Brilliant Burnage sends a message

first_img Click here for full scores Appropriately, his 11-under par score won the Michael Lunt Trophy, which celebrates the Walker Cup stalwart and 2005 captain of Walton Heath.  Third place at Walton Health with a six under par total of 282 went to 23-year-old Italian Philip Geerts. Former boy international Max Martin (Ladrook Park, Warwickshire) finished fourth, celebrating his 20th birthday last Sunday. “A round at Walton Heath was the best possible present,” he said. This is Burnage’s first 72-hole victory and his total of 277 represented fine scoring given the strength of the wind, the severity of the rain squalls and the clawing nature of the purple heather. England’s Jake Burnage sent a message to the Walker Cup selectors when he won the South of England amateur championship by a stroke at Walton Heath Golf Club, Surrey.  The 22-year-old will now focus on a second successful performance in the English amateur championship at The Berkshire next week. “My aim is to knock down the door with a sledgehammer this fortnight,” said Burnage, from Saunton, Devon, in reference to possible selection. 28 Jul 2017 Brilliant Burnage sends a message center_img In addition, in keeping with the tradition of the championship, the two courses had been stretched to their maximum lengths with tees located further back than even those facing hardened professionals in the annual US Open qualifying event. Burnage adds this success to his win the Hampshire Hog, a share of second place in the Brabazon Trophy and third place in the Lytham Trophy.  “I really went for the par putt because I knew that would reduce my handicap to plus-5,” he said. “The return putt did not bother me at all.” Burnage had shared the half-way lead with Jack Yule, 22, (Middleton Hall, Norfolk) who is a fellow member of the England A squad. Paired together and last out for both the third and fourth rounds, they duelled all day while the chasing pack kept their distance. The drama continued to the final hole where Burnage led by three standing on the last tee. He drove his ball into thick heather on top of a bunker and had to hack back onto the fairway. With Yule holing for a birdie three Burnage needed to two putt from 25ft for victory – but slid his first putt 4ft past, before safely holing out.last_img read more

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Sourav Ganguly gives Kohli, Pant the best advice on how to deal with ‘Dhoni’…

first_imgImage Courtesy: Reuters/BCCIAdvertisement b0s5NBA Finals | Brooklyn VsvvzuWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Erdog( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 1akw3Would you ever consider trying this?😱1bi6hCan your students do this? 🌚hj4nRoller skating! Powered by Firework As it seems, the supporters of Team India aren’t exactly pleased with the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni from the T20 squad, and unfortunately Rishabh Pant has become the target. In last month’s Bangladesh series, Pant’s errors were received with jeering ‘Dhoni’ chants across the stadiums, which got the skipper Virat Kohli worked up. However, Sourav Ganguly has a solution.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Reuters/BCCIBefore the Windies match kicked off today, Kohli came out in support of Pant, stating that mocking the 22 year old wicket keeper-batsman using the name of Mahi is disrespectful to the former captain.“I think it’s a collective responsibility for everyone around us as well to give that player some space” Kohli told earlier.Advertisement “If he misses a chance or something, you know, people can’t shout MS’ (MS Dhoni) name in the stadium, it’s not respectful if I have to put it that way, because no player would like that to happen.” the skipper added.Sourav, who is the current president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given his compatriots the perfect solution to deal with the chants.Advertisement At the India Today Conclave East 2019 today, the 47 year old said: “If I were Virat Kohli, I would just let him go through it, let him hear it and find ways to succeed. Everybody must remember that you don’t get MS Dhoni’s every day. He is a once-in-a-generation cricketer.”Dhoni, who was the legendary leader and the Men in Blue’s man behind the stumps, was replaced by Pant during the selection, and the youngster from Roorkee featured in the South Africa series prior to the Bangladesh T20 series and is also starring in the ongoing West Indies series.“I think it’s good for him because he will get used to it. I personally feel pressure is something which he needs to get used to. When he played for Delhi last year, he was one of the main players. He played in front of a packed houses. Taking responsibility wasn’t an issue,” Dada added.Pant, who plays for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, only managed to score 36 runs in the Bangladesh series. Although ‘Dada’ feels its the natural way of progression, as it was in case of Dhoni himself.Sourav continued: “MS Dhoni also, when he started, was not MS Dhoni. It took him 15 years to be MS Dhoni. It will take Rishabh Pant also close to 15 years to be even close to what MS Dhoni is today.”Making his first T20 debut against England in 2017, Pant has 68 T20 caps to his name, along with 291 and 224 caps in the test and ODI format.He may have replaced him in the Indian team but Rishabh Pant has ‘good vibes only’ with MS Dhoni Advertisementlast_img read more

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Birmingham boss explains his tactical changes

first_imgBirmingham boss Gary Rowett said starving Tom Cairney of space was the key to their victory at Fulham.Clayton Donaldson converted a penalty just after the break – having missed one in the first half – and the Whites’ Michael Madl was sent off as Birmingham won 1-0 at Craven Cottage.And Rowett explained how his tactical switch in midfield kept key Fulham player Cairney so quiet.“Cairney’s a good player and with [Denis] Odoi giving some real good width as a full-back, we knew we had to block that inside space,” Rowett said.“We changed [Robert] Tesche and [Maikel] Kieftenbeld over, so Maikel played Cairney’s side and we had a little bit more of a defensive mindset around the pockets Cairney wants to get in.“We felt perhaps [Chris] Martin might have started up front. With [Matt] Smith starting, we just felt as though we had an opportunity to play a little bit higher up the pitch, because he’s perhaps going to find it harder to run away from you.“We certainly didn’t want them high up the pitch, delivering balls into the box.“I was slightly surprised they took Smith off. I can understand why Slavisa did it – with 10 men you need real mobility on the pitch – but again it gave us the opportunity to play a little bit higher because they didn’t have any physical presence up there.“Also, Scotty Parker not playing perhaps made a difference to their balance defensively in the first half.”Rowett was pleased with his side’s performance but felt the game could have been wrapped up sooner.He said: “The only disappointment is that we made it a little bit harder than it needed to be. I thought first half we were excellent, it’s as well as we’ve played.“We made hard work of it at times in the second half, and perhaps needed to be a bit more clinical.”See also:Jokanovic accepts blame for Fulham defeatFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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South Africa honours its teachers

first_img“We acknowledge your dedication and selfless service to the betterment of our country,” Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the National Teaching Awards, an event celebrating excellence in South African public education.Primary school children join South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on stage at the 2016 National Teaching Awards at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg. (Image: GCIS)Now in their 16th year, the awards were held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday 27 February. This year’s event was dedicated to Oliver Tambo, president of the ANC in exile, colleague of Nelson Mandela and himself a maths and physics teacher.In his keynote address, Ramaphosa quoted Tambo as saying: “A nation that does not take care of its youth has no future, and does not deserve one.”Since 2000, the Department of Basic Education has hosted the awards to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts made by South Africa’s teachers, often in very difficult conditions, to serve the country’s children – many of whom come from poor communities. According to the department, the event “encourages dedicated and caring teachers in their efforts to develop each learner as a citizen of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa”.The awards aim to:Focus public attention on the positive aspects of basic education, and raise the public image of the teaching professionRecognise and promote excellence in teachingHonour dedicated, creative and effective teachers and schoolsEncourage best practice in schoolsGive South Africans the opportunity to publicly thank our teachers“We acknowledge with gratitude the very best among our national brigade of educators,” Ramaphosa said. “They know more than anyone that education is the best weapon at our nation’s disposal to eradicate poverty and its dehumanising effects.”Ramaphosa said the government was aware of the daily challenges and struggles teachers face.“We have committed this government to do everything possible to improve the working conditions of teachers,” he said.Billions spent on educationHighlighting how South Africa’s education system has changed since the dawn of democracy, Ramaphosa pointed out that today millions of children receive free quality education.“Government has prioritised education and worked to ensure that our schools receive the attention they deserve … the Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech allocated substantial resources to build education infrastructure and improve the overall performance of basic education.”This year’s Budget set aside R228-billion to fund education – the highest allocation in South Africa’s history.“Inclusive and equitable quality education for all is the most effective way to address poverty and its effects on children,” Ramaphosa said.“This resonates very well with the National Development Plan, which says: Improved education will lead to higher employment and earnings, while more rapid economic growth will broaden opportunities for all and generate the resources required to improve education.”He concluded: “By 2030, we will have achieved all these things because we are determined, because we dare to dream, because we work together and, most importantly, because we have the finest teachers in the world.”last_img read more

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Leadership Qualities: What Does It Take to Become a Great Leader?

first_imgNo one ever said that being a good leader was easy. A leader’s actions are constantly scrutinized and their leadership qualities help get them through good times and bad. Employees look up to, respect and work very hard for these qualities – which is why it’s so important for every great leader to work hard to hone their leadership qualities.Leaders OvercommunicateOnce I was speaking at a conference when the CEO of the company leaned over and whispered in my ear. He said, “I am giving the same speech I’ve given the last two years. The stories are different. The examples are different, too. But it’s the same message.”The CEO wondered whether he was wrong in doing so, and asked me what I thought. I told him, “Your message was right three years ago. It was right last year, and it’s right this year. Changing your message will confuse people as far as who they are and where they are going. You aren’t delivering change. You’re doubling down.”Great leaders relentlessly communicate a consistent message.Mission: Great leaders relentlessly communicate their company’s mission. Those who never speak of “mission,” never capture the hearts and minds of the people they have the honor to lead. Great leaders aren’t afraid to communicate about the difference their organization is making, and they remind their teams of that mission with a steady stream of examples.Vision: Great leaders also take every opportunity to remind the people they lead where they are going, how they are going to get there, and who they are going to become. They communicate this vision, knowing that they win converts slowly and over time.Values: A leader leads through her values. What is important to her is important to her organization. What she ignores, they will also ignore. Great leaders draw a line in the sand separating “who we are” from “who we will never be.” I know one leader who refuses to make money from his vendors, money his competitors take. I know another who never stops talking about caring. Their companies live those values.Who We Are: Effective leaders talk about their competition. They explain to the people they lead how they are different from their competitors, why they do things differently, and why it matters. By talking about these things, they help the people they lead understand their place in the world.As a leader, it is impossible to over-communicate in any of these areas. It is possible to cause people to lose their enthusiasm if you don’t bring these ideas to life with stories, anecdotes, and examples of people getting things right.Leaders Have Managerial WillCompensation is one way to drive behavior and produce the outcome you need, as limited as it may be by itself. Having plans and metrics can also guide behaviors and help produce the outcomes you need. These levers, as much as we like to employ them, are not as powerful as the underutilized method for getting things done: managerial will.Managerial will is a combination of leadership and accountability.Be the Leader Your Team NeedsManagerial will is the leadership to tell your people that you are going to take the hill, and then driving the action to actually take the hill. Regardless of compensation. Regardless of plans and metrics. You achieve the goal through your personal leadership.You establish the goal, and you employ all your resources, including time, energy, money, and people in achieving that goal. Come hell or high water.Inspect and AdjustThe second part of managerial will is holding people accountable for their role in achieving the goal. You ask them about their progress. And then you ask them again. When they’re struggling, you help remove the obstacles to their performance. You coach them. You help them with whatever will enable them to do their part in producing the results you need them to produce as part of the larger goal.Without the leadership component to managerial will, compensation and other levers rarely produce the results desired. If you had to choose between the two, managerial will is the safer bet, especially with a great, actualized leader.Without the accountability component, you will achieve results that are far less than what you are capable of producing.This resistance to managerial will comes from the great–and real–fear that leaders will hurt people and that an unenlightened dominator who makes poor leadership choices uses managerial will. But this too stems from a lack of managerial will, namely that of the manager’s leader in allowing bad behavior.Managerial will, when exercised by a thoughtful, enlightened, caring leader is a force multiplier that allows their team to outproduce larger, better-resourced competitors who lack this discipline.Leaders Know Their Non-NegotiablesThere are some things that a leader cannot and should not negotiate – knowledge of this is one of the most powerful leadership qualities. Some values have to be written in stone and written clearly for all who come in contact with an organization to see. These are the non-negotiables.Culture: A leader must create and sustain a positive, empowering culture. Culture is non-negotiable. If someone or something threatens culture, the leader needs to take action. Allowing a positive empowering culture to crumble is to allow the organization to be radically changed for the worse.Values: Values are what sustain an organization, especially through times of great change. Values are what persist and what provide a foundation. If one of the values is integrity, then allowing people to color outside the lines is a non-starter. The leader not only has to embody the values, but she also has to enforce them.Treating people well: Treating people well leads to better performance than treating them poorly. Trusting people actually makes them more trustworthy, and enabling people to take initiative and be resourceful encourages them to try to do those things. When people feel like their workplace is something between prison and daycare, they lose morale and end up losing workers. Leaders set the tone and ensure proper treatment in the workplace. You can’t attract and build new leaders otherwise.Business models: This isn’t to say that business models can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t change. They can, will, and should over time, but only at the right time and for the right reasons. Allowing price reductions that inhibit your ability to produce results breaks the model. Selling products and services that don’t create the value your clients want, need, and expect from you changes the model, too. A leader cannot allow the model to change or falter.A leader needs a list of non-negotiables: things that won’t change just because someone doesn’t like the culture, the values, the business model, or who doesn’t want to treat other people well.Leaders Focus on Big InitiativesAs a leader, it is easy to get bogged down in the little stuff.Many of the people you lead will bring you small problems because they haven’t worked for a leader who has required them to act independently (mostly because that leader didn’t trust them to act independently).Much of what reaches your desk are tiny fires. The nature of the problem requires urgency, and the people who work for you want to make sure that you know what’s going on and weigh in on the decision.Urgent work gives you a sense of accomplishment. Nothing makes you feel like you’re working more than making decisions and handling the things that need attention. Many people in leadership roles thrive on this work because it feeds their need for significance. But “small fires” isn’t where a leader should spend much of their time.For many leaders, these “small fires” keep them from having to do the real heavy lifting of leadership.It is easier to get frustrated and focus on small stuff than it is to fix the big stuff. That’s why maintaining a focus on big initiatives is one of the most critical leadership qualities.Strategic Threats: Dealing with urgent issues keeps you busy and prevents you from dealing with the strategic threat facing your business. That threat is so great that there is no easy answer available, but strategic threats left unaddressed makes the future more uncertain and creates additional risks.Developing Leaders: Small, urgent issues with relatively easy answers can keep you from spending time developing the next generation of leaders, the important work that is never urgent enough to get a leader’s full attention.Biggest Initiatives: There is some work that only a leader can do. There is more work that competent, trusted people can easily do when empowered to take action independently. Someone still needs to address the small, urgent issues, but the leader’s job is to ensure that she has the team necessary to handle them so that she can focus on what only the leader can do.The most dangerous thing a leader can do is to allow small issues to prevent them from pursuing their two or three biggest initiatives. These important initiatives often die when a leader’s time is being devoted to smaller, less important issues. Make maintaining a focus on big initiatives one of your leadership qualities and you’ll start to see the impact right away.Leaders Don’t Care If People Like ThemLeadership is a tricky subject. There are so many leadership qualities, beliefs, and behaviors that make up a good leader that it’s impossible to come up with a single defining characteristic. The same could be said for mistakes that would-be leaders make. Right now, one big mistake comes to mind.The Need to Be LikedOne thing that leadership is not is a popularity contest. A leader can’t have an overwhelming need to be liked.The need to be liked can prevent a leader from having tough conversations that are necessary to good leadership.The need to be liked can cause some leaders to avoid taking some action because they are afraid that someone will think less of them for making a decision–even when it is the right decision.In the worst of all cases, a leader with a strong need to be liked will refuse to hold people accountable for fear of that person not liking them.Not Feared, But RespectedNone of this means that a leader should want to be disliked. How you achieve outcomes as a leader is every bit as important as the outcomes themselves.The idea that it is better for a leader to be feared than loved if she “can’t be both,” is 500 years old. Much about leadership has changed in 5 centuries.The best leader you had cared enough about you to have the tough conversations necessary to help you see your blind spots. They weren’t mean-spirited in their criticism. They just saw something more in you than you could see at the time.The best leader you will ever have will make the decision to do what is right even when it is an unpopular decision. That leader will weigh their decisions carefully and do what is best for the people that they lead.A great leader will hold you accountable for producing results, even when those results are difficult to achieve.The leader that you loved won’t be one that you feared. It will be the one that you respected and who cared about you and the people they led. By not needing to be liked, the leader earns the love and respect of the people they have the privilege to lead.The best leaders exhibit certain traits that make them hugely successful. Embrace these qualities and be a great leader too.last_img read more

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FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Cameroon

first_imgChelsea’s star-striker Samuel Eto’o and Barcelona’s Alex Song will be crucial for CameroonSamuel Eto’o leads the way while coach Volker Finke will be calling the shots for Cameroon at the World Cup.The Chelsea striker is the biggest star in a team with plenty of quality. But just being in a group with Brazil, Croatia and Mexico will make it tough for the Indomitable Lions to advance to the knockout round.Here are five players to watch:SAMUEL ETO’OFour-time African player of the year Samuel Eto’o is at the twilight of his career but still capable of blistering performances.Despite turning 33 in March, the Cameroon captain has a keen eye for goal and is shining week after week at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho’s guidance.Eto’o, who has played in three World Cups and won three Champions League titles, has twice led Cameroon to victory at the African Cup of Nations and is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the competition with 18 goals.ALEXANDRE SONGAlexandre Song is not playing on a regular basis at Barcelona but remains a stalwart of the Cameroon team.Renowned for his grit and bullish presence in midfield, the 26-year-old Song is a key player in coach Volker Finke’s squad.Song can play either as a defensive or central midfielder and his pin-point passes and quick attacking pace are vital to Cameroon’s ambitions.Many Premier League clubs have recently shown their interest in signing the former Arsenal midfielder and the way he’ll perform in Brazil could help him secure a big deal.advertisementVINCENT ABOUBAKARTipped by many pundits as the future star of African football, 22-year-old Lorient center forward Vincent Aboubakar is renowned for his athletic ability and outstanding skill, but his partnership with Eto’o has been disappointing so far.Aboubakar, who has scored 12 goals so far this season in the French league, will take part in his second World Cup after an unconvincing display in South Africa four years ago.CHARLES ITANDJEFrom Thomas Nkono to Joseph-Antoine Bell and Carlos Idriss Kameni, Cameroon has a well-deserved reputation for producing top-class goalkeepers.Charles Itandje is another.The former Liverpool ‘keeper played a crucial role in Cameroon’s qualifying campaign, making a dozen decisive saves to deny Tunisia in the playoffs.He will be the undisputed No. 1 for Cameroon in Brazil.ERIC-MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTINGOften used as a winger, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting can also be a good cover for Samuel Eto’o if the Chelsea striker is unavailable through injury or suspension.The Mainz striker, who had a poster of Eto’o on his bedroom wall as a child, has superb dribbling skills and can score from nearly all positions.He recently showed his technical potential when he scored a spectacular goal with his heel against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.last_img read more

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Caloy Garcia, Rain or Shine ready for any team in semis

first_imgCaloy Garcia. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Coach Caloy Garcia is playing the waiting game anew after Rain or Shine made good use of its twice-to-beat incentive in Sunday’s quarterfinal clash with NorthPort at MOA Arena.And he’s not sweating it.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewcenter_img Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid “Actually right now, we’re not even thinking about it,” he told reporters after the Elasto Painters’ 91-85 dispatching of Batang Pier. “We still don’t know who we are going to play.”Garcia said the second seed Rain or Shine is looking to regroup on Tuesday. But there is no telling who their next assignment will be by that time as Magnolia on Monday night forced a deciding Game 3 after whipping Ginebra, 106-77.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We’ll just probably think of how we played against NorthPort,” Garcia said.“Just think of how we can still improve, because we know Ginebra and Magnolia are two different types of teams—you have a big team and you have a quick one,” he added. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess The Painters, should they face Barangay Ginebra in the semifinal round, will have an opportunity to avenge their Philippine Cup campaign last year, where they were swept in two games.But Garcia and the Elasto Painters are more likely draw inspiration from exorcising the haunting memories of their 2018 Governors’ Cup bid where they finished first in the eliminations but got knocked out again by the Gin Kings in the semifinal round.“As of right now, we just want to enjoy this moment,” the soft-spoken mentor said.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lady Eagles don’t want any letup heading into Final Four Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassleslast_img read more

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Group wants new agency to oversee oil and gas industry in British

first_img“A different set of rules” seems to apply for the fossil fuel industry, Parfitt said.To ensure compliance, the report recommends the creation of an arm’s length agency to oversee regulatory compliance and enforcement and that a single water authority be reinstated to regulate all water users in the province.“The amount of drilling and fracking that is going to occur to supply those plants is going to result in a huge, huge increase in gas industry activities in the northeast of the province,” Parfitt said.“So, this is a time that we need to get things right in terms of regulating the industry.”The report also says the provincial government should remove the commission’s powers to change regulations and compel it to release all information that is in the public interest.“At the end of the day, we still have to confront the fact that we still have a climate crisis in the world right now and we need to be finding a way to rapidly ramp down fossil fuel production in B.C. and around the world,” Parfitt said. The Canadian Press The report highlights examples of when the commission didn’t penalize companies to the fullest extent for the construction of unlicensed dams, leaking gas wells, contaminating water and violations of rules to protect endangered species, Parfitt said.Those examples show there is an extreme reluctance on the part of the industry regulator to hold the companies it regulates to account, he said.There will be a significant ramp up in oil and gas industry activities once liquefied natural gas plants are built on the B.C. coast, which will lead to an increase in drilling and fracking, Parfitt said.He said there’s been a reluctance on the part of one provincial government after another to deal with the Oil and Gas Commission. The commission and provincial government didn’t respond to requests for comment on the report released Wednesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.The centre is a think tank that does not take corporate donations. It describes itself as a source of progressive policy ideas and says its values are rooted in social justice and environmental sustainability.The report says that before the commission’s genesis, companies had to apply to numerous provincial ministries and branches to obtain authorizations before drilling for natural gas could begin.These included the Forests Ministry, which issued permits to log forests for roads, pipeline corridors, well pads and more; the Ministry of Lands, which approved the occupation of Crown or public lands; the Heritage Conservation Branch, which issued archaeological permits; and the Environment Ministry, which handed out water permits and approvals governing industrial activities in sensitive fish and wildlife habitats, it says.Parfitt said after the commission was established in 1998 the review and approval of industry development applications accelerated.“The very first reports showed the Oil and Gas Commission was speeding up the approval process but not the compliance process,” he said. “The report looks at three significant indications of where the agency has failed to be tough on the companies that it regulates.” VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission isn’t taking action that would protect the environment in the public interest, favouring instead the companies it is intended to police, says a new report.Author Ben Parfitt accused the Crown corporation of serving the interests of the industry and a provincial government that promotes fossil fuel development ahead of the public interest.“What we have seen over the more recent years is that the commission’s job to ensure environmental protection and to ensure public health and safety and to ensure companies are following the rules, there is abundant evidence that the commission is failing to do that,” he said in an interview.last_img read more

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The English Premier League Starts Today Heres One Reason To Watch

Beautiful, ain’t it? Americans’ interest in soccer is about three times higher during the World Cup than it usually is, judging by how often they search for the sport on Google. But that isn’t true for other countries. In England, where the English Premier League will kick off its season on Saturday, club play is followed almost as enthusiastically as international competition. The same is true in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.What accounts for the international appeal of soccer? One factor may be the comparative simplicity of its rulebook. Product designers have long appreciated the value of simplicity, which offers a gentler learning curve and fewer opportunities for mistranslation.I downloaded the FIFA Laws of the Game along with the rulebooks for the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. Then I counted the number of words in each one, excluding indices. This is a simple proxy for the complexity of each sport.Soccer is doing more with less; FIFA’s rulebook has just over 20,000 words. By contrast, the NBA’s has 30,000, MLB’s is close to 50,000, the NHL’s is nearly 60,000 and the NFL’s is 70,000.The correlation between the simplicity of a sport’s rulebook and its global popularity is almost one to one. Soccer, with its simple rulebook, is followed in almost every country. Basketball increasingly is, too. The more complex sports have less global appeal. Baseball is popular in the Americas and Japan but not yet elsewhere. Hockey fans are almost exclusively concentrated in the U.S., Canada, Northern Europe and Russia. American football has few fans outside America itself.Philosophers have also long recognized a connection between simplicity and beauty (indeed, long before soccer came to be known as “The Beautiful Game,” it was known as “The Simplest Game” instead). This June, when I attended a couple of World Cup matches at the Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro, I was struck by how rich the experience was with so few frills. There was no 60-yard-long Jumbotron — there were hardly any scoreboards. There weren’t many words spoken, on or off the pitch.Soccer can get away with this minimalist presentation because of the simplicity of its rulebook; you don’t need Ed Hochuli to come out and explain the difference between offsides and encroachment and a neutral zone infraction.Instead, when Chile scored against Spain in their Group B match, it sounded something like this (sorry about my shaky camera work): read more

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Why The Warriors And Cavs Are Still Big Favorites

1959-60Boston Celtics1,1051of8 1995-96Chicago Bulls2,0691of29 1984-85Los Angeles Lakers2,0332of23 1966-67Philadelphia 76ers1,0843of10 Los Angeles Lakers-2.8-3.4-0.6– 2014-15Golden State Warriors72915of30 1952-53Minneapolis Lakers8521of10 2001-02Los Angeles Lakers1,8303of29 2011-12Miami Heat1,7255of30 1982-83Philadelphia 76ers1,7781of23 2012-13Miami Heat2,7782of30 2008-09Los Angeles Lakers1,9763of30 1989-90Detroit Pistons1,8343of27 2005-06Miami Heat1,9103of30 Golden State Warriors+9.1+10.8+1.7– Los Angeles Clippers+2.2+2.1-0.1– Sacramento Kings-5.7-5.8-0.1– 1955-56Philadelphia Warriors598of8 2006-07San Antonio Spurs2,3631of30 1988-89Detroit Pistons1,4913of25 Brooklyn Nets-4.4-5.0-0.6– Show more rows* Average number of career playoff minutes, weighted by each player’s share of regular season minutes played.Source: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM 1951-52Minneapolis Lakers4922of10 Charlotte Hornets+1.4+1.4-0.1– Memphis Grizzlies-1.9-2.0-0.1– 1965-66Boston Celtics1,7141of9 1991-92Chicago Bulls1,6844of27 Philadelphia 76ers-0.7-1.3-0.6– SEASONCHAMPIONSAVG. PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE*LEAGUE RANK 1994-95Houston Rockets1,3925of27 1954-55Syracuse Nationals6783of9 1996-97Chicago Bulls2,6181of29 1987-88Los Angeles Lakers2,8442of23 1998-99San Antonio Spurs1,4596of29 1985-86Boston Celtics2,2043of23 1981-82Los Angeles Lakers1,4363of23 1983-84Boston Celtics1,3813of23 New York Knicks-4.2-4.7-0.5– 1993-94Houston Rockets78312of27 Minnesota Timberwolves+3.4+3.3-0.1– 1957-58St. Louis Hawks9881of8 You might be wondering if we’re confusing cause and effect. For instance, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls were really great; as a result of being great, they made deep playoff runs every year and won six NBA titles, accumulating lots of playoff experience along the way. Playoff success causes playoff experience and not the other way around, you might say.We’ve found, however, that there’s predictive power in accounting for playoff experience above and beyond other measures of team quality. In particular, playoff experience provides information beyond a team’s Elo rating, which accounts for its record, strength of schedule, and margin of victory or defeat in recent games. In the NBA postseason since 1980, the team with the higher initial Elo rating has won 74 percent of playoff series. But if a team has both a higher Elo rating and much more playoff experience,4A difference of at least 1,000 average lifetime playoff minutes played. that win percentage shoots up to 86 percent. Conversely, teams with the higher Elo rating but much less playoff experience have won just 52 percent of playoff series. These differences are highly statistically and practically significant.Based on past research on the topic, we were expecting to see teams reap some benefit from playoff experience, but we were surprised that the effect was this strong. What we’re less sure of is why this effect exists. Playoff basketball is a different beast than regular-season basketball, with much tighter defensive play, among other stylistic changes. It may simply be that nothing predicts playoff success quite like past playoff success. Or it may be that some players really are “clutch” — or can learn to be clutch with experience — and have the psychological skills to thrive under postseason pressure. It’s also possible that teams like LeBron James’s Cavs aren’t overachieving in the playoffs so much as they’re underachieving — or pacing themselves — in the regular season. The NBA season is exhausting, so it’s probably a good idea to pace yourself if your goal is to maximize your chance of a deep playoff run rather than to accumulate gaudy regular-season statistics.All we know for sure is that playoff basketball is different from regular-season basketball — different enough that it makes sense to maintain what amounts to two sets of ratings for each team, one for the playoffs and one for the regular season. And that’s essentially what our new system does: It keeps two sets of ratings. Below, you’ll find each team’s projected margin of victory or defeat against a league-average opponent in the regular season and the playoffs, respectively.5These margins of victory differ slightly from the average projected point differential on the “CARM-Elo” interactive graphic because those “CARM-Elo” point differentials account for the strength of a team’s schedule, whereas my calculations for this article do not. Note that the most experienced teams, like the Cavaliers, project to be 2 or even 3 points better per game in the playoffs than in the regular season, which is similar to the magnitude of home-court advantage in the NBA. So when an experienced team plays an inexperienced team in the playoffs, it has the equivalent of home-court advantage — more experienced teams don’t always win by any means, but the breaks tend to go their way. 2010-11Dallas Mavericks2,1534of30 1980-81Boston Celtics35913of23 1975-76Boston Celtics2,0881of18 2015-16Cleveland Cavaliers1,9072of30 1973-74Boston Celtics1,5662of17 2004-05San Antonio Spurs1,4811of30 NBA champs almost always have a lot of playoff experience 1967-68Boston Celtics2,2451of12 1990-91Chicago Bulls1,2456of27 1960-61Boston Celtics1,3791of8 2007-08Boston Celtics86610of30 2009-10Los Angeles Lakers2,5091of30 Milwaukee Bucks+0.8+0.4-0.4– Atlanta Hawks-5.8-6.3-0.5– Portland Trail Blazers+0.3+0.0-0.3– Indiana Pacers-3.5-3.9-0.3– Orlando Magic-1.7-2.3-0.6– 1992-93Chicago Bulls2,1342of27 Detroit Pistons-2.8-3.3-0.6– Cavs are boosted most by accounting for playoff experience 1999-2000Los Angeles Lakers1,7295of29 1986-87Los Angeles Lakers2,4962of23 1971-72Los Angeles Lakers2,4711of17 Oklahoma City Thunder+5.2+6.0+0.8– 1953-54Minneapolis Lakers1,0621of9 2003-04Detroit Pistons71513of29 2002-03San Antonio Spurs1,1956of29 Denver Nuggets+2.5+2.2-0.4– EXPECTED MARGIN OF VICTORY AGAINST A LEAGUE-AVERAGE TEAM 1970-71Milwaukee Bucks6267of17 1969-70New York Knicks6496of14 Boston Celtics+1.6+1.7+0.1– Phoenix Suns-3.5-4.1-0.6– Cleveland Cavaliers+5.0+7.6+2.6– 1976-77Portland Trail Blazers15222of22 Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are favorites to win their respective conferences and reach the NBA Finals.That’s according to FiveThirtyEight’s “CARM-Elo” projections, which we’ve just launched for the 2017-18 NBA season. The Warriors and Cavs project to be the best regular-season teams in their respective conferences, although the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder — and perhaps the San Antonio Spurs — could represent formidable rivals for the Warriors in the West. Cleveland has less competition in the East. (Our projections are bearish on the Boston Celtics.) But Cleveland and Golden State could have an even larger advantage in the postseason.Apart from one new wrinkle, our methodology for making these projections is essentially the same as it has been for the past two seasons. So I’ll spend the bulk of time here discussing what has changed. The new wrinkle: Our forecasts account for the amount of playoff experience on each team’s roster. Throughout NBA history, teams with extensive playoff experience have often found a higher “gear” in the playoffs. Put more precisely, they have a tendency to win more playoff games than you’d expect from their regular-season performance. This group of teams includes the Cavs, a team that our forecasts have often underrated once the playoffs began — and that won 12 of its first 13 playoff games last year after a mediocre regular season.Indeed, it’s extremely rare for teams without at least an average amount of playoff experience to win the NBA title. We calculate a team’s playoff experience by averaging the number1Only playoff games from previous seasons count toward the calculation; we don’t give a player credit for the experience he’s accumulating in the current season’s playoffs until the next season. of career playoff minutes played2Minutes played aren’t available before the 1951-52 NBA season; for the earlier seasons, we estimate the number of minutes played based on the number of playoff games played. for each player on its roster, weighted by the number of minutes the player played for the team in the regular season.3For our 2017-18 projections, we use projected minutes based on our depth charts. (Teams don’t get any credit for signing a playoff-experienced veteran if they never play him.) For instance, last season’s NBA champions, the Warriors, entered the playoffs with a weighted average of 1,966 career playoff minutes, which ranked third in the league after Cleveland and San Antonio. By contrast, the Portland Trail Blazers — the Warriors’ first-round opponents — averaged just 493 minutes of playoff experience.Each of the past 36 NBA champions have ranked in the top half of their respective leagues in playoff experience. So have 62 out of the past 66 champions; the lone exceptions were the 1980-81 and 1956-57 Boston Celtics, the 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers and the 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors. San Antonio Spurs+3.5+5.1+1.6– TEAMREG. SEASONPLAYOFFSPLAYOFF EXPERIENCE BONUS 1997-98Chicago Bulls2,7521of29 Houston Rockets+6.2+7.0+0.8– 2000-01Los Angeles Lakers2,2583of29 2013-14San Antonio Spurs2,4362of30 1977-78Washington Bullets1,3832of22 Washington Wizards+1.5+1.5+0.0 1958-59Boston Celtics8492of8 Chicago Bulls-5.1-5.8-0.7– Toronto Raptors+1.0+1.1+0.2– Utah Jazz+1.9+1.7-0.2– Miami Heat-0.8-1.3-0.5– 1972-73New York Knicks1,8092of17 1962-63Boston Celtics1,6891of9 1963-64Boston Celtics1,6371of9 Dallas Mavericks-3.6-3.3+0.3– 1974-75Golden State Warriors5989of18 2016-17Golden State Warriors1,9663of30 Finally, just some general background on these projections. We call these “CARM-Elo” forecasts because they combine our CARMELO projections for individual players, which are used to set the initial ratings for each team, with our Elo-rating based method of simulating out the rest of the season. As part of this process, we’ve built depth charts for each team to estimate playing time over the course of the regular season. There is unavoidably some guesswork involved in creating the depth charts, which reflect a rough consensus of depth charts from RosterResource.com, ESPN.com and CBS Sports and account for injuries. However, CARMELO projects an expected amount of playing time for each player, and when building our depth charts, we usually stick fairly closely to this recommendation for a team’s rotation players. In fact, our model punishes players who are “forced” to play substantially more than their CARMELO-forecasted playing time by lowering their efficiency rating. For example, Doug McDermott of the New York Knicks is projected to play 20 minutes per game in our depth charts when CARMELO recommends that he only plays 15 minutes per game, so our forecast assumes that he’ll become somewhat less efficient as a result.Our CARMELO projections themselves underwent some changes earlier this year, which you can read about here. In particular, we’ve switched back to a system that rates players based on a combination of Real Plus-Minus and Box Plus/Minus instead of solely using BPM, as we did last year. Both RPM and BPM have their weaknesses, though: Neither is especially accurate at accounting for defense; both can struggle with players with extremely high usage rates (say, Russell Westbrook or DeMar DeRozan); and they don’t take much advantage of the NBA’s new wealth of player-tracking data. If it sounds like I have strong opinions about this stuff, it’s because I do; we’re working on our own player-rating metric, which we hope to unveil in the relatively near future.In the meantime, good luck to the 28 NBA teams hoping to knock off the Warriors and the Cavs. It’s never easy, and it won’t be easy this year, especially once the playoffs come around. 1956-57Boston Celtics5655of8 New Orleans Pelicans+1.1+0.9-0.2– 1979-80Los Angeles Lakers1,0785of22 1961-62Boston Celtics1,3941of9 1968-69Boston Celtics2,8051of14 1964-65Boston Celtics1,7071of9 Overall, the Warriors — who have the second-most playoff experience after the Cavs — have a 38 percent chance of repeating as NBA champions, according to our projections. If you’re not sure whether that is low or high, consider that the New England Patriots had only an 18 percent chance of repeating as Super Bowl champions at the start of this year’s NFL season, according to our NFL Elo projections. But 38 percent is somewhat lower than where Vegas odds have the Warriors, which imply more like a 45 percent or 50 percent chance that they’ll repeat.6The combined probability of the 30 NBA teams winning the NBA title is 132 percent, according to the odds listed at VegasInsider.com. Obviously, this can’t be right — the odds must add up to 100 percent exactly — but the inflated numbers reflect the house’s cut. The Warriors’ probability of repeating is 62 percent taken at face value but falls to 47 percent once you correct for this. The competition is a bit deeper this year, and the Warriors are no longer a young team. Still, the playoff bonus helps them — without it, their chances would be 34 percent.The pecking order behind the Warriors changes as a result of the playoff adjustment. In the playoff version of our ratings, there’s a fairly clear second tier after Golden State that consists of the Cavs, Rockets, Thunder and Spurs. The Cavaliers, who benefit from playing in the Eastern Conference, have the easiest path of this group, with a 21 percent chance of winning the title. (Without the playoff bonus, the Cavs’ chances would be 13 percent.)After that, there’s a pretty big gap before you get to anyone else. Teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves might not be that far behind teams like the Spurs and even the Cavs in the regular season. But because of their relative inexperience, they’re less likely to take advantage of their playoff opportunity and make a deep postseason run. 1978-79Seattle Super Sonics9977of22 read more

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