July 12

Standard Group Limited (SGL.ke) 2016 Annual Report

first_imgStandard Group Limited (SGL.ke) listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Retail sector has released it’s 2016 annual report.For more information about Standard Group Limited (SGL.ke) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Standard Group Limited (SGL.ke) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Standard Group Limited (SGL.ke)  2016 annual report.Company ProfileStandard Group Limited is a major publishing and broadcasting company in Kenya with interests in print, radio and TV and digital media. Well-known brands include The Standard newspaper; the second-largest national newspaper and the flagship product of the publishing group; Kenya Television Network (KTN), a private, independent TV station; KTN News, a 24-hour news channel; Bamba TV; operated via Lancia Digital Broadcasting and offering international and local channels; Radio Maisha, a radio station offering listeners a wide selection of news, entertainment and current affairs programmes; The Nairobian, a leading weekly newspaper; Standard Digital, a leading online publishing platform; Think Outdoor, an outdoor advertising agency placing billboards in strategic sites. The company was founded in 1902 and its head office is in Nairobi, Kenya. The Standard Group Limited is a subsidiary of S.N.G Holdings Limited. Standard Group Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

July 5

Forget a Cash ISA! I’d buy dirt-cheap FTSE 100 dividend stocks today

first_img Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Roland Head | Saturday, 25th July, 2020 | More on: BATS PHNX VOD Enter Your Email Address See all posts by Roland Head Cash ISAs have become pretty hopeless for anyone needing an income from their savings and investments. The best one-year rate I can find at the time of writing is just 1.2%. For a long-term income, I think it makes more sense to buy FTSE 100 dividend stocks.For this piece, I’ve selected three stocks with an average forecast yield of 7.1%. All three payouts should be backed by cash flow — I think they look safe for the foreseeable future.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…A sinful 8% payoutHealth-conscious investors should look away now. Dividends at British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) depend on cigarette brands such as Dunhill, Rothmans and Lucky Strike.Sales have suffered slightly due to lockdown restrictions in some markets, but the company still expects revenue growth of between 1% and 3% this year.Not all investors are comfortable with tobacco stocks. But the financial reality is that BATS enjoys stable profits, high profit margins and strong cash generation. Net debt is gradually falling after a series of acquisitions and chief executive Jack Bowles seems confident that dividend growth can be maintained.Although I’d like to see BATS’ debt a little lower, I agree with Mr Bowles. Last year’s 203p per share payout was comfortably covered by free cash flow.Analysts expect the dividend to rise by 7% to 217p per share this year, giving a forecast yield of 8.1%. I think this FTSE 100 dividend stock remains a top pick for income.This dividend stalwart looks like a buy to meMy next pick is telecoms giant Vodafone Group (LSE: VOD). Best known as a mobile operator in the UK, it’s also one of the biggest broadband network operators in mainland Europe and a top mobile operator in Africa.The group’s operations are being fine-tuned and focused by chief executive Nick Read, who was previously Vodafone’s finance boss. He knows exactly how all the nuts and bolts go together. I believe he’s doing a good job restoring the firm’s reputation as a top FTSE 100 dividend stock.Although the UK government’s decision to ban Huawei kit from UK networks is a blow, Vodafone has until 2027 to remove all of the Chinese firm’s kit from its 5G network. Equipment used on older networks will be allowed to stay in place.I suspect the cost of these changes will be absorbed without too much difficulty. I certainly don’t think it will pose a threat to Vodafone’s 6.3% dividend yield, which was comfortably covered by surplus cash last year.Don’t overlook this FTSE 100 dividend stockYou might not have heard of FTSE 100 life insurer Phoenix Group (LON: PHNX). This is because the firm’s activities are mostly concerned with managing closed books of older policies, which it buys from other insurance companies.Phoenix is a specialised and efficient business that generates a lot of surplus cash. Although dividend growth has only averaged about 2% in recent years, that’s enough to match inflation. And with the shares offering a yield of 7%, shareholders receive a decent cash return on their investment each year.The only downside of this business is that it’s difficult to understand. We really don’t have much choice but to trust the firm’s calculations about future profits and cash flow. However, I’ve been following this stock for some time and believe Phoenix has a good track record of delivering on its promises.center_img Forget a Cash ISA! I’d buy dirt-cheap FTSE 100 dividend stocks today Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Image source: Getty Images. Roland Head owns shares of British American Tobacco. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997”last_img read more

July 5

I’d follow Warren Buffett’s advice to buy the best UK shares right now

first_imgI’d follow Warren Buffett’s advice to buy the best UK shares right now jonathansmith1 has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Ocado Group and Rightmove. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Image source: The Motley Fool Enter Your Email Address “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Warren Buffett is known as one of the most successful investors in the world. One of the reasons why he’s well respected is because of his performance over a long period. Buffett is currently 90 years old, but still has his finger on the pulse of financial markets. Over the decades, he’s provided a lot of advice for investors like myself to pick up on. I want to try and use this when looking for the best UK shares to buy right now.A contrarian investment approachBack in 2008, Warren Buffett was quoted as saying that “a simple rule dictates my buying: be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful”. This can be termed as a contrarian approach to investing. When other investors are greedy and the stock markets are high, Buffett would be fearful. 5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…On the flipside, during times when the stock market is falling (think about when Buffett made the comment in 2008), it can be a time to buy. The thinking here is that stocks may be oversold during fearful times. In this way, the true value of the stock might differ from the share price during a period of high stress. In this way, a contrarian approach of buying undervalued stocks when others are selling could offer me a profitable long-term investment strategy. Over time, I would expect the share price of the UK share I bought to return to a fair value. In this way, it should generate me a profit.Finding the best UK shares to buy nowAt the moment, I can apply this advice when looking for the best UK shares to buy now. For example, investors have piled in to popular stocks during lockdown, such as Ocado Group. I’d be cautious about rating this as the best UK share to buy now. I appreciate that concerns around the Indian variant of Covid-19 are high, but I think that we’ve had the last full lockdown in the UK. So instead of being greedy and buying this stock, I think there are better opportunities elsewhere.At a broader market level, I’d be using the dips we’re seeing in the FTSE 100 to buy. Last week there was a couple of days when investors were fearful and the index sold off. Some of the stocks within the index fell more than I think was fair.For example, Rightmove shares fell 5% in two days. I wouldn’t be fearful here, and would mark it as one of my best UK shares to buy now. This looks beyond the fear last week, and more towards the outlook for the property sector this year and next year.I could make mistakes, of course. But overall, I think that trying to be more contrarian in nature and looking past short-term moves should help me to be more profitable with the UK shares I’m thinking of buying.  Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.center_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Jonathan Smith Jonathan Smith | Tuesday, 18th May, 2021 I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.last_img read more

June 23

Three countries, one league: how to bolster rugby in Portugal, Spain and Italy

first_imgThe Mediterraneo Liga or ‘Mediterranean Top 6’ should be the way to go for the three nations. Spain, Portugal and Italy need to work together and start to play regularly with each other, opening the international experience to more players than just the national teams. This may be a dream but it could become a reality.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Iberian tussle: VRAC from Spain compete with Lisbon-based Direito in a club match (Miguel Rodrigues) So, six teams, in a league of five rounds over five weekends, in a round-robin championship for the first and second year. If this league captures the interest of more investors, it might be possible to welcome more regions and go on to make a new kind of official competition.You could follow the southern hemisphere example, and have a local clubs competition spanning four to six months (say, September to February) and then on to one or two months of the Liga Mediterraneo (March to April).Derby duel: Zebre score against Treviso last year. Critics say the Italian clubs are too weak for the Pro12In case of a clash with the European Nations Cup, the competition would start only in April-May, leaving February and March to the national squads. If they in turn are a problem, you could play it at the same time, giving an opportunity to even more players who are far from the national standards. This benefits the country’s pool, with more and more players suited to serve the national squads in the future.If all goes well, this would amount to a 30-man squad in the national side, plus another 30 in each region, reaching a total of 60 national-pool prepared players to play at a higher level. Thirty players would be involved in playing for Portugal, Spain or Italy, while the others could represent their regions against the other two countries.Funding obstacleThe biggest challenge, however, is the investment and budget. From travelling to lodging costs, to marketing and advertisement, the Liga Mediterraneo would naturally have an impact on the annual budget of the teams. Travel between Portugal, Spain and Italy can be costly, with an average of €90-100 per return ticket, even when using low-cost airlines (EasyJet, Vueling, Ryanair, Transavia).If a team has a maximum of three trips, the total costs would be around €14,000-20,000 a year. This includes flights and hotel stays for a 36-man man squad (30 players, plus six staff). So to address this problem, it’s necessary to bring in investors and convince them it will be advantageous for them.Pedro Leal, Portugal’s sevens captain, in action for his club Direito against VRAC (Miguel Rodrigues)But before you can get the big companies, you’ll need a TV spot. Broadcasting the competition is a huge lure to attract sponsors, though the small number of rugby viewers might be a major problem.Another way to get sponsors’ investment is by selling naming rights for the competition or for the region. Use the players for marketing and have the local clubs sponsoring the competition in some way (as they will have their own players in the regional team). For instance, each team could contribute €100 per month to the coffers of the Mediterraneo Liga.In the case of Portugal, with its ten Premiership teams, this would amount to €10,000 (July and August being the off-season), which would be divided equally by the regions.Working togetherIt’s important that people in the rugby community trust each other and understand that this type of project requires teamwork. In the end, each region has to welcome players from different clubs and not just the top ones.It’s possible that during the first and second year, the top investors will derive from companies attached to the many rugby teams (such as Licor Beirão in Lousã or Entrepinares in Valladolid), but in the long run the competition has to be strong enough to make investors ‘fall in love’ and support it.For them, advertising billboards or a website with banners isn’t enough, it has to be something bigger than that, like TV ads. You need to get investors involved in junior competitions, attract parents and families and have the U10s, U12s and U14s perform activities that create publicity.Spanish steps: Joan Losada (right) in action for a Spain team that is making waves on the sevens sceneAnd there are other ways of financing the competitions, like asking for help from the governing body or organising fund-raising events in clubs and regional gatherings. A good example would be bank sponsorship. You don’t see the advantages in the short term but if you can stay involved long enough to get 70% of the rugby community to get to know and follow the sponsor, a bank could open hundreds or even thousands of bank accounts, creating a bond between the local teams, players, parents and that sponsor. Do you know who the Portuguese club champions are? Or the Spanish? Maybe the Italian? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Unsurprisingly, the average fan outside those countries doesn’t know the answer, as those three leagues are ‘out of reach’ for many reasons: a lack of profile; a small fan base; quality and quantity way below the great powers of Europe (like the Aviva Premiership, Top 14 or Guinness Pro12); little or no interest by local companies in investing in rugby teams.As the sport grows globally, Portugal still lives in a sort of rugby Dark Ages, while Spain are trying to take off (once again) and Italy are under a cloud of doubts over their future. But in the 21st century, rugby could use those three countries to further elevate the global standing of the sport.To that end, it needs new partners, to expand championships or create new ones – in this case in southern Europe. But how can Portugal, Spain and Italy go the extra mile?Strengthening the pyramidRelying solely on national teams is not the solution. You need strong squads and/or regions to attract new players and subject the ones already playing to a tougher competition. Take the Portuguese Premiership: it has ten teams, three or four of which have a realistic shot at the title but only two of which have been champions in the last seven years, CDUL (twice) and GD Direito (five times), with the latter former winning the Iberian Cup and achieving the maiden Portuguese victory in Challenge Cup qualifying.Portugal’s national teams (XVs and sevens) are on the slide and the quality of the game has gone from stale to chaotic. One way to take local players to a higher level is by giving them the chance of acquiring experience in international club competitions, because it exposes them to other types of rugby and gives them a different view of the sport away from the routine of their domestic competitions.Keeping the faith: Portuguese rugby has declined since their World Cup exploits of a decade ago (Getty)How can this be done? One way would be to create a Mediterranean League, or ‘Liga Mediterraneo’, though this raises several questions: Which clubs or regions should participate? How should the competition be structured? When should it happen? Where does the funding come from?Regarding participants, it would be interesting to see the winners and runner-ups of each national championship face each other in a round-robin competition. In this model, six teams would each play five games. For the clubs bagging the top two places it would be a great opportunity for continued growth.Perhaps you could also award a wildcard to the best ‘Fair Play’ team in each country, although this option runs the risk of lowering the competition’s standards.Region over clubThere is the option of going for a regional team, building set-ups with the best players in Portugal’s south and north regions, and in Italy’s central and north-west regions. Essentially, it would be replacing pride in the club with respect for the region.This could attract a wider interest from investors and sponsors, as well as build a bigger fan base for the league. The champion side could have a 40% say on the 30-man squad, with the rest being players from the top division.However, here too lies a problem: training days and location. Where would the training grounds be? Consider the Spanish example: in the central-west region, we have the Madrid teams (CRC Madrid, Alcobendas and Complutense) and the Valladolid teams (El Salvador and VRAC). This would force one part of the selected players to travel for one or two hours to practise with the region’s team.Steamed up: the Olympus Madrid team after a Challenge Cup match at Worcester in 2010 (Getty Images)Could it be done? And what about Italian franchises Treviso and Zebre? Would they be allowed to play, as they already take part in the high-level Pro12 and European cups?Whatever the case, it seems clear that regions are the way to go, as you could get more investment, potentially a wider fan basis and stronger sides, and give players from smaller local clubs a taste of international rugby.Bridging the gapThere is one more advantage to this model: the best players of each club would get to play with each other for five weekends, creating a stepping stone to the national squads beside the U20 national teams. Which in Portugal’s case would be especially good news, as many of the players aged between 19 and 24 (the average age for national squad selection) have no experience of playing with their rivals, making things harder when they get picked for the Portugal team.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Creating a Mediterranean League would strengthen the player pool in Iberia and Italy, says Portuguese prop Francisco Isaac. But it would need the collaboration of all parties last_img read more

June 23

2019 Rugby World Cup: England 45-7 USA

first_imgRelated: Rugby World Cup TV CoverageThe reactionEngland coach Eddie Jones: “I’m pleased with where we are; after two games we’ve got ten points and conceded one try. Can we play better? Yes. And we’ll need to play better in the next game (against Argentina).”USA coach Gary Gold: “We have a fantastic group of guys wh0 want to work hard, but we were taught a lesson today. We lost every single aspect; we lost the collisions, the set-piece, defensively and most importantly we lost the kicking game.“With regards Quilly (red card), I’m not sure it can be made any clearer. You’re not allowed to make contact with the head and you have to use your arms. He didn’t do either and we’ll have to face the consequences.”The TeamsEngland: Elliot Daly; Ruaridh McConnochie (Anthony Watson 60), Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis (Owen Farrell 49), Joe Cokanasiga; George Ford (captain), Willi Heinz (Ben Youngs 49); Joe Marler (Ellis Genge ht), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Jack Singleton 69), Dan Cole (Kyle Sinckler ht), Joe Launchbury (Courtney Lawes  49), George Kruis, Tom Curry, Lewis Ludlam, Billy Vunipola (Mark Wilson ht).Tries: Ford 6, Vunipola 25, Cowan-Dickie 33, Cokanasiga 48, 76, McConnochie 58, Ludlam 67. Cons: Ford 5.USA: Will Hooley (Mike Te’o 43-53); Blaine Scully (captain), Marcel Brache, Paul Lasike (Bryce Campbell 60), Martin Iosefo (Mike Te’o 63); AJ MacGinty, Shaun Davies (Ruben de Haas 50); David Ainuu (Olive Kilifi 3), Joe Taufete’e (Dylan Fawsitt 60), Titi Lamositele (Paul Mullen 43), Ben Landry, Nick Civetta (Greg Peterson 50), Tony Lamborn Hanco Germishuys 60), John Quill, Cam Dolan.Try: Campbell 80. Con: MacGinty.Red Card: John Quill (70min).Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features. Leading the way: George Ford breaks to score England’s (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Related: World Rugby criticises World Cup refereeingAs for England, George Ford got the early try, scything under the posts after just six minutes and converting his score, but it was when his side got their driving maul in gear that they really started motoring.USA scrambled well in open play and put in some powerful hits in defence that seemed to knock their opponents out of their rhythm and force a few errors, but they had no answer to England’s maul in the second quarter.Billy Vunipola was the first to benefit, England driving forward fast from a five-metre lineout and the No 8 touching down in the 25th minute.Then Luke Cowan-Dickie followed suit within ten minutes as England set their maul again on the opposite side of the pitch. This one was from further out, but delivered the same result when a group splintered from the front and the hooker grounded.Stop sign: Joe Launchbury of England is tackled by John Quill and Titi Lamositele (Getty Images)In the second half, it was in the wide channels where England got the most reward, with both Joe Cokanasiga and Ruaridh McConnochie crossing on the right to ensure England left Kobe with a try bonus point.In the final quarter, a neat jinking run from George Ford set up Lewis Ludlam for a try and Cokanasiga got a second after an initial charge from Ellis Genge.The USA did cross the whitewash with the final play, Bryce Campbell going under the posts as the game broke up in the closing moments, and it was a sign of their determination to do so without the red-carded Quill and Will Hooley, who was taken off on a stretcher late on.England will be disappointed with their error count again, but their biggest worry will be whether Piers Francis is cited for this tackle on Hooley from the kick-off… England secure a bonus-point win in Kobe while the Eagles have a player sent off 2019 Rugby World Cup: England 45-7 USAHead-to-headPlayed – 6England wins – 6USA wins – 0Did You Know?Dan Cole and Ben Youngs have drawn level with Jonny Wilkinson – who is third in England’s all-time caps’ list – by making their 91st Test appearances against USA.Related: Rugby World Cup FixturesRaise the roof: England rise for a lineout at Kobe Misaki Stadium (Getty Images)In a nutshellEngland ran in seven tries and could have had more in a one-sided victory over the USA, who defended resolutely but offered little in attack – and had a player red-carded.Openside John Quill was sent off in the 70th minute for a head-high shoulder hit on Owen Farrell. There have been plenty of dangerous tackles in this World Cup, but this is the first time a red card has been brandished – and it was undoubtedly the correct decision. Star manJonathan Joseph looked sharp with ball in hand, demonstrating why he is such a dangerous runner, George Ford led the attack well and Tom Curry gave a typically all-action display, but Lewis Ludlam gets the nod from us.Not only did he add his power to England’s maul but he made ground with individual carries in midfield (he was the game’s top carrier with 14), was a nuisance at the breakdown to win penalties, tackled hard (he was England’s top tackler with seven) and rounded off his performance with a try. Also make sure you know about the Groups, Warm-ups, Dates, Fixtures, Venues, TV Coverage, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. TAGS: USA last_img read more

June 23

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles

first_imgThe Kapiti Coast is calling Dane Coles back, but the All Black has built quite a legacy at the Hurricanes The Hurricanes can reap the benefit of this too. Sure he has performed wonderfully on the park for the franchise, being a leader, a figurehead and at times a lightning rod for them. However, he is willing to give his time.In June, the All Blacks media team posted a video of Coles scampering around with young players at the Poneke club in Wellington. Having joined the club as a teenager coming in from the Kapiti Coast, he has kept in touch since. In the video Coles also describes times spent having “a few beers with the old-timers” or chatting away as somewhat therapeutic when things in his career have wobbled.Related: North v South: What would the England teams be?In recent years Coles has known real issues with concussions, as well as the wreckage of ruptured knee ligaments. Missing out on the 2017 Lions series; damaging his knee in a Test series with France – he has had sour spells. At the height of his concussion troubles, Coles could jog for half an hour and then be bed-bound for what felt like eight hours.He derives a huge amount of pride in taking his recovery seriously but then coming back swinging when fit. To get to this stage of his career, with the accolades he has, the 33-year-old is proud that he fought for it all.Flying high: While facing the Blues (Getty Images)Coles says he is not one to look back and think “what if?” He describes pain as part of the gig. He admits he has had times when he felt sorry for himself, but look at all the fine things he’s achieved.There’s time for looking ahead, though. When his stint with the Hurricanes is eventually over, Coles is considering a pole-slide into a new field: firefighting.“I’ve been in touch with a few people and when I do get to the end of my career it’s something I look forward to doing,” Coles says of putting out flames.“The team-environment element is quite appealing. Obviously being a rugby player you’re working as a team, but this is also something completely away from rugby. It would be out of my comfort zone and I suppose you have to be driven to do it.Related: An offbeat Q&A with Beauden Barrett“I’d want to get into rugby in some way too, like with a first XV on the coaching side, getting away from the professional scene and into something completely different. That has driven me.“The rugby team environment is tough to lose. You hear some pretty sad stories. The team dynamic thing: you just gravitate towards your mates, doing things together and taking responsibility for your actions. There are so many good things about what rugby teaches you. I can’t speak for everyone, but with the rugby environment you’ve just got to cherish it and when it’s time to move on you’ve just got to get into it, get stuck in, look forward to the next challenge.”Does he think about what is next more than when he was younger, owing to the horrific back catalogue of injuries?“Definitely, mate. All the time. Every week you probably find yourself thinking about it. At the back-end of my career it’s important I focus on it – I’ve got to make sure I plan and look after my family as well. That’s what drives me towards the next stage of my life.”Laying it off: While facing Ireland at the RWC (Getty Images)There’s the rugby to conclude first, though. Which means plenty more opportunities to see Coles in flight.He laughs at how novel the idea of a hooker playing out wide still seems to some, 25 years into professional rugby. Though he does admit that the use of forwards in the wide channels suits the Hurricanes’ personnel anyway – with him and Asafo Aumua and Ricky Riccitelli the hooking options – maybe us, the public, are slow to pick up on tactical trends. The All Blacks have also changed their set-up a few times, with Coles being a weapon in the middle. It depends on an individual’s skill-set.Maybe there is still the ‘meathead’ stigma about front-rowers, Coles says. It may always be there. Maybe it will help players like him catch you unawares.He adds: “You’ve got to evolve, mate. If front-rowers can pass and chip-kick, add little bits to the game, it’s great for the game, it evolves the game.”Coles also laughs about his evolution as a father: some days he gets it right, some days not. But he loves it. What can his three kids get up to, back in Kapiti? This article originally appeared in the September 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Hometown hero: Veteran hooker Dane Coles (Getty Images) Mischief seems to find Dane Coles. It always has.Growing up on the Kapiti Coast, before becoming an All Black hooker looked like a certainty, Coles was sneaking into the henhouse on his pal’s farm to pilfer ammo – no passing car was safe from gooey carnage.“We definitely found a way to get in trouble!” Coles regales Rugby World. “A mate of mine had a farm and his parents had a chicken coop. We used to get the eggs and go egg cars, stuff like that. And then the cars would stop and we’d bloody run away as fast as we could.“It is a small town. A few times word got out and they were straight round to my mate’s house. We got in a bit of trouble… So it was a good life lesson!”Some could suggest Coles is still a fan of chaos and no less feisty for early finger-waggings.Related: All Blacks name squad for Rugby ChampionshipWe have grown accustomed to seeing him pop up in unexpected areas on the pitch, a grizzled presence in the land of the backs. And when there are shirt grabs and shoving to be had, he’s not far away. Always there’s that sly look too – lest we forget his try against the Blues at the start of Super Rugby Aotearoa, as he smirked at former team-mate Beauden Barrett while running it in?Old friends: Coles eyes up Beauden Barrett (Getty Images)There is something in looking back at those early days, though. They linger a little with Coles. There are echoes of a siren’s call from Kapiti for him.Coles goes on of his hometown: “All my best mates, guys I’m still friends with, all live there. And I’m actually moving home in the next year or two.“It’s a great place, a small town, and you just play rugby for the love of the game. A trip into town was like the biggest thing – you felt like a rock star getting the train into Wellington.“It was just a great place to grow up, real easy-going, and it taught me a lot of life lessons, about always remaining humble and being grateful for what I have. If I ever get big-headed I just go back home and the boys will put me back into line straightaway, you know?“I am really grateful that I grew up in a small place. I love it.”Coles has plenty else to be grateful for. First capped in 2012, the hooker would go on to be a must-pick for the All Blacks. In 2015 he was a key figure in the World Cup win. The next year – his seventh with the Hurricanes – he was made captain of a side that had lost Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Jeremy Thrush and Ben Franks. It was him and the kids.Coles remembers playing a Waratahs team late in that season that had “basically the Wallabies pack”. They were pushed off a few scrums but they kept fighting back. They won 28-17, the moment Coles realised they could claim a first-ever Super Rugby title.Big laugh: With Chiefs tighthead Nepo Laulala (Getty Images)For Coles, that moment they took the title against the Lions, 20-3, ranks right alongside the 2015 World Cup victory. He struggles to separate them in his head. He shouldn’t have to.But he’s had similar difficulties getting separation from hooking rival Codie Taylor, joking: “I can’t get rid of him!”The Crusaders No 2 is from the same province, a celebrated son of Levin, just a half-hour from Coles’s Paraparaumu. That two hookers would go on to be successful Test men from a region boasting such a sparse history of producing All Blacks is astounding.Related: Jimmy Gopperth, the classy Kiwi at Wasps“I don’t think there was anything in the water or what we ate,” Coles laughs. “We’re from a very small union and we are very proud. It’s awesome. We get on really good and there are not too many who make it from Horowhenua-Kapiti. So it’s awesome to see another guy from there on the big stage, especially another hooker, to go to World Cups. It has been pretty cool.“I was just starting out in professional rugby and you would hear about this young hooker from Levin who was making New Zealand Schools. The next thing you’re in the All Blacks together! The smalltown bond’s been pretty cool.”Coles goes on to explain the merits of slogging it out in the lowly Heartland competition, in which largely amateur players give their all. He’s been on the receiving end of 100-point hammerings.What a view: Coles training with New Zealand in Japan (Getty Images)But the wonderful thing, he adds, is that wherever players go on to they should always have a connection with their hometown unions. You carry a sense of representing people who first started trying to mould you into the person you now are. Coles feels a need to give back to them when he can.last_img read more

June 19

Apopka teenager is one of Florida’s Top Youth Volunteers Of 2018

first_img Reply From PRNewswireAn Apopka teenager has been named a Distinguished Finalist in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.Jessica Carscadden, 15, a freshman at Apopka High School, is the founder of “We Care Bears,” a nonprofit that has provided more than 35,000 stuffed animals to first responders and organizations around the country to comfort children in traumatic situations. Jessica, who was comforted by a stuffed monkey when she was adopted at five years old, has mobilized kid volunteers as young as six to support her mission.Carscadden was featured in The Apopka Voice back in October of 2016 for an event she organized in coordination with Wolf Lake Middle School, the Apopka Fire, and Police Departments. To read it, go here. February 8, 2018 at 8:31 am February 8, 2018 at 8:15 am Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Yesterday we decided to sit in on the CRA meeting at City Hall. We were expecting it to be quickly over, but it ended up going way overtime, and delaying the next meeting which was the regular scheduled city council meeting that was supposed to start at 1:30 pm, but it was 1:57 pm before the CRA meeting ended, as the board was arguing back and forth about mainly the fact that some on the board believed that the meeting should be tabled, to another date in order to give the public more time to come and speak up on what they want their CRA funds to be spent on, plus an opportunity for a presentation to be made, by two persons who have done a lot of work on the CRA, and what they believe the funds should be spent on…..so that was the sticking point that delayed the CRA meeting…… Mama Mia Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Mama Mia Mama Mia Congratulations to you Jessica, you are amazing! So then the regular city council meeting started after the CRA let out, and maybe I am wrong, maybe I was in a trance after hearing all that arguing, from listening to the CRA board, the city attorney, and the others, but ……okay, maybe I am wrong, BUT, did the mayor actually skip over the public comment section of the regular city council meeting??? I am asking because it seemed that way to me! I mean, I was right there, I did not plan on speaking or anything like that, but is that how it was? I don’t remember him calling for public comment….I could be wrong. I will have to wait to hear the audio to know for sure, but I don’t remember him calling for public comment at the regular council meeting…after the previous CRA meeting, and that was part of the sticking point that delayed the CRA meeting…some on the board believed that the public should be heard!!! The citizens who are in the CRA borders of the city, mainly. Uh uh uh……. Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 February 8, 2018 at 8:23 am Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Reply Reply Ah yes, I listened to the audio. Okay, you can listen for yourself, it is on the last city council meeting’s audio. The mayor stated for everyone to turn their cellphones off, and that if anyone wished to speak at the city council meeting, then to fill out a speaker card, and turn it in, and that we will proceed from there…..sounds on course, right? Well, not soooooo fast….lol, as then the mayor DID NOT ask Linda, the city clerk, if there were any speaker cards, nor did he ask anyone else in the audience if they wished to speak, during the public comment section, as he skipped right on to the next item on the agenda……isn’t he slick?!! He just HATES to hear from the public! Gosh, it must really hurt his ears! Mama Mia TAGSWe Care Bears Previous articleYour mobile phone can give away your location, even if you tell it not toNext articleSullivan’s staff returns to Apopka this month Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 4 COMMENTS UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Please enter your comment! The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, now in its 23rd year, is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).Jessica Carscadden“Prudential is proud to recognize these remarkable young people for using their energy, creativity, and compassion to bring meaningful change to their communities,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “We hope their stories inspire others to consider how they can do the same.”Since the program began in 1995, more than 120,000 young volunteers have been honored at the local, state and national level. The program also is conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China, Brazil, and Poland. In addition to granting its own awards, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program also distributes President’s Volunteer Service Awards to qualifying Local Honorees.The NASSP is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthen school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org. Reply February 8, 2018 at 10:21 pmlast_img read more

June 19

September’s above-average rainfall improves Floridan aquifer conditions

first_img Please enter your comment! LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply From St. Johns River Water Management DistrictHigh September rainfall has boosted the St. Johns River Water Management District’s cumulative 12-month rainfall totals over its long-term average by 2.65 inches. While abundant rainfall continued to shrink a yearlong rainfall deficit in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler counties, it also caused flooding from Astor through the Lower St. Johns River Basin.September highlights include:RainfallDistrictwide, September rainfall averaged 7.70 inches, nearly an inch above the long-term average for the month.A large zone of above-average rainfall was recorded from Orange County through northern Brevard, Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties. Orange County had the highest county-wide total, 10.4 inches. Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns had greater than 9 inches of rain.Along the north, west and south boundaries of the District, rainfall was below average. Counties with the smallest rainfall totals were Baker, Indian River and Duval.Districtwide, the cumulative rainfall total over the last 12 months is 53.66 inches, which is 2.65 inches above the long-term average.Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties continued to benefit from above-average rain and are now within 5 inches of their long-term averages.Volusia County received the most rainfall over the last 12 months, with a countywide total of 60.2 inches.GroundwaterUpper Floridan aquifer conditions (groundwater levels) at the end of September were in the high range across much of the central and southern portions of the District, while the northern portion of the District recorded conditions in the normal range.Groundwater levels are at the 81st percentile districtwide. This means that since 1980, aquifer levels have been higher than they are now about 19 percent of the time.Surface water flowsSurface water flow conditions in the St. Johns River’s headwaters were in the average range for this time of year.Flow in the headwaters at the Melbourne station was 1.09 billion gallons per day (bgd) on Sept. 1, which is in the 68th percentile of flow conditions for this time of year.Flow in the Econlockhatchee River near Chuluota was 603 million gallons per day (mgd), which is in the 77th percentile of flow conditions for this time of year.Orlando-area tributaries were in the high or very high flow ranges. Flow conditions in central Florida were in the high range on Sept. 1, with the DeLand station reporting 5.3 bgd, or in the 90th percentile, while the Satsuma station reported 8.06 bgd (83rd percentile).Flows in the Wekiva River near Sanford were in the high to very high range at 526 mgd (98th percentile).The St. Johns River at Astor, just south of Lake George, has been at moderate or minor flood stage since mid-September, and minor flooding has occurred along the lower St. Johns River and its tributaries related to tidal cycles.Flows in the Ocklawaha River, the largest tributary to the St. Johns River, were 810 mgd, or in the 71st percentile.Flows in the St. Marys River near Macclenny were 738 mgd (78th percentile).Lake levelsLake Brooklyn water levels increased slightly in September to 100.4 feet, remaining below its long-term average.Lake Weir increased 0.2 foot during September to 54.2 feet.Lake Apopka’s water level increased near the end of September, but the District allowed discharges through the downstream structure to lower it to regulation schedule.Blue Cypress Lake levels increased more than a foot to 22.7 feet during September, resulting in discharges. Keeping water levels low in the Upper St. Johns River Basin helps the District prepare for greater rainfall during the tropical season.Spring flowsThe mean monthly flow at Silver Springs increased to 652 cubic feet per second (cfs), or 421 mgd. This represents a 36 cfs increase compared to August.At the Blue Spring station in Volusia County, the mean monthly flow was recorded at 151 cfs, or 98 mgd, which is within the normal range for the time of year.At Rock Springs, the monthly mean flow was 60 cfs (39 mgd), an increase of 2 cfs compared to August.Mean monthly flow at Wekiwa Springs was 68 cfs (44 mgd), an increase of 2 cfs.To learn more about rainfall totals and other hydrologic data collected, visit sjrwmd.com.St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the District and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The District encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville and Palm Bay. Connect with Twitter at @SJRWMD, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For more information about the District, please visit www.sjrwmd.com. Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Please enter your name here TAGSRainfallSeptemberSt. Johns River Water Management District Previous articleNew report: Florida ranks #46 for college graduates during COVIDNext articleApopka Burglary Report Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 The Anatomy of Fear Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address herelast_img read more

June 12

Provincial correspondent gets three-month suspended prison sentence for using leaked documents

first_imgNews News AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa May 18, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders condemns the three-month suspended prison sentence and fine of 30,000 dinars (350 euros) which a court in the city of Annaba (600 km east of Algiers) imposed yesterday on journalist Noureddine Boukraa for “violating the confidentiality of a judicial investigation by use of classified documents.” The court dismissed additional charges of libel and damaging the “reputation of a state entity” brought by the prosecutor’s office, which had requested a more severe sentence.“Press offences should not be punished by prison sentences, whether suspended or not,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The fragile freedoms available to journalists in Algeria need to be consolidated by means of legislative reform. Boukraa was punished despite respecting and applying the correct procedures for journalistic investigation and verification.”A correspondent for the national Arabic-language daily Ennahar, Boukraa was convicted in connection with a 12 November 2007 article in which, on the basis of leaked documents, he accused members of the police of influence-peddling.————————————————————22.10.2008 Reporters without borders urges dismissal of case after ministry seeks one year jail sentence against journalistReporters Without Borders said today it was shocked that the public ministry had called for a one-year jail sentence against journalist Noureddine Boukraa, at a court hearing in Annaba, 600 kilometres east of the capital Algiers on 13 October 2008. Sentence is due on 26 October.Boukraa, who worked for the daily newspaper Ennahar, was convicted of three charges after the public security chief in Annaba, Draia Messaoud, laid a complaint over an article on 12 November 2007, in which the journalist accused members of the local police force of influence-peddling. He was charged with “breaching the confidentiality of an investigation by using classified documents”, “damaging the reputation of a constitutional state body” and “defamation”. Messaoud, who is a civil party to the case, is claiming 60,000 dinars (700 euros) in damages.The journalist obtained his information from a former head of the security branch of the police force, who has also been charged. Boukraa was held in custody from March to June 2008. “The court has cast doubt on my profession as a journalist by charging me with telling the truth”, Boukraa told Reporters Without Borders. He said the judges did not contest the reliability of what he reported but the fact of divulging the information.“I am in now way obliged to preserve secrecy when an official stops respecting his commitment to public service and is motivated by personal gain”, he added.“Noureddine Boukraa is facing prison for having exposed nepotism within some services of the police. This case shows how some representatives of the public ministry are subjugated to local bosses and their highly-placed protectors,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.“It would be completely unacceptable for the journalist to be jailed for having sought to inform the public about certain abuses. We urge the court in Annaba to dismiss and close the case”, it added. Organisation Boukraa has now left Ennahar and is working for the daily newspaper Algérie News. Algeria is ranked 121st out of 173 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ world press freedom rankings released on 22 October 2008. For more information. October 27, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Provincial correspondent gets three-month suspended prison sentence for using leaked documents Help by sharing this information May 12, 2021 Find out morecenter_img April 29, 2021 Find out more Algeria pressures reporters by delaying renewal of accreditation AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa RSF_en to go further Harassment of Algerian reporters intensifies in run-up to parliamentary elections Follow the news on Algeria News Algeria : Reporter jailed after covering Tuareg protests in southern Algeria Newslast_img read more

June 12

Eutelsat is stopping the transmission of the Chinese-language channel NTDTV under pressure from Beijing

first_imgNews News to go further ChinaAsia – Pacific March 14, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Eutelsat is stopping the transmission of the Chinese-language channel NTDTV under pressure from Beijing RSF_en Help by sharing this information News Organisation A high court in Paris, the TGI, dismissed a case brought by Chinese-language New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) appealing against the ending of its contract by satellite provider Eutelsat. Lawyer for the station said he was determined to fight on. At the 16 March hearing, the lawyer for Eutelstat, Jean-Michel Leprêtre, denied there had been any pressure from the Chinese government, saying that the ending of NDTV broadcasts was down to financial concerns. The NTDTV lawyer presented the judge with a copy of a letter to Eutelsat from the Chinese authorities demanding a halt to the station’s programmes.Separately, the judge agreed to Reporters Without Borders’ request to be a party to the NTDTV case.__________________________________________________________________________14.03.2005Reporters Without Borders today condemned the decision of European satellite operator Eutelsat not to renew the contract under which independent, Chinese-language broadcaster New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) uses Eutelsat satellites to broadcast to Asia and China.The press freedom organization called on Eutelsat to allow NTDTV to continue using its satellites, pointing out that the New York-based TV network, which is run by overseas Chinese, had not broken any laws.”Broadcasting in China is cruelly lacking in diversity,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “It is regrettable that European companies are yielding to pressure from the Chinese government and that, in this questionable fashion, they are putting an end to the broadcasts of a TV station that has the merit of offering alternative news to a Chinese audience, especially in the People’s Republic of China.”Reporters Without Borders pointed out that the Paris-based Eutelsat is bound to respect the principles of equal access, diversity and non-discrimination under article 3 of the convention governing a company of this kind. Ménard made this point in a letter on 2 February to the head of Eutelsat, Guiliano Berreta, who did not reply.At 3 p.m. on 16 March, a high-level court in Paris will hear the lawsuit brought by French lawyers acting for UCN, the company that produces and broadcasts NTDTV, against Eutelsat and the satellite capacity broker London Satellite Exchange (LSE). Reporters Without Borders’ lawyer will appear before the court to support the lawsuit in the interests of diversity in news and information, in this case, news programmes broadcast by satellite.A Reporters Without Borders representative will also take part in the news conference which NTDTV plans to hold at 2 p.m. on 15 March at the International Press Centre in Brussels.NTDTV accuses Eutelsat and LSE of refusing to let it renew its contract to use Eutelsat’s W5 satellite. To Reporters Without Borders’ knowledge, NTDTV has always respected the conditions of the licence it was granted in March 2004 by the French Higher Council for Broadcasting. There is no legal action or prosecution pending against NTDTV, as there was in the case of the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar.LSE told NTDTV on 20 December that its use of Eutelsat satellites would end on 21 March although the contract it signed in March 2004 stipulates that the agreement would be renewed automatically for a year. Eutelsat denies playing any role in this decision but Reporters Without Borders is aware of a Chinese government instruction to Eutelsat in May 2004 demanding it to “put an end to this broadcasting immediately.”The Chinese information ministry has said that the broadcasting of NTDTV’s programmes “is not authorized in our country” and that “their content violates the laws of the People’s Republic of China.”The Beijing government accuses NTDTV of belonging to the banned Falun Gong movement, which it calls a “diabolic sect.” Members of the movement are severely repressed in China. Many of the TV network’s employees are indeed Falun Gong practitioners, but it offers a wide range of programming, including programmes presented by pro-democracy dissidents and news programmes that are very different from the propaganda on China’s state-owned television network, CCTV.CCTV is available in more than 30 satellite multichannel packages although six would suffice to reach 99 per cent of the world’s population. This massive presence enables the Chinese government to blackmail satellite operators. NTDTV’s contract with satellite operator New Skies Satellites (NSS) for Asia transmission ended on 1st May 2004. Netherlands-based satellite operator NSS had begun broadcasting the channel on open signal to Asia on 1st July 2003. But just three days after the start of broadcasts, NSS encrypted the signal preventing Chinese satellite dish owners from seeing the channel. The decision was taken following threats of financial reprisals against the company made to NSS representatives in Beijing. In January 2004, pressure was intensified to ensure that NTDTV was completely excluded from NSS-6 Asia satellite transmission.In February 2003, it was the Atlanta-based US operator ADTH that broke an agreement in principle to carry NTDTV for fear of losing contracts with other Chinese channels.NTDTV, which says it is now accessible to 200 million viewers around the world, recently won the support of 49 Euro MPs and politicians from European countries who wrote to the head of Eutelsat asking him to “maintain our joint commitment to fundamental European values and agreements, so that this ‘open satellite window’ continues to grow wider.” China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figurescenter_img June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts News Follow the news on China ChinaAsia – Pacific China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison April 27, 2021 Find out more Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more