Wisconsin Assembly halts vote on repeal of mask mandate

first_imgMADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly has backed off on voting to repeal Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate. The retreat Thursday came in the face of broad criticism from the state’s health, school and business leaders and out concern the move would jeopardize more than $49 million in federal food assistance. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he still believed the Assembly would vote as soon as next week to repeal the mask mandate. The abrupt change in direction for the Assembly came after news broke hours before the scheduled vote that it would jeopardize federal food assistance for low-income people.last_img read more

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Fishing the North Coast: Pacific halibut bite heating up on the coast

first_imgTriples, doubles, limits, back to the dock by 10 a.m.! No folks, we’re not talking about salmon or California Halibut — we’re talking Pacific Halibut. The bite was fast and furious over the weekend out of Eureka, the type of action that is rarely seen in this neck of the woods. Charter and sport boats alike were landing on large schools of flatties, making for some short days and big smiles. The bite was, and has been, equally as good in Trinidad. Limit-style fishing has been going on there …last_img read more

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Using football to heal a nation

first_img25 July 2006The most abiding image I took from Berlin, the week before the 2006 World Cup Final, was the crowd of about a million excited German fans, gathered in the Tiergarten behind the symbolic Brandenburg Gate, to watch the semifinal between Germany and Italy.Within a bottle-throw of Berlin’s new Holocaust Memorial, a shattering reminder of Germany’s catastrophic past, the crowd waved the black, yellow and orange flag with pride, draped themselves in it, painted its colours on their faces and hair, and cheered and drummed their approval every time the German team put a foot right.All very ordinary, one might say, for a World Cup semifinal against Italy.But for Germans, traumatised, divided and hampered by their past, this was a most extraordinary occasion – not because Germany lost to Italy – which was certainly a cause for national disappointment – but because it represented a seminal moment in the liberation of German spirit.“This is the first time in more than half a century that Germans have been able to wave their own national flag with unreserved pride,” said Mike de Vries, the managing director of Germany: Land of Ideas, a government and private sector-backed independent initiative, to ensure that there is a lasting pay-off for Germany for hosting the 2006 World Cup.The Tiergarten – a long clearing through the forested park leading to the Brandenburg Gate – was one of many “Fan Miles”, created in German cities hosting World Cup matches, to welcome fans – unable to get tickets for the matches – to enjoy German hospitality.But the organisers totally underestimated the demand, and had to erect 20 massive screens running all the way down the Tiergarten to accommodate – on this occasion – mainly German fans.Hosting the World Cup gave Germans an opportunity to celebrate their country, welcome the community of nations in their midst, transcend the traumatic legacy of the Nazi era and the legacy of division and alienation spawned by the Berlin Wall.The well-organised tournament has laid the foundation for a seminal transformation in the German psyche, which has boosted national unity and helped Germany regain a sense of national purpose.The German experience raises the question as to whether we in South Africa can turn the 2010 World Cup into a major unifying event, enabling South Africans to build a stronger shared vision of the future and release new energy for nation-building?At the Africa’s Calling event in Berlin before the World Cup Final, President Thabo Mbeki noted that the 1954 World Cup had succeeded in restoring some of Germany’s self-respect after its legacy of national socialism.“We are confident that the 2010 Soccer World Cup will do the same to consolidate our self-respect and dignity, gained when we attained our freedom and democracy in 1994 and, in a unique way, help our own nation and the continent of Africa, also to bask in the ‘miracle of South Africa’,” Mbeki said.“Every day we take important steps to unite what was a divided nation,” he said.United Nations’ secretary-general, Kofi Annan, a leading African on the international stage, stressed the importance of hosting the World Cup as a nation-building opportunity for SA and the continent.“The German national team will not be playing on Sunday,” Annan said at the Africa’s Calling ceremony. “But they have already won by organising the best World Cup ever, and uniting the whole German nation behind their effort.”The celebration of African mythology at the Africa’s Calling event – complete with fire, fireworks, audio-visuals and sound effects – provided a foretaste of the unique vibrancy, diversity and rhythm that an African World Cup will offer.Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, who has driven the decision to stage the World Cup in Africa for the first time, said soccer, as a universal sport, had a duty to take on social responsibility in human development.“It will not be the same World Cup that we have here in Germany,” Blatter said.“But it will be an African . a South African World Cup. There will be a lot of drums and other music.”What the German experience showed, is that hosting an event on the scale of the Fifa World Cup, demands that national divisions and skepticism be put aside in favour of a national effort, involving every sector of the society working in harmony.The Germany: Land of Ideas campaign – which has many similarities to South Africa’s own “Alive with Possibility” campaign – was initiated less than a year before the 2006 World Cup began.It seeks to extend the victory that Germany has scored, by hosting the event to boost Germany’s image abroad, in a way that will impact on foreign investment and revive Germany’s flagging economy.The Land of Ideas campaign established six massive public statues celebrating Germany’s achievements, published three books celebrating the innovation theme and commissioned leading writers abroad, to give their impressions of Germany. It also reached out to the foreign media, particularly those of the 20 000 or so, media workers who entered the country, but were not officially accredited to cover the World Cup.German President Horst Koehler initiated the Land of Ideas concept, and took full ownership of the campaign.But the organisers conceded that they had learned from their mistakes: they had started the campaign too late, different stakeholders in the society had not worked closely enough together, and there had not been sufficient sponsorship to fund an effective international campaign.South Africa’s challenge will be to focus our energies internally, and to unite in a national effort, proving the sceptics and the Afro-pessimists wrong. That will mean a massive push to ensure that our transport and security systems are up to scratch.South Africa has a headstart of a national pride campaign, and a slogan to unite all sectors of the population in a common cause: South Africa: Alive with Possibility. It has an outstanding local organising committee under Danny Jordaan, a president and a government totally committed to hosting the best World Cup in history, and host cities bursting with energy and pride.It was noted recently by Kabelo Selema, who heads the justice and peace department at the Southern Africa Bishops Conference, in an online article after attending the Africa’s Calling event, that hosting the 2010 South Africa World Cup would bring enormous benefits to the country.“Sports events such as the World Cup bring people together and we can build on that, with reconciliation efforts among South Africans of different races,” he said in an interview with Catholic Online.It would also be a boost to Africa he said, noting the presence in Berlin of representatives of other African countries and football ambassadors. “If we can continue with that spirit of inclusion, the World Cup will bring much hope to African countries.”John Battersby is the UK country manager of the International Marketing Council of SA, and attended the Africa’s Calling event in Berlin’s Tempodrome on July 7 2006.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Syracuse University’s $2 Million Air Barrier Study

first_imgSU and several partners will test a variety of air barrier panels using a specially designed two-story “house” wired to monitor each panel’s performance during the four seasonsSyracuse University announced this week that it and several partners are about to launch a three-year, $2 million study of air barrier systems at a campus laboratory specially designed to analyze and control unintended air flow between outdoors and indoors.The research team is a big one. In addition to SU faculty and students, the partners include the industry group Air Barrier Association of America, which will install panels of various materials and properties; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which will analyze data from instruments it installs in the lab to measure temperature, moisture, and air movement; the U.S. Department of Energy; the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, whose mission is to create jobs through its research in environmental and energy technologies.The laboratory, formally known as the Building Envelope Systems Test Laboratory, resembles a two-story house. (Click here to view a recent report by WSYR-TV.) In place of windows, however, the building features 34 openings for test panels, each 4ft. wide by 9ft. high. Located in an open area on SU’s South Campus, the building gets full exposure to the distinctly seasonal weather common to Central New York. (We’re talking cold winters.)“This project represents a new approach to doing research, with an industry and government laboratory and a university collaborating together,” Laverne Dalgleish, executive director of the Air Barrier Association of America, told SU’s news service. “This is research that is international in scope and that will be used around the world.”last_img read more

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Why Pinterest Could Be Worth Far More Than $2.5 Billion

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Finance#Pinterest#social media#Venture capital#Venture Funding A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guest author Derek Brown is a technology executive and analyst who blogs at One Blind Squirrel.Pinterest is a three-year-old start-up with what is rumored to be no revenue to date. Zero. In fact, by all accounts, it hasn’t even attempted to generate revenue yet. In three years! Hard to fathom in this day and age, isn’t it?And, yet, some of the sharpest minds in the venture capital community are so confident in Pinterest’s team and business that they recently invested in the company at an eye-popping valuation of $2.5 billion. Yes, billion!If you were involved in the Internet economy of the late-1990s, as was I, you may be rolling your eyes right about now and muttering to yourself about Pets.com, Kozmo, Webvan, theGlobe.com, govWorks, Boo.com, eToys and all the other so-called-companies that were, for one brief moment in time, valued as if they had discovered the cure to cancer, only to be out of business a few short quarters later. Ahh… the memories.Assuming that Pinterest’s investors share many of the same recent memories (or, more aptly, nightmares), what could be so compelling about the company and opportunity that would justify their support of such a lofty valuation this time around?Passion At ScaleIn short, I believe it is the economics of passion at scale.Pinterest, in its own words, is “a tool for collecting and organizing things you love).” (Italics mine.) By pinning images from around the Web to their own board(s) or browsing others’ pinboards for images (which can then be “liked” or “re-pinned” to their own board(s)), users are able to create, manage, share and discover highly personalized image collections that define their passions.Vintage fashion. Wind surfing. Gourmet cooking. Disneyana. Digital photography. Wedding gowns. Home decor. Camping. Italian design. Rolex watches. Travel planning. Architecture. Mid-century furniture. Urban farming. Knitting. Cross-Fit… The list of people’s passions is literally endless; and, Pinterest helps its users collect, organize and maintain all of them. On their own (or, with the help of the broader community). In granular, image- and/or SKU-specific detail.Self-identified passionistas on a product-by-product basis — are you kidding? I’m not sure a marketer or merchant could dream of more fertile ground among a set of unknown people, short of seeing a prospective customer standing directly in front of items on a shelf, with cash already in hand. And, I’m not even convinced that would be more compelling on a long-term basis.What could possibly be better? How about having that level of insight into the interests and intents and aspirations of not hundreds of thousands, but tens of millions, of people per month! According to press reports, Pinterest is already doing just that, hosting roughly 30 million unique monthly visitors who are generating more than 2.5 billion page views, the majority of which are likely coming through little more than domestic word-of-mouth promotion.Fast forward three years and I think it’s entirely reasonable to assume that Pinterest is successful at growing its user base and traffic flows by 5 times, fueled by existing users continuing to build out their identities, waves of more mainstream domestic users finally catching on and contributions from millions of new pinners (their word, not mine) in overseas markets. That’s a lot of passion under one roof!Passion PaysOn the business side of the house, passion pays. Extremely well.Advertising, alone, could generate several hundred million dollars of revenue per year. Let’s say, hypothetically, that Pinterest follows in the footsteps of virtually every sizable media company on the planet, by introducing advertisements of some sort across its pages in the next few years. With marketers across every vertical likely salivating at the prospect of reaching into the company’s massive, impassioned and finely segmentable audience, it seems more than plausible that advertising rates across the company’s site could be at least 50% higher (if not considerably more) than the current industry average. Accordingly, with 12.5 billion page views per month (three years from now) and a site-wide CPM of, say, $4, Pinterest would generate advertising revenue of roughly $50 million per month, or about $600 million per year.And yet, despite this sum, Pinterests more intriguing revenue opportunity at Pinterest lay in its role as a direct facilitator of online commerce.Passions, as we all know, cost money — lots of it, over extended periods of time; and, it is money that we are, on some level, actually excited to spend. So, whether it’s a weekend warrior who pins a Burton snowboard, or a hobbyist portrait photographer pinning a Zeiss lens, or a budding interior decorator who pins the perfect accent table on Fab, Pinterest has the potential to become an economic kingmaker when these enthusiasts transition into consumers looking to purchase the goods/services that bring their passions to life.Projecting Pinterest’s NumbersTo appreciate the financial implications of Pinterest’s role in the transaction cycle, think of the service as a massive affiliate that gets paid for delivering customers to online merchants. If just ~3% of its 150 million+ users (three years from now) decide to indulge in their passions by clicking from a “want-to-have” product image on one of their own Pinterest boards to a relevant online merchant, the company could claim a direct role in driving 4.5 million transactions per month. Assuming an average transaction size of $200 (remember, people are buying their passions, not everyday staples), Pinterest’s users would account for ~$900 million worth of monthly purchases. Were the company to receive a 7% affiliate “take”/lead fee/commission on these sales, it would generate transactional revenue of about $60 million per month, or $720 million per year.As if annual revenue of $1.3 billion (from just two sources) weren’t enough, the company’s margin profile has the potential to be the envy of most. Based on my 15+ years of experience evaluating a wide variety of online marketplace business models, it wouldn’t surprise me if Pinterest were able to sustain gross margins of 90% or more and adjusted EBITDA margins comfortably in excess of 25% (even while continuing to invest heavily in future growth). At these levels, the company would generate adjusted EBITDA of approximately $325 million per year.Worth It? Or Not?So… were Pinterest’s investors ultimately wise to value the company at $2.5 billion? No comment.Will the company generate any annual revenue, let alone $1.3 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of $325 million in a few short years? I don’t know.Will Pinterest eventually be worth $5 million or $50 billion? I can’t wait to find out.Those purposeful vagaries aside, though, I clearly see the underpinnings of a company with tremendous potential and, if I squint just enough, a business that could be the driver of billions of dollars of passion-fueled online commerce each year — and that’s a position that few companies ever even have the chance to dream about.center_img derek brown Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts last_img read more

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10 months agoArsenal favourites as Aston Villa disappointed after Cahill talks

first_imgArsenal favourites as Aston Villa disappointed after Cahill talksby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa have found the personal demands of Chelsea captain Gary Cahill too rich.The Telegraph says Villa had held talks with the 33-year-old but cannot meet the demands Chelsea have put on the table.The Blues want Cahill’s £110,000-a-week wages paid in full if he is to leave Stamford Bridge on loan.And the former England international is said to want a similar sum if he was to make a permanent move to Villa Park.Arsenal boss Unai Emery could make a surprise raid for him instead.Arsenal could get a deal done on New Years Day if all parties can reach a swift agreement. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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9 months agoHuesca ask Real Madrid for Andriy Lunin

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Huesca ask Real Madrid for Andriy Luninby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuesca have asked Real Madrid about a loan deal for Andriy Lunin.Lunin has battled for minutes while with Leganes this season.Marca says Huesca have made an ambitious loan request to Los Blancos for the Ukrainian.During his loan spell with Mauricio Pellegrino’s team, Lunin has played just two league matches and, with the club unlikely to progress past Los Blancos in the Copa del Rey, the opportunities for him to play for the remainder of the campaign look severely limited.In his pre-match press conference on Friday, the former Southampton coach made clear that Leganes were in the market for a new stopper, and this suggests that the departure of Lunin isn’t impossible, as many may have thought when the window opened. last_img read more

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Liam Hemsworth And Jhené Aiko Named As PETAs Sexiest Vegetarians

first_imgThe competition this year was hotter than ever — with RZA, Ellie Goulding, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Waka Flocka Flame all up for the honor — but Liam Hemsworth and Jhené Aiko have been crowned PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Celebrities of 2016.Other contenders included Bellamy Young, Rooney Mara, and Casey Affleck.“[A]fter all the information I gathered about the mistreatment of animals, I couldn’t continue to eat meat,” says Hemsworth, whose girlfriend, Miley Cyrus, took home last year’s title. He also credits his Hunger Games co-star — and past winner of the Sexiest Vegan Celebrity contest — Woody Harrelson for encouraging him to go vegan, insisting that he’s never felt better since making the switch. “[T]here are no negatives to eating like this,” he adds. “I feel nothing but positive, mentally and physically. I love it.”Aiko credits vegan meals with giving her the energy to keep performing, from her powerful tribute to fellow vegan Prince at Coachella to the long days on tour and in the studio. “Having grown up with a love for and a connection to all animals as well as having been educated on the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, it made sense for me to go vegan,” she says. “I have more energy, my skin looks better, and, as an extra bonus, I’m happier!”In addition to praising vegan meals, Hemsworth and Aiko also promote adopting animals from shelters: The actor adopted a dog last year, and Aiko starred in an “Adopt, Don’t Shop” campaign for peta2, PETA’s youth division, in 2014.Other past winners of PETA’s annual contest include Ellen Page, Jared Leto, Kristen Bell, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Carrie Underwood, Natalie Portman, Shania Twain, Leona Lewis, Andre 3000, Tobey Maguire, and Alicia Silverstone.For more information, please visit PETA.org.last_img read more

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Fort St John RCMP looking for ATV riders driving on local roads

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP are asking for the public’s help to find local ATV drivers that have been racing on local streets late a night and early in the morning.Over the past week, the Fort St. John RCMP have received a number of noise complaints about drivers who are racing up and down streets, disrupting the peace late at night and during the early morning hours.Numerous reports have also been received from the public highlighting safety because at the same time as creating a lot of noise, ATV, quad and dirt bike drivers are ignoring the rules of the road throughout various areas of the city. Information has been received that some of the drivers have not been wearing any safety equipment raising the RCMP’s level of concern for their wellbeing.“The Fort St. John RCMP want the roads to be safe for everyone in the community, as it belongs to all of us”, said Cst Chad Newstater. “There is a huge concern that someone is going to get hurt, in the name of having fun.”The Fort St John RCMP take these complaints very seriously because of the safety implications for both the public and the ATV riders. The Fort St John RCMP has increased patrols in the areas where disruptive ATVers have been reported.The Fort St John RCMP is asking anyone with information about:who the drivers are,the descriptions of the drivers or ATV’s,where the drivers and ATV’s reside,possible video surveillance of the riders,or any other helpful information about these incidents.If you have any useful information, please call the Fort St John RCMP at 250-787-8100 or attend the detachment during office hours at 10648 100th St, Fort St John, BC.  If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or submit a tip online at www.crimestoppersnebc.ca.last_img read more

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Former Buckeye Holmes traded suspended

Former Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes was traded to the New York Jets on Sunday, but won’t see time on the field in the first four games of the 2010 season because of a violation of the substance abuse policy set forth by the league, the NFL announced Monday.The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Holmes for a fifth-round draft pick. ESPN 1050 in New York first reported the trade late Sunday, and Jets owner Woody Johnson confirmed the trade Monday morning. The league has suspended Holmes without pay, but he will be eligible to take part in offseason training and preseason games.The trade will be officially announced after Holmes undergoes a physical in New York and meets with Jets officials. Holmes signed autographs at the Ohio Union last Tuesday. read more

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