Last week, the world woke up to the sad news on the passing of the first female Premier of the North West, Minister Edna Molewa.Born Bomo Edith Edna Molewa (23 March 1957), she was a South African politician and member of the African National Congress. Molewa became the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa on 31 October 2010. On 25 May 2014, after the department had split, she was appointed as Minister of Environmental Affairs. She passed on while still serving in dignity as the Minister of her appointed department.Described as dedicated, humble yet combat-ready by those who worked with her, Minister Edna Molewa has certainly left a gap that will be hard to fill in the cabinet of South Africa. Brand SA extends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this esteemed heroine.Video: GCIS
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In early December, U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials signed the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA) after a year of intense negotiations on the trade pact.“[The] signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement continues the progress American farmers and ranchers have made since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in 1994,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “Agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico increased from $8.9 billion to $39 billion under NAFTA. That boost provided important markets for farmers and ranchers whose productivity has only grown since the agreement was signed. USMCA keeps all those gains and adds improvements in poultry, eggs, dairy and wine. In every way, this new agreement is just as good, if not better than, the one that came before. We thank the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for all the hard work that went into this accord.“As good as all this news is, farmers and ranchers still face retaliatory tariffs over steel and aluminum disputes with our North American neighbors and other trading partners. We urge the administration to redouble its efforts to come to an agreement on those outstanding issues so we can regain the markets we had not long ago.”The National Pork Producers Council is also pleased with USMCA. The agreement maintains zero-duty market access to Canada and Mexico for U.S. pork. However, the punitive 20% tariffs on U.S. pork exported to Mexico remain in effect and are inflicting significant financial harm on the U.S. pork industry. The United States and Mexico continue to intensely negotiate a resolution to the metal tariffs, and NPPC is hopeful that the matter will soon be resolved.National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said that while USMCA makes important improvements over NAFTA, the deal currently does not go far enough to institute a fair trade framework that benefits family farmers and ranchers and restores sovereignty to the U.S. In response to the signing, Johnson urged Congress to demand the administration make changes to the deal before ratifying it.“President Trump campaigned against the major flaws in international trade agreements that the original NAFTA created the framework for, and rightly so. It is this framework that has led to our annual $500 billion trade deficit, exported jobs, lowered wages, and lost sovereignty. NAFTA renegotiation is a key opportunity to create a trade framework for our future,” Johnson said. “The reworked agreement makes improvements to eradicate ISDS — the dispute settlement system that gives corporations an unwarranted advantage over citizens — yet the agreement maintains ISDS provisions for some oil and gas companies. And while this is the first U.S. trade pact to include rules on currency manipulation, these rules lack the teeth they need to be effective. As of right now, only the transparency requirements are binding.“Finally, the USMCA ignores the sovereignty Americans have lost as part of NAFTA, particularly with respect to food labeling. Canada, Mexico, and multinational meatpackers pressured Congress—using NAFTA provisions—to scrap the commonsense Country-of-Origin Labeling for beef and pork that American consumers and producers benefitted from. These labels should be allowed under a new USMCA.”
In a comprehensive transfer of IAS officers, the Gujarat government on Friday appointed 1986-batch IAS officer Sangeeta Singh as Additional Chief Secretary (Home). A total of 79 IAS officers of the State have been transferred by the State government. Sangeeta Singh has been shifted from Personnel Department to Home Department, while Kamal Dayani has been posted as Principal Secretary (Personnel). Other officers who figure in the transfer list include Pankaj Joshi as Principal Secretary, Energy and Petrochemical and M Thennarasan as MD of Gujarat Industrial Development Board (GIDC) from Surat, where he was Municipal Commissioner. The transfer orders involve Municipal Commissioners of Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara and District Collectors of Navsari, Godhara, Bhavnagar, Porbandar, Kutch, Rajkot and Aravalli. Kutch Collector Remya Mohan has been shifted as Rajkot Collector, while M. Nagrajan has been posted in her place as Collector of Kutch.
1994World Cup+9.5+37.8 2000Olympics+12.0+21.6 We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Despite trailing much of the first half, the U.S. men’s basketball team defeated Australia 98-88 on Wednesday, moving to 3-0 in Olympic pool play. Over those three games, the Americans have won by an average of 37 points, the third-best mark of any U.S. team through three games of a major international tournament1Including both the Olympics and FIBA world championships. since the Dream Team era began in 1992.The other two teams — the original ’92 wrecking squad and their ridiculously stacked 2012 heirs — dominated en route to Olympic gold. But if this year’s team ends up pulling the same trick, it might not be so much a testament to U.S. dominance as a signal that the rest of the world has gotten weaker in recent years after a long run of improvement.We can measure the progress of international competition over time using Team USA as a reference point. Since American Olympic and FIBA World Cup teams are made up entirely of NBA players (save for the U.S.’s 1998 FIBA Worlds squad, which featured zero stars due to that summer’s NBA lockout), we can estimate the total talent on those rosters using Box Plus/Minus (BPM).2Specifically, I built a multiyear projection model that estimates a player’s talent level in a given year using both the seasons leading up to and following the season in question, when available. Since these tournaments take place in the summer, I averaged a player’s talent estimate between the previous and next season; e.g., Michael Jordan’s rating for the 1992 Dream Team was an average of his 1992 and 1993 BPM talent ratings. In regular NBA competition, there’s a steady relationship between a team’s underlying talent, its per-game margin of victory and the strength of schedule it faced. Therefore, we can estimate the strength of Team USA’s opposition in international tournaments (such as the Olympics) by comparing its margin of victory to that which we’d expect based on the talent level of the U.S. roster. 2002World Cup+10.0+16.9 Team USA’s greatest basketball rosters (on paper) 1992Olympics+23.1+43.8 2010World Cup+9.4+24.6 2016Olympics+13.1— 2004Olympics+12.7+4.6 2014World Cup+11.4+33.0 1996Olympics+20.8+32.5 YEARTOURNAMENTROSTER TALENTPPG MARGIN 2008Olympics+19.0+27.9 No matter whether we look at the Olympics or the World Cup, the level of competition faced by the U.S. peaked with the surprise upsets of 2004 and 2006, and has been zooming back down ever since — even after controlling for changes in talent on America’s rosters. Yes, USA Basketball improved its team selections after its mid-2000s wake-up call, but the U.S. is also winning by wider margins than we’d expect from its talent improvements alone.And in many ways, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will put this trend to the ultimate test. This year’s American roster is, according to BPM, the weakest U.S. Olympic squad since 2004, and the third-weakest since ’92. On the spectrum between America’s strongest Olympic teams (1992) and its weakest World Cup teams (2010), the 2016 version sits near the middle, but it also bears more resemblance to the average U.S. World Cup squad than the average Olympics entry. Without Steph Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul (and so forth), this is just the kind of depleted roster that could have been poised to disappoint in years past.Instead, the U.S. is 3-0 — albeit shakily so after Wednesday’s unconvincing victory over the 11th-best team in the world. If the Americans can iron out the shooting woes of the Australia game and keep winning, it might mean this roster is better than the numbers thought. But it could also be further evidence that the U.S.’s competition is less of a threat than in years past. Based on multiyear Box Plus/Minus talent ratings, weighted by each player’s minutes played in the tournament.Source: Basketball-Reference.com, RealGM.com 2012Olympics+19.8+32.1 Unsurprisingly, the 1992 Dream Team was the most talented group the U.S. ever sent to a major international tournament. Weighting by each player’s minutes played — and putting aside the complicated relationship between projection and reality for superteams — that ’92 squad had +23.1 points per 100 possessions of BPM talent on its hands. (By comparison, the most talented NBA team ever, the 1995-96 Bulls, boasted a +10.8 mark; the 2015-16 Warriors were +8.5.) Against average NBA competition, we’d have expected them to win by a margin of 25.9 points per game, so the fact that they won by 43.8 instead implies they were playing competition about 17.8 points per game worse than the NBA average. (As another point of comparison, the Denver Nuggets were the NBA’s worst team during the 1991-92 season, and they were “only” 7.6 points per game worse than average after adjusting for schedule, earning a 24-58 record.) Yes, the Dream Team was really good, but the competition was also pretty weak.That wouldn’t stay the case for long. Although the U.S. won the 1994 World Championship by an average of 38 points per game despite fielding a far weaker roster than they’d sent to Barcelona in ’92, the landslide victory margins would quickly taper off. In 1996, the second iteration of the Dream Team carried an impressive +20.8 BPM talent rating (10 points/100 possessions better than any team in NBA history), yet it won by 32.5 points per game — only 9 more than would be expected vs. average NBA competition. In just four years, America’s international competition had begun closing the gap.The U.S. advantage would be steadily chipped away every few years, in concert with USA Basketball assembling its own squads of ever-decreasing talent. The two trends came to a head at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when America was stunned with a bronze-medal finish. Despite its disappointing performance, that team wasn’t exactly barren — it starred the already legendary Tim Duncan, plus a still-in-his-prime Allen Iverson, the perpetually underrated Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom, and even young versions of budding superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. On the other hand, it also prominently featured Stephon Marbury, whose reputation for killing NBA teams might be overstated, but was definitely not at his best in Athens.American fans quickly attributed the loss to toxic chemistry and poor fit — a fair criticism, if you peruse this wacky roster — but it was also apparent the world had improved greatly since the Dream Team’s debut. According to the numbers, Team USA’s competition at the 2004 Olympics played to a level about 9.8 points per game better than NBA average. Even granting that our method is only a proxy (and should have some give built in to it to allow for things like badly constructed rosters and questionable coaching), that’s still a quantum leap forward for U.S. opponents, compared with Barcelona 12 years earlier.Athens was a high point for international parity, but it may also have been a bit of a mirage. In response to the debacle of 2004, the U.S. assembled a more talented roster for the 2006 FIBA Worlds, and although America was held to the bronze again, it did post an average scoring margin 15.8 points per game greater than in Athens. Two years later, the Redeem Team won gold with a +27.9 PPG margin; then America easily won the 2010 World Championship with the least talent the U.S. had sent to a major tournament in the post-’92 era. Tack on two more golds after that (at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 FIBA Worlds) with growing victory margins, and the U.S.’s international foes are trending in the wrong direction: 2006World Cup+15.4+20.4
WEST HARTFORD, CT — The University of Hartford is pleased to announce Joshua Buske, of Wilmington, has been named to its Dean’s List for Fall 2018.Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford has been guiding the purpose and passion of students for over six decades. On our 350-acre campus alongside Connecticut’s capital city, approximately 5,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students from 48 states and 46 countries come together for a common purpose: to collaborate across different disciplines, diversify perspectives, and broaden worldviews. We’re a four-year private university focused on advancing the public good through meaningful connections within our communities. Our unique approach to comprehensive education gives us the critical perspectives that lead to impactful change, regionally and beyond. With degree programs spanning the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions, we focus on doing the work that matters.(NOTE: The above announcement is from the University of Hartford via Merit.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Joshua Buske Named To Dean’s List At University Of HartfordIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Joshua Buske Named To Dean’s List At University of HartfordIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Joshua Buske Named To Dean’s List At University Of HartfordIn “Education”
Coal is stockpiled at the Blair Athol mine in the Bowen Basin coalfield near the town of Moranbah, Australia, June 1, 2012 (representational image).Reuters fileIndian conglomerate Adani Group finally inched closer to secure loans from China in order to build a 388-kilometre rail link, which is an integral part of its proposed Rs 1.07-lakh crore ($16.5-billion) Carmichael coal mine project in Australia.”Adani Group is close to securing finance with an announcement expected in coming weeks that Chinese state-owned enterprises, banks, and export credit agencies are backing the venture,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.The company further said: “However, this does not negate the need for support from the Federal and State governments including a Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan—every cent of which will be repaid by Adani with interest.”Adani’s coal mine project has been facing serious roadblocks since the inception of the project. Not just financial, but even protests from rights groups. It is over seven years now that the coal mining projects have been stalled by the environment, conservationist and indigenous groups over concerns on global warming and damaging the ecology of Great Barrier Reef.Recently several protests were staged in different parts of Australia against Adani Enterprises’ proposed Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland.The demonstrations were organised by the Stop Adani Alliance, which is an umbrella organisation for more than 40 groups. The alliance on their website said: “Adani is pulling out all the tricks to build its mega coal mine that will trash indigenous rights, wreck the climate and prop up a boom-bust economy.”For this latest development, the company said, “The purpose of NAIF is to provide loans for economic infrastructure and, again, every cent of this loan will be repaid with interest. The infrastructure Adani is building will be common user infrastructure and will be able to be used by other projects creating opportunities for further jobs and investment.”Earlier last month, the Australian federal ministers had written a formal letter to the Chinese government to confirm that the controversial coal project had passed all necessary environmental approvals, reported ABC.
Five people received prestigious Begum Rokeya Padak 2018 on Sunday in recognition of their outstanding contributions to society and women empowerment, reports UNB.The awardees are Zinnatun Nesa Talukder, professor Zohra Anis, Shila Roy, Rauma Chowdhury (posthumous) and Rokeya Begum (posthumous).Prime minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the medals weighing 25 grams of 18-karat gold, cheques of Tk 200,000 and certificates among the winners and their family members at a programme held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital.The children and women affairs ministry organised the programme with state minister Meher Afroze Chumki in the chair. Ministry secretary Nasima Begum read out the citations.The government introduced the award in 1995 after the name of Begum Rokeya, a pioneer of women’s liberation movement in the undivided Bengal.Begum Rokeya was a leading feminist writer and social worker during the early 20th century and famous for her efforts to establish gender equality and ensure female education.
Road accident illustration by Prothom AloA minor boy was killed after being hit by a minibus at Hogla in Gomostapur upazila on Sunday morning.The deceased was Ibrahim, 7, son of Anarul of the village.Sub-inspector Aminul Islam of Gomostapur police station said the minibus bit Ibrahim while he was crossing the road near his house around 8 am, leaving him dead on the spot.On information, police arrested the bus driver Rabiul and seized his vehicle.
On Feb. 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Carmen Torruella-Quander will be one of the many artists invited to exhibit in “Light of the Ancestors,” an art exhibit featuring some of America’s most outstanding artists. Torruella-Quander, an internationally accredited classic artist will be featuring her two great works, “Whispers” – which deals with the history and art of communication within the African American community – and “Washday”- which reflects one of the many avenues of survival which our ancestors of color elected, in order to make a better life for their descendants. Faith Ringgold, an internationally acclaimed artist is the special guest. The event will convene at the PEPCO Edison Place Gallery, located at 702 Eighth St., N.W