How to Approach Shooting Bar and Restaurant Promo Videos

first_imgMaximize Your Production DayImage via Alexei Zatevakhin.Once you have your client onboard, you’ll want to set up a tight shooting day. Unless your bar or restaurant opens early, they usually operate on an afternoon-to-evening schedule. In my experience, I’ve always found that roughly a noon-to-midnight day is usually what I need for all elements of production. If you can get in before they officially open (but have still cleaned from the night before), you can get a lot of your stylized food and drink shots before they’re too busy. You can carefully lay out table elements to showcase some of their best dishes.From there, as the establishment opens and customers begin to slowly trickle in, I’d recommend moving to recording patrons enjoying the food, drinks, and establishment for a few hours. As the evening goes on, I’d recommend moving more to the wings to stay out of the way during peak business hours — but be sure to get the majority of your wide and establishing footage when the establishment is in full swing to capture the most life.Consider Adding TalentImage via S_Photo.When shooting people, sometimes it’s best to go with talent. While you can certainly hire professional actors, you could also just bring in coachable friends of the establishment — or your own. Very often, these people will be happy to model eating and drinking if it’s free.You can take your talent through a shot list of wides, mediums, and close-ups of them enjoying the food and the atmosphere. You can also get them to set your shots by repeating bites and sips under your direction while you tinker with lighting and camera settings.Make Your Workflow RepeatableImage via ImageBySutipond.Finally, if you’re looking to make this a steady production stream and a reliable source of income, once you’ve worked with one client, you can shop your services around to the next. If you’re confident in the prospects of making a steady job out of this, you can always do your first client for free or for bartered services — i.e. free food and drink over a set period of time, or up to a price point. You can create a case-study of your first client and show how your video efforts improved marketing and promotion, and even increased overall revenue. Cover image by lapandr.For more advice, tips and tricks for finding success in the film and video world, check out some of these articles below.5 Essential Rules for Working with a Second Camera OpInsights into the State of the Music Video Production IndustryFive Filmmaking Tips for Getting Connected in a New CityWhat to Keep in Mind When Creating Facebook Video Ads21 Free Motion Graphics Templates for Adobe Premiere Pro In this short guide, we round up some advice for filmmakers and videographers shooting promotional videos for restaurants and bars.In the professional video world, clients come in all shapes and sizes. Traditionally, bars and restaurants have not used video much in their marketing efforts — unless they’re at the chain level, or for the occasional TV spot. However, with the rise of affordable videography, and the need to use video content as part of grassroots advertising and social marketing measures, video is suddenly making sense for many bar and restaurant owners.Let’s look at some tips on how to approach these potential clients and how to start shooting strong promotional video content to help them grow their online brands.Get the Most out of the InvestmentImage via wong yu liang.If you’re going to approach bars and restaurants to shoot promo videos, you need to talk in terms of investment and returns. What is the ROI on paying you to shoot these videos, and how does that add money to their pockets? You’ll want to quickly show them all the ways video will help maximize their investment.Typically, bars and restaurants can use video in more ways than most owners realize. It might take some creativity on your part to capture all the necessary elements and create some targeted edits, but here are a few ways video can help restaurants and bars:Website landing page video: add flash to their website with a ready-loaded video showcasing their establishment.Yelp videos: a short video on a professional Yelp page can be more powerful than any user-generated content.Social Media videos/campaigns: these days, social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are some of the biggest drivers of small local business. Having a smart sizzle reel to go along with their targeted marketing efforts can be a huge boost.Stylized photos: while not a necessity, if you’re a videographer that also knows a thing or two about photography (and has a good two-way camera), adding 20-30 stylized photos to your deliverable package can go along way toward landing a good contract.last_img read more

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Goa to be lenient on GST violations initially: Parrikar

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar reiterated that considering the time needed for GST to stabilise, the Goa government will take a lenient view of any lapses and violations in the implementation of the GST by local traders in the initial 3-4 months and would not consider them as serious offences.Addressing a function of chartered accountants over GST Helpdesk, Mr. Parrikar said on Saturday evening that despite likely teething problems, the GST would make items for daily consumption cheaper for the consumer with a simplified and smooth tax structure for the traders and businesses. He told businessmen and traders not to fear of penalties and fines in the initial months.He exuded confidence that the GST era would have a strong positive economic effect on Goa, especially as it was a high consumption State, with a lot of tourists and the GST being a destination-based consumption tax.“GST regime ultimately will result in reduction of prices of most items and State’s revenue will grow by at least 25-30 % in 2017-18 itself,” he stated.last_img read more

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South African Cricket is a Lot Better Now, Says Sacked CEO Haroon Lorgat

first_imgHaroon Lorgat tried to paint a glowing picture of his tenure as the CEO of Cricket South Africa after his departure from the organization on Sept. 28. A statement released by him spoke about the progress the sport made during his days at the helm, adding that he will now spend more time with his family.“When I look back and reflect on what I stepped into in 2013‚ I can certainly feel proud of the gigantic steps we have taken to make Cricket SA recognized by others as the best run sports federation on the continent,” he stated. “I am pleased to leave CSA in a solid state and a lot better than when I entered it. I know that I have served the sport with great respect‚ commitment‚ dedication and passion and the results on and off the field bear testimony to that.”The announcement of the CEO’s premature termination was made by CSA even as Lorgat was meeting Star India chief executive Uday Shankar in Mumbai to sell the rights of the T20 Global League tournament, with the sport body saying that they have “mutually agreed to part ways with immediate effect”.Lorgat’s termination came as the gap between his promises and delivery was getting wider, with no broadcast deal in place for the T20 Global League tournament, which is set to start in 36 days on Nov. 3. Also, the acrimony between Lorgat and CSA chief financial officer Nassei Appiah over the latter’s exclusion from major decision making regarding the T20 is being seen as a factor. “The reason was due to a breakdown in the relationship between the board and the chief executive,” CSA president Chris Nenzani said in a statement.The former fast bowler, whose family moved from Gujarat to South Africa, was appointed to the CEO’s post in July 2013, on the heels of the bonus scandal that restructured the CSA board. His appointment was met with disapproval from the Board Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) whose beef with Lorgat come from his tenure as the chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC). As a result, the BCCI cut down India’s tour in South Africa from 12 to seven matches in a year. The CSA lost Rs 218 million in revenue.In June this year, at the launch of the T20 Global League, former players and journalists were flown into London at CSA expense. Some of the former cricketers had no inkling of why they were present, according to the website TimesLive. By August, Brimstone Investment, who were named as a franchise owner at London, pulled out of the tournament, with chief executive Mustaq Brey saying in a statement: “We follow a rigorous investment process.This venture had to undergo the same process and be tested against our standard investment criteria as all other investment proposals.”Bollywood actress Preity Zinta also came in to buy the franchise suddenly, with the actress reportedly saying that the decision happened when she “bumped into Haroon in a hotel [in Dubai] and that was pretty much it – it was an overnight decision”.The South Africa board was not keen on more pre-tournament expenses, as the decided budget of R100m approached the limit, and no deal is in sight for broadcast rights in the large markets of India and South Africa, according to Cricbuzz. All this while, Lorgat said that he “could have sold these [T20GL] broadcast rights 12 months ago … so we’re in no rush to go and do something and then say we shouldn’t have.”CSA vice president Thabang Moroe has taken over from Lorgat as a CEO on acting basis as search for a new boss begins. Related ItemsBCCIBCCI SFACricket South AfricaHaroon LorgatLittle IndiaPreity Zinta South Africa cricketT20 Global League tournamentlast_img read more

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New guidelines on treatment of juvenile convicts, aftercare

first_imgNew Delhi, May 15 (PTI) The government has come up with a handbook detailing ways to deal with children in conflict with the law, emphasising on launching a database and a tracking system for their effective rehabilitation post incarceration, after procedural flaws were exposed in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya case.The standard operating procedure (SOP), prepared by the women and child development (WCD) ministry based on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, aims at eliminating maltreatment of such children while protecting them from violence, abuse and exploitation.The objective of all the stakeholders should be to rehabilitate and reintegrate children in conflict with the law into the mainstream, the SOP states.The ministry has recommended a slew of activities as part of the rehabilitation process which include yoga, physical training, meditation, skill training, computer education, art and craft therapy, training in spoken English, dance and drama and sports.It also enumerates individual care plans to be drafted for each child which is mandated in by the JJ Act.The SOP has laid down a provision for professional course for a child in order to make him/her financially independent and recommended that child care institutions tie up with universities for such courses.It has also advised that there should be a follow-up plan in place for all children in conflict with the law who are in institutional care.”Institutions should conduct regular follow-up programmes for all released children to ensure the child does not get back to a difficult situation. Institution should maintain regular contact with the children and their families.advertisement”Regular follow-up activities help to reduce the rate of recidivism. Institutions should conduct half yearly meets to get a feedback from the juveniles about their current situation and to ascertain the further interventions required for their successful rehabilitation,” the SOP said.Flaws were exposed in the procedural aspects of the JJ Act in the aftermath of the release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case, prompting the government to work on a comprehensive plan for such children so that they do not become repeat offenders.The juvenile convict in the gangrape and murder of a 23- year-old physiotherapy intern in Delhi in December 2012 was released in December 2015 and is believed to be working at a roadside eatery in South India.Ministry officials say that there was no follow-up plan devised for his release.The officials also say that while he was taught how to stitch and cook, it was a south India-based non-for-profit organisation which later trained him and presently monitoring him.The ministrys SOP also has a provision for after-care whereby a tracking system is to be created by state governments through which children, once they leave child care institutions, will be tracked for minimum three years to analyse the transition.The government may also set up a database of children leaving child care homes upon turning 18 every year and also create helpline numbers for those who are out of institutional care, where they can contact to seek guidance or counselling, whenever required, and can find solutions for their concerns.The Supreme Court had earlier this month upheld the death sentence for four others convicted of the rape and murder of the woman who later came to be known as “Nirbhaya”, the fearless. PTI ASG SMNlast_img read more

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Dele Alli ruled out of Switzerland friendly due to muscle strain

first_imgEngland midfielder Dele Alli withdrew from the England squad for Tuesday’s friendlies against Switzerland due to a minor muscle strain, the English FA said on Monday.Alli, 22, picked up the injury during England’s 2-1 defeat to Spain in Saturday’s UEFA Nations League opener at Wembley. The Tottenham Hotspur player is set to return to the club for further treatment.Alli now faces a race against time to be fit before Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool.England have called up Leicester City duo Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray for the friendly match at the King Power Stadium, but said they would not make any more additions to the squad ahead of Monday’s training session.Luke Shaw, who was concussed after a blow to his head in the loss to Spain, returned to his club Manchester United on Monday.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

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MNF not to leave NDA and NEDA: Zoramthanga

first_imgAizawl, Dec 15 (PTI) The new Mizoram chief minister, Zoramthanga, on Saturday said that his party the Mizo National Front(MNF) has no intention of leaving the BJP-led NDA and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). He said combating alcoholism and drug addiction would be one of the top priorities of his government and it would take up development projects from day one. “There is no intention at this juncture to leave the NDA and NEDA”, he told reporters at Raj Bhavan here after taking oath as the new chief minister of the state. This is his third stint as Mizoram chief minister. Although facing criticism from certain sections in the Christian-dominated state for joining hands with the BJP, Zoramthanga said the MNF’s ties with the NDA and NEDA will continue. He said that the main thrust of his government would be economic development. “With vast lands available for cultivation, we hope to increase the per capita income so that it is among the highest in the country,” he said. “Combating alcoholism and drug addiction would be one of the top priorities of the MNF ministry,” Zoramthanga said, adding that rehabilitation facilities would be established for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction . He emphasized the need for good roads saying that efforts would be made to repair the highways while sports and information technology would be accorded priority to benefit the youths. He announced that Hnahthial, Khawzawl and Saitual would be made separate districts as declared by the previous MNF government in 2008.advertisement The Congress government did not implement the decision taken by the MNF ministry. Construction of elevated roads and parking lots would be taken up to make the capital Aizawl a traffic jam-free city, he added. PTI HCV SUN KK RTlast_img read more

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Federer after straight sets win over Dan Evans: Feels like playing mirror a little bit

first_imgDouble defending champion Roger Federer weathered a stern test from the impressive Dan Evans and paid the British battler the ultimate compliment after prevailing 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.Having thrashed Denis Istomin in his Melbourne Park opener, third seed Federer faced a different beast in world number 189 Evans, who made a mockery of his ranking and pushed the Swiss hard throughout a high-quality duel at Rod Laver Arena.”It feels like playing a mirror a little bit and that was my mindset going in,” 20-times Grand Slam champion Federer said of qualifier Evans, who is rebuilding his career after serving a year-long drug ban.”He has a lot of slice and more serve and volley, my size can help me a bit more.”Showcasing a sturdy defence and counter-punching gamely, Evans broke Federer for the first time in the tournament, dragging the former world number one into a second tiebreak to cheer British fans after Andy Murray’s first round elimination.Teacher: Roger FedererStudent: Dan EvansThe world No.189 produces a passing crosscourt backhand to break back Federer and level the second set 5-5.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/Xh3Pwy5VLQ#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2019But the Birmingham man lacked the edge in the clutch points while Federer was clinical.He broke Evans in the fourth game of the third set and served out the match to love, sealing the win with an imperious backhand winner down the line.”He was feeling it today, I thought,” said Federer, who will play Taylor Fritz for a place in the fourth round.advertisement”He was very sort of cat and mouse a bit. Very interesting. I liked the match. I thought he was playing well. It was enjoyable.””Margins are slim.”@rogerfederer provides a first-hand insight into how he gained the advantage over Daniel Evans.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/ExEvDXrCeZ#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2019Evans sparkled in a run to the fourth round at the 2017 tournament but missed last year’s action at Melbourne Park, after testing positive for cocaine at the Barcelona Open.He entered Rod Laver Arena for his Federer match-up to a soundtrack of Blur’s Britpop anthem “Parklife”.There was nothing hazy about his game, however, as he attacked the lines with abandon and rushed the net with conviction.He saved a set point at 6-5 with a punchy backhand volley down the line and had Federer on the ropes in the tiebreak.But instead of volleying into an open court to prise a set point off the Swiss, he pushed the forehand well wide.Reprieved, Federer took full advantage and closed out the set when a scrambling Evans missed a desperate backhand passing short.The Briton was clearly gutted by the lost chance and promptly threw away his next service game in the second set while still in a funk.What a fighter!A very well-deserved applause from the @RodLaverArena crowd for Daniel Evans #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/ry5QAeEzpL#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2019Yet he regathered his wits quickly.He battled to save two set points at 5-3 down and then broke back to 5-5, outpointing Federer with an elegant one-handed backhand passing shot that the former world number one would have been proud to call his own.Once again, Federer lifted in the tiebreak, bringing up three set points in a trice and converting the first with an ace.From there it was a formality for one of the game’s most ruthless front-runners as Federer cruised to victory to keep his bid for a hat-trick of Melbourne titles alive.Also Read | 20-year-old Tiafoe stuns world No.6 Anderson, Cilic beats McDonaldAlso Read | 17-year-old Anisimova reaches 3rd round, Stephens thumps BabosAlso Read | Indian men’s doubles challenge ends in Melbournelast_img read more

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Not thinking about records: Rohit Sharma after smashing 5 hundreds in World Cup 2019

first_imgRohit Sharma became the first ever cricketer to score 5 hundreds in a single World Cup but the star India opener said he never thought about this record. Rohit scored his 5th hundred in World Cup 2019 and 27th in his ODI career during India’s emphatic 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Leeds on Saturday.This was Rohit Sharma’s 3rd successive hundred and 6th in his World Cup career which is the joint most with Sachin Tendulkar. During the course of his innings, Rohit Sharma became the 2nd India batsman after Tendulkar to score 600 runs in the same World Cup.Rohit Sharma is no stranger to records. He is the only man with 3 double hundreds in ODIs and holds the record for the highest individual score in one-day internationals. In fact, he is within touching distance of Tendulkar’s record 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup.But Rohit Sharma, who was named man-of-the-match for his 94-ball 103, said he never thought about milestones.”Like I have been talking about, going out there and do my job. Not thinking about all these kind of milestones,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation ceremony.”I know if I play well all these things will happen along the way. My job is to keep my head straight and get my team to the finishing line,” he said.Rohit Sharma said he does not think about his previous achievements when he walks in to bat and his focus is to start afresh every time he takes guard.”I want to start every day as a fresh day. I come out thinking I have not played any ODIs or scored any hundreds in the tournament.advertisement”That is the mindset I want to get in and I keep telling myself that. Although people around me keep talking about the hundreds, but that is the challenge as a sportsperson,” Rohit said.Rohit Sharma now has 647 runs from 9 matches in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. In 8 innings, Rohit has scored 5 hundreds and 1 fifty.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul hundreds help India crush Sri LankaAlso Read | Rohit Sharma 1st batsman to hit 5 hundreds in a single World CupAlso See:last_img read more

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Harry Kane set to start for England in group decider against Belgium

first_imgBelgium England’s Danny Rose says he would now happily let family come to Russia Gary Cahill at peace with painful England memories against Belgium news World Cup 2018 Share on Facebook Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Harry Kane Sign up for the World Cup Fiver. World Cup Share on Twitter The national captain already has five goals to his name having played only 154 minutes to date at the tournament, edging him one clear of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku in the goalscoring charts. Gareth Southgate is considering his team selection for the game in Kaliningrad on Thursday, when the section will be claimed, and is expected to make a handful of changes to freshen up his side’s approach.Yet Kane is confident he will be granted the chance to add to his tally from the start, with the forward potentially to be withdrawn in the second half to offer one of his understudies game-time.“His scoring record of goals per game is outstanding,” said Southgate, who has yet to confirm the selection to his players but is well aware of Kane’s desire to finish as the top scorer in Russia. “He has shown his value to us already both before the tournament and now during the tournament. Harry Kane expects to start England’s final Group G fixture against Belgium as he continues his pursuit of the World Cup’s golden boot. England Gareth Southgate Reuse this content Topics Share on Pinterest Danny Rose and Gary Cahill are expected to begin the game in Kaliningrad while checks will be made on the fitness of Dele Alli, who missed the Panama game with a thigh strain, Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier. Fabian Delph will be involved, with the Manchester City midfielder then planning to fly home for 48 hours to attend the birth of his third child – his wife’s due date is on Saturday – before returning to Russia before the team’s knockout game early next week. Read more “I know he is incredibly proud already. He is only behind Gary Lineker [10] in terms of World Cup goals for England and that is a wonderful personal achievement for him. Equally, he is the captain and he knows he will be judged on how far we go as a team. He wants to contribute to a winning team and he knows it is not as satisfying if you are a player scoring goals and the team does not win.”Asked specifically if Kane would start against Belgium, Southgate added on Talksport: “As a manager you have to think of the whole squad and then your second thought is for individuals and their own situations, and that is a really complex balance in any business where you are managing people. But I am sure we can get that right.” Read more Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApplast_img read more

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Vegas Computer’s Score Prediction For Ohio State-TCU

first_imgAn Ohio State player holding his helmet.ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 12: An Ohio State Buckeyes player hold his helmet on the sideline during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)Ohio State and TCU highlight the night portion of college football’s Week 3 slate. The Buckeyes and the Horned Frogs are playing the primetime contest on ABC at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.It’s a massive game for both programs. The Horned Frogs are looking to pull off the upset and cement their College Football Playoff contenders status. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, are hoping to go 3-0 during Urban Meyer’s suspension.Ohio State enters tonight’s game as the favorite – a big one, actually.Most sportsbooks have Ohio State favored by double digits over TCU. This is a neutral-site showdown between two ranked teams, but the Buckeyes are expected by most to win comfortably.Ohio State’s offense is a major reason why. The Buckeyes, led by starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., might just have too much firepower for TCU to handle.OddsShark’s sportsbook seems to agree.The sportsbook’s computer has released its score prediction tonight’s game. It likes the Buckeyes.Ohio State fans would definitely take that. The Buckeyes would cover the spread against TCU with that score, too.Kickoff for Ohio State-TCU is set for 8 p.m. E.T. The game will be on ABC.last_img read more

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Premier Salutes Notable Nova Scotian

first_imgBarry Barnet, Minister of African Nova Scotia Affairs, on behalf of Premier Rodney MacDonald, expressed sadness today, July 25, at the passing of Pearleen Oliver. Mrs. Oliver was a civil rights leader who spoke out strongly against segregation and discrimination. During the 1940s, she led the fight to break down barriers that prevented black women from being admitted into education programs like nursing in Nova Scotia. In addition, Mrs. Oliver was an author and a respected church leader who became the first female Moderator of the African Baptist Association. An honorary doctor of letters from St. Mary’s University and an honorary doctorate from Mount Saint Vincent University were bestowed on Mrs. Oliver in recognition of her many contributions to Nova Scotia. “Mrs. Oliver was an outstanding advocate for women and for African Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Barnet. “She has left all Nova Scotians with a wonderful legacy that will live on forever.” Mr. Barnet extended condolences to Mrs. Oliver’s family, colleagues and many friends.last_img read more

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Province Advances Changes to Gaming Corporation

first_img “The amendments create closer oversight in the rapidly changing and evolving gaming industry,” said Mr. Wilson. “With these changes Nova Scotia is maintaining its leadership in responsible gaming and ensuring the revenue received continues to benefit programs and services that are important to the public.” The new structure will take effect once the present board of the corporation finalizes its current fiscal year in the summer. “Bringing the management of gaming closer to government will serve Nova Scotians well,” said Prof. John McMullan of Saint Mary’s University. “Emerging issues can be managed in a manner that will be consistent with government policy.” Information about the province’s responsible gaming strategy is available at www.gov.ns.ca/cch/ . a prescribed membership for the board of the corporation which will be made up of senior civil servants representing key departments of government the corporation will be named the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corp. Government is making gaming management more accountable in Nova Scotia through changes to the Gaming Control Act announced today, May 7. The Crown corporation responsible for managing gaming activities in the province will be renamed and its governance structure changed in keeping with the province’s responsible gaming strategy. “Nova Scotians want gaming to be managed in an accountable and socially-responsible way,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson. “The changes being introduced today provide for a closer reporting relationship and ensure the corporation will function more like a division of a government department.” The changes to the act include:last_img read more

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Chinas Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping has promised to promote high financial standards for China’s Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative as Beijing tries to dispel complaints the multibillion-dollar project leaves developing countries with too much debt.Xi avoided mentioning debt complaints in a speech Friday at the opening of a forum to celebrate his signature foreign initiative. But he said Beijing wants “open, green and clean co-operation” with “zero tolerance for corruption.”Developing countries welcome the initiative to expand trade by building roads, ports and other facilities across Asia and Africa to Europe. But high costs have prompted complaints some are falling into a “debt trap.”Chinese officials reject such complaints and issued guidelines this week for assessing debt risks to Belt and Road borrowers.The Associated Press read more

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Palestinians hit by higher food prices and falling incomes UN report says

The report says that the main causes of food insecurity in the occupied Palestinian territories are “rooted in the military and administrative measures imposed by the Israeli occupation – closure regime, permits, destruction of assets – as well as settlement expansion and derived infrastructure multiplication – access to land and water and the construction of bypass roads.”“The agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip is close to collapse, as no exports are allowed, and there is a total unavailability of fertilizer, pesticides and other crucial inputs,” according to the report, released yesterday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).The UN agencies also report that soaring food prices, falling incomes and growing unemployment are all jeopardizing the livelihoods of Palestinians, leading to heavy debt and changes in family eating habits.“Palestinians are eating less. Many parents reduce their intake to allow for their children to eat. Half the surveyed population have decreased their spending on food, 89 per cent reduced the quality of food they buy while 75 per cent reduced the quantity since January 2008 and almost all people have reduced their consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and animal protein to save money. Very few Palestinians now eat fresh [red] meat.”More than a third of breadwinners in the Gaza Strip are unemployed, while 27 per cent are without work in the West Bank, the report notes.“The agriculture sector urgently needs to be strengthened to increase local food productions and create vital income and employment opportunities for the struggling population,” said Luigi Damiani, the FAO’s Senior Project Coordinator in Jerusalem.Rising fuel and commodity prices are also making it more difficult to deliver aid.“It is becoming extraordinarily difficult to cover the growing needs of the Palestinian people,” said Christine van Niewenhuyse, WFP Representative in the occupied Palestinian territories, adding that donor contributions have declined recently. “As more people are pushed into hunger and food insecurity, we fear people’s health and welfare could sharply deteriorate.”The report notes that in the past year the price of wheat flour has risen by 73 per cent in the West Bank and 68 per cent in the Gaza Strip, while a third of Palestinians have seen a fall in their income, with the poor being hit by a 40 per cent drop.Farmers in the Gaza Strip have faced three major shocks in recent months, the report says: the complete closure of the Strip by Israel, a late frost and an ongoing drought.The report paints a picture of an increasingly dependent population. Some 59 per cent of households now rely on credit to buy food, even as the availability of informal credit is drying up. In addition, 76 per cent of households in Gaza have received some type of cash or in-kind aid in the past three months, with higher levels of coverage for refugees, while 23 per cent of households have been assisted in the West Bank.“The economic downturn results in a much greater need for food assistance, while the severe closure regime makes it harder for us to deliver our services,” Karen AbuZayd, Commissioner-General of URNWA, said. “Palestine refugees are facing triple threats – higher prices, greater aid dependency and more restrictions.”The report concludes that “there is little scope for action other than that of a humanitarian-emergency nature to solve food insecurity, until the political dimension is resolved.” 19 June 2008Nearly 40 per cent of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank do not have access to sufficient food, a rise of four per cent from 2006, according to a joint report issued by three United Nations agencies. read more

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New cabinet takes oaths before President Sirisena

The new cabinet took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today.In all, 29 cabinet Ministers were appointed today. Accordingly, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as the Minister of National Polices, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development, Vocational Training & Skills Development & Youth Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera was appointed as the Minister of Finance and Mass Media, (Mrs.) Thalatha Athukorala: Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms, Rishad Bathiudeen: Minister of Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons & Co-operative Development‏, John Amaratunga: Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife & Christian Religious Affairs‏, Malik Samarawickrama: Minister of Development Strategies, International Trade and Science, Technology and Research, Daya Gamage: Minister of Labour, Trade Union Relations, and Social Empowerment, Mano Ganesan: Minister of National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Affairs, Harin Fernando: Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure, Foreign Employment and Sports, Sagala Ratnayaka: Minister of Ports & Shipping and Southern Development, Abdul Haleem Mohamed Hasheem: Minister of Postal Services & Muslim Religious Affairs, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam: Minister of Education, Pelisge Harrison: Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development, (Mrs) Chadrani Bandara: Minister of Women & Child Affairs and Dry Zone Development, U. Palani Thigambaram: Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure & Community Development, Eranjan Navin Dissanayake: Minister of Plantation Industries, Patali Champika Ranawaka: Minister of Megapolis & Western Development, Vajira Abeywardena: Minister of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government, Ravi Karunanayake: Minister of Power, Energy and Enterprise Development, Rajitha Senaratne: Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Arjuna Ranatunga: Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation, Sajith Premadasa: Minister of Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs, Gayantha Karunatilake: Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, Ranjith Maddumabandara: Minister of Public Administration & Disaster Management, Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Kabir: Minister of Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, Lakshman Kiriella: Minister of Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage & Kandy Development, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera: Minister of Buddhasasana & Wayamba Development, Thilak Janaka Marapana: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ibathul Rauff Hakeem: Minister of City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education. CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES read more

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Two UN peacekeeping missions create awarenessraising units on HIVAIDS

The new unit in Sierra Leone was set up in line with an understanding between UNAIDS (the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS) and the Department for Peacekeeping Operations. It aims to sensitize peacekeepers and civilian UN staff, as well as the communities in their deployment area, the mission said in a statement issued today in Freetown.In East Timor, the UN transitional administration (UNTAET) said it was establishing an all-Timorese working group to deal with sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS. The group, whose 12 members will be formally nominated tomorrow in Dili, will be composed of representatives from non-governmental organizations, the Church, women’s groups and medical associations. The role of the new working group will be to advise the UN mission and the future East Timorese government on prevention and care of sexually transmitted diseases. read more

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Annan urges increased aid to alleviate Palestinian economic hardship

“[I]t is not possible to restore security and stability without a resumption of political activity leading towards a just settlement and of economic activity leading to an improvement of living conditions,” he notes, reiterating his call for implementation of the recommendations of the fact-finding committee led by former United States Senator George Mitchell. The report provides details on the re-orientation of UN assistance efforts since the crisis broke out last September. “Development-oriented initiatives became extremely difficult to implement in the context of violence and lack of freedom of movement while, at the same time, the immediate needs on the ground called for a rapid response,” Mr. Annan notes. In response, UN agencies worked to meet the urgent needs of the Palestinian people, who “found every aspect of their lives disrupted.”Stressing the heightened need for increased activities and services provided by the UN and other organizations in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Secretary-General calls upon the international community to support aid programmes, especially the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides “vital services” to hundreds of thousands of people. “The dramatic deterioration of the economic and the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory highlights the urgent need to find a peaceful solution of the ongoing crisis,” writes the Secretary-General. He strongly urges the parties to end the current cycle of violence and to resume a meaningful political process on the basis of UN resolutions, leading to lasting peace and reconciliation.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General today reacted positively to the recent statement by the G-8 countries (the seven most industrialized States and Russia) concerning a third party monitoring mechanism in the Middle East. “I think now that they have come up with that recommendation, we need to work at it and try to see when and how we implement it,” he observed.Mr. Annan also said the international community, particularly the countries that made the statement at the G-8 summit meeting in Genoa, should be involved in that effort. “I think we all have to pool our efforts to try and calm the situation on the ground and move forward,” he stressed. read more

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Cooperation among developing nations key to achieving new antipoverty goals says Ban

“All developing countries, regardless of size or level of development, have accumulated capacities and experiences that can be shared,” the United Nations chief told a high-level discussion on South-South cooperation, the term used to describe relations between developing countries, which he co-hosted together with Chinese President Xi Jinping.“South-South cooperation will play a key role in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said, a day after the General Assembly adopted the blueprint to wipe out extreme poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.Noting that China has lifted millions of people from extreme poverty and is a leader in advancing South-South cooperation, Mr. Ban said that countries from the South have become key drivers of global growth.“The fact that many of the MDGs have been met is largely due to the leadership, strong focus and contributions of developing countries,” he went on, referring to the previous 15-year Millennium Development Goals adopted by a UN summit in 2000.Outlining the full spectrum of South-South cooperation, he highlighted trade and foreign resource transfers, infrastructure financing, remittances, foreign direct investment, technology transfer and capacity development to regional integration. He also cited agricultural and rural development programmes connecting farmers to markets, building rural infrastructure, strengthening collective bargaining power for smallholder farmers and improving access to finance and extensive services. “These programmes contribute to greater agricultural productivity and reductions in poverty, hunger and malnutrition,” Mr. Ban stressed at the discussion, held on the margins of the three-day summit on sustainable development at UN Headquarters.“Replicating and adapting these examples through South-South and triangular cooperation can provide cost-effective and replicable solutions to the challenges faced by many developing countries,” he added, pledging the full commitment of the entire UN system to help developing countries achieve the 2030 Agenda. read more

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Jets Darnold sits out again appears unlikely vs Patriots

NEW YORK — Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold sat out team drills for a second straight day of practice, increasing the likelihood he’ll sit out against New England on Sunday.Darnold strained his right foot against Miami on Nov. 4 and didn’t play the following week against Buffalo. Josh McCown will start in Darnold’s place again if the youngster is unable to play.Darnold showed some progress Wednesday when he was in uniform for the first time since the injury, but didn’t throw passes in individual or team drills. It was the same situation Thursday when the Jets practiced indoors because of temperatures in New Jersey dropping into the low-20s.Safety Marcus Maye (shoulder/thumb), left guard James Carpenter (shoulder), linebacker Brandon Copeland (elbow) and wide receiver Robby Anderson (ankle) also sat out a second straight day. Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was limited again.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLDennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press read more

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What To Make Of The Cavs Disappointing Debut

It was one of the biggest moments in Cleveland sports history. (Seriously!) LeBron James’ first game back as a member of the Cavaliers, wearing that familiar No. 23 jersey. James returned with great fanfare Thursday night, leading his new teammates onto the floor against the New York Knicks. Those same Knicks were fresh off being routed by the Chicago Bulls in their 2014-15 season debut, and the Cavaliers — expected to be the best team in the Eastern Conference (not just by us, either) — were at home, in front of one of the most fired-up crowds imaginable.Piece of cake for the Cavs, right?Not quite. After a hot start (they led the Knicks by 11 early in the second quarter), Cleveland struggled to make shots and to keep New York from doing the same, eventually losing 95-90 in a game they were favored to win by 13.It’s only one game, the first of 82 in what is effectively the longest regular-season in sports. But it’s fair to ask what went wrong, and what it means for the Cavs.In the game, Cleveland had an offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) of 108.3 and a defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) of 114.3. Just as a point of comparison, last season’s Knicks scored 109.3 points per 100 possessions and allowed 110.6, but the Real Plus Minus (RPM) ratings of New York’s roster this season would imply a decline of 2 points per 100 possessions on offense from last season, and a decline of 1.5 points/100 on defense. In essence, an average team would have scored around 112 points/100 and allowed 107 points/100 against the Knicks, giving the Cavaliers a ratings shortfall of 4 points on offense and 7 points on defense.Cleveland was expected to be an offensive juggernaut going into the season, so in a sense its performance at that end was the big disappointment. But it’s difficult to imagine a LeBron James-led team not being an offensive powerhouse; a James-led team hasn’t ranked outside the NBA’s Top 8 in offensive rating since 2007-08. (And that’s not even considering the teammates he now has in Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, among others.) The bigger concern is that Cleveland’s defensive struggles against New York give credence to the most reasonable fears people had about the Cavaliers over the offseason — that their defense would not be up to par.Anderson Varejao is an elite defender by plus/minus metrics, and he logged starter’s minutes for the Cavaliers last night. But although James has a strong defensive reputation as well — he’s made the NBA’s All-Defensive squad in some form (first or second team) every year since 2008-09 — his RPM defense ranked just 24th among small forwards a year ago. Meanwhile, scouts for years have questioned Love’s defense, even though his defensive RPM is surprisingly positive. And Cleveland’s other top minute-earners Thursday night — Irving, Dion Waiters, and Tristan Thompson — are defensive disasters whether you look at the numbers or just watch the games.If ever there was an area where Cleveland’s new super team would struggle, it would be on defense, and Thursday night’s outing against the Knicks only reinforces that fear.Cavaliers coach David Blatt is new to the NBA, and his defensive system is still a work in progress. Two of his team’s biggest issues Thursday night were transition defense and defending spot-up shooters, both areas that can be improved with better defensive cohesion, communication and awareness.It’s unlikely the Cavaliers will play as badly on defense all season as they did against New York. But in a Bayesian sense, it does give us one new data point to reinforce doubts about the defensive quality of the group Cleveland has assembled. read more

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