first_imgmarkhachman Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 2013 will be a make-or-break year for Microsoft. Not so much from a financial standpoint, but for how the company is perceived.Traditionally, Microsoft has built itself around the PC, anchoring itself by its core operating systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and now Windows 8. But in the last few years, Microsoft’s Server and Tools division has generated the highest revenue and profits in the company, followed by the traditional pillars of the company, Windows and Business Tools, or Office.How will Microsoft fare in 2013? Financially and overall, just fine. But be on the lookout for softness in the company’s traditional businesses as Microsoft evolves into a services company.Windows 8: A Mild FlopAny Microsoft predictions need to start with Windows 8. So let’s get this out of the way: Windows 8 will flop in 2013.Not hard – the new operating system probably shouldn’t be compared to the catastrophe that was Windows Vista. But Windows 8 will likely be seen as overly ambitious, a risk that many potential customers won’t be willing to take. In all, though, Windows 8 will sell slightly fewer copies than Windows 7 during 2013.That’s not because Windows 8 is bad. It isn’t. To its credit, the new OS hasn’t been plagued with the sort of slowdowns and crashes and user interface mistakes that afflicted Vista. But the break from previous version is sharp. Windows 8 doesn’t launch to the desktop, the most familiar interface (and – perhaps to speed the transition to the new user interface – Microsoft is refusing to let users configure it to go direct to the old-style desktop). Years of interacting with smartphones and tablets have taught users how to navigate the Metro interface, and swiping left and right along the main Start screen is easily understood. But most consumers don’t quite seem to get what they need to do when they want to “work,” i.e. use the desktop. The back-and-forth between the desktop and the Start menu, the navigation between apps, the lack of a traditional Start button and other interface changes will frustrate users. Unlike Michael Dell, I see a significant chunk of enterprises still choosing to standardize on Windows 7. Typically, Microsoft halts sales of the previous operating system two years after the new version goes on sale, which would mean that Windows 7 would fade away in Oct. 2014. (Windows 7 mainstream support will expire in January 2015.) I think we might see a “toned-down,” more transitional edition/service pack of either Windows 8 (or 9?) that will help consumers shift over to the new OS. Basically, what consumers will accept is a Windows 8 tablet interface on top of a Windows 7 desktop environment. They don’t have it. Yet.Surface: A Nice Idea, But…If Microsoft could deliver a full-fledged Windows 8 experience at the $500 price point of the Surface RT, the company would sell a ton of its new tablets. So far, it’s not even trying – the Surface Pro starts at $900.Windows tablets – from Microsoft or others – will be lumped together with Windows Phone: lovely experience, but without the variety of apps that users are used to on the leading platforms. Sorry, but developers are going to support Android and iOS first, and then maybe Windows and BlackBerry. That leaves Web apps as the saving grace.In that environment, Surface will survive, but not thrive. Windows tablets from other manufacturers will barely survive. Expect some hardware makers to try a consumption-oriented “Surface Mini” form factor, though, with modest success.Traditional clamshell laptop form factors will still be the most popular for business, with convertible/detachable hybrid tablet/laptops making headway among consumers. That means it’s hard to see a sweet spot for the Surface Pro to catch on.Finally, Touchscreens will become a standard necessity very quickly. Logitech and other peripheral manufacturers are in trouble. Server Tools and Office: Under Pressure, But Still DominantAt this point, most people use Office because they use Office. It’s a habit. Most consumers don’t really need Office for basic Word processing, but there’s always just a bit of formatting that the free alternatives can’t manage. Businesses, meanwhile, have made Word, Excel and PowerPoint into staples of everyday business life.There’s no reason any of that will change in 2013. Office for Windows RT and Surface remains one of the compelling selling points for the platform. And, revenue concerns or not, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to ship Office for the iPad and the Mac. So it no doubt will do just that. It’s in Microsoft’s best interest to keep its .DOC, .PPT, and .XLS formats (and their XML equivalents) front of mind for most of the Web’s population.It’s also difficult to see Microsoft’s Server and Tools business disintegrating. This has been one of the company’s most stable businesses, and should continue to be so for years to come.Xbox: The Top Dog’s Getting Long In The ToothWill there be an “Xbox 720” by Christmas 2013? Hard to say. But with each passing year (the Xbox turns seven in 2013) the possibility becomes more and more likely. Either way, the Xbox is becoming even more important to Microsoft. The Xbox’s function (as a games console) has evolved into an entertainment console. I think we’ll probably see that recognized as a rebranded “Arcade” version, reimagined as a sort of beefed-up Roku. Cloud services remove much of the need for local storage, but the Kinect provides a compelling user interface as well a gaming controller. Microsoft could strip out cost from Kinect, possibly making it audio-only. I think a stripped-down Kinect Arcade bundle is likely.Kinect for Windows, though a fascinating idea, probably doesn’t as make as much sense, given Windows 8’s a touchscreen interface. In general, however, Microsoft will have to stumble badly to allow Sony, Nintendo or others back into the console game. Windows Phone: We’re Number Three!Great product, nice interface, solid hardware. Count me in the camp of people who admire what Microsoft’s done in the smartphone arena. But there’s no way Microsoft unseats either Android or iOS. Instead, Microsoft should hope to become the third option – outpacing RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10.Will it? Probably, over time. In the United States, BlackBerry and Symbian are dead ducks.Microsoft Online: Bing, IE Gain RespectabilityIt’s probably fairer to say that Microsoft’s online services have already gained respectability, and will continue driving forward in 2013. Bing’s home page is still one of the most attractive sites on the Web, and if people were forced to visit it for every search it would do even better. They’re not forced to do that, of course, and Bing continues to trail Google by a large margin.If that’s going to change in 2013, the boost will come from Windows 8. In the new operating system, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome are unwelcome guests, rather than a fundamental part of the OS. And integrating Bing – which has diverged into its own ecosystem, rather than follow Google – will help Microsoft gain share in search. Whether or not Internet Explorer is truly the most popular browser varies by which analyst firm you ask, but IE10 will definitely help grow Microsoft’s presence online.The tougher question is whether Microsoft’s online division turn a profit in 2013? The answer is No. It will come closer, but that milestone will have to wait.All the changes should work together to benefit Microsoft’s online ecosystem. The company has brought together a suite of products, from Skype to Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, that can all be tied together. How well Microsoft can monetize them, however, is anyone’s guess.Put it all together, and 2013 is the year Microsoft doubles down on its pivot away from being a software supplier to being a services provider.Expect some softness in Windows sales, but continued strength in back-end tools and services. How this all plays out will determine whether 2013 ends with a very different Microsoft perceived as a newly revitalized dominant player or a reeling giant struggling to regain relevance.  Related Posts Tags:#Microsoft#predictions#Windows 8#windows 8 rt#Windows Phone 8#Xbox center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts Andrej Kovacevic Digital Marketing Jobs in the Government Sector Modern businesses rely on their web properties as their primary means of attracting and communicating with consumers. Web properties have become an all-important sales and marketing channel, and stand as the public face of most brands, shaping perceptions and public sentiment in innumerable ways.The primacy of the web has caused companies the world over to obsess over their website statistics, spending much of their marketing spend on refining every imaginable aspect of their online operations.Generally speaking, the majority of businesses focus on search engine optimization (SEO) practices to drive visitors to their websites, and rightly so – more than half of all website traffic comes from organic search, after all. That has created a booming industry of companies dedicated to the task of deciphering the major search engines’ ranking algorithms, seeking any kind of insight that could provide businesses with a competitive edge in a crowded digital marketplace.At the end of the day, however, what matters to a business are the bottom line results they see from their internet operations. More often than not, though, the average startup finds itself putting plenty of effort into increasing pageviews but ends up with little to show from it beyond some impressive analytics. To remedy that situation, and to drive results that will actually boost the bottom line, here are the four key components of building web properties that actually convert.Quality, Not QuantityOne of the earliest lessons most startup businesses learn online is that although it takes plenty of effort, it’s not really all that hard to drive traffic to a website. Since organic search is such a big part of the overall picture, all that’s necessary are a few high-ranking pages, and the visitors will roll in. The real trick is not necessarily maximizing visitors, though; it’s attracting the right ones. The way to do that is to focus as much as possible on the quality of the content that is being used to attract visitors.Whether that content lives on the business’s web property itself or is part of a content marketing campaign spread across a variety of other outlets, it is vital that the content is laser-focused on the target audience. When that isn’t the case, and a business focuses on the sheer volume of content they’re producing, the visitors engaging with that content produces aren’t likely to engage with the brand or service because they may have arrived expecting something different than what they encountered. The bottom line is that quality content produces quality traffic.User Experience is VitalToday’s Internet-savvy consumers are exposed to more web properties every day than they may have seen in an average month just a few short years ago. The result is that they simply don’t have time to waste on any website that doesn’t deliver a smooth and useful user experience (UX) right out of the gate.Research indicates that an average website visitor makes the decision to remain on a website or leave within an astounding ten seconds. That means page designs must be succinct, to the point, and clear enough to absorb within that short amount of time. If visitors can’t be captured within that all-important window, no other on-page optimization efforts will make a difference.Measure Twice, or Three or Four TimesPhoto: tashatuvango / Adobe StockIf there is anything that may be considered a near-universal truth in building successful web properties, it’s that the first iteration of any site is rarely going to represent the final result. That’s because even experienced designers need specific audience feedback to create a finished product that meets the expectations of visitors and also produces results for the business.Within the iterative process, it’s essential to measure the results of every change through thorough A/B testing to make sure each alteration has the desired effect. Convincely shows us that that’s also one of the keys to fine-tuning visitor action paths, which can help to optimize visitor conversions further.Engagement Protects SEOOnce efforts have been made to drive high-quality, relevant traffic to a web property, there’s another goal beyond conversion that must be measured and improved wherever possible: user engagement with the site. While that may sound like an apparent goal, it’s one that many startups miss in their quest to increase visitors and develop leads, because engagement doesn’t always mean conversion.Despite that reality, high user engagement and lengthy site visits are the real lifeblood of long-lasting success. That’s why search engines consider something called “dwell time” as a factor in SERP placement, and it is one of the secrets to actual search engine staying power.Basically, dwell time measures the amount of time a search user spends on a website before returning to a search result page. Since search engines want to provide the most useful and relevant results possible, they tend to give preference to sites that capture users’ attention and hold it when arriving from the SERP.They regard such sites as higher quality and use the measurement to gauge how useful the page was to the searcher. For businesses, that means making user engagement the focal point of every part of their web properties to create a self-sustaining process – SEO raising search rankings, and high engagement protecting those rankings over long periods of time.A Virtuous CycleFor startups seeking to build successful, high-converting web properties, paying attention to the above factors is a must. Doing so will increase the number of relevant, motivated visitors arriving at the site, give them an experience they’ll enjoy, and guide them toward conversion. In addition, the very act of holding the visitors’ attention for as long as possible will help keep the pages ranking high, allowing them to keep drawing in precious prospects for longer periods of time.Getting these components right means creating a cycle of positive traffic and leads that will boost the company’s bottom line and keep the web property thriving without having to continually re-address time-consuming and often expensive SEO efforts. At the end of the day, establishing that cycle will help the site accomplish the objectives it was meant to while allowing the startup to do what it does best – innovate and grow. Andrej is a dedicated writer and digital evangelist. He is pursuing an ongoing mission to share the benefits of his years of hard-won expertise with business leaders and marketing professionals everywhere. He is a contributor to a wide range of technology-focused publications, where he may be found discussing everything from neural networks and natural language processing to the latest in smart home IoT devices. If there’s a new and exciting technology, there’s a good chance Andrej is writing about it somewhere out there. AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#conversion#CRO#marketing#online business#User Experience last_img read more

first_imgKarthikeyan will race for Hispania for the full season.After a five- year gap, Narain Karthikeyan made his return to Formula One. The ace Indian driver announced on Thursday that he has signed a contract with Hispania Racing Team ( HRT) for the 2011 season.Karthikeyan last raced in an F1 car in 2005 with Jordan and later test- drove for the Williams team in 2006 and 2007.Karthikeyan, 33, was elated with the development and was looking forward to fulfilling his dream of driving at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. ” I have worked really hard to return to F1 and it will be a dream come true to race in the first ever F1 race in India. I am delighted to be racing again in F1. I have always maintained that I have not given up on my desire to return to the top level of motor sport. I am confident that I have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed. I am extremely grateful to the Tata Group, without whose unwavering support, this comeback would not have been possible. I have a long standing relationship with Kolles and can’t wait for the season to start,” he added.The Spanish outfit’s team boss Colin Kolles said: ” It is a great pleasure for us to have signed Narain. I have known Narain for a long time and he can revert to the experiences he gained when he was competing for Jordan and being test and reserve driver for Williams,” said the German, who was the team principal of Jordan when Karthikeyan made his F1 debut.advertisementAfter his F1 stint in 2005, Narain dabbled with other competitive series. From 2007 until 2009, he drove for Team India in the A1GP and won in China and Britain. In 2009, he raced for the Kolles Audi Team in the Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24- Hour race, where he was the first- ever Indian participant.Last year, he crossed the Atlantic and raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the US. There, he was adjudged the ‘ Most Popular Driver’. Market sources say Karthikeyan’s sponsors, led by the TATAs, have promised to raise ?8 million for HRT. It must be mentioned here that M AIL T ODAY had reported Karthikeyan will definitely race at the Indian GP because of solid sponsors’ backing. Interestingly, he started with a backof- the- grid team in 2005 ( Jordan) and again goes to back- of- the- grid team.Hispania, too, have made a smart marketing move. They began with an Indian driver last year – Karun Chandhok – and will have an Indian at the October 30 Indian GP. Narain will do a pre- season test in Valencia, Spain, in February.Hispania have improved their resources and have entered some strong technical partnerships for the 2011 season.Though they finished at the back of the grid last season, the Spanish outfit are expecting a change of fortune this time around with new gearbox deals with Williams.Narain’s manager Yohann Setna said the Indian will race for the entire season.” The team is financially stable after they attracted some Spanish investors. Narain’s sponsors are also completely committed for a longer run,” added Yohann.” HRT will participate with an upgraded version of their 2010 chassis, mated to the legendary Cosworth engine, and a gearbox sourced from Williams. It is the extraordinary F1 experience of Williams Grand Prix Engineering and the reliability of their cars that prompted HRT to take this positive step forward to become competitive on the Formula One grid,” Yohan said.The inaugural Indian GP is slated for October 30 and with the announcement of Karthikeyan’s return to Formula One, motorsport fans in country will definitely have a lot to look forward to.FACT FILE2005: The 33- year- old made his Formula One debut with Jordan and managed points at the US GP2007- 09: Was the lead driver for Team India in the A1 GP. He won in Zhuhai, China and Brands Hatch, UK2010: Participated at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series2011: Returned to F1 after signing a deal with Hispania Racing Teamlast_img read more

first_imgNovak Djokovic looked to have regained his confidence and form just in time for another concerted Wimbledon assault as he carved out an emphatic win over Gael Monfils in the Aegon International grasscourt final at Eastbourne on Saturday.Djokovic once again wrapped up a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Frenchman he consistently gets the better of, lifting the title in his first visit to Devonshire Park without dropping a single set.The Serb then confirmed on court that his friend, former Croatian player Mario Ancic, would be a new part of his coaching team, along with Andre Agassi, at Wimbledon next week.”It was my first time at Eastbourne and I hope I can see you guys in the years to come,” Djokovic told the crowd. “This is the best possible preparation for next week, so hopefully I can go on from here.”The ever-popular Monfils could only congratulate his conqueror and note ruefully: “Well done, Novak. We played for the 14th time and it’s 14-0. Well done again!”It was only Djokovic’s second title of a difficult year in which he has struggled for form, faced injuries and split with his long-standing coaching team.However, on Saturday just as throughout the week at a tournament whose organisers were delighted to offer him a wild card to compete, the 30-year-old seemed rejuvenated by the bracing English seaside air.Monfils put up a decent challenge but Djokovic controlled affairs, breaking in the opening game and also to close out the first set before again striking at the end of a closely-contested second to seal victory in 76 minutes.advertisementDjokovic, who lifted his 68th career title and his first grasscourt title outside Wimbledon, now heads for the grand slam in good heart as he seeks a fourth title there, where he will enjoy having 33-year-old Ancic in his coaching corner.”Mario’s my very good friend,” said Djokovic. “Once he was number seven in the world and he beat (Roger) Federer at Wimbledon. He was very talented but was very unfortunate with injuries and illnesses that ended his career early.”But we always stayed in touch and he’s one of the closest friends I ever had on the tour. He took a different direction in life, in the finiancial business, but I’ve dragged him back over to the sport.”Now I’m really glad to spend time with him, and Agassi as well, in London.”At Wimbledon, Djokovic will seek to become the first player to win an ATP World Tour title and a grand slam in consecutive weeks since Patrick Rafter won Long Island and the US Open in 1998.last_img read more

first_imgYesterday, on the occasion of Children’s Day, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik spent some quality time with students at state-level celebrations and made various important announcements in order to enhance the state’s education level. He announced ‘Mo school’ campaign to promote and facilitate volunteerism to give back to their alma maters.Contributing to the school’s developmentAs per NDTV report, he said, “Each one of us has got an emotional attachment to the school we have studied. In some way or other we want to be connected to our school. Small or big, we want to contribute to the development of our school. In this context, I announce MO SCHOOL campaign. This campaign will promote and facilitate volunteerism to give back to our alma maters.””Many of you want to donate something to your school, put up a science lab or library, provide scholarships, volunteer your time to teach students and promote sports in schools,” he added.(Read: West Bengal beats Odisha in Rosogolla war, gets GI tag)Connect to your childhood memoryAccording to the Chief Minister, “Mo School campaign will facilitate all of this — it will provide a platform where you connect to your childhood memory and be a part of the change you want to see in your schools.”Further, he also said that: “I commit that whatever is contributed in terms of funds for developing our schools, the state will contribute double the amount. I announce an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore for this initiative.” Best three school of every block will get a cash award of rupees one lakh each, which will be distributed among the teachers.advertisement”Odisha has reached a certain level in most indicators of development. Education will take us its next defining moment and level. If you look at the history of civilisation, the greatest transformation has come about with education. With our focus on quality education, we can take our state to the next level. This can happen when all of us join together in a movement,” he said in a Facebook post.Read: New education policy to come next month, says Prakash Javadekar Read: Rajasthan’s education department’s magazine asks women to grind chakki and fill water pitchers to stay fitlast_img read more

first_imgOne person died and another was seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash Sunday night north of Yankton.The South Dakota Highway Patrol says a northbound S-U-V on Highway 81 crossed over the center line into the southbound lane and struck a southbound vehicle.The driver of the S-U-V went across the southbound lane and into a ditch where it rolled.Both S-U-V occupants were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle.The 21-year-old female passenger was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital where she was pronounced dead.The 23-year-old male driver suffered serious non-life threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a Yankton hospital.Charges are pending against the driver.The names of the two people involved are not being released pending notification of families.last_img read more

first_imgmatch reports Switzerland Share on Pinterest World Cup Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. World Cup 2018: England beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties – as it happened World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players Read more Topics World Cup 2018 At some point, people might have to stop being surprised at Sweden’s progress. Written off at the beginning of qualification, they elbowed out the Netherlands en route to a play-off against Italy. Nobody gave them a chance in that contest but, once again, they found a way to win.Spool forward to the finals and did anybody have them down to emerge from a group that contained Germany and Mexico? They did, finishing on top of it. Germany had become their latest big-name scalp.Football fans would not necessarily put Switzerland alongside the Netherlands, Italy and Germany in terms of European powerhouses but Vladimir Petkovic’s team do sit sixth in the Fifa rankings. They entered this last-16 collision as the third-highest-ranked nation left in the World Cup.Now they, too, are gone. Sweden advanced on the back of a moment of good fortune but nobody could say that they did not deserve it. Emil Forsberg, the game’s most eye-catching player, took a pass from the left and he dropped his shoulder to buy a yard of space from Granit Xhaka.The shooting chance had opened up but Forsberg rather scraped the right-footed effort, hitting it low and in the direction of the Switzerland goalkeeper, Yann Sommer, who looked set for a routine save. Then, fate intervened. The ball squirted off Manuel Akanji and it flew into the top corner.Sweden might have added to their advantage in stoppage time when the substitute Martin Olsson was pushed by the chasing Michael Lang as he ran clean through. Initially, the referee, Damir Skomina, signalled for a penalty but it was recast upon VAR into a free-kick. The offence had taken place just outside the area. Lang was sent off and Ola Toivonen’s free-kick was saved by Sommer. It did not matter. Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Share via Email Sweden Sweden were the more proactive team and the bulk of the clearest chances was created by them. It was yet another triumph for Janne Andersson and there was a moment for the manager to cherish when he emerged 15 minutes after full time to take the acclaim from the delirious Sweden supporters. They clapped in unison and belted out his name. He described it as “surreal” and “quite extraordinary”.Andersson has built this team and it is one in the truest sense, considerably more than the sum of its parts. They were powerful, physical and, once in front, difficult to overhaul. It was also interesting to hear Petkovic suggest that Sweden had taken the sting out of the game and made it impossible for his team to generate any aggression or drive.“I’ve seen Sweden’s other games and all of their opponents have had a hard time developing those emotions against them,” Petkovic said.To dismiss Sweden as passion-killers would be unfair and Petkovic did accept that his team had deserved nothing, having failed to play with fluidity or incision. They were sluggish and sideways, their final pass poor and it was an indictment when Petkovic said that “maybe we were not focused enough”.Something was missing and, although Switzerland pushed in the final 10 minutes, it was too little, too late. The substitute Breel Embolo saw a header blocked on the line by Forsberg – who else? – and Robin Olsen kept out another header from another substitute, Haris Seferovic. It was the only time that the Sweden goalkeeper was seriously extended.Sweden were by far the more threatening team in the first half and, when they went in at 0-0, the worry for them was that they might live to regret their lack of cutting edge.The big chance fell to Albin Ekdal on 40 minutes and he sank to the ground in dismay when he ballooned a side-foot volley when perfectly placed. Mikael Lustig had provided the cross from the right and nobody had tracked the run of Ekdal. It was a grisly moment.Lustig would be booked for a pull on Josip Drmic to incur a suspension for the quarter-final and Andersson reported that Ekdal had hurt an ankle. He will need a scan.Sweden had other first-half flickers, one sparked by a loose clearance from Sommer. Ekdal returned the ball immediately and Marcus Berg had a shot blocked. On the rebound, Ekdal drove high.Moments earlier, Toivonen’s lovely flick had got Berg away to the right of centre. The angle was inviting, if not straightforward, but he sliced wastefully. Berg also forced Sommer into a diving save with a nicely executed side-on shot. The striker remains without a goal at the finals.Switzerland quickened the pulse only once before their late flurry when Blerim Dzemaili swapped passes with Steven Zuber in the 38th minute. The return ball was cut back cutely but Dzemaili blasted his shot high.Forsberg is perhaps Sweden’s only star name and the wide midfielder showcased his touch and quick feet. He had several nice moments, including one shortly after half-time when he wriggled away from the referee, who had got himself into a bad position, before beating Valon Behrami and Dzemaili. The Sweden fans roared. The move ended up with Toivonen shooting wildly.Forsberg looked the most likely player to unpick the stalemate and so it proved, even if Akanji’s role in the goal was prominent. Switzerland had dreamed of a first quarter-final appearance since 1954 but they would depart with regrets. Sweden march on. Share on LinkedIn Read more World Cup Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Rabat – Al Hoceima protest leading activist Nasser Zefzafi was arrested on charges of “undermining interior state security,” the public prosecutor of Al Hoceima’s Court of Appeal has announced.In a communiqué released Monday, the prosecutor confirmed the arrest of Zefzafi along with several others on Monday morning, adding that the activist was arrested on suspicion of “obstructing freedom of worship.”Zefzafi interrupted Friday’s prayer sermon in Mohammed V mosque in Al Hoceima in protest of the sermon’s content, which he said was critical of the protests movement. The communiqué stated that Zefzafi and the others arrested with him were transferred to the Judicial Police in Casablanca to be interrogated over the previously mentioned charges.The 39-year-old unemployed activist has been the protests’ most prominent figure since the beginning of demonstrations in October over the death of the local fish seller, Mohsine Fikri, who was crushed by a garbage truck during an attempt to retrieve his confiscated merchandise.The activist has been given speeches at protests rallies and posting videos criticizing the government’s reluctance to meet the social and economic demands of the population of Al Hoceima. read more

Rabat – Hakim Benchamas, speaker of Morocco’s House of Councilors sued four journalists and a member of the parliament after they “leaked classified information” to the media on the work of a fact-finding committee regarding the Moroccan pension fund.The public prosecutor of Rabat’s Court of First Instance has summoned Abdelhak Belashkar, director of Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum, Mohammed Ahddad, a journalist in Al Massae daily, and Kaoutar Zaki and Mohammed Sakhir, journalists at Al Jarida 24’s news website.  The journalist will attend the first hearing session on January 25, according to Moroccan daily Akhbar Al Yaoum. The court has also summoned parliamentary Abdelhak Hissan, a member of the House of Councilors for “disclosing secret information” and his involvement in “leaking information related to the work of the committee.”Benchamas sued the journalists and the MP for leaking confidential information about the findings of the ongoing investigation on alleged cases of corruption at the Moroccan Pension Fund (CMR).The proceedings were issued based on Article 14 of the 085.13 Organic Law. This law charges any person who is involved in leaking information on the fact-finding committee to MAD 1000 to MAD 10.000 fines as well as prison terms of one to five years.The complaint is also based on articles 446 and 129 of the Penal Code, which denounce complicity in cases of an offense classified as a crime and the disclosure of secret respectively. This is not the first time Benchamas files a complaint against journalists. Last summer, the judicial police summoned Sakhir and Zaki after a complaint filed by Benchamass for leaking information on the “imbalances in Morocco’s pension fund during the work of the parliamentary fact-finding commission,” according to Moroccan daily Akhbar Al Yaoum.Morocco’s House of Councillors (upper house of the Moroccan parliament) created the fact-finding committee on pension fund in 2016 at the request of the Democratic Confederation of Labour to investigate the financial works of pension funds. read more

13 June 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged youth worldwide to become involved in efforts to foster and strengthen world peace, saying their aspirations for the future can only come to fruition in an atmosphere that is free of violence and conflict. “Expand on your work to build peace,” Mr. Ban told young people in a message marking the beginning of the 100-day count down to the International Day of Peace on 21 September, which this year focuses on youth and development under the slogan “Peace = Future.”“Share your plans and ideas, with creativity and passion. The world’s concerns will soon be in your hands,” the Secretary-General told the younger generation.Mr. Ban said this year’s International Day of Peace coincides with the United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter and gender inequality by 2015.“Achieving the goals is essential for ending armed conflict and building sustainable peace. I hope the voices of young people will be heard at the summit and in the run-up to it,” Mr. Ban said.He exhorted youngsters to plan projects to help create conditions for peace for their communities, their schools and their countries. “We need your voice and commitment, and we will share your stories with the world,” the Secretary-General said. read more

Local volunteers will have to make the case later this year for feral cat control in Norfolk.Norfolk council received a report this week on the performance of the program since 2017.However, council did not restore $10,000 in funding that it cut in January. As well, council did not commit to renewing the program in 2020.The outcome was a disappointment for local cat managers. Regardless, they will attempt to sell council on the merits of trap, neuter and re-home in time for the 2020 budget deliberations.“I’m glad it’s still alive,” Sandi Fettes of Simcoe, a spokesperson for the local program, said this week. “It’s not dead in the water yet. They recognize there are a lot of benefits to the program.”Pam Duesling, Norfolk’s general manager of development and cultural services, tabled a report Tuesday on the performance of the local program.Council heard that, in 2016, the feral cat population in Norfolk was estimated at up to 30,000. There were concerns about feral cats spreading disease, as well as their impact on birds and wildlife.Norfolk devoted $50,000 to trap, neuter and re-home in 2017. This was reduced to $40,000 in 2018.During council’s budget deliberations in January, the $30,000 proposed for 2019 was reduced to $20,000.Fettes and her colleagues hoped council would reverse the $10,000 cut this week but that didn’t happen.The cat-control initiative was approved in 2017 as a three-year program. There was no commitment beyond 2019 and cat control is not a mandated municipal responsibility. Volunteers will learn in January whether council is prepared to renew it.The contract this year is held by Purrfect Companions of Delhi.“In the past three years, Purrfect Companions took in 1,900 cats,” founder and president Brenda Cameron said. “We saved a lot of cats. We spent $691,000 over the last three years on our entire operation.”In a recent presentation to Norfolk council, Fettes said cat-control volunteers are making progress reducing the number of feral cats.She said the spay-and-neuter program has at least slowed, if not reduced, the birth rate. Cat numbers could rebound if the county prematurely withdraws funding, she said.In her report, Duesling said nine per cent of the cats that passed through Purrfect Companions last year were returned to a managed colony. Homes were found for the rest. At a managed colony, the cats are left alone but are fed and monitored for disease.Homes were found for 800 cats last year at a cost to new owners of between $80 and $150 per animal. The shelter on the east side of Delhi is at capacity. There are 280 cats on site, while another 150 are in foster read more

From the front line of the battle against the deadly legacy of landmines in Iraq and Sudan to command offices throughout the world, the United Nations today marked the first International Day dedicated to curbing the scourge with calls for a universal ban and pleas for greater donor support in cleaning up these remnants of war.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that from 3,000 to 4,000 children alone are killed or wounded by mines every year, with the countries most affected including Angola, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Decades after conflicts have receded, these invisible killers lie silently in the ground, waiting to murder and maim. Through them, 20th century battles claim 21st century victims, with new casualties added every hour,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message on International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.“The goal of a world without landmines and explosive remnants of war appears achievable in years, not decades as we used to think,” he added, stressing the vital importance of the 1997 treaty banning anti-personnel landmines, which has 150 State Parties.“But to realize this ideal, every one of us – donors, the general public and mine-affected countries – must focus our energies, and our imaginations, on the cause of mine clearance. Having been so effective in laying mines, we must now become even better at clearing them. Each mine cleared may mean a life saved,” he declared, calling on governments to ratify the treaty.“The message is clear and must be heard: landmines have no place in any civilized society,” he added.In the heart of the battle in Iraq, the UN Assistance Mission there (UNAMI) noted the special meaning the day had for the inhabitants of the war-torn country.“Not only do they face the challenge of living in a highly volatile security situation, they also live amidst one of the greatest concentrations of landmines, unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the world, presenting a threat to their lives and a barrier to reconstruction efforts,” it said.Moreover, decades of war and conflict have left Iraq with a serious contamination problem of ERW, some containing depleted uranium. “Not only are civilians at risk of losing their lives or a limb due to mines and ERW, but contamination also poses major challenges to the implementation of relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development projects,” Mr. Annan’s Deputy Special representative Staffan de Mistura said. In Sudan, too, where an accord last year ended two decades of vicious civil war in the south, the UN is facing similar problems as it seeks to help some 4.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) return to their homes.“Without de-mining of return routes and communities, refugees and IDPs will not be able to come back or resume their life,” Mr. Annan’s Deputy Special Representative Manuel Aranda da Silva said. “Without de-mining, reconstruction of roads, schools, hospitals and any other post-war recovery and development project cannot be implemented.”More than 7,000 kilometres of roads still need to be verified and cleared. From its headquarters in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) underlined the enormous problems mines and ERW pose for its work, noting that there were 84 countries in the world affected by them, singling out South Sudan as a prime example.“UNHCR is trying to get more involved in mine action as this is key to our programme on return to south Sudan,” said Harry Leefe, Mine Action Focal Point for the agency. “South Sudan is in a way ‘competing’ with places such as Afghanistan and Cambodia where the mine problem is also huge. So donors do not necessarily see mine activities as a priority in south Sudan, but they are crucial.” read more

by News Staff Posted Sep 11, 2012 9:43 am MDT US trade deficit grew slightly in July to $42 billion, but exports to Europe drop sharply WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit grew slightly in July as exports fell at a slightly faster pace than imports.The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade deficit widened to $42 billion, 0.2 per cent higher than June’s imbalance of $41.9 billion.U.S. exports fell 1 per cent to $183.3 billion, lowered by weaker sales of autos, telecommunications equipment and heavy machinery. Imports declined 0.8 per cent to $225.3 billion — oil imports fell 6.5 per cent.A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on growth because the U.S. is typically spending more on imports while taking in less from the sales of American-made goods.Weaker growth around the globe is hurting U.S. exports. Exports to Europe fell 11.7 per cent. Many European countries are recession, which has cut demand for American-made goods. The region accounts for about one-fifth of U.S. exports.The deficit with China grew 7.2 per cent in July to $29.4 billion, the largest with any single country. That reflected a 5.6 per cent jump in imports, which vastly outpaced a smaller 0.4 per cent rise in U.S. exports.China accounts for about 7 per cent of U.S. exports and has the second largest economy in the world. Still, its economy has weakened this year and may be worsening. On Monday, China reported that its imports from the rest of the world shrank in August.Exports fell in other big emerging economies. U.S. sales of goods to Brazil fell 4.4 per cent, while exports to India dropped 1.2 per cent.The overall U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.7 per cent in the April-June quarter, down from a 2 per cent rate in the January-March period and 4.1 per cent rate in the final three months of last year. Many economists believe growth will remain lacklustre for the rest of the year, partly because of diminished demand for U.S. exports.Weaker growth is hurting the U.S. job market. American employers added just 96,000 jobs last month, down from an increase of 141,000 jobs in July and well below the average 226,000 jobs a month created from January through March. Manufacturing, which has been one of the few bright spots in this recovery, lost 15,000 jobs in August.While the overall unemployment rate fell to 8.1 per cent from 8.3 per cent in July, the improvement came only because many people gave up looking for work and therefore were not counted in the government’s calculations.The weak unemployment report has lifted expectations that the Federal Reserve will approve more help for the U.S. economy at their meeting this week. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

More women serving on corporate boards, but not yet enough, says study AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 19, 2014 6:50 am MDT TORONTO – A new study suggests that while number of women on the boards of top Canadian companies is improving, there still is ”significant work to be done.”The study by the Canadian Board Diversity Council shows women held 17.1 per cent of the positions on boards on the Financial Post 500 list.The organization says that was up from 15.6 per cent in 2013 and reflects a pace of change of more than four times the average between 2001 and 2012.However, the council says visible minorities and aboriginals on boards are at their lowest level since the survey began in 2010.It says visible minorities hold only two per cent of board seats, aboriginals hold just 0.8 per cent of the seats and people with disabilities fill just 1.4 per cent.The council is calling on corporate boards to consider three board-ready diverse candidates for each open board seat. It also asks boards to replace at least one of every three retiring directors with a director of a diverse background.“We’re making progress, with more women than ever before sitting on Canada’s corporate boards, but it’s simply not enough,” said CBDC founder Pamela Jeffery.“We’re still not seeing substantial progress, particularly in other areas of diversity, including aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and people with disabilities, despite the fact that there are many highly qualified candidates out there.”The study also says while most directors feel their boards are already diverse, only 25 per cent of FP500 boards report having a formal diversity policy in place.To conduct the survey, the CBDC compiled a list of every director on an FP500 board using public data and through a survey conducted on line and by mail. read more

by Derrik J. Lang, The Associated Press Posted Sep 3, 2015 4:01 am MDT Last Updated Sep 3, 2015 at 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ‘Playing History: Slave Trade’ video game altered after social media backlash This photo shows the educational video game, “Playing History: Slave Trade,” on a computer screen Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Los Angeles. The video game has been edited following social media backlash over a scene depicting slaves being loaded into a ship. (AP Photo) LOS ANGELES, Calif. – An educational video game has been edited following a social media backlash over a scene depicting slaves being packed into a ship.The creators of “Playing History: Slave Trade” removed a level Monday which featured black slave characters being dropped into a ship similar to the video game “Tetris.”“Apologies to people who were offended by us using game mechanics to underline the point of how inhumane slavery was,” read a statement posted on the game’s page on Steam, an online store. “The goal was to enlighten and educate people — not to get sidetracked discussing a small 15-second part of the game.”The scene was also removed from the official trailer for the title, which was originally released by Copenhagen-based developer Serious Games Interactive in 2013.“Slave Trade,” which is intended to teach children ages 11 to 14 about slavery in the 18th century, casts players for most of the game as a young slave steward named Putij, who serves on a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean.The game captured attention last week when it went on sale on Steam and was promptly chastised on social media for trivializing slavery with the stacking segment. Serious Games founder Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen took to Twitter to defend “Slave Trade” against the controversy before deleting his account Tuesday.“Our decision to adjust a small part of the game was not because people were screaming and threatening us, which they of course still are, but because contrary to some we actually want the discussion to be about using games for learning difficult topics, and not whether we are sensationalist, inflammatory and racist,” said Egenfeldt-Nielsen in an email Thursday. “It was attempt to create a room for people to bend towards each other, and not make it about who is right or wrong.”While the “Tetris”-like slave-stacking level has been excised from the game, a talking mouse character who guides players still says at one point: “Slave traders didn’t look upon slaves as people but as a product. They therefore stacked the slaves on top of each other to get as many as possible shipped.”Other titles in the Serious Games’ “Playing History” series include “Playing History: Vikings” and “Playing History: The Plague.”___Online:http://www.playinghistory.eu___Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at read more

It’s that time of year again.The fifth Festival of the Arts – Industrial Fabric, is being held in March and April of 2015, illustrating the unique talents of students enrolled in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.The two-month festival cultivates social engagement, cultural enrichment and artistic exploration as students bring their in-class, independent or studio projects to the public. We invite you to celebrate their achievements on stage, in studios and galleries, and at regional venues. For a calendar of events, click here:The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, part of the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University, is comprised of the Departments of Dramatic Arts (DART), Music (MUSI), and Visual Arts (VISA), and the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture (STAC).All are welcome, and many events are free. For a calendar of events, click here: read more

Maccabi Tel AvivNedeljko Matic ← Previous Story EHF Cup F4: Fuchse against Gorenje – Skjern VS HSV Next Story → Jakov Gojun to Fuchse Berlin Reigning Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered defeat in the Play-Off semi-final which put under pressure current coach who lost his contract with the best Israeli squad. Management appointed new head-coach, Serbian Nedeljko Matic, who previously worked in domestic team Motzkin in the last three years…Contract is sign for the next season with possibility of extension for another one… read more

first_imgThe Pancretan Association of Melbourne recently held its Annual General Meeting.Members of the board and the association gathered to discuss the achievements of the past year and its future plans. The association’s new committee for 2014/2015 was also announced.President John Nikolakakis was re-elected for a second term, along with the selection of primary vice president Michael Frantzeskakis and the second vice resident Manolis Leontakis. Antonis Tsourdalakis was appointed vice secretary, along with Manolis Vandarakis.It was great to see the next generation of Cretan Greek Australians taking an interest, with five positions on the board being filled by young members. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more