north texas trolls tennessee on twitterNorth Texas is in town to take on Tennessee this Saturday, and it appears that the Mean Green aren’t impressed with what they’re seeing at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee’s field doesn’t appear to be in great condition, and people have noticed. North Texas appears to be annoyed enough to make a joke about it on social media too.Check this out:Pretty sure this is what took place at Neyland Stadium on Friday. #GMG pic.twitter.com/IVtS2o1T4o— MeanGreenFootball (@MeanGreenFB) November 14, 2015Here’s more reaction – even Tennessee fans seem upset.You would think an SEC program could take better care of the grass on the field #Tennessee— John Chelf (@JohnChelf) November 14, 2015You would think there’s enough money at Tennessee to fix the field. This is awful.— Please win out (@Rick__Baird) November 14, 2015Time for the Tennessee donors to put a new field in it seems— Austin Comperry (@AustinComperry) November 14, 2015Tennessee currently leads 17-0 in the second quarter.
CLEMSON, SC – AUGUST 31: Two Georgia Bulldogs helmets sit on the field prior to the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)When you get together a giant group of four and five-star recruits, you’re bound to have some crazy plays. The 7-on-7 competitions didn’t disappoint. During a Saturday game, five-star 2018 wide receiver Jalen Hall, the top player at that position in his class, made a phenomenal one-handed touchdown catch on a great throw by Georgia commit Jake Fromm.The only thing that might top the catch is the coordinated double-backflip celebration from Tyjon Lindsey and future Fromm teammate Richard LeCounte III.#AlphaPro acrobatics from @LilEasy_35 & @tyjonlindsey at @TheOpening. pic.twitter.com/3o9TsKDsnO— B/R The Future (@BR_TheFuture) July 10, 2016Pretty much everything that happened in this video was super athletic and impressive.
The proposed Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (MSME)/ Entrepreneurship Policy, is expected to be tabled in Parliament by June. Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, whose Ministry is piloting the policy’s formulation, says in light of the 2013/14 Budget Debate, slated to get underway on April 18, and continue into May, it is unlikely that there will be adequate time on the Parliament’s schedule to accommodate the matter during that period. “We expect that we should be able to table the Green Paper by the end of May (into) early June,” he informed. The Minister was addressing the MSME Alliance public forum on the theme: ‘MSMEs Waiting to Exhale’, at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) auditorium, Trafalgar Road, St. Andrew, on April 11. Mr. Hylton said the policy represents a comprehensive effort by the government to “buttress” the MSME through interventions aimed at removing barriers to the sector’s growth and development, and enhancing its contribution to job creation. He informed that the framework entails formulation of a vision for the MSME sector, an analysis of the challenges stakeholders encounter, and recommended strategies to effectively address them. The Minister pointed out that the policy’s provisions represent the first such intervention to provide a “co-ordinated, coherent and targeted” framework of support for MSMEs. He explained that the policy’s framework was established through extensive consultations which the Ministry had with a wide cross-section of key stakeholders, resulting in the formulation of a 14th draft, based on revisions recommended. “I believe it is fair to say that after14 drafts, we would have captured quite a bit (of what needs to be revised). This has been a highly consulted document, as it should be, given the scale and scope of the activity we are addressing,” the Minister said. Mr. Hylton advised that the policy will go back to Parliament’s Economic Development Committee, which is expected to meet following the Budget Debate’s conclusion, for further deliberations. “We expect that the changes that were recommended, which have been put in place, will allow for easier passage in Parliament,” the Minister said. By Douglas McIntosh
(Dustin Dagenais was one of the paramedics killed in helicopter crash. Facebook photo)APTN National NewsAn air ambulance helicopter heading to Attawapiskat in northern Ontario to pick up a patient crashed shortly after taking off just past midnight Friday, killing all four people aboard.The Sikorsky S76 helicopter built in 1980, crashed at about 12:11 a.m. after leaving the Ornge base in Moosonee, Ont., said Rob Giguere, chief operating officer for the air and land ambulance firm that operates throughout Ontario.The crashed killed pilots, Capt. Don Filliter, of Skead, Ont., and Jacques Dupuy, from Otterburn Park, Que., along with paramedics Dustin Dagenais, of Moose Factory, Ont., and Chris Snowball, from Burlington, Ont.The helicopter wreckage was found about a kilometre away from the Ornge base.The federal Transportation Safety Board has sent investigators to the site.Giguere said it remains unclear what caused the accident. He said there was “good visibility” at the time with overcast skies.Dagenais had been posted in the region for about five years, according to a colleague who requested anonymity.“He was a person that would go out there for anybody,” said the colleague. “I know talking to him, he always said he was one of those guys that would stick up for the person that was not so popular or the guy getting picked on. That is how he lived his life, he was very giving. He was probably one of the nicest guys I ever knew.”At Dagenais’ home a friend said people were concerned about his wife and his family.At the paramedics station in Attawapiskat the scene was also somber.“Everyone is pretty upset,” said one of the paramedics posted there. “The phone has been ringing off the hook.”
YELLOWKNIFE – B.C. Premier John Horgan says he is fighting to both retain and restrict Alberta energy imports because while the existing shipments are vital to his province, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would see the unrefined oilsands oil go somewhere else.“The proposal to twin the pipeline is not to send more product to the Lower Mainland, but to export to other jurisdictions,” Horgan told reporters after a meeting of western premiers wrapped up Wednesday in Yellowknife.“There’s a distinct difference between those two things. One is diluted bitumen. The other is gasoline or jet fuel to be used by (B.C.) citizens to move around freely.”He made the comments after he was asked to explain why his government is going to court to determine if it has the right to regulate heavy oil imports while at the same time trying to stop Alberta from curtailing existing oil shipments to B.C.Horgan denied a suggestion that his government’s position is selfish.“Not at all,” he said, stressing that they are two separate issues.Horgan joined leaders from other western provinces and territories to discuss a range of shared concerns from cannabis legalization and pharmacare to market access.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley declined to go, saying she’s too busy trying to strike a deal to ensure Trans Mountain is built.She sent deputy premier Sarah Hoffman, who declined to sign off on the meeting’s closing statement. Hoffman said Alberta didn’t endorse the document because there was no statement affirming support for Trans Mountain.She said while she wants to proceed with the issues discussed at the meeting, it is folly to talk about how to spend money while ignoring critical issues on how to raise it.“Talking about market access without talking about Trans Mountain … is irrational” said Hoffman.The line, which would twin an existing pipe and triple the amount of oil heading from Alberta to the coast, was approved by Ottawa in 2016, but has hit permit delays and legal challenges from Horgan’s government.Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day.The pipeline builder, Kinder Morgan, has ratcheted back spending on the $7.4-billion project, citing B.C.’s obstruction tactics. The company says it needs assurance by May 31 that the line can get built.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government and Alberta are exploring a range of options including buying the project from Kinder Morgan or making sure whoever builds it is covered for any losses tied to political delays.Horgan’s government has made clear it opposes the expansion over concerns about spills. His government has asked B.C.’s highest court to rule on whether B.C. can cap oil imports.Alberta has passed a bill to allow it to reduce shipments of oil and other fuels to B.C., which could lead to gas price spikes and other fuel-related hardships. B.C. has filed a suit in Alberta to stop Notley from turning down the taps, saying it violates the Constitution.Notley told reporters Tuesday that Horgan’s logic is head-spinning — he wants the fuel on one hand, but is trying to keep it the oil out on the other.Horgan, on a conference call Wednesday with B.C. reporters after the meeting, admitted things have gotten frosty on a personal level with Notley, someone he considers a friend.“They did invite me to the swearing in of their government,” he said. “I went gleefully and enjoyed myself. Maybe I’m just an acquaintance. It does not really matter. It’s not about me.”He said the last time he spoke with Notley was in Ottawa in April.“I think the tone between the two of us is strained,” Horgan said. “This is not personal for me. It’s about my responsibility to make sure that I’m doing my level best to protect our economy, our environment.”
TORONTO — Shares of The Stars Group Inc. surged in midday trading after it announced that the Kentucky Court of Appeals has reversed a US$870-million lower court ruling against the online gaming company.It says Kentucky residents had sued PokerStars in 2010, about four years before The Stars Group bought the site, for gambling losses under a centuries-old statue. The company’s shares gained $1.64 or 7.9 per cent at $22.47 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after news of the successful appeal.The Stars Group says it plans to seek the release of a US$100-million bond posted during the appeals process. About US$300 million continues to be held in an escrow fund established under the merger agreement governing the US$4.9-billion acquisition of PokerStars in 2014 by the company then known as Amaya Gaming.Marlon Goldstein, chief legal officer of the Stars Group, says that it looks forward to putting the matter behind it as “we sharpen our focus on executing on our growth strategy going forward.”Despite the favourable ruling, the company says it expects the state to either seek a rehearing or a review by the Kentucky Supreme Court, both of which it intends to vigorously dispute.Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Markets said the ruling removes an overhang on the stock.“While we had not included the potential downside from a loss in our forecast or valuation, we nonetheless expect this decision to significantly improve investor confidence in the company given its elevated leverage,” he wrote in a note to clients. Companies in this story: (TSX:TSGI)The Canadian Press
Chandigarh: Four Chinook heavy-lift helicopters made in the US were inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) here on Monday.After inducting the helicopters, IAF chief B S Dhanoa said induction of Chinook will be a game changer the way the Rafale is going to be in the fighter fleet. The first four of the 15 CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters, which were ordered from Boeing in September 2015, were commissioned into the IAF’s 126 Helicopter Unit (HU) at a ceremony held here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Chinook, twin-engine, tandem rotor, is multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel. The helicopter can carry out military operations not only during the day but at night too. Speaking at the function here, Dhanoa said, “Our country faces a multitude of security challenges, we require vertical lift capability across a very diversified terrain.” “The IAF operates from bases which are from sea level to very high altitude advance landing grounds. The helicopter will give the IAF quantum leap in terms of ability to transport cargo to precarious high altitude locations. The aircraft is one of its best in its category,” he said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe all-weather capable aircraft can also used for humanitarian and disaster relief operations and in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees. “It is a red-letter day for the Air Force as we are inducting the Chinook helicopters which gives us a tremendous capability, primarily in the inter-valley troop transfer. In inter-valley troop transfer, what is very important is ability to operate from high altitudes to take acclimatized troops from one valley to another valley,” he said while interacting with reporters here. Asked about Pakistan Air Force chief Mujahid Anwar Khan Saturday leading a fly-past at the Pakistan Day joint military parade in Islamabad, Dhanoa quipped, “The Pakistan Air Force chief was flying from rear cockpit, just look from where he was flying.” Citing an example about how Chinooks can be helpful in non-military roles, he said, “After the floods which occurred in Uttarakhand earlier and natural disaster in other hilly areas, there is a requirement to lift heavy loads, especially re-construction equipment so that we can open roads and communication can be re-established.” “The helicopter is not only with the Air Force for the military role, it is a national asset,” he said. Named after the courageous American-Indian tribes, the aircraft outperforms in its mobility, agility, flexibility and endurance, the IAF chief said. He said all the 15 Chinook helicopters will not be stationed at Chandigarh Air Force Station’s 12 Wing as another unit of heavy-lift choppers will be created in Dinjan (Assam). Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command Air Marshal R Nambiar, Major General Robin Fontes from the US, Boeing India head Salil Gupte and Haryana’s Director General of Police Manoj Yadava were among others present on the occasion.
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)
Mumbai: A 70-year-old man died apparently due to shock after his minor grandson was taken into custody by police in connection with a stone pelting incident in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, an official said Thursday.Dattu Ganpati More died immediately after police apprehended his grandson from their house in Telmod village in Umarga taluka late on Wednesday night, the official said. More’s grandson was held as part of the operation launched to catch those allegedly involved in pelting stones at a police vehicle, he added. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”More’s grandson and some other persons were found involved in hurling stones at a police vehicle over its alleged delay in reaching the spot of a car accident in which three people had died. The accident had taken place on Sunday,” the official said. The stone-pelters had later escaped from the spot. The police had registered an offence against a group of at least 25 persons, including More’s minor grandson. “As part of the combing operation, a police team went to Dattu More’s house late Wednesday night and took his grandson into custody. However, apparently shocked over the apprehension of the minor, More collapsed on the ground,” the official said. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead before admission, he added.
The dream-team paradigm has gone through several permutations over the years. In the era before the salary cap, star-powered rosters could stay together for many consecutive seasons, resulting in monstrous talent collections such as the Steel Curtain-era Pittsburgh Steelers (who had an absurd nine Hall of Famers on their roster in 1978) and even more recent teams such as Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys. But the advent of free agency in 1993 — and the subsequent addition of the salary cap — made such dream teams more difficult to keep together, whether by pre-emptively forcing teams to let useful players go or penalizing for years teams that tried to skirt the cap by pushing player paydays into the future.More recent dream team attempts have been the subject of ridicule, such as when the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles signed a group of veteran free agents that included Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin and — of course — Vince Young. When Young was asked to describe Philly’s new squad, he infamously responded with a smile and two words: “dream team.” In the end, the Eagles went a disappointing 8-8, writing a cautionary tale for future free-agent spending sprees.But around the same time, the NFL’s current preferred team-building strategy began to come into focus as young, cheap (at the time) quarterbacks such as Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Seattle’s Russell Wilson won Super Bowls. With a change to the league’s collective bargaining agreement significantly lowering the price tags on incoming rookie QBs, teams realized that they could use the draft to acquire the most important asset in football — a star quarterback — for a relatively low price and then trick out the rest of their roster with the savings. The dream team concept was reborn.Take the 2017 champion Eagles, who spent a combined 4.5 percent of the cap on signal-callers Carson Wentz and Nick Foles — the former of whom vied for league MVP honors before a knee injury ended his season and the latter of whom was the Super Bowl MVP. That Philly team was laden with non-QB talent, and many of its members were productive veterans (Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, etc.) who had been plucked from other teams.This season’s Rams have taken a version of that same formula and run with it even further. They got 40 total points of Approximate Value1Pro-Football-Reference.com’s single-number measure of player value. out of veteran newcomers, which would rank 10th among Super Bowl winners, and that was with Talib, Peters, Suh and Fowler all having relative down seasons.That last part makes the Rams a bit different from other successful dream teams of the past. The 1994 49ers, for instance, were jam-packed with talented veteran newcomers — including Rickey Jackson, Ken Norton Jr. and Bart Oates, each of whom posted double-digit AV the previous season. The crown jewel, of course, was Deion Sanders, who arrived from Atlanta in free agency. They were all meaningful contributors to the Niners’ Super Bowl win that season, most notably Sanders, who won defensive player of the year honors. Similarly, the 1999 St. Louis Rams picked up Marshall Faulk from the Indianapolis Colts, along with many other newcomers, and went on to win the Super Bowl thanks to Faulk’s NFL offensive player of the year season.2An MVP turn from QB Kurt Warner didn’t hurt, either.The 2018 Rams don’t have anyone with the instant impact of a Sanders or Faulk. But one thing that makes them intriguing is how they’ve supplemented the dream-teamers they do have with younger, cheaper talent. The average age (weighted by AV) for the 10 Super Bowl champs most laden with new veteran talent3Ages are as of Dec. 31 for each season. I used a quick-and-dirty calculation that multiplies together AV from the current and previous seasons for incoming veteran players, to capture both established production and current-season value. was 27.6 years old; for L.A. this season, that number is 26.8. The Rams’ four best players by AV — Gurley, Donald, Jared Goff and Robert Woods — are all 27 or younger, and none of them were among the newcomers L.A. brought in this season. (And only Donald and Gurley were playing on contracts guaranteeing more than $30 million.) Whereas yesterday’s dream teams rose or fell more on the performances of their incoming stars, the new formula for general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay has been to use them as supplemental pieces to help support a young core.Not that the current Rams have nothing in common with their dream-team precursors, mind you. Even though teams have gotten much savvier about using contractual tricks to free up cap space and avoid the kind of “salary-cap hell” that, say, the 49ers found themselves in during the late 1990s, the Rams’ aggressive roster moves have still ratcheted up the pressure to win in a relatively short window of time. While most of the Rams’ key starters are still locked up in 2019 as well (with the exceptions of Suh, Cory Littleton and Rodger Saffold), they will begin facing tough salary constraints in the offseason before 2020 — when most of the current secondary and offensive line hits free agency — and particularly before 2021, when Goff will need to sign an extension. Compounding things, L.A. also traded away its second- and third-round draft picks this spring to snag Peters and Fowler.4On top of downgrading from the fourth round to the sixth in 2018 and losing a 2020 fifth-rounder. Even a smartly managed win-now strategy has an expiration date.But then again, so does every team-building tactic in the NFL — unless we’re talking about the Patriots. The Rams are exactly where they knew they’d need to be to justify their all-in roster strategy. They have the young stars and the veteran talent, plus the right coach to steer things in McVay. All that’s left is one more win to prove that dream teams are a viable way to build an NFL champion after all. The Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams are a fascinating exercise in modern NFL team-building. While their opponents in Atlanta, the dynastic New England Patriots, seldom break the bank for anybody other than quarterback Tom Brady — who has been under center for a record nine Super Bowls with the Pats — the Rams spent aggressively after the end of last season. They opened the pocketbook for homegrown stars such as Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, who each signed massive extensions, and also made a handful of outside pickups, including Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Dante Fowler Jr.All told, the spree left L.A. with 34 percent of its 2018 salary-cap dollars committed to returning veteran players on fresh extensions (tops among playoff teams) and an additional 22 percent of the cap spent on incoming veterans (third only to the Bears and Texans among playoff teams), according to data from ESPN’s Stats & Information Group. The result was a star-studded roster that many called the dreaded D-word — “dream team” — a label that has come to symbolize a roster concept that doesn’t always work in the NFL. But unlike previous dream-team iterations, the Rams have made it work, primarily by relying less on the newcomers and more on the talent they’ve developed. And that might provide a blueprint for future champions, if not exactly future dynasties.