Giants, with surplus of lefty relievers, could move Drew Pomeranz: report

first_imgFor four and half months, Giants pitcher Drew Pomeranz knew how he would be used (as a starter) and when he would be used (anywhere from every four days to every 12 days, more or less).That’s where a major leaguer wants to be, an established regular combatant. But after 17 starts, Pomeranz (2-9, 6.10 ERA) was removed from the rotation. Now, something’s got to give.Not Pomeranz necessarily. He has been called on in relief three times in the past week: A 1-2 record, 0.00 ERA, six strikeouts in …last_img

FIFA Judgment for Blatter, Platini

first_imgGENEVA — Judgment day for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini dawns Dec. 21 when FIFA’s ethics court is expected to ban the scandal-scarred soccer body’s most powerful leaders.The FIFA President and his one-time intended successor face being kicked out of the world’s favorite sport for at least several years over a $2 million payment Blatter approved for Platini in 2011.Both deny wrongdoing yet a conflict of interest in managing FIFA money — by agreeing the payment without telling executive committee colleagues — is a likely basis for guilty verdicts in rulings due to be published at 0900 GMT.Bans of around 10 years are possible, judging by recent FIFA ethics committee sanctions in cases not involving financial misconduct.Blatter and Platini, through his lawyers, already promised appeals that would need to be processed urgently ahead of FIFA’s presidential election on Feb. 26. Both are expected to be defiant if found guilty.Blatter has called an 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) news conference Dec. 21 at the former FIFA offices in Zurich, near the current headquarters where he spent eight hours at an ethics hearing Dec. 18.Platini refused to attend his 10-hour hearing on Dec. 18, and gave his lawyers a statement to read to the four ethics judges.“I am already judged, I am already condemned,” Platini’s statement said, complaining at public comments from officials close to the ethics process since the allegation emerged three months ago.Blatter and Platini have strong motivation to fight a ban.Blatter, who turns 80 in March, wants a FIFA swansong by hosting the election congress in Zurich and being made honorary president by the 209 member federations.The 60-year-old Platini wants to clear his name, pass a FIFA integrity check and be declared an official candidate in the election he was previously favored to win.His campaign stalled since being quizzed on Sept. 25 in a Swiss federal investigation of suspected criminal mismanagement at FIFA.The case centers on Platini, as UEFA President and a FIFA Vice President in 2011, getting about $2 million as uncontracted salary for working as Blatter’s adviser in 1999-2002.The agreement was “a classic conflict of interest” between two executive committee members, FIFA audit panel chairman Domenico Scala said in October.In media interviews, Platini and Blatter said the former France captain asked for a salary of 1 million Swiss francs. He had a contract for 300,000 Swiss francs, in line with FIFA’s then-wage structure, plus a “gentleman’s agreement” to get the rest later. Swiss law obliged FIFA only to pay the deferred money within five years.Platini was paid in February 2011, just before Blatter began campaigning for re-election against Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. Platini’s UEFA urged its members weeks before the June 2011 poll to back Blatter, who was elected unopposed when Bin Hammam was implicated in bribery.Few FIFA officials knew of the Platini payment which emerged during a wider Swiss probe of the governing body’s business affairs, including suspected money laundering in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.Switzerland’s attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Blatter for the suspected “disloyal payment” of FIFA money to Platini and selling undervalued World Cup TV rights for the Caribbean.Platini’s status in the criminal case is “between a witness and an accused person,” attorney general Michael Lauber said in October.On Dec. 21, Blatter could get a longer ban than Platini if his case involves falsifying FIFA accounts. The debt to Platini was not booked in financial reports from 2002-10.In recent ethics cases where financial misconduct was not proven, judges imposed a six-year ban on FIFA Honorary Vice President Chung Mong-joon of South Korea and seven years for Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile, who led FIFA’s technical inspections of the 2018-2022 bids.Any sanctions imposed can be challenged at the FIFA appeals committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. FIFA rules state a list of candidates must be finalized one month before the election in Zurich.Blatter has suggested he could pursue a lengthier appeal to Switzerland’s highest court, the Federal Tribunal, which can intervene if legal process was abused.(GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Retail workers feel disruption from shifting shopper habits

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – With new options and conveniences, there’s never been a better time for shoppers. As for workers … well, not always.The retail industry is being radically reshaped by technology, and nobody feels that disruption more starkly than 16 million American shelf stockers, salespeople, cashiers and others. The shifts are driven, like much in retail, by the Amazon effect — the explosion of online shopping and the related changes in consumer behaviour and preferences.As mundane tasks like checkout and inventory are automated, employees are trying to deliver the kind of customer service the internet can’t match.So a Best Buy employee who used to sell electronics in the store is dispatched to customers’ homes to help them choose just the right products. A Walmart worker dashes in and out of the grocery aisles, hand-picks products for online shoppers and brings them to people’s cars.___Editor’s note: This story is part of Future of Work, an Associated Press series that explores how workplaces across the U.S. and the world are being transformed by technology and global pressures. As more employers move, shrink or revamp their work sites, many employees are struggling to adapt. At the same time, workers with in-demand skills or knowledge are benefiting. Advanced training, education or know-how is becoming a required ticket to the 21st-century workplace.___Yet even as responsibilities change — and in many cases, expand — the average growth in pay for retail workers isn’t keeping pace with the rest of the economy. Some companies say that in the long run the transformation could mean fewer retail workers, though they may be better paid. But while some workers feel more satisfied, others find their jobs are just a lot less fun.Bloomingdale’s saleswoman Brenda Moses remembers the pre-internet era, when the upscale store was regularly filled with customers ready to buy. These days, department stores are less crowded and the customers who do come in can make price comparisons on their phones at the same time as they pepper staff with questions.“You tell them everything, and then they look at you and say, ‘You know what? I think I will get it online,’” she said.Moses has seen her commission rate rise to 6 per cent from a half a per cent, but her hourly wage dropped from $19 as low as $10 before it came back up to $14. Depending more on commissions means her income fluctuates, and she’s competing with her colleagues for each sale.“Now,” Moses said, “you have to fight to make your money.”The same could be said for the retailing industry, overall. In 2017, 66,500 U.S. retail jobs disappeared (not taking into account jobs added in areas like distribution and call centres). In the past decade, about one out of every seven jobs have vanished in the hardest-hit sectors like clothing and consumer electronics, says Frank Badillo, director of research at MacroSavvy LLC. Though department stores have suffered the most, smaller businesses also have struggled to compete with online sellers.Many of the survivors are rushing to adapt. Of the retail jobs that remain, over the next decade as many as 60 per cent will either be new kinds of roles or will involve revised duties, says Craig Rowley, senior client partner at Korn Ferry Hay Group, a human resources advisory firm. He estimates the number is about 10 per cent now.How fast retail jobs will change and what they’ll look like depends on three factors, Rowley said: the pace at which online shopping advances; the speed at which robotics and other technology progress; and shifts in the minimum hourly pay.“Jobs for workers will get more interesting and be more impactful on the company’s business,” Rowley said. “But the negative side is that there will be fewer entry-level jobs and there will be more pressure to perform.”Some retail workers at the vanguard of the changes — like Laila Ummelaila, a personal grocery shopper at a Walmart in Old Bridge, New Jersey — speak glowingly of their new responsibilities.Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, has scrutinized every job in its stores as it looks to leverage its more than 4,000 U.S. locations against Amazon’s internet dominance.The company now has 18,000 personal shoppers who fill online orders from store shelves, and 17,000 check-out hosts whose responsibilities are more extensive than the greeters of old, including keeping the area clean and making sure registers move efficiently. The company has also shifted workers from back-room clerical jobs and eliminated some overnight stocker positions in favour of more daytime sales help. The customers like the changes, company officials say, pointing to more than three years of sales growth at its established U.S. stores — a contrast with other, suffering retailers.Ummelaila became a personal shopper after joining the company three years ago. To meet her store’s goals, she must pick one item per 30 seconds. If she can’t find something, she has to quickly get a substitute that’s as good or better.“You start to get to know the customers, you know what they like,” she said, “how they like their meat … and how long they keep milk in the fridge.”Best Buy, meanwhile, has begun a free service in key markets where salespeople will sit with customers in their own homes and make recommendations on setting up a home office to designing a home theatre system. Best Buy said shoppers spend more with a home visit than they do at the stores. The project follows Amazon, which reportedly has been testing a program that sends employees to shoppers’ houses for free “smart home” recommendations.At Steve Frederick’s townhouse in Chicago, Billy Schuler offered advice about speakers that can be adjusted from a smartphone. Schuler, who had previously worked at Best Buy for 14 years, returned to the company to take on the new role.“Customers are more relaxed when they are in their home,” he said. “We can do a walkthrough of the house and see their needs.” He likes to “break the ice” by calling the person and chatting a day or two before the visit.Frederick, who’s spending close to $20,000 on the equipment, describes himself as “old-school” and says he needed a lot of help. He thinks it was worthwhile.“When you are spending that kind of money, you want to have someone come in and explain it,” he said.Schuler declined to give specifics but says he is well compensated. Ummelaila says her pay went up to nearly $12 per hour from $10 when she became a personal shopper.Target credits its strategy of assigning dedicated sales staff in areas such as clothing, consumer electronics, and beauty for helping increase sales, and says having visual merchandisers create vignettes like shoppers would see in specialty stores inspires people to buy. “You are making an outfit and telling a story on each rack,” says Crystal Lawrence, who works at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York. She likes the variety in her new job, and Target says it plans to keep paying higher wages for those specialized roles.But a survey of nearly 300 retail workers — conducted by the Center for Frontline Retail and Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center — found that of those workers whose job responsibilities have changed, more than 40 per cent said they hadn’t received pay increases to reflect that.Wages for hourly retail workers have risen less than 9 per cent since 1990, compared with 18 per cent for overall workers in the private sector. There has been some progress recently; some of the biggest retailers, like Walmart and Target, have made moves to increase pay in the face of low unemployment and competition for workers.“For a long period, these retail jobs were just terrible on average,” said Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute. “Retail stores have been following one strategy: high turnover, low wages. That strategy is no longer viable.”Mandel sees hope in technology, which he says has historically created more and better-paying jobs than it has eliminated.The National Retail Federation trade group points to government data showing that even in large supermarket chains where self-checkout has become standard, the number of employees per store has held steady over the 15 years through 2014. And the demand for grocery cashiers increased in the past few years, says Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes labour market data.McDonald’s says the self-serve kiosks it has been rolling out won’t result in mass layoffs, but will mean that some cashiers shift roles to accommodate changes like offering table service.But a report prepared by Cornerstone Capital Group for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute predicts that more than 7.5 million retail jobs are at risk of being eliminated by automation over the next several years.Amazon is testing a grocery store in Seattle without cashiers, using cameras and shelf sensors to keep track of the items that shoppers grab and charge them. Eatsa, an automat-style restaurant in San Francisco, lacks cashiers as well — diners order at kiosks and workers prepare the food behind an opaque wall, with virtually no interaction between them.Labour groups are trying to address some of the new issues. Under a contract reached last May between Bloomingdale’s and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Moses and other members who work at the flagship store in Manhattan can also get commissions from some online sales.And a labour group representing 1.3 million grocery and food workers is trying to combat automation by highlighting that workers’ specialized skills — like the care they take in icing a rose on a wedding cake, or arranging flowers, or the ability of human workers to recognize spoiled food — provide a benefit to shoppers.“Separating progress for the consumer, for the worker, for the economy versus the stockholders … those are completely different things,” says Erikka Knuti, a spokeswoman for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.Others say automation and happy workers are not necessarily incompatible.Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon foresees fewer sales associates at his stores, but they’ll be better paid and better trained. Walmart has trained 225,000 supervisors and managers on topics like new apps and better customer service. It says managers who go through the academies have better retention rates than those who do not. Workers who report to those managers stay longer. And entry-level workers who complete a new training program are more likely to remain.It’s a shift retailers may have to speed up. Government figures show the rate of retail workers quitting their jobs in 2016 was at its highest since 2007.Alfredo Duran, who started as a sales associate at Gap and worked at six retailers over 15 years, left the industry two years ago. As a manager at clothing chain Mango, he was making $75,000 a year. But once the store closed, he had trouble finding another job in retail because no one wanted to pay him for his experience.“It’s gone down. One person is doing three jobs. And you can’t move up,” said Duran, 38, of Queens, New York.He’s now a concierge at a Manhattan hotel, making half of what he used to earn — but happy he left retail.___AP Video journalists Terry Chea in San Francisco and Teresa Crawford in Chicago contributed to this report.___Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzioThis story is part of Future of Work, an Associated Press series that explores how workplaces across the U.S. and the world are being transformed by technology and global pressures. As more employers move, shrink or revamp their work sites, many employees are struggling to adapt. At the same time, workers with in-demand skills or knowledge are benefiting. Advanced training, education or know-how is becoming a required ticket to the 21st-century workplace.last_img read more

Tata JLR drives locally made Range Rover Velar trim in India

first_imgNew Delhi: Jaguar Land Rover India Tuesday said it has initiated sales of locally manufactured Range Rover Velar in the country with prices starting from Rs 72.47 Lakh (ex-showroom). The locally manufactured model is offered in a single trim, R Dynamic-S variant, and is available with both petrol and diesel powertrains. The cost of the trim has come down in the range of about 15-20 per cent as compared with the completely built units (CBU) variants of the model. The start of Velar’s local manufacturing would enable the company gain a competitive edge within the Indian luxury SUV segment, JLR India said in a statement. “Since its launch in 2018, the Range Rover Velar has received an overwhelming response from customers across the country,” JLR India President and Managing Director Rohit Suri said. He further said, “Now, with the introduction of the locally manufactured Range Rover Velar, we are able to offer this iconic, award winning product at a very attractive and compelling price than before.”last_img read more

POLICE LOG for May 24 Injured Turkey Rescued Mailbox Vandalized Teen Missing

WILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Thursday, May 24, 2018:A Shawsheen Avenue resident called to report his mailbox was vandalized sometime overnight. (6:43am)Animal Control Officer responded to reports of an injured turkey on Boutwell Street. Officer transported turkey to Tufts in Grafton. (7:40am, 9:56am)A NAPA employee reported a deceased mother opossum with its babies still alive. Animal Control Officer responded. (3:14pm)An anonymous caller reported 2 quads on the roadway on Wabash Road. (3:59pm)A juvenile walked after from the Milestone Group Home on High Street and was entered into NCIC. (4:56pm)A white 2015 Honda Civic and a white 2016 Chevy Cruze were involved in a crash on Main Street. Both vehicles towed. One party complained of head, neck and back pain and was transported by the Fire Department. (5:14pm)A passerby reported a man sitting on the bench on Main Street, near the dog groomer, waiving what appeared to be a hand gun. Police responded. Dog walker in the area did not see anything. (5:18pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)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?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for July 26: 2 Missing Teens; OUI Arrest; Main St. Shut Down Due To Crash; Road Rage IncidentIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 2: Vehicle Damages Roadway; Police Called Over Suspicious BehaviorIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 25: Wilmington Man Arrested For OUI; Men Carrying Sledgehammers Down Street; Turkeys Causing TrafficIn “Police Log” read more

Teen Found Apples FaceTime Bug While Playing Fortnite

first_img Popular on Variety “My teen found a major security flaw in Apple’s new iOS,” she wrote. “He can listen in to your iPhone/iPad without your approval. I have video. Submitted bug report to @AppleSupport. Waiting to hear back to provide details. Scary stuff!” When all of that failed, the Thompsons reportedly created a YouTube video they planned to send to the press. But, the story broke on Monday before that could happen.Once it was finally alerted to the bug, Apple remotely disabled FaceTime’s group chat feature. It is now working on a fix that it plans to release later this week. An Arizona 14-year-old stumbled upon Apple’s FaceTime bug earlier this month and tried to warn the company, but contacting it proved difficult, according to NBC News.Grant Thompson was trying to set up a group chat with some fellow “Fortnite” players when he discovered the FaceTime app was forcing other iPhones to answer calls, potentially allowing users to access microphones and cameras without a person’s knowledge. Thompson told his mother, a lawyer, about the security flaw.“It was very frustrating getting [Apple] to respond,” she said. “I get it. I’m sure they get all sorts of kooks that try to report things to them.”Michele Thompson told NBC News she tried to notify Apple in a variety of ways. First, she tried to alert the company by email. A representative directed her to Apple’s bug bounty program, which offers cash payouts to people who discover security flaws. But, that required technical knowledge she didn’t have. She also sent a physical letter on her firm’s letterhead. When that didn’t work, she sent tweets. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Giraffe of the Mesozoic Discovered

first_img Citation: ‘Giraffe of the Mesozoic’ Discovered (2009, September 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-giraffe-mesozoic.html Explore further Aussie museum displays huge dinosaur bones (PhysOrg.com) — A creature dubbed a “Giraffe of the Mesozoic” has been discovered in China. The animal, with its giraffe-like long neck and long forelimbs is the first well-preserved Early Cretaceous brachiosaurid dinosaur to be discovered in Asia. It lived about 100 million years ago.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Brachiosaurs were herbivorous dinosaurs belonging to the sauropod family, but in comparison to some brachiosaurs, the new species, Qiaowanlong kangxii, is quite small, at only around 10 feet tall and close to 40 feet long. It weighed a mere 10 tons.The new brachiosaur specimen was described by authors Hai-Lu You and Da-Qing Li, in a paper published online on 4 September 2009, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The brachiosaur was given the scientific name Qiaowanlong kangxii from Qiao (bridge), wan (bend in a stream), long (dragon), in reference to the area where it was found, and Kangxi, a Qing Dynasty Emperor who is supposed to have dreamt about the scenic Qiaowan region.The specimen was found in the Yujingzi Basin in Gansu Province in North West China, at an excavation site in which many other dinosaur fossils have been found in recent years, including at least three new species.Earlier studies into sauropods suggested the animals held their necks straight out, and swung them from side to side, rather like a metal detector, but the Chinese scientists found the brachiosaur skeleton had a similar bifurcated (two-part) spine to those in other sauropods, but not previously found in brachiosaurs. The bifurcated spine and the structure of the other bones discovered, including a unique pelvis, suggest the neck “should have been held aloft, with a more vertical than horizontal behavior,” according to Hai-Lu You. Having long forelimbs and a long neck held aloft, would have made it look a little like today’s giraffes, and like them, the brachiosaur would have grazed vegetation high above the reach of its competitors for food.Sauropods were thought to have been most populous in the Jurassic in Africa and North America, but some paleontologists have theorized their population declined rapidly early in the Cretaceous period. The new finding casts doubt on this theory, since a growing number of Early Cretaceous sauropods is being discovered in China.Dr Jerry Harris, Dixie State College’s Director of Paleontology, who worked with the Chinese scientists, explained that what makes the discovery so important is how it adds to our knowledge about how dinosaur populations could move around the globe in the Early Cretaceous period. Land bridges between the continents were vanishing at this time, but as the new brachiosaur has similarities to dinosaur remains found in North America, Harris suggests some connections did still exist if only sporadically. The dinosaurs took advantage of the land bridges to move around, which explains why Chinese and American brachiosaurs appear to be closely related.More information: The first well-preserved Early Cretaceous brachiosaurid dinosaur in Asia; Hai-Lu You, Da-Qing Li; Proceedings of the Royal Society B; doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1278© 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Multiscreen video logistics specialist Clearleap h

first_imgMultiscreen video logistics specialist Clearleap has appointed Jobst Muehlbach as director, customer solutions architect, EMEA, and Marco Slik as customer solutions architect, EMEA.Muelbach, who will take responsibility for European technical sales processes and will join Clearleap with immediate effect, has held senior positions at Arris, Motorola, Kabel Deutschland, Thomson and OpenTV. He will report to vice-president, sales EMEA, Preben Schack.“It’s exciting to come on board at a time when the industry is experiencing so much change,” said Jobst Muehlbach. “With a sophisticated, unique approach and its advanced platform, Clearleap offers content owners and Pay-TV operators a truly complete infrastructure for delivering profitable multiscreen services. There is real momentum in the region, and I’m looking forward to engaging with the EMEA team to continue this success through driving effective and innovative sales.”Silk will join the company on November 12. He was previously employed by Dutch public broadcaster NPO.last_img read more