INDIANAPOLIS, IN – APRIL 03: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats acknowledges the fans during practice for the NCAA Men’s Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 3, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)It turns out it isn’t just SEC football fans who are willing to go above and beyond to display their fanhood on a daily basis. Sunday night, a Kentucky hoops supporter named Gina Estep tweeted a photo of her friend, who is pregnant, showing just how much she’s into Wildcats basketball. The UK supporter has painted her stomach into a basketball and added two Kentucky logos. It’s [email protected] Thought you would enjoy this soon to be UK fan:) pic.twitter.com/DtOlhdpSal— Gina Estep (@Ginadawn1) February 16, 2015Score another win for Kentucky – the Wildcats are certainly going to add one more hardcore fan very soon. Props.
The team with the best chance of going undefeated this fall is not the team appearing No. 1 in most preseason polls. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (the “best predictor of a team’s performance”), Oklahoma – not Alabama – is the team most-likely to go undefeated heading into bowl season. While the Crimson Tide are the likely preseason No. 1, it’s the Sooners with the best chance of reaching the College Football Playoff. Here’s the full top 10:Oklahoma – 16.9 percent chance of going undefeated before bowl seasonFlorida State – 10.6 percentClemson – 8.6 percentBoise State – 8 percentMichigan – 5.8 percentLSU – 5.3 percentTennessee – 4.5 percentOklahoma State – 2.4 percentWashington – 1.4 percentNotre Dame – 1.2 percentSome other notable percentages: Alabama – 0.6 percentOhio State – 0.4 percentNebraska – 0.4 percentMichigan State – 0.1 percentOle Miss – 0.1 percentYou can view ESPN’s full FPI here.
zoom Switzerland-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) plans to enhance its New Kiwi Service operating between Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand, by adding a new port of call into Bell Bay, Tasmania. The New Kiwi Service has been running in its current format since February 2015, with fixed weekly port calls into Bell Bay.The company is now offering two fixed port calls in Bell Bay each week and the service is linking Tasmania directly to Noumea and New Zealand.The first vessel to call at Bell Bay via the upgraded service will be the 2005-built boxship Malte Rambow on December 8, 2016.The port rotation of the New Kiwi Service will be as follows, with round trip transit times remaining unchanged: Sydney, Brisbane (Australia), Noumea (New Caledonia), Tauranga, Auckland (New Zealand), Bell Bay, Melbourne, Bell Bay, Sydney (Australia).Image Courtesy: MSC
United Way of New York City’s Women’s Leadership Council will host its 10th annual Power of Women to Make a Difference Award Luncheon on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, celebrating female leaders who have positively impacted their communities and made a difference in the lives of others.Net proceeds from the 10th anniversary event will benefit United Way of New York City’s ReadNYC initiative, which focuses on making sure young people in disadvantaged communities are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade.As premier sponsor for the second consecutive year and a brand dedicated to celebrating women, Italian luxury fashion house Max Mara will show an exclusive presentation of their Spring/Summer 2016 collection at the event. SourceMedia’s leading financial services brand, American Banker, which reaches an engaged audience of senior banking decision-makers and experts via an award-winning website, monthly magazine and its prestigious annual ranking of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance, will also return as a sponsor this year. New sponsors for 2016 are renowned French winery Champagne Laurent-Perrier, which is sponsoring the 10th Anniversary Toast, and Cepi Style, leading style specialist for executive women.This year’s honorees include Monique L. Nelson, Chair & CEO of UniWorld Group, Laurie M. Tisch, President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Martine Reardon, Chief Marketing Officer of Macy’s, and Jennifer Warren, Managing Director and Head, U.S. Region at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City (UWNYC) will also be in attendance.The luncheon will also feature for the first time the “Power of the Purse” auction, where handbags from some of the most renowned designers, including a special handbag by Max Mara, will be auctioned to raise money for ReadNYC.The Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) engages the power, talent and passion of women to transform communities. Previous honorees and keynote speakers of the annual Power of Women to Make a Difference Award Luncheon include Susan Taylor, former Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine, Soledad O’Brien, former CNN anchor and CEO of Starfish Media Group, Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer and President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Deanna Mulligan, President and CEO of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.For more information, visit unitedwaynyc.org. The event will take place at Cipriani 42nd Street in NYC.
[polldaddy poll=6386631]Debate Part IIDebate Part IIIDebate Part IVAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG–Six of the eight candidates vying for the role of national chief of the country’s most influential First Nations organization squared-off in a debate which aired Thursday.The hour-long debate featured incumbent AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo, Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus, Ryerson University professor Pam Palmater, Manitoba lawyer Joan Jack, former Roseau River First Nation chief Terry Nelson and former Treaty 3 grand chief Diane Kelly.Technical difficulties kept Mohawk activist Ellen Gabriel from participating in the debate via Skype from Geneva. George Stanley, regional AFN chief for Alberta, was unavailable to participate.Only chiefs can vote in the AFN election for national chief and the vote will be held in Toronto next Wednesday.Atleo, who participated in the debate from Ottawa, stuck to his message of being the unity candidate and ignored the pointed criticism from some of his challenges.“I think, as national chief over the last three years, of all the moments spent with families and with the kids especially. I think about Jaden, a 10 year-old boy in a northern remote community that I had a conversation with in his, really, one-room shack with no running water and no electricity and a slop pail out on the front porch,” said Atleo. “We have to achieve change for the Jadens across our respective territories that must compel our work going forward.”Palmater, however, directly attacked Atleo and the AFN under his leadership.“The status-quo is killing our people…various communities across the country are in crisis mode and we are not calling it a crisis at the AFN,” said Palmater. “The policy of appeasement at the AFN has not gained the AFN, or anyone else, any favours.”Nelson took a different tact, while avoiding direct criticism of Atleo, he said the chiefs needed to send a message that they are not afraid of Ottawa.“The AFN really messed up at the so-called Crown-First Nation gathering (in January)…They treated Harper as God, the chiefs were muzzled and what happened is you have massive cuts,” said Nelson. “People have to quit being afraid….the Americans are on our side, if you don’t get the Americans on your side, you are not going to get anything from Canada.”Jack presented a starkly different vision for the AFN, saying the organization had to again reconnect with people in First Nation communities, prioritizing Indigenous languages, and let the regions drive the national organization’s agenda.“Most of the people in our communities don’t understand they just get continually left behind by all of these discussions somewhere else,” said Jack. “The regions of the AFN must be empowered so they implement solutions that meet their own needs in their own territories.”Kelly highlighted her experience as Treaty 3 grand chief saying she was both connected to the traditional teachings and the demands of dealing with the governments of the day.“I have a long history of being educated by our elders about the spirit and intent of our treaties,” said Kelly. “It’s not about just going to government with our hand out, we can’t do that anymore…we have to just take action, we have to assert our inherent jurisdiction our inherent rights.”Erasmus portrayed himself as the candidate who could bring a smooth shift in the current direction of the AFN to take a stronger stand on rights.“Canada really has no jurisdiction over us whatsoever…the Canadian government is a lesser authority, the legislation they are trying to apply to us is illegal,” said Erasmus. “People know who I am. I think they are comfortable with me in this position and they know I am capable of doing the job.”
TORONTO – Analysts said Thursday that Shaw Communications Inc. was the big winner from Ottawa’s decision to set aside 43 per cent of the next spectrum auction for regional wireless carriers and potential new rivals, but stock markets didn’t react.“Given well-established network partnerships . . . and consolidation over the years, we believe none of the key wireless players in Canada are really starved for spectrum,” telecom analyst Phillip Huang wrote for Barclays Capital.“Having said that, Shaw still has the smallest spectrum portfolio compared to its peers, and we believe the 600MHz auction is most important to Shaw.”However, Huang and other analysts said the government’s position had been well-telegraphed and they didn’t expect much impact on share prices.At the end of trading Thursday, none of the five publicly traded companies with wireless operations was up or down even a full percentage point and the only decline was Shaw, down five cents to $24.82 — about 0.2 per cent.The Calgary-based cable, internet and satellite company is relatively new to the wireless industry which it hadn’t pursued aggressively until it bought Wind Mobile two years ago and rebranded it as Freedom Mobile in late 2016.Canaccord Genuity analyst Aravinda Galappatthige agreed that Shaw, as well as Quebecor’s Videotron cable division, would be able to enhance their spectrum position at a relatively low cost.“Recall the incumbents had argued against set-asides for Shaw and Quebecor, highlighting that these are well-established cable companies and that their wireless operations can no longer be deemed ‘new entrants’, ” he wrote.Nevertheless, he added, it’s apparent the government “is keen to move ahead with its initiatives to improve wireless affordability in Canada and believes that this framework would further encourage greater competition.”Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said as much in an interview Thursday.“Canadians pay some of the highest cell phone prices in the G7 (industrialized countries) and we, as a government, want to see the prices to go down for Canadian consumers,” said Bains, who is the minister responsible for telecom.“By putting aside 43 per cent of the spectrum, for regional competitors and potential new market entrants, we believe this will increase competition, this will promote better quality services and — more importantly — this will provide affordable prices for Canadians.”However, Bell Canada — which has the country’s largest telecommunications and media business — issued a statement Thursday re-iterating its opposition to giving Shaw and Quebecor such a financial advantage.“Even prior to this decision, the federal government had handed out $4 billion in wireless spectrum subsidies to cable companies over the last 10 years,” Bell said.“In terms of new entrants, we expected some level of spectrum set asides but 43 per cent is far too generous considering the level of subsidies they’ve already received over the years and their slow pace of service rollouts.”Rogers Communications Inc. was also critical of the government’s spectrum decision that was largely in line with its position going into a consultation process that began last year.“The wireless market is fiercely competitive with four facilities-based service providers with multiple brands in virtually every market competing to win the hearts and minds of Canadians, and the startups of a decade ago are now well-capitalized regional players who do not require government assistance,” said David Watt, Rogers senior vice-president for regulatory affairs.“Going forward, we hope the government recognizes this and adopts more balanced auction rules as the country gets ready for 5G.”Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI-B)(TSX:BCE)(TSX:SJR.B)
TORONTO – When Mark Wlodarski started collecting bobbleheads about a decade ago, dollar signs were far from his mind.The Toronto Blue Jays, whose bobbleheads he coveted most, Wlodarski says were “just horrid” and their merchandise were hardly desirable.That changed around 2015. The Jays shot up in the standings, bolstered by newcomers Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, who came with bobbleheads that attracted droves of collectors.The shift taught Wlodarski — the owner of about 650 bobbleheads at his collecting peak, who insists his love of the figurines is about passion not profit — plenty about how to master the collectibles market.The market can be fraught with high price tags and even higher emotions, but experts say there are tens of thousands of dollars to be to made, if you’re willing to part with high-value items like baseball cards, comics, coins, stamps and vintage film posters.They say maximizing what can be made or nabbing an item for as little as possible can be tough because it takes a mix of timing and luck.The trick to making money off collectibles, Wlodarski said, is learning how to assess a market.“You have to know when it’s time to get into any hobby, and get out of any hobby,” he said.To do that, Wlodarski keeps an eye on how teams are performing and how popular characters and other celebrities are. If a team is headed for the playoffs or a television show, movie or character are really taking off, collectibles tied to them are worth more and it’s a good time to sell, but a terrible time to buy. When that popularity is waning, there are generally better deals to be found, but if you’re selling, less money to be made.Bobbleheads given away recently at sports games or events will be plentiful and won’t command much cash, but ones from older seasons, when few were made, can be worth a pretty penny, he said.Not everything will increase in value over time though, said Stephen Ranger, the vice-president of auction and appraisal business Waddington’s.“The things your mother and your grandmother collected are not always the things that have sustained market value,” he said. “Our tastes have changed. It would be rare to find a 30-year-old who is interested in Royal Doulton figurines.”Ranger said fine wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy are proving to be quite valuable as is art from Canadian modernists including Jack Bush, Harold Town and Claude Tousignant.Other experts say many Beanie Babies, a hit with kids in the 1990s, aren’t just tiny in size, but also now in value. Many also say old-fashioned ceramics can be hit-or-miss too.If there’s an item you’re keen on nabbing, Wlodarski said it’s imperative to have a budget “or else you could go broke obtaining it.”If you’re on the selling side, Kent Sikstrom, Kijiji Canada’s community relations manager, said photos taken from multiple angles and in good lighting can increase what a seller will make when advertising on online platforms. Descriptions of the collectible with information on its age, dimensions and condition help too.Posts made on the online sales platform on or near weekends usually net more traffic because more people have time to browse on Saturday and Sunday, said Sikstrom, who collects action figures and hockey cards.If you’re selling an entire collection, Sikstrom recommended splitting up the items into separate posts because it’s harder to find someone willing to shell out for every item you have for sale.If it’s taking a while to sell something or you’re hesitant to post obscure collectibles for sale, he reminds, “There is always a collector for everything.”“One person’s trash is another one’s treasure.”
LONDON – Largest university in London obtains injunction against student protests.The University of London has obtained a court order banning student protests on its campuses for the next six months after a demonstration against how the university is run resulted in 38 arrests last week.“This is a regrettable but necessary step that we have taken in order to prevent the type of violent and intimidating behaviour that we have seen by protesters at Senate House recently,” said Chris Cobb, Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary, regarding the injunction. Police were brought in to break up a sit-in on Wednesday after which students accused the police of assaulting students.The students’ demands include a halt to privatisation, fair pay for workers and a halt to a controversial plan to close the student union. They are protesting against the way higher education as a whole is controlled they say.The union outlined their stance, “Occupations are a legitimate form of dissent. When our university exploits our staff, shuts down our student union, and are utterly unaccountable to the students and staff that give it life and make it function, students have no choice but to gain leverage in whatever way they can.”Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Michael Chessum, president of the University of London Student union said, “I have myself been thrown to the ground and I’ve witnessed widespread violence form the police, including crutches being kicked away from under someone, a lot of swinging punches, and people being beaten to near unconsciousness during their arrest.”Some 135,090 students (approximately 5% of all UK students) attend one of the University of London’s affiliated schools.
Marrakech – The former Director of UNESCO on Friday praised the personal involvement of King Mohammed VI in defending the Palestinian cause.The personal involvement of King Mohammed VI, chairman of Al Quds Committee, for the defense of the Palestinian cause is “beyond any doubt”, said former Director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Federico Mayor Zaragoza.The Sovereign who is “custodian of a multi-century legitimacy does not spare any effort to support the Palestinian people’s legitimate claims for an independent, free and sovereign state”, the UNESCO former chief (1987-1999) told MAP as Morocco is holding this January 17-18, under the chairmanship of King Mohammed VI, the 20th session of Al Quds Committee, an offshoot of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Federico Mayor, who also served as Spain’s education and science minister underscored the importance of Al Quds committee meeting in Marrakech as “a new and important opportunity” to resume dialog on the Middle East peace process and discuss Israel’s policy of illegal settlements.He also considered that the world is closely following this meeting which is held in a crucial period for the Palestinian issue and peace negotiations, stressing that the timing is “more than pertinent” given Israel’s provocations and aggressions, which are a source of worry to the international community.Federico Mayor further commended the actions and initiatives of Bayt Mal Al Quds Agency, the field arm of Al Quds Committee, to preserve the religious and cultural legacy and civilization of city.“The Agency’s programs have efficiently contributed to alleviating the sufferings of Al Quds inhabitants and to improving their daily life”, he insisted.
UPDATE (Feb. 25, 4:58 p.m.): Since publication of this post, the Last Man organizers have acknowledged that their database did not include one contestant who was still viable in the competition. She has since been eliminated, but the numbers in this post would be slightly different if the database had been correct at the time of publication. Eighty-five percent of participants have already been felled by what competitors call “The Knowledge,”2Not to be confused with “The Knowledge.” according to the Last Man website. Sixteen percent of all players had, despite their best efforts, learned who won the Super Bowl by midnight on the night of the game (Feb. 7).3I wasn’t a declared player, but I made it only to 9:17 a.m. the day after the game, by which point 27 percent of players had learned the result, too. By the end of the next day, more than half of the competitors had lost their blissful ignorance. The more time that passes, the safer the players are; only about a quarter of competitors who made it through the first post-Super Bowl week perished in the second. Now, as you can see in the chart above, the survivor curve is more like a plateau.But that’s no reason for the survivors to let down their guard. They could still be taken out by the kind of thing that has felled other competitors — phone calls, cupcakes, baby photos, the usual. And it’s not always just the Last Manners who suffer when they lose: One competitor learned the Super Bowl winner via “email from treacherous husband I thought I could trust.” And that husband may find that the guilt of being the spoiler weighs on him for longer than The Knowledge haunts his spouse. It’s been more than two weeks since the Super Bowl, and there are still at least 29 people1As of Sunday, when the data was last updated. who don’t know who won. Those 29 are the recorded survivors of the Last Man challenge, a war-of-attrition, just-for-glory competition to be the last person in the U.S. (or at least in the challenge’s database) unaware of who won Super Bowl 50. (For all of you who still don’t know who won, this post is a safe space.)