THERE were brilliant performances on and off the track at Saturday’s historical Wint/McKenley Classic at Calabar High School.It was a great job by the organising committee as the entire meet was first class. Entering the environs of the Red Hills Road institution brought memories of the Penn Relays. The large crowd was in a carnival mood.The performances by home team Calabar High boys as well as Hydel High girls, brought great satisfaction for the large number of fans who turned out to be a part of history.Home boy Aykeem Francis became the first Calabar athlete to be crowned champion on the new synthetic track.Francis was a cut above his peers in the Open 400 metres hurdles, as he raced to a season and personal best 53.10 seconds to win.Andre Pickersgill of Cameron Blazers Track Club was second in 54.55 seconds, with Francis’ teammate, Damion Dixon, third in 55.94.Francis returned to close a double by taking the Class One 400 metres in 49.12.St Jago High’s Lerone Clarke was second overall in 49.34 seconds, with Calabar’s Avraldo Hoggart third with 59.60.World Youth 400m champion Christopher Taylor teased his many home supporters in the Class Two 400m.He shut it down in the last 100m, but was still able to clock 46.99 seconds, which was good enough for top spot.Brandon Heath clocked 49.65 seconds for second overall. Vere’s Romane Lindo was third best with 50.36.It was truly a Calabar show as Dejour Russell, Orville Dixon, Tyrone Bryan and Warren Barrett Jr had good wins.Russell, who won the Class Two boys’ 110m hurdles at Champs a year ago, started his season campaign in fine style, taking the event in 13.78.It was a clean sweep for the home team. Orlando Bennett (14.28) and Michael Stephens (14.39) seconds finished second and third, respectively.Dixon captured the Class One boys’ 1500m in 4:05.20, ahead of St Jago’s Thaleeito Green in 4:06.31.Brown won the Class One 110m hurdles in 14.44 seconds.EXCELLENT FORMBarrett continued his excellent form this season with double victory in the throws. He took the Class One discus throw with 51.14m and the shot put with a heave of 18.89m.Despite their coach playing down their chances of finishing in the top three at Champs this year, Hydel totally dominated the female section.In the girl’s 400m Class One, it was joint first place for Semoy Hemmings and Taquece Duggan, who both clocked 55.18 seconds.The Ferry-based team swept all 400m events. In Class Two, Abigail Brooks won in 58.64 seconds, while in Class Three, it was Jada Martin in 57.25 seconds.Hydel girls also had good results in the hurdles.Class Four athlete, Gabrielle Matthews, became the fastest girl in the age group so far this season in the 70m hurdles, winning in 10.99 seconds.In the Class Three 80m hurdles, it was Donna Ray Lee in 12.09 seconds, while in the Class One 100 hurdles, Trishauna Hemmings won in 14.68 seconds. Jada Campbell was best in Class Two, with 14.84 seconds.
Holtzbrinck, whose portfolio includes Nature and Scientific American, will hold 53 percent of the new joint company. The newly combined group will have a valuation of more than €5 billion ($5.81 billion USD). Springer Science CEO Derk Haank tells Reuters that the merger will create economies of scale that will enable the group to invest in product. Not included in the merger are Holtzbrinck’s IT, software and consumer books divisions. Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, owners of Macmillan Science and Education, and BC Partners, owners and fund advisors of Springer Science+Business, have reached a merger agreement to join the two groups. The transaction is still pending approval from various competition authorities, which should conclude in the first half of 2015.
Morgan has backed two bowlers already in the 15-men squadReutersThe biggest question doing the rounds of English cricket circles at the moment is: which seamer from the provisional 15-men squad for the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup would be dropped to make space for Jofra Archer?The 22-year old fast bowler has been attracting attention due to his exploits in T20 leagues around the world and was selected for the ongoing series against Pakistan. With the last date for making changes to the original squad being May 23, the decision of the selectors to bring Archer into the team was seen as an act of giving the young fast bowler an audition for the mega event.His performance in the first ODI of the 5-match series left everyone convinced that the bowler belongs to the big stage and should be brought into the side as quickly as possible. The likes of Michael Vaughan have been arguing in support of this view for a long time and now, it has been endorsed by even Andrew Flintoff.Archer’s performanceWhile the first game of the series was washed out due to rain, there was enough time for Archer to make a big impact by bowling a highly impressive spell of pace bowling. This set the cat among the pigeons as the inclusion of the right-arm bowler in the World Cup-bound team will require dropping one of the bowlers already in it. Who will that bowler be?The five seamers in the squad at the moment are: David Willey, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. For some time, Willey was being seen as the weakest link in the attack and most likely to fall prey to Archer’s rise. Willey seems to have secured his place with a brilliant performance vs PakistanGetty ImagesBut on May 11, the left-armer proved his worth by being England’ best bowler on show in second ODI of the series. Not only did he manage to keep his economy rate below 6/over in a game where both teams scored more than 350, but also bowled crucial overs towards the end of the innings when the visitors seemed close to victory.Morgan speaks outSo, who gets dropped now? Certainly not Willey. Well, Eoin Morgan, the skipper has a big say in the matter and after the second match against Pakistan, mentioned Willey along with Plunkett as two bowlers who have ‘delivered’ for the team in crucial situations.”For the last four years, David Willey and Liam Plunkett in particular have reacted really well to being put under pressure. You ask them to do more and they respond really well. They probably don’t get the praise that they should or that other guys get. But the more responsibility we’ve given them, they’ve reacted really well,” the England skipper stated.The fact that Morgan chose to name these two bowlers out of the five in the provisional squad can be seen as a vote of confidence by him for the pair. It would be extremely hard for the selectors to ignore the skipper’s words and drop either of them. Essentially, Morgan has given a very strong hint to the selectors that he wants both Willey and Plunkett in the World Cup and feels confident in their ability.This leaves Curran, Woakes and Wood in the danger zone. The next three matches are extremely crucial. All three along with Archer will go all out to prove themselves. As Rob Key said while commentating, one wouldn’t like to be in England selectors’ shoes at the moment.
ReutersAmid reports of IBM India following in the footsteps of Infosys, Wipro, and others and planning the layoff of a large number of employees in the coming months, the IT giant has refuted the rumours and said that there aren’t such massive layoffs in the offing.”This is factually incorrect. We are not going to comment further on rumours and speculation,” NDTV Profit quoted a statement from IBM. The company has about 1,50,000 employees in the country and it was earlier said that about 5,000 of them were likely to be shown the door in the next few months.IBM has denied reports of the mass layoffs, but the ongoing performance appraisal may affect a few of the employees. Speaking of the same, a source told ET Now: “The process has started. Managers have been asked to identify underperformers,” and another revealed that the company is also not hiring anyone as of now.While the layoff reports may have created quite a buzz among employees in the IT sector, IBM explained that a few may be affected by the performance-based appraisal, which happens every year. “Re-skilling and rebalancing is an ongoing process as we accelerate the benefits of cognitive and cloud technologies for clients around the world,” the US-based firm said in a statement. Infosys campus in Bengaluru.Reuters FileIn the last week, a number of IT giants have made headlines for the job cuts planned in 2017. Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, Capgemini, and many others were said to be laying off employees in the country. While some were accused of cutting jobs in India to hire workers in the US, others were said to be concentrating on cost optimisation.However, the companies later clarified through official statements that there were no mass layoffs in the pipeline and the sackings were on the basis of the employees’ performance. Sluggish global economy and automation were also said to be the reasons behind the job cuts. Hiring and headcount details based on company filings.Quarterly results and statements.Apart from laying off its employees, IT giants are also hiring a lesser number of employees each year as most of the companies now rely on digital services.”With automation, the number of people we are hiring in the past will not be the same. It will slow down a little bit. We are also looking at hiring very differential kind of people,” Indian Express quoted Krishnamurthy Shankar, executive vice-president, group head, human resource development, Infosys, as saying.Pankaj Bansal, co-founder and chief executive officer of PeopleStrong, noted that the job cuts due to automation may not show a drastic impact right away, but it will be visible by around 2020. “The change has started, with companies introducing bots for customer service, managing warehouses, etc.,” he told LiveMint.
Kit Harington as Jon Snow with Liam Cunningham as Davos SeaworthHBOFans have been trying hard to put the disappointing final season of Game of Thrones behind them. But the cast keeps bringing it back up to the forefront of their minds.Reportedly, Game of Thrones star Kit Harington was asked about his character’s last moment on the show during a pre-Emmys chat with The Hollywood Reporter. Fans have apparently wondered about the finale of Game of Thrones, in which Snow — having been relegated back to the Night’s Watch — left Castle Black and was seen heading beyond the Wall. Was he was going on a ranging mission? Was he merely escorting the Free Folk? Or was he leaving the Night’s Watch behind and rejoining the Wildlings to live with them?Turns out, that final assumption (which, admittedly, was the most popular consensus online) is correct. Jon Snow and Daenerys TargaryenGame of Thrones Official Facebook”[S]eeing him go beyond the Wall back to something true, something honest, something pure with these people he was always told he belongs with — the Free Folk — it felt to me like he was finally free,” said the actor, who is currently nominated for the Emmys’ Best Actor in a Drama Series award. “Instead of being chained and sent to the Wall, it felt like he was set free. It was a really sweet ending. As much as he had done a horrible thing [in killing Daenerys], as much as he had felt that pain, the actual ending for him was finally being released.”We have to say that no matter how much the cast still tries to defend the final season, there was no excuse for the final episodes of season eight.
UNICEF is launching a US$76.1 million appeal for its emergency humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh.The appeal will cover immediate needs of newly-arrived Rohingya children, as well as those who arrived before the recent influx, and children from vulnerable host communities.Such number, according to a UNICEF news release, is 720,000 children in all.Up to 60 per cent of the 500,000-plus Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since 25 August are estimated to be children, said the UNICEF.Most are now living in harsh and insanitary conditions in makeshift camps and settlements spread across the district of Cox’s Bazar, observed the global body.“Desperate, traumatised children and their families are fleeing the violence in Myanmar every day. We are scaling up our response as fast as we can, but the magnitude of need is immense and we must be able do more to help them,” said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake, who is visiting Cox’s Bazar.“These children are being denied a childhood. They need our help now and they need our help to have a future.”Expanding the provision of safe water, sanitation and improved hygiene for Rohingya children is the overriding priority of the appeal, amid concerns over a possible outbreak of diarrhea and other waterborne diseases, according to the UNICEF.It said the majority of Rohingya children are not fully immunised against diseases such as polio.An earlier UNICEF appeal for US$7 million has been expanded to reflect the fast-growing scale of the crisis.