The One Way to Scale Things That Don’t Easily Scale

first_imgCaring doesn’t easily scale. You might care very deeply about helping your clients achieve the outcomes they need while, at the very same time, someone else on your team couldn’t care less. You see this everywhere, don’t you?The only way to get everyone to consistently care is to build a culture of caring.Passion doesn’t easily scale either. The cynics, the critics, the has-beens, and the never-will-be’s are too cool to drink the Kool-Aid. They’ll never allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to feel anything.Unless you build a culture of passion, passion doesn’t scale.Craftsmanship doesn’t easily scale. It isn’t easy to scale the kind of craftsmanship that differentiates the exceptional from most products or services. You know this kind of professionalism when you see it, the attention to detail, the deep knowledge, and the meticulous care that goes into it.Unless you build a culture around craftsmanship, it doesn’t easily scale.Execution scales fine when the outcomes are easy, low cost, and low risk. But execution of real, tangible, business outcomes isn’t easy to scale. Getting complex, intangible business results is difficult. You know by now that the only answer is a culture of execution.Resourcefulness doesn’t easily scale. Resourcefulness is what the human spirit is made up of, but it’s been driven out of most adults in the workforce. Business has spent more than a Century building dependents.You can scale resourcefulness if you build a culture around identifying new ideas, finding away, and killing sacred cows.The way to scale things that don’t easily scale is to build a culture around those values. It’s the leader’s job to build that culture—and defend it from anyone and everyone that threatens that culture. It’s your job to live that culture, to breathe life into, to make it real. This is your real competitive advantage.QuestionsWhat do you do that’s difficult to scale?If it scaled, what intangible could provide your competitive advantage?How important is culture to an organization’s success? It’s survival? Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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Why Can’t I See You?

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now My client said, “Why can’t I see you.” The reason he couldn’t see me is rather simple. I called him from my cellular phone, and I was driving the through Starbucks. The phone was on the seat next to me. He expected to see me because I called him over Skype, and we almost exclusively use video as our preferred method of communication.Your cellular phone may be the greatest communication tool ever invented. Look at all your choices.Phone Calls: You can use your cellular phone to call your clients and speak with them directly. It’s hard to remember that it’s really a phone when it offers so many other methods to communicate.Video Conference: Your smart phone allows you to video conference, making your communication even more real and more personal. Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts all work well, and many of your clients are already using video internally.Text Message: I have one client who loves to text. No matter where he is or what he is doing, he can communicate and give direction. It also requires short answers. More and more, I have clients who are using text messages to communicate.Email: You’re never away from your email, are you? And neither are your clients. You’ve seen them check their smart phones while you’ve been in meetings with, haven’t you? Email works—and you know your client or prospects gets your message immediately.Social Media: I tweet direct messages to clients. Some clients tweet or DM me. I have clients who send messages through Facebook, and sometimes LinkedIn. All of these can be done from your smart phone. It’s a great little social media toolbox.But it’s a phone. And soon it will be more.If You Don’t Like the TelephoneSome salespeople, mostly younger, prefer email to the telephone. They prefer text messaging to email. They live on social media. And the next generation won’t know a world without the Internet or social media.The phone is a different form of communication. There is no backspace or delete button. You can’t go back over your words to correct them. You have to deal with what comes at you, and you are alone to deal with it. You need real chops. Some salespeople are uncomfortable with the phone.I Want to See YouIf you don’t like the phone, you’re going to hate what comes next. We’re going to video.The cost and availability of video is now the price of using a cellular phone. More and more, your clients are going to expect you to be on their screen, looking them in eyes, and speaking with them directly.We’re (still) human. We (still) prefer face to face communication. Your clients want to see you. Get ready.last_img read more

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Jamie Vardy’s exit will be catastrophic for Leicester, says Taggart

first_imgLosing striker Jamie Vardy to Arsenal could spark an exodus of players from Leicester City, former defender Gerry Taggart has said, adding that the move could be catastrophic for the Premier League champions.Arsenal tabled a bid for Vardy before he left for the European Championship in France with the rest of England’s squad on Monday, according to British media reports.The 29-year-old was the joint second-highest scorer in the English top-flight last season and Arsenal’s bid comes at an uncomfortable time for England, whose manager Roy Hodgson has banned players’ agents from the team hotel in Chantilly to avoid his players being distracted.”If Vardy goes then one or two others might want to leave as well,” Taggart, who made over 100 appearances for Leicester, told the BBC. “For the good of the whole team and the club it is important Vardy stays.” (Arsenal trigger Jamie Vardy’s Leicester buy-out clause – reports)Vardy scored 24 league goals last season as Leicester won the top-flight crown for the first time in their history, and was voted as the Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. (Euro 2016: Focus on England, not transfers, Roy Hodgson tells players )”The whole Leicester ethos over the last couple of seasons has been built around people like Vardy,” Taggart added.England open their Group B campaign against Russia on Saturday. Wales and Slovakia are the other teams in their group.last_img read more

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Agriculture Minister to Place More Focus on Fisheries

first_imgStory Highlights Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be placing more focus on fisheries during this fiscal year, with the hope of increasing the nation’s earnings from the sector.Making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House on May 1, Mr. Shaw said in addition to focusing on the development of this sector, he will also be focusing on the enactment of the Fisheries Bill, given that growth in this area will stem from this Bill.“In the case of the Fisheries Bill, I have to emphasise that after languishing for over 20 years, I had the honour of commencing the debate in this House on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, and we look forward to having this Bill enacted soon,” Mr. Shaw said.He pointed out that the World Bank has predicted that the entire sea economy could generate US$3 trillion annually.“That is why our fisheries sector will come in for sharp focus. This Government will leverage our Blue Economy (which refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystems). What this means, is that we will be looking to more stringently protect and monitor the assets of our waters,” Mr. Shaw said.He added that he will be embarking on an active programme in the next three years to ensure that the fishing industry reaps from the Blue Economy.The active programme, Mr. Shaw said, will include plans such as fish sanctuaries, providing a system of production assistance to Jamaica’s small artisanal fishermen, assisting with the necessities of the trade and boosting fish farmers’ production.The Minister said he will also be focusing on making the fishing industry sustainable in the long run.“Let me stress that we will not seek to enhance production at the expense of the sustainability of our industry. I am, therefore, putting those who trade in the product on warning, that while we improve and bolster the industry, sustainability is paramount,” he said. Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be placing more focus on fisheries during this fiscal year, with the hope of increasing the nation’s earnings from the sector. “In the case of the Fisheries Bill, I have to emphasise that after languishing for over 20 years, I had the honour of commencing the debate in this House on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, and we look forward to having this Bill enacted soon,” Mr. Shaw said. Making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House on May 1, Mr. Shaw said in addition to focusing on the development of this sector, he will also be focusing on the enactment of the Fisheries Bill, given that growth in this area will stem from this Bill.last_img read more

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Nova Scotians Hope for Safe Return of Bountys Missing Crew Members

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter told Nova Scotians not to give up hope that searchers could find the crew members still missing from the Bounty, which sunk in stormy seas earlier today, Oct. 29. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two crew members who are still unaccounted for,” said Premier Dexter. “I want to thank the brave men and women who risked their lives in difficult conditions to rescue the crew members they could find, and I wish them all the best in their continued efforts to bring the remaining crew members home safe and sound.” Fourteen members of the Bounty’s crew have been reported rescued. The search continues for the remaining two. The crew was forced to abandon ship when it began taking on water after running into severe conditions from Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. “The Bounty was a spectacular ship and a symbol of Lunenburg’s proud tradition of shipbuilding,” the Premier said. “It is a sad loss for the community, but no ship is as important as the safety of its crew. I commend everyone involved for their swift action.” The Bounty was built in 1960, and launched from Lunenburg in 1962. The ship was commissioned by the MGM film studio for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando. The ship visited Halifax as recently as August.last_img read more

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Jeff Bezos sells 18 billion Amazon shares

first_imgSan Francisco: In what could be his largest stock sell-off, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has cashed in $1.8 billion worth of the company’s shares over the last three days of July, according to media reports. After taxes, he would net about $1.4 billion, Forbes.com reported on Wednesday, citing filings by Bezos with the Securities Exchange Commission. Between July 29 and July 31 Bezos sold a little over 900,000 shares of the e-commerce giant when its stock price was around $1,900 a share.last_img

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Saskatchewan Chief will not receive severance

first_imgAPTN National NewsCouncillors in the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation have done an about face when it comes to a decision to pay it’s disgraced chief a severance package.Chief Terrance McArthur was forced to resign and eventually sentenced to 9 months in jail for sexually assaulting a minor. McArthur is appealing the charge and is on bail.Some people in the community want the entire council dismissed.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf reports.last_img

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Forgoing staffers many businesses turn to freelancers

NEW YORK — It hasn’t been lost on small business owners that Uber and other ride-sharing services are enormously successful without having employees doing the work. It’s one of the reasons why small companies are forgoing employees in favour of independent contractors.Todd Miller transformed his small business a year ago, shifting Classic Metal Roofing Systems of Kentuckiana from a company with employees to one using independent contractors. The change gives Miller more flexibility in doing roof replacements than he had with a small group of full-time employees.“We can hire independents who have the experience and skills that we need for each individual project. With employees, you are often asking people to do things they are not terribly experienced at,” Miller says.Using independent contractors or freelancers has many benefits besides flexibility. In a tight job market, owners can more easily find independents rather than full-time employees. Owners can also save on overhead, hiring only when they need help. They don’t have costs like employment taxes and insurance, nor do they face the administrative and management tasks that go along with having employees. But the government has rules about the use of independent contractors, contending that some owners misclassify employees and call them independents to avoid the costs associated with employees — starting with Social Security and Medicare taxes that combined cost owners 7.65 per cent of staffers’ compensation.Although companies have used independent contractors for generations, many small businesses began using them for the first time during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Owners have become more cautious about hiring employees unless they’re certain that they have enough revenue to justify the added risk and expense. The growth of Uber and other ride-sharing services has encouraged owners in other industries to adopt a similar business model, hiring independents to do the work. That has created another potential legal issue — Uber drivers have sued the company in several federal courts, seeking to be declared employees. So far, there’s been no definitive ruling.The IRS has criteria to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, including how much control a company has over a worker’s behaviour and the financial aspects of the job. How long the relationship between company and worker is expected to continue, and whether the services a worker performs are a key aspect of the company’s business are also factors.Owners are found to be misclassifying workers when they’re audited, increasingly by state officials who want the payroll taxes they’re owed, says Nannina Angioni, an employment law attorney with Kaedian LLP in Los Angeles. Owners can also land in legal trouble when there is a dispute with a worker classified as an independent contractor; when the worker complains to the government or files a lawsuit, the employment arrangement can come under scrutiny.But owners may not have ulterior motives in using independent contractors rather than employees, says Kyle Lawrence, owner of Berkshire Payroll Tax, a Sandisfield, Massachusetts, company that helps businesses comply with employment tax laws.“They’re busy running their businesses and they may not necessarily understand the nuances or the risks of classifying someone as an independent contractor,” he says.Eric Stanton consulted with attorneys and accountants before deciding to use independent contractors for his pool cleaning business, Thousand Oaks, California-based Stanton Pools. The people working for him have their own vehicles and buy their own equipment and chemicals and Stanton does not require them to take on a job.“It’s an option. If I got a call from a potential customer, I’ll say, ‘it’s on your Wednesday route, are you interested in taking it on?’” he says. Stanton says he has structured the business, which he says resembles the Uber model, so he could be in compliance with federal and state law. California’s Supreme Court last year issued a ruling that created more stringent tests for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor.Many owners use a mix of employees and independent contractors. Chris Richardson has three full-time employees at Talent Response, a website that helps small businesses find freelancers. He uses independents when he has a surge in demand or he needs expertise that his staffers don’t have.“Independent contractors are less risky, particularly in 2019’s uncertain macro-economic environment. Should business contract, it is much easier to end a project with a contractor than to pay severance or unemployment expenses associated with a layoff,” says Richardson, whose company is based in Boston.Richardson also doesn’t want to hire employees and then devastate them if business drops off.“It’s not responsible to be making fulltime hires if you’re going to be letting them go a few months,” he says.Many owners can’t afford to hire the people qualified to do the work they need. Jodi Echakowitz used an independent contractor for the first time in 2003, when she needed help for her then two-year-old public relations firm but couldn’t pay someone to work full-time. Echakowitz continued to use that strategy, partly because she wanted experienced people skilled in specific areas.“If I were to build a team of employees, each with at least ten years of experience, the salary cost would be way too high,” says Echakowitz, whose company, Boulevard Public Relations, is based in Thornhill, Ontario.One of Echakowitz’s 17 contractors lives in Quebec, handling projects for French-speaking clients. Another has expertise in financial services. All her contractors work for other companies.“Because they are working on other opportunities, they can bring diverse experiences and expertise to me and my team, and the clients we support,” Echakowitz says.___For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Press read more

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Annan makes impassioned plea for rich countries to open up trade for

“You, the world’s trade ministers, must show those people that you have heard their cries for fairness,” Mr. Annan said in an opening message to the ministerial meeting of the 146-nation World Trade Organization (WTO) in Cancún, Mexico. The message was delivered on his behalf by Rubens Ricupero, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).”You must give them confidence that, from now on, your negotiations and decisions will really meet their needs and reflect their aspirations. You have an awesome responsibility, and a great opportunity. Your decisions can make the difference between poverty and prosperity, and even between life and death, for millions upon millions of people.”Here in Cancún, I implore you to say: ‘No!’ to trade policies that aggravate poverty and ‘no!’ to trade practices that undermine aid. And I urge you so say ‘yes’ to bold but sensible steps that will revive the global economy and set a new course for development,” he added.Noting that the reality of the international trading system did not match the rhetoric, Mr. Annan declared: “Instead of open markets, there are too many barriers that stunt, stifle and starve. Instead of fair competition, there are subsidies by rich countries that tilt the playing field against the poor.”It was a “moral imperative” to follow through on a preliminary agreement at a meeting in Geneva making it easier for poorer countries to import cheaper generics made if they are unable to manufacture them themselves to fight diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.On agriculture, Mr. Annan said: “We must eliminate the subsidies that push prices down and make it impossible for poor farmers in developing countries to compete…These barriers and subsidies in developed countries must be phased out as fast as possible.”Opportunities must also be opened for developing countries through effective liberalization of trade in textiles, by specific agreements allowing them to participate actively in the growing trade in service and by faster transfer of technology, he added.”The answer is not to turn our backs on the potential of open markets. That would be disastrous,” he declared, noting that too many countries had been left on the margins.”The answer is to unleash their potential. Just as we need to improve the multilateral security framework, so we must rebuild faith in the multilateral trade framework. Without progress now, today’s bitterness may well become tomorrow’s backlash.” read more

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Despite setbacks political will to end Yemen war stronger than ever top

Martin Griffiths, said in a newspaper interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, and in a series of tweets reflecting his remarks, that the “biggest challenge is not to fail the people of Yemen” as the Government forces and their coalition backers, attempt to secure the first stages of a tentative peace deal with rebel Houthi leaders, that was inked in Sweden last December, and brokered by the UN.Mr. Griffiths said that a deadline set for the withdrawal of Houthi fighters in Hudaydah, the crucial port that carries the vast majority of life-saving aid and goods into the country, had been delayed, and said that planned prisoner exchange talks, were still a work in progress.We have seen the two parties demonstrate remarkable political will, first to reach a ceasefire agreement, and then to abide by it. What we need to see now is the implementation of the provisions…fully and rapidly – UN Special Envoy, Martin GriffithsHe also confirmed that the retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, who has been leading an advance UN mission tasked with overseeing the ceasefire deal, and talks between Government and Houthi negotiators who are part of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), was stepping down. He denied that any disagreements had resulted in his resignation.”There is no element of truth to such reports. As a matter of fact, General Cammaert and I have been working closely to close the gap between the two parties on the operational implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement”, he told the Arabic language newspaper.“Our meetings with all the parties were very constructive last week. General Cammaert’s plan was to stay in Yemen for a rather short period of time, to activate the RCC and lay the ground for establishing the Hodeidah mission,” he added.The Special Envoy said that it was “important not to lose sight of the big picture necessary to resolve the conflict in Yemen. A framework that will draw a road map towards a political agreement will provide us with a basis for the end game; that is the political solution for the conflict there.”He added that “we have seen the two parties demonstrate remarkable political will, first to reach a ceasefire agreement, and then to abide by it. What we need to see now is the implementation of the provisions of the agreement, fully and rapidly.”He acknowledged that “we have seen the timelines for implementation extended, both in Hudaydah, and the prisoner exchange agreement. Such changes in timelines are expected. The initial timelines were rather ambitious. We are dealing with a complex situation on the ground.”He “categorically rejected” a call from the Saudi-led coalition which is backing Yemeni Government to declare the ceasefire over or apportion blame to one party, for attempting to nullify the hard-won Stockholm agreement.“We are planning to convene the next round of political consultations soon,” he told the newspaper. “As I mentioned, we do not want to lose the momentum created in Sweden. However, we all are on the same page that we need to see progress in implementing what was agreed in Sweden before convening the next round of consultations. We hope we will be able to announce the date of the next round of consultations very soon.”“There is a window of opportunity that was opened for Yemen in Sweden, and it is important to seize this opportunity, and to capitalize on the momentum we have seen during and after Sweden”, he said. read more

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Torbjørn Bergerud joins SG Flensburg Handewitt in summer 2018

Transfer bomb in Flensburg! It is already known that Mattias Andersson and Kevin Moller will leave the team in summer 2018. On their places between the posts will come to younger goalies. SG Flensburg Handewitt announced on Friday that Norwegian goalie Torbjørn Bergerud (23) will join the team from the next season!One of the biggest Norwegian stars at Men’s World Championshi 2017 in France signed three years contract. ← Previous Story Algeria 2017: The “BIG FOUR” for the medals Next Story → Andrea Lekic and Rastko Stojkovic – the best Serbian players 2016/17

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A twisted web Credit cards foreign trips and 5 other things we

first_imgHe described how his home was “literally besieged for days by journalists, forcing myself and wife to leave” and said he meant no “disrespect” to the committee.Conlan also claimed that the media had portrayed the top-up issue as one in which there was a special bank account to pay top-up. PAC chair John McGuinness asked for examples.Conlan had none and McGuinness said his claims were “nonsense”.4. Conlan was part of a CEO recruitment process before a subsequent recruitment panel hired… himNote: Following contact from representatives of Conlan, this section has been amended. Conlan succeeded Kiely as CEO in July 2013 – he resigned four months later – but claimed ignorance about the process under which he was recruited.That was until members of the Oireachtas committee were handed the minutes of a special meeting that took place in the Spring of last year and discovered he was in fact part of an initial CRC panel commissioned by the board to work on the recruitment process.Conlan and another CRC official met with recruitment consultants MERC to discuss using them to find a CEO, but MERC were not subsequently appointed. Conlan told the committee he attended “just one” meeting.Conlan told the PAC he had been asked to serve on that panel, but at that stage had “no intention” of becoming CEO. Eventually, Amrop was appointed to head to recruitment process.YouTube: Sinn FéinConlan’s representatives have told TheJournal.ie that he “was not on the recruitment panel that subsequently ran the recruitment process” and selected him.Conlan gave evidence as to the names of the three CRC board members that were on the recruitment panel that interviewed him along with an executive from Amrop.Conlan said he did not become interested in the position until he saw “the internal ad, the job spec”. McGuinness accused him of being “economic with the truth here, with the facts”.5. Credit card used for travel and entertainment expenses Conlan admitted that CRC Medical Devices Ltd – a failed business venture which has since been sold – had a credit card which was partly used to pay for “certain amounts of travel” and “certain amounts of entertainment”.This amounted to €14,000 on travel and €3,900 on entertainment in 2012, Conlan said. He did not have figures for how much the CRC itself spent on travel and entertainment.“What we’re dealing with, chairman, is a pretty twisted web now.” – Fine Gael TD John Deasy said during the hearings today.6. There were foreign trips… lots of foreign trips Towards the end of proceedings, independent TD Shane Ross, probed the issue of foreign travel. Firstly, Conlan admitted he “forgot” about a trip to Dusseldorf in Germany in 2006.Ross than listed trips made by CRC employees to Nashville, Tennessee in 2006 and 2013; Orlando, Florida in 2007 and 2009; Vancouver, Canada in 2010 and 2012; New Delhi, India in 2012; and Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011 and 2010. Another trip to Vancouver is planned in March of this year.There was also the European Seating Symposium (ESS) which Ross said is organised by the CRC and which involves “extremely successful” ESS Study Days which took place in Slovenia, Norway, Spain, Portugal, France, and Malta.“Is that justifiable expenditure?” asked Ross adding that the “CRC is extremely generous in the way it sends people around the globe”.Conlan said that he did not know about every trip and said that in his four months as CEO “I don’t believe any trips happened”. He added that the ESS “was profitable” to the tune of €80,000 last year and had been successful both for the CRC and the country’s economy.Ross said that Conlan “ought to know” about the trips and added: “There’s a lot of travel going on that you don’t seem to know anything about.”7. There’s more to come, including possible garda involvement The HSE’s Barry O’Brien informed the committee that further audits of CRC spending will be finished by the end of the first quarter of this year.He said that all remaining matters will be examined and that the HSE “may seek the assistance of An Garda Siochána” over issues that arise.The committee also agreed to arrange for the now ex-board members of the CRC, including former chair Jim Nugent and ex-CEO Paul Kiely, to come before it to explain their version of the matters that have arisen today.- additional reporting from Michelle Hennessy First published 3.17pm‘Shameful’: Ex-CRC chief got €473k retirement pay-off – all of it from charitable funds Update 5.10pmTHE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Committee has held nearly four hours of revelatory hearings on spending by the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) with it disclosed that hundreds of thousands of euro of charity money was used to pay-0ff at least one outgoing executive.The main revelation today has been that former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely received a retirement pay-off more than double what he had previously disclosed to TDs on the powerful Oireachtas committee.But as Kiely’s successor Brian Conlan gave evidence there were also fresh claims about the use of thousands of euro for travel and entertainment as well as foreign trips – all allegedly funded by the CRC.Here’s what we found out today…1. Paul Kiely’s pay-off was more than he said it was The HSE’s Barry O’Brien told TDs that the CRC’s interim administrator, John Cregan, found that €700,000 was taken from the charitable fund, Friends and Supporters of the CRC, to help fund Kiely’s retirement package.The package included a €200,000 tax-free lump-sum and a €273,336 taxable payment, in total amounting to €473,336.There was also €268,689 was paid to Mercer’s to ensure pension and lump sum benefits would not be less than if Kiely had continued as CEO until November 2016.This meant a total of €742,025 was paid out in respect of Kiely’s pension and pay-off.This €700,000 was disclosed on the CRC’s draft accounts as a ‘donation’ – a move which was described by Fine Gael TD John Deasy as deceitful.Kiely (above) told the committee in December that he received a lump-sum pay off of €200,000 and would be getting an annual pension of €98,000, but did not disclose the €273,336 taxable payment.There have been calls for Kiely to pay back the money and the HSE did not rule out seeking repayment.2. Brian Conlan did not know about his predecessor’s pay-off Conlan, who stepped down in November, said he was not aware of the Kiely pay-off arrangement until this morning and said that he was on holiday when the board meeting to approve the pay-off would have been agreed.Fine Gael’s Simon Harris said “a man blindfolded on a galloping horse would have been more aware of what was going on” and asked Conlan if he had read the minutes of that meeting when he returned to work.“Did you not scan the minutes and think: ‘Jesus, God, Paul’s getting a lot of money there, isn’t he?’” the TD asked. It appears Conlan did not read the minutes.“I was not privy to Mr Kiely’s pension settlement,” he said. “That is the truth. I was not part and parcel of the remuneration committee.”He also said: “I would say that the decisions made by the board to award Mr Kiely [that] level of remuneration in his pension was wrong.”He later admitted to Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald that he bore responsibility for the decision of the board to remunerate Kiely to that level.3. Conlan was “overwhelmed” by media coverage The CRC scandal was all over the media last month and Conlan’s initial refusal to appear before the PAC led to it seeking ways in which him to compel him, before he relented and agreed to appear.Speaking today, Conlan said that when he was first asked to appear he was “not in a position to be an effective witness”.“I had just returned from my honeymoon in the US,” he said, adding that he was “overwhelmed” by media coverage.He later said: “Circumstances surrounding my return from US in December were quite stressful, I wouldn’t have been an effective witness, I had no documentation and I couldn’t get into my home.”last_img read more

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Games edited into movies The 10 best video game films

first_img 1 2 3 … 5 Say what you will about the users of Reddit, but you can’t call them lazy. Whether they’re starting entire memes around certain subreddits or mobilizing for large-scale political action, Reddit users love to be active, and particularly they like variations on a theme.The latest theme is quite a bit better than most — it’s video game cut scenes edited together into movies. Some games naturally lend themselves to this kind of gerrymandering (mostly those that don’t advance the story within gameplay). Taking into account the video and editing quality, along with the quality of the content itself, it’s remarkable how good some these little films can be. If nothing else, they envision a future in which in-engine movies (or “machinima”) could be a real option for indie filmmakers.A new subreddit dedicated to these YouTube machinima films, r/gamesthemovie, already has hundreds of links and thousands of subscribers. Unfortunately, after just a few days on the case Reddit has already managed to dilute the best pieces out of visibility.Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you. Here are ten of the best, to get you started.Injustice: Gods Among UsThis brand new fighting game comes from the developers of Mortal Kombat, and many are saying it’s the best use of the DC Comics universe that video games have ever seen. Reviews of the fighting system are more mixed, though — if you liked the new Mortal Kombat reboot, you’ll probably like Injustice. Not everybody likes fighting games, but everybody likes watching superheroes beat each other senseless. Injustice takes the Justice League into an alternate universe, and sets them against evil versions of themselves — including Supes!This is a seriously well-made little movie, and since it’s a fighting game the cut-aways for gameplay are very unobtrusive. More than just about any game I can think of, the story mode of Injustice seems to be tailor made for this sort of treatment.Uncharted 1-3The video above is for the best of the three game-movies, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. See also, the great movie versions of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Note that these are all by the same editor, just one of the many dedicated fans putting many hours into adapting these things.The Uncharted games are almost universally loved, and much of that comes from the audience’s affinity for the characters as for the gameplay. Much of the gameplay in the Uncharted series is almost as cinematic as cinematics themselves. This is particularly true in the third installment, with its experimental gameplay-cutscene mash-up portions. This video is able to preserve more of the original story by including some gameplay portions that don’t break the movie-like feel. These come in at around 2-3 hours apiece, a long, but not unmanageable adventure movie.Next page: You know what game would have been a great movie?last_img read more

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Verizon Wireless confirms the HTC One is headed for Big Red

first_imgWhile it has not been made public why it is that the One took so long to come to Verizon Wireless, there’s plenty of room to guess. Verizon has a history of taking their sweet time approving phones, and we know production issues delayed the One’s initial launch so that might have affected this release as well. Neither HTC or Verizon are willing to comment any further about the availability or pricing of the phone, or if the One will include a great deal of additional software when it lands on Big Red.If “later this Summer” means closer to August, there will be a lot of eager people who will be left with the choice of grabbing the already available Galaxy S4 or waiting even longer for the One. Hopefully HTC’s recent ramp up in production means the phone will be here sooner rather than later. After much speculation and guessing, Verizon and HTC have finally confirmed that the One will be headed to Verizon Wireless’ network.HTC has had a pretty good launch so far with the One, having recently announced that over 5 million units had been sold. The One is an impressive phone, and has served as the only real Android-based competition for the Galaxy S4. While the recent confirmation of a Google Edition HTC One has excited many, the lack of availability on every US network hurt the manufacturer. The one big thing that Samsung has been able to hold over HTC is that HTC’s flagship, the One, wasn’t on Verizon Wireless. This dealbreaker has finally been handled, as the companies have announce the One will be in VZW stores later this summer.It’s coming – the HTC One will be available on the #Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network later this summer #HTCOne @htcusa— Verizon Wireless (@VZWnews) June 3, 2013last_img read more

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Obama commits to help Tsipras

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram President Barack Obama reiterated Washington’s promise to keeping Greece in the eurozone in a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, where they discussed Europe’s refugee crisis and the Cyprus issue.In a statement, the White House said there was no formal meeting between the two men, noting that “there could have been a casual, unplanned interaction somewhere on the margins of the United Nations”.Tsipras indicated that Greece’s appeal for debt relief had been received far better in New York than in Brussels, continuing his US visit, which included talks with Secretary of State John Kerry.“The Greek government has found far more open ears [here] than in Brussels for the need for there to be a fair resolution of the crisis and a necessary reduction of the unbearable and unsustainable public debt that has accumulated all those years,” Tsipras told reporters.He was speaking on the fifth day of an official visit to the US and following meetings with representatives of the Greek American community in New York, who he described as “the best ambassadors for Hellenism in the US, a country which plays the most significant role globally in all the crucial decisions that relate to our country’s future”.Tsipras said Greeks have been “the victim of choices that led to the gradual erosion of the country’s national sovereignty and to the need for borrowing which resulted in the enforcement of measures which have … weakened the production base and the economy”.The comments came just a few days before representatives of Greece’s international creditors are to return to Athens for negotiations on the prior actions that Greek authorities must legislate to secure crucial rescue loans.In preparation for what promises to be a difficult period ahead, Tsipras has made some changes to his team of aides. State Minister Nikos Pappas, a close associate and friend who is with Tsipras in New York, is to oversee the government’s push to draw sorely-needed investments while retaining his position as the premier’s chief of staff and monitoring the General Secretariat for Information and Communication.Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis is to remain in his role coordinating economic and social policy but will no longer be involved in negotiations regarding debt, a task that will fall squarely in the hands of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.Meanwhile, back in Athens, opposition parties were critical of Tsipras’ performance on Sunday night at an event organised in New York by former US president Bill Clinton.New Democracy’s interim leader Evangelos Meimarakis accused Tsipras of attending the event “unprepared” and took a jab at the premier over his less-than-perfect English.“It’s not a bad thing to have an interpreter with you,” he said.A statement by ND was harsher, accusing Tsipras of “defaming and undermining” the country after saying that investors have to pay under the table.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

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OGM une étude révèle leur toxicité pour les animaux

first_imgOGM : une étude révèle leur toxicité pour les animauxLes organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM) seraient nocifs pour les animaux qui s’en nourrissent. C’est ce que tend à prouver une étude menée sur 19 OGM, des variétés de soja et de maïs, et qui a révélé des signes de toxicité sur le foie et les reins des animaux.Sur son site Internet, le Comité de recherche et d’information indépendantes sur le génie génétique (CRIIGEN) fait part des résultats d’une étude sur l’impact sanitaire des OGM avec lesquels sont nourris des animaux. Dirigée par Gilles-Éric Séralini, professeur à l’Université de Caen et président du conseil scientifique du CRIIGEN, cette étude s’est en effet intéressée à la possible toxicité de 19 variétés de maïs et de soja représentant plus de 80% des OGM cultivés dans le monde.À lire aussiPourquoi le café donne-t-il envie de faire caca ?Les travaux des chercheurs, publiés dans la revue Environmental Sciences Europe, ont ainsi porté sur les données de tests réalisés sur des rats nourris pendant trois mois par des compagnies de biotechnologies. Ils ont analysé les paramètres biochimiques du sang et de l’urine des animaux, explique le CRIIGEN, et ont ainsi mis au jour des signes de toxicité. Si les scientifiques ne peuvent pas parler de toxicité chronique des OGM, en raison de la brièveté des tests, voulue par les industriels, ils ont observé dans les reins et les foies des rats des signes “qui pourraient signifier l’apparition de maladies chroniques”. Les chercheurs souhaitent désormais mener de plus longues études avant de déterminer avec précision le niveau de toxicité que peuvent présenter les OGM, regrettant qu’aucune durée minimale ne soit à ce jour imposée lors des tests sur les organismes cultivés à grande échelle. Un fait que Gilles-Éric Séralini juge “socialement inacceptable en terme de santé publique”. Par ailleurs, les scientifiques ayant participé à l’étude prônent “une alternative aux essais d’alimentation conventionnels afin de comprendre la signification biologique des différences statistiques”. Le 17 juillet 2011 à 18:33 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Les Espagnols dil y a 7 000 ans parents des actuels Européens

first_imgLes Espagnols d’il y a 7 000 ans, parents des actuels… Européens du NordPubliant leurs travaux dans la revue Current Biology, des chercheurs espagnols ont analysé le génome de 2 fossiles humains du Mésolithique découverts dans leur pays et ont établi que ces anciens ibériques étaient bien plus apparentés aux Nord-Européens qu’aux Espagnols d’aujourd’hui.  Une équipe de scientifiques dirigée par Carles Lalueza-Fox, du CSIC (Conseil national de la recherche espagnol) a pu analyser respectivement 1,34 % et 0,5% du génome de 2 squelettes humains fossilisés. Ces restes ont été découverts dans la grotte de La Braña-Arintero, à Valdelugueros (Espagne) et présenterait un génome vieux de près de 7.000 ans : ce qui correspond à une période appelée Mésolithique, intermédiaire entre le Paléolithique (âge de pierre) et le Néolithique (au cours duquel l’agriculture est peu à peu apportée par des immigrants venus du Proche-Orient).À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Or, les résultats de l’étude se sont révélés plutôt surprenants. En effet, il s’avère que l’ADN mitochondrial de ces anciens habitants de la péninsule ibérique est très différent de celui des occupants actuels de la région, les Espagnols d’aujourd’hui. Il est en revanche très proche de l’ADN de leurs contemporains mésolithiques d’Angleterre, d’Allemagne, de Lituanie et de Pologne, avec qui ils partageaient le même mode de vie de chasseurs-cueilleurs nomades et la même origine. Il est également proche de l’ADN des actuels Européens du Nord, qui pourraient avoir absorbé une partie de leur héritage génétique. Autrement dit, ces ancêtres ibériques seraient génétiquement bien plus proches des Européens du Nord que des Espagnols actuels. Mais ce n’est pas le seul point important de l’étude : celle-ci porte sur les plus anciens génomes préhistoriques d’Europe jamais étudiés, puisque celui d’Ötzi, le célèbre homme du Néolithique retrouvé congelé dans un glacier des Alpes, n’a ‘que’ 5.000 ans environ, soit 1.700 ans de moins que celui de ces squelettes espagnols. “L’arrivée de la période néolithique a entraîné un remplacement des populations et pourrait avoir causé des changements génétiques dans des gènes associés à des nouvelles maladies infectieuses ou à des processus métaboliques liés à des changements d’alimentation. Par conséquent, toutes les informations extraites [dans cette étude] sont absolument importantes”, conclut Lalueza-Fox.Le 1 juillet 2012 à 11:29 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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