Making it easy for volunteers and staff

first_imgHere’s a great comment to my post yesterday. Listen to this story from Chas Grundy:For our summer camp, we struggle each year to find staff. Last year, we ran with a skeleton crew, barely enough to handle the number of campers. This year, we have a full staff. The difference? Online job applications. In the past, they had to request an application, then fill it out and mail it back. This year, they can just apply online. We’ve already had three times as many applicants as we have positions. Convenience goes a LONG way. Promote your organization all you want, but success relies on a call to action and an easy way to act. I could not agree more. Are you making it easy for people to work for you or volunteer for you? If you don’t already, do this one thing: Register your volunteer opportunities on an aggregator’s site, so people can find you easily and sign up quickly. Check out VolunteerMatch or Idealist, for example. When you post an opportunity on these sites, you’ll also appear on the White House volunteerism site, USA Freedom Corps, because it draws from aggregators like these.last_img read more

Good story – about lawyers!

first_imgI’ve gotten some inspiring email from the posts on writing this week. I wanted to share some strong writing shared by Samantha, a top ten fundraiser who participated in Six Degrees and personally got 405 people to donate to Bet Tzedek.Justice for Guillermo It reads like a scene from a Dickens novel: A 17-year-old sews labels on clothes for 70 hours a week, without lunch or rest breaks, earning three cents for each piece he completes. The year? 2006. The place? Downtown Los Angeles. Guillermo Martinez (name changed to protect client privacy) thought his job meant a chance to improve the lives of his mother and sisters in Guatemala. He didn’t realize that he would be physically abused and financially exploited. Fortunately for Guillermo, Bet Tzedek’s Employment Rights Project (ERP) exists. Becky Monroe, ERP Attorney, and Matthew DeCarolis, a Social Justice Fellow in our Valley office, took Guillermo’s case and recently won a $44,000 judgment for him. Guillermo is a slight young man of 5’5″. When he was hired, he was promised between two and six cents per clothing piece he completed. After a year on the job, Guillermo mustered the courage to question whether he was being credited with all of the pieces on which he labored. The floor manager’s response? To physically assault Guillermo and push him to the floor. Guillermo had to go to the hospital, and one year later, still receives treatments for his injury. Guillermo then came to Bet Tzedek for help in getting his owed wages. Each week, he earned an average of $230, averaging out to less than $3.50 per hour. Based upon the California minimum wage and overtime rules, Guillermo’s work week should have earned him nearly $600 per week. The Hearing Officer at the Labor Commissioner’s office conducted a hearing and reviewed all the evidence we presented. On cross-examination, the factory owner presented her defense: “If I paid minimum wage, then I could not make a profit.” In mid-March, Guillermo received the Hearing Officer’s decision: Guillermo is entitled to receive $44,000, covering all wages and breaks claimed plus applicable penalties. The owner has been put on notice that she must comply with minimum wage laws or face exposure to other wage claims like Guillermo’s.last_img read more

South Korea bemoan Sweden’s superior height

first_imgWorld Cup ‘They were too tall!’ – South Korea loss blamed on Sweden’s height Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 02:45 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) hwang hee-chan - cropped Getty Images World Cup Sweden v South Korea South Korea Sweden Shin Tae-yong repeatedly pointed to an apparent disadvantage in terms of height as he assessed his side’s defeat in their World Cup opener Shin Tae-yong felt Sweden’s height advantage was key in South Korea’s 1-0 World Cup defeat in Nizhny Novgorod on Monday.A second-half penalty from Andreas Granqvist gave Janne Andersson’s side all three points and sent them joint-top of Group F with Mexico, who beat defending champions Germany a day earlier.Clear-cut chances were few and far between but Sweden were good value for their victory, with South Korea failing to muster a shot on target. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Shin blamed much of the loss on the fact his players could not match their opponents’ physically, even though each side managed two headed shots in the match.”The Swedish players are very tall. We prepared to play against tall players and, rather than contact, we focused on height,” he explained.”After the first half we felt we would adjust and that in the second half we would be able to find chances. They did adjust very well; it’s a pity they gave away a penalty.”Among the 32 teams, I think they [Sweden] are tallest or one of the top two. They will be a real threat because of their height.”Granqvist scored from the spot after a lengthy VAR review, with referee Joel Aguilar initially deciding Kim Min-woo had not fouled Viktor Claesson.Shin was frustrated to concede the penalty but accepted the right decision was eventually made.”I think we have to follow what the referee decides,” he said. “Of course we could say it’s regrettable, but he [Claesson] was caught.”We agree that it was a good call.”A defeat against Mexico in their second match on Saturday could see South Korea’s exit from the tournament confirmed, and Shin expects a difficult test.”They were very fast, very skilled, they’re a tough team so they are going to be a formidable opponent but we’re going to look over the match with Germany, analyse it and find our way to deal with the Mexico team,” he added.last_img read more

What’s Your Ask: One-Time or Monthly Giving?

first_imgMaking a recurring donation is an easy way to ensure that your favorite projects receive ongoing support. … In the coming months, you’ll receive authentic progress updates as they are posted by the projects. You’ll know how your contribution is being put to work and the results that are being achieved. Take a close look. You’ll see that GlobalGiving asks donors to choose between one-time and monthly giving. In fact, rather than finding the emphasis on asap funds that I anticipated, the matching gift opportunity for monthly gifts motivated me to give that way. But this example is tricky. The time sensitivity of disaster fundraising limits the opportunity for a series of one-at-a-time asks. The matching gift offer for monthly donations was time limited as well. However, many folks, like me, think of relief giving as a one-off. What would you have done? My expectation of the emphasis on right-now, one-time donations was pure assumption, but the double ask spurred my curiosity on what the expert GlobalGiving fundraisers were up to. So I was thrilled to learn their take on the importance of monthly relief giving in the thank you email I received shortly after my gift: P.S. GlobalGiving’s twofold ask for a one-time and a monthly donation did confuse me. As a rule, I recommend making one ask—a single call to action—at a time. Nobody can do two things at once. Pushing your people to sequence two steps or to decide between two alternatives is work. It’s likely to diminish response. A few days later, I came to understand even more via this project report email: Thank you for being part of an incredible global community that is deeply committed to building and supporting a community of local nonprofits, who, after disasters, are often best positioned to provide the long-term recovery work that communities need long after the news stories have faded from the headlines.center_img Did you donate to the relief effort for victims of the Nepal earthquake a few months ago? I contributed via GlobalGiving, thanks to the on-the-ground guidance of a friend living there. How do you decide whether to ask for a one-time or monthly donation or both? Please share your responses in the comments section. Thank you. Thanks so much to these fundraising experts who opened my eyes to the value of long-view disaster-relief funding. Not to mention the matching gift. Here’s the donation page I encountered, and I have to tell you, I was confused. With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at read more

‘Rashford has to top Pogba on Man Utd penalty list’

first_imgManchester United have to hand penalty-taking duty to Marcus Rashford, says Paul Ince, with Paul Pogba’s miss against Wolves having sparked an unnecessary debate around a player who may not even be at the club much longer.A World Cup winner stepped up to the spot at Molineux, only to see his effort saved by Rui Patricio.Questions have been asked as to why Pogba was allowed to take the ball, despite winning the penalty, as Rashford once again crashed home from 12 yards on the opening day against Chelsea. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sought to avoid being dragged into the argument, claiming that duties will be shared at Old Trafford, but Ince believes the man at the helm should be dictating to his players.The former United midfielder sees no reason why Pogba should be taking charge, especially as there is no guarantee that he will be sticking around amid ongoing talk of a possible move to Real Madrid.Ince told Paddy Power: “It’s down to Ole’s management.“He should be making it perfectly clear before they go on the pitch. He should be saying: ‘If there’s a penalty – Rashford, you’re taking it. If you’re not on the pitch – it’s Pogba, and so on.’“There’s a list of order there, it makes it transparent, and there’s none of this bickering about who scored when and who missed, it leaves no room for debate.“That’s where it comes down to Ole. He should be making it crystal clear that there is one penalty-taker and that’s it. He needs to show his leadership and tell the players that it’s the end of the theatricals, there’s one person only for the job.“There’s been people suggesting that Ole is trying to appease Pogba by letting him take penalties, but as the manager at one of the biggest clubs in the world that shouldn’t even be a thought.“You can’t work like that, you need to show that leadership. There’s no reason why he should feel the need to appease Pogba, if anything it should be the other way around.“For me, it’s clear who should be chosen, too. Marcus Rashford has never missed a penalty in senior football, he netted in United’s 4-0 opener against Chelsea, there’s an obvious choice here, he should be the penalty taker.“Look at his record, why would you go for anyone else?“We all miss them at times of course, but also a major consideration should be Pogba’s future. Will he even be here when the European window shuts? And if he is, will he leave in January anyway? Whereas you’ve got Rashford, who’s going to be around for four or five years, so why not just make him your man?”United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday when they play host to Crystal Palace, with Solskjaer hoping to see his side offer a positive response to the eventful 1-1 draw at Molineux. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Lozano arrives in Italy ahead of €42m Napoli switch

first_imgMexico international Hirving Lozano arrived in Italy on Tuesday ahead of his expected move to Napoli from PSV.Lozano is expected to join the Partenopei in a transfer worth a reported €42 million (£38.5m/$47m).The 24-year-old winger has been linked with the Naples club for much of the transfer window and completion of the deal appears close. Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Lozano was mobbed by a group of Napoli supporters shortly after arriving at an airport in Rome, posing for photographs with fans displaying club merchandise.¡Ya llegó! ✈️Hirving Lozano arribó a tierras italianas y posó con una bufanda del Napoli en busca de cerrar su llegada al equipo 🔵— Sportscenter en español (@SportsCenter_nt) August 20, 2019A direct, goalscoring winger, Lozano has enjoyed two excellent seasons with PSV in the Eredivisie.Having joined from Pachuca in 2017 after building a fine reputation for himself at home in Mexico, Lozano seamlessly settled into Dutch football.He scored 17 league goals and added eight assists in his first campaign, resulting in speculation linking him with more illustrious European clubs, such as Manchester United.Although Lozano was not able to inspire PSV to the title again last term, he proved his debut season was no fluke by accumulating the same number of goals and assists.Lozano has already played one match with PSV this season, though he picked up a knock against ADO Den Haag on August 11 that ruled him out for this weekend’s game against Heracles.The injury may yet rule Lozano out for Napoli’s Serie A opener against Fiorentina on Saturday, as the Partenopei look to go one better this season following back-to-back second place finishes behind Juventus in the Italian top flight. Also known for his blistering pace, Lozano has been capped 35 times by Mexico and is generally regarded as one of the country’s most talented exports since Real Madrid icon Hugo Sanchez.Lozano will reportedly undergo a medical on Wednesday.The Mexico star’s arrival may also shut the door on a possible move for James Rodriguez, who has been linked with a switch from Real Madrid all summer. The Colombia international has returned to Madrid after spending two seasons on loan with Bayern Munich, but his path to playing time at the Bernabeu is unclear. Rodriguez was an unused substitute in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend in their La Liga opener.last_img read more

Pep: Fernandinho & Otamendi are too old to play every game

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he must look for more defensive options because Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are too old to play every game.With City in the midst of an injury crisis in defense, the pair started Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus all scored as City got their Champions League campaign off to a flying start, but a shortage of healthy centre-backs still looms over the club.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Aymeric Laporte is set to miss up to six months with a knee injury and John Stones is out for five weeks with a muscle problem, leaving City in a major bind at the back. Defensive mistakes – particularly one by Otamendi – were prevalent on Saturday as City fell to a shock 3-2 defeat at newly-promoted Norwich City. Otamendi is the only healthy natural centre-back in the squad meaning Fernandinho, a regular midfielder, has been asked to deputise at the back. But Guardiola has suggested that because of their age, he will also have to call upon midfielder Rodri and right-back Kyle Walker at centre-back in the coming weeks. “I didn’t have doubts [Fernandinho] could do it,” Guardiola said after City’s win on Wednesday. “Nico is 31, Fernandinho is 34 and the next alternative (Eric Garcia) is 18. For three or four months I don’t know what will happen.”Both were incredible tonight. Nico showed incredible personality after what happened in the previous game.”We need another solution — Rodri or Kyle Walker maybe — because they cannot play every game at their age.”Fernandinho, who was making only his second appearance of the season on Wednesday, said after the game that he was comfortable at centre-back and ready to play the position as much as his manager requires.”I’ve been training in this position since the start of the season. Pep knows all about our squad and team,” the Brazilian told BT Sport.”Today was my opportunity and I hope I can improve more.” City will return to Premier League play on Saturday when they take on Watford. Their next Champions League match will come on October 1 when they host Dinamo Zagreb.last_img read more

Zidane coy on Van de Beek and Eriksen links

first_imgZinedine Zidane refused to be drawn on whether Real Madrid would be returning for reported summer targets Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek in the coming transfer windows.The two midfielders were widely linked with the Spanish giants during the summer, but ended up staying at Tottenham and Ajax respectively.Van de Beek  in particular was close to Los Blancos , but the move eventually broke down with the Eredivisie champions demanding €60 million (£55m/$67m) for one of their star players. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “Eriksen or Van de Beek? That is a matter for the club,” Zidane said ahead of his side’s trip to Sevilla on Sunday.“The team is what it is. We are the ones that are here and we will compete with what we have.”Madrid start the weekend two points behind Sevilla in top spot, and there was talk of a crisis at the club on Wednesday as they suffered their heaviest European defeat under Zidane .The 3-0 drubbing at the hands of a below-strength Paris Saint-Germain side raised questions about the quality Zidane has to work with, despite the dramatic summer rebuild he undertook in the transfer window.Marquinhos Casemiro Real Madrid PSG Champions League 2019Madrid’s summer splurge focused primarily on attack and defence with the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Eder Militao brought in, but midfield issues weren’t addressed as the moves for Eriksen and Van de Beek failed to materialise.The club’s disappointing form so far this season has even led to rumours that Zidane could face the sack if things don’t improve. Former manager Jose Mourinho has distanced himself from rumours linking him with a return to the club, while Zidane also made a point of saying he isn’t concerned by talk of his being under pressure .Few would be surprised if Madrid went back for one or both of the midfielders in January.Eriksen has drawn some criticism for his recent performances at Tottenham after a bright start to the season, but with his contract up at the end of the season, Spurs may well be tempted to take their last opportunity to cash in on him.Van de Beek, meanwhile, has missed Ajax’ last four games in all competitions with a hamstring injury.last_img read more

Emery told by Arsenal legend to stop rotating

first_imgUnai Emery has been urged by Emmanuel Petit to stop tinkering with his Arsenal side and find a settled starting XI.There has been more experimentation this season by a coach who took the reins at Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2018.Fresh faces were welcomed into the ranks over the summer, with it being suggested that Emery does not know what his best selection is. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Arsenal icon Petit, who helped the club to Premier League success during his time in England, can appreciate why changes have been made in pursuit of a winning formula.The Frenchman has, however, called for stability to be established in order for the Gunners to rid themselves of inconsistency.Petit told Paddy Power: “What Unai Emery wants to create is a team. A collective unit. Not just the first 11 but the whole group. This is why he’s constantly rotating his side and including young players.“I like this idea, but it’s difficult for players to operate in a system like this. He changes so often – but you need to be playing regularly in order to adapt like this. His demands from the players are huge.“But if they show the character they’ve shown recently, they have the potential to do something. Belief comes with results, but results come from what you bring to the pitch. That doesn’t come easily.“You can’t do it one week and then sleep for two weeks.”Arsenal celebrate 2019-20Arsenal will get another chance to start building some momentum on Monday when they take in a trip to Manchester United.The Gunners’ away form has remained a cause for concern during Emery’s reign, but the Red Devils have been far from imperious under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and could be vulnerable at Old Trafford.World Cup winner Petit added: “Arsenal have reacted well after the points they dropped against Watford.“In a very difficult game for them against Aston Villa, having gone down to 10 men and needing to chase back from being down on the scoresheet, they showed character.“There are some very positive things to be seen there, especially from the younger players. The dynamic seems to be good. But you can’t be 100% sure of that, because you never know: they could easily fall down against Man United on Monday.“You just don’t know what to expect from this fixture.“Arsenal have been thrashed by Liverpool, though Man United aren’t on that level. That said, you’d think Arsenal have a very good opportunity to win at Old Trafford.“They need a win away from home, as they’ve been dropping points so easily on the road. This match is very important for them, and it’s a good time to be playing Man United.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Germany surrender two-goal lead to draw with Argentina

first_imgLucas Ocampos scored his first senior international goal as Argentina pulled off a late fightback in a 2-2 draw with Germany, who let slip a two-goal lead in a game they dominated for an hour.After Serge Gnabry skilfully put the hosts in front, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz swept home Die Mannschaft’s second of a game in which Argentina offered very little until substitute Lucas Alario pulled one back in the 66th minute.Lionel Messi missed the game while he served a suspension but Lionel Scaloni fielded a strong team including Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Pereyra in attack. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Low took the opportunity to give debuts to Gian-Luca Waldschmidt on the wing and Robin Koch in defence and was rewarded with an hour of dominance before a late rally culminated in Ocampos poaching an equaliser that silenced the crowd in Dortmund.Tonight’s friendly ends in a draw. (FT) #DieMannschaft #GERARG — Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) October 9, 2019 Argentina were undone after 15 minutes when Lukas Klostermann got around Angel Correa and played a low cross towards Gnabry, who nipped in ahead of three Argentina defenders and poked the ball into the far corner of the net from six yards.Another Klostermann break brought Germany’s second goal, the RB Leipzig wing-back pouncing after Marcos Rojo yielded possession and surging forward to feed Gnabry, whose slide-rule pass into the box found Havertz unmarked for an easy finish.Marcel Halstenberg crashed a stunning 30-yard free-kick onto the underside of the crossbar before Argentina’s Rodrigo de Paul hammered a similarly spectacular effort onto the post at the other end but at the interval the hosts deservedly led 2-0.Emre Can forced Agustin Marchesin into a save on the edge of his penalty area early in the second half before Scaloni sent on Alario for Dybala.The Bayer Leverkusen striker had been on the pitch just three minutes when fellow substitute Marcos Acuna picked him out with a floated cross from the left and he arrowed a header into the far corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s net.A Joshua Kimmich free-kick tested Marchesin in the closing stages but the Porto goalkeeper punched it clear before Alario’s run sliced Germany open and Ocampos side-footed home via a deflection off Can, beating Ter Stegen at his near post to Low’s dismay. What does it mean? Low’s men took their foot off the gas Germany face stiff competition from Northern Ireland and Netherlands to qualify for Euro 2020 but looked confident and incisive enough to beat almost anyone for an hour in Dortmund.That assured display gave way to a disappointing half-hour in which Germany’s inexperience perhaps took its toll.Brandt bossed it The best Germany teams of the last decade have always featured an imposing presence in attacking midfield, and Julian Brandt’s high-pressing performance offered shades of Thomas Muller in his prime.Rojo no show Rojo went into this game having played just 30 minutes of Premier League football for Manchester United this season and it showed; he was hauled off at half-time.What’s next? Germany face Estonia on Sunday in the battle of top versus bottom in Euro 2020 qualifying group C, while Argentina play another friendly against Ecuador in Spain. read morelast_img read more

Willian offers Chelsea future hint as deal runs down

first_imgWillian has once again hinted that he would be willing to commit to a new contract at Chelsea, with the Brazilian stating his desire to take in many more appearances for his “dream” club.The South American forward has reached the 300 mark when it comes to outings for the Blues.He has spent six years in west London, being a regular under a number of different managers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Willian has, however, entered the final 12 months of his current deal at Stamford Bridge and will become a free agent in the summer of 2020 if no fresh terms are agreed.He continues to suggest that is open to extension talks, with the 31-year-old telling Chelsea’s official website when reflecting on his time in England: “I always believed I could play so many games. I had to believe.“It’s difficult to achieve this number, especially when you play for a big club like Chelsea because there are many, many players that are fighting for the same position. It was a challenge for me.“In football you have to prove yourself every day, in every game. When you stop doing that you have to stop playing. You have to prove it to yourself as well. I have done that.“I have been here already for six years, I have had different managers, different players in the squad, and I was proving every training session, every game, that I can play many, many years for this club.“I think I have improved a lot. Every game you can learn from. Then after every game you ask yourself ‘What have I done well, what have I not done well?’ I always want to continue improving.“Now I’m very proud to reach this number, and I hope for 300 more to come!”Willian Chelsea 2019-20Willian, who joined the Blues from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, added: “To achieve this number for this club is unbelievable. It was my dream to come to play for Chelsea. I always wanted to play for this club.“I had this affection with this club since they made an offer for me when I was at Shakhtar. I started watching the games and supporting this team.“I loved the name, ‘Chelsea’. The colour blue. And then I had the chance to play at Stamford Bridge for Shakhtar.“When I stop playing, my name will be there. No-one can cross it off. I feel proud of that.”Willian has been impressing this season as an experienced head in Frank Lampard’s young squad.His ability and know-how is considered crucial to the Chelsea cause, with it expected that discussions regarding a new deal will be opened as talk of interest from afar begins to build. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Roebuck shows her class to keep Man City’s UCL dreams alive

first_imgNo team in Europe’s traditional top five leagues have conceded fewer goals than Manchester City Women this season – and that is in no small thanks to Ellie Roebuck.It was a Manchester legend of the red persuasion, by the name of Sir Matt Busby, who first coined the old phrase ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’, and City’s 20-year-old goalkeeper has been showing that applies to her ever since she made her senior debut late in 2016.With incredible shot-stopping and a commanding presence that defies her age, Roebuck has replaced Karen Bardsley as her club’s No.1 – and few would argue that she deserves to hold that status for England now, too. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career She delivered another compelling case to the Lionesses’ boss, Phil Neville, on Wednesday night, as City complicated their chances of progressing to the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals, drawing 1-1 in the home leg of their last 16 tie with Atletico Madrid.Neville was watching on at the CFA as Roebuck showed her class, making a flurry of fine saves – including one late on to prevent Nick Cushing’s side from going into the return leg 2-1 down.It was not the first time this season that City’s players left the pitch thanking their goalkeeper.When City opened the FA Women’s Super League season with the Manchester derby at the Etihad, a stone’s throw from Wednesday’s venue, Caroline Weir’s wonder strike stole the show.But if it was not for Roebuck’s superb save to deny Jane Ross in the first half, Manchester United may well have left with all three points.Casey Stoney’s side absolutely dominated the first 45 minutes, but they found the home goalkeeper in fantastic form, with Roebuck also preventing a Demi Stokes own-goal before the break.Ellie Roebuck Manchester City 2019-20It has set the tone for the start to the season Roebuck has had. The following week she made a similarly superb stop to thwart Reading’s Natasha Harding, with City winning again, this time 2-0.“The aim for me is to be England’s number one,” the 20-year-old said after the Manchester derby. “That’s obviously a really difficult task because there’s other top quality goalkeepers in England. But I just focus on myself. I can only control what I can control and if I keep performing week in and week out then hopefully it gets noticed and puts me in the best position.”The fact of the matter is, none of England’s goalkeepers are in better form right now – nor have they been for the last 18 months.Carly Telford is out of favour at Chelsea, while Mary Earps’ latest appearance in an England shirt brought about a high-profile error in the defeat to Brazil – albeit an slip-up that was a huge anomaly given her excellent form for United.England are in a position at the moment where they are struggling defensively. Their organisation at the back has left a lot to be desired, and that has not been helping by a constant changing of goalkeepers, either.It is not that Roebuck is completely protected at City, either. Against Atletico, Gemma Bonner was caught out by Ludmila early on, having to bring down the forward just on the edge of the box within five minutes.After Roebuck had made a strong save to deny Angela Sosa’s effort, City’s failure to clear their lines properly meant she was called into action from the rebound too, showing incredible reflexes to tip Elena Linari’s strike onto the bar.Janine Beckie Manchester City 2019-20Janine Beckie gave City a deserved lead as they began to dominate, but when they wobbled, Roebuck was there.She made another fine stop to keep out Ludmila after the break, but it was her save to deny the forward later in the half that would be crucial.The Brazilian was Atletico’s best player all night, capping her performance with an assist for Charlyn Corral 10 minutes from time. But Roebuck’s brilliant reflex save with her legs denied her Atletico’s second, from point blank range.City crashed out to the Spanish champions in the round of 32 last season, and to head to Madrid a goal down on aggregate and with that memory at the back of their minds could have been damning.“You can put [Roebuck] in goal at 20 years old and feel very comfortable,” Telford said earlier this month. “When you see her on the team sheet no one is going, ‘oh no, f**king hell’. It’s Ells. She plays for Man City, [she plays in the] Champions League.”After another excellent night in Europe’s premier competition, there is not much else Roebuck can do to convince Neville she should be one of the first names on his teamsheet.last_img read more

Back for 2018: Travel Weekly’s STAR Program at CruiseWorld

first_imgWritten By Jennifer Kruse, CTA, ACC, LCS, Associate Director, Trade Recruitment & Engagement – Travel Weekly Events  Following tremendous success, the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program returns to CruiseWorld in 2018. The application to participate is now open.  Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld registration is now open and planning for the event is well underway. The event, slated for Nov. 7-9th in Fort Lauderdale, with ship inspection options November 10th and 11th, will include general sessions jam-packed with industry leadership, supplier training programs and breakout sessions, peer-led workshops, and a diversified Exhibitor Showcase. A select group of advisors will have the opportunity to attend the event in an enhanced capacity as a ‘STAR’.  The STAR Program is structured to provide intense customized event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events.  CruiseWorld STARs receive VIP treatment and are provided with exclusive programming and networking opportunities to maximize their onsite experience.  One of the newer features of the STAR Program is the addition of Travel Advisor Roundtables. In this STAR-exclusive session, suppliers give a series of 15-minute presentations to travel advisors on their product. The small group setting facilitates productive discussion and encourages question and answer between suppliers and travel advisors.  What many travel advisors feel is a major benefit of STAR Program participation is a series of one-on-one appointments between STARs and suppliers during CruiseWorld’s signature one-day Exhibitor Showcase.   In addition to these meetings, advisors who qualify for the STAR Program, and who are selected to participate, receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights. Specific participation requirements and program criteria are detailed on the CruiseWorld website at   As part of Travel Weekly’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel advisor community, this program will again help fund attendance for up to 250 of the estimated 1,000 travel advisor attendees at CruiseWorld. “The STAR Program has truly delivered since its inception. Past STAR participants have experienced tremendous growth as well as the development of many new business relationships. Exhibitors continually commend the quality of the STAR advisors they meet during their one-on-one appointments. In 2017, the STAR Program was completely sold out, due to its effectiveness. At Travel Weekly, we are dedicated to the financial and professional advancement of the travel advisor community and the industry as a whole, with live events as a platform to facilitate that advancement,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events for Northstar Travel Group.   The STAR Program garners glowing reviews from its alumni.  “It was great to be surrounded by and be able to talk to travel advisors who are real veterans of the industry and pick up best practices and tidbits of information from them. I also enjoyed being able to give my own advice to some of the STARs newer to the industry,” said Joanie Oliverio with CruiseOne.  “I love the one-on-one meetings during the Exhibitor Showcase,” added Crystal Smith of Envoy Travel, LLC. “By having them chosen and pre-scheduled for me, I am prompted to meet with new suppliers and come up with new ideas for my clients that I may not have considered before. I found that several of the meetings opened up new possibilities to me.” Traditional registration is available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program. Visit to register. And remember, CruiseWorld isn’t just about cruise. This event brings together all facets of the leisure travel industry. Exhibitor categories include: airlines, attractions, business tools, car rental, cruise, destinations, hotels and resorts, professional services, rail, tour operators and packaged vacations, and more.   Whether attending as a STAR Program participant or a traditional attendee, CruiseWorld’s robust programming provides value for all types of travel advisors, from the home-based professional to the cruise-centered advisors, the seasoned veterans and those new to the industry.   Travel Professional NEWS Readers can register using code HBTA to receive a $25 discount on the full-conference program rate.  For additional information about CruiseWorld, and how to apply for the STAR Program visit read more

Africa’s Hotel Sector Offers Potential for Further Growth over the Next Five Years

first_imgSouth African hotel room revenue is expected to expand to R21.8 billion in 2022, up 5.6%, compounded annually, from R16.6 billion in 2017  JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 5, 2018/ — Africa’s hotel sector has the potential for further growth over the next five years. An increase in the number of foreign and domestic travellers, as well as an expansion in a number of hotel chains on the continent reinforces the hotel sector’s untapped potential for business growth. These are some of the highlights from a report issued today by PwC ( on Africa’s hotel sector. PwC’s eighth edition of the Hotels outlook: 2018-2022 includes information about hotel accommodation in South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania. The report projects that hotel room revenue for the five markets as a group will increase at a 7.4% compound annual rate to R50.5 billion in 2022 from R35.2 billion in 2017. Pietro Calicchio, Hospitality Industry Leader, PwC Southern Africa, says: “Tourism to the African continent has proven to be resilient in the face of economic and political uncertainty, impacts of droughts and other regulatory changes. The opportunities are aplenty for this industry to enjoy further growth albeit at a more modest pace. However, as we continue to see there are also a number of challenges facing each country. This is an industry that is reactive to the smallest change in political, regulatory, safety and sustainability matters.” South African hotel room revenue is expected to expand to R21.8 billion in 2022, up 5.6%, compounded annually, from R16.6 billion in 2017. The growth in hotel rooms in South Africa, remains similar to that forecast in our 2017 Hotels Outlook with an additional 2 900 rooms to be added over the next five years. We also forecast occupancy rates to continue to grow over the forecast period and to reach 62.5% in 2022 International visitor numbers to South Africa continued to grow with a 2.4% increase overall. The outlook for 2018 remains positive albeit at lower percentages than experienced in 2016. The report projects that the number of foreign visitors and domestic tourism will increase by 5.3% in 2018. The total number of travellers in South Africa is expected to reach 19.5 million by 2022, a 4% compound annual increase from 16 million in 2017. “There is also continued debate on further relaxation of visa requirements for international visitors and this may impact on our forecast growth,” Calicchio comments. After jumping 38% in 2016, visitors from China to South Africa fell 17% in 2017. Travellers from India rose a modest 2.7% in 2017, well below the 21.7% increase recorded in 2016. Of non-African countries the UK is still the largest source of visitors to South Africa at 447 901 in 2017, contributing to the overall growth of 7.2% in visitors from non-African countries in 2017. Of African visitors, the largest number came from Zimbabwe at 2 million, followed by Lesotho at 1.8 million and Mozambique at 1.3 million. While the fundamentals affecting tourism to South Africa remain favourable, helped by an improving global and local economy, it is impacted by other factors like the water shortage in Cape Town. As there is little historical precedence, it is difficult to project the impact of the drought on tourism. Although bookings were down in Cape Town, overall tourism to South Africa held up during the festive season and actually picked up in the first quarter of 2018. Hotels in Cape Town are taking a number of steps to conserve water. If the winter rainfall continues at the current rate, the crisis may be limited in scope. Nigeria is expected to be the fastest-growing country over the next five years. A number of new hotels are scheduled to be opened during this time. Continued improvement in the domestic economy will also lead to faster growth in guest nights. Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius should be the next fastest growing, with compound annual increases of 9.6%, 9.1% and 7.2%, respectively. South Africa is projected to be the slowest growing market with a 5.6% compound annual increase in room revenue. Hotel accommodation: South Africa – Nigeria – Mauritius – Kenya – TanzaniaOverall, hotel room revenue in South Africa rose 4.6% to R16.6 billion in 2017. Five-star hotels had the highest occupancy rates in the market in 2017, at 79.5%. While the average daily rate (ADR) growth for five-star hotels slowed in 2017 (R2,6 million), as it did for the market as a whole, the 8.8% increase was still well above the increase for three- and four-star hotels, reflecting the impact of the high occupancy rate for five-star hotels. With a number of four-star hotels opening in 2017, available rooms increased 1.8%, the first rise since 2013. Most of the hotel openings scheduled for the coming years will be four-star hotels, leading to a projected 2.4% compound annual increase in available four-star rooms over the next five years – 76% of the total increase in available rooms for all hotels in South Africa. Three-star hotels accounted for 31% of total hotel room revenue in 2017. The hotel markets in Nigeria and Mauritius continued to perform well in 2017 with both achieving double-digit growth whereas Kenya and Tanzania had decreases in room revenue. For the forecast period as a whole, the number of available rooms in Nigeria will rise from 9 700 in 2017 to 12 600 in 2022, a 5.4% compound annual increase – still the largest expansion of any country in the report. Hotel room revenue in Mauritius increased by 12.7% in 2017 and the country continues to experience growth in the number of foreign visitors. Hotel room revenue is projected to grow at a 7.2% compound annual rate to 2022. Kenya experienced a drop in visitors following the national elections in August 2017 but recovery was already seen in December with an increase in visitor numbers resulting in 9.9% overall growth. However, this was not enough to boost overall room revenue, which showed a 13.5% decline in 2017. Going forward, tourism in Kenya is expected to increase at a 6.9% compound annual rate, rising to 2.06 million in 2022 from 1.47 million in 2017. Tanzania’s hotel room revenue amounted to US$206 million in 2017, a decline of 5.5% over 2016 due to a drop in guest nights. However, we expect guest nights to grow in 2018 and forecast revenue growth of 10.2% for 2018. The hotels and tourism sectors in each of the countries in our report are all showing signs of continued growth over the forecast period. Tourism remains an important part of each economy. However, the smallest change or disruption can have a fundamental impact on the future growth of each market. “It is therefore important that investors, hotel operators, tourism bodies and governments continue to work together to grow this important industry and ensure its sustainability so that all stakeholders derive the maximum benefit from it,” Calicchio concludes.last_img read more

River Cruise Specialist Educational Programs

first_imgWritten By: Tom Ogg  There are dozens of river cruise lines out there to chose from and each has its own unique value proposition, but for the purpose of this book we will only focus on the most likely candidates for U.S. and Canadian travel agents to focus on. Every one of these lines share a common bond. They are all primarily English speaking as a first language, operate at American standards, gain the vast majority of their business from travel agents and are well represented in the U.S. and Canadian markets. In the cruise line profile section of “Selling River Cruises” you will find detailed information about each and every one of these lines. If a river cruise line is not represented in this list it doesn’t speak poorly of them, it is just that they do not meet the criteria we applied to establish the list. Each of these lines offers comprehensive training opportunities for you to learn about river cruising and their specific value proposition. By taking their training you will accomplish several things. 1. You will come to understand what the river cruise line is all about. Their ships, their itineraries, their inclusions and their ideal potential clients.2. You will begin to see the various itineraries that river cruise lines offer and come to understand the major attractions of each itinerary.3. The more training you accomplish the wider your understanding of the river cruise market will become.4. Once you have finished the training for a specific river cruise line, they will recognize you as a potential new cannel for river cruises and may offer you the opportunity to experience their ships and itineraries.5. You will make the move from being just a travel agent in the river cruise line’s eyes to become a river cruise specialist. Of course, there is no substitute for experience each line and itinerary first hand and this should be you objective. Once you have finished the training and cruised several different lines and itineraries, you will, in fact, be a river cruise expert on your way to creating a successful and profitable niche river cruise business. River Cruise Line FleetAmaWaterways                  Cruising Europe, Asia and Africa                                22 ShipsAmerican Cruise Lines      Cruising the U.S. and Canada                                        6 ShipsAmerican Queen                Cruising the U.S.                                                               3 ShipsAvalon                                  Cruising Europe, Asia and South America                21 ShipsCrystal                                  Cruising Europe                                                               4 ShipsEmerald                                Cruising Europe, Asia, Russia, Egypt and Jordan     8 ShipsRiviera River Cruises          Cruising Europe                                                              12 ShipsScenic                                  Cruising Europe, Russia and Asia                                15 ShipsTauck                                   Cruising Europe                                                                 4 ShipsUniworld                              Cruising Europe, Russia, Asia, India and Egypt        19 ShipsViking                                   Cruising Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Asia and Egypt    62 Ships River Cruise Line Training ProgramsAmaWaterwaysThe AmaWaterways Specialist Program offers a training program that is hosted by Travel Agent University. The course is designed to familiarize travel agents with the AmaWaterways’ products, including the ships and the rivers they travel. Here is a link to register for the AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist Program: TAU AmaWaterways Graduate Incentive Program features 3 different incentives: 1. Graduation reward 2. 2018 Taste of Bordeaux Incentive 3. 2018 Summer Mekong Incentive American Cruise LineWith a growing focus on river cruising, American Cruise Line offers agents video training on their ships and destinations. They offer a travel agent certification program that consists of 6-webinars that can be taken at your leisure and a travel agent portal with unlimited support. Register at: American Queen Steamboat CompanyAgents looking to become experts on the offerings of the American Queen Steamboat Company can now do so through the Steam Boat Academy, an online travel agent certification program. Designed to enhance travel agent knowledge of the American Queen Steamboat Company products and destinations, the certification program is comprised of six courses, including an intro to the company, a course on each of the three vessels, shore excursions, and group reservations. Once agents have completed the course, they will be a Steamboat Academy certified agent and receive continued access to ongoing education courses that will keep them up to date with trends, destination spotlights, and product enhancements. For more information, visit: or e-mail Avalon WaterwaysThe Avalon Specialist Training is designed for travel agents who would like to learn more about the Avalon Waterways’ products. You’ll need registered with Globus in order to enroll in this program. The program consists of watching 4 webinars about Avalon Waterways and then completing 2 TAU courses. You must be registered with Travel Agent University to take the courses. Visit: to register for the training. Crystal CruisesCrystal offers travel agents the opportunity to become a “Crystal Specialist” and a “World’s Best Destinations Specialist” at their Crystal Cruises Academy. “The Crystal Cruises Academy online program was designed especially for our valued travel partners because we believe that continuing education is essential to success in today’s competitive market. As the leader in luxury travel, voted World’s Best more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history, Crystal is constantly evolving, continuing to enhance our product to deliver your clients an unparalleled, innovative and enriching vacation unlike any other. With this goal in mind, we created these online courses to keep you at the top of your game with the latest “how to” sales tools and detailed information on all that our award-winning ships have to offer your discerning clients.” Register online at: Emerald WaterwaysEmerald Waterways offers agents the opportunity to earn their “Emerald Specialist” designation by taking their online training course. This is an excellent training course since it shares how to successfully market their brand as well. Register at: Riviera River CruisesRiviera River Cruises offers a “Riviera River Cruise Specialist” designation after completing the training at Travel Agent Academy. Here is a link to register:\ ScenicScenic offers the “Scenic Group Specialist Academy” that results in the “Scenic Cruise Specialist” designation. The training is comprehensive and well worth taking.Register for the training at: Tauck Truck has its own Specialist Program, which is offered by Tauck Academy. While it covers all of Tauck’s product line, the training is well worth it. Register here: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise CollectionUniworld features a River Cruise Specialist program. Travel agents must be registered with Uniworld in order to access the course material. The training focuses on the company’s own brand and how it serves the river cruise market.Register for the training here: Viking River Cruises has seven certification courses. Upon successful completion of these courses, travel agents receive the “Viking Master Cruise Expert” designation. The program focuses on the company’s river cruise products with a strong emphasis on selling river cruises. In order to sign up for the “Viking Travel Agent Academy” you first must create a travel agent account with Viking. Here is a link to start the process: Post Training BenefitsIn just about every case once you have achieved your specialist designation you will be rewarded by being considered as part of the family with the following benefits. * Unlimited access to the line’s Agent Portal * Ongoing Training and Support * BDM support in your area. * Agent Rates on Cruises * Agent Fam Cruise Invites. As you can see starting a river cruise niche is easy to do by simply taking advantage of the formidable training programs that exist to learn about the lines, their ships and destinations.last_img read more

Rob Lowe To Receive 2018 Horatio Alger Award

first_imgHoratio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Rob Lowe, film and television actor, producer, writer and director and New York Times best-selling author, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization.Lowe joins 11 other esteemed business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2018 honors. For more than 70 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon admired leaders who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their local communities.Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, and raised in Dayton, Ohio, eight-year-old Rob Lowe dreamed of being an actor. Throughout a tumultuous childhood, he focused on his goal despite his young age, appearing in many productions throughout the mid-west. In 1976, following his mother’s second divorce, the family moved to Malibu, California, where Lowe began to work professionally. By the age of 15, he was starring on network television in ABC’s A New Kind of Family. By the 1980s, Lowe was an international icon, a member of the “Brat Pack,” and the star of seminal youth films of that era. The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire, and About Last Night are movies that remain classics. In the 1990s, Lowe transitioned into comedy, memorably hosting SNL three times and starring in smash movies, Wayne’s World, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Tommy Boy. In 1999, Lowe began a remarkable streak of starring in a television series every season for the last eighteen years!Lowe has starred in numerous memorable projects. In addition to his leading role as “Sam Seaborn” in the acclaimed drama, The West Wing, which earned 51 Emmy nominations, he has starred in Brothers and Sisters and Parks and Recreation, as well as Killing Kennedy and Behind the Candelabra. He has written two New York Times best-selling memoirs, Stories I Only Tell My Friends and Love Life. In honor of his four-decade career, Lowe received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015. He recently wrapped his second season on the CBS medical drama, Code Black, and is currently directing and starring in a remake of the four-time Academy Award nominated The Bad Seed.“Rob has been an outstanding supporter and friend of the Horatio Alger Association for many years,” said Matthew Rose, president, Horatio Alger Association and 2013 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “He has already done so much to not only further our mission and widen our reach, but to elevate our scholarship programs. It is our distinct honor to officially induct him as a lifetime Member as we are certain that he will continue to serve as a source of inspiration for the Association’s Scholars.”Lowe has worked passionately in the area of drug and alcohol recovery, being sober himself since 1990. His mother died of breast cancer in 2005 and Lowe became the first male spokesperson for Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Since then, he has traveled across the country advocating for education and funding.Lowe remains active in the philanthropic space. In 2006, he founded the Homeowners Defense Fund, a land-use advocacy group, and he is also a founding member of the Dream Foundation, providing end-of-life dreams to terminally ill adults and their families. Lowe also remains a supporter of The Elton John Pediatric AIDS Foundation and White Hearts, a fundraising website that matches wounded veterans with the best prosthetic limbs; as well as Best Buddies. Lowe has been married to designer, Sheryl Lowe, since 1991. They have two sons, Matthew and Johnowen, who attend Loyola Law School and Stanford University, respectively.“Throughout my personal and professional life, I’ve been lucky enough to have strong, supportive mentors to encourage and guide me,” said Lowe. “I understand that many Horatio Alger Scholars must deal with extremely difficult situations on their own. Their resilience, determination and strength inspire me and I hope that through my work with the Association, I can support these students as they navigate life’s challenges. I look forward to meeting many of the Scholars this spring, and to witnessing all that they will accomplish in the future.”Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this mission, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $125 million to students in need, all of which has been funded solely through the generosity of Association Members and friends.Lowe and the Member Class of 2018 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 5-7, 2018, during the Association’s 71st Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact, exchanging stories of hardships and triumphs.For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2018, please visit read more

Bosnian Serb who raped and tortured Muslims jailed by UN war crimes

Dragan Zelenović, 46, pleaded guilty in January before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to seven counts of torture and rape as crimes against humanity for his role in a series of attacks on Bosnian Muslim women in the Foca municipality. Prosecutors withdrew seven other counts as part of a plea agreement. Reading a summary of the judgment, Judge Alphons Orie of the ICTY said the three-judge panel found that “the scale of the crimes committed was large and that Mr. Zelenović’s participation in the crimes was substantial.” The victims were particularly vulnerable, Judge Orie said, noting they were unarmed, defenceless and detained under brutal conditions for long periods, living “in constant fear of repeated rapes and constant assaults.” One victim was 15 years old. “The victims at the detention centres in Foca suffered the unspeakable pain, indignity and humiliation of being repeatedly violated, without knowing whether they would survive the ordeal. The scars left by the sexual assaults were deep and might never heal.” On 3 July 1992, Mr. Zelenović and other Bosnian Serb soldiers arrested at least 60 women, children and elderly men from the villages of Trošanj and Mješaji and took them to Buk Bijela, site of a temporary detention and interrogation facility. Once there, Mr. Zelenović raped and tortured a 15-year-old girl and aided in the rape and torture of another victim. Mr. Zelenović participated later the same month in the gang-rape and torture of a number of women and girls being held at a high school in Foca. Anyone who resisted the sexual assaults there was beaten or threatened with death. The 15-year-old girl from Buk Bijela was repeatedly raped again – including a gang-rape by Mr. Zelenović and three other men – between mid-July and mid-August while being held with more than 70 other detainees at a sports hall in Foca in conditions marked by inhumane treatment, starvation, overcrowding and a lack of hygiene. In a separate attack in October 1992, Mr. Zelenović and two others raped four women being held in a house just outside Foca. Mr. Zelenović was arrested by Russian authorities in August 2005 after leaving his home and fleeing to Russia under a false name to avoid detection and arrest. He was transferred to the ICTY last year. 4 April 2007The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today sentenced a former Bosnian Serb soldier and de facto military policeman to 15 years in prison for raping and torturing Muslim women and girls in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina between July and October 1992. read more

NAFTA talks in Canada could result in energy agreement with Mexico

OTTAWA — An agreement to have Mexico join a NAFTA clause governing oil exports may be one of the first significant products of the renegotiation talks this weekend in Ottawa.When NAFTA was originally signed 23 years ago, Mexico rejected parts of the energy chapter because its oil industry was entirely owned and operated by the government.However, President Enrique Pena Nieto is looking to solidify the reforms he started in 2013, opening up the Mexican oil industry to international investment and participation.As such, Mexico has asked to sign Article 605, which limits government interference in oil exports to any of the participating NAFTA countries.Known as the “proportionality clause”, it was a holdover from the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and means Canada and the U.S. cannot reduce access to each other’s oil, natural gas, coal, electricity or refined petroleum products without an equivalent reduction in domestic access to the same product.So if Canada wanted to cut oil exports to the U.S. by 20 per cent it would have to cut domestic supplies by 20 per cent as well, except in specific circumstances such as the need to protect national security.For Mexico, joining this clause has one main benefit, said Duncan Wood, head of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank.“They want to armour plate the (oil industry) reforms through an international agreement against the possibility of a left-wing victory next year,” said Wood.Pena Nieto isn’t eligible to run in the presidential elections next year and the leading candidate is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-wing politician who is campaigning against Pena Nieto’s oil industry reforms and has pledged to reverse many of them.If Mexico becomes part of a fully integrated North American energy market in NAFTA, it would be difficult for anyone to undo those changes said Wood.Mexico’s ambassador to Canada said Friday that his country wasn’t able to fully participate in NAFTA’s energy chapter in 1994, but with the industry reforms, that has changed.“Now it is open for private, foreign direct investment,” Dionisio Perez Jacome said at an event in Calgary.“We are ready to talk about it, to include it, so that the agreement reflects that reality.”Those talks could conclude in this third round of NAFTA negotiations, which begins Saturday.For Canada, this change isn’t all that significant, said Jeff Rubin, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and a former chief economist at CIBC World Markets.It will give foreign companies, including Canadian energy firms, some confidence in their existing or planned investments in Mexico.Rubin said Canadian pipeline companies like Enbridge and TransCanada stand to benefit by getting involved in building pipelines to move U.S. oil and gas into Mexico.If it is more certain Mexico won’t nationalize the oil industry again, those investments can be made with less risk.However there are significant critics of Article 605. The Council of Canadians listed it as one of the top three things they’d like to see eliminated from NAFTA.Council chair Maude Barlow told The Canadian Press on Friday it is “disappointing” that Canada seems set not to cancel the article, but extend it to Mexico.The council said the provision cedes Canada’s sovereign control of its oil industry and allows the U.S. to dictate that Canada must continue to produce and export as much oil as the U.S. wants.Barlow said it locks Canada into continuing to produce more and more fossil fuels from the oilsands, even if that goes against Canada’s domestic climate change goals and priorities.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Friday NAFTA will not be used as a vehicle to stop Canada from protecting its environment and Canada is pushing for strong environmental standards in the agreement.“The right for Canada to regulate to protect the environment is a top priority,” she said.-follow @mrabson on Twitter. read more

UNbacked meeting adopts action plan to help disabled persons in Asia Pacific

The Biwako Millennium Framework for Action, which incorporates the Millenium Development Goals adopted by world leaders meeting at the UN in 2000, addresses such issues as access to public transport, information, education, training, employment and regional cooperation – all with special emphasis on the needs of women and children, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).About 400 million of the world’s 600 million persons with disabilities live in Asia and the Pacific region, 40 per cent of them living in poverty, ESCAP said. Less than 10 per cent of children and youth with disabilities have access to of education, compared to 70 per cent of their non-disabled counterparts in the region.The meeting, which was attended by 300 people from 27 countries, including representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies, reviewed the achievements of the last ten years, including a growing awareness of the special challenges faced by persons with disabilities.Participants also agreed to launch a new decade under the theme “Towards an inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities.” “What we want is neither charity nor handouts but appropriate education, a chance for rehabilitation and a place to work,” said Satoshi Fukushima, a university professor who is deaf and blind, communicating in “Finger Braille,” a method invented by his mother. ESCAP’s Executive Secretary, Kim Hak-Su said that while a tremendous progress had been made in improving the welfare of persons with disabilities, more still needed to be done, and pledged his Commission’s full efforts towards this end. read more