2 April 2014International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is in Brussels where she is leading a South African delegation to the 4th Africa-European Union (EU) Summit.According to the Department of International Relations, the summit affords Africa and Europe the opportunity to further strengthen political and socio-economic cooperation between the two continents.High on the agenda of the two-day event, starting on Wednesday, will be peace and security, trade and investment, human development and the future institutional and financial arrangements of the Africa-EU Partnership.Leaders from the two continents are also expected to use the opportunity to stocktake what has been achieved over the past three years, as guided by the Africa-EU Action Plan 2010-2013. The action plans was adopted at the 3rd Africa-EU Summit in Libya in November 2010.Issues concerning the financing of priority projects aimed at meeting the developmental challenges of Africa will also be addressed.Agreements that are due to be signed during the meeting include the Brussels Declaration of the Heads of State and Government, which is the main outcome document for the 4th Africa-EU Summit; the Africa-EU Roadmap; and the Declaration on Migration and Mobility.Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to hold bilateral consultations with her counterparts from Africa and Europe on the sidelines of the summit. South Africa’s delegation includes Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Source: SAnews.gov.za
4Cavaliers50-3216251444510 At long last, it’s time to put regular-season basketball in the rearview mirror and move on to the NBA’s main event — the playoffs are finally here! And FiveThirtyEight is here, too, to help predict how it’ll all go down. With the help of our CARM-Elo projection model, and the betting odds1According to Sportsbook.ag. as a second opinion, what follows is our survey of both the Eastern and Western Conference postseason landscapes. And in a departure from last season, when the Warriors were near-universal favorites on the eve of the playoffs, there’s actually some uncertainty in the playoff outlook this time around. TeamRecordRatingWin Conf.Win TitleWin Conf.Win Title 7Bucks44-3815001<120 CARM-Elo chancesVegas chances How Elo is forecasting the Western Conference playoffsAs of April 12 8Wizards43-391487<1<121 7Spurs47-3516226310 Vegas odds based on the implied probability of betting line.Source: VegasInsider.com 6Heat44-381491<1<110 5Pacers48-3415473<110 1Raptors59-23168342%17%29%7% 5Jazz48-3416639531 TeamRecordRatingWin Conf.Win TitleWin Conf.Win Title Vegas odds based on the implied probability of betting line.Source: VegasInsider.com 376ers52-3016593011175 CARM-Elo ChancesVegas Chances Statistical favorite: The numbers say this might finally be a breakthrough year for the Toronto Raptors, who are in the playoffs for a fifth straight season but have only one conference finals appearance (and zero NBA Finals berths) to show for it. Everything seemed to come together for Toronto this season, from a mega-efficient offense to a defense that improved to fifth-best in basketball. Add in a career year from DeMar DeRozan and a world-beating second unit, and the result was the top seed in the East — with a 42 percent chance to win the conference, according to CARM-Elo. That number is much higher than the 30 percent chance that CARM-Elo is giving the 76ers, the team our model thinks has the second-best chance of making it to the NBA Finals. And it’s hugely better than the 14 percent we’re giving the three-time defending conference champion Cavaliers. If the regular-season indicators mean anything, Toronto has earned every bit of its favorite status.Betting favorite: Another year, another case of the stats underrating the Cleveland Cavaliers’ chances in the East. Our model struggled to assess the Cavs last season too, and LeBron James’s squad proved the data wrong by tearing through the East with only one loss en route to the NBA Finals. The same scenario is shaping up to happen this season — and Vegas knows it. That’s probably why the Cavs are favored by the markets to win the conference again (albeit as less of a favorite than in the past), despite a regular season that was unimpressive by the standards of a LeBron team. In the battle between skepticism over Cleveland’s inconsistent form and trust that James can will his team to an eighth consecutive NBA Finals,2Including his time with Miami and his second stint in Cleveland. the bettors are still giving LeBron the benefit of the doubt.Dark horse: Although our ratings are higher on the Philadelphia 76ers than the Las Vegas odds are, both predictions think the Sixers are an intriguing pick to contend for the East crown. On the one hand, Philly’s near-total lack of playoff seasoning is a troublesome indicator for the postseason, where experience matters more than we sometimes acknowledge. (A late-season injury to star big man Joel Embiid also complicates matters; Embiid is recovering but probably won’t be ready for Game 1 of Philadelphia’s opening series with the Heat.) But Philadelphia is loaded with talent, from Embiid down low to likely rookie of the year Ben Simmons at the point and No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, who on Wednesday became the youngest player to post a triple-double. The Sixers are also playing at something close to peak form going into the playoffs, having won 16 straight games to close out the regular season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest winning streak ever for a team entering the playoffs, and it’s one big reason why both our model and the Vegas odds list Philly as the only East team other than Cleveland or Toronto with a double-digit probability of winning the conference title.Best first-round series: The East doesn’t have as many quality first-round duels as the West, but the Celtics and Bucks should be an interesting matchup. Boston lost its star player, Kyrie Irving, with just a week to go before the playoffs. The Celtics have home-court advantage and enough supporting talent to win a postseason series without Irving, but the onus will be on Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier to cap off their breakout seasons with great playoff performances. On the Milwaukee side, the Bucks have largely underachieved this season, although they’ve been slightly better after firing Jason Kidd in January. They also have the best individual player in the series by far, according to Basketball-Reference.com’s Value Over Replacement Player, in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak had an MVP-type season this year, and he possesses the skills to potentially take over a series all by himself. It’s been a year since the Bucks put a scare into the Raptors before losing in the first round, and Milwaukee could be poised to actually win this time around. 2Warriors58-241628844435 3Trail Blazers49-3316126332 4Thunder48-3416589532 2Celtics55-2715789231 6Pelicans48-3415954210 1Rockets65-17177257%44%44%35% 8Timberwolves47-3515651<110 How Elo is forecasting the Eastern Conference playoffsAs of April 12 Statistical favorite: After years of taking a backseat as Golden State dominated our pre-playoff predictions, the Houston Rockets are now front-runners to win the West. Specifically, CARM-Elo gives soon-to-be MVP James Harden and friends a 57 percent chance of making their first NBA Finals appearance this summer. Incredulous? Fine, but doubt Houston at your own peril. Remember that this season’s Rockets team shares many of the same characteristics with the Warriors back when Golden State was first making the climb toward transcendence. Teams that produce all-time great seasons like Houston has this season tend to win NBA titles at a tremendously high rate. Nothing in the regular-season numbers suggests that the Rockets should be anything other than solid favorites to take the conference — if not more.Betting favorite: There is a huge disparity between the chance our model gives the Golden State Warriors of winning the championship and what the betting markets say. CARM-Elo gives the defending NBA champs only an 8 percent chance of winning the West, tied to the team’s relatively unexceptional 58-win campaign that ended with Steph Curry injured and Steve Kerr calling his team out over a series of listless final-month losses. And yet, Golden State remains the betting market’s Western Conference co-favorite (alongside the Rockets), with an implied 44 percent chance of going to the NBA Finals for a fourth-straight season. Similar to the situation with the Cavaliers, the Warriors’ strong odds can be attributed to disagreement over how much we should read into a talented team’s regular-season struggles. The oddsmakers are clearly putting a lot more weight on Golden State’s track record than what we’ve seen on the court in 2017-18 — and considering how well we know the Warriors are capable of playing, that’s probably a good call.Dark horse: The West is so crazy that we could highlight a few teams here, but the Utah Jazz stand out in particular. According to CARM-Elo, they rank as the NBA’s third-best team going into the playoffs — trailing only the Rockets and Raptors — even after making our adjustment for playoff experience (of which the Jazz have very little). Utah put itself in a bit of an unfortunate position by losing to Portland on the final day of the regular season, which dropped the Jazz from the No. 3 seed down to No. 5. As a result, Utah lost home-court advantage in the first round, and the formidable Thunder were locked in as its first-round opponent. (It also set them up for a potential second-round collision course with the Rockets.) Even so, our model lists the Jazz as tied with OKC for the second-best chances of winning the West, and they could prove a dangerous opponent for the top seeds if they make it out of the first round.Best first-round series: CARM-Elo says the closest matchup of the first round is the aforementioned clash between the Thunder and Jazz. Oklahoma City is a slim favorite at 52 percent, by virtue of having home-court advantage. But these teams are very evenly matched: Both posted 48-34 records, and only 5 points of CARM-Elo separate their ratings. This one might be a referendum of sorts on the importance of playoff seasoning — the Jazz are the least-experienced team in the postseason field, while the Thunder rank fourth-highest behind only the Cavaliers, Warriors and Spurs. That edge might be enough to push OKC over the top, although whoever wins the prize likely has a date with the Rockets in the next round. Enjoy these teams while they last.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (April 12, 2018, 4:45 p.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the possibility of the Utah Jazz facing the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round if the Jazz had won their final game. Although Utah would have been the No. 3 seed if it had won, it could have played several different teams depending on the results of other games.
Three armed attacks in Provo, all in Blue Hills Related Items:exit survey, Gary Brough, KPMG, Tourist TCI: Savory favors investor residency status, heralds KPMG economic report, says Caicos link is economic lifeline Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 09 Oct 2014 — An exit survey for visitors to the country to report on their Turks and Caicos experience is just days away from starting now as the National Tourism Strategy consultant company, KPMG explains they are on the hunt for a tangible understanding of where the Turks and Caicos is, so that they can deliver on an overarching long term plan for tourism for the nation. Gary Brough, KPMG managing Director explained that since the launch of the project, KPMG’s team has been busy reviewing and critiquing previous studies and plans, researching and benchmarking the TCI against other jurisdictions and accumulating data and statistics. Add to this, Brough, who is also the leader for KPMG in Travel, Leisure and Tourism practice in the Caribbean explained that they want to hear from the general public on ideas for an enhanced tourism product. Consultation meetings are planned for this month also; those exit surveys will be for both airline and cruise departures. Recommended for you Local Atty says Govt going against public consultation; says NO to taller resort plan Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas TribuneGov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017.Gov. Greg Abbott issued a declaration for a special session of the Texas Legislature Monday, formally inviting lawmakers back to Austin to pass “sunset legislation” that will keep several key state agencies open.The long-awaited procedural move allows lawmakers to begin filing bills for the special session set to begin on July 18. In addition to the formal declaration, Abbott also released a draft version of 19 additional items he plans to add to the special session agenda later on. Last month, Abbott announced that lawmakers would consider 20 total legislative items during the special session.Lawmakers’ failure to pass “sunset” legislation during this year’s 140-day regular session forced Abbott to call the special session. Absent that measure, government agencies including the Texas Medical Board, which licenses doctors across the state, will have to shut down.“With today’s proclamation, and with bill authors already lined up for all special session items, I look forward to working with the House and Senate to finish the people’s business,” Abbott said in a statement.During the special session, lawmakers will return to several controversial issues that deeply divided the state’s Republican leadership, including a so-called “bathroom bill” that seeks to restrict which bathrooms transgender Texans can use. In his unofficial supplemental call, Abbott described that issue as “legislation regarding the use of multi-occupancy showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and changing rooms.”Abbott also wants legislators to take on school finance reform, school choice for special needs students and several local control measures.Secretary of the Senate Patsy Spaw said her office received a copy of the proclamation around 11:00 a.m., which she forwarded to senators to alert them that they could begin filing bills. A physical copy of the proclamation was also delivered to senators’ offices in the Capitol building. No senate bills have yet been filed for the special session.Meanwhile the House, which has had an e-filing system in place for years, received over two dozen bills before 1:00 p.m.Robert Haney, the House chief clerk, said the first bill filed Monday, House Bill 41 from state Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy, was received at 11:42 a.m. The bill aims to change how the state calculates the constitutional spending limit, which restricts how much the budget can grow from one biennium to the next. Share
The Washington D.C. Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA-DC) held a Reporters’ Roundtable May 17 to discuss current immigration issues relating to youth in the United States. While immigration reform and the needs of first-generation immigrant youth often focus on Latinos, the roundtable revealed that sub-Saharan Africans tend to have the most difficulties assimilating into U.S. culture.According to the New Americans Integration Institute, out of all immigrant groups, sub-Saharan Africans find it particularly frustrating to move into the American workforce, despite being well qualified and highly educated, largely due to cultural and racial barriers. “If you’re a nurse or a doctor, there are so many federal and state requirements that you have to fill that become very, very complicated and time-consuming, and foreign degrees in general are often less valued than U.S. degrees,” said Jeff Gross, director of the New Americans Integration Institute at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.The result, as families like the Tureys, living in Southeast D.C. find, are children whose parents have advanced degrees, but who are unable to lift them out of poverty and forced to live and work in substandard conditions. “My husband has a master’s degree in mathematics and doctorate in engineering, but because his degrees were earned in Ethiopia, there is much paperwork and red tape to get through so he drives a taxi,” Mariama Turey told the AFRO. “The money is so poor with the Uber competition and people riding bicycles that we cannot afford to live like the professional-class people that we are.” Many foreign degrees require additional training before being accepted in the U.S.Turey’s four children, all born in the U.S., want what other U.S. children have, including cell phones and fashionable clothes. And while her husband would prefer she remain at home and not work, Turey said meeting the needs of the children and living above the poverty line require she braid hair in her spare time.“It is not a good situation for me at all because the laws are changing and I fear I will be forced to get a license to do something we consider to be a cultural service,” Turey said. “It makes you wonder if the system is not designed to keep you poor and begging when you cannot even scratch out a living without someone wanting to tax that as well.”But as Gross pointed out, assimilation or “Americanizing” oneself, remains the key to getting into the American professional job market. “If you don’t come to a job interview and approach it with an American attitude, an American style, and an American résumé, that credentialing document won’t do you much good,” Gross said.Still, for those like Turey, who wanted a bit of a hustle with hair braiding, the restrictions were found to be even worse. Licensing has spread inexorably through the U.S. labor market, often due to horror stories of people being harmed by the actions of someone without the necessary training, with occupational licensure, according to Forbes magazine, damaging the upward mobility of poor people and doing little to protect the public. And while challenged in court, new cases arise almost daily.In Tennessee, for instance, Pritchard v. Board of Cosmetology, the plaintiff Tammy Pritchard, was told she had to earn 300 hours of classroom instruction in order to wash hair in an African braiding salon. “These laws represent a hostile, anti-immigration work policy that makes it futile for hardworking citizens to gain full access to the American dream,” George Washington University foreign policy grad student, John Marshall told the AFRO. “When you acknowledge that in the 1950s roughly 5 percent of workers needed permission from federal, state, or local authorities to practice their occupation, these expensive licenses do a lot to keep Africans from earning money.”African immigrants from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya account for nearly half of the foreign-born African population in the U.S in 2013 and overwhelmingly settle in the South (38 percent) or the Northeast (27 percent) most often in New York, Maryland, D.C., and New Jersey.