Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, a leading visual marketing and content monetization platform, recalls that some years ago he launched a pharmacy chain in India on the premise that with growing disposal income and increasing mobility, “the need for a branded chain in India was finally taking hold.”Gupta’s team built what became the second-largest pharmacy chain in India, known as MedPlus. Within just three years they put up 650 physical stores and raised about $32 million. Although the business did well, Gupta left India in 2009 and returned to the U.S. In 2011, he started a business-to-business (B2B) company for parking and storage services. Today, at the helm of Curalate, Gupta is working with about 830 of the world’s largest retailers to “help them drive traffic and revenue from the content that they already own.”However, not everything has gone according to plan, even at MedPlus, where Gupta learned about the challenges of localizing a foreign business model to the needs of the Indian market. “When we were building MedPlus, we quickly realized that you can’t import business models, but you can import best practices. We were seeing that folks who were trying to come into India and build pharmacy chains — who were trying to mimic (popular U.S. pharmaceutical chains such as) Walgreens or Duane Reade or CVS — fell on their face.”He went on to explain the reason for this: Given the enormous congestion that characterizes Indian cities, not many people would trade the convenience of shopping around the corner for visiting a modern drug store that provides a much wider range of products. “In India, you have 800,000 pharmacies; one on every corner in every single neighborhood. You never have to go far to buy your medicine. So if you told a consumer that you now have to go a kilometer to get your medicines, who would be willing to do that?”A Change in Focus“I’ve seen the focus of the India team morph from technical services that targeted the old economy to what we’re doing now — much more early stage IT and IT-enabled services in a broad range of business-to-business areas,” said Krishna “Kittu” Kolluri.A partner at the venture capital firm NEA, focusing on investments in information technology and energy technology, Kolluri told the panel that over the past seven years, NEA has invested close to $300 million in India. Pointing out that there is “currently a lot of hype around the consumer internet” in India, Kolluri added: “What is interesting is that you can have a phenomenal business model, great technology, a great team and all of that but probably the number-one factor that contributes to the success of a startup is (the existence of) a trend.” According to Kolluri, in order to succeed “you have to have some kind of a macro-trend that helps you achieve that escape velocity. If you catch the consumer in ‘that space’ there is a much greater chance of success.”Fortunately for entrepreneurs, technology makes it easier to take advantage of new trends by identifying and targeting people who are most likely to buy into the latest craze. Kolluri added that in India, as elsewhere around the world, the explosion in mobile internet has enabled and democratized access; it has helped not only small businesses, but also consumers to reach one another. “What we are seeing (in India) in the consumer space is more vertical solutions — whether it be in food or furniture or various other verticals.” Kolluri also noted that some of the latest trends in India mirror developments in the early days of the emergence of dot coms in the U.S. “We were investors in diapers.com and are (now) investors in a company that makes diapers for the Indian market.”Eager to keep abreast of latest developments in India, Kolluri has been visiting the country about two to three times a year. “I don’t lead projects there, but I help our team do (due) diligence. I have seen the (movie) play out,” he said. For a long period of time, he noted, the “me-too thing” was not bad, especially as entrepreneurs tried to take an idea that had worked in the U.S. and localized it to a particular geography. However, “there are certain things about India that are very unique. For example, it is (primarily) a cash economy; and there are (few) credit cards. Those kinds of things call for a differentiated solution. But what I am encouraged by is that over the past couple of years, the quality of projects that I’ve seen has been very encouraging. The kinds of technology solutions (that have emerged) have been very good; they are applying data science to all sorts of fields.”Probably as a result of strong data analysis, many venture funds are changing their approach to investing in India, Kolluri said. “Most of the big venture funds, when they first moved into India, were afraid to go in very early. And when they did go in early, they got burned. And so they were gun shy (about making subsequent investments in early-stage venture projects.) But now, early stage investment is back in fashion again. More and more capital is going into early stage, which is fantastic.”Funding ChallengesSuresh Shanmugham, co-founder and managing partner of Saama Capital India Advisors, noted that the volume of activity and the capital that has been raised for Series A (a company’s first significant round of venture capital financing) have made the Series B funding process much tougher. “The challenges that people hear about the funding market are mostly focused on later-stage high-value consumer internet mobile companies. There is a trickle-down effect that has softened the market, at least from an entrepreneur’s perspective for raising capital. The Series B rounds are certainly more at risk.”Shanmugham added that there has now been a period of rationalization where the entrepreneurs’ expectations have come closer to where the investors are. A lot of this, he said, stems from the slowdown that happened in China, starting last August. “You can identify that as the period when the equation between the entrepreneurs and the investors started to change. There was a time when the investors said that the market had changed and their expectations were reset whereas the optimistic entrepreneur said: ‘No, no, it’s a minor blip.’ We went (through) a period of three to four months, during which we couldn’t get bids and asks to match because of the expectation among entrepreneurs that things were going to come back to pretty much where they were.”This year, Shanmugham’s firm has made several B2B investments in India that benefited from the fact that his firm had invested in the U.S. during the dot com boom. He noted: “We had kind of seen the same playbook before, 15 years ago, and it didn’t end well.” More optimistically, he added: “I don’t think it will end the same way in India. But the same dynamics about the funding environment clearly are at play.”According to Shanmugham, investors last year had little interest in the B2B space. But now perceptions have changed and investors appreciate the fact that B2B customers are sticky customers and that they actually have money to pay with. “It’s a shift in mindset.” He adds that venture fund investors in India are concerned about the fact that B2C (business to consumer) investments involve branding, which involves huge spends and subsidizing purchases. “Investors are saying that B2C is not exactly a great business model.” Related Items
Alastair Cook scored an unbeaten 182 as England put on a massive 456/3 against India, who as Sunil Gavaskar said looked like a “bunch of school boys” in front of the hosts’ batting line-up. Score | PhotosEngland started the second day’s campaign of the Edgbaston Test with an overnight score of 84/0. By the end of it they had not only wiped out India’s scanty 224-run lead, but had put on a good 232-run lead.The match started half-an-hour late on account of early morning rains and wet outfield, but once it did, the England openers got busy piling runs in Birmingham.Cook, who hasn’t been in good form in the series regained his confidence and started frustrating the India bowlers, who failed to derive the swing and bounce from the wicket, which on Day One was helping the English pacers.The first day of the Test between India vs England saw MS Dhoni, who scored 77, help India to 224, after they were reduced to 92/4.In a matter of time, Cook went on to complete his half-century and was still looking strong in the face of an Indian attack that seemed tooth-less in the absence of Zaheer Khan. At lunch the two openers were going steady and the score was a fine 157/0.The second session was no better for India as the two openers continued to pile runs. Skipper MS Dhoni’s ploy of using paceman Praveen Kumar and spinner Ashish Mishra at opposite ends too didn’t help and the two left-handed batsmen made a mockery of the Indian bowling attack.advertisementHalf-an-hour into the second session, India got the breakthrough that their bowlers had been trying to get. An Amit Mishra delivery crept into the bat-pad gate of the England captain and Strauss was seen walking back on 87 after putting 186 runs for the first wicket with his opening partner Cook. Strauss’ 87 was decorated with 13 boundaries.Soon Cook and Ian Bell got going and India’s 224-run lead of effectively erased in the second session of Day Two.India’s sloppy fielding too helped their cause. Rahul Dravid dropped a sitter off Bell’s bat in Sreesanth’s over.Cook went on to score his first ton of the series – making a remarkable comeback to form. But, on the very next ball Praveen Kumar clean bowled Ian Bell, providing some cheer to India. However, by that time the England score was a good 252/2.At tea, Kevin Pietersen and centurion Cook were at the crease and England were cruising on 319/2 – a lead of 95 runs.England escalated their lead in the third session as India’s bowling took a nosedive. Cook and Pietersen continued to whack the bowlers across the park and completed their 100-run stand at ease. Pietersen completed his half-century even as Cook continued his march on scoring past the 150-run mark.Deep into the third session, Praveen Kumar managed to add another wicket in India’s kitty by trapping Pietersen leg before on 63. England lost their third wicket on 374 runs.Pietersen went back and in came Eoin Morgan to blunt the Indian attack. Not to speak of the poor fielding by the visitors, which only helped the English cause. Dravid dropped two sitters in two sessions and Sreesanth slipped an easy one off Morgan in Ishant’s over in the last session.At close England were 456/3 looking set for a mammoth first innings lead with Cook (182 n.o.) and Bell (44 n.o.) in the middle.
Abhinav Bindra may have quit professional shooting but now serving in some decision making capacities, India’s Olympic legend still remains at centre stage for the shooting world.As the chairman of the athletes commission of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Bindra-led governing body recommended converting three men’s Olympic medal events into mixed events. Bindra has lost many friends in the process.”The change was mandated by the international body and was always going to be a difficult change. Nobody likes changes. Athletes hate changes, I would as well. But when you are trying to make hard decisions and ones which are tough for sport, you will never win the popularity contest,” an unfazed Bindra told India Today.With men’s 50-metre free pistol, 50-metre rifle prone and double trap dropped from the Olympic program and replaced with mixed doubles events there have been voices of dissent coming from affected shooters. But defending the changes Bindra says, “You have to keep personal ambitions and biases aside and take a decision which is for the good of the sport, which is evident by the recent general assembly called by shooting federations where 249 voted for the changes and there were 2 against. It pretty much has universal acceptance once you understand the reasons behind it and why it was necessary.”Following the changes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) achieves it objective of gender equality with nine gold medals each for men and women in shooting for Tokyo 2020. But Bindra has had to deal with criticism at home as well of it affecting India’s medal prospects. The 50 meter pistol was India’s top Olympic prospect Jitu Rai’s pet event. Rajyavardhan Rathore kick started India’s rise in shooting by winning silver at Athens 2004 in double trap. The prone event has seen the likes of Gagan Narang and Joydeep Karmakar winning medals at international events.advertisementBindra responds by reminding the critics his brief wasn’t to protect India’s interest. “My role as chair of international committee of athletes of ISSF was not to take a decision which would be only better for India. It was one for good of sport that was my mandate and that’s what we tried to do,” he states.The shooting great is however confident the depth in Indian shooting will not only ensure they adapt to changes but believes it will be an advantage. “Indian shooting has a lot of depth and with time and people getting adjusted with the format am sure they will do well. The mixed team event is one that I am sure will be an advantage for us. It needs time, patience and whether you like it or you don’t you have to adapt,” he says matter of factly.Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu, two of India’s best pistol shooters winning the mixed pistol test event recently at ISSF World Cup signals good beginnings. Bindra does not read too much in the win but is quietly confident Indian shooters will soon have a grip over things. “I followed it a little bit. Mixed team events are still at a test stage. Still Grand Prix events at the World Cup and not quite world events. Next year will be more interesting because people will know it’s a reality and everybody will take it up seriously with Olympic medals at stake. But I am sure our boys and girls will do well,” he says with optimism.
Roger Federer defeated Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-6 (5) to book his place in the Stuttgart Open final and reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal on Saturday.The Swiss great will play Milos Raonic as he bids for his 18th grass-court title.Raonic earlier hit 19 aces and saved the only break point he faced as he defeated defending champion Lucas Pouille 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the other semifinal.Federer was pushed all the way by the fourth-seeded Kyrgios, who had 23 aces.”I am very happy and very relieved,” Federer said.”It was close and it could have gone either way naturally but I am happy that I have got it and got back to world No 1 next Monday.”I thought it was the tough match that I expected against Nick.”We had so many tie-breaks already I have lost count.”Last year Federer had crashed out in the opening round after losing a tie-break to Tommy Haas admitted it had crosed his mind during the semi-final.”It has never been easy, even before last match point I though I had lost the last couple of matches here before match point,” Federer added.”I thought maybe it was going to happen again but when I picked up the half-volley I was so happy.”Kyrgios forced a mini-break in the deciding tiebreak, but Federer remained steady and sent a short backhand past the Australian on his first match point to clinch the win.Federer, in his first tournament since March, was trailing Nadal by 100 points at the start of the week and is guaranteed of taking the top spot on Monday regardless of how Sunday’s final goes.advertisementIt will be Raonic’s first final since the 2017 Istanbul Open. The Canadian won his last title at the 2016 Brisbane International.(With inputs from AP)
Iowa lawmakers return to the state Capitol on Monday for the start of a new legislative session.Overhauling state taxes will be one of the items on the agenda and Republican Senator Rick Bertrand of Sioux City says it will be one of the top priorities for lawmakers:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SESSION.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…….people can feel. ;11Governor Kim Reynolds is hoping lawmakers will pass a new water quality bill for the state.Bertrand isn’t sure that will happen:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SESSION2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….not right. :17But Democratic Representative Chris Hall of Sioux City does expect to see the House take up the issue:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SESSION3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………in our drinking water. :23Republicans and Democrats disagree on funding amounts for education and on how to address issues with the privatized Medicaid program.Governor Kim Reynolds will give more information on what she hopes for Tuesday in her Condition of the State address.You will hear that address live at 10am here on KSCJ.
Bayern Munich maintaining contact with Man City attacker Leroy Saneby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich are maintaining contact with Manchester City attacker Leroy Sane.Bayern were eager to sign Sane over the summer – before he suffered a knee injury in the Community Shield. The German giants, at that point, pulled back.However, contact has been maintained between the two parties.BILD says Sane’s representative David Gardner has just met with agent Giovanni Branchini, who also acts as an advisor to Bayern.The summit was held to assure Sane that Bayern remain keen – with Gardner also delivering an update on the player’s rehab. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Greek tanker owner Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (Navios Acquisition) has informed that it closed the sale of the Nave Constellation, a 2013-built chemical tanker. The 50,000 cbm vessel was sold for USD 36.4 million to an unnamed buyer. Navios Acquisition revealed it used USD 16.4 million of the total amount for repayment of debts.According to the company, the ship was acquired in 2013 for USD 33.6 million.Earlier this year, Navios Acquisition agreed to dispose of two second-hand chemical tankers, including the 45,281 dwt Nave Constellation and the 45,513 dwt Nave Universe, for USD 74.6.The sale was said to result in an expected book gain of approximately USD 11.7 million, as the tankers were acquired in 2013 for a lower purchase price of USD 67.2 million.
New Delhi: The Telecom Department has made it clear to MTNL and BSNL managements that it will no longer accept any claims raised by them for their staff working in DoT offices on an ‘informal’ or ‘loan’ basis, without proper sanction or approval. Saddled with past claims and HR-related bills from the two cash-strapped firms, DoT has now shot-off letters to the two ailing corporations asking them to withdraw such employees. DoT has also written to its own field units and offices asking them to ensure that no such staff is retained unless strictly in compliance with the rules, that is, on deputation basis against sanctioned and vacant posts. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe move assumes significance as both Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) have approached Department of Telecom (DoT) seeking payments and reimbursements for cases where their staff worked in the Department on ‘loan’ basis. Alarmed by the claims, DoT has issued fresh instructions to its various units to avoid a similar situation in future, citing a notice issued earlier this year that such arrangements would not be allowed to continue after March 2019. DoT sources said that the idea is to ensure that these employees – engaged in the Department on informal basis – return to their offices in BSNL and MTNL. There is also no clear estimate on how many such employees are working in DoT, at present, they said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostSources said payment issues have cropped up even for past reimbursement claims filed by BSNL and MTNL pertaining to such ‘loaned’ staff (without approvals) as neither Ministry of Finance nor Department of Personnel support such payments. The past claims by the two telecom corporations in this regard, adds up to almost Rs 300 crore, sources pointed out. “Even the past claims are stuck, so DoT is trying to avoid a similar situation in future,” one of the sources added. Distressed telecom PSUs MTNL and BSNL have been incurring losses and have been facing problems in clearing staff salaries on time in recent past. The massive cash crunch has prompted the two organisations to chase outstanding dues and receivables from all avenues. The loss-making telecom firms have also approached the Telecom Department for immediate help to tide over their financial crisis, that was aggravated due to sustained competitive heat in the market following entry of Reliance Jio. A revival plan – that entails components like Voluntary Retirement Service (VRS) and allocation of 4G spectrum – for the state-owned telecom firms is under active consideration. The employee cost of BSNL is 75.06 per cent and that of MTNL is 87.15 per cent of their total income, while the same for private telecom companies varies between 2.9 per cent to 5 per cent. According to data shared in the Lok Sabha in June this year, the market share of MTNL in the two circles where it operates (Mumbai and Delhi) has declined to 6.95 per cent at the end of 2018-19 from 7.37 per cent in 2016-17.
WINDSOR, Ont. – Health officials in southwestern Ontario say two people have died from West Nile virus in the last week, the first deaths linked to the infection in the area since 2012.The public health unit in Windsor, Ont., says the two cases are unrelated but gave no other details about them.It says the deaths are a warning to the public that West Nile continues to be a risk until temperatures drop below the freezing point, though most people infected never develop symptoms.Ontario has seen by far the most human cases of West Nile this year, with the province’s public health agency reporting 37 confirmed or probable cases as of Sept. 2.The latest data collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada, meanwhile, shows only one confirmed human case outside of Ontario as of Aug. 19 — someone in British Columbia who showed no symptoms.There were 104 human cases of West Nile confirmed last year, though the federal agency says others likely went undetected.
LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, B.C. — The RCMP say five people were injured after a series of hit-and-runs in Langley and Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday night.None of the injuries are considered life-threatening, and the RCMP say many of those who were taken to hospital for treatment have been released. A dog was killed in one of the Langley incidents.A 24-year-old man from Abbotsford has been arrested by police, who allege he was in breach of a recognizance over a condition that he was not be in a vehicle without the registered owner. The first incident was reported just after 8 p.m. involving a small pickup truck that police say was stolen in neighbouring Abbotsford.They say it was found on fire about 2 1/2 hours later on Highway 1.Shortly after, police say a car was stolen and the suspected was arrested in that vehicle.The RCMP is asking for anyone with dashboard cameras to review their footage to see if they may have recorded the pickup truck. The Canadian Press
Agadir- France’s Moroccan-born minister of Education Najat Vallaud Belkacem has been reportedly planning to file a formal legal complaint over a hoax letter that circulated widely on social media networks supposedly sent from her office urging French towns to offer weekly Arabic-language classes, according to media reports.The letter, complete with fake letterhead and signature, suggests that the minister demanded an official from the Direction des Services Départementaux de L’Education Nationale (DSDEN) to contact town halls to offer a voluntary hour per week to discover the Arabic language.“I strongly advise you to give the green light to this activity which aims at breaking down the linguistic barriers that our children could encounter in the near future,” reads the letter signed in the name of the Moroccan-born minister. Najat Vallaud Belkacem has been subject to harsh criticism from the French far-right for her Moroccan descent following her appointment as the first woman to hold the office of education minister.Weekly newspaper Minute described her as a “Moroccan Muslim” and her appointment a “provocation”.In its response regarding the letter, the ministry said that it does not fall within the Ministry’s preview to offer extra-curricular activities, as these are organized at a local level.The forgers made a series of errors, notably with the description of the ministry itself, which they called the “Ministry for National Education”, instead of the full title of “Ministry for National Education, Higher Education and Research,” the same source went on to add.
TORONTO — The Latest on Canada (all times local):12:30 p.m.Canada’s ambassador to China says his message to Chinese authorities is that it’s not in their interest to arrest people and use them as bargaining chips.Envoy John McCallum told reporters on Friday that his top priority is to win the release of two Canadians detained in China and to save the life of a third.China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor in an apparent relation for the arrest of top Chinese executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada on Dec 1. China also sentenced another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, to death Monday in a sudden retrial of his drug-smuggling case.The arrest of Meng on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States has created a growing diplomatic rift between China and Canada. Meng is the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of its founder.The U.S. wants her extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.___10 a.m.Canada’s public safety minister said Friday that the country won’t be deterred by Chinese pressure after China threatened reprisals if Huawei was banned from supplying equipment for 5G networks.There are accusations that the telecom giant is controlled by China’s ruling Communist Party or is required to facilitate Chinese spying. The U.S., Australia, Japan and other governments have imposed curbs on use of its technology.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada has been abundantly clear it will not compromise national security.Goodale said: “It’s a difficult challenge but we’ll not be deterred by what we believe to be right and what we believe to be in the interests of Canada.”The Associated Press
Orangina crée de faux comptes Facebook pour doper sa communicationLa marque de boissons gazeuses est accusée par certains internautes d’avoir créé de faux profils Facebook pour commenter ses propres billets et faire monter le buzz sur la Toile. Est-ce là un manque d’éthique vis-à-vis de ses consommateurs ?Voici le “bad buzz” ou mauvaise pub qui agite et secoue le web. Orangina, pourtant réputée pour sa communication décalée et drôle aurait créé de faux profils Facebook pour commenter rapidement et de façon soutenue ses posts sur le réseau social et ainsi développer un engouement pour la marque.C’est le site Coups de Pub qui a pointé du doigt, dans un long billet parsemé de captures d’écran, cette pratique douteuse. Ils mettent à jour ces faux profils, expliquant que ces derniers sont très reconnaissables dans leur expression, ouverts depuis peu et n’ayant qu’une occupation : animer la page d’Orangina.”Outre le fait que le ton et les termes utilisés par ces comptes sont très similaires, vous verrez distinctement qu’ils fonctionnent en circuit fermé : ils se likent entre eux, se partagent entre eux, …”, font-ils remarquer, ajoutant que la marque utilise dans cette opération la tromperie et “qu’elle attache de l’importance à leurs opinions, alors qu’elle ne cherche qu’à en donner l’illusion.”Orangina a rapidement réagi au tollé provoqué par ce billet, repris en quelques heures sur tous les réseaux sociaux, indiquant “ne pas être au courant de telles pratiques, et y être par ailleurs opposée”. Cette animation par faux profils ne serait donc pas le fait direct de la marque, mais plutôt celui de l’agence chargée de gérer sa communication en ligne, Fred & Farid, précise Clubic.Une pratique vivement critiquée par les agences… Certaines marques ont par le passé joué à ce jeu dangereux qui consiste à alimenter les réseaux sociaux de faux avis de consommateurs vantant ses produits, elle s’y sont pourtant toutes cassé les dents, les internautes étant de plus en plus vigilants face à ces pratiques marketing fallacieuses.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?We Are Social, une agence concurrente, estime que le cas “interpelle parce qu’il décrédibilise un métier fondé sur l’honnêteté et la transparence”. Sa directrice générale France, Sandrine Plasseraud, résume la stratégie supposée du community manager responsable sur le blog de l’agence : “optimiser la remontée des statuts de la marque sur le fil d’actualité des fans en créant de l’engagement dès leur publication via de faux profils / faux commentaires”.mais assumée par l’agence de com d’Orangina Point d’orgue de cet affaire, le community manager responsable des activités d’Orangina sur les réseaux sociaux a réagi sur son fil Twitter, et assume totalement ses actions: “Génerer 250.000 fans avec 5 profils et avoir plus d’argent pour des dotations. Si je dois assumer c’est sans problème.” Il faut savoir que Facebook augmente la visibilité en première page d’une publication en fonction de sa popularité et aussi des commentaires et du nombre de ‘j’aime” postés quelques minutes après son apparition. Orangina compte 300.000 fans, on peut comprendre qu’un petit coup de pouce peut avoir de rapides effets sur la popularité d’une campagne. Mais l’éthique de cette profession encore naissante, elle, en prend un coup.Le 17 février 2012 à 10:50 • Maxime Lambert
Flamengo director Marcos Braz confirmed their interest in signing Gabriel Barbosa and revealed they are waiting to hear back from Inter MilanThe 22-year-old forward has impressed back at his homeland in Brazil on loan at Santos with 27 goals this year.But now Barbosa’s loan stay at his old club has ended and he’s since returned to Inter.However, the Brazil international appears to have no future at the San Siro with West Ham and Flamengo having been linked with moves for the highly-rated attacker.Now Flamengo have confirmed their interest with Braz awaiting a response from the Nerazzurri.Maurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.Although it remains to be seen whether they can persuade Inter to sell him for less than the €33.5m the Italian’s forked out for him two years ago.“Barbosa is a player under contract,” Braz told Fox Sports.“We’re waiting for Inter, but this is a very complicated negotiation.”Barbosa has never started for Inter in the Serie A and he’s only managed the one goal in 10 appearances.
Share @BBCBreaking on Twitter145 separate wildfires being tackled by firefighters in Portugal, 32 of which are serious.Wildfires in Portugal killed at least 27 people, injured dozens more and left others missing in the country’s second such tragedy in four months, officials said Monday. In neighboring Spain, four deaths were reported.The fatalities in Portugal occurred in densely forested parts of central and northern part of the country after blazes broke out in “exceptional” weather circumstances, Civil Protection Agency spokeswoman Patricia Gaspar said.The situation was still “critical” because of unseasonably high temperatures, Gaspar said. But cooler, wetter weather is approaching, which may give some respite to firefighters tackling the blazes.In addition to the 27 dead, 51 people have been injured, including 15 in serious condition, Gaspar said. She also said that an unknown number of people were still missing.Later, Portuguese media reported the death toll had risen to 31. Civil protection officials couldn’t immediately be contacted to confirm the new total.Portugal has been especially hard-hit by wildfires this year, including one that killed 64 people in June. An independent investigation into those fires found last week that authorities failed to evacuate villages on time. The fire destroyed about 29,000 hectares, (nearly 72,000 acres).A prolonged drought and mid-October temperatures of more than 30 C (86 F) have fueled the recent spate of blazes.Across the border in Spain, some 105 fires were reported in the northwestern Galicia region. Authorities said that four people had died, two of them trapped in a car. Thousands of people have been evacuated.Regional president Alberto Nunez Feijoo blamed arsonists for causing most of the blazes. He said “Galicia is fed up” with being attacked by arsonists who make the most of weather conditions, adding that some purposely tried to cause most damage by targeting urban areas.Feijoo says 15 of the fires are posing a risk to towns. He added that 90 percent of forest fires each year in Galicia are intentional.He told reporters: “All of Galicia is weeping this morning for our razed hills, but especially for the loss of human lives.”Many of the fires were close to inhabited areas. Schools were closed Monday and at least 20 planes were joining 350 firefighting units in tackling the blazes. Light rainfall was expected to help extinguish the flames.Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy, who is from Galicia, traveled to the region Monday to visit an emergency response center.___Aritz Parra in Barcelona, Spain, contributed to this report.
Black Women’s Health Imperative, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit has launched the first chapter of the “My Sister’s Keeper” initiative at Howard University and Spelman College.The program is intended to provide information on a variety of topics including sexual violence, reproductive health, and sexually transmitted diseases, geared towards African American women.“It’s important that we give young women the tools needed to protect themselves and their sisters, and that they understand that they must be invested in good decision-making—their own, that of their partners, and that of policy makers—around their sexual health and rights,” Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, said in a statement. “We also want young women to know that their sexual health and rights intersect with the reproductive justice movement, started by Black women in 1994, that melds health justice to justice in education, housing and transportation, among many other factors.”According to the organization, sexual violence, unintended pregnancy and risky sexual activities are among the leading causes of college dropout among women.Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, the Anna Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College, said she believes that the partnership will highlight the importance of addressing the particular needs of African-American women.“The Women’s Research & Resource Center at Spelman College has had a long connection with the Black Women’s Health Imperative, which began in 1983 at their first national Black women’s health conference, during which 2,000 women traveled to the Spelman campus for a historic gathering,” she said. “We are thrilled to host on campus the launching of their equally historic My Sister’s Keeper initiative which promises to be as transformative in the lives of Black women.”“It is fitting for the launch to occur at Spelman, the oldest college for women of African descent in the world,” she added. “For over a century and a half, Spelman has played a significant role as our sister’s keeper locally, nationally, and globally.”Black Women’s Health Imperative is a nationally-recognized organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of African American women and girls physically, emotionally and financially.
Stay on target Hands-On: Monster Energy Supercross is More Exciting Than Soft DrinksCosplay Gallery: New York Comic Con 2017, Part 2 Over the past three decades, the Final Fantasy series has delivered too many beloved characters to count. You just get attached to them as you role-play with your party for dozens of hours. That’s why the Final Fantasy fighting game spin-off Dissidia made so much sense. Sometimes you want to see these brave anime bozos bash each other without taking turns.The first two Dissidia games were developed by Square Enix itself for the PlayStation Portable, but now the series is hitting Sony’s cutting-edge home console (after a stint in Japanese arcades in 2015) thanks to the Dead or Alive masterminds at Team Ninja. At New York Comic Con I tried to wrap my mind around Dissidia Final Fantasy NT for PlayStation 4.The newest Dissidia pits two teams of three against each other. But it’s not a versus game like the upcoming Dragonball FighterZ. Instead, players control a single character while teammates are controlled by AI or other people. Also, instead of battling on a cramped 2D plane, characters leap around luscious fields in all directions. To compare it to another Dragonball fighting game, it’s very Budokai Tenkaichi.AdChoices广告On paper, Dissidia’s controls are fairly intuitive. Press one or two buttons to do a basic attack, a stronger attack, and a meter-draining super attack. Shatter the summoning stone (like a Smash Bros. Small Ball) and summon a powerful friendly and familiar face like Ifrit or Bahamut. The open space also allows for expanded movements options like dashing, triple jumping, changing targets, and putting up a shield all around you.However, Dissidia’s rules aren’t immediately obvious. In fact, I had to confirm some details with other journalists after I was done playing. For example, your basic attack doesn’t actually do damage. It raises your level and makes your bigger attacks that ≤em≥do≤/em≥ do hurt foes hurt even more. Basic attacks can also extend combos since you also have to work around generous invincibility frames. That’s a cool system, a good way to honor Final Fantasy’s role-playing roots, but it was poorly expanded in this demo.Meanwhile, the cluttered UI made it tough for me to pay attention to the action while also staying aware of my own health and available super moves. And I was never quite able to consistently tell whether I was winning or losing. Knocking out all three members of a team obviously ends the match, but a single downed teammate can respawn. So do points also play a role? Again, I’m sure there are answers, but for all their depth, fighting games are typically pretty good about being somewhat understandable at a moment’s notice in the arcade.At the very least, Dissidia is a beautiful mess. The game brings classic Final Fantasy characters, some of which debuted on the 8-bit NES, to photorealistic life. And they all feel appropriately different from each other in terms of look and playstyle. I would never confuse Kefka’s menacing bounce with Terra’s graceful spellcasting. Sephiroth and Squall and Lightning and Kain all handle their swords very differently. Tidus jumps well in his board shorts.With more time, I’m sure I would get a better handle on Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Maybe the story mode will make me a pro while also talking about crystals or whatever. But when the game launches January 11, don’t expect to immediately know what you’re doing, even if you like what you’re seeing. Now when are they adding Prompto to the game?Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Automated calls are annoying. There is rarely a day when you aren’t greeted with an unanticipated call from an unrecognized number. And to make matters worse, Robocalls are expected to surge in number in the coming times. This gets even worse during the tax season. The online site AllAreaCodes.com looked at the number of complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission and found that that phone scams increase by 20 percent in March and April as the tax filing deadline approaches. According to a report by the Washington Post, financial corporations and retailers are trying to persuade the current US administration to make it easier to send robocalls and texts to the masses. If the government approves of this request, industries would soon be permitted to send unlimited texts and calls, without the consumer having a say in the matter. Robocalls are fine as long as they come from legitimate businesses. For instance, alerts from a drugstore for a person to pick up their prescription, or an automated voice call from your bank, alerting your credit card bill due date, are useful. The sanctity of robocalls is maintained as long as telemarketing calls and alerts from companies are genuine and consented. Per the Post, almost three-quarters of more than four billion robocalls placed in June, according to data published by YouMail, came from companies the customers had a genuine relationship with. However, some of these calls are actually from scammers who abuse automated systems. According to the Post, Adrian Abramovich was fined $120 million for placing 96 million unsought calls offering fake travel deals in just three months. Businesses are equally guilty. Navient, a financial service company, is highly active in voicing its opinion on loosening restrictions on robocalls. Multiple lawsuits have hit Navient, as reported by the Post, for harassing consumers with automated calls. Last year consumer groups had requested the Federal Communications Commission to look into the company’s practices. The task of regulating these robocalls lie in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission. Per the Post, the FCC along with its sister organization Federal Trade Commission is figuring on out how to rethink the robocall rules, while focusing on combating fraud and abuse. The last time the FCC tried to implement laws to cut down robocalls, they were throttled by the trade association of debt collectors. This time as well, the Post says, businesses led by the US Chamber of Commerce have opposed the idea of adding any federal laws that would restrict how businesses communicate with their customers. “We are at serious risk of seeing the existing robocall problem, which is already serious, get far, far worse,” said Margot Saunders, a senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. Read Next YouTube has a $25 million plan to counter fake news and misinformationMicrosoft’s Brad Smith calls for facial recognition technology to be regulatedToo weird for Wall Street: Broadcom’s value drops after purchasing CA Technologies