T. Taylor (BUF)38-0.5544-0.23450.42-0.37 SHORT%Z-SCORESHORT%Z-SCORESHORT%Z-SCORETOT. PASS THROWNATTEMPTSCOMP%YPATD%INT%CONV. RATE C. Wentz (PHI)35-0.9239-0.9534-1.06-2.93 D. Brees (NO)52%1.3854%1.1053%1.393.87 M. Ryan (ATL)34-0.9745-0.1041-0.09-1.17 J. Goff (LAR)40-0.1841-0.69440.26-0.60 T. Siemian (DEN)34-0.9742-0.59460.50-1.05 J. McCown (NYJ)490.97470.20460.521.69 J. Brissett (IND)460.48531.0342-0.061.45 A. Smith (KC)480.82551.32460.542.68 J. Cutler (MIA)420.02510.66561.772.45 M. Stafford (DET)40-0.22500.5437-0.70-0.38 FIRST DOWNSECOND DOWNTHIRD DOWN J. Winston (TB)30-1.6232-1.9522-2.54-6.10 Short of the sticks67273.2%6.61.2%2.4%12.5% C. Beathard (SF)501.07470.19551.652.91 B. Hundley (GB)511.24480.25470.562.05 B. Bortles (JAC)501.12480.35480.702.17 D. Prescott (DAL)36-0.8132-1.9642-0.05-2.82 C. Keenum (MIN)501.07460.02460.501.59 M. Trubisky (CHI)29-1.64531.01490.900.28 A. Dalton (CIN)39-0.43581.6636-0.760.46 E. Manning (NYG)430.12551.3440-0.221.25 C. Newton (CAR)501.0738-1.1039-0.37-0.40 C. Palmer (ARI)29-1.6346-0.0340-0.33-1.98 D. Carr (OAK)430.1145-0.12450.330.32 R. Wilson (SEA)36-0.7337-1.2738-0.52-2.52 Picture this common scene on a Sunday afternoon. Your team could really use a scoring drive to turn the tide. On a 3rd-and-10, before the quarterback is even pressured, he quickly throws a 2-yard pass, and the receiver is tackled a few yards later to bring up fourth down. The crowd grumbles, the offense casually jogs off the field and the punting unit comes on. Better luck next time.Sure, once in a blue moon the offense may throw a bubble screen on 3rd-and-33 and end up with a 52-yard touchdown, like the Rams did with Robert Woods against the Giants in Week 9 this season. But that is the rarest of exceptions.Generally, safe passes like that don’t accomplish much, and we have the data to back that up. How does that 2-yard pass on 3rd-and-10 work out? According to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, quarterback passes thrown no more than 2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage on third down with at least 10 yards to go have been converted only 10.9 percent of the time this season. On throws that travel at least 10 yards, quarterbacks have converted 38.6 percent of the time. So an offense can more than triple its conversion rate just by doing the most obvious thing when trying to move the chains: throwing the ball past the imaginary yellow line on your TV screen.And yet despite this, NFL teams are leaning on the short pass more than ever. The same league that transformed into a passing league over the past 10 years is slowing morphing into something else: the dump-off league.There are some risks with throwing deeper, of course, such as a higher interception rate. And in some special situations, getting a first down isn’t the primary goal of a drive, especially when facing third-and-long. Sometimes teams are just trying to get enough yards to make a field-goal attempt shorter. Or with a big lead in the second half, they’re hoping for an easy completion that will run some clock and gain field position.But when an offense really needs to score points, playing it safe and throwing short of the sticks on third down is often the inferior strategy. We looked at the data from ESPN Stats & Info for passes on 3rd-and-10 or longer for Weeks 1 to 13. We divided the passes between those thrown short of the sticks and those thrown at or beyond the sticks:1For reference, a 12-yard pass on 3rd-and-13 would be considered short of the sticks. Which quarterbacks are the most conservative passers?Which quarterbacks throw short of a “successful” pass distance the most relative to their peers (as measured by the z-scores — the standard deviations above/below the mean — of the Short%* for each down added together), minimum 200 dropbacks through Week 13 of the 2017 season A. Rodgers (GB)602.38520.8924-2.280.99 D. Kizer (CLE)37-0.6842-0.52440.28-0.91 D. Watson (HOU)30-1.5331-2.1340-0.26-3.92 The completion rate for short throws is more than 30 percentage points higher than the rate for longer passes and yet the conversation rate is more than 30 points lower. This is not surprising because defenses are playing to prevent the first down and are willing to concede a fraction of the yardage. However, this positioning make it very difficult for a team to throw short and run after the catch to convert.So far we have only talked about third downs, the crucial down for maintaining offensive success. However, analyzing aggressive and conservative passing on first and second down is also important. A bubble screen that loses a few yards to bring up 2nd-and-13 is also putting the offense in a position to fail.Football Outsiders’ key efficiency metrics, including Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (explained here), are built around the concept of successful plays and are adjusted for factors like the down and distance. For instance, a 5-yard pass on 3rd-and-3 is more valuable than a 5-yard pass on 2nd-and-17. For a pass to be considered a successful play, it must gain at least 45 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth. A completion that does not meet those standards is considered a failed completion. Joe Flacco of the Ravens set the failed completion record last season, with 144, and he leads all quarterbacks in 2017 with 95 through Week 13.It’s not just Flacco. The ineffective dump-off is happening across the NFL. Leaguewide, 26.1 percent of all completions this season qualify as failed completions. That’s the highest rate for a season in the Football Outsiders database, which goes back to 1989, and if the 2017 rate stays at that level, it will break the current high bar set in 2015 (25.1 percent).This is not to say that the short pass doesn’t have value in the NFL playbook or that every quarterback should begin slinging the ball 25 yards downfield each time he takes a snap. There is no one right way to run an NFL offense, and some teams have been able to use the short pass to devastating effect. To get a better sense of this, let’s look at which quarterbacks throw short most often using air yards stats.2This includes passes that drew a defensive pass interference flag but excludes passes that were intentionally thrown away or became intentional grounding penalties.Football Outsiders has a stat called “Short%” to denote the percentage of attempts that a quarterback threw short of the minimum yards needed for a successful play, as defined above. So if 45 percent of needed yards are required on first downs, then anything shorter than a 5-yard throw on first-and-10 would be considered a short pass here. The league average for Short% in 2017 is 41.6 percent on first down, 45.5 percent on second down, and 42.5 percent on third down. It’s not until fourth down that most quarterbacks realize the importance of needing to convert with a big throw. Short% on fourth down is 26.2 percent (although that is only on a sample of 214 plays).We looked at Short% on first, second and third downs for quarterbacks who have had a minimum of 200 dropbacks this season. For the 35 quarterbacks, we took the z-score (standard deviations above or below average) of each percentage and added them up, to make sure we were accurately capturing quarterbacks who threw short on all of their downs relative to the league. The quarterback with the largest summed z-score in the table below is the most conservative, as a higher percentage of his passes were short of being a successful play. J. Flacco (BAL)480.79551.28511.123.19 B. Hoyer (SF/NE)450.42551.27490.902.59 B. Roethlisberger (PIT)470.6838-1.1136-0.75-1.19 Short passes become puntsKey outcomes for passes on 3rd-and-10 or longer, Weeks 1-13 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group P. Rivers (LAC)440.30510.67450.321.29 T. Savage (HOU)38-0.4742-0.5530-1.57-2.59 T. Brady (NE)36-0.7942-0.5434-1.06-2.40 K. Cousins (WAS)470.70460.03501.051.78 M. Mariota (TEN)37-0.64460.0433-1.10-1.70 At or beyond the sticks39042.89.64.43.842.6 Higher z-scores mean a quarterback throws short more often.*Short% is the share of passes that fall short of a successful play’s distance (at least 45 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third)Source: Football Outsiders Some of the names at the top of the list are predictable, including Flacco and infamous short pass maestro Alex Smith. Jay Cutler has been very dink-and-dunk oriented with Adam Gase in Miami this season, while San Francisco’s first two quarterbacks this season (Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard) made the top five.The real surprise here is the name at the very top: Drew Brees. Not only does he rank as the most conservative passer, but he has consistently stuck to this strategy no matter what the down is. To his credit, Brees has made it work — the Saints rank No. 1 in offensive DVOA and No. 6 in passing. Perhaps more accurately, the running backs are making this offense work. Through Week 13, rookie Alvin Kamara ranked as the best receiving running back while teammate Mark Ingram ranks as Football Outsiders’ top rusher. With two RBs capable of big gains on any play, it’s no surprise that Brees is throwing short early and often. We’ll see if this strategy can sustain itself — the Saints have failed to score 21 points in all four of their losses this season (each was to a playoff contender, including last night’s loss to Atlanta).At the bottom, seven quarterbacks had a combined z-score below 2.0 standard deviations. That includes the trio of favorites for the MVP race in Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz, whose aggressive styles this year have been a positive for their offenses. Similar things could have been said about Deshaun Watson before Houston’s standout rookie tore his ACL.But being aggressive is not a magic formula for success as the list plainly shows. Watson’s backup, Tom Savage, has tried to emulate Watson’s aggressive style, but without anywhere near the same success. Likewise, Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers is routinely one of the leaders in air yards per attempt, but his lack of consistency remains a problem for Tampa Bay. In Dallas, Dak Prescott is throwing aggressively, but his receivers are getting the fewest yards per carry after the catch in the league.Like with any stat, Short% is only one piece of the puzzle, and every quarterback has his own set of circumstances. As we see with Brees, a quarterback can get away with passive play if he’s extremely efficient and the team is still winning.Few quarterbacks have this type of arsenal or this type of ability, so they would be better served trusting the numbers and resisting the easy dump-off.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Some publishing companies that have been at the top of their categories (or even remain so) are now financially troubled and facing speculation about their fate. One is the residential construction giant Hanley Wood, long considered one of the best-run companies in b-to-b media. Another is Advanstar Communications, which was acquired by Veronis Suhler Stevenson in 2007 for $1.1 billion and is saddled with several hundred million in debt. (Advanstar is no stranger to bankruptcy—it endured the process in the early 1990s.)To be clear, our sources suggested that these companies might be vulnerable to a dramatic restructuring, not necessarily bankruptcy. Hanley Wood CEO Frank Anton said the company is not considering a Chapter 11 filing. Advanstar did not immediately return a request for comment. “That big media companies with a lot of leverage [usually from private-equity related M&A activity] are filing for protection is understandable right now,” said one financial observer. “When you start seeing pure strategic companies filing, that will be the bigger story. This fall should be interesting for the traditional media landscape. Only a few companies, probably, have not breached their covenants.”Clay Hall, CEO of Aspire Media—the sprawling enthusiast publisher based in Loveland, Colorado—said there are some telltale signs for companies that might be in danger. “Companies that are not number-one or number-two in their markets are likely candidates for bankruptcy,” he said. “Companies that continue to operate with the same strategies they had several years ago. Companies with debt rations of higher than four-times EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Companies with greater than 50 percent of revenue coming from advertising.”Leverage is usually the culprit. Even profitability doesn’t matter if the debt ratio is too large. “The companies that are vulnerable are the ones that have a lot of debt and are aggressively leveraged,” said Cam Bishop, founder of Clearview Resource Group, and a former CEO of both Intertec Publishing and Ascend Media. “And that’s the profile of most companies in the last five to eight years. That doesn’t mean they’re unprofitable. Some are extremely so, but covenant breaches that occur are primarily ratios that fall out of the range they’re allowed to be in, given the credit agreement. A publisher may only have one covenant—or several depending on the structure. They can be in compliance on all but one and then they’re in breach. That can force them into Chapter 11 or some kind of restructuring.”Coming Out of BankruptcyFOLIO: spoke with several publishing company operators about the bankruptcy potential within the industry, what publishers need to do to come out of it and the dangers along the way. Filing Chapter 11 filing doesn’t have to be the kiss of death. RDA CEO Mary Berner yesterday told staffers that its voluntary pre-arranged Chapter 11 filing is “the best type of bankruptcy to be in” and is “strictly a balance-sheet issue” with no mass lay-offs or salary cuts planned. The move will reduce Reader’s Digest’s debt from $2.2 billion to $550 million. RDA, which had been a publicly traded company, was acquired by the private-equity firm Ripplewood Holdings for $1.6 billion in 2006 ($2.4 billion if debt assumption is included).But that doesn’t mean it’s a painless process, particularly for the equity holders that get squeezed out and wiped out. The average Chapter 11 process in the U.S. runs for a year and a half and should be considered a last resort. “Once you go into Chapter 11, the courts have the authority to make decisions and you never know what the result will be,” said a publishing executive who wished to remain anonymous. “You go in with something prepackaged and the court could still cut a different deal. One thing to keep in mind is that when a publisher declares bankruptcy, its lenders aren’t collecting debt service. The only people that make out in Chapter 11 are the lawyers. They get paid first.” Chapter 11 also limits investment in a business—which can be fatal at a time when publishers are trying to reinvent themselves. “By the time a company gets to the Chapter 11 stage they’ve probably taken so much out that they’ve done irreparable damage to the brand,” said Harbor Communications president and co-founder (and former Penton president) Dan Ramella. “They probably need operating cash to give their properties a chance to revive themselves. As you continue to cut and trim back, the immediate effect is pretty imperceptible but as time goes on you’ve done so much damage to a brand it’s almost impossible to get it back.” Bankruptcy Not the Only OptionStill, filing for Chapter 11 isn’t the only recourse (and often it’s the threat of Chapter 11 that sends a company looking for alternatives). “Restructuring is an alternative to bankruptcy, but different classes of lenders have different rights when it comes to negotiating a restructuring,” said Canon Communications CEO Charlie McCurdy. “To accomplish one, lenders need to agree to a lower level of debt obligations. Often the threat of bankruptcy is used as a deterrent to bankruptcy in order to expedite an out-of-court restructuring.” Sometimes investors can put more money into the company to bring it back into compliance, but often credit agreements don’t allow that. “The PE guys would like to sell the business, that’s ideal,” said Ramella. “But given the nature of multiples and what’s happened in last couple years, business media is not as attractive to financial buyers as it has been in past. Historically, once they got in the game, they just kept selling to one another. Now the music finally stopped and the guys holding the businesses that are struggling can’t find someone to buy them.” Some private equity owners may just walk away. With Reader’s Digest reducing 75 percent of its debt, that’s basically what Ripplewood is doing. “Bankruptcy is all about not being able to pay creditors, whether it’s suppliers or banks or whatever,” said Ramella. “If one of these companies trips its covenants and the bank comes calling, they’re left with no option. They have to convince investors to put more in play and they don’t like to do that. It’s like people who have upside down mortgages—they just walk away. That’s what PE is doing when they have to go that route.” What Happens Next? While lenders began seeking stricter covenants last year, the industry may now see a return to “covenant-lite” deals that offer the publisher a little breathing room and flexibility to operate. Sales multiples will remain low, even as the “fire sales” so many financial observers were predicting earlier in the year become more common. “There are a lot of pre-backed businesses that aren’t overleveraged or at risk of going under,” said Ramella. “Some may be interested in taking such a business piecemeal, but how many want to try a whole business? That remains to be seen. A lot of companies are loath to sell individual properties over bundles, but the price of entry in publishing is not prohibitive. You do need deep enough pockets to find a good prospect, and if you’re patient, you’ll be a survivor. A lot of companies are struggling to have profit centers and brands that make money. They’re probably throwing cash off but not enough to cover the debt service. That’s where lot of these companies got caught.” With annual revenue of more than $2 billion, the Reader’s Digest Association may be the largest magazine publisher to ever file for bankruptcy. But it probably won’t be the last this year. The private-equity frenzy of the past decade, combined with the unprecedented downturn, has caught up with the industry. So far in recent months, supplier companies including distributor Source Interlink and printer Quebecor World filed for protection, and publishers including the newspaper giant (and owner of Connecticut magazine) Journal Register Co. and Cygnus Business Media have as well. Summit Business Media is said to be in the process of addressing several leverage covenant issues in its bank lending agreement, with sources saying the company has experienced a technical or paperwork default with its covenants rather than payment default issues. The publisher recently closed or sold off several business lines, including its art group and Executive Enterprise Institute.
WOBURN, MA — Leo P. and Eleanor T. (Trainor) Theriault, of Florida, formerly of Wilmington and Woburn.Eleanor was a loving mother and wife and Leo, a retired conductor with the B&M Railroad. Eleanor died on December 24, 2012 at the age of 89 and Leo died on October 20, 2018 at the age of 99. Both passed away in Palm Harbor, FL where they had enjoyed their retirement years, after raising their family in Wilmington for most of their lives.They are survived and will be deeply missed by their children, Paul, Bob and Jane Theriault, and their grandchildren, Ashley, Scott, Virigina and West.At the family’s request, there are no calling hours.Relatives and friends were invited to their graveside prayer service of Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m. at the Calvary Cemetery 686 Washington St, Winchester, MA 01890.Leo P. Theriault & Eleanor T. Theriault(NOTE: The above obituary is from Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home.)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… RelatedWilmington OBITUARIES (Week of April 21, 2019)In “Obituaries”Wilmington OBITUARIES (Week of April 14, 2019)In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Deborah J. (Theriault) Barnaby, 62In “Obituaries”
THE VILLAIN-NBK @JhonnyOpines The right for PK to become a CM is almost nil… And…… then this Joker Nagababu is joining the party after talking pages about family politics Downgraded Leaders….Actor Nagababu joined JanaSena Party.Full album : https://t.co/1x28I6p4D0 pic.twitter.com/g6VeDXvl9Y— JanaSena Party (@JanaSenaParty) March 20, 2019 Nagababu joins Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena PartyTwitterMegastar Chiranjeevi’s brother Nagababu aka Nagendra Babu has joined power star Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party (JSP) and will contest from Narasapuram constituency in Andhra Pradesh.Pawan Kalyan has been touring Andhra Pradesh for some time now and has single-handedly brought the Jana Sena Party to power in the state. Though there was a lot of criticism, he has received little support from his mega family. His brother Nagababu came in for his support and slammed people, including Balakrishna, for mocking him on various occasion.Now, Nagababu has gone a step ahead and decided to plunge into active politics. The actor has joined Jana Sena Party and Pawan Kalyan has announced to field him as a candidate for the Narasapuram constituency. Suresh Kondi, a publicist of Telugu films, tweeted a photo and wrote, “Actor #Nagababu joins #JanaSena in the presence of #PawanKalyan. He will contest for #Narasapuram MP. #JanasenaParty #Elections2019″Many supporters of Jana Sena Party are happy with Nagababu’s decision and his presence will make a huge difference for the party. A follower named Venkey (@ursvenkey) tweeted, “Good Move #Nagababu Anna.. This will definitely helps for @JanaSenaParty”Shiva Prasad (@shivaravuri5) tweeted, “If chanchalgooda prisioner turned into the opposition leader what’s wrong with #Nagababu sir ….!unlike jail Anna…he is lawyer and represents state interest in parliament with sound #JanasenaRevolution2019 @Pawankalyan #Janasena @TrendPSPK”But some people are not happy with Nagababu, who was one of the people, who opposed dynastic politics. They took to Twitter to mock the Jabardasth judge. Here are couple of comments.Somesh @urs_somesh Perfect planning from mega family one after another.. now what you say about family politics..first cheated with prajarajyam now with @JanaSenaParty @PawanKalyan #Nagababu now the janasainiks are became fools.. Mata medha nilabadatam kastam veellu
A nine-month-old dogecoin, a cryptocurrency has been soaring recently and touched its highest value since May, on Saturday. This has lead to the speculation that investors pump money into the cryptocurrencies to artificially inflate its price and later sell it off for a profit. Another factor that may have led to the increase in the price of dogecoin is switching the virtual currency to auxiliary proof of work (AUXPoW) or merge mining. This will allow investors to transact currency by providing an additional security to the decentralised network, according to coindesk.The sudden boost has driven market cap of dogecoin to $91 million eventually and around $40 million in one week, reported CoinDesk.However, experts opine that this boost is short-lived.”What’s happening now is a lot of investors are buying in because they see dogecoin as an attractive investment,” said a member of sub-reddit registered in the name of such_investor.US Approves Bitcoin Swap:A derivatives exchange has become the first to receive approval from US Federal Regulator on Friday as TeraExchange got approved from the Commodities Future Trading platform.This would allow investors to switch over to digital currency under the approval of US Federal reserve.Christian Martin, Tera Exchange’s CEO told Wall Street Journal: “A robust price index also helps the growing bitcoin trading community to accurately mark-to-market positions while establishing trust and stability in this growing global marketplace.”
Asian shares rose for a second session on Wednesday as a barrage of Chinese data confirmed the economy had stabilized on the back of government spending and a hot housing market, even if worries about debt continue to mount.The initial reaction was muted with few fireworks in the figures and Shanghai stocks edged up 0.2 percent.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.4 percent, on top of Tuesday’s 1.4 percent jump.Australian shares firmed 0.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2 percent.Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.7 percent in the year to September, exactly as forecasted. Private investment remained subdued with government spending and property strong.Other data showed retail sales rising a solid 10.7 percent and urban investment 8.2 percent, but industrial output disappointed by growing only 6.1 percent.”The upshot from today’s data is that economic activity seems to be holding up reasonably well, with few signs that a renewed slowdown is just around the corner,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.”Nonetheless, the recent recovery is ultimately on borrowed time given that it has been driven in large part by faster credit growth and a property market boom, both of which policymakers are now working to rein in.”Sentiment had got an early lift from Wall Street which benefited from encouraging corporate earnings. The Dow ended Tuesday up 0.42 percent, while the S&P 500 added 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq 0.85 percent.Of the 52 S&P 500 companies that have reported results to date for the third quarter, 81 percent had earnings that topped average analyst estimates, according to forecasts collated by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.One company seemingly disappointing investors was Intel, which slid 5.4 percent after the bell despite beating expectations on its earnings.POUND UP AMID BREXIT CONFUSIONA report on U.S. consumer prices showed underlying inflation moderated slightly in September to 2.2 percent, leading the market to slightly pare back bets on a December rate hike.Fed fund futures imply around a 65 percent probability of a move, down from 70 percent.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the U.S. central bank could allow inflation to run above its target.U.S. Treasury yields dipped, in line with their UK counterparts, amid confusion on whether parliament will have to ratify Britain’s exit from the European Union.British lawmakers are seen as less inclined to take a hard line on Brexit than Prime Minister Theresa May.The news headlines caught the market very short of sterling and left the pound up at $1.2291, after a rally of 1 percent on Tuesday.The dollar was steady on the yen at 103.82, after edging back from 104.20 the previous session. Against a basket of currencies it dipped 0.1 percent to 97.809 .DXY.The euro remained vulnerable at $1.0987 ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank where some investors wager President Mario Draghi will push back against talk of a tapering in its asset buying.In commodity markets, oil prices extended gains as an industry group’s data showed an unexpected draw in U.S. crude inventories last week. Brent crude LCOc1 was quoted up 47 cents at $52.15 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 added 47 cents to $50.76.
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.
Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa in Khatron Ke Khiladi 9instagramThe stunt-based reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi, is set to return with the 10th season and fans are super excited to witness a new array of dare-devil tasks performed by a new set of contestants.The shooting of the Rohit Shetty-hosted-show is currently going on in Bulgaria and the contestants – Shivin Narang, Karishma Tanna, Yeh Hai Mohabbatein actor Karan Patel, RJ Malishka, Tejasswi Prakash, Amruta Khanvilkar, comedian and host Balraj Sayal – recently flew down to the beautiful country. Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 will also see Naagin actress Adaa Khan, Dharmesh Yelande and Bhojpuri queen Rani Chatterjee.And now, joining the gang is another couple – Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa. The comedian and her husband, who participated in the previous season of Khatron Ke Khiladi, had entertained the audience with their fun antics and also received a lot of love.In fact, post the show, Bharti and Harsh went on to start a new prank-based stunt show Khatra Khatra Khatra, which too is garnering love from viewers. Hence, it looks like the makers of Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 have invited them once again to cash in on their popularity.According to a SpotboyE report, viewers will see the couple performing some stunts along with the other contestants and when there’s Bharti, one can expect loads of laughter.Although the Bulgaria shoot schedule is likely to last for 45 days, the show will be aired in the beginning of next year after Bigg Boss 13 concludes.Last year, choreographer Punit J Pathak had won the trophy defeating Aditya Narayan. Khatron Ke Khiladi has always managed to top the TRP charts leaving behind other popular TV show, including The Kapil Sharma Show. Khatron Ke Khiladi 10Twitter
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters File photoThe White House said on Monday it appears the Syrian government is preparing for another chemical weapons attack and it warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he and his military would “pay a heavy price” if it conducts such an attack.The White House statement said preparations by Syria were similar to those undertaken before an April 4 chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians and prompted President Donald Trump to order a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base.Trump ordered the strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria in April in reaction to what Washington said was a poison gas attack by Assad’s government that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory. Syria denied it carried out the attack.The strike was the toughest direct US action yet in Syria’s six-year-old civil war, raising the risk of confrontation with Russia and Iran, Assad’s two main military backers.US officials at the time called the intervention a “one-off” intended to deter future chemical weapons attacks and not an expansion of the US role in the Syrian war.The United States has taken a series of actions over the past three months demonstrating its willingness to carry out strikes, mostly in self-defense, against Syrian government forces and their backers, including Iran.The United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Twitter: “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia and Iran who support him killing his own people.”Since the April military strike, Washington has repeatedly struck Iranian-backed militia and even shot down a drone threatening US-led coalition forces. The US military also shot down a Syrian jet earlier this month.Trump has also ordered stepped-up military operations against the Islamic State militant group and delegated more authority to his generals.