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10 months agoMarcos Llorente: My future at Real Madrid…?

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Marcos Llorente: My future at Real Madrid…?by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMarcos Llorente insists he’s not thinking about his options at Real Madrid.The midfielder was all set to leave next month, only to force his way into coach Santiago Solari’s plans in recent games.Asked about his situation in Abu Dhabi, Llorente replied: “I do not have that in mind. “Now we have the Club World Club – which is very important for us. “We want to win it anyway, that’s what I think about and nothing else.” last_img read more

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a month agoArsenal hero Pires keen to see Henry in the Premier League

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal hero Pires keen to see Henry in the Premier Leagueby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Robert Pires would like to see Thierry Henry in the Premier League.Pires believes former Arsenal teammate Henry deserves a second crack at management in the Premier League, despite his nightmare spell in charge of Monaco.“I saw Thierry a few weeks ago for the game against Tottenham at the Emirates and he is waiting,” said the Frenchman.“He is waiting for something, for the new challenge.“Some people say ‘Yeah, but he was a mistake with Monaco’. I say no.“When you start like this, like Thierry, if you have only three months it’s so difficult to prove something. And especially at this moment. Monaco were so bad, it was so difficult, they had a lot of injuries.“He told me it was a good experience with Monaco. Unfortunately only three months. But he’s ready. He’s ready for the new job and he’s waiting for something.“I think he deserves to have a second chance, maybe in the Premier League.” last_img read more

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11 days agoEx-Arsenal manager Wenger to have autobiography published

first_imgEx-Arsenal manager Wenger to have autobiography publishedby Paul Vegas11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is to have an autobiography published.The Frenchman has long been linked with book deals that would see him explain the inner workings of his 22 years at Arsenal.And it was announced this morning by publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson that Wenger will reveal all next year after agreeing to publish his autobiography.The book, titled ‘My Life in Red and White’, will be released in the autumn of next year and is Wenger’s first autobiography.The Frenchman is expected to discuss his life as “one of the greatest and most influential coaches and managers of modern times”, including his time as the longest-serving manager of Arsenal. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Qatar vs Argentina: Aguero & Lautaro start with Messi

first_imgArgentina look to secure their first win of the Copa America against Qatar after disappointing performances in their opening two fixtures. Lionel Scaloni’s side sit bottom of Group B, but a win on Sunday would mean they are guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals as one of the top-two third-placed teams. La Albiceleste suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to the Colombians before only managing a draw against Paraguay. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘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 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? Qatar, meanwhile, received a confidence boost after they nearly managed a point last time out, conceding in the 86th minute to lose 1-0 to Colombia. Game Qatar vs Argentina Date Sunday, June 23 Time 8:00pm BST / 3:00pm ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US),  the game can be  watched live  and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on Premier Sports 1 and can be streamed via Premier Player HD. UK TV channel Online stream Premier Sports 1 Premier Player HD Squads & Team News Position Qatar squad Goalkeepers Al Sheeb, Hassan, Al-Bakri Defenders Hassan, Ismail, Ro-Ro, Ali Mukhtar, Al-Rawi, Salman, Al-Muhaza Midfielders Boudiaf, Khoukhi, Hatem, Ali Afif, Fatehi, Al-Hajri, Moein, Al-Ahrak Forwards Al-Haydos, Akram Afif, Ali, Alaaeldin Confirmed Qatar starting XI: Al Sheeb; Al Rawy, Khoukhi, Salman; Correia, Al Heidos, Al Hajri, Abdullah, Boudiaf, Afif; Abdulla. Position Argentina squad Goalkeepers Armani, Marchesin, Andrada Defenders Foyth, Tagliafico, Saravia, Pezzella, Funes Mori, Casco, Otamendi Midfielders Paredes, Pereyra, Acuna, Di Maria, Pizarro, De Paul, Rodriguez, Lo Celso Forwards Aguero, Messi, Suarez, Dybala, Lautaro Martinez Confirmed Argentina starting XI:  Armani; Saravia, Foyth, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Lo Celso, Paredes, De Paul; Messi, Aguero, Lautaro.Betting & Match Odds Argentina are priced at 2/9 with bet365  to notch their first win of the tournament. Qatar are 12/1 outsiders, while a draw is available at 5/1.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Scaloni Argentina Guatemala Amistoso 08092018It would have taken a bold soul to predict Qatar would be ahead of Argentina going into the last round of fixtures in Group B.But with both sides sitting level on one point, an inferior goal difference leaves the 2015 and 2016 Copa America runners-up at the foot of the table.The likes of Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and Aguero are yet to score in open play, with Barcelona’s star forward having netted the Argentine’s only goal of the tournament so far from the spot.La Albiceleste received a major boost on Saturday, though, as Peru’s 5-0 defeat to Brazil meant Argentina will qualify if they win their final group match. Scaloni said ahead of the clash against Qatar: “The result of Brazil against Peru did not change us, because we should win and we are focused on that. Psychologically and emotionally we are well.”And the former West Ham defender is pleased with the fight he has seen in his squad.”I cannot criticise the players for their spirit, I do not think it’s a question of attitude or temperament,” Scaloni continued. “I think it’s a football issue.”Although some fans calling on Argentina to put in an attacking display against a seemingly less-talented Qatar side, Scaloni appeared cautious of naming an imbalanced line-up.”When you put more strikers in the side, you have problems and we have to compensate,” he said. “If we decide to play like that, we have to take care of ourselves in another sector.”We have to win and that’s what we’re going to do.”last_img read more

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Recently Fired Head Coach A Candidate For Miami OC Job

first_imgA group of Miami players take the field for a game.MIAMI GARDENS, FL – SEPTEMBER 02: Malik Rosier #12 of the Miami Hurricanes takes the field during a game against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats at Hard Rock Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)Houston fired head coach Major Applewhite last week before hiring West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen. Applewhite might not be out of a job long though.According to The Athletic’s Manny Navarro, Applewhite is one of the primary candidates to fill the vacant offensive coordinator position at Miami. Toledo offensive coordinator Brian Wright is also a potential fit, per Navarro.Last week, Miami tabbed its former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to replace Mark Richt, who stepped down after three seasons as a head coach in Coral Gables.This turns focus to Applewhite and potentially Toledo’s Brian Wright, who I was told was also being eyed by Diaz. https://t.co/O9dwN4jqcL— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) January 3, 2019Applewhite served as Houston’s head coach for two full seasons, plus the bowl game following the 2016 campaign. He compiled a 15-11 overall record.Prior to taking on the lead role with the Cougars, Applewhite racked up an extensive background as an offensive coordinator. He was Houston’s OC in 2015-16 after sitting out the 2014 season.Applewhite was the co-OC at his alma mater Texas from 2011-13 after filling the assistant head coach/running backs coach role with the Longhorns from 2008-2010.He also has OC stops at Rice and Alabama on his resume.last_img read more

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Little Debbie’s Tweet To Nick Saban Is Going Viral

first_imgalabama head coach nick saban at the sec championship gameATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 35-28 in the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Nick Saban had a pretty terrible Monday as Alabama was blown out by Clemson in the national title game. Even so, he probably started his Tuesday the same way he does every day, with his preferred breakfast of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies.Saban likes two pies as his first meal of the day, every day. He’s not shy about his love for Little Debbie.He even did an ESPN commercial about it in 2010.This morning, Little Debbie’s official Twitter account showed some love back to Saban, who could probably use it after last night.“We baked Nick Saban’s two Oatmeal Creme Pies with an extra portion of love this morning,” they tweeted.We baked Nick Saban’s two Oatmeal Creme Pies with an extra portion of love this morning.— Little Debbie (@LittleDebbie) January 8, 2019That was nice of Little Debbie, even though some thought the company might have been trolling. Looking at responses, it seems that wasn’t the case.They were just serving up some Southern hospitality.last_img read more

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USC WR Announces Transfer To Big Ten Program

first_imgA general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.LOS ANGELES – NOVEMBER 11: General view of action as the Oregon Ducks take on the USC Trojans on November 11, 2006 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Ducks 35-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)USC sophomore wide receiver Randal Grimes, who announced his intention to transfer in December, has picked a new school.Grimes announced on Saturday that he will transfer to Minnesota. He will have to sit out the 2019 season.Grimes will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2020.“Sworn in. Can’t wait to get this train rolling. @GopherFootball,’’ Grimes tweeted.Sworn in!! Can’t wait to get this train rolling @GopherFootball pic.twitter.com/nVQiw8pOkf— LOADING……. (@RandaRandal) January 12, 2019As a freshman in 2017, Grimes caught two passes for 17 yards. He played in three games this season before transferring.Grimes was a three-star prospect out of Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines in the class of 2017. He was the No. 23 athlete in the cycle, according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.Grimes chose the Trojans over Nebraska, Colorado State, BYU, Cal and others.last_img read more

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5-Star RB Zachary Evans, Nation’s No. 1 Recruit, Announces Top 5

first_img pic.twitter.com/R1FiMfNaIk— T H R E E (@Runzekerun01) May 28, 2019Most notably, Evans has seemingly eliminated all Texas schools. That could always change, but for now, he’s clearly thinking of leaving the state for college.In fact, reading his quotes in an interview with 247Sports tonight, it becomes clear why Evans has dropped Texas. Texas A&M also didn’t make the cut.Evans has been compared to former Wisconsin star and current Los Angeles Chargers standout Melvin Gordon. Additionally, 247Sports projects him as a future first-round pick in the NFL Draft.Update: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said Evans was still considering Clemson. He is not, and is in fact still eyeing LSU. high school footballTop recruit Zachary Evans runs with the ball during a high school game.Earlier: Houston (Tex.) North Shore five-star running back Zachary Evans is the top recruit in the 2020 class. He literally has his choice of any program in the country.As of tonight, Evans has narrowed his search considerably. He’s cut his list of nearly 50 offers down to five.The five schools Evans is “focusing” are five of the top programs in the country, and they will all be in the top 10 of the preseason polls.He is still looking at Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahomalast_img read more

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FA Cup: Manchester United and Chelsea register wins to advance to fourth round

first_imgFA Cup: Manchester United and Chelsea register wins to advance to fourth roundFA Cup: Manchester United beat second-tier strugglers Reading 2-0 in the third round while Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 victory over second-tier Nottingham Forest.advertisement Reuters LondonJanuary 5, 2019UPDATED: January 5, 2019 23:51 IST Juan Mata celebrates after scoring a goal (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSManchester United beat second-tier strugglers Reading 2-0 in the third round of the FA CupChelsea cruised to a 2-0 victory over second-tier Nottingham ForestWest Ham United beat second-tier Birmingham City 2-0, Brighton & Hove Albion beat Bournemouth 3-1Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed his fifth successive victory since being named interim manager as his much-changed side beat second-tier strugglers Reading 2-0 at home in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.Juan Mata’s penalty and a well-taken effort in first-half stoppage time by Romelu Lukaku, given his first start since Solskjaer took over, sent United into the fourth round where they were joined by holders Chelsea who cruised to a 2-0 victory over second-tier Nottingham Forest.It was a subdued performance by the 12-time FA Cup winners at Old Trafford, where Reading impressed, but maintained former United striker Solskjaer’s dream start to life in the hot seat vacated last month by Jose Mourinho who was sacked.”We have performed a lot better, but you can’t ask for fantasy football every time and with the changes I made you can’t expect it to have the same flow and rhythm,” Solskjaer, who became the first United manager to begin his reign with five straight wins since Matt Busby, told reporters.Alvaro Morata’s second-half brace was enough for Chelsea, who beat United in last year’s final, to move through.Yet fellow Spaniard Cesc Fabregas, in almost certainly his last game for the club before he is expected to join Monaco, missed a penalty in an emotional farewell at Stamford Bridge.Third-tier Gillingham grabbed the “giant-killer” award on a day lacking much of the traditional third-round drama as the Kent club beat Premier League Cardiff City 1-0 thanks to a late strike by Elliott List.advertisementAccrington Stanley, also of the third tier, reached the fourth round with a 1-0 win over former winners Ipswich Town who suffered a ninth successive third-round exit.Premier League strugglers Burnley made hard work of a 1-0 win over third-tier Barnsley in a match notable for a bizarre intervention by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) — the system being used in nine of the 32 third-round ties.Burnley were awarded a penalty for a foul on Matej Vydra before the interval but just as he was running up to take the spot kick the referee Simon Hooper indicated that the decision had been reversed by VAR because of an offside in the build-up.Manager Sean Dyche was left fuming but his mood improved when Chris Wood eventually sealed victory from the penalty spot in the second minute of stoppage time.NINE CHANGESSolskjaer made nine changes to the side that beat Newcastle United in midweek and there was a disjointed feel to his team’s display as Reading matched their illustrious opponents.Fred, another player to get a rare start, thought he had given United the lead midway through the first half but was flagged offside, although Mata was fouled in the build-up.Referee Stuart Attwell, helped by VAR, brought play back to award a penalty which Spaniard Mata stroked home.Reading had chances before and after that with Andy Yiadom and Danny Loader guilty of bad misses, and United were given breathing space when Lukaku latched onto a superb pass by Alexis Sanchez to round keeper Anssi Jaakkola and slot home.The only moment of note in a dour second half, apart from a hamstring injury to Sanchez, was Solskjaer giving a debut to 19-year-old Dutch winger Tahith Chong.In other ties, West Ham United beat second-tier Birmingham City 2-0 at the London Stadium with Samir Nasri making his debut in his first game since completing an 18-month doping ban.Austrian Marko Arnautovic put West Ham ahead early on but was later substituted because of injury. His replacement, Andy Carroll, struck West Ham’s second in stoppage time.Brighton & Hove Albion beat Bournemouth 3-1 away in an all-Premier League affair with Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone all on target.Everton scored twice in the opening 14 minutes against League Two leaders Lincoln City but scraped home 2-1 while top-flight Southampton were held 2-2 by Frank Lampard’s second-tier promotion chasers Derby County.Record 13-times FA Cup winners Arsenal are in action at Blackpool later on Saturday.Also Watch:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get 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 byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Manchester UnitedFollow ChelseaFollow FA Cuplast_img read more

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U.S. women’s football players sue federation for gender discrimination

first_img Reuters WashingtonMarch 9, 2019UPDATED: March 9, 2019 09:36 IST U.S. women’s team players sue United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSU.S. women’s football players sued the US football Federation for being paid less money than their male counterpartsUS captain Alex Morgan said, “fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility”The U.S. women’s football team has three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medalsThe U.S. women’s national football team sued the U.S. football Federation on Friday with allegations of gender discrimination just three months before they open their World Cup title defense in France.All 28 members of the United States squad were named as plaintiffs in federal court in Los Angeles on International Women’s Day and the lawsuit includes complaints about wages and nearly every other aspect of their working conditions.The players, a group that includes stars Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, said they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performance has been superior to the men’s team.”Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that,” U.S. co-captain Morgan said in a statement.”We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility. As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender.”According to the lawsuit, filed three years after several players made a similar complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. football has “utterly failed to promote gender equality.”The U.S. football Federation did not respond when asked to comment on the lawsuit.The players said that U.S. football President Carlos Cordeiro previously admitted the women’s team should be valued as much as the men’s squad but the federation “has paid only lip service to gender equality.”advertisementThe lawsuit outlines years of institutionalized gender discrimination, claiming travel conditions, medical personnel, promotion of games and training are less favorable for female players compared to their male counterparts.The U.S. women’s team has enjoyed unparalleled success in international football, including three World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals.The men’s team have never won either tournament and their best modern-day result at a World Cup was in 2002 when they reached the quarter-finals.’IT’S A SHAME’When the women’s team clinched their most recent World Cup title in 2015, it was the most watched football game in American TV history with an audience of approximately 23 million viewers.The team’s success has translated into substantial revenue generation and profits for the federation, the lawsuit said. The women earned more in profit and/or revenue than the men’s national team for the period covered by the lawsuit, it said.”In light of our team’s unparalleled success on the field, it’s a shame that we still are fighting for treatment that reflects our achievements and contributions to the sport,” said U.S. co-captain Lloyd.”We have made progress in narrowing the gender pay gap, however progress does not mean that we will stop working to realize our legal rights and make equality a reality for our sport.”Last October FIFA said it will double the total prize money for this year’s World Cup in France to $30 million, with the winning team taking home $4 million. The total prize money for last year’s men’s World Cup in Russia was $400 million, with champions France receiving $38 million.FIFA announced on Friday plans to host a global women’s convention this June in Paris where it said leaders from the world of sports and politics will discuss key issues around the development and empowerment of women in football.The U.S. players are also seeking class-action status that would allow any women who played for the team since February 2015 to join the case.”We feel a responsibility not only to stand up for what we know we deserve as athletes, but also for what we know is right – on behalf of our teammates, future teammates, fellow women athletes, and women all around the world,” said Rapinoe.In 2017, the U.S. women’s national hockey team threatened to boycott that year’s world championship but returned to the ice after settling a dispute with USA Hockey over wages and better benefits in line with their male counterparts.The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) said in a statement it made progress during contract negotiations with U.S. football in 2017 regarding compensation and working conditions but that more work needs to be done.”This lawsuit is an effort by the plaintiffs to address those serious issues through the exercise of their individual rights,” the union said in a statement, adding that it would continue to seek improvements through the labor-management and collective bargaining processes.Also Read | Diego Maradona to legally recognise 3 children he has in Cuba: Argentine lawyerAlso Read | UEFA justifies PSG penalty decision in VAR explanationadvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get 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 Tags :Follow United Sates of AmericaFollow women’s football teamFollow US soccerFollow US Soccer FederationFollow SueFollow Gender discriminationFollow United States Soccer Federation U.S. women’s football players sue federation for gender discriminationU.S. women’s football players said they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performance has been superior to the men’s teamadvertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Bharat director Ali Abbas Zafar: Took 2.5 hours every day to make Salman Khan 70 years old

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiMay 10, 2019UPDATED: May 10, 2019 15:15 IST Ali Abbas Zafar on Salman Khan’s old look”Jitne safed baal mere sar aur daadhi mein hain, usse kahin zyada rangeen meri zindagi rahi hain!” said Salman Khan as he rocked the oldie look in the trailer of his upcoming film Bharat.Soon after his photo was unveiled on social media on April 15, fans couldn’t stop gushing about the superstar’s transformation. The actor, who is essaying the journey of a young boy till the age of 70, has gone through an extensive process of prosthetic make-up.In an interview to DNA, director Ali Abbas Zafar revealed that the make-up artists took two-and-a-half hours to make Salman Khan look old.”The prosthetics were designed by a UK-based company and executed with Indian make-up artists. SK (Salman) sir also tried over 20 different kinds of beards and mustaches for this look. It’s a very tedious process, but he would be patient. It would take him two-and-a-half hours to get ready,” said Ali.Talking about the superstar who is sporting five different looks in Bharat, the director said, “After the narration, he understood that not only did the script demand it, but this look is also very significant in keeping with his character graph. He was very supportive about the idea and the entire process.”advertisementSalman Khan earlier said that he has worked 10 times harder for Bharat than any other film.Citing the example of his 2016 film Sultan, in which he essayed the role of a wrestler, the actor said, “The amount of work that went into Bharat is 10 times more than what I put in any other film. Because you need to lose weight to look a certain way and then you need to put on that weight.””And all this always has to be done in a short span of time. Earlier, it was easier, but now, of course it’s tougher,” he added.Starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, the release of Bharat will be clashing with the India vs South Africa World Cup cricket match, which is also scheduled for June 5.Watch the official trailer of Bharat:ALSO READ | Bharat first poster: Salman Khan rocks salt-and-pepper look in Ali Abbas Zafar’s filmALSO READ | Producer Atul Agnihotri on Salman Khan’s Bharat clashing with India’s World Cup: It will be fineALSO WATCH | Katrina Kaif talks about her experience being a superstarGet 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 bynisha Tags :Follow Salman KhanFollow BharatFollow Ali Abbas Zafar Bharat director Ali Abbas Zafar: Took 2.5 hours every day to make Salman Khan 70 years oldDirector Ali Abbas Zafar also revealed that Salman Khan tried over 20 different kinds of mustaches and beards for his oldie look in Bharat.advertisementlast_img read more

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World Cup 2019: Time away from the game helped me bounce back, says KL Rahul

first_img Press Trust of India CardiffMay 29, 2019UPDATED: May 29, 2019 17:49 IST KL Rahul after reaching his hundred (AP)HIGHLIGHTSKL Rahul doesn’t want to dwell on the past and focus on the gameRahul has acknowledged the role played by coach Rahul Dravid in his comebackRahul considers himself lucky that he got an opportunity to have good partnerships with DhoniIndian batsman KL Rahul would never prefer a forced break but self-introspection during his time off from the game helped him bounce back well from the chat show controversy, he admitted.Rahul has more or less guaranteed his place in India’s World Cup playing XI with a hundred against Bangladesh in the warm-up game on Tuesday while batting at the much talked about No. 4 slot.”The time off from game does give a player opportunity to reflect on himself and it wasn’t any different for me,” Rahul told reporters referring to the time he was provisionally suspended by the BCCI for his loose talk on a TV show.”I spend some time with friends and family. It was important as I have been on the road for a long time. Given the situation, that’s not how I would have liked to get some time off but anyway I tried to make the best use of it,” said the stylish batsman, whose 108 of 99 balls has virtually ended the debate on No 4 slot.He doesn’t want to dwell on the past and the focus is now back on the game.”What’s gone is gone and the focus is always on cricket. I am really happy with how I have managed to bounce back. IPL gave me a lot of confidence and really happy that I could carry that confidence here today (Tuesday),” Rahul said.He has said it a number of times and again acknowledged the role played by India A coach Rahul Dravid in his comeback.advertisement”There were a few things about my batting and my technique that I needed to fix. I worked with my coach back home in Bengaluru and India A games gave me a bit of opportunity.”Like speaking to Rahul Dravid about mental preparation and how to handle low confidence and poor form. The best way to get back to scoring runs is to find that form in the middle and I got that opportunity. From there, it just carried on. I was very hungry to come back and score runs for whatever team I played,” he spoke on his comeback.He is all set to bat at No 4, having opened the innings most of the times, he has been ready for quite some time as the current team expects all the players to be ready for any role assigned to them.”Every batsman, who has played at this level knows how to handle pressure and responsibility given to him. It’s a team game where everybody is prepared for the last couple of years so that any role can be given, come a big game. So all of us have prepared in that way and nothing that is given to any individual will come off as a surprise,” he said when asked about the pressure of playing at a new slot.He considers himself lucky that in the past few years while playing for India, he got an opportunity to have a few good partnerships with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.”When we lost 4 wickets for not too much (against Bangladesh), it was important for us to stitch a partnership. We (him and Dhoni) didn’t really talk too much in the middle as each of us had individual plans and we wanted to play that role.”Batting with MS is a dream and luckily we have had a few good partnerships with him in the last two or three years. So I enjoy batting with him. The way he batted was so good to watch from the other end. He dominated the spinners and was striking from the first ball as well. So it was great for us,” he was all praise for the veteran.Asked about the Sophia Gardens track, the batsman said that it was a “beauty” and he would love to come back here.”I got a hundred so I would love to come back here. There was a bit of movement, in the first 20 or 30 overs. There was a little bit for fast bowlers. The wicket played beautifully. It was good to be out there in the middle and get used to the format and spend some time.”Also Read | West Indies are neither favourites nor underdogs: Brathwaite ahead of World CupAlso Read | If I had to be an Indian bowler, it would be Ishant Sharma: Jofra ArcherAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get 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 byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow KL RahulFollow World Cup 2019Follow Rahul DravidFollow Mahendra Singh Dhoni World Cup 2019: Time away from the game helped me bounce back, says KL RahulIndian batsman KL Rahul’s self-introspection during his time off from the game helped him bounce back well from the chat show controversy. Rahul has guaranteed his place in India’s World Cup with a hundred against Bangladesh in the warm-up game.advertisementlast_img read more

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Ashes 2019: Have spoken to Warner on how to combat Broad, says Ponting

first_img Reuters ManchesterSeptember 5, 2019UPDATED: September 5, 2019 14:30 IST Ashes 2019: David Warner has gotten out to Stuart Broad 5 out of 7 times in the ongoing series (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSWarner has been dismissed by Broad 5 times in 7 innings in Ashes 2019Warner averages 11.28 with the bat in the ongoing seriesWarner got out while trying to leave the ball against Broad in ManchesterStuart Broad has got David Warner’s number at the Ashes but the embattled opening batsman can turn it around if he ramps up the aggression against the England paceman, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said.Compared to his stellar World Cup, Warner has had a nightmare of a series, averaging 11.28 with the bat and falling five times in seven innings to Broad.His second-ball duck on day one at Old Trafford was the second time in the series he has fallen attempting to leave the ball and is evidence, according to Ponting, of a player who has deserted his natural game.”Davey is obviously struggling with Stuart Broad,” Ponting told Cricket Australia’s website (cricket.com.au) after Australia went to stumps at 170 for three on Wednesday.”He has got his number, that round-the-wicket angle is really worrying him. It’s worrying all the left-handers to be honest.”Davey, again, was lured into playing trying to leave. That’s the second time in the series it’s happened and I think it’s a real mindset thing for him.”If he’s looking to hit the ball and not leave the ball like he is I think he’d be fine.”Barring his first innings 61 at Headingley, Warner has looked a shell of his normal self, failing to surpass eight runs in his other six innings in the series.His second consecutive duck was viewed dimly by Australian cricket media on Thursday, who branded him ‘Broad’s bunny’ and questioned whether selectors had dumped the wrong man in number three Usman Khawaja.advertisementWarner has had precious little support from his opening partners, with Marcus Harris scoring 13 following his eight and 19 at Headingley.Have spoken to Warner about ways to combat Broad: PontingHarris replaced Cameron Bancroft after the second test, with the Western Australian dumped for a similarly meagre output.The opening failures have repeatedly thwarted Australia’s hopes of stealing a march on England and put pressure on Steve Smith, who will resume on 60 not out on day two, to continue to rescue the touring side.Ponting said he had spoken to Warner about ways to combat Broad, who has been honing in on the opener’s stumps rather than seeking to find an edge.”I’ve said a few things to him about how I thought he could line up and try and play but it’s a different thing to work on that at training and have the courage to go out and try and do that in a test match,” Ponting said.”When you see Davey at his best he’s not really even thinking about leaving those (deliveries), he’s trying to stand up on top of the bounce and hit that through the covers.”Also Read | Never played a game without bails: Marnus Labuschagne on windy day in Ashes 4th TestAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get 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 byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Stuart BroadFollow David WarnerFollow Ashes 2019Follow England VS AustraliaFollow Ricky PontingFollow Manchester Test Ashes 2019: Have spoken to Warner on how to combat Broad, says PontingAshes 2019, England vs Australia: David Warner’s Ashes 2019 campaign has been woeful so far as the Australia opener has been troubled by Stuart Broad.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Rumours: Sakshi Dhoni tweets as speculation on MS Dhoni retirement grows

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiSeptember 12, 2019UPDATED: September 12, 2019 19:47 IST MS Dhoni with wife Sakshi and daughter Ziva (Photo posted by @sakshisingh_r on Instagram)HIGHLIGHTSSakshi Dhoni has sort to quash the rumours on MS Dhoni’s retirementMinutes after Kohli’s tweet, fans began to wonder whether MS Dhoni would indeed call time on his careerMS Dhoni also made himself unavailable for the 3-match T20I series against South AfricaSakshi Dhoni has sort to quash the rumours on MS Dhoni’s retirement which were doing rounds in the social media after Virat Kohli’s cryptic tweet earlier today.After, the speculations on MS Dhoni’s retirement started to spread Sakshi took to Twitter and broke her sillence with a tweet which read: Its called rumours !Its called rumours !Sakshi Singh (@SaakshiSRawat) September 12, 2019On Thursday, Virat Kohli posted a tweet on his partnership against Australia in India’s league match of the 2016 T20 World Cup and said: A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test. Minutes after Kohli’s tweet, fans began to wonder whether MS Dhoni would indeed call time on his career.A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/pzkr5zn4pGVirat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 12, 2019MS Dhoni also made himself unavailable for the 3-match T20I series against South Africa. Dhoni was far from his best with the bat during the World Cup and was even criticised for his poor strike rate. He surprisingly shut shop early during a steep run chase against England but almost pulled off a heroic win over New Zealand in the semi-final which India lost narrowly.MS Dhoni had retired from Test cricket in 2014 and stepped down as India’s limited-overs skipper in January 2017. He has since continused to serve Team India as a brilliant wicketkeeper and a sharp tactician but his batting has been cause for concern in both T20Is and ODIs.advertisementAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get 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 bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow MS DhoniFollow Sakshi Dhoni Rumours: Sakshi Dhoni tweets as speculation on MS Dhoni retirement growsSakshi Singh Dhoni broke her silence after rumours on MS Dhoni’s retirement spread due to a Virat Kohli tweet.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Wise Men’s Grooming Is Doing Things Differently, and Better

first_img The Barbershop Renaissance and Men’s Grooming Revolution, According to Fellow Barber’s Sam Buffa Get Acquainted With the Military-Approved Skincare Brand Bravo Sierra Sprint Through Airport Security With These TSA-Approved Men’s Grooming Kits The seed that sprouted the idea for Wise men’s grooming line came from none other than the barber’s chair. The Montreal-based, all-natural and eco-friendly hair product line caters to a new generation of conscious consumers, much like that of the founders, who sought to create products that fit their own lifestyles.Too many products on the cluttered grooming market are made with unhealthy and polluting ingredients. Many of them are still effective, sure, but it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the fact that we don’t necessarily know what goes into these formulas. Wise men’s grooming chose a different route, looking at grooming products much like the local co-op does with the food on offer — natural, healthy, and thoughtful.Wise’s high-quality products are not only designed for style and health, they’re also made with a low environmental impact, from their reusable packaging to their therapeutic, locally-sourced ingredients. Each product in the Wise men’s grooming line features a star Canadian ingredient, whether it’s sea kelp or organic glacial marine clay. Each ingredient offers its own health benefits that effectively bridges the balance between our fast urban lifestyles and our deep connection with nature. All of their products are available in reusable and refillable dual packaging system, which has helped lower Wise’s environmental impact tremendously — and is the first of its kind in the men’s grooming world. The line is offered in sleek reusable glass containers, or you can opt for the recyclable refill pouches, which use about 80 percent less plastic than the typical shampoo containers you find on the shelves today.Rumor has it that Wise men’s grooming plans on having an entire skin and body care line by Christmas or early 2019. Until then, see what their hair line has to offer below.Birch Bark Shampoo – $20 CADThis unique formula of essential oils provides for a less foamy (and therefore less of an oil stripping) shampoo scenario, while also offering both aromatherapy and an exceptional cleansing experience. Birch Bark is known for its high potency of strengthening vitamin C and antioxidants, and this shampoo is teaming with other oils such as eucalyptus extract, keratin, cedarwood, clary sage, rosemary and geranium leaf.See ItRed Maple Cream Pomade – $32 CADThis cream pomade boasts a body that’s great for all hair types searching for a medium-to-strong hold and light shine. The Red Maple Bark extract provides collagen and elastin-boosting properties, while clary sage and balsam fir oils give off a woodsy, Canadian wilderness scent. The formula is reinforced by shea butter, cacao butter, coconut oil, birch sap, beeswax, laurel leaf oil, and tobacco oil.See ItGlacier Clay Pomade – $32 CADIf you’re looking for a natural hold and matte finish, then clay is the way. This pomade is made with hand-picked organic glacial marine clay from northern British Columbia, an ingredient rife with an abundance of beneficial minerals. Not only does this pomade help style your hair, it also promotes healthy hair by nourishing and moisturizing your hair throughout the day. It also has a fresh earthy smell that’s pleasing to the nostrils.See ItThey offer some sweet bundles, too. The Introductory Bundle ($60 CAD) includes their fortifying Birch Bark shampoo in a refill pouch and Glacier Clay pomade; the Essentials Bundle ($95 CAD) features the shampoo pouch, the pomade in both a reusable glass container and the refill tube, as well as a sleek Neem Wood comb; then they have a Dopp Kit Bundle ($165 CAD) which houses all of the above in a beautiful cotton canvas and organic wool felt Dopp bag.Interested in more natural grooming products? We’ve got a whole slew of them right here for you. Editors’ Recommendations 10 Best Beard Balms: The Secret to a Tamed and Tangle-Free Beard How to Shave With a Straight Razorlast_img read more

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Hotel Xcaret Mexico Incentivizes Guests to Disconnect from the Digital World

first_imgRiviera Maya, Mexico – June 24, 2019 – With offline becoming the new trend, Hotel Xcaret Mexico proves to be one step ahead of the rising trend. For guests seeking the ideal destination to detox from the virtual world, this 900-suite property offers thrilling adventures and culturally-driven experiences that guarantee an off-the-grid vacation, through the simple use of an All-Fun Inclusive® wristband. “People are beginning to realize that sometimes there’s a need to disconnect in order to reconnect with what truly matters,” said David de los Santos, Commercial Hotels Director for Grupo Xcaret. “That’s why at Hotel Xcaret Mexico we pride ourselves in being leaders at curating unique experiences that not only lead guests to keep Mexico in their memory, but allows them to cherish true organic moments they create during their stay, without relying on electronic devices.” Upon check-in, guests are given waterproof wristbands with an adjustable strap that not only work as a room key, but also serves multiple functions to eliminate the need of carrying basic day to day items such as phones and credit cards. Throughout the property, guests will find strategically placed cameras with a design inspired by traditional Mexican art sculptures known as alebrijes, made to capture unique moments during their vacation. While exploring Hotel Xcaret Mexico, guests should lookout for these hidden treasures that can be found within caves, at the clear glass bridge in Casa Fuego’s rooftop pool, and in other unique locations. Vacationers can simply scan their wristbands and pose for the picture-perfect moment. All photos are collected and synced to guests’ respective rooms, allowing them to scroll through the images when tuning into channel one. For guests interested in purchasing photos from their trip, they’re given a link to a website that has their pictures easily available for download. Through this offering, Hotel Xcaret Mexico’s goal is to ensure guests are always present in the moment and can fully cherish every experience made during their trip. Hotel Xcaret Mexico understands that avid travelers are inclined to use digital wallets or mobile payments for safety purposes or simply to avoid carrying excessive documentation. That’s why, as part of the hotel’s commitment to cater a carefree stay, credit cards can be linked to the wristbands, allowing guests to experience the property’s extended offerings with a simple tap. Whether visitors are looking to dine at the hotel’s renowned HA’ Restaurant, overseen by Michelin starred chef Carlos Gaytán, splurge at the several souvenir shops found throughout the property, or enjoy the treatments offered at Muluk Spa, Hotel Xcaret Mexico’s wristband guarantees a seamless vacation for all. Also included in Hotel Xcaret Mexico’s All-Fun Inclusive® concept, visitors are granted complimentary admission to Grupo Xcaret’s nine adventure parks and tours, some of which offer similar features found at the hotel. For instance, hidden cameras are also present throughout selected parks, aimed at automatically snapping everlasting memories. During an eventful day ziplining through the Mayan jungle or driving amphibious vehicles, guests are bound to get hungry. For a quick energy boost, visitors can use the same wristband given at check-in to easily pay for food and beverages at selected parks without carrying their wallets. After an adventurous day, hotel guests can wind down and access the images in the comfort of their own suite. Hotel Xcaret Mexico’s All-Fun Inclusive® package allows for an effortless experience connected with reality that ensures the return of its valued guests. For more information visit https://www.hotelxcaret.com/en/ or email hxmfoto@hotelxcaret.com. About Hotel Xcaret Mexico: Hotel Xcaret Mexico is an opulent, oceanfront haven where thrilling nature-driven experiences, superior service and the authentically rich spirit of Mexico come to life. Situated by the azure blue Caribbean Sea and verdant Riviera Maya jungle, the premier all-inclusive resort features striking architecture and design inspired by Mexican traditions, art and culture which reimagines the possibilities of luxury all-inclusive hospitality. Complete with 900 spacious guest suites, 10 distinct dining destinations, multiple swimming pools, a world-class spa and wellness center, the hotel offers guests all the perks and privileges of its exclusive All-Fun Inclusive® concept, where travelers are privy to Grupo Xcaret’s nine nature parks and archaeological tours, free airport transportation and more. Hotel Xcaret Mexico promises an unforgettable experience where guests can discover new ways to connect with nature, themselves and loved ones. For more information, visit http://www.hotelxcaret.com.last_img read more

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Stakeholders Discuss Repositioning of Cruise Shipping Industry in Mo-Bay and Ocho Rios

first_imgTourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the Ministry is currently engaging stakeholders in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in discussions, to determine how best to re-position the cruise shipping industry in those resort areas. This is being done against the background of what he describes as a fall off in the number of cruise ship visitors arriving at those ports, in the wake of the opening of the Falmouth Cruise Pier in Trelawny. Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, Dr. McNeill cited the significant increase in overall cruise ship visitor arrivals, which stood at 1,073,794 for the 10-month period, between January and October. This represents an 11.2 per cent increase over the 848,237 visitors coming to Jamaica during the corresponding period in 2011. “We have done extraordinarily well. Our arrivals have been increasing exponentially, largely because of the advent of the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier. However what has been happening is that Montego Bay and Ocho Rios have remained about flat. So, while Jamaica is doing better, and Falmouth is doing better, there has been some influence on the others,” he outlined. Dr. McNeill said arising from discussions which he and Tourism Director, John Lynch, had with stakeholders in Montego Bay, a suggestion has been put forward to pursue and market possible implementation of home porting arrangements for a number of the vessels making calls to Jamaica. Home porting entails arrangements for vessels to register to a port facility, which will serve as its home berthing base.          Regarding Ocho Rios, the Tourism Minister pointed out that “we want to expand what’s coming” to that town. “We have been in discussion with the Chamber of Commerce, with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), with the Resort Board, and with our partners there, specifically the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Port Authority of Jamaica and the Parish Council on the matter,” he informed, while pointing to a fleet of vessels expected to commence docking at that town’s port in 2013. Dr. McNeill advised that the facilities in Ocho Rios were toured some two weeks ago, during which discussions were held with several developers on how best these can be enhanced. “What we are looking at is to see whether we can come to some consensus and some real plans to go forward. Things may have to be (undertaken) on a phased basis. But, we have to put something on the table, and we are looking to see what plans can be done to help Ocho Rios, working closely with the Port Authority and the UDC,” the Minister said.last_img read more

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Minister Falconer Hails Jamaica’s No. 1 Press Rating

first_imgMinister with responsibility for Information in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer has hailed Jamaica’s number one standing in Press freedom in the Western Hemisphere as “a significant recognition of Jamaica’s democratic tradition and our sacred regard for Press freedom”. The Minister was reacting on Wednesday, January 30, to the just-published global report on Press freedom by the highly regarded Parish-based Reporters Without Borders, which showed that Jamaica has overtaken Canada as the country which boasts the highest level of Press freedom in the Western Hemisphere. Jamaica is ranked 13th in the 179-country ranking, ahead of the United States (32), Britain (29), Canada (20) Germany(17) and Switzerland (14). Minister Falconer said that legislation, such as the Access to Information Act, and the Broadcasting Commission and Radio Re-diffusion Act, as well as Government policy to open up and diversify the media landscape, has considerably strengthened the foundations of Press freedom in Jamaica. She reiterated the commitment of the Government to table in Parliament, before the end of this legislative year, a Bill which will eliminate criminal libel and increase freedom of speech.  The Minister said the Government is “resolutely committed” to the preservation and advancement of Press freedom in Jamaica, as it sees Press freedom as inextricably linked to democracy. “This Government will do nothing to impede the work of journalists in the exercise of their duties on behalf of the people and acting as watchdogs of our democracy,” she pledged. She pointed to the restructuring of what was the Cabinet Press briefing to what is now the Jamaica House Press briefing, where  journalists have wider access to public officials as well as Government Ministers. Senator Falconer added that there have been regularly scheduled meetings with Government communicators across all ministries, departments and agencies, “with my clear instruction that journalists must be given access to information and must be facilitated in their work of informing the Jamaican people.”  She said the robustness of the Jamaican press is one of the things which the entire country could be proud of, in a world where many people do not enjoy these rights. She noted that Jamaica’s ranking in the latest Reporters Without Borders survey is an improvement on the 2012 Freedom of the Press report by Freedom House, where Jamaica was ranked 22.last_img read more

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Gov’t Committed To World-Class Customer Service Delivery

first_imgStory Highlights Amidst complaints about less-than-desirable public-service delivery, the Government of Jamaica is pushing ahead to achieve world-class customer service through the more than 200 public-sector institutions islandwide. Principal Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Wayne Robertson, acknowledges that services offered by some agencies are at a higher level than others, noting that some entities are using technology to facilitate the ease with which customers’ transactions are conducted. This is consistent with one of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan goals, which commits the Administration to “foster world-class customer service and professionalism in all public institutions and to create mechanisms for efficient and effective delivery of services”. Amidst complaints about less-than-desirable public-service delivery, the Government of Jamaica is pushing ahead to achieve world-class customer service through the more than 200 public-sector institutions islandwide.This is consistent with one of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan goals, which commits the Administration to “foster world-class customer service and professionalism in all public institutions and to create mechanisms for efficient and effective delivery of services”.Since April 2017, the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division (PSTMD), which was created to streamline activities aimed at boosting government efficiency, has been engaging technocrats in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), civil society and other groups at service excellence visioning workshops.These engagements form part of the Public Sector Modernisation Programme and are in line with the Administration’s undertaking to develop a Service Excellence Policy that outlines the core principles, values, standards, strategies and accountability mechanism that will promote and institutionalise service excellence to facilitate consistency in service quality.The purpose of the workshops, in which the wider public will also be engaged, is to establish a clear definition of service excellence and identify the underlying principles, values and standards that should drive the framework underpinning this across Government.Director General of the PSTMD, situated in the Office of the Cabinet, Veniece Pottinger-Scott, tells JIS News that the workshops are part of the wider transformation and modernisation agenda, aimed at establishing a culture of service excellence across the public sector, especially in the MDAs, which have a duty to provide services of the highest standard to internal and external clients.“It is an imperative. Without it, things are not going to improve at the rate anticipated in terms of growth and economic development over time. The public service workers’ image, for the most part, is nowhere near where we want it to be. It’s somewhat negative, and we think that it is very critical that that image be improved,” she says.The Director General says the objective is to create an overarching framework that sets out how customer service improvement should be undertaken in the public sector.‘Part of what we are doing is to start the visioning process of what that ought to look like by way of shaping the elements that must comprise a Policy,” she informs.Mrs. Pottinger-Scott indicates that a survey of the status of customer service in the public sector was done to provide a baseline for future evaluation of the Policy and to establish the status of customer service across the public sector, and specific issues to be addressed.This survey was done by a consulting firm, Hurwich, and overseen by a steering committee comprising representatives nominated by Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies.It also provided both quantitative and qualitative snapshots of service experience in seven high-impact areas of Government, namely health, business facilitation, revenue collection, security, justice, agriculture and social security.Some of the issues raised by clients included insufficient signage and poor accommodation at facilities, long waiting times and systems being too paper-based, limited facilities for the disabled, and lack of simple communication and transactional web services for customers.Mrs. Pottinger-Scott said public-sector workers interviewed during the assessment acknowledged the need for change in the culture of service and indicated their willingness to work to this end.The Cabinet Office will also be working with MDAs to improve weaknesses identified during the assessment.But this is not the only action being taken by the Administration. Over the past 20 years, successive Governments have implemented initiatives aimed at improving the quality of public-service delivery.One such is the biennial Public Sector Customer Service Competition introduced in 2001, which seeks to nurture and inspire a culture of service excellence by rewarding and recognising entities and individuals delivering world-class service.Over the years, a number of entities have gone the extra mile to improve the customer experience by reducing the waiting time to access services.Among these are the National Health Fund (NHF); National Housing Trust (NHT); Administrator General’s Department (AGD); Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).Principal Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Wayne Robertson, acknowledges that services offered by some agencies are at a higher level than others, noting that some entities are using technology to facilitate the ease with which customers’ transactions are conducted.“But it needs to go wider than what we currently have. We need to get to a stage where all service providers are providing online solutions and are fully sensitising customers around various options,” he adds.Referring to some of the successes in the public sector, Mr. Robertson notes the introduction of a colour-coded ticketing system by staff at the Percy Junor Hospital, Spaldings, Manchester, which he says has alleviated some of the challenges encountered by clients.“We have seen improvements at PICA. There are (still) some challenges which they have, but we have seen improvements. If we do a trend analysis for the past 10 years, we (would) see (the) improvements there,” he further states.Mr. Robertson also lauds Tax Administration Jamaica’s (TAJ) introduction of online solutions for client convenience. He, however, emphasises the need for greater sensitisation of persons to get them to the point where they are in “e-base mode to automatically go to our laptops or desktop computers or cell phones when paying a tax, rather than go into the offices”.“We are seeing a heavy strain being placed on the internal machinery at some of these offices, because customers are not fully utilising the online option. So, we recognise there needs to be greater sensitisation on a more ongoing basis so that it resonates with customers that we need to use these options more frequently,” he adds.Despite these notable improvements, there are still lingering grey areas for some clients.Chairman of the Manchester Parish Development Committee, Anthony Freckleton, who attended a visioning workshop, says that body is working with the local municipal corporation to make Manchester “a parish of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.He says one of the Committee’s first tasks is to focus on improving service delivery at health clinics, especially to the elderly.“They have to be at the clinics by 5:00 a.m., and when they get there they don’t have anywhere proper to sit (and as such), are exposed to the elements. To me, that should be dealt with without any delay,” he arguesHe further notes that the level of service in the public sector varies between urban and rural areas, adding that “some workers do not treat people as customers, since their life doesn’t depend on it”.Mr. Freckleton hopes that the new culture of service excellence being embarked on will permeate through every level of the public sector and be enforced by indexing it to workers’ evaluations., emphasising that “your salary increases must depend on or have some relationship with the level of service (provided)”.Another workshop participant, Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, (JYAN) council member, Malike Kellier, tells JIS News that he wants to see a Policy “that is inclusive and not exclusive of any person, group or entity”.While acknowledging efforts being made to accommodate the disabled through the provision of signage and other services, he underscores the need for “some level of sensitivity and care” to be shown when dealing with the disabled on the streets.Mr. Kellier recounts an incident reported to him by a person with hearing impairment who claimed he was wrongfully ticketed by a police officer. He says the person tried to explain using sign language, but the police officer “got very flustered and issued him with a ticket (anyway)”.“I wouldn’t say that we are at our best or our lowest, but there is still a far way to go in improving how we provide services to various groups within our society,” Mr. Kellier contends.last_img read more

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Microlenders Encouraged to Lower Interest Rates on Loans

first_imgMinister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is appealing for microfinance institutions to lower interest rates on loans for small business owners. “I encourage microlenders to ensure that your (loan) products are not exploitative with high interest rates that, instead of lifting our entrepreneurs, push them into a situation of unproductivity and perpetual borrowing,” he said.The Minister, who was addressing the Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance Forum at the Hyatt Ziva in Montego Bay on Thursday (October 11), outlined that the end goal of microfinance should be to have its users outgrow small loans “graduate and become ready for better and cheaper avenues of financing”. He noted that the Government is working on the Microcredit Bill, which will, among other things, regulate micro financiers and protect their customers. “The Microcredit Bill is being promulgated and is undergoing the final stages of preparation by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel prior to submission to Parliament,” he informed.He said that the new legislation is intended to make registration of businesses mandatory, establish qualifying criteria for registration; create a regulatory authority to govern business standards and practices; as well create new provisions to promote full disclosure of all rates, fees and charges on principal debt “recognising that transparency is the hallmark of all financial business activities”. The Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance Forum, under the theme ‘Taking microfinance to the next level,’ provides opportunity for participants from across the region to explore compliance issues and the influence of technology within the sector, engage in interactive panel discussions and attend insightful sessions on key topics.The forum, which opened on Wednesday (October 10) concludes on Saturday (October 13).last_img read more

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