PARIS — As FIFA slid toward what has now become a full-blown collapse of its reputation and credibility, one of Sepp Blatter’s advisers suggested to the President of football’s governing body that he should lift the lid on one of his most tightly guarded secrets.Reveal how much FIFA pays you, Mark Pieth advised. The Swiss anti-corruption expert, recruited by FIFA for his expertise in corporate governance, says he argued that disclosing Blatter’s salary would demonstrate that the discredited organization is committed to change and transparency.Blatter wouldn’t have it. Pieth says the FIFA President explained that doing so risked embarrassing and upsetting his allies on the FIFA board whose pay is also secret.“He told me: ‘Well, you know, I couldn’t,’” the Basel University professor recalls. “‘It wouldn’t go down well with my friends.’”One million dollars? Five million? More than that? Two years after Blatter rejected Pieth’s advice, the exact extent of his salary and perks remain known only by him and a seeming tiny handful of perhaps no more than four others at FIFA headquarters.Here is a look at why the secrecy should be lifted:___SET AN EXAMPLE: Founded in 1904 with the simple aim of organizing football internationally, FIFA has grown into a multi-billion dollar global enterprise largely thanks to the World Cup’s financial success under Blatter’s reign since 1998.Like multi-national corporations, it publishes detailed annual financial accounts and is audited. Beset by allegations of vote-buying and corruption involving members of its ruling executive committee, FIFA also in 2011 launched reforms that tightened the way it does business but which haven’t gone far enough for its many critics.Failing to publish the pay of Blatter and other executives gives the impression that FIFA must still have something to hide, when it should set an example for football to follow.“The old idea is these guys just put their hand in the till and distribute money wildly because they have so much of it,” Pieth said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.___OTHERS DO BETTER: Some football organizations are far more open, making FIFA look secretive.Obliged to do so by U.S. law, the U.S. Soccer Federation that governs the sport in the United States files tax returns that give astounding detail about executive compensation when compared to FIFA. The filings are easy to find on the federation website.The most recent shows federation CEO Dan Flynn got a base salary of US$528,209, plus $102,250 in bonuses, for an average 40 hours of work per week in the 2013 tax year and even that the federation pays his health club bill of $180 per month.The accounts for England’s Football Association, also accessible via its website, aren’t as transparent but do show — as required by British law — that the highest paid director got 550,000 pounds ($850,000) in salary and benefits.Governed by Swiss law, FIFA’s public accounts lack such detail. They say $39.7 million was paid to “key management personnel” in 2014. That included Blatter and the 24 other members of his executive committee, plus 12 executives at FIFA headquarters.If evenly split between all 37 people, that would be $1 million each. FIFA says the total includes gross salary and social charges but won’t break down who got what or even answer questions about why it fails to do so.“We have no further comments on individual compensation,” it said by email to the AP.___COPY CONCACAF: The governing body for football in the North and Central Americas and the Caribbean has been hit hard by the latest corruption scandal.Its former general secretary, Chuck Blazer, pleaded guilty in the United States to racketeering, income tax evasion, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies and was banned from the game for life by FIFA’s ethics committee.To prevent the confederation from imploding, CONCACAF this week announced reforms that include exemplary policies on pay which will be more transparent than FIFA’s.As U.S. Soccer does, tax returns reporting executive salaries will be published on CONCACAF’s website. CONCACAF is also proposing that executives’ compensation be approved annually by its congress.These changes could pressure others, including FIFA, to follow suit.“We think if we can do it, they can do it,” CONCACAF legal adviser Sam Gandhi said in an AP phone interview. “Sports federations shouldn’t be worried about the truth. … If people are valuable, people recognize that they should be paid a valuable amount. But we shouldn’t have anything to hide when it comes to this stuff.”___COST VS. WORTH: FIFA executive committee members are treated like royalty, housed in the best hotels, ferried in limousines and, on top of reportedly generous per diems when conducting FIFA business, also paid $300,000 a year, one insider confirmed to AP.Without breaking down the expenses, FIFA’s accounts show it spends a prince’s ransom on meetings: $35.5 million in 2014, including travel and accommodation for its 209 member associations to a congress in Brazil.Jim Boyce, an executive committee member from 2011-2015, bristled at the suggestion that FIFA is overly lavish.“Bankers, for example, are getting millions of bloody bonuses and all the rest of it and their banks are going down the tube,” he said in an AP interview.“There are many people in many walks of life who are paid a salary for doing a job … That’s a personal thing between a company and the employee. It’s not dishonest if people pay their taxes.”But without detail on who gets what exactly, it’s impossible for outsiders to judge whether FIFA and the sport it is meant to serve is getting value for money.___OBSTACLES: When Blatter announced June 2 that he’ll be standing down, he also said he would use his remaining months to drive “far-reaching, fundamental reforms.”Domenico Scala, overseeing that effort, said one goal is to publish the pay of the President and Executive Committee members, because “FIFA recognizes that many have questioned the transparency by which FIFA operates.”But how that will be done and whose approval they need wasn’t explained, and FIFA wouldn’t elaborate when asked by AP. While some executives say they wouldn’t mind if their salaries are made public, others from countries where pay is seen as more of a private matter and not easily discussed may resist.And Blatter’s record doesn’t inspire confidence that he can pass this last big test of his presidency.“Whenever Blatter has a choice where to side whether with his friends or with the general public, with the critics and so on,” noted Pieth, “he chose to side with his friends.”(JOHN LEICESTER, AP Sports Columnist)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Harry Kane and England’s impressive show in the World Cup continued on Sunday. Riding on Kane’s hat-trick, England hammered Panama 6-1 in their second Group G fixture of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.John Stones scored a brace and Jesse Lingard got one too to complete England’s rout of Panama.This was the first time the Three Lions had scored five plus goals in a World Cup fixture ever. Previous top scoring matches were the 1966 final against Germany that England won 4-2 and against Belgium in 1954 when they match ended in a 4-4 tie.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEThis is only the fifth time in World Cup history that a team has scored five plus goals in the first half of a match. The last time it happened was in Brazil, when Germany hammered the hosts 7-1 in the 2014 semi-final at the Mineirao.The former champions had a 5-0 lead going into the first half. Kane scored two goals from the spot while Stones scored his brace from two headers. Lingard’s goal was one of the most sweetly struck goals in this World Cup so far. This was England’s biggest-ever victory in a World Cup match (Reuters Photo)With five goals down already, the second half started slowly as expected until Kane got a hat-trick in the most unusual way possible in the 62nd minute of the match before being replaced by Jamie Vardy. Ruben Loftus-Cheek unleashed a low shot from the edge of the box and the ball looped inside the goal over the goalkeeper to give the Tottenham striker his third goal of the match and the last goal overall.advertisementWith the 6-1 win, England are now on top of Group G with six points and a goal difference of seven. Gareth Southgate’s men will join Belgium from the group in the last 16 and the winner of their match will top the group.This was also England’s biggest-ever World Cup victory and the second most number of goals scored in a World Cup. The Three Lions had scored 11 goals in the 1966 World Cup.FIFA WORLD CUP: FIXTURES | POINTS TABLEHowever, more than England, Kane had some personal reasons to be happy about. After a brace in the last game against Tunisia, which included a last-minute winner, he has scored three in his second World Cup game and is on top of the list of most goals scored in this World Cup so far with five to his name. Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku have four each to his name.Leading goalscorers at the 2018 FIFA #WorldCup5 – @HKane4 – @Cristiano, @RomeluLukaku9 #ENGPAN pic.twitter.com/K6FVHiog8gFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 24, 2018He is also now the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup. Geoff Hurst was the first in the 1966 final and Gary Lineker was the second, when he put three past Poland in 1986.Also, Kane’s first spot kick was the first penalty converted by an England player at the World Cup since 2002. David Beckham scored the last time from the spot against Argentina. He is also the third player now behind Hunt (1966) and Lineker (1986) to score three or more goals in a group stages of a World Cup match.The 24-year-old, who now has five goals in World Cups now, is only behind Lineker (10) in terms of goals scored in a World Cup. He is level with Hurst, who also has five to his name. Bobby Charlton and Michael Owen have four each.
At a press conference held on Friday at the well known Hotel Foroyar in Torshavn and live streamed worldwide, actress and activist Pamela Anderson joined Sea Shepherd Global, Sea Shepherd USA and Sea Shepherd France to show her support for Sea Shepherd’s Operation GrindStop 2014 campaign and to shine a spotlight on the brutal and archaic mass slaughter of pilot whales and other cetaceans known as the ‘grindadrap’ or ‘grind’.Present with Anderson to represent Sea Shepherd were Lamya Essemlali, President, Sea Shepherd France and GrindStop2014 Offshore Campaign Leader; and Rosie Kunneke, Chapter Coordinator for South Africa, GrindStop 2014 Onshore Campaign Leader for Sea Shepherd USA.A long-time animal protection advocate, Anderson emphasized that though the Faroese people once needed to kill pilot whales for food, there is no longer any need in the modern world to kill cetaceans.“This is not for survival. There are very few things that happen like this, that are this brutal,” said Pamela Anderson. “We have to put this behind us and move on, and let the whales swim freely by. And I think it’s much more important for us in the future to save our oceans and the biodiversity of our oceans that the whales are very important to.”Anderson added that cruel traditions must die out, and that it will be the next generations who bring the grind to a halt. “Young people probably feel pressure to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. I think this is the perfect time to not listen to your parents, to think for yourself. Maybe there’s going to be a movement like there have been movements for many other things in the world where you look inside yourself and say ‘Is this something I should be doing just because my parents did it and my grandparents did it?’ This is a new time and the world is at risk…I think this is the generation that has to stand up and say ‘That was then, this is now; this is what I’m going to do.’”Sea Shepherd has led the opposition to the grind slaughter in the Faroe Islands since the 1980s. Operation GrindStop 2014 is Sea Shepherd’s largest Faroese campaign to date, with approximately 500 volunteers set to patrol the land and waters of the Faroes over the course of the campaign. Sea Shepherd’s on- and offshore teams will be present in the Faroe Islands throughout the traditionally bloodiest months of the hunt season – from June until October 1st.In a statement, Pamela Anderson said: “I have traveled to the beautiful Faroe Islands today to publicly oppose the needless killing of intelligent, sentient pilot whales and other dolphins and to support Sea Shepherd¹s Operation GrindStop 2014 campaign.“It is important to understand we are NOT AGAINST the Faroese. WE ARE FOR the whales and dolphins. We are their voice. But the eyes of the world are upon the Faroese today and it is now time to end this archaic abomination called the Grind. I support Sea Shepherd¹s efforts to end this cruel and ruthless massacre of defenseless whales and dolphins who are highly intelligent and so much like us. They have families like we do, they love them and care for them like we do, they have their own language and individual names for one another like we do, and a very complex social structure like we do.“The killing is a stain on this pristine country which no longer needs the meat of these animals to survive. When we know better, we do better. And we now know that these are sentient creatures who suffer greatly not only during the slaughter but during the very stressful drive itself. They are very socially complex animals and their entire families are being killed in front of them in a manner that would never be permitted in any slaughterhouse in the world. In addition, the meat of these animals is tainted with toxic contaminants including mercury, which is particularly harmful to pregnant women and young children.“I am fortunate to have some of my family with me today. They are surfers. What a beautiful eco-tourism destination these islands would make if only you would bring the grind to a halt. But until then the waters remain tainted with blood, staining the reputation of the Faroese. The time has come to stop the grind.”The only grind to take place this year occurred on May 18, before Sea Shepherd arrived in the Faroe Islands in June, claiming 13 pilot whales. The year before, the same Faroese town, Fuglafjørður, killed a staggering 267 pilot whales in one grind.Should a hunt commence during the course of the campaign, Sea Shepherd will take direct action to intervene and stop the grind from taking place using land, sea and air tactics. This week, Sea Shepherd’s crew was able to spot a pod of pilot whales and guide them back out to sea, safely away from the Faroese killing bays. As no preparations for a grind had begun, Sea Shepherd acted within Faroese law by chasing the pod away from shore.For hundreds of years, the people of the Danish Faroe Islands have been herding migrating pilot whales and other small cetaceans into shallow water and slaughtering them. Entire family units are destroyed, wiping out several generations of animals at a time. The Faroese claim that without the meat from these cetaceans, the people would starve. Whether or not people would have starved in the past without eating pilot whale is irrelevant. There is certainly no one in the Danish Faroe Islands who would go hungry today, much less starve, if no more cetaceans were killed.Today, the ‘grindadrap’ (whale slaughter) or ‘grind’ is a barbaric and cruel relic of history that has no place in modern civilization. The wholesale slaughter of entire families and the unimaginable horror inflicted upon these sentient, intelligent beings is unconscionable. The continued pillage of the oceans is causing disastrous consequences. Even the meat of these creatures is dangerous to consume. The European Union does not allow such activity, but the Danish Faroe Islands manage to side-step EU restrictions with their overfishing and harm to marine mammals. Sea Shepherd has taken action against the grind in years past and will do so again for GrindStop 2014.
Construction Spending Rises in the First Half of 2018 August 1, 2018 2,826 Views Total spending on construction rose 6.1 percent to $1,317.2 billion above the June 2017 estimate of $1,241.3 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Construction Spending data released on Wednesday. The data indicated that construction spending had also increased at a healthy clip during the first six months of the year, rising 5.1 percent to $619.9 billion compared to $589.6 billion recorded in 2017.However, spending saw a slight dip across the board in June on a month-over-month basis. The data said that overall spending during June 2018 fell 1.1 percent and was below the revised May estimate of $1,332.2 billion.The report provides a monthly estimate of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. The survey covers construction work done each month on new structures or improvements to existing structures for private and public sectors. Data estimates include the cost of labor and materials, cost of architectural and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction, and contractor’s profits.Spending on private construction was down 0.4 percent month-over-month to $1,019.8 billion. When broken down, residential spend was down 0.5 percent in June at $568.3 billion, and nonresidential spending decreased 0.3 percent below May’s revised estimate of $453 billion. On an annual basis, private construction spending grew 6.5 percent from June 2017, while residential expenditure for new single-family homes increased 8.8 percent over the same period last year.According to the National Association of Home Builders, the month over month decline is primarily attributed to a significant drop in both single-family and multifamily spending in June. “This is in line with the soft readings of single-family and multifamily housing starts in June,” The NAHB said. However, it found that on a quarterly basis, private residential construction spending climbed 4 percent in the second quarter, recording the most significant quarterly gain since 2017. Census Bureau Construction HOUSING National Association of Home Builders New Homes Single-Family Homes 2018-08-01 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share
June 14, 2002 The Vaults became alive-size chess-board. Master of Ceremony, May workshopper RohanLoveland, prepared the site and called the rules, which consisted ofeach player taking a turn deciding a move, starting with the king.[Photo & text: SA] >>left>> The amazing white queen Gwen Birk. >>right>> Black king Malcom>>Sutherland with black knight Sarah Badiali. [Photo & text: SA] The game inprogress. All had a great time and the black team won. [Photo: T &text: SA]
Schools. The plan raises the state’s minimum per-pupil foundation allowance by $180 per student, which covers the majority of Michigan’s school districts. All districts would get at least $90 more per student under the House plan. This comes on top of the largest annual per-student increase of the past 15 years – which schools are receiving in the current budget year – while continuing to close the gap between the state’s lowest- and highest-funded districts. Early literacy and career training are special focuses as the overall school aid fund would surpass $15 billion. Respecting taxpayers through government efficiencies. Many state departments are being asked to find a savings of 3 percent in their administrative budgets. The House also has identified several state programs that do not spend as much money as taxpayers have been providing, so their budgets will be adjusted accordingly. The plan also helps rein in information technology project spending within state departments, which has been a problem area.The House budget plan costs taxpayers about $1.3 billion less than the plan recommended by the governor.### State Rep. Jack O’Malley this week supported record funding for Northern Michigan road repairs and schools – without increasing taxes on Michigan families.“I have traveled across the state listening to drivers about road funding concerns. This plan ensures all taxes paid at the pump will go directly towards fixing our roads. With this budget, we would use available state resources to boost road repairs without burdening Michigan drivers with extra costs,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann, chair of the House Transportation Committee. “There are many good things in the greater budget, however I am concerned with some of the reductions for public transit in the Transportation budget. I will be working hard to get this funding restored.”The House approved several budget measures this week, advancing the plan to the Senate for further consideration.Key elements of the budget plan:Roads. The plan ensures every single penny spent on taxes at the gas pump goes to improve our roads – including the 6 percent sales tax motorists already pay. This change could add more than $800 million more per year to road repairs – without raising taxes – once fully phased in over two years. This change would be accomplished without sacrificing money for schools, local government revenue sharing or other essential public services. O’Malley has hosted several town hall meetings across the state to educate drivers about the accelerated meetings in the House Transportation Committee and help find affordable solutions to help fix Michigan roads. Strengthening communities and families. More resources will be dedicated to protect drinking water, clean up the environment, promote mental health and fight opioid addiction. Local communities will get an increase in revenue sharing to enhance essential public services. More Michigan State Police troopers and state prison corrections officers will be trained. Categories: O’Malley News 13Jun Rep. O’Malley: House budget improves roads, helps Northern Michigan families
VOD technology specialist SeaChange has integrated its Infusion advanced advertising platform with Envivio 4Caster C4 encoders, enabling multi-screen operators to monetise video delivered to Apple devices. The Infusion platform enables targeted advertisements to be dynamically inserted into linear and on-demand video streams. It can scale to 150,000 insertable channels and millions of ad assets.Operators deploying Envivio encoders in the video headend or IT datacenter can deliver broadcast TV, HTTP adaptive streaming and 3GPP mobile video services. Envivio’s 4Caster software-based architecture supports various functions including encoding, transcoding, packaging, encryption, publishing and ad insertion.“Our open Infusion platform is providing the flexibility for operators to work quickly with the widest range of video formats and devices in their monetisation strategies,” said Aseem Bakshi, general manager, advertising, SeaChange. “SeaChange has been collaborating with Envivio to help operators establish advanced video services and we’re pleased to now extend integrated HLS encoding to our advertising customers.”
The new BBC iPlayer on tablet, smart phone, TV and computerThe BBC is rolling out an updated version of its iPlayer streaming service in a bid to offer a “consistent, but optimised,” experience across different screens. Due to start rolling out today, the BBC said the new version of the iPlayer has been developed using responsive design so that it can be accessed on from different sized screens without the need for separate versions to be built.It also includes a simpler and “easier to browse” homescreen, with the entire service designed to be easier to navigate.“A major focus of this release is making it easier to find something to watch, helping you quickly and easily find the programmes you know you’re looking for and, crucially, helping you discover something new. The current iPlayer’s pretty good if you know what you want to watch, but we know that 42% of visitors are now coming without a particular programme in mind,” said iPlayer boss Dan Taylor announcing the changes.The revamped iPlayer includes new BBC channels pages and different programme categories – gone is the ‘factual’ genre, replaced instead with “genres which users talk about when describing their TV viewing habits: documentaries, food, arts, history, science & nature,” said Taylor.Another new addition is ‘collections’ section that groups programmes by series, season, event or theme. A ‘recently watched’ section lets viewers quickly resume watching shows, while new search tools suggest programmes a viewer may be looking for as soon as they start typing.“I’m very proud of what the iPlayer development teams in London & Salford have built and as I mentioned, this launch is just the beginning,” said Taylor.“We’ve got ambitious plans for later in the year including extending the standard availability window from 7 days to 30 days and introducing new IP only channels (such as a Radio 1 video channel), subject to approval from the BBC Trust. We also have a raft of exciting personalisation features in mind.”The new-look iPlayer starts to roll out today on computers, tablets, mobiles and connected TVs. The iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new interface in the coming months.
On-demand TV software and solutions firm Espial is expanding its Ottawa, Canada, headquarters and Cambridge, UK, office to keep pace of demand for its solutions.The firm said that it is hiring more engineers and technical staff to expand its capacity and deliver user experiences for smart TV manufacturers and service providers worldwide.Espial said it was seeing demand for its TV user experience solutions based on HTML5 and Reference Design Kit (RDK) and will host a recruitment event in Ottawa on June 5, 2014.“There is tremendous interest from service providers around the world in deploying compelling and responsive HTML5-based TV user experiences for their consumers. We are scaling our technical capacity to meet these customer demands as we establish our leadership in these markets,” said Espial’s chief technology officer Kumanan Yogaratnam.
Timm DegenhardtTele Columbus has appointed the chief commercial officer of Swiss telecoms provider Sunrise as its new CEO.Timm Degenhardt is due to join the German cable operator on August 14, taking from current chief executive Ronny Verhelst, who is stepping down for personal reasons.Verhelst, who has been Tele Columbus’ CEO and chairman for almost seven years, will leave the company on February 1, 2018 following a five-month handover period.Degenhardt is due to be appointed to Tele Columbus’ management board on September 1, 2017 for an initial three years.During his time at Tele Columbis, Verhelst helped to transform the company from a regional infrastructure operator to a digital multimedia provider that ranks third in the German cable market.He oversaw a financial restructuring, an IPO and the acquisition of fourth and fifth-place players in the market Primacom and Pepcom.Degenhardt has been at Sunrise since 2013, where he worked first as chief marketing officer before becoming chief commercial officer last year.Prior to this he was CEO of smart home company Aizo Group and before that worked as senior vice president of marketing and sales at E.ON, based in Dusseldorf.Tele Columbus’ chief financial officer, Frank Posnanski, who has been part of the company’s management since 2011 remains in his role.