The new year has brought some good news to alcohol consumers and sellers in rural Maharashtra, as the State government has decided to allow liquor shops under gram panchayats to renew licences, a procedure that was on hold since April 2017. As per a government circular issued on January 1 and a letter sent by the State Excise Commissioner to all district collectors, except for the dry districts of Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, the licences can be renewed in any gram panchayat which fulfils at least one of two criteria. The first is that the population under the gram panchayat should be at least 3,000 as per the 2011 census. Alternatively, the area should be located within 3 km of the limits of a municipal corporation or within a kilometre of a municipal council or municipal panchayat. According to a government official, the decision will benefit 1,500 permit rooms, and 400 country liquor and 700 beer shops. As per a Supreme Court decision of December 2016, wine shops and permit rooms within 500 m of highways were stopped from selling alcohol. Later, the move was amended to exclude highways within city limits.“A number of licence holders who still could not get their permits renewed had approached the Bombay High Court through writ petitions. In May 2018, the court directed the State government to hold hearings of these cases. Following the hearing, the government has decided to allow renewal of licences,” an official from the Excise Department said.
Luka Modric is the man responsible for ending the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi duopoly over the Ballon d’Or. 11 years since Kaka won the Ballon d’Or in 2007, Ronaldo and Messi had shared five awards each at the events but on Monday night, their stranglehold finally broke loose.Modric who had won FIFA The Best award earlier this year, bagged the Ballon d’Or for his role in guiding Real Madrid to a record third straight Champions League title and then captaining Croatia to their first-ever World Cup final.While Modric scooped the top prize, Ronaldo continued to stay relevant as he came second in the list while France’s Antoine Griezmann finished third.For the first time in a decade, Messi did not even feature in the top three for the award.However, it was a night to cherish for Modric and he struggled to express it in words.”It’s a unique feeling. I’m happy proud and honoured, I have a lot of emotions right now, it’s hard to describe in words,” Modric said, wearing a tuxedo as he collected the award from presenter and former France forward David Ginola after a glamorous ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris.”It’s a big pleasure to be here among all these players. I am still trying to realise that I have become part of a group of exceptional players to win the Ballon d’Or throughout history.”The playmaker has been a delight to watch for the past few seasons but this year, he played a pivotal part in the success of both his club and country and that paved way for his breakthrough year.advertisementModric sits deep in the midfield, scans the field in like seconds and is able to make passes that cuts across defences but it was not always like this for the diminutive Croatian.Modric was earlier an attacking midfielder and it was Harry Redknapp back at Tottenham Hotspur who changed his position to a more deeper role, where he began flourishing.Modric moved to Real Madrid in 2012 but had a disastrous first season when he was made to play a more attacking role. It was only when Jose Mourinho deployed him back into the deep midfield that he began flourishing again.”The change of position helped me a lot in my career. I used to play more offensively. When I dropped back, I was able to read the game better and show my creativity,” Modric further said.Modric is the first Croatian to win the Ballon d’Or, an award which is voted for by journalists and organised by French magazine France Football.(With Reuters inputs)Also Read | Euro 2020 qualifying: Germany to face Netherlands, Portugal handed tricky drawAlso Read | Tottenham fan throws banana peel on Arsenal’s Aubameyang, gets arrested
Christy Turlington Burns will join speakers at the MARCH for MOMS on Sunday.Maternal Mortality rates in the U.S. surpass those of any other industrialized nation with women of color dying at four times the rate of white women. One in every three Americans is born through major surgery — twice as many as are medically necessary. At the same time, we have the lowest birth weights, the widest disparities, and the worst paid family leave policies in the developed world.The MARCH for MOMS is a family-friendly event taking place on Sunday, May 6, on the National Mall between 7th-9th street from 1-4 p.m. This main event will bring together policymakers, celebrities, professional leaders and families who have been affected by our broken maternity care system. In addition, there are 50+ sister marches, hosted by ImprovingBirth.org, in communities all over the country.In its second year, the March has grown to include over 40 national partners, including all of the professional stewards of maternal health. The intent is to gather to kick off the first-ever National Maternal Health Awareness week leading up to Mother’s Day. This public demonstration will provide diverse speakers, uniting with one voice, on a national stage, to publicly declare ‘enough’.“Society must step up and assume responsibility to address the current health of moms and babies. Within a few days of this event, the US Senate will vote on one of the most critical bills we are advocating passage of, the Maternal Mortality bill,” said Ginger Breedlove, founding president of March for Moms. “Through this effort, we will amplify the question of whether society as a whole agrees to take action on the fact that US mother’s experience the worst outcomes of all high-income country’s in the world.”To support the rally efforts, March for Moms team will visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday May 8th to speak to policy makers about the essential need for significant focus and funding on maternal health issues. Learn more about active legislation pertaining to these issues.For event details and a full list of speakers please click here.
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw that concluded Saturday was the first ever to feature 24 teams; previous World Cups had only 16. Eight countries will make their debut, possibly paving the way for new talent to make a splash, and four champions will return stronger and more experienced. Here’s how the draw shook out, followed by our initial reactions to each group:Group A: Canada, China, Netherlands, New ZealandGroup A has the second-highest combined FIFA points score, 7522, and is likely to be exceptionally difficult to advance from. It’s led by host nation Canada (currently ranked eighth), and even the lowest-ranked team in the group, New Zealand, has an aggressive style of play that’s proved to be tough for Brazil and other strong squads. The young, technical Chinese team features standout forward Yang Li (nicknamed “Young Sun Wen,” after China’s all-time leading scorer), and the 15th-ranked Netherlands is making its World Cup debut after beating the higher-ranked Italy to qualify.Group B: Germany, Norway, Thailand, Ivory Coast Second-ranked Germany leads Group B. The Germans, having won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007, are regimented and unaccustomed to losing, as well as notorious for playing their best soccer at the World Cup. Norway clinched a World Cup title in 1995 but has yet to do it again. The Norweigans’ style of play is very direct (meaning they don’t focus on possession), but look for Olympique Lyon standout Ada Hegerberg to hold the ball up top. The Europeans should cruise through to the next stage — Thailand and Ivory Coast are relatively inexperienced and making their first World Cup appearances.Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Ecuador, CameroonSimilar to Group B, Group C features two top-ranked teams and two much weaker opponents — Cameroon and Ecuador — with Ecuador barely qualifying by beating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 last week. The 2011 champions, Japan, are currently ranked third and play a highly technical style of soccer; the crafty midfielder Aya Miyama allows Japan to connect beautifully between the back and front lines. Switzerland is an exciting addition to the World Cup — the newcomers can compete against the strongest European teams. Swiss Ramona Bachmann has been likened to Marta and is nominated for the 2014 player of the year in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan, one of the top women’s leagues in the world.Group D: USA, Australia, Sweden, NigeriaThis group is being called the Group of Death — it has the highest total of combined FIFA points, 7786, and includes three teams in the top 10 FIFA rankings. The No. 1-ranked U.S. will again face Sweden in group play; the Swedes defeated the Americans 2-1 in the 2011 World Cup, and this time Sweden will be led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. Australia is an athletic team that could give the U.S. and Sweden tough games, especially with explosive forward Lisa De Vanna leading the offense. And Nigeria should not be overlooked. Its young, talented team includes Asisat Oshoala, the winner of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Adidas Golden Ball.Group E: Brazil, South Korea, Spain, Costa RicaSixth-ranked Brazil hasn’t looked as strong as it once did, losing 2-0 to France last month in a friendly, but it’s the strongest team in the rather weak Group E. First-timers Spain are led by forward Vero Boquete, a 2014 FIFA women’s player of the year nominee, and could match up well against Brazil — both teams are creative and patient. And South Korea is technical and organized, which could cause problems for the often disorganized Brazilians. But don’t count out Costa Rica, which placed second in the CONCACAF qualifiers (but was handedly defeated by the U.S. in the final). Some of its players, including Shirley Cruz Traña (who plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain), have moments of brilliance.Group F: France, England, Mexico, ColombiaFoes France and England will face off in Group F, the third-strongest group based on combined FIFA points. France is a not-so-dark horse for 2015; it’s technical, physical and fast, and its players alternate between direct and possession-style play almost seamlessly. Élodie Thomis, Louisa Nécib and Eugénie Le Sommer are some of the top women’s players in the world. Meanwhile, the seventh-ranked England will be looking for retribution — France knocked out England in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals. CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teams Mexico and Colombia will be hoping for a point against England and France, but lately Mexico has looked unfit and disorganized from the team that beat the U.S. in 2010.
Senior forward Sam Thompson (12) dribbles past a Penn State player during a game on Feb. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 75-55.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerTwenty-five games into the season, the Ohio State men’s basketball team had relied heavily on its freshmen, in particular its star rookie guard D’Angelo Russell.But when the No. 23 Buckeyes left the floor after a 75-55 drubbing of Penn State at home, it was a battle-tested senior who had led OSU to victory.Senior forward Sam Thompson scored a career-high 22 points in the win, and said Wednesday night was the kind of game he has been working toward since arriving in Columbus.“I’ve worked really hard over the years just on every facet of my offensive game. I really try to become a threat offensively,” Thompson said. “I played a pretty good game today, and just gonna try to keep that rolling.”Thompson scored in a variety of ways against Penn State, whether it be from behind the arc, or down low.He joked after the game that despite being a veteran on the team, he is still capable of his famous high-flying dunks.“I can still jump a little bit,” he said with a smile.Thompson threw down multiple times against the Nittany Lions, a team that defeated the Buckeyes in both meetings last year.The senior from Chicago said despite the losses last season, his team was focused on the present heading into the game.“We weren’t talking about last year as much as we were talking about this year,” Thompson said. “It’s a different team, they’re a different team. We just wanted to come out and play our best basketball. We knew that was a team that could beat us, as evident from last year.”OSU coach Thad Matta said Thompson was one of the main reasons the Buckeyes were able to win their fifth game in six appearances.“That was big for us. I was so happy to see the ball go in for Sam,” Matta said after the win. “He puts a lot of time in and we have kind of been saying, ‘if we can get him making some shots, I think it makes us a lot more effective.’ His ability in transition — everybody fears he’s running to the rim — being able to step out and knock down the shot definitely helps open things up for us.”Thompson did more than just play well on offense, he also drew the task of defending the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Penn State senior guard D.J. Newbill.While Newbill still led the Nittany Lions in scoring with 16 points, he shot just 5-of-13 from the field and pulled down just three rebounds.Matta said Thompson’s defense was just as important as his offense, especially when matched up with the Penn State star.Thompson, however, credited the Buckeyes as a whole for shutting Newbill down.“(We had to) make him work. No open looks, try to keep him off the foul line. Make sure when he had the ball he saw five Ohio State defenders,” Thompson said. “We did a good job of doing that across the board.”Newbill’s coach, Pat Chambers, also recognized Thompson’s elevated play and added that he thought last year’s wins over OSU might have had something to do with his performance.“I thought Sam Thompson was terrific, and that’s what seniors do,” Chambers said. “He was on that team last year and I’m sure he had a little extra ‘oomph’ to play against us.”Moving forward, Thompson said it will take more than just himself or Russell to continue the winning ways.“We know that the season is coming down to an end. We know it’s time for the players to play,” he said. “Seniors gotta step up, younger guys have to keep doing what they’re doing and we’ll be fine.”The Buckeyes will attempt to win their sixth game in seven tries as they are set to travel to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday. Tip-off is set for noon.
Former Buckeye Eli Apple selfies with a fan after the Spring Game on April 15. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State football players were in action in Week 4 of the NFL season. Here are a few of the latest performances from former Buckeyes.Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel ElliottDallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 116 yards on 29 carries in the Cowboys 35-31 to the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon. Elliott started off the game slow, as quarterback Dak Prescott handed the ball off to him 12 times for only 24 yards in the first quarter. However, Elliott managed to break through later in the game, running for over 85 yards in the second half._________________________________________Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey BosaLos Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was all over the field Sunday, as the Chargers defeated the New York Giants 27-22. Bosa had six tackles, two sacks of quarterback Eli Manning and a tackle for loss. Bosa’s presence was a problem for the Giants all game, and Bosa landed a hit on Manning in the fourth quarter that left the quarterback shaken up.https://twitter.com/DLineVids/status/917092819596013568_________________________________________Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle PryorWashington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor had three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in a 29-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. He scored a 44-yard touchdown in the first quarter. After the first quarter, Pryor provided little more for the Redskins’ offense, catching only two more passes for 26 yards as the team squandered a 10-0 first quarter lead._________________________________________New York Jets linebacker Darron LeeNew York Jets linebacker Darron Lee had an impressive outing against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, as the second-year starter had six tackles, including a huge tackle for loss in a close game. The Jets won in overtime, and Lee’s performance improved as the game went on. Lee had a penalty early before leaving the game with an injury. He returned in the second quarter and managed to add four more tackles, including another tackle for loss._________________________________________New York Giants cornerback Eli AppleNew York Giants cornerback Eli Apple started Sunday’s game on the bench. However, he had a solid outing against the Chargers, registering five tackles in the defensive backfield. Overall, Apple had a solid outing in what has been a rough sophomore campaign for the former Buckeye._________________________________________Other notable players:Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins: four tackles, one pass defendedIndianapolis Colts cornerback Malik Hooker: five tackles, one assistedSan Francisco running back Carlos Hyde: eight carries for 11 yards against the San Francisco 49ersPittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier: five tackles, one interception and a pass defended
Email Spotify Captures Half Of British Teens’ Streaming Hours U.K. Teens Prefer Streaming Over Radio spotify-captures-half-british-teens-streaming-hours Research reveals young U.K. music listeners rely on playlists, Spotify and YouTube more than radioPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Sep 6, 2017 – 4:50 pm Research firm AudienceNet revealed fascinating findings from a June 2017 survey of music consumption in the U.K., showing radio still has a place in young people’s lives but streaming playlists, Spotify and YouTube have replaced passive listening with an on-demand culture giving listeners the power to navigate.The “Audiomonitor” survey shows the 16–24 age group has diverged from the UK’s national average, signaling a new stage as streaming services become dominant with youth. This divergence towards on-demand listening is strongest among 16–19 year-olds.Albums versus playlists: Brits over 65 spend 41 percent of their time listening to albums, but time spent listening tilts in favor of playlists among 16–24 year-olds. The 16–19 segment spent only 20 percent of their time on albums and 35 percent of their time listening to playlists.Radio: The average British listener spends 43 percent of their time listening to radio and three-quarters of 16–24 year-olds listen to some radio each week. But among 16–19 year-olds radio listening has dropped down to just 10 percent of their time.Streaming: While only 24 percent of UK listeners use streaming, in general, this rate rises to 62 percent among the 16–19 age group.YouTube versus Spotify: YouTube has a 31 percent weekly reach on average, almost double Spotify’s 16 percent. But among the streaming hours of the 16–19 demographic, Spotify dominates with 51 percent of their streaming time while YouTube accounts for 33 percent. AudienceNet estimates that Spotify accounts for a total of 30 percent of 16–19 year-olds’ listening hours.More changes are inevitable as streaming audiences supply real-time data detailing their listening habits to music services, artists, and across social media.Spotify For Artists Promises Closer Connection To Fan BasesRead more Twitter News Facebook
Tata Motors shareholders, late on Thursday evening, voted to remove industrialist Nusli Wadia as independent director of the Tata Motors board. About 71.20 percent of the Tata Motors shareholders voted in favour of Wadia’s exit as director, ANI tweeted.The ouster from Tata Motors board comes a day after 90 percent of shareholders of Tata Steel voted to remove Wadia as independent director.Tata Sons had called for the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to vote out independent director Nusli Wadia from the board of Tata Group companies on the grounds that he (Wadia) was acting in concert with ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry. By voting Wadia out, the shareholders of Tata Motors also have shown strong support to Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata.The latest development comes in the background of the legal tussle currently going on between Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry. Incidentally, Nusli Wadia had been accused of “acting in concert” with the ousted chairman. On December 16, Wadia filed a defamation lawsuit against Tata Sons and is seeking a compensation of Rs 3,000 crore in damages.Following the news, the Tata Motors stock was trading at Rs 466.35, at around 9:23 a.m. on Friday, down 0.70 percent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange. #FLASH 71.20% of the Tata Motors shareholders vote in favour of removal of Nusli Wadia as director.— ANI (@ANI_news) December 23, 2016
MavixxxPopular conspiracy theory YouTube channel ‘Mavixxx’ has now uploaded a mysterious video clip that shows a UFO flying in the skies of Orange County, California at breathtaking speed. The clip shows a disc-shaped flying object in the skies, and it had glowing light in its seemingly metallic body.In the video, the conspiracy theorist revealed that the footage was shot on June 19, 2019, and the sighting was apparently captured by a local resident named Sherlly Galicia. Interestingly, the shape and structure of the flying object spotted in the skies of Orange County seems very similar to the alien flying crafts we have seen in Hollywood sci-fi flicks like ‘Independence Day’ and ‘Mars Attack’.The video uploaded by Mavixxx has already gone viral on YouTube, and it has already racked up more than 25,000 views. After watching the video, most of the viewers claimed that sightings like these are authentic proof of alien existence. As per these alien enthusiasts from the deep space used to visit the earth to monitor human activities, and they even went ahead and claimed that these otherworldly entities are gearing up for an invasion.However, skeptics were quick to dismiss the alien angle, and they revealed that the flying object spotted in the video could be a drone. Some others argued that these crafts might be sometimes secret military vehicles that have the capability to travel at hypersonic speed.The new sighting was reported just a few days after Donald Trump, the president of the United States revealed that he does not believe in aliens. Interestingly, Pentagon had earlier confirmed that they had carried out a secretive mission to unravel the mysteries surrounding UFO sightings, especially the one reported by Navy officials. Several Navy officials had previously informed the authorities that the flying objects spotted in the skies performed bizarre manoeuvres that literally defied all laws of modern physics.
Thought the site is no longer situated on a river, it is quite wet, which is helping to preserve artifacts. The researchers plan to remove them all because it is believed the water level in the areas is likely to fall, removing their natural protective blanket. © 2016 Phys.org Glass beads thought to have been from a necklace. More information: Press release Bronze Age textile made from plant fibres. The site was first discovered back in 2006, but it was only recently that excavations began—a joint effort between the University of Cambridge and Historic England. Items from the houses which sit approximately two meters below ground level, have been dated to approximately 1000-800 BC, which puts them near the end of the Bronze Age—a time dominated by tools and weapons made by mixing copper and tin, from roughly 2500, to 1000 BC. In Britain, the Bronze Age has been extended to approximately 800 BC—it ended when visitors from overseas introduced implements made of iron. Because of the arrangement, the researchers believe the houses were abandoned very quickly, likely due to the fire, which allowed for the preservation of objects as they existed in the everyday lives of people during that time period.Thus far, workers digging at the site have uncovered pots and pans of varying sizes, spears and daggers, exotic glass beads and even textiles that had been fashioned from tree bark. They have also uncovered the charred remains of the timbers that once served as stilts, allowing those living in the house to exist as if on their own tiny island. A human skull has also been found near one entrance, but it has not yet been studied in detail, thus it is not known if it might have belonged to one of the inhabitants of the house. The team has also identified footprints in the sediment. Detail on a 6.3m oak logboat. Close up of stilts and collapsed roof timbers. Explore further Close up of stilts and collapsed roof timbers. Close up of charred wooden bucket base. Citation: Britain’s ‘Pompeii’ reveals new clues about life during the Bronze Age (2016, January 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-britain-pompeii-reveals-clues-life.html Late Iron Age baldric ring with La Tène style decoration, probably part of a shoulder belt for carrying a sword. Shifting sand dunes reveal hidden Bronze Age settlement (Phys.org)—A team of archeologists working at a dig site in Cambridgeshire in Britain has found what they are describing as Britain’s ‘Pompeii’—evidence of everyday life in an ancient society, covered by mud—and the best preserved Bronze Age dwelling ever found in that country. The find consists of two circular wooden houses that once stood atop stilts over a river—when the houses caught fire, they collapsed into the river and were covered by silt, which preserved everyday items inside, such as tables and chairs and jewelry, and even food in bowls. Glass beads thought to have been from a necklace. Bronze Age textile made from plant fibres. Late Iron Age baldric ring with La Tène style decoration, probably part of a shoulder belt for carrying a sword. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
By now you’ve probably heard that Mark Zuckerberg plans to take two months off following the birth of his baby girl. That may sound like a generous chunk of time, especially for a dad, but that’s half of what the Facebook co-founder and CEO could have carved out, per his company’s parental leave policy. The world’s most popular social network recently announced the expansion of its four-month “paid baby leave” to full-time employees outside of the U.S., regardless of their gender. The augmented benefit, already available to Facebook’s full-time stateside workers, will chiefly impact new fathers and partners in same-sex relationships, Facebook’s head of human resources Lori Matloff Goler recently said on her Facebook wall. The optional leave can be taken any time throughout the year following a child’s birth or adoption.Related: 10 U.S. Companies With Radically Awesome Parental Leave Policies“In reviewing our parental leave policies, we have decided to make this change because it’s the right thing to do for our people and their families,” Goler said. She casually cited improved “outcomes” for children whose parents take time out to be with them when they’re newborns, just as Zuckerberg, whose wife, Priscilla Chan, 30, is expecting in the coming weeks, also recently noted on his wall.For Zuckerberg’s part, the father-to-be says he’s getting ready to be a parent by stocking up on baby gear, which includes his and his wife’s favorite childhood books and toys. The 31-year-old self-made billionaire called taking paternity leave upon the arrival of his firstborn a “very personal decision.” Clearly, it’s one he can afford to make.Related: Randi Zuckerberg’s Simple Secret for Juggling Career and Kids Facebook joins a long list of big-name global tech firms to significantly beef up their parental leave offerings for full-time employees in recent months, including Netflix. The streaming leader set a new standard last Fall, when it announced unlimited paid time off for new parents during their first year of parenthood.Related: Mark Zuckerberg and His Wife Are Expecting a Baby Girl 3 min read November 30, 2015 Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
November 28, 2016 How Success Happens Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. This story originally appeared on Reuters Anticipating a more protectionist U.S. technology visa program under a Donald Trump administration, India’s $150 billion IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses there.Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro have long used H1-B skilled worker visas to fly computer engineers to the U.S., their largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients.Staff from those three companies accounted for around 86,000 new H1-B workers in 2005-14. The U.S. currently issues close to that number of H1-B visas each year. President-elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and his pick for Attorney General of Senator Jeff Sessions, a long-time critic of the visa program, have many expecting a tighter regime.”The world over, there’s a lot of protectionism coming in and push back on immigration. Unfortunately, people are confusing immigration with a high-skilled temporary workforce, because we are really a temporary workforce,” said Pravin Rao, chief operating officer at Infosys, India’s second-largest information technology firm.While few expect a complete shutdown of skilled worker visas as Indian engineers are an established part of the fabric of Silicon Valley, and U.S. businesses depend on their cheaper IT and software solutions, any changes are likely to push up costs.And a more restrictive program would likely mean Indian IT firms sending fewer developers and engineers to the United States, and increasing campus recruitment there.”We have to accelerate hiring of locals if they are available, and start recruiting freshers from universities there,” said Infosys’ Rao, noting a shift from the traditional model of recruiting mainly experienced people in the U.S.”Now we have to get into a model where we will recruit freshers, train them and gradually deploy them, and this will increase our costs,” he said, noting Infosys typically recruits 500-700 people each quarter in the U.S. and Europe, around 80 percent of whom are locals.AcquisitionsTrump’s election win and Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union are headwinds for India’s IT sector, as clients such as big U.S. and British banks and insurers hold off on spending while the dust settles.In India’s IT hub of Bengaluru and the financial capital Mumbai, executives expect a Trump administration to raise the minimum wage for foreign workers, pressuring already squeezed margins.Buying U.S. companies would help Indian IT firms build their local headcount, increase their on-the-ground presence in key markets and help counter any protectionist regulations.Indian software services companies have invested more than $2 billion in the United States in the past five years. North America accounts for more than half of the sector’s revenue.”We have to accelerate acquisitions,” said Rao at Infosys, which in the past two years has bought companies including U.S.-based Noah Consulting and Kallidus Technologies.Jatin Dalal, Wipro’s chief financial officer, said his growth strategy is to buy companies that offer something beyond what Wipro already does, or new, disruptive firms — such as Appirio, a U.S. cloud services firm.The chief executive of Tech Mahindra, C.P. Gurnani, said his firm, which two years ago bought network services management firm Lightbridge Communications Corp., is on the look-out for more U.S. acquisitions, particularly in healthcare and fintech — financial technology firms that are disrupting traditional banking services.Offshoring and automationIn a broader shift from labor intensive onsite projects, Indian IT firms are also turning to higher-tech services such as automation, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms.With better technology and faster networks, IT firms are encouraging Western clients to adopt more virtual services.Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka says he has focused on automation and AI as growth drivers since 2014. “The AI platform is 5-6 percent of our revenues,” he told Reuters. “Three years ago, it was zero.”More automation would mean fewer onshore developers.”The ‘Plan B’ would be to accelerate the trend … to reduce their reliance on people and increase their focus on delivering automation, leveraging the cloud for their clients,” said Partha Iyengar, Gartner’s head of research in India.(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Euan Rocha in BENGALURU and MUMBAI, with additional by Arno Schuetze in FRANKFURT; Editing by Ian Geoghegan) 4 min read Listen Now
Source = InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Flagship InterContinental Hotel to anchor One Queen Street developmentFlagship InterContinental Hotel to anchor One Queen Street development at Auckland’s Commercial BayAuckland will welcome a flagship InterContinental hotel in 2022 with IHG® and Precinct Properties, the largest city centre real estate owner in New Zealand, signing an agreement to open InterContinental Auckland.InterContinental Auckland will enjoy an unrivalled location on the city’s waterfront, with a halo address at 1 Queen Street that will inevitably become a destination in its own right. It will complete the $1 billion Commercial Bay mixed-use development, which boasts the largest concentration of high quality retail facilities in the city and a new 39-level office tower with 39,000m2 of premium office space.The world-class waterfront development is also destined to become Auckland’s newest, shopping, dining and social hub, offering a vast range of food and beverage outlets that are perfectly complemented by the hotel’s luxury dining experience, which includes all-day dining and bars.The hotel will be dedicated to those who appreciate and enjoy The InterContinental Life, featuring the brand’s signature Club InterContinental experience, as well as a gym and meeting facilities. In order to give guests an unparalleled experience that shows off the best of the ‘City of Sails’, 90% of the hotel’s 244 guest rooms will offer water views.Abhijay Sandilya, IHG’s Senior Director of Development – Australasia, said: “It’s high time Auckland got a taste of the InterContinental Life, so we are very excited about this announcement. Being part of such an iconic mixed-use development ensures the hotel, dining, retail and commercial components form a symbiotic relationship. Together with Precinct Properties, we will deliver a distinctive product that inspires those travellers who are looking for the InterContinental understated luxury, both in the leisure and corporate space.”Scott Pritchard, Chief Executive Office at Precinct Properties commented: “Commercial Bay is set to transform Auckland’s CBD and reshape the waterfront area in the heart of the city, so it’s absolutely fitting that one of the world’s best-known luxury brands is part of this world-class development. The addition of the InterContinental Life further solidifies Commercial Bay as a truly mixed-use precinct, and we’re very proud to partner with IHG to bring this flagship property to life.”InterContinental Auckland will benefit from convenient access to corporate and leisure demand generators including, the New Zealand International Convention Centre, Viaduct Harbour, Britomart precinct, Wynyard Quarter, Vector Arena, the international cruise ship terminal, SKY CITY and SKY CITY Casino. It sits at the heart of Auckland’s transport infrastructure which includes train, bus and ferry, as well as being just 20km to Auckland Airport, the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand.InterContinental Auckland will be the second for the brand in New Zealand, after InterContinental Wellington, and adds an important piece to IHG’s Australasia luxury credentials, complementing InterContinental Hotels in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Sanctuary Cove, as well as the 194 globally.IHG currently has 48 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Innand Holiday Inn Express, with another 22 in the pipeline, including Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels and voco.
One thing that I did notice, was that January open interest in silver had been sneaking up slowly during the week, with 102 contracts added yesterday.It was a very quiet trading day for both gold and silver yesterday.In gold, the high tick came shortly after 3:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and from there, the gold price wandered around within five bucks of the $1,640 spot price for the rest of the Wednesday trading day.Gold closed at $1,643.00 spot…up $10.80 on the day. Volume, net of all roll-overs out of the February contact, was around 130,000 contracts…almost the same as Tuesday’s volume. This is quite big volume considering the lack of price movement.The silver price didn’t do too much either. It was pretty steady until 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and then rose to its high of the day at 10:00 a.m. in London, before getting sold off to its low of the day about five minutes after Comex trading began in New York.The subsequent price rally ended around 11:40 a.m. Eastern time…and then declined about 30 cents going into the close of Comex trading. From there it traded pretty flat until the close of electronic trading at 5:15 p.m. Eastern.Silver closed just under the $30 mark for the second day in a row, at $29.97 spot…up 3 whole cents. Net volume was 35,000 contracts…a few thousand less than Tuesday.As I mentioned in ‘The Wrap’ yesterday, the U.S. dollar index rose and fell about 25 basis points between the New York open on Tuesday evening…and 5:00 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday morning, which was 10:00 a.m. in London.Then it blasted 50 basis points higher in two hours flat, crawling up to its high of the day around 11:30 a.m. in New York. From there it declined gently into the close. The dollar index closed up about 45 points on the day.The approximately ten dollar decline in the gold price [that accompanied the 50 basis point rally in the dollar] between 10 a.m. and noon in London is pretty obvious on the Kitco gold chart above…but it wasn’t much of a decline for such a big dollar move. And by the time the dollar rally was done around 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the gold price had rallied back to within a few bucks of its starting point at 10:00 a.m. in London…5:00 a.m. Eastern time. That’s a bullish sign in my books.On the bad news of out of Hecla Mining yesterday, the HUI gapped down at the open. The low came at 10:30 a.m. Eastern…and then the rest of the gold stocks spent the day crawling higher. I’m sure that if it hadn’t been for the 21% pounding in Hecla’s stock price, the HUI would have finished in positive territory yesterday. As it was, the HUI finished well off its low, closing down only 1.02%.With the odd exception, the silver stocks didn’t do overly well…and with Hecla Mining being one of the major components of Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index, it got hit for a 2.77% loss yesterday. BIG GOLD editor Jeff Clark informed me that Hecla will lose about 3.5 million ounces of silver production because of the closure of the Lucky Friday mine…if it stays closed all year, that is.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was a bit of a surprise. Only 8 gold contracts were posted for delivery on Friday…but a very chunky [for this time of month] 125 silver contracts were also posted for delivery. As usual, it was Jefferies on the short/issuer side…and the Bank of Nova Scotia and JPMorgan as the only long/stoppers. The link to the action is here.There was a very minor withdrawal from the GLD ETF yesterday…13,239 troy ounces…which was probably a fee payment. There were no reported changes in SLV.There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday, either.The Comex-approved warehouses are still busy places these days. Tuesday’s report showed that 701,831 troy ounces were shipped in…and 426,528 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that action is here.Silver analyst Ted Butler posted his mid-week commentary for his paying subscribers yesterday…and here are the usual two free paragraphs…“The main issue with the CME is the inherent conflict between its role as a for-profit corporation…and as a self-regulator. Let’s face it, allowing any for-profit entity to essentially regulate itself, is just asking for trouble. And that is the problem. This conflict is at the heart of the new criticism…yet, curiously, is not mentioned often enough. Instead, observers of the current drama involving the CME and MF Global are misled by sound bites and clutter that fail to mention any inherent conflict of interest on the CME’s part. That’s because the CME is a master at spin-doctoring.”“Because the CME is more interested in profit at any cost, not only has its self-regulatory role been compromised, it has actually enacted and encouraged developments which are downright hostile to the efficient functioning of its markets. You need not look further than the scourge of High Frequency Trading (HFT) for an example of what the CME has done wrong. HFT does nothing to enhance our markets, except generate excessive trading fees for the CME. HFT works against the very purpose for our futures markets of legitimate hedging because HFT is nothing more than day trading gone mad. Legitimate hedgers have no use for frantic day trading. High Frequency Trading also allows for markets to be manipulated easier.”I have a decent number of stories for you today…and most of them are precious metals related. I hope you have the time to spend on them.The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists. – Ernest HemingwayIt was pretty much a nothing sort of day in both gold and silver on Wednesday, as both metals didn’t do much of anything. The preliminary open interest numbers were down a couple of thousand contracts in gold…and a few hundred contracts in silver.One thing that I did notice, was that January open interest in silver had been sneaking up slowly during the week, with 102 contracts added yesterday. That was certainly associated with the fairly large delivery notice in silver [125 contracts] that was reported by the CME last evening…which I mentioned close to the top of this column.Not much happened during the Far East trading session during their Thursday…and not much is going on during the first hour of trading in London, either. As of 3:40 a.m. Eastern time, gold is up about four bucks…and silver is up about 15 cents. Volumes in both metals are very light…and the dollar index is flat.About ninety minutes has gone by since I wrote that last paragraph. It’s now 10:10 a.m. in London…5:10 a.m. Eastern time…and both gold and silver are showing some signs of life. Gold is now up about eight bucks…and silver is up a hair over 40 cents. Volume has picked up a bit as well…and the dollar index is now down about 20 basis point. It’s nothing to get excited about, but it’s more price action than there’s been since the New York open at 6:00 p.m. Eastern last night.Tomorrow we get the new Commitment of Traders Report…and based on the price activity of the reporting week that ended on Tuesday, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was deterioration in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver, as I’m sure that the technical funds were covering their short positions…and the small commercial traders were selling out to them and taking profits.This is not what either Ted Butler or myself is hoping for, but that’s the most plausible outcome at the moment. We’ll see how much truth there is to this speculation tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.That’s all I have for today. I hope your Thursday goes well…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement Great Panther Silver Limited (TSX: GPR) is one of the fastest growing primary silver producers in Mexico. 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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.People do the darnedest things in hopes of avoiding mosquito bites. They burn cow dung, coconut shells or coffee. They drink gin and tonic. They eat bananas. They spray themselves with mouthwash or slather themselves in clove/alcohol solution. And they rub themselves with Bounce. “You know, those heavily perfumed sheets you put in your dryer,” says Dr. Immo Hansen, professor at the Institute of Applied Biosciences at New Mexico State University.None of those techniques have been tested to see if they actually keep mosquitoes away. But that doesn’t stop people from trying them, according to a study that will be published this summer by Hansen and colleague, Stacey Rodriguez, lab manager at the Hansen Lab at NMSU, which studies ways to prevent mosquito-borne diseases. They and colleagues asked 5,000 people what they did to protect themselves against mosquitoes. Most used conventional mosquito repellents.Then researchers asked about their traditional home remedies. That’s when the cow dung and dryer sheets came out. In interviews, Hansen and Rodriguez shared some of the responses they received. Their paper will be published this summer in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ.Beyond folklore and traditional remedies, there are proven ways to protect against mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. NPR talked with researchers, many of whom spend lots of time in mosquito-infested jungles, marshes and tropical areas.Which repellents work best to stop mosquitoes from biting?Products containing DEET have been shown both safe and effective. DEET is shorthand for the chemical N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, the active ingredient in many insect repellents. A 2015 article in the Journal of Insect Science examined the effectiveness of various commercial insect sprays, and products containing DEET proved effective and relatively long lasting. Rodriguez and Hansen were authors of the 2015 study, and replicated the results in a 2017 article in the same journal.DEET appeared on store shelves in 1957. There was some early concern about its safety — speculation that it was linked to neurological problems. But recent reviews, for example a study published in June 2014 in the journal Parasites and Vectors, says, “Animal testing, observational studies and intervention trials have found no evidence of severe adverse events associated with recommended DEET use.”DEET isn’t the only weapon. Products containing the active ingredients picaridin and IR 3535 are as effective, says Dr. Dan Strickman, with the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which is a funder of NPR) and author of Prevention of Bug Bites, Stings, and Disease.Repellents with any of those active ingredients are recommended as safe and effective by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are widely available around the world.Actually, Strickman gives the edge to picardin.”Picaridin is a little more effective than DEET and seems to keep mosquitoes at a greater distance,” he says. When people use DEET, mosquitoes may land on them but not bite. When they use a product containing picaridin, mosquitoes are less likely to even land. Repellents with IR 3535 are slightly less effective, Strickman says, but they don’t have the strong smell of other products.Then there is oil of lemon eucalyptus, or PMD, a natural oil extracted from the leaves and twigs of the lemon-scented gum eucalyptus plant, also recommended by the CDC. PMD is the ingredient in the oil that makes it repellent to insects. NMSU researchers found that a product containing oil of lemon eucalyptus was about as effective and as long lasting as products containing DEET. “For some people, there’s a stigma to using chemicals on their skin. They prefer a more natural product,” says Rodriguez.One surprising finding in 2015 was that a perfume, Victoria’s Secret Bombshell, was a pretty good repellent. Hansen and Rodriguez said they added it to the products they tested as a positive control, believing its floral scent would attract mosquitoes. It turned out bugs hated the smell.Their more recent 2017 study also held a surprise. A product called Off Clip-On attaches to clothing and contains a cartridge containing the area repellent, metofluthrin, also recommended by the CDC. The wearable device is designed for someone sitting in one place, like a parent watching a softball game. The person switches on a small battery-operated fan that blows a small fog of repellent into the air immediately surrounding the clip-on wearer. “It actually worked like a charm,” says Hansen. It was about as effective as DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus at keeping the bugs away, he says.Are there products that just don’t work?Not all products deliver what they promise. The 2015 study found vitamin B1 skin patches to be ineffective at repelling mosquitoes. The 2017 study added citronella candles to the list of products that don’t keep mosquitoes away.So-called bug-repellent wristbands and bracelets fail to repel mosquitoes, according to the recent study. These products contain a variety of oils including citronella and lemongrass.”I’ve had mosquitoes land right on the bracelet that I was testing,” says Rodriguez. “They market [the wristbands and bracelets] as protecting you against Zika [a virus spread by mosquitoes that, in pregnant women, can result in serious birth defects], but they’re completely ineffective.”Ultrasonic devices, using tones people can’t hear but marketers claim mosquitoes hate, don’t work, either. “The sonic device we tested had no effect,” says Hansen. “We’ve tested others before, too. None of them work. There’s no scientific evidence that mosquitoes are repelled by sound.How often should you reapply a repellent?Generally, it’s a good bet to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, experts said. People who will be outside for an hour or two should be protected with, say, a product that contains a lower concentration of DEET (about 10 percent — identified on the label). Those who will be out in the woods, or jungle or marshland, should use a higher concentration of 20 to 25 percent, and refresh every four hours or so, says Dr. Jorge Rey, interim director of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach. “The higher the concentration, the longer it lasts,” says Rey.And again, follow manufacturer’s directions on the amount used. “A lot of people think that if a little is good, a lot is better,” says Dr. William Reisen, professor emeritus at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. “You don’t have to take a bath in the stuff.”What kind of clothing helps protect against bites?When Rey goes on research trips to highly infested areas, like the Florida Everglades, he suits up. “We wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts,” he says. “If it’s particularly bad, we use hats with nets coming down over the face. And we depend on repellent on exposed areas.” That could mean hands, neck and face. But don’t spray the face, experts say. To avoid irritating the eyes, put the repellent on hands and rub it on the face.And don’t forget the feet. Mosquitoes have quirky olfactory preferences. Many of them, especially the Aedes variety that transmits the Zika virus, love the smell of feet.”Wearing sandals isn’t a good idea,” says Rodriguez. Shoes and socks are called for, and tucking pants into socks or shoes helps keep mosquitoes from getting inside clothing. She wears long pants when outdoors in mosquito territory — and definitely not yoga pants. “Spandex is very mosquito friendly. They bite through it. I wear baggier pants and long sleeved shirts, doused in DEET.”What else can reduce the risk of mosquito bites?Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day, but the Aedes aegypti species that transmits Zika prefers midmorning and early evening, says Strickman. If possible, stay indoors in screened-in or air-conditioned buildings during those times.Since these particular mosquitoes breed in standing water in containers like plant pots, old tires, buckets and trash cans, people should rid their immediate area of things that can collect water. “Swimming pools, unless they’re abandoned, are OK,” says Rey. The chemicals used to keep pools safe for swimming also keep mosquitoes away. It takes some close looking to find every possible breeding ground for mosquitoes. “I’ve seen some developing in a film of water next to a sink, or in the bottom of a glass people use to brush their teeth,” says Strickman. Cleaning up areas of standing water can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes.The more people do that kind of basic cleanup, the fewer mosquitoes there will be. “It may not be perfect, but you’ll lower the number of mosquitoes tremendously,” says Strickman.What’s on the horizon to help people avoid mosquito bites and the diseases they bring?Hansen says his lab is working on a technique in which male mosquitoes are sterilized with radiation, then released into the environment. They mate with females who lay eggs, but the eggs never hatch. The technique would target specific species, like the Aedes aegypti that transmit Zika, dengue fever and other diseases.And a team of scientists in Massachusetts is working on a mosquito repellent that will stay on the skin and remain effective for hours or even days, says Dr. Abraar Karan, physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is one of the creators of Hour72+, which he says cannot penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream — and only wears off through natural skin shedding.Hour72+ won the Dubilier $75,000 Grand Prize in this year’s annual Harvard Business School’s New Venture Competition. Karan plans to further test the prototype, which is not on the market, to see how long it remains effective. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Many American teenagers try to put in a full day of school, homework, after-school activities, sports and college prep on too little sleep. As evidence grows that chronic sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for physical and mental health problems, there is increasing pressure on school districts around the country to consider a later start time. In Seattle, school and city officials recently made the shift. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the district moved the official start times for middle and high schools nearly an hour later, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. This was no easy feat; it meant rescheduling extracurricular activities and bus routes. But the bottom line goal was met: Teenagers used the extra time to sleep in. Researchers at the University of Washington studied the high school students both before and after the start-time change. Their findings appear in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. They found students got 34 minutes more sleep on average with the later school start time. This boosted their total nightly sleep from 6 hours and 50 minutes to 7 hours and 24 minutes. “This study shows a significant improvement in the sleep duration of students, all by delaying school start times so they’re more in line with the natural wake-up times of adolescents,” says senior author Horacio de la Iglesia, a University of Washington researcher and professor of biology. The study also found an improvement in grades and a reduction in tardiness and absences.Seattle’s switch to later start times is still unusual for school districts around the country, where school typically starts around 8 a.m. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement calling on school districts to move start times to 8:30 a.m. or later for middle and high schools so that students can get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night. But according to the National Center For Education Statistics, only 17 percent of public middle and high schools, including some school districts in Minnesota and Kentucky, start at 8:30 a.m. or later. Getting a little extra sleep in the morning can be vital for teens, explains de la Iglesia. Once children reach puberty, their biological clock changes. “They fall asleep later than older adults and young kids,” he says. Teens’ biological bedtime is more like midnight, he says, and if parents expect them to go to sleep at 10 p.m., it often doesn’t work. “They’ll just lay in bed and not fall asleep,” he says. Of course, this means teens need to sleep later in the morning. “To ask a teen to be up and alert at 7:30 a.m. is like asking an adult to be active and alert at 5:30 a.m.,” says de la Iglesia.In the study, researchers compared two separate groups of sophomores enrolled in biology classes at two Seattle high schools, Franklin High School and Roosevelt High School. The first group of 92 students, drawn from both schools, wore wrist monitors to track their sleep for two-week periods in the spring of 2016, when school still started at 7:50 a.m. The wrist monitors collected information about light and activity levels every 15 seconds so researchers could determine when students were awake and when they were asleep. In 2017, after schools changed start times to nearly one hour later, researchers looked at a group of 88 students taking the same biology classes. They also wore wrist activity monitors and kept a sleep diary. You might think that when school starts later, teens will just stay up later. But that’s not what researchers found. Bedtimes stayed relatively constant and kids caught some extra sleep in the mornings. “We’ve put them in between a rock and a hard place where their biology to go to bed later fights with societal expectations,” says lead researcher Gideon Dunster, a graduate student studying sleep at the University of Washington. “Thirty-four minutes of extra sleep each night is a huge impact to see from a single intervention,” says de la Iglesia. The study also shows a link between getting more sleep and better academic performance. Students who took the biology class after the later start time got final grades that were 4.5 percent higher than students who took the class when it started earlier. That could be the difference between an A and a B, says de la Iglesia. He says sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to learn and to retain new information. Even though researchers can’t be sure that more sleep gave students an academic edge, the school’s biology teachers say the difference was striking. “When we started at 7:50 a.m. there would always be stragglers who were having a hard time getting here,” says Cindy Jatul, who teaches biology at Roosevelt High School. Students were groggy and noticeably different from students who took her class later in the day. “For example, if I gave them a project in the lab, they would be the most likely class to mess up,” she says. Franklin High School science teacher A.J. Katzaroff says “there was lots of yawning” when school started at 7:50 a.m. Students had a hard time engaging in the work or in brief discussions, which is extremely unfortunate. “Some of the best practices in science education have students talk, discuss and investigate together and those are all very hard when the brain is not fully powered,” Katzaroff says. After the time switch, many more kids were able to engage in deeper thought and scientific discourse. Katzaroff says. The number of students who were tardy or absent also decreased significantly, putting Franklin High School — which is in a low-income neighborhood — on par with students from a higher-income neighborhood. The later school start time gave them a better opportunity to make it to school on time. “We need to give every bit of equity we can for kids in lower socio-economic families,” says Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Breuner was not involved in the study.Breuner calls the findings “exciting” and says that while an extra 34 minutes of sleep might not sound like a lot to the average person, when it comes to sleep “every minute counts.” Breuner says that while only a handful of school districts nationwide have switched to later start times, that is changing “as counties and cities like Seattle make changes and see positive benefit.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
A food delivery man in India has been fired after a video that showed him eating a customer’s order went viral. The video shows a balding man dressed in a red T-shirt with a red delivery bag on his motorbike. The T-shirt reads “Zomato,” a popular online food delivery company in India.The man is parked at the side of a road. He uses a spoon to skim a few bites from a container of food he’s opened, puts the lid back on, then picks another container and does the same thing. He puts the containers back in a plastic bag and reseals the bag with tape. This happened in the southern Indian city of Madurai.The incident prompted outrage and jokes on social media. People lambasted the company for having poor standards and shared the video as a cautionary tale against using online food delivery services. But after news broke that Zomato had sacked the delivery man, the online discussion turned sympathetic. It sparked a debate about exploitation of workers by India’s burgeoning online food delivery industry. Rajyasree Sen, who writes columns on food, pop culture and politics for several Indian newspapers and online publications, says the incident highlights a larger problem in Indian society: socioeconomic disparity.For folks who “have more food than we know what to do with,” she says, it’s easy to ask: Why on earth would a delivery man do something like this?To answer that question, you need to take a look at the life of India’s delivery personnel.Companies call them delivery “executives” but their wages and working conditions tell a different story.According to popular job search sites, food delivery companies say they’ll pay an employee around $250 a month. That may put them in the top 20 percent earners in the country but it’s barely enough to live in cities (where most food delivery apps operate) as the cost of living is also higher. In media interviews, delivery persons have described how they have to work long hours, since they are typically paid per delivery — roughly $1 per order.And if they need to take a break, they lose out on potential income. There are plenty of other delivery persons to step in. Zomato has a fleet of more than 150,000 drivers. Swiggy, an app-based food delivery service, has 100,000 active delivery people.Swiggy delivery “executives” went on strike in December to protest a proposed drop in the per-delivery fee they earn.What’s more, customers don’t always appear to appreciate the delivery person. “It is a horrible job because of the way people treat you,” says op-ed columnist Sen. Even in the height of summer, she says, a lot of customers would not even offer a glass of water to a delivery man. As to the video: In an official blog post, Zomato called the occurrence “highly unusual and a rare case.” “We take this very seriously and will soon introduce tamper-proof tapes and other precautionary measures to ensure we add an extra layer of safeguard against such behaviour,” the company said in its statement.Companies need to understand that delivery people often ferry food that they themselves may not be able to afford, says Sen. “[Companies] either need to give food coupons or need to give [delivery agents] one meal a day,” she says.Commentators noted that the outrage against the video exposes a lack of empathy among India’s elite. “Instead of insisting that Zomato, Swiggy and the other delivery services protect our precious parcels from ravenous riders, perhaps we should take to Twitter and ask them to give their employees better working conditions and quality of life,” wrote Dushyant Shekhawat, who comments on political and social issues, in an op-ed piece.Online food delivery companies like Swiggy and Zomato are fairly new — they launched within the last 5 years — but have transformed how Indians eat. Zomato boasts 21 million orders a month and is available in 38 cities across India as of September. The value of the company Swiggy crossed the $1 billion mark this year. It caters to customers in 57 towns and cities.Online food delivery in India is a $7 billion industry. Sushmita Pathak is NPR’s producer in Mumbai. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Add to Queue This story appears in the June 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand May 17, 2010 Touch-based technology isn’t just for the iPhone and iPad. –shares Magazine Contributor Next Article 2 min read Jonathan Blum Touch, and Go Apple’s iPhone and iPad are not the only things that work with a touch of the finger. Touch-based technology is finding its way into everything from laptops to printers to once-forgettable desktop PCs–some of which fill critical niches for the smaller enterprise.Take the Acer Aspire Z5600, a 23-inch all-in-one touch-enabled desktop PC.The unit packs a hefty 2.33GHz processor, as much as 8GB of RAM and a full terabyte (1000GB) of storage in a single silver enclosure. Reminiscent of the Apple iMac in appearance, the Aspire Z5600’s functions can be operated with either a traditional keyboard and mouse or your–or your customer’s–fingers.That opens the box to myriad business possibilities: For example, the PC, which retails for $999, could be set up as a low-cost informational kiosk in retail shops or offices. John Karabian, a product manager at Acer, said touch-enabled desktops are being used as data entry points where customers can order food or view high-end cosmetics options at a retail store.And for all of its marketing prowess, Apple is far from being today’s top end of touch: Windows 7 has touch technology built into its core operating system, and third-party software vendors are lining up to offer value-added tools for touch.”The iPad and Apple are only the beginning,” says Francois Jenneau, sales and business development director for Stantum, a European multitouch display application developer. “Customers now want to touch their data. There is no going back.” Technology Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5
Delivery Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. USPS to Deliver 7 Days a Week During Holiday Season in Fight With FedEx, UPS –shares Phil Wahba Next Article This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine 2 min read Add to Queue The United States Postal Service said on Thursday it would offer delivery seven days a week in major cities at the height of the holiday season, even on Christmas Day, as it looks to compete with FedEx and United Parcel Service for its share of the increase in package volume caused by the surge in e-commerce.The National Retail Federation’s Shop.org last month forecast e-commerce sales would rise as much as 11% this holiday season. UPS has doubled the number of seasonal hires this year to handle the expected jump in package volume, seeking to avoid last Christmas’ debacle when it was overwhelmed by an unpredictably large number of packages right before Christmas and couldn’t deliver thousands of them in time for the big day. FedEx has similarly ramped up hiring.USPS will delivery packages every day, including Sundays, beginning Nov. 17 through Christmas Day and is expecting the number of packages it handles to range between 450 million and 470 million packages, up 12% over last year’s holiday season..“That’s crunch time for us,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “E-commerce package business continues to be a big player now more than ever.”FedEx and UPS have each announced price hikes going into effect at the end of December, and UPS last month told Reuters it may charge retailers a premium for last minute deliveries. But USPS said it lowered some of its prices for businesses and frequent shippers.The Postal Service’s expanded delivery to compete with the large package shipping companies comes as USPS tries to stanch enormous losses: in the quarter of ended June 30, 2014 alone, the service lost $2 billion, its 21st money-losing quarter of the last 23 periods. November 6, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »