like this? Subscribe to The Agency Post. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

first_img User Experience Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Jun 19, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Today, video can help marketers do a lot of things — it can help you explain your product or service, it can increase traffic to your website, and it can even convince people to purchase a product.72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. Even if you have a powerful written content strategy, if you don’t use video, you’re losing traffic to more video-heavy competitors.Your business is probably already using video for marketing purposes (since, in 2018, 81% of businesses are), but are you planning your videos for optimal success, or are you drawing shots by hands or writing a script and winging the rest?Access videos, templates, and tips, to help you launch an effective video marketing strategy. Whether you use video for training, sales, or demo purposes, storyboarding can alleviate the time-consuming nature of video preparation, while also increasing your video’s overall quality and decreasing production errors.If you’re looking for a tool to take your video production process to the next level in 2018, take a look at our list of the best storyboarding software out there — no matter your budget.1. StoryboarderStoryboarder is open source and free, making it one of your best options if you’re working with a smaller budget. The program has a clean interface with all the necessary tools at your disposal, so it’s easy to quickly draw shapes and characters. You can also write dialogue, and enter timing information and shot type.Storyboarder works collaboratively with Photoshop, which means you can edit your board in Photoshop for more precision, and it will automatically update in Storyboarder. This software lets you export to Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, PDF, or Animated GIF.Price: FreeImage courtesy of Storyboarder. 2. PlotAdrian Thompson made animated videos for seven years, and “came to despise how tedious it was to edit a basic storyboard template.” His frustration led him to create Plot, a free and fast storyboard creator with impressive users such as WeightWatchers, Vistaprint, and Workday.Each feature aims to make your process as quick and efficient as possible. You can add and delete scenes without copying and pasting text, incorporate images from anywhere on the web to visualize scenes faster, and collaborate with coworkers from within the software. Plot is a solid option if your team often works under tight deadlines and needs a software to create storyboards quickly.Price: Free, or Premium for $7.50/monthImage courtesy of Plot. 3. Frameforge Storyboard StudioWith impressive users including HBO, Netflix, and BBC, Frameforge is the real deal, but your team can still benefit even if you don’t have animation, drawing, or highly technical computer skills.Frameforge offers core and pro versions of their product, and the pro option allows you to plan where you’ll place dollies and cranes (down to the inch). The software lets you import a script from any scriptwriting program. Plus, the storyboards include movement arrows, framing notations, angle of view, focal length, and more, so everyone on your video team, from preparation to production, is on the same page. It works on any mobile device, and the export functions make it possible to download the final product as a Powerpoint presentation. Frameforge is a good option for teams that aim to create more full-fledged and lengthy videos for entertainment purposes.Price: $299.95 for Frameforge 4 Core Full, $599 for Frameforge 4 Pro FullImage courtesy of Frameforge. 4. StudiobinderStudiobinder lets you customize every aspect of your visualization, and offers tools to filter columns, adjust the order of your scenes, upload images, change aspect ratios, color code shots, add notes, and more. Studiobinder also makes collaboration easy, with project management features to assign tasks and add comments. Plus, if you want to preview your project from within the platform to show your team, there’s a nifty presentation mode. It touts impressive clients including BuzzFeed, ESPN, and CBS Interactive. This option is good for teams who need to collaborate on various stages of the video production process, and prefer customizable tools.Price: Free, or $49/month for ProfessionalImage courtesy of Studiobinder. 5. MoviestormYou’ll have flashbacks to The Sims when you first test out Moviestorm, which takes you step-by-step through the process of creating 3D characters, directing a scene, framing your shots, adding and deleting in-scene objects, recording the movie, and adding music and sounds. Moviestorm’s product is an effective all-in-one solution, and is helpful whether you’re creating a company commercial, training video, or corporate presentation. You can try it free for 14 days. This is a good option if your team wants to visualize and even pitch the full video start-to-finish in accurate detail, or create a full-fledged product from within the app itself.Price: $225 for Moviestorm MaxImage courtesy of Moviestorm. 6. Storyboard Fountain (for Mac)If you’re not necessarily interested in the fancier movie-making options in the list, Storyboard Fountain is a simple, user-friendly interface for quickly drawing stick figures and incorporating text for scene details. The marker, pencil, and pen tools respond to Wacom sensors. When you’re happy with your storyboard, you can record audio and board timing, so you can playback the video to pitch your idea. Best of all, it’s open source and free, making it a fantastic option for teams working with a smaller budget.Price: FreeImage courtesy of Storyboard Fountain. 7. PowerProduction SoftwarePowerProduction Software offers a variety of tools for storyboarding, varying from simple to more robust and all-inclusive. StoryBoard Quick, for instance, offers a library of artwork for characters, props, and locations, and allows you to design and share your ideas easily. StoryBoard Artist, on the other hand, offers a full-featured timeline, frame transitions, and 3D characters, and is more appropriate for animated video presentations. PowerProduction Software also provides iPhone and Android app versions of their products, so you can visualize and create from anywhere. These products are used by big-names including Disney, Universal, and 20th Century Fox, so if you choose this software, you’re in good company. If your team is interested in creating lengthy, high-quality, and even animated videos, this could be a good option.Price: $129.99/year for StoryBoard Quick, or $269.99/year for StoryBoard Artist 7Image courtesy of PowerProduction Software.8. CanvaCreating a storyboard doesn’t have to stress you out, and Canva makes it especially easy, with a library of templates to choose from, one million stock images (or the option to upload your own), and grids and frames to organize your scenes. You can choose font type, color, and include headers and subheaders. If you’re working with someone else on script or design, you can grant access for collaboration, and when you’re finished, share the design with your team through email or as a PDF file. If your team needs a simple and easy software for simpler projects or to get your feet wet with the process of storyboarding, this is a good option.Price: FreeImage courtesy of Canva. 9. BoordsBoords offers an all-in-one pre-production storyboarding software, with drag-and-drop tools and flexible frames. It also offers a unique Animatic Tool, and when you’re ready to share your animatic, you can share it online for feedback or export to Boords’ After Effects plugin. Plus, you can share your storyboard with coworkers or clients and let them comment within the platform. With a free trial and incredibly low prices after that, there’s no reason not to try it if you’re interested in using storyboarding for animatics or simpler projects.Price: Free Trial, then $19/month for Plus version or $24/month for Team versionImage courtesy of Boords. last_img read more

first_img Originally published Oct 15, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated February 05 2019 We rely on smartphones to connect with our friends and family and stay informed about current events. But it seems like the only time we use smartphones for work is when we check our email.Today, smartphone technology has advanced to the point where you can get a substantial amount of work done with just your thumbs — smartphones can now access your work documents, take professional-grade photos, and even translate signs that are in different languages.Download our complete workplace productivity guide here.If you want to be more productive during your commute or be able to work on the go, check out these seven smartphones for business.Best smartphones for businessiPhone XsGoogle Pixel 2 XLSamsung Galaxy S9+BlackBerry KEY2Microsoft Lumia 950OnePlus 6LG V35 ThinQ 1. iPhone XsImage Credit: Digital TrendsApple’s latest iPhone isn’t just a slightly bigger yet marked-up version of the iPhone 8. It’s on the pricier side for good reason.Armed with a Gigabit-class LTE, 512 GB of storage, and an intelligence A12 bionic chip that has a neural engine, the iPhone Xs can deliver up to 50% faster graphics performance, 15% faster performance cores, and 50% lower power usage in efficiency cores. In other words, it’s one of the fastest and powerful smartphones on the market.The iPhone Xs also has one of the most powerful smartphone cameras on the market. You can shoot 4K videos in up to 60 frames per second and take professional-grade pictures with the camera’s larger and deeper pixels and sophisticated portrait mode.2. Google Pixel 2 XLImage Credit: ForbesGoogle might not be able to get a social network to catch on, but they can definitely build a phone. Powered by Google Assistant, the Pixel 2XL can listen to your commands and text and set reminders for you, turn on Bluetooth, and activate Google Lens, which can identify landmarks, objects, and even scan business cards to add contact information into your smartphone.The Google Pixel 2XL is also incredibly powerful and efficient — it has storage options of 64 or 128 GB and will give you up to seven hours of battery life with only a 15-minute charge.3. Samsung Galaxy S9+Image Credit: Trusted ReviewsThe Samsung Galaxy S9+ might be one of the best smartphones for business travel and security. Powered by Bixby Vision, the Galaxy S9+’s camera can translate up to 54 languages on signs and menus to help you navigate any foreign country you’re traveling through.The smartphone’s camera also features intelligent scan, which combines face recognition and iris scanning to instantly recognize you in any light and even when you’re wearing sunglasses.You can buy the Samsung Galaxy S9+ in two storage options: 64 GB and 128 GB.4. BlackBerry KEY2Image Credit: The VergeEven though BlackBerry has lost its dominance in the business smartphone market, the company still pioneered the trend of working on your phone and develops some of the most advanced smartphones for business.The KEY2, powered by Android, is branded as “An Icon Reborn” because BlackBerry kept their classic physical keyboards on the smartphone but also upgraded it by making the keys 20% bigger and adding a Speed Key button that can activate 52 custom shortcuts to apps and specific actions.The KEY 2 also offers some of the strongest smartphone security with the BlackBerry DTEK app, giving you the ability to see and alter which applications have access to your camera, microphone, location, and personal information.You can also keep files and photos completely private with BlackBerry Locker, a pre-downloaded app that hides your files and photos from anyone who could access your phone.BlackBerry’s KEY2 has up to 256 GB in storage space and its battery can stay powered for up to two days on just one charge.5. Microsoft Lumia 950Image Credit: CNetThe Microsoft Lumia 950 is like a mini PC. Powered by Windows 10, the smartphone syncs with all your other Windows 10 devices, so you can access any of your Office documents, presentations, spreadsheets, notes, and photos.You can also connect the Lumia 950 to a Microsoft Display Dock and use it like a computer to access your files from any Windows app, letting you work comfortably from home, even if you forgot your laptop at the office.The Lumia 950 has up to 200 GB in storage space, OneDrive cloud storage, and built-in wireless charging.6. OnePlus 6Image Credit: CNetBy developing their own operating system, OxygenOS, OnePlus’ flagship smartphone will help you get more work done in less time. Whether you’re working, browsing, or shifting through apps, the OnePlus 6’s smart software can optimize your experience based off your habits on your phone.You can buy the OnePlus 6 in two storage options: 128 GB or 256 GB.7. LG V35 ThinQImage Credit: CNetAnother smartphone powered by Google Assistant, the LG V35 ThinQ’s can assist you in real-time, identify objects you hover your phone over, and pick up your voice in noisy environments.The V35 ThinQ also has an Artificial Intelligence camera that can recognize the subject and environment in your frame and suggest the best filters and angle for your photo.You can store up to 64 GB on the smartphone.center_img Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

first_imgCBSE has issued new rules for the CBSE Registration for class 9 and class 11 students to appear for their board exams. No corrections will be allowed this year onwards. Check out the new CBSE Registration rules and mandates here.The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has changed the registration rules for Class 9 students in an effort to streamline the board examination process. CBSE Registrations will now be conducted earlier than before. CBSE Registrations have begun from August 8, 2019. Here are the new rules for CBSE Registration:1. In 2020, the CBSE board exams for classes 10 and 12 will be conducted via 16 regional offices of CBSE which have send the new school codes to all schools. Henceforth, schools will need to use these codes for communication with CBSE.2. All CBSE schools will need to register themselves before online registration submissions. Schools need to use their ‘Affiliation Number’ as the user ID. Schools can get the password from the concerned regional office, after which they should change the password and protect it.3. Schools need to ensure they are following the CBSE rules in terms of candidate registration, classroom availability, and the number of teachers. The teacher-student ration should be 1:30 and the number of class sections cannot exceed the number permitted by CBSE.4. Class 9 and class 11 examinations have to be conducted internally by the schools.5. 6. Schools can complete the registration process by individual entry or by uploading a filled-in Excel file provided by the online registration system.6. 8. Schools should send the signed copy of finalized data of Registration of class IX/XI to the concerned regional office only and not to CBSE, Preet Vihar, Delhi.advertisement7. In case of any difficulty during registration or payment refund issues, schools should contact their concerned regional office of CBSE.8. As per ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016’, CBSE is extending several exemptions/concessions to candidates with disabilities. Check details here: Only those students whose names are submitted through the online registration process will be allowed to appear for the February-April 2021 board examinations for classes 10 and 12.10. CBSE schools have to update student data on OASIS before registration.How students and schools need to update data on online portal for CBSE Registration ‘OASIS’:Only those TGTs/PGTs who are teaching Classes IX-X/XI-XII respectively should be shown as TGT/PGT to ensure appointment of eligible evaluators for quality evaluation.The full names of all the teachers shall be filled in the OASIS and not abbreviations.CBSE has recently amended its affiliation Bye-laws which in addition to making a minimum of 5 days of in-service training programmes per year of teachers mandatory. Accordingly, each of the private independent school affiliated to CBSE is required to pay a minimum Training Development fee of Rs 10,000 (schools located in India) / Rs.50000 (schools located abroad) annually to CBSE from the session 2019-20 onwards.All independent schools situated in India have to deposit Sports Fee of Rs.10,000 along with the registration fee. This fee will be collected through the online system by default. No separate sports fee is required to be sent by the schools situated in India.CBSE has prescribed a scheme of studies and schools are required to offer the subjects in adherence with the Scheme of Studies only.Details of all students should be submitted only in one lot for each fee slab. Partial submission of data will be not allowed in a fee slab. Meaning thereby, in each slot only one list of the students will be acceptedSchools shall have to upload the photographs and signature of their bonafide students in Class IX/XI registration before final submission11. Online submission of CBSE registration shall close at 5:00 pm on the designated dates. Schools should complete the work much before time to avoid delay due to server or internet issues.12. Schools should submit data in OASIS without any penalty till 30.9.2019, after which, a penalty as applicable in 2018 shall be imposed.13. From this year onwards, students won’t be allowed to update their information in the hard copy of CBSE Registration. It is the responsibility of the schools to ensure that the correct data is uploaded.How schools can ensure that CBSE Registration data being submitted is correct:CBSE Registration details will be provided to the students and the parents in the form of a registration card by the school to confirm the correctness of details.The List of Candidate (LOC) will be based on the data provided in Registration record. Parents will sign the LOC as a confirmation of the correctness of data.Parents will sign an undertaking at the back of the Class X and XII certificate that they have checked the data and found correct.advertisement14. Schools should check the following data submitted by students for CBSE Registration when uploading the information:Spelling of name of student/mother/father/guardian is correct and is as per the Admission and Withdrawal Register maintained by the school. The full names should be used and not abbreviations to avoid later confusionDate of Birth is correct and is as per Admission and Withdrawal Register maintained by the schoolAs per Examination Bye-Laws, schools need to ensure that the student, while seeking admission in a class, satisfies the requirement of age limit (minimum and maximum)Subject combinations are correct and as per Scheme of StudiesSubject codes should be chosen carefully and especially in the following subjects:in Class 9: Hindi – A (002), Hindi – B(085), Urdu A(003), Urdu B(303), Mathematics Standard(041), Mathematics Basic(241).in Class 11: Hindi Core(302), Hindi Elective(002), English Core(301), English Elective(001) Sanskrit Core(322), Sanskrit Elective(022), Urdu Core(303), Urdu Elective(003)15. Here are the points schools need to remember while submitting student names for CBSE Registration as per the CBSE notification:Every affiliated school shall present a list of number of students and their particulars in respect of Classes IX, X, XI & XII at the time of beginning of an academic session in the manner prescribed by the board.No affiliated school shall present the candidates to the Board’s examination who are not on its rolls.No affiliated school shall present the candidates to the Board’s examination who are enrolled in an unaffiliated School/Branch.No affiliated school shall present the candidates to the Board’s examination who are on its roll but have not attended the school regularly or do not meet the requirement of minimum attendance for appearance in the Board’s examination.Every affiliated school shall sponsor regularly its bonafide and eligible students in Boards Class X and Class XII examinations from the year mentioned while granting affiliation/upgradation regularly without break or inform with reasons thereof in writing well in time about the non-sponsoring of the candidates.The school affiliated to the Board shall not send candidates for examination of any other Board/University. It shall prepare candidates for the Secondary and Senior Secondary examinations of the CBSE only.For more details on the CBSE notification, check the full CBSE notification here: any queries call at CBSE Helpline No. 1800-11-8002 between 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all working days.Read: CBSE hikes exam fees for class 10, 12: Check details hereRead: CBSE exam fee hike 2019: A timeline of controversial commentsRead: CBSE introduces experiential learning from 2019-20 sessionRead: CBSE board asks schools to report cases of short attendancelast_img read more

first_imgIndia took control of the first Test of their World Test Championship campaign in Antigua against West Indies as they had a healthy lead of 108 runs at Stumps on Day 2. Ishant Sharms’s 9th 5-wicket haul in Tests helped India restrict the hosts to 189 for 8 in 59 overs.West Indies began their reply to India’s first innings total of 297 on a strong note off to a good start as John Campell and Kraig Brathwaite took Ishant Sharma to the cleaners. The leader of the Indian pace attack conceded 20 runs in his first 2 overs but he turned out to be Virat Kohli’s wrecker-in-chief at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.India vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2: HighlightsMohammed Shami gave India the first breakthrough when he removed opener Campbell before Ishant Sharma took a stunning return catch off his own bowling to Kraigg Brathwaite for 14. Debutante Shmarh Brooks was among the many West Indies batsmen who got starts but failed to get going.Brooks gave Ravindra Jadeja his only wicket on Day 2 wherein the all-rounder shone with the bat, hitting a classy 58 to help India post 297 on the board.West Indies went from being 88 for 3 to 179 for 8, thanks to Jasprit Bumrah who triggered the collapse after Tea with the wicket of Darren Bravo which was also the India pacer’s 50th scalp in Test cricket.Ishant Sharma got the big wicket of Roston Chase, who was batting on 48 and was looking set to take West Indies closer to India’s 1st innings total. Ishant hurt West Indies’ chances with the wickets of Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer after the duo added 44 runs for the 6th wicket.advertisementIt was after a brief rain break in the third session that Ishant Sharma went on a wicket-taking spree, removing Hope, Hetmyer and Kemar Roach in a span of 3 overs. West Indies huffed and puffed to 189 for 8 at Stumps on Day 2.Ishant Sharma could have had his 6th wicket had Hanuma Vihari held on to a tough chance that captain Jason Holder offered.Ishant Sharma shone with the bat as wellEarlier in the day, India lost the wicket of overnight batsman Rishabh Pant early when Kemar Roach got the big breakthrough. However, Ravindra Jadeja joined hands with Ishant Sharma as the duo added 60 runs for the 8th wicket.Ishant came up with a gritty effort as he put a price on his wicket. The tail-ender made 19 runs from 62 balls to frustrate West Indies pacers in the first session on Friday.India will be hoping to wipe off West Indies tail early on Day 3 and build on what could be a considerable first innings lead. With 60 points up for grabs in their 1st Test of the World Test Championship, Virat Kohli’s men will be keen on continuing the good work they have done so far in Antigua.Brief Scores, India vs West Indies, 2nd Test1st Test, Day 2: West Indies (189/8 in 59 overs) at Stumps, trail India (297) by 108 runs. Chase (48), Hetmyer (35); Ishant (5/42)Also Read | Jasprit Bumrah fastest Indian pacer to 50 Test wicketsAlso See:last_img read more

first_imgIrfan Pathan has heaped praise on Mahmudullah who is leading Bangladesh in the ongoing T20I series against India, saying the captaincy of the Bangladesh skipper is a bit similar to that of M.S. Dhoni.Bangladesh registered their first-ever T20I win over India in Delhi last Sunday. However, they were unable to replicate their performance in Rajkot as they had to face a crushing eight-wicket defeat on Thursday.”When you win a match against one of the best teams in the world, it helps in boosting your confidence and Mahmudullah had shown great qualities of a captain including the changes he made during the match,” said Pathan speaking at the Nerolac Cricket Live show on Star Sports.”There was a hint of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his captaincy as he also used part-time bowlers after the power play which is a strategy often used by Dhoni,” he added.Meanwhile, out-of-favour spinner Harbhajan Singh believes wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim with all his batting experience will play a key role if Bangladesh are to win the series in Nagpur.”Mushfiqur Rahim is a player with lot of experience, his ability to play both spin and pace bowling is great and he has the maximum responsibility in the Bangladesh squad in terms of batting which gives him an edge over Mahmudullah who is also a good player for the Bangladesh team,” said Harbhajan.India and Bangladesh will lock horns in the series-deciding final T20I at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur on Sunday before participating in the two-Test series beginning November 14.advertisementAlso Read | Will not support proposed FTP of 2023-31: ECB chairman Colin Graves to ICCAlso see:last_img read more

first_imgFollowing an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State last week, Cibolo (Steele, Texas) cornerback JayVeon Cardwell has verbally committed to the Cowboys program. The three-star recruit posted the following to his Twitter to announce the news.“First I want to take this time to thank God because without him none of this would be possible. I want to give a special thanks to my parents for supporting me all these years and through this recruiting process. I also want to thank my family, friends, and the many colleges that offered me. Last but not least I want to thank all the coaches for believing in my abilities and pushing me to work hard at my craft. The recruiting process has been a great blessing and I’m beyond grateful to have these opportunities and options. With that being said I would like to announce my verbal commitment to Oklahoma State University to further my education and play football!”Cardwell held 20 scholarship offers but picked the Cowboys over offers from Ole Miss, Colorado, Duke, SMU and others. The 5-foot-11 Cibolo standout is the latest in a long line of recruits from the school to choose OSU, joining the likes of Jordan Sterns, Ryan Simmons, and Deionte Noel who all blazed their trail from Steele to Stillwater.“Coming up there, I wouldn’t have said Oklahoma State was my top school, but I hadn’t seen it yet,” Cardwell said of his pre-visit thoughts to Rivals. “I wanted to get up there and see it and it was better than I thought it would be and it just felt right to go through with it.”“When I was out there, it really just felt home to me,” he continued. “The facility was great and the coaching staff really just took me under their wing and just really made me feel like I was part of that family. I got to interact with a bunch of the players as well and they were all just really respectful and it just urged me to want to play there.”The commitment from Cardwell, a bonafide cornerback with success at one of the highest levels of Texas football, comes at one of OSU’s most important areas of need for the 2018 class. The Cowboys already hold commitments from Gabe Lemons and Jaelyn Nolan in the class at the cornerback position, and with Cardwell joining the bunch, they now have a player who could potentially be a day-one contributor in some capacity.As a junior last season, Cardwell recorded seven interceptions, 54 tackles, seven passes deflected, and three recovered fumbles. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

first_imgTurnover margin is wildly important to a team’s success. Good teams force turnovers and turnovers equate to success. It’s seemingly a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but there is certainly a correlation.Kansas is a great example of this. One of their only two appearances on this chart came in 2007. They finished +21 in that department and, unsurprisingly, had that impressive 12-1 (7-1 Big 12) season.So where does this put OSU in 2017? It’s hard to know.“Defensively we’re similar because we don’t have a player everyone is going to say just dominates, but we have a lot of speed,” Mike Gundy told Doug Gottlieb recently. “I think they’re really fast. Playing in our conference, it’s so important to have speed to cover from sideline to sideline. They need to force turnovers.” 2016OklahomaKansas State (13)Oklahoma State (11)West Virginia (4)Oklahoma (0) YearBig 12 Champion1st in T/O Margin2nd in T/O Margin3rd in T/O Margin4th in T/O Margin 2009TexasTexas (9)Kansas State (7)Nebraska (5)OU/ISU/MIZZ (4) 200684 201622 201246 Avg.43.9 200767 2015OklahomaOklahoma State (13)Texas (11)Oklahoma (9)West Virginia (9) 2006OklahomaTexas (9)Texas A&M (9)Colorado (8)Oklahoma State (5) 200864 2013BaylorOklahoma State (15)Baylor (13)Oklahoma (9)Texas (4) 200937 YearConf. finishRank in T/O Margin 2010OklahomaOklahoma (14)Oklahoma State (12)Missouri (11)Iowa State (6)center_img AdChoices广告Since defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer was promoted in 2013, turnovers have been a recurring theme of his reign. “WTIB” was the saying every time the Cowboy defense took the field in 2015. That year, the Cowboys were No. 1 in the Big 12 in TO margin at +13. Two years before that, Spencer’s first season at the helm, OSU was +15. Before Spencer, Bill Young had OSU’s defenses racking up a margin as high as +21.Point being, turnovers have been a big deal at OSU since before most current college seniors had even reached high school.But there is a problem. OSU has finished tops in turnover margin among the Big 12 three times in the past 10 seasons (2015, 2013 and 2011). There has only been one conference title in that time, which highlights that the turnover margin can get you close but will not by any means guarantee a championship. Last year, Oklahoma finished even in turnover margin and won the conference outright by, let’s be honest, a pretty big margin.To be fair though, let’s look at OSU’s average finish since the 2006 season, Gundy’s second in charge. When you compare the Cowboys’ average finish in Big 12 and average conference turnover margin ranking over the same time period, they are almost identical. 201478 2011Oklahoma StateOklahoma State (21)Kansas State (12)Baylor (5)Missouri (3) 2008OklahomaOklahoma (23)Baylor (16)Texas Tech (8)Oklahoma State (5) 201521 2012Kansas State/OklahomaKansas State (19)West Virginia (7)Texas (5)TCU (3) Only two Big 12 champions have finished outside of the top four in turnover margin over the past decade. Six of those Big 12 champions finished at the very top of the table in the TO margin category.Here’s a look. 201331 2007OklahomaKansas (21)Missouri (13)Oklahoma (8)Texas A&M (7) 2014TCU/BaylorTCU (18)Baylor (13)Kansas State (8)Kansas (3) While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 201022 The Cowboy defense could be worse than it was a year ago when it finished second in the conference in turnover margin. With so many inexperienced players getting time, if not starting roles, in 2017, it will be difficult to get back to double-digits. But that doesn’t mean a Big 12 championship is out of hand by any means. In 2012, OU finished ninth out of 10, going -4 in the takeaway margin but co-won the title.That seems to be the exception rather than the rule, though, and as you can see in the chart above winning the conference turnover margin certainly wouldn’t hurt. 201111last_img read more

first_imgMinisters of finance from three Atlantic provinces met in Halifaxtoday, Oct. 8, to discuss regional concerns about the governmentof Canada’s plans for fundamental reform of the equalizationprogram. Finance ministers Peter Christie from Nova Scotia, Mitch Murphyfrom Prince Edward Island, and Loyola Sullivan from Newfoundlandparticipated in the meeting. Jeannot Volpe from New Brunswick wasnot available to attend. Ministers spoke of the importance of equalization to the Atlanticprovinces’ ability to provide levels of essential public programsand services that are comparable to those in other provinces. Onaverage, equalization accounts for 19.4 per cent of totalAtlantic revenues. Prime Minister Paul Martin promised a separate meeting onequalization and provincial-territorial finances following theFirst Ministers’ Meeting on health care in September. In the Oct.5 federal speech from the throne, the government said it will bemaking the most fundamental reform of the equalization program inits 47-year history. Provinces and territories have been told that equalizationfunding will be increased to $10.9 billion in 2005-2006, and by3.5 per cent annually in future years. The federal government isalso proposing to appoint an expert panel to examine andrecommend an allocation formula for the future. The three finance ministers insist that equalization fullyreflects existing fiscal disparities and not include arbitraryper capita based components. They are also concerned aboutwhether the proposed changes will produce the needed improvementsto equalization, and in particular: — if the proposed level and growth of equalization are adequate;– how equalization is allocated to reflect the funding needs ofthe Atlantic provinces; and– whether there is a need for a panel of experts to review theequalization formula. The ministers will relay the conclusions of Friday’s meeting toAtlantic premiers as part of preparations for the First MinistersMeeting in Ottawa later this month. The prime minister andleaders of all Canadian provinces and territories will hold theequalization discussions on Oct. 26. Equalization is the federal government’s constitutionalcommitment to provide funding to eligible provinces to ensure allCanadians receive reasonably comparable levels of publicservices, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation.last_img read more

first_imgThe crisis brewing within the Indian economy has gained unanimous acceptance by now. Even the latest annual report of the RBI for the fiscal year 2018-19 (or FY19) confirmed that the Indian economy has indeed hit a rough patch. The GDP growth rate of the economy has slipped to 5 per cent in the first quarter of FY20, the lowest in over six years. This is an indication of tougher times ahead. Be it the recent collapse of the automobile sector or the rising number of non-performing assets (NPAs), sluggish consumer demand or failing manufacturing sector; all have a hand in this deceleration of growth rate. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe spurt in instances of job losses from automobile manufacturers to biscuit-makers has led to the general acceptance of the downturn. This is the third instance of an economic slowdown for India in the past decade after the ones that began in June 2008 and March 2011. The technical term for the same is a growth recession. A recession is defined in economics as three consecutive quarters of contraction in GDP. But since India is a large developing economy, contraction is a rarity. The last instance of negative growth for India was in 1979. A growth recession is more commonplace where the economy continues to grow but at a slower pace than usual for a sustained period – what India has been facing nowadays. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe growth of the Indian economy had been predominated by consumption inclusive of both the Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) as well as the Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE). Over the last five years, the total consumption expenditure by Indian households had accelerated with an average growth rate of 7.8 per cent compared to an average of 6.1 per cent in 2011-14. But the recent sharp fall in PFCE in the June quarter to 3.1 per cent compared to 7.2 per cent in the March quarter has significantly contributed to the recent slowdown. That being said, any fall in consumption expenditure, as and when it would happen, would escalate the crisis even more. If consumption spending falls, then output and employment levels also fall since consumption expenditure directly impacts the other two. As a consequence, the economy would stagnate, and prices deflate. Lower prices, if unable to recover the costs, would halt operations of any firm and would initiate the layoff process. This, in turn, reduces earnings further. Hence, this vicious cycle keeps on repeating itself until the economy slips into a deeper state of shock. In addition, another major component of India’s GDP is investment, induced by both the private and government sectors. It has been a key driver of growth since the liberalisation of 1991. Though gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), the main constituent of investment in the economy, increased, yet its contribution to growth fell by 6.2 percentage points in 2014-19 than in 2011-14. The slackening of investment lowers the level of infrastructure development, causes hesitation in creating small businesses, stop entrepreneurs from investing in research and development, and thus stagnates technological development. Capital Investments are long-term gains that generate profitability for many years by improving operational efficiency and boosting innovation. It goes without saying that for holistic growth of the economy and to gain a competitive edge over others, the economy must innovate. In addition to these factors, the slump in the economy is also affected by various exogenous factors. A leading dampener is the US-China trade war, which has intensified over time and has contracted world trade and, in turn, Indian exports. Also, high rates of GST, liquidity crisis in NBFCs, and shift in the behavioural pattern of the workforce due to the entry of young people has discouraged savings. When people save less in the economy, it leaves less money for investments. Recession can be short-lived if corrective actions are taken immediately, failure of which can have a prolonged effect on the health of an economy. Amidst the news of slowdown, rise in FDI inflows from $12.7bn (FY19) to $16.3 bn (Q1 FY20) brought respite for the government. In a welcoming move, the government revised GST for the automobile sector, opened up FDI in the contract manufacturing sector and even announced the recapitalisation of the banking sector. Together with these, it should also focus on optimum utilisation of funds granted by RBI and direct them to boost investment in the economy – both infrastructural and research investment. Further, structural shifts, in the long run, can be achieved through tapping into the health and education sectors that long for quality improvements. Only such long-lasting structural changes can improve the growth potential of the Indian economy and deter the possibility of three slowdowns within the short span of a decade. (The author is chair, Institute for Competitiveness. Chirag Yadav, senior researcher, has contributed to the article. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Thursday, Oct. 12———CANADIAN AND FAMILY HELD BY TALIBAN FREED IN COMMANDO RAID: The High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada says Pakistani commandos carried out a raid and there was a shootout before they safely rescued a Canadian and his family being held hostage. Tariq Azim Khan said Thursday that Canadian Joshua Boyle and his family were then flown by helicopter to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan where they remain. He says Boyle and his family are fit to travel and it’s undecided whether they will fly to Canada or to the U.S. from there. He says they don’t know how many of the suspects were killed. He says one or two escaped and there is a search for them. He says he exchanged emails with the father of Joshua Boyle to tell them they had been rescued.———AMANDA LINDHOUT’S MOTHER TESTIFIES AT ABDUCTION TRIAL: Amanda Lindhout’s mother recounted the events that led to her daughter’s release from captivity in Somalia. Lorinda Stewart told an Ontario court Thursday that she spoke with the man on trial for his alleged involvement in her daughter’s kidnapping. She said talks with Ali Omar Ader over ransom demands for her daughter’s release did not go well because Ader suddenly became angry and afraid. Lindhout was a freelance journalist from Alberta when she was kidnapped in Australia along with an Australian companion.———TRUDEAU VISITS MEXICO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Mexico City Thursday as he continued efforts to try to save the North America Free Trade Deal. U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed pessimism about the fate of NAFTA and some Mexican leaders appear to be laying the groundwork for the deal’s demise. Trudeau says he remains optimistic about NAFTA but acknowledged there are other paths that could be pursued, and they’ll be followed if necessary.———U.S. STARTS MAKING NAFTA DEMANDS: The most difficult phase of the renegotiation of the North America has begun with the U.S. making its most hardball demands. Sources say U.S. negotiators presented a so-called termination clause on Wednesday that would kill the pact after five years if the three member countries fail to renew it. The next big drop could occur Friday as negotiators will move on to rules for auto parts.———UNION ACCUSES GENERAL MOTORS OF STARTING ‘A WAR ON CANADA’: The union representing striking workers at a General Motors plant in Ontario says the company has declared “war on Canada.” Unifor says GM has threatened to move more production of the Equinox sports utility vehicle to Mexico if the 25-day-old strike continues. Union president Jerry Dias said Thursday that GM is taking advantage of the low pay scales for Mexican workers at the expense of higher-paid workers in the U.S. and Canada.———RCMP YANKS QUESTIONAIRE TARGETING MUSLIM ASYLUM SEEKERS: The federal government says the RCMP is no longer using a questionnaire targeting Muslim asylum seekers in Quebec. A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government found out on Tuesday about the existence of the questionnaire and it is no longer being used by the RCMP. Among other things, the questionnaire asked opinions about religious practice, head coverings associated with Muslim women and terrorist groups with mainly Muslim members.———CANADIAN MILITARY OFFICER SAYS IT APPEARS ISIL HAS BEEN BROKEN: A Canadian military officer attached to the American led coalition in Iraq says efforts to drive the Islamic State from Iraq have moved a long faster than expected. Brig.-Gen. Craig Aitchison says it’s a sign the group’s back has been broken. Aitchison says the coalition has been surprised by the lack of resistance from ISIL in recent months.———DRUG OVERDOSES IN BC CONTINUE TO SOAR: British Columbia’s coroner’s service says more people died from illicit drug overdoses in the province in the first eight months of this year than all of last year. The coroner’s service says 1,013 people died from overdoses from January to the end of August, compared to the 2016 total of 982 deaths. Officials say fentanyl was involved in than 80 per cent of the deaths this year.———US HOUSE PASSES HURRICANE DISASTER AID BILL: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a $36.5 billion measure that would replenish government disaster aid funds and help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico keep functioning in the devastating aftermath of hurricane Maria. The measure will now go to the Senate, which plans to take up the bill next week.———SELF-DRIVING CAR TAKES TO THE STREETS OF OTTAWA: Organizers are billing the test drive of a self driving car in Ottawa Thursday as the first of its kind in Canada. The BlackBerry QNX-equipped self-driving car had Mayor Jim Watson on board as it went down an Ottawa street. The street was closed for the public demonstration, which attracted scores of people, but the car is expected to be operating on city streets in the test area amidst real traffic and pedestrians.———last_img read more

The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA) CALGARY — WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it earned $29.2 million in its fourth quarter, down from $47.8 million in the same period a year earlier.The Calgary-based airline says the profit amounted to 26 cents per diluted share for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 41 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2017.Revenue in the last three months of 2018 totalled $1.19 billion, up from $1.12 billion a year earlier.Analysts on average had expected a profit of 13 cents per share for the quarter and revenue of $1.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.For the full year, WestJet says it earned $91.5 million or 80 cents per diluted share, down from $279.1 million or $2.38 per diluted share in 2017.Revenue totalled $4.73 billion for 2018, up from $4.51 billion. read more

Drought and high food prices in much of the developing world coupled with a diversion to bio-fuels and the disincentive of high planting costs in the West look likely to reduce grain production in most of the world’s major producers.The latest issue of FAO’s Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report warned that acute food shortages persist in 32 countries worldwide and pointed to the situation in the Gaza Strip as cause for particular concern.In Eastern Africa more than 18 million people face serious food insecurity due either to conflict, unrest, adverse weather or a combination of the factors, while in Southern Africa the total number of food insecure is estimated at some 8.7 million. The report stressed that in Kenya, Somalia and Zimbabwe, the situation is very serious citing drought, civil unrest and economic crises as causes. The outlook for cereal crop production in low-income countries with food shortages is gloomy, with a likely reduction in maize crops in Southern Africa, and prolonged dry spells affecting wheat farmers in Asia. Almost half of China’s winter wheat harvest is already suffering from severe drought and India is experiencing a lack of rainfall.In South America, 2008 wheat production was halved by drought in Argentina, and persistent dry weather is damaging prospects for the region’s 2009 coarse grains.The report noted that despite the decline in international food prices in the second half of 2008, domestic prices remain very high in several developing countries, making food unaffordable for low-income groups. In Southern Africa and Central America, prices of their main food commodities have continued to rise or have not decreased in recent months, and in Western and Eastern Africa January prices were significantly higher than at the same time last year.Imported rice and wheat prices, staples in these sub-regions, are also on the increase, and remain high in several poor Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.The FAO report pointed out that while conditions are generally favourable for winter wheat throughout Europe and the United States, the amount of planted area in these countries has declined, reflecting the prospect of sharply reduced profits compared to last year and persistently high input costs.FAO also forecasted further increases in the use of cereals for bio-fuel production with a total of 104 million tons, up 22 per cent from the 2007/08 estimated level, representing almost 5 per cent of world cereal production. The United States alone is expected to increase production of bio-fuels to roughly 93 million tons, which is up 19 percent from the 2007/08 level. 12 February 2009Bad weather, violent conflict and volatile market prices could force a drop off in the global production of cereal crops this year, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) predicted today after already warning that some 1 billion people worldwide are going hungry. read more

CALGARY — The head of the National Energy Board says a proposed overhaul of how the federal regulator consults, operates and is organized will make it better prepared to respond to modern expectations.Speaking at the sidelines of an industry safety workshop Wednesday, NEB chairman Peter Watson says recommendations last month by a modernization panel could fix some of the limitations of the regulator and help it keep up with the times.“Some of the things at the root of our challenges are embedded in our enabling legislation, so I actually think that whatever comes out of these reviews, it’s kind of time to refresh for the 21st century,” said Watson.“We know expectations have changed on us and we need to keep pace with where things are going.”He says changes to rules on governance, public participation and the role of indigenous peoples will help the NEB respond better to concerns of the public.The federal regulator’s own plans for more reporting on how it’s performing and driving safety culture in the industry will also help the public keep the NEB accountable, said Watson.“People should understand how we’re performing and then use that information to assess whether they think we’re good enough or not.”Watson says he’s not concerned by the suggestions the panel put forth. These include splitting off data production into a separate organization, a one-year federal review of projects to determine if they’re in the public interest before a detailed review by the regulator, and no longer requiring board members to live in Calgary.The panel made the recommendations after finding that the regulator had fundamentally lost the confidence of many Canadians.Watson added that while waiting for the government overhaul, the NEB is also taking its own initiative to improve pipeline safety and regulations — including a two-day workshop being held in Calgary to discuss how to improve manufacturing standards for pipeline parts.“Even while the modernization review is going on, we’re making significant steps on how we drive safety culture into the oil and gas industry, and into the companies we regulate,” he said.The NEB organized the workshop after the regulator and pipeline companies found flaws in parts being supplied by several global manufacturers.Since the Canadian regulator has no direct control over the manufacturing process, it has brought together academics, manufacturers, international regulators and others to identify the issues and find solutions, including better standards.On Wednesday, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association also released its annual report that showed members leaked 38 barrels, or 6,042 litres, of crude oil in three minor incidents, with no incidents classified as significant for the second year in a row. read more

OTTAWA — The federal finance minister says steps taken to tame Canada’s hottest housing markets have already helped slow down a sector he believes was moving at an unsustainable clip.Bill Morneau’s comments Tuesday follow this week’s release of data showing Canada’s home sales for June posted their biggest monthly plunge in seven years. The national figure was led by a drop in the Greater Toronto market.The new data provided the latest evidence that steps taken at federal, provincial and municipal levels have begun to temper the country’s real estate sector, particularly in the Vancouver and Toronto regions.“What we’ve put in place has had some impact — and some impact in having a slight cooling in the market, which of course was our objective,” Morneau told The Canadian Press in an interview at his Ottawa office.“We thought that the price increases in Vancouver and Toronto, specifically, were unsustainable.”Earlier Tuesday, Morneau told a news conference that changes in the housing sector were playing out “largely the way we thought it might.” He also noted, however, that it was “too early” in the emerging situation to draw conclusions.On a national basis, last month’s housing transactions were down 6.7 per cent compared with May, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday. It was the third-straight monthly decrease and the Greater Toronto Area registered a 15.1 per cent drop.Compared to May, sales fell last month in 70 per cent of all local markets measured by the association, including the Lower Mainland in B.C., Montreal and Quebec City.Earlier this year, the Ontario government put in place more than a dozen measures to curb the Toronto market, including a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers. Since then, sales in Canada’s largest city have slowed.A number of federal measures have also been introduced in recent years to address housing market concerns during the extended period of low interest rates. They’ve included higher minimum down payment requirements, reduced amortization periods and stress tests on insured mortgages.Separately, mortgage interest rates have started to rise following last week’s hike in the Bank of Canada’s benchmark interest rate.The federal banking regulator recently proposed to expand stress tests to include uninsured mortgages as part of the effort to tighten lending rules.Asked about the recommendation by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Morneau said the measures under consideration are slightly different because they’re clearly aimed at the higher-end part of the market.In the months ahead, Morneau said the federal government will remain vigilant.“We’re going to be careful as we do this every step along the way,” he said.“We need to continue to focus on this market. We’re not going to assume that the measures that we’ve put in place so far have necessarily given us comfort that the market’s exactly where we want it to be.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter read more

In a statement issued in Nairobi and London, UNEP and WEC said the findings challenged the widely-held belief that the stalling of the UN Climate Change Convention talks in The Hague last year and political disagreements over the science and the need for legally binding reduction targets had paralyzed the worldwide effort to fight global warming. Studies by the WEC indicate that the number of new clean energy schemes, government initiatives and renewable energy projects will, by 2005, save the equivalent of 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (C02) annually. This equals to a saving of over 3 per cent in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions emitted in the year 2000. In fact, the figure of 1 billion tonnes may be a “dramatic understatement,” the statement said. A survey of 91 countries indicates the actual level of additional projects planned or in the pipeline could raise the global C02 savings to as high as 2 billion tonnes (two gigatonnes) by 2005 or 6 per cent of current global greenhouse gas emissions. Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, said the pessimism and gloom hanging over the UN Climate Change Convention talks, which are set to resume in Bonn on 18 July, had masked small but real progress towards reducing emissions. He highlighted the progress with the achievements made in China, which accounts for 14 per cent of world C02 emissions. “China has, despite economic growth estimated at 36 per cent, managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 17 per cent since 1996/97. The figure of 17 per cent may prove premature, with the real reduction likely to be in the range of 10 or 12 per cent, but this is still remarkable and encouraging progress. It has been achieved by an active effort to promote energy conservation, end coal subsidies and support more efficient coal-fire power generation,” Mr. Toepfer said. A study by scientists at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California concludes that China’s C02 emissions are already 400 to 900 million tonnes below what was expected in 2000, which is approximately equivalent to all C02 emissions from Canada, at the low end of the range, or Germany, at the high end of the estimate. read more