In a year of upheaval and discontent at least one story sparkled: “Air travel was a good news story in 2016,” asserts Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association. New routes and low fares helped prompt a record number of people to fly.“Three-point-seven billion of them flew safely to their destination,” says the IATA chief. Airlines forged some 700 new routes, linking the world ever more closely, this as average roundtrip airfares fell by US$44.And the show isn’t over yet. Juniac says,“Demand for air travel is still expanding. The challenge for governments is to work with the industry to meet that demand with new infrastructure,” Translation: we need more runways, new terminals and new airports to cover demand.By the numbers, total international passenger traffic skyrocketed 6.7 percent compared to 2015. Capacity—essentially seats and flights—rose by 6.9 percent. Load factors—the percentage seats filled by paying passengers—fell by just a whit, to 79.6 percent. Here is a breakdown of international activity by region:Buoyed by the likes of Emirates, Etihad andQatar the Middle East saw the most robust growth of all regions: 11.8 percent.As it has been for a while now, Asia-Pacific was robust. Demand there increased by 8.3 percent compared to 2015.Despite what IATA calls “some economic and political uncertainty” traffic was up by 7.4 percent among Latin American carriers, even as Latin airlines put on 4.8 percent in capacity.Not since 2012 has activity been as strong in Africa, where determined demand for seats to and from Asia and the Middle East means international traffic among that continents air carriers shot up 7.4 percent. Capacity precisely matched demand.In Europe, international traffic climbed by 4.8 percent in 2016, this while seat capacity gained 5.0 percentage points.Bringing up the rear in terms of international air traffic was North America, whose driving force was the United States. Traffic demand inched up by just 2.6 percent last year. Despite the ongoing consolidation of carriers in the region capacity rose 3.3 percent. Had it not been for strong passenger demand for seats on the transpacific the numbers here would have been even softer.That’s’ the scene as far as international air traffic is concerned. IATA says domestic air travel grew by a healthy 5.1 percent, on average. Interesting to note here that all major markets, save for Brazil, showed some growth.The International Air Transport Association represents some 265 air carriers all told. Together they account for 83 percent of global air traffic.
By offering these children a chance to own books, they hope that the sense of ownership will strengthen their interest in reading. (image: Read to Rise)In a bid to address some of the harsh realities of growing up in underprivileged areas, Read to Rise offers South African youth a chance to discover new worlds through reading.As one of the country’s core focuses, education is extremely important with regards to moulding the leaders of the future and arming them with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to lead productive lives and become contributing members of society.The Read to Rise non-government organisation (NGO) was established in 2013 by couple Athol Williams and Taryn Lock, who between them boast seven academic degrees and vast business experience.Born from their shared passion for literacy, education and helping others reach the heights of their potential, the Read to Rise organisation has been working with youth from under-resourced communities such as Mitchell Plain and its surrounding areas near Cape Town.“Athol grew up in Mitchells Plain so he knows the challenges that these young children face,” says Lock.With a large number of schools lacking properly stocked libraries – some lacking libraries all-together – the Read to Rise organisation offers children suitable reading material fitting for their age groups in an attempt to instil a love of reading early on in life.“Read to Rise aims to inspire children to read in under-resourced communities. As the name indicates, we firmly believe that children need to read in order to rise in their personal development and contribution to society,” says Lock. “We believe that children who love to read will excel at school and go on to become constructive citizens. It all starts with reading.”AN EARLY STARTAccording to Read to Rise, children in their foundational phase of education should be reading around 40 books a year that are suited to their level. Their findings suggest that children in the areas they operate read one or two books, which fall far short of the recommendation.This is due to the lack of motivation to pick up a book and read. To address this, Read to Rise visits to hold interactive reading sessions with the children.The organisation has taken a different angle when it comes to encouraging a good reading ethos amongst school children. By offering these children a chance to own books, they hope that the sense of ownership will strengthen their interest in reading.Lock says that they “believe that book ownership is important so give children their own new book to take home.“In addition, we place a Mini-Library – which is a brightly painted bookshelf which contains 50 new age-appropriate story books – in every classroom so that learners have access to these books.”Since its establishment, Read to Rise has visited children in more than 350 classrooms, handing out in excess of 2 800 books to pupils in Soweto and Mitchells Plain.Read to Rise has been working with youth from under-resourced communities such as Mitchell Plain and its surrounding areas near Cape Town.BOOKS IN THE NEW AGESpeaking on the role that books have in the age of tablets and smart phones, Lock says “books play a huge part in today’s age especially in the under-resourced, crime-ridden communities that we work with.“There is something special about holding a new book in your hands, turning the pages and reading it. Book ownership is important as it creates a sense of pride, responsibility and an enjoyment of reading. That’s exactly why we give a brand new, high quality book to every child.”PLAY YOUR PARTIf you’re looking to help the Read to Rise organisation you can visit their website at www.readtorise.co.za or email them at [email protected]“Individuals can volunteer their time to read to children at schools, cover books in plastic at one of our “Cover & Coffee” sessions or offer their expertise to assist with our operations.” Lock explains.“Individuals or corporates can sponsor new books. It costs R45 to sponsor a new book for a learner or R3,200 to sponsor a Mini-Library for a class.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona comms chief Vives denies Valdes kicked out back doorby Carlos Volcano15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona comms chief Josep Vives denies the club kicked Victor Valdes out the back door.Valdes was sacked as U19 coach this week.Vives said, “It is a technical decision and it is not the responsibility of any spokesperson. The club always tries to make people, not just the referents, leave in the best way possible. “We disagree with the issue that Valdés has gone out the back door.”He added: “It always hurts when a person leaves the club, and more with the history of Victor. The club wanted it to work well and that his stage was long and successful.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool legend Souness scoffs at Man Utd youth policyby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Graeme Souness has questioned Manchester United’s youth policy.He warns that United won’t be able to nuture these players if they are drafted into a squad low on confidence.”Ever since the Busby Babes, the club have made a fetish out of youth,” Souness wrote in the Sunday Times. “In itself, that is no bad thing, especially at a club which subsequently brought George Best through its ranks and then produced the Class of 92. “It’s possible that the likes of Marcus Rashford, James Garner and Mason Greenwood might go on to emulate their illustrious predecessors — though I’m sceptical — but just because they have been picked to start for United while they are still teenagers doesn’t make it so. “The difficulty is compounded by the fact that they are being thrust into a team which is shorn of authority and confidence.”
LEICESTER, England – The flight data recorder from the helicopter that crashed with the Leicester soccer team’s owner on board is being examined by investigators, authorities said, as his family and players paid tribute Monday at a makeshift shrine.Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed when the aircraft spiraled out of control, crashed and burst in flames outside the King Power Stadium following a Premier League game Saturday.Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, son of the Thai retail entrepreneur, brought a wreath to add to a collection of flowers, jerseys and club memorabilia that was growing after the disaster. Fans who gathered to pay respects broke into applause when Aiyawatt returned to the memorial with the players.Investigators are expected to remain at the site until the end of the week, when the wreckage is to be taken to special facilities for examination, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said.“We recovered the digital flight data recorder (voice and data) on Sunday afternoon and one of our inspectors travelled back to Farnborough with the recorder the same evening,” the AAIB said in a statement. “Today, our inspectors in Farnborough will start working on the recorder, which was subject to intense heat as a result of the post-accident fire.”Police have not given an update on the investigation but wrote on Twitter its drone “was not in flight at the time the helicopter left the stadium.”Although only with Leicester for eight years, Vichai had a lasting impact on English soccer as the owner of the team that produced one of the greatest shocks in sports by winning the Premier League title at 5,000-1 odds in 2016.Through horse racing and polo, the owner of Thailand’s King Power duty-free chain became known to members of the British royal family, playing on occasion with Princes Charles and William. He spent millions establishing his polo team, the King Power Foxes, which began in 2014 and has enjoyed success at the top levels of competition in Britain.“I was lucky to have known Vichai for several years,” said Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne. “He was a businessman of strong values who was dedicated to his family and who supported a number of important charitable causes. He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City’s magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world.”Vichai’s close bond with the community in Leicester was reflected in the tributes to the owner who bankrolled the team’s return to the Premier League in 2014 and the improbable title triumph.“The outpouring of grief is a testament to how many people’s lives were touched by those on board,” Prime Minister Theresa May said.Two members of Vichai’s staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, also died along with pilot Eric Swaffer and co-pilot Izabela Roza Lechowicz. In a regular scene after matches that had become a symbol of Vichai’s ownership, the helicopter took off from the centre circle on the field after Saturday’s game against West Ham. It cleared the stadium roof before it plummeted into an adjacent parking lot in flames.Leicester’s next game, which had been scheduled for Tuesday against Southampton in the League Cup, has been postponed.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Arsha (WB): A BJP activist’s son was found hanging from a tree on Thursday morning in Arsha block of Purulia district, police said. Sishupal Singh (22), the son of a BJP activist and local panchayat committee member, was missing since Wednesday, Purulia Superintendent of Police (SP) Akash Magharia said. “A missing complaint was filed by Singh’s family members Wednesday evening. He was spotted hanging from a tree on the outskirts of Senabona village around 9am by the locals, who then reported the matter to the police station,” he said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja It’s a case of “unnatural death” and the body has been sent for post mortem, the SP said, adding that an investigation has been initiated into the matter. Last June, Dulal Kumar, a member of the saffron party, was also found hanging from a power transmission tower in Purulia district’s Dava village. The state CID started an investigation into Dulal’s death, following a huge protest by the BJP. Soon after, Joy Biswas was replaced by Magharia as the district superintendent of police.
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.