Fulham edged out Everton at Craven Cottage in midweek in a cracking cup tie and are now 25/1 to lift the trophy at Wembley.And they are 6/5 to beat Cardiff on Saturday – a price which makes plenty of appeal despite the fact that Fulham have only taken one point from their last 18 available on home soil.The Welsh side have had their limitations exposed since their famous win over Manchester City earlier in the season and this is a game that Fulham should take maximum points from.Dimitar Berbatov has only scored twice in his last 12 league games but he is 5/1 favourite to score the opener at the weekend, with Darren Bent 11/2.I fancy a 2-0 home win for Fulham, which is priced at 10/1 at BetVictor.Berbatov remains 1/3 favourite to score most league goals for the Whites this term but if Bent can be kept fit the 9/4 could be the answer.Tottenham have only won three of their 42 Premier League games against Chelsea, but they are our marginal favourites to beat their London rivals in Saturday’s eagerly-awaited encounter.No team in Europe’s top leagues has conceded fewer goals this season than Spurs, who have let in only one.Andre Villas-Boas’ side are 17/10 with BetVictor to win this weekend’s derby, with Chelsea 15/8 and the draw at 23/10.It will be interesting to see if Jose Mourinho perseveres with Samuel Eto’o or goes with Fernando Torres after the latter’s man-of-the-match performance against Swindon in midweek.Following Romelu Lukaku’s goal for Everton at Upton Park last weekend we have altered the prices on which Chelsea-owned striker will score most Premier League goals this term and bet:Lukaku 11/8Eto’o 5/2Torres 3/1Ba 6/1Incidentally, Chelsea are 15/2 to win the Capital One Cup and such is the strength of their squad, that that looks a good bet to me despite them being drawn away to Arsenal in the next round.If Arsene Wenger persists in playing Bendtner and co then the Blues will thrash the Gunners and that price looks too big to me.Chelsea are currently 11/4 to regain the league title, with Manchester City 7/4 favourites and Tottenham 10s.QPR march on at the top of the Championship after their latest 1-0 success and Middlesbrough would do well to get anything against them.Boro have been disappointing so far this season, although they do tend to score goals.We are unashamedly behind Rangers and believe they will win the Championship and make them 5/4 for the title.They are 17/20 for all three points this weekend, which looks too big given Rangers’ excellent defensive record.Charlie Austin is 12/1 to be the Championship’s top scorer and 15/4 to score the opener at Loftus Road on Saturday and 11/10 to find the back of the net at any time during the 90 minutes.If you fancy Austin to score the only goal of the game we bet 22/1 and we bet 6/4 that the R’s keep another clean sheet.For all your weekend odds check out betvictor.com.Be luckyCharlie
Red Bluff >> The Red Bluff Lady Spartans softball team gave up a pair of runs each in the first and second innings and couldn’t generate enough offense to close the gap, falling 5-2 at home to the Chico Panthers.After giving up 2 in the first, Allyson Drury led off and reached second on an error, but was followed by a strikeout, pop fly and ground out to third to end the inning. Down 4-0 in the second with one away, Alexis Zamora walked and stole second and Elizabeth Baccala singled to give …
OTTAWA — A youth facing terrorism charges in Kingston, Ont., is due in court for a bail hearing today.He was charged in late January after a Canadian police investigation sparked by a tip from the FBI and has been in custody ever since.His identity can’t be revealed under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.The RCMP said the youth knowingly facilitated a terrorist activity and counselled another person to “deliver, place, discharge or detonate an explosive or other lethal device” in a public place, though they also said no specific target had been set before they moved in.A 20-year-old man was arrested at the same time, but was released hours later.The bail hearing is expected to take two days, with the second one not scheduled until the end of the month.The Canadian Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.- The 2019 Junior Dragons Den’s (JDD) deadline for submissions is March 13th, 2019 to enter the competition for the Northeast B.C. Region.Students in grades 7 – 12 and post-secondary students are welcomed to submit their concept for a business or expansion of their current business with an expression of why they should be chosen to participate in the competition.Five applicants from each category will advance to the Regional Competitions in Dawson Creek and Fort St John. Each student will be assigned a Mentor from their local community and these Mentors will assist their assigned student with everything from start-up considerations and marketing, to coaching and presentation skills. These chosen competitors then work on refining their business concept into a comprehensive one-page business plan with detailed financial statements.The competitors will be assisted in creating a live business pitch to use at the live competition for an opportunity to compete for cash prizes at the Final Competition on April 29, 2019.To download an application; CLICK HERE
The slowdown in real estate over the last few years and the constraints that India’s infrastructure sector has faced due to non-performing assets (NPAs) have had a significant impact on allied industries, none more than on the cement sector itself. A quick look at the share price returns for listed mini-cement stocks (smaller cement companies) over the last one year gives a good idea about the woes of the sector, with shares losing anywhere between 20 to 72 per cent of their market capitalisation. However, despite the slowdown, for patient investors wagering on the “India growth story” in the decades to come, the cement sector is one that provides for interesting opportunities through a platform structure. Also Read – A special kind of bondScale is critical to creating a successful cement-focused platform company in India. Operational efficiencies across the value chain and an aggregated distribution strategy will be the two pillars that may help build a profitable and better-hedged business. A smaller cement business faces greater headwinds under challenging market conditions. At a fundamental level, a smaller company is far more exposed to the vagaries of both input price fluctuations and selling price dynamics. Greater exposure to the vagaries of price fluctuations is due to a lack of scale of operations, lacking in geographical diversification, lower negotiating power with sellers and buyers, lack of consistent brand building and lower capacity to create the operational infrastructure to build an efficient supply chain at a relatively low cost. Also Read – Insider threat managementA large platform company will be able to build a distribution network through both scale and better negotiation capacity with suppliers and customers to create more robust contracts. Access to energy inputs is vital for cement production, and so is transportation to cater to a large user base. A platform with scale and resources can better identify potential synergies across both input costs and the sales process than relatively smaller firms. Additionally, the use of robust back-end technology platforms will help scale and operate effectively. To emphasise on the importance of input and logistics costs, one must look at the numbers for a significant cement operator such as UltraTech. In Q3 of 2019, power and fuel costs were approximately 23 per cent of the final sale price while logistics costs were a little less than 25 per cent even for a large-scale operator. The numbers drive home the fact as to how significant a component of the total cement value chain are power input prices and logistics cost. Utilising a platform company to aggregate, reduce and manage these costs will be vital for success. In a capital-intensive business such as cement, focusing on Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is as critical, if not more, than in other industries. A financially savvy operator can help boost ROCE through aggregating smaller firms to focus on reducing costs, lowering input price and logistics cost volatility and building a more recognisable brand. Additionally, it is also vital to take a disaggregated view of the business to boost ROCE. The ability to view each asset in a portfolio regarding profitability is crucial to the aim of maximising ROCE. At a disaggregated portfolio level, assets that fail to recover their variable costs will need urgent attention from the platform operator to ensure that inefficient units aren’t hidden within a large aggregated business. Essentially, in a commoditised business a larger platform company will be able to generate greater cash flows during periods of high demand and when the business cycle downturn occurs the available cash and structural advantages of better contracts, and more efficient supply chains, will help weather the storm. The much researched and discussed Mexican cement business Cemex provides a template that can teach investors and operators alike. Improving efficiencies, lowering costs, negotiating longer-term low volatility contracts and creating a premium brand synonymous with quality even in a commoditised business such as cement is the way forward. True, the cement business faces challenges given the commoditised product and the sporadic instance of the loss of pricing power, but it is as much true that the impending housing and infrastructure demand in India is one that will create a significant opportunity. The ability of an operator to aggregate smaller cement businesses in India into a robust platform is a value proposition worth considering. (The author heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. The views expressed are strictly personal)
1(346 Words) Download Download PrintPrint 4/20/2019 2:48:00 PM New Delhi, Apr 20 (PTI) Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi “ruined” government companies and “favoured” private firms in his five years of rule and accused him of being “anti-national for selling the interest of the nation”. Sidhu also described PM Modi as “nikamma” (useless) and said he should stop harping on the issue of nationalism to garner votes and talk about the matters of national interest. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Addressing a press conference here, the Punjab minister alleged, “Modi is the business development manager of Ambani and Adani, as he has favoured them at the cost of state-run firms.” The Congress has been attacking the prime minister for “promoting crony capitalism and favouring his industrialist friends”. The government has, however, denied the charges. Sidhu also alleged that while SBI and MTNL are accruing losses, PM Modi is endorsing private companies like Paytm and Reliance Jio. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “Adani and Ambani accompanied the prime minister on foreign visits and 18 big projects, which should have ideally been given to government companies, were handed over to them,” he claimed. The Congress leader alleged that the “chowkidar” took care only of the rich and ignored the rest 99 per cent of the population. “And the prime minister says he’s the chowkidar of the nation. He’s the chowkidar of the top 1 per cent of the population. He never took chairmen of government companies along with him on his foreign tours. Are government firms not good enough?” Sidhu asked. The cricketer-turned-politician alleged that under the “chowkidar’s” watch, PSUs like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited turned into loss-making enterprises. “While BSNL is grappling with a loss of Rs 8,000 cr, the prime minister is endorsing Reliance Jio, which has posted a huge profit. While SBI is reeling under NPAs, Modi can be seen in advertisements of Paytm,” he alleged. “Modi sold the interest of the nation. He’s anti-national,” Sidhu alleged. The prime minister should stop harping on the issue of nationalism to garner votes and talk about the matters of national interest, he said.
Rabat – Minister in charge of Governance and General Affairs, Mohamed El Ouafa held Wednesday in Rabat, talks with a delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Supervision on mechanisms of good governance and the fight against corruption in Morocco.In a statement to the press after the meeting, Mr. El Ouafa said he presented before the delegation the various institutional and legislative measures and mechanisms put in place by the government to foster the principles and values of good governance, and fight corruption.At the institutional level, El Ouafa said he discussed the powers of the various bodies and institutions responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules of fair competition and good governance, including the Competition Council whose powers were reinforced by the new constitution of the Kingdom. At the legislative front, he said he provided an overview on the new law on public procurement which aims to ensure proper use of public funds. For his part, the head of the Chinese delegation, Geng Wenqing, said the visit is part of strengthening relations between Morocco and China, noting that it aims to learn from the experience of Morocco in the field of good governance and the fight against corruption.
Russell Wilson has carried the Seattle Seahawks this year, and his play in the fourth quarter has been particularly brilliant. Watch the video above to find out just how good he’s been — and how crucial the Seahawks’ matchup against the Los Angeles Rams is on Sunday.
Every four years a sporting event comes around that unites the world for a month of fun, friends and football – or as its known in the U.S., soccer. The World Cup, coming again in 2014, is one of the most well-viewed sporting events in the world. With 32 countries worldwide taking part, it brings people together in a way no event besides the Olympics truly does. Even in the United States, a country where soccer generally takes a backseat to football, basketball and baseball, the World Cup is an event that draws many sports fans and patriots. But with an aging group of stars and a tight race in World Cup Qualifying, the status of United States soccer fandom could potentially hang in the balance this summer. Without a Confederations Cup spot this summer to help boost its reputation, like in 2009 when the United States upset Spain, 2-0, qualifying remains the only outlet for U.S. national team fans to cheer on their team. Sitting in third on goal differential in Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) World Cup Qualifying’s final round after three matches, the U.S. team’s qualification chances could be on the line when Mexico comes to Columbus on Sept. 10. But much more than that, soccer’s growth over the past few years could also be at risk in this qualification cycle. This is a country of short attention spans, and if a sport isn’t keeping its attention, it will move on. If the men’s national team fails to make it to Brazil in 2014 then it might be in danger of being forgotten. In recent years, the U.S. has reached an unprecedented level of success, making it to six straight World Cups, dating back to 1990, but the team is a state of flux. Although stars like Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are still with the team, many players are getting older and might be participating in one of their last World Cup cycles. Without an attention-grabbing team, or even star, the U.S. could find itself in a precarious position of slipping into obscurity. Fortunately for the U.S., this is all just speculation. It is too early in the final round of qualifying to start talking about what will happen if the goal of a World Cup isn’t achieved. But once September rolls around, who knows? A win against Mexico could mean everything to the team. Will there always be a small group of loyal U.S. soccer fans? Of course, but for a sport that has been trying to break into the mainstream in this country for years, it is incredibly important not to slip up at one of its most vital moments. The U.S. is set to continue its qualifying push on a road game against Jamaica on June 7.