zoomAl Jasra. Image Courtesy: Qatargas Doha-based liquefied natural gas company Qatargas has set another milestone as it successfully delivered the 3,000th LNG cargo to Japan.The cargo was transported onboard Al Jasra, a conventional LNG vessel with a capacity of 135,000 cubic meters.It was delivered to the Kawagoe LNG Receiving Terminal, owned and operated by JERA, a joint venture between Chubu Electric and Tokyo Electric.Back in January 1997, the first-ever Qatari shipment was delivered to the abovementioned terminal in Japan. “We are delighted to celebrate the 3000th LNG delivery to Japan. This significant milestone comes over two decades following the first delivery to our foundation customer in Japan,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum, commented.“Qatargas’ commitment to serving Japan’s energy needs has never been stronger. We are focused on boosting future cooperation with Japan,” Al-Kaabi, who is also Chairman of Qatargas Board of Directors, added.“We celebrate the uninterrupted supply of this 3000th LNG cargo to Japan, which is a major milestone reflecting the relationship between Qatargas and our esteemed Japanese customers. This delivery demonstrates Qatargas’ commitment to continue providing Japan, and all of our customers around the globe, with a safe and reliable source of clean energy,” Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of Qatargas, said.Qatargas has term contracts to supply LNG with many of the key Japanese buyers. Apart from these term contracts, Qatargas also delivers a significant amount of Japan’s spot LNG requirements.
If you are finding it hard to deal with the pressure at the workplace, there is more reason to worry. New research has found that work stress and impaired sleep are linked to a threefold higher risk of cardiovascular death in employees with hypertension. “Sleep should be a time for recreation, unwinding, and restoring energy levels. If you have stress at work, sleep helps you recover,” said study author Karl-Heinz Ladwig, Professor at Technical University of Munich, Germany. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainCompared to those with no work stress and good sleep, people with both risk factors had a three times greater likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease, showed the findings published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. People with work stress alone had a 1.6-fold higher risk while those with only poor sleep had a 1.8-times higher risk, the study said. In the study, work stress was defined as jobs with high demand and low control — for example when an employer wants results but denies authority to make decisions. “If you have high demands but also high control, in other words you can make decisions, this may even be positive for health,” said Ladwig.
The field for the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) was finally set Sunday, but — in true college football style — it wasn’t without controversy. The 12-person CFP selection committee chose Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State, arguably snubbing Big 12 co-champions Baylor and (especially) TCU.The last four teams standing are exceptional. The Ducks, Crimson Tide and Buckeyes rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And although the Seminoles have been unconvincing throughout the season, it would have been difficult to justify leaving the undefeated, defending national champion out of the playoff — No. 10 FPI ranking be damned. So, the committee may well have made the best decision it could have, according to its mandate to select the nation’s four best teams.But by ranking TCU third (ahead of both Florida State and Ohio State) the week before the conference championships, the committee also set itself up to violate the precedent of how college football rankings have always worked. That’s why, even after previous No. 5 Ohio State rolled over No. 13 Wisconsin 59-0, the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model — which is based on a historical analysis of Coaches Poll voters’ tendencies — saw little chance that TCU would drop from third place to fifth or lower in the committee’s final rankings.Using the traditional media polls as a guide, that was a reasonable assumption. Since the advent of the Bowl Coalition in 1992, only four times (in 214 opportunities) did the third-ranked team in the AP poll drop below fourth place the week after it won a game over an FBS opponent. All four of those teams (Florida State in Week 1 of the 2002 season, Ohio State in Week 3 of 2003, Tennessee in Week 1 of 2005 and Ohio State in Week 2 of 2008) posted victory margins that underwhelmed their pregame FPI expectations. By contrast, TCU beat its pregame expectations by 19 points in thrashing Iowa State. (And it bears repeating that none of those cases took place any later than the third week of a season, when you would expect voters to still be sorting out the order of teams.)And yet TCU did drop in the committee’s rankings — from third place to sixth, below Florida State, Ohio State and even Baylor (whom the committee had controversially slotted beneath TCU in every previous edition of its rankings, seemingly ignoring the Bears’ head-to-head victory over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 11). It was a stunning fall that, for better or worse, seemed to contradict the way college football teams traditionally move in the rankings.TCU’s exclusion also broke with tradition from another standpoint. Using poll data since 1992, I ran a logistic regression attempting to predict whether a team would finish the regular season in the AP’s top four based on various “résumé” statistics provided by ESPN’s Stats and Info Group. The factors that emerged as significant were a team’s winning percentage (modified slightly by Laplace’s Rule of Succession), its average points-per-game margin, its strength of schedule (according to the average FBS team’s expected winning percentage against its schedule using FPI), and whether it won its conference or not.This year, those criteria would have yielded the following probabilities of making the top four (assuming the committee would follow the pollsters’ traditional logic):(Note: Baylor and TCU were co-champions of the Big 12; for the purposes of the regression, they were each treated the same as a team that was sole champion of its conference.)It’s not outside the realm of plausibility that historical voters would exclude TCU and include Ohio State on the basis of their résumés alone (this method shows there was a 16 percent chance that would happen). In fact, the real AP poll dropped TCU from fourth to sixth, with two teams (Baylor and Ohio State) hurdling the Horned Frogs.It is, however, another way to underscore that the playoff committee may be rethinking the way college football teams have been ranked at the end of the season. As FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver, wrote in his final assessment of the committee’s selection, the sport’s old algorithm rarely entailed a top-to-bottom reassessment of the field this late in the year (voters usually just made slight adjustments to teams’ rankings after losses or big wins; otherwise the current rankings were basically enslaved to the previous rankings). The committee’s final rankings, on the other hand, suggest it sorted the teams from scratch after the conference championships, with no allegiance to its previous choices.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, like the existence of a playoff in the first place, it’s a new thing.
The Warriors were 17-4 during the regular season with average shooting. That equals a .810 winning percentage — tops in the the NBA — or the equivalent of a 66-16 record over an 82-game schedule.The reason for the Warriors’ strong record with average shooting is simple: They also play great defense. It gets overlooked because they play at a frenetic pace, but the Dubs held opponents to a .514 TS% during the regular season, the third-best figure in the league after Chicago and Portland.It can get even worse for opponents, and it often does: The Warriors went 46-3 with good shooting during the regular season. But “pretty good” shooting — average shooting, even — is usually plenty good enough for the Warriors. They’ll need to throw up a lot of bricks the rest of the way. Otherwise, James — as brilliant as he’s been — may become the first finals MVP in a losing cause since Jerry West in 1969. Through the first three games of the NBA Finals, the storylines were intricate and rich:Could LeBron James carry one of the worst supporting casts in recent finals history to an NBA title?Was James’s experience — and sheer force of will — trumping the Golden State Warriors’ youth?Was Steph Curry just in a shooting slump, or was he rattled by his scary injury against the Houston Rockets?Could the Cleveland Cavaliers keep playing stifling defense, or might Golden State’s smallball lineup be its ace in the hole?Were Cleveland’s poor finishes — it was outscored by a combined margin of 105-84 in the fourth quarter and overtime of the first three games1And if you include Game 4, it’s now been outscored 132-96 from the fourth quarter onward. — the sign of a spent team?Was Kevin Love’s injury (suffered in the opening round against the Boston Celtics) the ultimate example of Bill Simmons’s Ewing Theory? And maybe Kyrie Irving’s injury too?Is Matthew Dellavedova the Australian Tim Tebow?Does God hate Cleveland?But after a 103-82 Golden State win in Game 4, it all seems so simple.The Warriors are really, really good. You have a shot at beating them if their shooting goes ice-cold. Otherwise, it’s next to impossible.Let’s review the series from the standpoint of true shooting percentage (TS%), a relatively simple stat that gives appropriate credit for 3-pointers and free throws along with 2-point shooting attempts. Golden State led the NBA with a .571 TS% during the regular season, while Cleveland (.557) ranked fourth. The adjacent table lists each team’s TS% in each finals game so far, along with its percentile rank as compared to all NBA games during the 2014-15 regular season.Game 4 was the first time we’ve seen the Warriors shoot like they typically did during the regular season. Their .579 TS% was close to their regular-season average, and — since an average Golden State performance is so good — ranks in the 77th percentile as compared to all NBA games.But the Warriors’ defense has also been very good. It held Cleveland to a .409 TS% in Game 4, which ranks in just the 1st percentile. And it kept the Cavaliers to a .441 TS%, in the 6th percentile, in Game 2 on Sunday night.Wait — didn’t the Cavs win Game 2? They did (in overtime). The team with the higher TS% wins about 85 percent of the time2Based on the 2014-15 regular season. — this was one of the exceptions. Cleveland was able to take seven more field-goal attempts and 15 more free-throw attempts than the Warriors as a result of rebounding, turnovers and fouls. You can win as the slightly less efficient team when there’s a big differential in those categories.Still, Cleveland wouldn’t have won Game 2 had Golden State shot a little better. If the Warriors had hit shots at the NBA average TS% of .535 (never mind that the team’s TS% is typically way better than that), they’d have scored an additional eight points and won 101-95.And that’s the thing: The Warriors don’t have to shoot the lights out to win. If they shoot as well as the average NBA team, they’re very likely to win also.In the next chart, I’ve tracked each team’s record based on its TS% during the regular season. I divide games into three categories, which include about a third of regular-season games each:Good shooting — a TS% of .560 or higher.Poor shooting — a TS% of .510 or lower.Average shooting — anything in between.
Of course, none of this is to say that Harris will continue ascending the way Leonard has during his fifth and sixth seasons, when he went from scoring 16.5 points a contest to 25.5 points while managing to become more efficient despite a heavier offensive load. Without Harris becoming more of a one-on-one threat, which Kawhi has become stellar at in relatively short order, it’s more sensible to compare his offense to Golden State’s Klay Thompson or Washington’s Otto Porter, who play better off the ball than with it.Should Harris develop a more aggressive brand of offense, though, there’s reason to think he could find success with it. While he’s not built like Leonard — one of the NBA’s strongest players, and just one of four NBA wing players last season to record more and-1s than he had shots blocked — Harris is far stronger than he looks and doesn’t shy away from contact. The former All-American high school football player is one of three guards, after James and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, who shoots 70 percent at the rim — elite company for strength around the basket.Malone said Harris has been diligent every summer about taking direction from coaches and staff each offseason to continue improving. But Harris told me it was simpler than that for him. “Really, I just want go out there to play and have fun,” he said. “It’s not about me going out and saying, ‘I’ve got to go out and be better than I was last year.’ If you put in the work, it’s going to show itself.”And if Harris continues to improve and show his work to this extent, it may be only a matter of time until just about every basketball fan knows who he is.Senior writer Neil Paine contributed to research for this story.Check out our latest NBA predictions. DENVER — Kawhi Leonard is indispensable to the San Antonio Spurs — or at least that’s how he’s now perceived. His mysterious injury not only threatens to snap the Spurs’ two-decade-long playoff streak, but there’s a chance it could also derail the club’s future by driving Leonard away.If there’s an irony in how monumentally important Leonard is to the Spurs’ chances now, though, it’s that he was still relatively anonymous to the casual basketball fan just four years ago, despite performing at a fairly high level on one of the league’s best teams at that time. It wasn’t until June 2014, when Leonard earned NBA Finals MVP honors, that he began drawing broader attention en route to becoming a bona fide star, one whose health could shift the tenor of a conference finals series.Now, another player — Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris — quietly appears to be on a similar trajectory. From afar, nothing Harris does seems truly spectacular. But zoom in just a little, watch a handful of Denver’s games, and you’ll see elements of Harris’s consistent, well-rounded skill set start to stand out. Just the way Leonard’s once did.“When I got here, there were questions about whether Gary Harris was an NBA player,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told me, a reference to Harris’s rookie season, in which he shot just over 30 percent from the field.1While part of that poor performance was due to his over-reliance on threes, Harris was one of just three rookies since 1960 to have shot that poorly on 200 attempts or more. The thought seems comical now, as Harris is serving as both Denver’s best on-ball defender and its leading scorer.For a while, Harris was far stronger on the defensive side of the ball, where it’s harder for the average fan to notice excellence. A solid scorer, by contrast, handles the ball more and gets his name called while the camera pans to his face every time he finds the bottom of the basket. Forcing a missed shot or denying your man the ball on the other end, however, usually isn’t enough to garner that same attention. So that may partially explain why the 23-year-old Harris flies under the radar.At 6 foot 4, he doesn’t force teams to alter entire offensive schemes the way that the 6-foot-7 Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, can. Yet Harris constantly seems to find ways to disrupt the league’s best wing players.Harris ranks ninth in the NBA in deflections per game — the same ranking Leonard held last season — hounding volume scorers as they come around screens and illustrating nearly perfect timing as he swats down directly on the ball just as a player is lifting up to launch his shot attempt. Harris’s quick hands and defensive persistence are pretty much the only things that prevent the Nuggets, who surrender more layups than anyone except Orlando, from having the worst defense in basketball. With Harris on the court, Denver surrenders 107.4 points per 100 possessions, which would tie for 20th among the league’s 30 teams. With Harris on the bench, the Nuggets allow 110.6 points per 100 possessions, a rate that would tie for dead last.It’s incredibly difficult to draw the types of defensive assignments that Harris typically gets without committing a lot of fouls. But just like Leonard did in his fourth season, Harris has collected more steals than fouls so far this year, a feat that only elite defensive shooting guards and small forwards generally manage.Harris could be named an All-NBA defender in the coming years without changing much about his game. But to achieve true stardom, he will likely need two things: More scoring — he’s still pretty limited in creating looks for himself — and more wins for the Nuggets.“If we make the playoffs, a lot more people are going to see and know who the hell Gary Harris is,” said Malone, whose team is locked in a crowded playoff race. “It’s funny: Last year, Nikola Jokic wasn’t going to be a part of All-Star Weekend. Then he puts up 40 points at Madison Square Garden and gets a phone call from the NBA the very next day. ‘Hey, we want you to be part of All-Star Weekend!’ So, we know Nikola and how special he is. And I think the same is true of Gary.”Harris has shown true scoring progress every year since his dismal rookie campaign. The former Michigan State star has gone from 3, to 12, to 15 and now 18 points per game; he has become one of the league’s best offensive threats in transition; and he’s on track to shoot 40 percent from the 3-point line for a second straight year. He moves incredibly well without the ball and has perhaps the team’s best on-court chemistry with Jokic, the face of the Nuggets and one of the league’s most skilled young big men.2Through Monday night’s games, Harris was logging a ridiculous 64.3 effective field-goal percentage off Jokic’s passes, according Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats — a rate that’s on par with the most efficient scorers in the NBA. Similarly, Jokic posts a 62.1 effective field-goal rate off Harris’s passes, a figure that narrowly outpaces that Stephen Curry’s overall rate.Harris’s development on offense bears similarities to Leonard’s rise. Through their first four seasons, their numbers looked identical — 12.2 points and 2.1 assists on 47 percent shooting and 37 percent from 3 for Harris3Harris’s fourth year is still ongoing; 12.3 points and 1.8 assists on 50 percent shooting overall and 37 percent from 3 for Leonard.Perhaps even more important: The two men play with an unusually quiet, workmanlike approach, and they are among the most consistent players in the NBA on a night-to-night basis. “He just puts his head down and goes about his business. He doesn’t talk about it much — he just goes out and does it, and we’re fine with that,” says Denver guard Will Barton, whose locker is next to Harris’s. (Harris’s noticeably quiet disposition, along with the Nuggets’ struggles to really break through on TV with local fans,4During the ride to the arena in Denver, my Uber driver, a self-described huge NBA fan, admitted he didn’t know who Harris was. undoubtedly contributes to why Harris isn’t better known around the league yet.)In Harris’s case, one could argue that his consistency on both ends has him on the cusp of joining the elite. Using effective field-goal percentage, a stat that accounts for 3-pointers by looking at the number of points generated per field-goal attempt rather than just shots made per attempt, the chart below illustrates how often the league’s starting shooting guards and small forwards have good shooting nights compared to bad ones. Unsurprisingly, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are at the very top of that list. Leonard rates fifth. And right behind him is Harris at No. 6.
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update -Friday According to Anchorage Police only minor injuries were sustained during the two vehicle collision. UPDATE 11:50amBoth lanes of the Seward Highway have been reopened at Mile 109. The closure is valid from 10:57 a.m., until 2:57 p.m. Original PostThe Seward Highway is closed near milepost 109 due to a crash/vehicle fire according to the Department of Transportation. According to the DOT, drivers should watch for police and fire trucks on the highway. Limited details are known at this time, updates will be posted as they are made available.
One of the ways the military services are improving their installations’ energy resilience is by leveraging private sector investment through energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs). In its report accompanying the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill, the Senate Armed Services Committee says it supports the approach and “strongly encourages” DOD to leverage its facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization accounts, in combination with third-party funding sources, “to maximize energy infrastructure investments.” That tactic could help the department reduce its massive infrastructure maintenance backlog as well as enhance installation resilience, the panel states.The panel remains concerned, however, that DOD has failed to streamline the procurement processes used to enter ESPCs, UESCs and power purchase agreements. In turn, the committee directs the Pentagon to set “a department performance contracting goal along with a tracking system to identify and address project phase bottlenecks, with a timeline goal of 18 months from notice of opportunity to notice of intent to award.” The lawmakers also request DOD to brief the committee on its progress by March 1, 2019.Photo courtesy of Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the Venezuelan National Assembly in Caracas on 10 March. Photo: AFPOpposition leader Juan Guaido said Sunday he will ask Venezuela’s legislature to declare a “state of alarm,” authorizing the delivery of international aid in response to a catastrophic power outage that has paralyzed the country.At least 15 patients with advanced kidney disease were reported to have died since the blackout began on Thursday, as hospitals struggled to provide emergency services and the threat of spoiling food supplies put many on edge.”We must attend to this catastrophe immediately. We cannot turn away from it,” said Guaido, the 35-year-old leader of the National Assembly who in January declared himself interim president, triggering a power struggle in the oil-rich country of 30 million.He told reporters he is convening an emergency session of the National Assembly for Monday to declare a “state of alarm” and authorize the delivery of international aid.Such an action would set up another test of wills with president Nicolas Maduro, who last month used the military to repel an opposition bid to bring in humanitarian supplies from Colombia and Brazil.But Maduro vowed on Sunday he would not back down. “This macabre strategy to bring us to a confrontation will fail,” he wrote on Twitter.The Venezuelan health ministry also denied that the blackout had caused any deaths in public hospitals as reported.But the government announced that schools and workplaces would remain closed Monday as the power outages continued.Military stanceGuaido meanwhile called for more street protests Monday to pressure Maduro to step down.”You have the right to go into the street, to protest, to demand, because this regime is letting Venezuelans die,” he said, appealing to the armed forces “to stop covering for the dictator.”Guaido is recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s acting president, which have backed his calls for new polls, but the military high command has so far stood by Maduro despite a plummeting economy and deep discontent.In Washington, national security advisor John Bolton suggested members of the military were reconsidering their support for Maduro.”There are countless conversations going on between members of the National Assembly and members of the military in Venezuela, talking about what might come, how they might move to support the opposition,” Bolton said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”One reason the security forces have refrained from arresting Guaido, he said, “is Maduro fears if he gave that order, it would not be obeyed.”Electromagnetic attack?Maduro blames “imperialism” for the country’s accumulating woes, and claims the power outage was caused by an electromagnetic attack on the Guri hydroelectric complex, which supplies 80 per cent of Venezuela’s electricity.Guaido dismissed that explanation as “Hollywoodesque.” Critics blame the government for failing to maintain the power grid, as did the Lima Group, a primarily Latin American bloc.For ordinary Venezuelans, the blackout has piled misery upon an already agonizing day-to-day struggle to survive in a once prosperous country now reeling from hyperinflation and economic collapse.”Every day is worse,” said Edward Cazano, a 20-year-old who lives with his mother and three brothers in a poor Caracas neighborhood called Pinto Salinas. “We have the worst services in the world: no light, no water, sometimes no gas.”Hospitals with back-up generators were using them for emergency services, leaving patients to cope in the dark.”This has been horrible. Everything dark. Only some areas are operating with a generator,” said Sol Dos Santos, a 22-year-old whose daughter is hospitalized.Some isolated cases of looting were also reported in Caracas on Sunday.Dialysis patients at riskNo national data was available about the impact of the power outage, but an NGO said at least 15 patients with advanced kidney disease died after they stopped receiving dialysis treatments in darkened hospitals.Francisco Valencia, director of the Codevida health rights group, said some 10,200 people were at risk because dialysis units had switched off.Businesses remained shut, and public transport barely functioned.”I am very nervous because this situation isn’t being resolved. The little food we have in the refrigerator is going to spoil. How long are we going to endure this?” asked Francisca Rojas, a 62-year-old retiree in Caracas.The blackout has been one of the worst and longest in recent memory in Venezuela, which is already suffering from serious shortages of food and medicine due to the overarching economic crisis.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uA rebroadcast of our show from March 28, where we report on Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s veto of the $15/hour minimum wage for Baltimore, including reporting from the Baltimore Sun’s Luke Broadwater.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.
By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, email@example.comU.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently convened a hearing on poverty in the country and the key witness was the Rev. William Barber II, the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.Barber testified on June 12 at the U.S. Capitol before such lawmakers as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who serves as the Democratic Whip. Before Barber spoke, Cummings talked about the importance of the forum.Rep. Elijah Cummings (pictured) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently held a hearing on the scourge of poverty. (Courtesy photo)“President Obama’s most significant accomplishment was pulling America out of the Great Recession,” he said. “During his administration, we had 75 straight months of job growth. However, far too many Americans are not doing well economically. In 2016, 40 million Americans are living in poverty as the stock market soared.”Cummings said that Americans life expectancy has declined over the past two years and he noted that many people are going into bankruptcy because of the high cost of medical treatment. He noted that “everyone should benefit from our nation’s growth.”Warren said that the average American is in a dire financial situation.“Forty percent of adults don’t have $400 for an emergency,” Warren said. “Fifty percent of all working Americans don’t have a dollar for retirement. America is in a crisis.”The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a think tank based in the District of Columbia released a statement on June 12 that noted that $140 million Americans or 43.5 percent of the country’s population is either poor or low income “in the world’s richest country.” The statement noted that the 400 wealthiest Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the U.S. population or 204 million people.The IPS statement said White people made up 42.5 percent of the poor while Latinos consists of 27.4 percent and 22.7 percent of Blacks consisted of the impoverished.Barber introduced several participants in the Poor People’s Campaign who consists of those in the ranks of the working poor. He invited them to talk about their lives.Pamela Sue Rush, who lives in rural Alabama, talked about working a full-time low wage job and having to travel miles to Birmingham to seek treatment for her daughter as well as paying high utility bills to live in a mold-infested house that was obtained by a predatory loan.“It is so unfair,” Rush said. “People shouldn’t have to live like I live.”Barber made a point that people of color aren’t the only ones suffering from poverty and invited Nick Smith of Southwest Virginia to speak.“I am the son of a coal miner’s daughter,” Smith said, playing off of the popular Loretta Lynn song. “For many years, I could not drink the water we bathed in. When the coal companies left, there was nothing to replace them and organized labor doesn’t exist in Appalachia.”Smith said he has seen instances where poor Whites are pitted against Blacks and Browns to keep all three groups down.“Poor Whites are intentionally segregated from Blacks and Browns to keep us from organizing,” he said.The members of Congress listened to the testimony but offered no policy solutions. However, Lee suggested that there should be an effort to make sure that every American earns a living wage.
Hardly has any novel been awaited with as much curiosity and anticipation in recent times as Vikram Seths sequel to the monumental ‘A Suitable Boy’ (1993). Five years on, since he was first expected to deliver the manuscript, the novel is still to see the light of the day. But what seems like a saga of missed deadlines can very well – far from our eyes – be a masterpiece in the making.”The more I talk of her, the more shy she becomes,” Seth had told this correspondent in 2015 about ‘A Suitable Girl’, the novel-in-waiting. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSeth, as his literary agent David Godwin puts it, has been known to take his time with his books. The prolonged delay, however, was not acceptable to Hamish Hamilton and he was asked to return an advance payment of $1.7 million when the deal was called off. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, an imprint of the British publisher, then acquired the novel – and it was scheduled to release in 2016. But a flying bird – a friend and confidant of the writer – says that he is now giving the “final touch” to the novel and that one can expect “the big announcement” soon. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSeth released a collection of poems titled ‘Summer Requiem’ in the meanwhile. In the collection, he traces the immutable shiftings of the seasons, the relentless rhythms of a great world that both “gifts and harms”. Composed as they were while he was (which he still is) writing the sequel, several poems in the offering open doors to his mind, or perhaps they may be preludes to the larger narrative that he is weaving. “I have so carefully mapped/the corners of my mind/that I am forever waking/in a lost country,” he writes in the opening poem. Interestingly, Seth’s companion to ‘A Suitable Boy’ will be a jump sequel – the characters have travelled from the 1950s and it will be very much a novel set in somewhat the present times. In its title poem, he mourns that the “liberated generation lives a restrained youth,” and then adds: “I must forsake attachment”. On another occasion in the book, readers find him lamenting over “the peaceful love” that the narrator has “never found”. In another short poem “Late Light” he writes: “Outside the great world’s gifts and harms/ There must be somewhere I can go/To rest within a lover’s arm/At ease with the impending snow”. Reportedly, Seth suffered from writer’s block after his break-up with French violinist Phillippe Honor but that was a long time ago and was reflected in ‘An Equal Music’. He has moved on or has he not? Nonetheless, it has been about five years since ‘A Suitable Girl’ was first expected to hit the stands but the wait is surely worth it. As writer-politician Shashi Tharoor says about his good friend’s technique – that “Vikram Seth draws an entire roadmap of his novel, planning every minute element in great detail” – the sequel, thanks to all the anticipation and the pressure on the writer, may actually be a masterpiece in the making, as sublime as its counterpart and yet set in the time of its readers. Vikram Seth is a recipient of the Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award, and among several other prestigious honours, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. He has been widely translated and is among leading novelists on the global stage. He has published three novels – ‘The Golden Gate’ (1986), ‘A Suitable Boy’ (1993) and ‘An Equal Music’ (1999) – along with several collections of poetry such as ‘Mappings’ and ‘All You Who Sleep Tonight’. Seth – an openly gay man – is also one of the prominent faces of the campaign against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality.
Listen Now 3 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. This story appears in the October 2011 issue of . Subscribe » If you want a cutting-edge approach to product marketing in 2011, you have a lot of choices. You can utilize a mobile location-based service or check-in app. You can craft a Groupon-style daily deal. Or you can sign on to Facebook, Twitter and foursquare and fish for fans, friends and return customers.Why not do all three? You can do that piecemeal, of course, but the WeReward marketing platform intersects with all the new models.WeReward, the 17-month-old offering of online and mobile marketing company Izea, allows consumers to earn points that are equal to cash for completing tasks like checking in at a store, taking a photo of a product and, ideally, actually buying the product featured through a WeReward sponsorship.Consumers can then share these actions with their social media networks by posting a photo of themselves with a product they have just purchased. (Advertisers get to approve the photos first–so keep it clean, people.)To earn rewards, smartphone users download the WeReward app and become “oinkers.” Every time they oink, i.e., register a product-related action through social media, it’s recorded–and sometimes broadcast at WeReward.com. For example, the site noted on June 22 that “reygaring just checked in to a Taco Bell in Walnut Creek, Calif.” A short time later, “Trevor Schultz just earned 114 points at Vegas.com in Las Vegas.” (Let’s hope Trevor wasn’t playing hooky that day.)”In marketing, advertisers benefit from cost per sale,” says Ted Murphy, CEO and founder of Izea. “Bringing engagement down to a cost per action helps advertisers realize how people are engaging with their products and who their customers are. We’re providing them with that information.”Advertisers who sign up with WeReward can get that information sliced a number of ways. The platform offers general demographics–more than 72 percent of users are between the ages of 25 and 49–as well as specific user information, such as when “reygaring” last devoured a taco.Advertisers may establish more formal relationships with particularly loyal customers by making them brand ambassadors or giving them greater discounts and rewards.”Some of our users see this as a way to save money, others see it as a way to make money,” Murphy says. “If a user has a decent social network, as a business you will want to take care of them.” October 3, 2011