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Winter Olympics open in Sochi amid fireworks, security fears

first_imgBy Mike Collett-WhiteRussia’s Winter Olympics officially got underway on the Black Sea coast on Friday with a grandiose opening ceremony that President Vladimir Putin hoped would dispel fears of militant attacks and a row over gay rights that marred the buildup.Putin has staked his reputation on hosting a safe and successful Games in the resort town of Sochi, where a colourful, sometimes muddled show before 40,000 spectators at the gleaming Fisht Stadium signalled the start of full sporting competition.“I declare the 22nd Winter Olympic Games open,” said Putin, launching an event he has personally overseen and expects will burnish Russia’s, and his own, image on the world stage.In an embarrassing early technical glitch, one of the five Olympic rings suspended high above the stage failed to unfurl, meaning that the giant structure could not be illuminated by fireworks as planned.But the show went on, blending cartoon-style inflatable domes, spectacular ballroom dancing amid towering imperial columns, and giant avant-garde shapes hovering above symbols of revolution and upheaval in a sweep through Russian history.Fireworks filled the sky above the Olympic park surrounding the arena in a rousing finale to a show that drew heavily on Russia’s rich heritage of classical music, literature and dance.As the ceremony unfolded, a security scare aboard a passenger plane flying from Ukraine to Turkey underlined concerns that the Games could be targeted, although the exact circumstances were not immediately clear.Turkey scrambled an F-16 fighter jet to accompany a plane carrying 110 passengers arriving in Istanbul after a bomb threat was made by a passenger demanding to go to the Winter Olympics venue of Sochi, Turkish officials said.The passenger was believed to have drunk alcohol and was calmed down by the crew and persuaded to let the plane land in Istanbul, according to Dogan news agency.The scare came after the U.S. Transportation Security Administration had temporarily banned carry-on liquids, aerosols, gels and powders on flights between Russia and the United States.The United States issued a warning on Wednesday to airports and some airlines flying to Russia for the Olympics to watch for toothpaste tubes that could hold ingredients to make a bomb on board a plane.Some 37,000 security personnel are on high alert in Sochi over threats by Islamist militant groups based in the nearby north Caucasus region to attack the Feb. 7-23 Games, the most expensive ever staged at an estimated cost of $50 billion.Separatist guerrillas seeking an independent Islamic state in Chechnya and neighbouring regions of southern Russia have vowed to disrupt the Olympics, which they say are taking place on land seized from Caucasus tribes in the 19th century.Despite a “ring of steel” around venues, Russian forces fear a woman suspected of planning a suicide bombing may have slipped through.Security analysts believe that an attack is in fact more likely elsewhere in Russia to humiliate Putin, who launched a war to crush a Chechen rebellion in 1999.Twin suicide bombings killed at least 34 people in December in Volgograd, 400 miles (700 km) northeast of Sochi.Putin was joined at the ceremony by leaders from China, Japan and about 40 other countries in a show of support despite international anger over Russia’s “gay propaganda” law passed last year, which critics say curtails the rights of homosexuals.U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German President Joachim Gauck are not attending the Games, and the U.S. delegation includes openly gay representatives.Putin says legislation banning the promotion of gay propaganda among minors is designed to protect young people, and has stressed that homosexuals would not face discrimination at the Olympics.In a speech at the opening ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called for an inclusive Games.“Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason,” he said beneath a fluttering Russian flag.As he spoke, gay rights activists said Russian police had detained activists who tried to protest on Moscow’s Red Square and in St Petersburg.Police did not immediately comment on the reports by the activists, who said 10 protesters were detained in Moscow and four in Russia’s second city.In St Petersburg, the protesters were detained after unfurling a banner declaring “Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement”, gay rights group All Out said.Google placed a rainbow version of its logo on its search page featuring the six colours on the gay pride flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.The page also includes a quote from the Olympic charter underlining the right to practise sport without discrimination.Google Inc. declined to comment.Organisers have defended the costs of staging the Sochi Games amid concerns from Olympic officials that the huge price tag could put potential bidders off in future.They said much of the infrastructure built for 2014 was designed to be used long after the Games finished, and the plan was to turn Sochi into a year-round resort, international sports centre and amusement park.Despite grumblings about poor accommodation and tight security, the mood among competitors and officials after a handful of early qualifying events in Sochi and at the mountain base 40 km (25 miles) to the northeast was upbeat.“Conditions offered to the athletes are absolutely outstanding,” said French Olympic Committee President Denis Masseglia on a clear, crisp day.Saturday is the first full day of sporting action, with five gold medals to be decided.last_img read more

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Cyprus wins silver in judo

first_imgBy Andreas VouAndreas Krassas earned Cyprus a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games following his impressive run in the under-66kgs judo class.The 23-year-old eventually lost out in the final against Englishman Colin Oates, who put in a dominant display to beat a defiant Krassas. The 31-year-old currently ranked seventh in the world proved too tough a competitor for the Cypriot, ending the bout with a quick throw and armlock combination to which Krassas submitted.Few had given any of the Cypriot athletes who travelled to Scotland a hope of achieving any significant success but Krassas defied the odds and sent out a clear message to the doubters by winning four straight matches en route to the final.Alex Amoako of Ghana was his first victim, followed by Australia’s Steven Brown in the last-16, Mathews Punza of Zambia was then swiftly dealt with in the quarter-final. The semis saw Krassas go head-to-head with South Africa’s Siyabulela Mabulu, a former African Championships bronze medalist. A solitary yuko score was enough to guarantee a medal for Cyprus.“I have been working hard on matters of physical condition lately, with intense training sessions in order to be able to last this series of matches. I had a problem in three tendons on my feet but, during the matches, I was not thinking about it at all. Really, I should not be here, because I risked worsening the state of my foot. In the final, my opponent was more experienced, and I think that is where the game was decided,” Krassas said. The silver medal earned by Krassas makes it just the second that Cyprus has won in judo in the history of the 20 Commonwealth Games, after Christos Christodoulides’ silver in 2002 in Manchester.17-year-old Christos Trikomitis, in the 60kg category, was unable to overcome the challenge of Brandon Dodds and was knocked out in the first round, coming ninth in the final standings.last_img read more

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Chef Kester Robinson

first_imgINSPIRING A NEW GENERATION OF ASPIRING CHEFSAs a young boy growing up, Kester Robinson always knew he wanted to become a professional chef. Even though it was not very common at that time to have male chefs, Kester simply knew that was his dream and he loved doing it.Now Chef Kester hopes to share his skills and knowledge in the culinary industry to create inspiration and advance the skills of young aspiring chefs. Feeling the need to give back to society, Kester is giving free cooking classes to children who want to have a career as a professional chef or love the culinary arts.Kester said that the cooking classes, for him, is about sharing what the industry is about. It is about inspiring the children so that they know that being a chef is more about cooking. Most of the children who signed up for his classes are mostly interested in cooking and want to become chefs.He said that this is a great step, in terms of showing them how it is done professionally and giving them the experience where they can learn a variety of techniques, knife skills, plating and everything that’s going to better equip them for the working world as young aspiring professionals. The whole idea of the cooking classes is to advance their skills while learning as well, and giving them a change in their approach to cooking.Kester thinks that he is being called to Guyana for some reason and he feels that this is a time where he needs to make a contribution. He said, “Being a chef for so many years is a love and art for me and giving back is always something that I’ve always done throughout the years. So at this time, it’s no different time from any other time I would’ve contributed towards the local culinary industry but this time I’m taking an approach with the younger kids and moulding those minds”.Chef Kester revealed that he has always had a passion for cooking. Ever since he was a young boy, he always wanted to become a chef and from that, he continued to grow and was pushed to the right areas and worked hard. “Today I’m a pretty much a good chef, I would say.”“When I was a child, back in those days, a male being a chef was not something very common and I remember some persons were like, ‘Chef? Why you want to do girl work?’ and it could have demotivate you, discourage you, kind of, in those times, but it’s something that I had really loved and something that is inside of me so it changed nothing, I still wanted to be a chef.”At the age of fifteen, Kester started his first venture in baking and cake decorating. He did a course with the late cake decorating pioneer Debbie Mentore, where he acquired his techniques and skills which motivated him and began his baking career in high school.In the culinary world, Kester gets his inspiration from dedicated, hardworking chefs that are willing to make changes and deal with molecular gastronomy, which is the science of cooking. Kester’s favourite part in the culinary world is the reaction from the guests after serving something amazing. He enjoys baking and his favourite thing to bake is anything with chocolate, stating that it does wonders.His ultimate goal is to mould the minds of young aspiring chefs and change the perception of people that “being a chef is about being an early school leaver or you don’t really have that brain capacity so you just pick up something to cook”. He wants to change that perception in Guyana from “a hustler’s venture or a survival skill” and educate persons that chefs are actually educated and there are degree programmes that are available in cooking. He wants to achieve this goal by starting from the new generation of chefs, moulding them that it is a profession. “You can become a chef and you can love what you do and it doesn’t have to be a survival skill.”“You must love it [cooking]. It must be a passion and a burning desire to join the industry. It’s a very challenging industry at points but very rewarding and if you don’t love it, you’re gonna quit but if you love it, you’re gonna stay. The rewards are wonderful and once you put your passion and your art and your mind, body and soul towards it, trust me it’s going to reward you.”You can catch Chef Kester at Des Patisseries & The Pergola Smokehouse and Lounge located in the Courtyard Mall on Robb Street where there is always something special for you.last_img read more

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Leadership is more than making statements

first_imgDear Editor,In regard to an article in the independent media captioned “Guyanese need to practice more ‘conscious’ consumption – Business Minister”, I must say leadership is much more than making statements.Leadership is about coping with change and after almost two years in the driver seat at the Business Ministry, one would expect Minister Gaskin at this point in time, not only talking about the consumption patterns in Guyana but would have been rolling out some concrete plans to level the trade field for the local Private Sector. But clearly, his team at the Business Ministry has not effectively unpacked the issue and is clueless on the critical changes needed to deliver on his wish for more conscious consumption in Guyana.There is nothing proud about a tin of pigeon peas imported from Trinidad, on the shelves of the Guyanese supermarket at a cheaper price that the real, fresh Guyanese stuff on the Boards Mall. This is one of the many national shames that will continue to destroy the state of the economy. But my gravest disappointment remains; the Ministers in the Granger Government, save and except for a few like Raphael Trotman, continue to hold themselves distant from the responsibility for charting the course to influence the change needed to advance Guyana’s development. If you listen to Minister Gaskin’s speech, you would believe that he is working for a lobbyist who is trying to influence his Government to make changes. But the sad truth he is the policymaker and it is his job to make the changes but if he is unclear as to his role, then “HOUSTON, we got a problem”.If one read his statements on this issue, he said “the business community has to become more productive and that productivity has to be supported by citizens’ habits of consumption” But what has he as the Minister of Business done to date to have personally influenced the changes needed? BINGO – Very little!This is like a parent telling the children that sweets are bad for their health but continue to buy sweets every week. Minister Gaskin sits in a position of power to charter a course on what we import and at what price. He has an armoury of tools to do the job such as import regulation, trade tariffs, licencing regulations, health and safety standards, domestic subsidies and so on. All of these can be used in different doses to alter the terms of trade with the world. But instead, he is still stuck on lecturing the business sector and the Guyanese nation rather than getting the job done.Mind you, I think Dominic is an honest straight up bloke and I wish him well, but the situation demands more than another speech; it demands timely decisions to remedy this trade imbalance that the Granger Government fosters and its predecessors in the Ramotar Government fostered. Free trade has never helped small and weak economies like Guyana and continues to be a major deterrent to the local Private Sector being incentivised to expand production and enhance productivity. With free trade, the local Private Sector is already at a disadvantage to countries like Trinidad that already had a 20 years head start on the journey to greater production and productivity.It is time Minister Gaskin IMPLEMENT (not talk) some concrete actions to make FREE TRADE into FAIR TRADE when it comes to the Guyanese business community and the population in general. When will he announce plans for a packaging plant that will be canning all of the fresh foods that are so easily grown in Guyana? When will I see on the supermarket shelves of Guyana a tin of pigeon peas, MADE in Guyana?Regards,Sase Singhlast_img read more

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Barca make City’s Aguero top target

first_imgPrimera Liga champions Barca are now believed to be readying a mega-money bid for the striker, who could be looking for a way out of the Etihad Stadium.Fueling those claims is the fact City once again came up short in the Champions League, having gone down 4-1 on aggregate against the Catalan giants in the last-16 of the competition, the furthest the club have made it in their three attempts – the previous two having ended at the group stages.Manuel Pellegrini’s men also stumbled in the FA Cup after losing their quarter-final against holders Wigan, and while they have already lifted silverware this term after seeing off Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final, it was arguably the title lowest down on the side’s wishlist.However, the Spanish giants would still need to shell out a considerable amount of money for Aguero, who only last year signed a one-year extension to his current deal at City, keeping him in Manchester until 2017.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LONDON, England, March 20- Barcelona have reportedly named Manchester City superstar Sergio Aguero as their number-one transfer target come the end of the current season.The Argentina international has seen his 2013/14 campaign derailed by a series of injuries, making just 17 Premier League appearances, although his goal return remains one of the best in Europe, having netted 15 goals in that time.last_img read more

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Former Montebello mayor sues police

first_imgIn an interview Monday, police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez said Salazar violated the patrol unit’s policy by mentioning an ongoing investigation in her opinion piece. The policy states that patrol members are prohibited from speaking outside the department about any pending investigations. He added that members of the patrol unit had called for a disciplinary hearing in October to question Salazar about her editorial, but she never appeared. When she failed to show up, the patrol unit voted to oust her. “They just wanted to talk with her about something she wrote and give her a chance to explain herself,” said Couso-Vasquez, who said he oversees the patrol unit as police chief, but did not take part in the decision to oust Salazar. “They only wanted to say, `Don’t discuss ongoing investigations,”‘ he added. Salazar’s attorney, Michael McGill, said his client was instrumental in forming the Citizens’ Patrol. She was never aware of any confidentiality policy for the group, McGill added. He said Salazar only wants to be reinstated to her position. However, if the case drags on, she may ask to be reimbursed for attorney fees, if her suit succeeds. He added that the “no-tell” policy violates Salazar’s right to inform the public about important issues. “First, to the extent that it prevents her from informing the public about important topics while off duty, the policy would be unconstitutional,” McGill said. “Second, there was no investigation going on \ that we’re aware of. If there was one, Kathy wouldn’t have been calling for one.” Couso-Vasquez said the case was already under investigation before the matter first came to the public’s attention, which occurred when a woman mentioned it at a council meeting during public comments. Later, it turned out that the woman was same person who had lodged the complaint against the tow company, Couso-Vasquez said. In her opinion piece, Salazar wrote about the details of the woman’s complaint and called for the city to investigate. Salazar “signed a confidentiality agreement when she joined promising to never talk about any investigations,” Couso- Vasquez said. Patrol unit members “thought she was disclosing confidential information.” Both sides are now waiting for court dates to be assigned for the case. pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MONTEBELLO – A former mayor is suing the Montebello Police Department, claiming she was wrongfully booted out of a citizens’ patrol group in retaliation for having written an opinion piece that criticized the city. Kathy Salazar, a former mayor and councilwoman, wrote the opinion piece in August for the Montebello Community News. In it, she criticized the city for not investigating a complaint from a citizen who claimed she was physically and verbally attacked by employees of a tow truck company that contracts with the city. After the piece appeared, Salazar claims, she was forced out of the all-volunteer Citizens’ Patrol group, which acts like a roving Neighborhood Watch, reporting suspected crimes to police. Her forced departure from the group violated her constitutional rights of free speech, Salazar claims in her federal lawsuit. It also caused a “chilling effect” by creating “fear, hesitation and hostility,” according to court documents from the U.S. Central District Court of California. last_img
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Ulinzi Stars shift focus to EA military games

first_imgUlinzi missed the title after drawing their final game with Uganda’s Simba, finishing the tourney on seven five points against Rwanda’s seven.“We know it is going to be very tough because no team is an easy opponent. But we are charged up for the fight because we have an equally strong team. We want to give our best,” club vice chairman major Joel Birgen told Capital Sport.The organisers have restricted participating teams to lean squads with Ulinzi taking a team of only 16 players, something that will prove a challenge to the side especially with a tough run of games awaiting them when they return to the country.Ulinzi Stars keeper James Saruni prepares to launch an attack during a past match.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.However, skipper James Saruni remains confident the team will give their best and despite the limited choice of personnel, they will deliver.“It was very painful for us last year losing the title but this time round we are prepared to go out and reclaim it. We have some very good motivation especially now that we have picked up form in the league so hopefully, we come back with the trophy,” the goalkeeper said.The Kenyan soldiers begin their campaign with a tough tie against the hosts Rwanda on Sunday and a win on the opening day will give them a good foothold heading into the other matches involving Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.“The boys have played really well over the last three matches and we hope they can do the same when we go there. Winning against Rwanda will be a huge plus for us because we want to have a positive and morale boosting start,” club chairman Lt. Col. Erick Oloo offered.Kenya will be defending their cross country title while other teams which will participate include handball and basketball.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Ulinzi Stars players line up before one of their matches during the game in Uganda last year. PHOTO/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – After their 1-1 draw with Muhoroni Youth in a Premier League match on Wednesday evening in Kisumu, Ulinzi Stars will shift focus to continental duty, when they depart Nairobi on Friday morning for Kigali, Rwanda to represent Kenya at the East Africa military games.The soldiers will be aiming to recoup their football title after losing to Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) last year in Kampala, Uganda.last_img read more

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Cancer patient gains a new outlook on life

first_imgSugioka, 30, of Burbank was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most deadly form of brain cancer. UCLA doctors knew that even with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, most patients with glioblastoma live only about 12 to 18 months. Given those odds, Sugioka said she had no choice but to try all she could to stay alive. “If you know you have terminal cancer, you should try anything you can,” she said. She first underwent a delicate procedure to remove the tumor. The surgery involved keeping Sugioka awake so surgeons could speak with her to make sure they were not removing the part of her brain that controls language skills. She then enrolled for the first phase of a clinical trial at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center that involves using the patient’s tumor tissue to create an individualized vaccine. The vaccine is then injected, much like a flu shot. The tumor had grown to the size of a tennis ball, pushing deeper into Jennifer Sugioka’s brain and causing blinding headaches. She had trouble speaking, standing and studying for her law degree. But in a curious way, that same tumor that now sits in a University of California, Los Angeles, lab gave Sugioka the ability to see: the family who loves her, the friends who care for her and the UCLA neurosurgeon who gave her more time, thanks to a vaccine developed with Sugioka’s cells from her own tumor. “I see more clearly now,” she said. “I had wanted to become a lawyer to make lots of money. Instead, I learned that family and friends are more important, that time with them is everything.” Sugioka was one of the first 25 to be involved with that trial. And that was seven years ago. “Of all the patients that have been on the two trials, the majority have lived over two years,” said Dr. Linda Liau, the UCLA neurosurgeon who performed surgery on Sugioka. “There are now nine patients out of 18 that have lived four years from when they received the vaccine. Statistically, these patients are doing much better than without the vaccine.” Yet much is still unknown about the vaccine’s effectiveness, and whether it’s the treatment or the patient’s own physiology that is behind extending his or her life span. For that reason, Liau is hoping to recruit 150 glioblastoma patients to take part in the second phase of the study at 15 cancer centers nationwide. “I’m hoping that we’ll finally be able to answer if what’s happening is anecdotal, or if it’s really the vaccine,” she said. “Right now we can’t.” Brain cancer is among the rarest of the cancers, affecting about 20,000 Americans each year, Liau said. Researchers at UCLA began looking into a vaccine in 1998. Though there are similar studies being conducted at other universities, Liau said, individualized vaccines are often expensive to make, and less likely to be produced on a mass scale. That’s why studies are few and far between, she said. West Hollywood resident Kevin Carlberg, a 30-year-old musician who was diagnosed with the same brain cancer five years ago while on tour with the Blues Traveler and the Dave Matthews Band, agreed with Sugioka’s sentiment. After Liau explained the procedure to him, Carlberg said he was convinced to take part in the study. “It was like a why not?” he said. “It’s not going to hurt me. No pun intended, but it was like a no-brainer. “Dr. Liau saved my life. Her vaccine is another part of saving my life. The more people that know about it the better.” Because Sugioka has survived for seven years, Liau said she and other physicians have been able to learn more about the treatments. They test her blood frequently to see how her immune system is holding up. Though she still experiences fatigue and other complications and must take at least a dozen different medications a day to stabilize her hormones, Sugioka said she is proud that her survival is allowing researchers to learn more about brain cancer and the vaccine. “She has a good outlook on life and that really helps her,” said Mary Iwaki, Sugioka’s grandmother. A Burbank native, Sugioka graduated from UCLA with degrees in anthropology and business. She was a first-year law student when the headaches began. She almost fell from a flight of stairs at school because of the pain. Even after surgery, she studied for her finals from her hospital bed, she said, because she wasn’t ready to accept that her life path had changed. Her father, Gregory Sugioka, said it was difficult watching his daughter struggle with the illness. There were the physical pains and fatigue of chemotherapy and radiation, of course, but also the realities of her condition: her inability to go to work when all her friends have moved on to careers. And it was difficult for him to accept that he might lose her. “The hardest thing for me was that my oldest daughter was leaving me so soon,” he said of those early days. But Sugioka said she has accepted her life course. She has embraced Buddhism, visits with her grandparents more often, and says she has become closer with her friends, who invite her on trips, and with her younger sister Tricia, who helps care for her on days when she feels ill. All this because she was given more time, she said. “I live for the present, for day to day,” she said. “I have had my suffering, but it’s helped me in other ways.” susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! 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Liverpool ‘can start thinking about title challenge’ if they beat Man Utd – RUSH

first_imgLiverpool legend Ian Rush has told talkSPORT the Reds can start aiming higher than just a top four finish this season if they beat Manchester UnitedJurgen Klopp’s side host the Red Devils at Anfield on Monday night in one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures so far this term.While the form guide usually goes out the window for these clashes, there’s little doubt that Liverpool go into this game as the more impressive side.The Premier League’s entertainers, Klopp’s Reds have impressed with their attractive attacking play so far this term, while Jose Mourinho’s men are suffering an identity crisis and have struggled to perform as a team at times.Liverpool will move level with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table if they claim three points against the Red Devils.And legendary striker Rush believes they can start thinking about challenging for the top flight crown if they manage to get one over their oldest rivals.Asked if beating United would prove they are title contenders this season, Rush replied: “Well, we’ve been in this position a few times over the last few years.“If we win tonight we’ll go joint top and I genuinely believe that if we win tonight we can realistically start looking at it.“At the start of the season Liverpool were probably looking at the top four as a realistic position.“But if we can win tonight I think we can start looking up above that.”last_img read more

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Schwarzenegger accepts challenge from 80-year-old pingpong champ

first_imgSACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will play a game of table tennis with an octogenarian pingpong champion who said he would only donate to the governor’s re-election campaign if he agreed to a match. The odds appear to be stacked against the governor. Byng Forsberg is a champion pingpong player in the 75 and over category, having won nearly ever table tennis trophy available to the senior set. Forsberg, who is 80 years old and once owned a pest control company, is a fan of the governor. But since he is retired, he had to think twice before responding to the fundraising letter he received from Schwarzenegger’s campaign in May. “We might have to have a weightlifting contest afterward so the governor can redeem himself,” David said. Forsberg says the governor better be ready. “He should practice a bit,” he said. “It’d be nice to have the ball go back and forth a few times.” Forsberg picked up pingpong in 1947 while he was recuperating from a car accident at a veterans hospital. He has played competitively since 1950 and is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Lodi, which is about 35 miles south of Sacramento. He said he is not intimidated at the thought of playing the 59-year-old Schwarzenegger, whose competitive drive is legendary. “That’s good,” Forsberg said. “I don’t want any marshmallows.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesSo, he wrote back, saying that he would be happy to donate, as long as the governor agreed to play him. Forsberg didn’t hear back until a reporter for the Stockton Record inquired about Fosberg’s letter this week. The idea made it to the governor, who said yes. No date for match has been set. Matt David, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign, said the governor is well versed in the game, having played it with his children at home. Pingpong also is a feature at the Arnold Classic athletic festival the governor attends in Ohio each year. Still, the governor’s campaign is bracing itself for the possibility that he could be defeated. last_img read more

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Future Friday: Is there a lesson in Pokémon Go for motivating employees?

first_imgThe Pokémon Go craze is in the news practically every day. It is almost impossible to go anywhere without spying someone walking around trying to catch Mewtoo, Dragonite, Psyduck or one of the other creatures in the game. As I observe this behavior and how quickly it caught on it made me wonder if there is a lesson in this for motivating employees.Gamification is the trendPokémon Go, while a currently popular game, is not the trend. It is one more indication however, that gamification is the trend. Gamification has been around for quite a while. Who has not played games? Its popularity however has expanded greatly with the use of mobile devices. Companies try to influence consumer behavior by the use of games. McDonald’s use of games would often drive consumers to their stores with the promise of big prizes. Currently FourSquare uses gamification, as does Starbucks in order to reward frequent shoppers who participate. All of us can think of consumer oriented companies that may use some sort of gamification to drive business there way. However, it becomes harder to find companies that use gamification to increase employee participation. Marcus Buckingham is working of gamification use in management, as I wrote here, and I did a podcast with Mike Tinney about the use of gamification in wellness programs. However, I don’t find a lot of examples for the use of gamification in the day-to-day business of most companies. Why?Why?If gamification can drive people to walk around looking for imaginary creatures and drive people to pick a particular restaurant to have their lunch why wouldn’t it, why shouldn’t  it, be a powerful tool to drive employee behavior on the job? I think it would be, but there are steps to follow in instituting gamification and increasing challenges as you use it. This may be the roadblock! First we have to decide what behavior we want to change. Then we have to create the game that drives it. Then we have to get employees and managers to use it. Plus we have to get over the roadblocks that may be thrown in our way from the government in the use of the game. But if a game can drive the kind of behavior we see in Pokémon Go wouldn’t it be worth it?The Gamification SpectrumI came across an excellent paper written by Dr. Michael Wu that was published by Lithium. In this whitepaper Dr. Wu talks about the Gamification Spectrum and the nine patterns that builders and users of gamification need to be aware of in it use. These include:1.       Gamified behavior- do you want a single action from a single user or multiple actions from multiple players2.       Underlying metrics- you have to be able to track player behavior and that becomes increasingly difficult and complicated3.       Susceptibility to cheating- Easy actions make it easy to “game” the system. I have a friend who games FourSquare by checking into a location that he just happens to be driving by rather than actually visiting. He is atop the leaderboard every week.4.       Ideal visibility and scope of feedback- This deals with badges and the time they are visible. Newer players may get discouraged with long standing, yet easily earned badges.5.       Value of rewards- Do you want to reward simple behavior by a single player or the behavior of a team?6.       Sustainability- You have to have something that stands the test of time in order for it to be effective.7.       Implementation- Do you want simple badges or will you require custom tools?8.       Extinction period- this is tied into sustainability9.       Engaged population- The more difficult the game the smaller the number of dedicated players.Dr. Wu says that you need to have a three step strategy that include:1.       Step one- Identify the effective timescale of your desired behavior2.       Step two- Find a gamification tool with a feedback timescale ≈ your effective timescale3.       Step three- Build a level-up ladder by filling in the gaps with tools that have successively longer feedback timescale along the gamification spectrum. Always start with immediate feedback (e.g., points) to achieve scale Fill all gaps (so the ladder is easy to climb) in order to maintain the scale as your players level up to the final rung of the ladder (i.e., the tool with feedback)Obviously I cannot do justice to Dr. Wu’s explanation, so I suggest you read this whitepaper to more completely understand his explanation.OpportunityI do believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for the use of gamification in human resources. It will take a coordinated effort between HR, game designers and probably some of the bigger software systems but I believe it may be worth the effort.Who is willing to give it a try? Originally posted on Omega HR Solutions Blog.last_img read more

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People on the Move: August 2016

first_imgProfessional advancement and building a successful loss prevention career can mean many things to many different people. For some individuals it may mean reaching a top leadership position at a particular company, perhaps serving as a director or vice president of loss prevention/asset protection. For others, it may involve gaining experience in multiple professional fields in order to establish a unique and versatile role that capitalizes on all of our various skill sets. Some aspire to be the very best at a particular skill or discipline, building a base of knowledge and expertise that sets us apart from the rest. There are those that strive to leave a professional legacy, leaving a lasting mark on the present and future of the loss prevention industry. And there are still others that simply want the recognition that comes with reaching a particular level of performance and the security that it provides.There are many different ways to evaluate our career vision and professional aspirations. But what is most important is that we find the path that fits us best. We need to fashion and follow a professional development plan that leads us forward and builds our future. Especially when involved in a profession that is evolving as quickly as retail loss prevention, career growth is essential to professional survival. Whatever our professional goals and aspirations might be; whatever skills and experiences have helped forge our personal loss prevention career path, we have to find and seize the opportunities to learn, grow, and progress.All of us throughout the loss prevention community are proud of the accomplishments of those that have worked hard and earned a new place along the loss prevention career path. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals on their recent career moves and promotions.- Sponsor – August 2016 John Watson was promoted to District Asset Protection Manager at Stage StoresPaul Evans is now a Multi-District Asset Protection Manager at Southeastern GrocersSuzanne Castillo was promoted to Director, Asset Protection – Investigations & Systems at Ralph LaurenMichael Babineaux was promoted to Area Loss Prevention Manager at JCPenneyJason Philpott is now a Regional Loss Prevention Field Coordinator at AT&T Mobile TelArmine Esackanian, MBA is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at BCBG Max AzriaAaron McAloon was promoted to Market ORC Manager at Lowe’sTony De La Riva is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at DHL eCommerce (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)William Connors is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Giant Eagle, Inc. (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Kevin Krotenberg, CFI is now Sr. Regional Loss Prevention & Safety Manager at PetSmart (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Perry Smolinski has been named Director of Loss Prevention & Safety at Harbor Freight ToolsJoseph Horton has been promoted to Director of Market Operations at BloomingdalesLeeRoy Hegwood, CFE, CFI, EnCE is now a Senior Manager of Partner & Asset Protection at StarbucksXavier Soule, CCIE, CHTI is now a District Market Investigator at CVS HealthLorenzo Gonzalez was promoted to Market Loss Prevention Manager at Gap Inc./Old NavyWilliam Berger is now a District Asset Protection Manager at RiteAidAshley App was promoted to Senior Asset Protection Analyst at Big LotsCarlos Rico was promoted to Market Asset Protection Manager at WalmartAdam Wollman, LPC is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at GUESS?Ryan Haysley, LPC is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at TJX CompaniesJoel Cirbo is now a Multi-Regional Loss Prevention Manager at Boot BarnSteven Turner CFI is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Dick’s Sporting GoodsZak Brownlee, CFI, LPC was promoted to Market Loss Prevention Manager at Bealls OutletDavid Mulliner was promoted to Assistant Vice President, Loss Prevention and Safety at IEH Auto Parts LLCAndrew Grummett was promoted to Regional Investigations Manager at TJX Canada/Winners Merchants InternationalLance Lee was promoted to Regional Investigator at Bealls, Inc.Michael Mainville, CFI is now a Zone Asset Protection Specialist with 7-ElevenEllie Bravo is now an Area Loss Prevention Manager at 99 Ranch MarketJodi Palermo is now a Senior Investigator at Victoria’s SecretCarson Altice, LPC was promoted to Sr. Manager of Field Operations Global Loss Prevention at StaplesAndrew Zahorsky, LPQ was promoted to District Loss Prevention Manager at Pacific SunwearBeth (Milwee) King, CFI was promoted to Market Loss Prevention Manager at BeallsAndreas Seidel was promoted to Senior Regional Loss Prevention Manager CEU S/E at AmazonChad Scott was promoted to Area Asset Protection Manager at JC PenneyCJ Denton, CFI promoted to Senior Director of Loss Prevention at Hermès of Paris  Click here to learn moreDon Wuchter, CFI is now the Director of Loss Prevention – Midwest Division – The Americas Group at Sherwin WilliamsDavid Glass was promoted to Senior Regional Manager of Asset Protection at Winn-DixieCanaan Peacock was promoted to Loss Prevention Market Manager at Bealls, Inc.Rudy Mazak has been promoted to Vice President/GM of Stores: Sears Hometown Stores, Appliance and Hardware, and Home Appliance Showrooms  Click here to learn moreMark Crowley has been promoted to Head of Profit Protection at John Lewis Department Stores  Click here to learn moreDeidra Grier has been appointed Director of Marketing at Nedap  Click here to learn moreKeith Johnson is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Citi TrendsJanos Arcia is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at BCBG MaxazriaTimothy Rout, LPC has been promoted to Area Loss Prevention and Operations Support Manager at Lowe’s Companies, Inc.Lani Lautoa was promoted to Corporate Loss Prevention & Fraud Manager for bebe Stores, inc.Ahlam Elhammiri was promoted to Regional Organized Retail Crime Supervisor at TJX Canada/Winners Merchants International L.P.Matt Farley was promoted to Regional Loss Prevention Manager at CVS HealthJoseph Ledesma is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Dick’s Sporting GoodsJessica Censoplano is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Lucky CaliforniaTiffany Wimbish is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at Brooks BrothersAlex Patterson was promoted to Market Asset Protection Manager at WalmartTony Raab was named Senior Asset Protection Manager at Spencer GiftsEdwin Saul was promoted to Director, Asset Protection & Risk Management at CKE RestaurantsScott Johnson is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager PBM – Southwest at CVS Health (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Scott Yancy III is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at Mattress Firm (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)J.C. Felix, CFI is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at Mattress Firm (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Dennis Lonergan, CFI is now a Regional Loss Prevention Manager at Mattress Firm (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Glen Canarte is now Operations & Loss Prevention Manager at Kiehl’s/L’Oreal Luxe Division (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Brigham Roberts, MA, LPC is now Manager, Loss Prevention & Safety at Michaels (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Sharon Cruz is now Manager, Asset Protection-DC & Supply Chain at 99 Cents Only Stores (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Jed Weinstein is now Regional Security Manager, U.S. Security at McDonald’s Corporation (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)William Penn, CFI was promoted to Supply Chain Investigations Manager-Northeast at Gap Inc. (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Scott Pickrel has a new position; Loss Prevention and Safety Manager – Lowe’s Companies, Inc.Chris Hyde, LPC is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Dick’s Sporting GoodsFlorentino Posada is now a Regional Investigator at Stage Stores (Information provided by Loss Prevention Recruiters)Sam Raper has been promoted to Southeast Regional Account Manager at Catalyst, Inc.Greg Edelson is now West Coast Regional Account Manager at Catalyst, Inc.Max Salata is now the Director of Asset Protection for Goodwill Industries of South Central WisconsinMatthew Pistel, NCCP is now an Area Loss Prevention Manager at Ulta BeautyEric Woodward was promoted to District Manager of Asset Protection at Abercrombie & FitchNathan Anderson LPC has been named Director of Field Asset Protection at 99 Cents Only Stores  Click here to learn morePaul McQuillan has been promoted to Sr. Manager, Loss Prevention at Loblaw CompaniesOctavio Andres Garcia Torres is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at Abercrombie and FitchAngela Bisland was promoted to Divisional Director of Loss Prevention at CarMaxCarl Veld is now a District Loss Prevention Manager at JC PenneyMolly Gottlieb, CFI is now a Regional Asset Protection Manager at lululemon athleticRick Mitchell has been named Director of Loss Prevention at Charming Charlie  Click here to learn moreSteve Sell has been named Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing at CONTROLTEK USA  Click here to learn moreChris Strongman has been named Director of Loss Prevention at Aritzia  Click here to learn moreJamie Bailey, CFI has been named Director of Loss Prevention for St. Louis based Scrubs & More, LLC  Click here to learn more To review the July “People on the Move” click here.Many of the Loss Prevention / Asset Protection career moves and promotions are reported to us by our career advisor partners. We are grateful for their collective efforts and diligence in delivering this information. If you would like to provide information pertaining to a recent promotion or career move that is not listed below, we welcome your submissions by clicking here. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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Vandrico and Deloitte creating a wearable technology database

first_imgFollow the Puck A bewildering amount of new wearables have been built and purchased by consumers during the past few years. And so Vancouver-based industrial solutions firm Vandrico Inc. and global accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte recently teamed up to develop a “Wearable Technology Database,” with the goal of creating a list that includes every wearable product.The database currently includes 442 devices from 306 companies; they are defining wearables as a basket of smart technologies that are incorporated into items that can be worn — like smartwatches, clothing or fitness bands.See Also: Are smart clothes the future of wearables?“Industries all over the world are now adopting wearables as a way to keep employees safe on the job,” stated Vandrico CEO Gonzalo Tudela in a comment to MobileSyrup.The listing is categorized by neck, torso, head, arms, chest, wrists, legs and feet and hands.  They are trying to grow the database to 700 items by the end of 2016.Big growth seen in wearablesAccording to Gartner Research, revenues from the wearable industry will produce revenues over $28 billion in 2016, which is an increase of 18.4 percent.  Smartwatches will make up one of the largest portions of that growth.“Of all the fitness wearables, sports watches will be the one product category to maintain its average retail price over the next several years,” said McIntyre. “Race runners, cyclists and divers will choose sports watches over smartwatches because the user interface, capabilities and durability are tailored to the needs of an athlete in their sport. Continued advances in sensors and analytics for sports watches will bring new capabilities that bolster average retail prices,” states Angela McIntyre, the research director for Gartner.With the huge projected growth in the wearable sector, finally having a complete view of the wearable landscape may help consumers and corporate customers alike make more intelligent decisions of these new technologies. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…center_img Amanda Razani Tags:#Deloitte#Gartner#Internet of Things#IoT#Vandrico Solution#wearables Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

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Christian Pulisic rejected Man Utd because his father couldn’t stand Jose Mourinho

first_imgAdvertisementChelsea’s new starlet Christian Pulisic once rejected the chance to join Manchester United according to his former coach. The reason behind this decision was because Pulisic senior despised United’s former manager Jose Mourinho. Back in January, Chelsea won the race to sign the 20-year-old in a £58.7 million deal from Borussia Dortmund, with many regarding him as Chelsea’s long-term replacement for Eden Hazard, who left the club to join Real Madrid.Pulisic’s former manager at Brackley Town, Robin Walker stated that the highly rated American could have swapped Dortmund for Manchester as the Red Devils were quite keen to sign the youngster. In an interview, Walker revealed that The Special One’s tendency to not field young players prevented any potential deal from happening.“He wouldn’t go to Manchester United because of Jose Mourinho, his father couldn’t stand Mourinho, because he didn’t promote young players. It was at that point I asked: ‘What about London?’ His agent agreed, saying: ‘When you make these decisions, it’s all about investment and property.’ I was delighted that he did sign [for Chelsea].” Walker told The Telegraph.Mourinho, eventually got the boot from United last December and was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pulisic meanwhile, made his debut in a heavy 4-0 loss against United on matchday one after coming on as a substitute. In his second game, the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool, he scored a goal only to be chalked off by VAR.Advertisementlast_img read more