Quiz: 2016 local elections

first_imgWith the local election date officially announced as 3 August, South Africans will have the opportunity to vote for the leaders that will run their wards for the next five years.But how much do you know about local elections? Take the Brand South Africa Local Election Quiz and find out.And if you have not yet registered to vote, make sure you do so this weekend, 9 and 10 April.last_img

A western Ohio farmer’s notable antique tractor collection

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Just east of the Ohio-Indiana state border sits Green Oak Farms where a barn of Gale Long’s is filled with an impressive collection of antique tractors. The Ohio Ag Net crew came across the collection during this year’s Feeding Farmers tour. Long said he has been bringing together the tractors for several years, getting a few here and a few there, eventually amassing what amounts to quite the sight. No particular color has sway on the barn as Farmall, John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and much more decorate the shop.Watch as Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visits with Long about the old iron.last_img read more

Minnesota Faces An Acute Shortage of Energy Auditors

first_imgGearing up to Spend Weatherization Money Will Take TimeST. PAUL, Minn. — With a flood of federal dollars headed their way, Minnesota officials are scrambling to find enough home-energy auditors to ramp up the state’s low-income weatherization program. According to the Pioneer Press, “Right now, there simply aren’t enough qualified personnel to do the job.”An avalanche of fundingLast year, Minnesota’s budget for low-income weatherization was only $10 million — a paltry sum compared to this year’s $135 million avalanche of federal stimulus funds. “To deliver the weatherization dollars as quickly and effectively as we can and put people to work as quickly we can, we’re going to have to deal with a couple of bottlenecks,” said Minnesota Representative Jeremy Kalin. “First, we’re going to have to hire and train hundreds more home-energy auditors.”According to the Pioneer Press, the task won’t be easy. “Officials are looking for ways to dramatically increase the numbers of home-energy auditors, as well as identify contractors who can do the job — in the shortest time possible. The state already partners with Dunwoody College of Technology to train home-energy auditors, but those courses are packed. The school recently added new courses, but the earliest openings aren’t until June. So the state is looking to replicate the training elsewhere.”Can private contractors meet the demand?Most weatherization jobs require the services of an insulation contractor. According to Bill Foley, owner of Maple Tree Insulation in Mahtomedi, Minn., small companies like his find it difficult to ramp up quickly. The Pioneer Press reported, “Some of the local organizations that administer energy programs have suggested — even before the stimulus package but especially now — that Foley expand his business. But he’s not sure he can afford to, and that raises questions about whether private contractors can meet the demand — especially since the jobs may disappear once the stimulus dollars evaporate. ‘They want us to increase. They want us to put on people; they want us to put on more trucks. But we (small operators) don’t have enough money for that,’ Foley said. Even if he were to hire more staff, Foley said that it might take three to four months to train them.”The problem is not unique to Minnesota. Steve Boniello, director of Neighborhood and Community Services, is trying to hire four additional energy auditors for the weatherization program in Kansas City, Mo. “You’d think we’d be getting applications from people from the construction trades,” said Boniello, “but we haven’t seen many applicants.”last_img read more

The Only Two Hiring Strategies

first_imgThere are only two choices of hiring strategies.Acquire the Talent You NeedThe first strategy is to hire the talent that you need.You can find people who already have the skills and experience to deliver the results you need. This likely means you pay more to acquire new hires. When people have the skills and experience, they demand higher wages. And, you usually have to identify and hire passive candidates, because the people you want to hire are already working.This seems like the best strategy. It seems like hiring people with the talent you need is the fastest and surest way to build your team, but it isn’t always true. There is another choice that works as well, and sometimes better.Build the Talent You NeedThe second strategy is to build the talent you need.This strategy depends entirely on your ability to find people with the right mindset and teach, train, coach, and develop them in the roles that you need them to play.If you are going to build them, you are going to have to find people who can and will grow quickly, or you have to have a set of roles which they can pass through to acquire the skills they need on their way into greater roles.ChoicesYou have to make the choice to execute one or both of these strategies.There is no effective hiring strategy that is built on hiring people without the skills and experience without a development plan to help them acquire those skills.You can choose to acquire the talent you need. You can choose to build the talent you need. Or you can choose to both acquire and develop the talent you need. But you can’t choose not to have a hiring strategy. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Micro Finance Goes Digital

first_imgWhen lawyer Aarthi Belani planned her Minneapolis wedding last year, she blended the traditional with contemporary. The multicultural ceremony, jazz-fusion ladies’ sangeet, and even her gift registry all had a modern twist. Guests who logged on to her online gift registry site, however, did not shop for gifts. Instead, the registry she created at the “I Do” foundation allowed them to donate money to her favorite charities, such as online microfinance initiatives. “We just felt like we had enough already with what we had,” Belani says, adding that the money could “make a bigger contribution to someone’s life abroad than a new kitchen gadget would make in mine.”  Indian children get clean drinking  waterFew theories in recent years have been as transformative as microfinance. The concept of providing no collateral loans to the poor so that they can work their way out of poverty, rather than relying on charity or predatory lending, is the brainchild of Prof. Muhummad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, for which he was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Grameen first loaned $27 to 42 craftsmen in 1974 and has since provided $6 billion in loans to 7 million borrowers. Its pioneering microcredit programs have been adopted in 100 countries worldwide, and this form of social lending is now coming to the Web.Kiva is one such online program in which some 56,000 donors provided more than $5 million in loans to 7,600 entrepreneurs in the first four months of this year alone. Kiva, which is Swahili for unity, directly connects borrowers to lenders. The innovative model lets donors choose the individual entrepreneur they wish to sponsor by making a direct payment through Paypal on the internet. Kiva solicits entrepreneurs and relies on hreferrals from the tight-knit development community. During the rigorous due diligence process, a Kiva “Field Partner,” or local microfinance institution, initially screens the loan recipient and conducts routine audits. Kiva sends loans to the Field Partner and loan repayments are made directly to the lender. Thus far, Kiva claims a 100% loan repayment rate, though this will likely fall to the industry average.Seema Patel, a lawyer in Baltimore, has loaned through Kiva since its inception and regards herself as one of the group’s biggest fans. She has a long-standing interest in microfinance. After graduating from college, she moved to Ahmedebad, Gujarat, to work for the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a prominent women’s microfinance institution in India. She says that, “like many first-generation Indian Americans myself who grew up in this country but retain such deep roots to our motherlands there is still a desire to give ‘give back.’” But she acknowledges that not everyone can afford or necessarily desire taking years off of their careers to work in foreign countries. The solution for Seema is Kiva. “By just using your blackberry or PDA, Kiva enables people who want to make a difference to effectuate societal change by drumming to the beat of an age-old adage: give a person a fish, you have fed her for today; teach her how to fish, you have fed her for a lifetime” Kiva’s President Premal Shah has a background of both corporate and public interest work similar to many of the organization’s lenders like Patel. He is a veteran of Paypal and has human rights experience in Ahmedebad, Gujarat. Although none of Kiva’s field partners are currently in India, Shah is determined to bring Kiva to the subcontinent. Shah says that its microcredit model is currently prohibited by the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines regarding the repatriation of funds.  “We are on the verge of entering India, and I anticipate that sometime this summer we will be in the country,” he says.  Part of Kiva’s desire to create a presence in India comes from the keen interest of many South Asians that are part of Kiva’s network. “I don’t know if it is because Kiva uses technology, or because there are many entrepreneurial Indian Americans, but a lot of our fundraisers have a disproportionately high attendance of Indian Americans,” Shah says.Meanwhile, many countries reap the benefits of Kiva’s groundbreaking model, including Azerbaijan, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Honduras. Two groups contribute most to Kiva. One is the 20-something Silicon Valley types who want to do good with their money.  The others are over 50 years old and generally not tech-savvy, according to Shah. This group “might not even be proficient at putting their credit card information online, so they will ask us if they can mail a check instead,” he says.Most of Kiva’s participants are like Shah himself. “There has always been this need among my friends including me to do something good. I’m lucky to be able to do the intersection of what I love and what I do well, which is Kiva.”Part of Kiva’s allure is the ability to reuse money once a loan is paid back to help another person in need. For those interested in making a donation instead of a loan, however, Global Giving is a similar alternative. Founded by two ex-World Bank executives, Global Giving accepts donations online through paypal as well as traditional checks for a wide variety of programs it supports worldwide. Donors can search for fund recipients by region as well as by theme. For example, donors interested in supporting field partners in environment, gender, or education initiatives can search for programs they wish to fund directly.Of 63 countries supported last year by Global Giving, India is the most popular. To date, the program’s 126 projects in India collected the most money from the greatest number of donors of all Global Giving’s programs, disbursing over $1.1 million from 2,000 unique donors.Meredith Landis, marketing associate of Global Giving, says that the program does not restrict the projects it funds either thematically or geographically. Rather, by sponsoring a diverse range of projects, Meredith says that donors are able to browse and find projects that appeal to them. “Donors can even contact Global Giving directly if they have a specific interest in mind, and we will work with them to find a project that matches their interest,” she says.  Literacy for a billion with  Bollywood songsIn contrast to Global Giving’s strong presence in India, Grameen currently has only six projects in India, though Julie Peachey, regional director of Grameen Foundation’s Asia Programs, says several partners will be added in 2007. Grameen targets specific partnership organizations. “The overarching interest in selecting partners in India is finding organizations that serve the poorest of the poor,” Peachey says. “Geography plays a role in isolating pockets of abject poverty.”  She notes that South India is well-served while North and Northeastern India, where many hard-to-reach tribal groups live, are not.  Sustainability is a major factor in selecting Grameen’s partners. “The groups we pick may not already be self-sufficient in terms of their own resources, but they have a clear path for getting there,” Peachey says.Kiva’s and Global Giving’s platforms encourage transparency for donors by allowing them to see exactly who receives their money and for what purpose. The programs also maximize the money’s potential by directly sending funds to their destinations, though Global Giving, which describes itself as the “eBay of international philanthropy” takes 10% of each donation for its operating costs.Global Giving offers online gift registries and gift cards. A particular advantage of online microfinance projects like Kiva and Global Giving is that donors can earmark their funds for specific projects, which is currently not possible with Grameen, for example.Whether online or on the ground, microfinance operations are not without criticism. The state government of Andhra Pradesh, for example, shut down a Grameen Bank operation in 2006 following complaints of exhorbitant interest rates, although the branches were soon reopened, without admission of any wrongdoing, according to the Grameen Foundation.Yet as the brief history of Kiva and Global Giving attest, and Grameen’s overwhelming success in lifting 50 million borrowers out of poverty corroborates, microfinance’s impact is hard to attack. As the Nobel Committee noted, “across cultures and civilizations, microfinance has shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development.”www.kiva.orgwww.globalgiving.orgwww.grameenfoundation.org Making Sense of MicrofinanceMicrocredit organizations provide financial services, including loans and savings accounts, to the poor.  As the vast majority of the poor in developing countries do not own assets to borrow against, they do not qualify for traditional credit and loans from the “formal” banking system. So they turn to “informal” loan sharks who charge exorbitant interest rates. The inability to pay back these “predatory” loans often condemns the poor to a cycle of poverty.The unique feature of microcredit is that loans are provided without collateral or legal contract. It rejects the notion that the poor are inherently “uncredit-worthy.” For example, most loans are disbursed through not-for-profit institutions that generally tag the interest rate of the loan to the market rate of commercial banks. Loans are paid back on an installment basis. Once fully repaid, borrowers qualify for another loan. Strikingly, borrowers rarely default: the average repayment rate for microfinance loans industry-wide is near 96%.Microfinance’s success comes from helping groups, like craftsmen. Because women worldwide are least likely to have access to capital, many groups specifically target them. For example, 97% of Grameen’s current nearly 7 million borrowers are women. Online models like Kiva, however, have a harder time soliciting women to participate in their online programs, partly because some women fear exposure on the internet.Microfinance’s mission is not only economic, but also social empowerment. Many groups require borrowers to join a community association of borrowers. For example, some models create self-monitoring groups that coach each other on financial skills, such as repayment and work skills. To participate, the group must adhere to several principles, ranging from a commitment to keep family sizes small to a vow against accepting or giving dowry during marriage.  These grass-roots associations have even banded together to create student loan programs and vaccination programs.The Faces of Those in NeedSobi Begum’s life once mirrored that of countless South Asian women confined to abject poverty. Living on the equivalent of less than $1 per day, Begum picked water lilies from a nearby pond to gather their seeds to serve with rice for her children’s dinner. Malnourished and uneducated, her children seemed condemned to a life no different than Begum’s own.$35 loaned to her in 1981, when the Grameen Bank started informal operations in Tangail, Bangladesh, changed Begum’s life. Not only was she able to buy a cow and grain, she was encouraged to train as a veterinary assistant. Successful repayment of her first loan led to others, and with each Begum transformed her family’s life. Begum achieved the unimaginable for many of South Asia’s poor: provide food and consistent schooling for her children, as well as own her own home and business.   Related Itemslast_img read more


first_imgINTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL Dublin: PM arrives in Dublin (A+B) Everett : Chinese President Xi Jinping,and his wife Peng Liyuan at Boeing Field in Everet(B) New York : Actress Anne Hathaway participates in AOLs BUILD Speaker Series (A) Andrews Air Force Base/ Washington : President Barack Obama greets Pope Francis(A+B) Mecca : Haj Pilgrims from all over the world offer prayers on a rocky hill (B+A) Opatovac : A woman holds her son as they wait in line in order to get into a reception center (A) Palembang : Muslim women perform a morning prayer marking the Eid al-Adha holiday (A) Athens : Greeces new cabinet pose for the photographers (B+A) Nairobi : A supporter of Kenyas Opposition party CORD wearing oranges (A) Moscow : Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkeys President (A+B) SPORTS Tokyo : Pan Pacific Open women?s tennis (B+A) Kolkata: Atletico de Kolkata team jersey (A) Mumbai:Champions Tennis League season 2 announcement(A+B) Chennai: Vishwanathan and Arvind in Press Conference(A+B) Bengaluru : Preparatory cricklet camp in Bengaluru (B+A) London : World Heavyweight boxing champion, Wladimir Klitschko, holding his title belts (B) Mysore: Bangladesh A vs Karnataka (B+A) PTI PHOTO GCS AKN AKNlast_img read more

Cricket: Twitter reacts as Captain Kohli scores a magnificent century vs England

first_imgVirat Kohli in Tests in England…In 2014 faced 288 balls, scored 134 runs in 10 innings.In 2018 faced 225 balls, scored 149 runs in one innings!#ENGvIND #INDvsENG— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 2, 2018 Virat Kohli is a great batsman and true leader. Single handedly he took India near England’s score.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) August 2, 2018 A brilliant hundred from Kohli. Scored more in this first innings than he did in 10 innings in 2014. Added 99 so far with Shami, Ishant and Yadav , who have scored 8 between them. #ENGIND pic.twitter.com/POeNkl9Oip— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 2, 2018 A masterclass from Virat Kohli, leading from the front. A display of tremendous character determination and grit #ENGIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 2, 2018 Advertisement First Century. First of Many. Well played, Virat Kohli. Best batsman on the planet. #EngvInd— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 2, 2018 This majestic Kohli knock ranks alongside Gavaskar The Oval 1979 and Dravid Headingley 2002 for sure— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 2, 2018 Advertisement(Image Courtesy: Cricbuzz)Indian Captain Virat Kohli scored a scintillating knock of 149 to bring team India right back into the contest.After dismissing England for 287, India set out to bat on day 2 hoping to take a lead. The openers got off to a good start putting up a 50 run partnership. This was soon followed by 3 quick wickets from the quickie Sam Curran.Following this Carnage, Virat Kohli came out with his team in a spot of bother. Stitching up important partnerships with Hardik Pandya and later on with the tail enders, Virat got to his 22nd century in style.He then went on to score 149 before getting out to Adil Rashid. His knock comprised of 22 fours and a six. Virat’s knock turned out to be a crucial one as India who were ion the verge of conceding a huge lead to their opponent’s just had to concede 13 in the end.Personally for himself this turned out to be an important knock. The celebration following the hundred showed Virat how much this hundred meant to him. He had managed to score 15 runs more than the total runs he accumulated in the 2014 series vs England.Here is how Twitter reacted to acknowledge this magnificent innings:Innings Break!Virat Kohli gets out after a sensational knock of 149, #TeamIndia all out for 274. Trail England 287 by 13 runs.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/7rEKYkur9r— BCCI (@BCCI) August 2, 2018 So adorable that there were people that thought Kohli wouldn’t absolutely boss it in England in this series. #GUN— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) August 2, 2018center_img A lot of heat on Kohli and produces a 100 in his first innings. #class 🏏— Usman Khawaja (@Uz_Khawaja) August 2, 2018 Outstanding 💯 from Kohli— David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) August 2, 2018 Virat Kohli’s splendid innings ends on 149! England take a 13-run lead https://t.co/PAfjOZ5KRL #ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/HJVg9mptfj— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 2, 2018 What an inning.! Absolute dedication, commitment and focus… Not every test innings keep you glued to the TV through the whole inning but this one did. It was an absolute masterclass from the GOAT. #engind— βαтsү🏏 (@itsalokj) August 2, 2018 Just stood up in our studio and applauded. One of Kohli’s best. Full of grit and patience. Proper test match batting. #Class.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 2, 2018 What a player what a knock #Kohli— Mason Crane (@masoncrane32) August 2, 2018Also Read:England vs. India: 1st Test Day 1 Review- Late collapse ensures pole position for India India’s future is safe. Virat Kohli is already in the 22nd century.— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) August 2, 2018last_img read more

The Oregon Model

first_imgThere was an article in the New York Times last year about Chip Kelly and Wiz Khalifa and being the fastest offense in America that I’ve probably read three or four times and sent to a few dozen people. I was obsessed with this article, but not because of the shiny unis or the crazy rapper. I was obsessed because the practice model implemented by Chip Kelly is so countercultural to the norm that most coaches can’t even believe it.Oregon practices in the morning before its players attend class, and the sessions are brief — usually an hour and 50 minutes, and sometimes less. The music blares from start to finish, and you see players during their short rest periods busting out dance moves.WARNING: Uncle Rico-like “back when we won state” comment coming below…When I played baseball in college I used to detest practices. They would last three and half hours and we would do no more work (in fact, sometimes less) than we got done in an hour and a half during high school. I’m the biggest believer of having fast, short, fun practices of any college football blogger on the internet. I promise.I fell in love with Chip Kelly because of the way he ran his sessions.Enter Chip Kelly midwest: Mike Gundy.If you’ve ever had a job where when you got up, you were dreading getting to the office because of the boss or your environment or you didn’t like it, it’s not very fun. Your production level’s going to go down, I don’t care who you areThis is in reference to the fact that the head ball coach for the Cowboys has cut down practice time to four and a half hours. A week.On Gundy, Jeff Latzke writes:He has even incorporated music and occasionally humorous skits into practice to keep the atmosphere lively.Does this sound familiar?!Gundy goes on:We do the best we can to make sure our players are having fun, so their mental approach is they look forward to coming over and being in the offices with us, they look forward to being in meetings, they look forward to being in practice because they know they’re going to have fun.As a former athlete I can’t begin to tell you how important this is to players. To have a coach who understands that practices can be enjoyable and sometimes even more competitive versions of games is to have the biggest ally on campus.It hasn’t always been like this though. Todd Monken notes it was much different during the Les era:I’d like to practice like Les did. I’d like to be out there about five hours. But that’s not realistic.This has to be the most underrated storyline I’ve read all year. And it’s one more bullet in the holster for Gundy who, as Htownpoke pointed out in the comments section yesterday, doesn’t have the depth an LSU or an Alabama or an OU has. He needs to keep guys healthy and motivated and his decision to not hit in fall ball coupled with his wise choice to cut the fat out of weekly practices tells me he gets it.He understands how all of this works. He is secure enough in his job to take some minor chances like this. I bet if he was going 6-6 people wouldn’t say “oh this is cool, he’s countercultural!” No, he’d be getting axed. He trusts in his methods though and he trusts his players. You have to when your weekly practice time isn’t even as long as a Miguel Cabrera brunch session.Here’s the full AP story.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Flipkart Super Value Week: Honor offers discounts up to Rs 9,000 on phones during Flipkart sale

first_imgFlipkart Super Value Week: Honor offers discounts up to Rs 9,000 on phones during Flipkart saleHonor is also offering some of its smartphones such as the Honor 9i, Honor 10 Lite, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9N, Honor 7A and Honor 7S with exciting discounts during the Flipkart Super Value Week.advertisement Sanket Vijayasarathy New DelhiApril 24, 2019UPDATED: April 25, 2019 09:32 IST HIGHLIGHTSThe Honor 9i gets the biggest discount of Rs 9,000 on FlipkartHonor is also selling the popular Honor 9 Lite and Honor 10 Lite at attractive prices.Customers can also buy the Complete Mobile Protection package for just Rs 99.The Flipkart Super Value Week is underway on the e-commerce platform and consumers can avail some exciting offers and discounts on a range of products including smartphones. Honor is also offering some of its smartphones with exciting discounts such as the Honor 10 Lite, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9N, Honor 7A and Honor 7S. Notably the Honor 9i gets the biggest discount of Rs 9,000 on Flipkart during the Super Value Week.The Honor 9i is selling for Rs 10,999 on Flipkart, down from its original price of Rs 19,999. The Honor 9i comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It sports a 5.9-inch FHD+ display with a 18:9 aspect ratio. It sports dual cameras on the front and back and is powered by a Kirin 659 chipset.The Honor 7S and Honor 7A are available at Rs 5,999 and Rs 7,499, respectively. The former comes with a 2GB + 16GB configuration while the latter is offered with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.The Honor 9N comes in three variants, all of which are discounted during the Flipkart Super Value Week. The base model with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage is available for Rs 8,999, while the 4GB + 64GB and 4GB + 128GB variants are available for Rs 9,999 and Rs 11,999, respectively.Honor is also selling the popular Honor 9 Lite and Honor 10 Lite at attractive prices during the sale. The Honor 9 Lite can be purchased for Rs 8,499 and Rs 9,999 for the 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB variants, respectively, while the Honor 10 Lite is available for Rs 11,999 and Rs 13,999 for the 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB options, respectively.advertisementDuring the Flipkart Super Value Week, customers can also buy the Complete Mobile Protection package for just Rs 99, which will cover screen damage, water damage, hardware and software defects along with other brand authorised repairs. Buyers can also get additional discount from Rs 250 to Rs 1000 using the “Super Exchange Offer.”ALSO READ | Flipkart Super Value Week starts April 23: What are the offers and how can you claim themGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanket Vijayasarathy Tags :Follow FlipkartFollow Flipkart Super Value WeekFollow Flipkart saleFollow Honorlast_img read more