Category: wbsxgeld

Khedira to Arsenal update: Move back on, but could Bayern Munich swoop in first?

first_img1 It appeared Arsenal’s move for Real Madrid star Sami Khedira was on the rocks, but in the world of football things change in an instant, so talkSPORT looks at the current situation…Edging closer to dealDespite the move looking dead a matter of weeks ago, the Mirror are reporting that Khedira’s protracted switch to Arsenal could be back on. The publication report that Real Madrid are keen to cash in on the midfielder this summer, rather than lose him for free next year.Arsenal fighting hardThe Express are confident that some sort of deal can be worked out, reporting that Arsenal are’ fighting hard’ to bring Khedira to England. With Madrid hoping to recoup some sort of transfer fee for the 27-year-old, they say a compromise could be reached, whether it be in the form of a lower valuation or the player accepting a slightly reduced wage.Bayern make contactSud-Deutsche Zeitung report that Bayern have contacted Khedira over a potential move, but are unlikely to pursue it this summer and will instead wait until next year when the German international will be out of contract.No truth in Bayern linkBayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has dismissed any suggestions of the Bavarians weighing up a move for Khedira, with Tages Spiegel quoting him as saying any reports indicating this are “false”. They claim the midfielder is viewed by Real Madrid as ‘expendable’, but that Arsenal rather than Bayern are the likeliest to land him.Arsenal 100 per cent keenThe Metro have given Arsenal fans hope, writing that the club are still keen on brining Khedira to the Emirates. There are still concerns over the player’s wages, but the Gunners are thought to be softening their stance and are optimistic a deal can be done before the start of the season.Arsenal fans, is Sami Khedira the perfect signing or should you be targeting another position? Comment below… Sami Khedira has been linked with a switch to Arsenal last_img read more

Liverpool legend claims he turned down a ‘couple of nice opportunites’ to join LA Galaxy

first_img1 Steven Gerrard in action for Liverpool Steven Gerrard admits he turned down a ‘couple of nice opportunites’ to move to a European club before agreeing a switch to LA Galaxy.The 35-year-old midfielder is set to be presented to his new club’s fans at half-time of Saturday’s Major League Soccer game against Toronto.He will then publicly don Galaxy kit for the first time in an open training session on Tuesday ahead of a press conference, with his debut pencilled in for July 17 at home to San Jose Earthquakes.Former England captain Gerrard is looking forward to a fresh start after admitting he wanted a new challenge.“I had some nice opportunities around Europe,” he told Galaxy TV.“But I wanted a completely fresh challenge, to come out of my comfort zone, live away from home and get a different life experience and choose a place where my family can enjoy themselves and settle.“When I retire from football in a few years time I want to say I did try something different and didn’t stay in the same place – although I loved every minute of it.”Gerrard has had to counter accusations he will have an easy life in MLS having played so long in the Premier League, but he is determined not to allow his personal standards to slip.“I’ve been working really hard alone to make sure my physical condition is still good and to make sure I still have my strength because when I turn up at Los Angeles I want to be ready to go,” he said.“I don’t want any excuses that I need weeks or a month to get fitness, I’m trying to keep that level so I’m in good condition when I arrive.“I like to give 100 per cent, work as hard as I can, I don’t like losing, so I’ll do everything I can to try to win football matches.“I’m a team player, I’m no individual, I never think about myself – it’s all about the team and what I can bring to the team to help us win.”last_img read more


first_imgThe European Parliament has today approved the Gallagher Report by an overwhelming majority in a major victory against countries over-fishing in Irish waters.The Report, compiled by Donegal MEP Pat The Cope Gallagher, legislates for hard hitting sanctions against non EU countries engaged in unsustainable fishing practices.Agreement is in place with the EU Fisheries Ministers and the Regulation will enter into force within a matter of weeks. MEP Gallagher was appointed by the European Parliament to oversee the adoption of this significant piece of legislation aimed at protecting our common fish stocks.Mr Gallagher said today “The legislation will enable the European Union to enforce measures against countries or territories, which blatantly disregard the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement.”“The European Parliament has sent a clear and direct message to countries engaged in unsustainable fishing. The message is simple, overfishing cannot be tolerated and due to this new regulation, there are now significant economic consequences for countries engaging in overfishing.”Mr. Gallagher also said “The Regulation may be used against any third country. However, the situation in the North East Atlantic with mackerel is of immediate concern.” “These new measures are vitally important for Ireland’s EUR 125 million mackerel fishery, which is the backbone of the pelagic sector in Killybegs and the North West.”“I would like to make one final appeal to all sides involved in the mackerel dispute to re-double their efforts and make every attempt to resolve this long running dispute. A realistic solution is in the interest of all sides but particularly the fishing sector, as ultimately no side will gain, not Iceland, not the Faroese, not the EU, not Norway, if we continue to fish above the recommended scientific advice.”Mr. Gallagher concluded by stating “The passing of this important regulation by the European Parliament has strengthened the negotiating position of the European Commission ahead of the next meeting of the Coastal States in October.” PAT THE COPE CLAIMS MAJOR VICTORY IN FISHING ROW was last modified: September 12th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FISHING QUOTASPat The Cope Gallagherlast_img read more

Stocks climb on upbeat economic reports, falling oil

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) – Stocks surged higher Thursday after new data soothed inflation concerns and the price of oil tumbled to its lowest level in five months. The advance carried the Nasdaq composite index to a new 52-week high. Wall Street embraced a report that the manufacturing sector expanded at a slower pace in November. The report, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, showed that prices in the region’s manufacturing sector were steady or falling. Earlier, industrial output data cheered investors. Output from manufacturing, mines and utilities rose a healthy 0.9 percent last month as refineries and oil and natural gas platforms began production again after widespread shutdowns caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The data quelled concerns that the hurricanes had done lasting damage to the economy. “A lot of uncertainties have been removed,” said Alexander Paris, economist and market analyst for Chicago-based Barrington Research. Questions about the economic after effects of the hurricanes appear settled, as does their effects on corporate earnings and the issue of who will lead the Federal Reserve. “The market did bottom in late October,” Paris said. “We are having the fourth-quarter rally people are looking for. … After going up three weeks in a row, going sideways would be good news.” Falling oil prices also boosted stocks. A barrel of light crude settled at $56.34, down $1.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange and its lowest level since June 15. According to preliminary calculations, the Nasdaq rose 32.53, or 1.49 percent, to 2,220.46, just surpassing its previous 52-week high, reached in July. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.59, or 0.94 percent, to 1,242.80. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.46, or 0.43 percent, to 10,720.22. The Dow lagged the other major indicators after being held back by component Altria Group Inc., which fell on a Goldman Sachs downgrade. Bonds were flat, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note at 4.47 percent. The U.S. dollar was mixed against other major currencies in European trading. Gold prices were higher. There was some sense on Wall Street that the longed-for fourth-quarter rally had begun. “It looks like buyers are stepping back in,” said Nick Perry, equities options analyst at Schaffer’s Investment Research. “People get emboldened by the price action and pile on top of each other.” Technology stocks have led previous rallies and anyone watching Google Inc.’s stock cross $400 a share Thursday could only hope this time would be no different. “Traders remember that the big rally from last year was driven by the Nasdaq,” Paris said. “They say, ‘Let’s gamble on it.’” In company news, Google rose $5.30 to $403.45 after a bullish report from Piper Jaffray’s well-respected Internet analyst said a new service, called Google Base, could “create massive advertising inventory for Google.” Altria fell $2.11, or 2.9 percent, to $71.78, after Goldman Sachs said the company’s planned break-up may come much late than expected. The stock’s decline put a cap on the Dow’s rise until late afternoon, when the rest of the index pushed higher. Applied Materials Inc. fell 43 cents to $17.34 after the company, the world’s largest maker of semiconductor gear, said its profit fell 46 percent in its fiscal fourth-quarter. General Motors Corp. rose $1.34 to $22.63 after hitting an 18-year low Wednesday. News reports that GM CEO Rick Wagoner posted a letter on the company’s internal Web site assuring employees that GM’s finances are sound lifted the stock, which has been falling on worries that the United Auto Workers could strike at Delphi Corp., GM’s largest supplier. Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation’s leading bookseller, rose $1.53 to $39.98 after it said it had a slim profit in the third quarter, down sharply from a year ago but beating analysts’ expectations, and boosted its profit outlook for the full year. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 12.50, or 1.91 percent, to 667.14. Advancing issues led decliners by almost 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange where preliminary consolidated volume was 2.4 billion shares, up from 2.21 billion Wednesday. Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rallied to 4 1/2-year highs, rising 1.70 percent. A weaker yen versus the dollar stokes demand for Japanese exports to the U.S., helping auto makers and electronics companies. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.55 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 0.36 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.24 percent. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

‘Gladiatorial feel’ after ‘ill-advised, alcohol-fuelled’ knife incident

first_imgTwo Ballybofey men in their 50s have been ordered to stay away from each other after an incident that saw one of them attack the other wielding a knife.Letterkenny District Court heard that Kenneth McLaughlin (50) went to the home of Robert Connell (52) at 2 Sessiagh View, Ballybofey, on the morning of June 25, 2016. McConnell was charged with assault while McLaughlin was charged wiht trespassing wiht a knife in relation to the alleged incident.Connell told the court how he was watching tv when McLaughlin came up his driveway and ‘chapped the front door’.“I opened the door and immediately he (McLaughlin) swung a knife at my stomach,” Connell claimed.“I asked why he was there and he swung at me again. I asked four or five times and he swung each time with the knife. I noticed one of the neighbours’ was looking out a window with a child so I said to him: ‘Listen, the neighbours are watching, just give it up’. That took his attention away from me so I took the opportunity and floored him.”Connell claimed that he rolled McLaughlin, who he said was ‘gurgling’, onto his back and rang for an ambulance. Connell contended that McLaughlin continued to ‘struggle and fight back’ while he was crouched over him.Connell said he was on the phone for 40 minutes to Gardai while ambulance personnel also arrived on the scene.“It was early in the day and I didn’t know he had a knife initially,” Connell said. “I just saw the blade and I didn’t know what kind of knife it was. I never spoke to the man in my life. I was shocked to see him coming to the door.”Solicitor for McLaughlin, Rory O’Brien, put it to Connell that he made the story up and suggested the knife in question belonged to Connell.“My client said he attended to discuss ongoing issues you have with his son,” Mr O’Brien said. “You brought your knife out and left it there to discredit Mr McLaughlin. You concocted this story to cast aspersions on my client. He never had a knife and you savagely punched him for no reason.”McLaughlin said he had gone to Connell’s home to ‘try to come to some sort of agreement’ after Connell had an alleged dispute with his son.“I was on the pavement and I put my hands up and said: ‘I’m not here for any confrontation. I want to speak to you about the bad blood between you and my son’,” McLaughlin told the court.“I heard him on the phone and heard him say about a knife. ‘What f*****g knife?’ I said.”McLaughlin then claimed that Connell hadn’t punched him, but that he had struck him on the cheek with a lump hammer.“It is impossible that a punch could have done that damage to a man’s face. My face looked like the elephant man. My right eye and my left eye were burst. It was only a couple of weeks later when I noticed the marks on my cheek.“My lights went out when he hit me. I was out for quite a while. I was disorientated and in severe pain.”McLaughlin said he drank two vodkas that morning before going to Connell’s house ‘for a bit of encouragement….to ease my nerves’.Solicitor for Connell, Frank Dorian, said McLaughlin didn’t know ‘who did what’.“You didn’t convey the lump hammer statement to the Gardai. You abandoned that he had punched you and replaced it with the idea that he struck you with a hammer,” Mr Dorrian said.McLaughlin said he and his fiancee were ‘at each others throats’ before he went to Connell and he became so agitated that he punched a hole in the wall.Garda Kilcoyne said he arrived a the scene following a call at 3:25pm. He observed in a statement that McLaughlin appeared ‘very intoxicated’ and believed he had ‘consumed more alcohol than he stated’. Garda Kilcoyne said that he observed a knife on the window ledge of the house.Mr O’Brien said the incident had ‘an element of untruth’ and noted the lack of fingerprinting of the knife was ‘crucial’.Mr Dorrian said McLaughlin had arrived at Connell’s home ‘in a very belligerent frame of mind’. “Someone came to his house with a knife while he was watching television. That person was mumbling incoherently and was swinging a knife.“The problem with the case is that Mr McLaughlin doesn’t know what happened and is three hours out on his timing. He turns up today and says he was hit with a hammer. It all has a bit of a gladiatorial feel to it, really.”Judge Paul Kelly said he was satisfied that Connell had a case to answer for having used excessive force, while he said McLaughlin’s statements about being hit with a lump hammer were ‘entirely bizarre’. Judge Kelly said that there was no evidence that the knife had come from Connell’s home and he could ‘attach no credibility’ to McLaughlin’s evidence.“The offence was initiated by Mr McLaughlin calling to the house with a knife,” Judge Kelly said. “Mr Connell could have avoided the incident by closing the door. Not only did he not do that, but he continued to advance towards Mr McLaughlin on five different occasions. He was pursuing him.“Mr Connell was confronted by the most unlikely situation: an incoherent drunk man wielding a knife. His best course of action would have been to shut it off by closing the door. He struck Mr McLaughlin very hard resulting in injury and his action was disproportionate.“Mr McLaughlin was the initiator of the entire incident with his ill-advised and alcohol-fuelled decision.”McLaughlin, a 50-year-old father of three with no previous convictions, was ordered to keep the peace for 12 months on his own bond of €100.Connell, a 52-year-old single man originally from Scotland, had previous offence for assault using harm, motor offence and misuse of drugs. He, too, was ordered to keep the peace for 12 months on his own bond of €100.Judge Kelly ordered the men to keep out of each other’s way and to come to a resolution on their differences.‘Gladiatorial feel’ after ‘ill-advised, alcohol-fuelled’ knife incident was last modified: January 20th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallybofeyJudge Paul KellyKenneth McLaughlinLetterkenny District CourtROBERT CONNELLlast_img read more

South African panning team brings home the gold

first_imgAnyone can participate in gold panning, all that is needed is precision, skill and endurance.(Image: South African Gold Panning Association) The competitors receive a gold pan and a bucket of sand in which a number of gold nuggets are hidden. The winner must retrieve the most nuggets in the shortest time using the traditional gold panning technique.(Image: World Gold Panning Association) Gold panning isn’t a commercially viable technique to extract large deposits, but these days panning is often marketed as a tourist activity on previous gold fields, such as those near Pilgrim’s Rest(Image: Mac Mac Adventure Zone)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sibongile Nkosi Mpumalanga Department ofCulture, Sport and Recreation+27 82 492 4886RELATED ARTICLES• First university for Mpumalanga• Fog harvesting to start in Mpumalanga • SA varsity leads way in geosciences• Green light for titanium powder pilot Wilma den HartighSouth Africa is home to the world’s top gold panners. The local team claimed first position and 16 medals – the most it has ever won – at the 2012 World Gold Panning Championships, which took place in the historic town of Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga, where gold was first discovered in 1873.Sibongile Nkosi, director of communications for Mpumalanga’s Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation (DCSR), confirmed that the local team outperformed Finland, one of its biggest competitors, to win five gold, six silver and five bronze medals. Finland came second, with 12 medals, and Sweden claimed third position with four medals.The gold medals went to South Africa’s Bianca Brower, Morele Keabetswe, The Tigers three-person team, Albie Nyschen and Mia Mason.“It is the first time that we got so many medals,” Nkosi says, adding that the team’s success will help to market the sport in South Africa.The South African Gold Panners Association (SAGPA) partnered with the Pilgrim’s Rest Museum and DCSR to generate more publicity for the sport. In 1997, the country participated in the South African Open Gold Panning Championships for the first time and since then, South Africa has hosted the world tournament twice, in 2005 and again this year.The South African events have also drawn competitors from the UK, Caribbean Islands, the US, Canada, Mozambique, Botswana, Switzerland, New Zealand, Zambia and Namibia.Precision and patienceGold panning is not an expensive sport to get into, but it does require precision, skill and endurance.“Many people don’t understand the sport. What makes our team so successful is that it is a sport where people have a passion,” Nkosi says. “You need a lot of time and patience to look for the nuggets.”The competitors receive a gold pan and a bucket of sand in which a number of gold nuggets are hidden. The winner must retrieve the most nuggets in the shortest time using the traditional gold panning technique.The number of nuggets in the buckets of sand is only known to the chief judge and participants are penalised for lost nuggets.Gold panning is a manual technique used to separate gold from other materials, and is considered the easiest method to search for gold.The technique isn’t commercially viable to extract large deposits, but these days panning is often marketed as a tourist activity on previous gold fields, such as those of Pilgrim’s Rest, where a lucky miner called Alec ‘Wheelbarrow’ Patterson first discovered the precious metal.Wide, shallow pans are filled with sand and gravel that might contain gold. The pan is then submerged in water and shaken, sorting the gold from the gravel and other material. As gold is much denser than rock, it quickly settles to the bottom of the pan.A gold rush for South AfricaMake no mistake; gold panning might be a relatively unknown sport but it isn’t a leisurely pastime for contenders.“The participants undergo training. It is just like training for the Olympics,” Nkosi says.The participants are competitive and skilled in the art of panning – not unlike many of the early prospectors who flocked to South Africa’s gold fields to make their fortunes.The difference is that in the competition there are only small grains of gold hidden in the buckets, and they aren’t of much value.The gold mining industry and the art of panning is part of South Africa’s heritage, and the 1873 gold rush to Pilgrim’s Rest was one of the iconic events that signalled the start of the gold industry in South Africa.What followed was the Witwatersrand gold rush in 1886.The discovery of a gold reef at Langlaagte Farm in the Witwatersrand was considered a significant find, which ultimately led to South Africa becoming one of the world’s largest gold producers in the world.These events led to the establishment of what is known today as the greater Gauteng region and the founding of Johannesburg, the economic centre of South Africa and the continent.Promoting the sportNkosi hopes that interest in gold panning will grow, as more people become aware of the sport.“We have the skills and the veterans who started the competition many years ago,” she says, adding that anyone can participate.South Africa is the youngest member of the World Gold Panning Association’s 20 member countries. Over the past 10 years SAGPA has made it possible for more than 80 South Africans to attend world championship events in Europe, Australia and Japan.last_img read more

South African Brands Record Strong Brand Value Growth Against Difficult Economic Backdrop

first_imgTop South African brands are outpacing GDP, top 50 growing 16.1% YoYTelcos lead the way: MTN and Vodacom retain 1st and 2nd position Banking sector is nation’s most valuable, 4 brands claim spots in top 10In contrast, healthcare sector struggling, brands recording significant decline in brand value Castle Lager has entered top 10 for first time, brand value R16.6 billionEngen, Clicks and Discovery are nation’s fastest-growing brands, up 67%, 59% and 58% respectively Tongaat Hulett falls out of rankings, amid accounting scandal Capitec is strongest, BSI score 88.7 out of 100 View the full Brand Finance South Africa 50 2019 report here Brands that feature in the Brand Finance South Africa 50 report are defying the flat South African economy and recording healthy brand value growth, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy. These brands are outpacing the country’s GDP, with the top 50 recording a 16.1% brand value growth rate YoY and the top 10 recording an impressive 19.8% growth rate YoY.Jeremy Sampson, Managing Director, Brand Finance Africa, commented:“We can celebrate that the top South African brands are consistently recording high brand value growth rates, in stark contrast to the nation’s sick economy, which is currently falling short of other countries’ growth across the continent.”David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance commented:“The impressive performance of South Africa’s most valuable brands poses a potential source of growth for the economy that, in turn, could lead to increased job creation and funds flowing to the fiscus.”Despite there being a variety of sectors included in the ranking, tech is a sector that is greatly underrepresented. There is a need to develop brands within this sector if South Africa wants to close the gap with leading economies.Telcos lead the way Telecommunications brands, MTN and Vodacom, lead the way in the rankings claiming first and second position respectively.Africa’s biggest telcos company, MTN (brand value up 15% to R50.3 billion), has grown its subscriber level steadily over the last year and boosted revenue.Vodacom’s brand value increased by 21% to R33.3 billion, despite the brand recording revenue losses in its South African business. The strong results from Vodacom’s international operations and the benefits reaped from the 2017 Safaricom acquisition, however, have provided solid growth for the brand over the last year.The MTN-Vodacom duopoly is continuously grappling for greater market share across the country, resulting in data price wars, and thus leaving smaller brands struggling to compete including, Telkom (up 15% to R5.9 billion) and Cell C (up 5% to R3.9 billion).Although both brands have recorded modest growth compared with other brands across the ranking, they have achieved good results against the backdrop of falling telco brand values around the world, as they contend with the increased commoditisation of core carrier services and the need to implement new technologies requiring significant capital investment, such as the 5G mobile telephony.Banks cash in as most valuable sectorThe banking sector is the most valuable sector in the country with First National Bank, ABSA and Standard Bank completing the top 5.FNB has sustained strong brand value growth after it broke into the top 3 last year, its brand value increasing a healthy 32% to R25.5 billion. The bank’s retail division has expanded its customer base, extended its credit line to top clients and recorded high levels of transactions through its app, all demonstrating its defiance to the economic troubles in the country.Following Barclays’ sale of its final stake in ABSA in 2017, it has begun its return to the global banking marketplace. ASBA (up 25% to R23.5 billion) has opened offices in the US and UK in a bid to support growth on the continent, as more European businesses are looking towards Africa for investment amid Brexit uncertainty.Standard Bank (up 22% to R22.5 billion), sitting in 5th place, has delivered sustainable earnings growth, which the brand attributes to the strength and breadth of its client franchise.             Beer brands bubble upCastle lager, the Nation Beer of South Africa, has jumped into the top 10 for the first time, its brand value increasing 19% to R16.6 billion. 100% grown and produced in the country, Castle is a much-loved drink at home in South Africa, as well abroad, sold in over 40 counties worldwide. The brand continues to benefit from its multiple sports sponsorship partnerships and from successful marketing drives, most notably the #SmashTheLabel campaign, which encouraged South African’s to unite against discrimination.Besides Castle, three further beer brands have entered the ranking for the first time: Carling Black Label (up 26% to R12.7 billion); Hansa Pilsner (up 13% to R4.2 billion); and Soweto Gold Superior (up 35% to R2.9 billion). The latter a home-grown brand acquired by Heineken.Healthcare sector strugglingIn contrast, healthcare brands have suffered across the board with MediClinic (down 50% to R5.8 billion), Netcare (down 40% to R3.2 billion) and Life Healthcare (down 17% to R1.9 billion) recording high brand value losses.These three hospital group brands have a combined market share of 83% of the national private facilities market and have therefore faced criticism that the sector is too concentrated.Following the release of the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry’s report, the sector has come under scrutiny for rising consumer costs and lack of transparency, both no doubt impacting brand values.MediClinic, which has suffered the biggest knock to its brand value, has seen a dismal performance from its Swiss arm following regulatory changes in the country.Trouble for TongaatSouth Africa’s largest sugar producer, Tongaat Hulett, has dropped out of this year’s ranking, following an accounting scandal in which the brand is currently being investigated for overstating its 2018 results. It was recently announced that Tongaat has withdrawn its listing on the stock exchange and 5,000 employees have been sent retrenchment letters.This is not the first time a South African brand has hit the headlines for accounting fraud. In late 2017, it was uncovered that Steinhoff had recorded fictitious and irregular transactions, which substantially inflated the brand’s profits, and resulted in the brand’s market value wiping out and the CEO’s resignation.Ones to watch: Engen, Clicks & Discovery Oil company, Engen, is the fastest-growing brand in South Africa, recording an impressive 67% rise in brand value to R6.7 billion. In 2018, Engen built 15 new service stations across the country, a record for the brand, and partnered with doughnut giant Krispy Kreme to launch its new forecourts, part of the brand’s efforts to remain an attractive stop-over.Clicks also boasts a significant rise in brand value, increasing 59% to R6.1 billion. The retailer has committed to its expansion programme over the last year, and with dozens of new stores in the pipeline, the company shows no signs of slowing down as it aims to hit its 900-store target.Discovery (up 58% to R13.1 billion) is the nation’s largest health-insurance administrator and has seen major success through its Vitality rewards scheme which awards points for completing various online health assessments and routine medical checks.In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. According to these criteria, Discovery is the world’s second strongest insurance brand, behind China’s Ping An, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 86.0 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating and the 5th strongest in the nation.Capitec is the nation’s strongest Capitec (up 15% to R7.8 billion) defends its position as South Africa’s strongest brand with a BSI score of 88.7 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.Since the bank’s inception nearly two decades ago, Capitec has disrupted the country’s financial services sector and traditional banks, through removing barriers to entry for everyday customers. This approach has led to the brand boasting a vast customer base, with 44% of South Africans banking with them. This number is growing exponentially as more people turn to the brand for its reliability, transparency and reduced fees.View the full Brand Finance South Africa 50 2019 report hereENDSNote to EditorsEvery year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 50 most valuable South African brands are included in the Brand Finance South Africa 50 2019 ranking.Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.Additional insights, charts, and more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance South Africa 50 2019 report.Data compiled for the Brand Finance rankings and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.Media ContactsJeremy SampsonManaging Director, Brand Finance Africa+27 82 Florina Cormack-LoydCommunications Manager, Brand Finance plcT: +44 (0)2073 899 400M: +44 (0)7939 118 Follow Brand Finance on Twitter @BrandFinance, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.About Brand FinanceBrand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries. Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance by quantifying the financial value of brands.Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.Brand Finance is a chartered accountancy firm regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).Brand Finance’s brand value rankings have been certified by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) through the Marketing Metric Audit Protocol (MMAP), the formal process for validating the relationship between marketing measurement and financial performance.MethodologyDefinition of BrandBrand Finance helped to craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668. It defines a brand as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.Brand StrengthBrand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors. In order to determine the strength of a brand, we look at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance.Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.Brand Valuation ApproachBrand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.The steps in this process are as follows:1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.7 Brand revenues are discounted post-tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.last_img read more

Passive Solar Heating

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Vertical, south-facing windows are ideal for passive solar heating because during the winter when you want heat, the sun is low in the sky and mostly to the south. In the summer, when the sun is higher in the sky, simple overhangs above windows keep most of the direct sunlight out. Thus, the control works passively. During the daytime, solar energy is absorbed in the thermal mass of the house, and these materials in turn radiate that warmth to the living space in the evening. Passive-solar homes typically have open floor plans allowing the solar heat to be distributed throughout the space.All this sounds pretty easy—and, in principle, it is. To function well, however, the amount of south-facing glazing, the glazing properties and shading, and the thermal mass inside the home must be carefully balanced to provide useful heat when desired while keeping the space from overheating. Architects and designers work hard to figure all this out. Back in the ’70s, we relied on rules-of-thumb and experience. Today, there are sophisticated software tools that make this process a lot easier and improve the outcome.Two other passive solar approaches are thermal storage walls (sometimes called Trombe walls, after a French solar pioneer) and attached sunspaces. With thermal storage walls, a solid, south-facing, masonry wall is built, with a layer of glass (or plastic glazing) held a few inches away from that. During the daytime, sunlight shines through the glass and is absorbed by the dark masonry surface. This heat slowly conducts through the wall and then radiates to the interior living space. If the wall is the proper thickness and built of the right material, the heat reaches the interior surface just about the time the sun goes down, and much of the stored heat is delivered at night.Attached sunspaces are additions on the south side of a house with a lot of glass. During the day they heat up, and windows, doors, or vents connecting the sunspace with the house are opened to bring solar-heated air inside. At night, these connections between sunspace and house are closed and the sunspace drops in temperature, while not robbing the house of heat. Some refer to these as “isolated-gain” passive solar systems.To work effectively, passive solar homes have to be well-insulated and tightly built. As I noted last week, energy conservation is the top priority. Once heating loads are made as small as possible, passive solar gain can provide a significant percentage of the needed heat. If considering passive solar heating, look for a designer with significant passive-solar experience.A “Button Up Vermont” workshop is being held Saturday, November 8th, from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Putney Community Center on Christian Square. The featured presenter is Keith Abbott of Thermal House, a leading energy auditing and weatherization company in Jamaica, VT. Other local businesses and experts will also be on hand. The workshop is free and hosted by the Putney Energy Committee and the Dummerston Energy Committee; for information contact Daniel Hoviss at 387-2521 or visit Resilient Design: Passive Solar HeatCost-Effective Passive Solar DesignReassessing Passive Solar Design PrinciplesAll About Thermal MassA Passive Solar Home from the 1980sA Contrarian View of Passive Solar DesignPodcast: Architects Discuss Passive Solar DesignPassive Design Toolkit for Homescenter_img Following the first energy crisis in 1973 there was a rush to heat homes with the sun. It was a tinkerer’s paradise, with all manner of solar heating systems migrating from garage workshops to commercialization. Patent offices were working overtime.Many of these early systems failed to live up to their promise — some others simply failed. They often depended on multiple pumps, complicated differential thermostats, and dozens of valves, all of which could fail. Complexity ruled the day, and homeowners hoping to harness the sun often lost out in the process. Was solar too complicated to be practical?Frustration with these “active solar” systems led to a different approach: “passive solar heating.” Rather than relying on complex controls, pumps and fans, passive solar systems operate without moving parts. The building itself serves as the solar collector and also stores and distributes that heat. There are no moving parts to fail, and there’s almost no maintenance required, other than washing windows or solar glazing panels now and then.The simplest passive solar heating system is often referred to as “direct-gain.” South-facing windows bring sunlight into a house, and that sunlight warms high-thermal-mass materials like concrete floor slabs, brick wall facings, and plaster wall surfaces.last_img read more

Quantifying Quality: Ranking The Top 60 Apps In iOS & Android

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … dan rowinski If nothing else, the Applause Index is an enlightening and entertaining way to judge app quality from a quantifiable perspective. Is Applause a perfect system? No. What it does do is provide a certain criteria of data that allows people – brands, analysts, app makers, journalists, etc. – a decent idea of what people think of a certain app.  Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#analytics#Android#iOS When app quality analytics service Applause was launched at the end of January, it caused a bit of a firestorm when it used an algorithmic analysis of inherently subjective data to quantify iOS and Android app quality. And you know what it revealed? People think that iOS apps are better than Android. That assertion alone was enough to send the local chapter of the iPhone or Android Fan Boy Clubs into a fit of glee or burbling rage, depending on the allegiance. The company behind Applause, Boston-based uTest, took the reaction to heart. As a response, Applause is launching the Applause Index, a daily look at its rankings for 60 of the top apps that can be found on both iOS and Android. When ReadWrite had Applause run the data on all iOS and Android apps in January, one argument (among many) was that the sample apps we had Applause specifically dig into were not representative of the entire body of work of each app store. So, Applause disassembled the sample for the Applause Index, making sure that there was basically 100% overlap between iOS and Android for the indices. Applause also broke apps down in to sub-categories so people could take a closer look at how top apps in categories like Productivity, Games, Entertainment, Travel, Sports, Content and so on compare. No Winning When It Comes To SubjectivityNumbers like these are usually controversial. Reports that Android will hit the arbitrary number of 1 million apps first in Google Play usually draw comments of “non-story” asking for data on the quality of those apps. When data is made available to do something that is akin to impossible – quantifying inherently subjective data – it is torn apart.The fact of the matter is that as long as we are pitting iOS against Android in any type of race, war, comparison, etc. somebody is always going to be unhappy. Outside of just handing out the algorithm, Applause has been very forthcoming with its methods. With the new daily Applause Index, the company is also being liberal with its data that show what is essentially a crowd-sourced average score of perception, fine tuned through an algorithmic approach and spread across more than a million apps. Critics of Applause do have some valid concerns. Foremost, user ratings are not cross-checked between iOS and Android versions (it is not “double blind”). If we really want to get a good view of comparative app ratings, we would make iOS users rate Android apps and Android users rate iOS apps without telling them which is which. The problem with that approach is that it is extraordinarily cumbersome to do at scale and relies on users opting in to a double-blind study. Another problem falls into the vague category of sociological phenomena. Mainly, there is a perception that iPhone and iPad users are more loyal to their platform and hence more likely to rate apps higher. That is an opaque assertion and very difficult to quantify with actual data, outside of widely distributed surveys, which are in and of themselves also inherently subjective.  From the Android perspective, many argue that Android app ratings would be inherently lower than iOS because of the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem. For example, if one user has an HTC Desire running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and another user has a Samsung Galaxy Note II running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, are they really going to rate an app the same way? The Note II user is likely to rank an app higher because the phone is newer, has better internal components and a better version of the operating system. Applause cannot, as yet, differentiate those two reviews and still provide an accurate score. The fact of the matter is that some apps just do not work as well on some.If Users & Devices Are Not The Same, Make Sure The Apps AreThe criteria for the Applause Index includes:uTest chose the apps for the Applause Index very carefully. It applied a criteria to the top 60 apps chose for the index to make sure they are as similar as possible. Number of app versions and app reviewsLength of time app has been availablePerformance data across Applause AttributesRepresentative allocation across sub-indices100% overlap between iOS and AndroidUsing those guidelines, uTest picked a group of apps that are a decent snapshot of each app category. Applause has crawled a total of 1,177,456 apps between iOS and Android, analyzing more than 60 million reviews and star ratings between them.Here is a snapshot of today’s rankings between iOS and Android apps in the Content, News & Books category. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

Meghalaya RTI activist seeks protection

first_imgA Right To Information activist in Meghalaya has sought protection from the very public information officer whom he had approached seeking updates on development activities.On Tuesday, RTI activist Nilbath Ch. Marak filed an FIR at the local police station in East Garo Hills district headquarters Williamnagar, alleging that the town municipal board’s PIO Waldarine Momin threatened him against filing an RTI.In the FIR, Mr. Marak said that Ms. Momin wanted to know if he did not fear death after he went to file the RTI on projects undertaken by the board. He alleged that the PIO also asked him whether he did not keep track of activists having been beaten up, in reference to the assault on Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma who had tried to expose the underbelly of Meghalaya’s illegal coal mining.‘Not targeting anyone’Mr. Marak told news persons that he had no intention of targeting any individual while exercising his right to get information on the activities of the municipal board, including revenue and expenditure receipts. Through the FIR, he sought protection under Whistleblowers Protection Act besides investigation against the officer for allegedly threatening him.last_img read more