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first_imgNZ Herald 29 May 2013Central government politicians have called a roundtable meeting in Wellington tomorrow to look for ways to control street prostitution in South Auckland.The meeting, called by Parliament’s local government and environment committee, may lead to amending or abandoning a bill drafted by the former Manukau City Council in 2010 to give what is now the Auckland Council power to ban street sex workers from areas such as Hunters Corner and Manurewa.Committee chairwoman Nicky Wagner said MPs did not want to change the law unless that would solve the problem.“Simple legislation is a pretty blunt instrument,” she said.“This has been in the Parliament for a long time. It has come and gone back and forth with the creation of the Super City. We are very aware that it has taken a long time and we know people are concerned about it.“But there is no point in us hurrying up with an answer that doesn’t work in the long term.”http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10886902last_img read more

first_img“It’s bad out there, it’s real bad. It’s always been bad there,” said Flaherty. By Allison Perrine Also among discussions at the Aug. 27 meeting was the new reverse angle parking law, an idea originally brought for ward by the mayor to keep pedestrians safe. After hearing complaints about the law from residents, the borough will review the situation at the end of the summer season. Work will start sometime this fall and will have an estimated useful life of 10 years. At a recent meeting, Jack Flaherty of Monmouth Place questioned why the project would start at the north end of the pavilion because, according to Flaherty, sand typically travels south to north. Mayor Sue Howard said the starting point, known as the “hot spot” in the borough with the largest loss of sand, was determined by the Army Corps of Engineers. MONMOUTH BEACH – The Army Corps of Engineers will begin replenishing sand in Monmouth Beach this fall, starting at the north end of the Bathing Pavilion and continuing north for as far as funding will allow. At the Aug. 27 meeting Commissioner David Stickle said he is dissatisfied with the engineering work done by T&M Associates for the recently striped fire lane at the pavilion. According to Stickle, state law calls for 20-foot clearance and the work completed allows for about 19 feet 4 inches of clearance. Timing is perfect as beach replenishment is currently being funded at the federal level, Howard said, when in the past the borough had to petition for support from the state government and legislature for more sand. The original 50-year contract between the borough and the federal government allowed for the possibility of beach replenishment every six years. The borough’s recent law on reverse angle parking will be reevaluated after the summer season.Photo by Allison Perrine In June, resident William McGowan said he had a hard time maneuvering his way into the angled spot in the crowded parking lot. “The biggest problem is the line of traffic I was stuck in when I first pulled in. It’s like an automatic traffic jam. And that’s on a Wednesday,” he said at a June meeting. The borough will pay just over $1 million toward the project – 15 percent of the total cost – which includes the installation of sand and sediment as well as associated dredging, pumping and sculpting, the approved bond ordinance states. “We at one point waitedfrom 2004 to November of2011 to replenish.” Howardsaid. “This is a good thing forMonmouth Beach.” “You have to accommodate in some way the fact that people have big SUVs now,” said Stickle. “You need to account for that so there’s still 20 foot clear as a fire lane.” He suggested at the meeting that the borough not pay the bill until the work is corrected. If any restriping is done it will likely not be done until next spring.last_img read more

first_imgA dispute has arisen been former presidential candidate Peter Casey and the Donegal County Council over a sea wall that they say he has no right to build. Mr Casey has told the Irish Mail on Sunday the county council’s enforcement case over the wall outside his home in Greencastle, Co. Donegal has no validity – because the UK has jurisdiction over Lough Foyle.However, it was thought that the Good Friday Agreement had settled the dispute, but the British say that they will reclaim the coveted waterway after Brexit. It is reported that the sea wall will eventually fly an Irish tricolour, in what Casey previously described to the newspaper as ‘two fingers to the British’.Speaking to the Irish Mail on Sunday, Casey said: “You know the area around it is all disputed. The British claim ownership of it – we’ve reclaimed it [for Ireland].”Pointing to a picture of the area on his phone, he said: “So what I did was, the guy dynamited his way onto the headland, pushed all the rock out into the [water]… and then see where the flag is now? That’s high tide. At high tide, you can’t see those rocks… but I dug it all out and I’ve got like a natural swimming pool.“So it’s about 20-foot deep all the way along and I put in boulders all the way across to protect it from erosion. And then we put up the flag – 60 feet tall flag, seven foot, eight foot, by four-foot flag, and that’s claiming Lough Foyle for Ireland.” ‘They want to tear down my wall’ – Dispute as County Council condemn Peter Casey’s sea wall was last modified: March 31st, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GreencastlePeter Caseylast_img read more

first_imgChi Chi Maponya, Brand South Africa’s chairperson, said an Africa with no borders will turn the continent into an integrated force.AFRICA is on a quest to improve its global competitiveness. With increased investment from China, Japan and the United States – the last has hinted at extending its Africa Growth and Opportunity Act – conditions are right for success. However, experts say that before we can think about trading with these economic giants and being more globally competitive, African nations have to improve relations with each other.Government representatives and private business stakeholders gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Johannesburg on 25 July to discuss pan-Africanism and African integration over the next 50 years. The event, hosted by Brand South Africa, looked at ways of improving trade, movement of people and economic competitiveness on the continent.Brand South Africa chief executive Miller Matola was optimistic Africa would reach its full potential by 2063. He said that to overcome development challenges on the continent, trade needed to be bolstered between African countries and freedom of movement between borders needed to be increased.Stanley Subramoney, the chairman of the Nepad Business Foundation, said one of the reasons Africa was not competitive was because the infrastructure was designed mostly for trade outside the continent. It was not built for intra-African business. He pointed out that all major roads in Africa lead to ports, while networks between cities were poor. “We do not have the infrastructure, which is the reason we do not trade among ourselves. Sub-Saharan intra-African trade is about 7 percent.”Nepad Business Foundation’s chairman, Stanley Subramoney, said for intra-African trade to improve, infrastructure on the continent would have to be improved.He added that the projected infrastructure deficit from now until 2040 was approximately $93-billion (R907-billion) a year. And though Africa was spending about $48-billion on infrastructure annually, Subramoney said inefficient authorities that managed the trade corridors cost the continent as much as $17-billion.A 20-foot container coming from Shanghai to the Port of Durban cost $2 000, but to transport that same container from Durban to Shanghai cost $350. This was because goods were not being shipped out of the country. “We are pulling imports but we not exporting. And it is because our economy is not competitive.”More alarming, transporting that same container from Durban to Johannesburg cost $2 200. Subramoney blamed this on the use of trucks, which were inefficient. “There is a whole load on trucks leaving Durban for Johannesburg, but the same trucks are returning empty.”The regional director of the African Development Bank, Ebrima Faal, said transformation of the continent’s economic structure would require stakeholders to finance these trade corridors between countries. Faal referred to the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa as an appropriate tool that would open up continental trade corridors. But to do that would require $360-billion. “It targets road, rail, airports and maritime ports that need to be in place to allow the continent to trade with each other and therefore create jobs.”Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, the continent faces a lot of developmental challenges but it does not mean there are no solutions for them. Seated beside him is Brand South Africa’s chairperson, Chi Chi Maponya.IntegrationFor integration to take place, countries in Africa had to create an open environment for business, which would allow goods and people to flow across borders more freely. Taking these aspects into consideration, Matola said South Africa was the frontrunner when it came to driving integration. Indeed, statistics from the 2012/2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report show that South Africa is first out of 144 countries when it comes to ease of business.Chi Chi Maponya, Brand South Africa’s chairperson, said the Department of Trade and Industry was leading talks on integrating the three regional trade blocs of the Southern African Development Community, the Economic Community of West African States, and the East African Community. Combined, these three regions are home to over 700 million people. “In terms of trade, there is a lot of discussion which seeks to achieve a borderless continent. That is not to say there will not be any borders; they are there for the sovereign identity of every country and that has to be respected. But there is so much we can do together in building a common goal of making Africa an integrated force.”She said Africans had to find a way to make movement of goods, services and people easier for each other. “Before a dollar moves out of the continent it should have circulated a number of times within these trading blocs and changed the lives of the people.” Ebrima Faal, regional director of African Development Bank, said that for trade corridors to be more open it would need funding from stakeholders Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said attempts to make Africa borderless did not mean boundaries would collapse. Instead, it would make trade and contact between people more efficient. He referred to the system established by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda whereby foreign businesspeople pay customs at a one-stop border post. Such posts were being established throughout Africa to make the movement of goods and people quicker and easier.“While the physical boundaries will not collapse, the potential exists for all these countries to work together so that the system is efficient and the markets that our goods need to access [do] not face the same strain as [they] did in the past,” said Chabane.Asked whether South Africans would embrace nationals from other African countries, Chabane said they had already been accepted in society. Africans from other regions had been trading in the country since 1994 and even owned property.Xenophobia existed at grassroots level, he said, and was a result of South Africa’s isolation from the rest of the world during apartheid. “South Africans were not allowed to travel outside its borders, let alone to have a passport. It is very rare to find a South African on the streets of Harare, Lagos or Egypt trying to sell something because we have always been confined.”Brand South Africa’s chief executive, Miller Matola, believes South Africa is increasingly becoming more innovative, which will help boost its competitivenessInnovationAccording to the WEF, there are three stages of development that define the competitiveness of a country. Weak economies are categorised as factor driven, emerging economies as efficiency driven and developed economies as innovation driven.South Africa is an efficiency driven economy. But Matola said that in coming years, it could transform into an innovative market. The WEF report ranked South Africa far higher than its emerging market counterparts. “We are better than the Next11 countries in terms of innovation. And the same goes for the Brics countries. So though we cannot say we are there, we can look at South Africa and say we are increasingly becoming more innovative.”South Africa is also a global leader in legal rights, regulation of securities exchanges, and efficiency of corporate boards, and it has strong auditing and reporting standards. It is second when it comes to availability of financial services and third in financing through the local equity market. All of these aspects open up the platform for innovation.Chabane said it was up to South Africans to create the platform. “Once you have more skilled people, especially from various areas [of expertise], they will be able to create space to be innovative.” He pointed out the Square Kilometre Array project in the Northern Cape, which had the largest telescope in the world, and the arms industry as examples of South African innovation.The Department of Science and Technology, Chabane said, was trying to create an innovative environment by co-ordinating the country’s research capacity and ensuring the science field was managed properly. “We hope with these efforts, at some point we will be able to increase the capacity of innovation that is in the country to make us competitive.”Maponya said South Africa’s current industrialisation drive would unleash a lot of talent. As a result, the country would no longer be a consumer market but one that was creative. This environment, she added, would allow the “spirit of innovation” to thrive. “Each one of us must take a role and ask, ‘What am I going to do to contribute to this bigger picture?’ So when we look back at our achievements 50 years from now, [they will be] something we can all be proud of.”Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, said an Africa without borders will make trade more efficient and quicker, therefore making the continent more globally competitive.SACF launchBrand South Africa used the occasion to launch the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF), an event that will try to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the country’s economy. It will be held on 5 November 2013.According to Petrus de Kock, Brand South Africa’s research manager, the SACF would focus on five topics, namely: education and skills, products and services, governance and leadership, infrastructure, and foreign direct investment (FDI) competitiveness. “We have a very open economy to FDI and a very strong legal framework. We have to be open to those strengths.”De Kock said South Africans would be encouraged to become active participants in the economy to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), which included poverty alleviation, job creation, and quality health care. Brand South Africa had already reached out to business and the government for help in defining the kinds of competitiveness issues that affected the country’s reputation.Reputation was a key indicator determining a country’s competitiveness, De Kock explained. In the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index, which measures a nation’s reputation, South Africa retained its 36th spot – out of 50 – for a second consecutive year.There will be two preliminary events leading up to the SACF. De Kock will host stakeholder input workshops on 30 August. Knowledge gathered at this event will be presented at the SACF. In September, Brand South Africa will be in Cape Town to co-host a youth dialogue on the NDP with the Graduate School of Business. Young men and women will be invited to express their views on the forum.last_img read more

first_img“It is not too late for South Africans to become active citizens in a way that really matters – by actively shaping our democracy,” writes Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, head of the Methodist Church. “We will all be stronger for it and our institutions will benefit immeasurably.” Social media and innovations in technology such as smartphones now allow South Africans to robustly express their public opinions on a range of issues, says Ziphozihle Siwa. This can only benefit South Africa’s living democracy. (Image: Jason Howie) • Active citizenship in memory of Mandela – Bachelet • Using the arts to build an inclusive South Africa • Celebrating 60 years of the Women’s Charter • A freedom timeline: 20 years of democracy • Obama names young African leaders programme after MandelaBrand South Africa’s CEO Miller Matola earlier this month reflected on what is accepted as the contemporary origins of the concept of democracy as well as those of our own much celebrated democracy. He included in his observations the obligation placed on all citizens to responsibly express their democratic rights as well as to bequeath a democracy protected by strong and secure institutions with strong leadership cultures to future generations.The reflections of Matola led me on my own emotional and cognitive meanderings on the character of our South African democracy.South Africa’s democracy is a product of the blood and tears of millions of people – some celebrated, some not, some organisations recognised, others fading into obscurity. And because of the nature of our citizens, the character of our democracy is multifaceted.This is equally a strength and a challenge – a strength because if we take the time to find what is best in each other, our country can really be a shining model of how diversity can make us better; a challenge because if we do not take the time and patience to see what is best in each other, we will always remain fragmented with a false sense of cohesion. We can never build a strong, resilient and enduring nation without the former.However, on reflecting on how we build this strong, resilient and enduring nation, I have realised that the democracy is not an end in itself. It is actually a journey, and as with some journeys – with navigators or not – we sometimes make a wrong turn or miss a road.This is not unique to South Africa – sometimes I think we are harder on ourselves that others can ever be. That is not to say that we should continue driving in the wrong direction even when we know we will not reach our destination on that route.Even the oldest modern democracies find themselves confronted with the evolving nature of democracy. This has led to the concept of an organic or “living democracy” – a way of life and a civic culture in which people creatively participate in public life. At the heart of this concept is acknowledgement that a democracy is forged when all citizens participate actively in building a nation and its institutions. And the very essence of democracy tells us that all expressions of freedom can coexist in societies, albeit it with the indispensable requirement of the responsibility with which we express our democratic freedoms.Although democracy is commonly described as a system of government where all the eligible members of a state typically elect representatives, it is also considered to be a model where the majority view takes precedence in organised systems. This also then brings into question the balance of power in the system. Is it simple majoritarianism or does the ability of people to make their views known and to then act on these views in the relevant manner, depend on them having the appropriate power in society? We have all seen that in systems where the will of the people is repressed or the freedom of expression denied, people rise up in their numbers in protest – actively or passively – and sometimes aggressively as well.In our 20th year of democracy, what is the character of South Africa’s democracy – yes, we know that we elect public representatives, we know that we expect our public representatives to understand that they govern by our will and choice. But what is the nature of our active participation in our democracy? Do we attend public hearings? Do we make inputs on legislation and policies under review and that will be implemented in a way what impacts on our lives – directly or not? Do we as citizens actively co-create and participate in our living democracy?If we take into account the access to information that enables us to participate actively in our democracy, the internet and other social platforms have impacted positively on our access to information. In addition, innovation and the need the stay current has resulted in commercial entities continuously implementing innovative solutions on which such information is accessed – computers, tablets, mobile phones. In South Africa mobile phone penetration exceeds 100%. In addition access to smartphones is increasing rapidly which means that citizens can access conversations, documents, etc on hand-held devices.Let us look for a moment at one of the most recent instances of the public engaging with a conversation on a range of platforms – last week’s judgment in the Oscar Pistorius case. Not only have the proceedings been followed closely by millions of people in South Africa and beyond but importantly, this has not been a passive process. This conversation exploded on Thursday last week when the judge ruled that Oscar was not guilty of murder. Opinions and views abounded and, most importantly, the law was being robustly discussed and deliberated upon – to the extent that the judge herself found her ruling, her reputation and her credibility under public scrutiny.The media enabled this conversation, as well as experts who availed themselves for discussions. But mostly the conversation was driven by the ordinary citizen.I raise this example to illustrate that we are by no means an apathetic, uninvolved citizenry. Yet, why do we absent ourselves from public debate? Why do we absent ourselves from engaging in our democratic processes beyond the election period and the subsequent process of voting?In addition, while we may sometimes engage in a public discourse on certain issues – the recent issues with the public protector, the behaviour of the EFF in parliament, to name a few – why do we merely comment on what is rather than helping to shape and craft the present with a view of ensuring the durability of the future?Returning to the living democracy and our journey on this road, it is never too late to turn back or redirect your vehicle. It is not too late for us as South Africans to change the way in which we interact with this living democracy. It is not too late for us to become active citizens in a way that really matters – by actively shaping our democracy. We will all be stronger for it and our institutions will benefit immeasurably. At the very least we will stop feeling powerless. Actively contributing to and participating with our democracy is equal to us building and safeguarding our nation and the future of those who will follow us.Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa is the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Several research teams, led by The Ohio State University, have concluded a three-year study evaluating the ability of agricultural management practices to reduce phosphorus-causing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.In 2012, the United States and Canada set the goal of reducing phosphorus entering the lake by 40%. Now, researchers have a better understanding of what management practices need to be implemented, and what research still needs to be done to meet these goals by 2025.The majority of phosphorus entering Lake Erie originates from the Maumee River watershed. More than 85% of the phosphorus entering the lake comes from agricultural sources such as fertilizer runoff. To address this, researchers are evaluating what agricultural management practices have potential to reduce this phosphorus, while supporting farmers to maintain profitability.Photo courtesy of NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory“There’s a lot of edge-of-field work going on that identifies successful practices in single fields. But when we scale up and ask how many of those practices need to be adopted over a wide area like the Maumee River watershed, that’s where we turn to our models,” said Jay Martin, project coleader for the recent study and professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE).The study, which was funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, used five watershed models to help researchers determine the most effective approaches to combat algal blooms.Just as the local news uses models to forecast the weather, researchers use watershed models to project how different management techniques impact phosphorus entering Lake Erie. By layering five separate models over these practices, researchers are able to narrow in on the best solutions.Solutions are aimed at meeting reduction targets for two forms of phosphorus: total phosphorus and dissolved reactive phosphorus. Each spring, levels of total phosphorus and dissolved reactive phosphorus affect the magnitude of harmful algal growth. Year-round levels of total phosphorus, which includes dissolved reactive phosphorus, lower oxygen levels in the lake and result in the annual dead zone in the central basin of Lake Erie.Researchers worked with a team of stakeholders to determine what management practices to analyze with the models. The stakeholder group had wide representation from agricultural groups, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and environmental groups. Together with researchers, these stakeholders helped determine what management practices and adoption rates were most likely to be feasible solutions to model.“In this study, we wanted to be able to show policy makers a range of expectations if we implement certain conservation strategies,” said Margaret Kalcic, project co-leader and assistant professor in FABE. “Multiple models help us address uncertainty and gain confidence in our practices.”Results from the study showed progress in reducing phosphorus that is required to decrease harmful algal growth. However, none of the modeled scenarios met the reduction goals for dissolved reactive phosphorus. These results point to the need to further increase adoption of existing practices and research alternative management practices, which is where researchers expect to focus their efforts next.“With the types of practices available to the farming community, we can make stronger strides reducing total phosphorus than with dissolved reactive phosphorus,” Martin said. “In the future, we need to develop management processes that are more effective at managing dissolved reactive phosphorus—processes that hold back or filter water.”The most promising scenarios called for a mix of in-field management like cover crops and subsurface fertilizer placement, and the use of buffer strips to help filter field runoff. One mix of these practices met the reduction goal for total phosphorus.The study also highlighted the importance of identifying sites where specific practices will have a higher potential of reducing phosphorus runoff. While this approach will result in accelerated gains in water quality and more efficient use of resources, it will require field level assessments and consultation with producers.It is also hoped that these results convey confidence to the public and farmers that properly combined management practices can make progress towards phosphorous reduction targets. Doing so should lead to an increase in adoption rates of effective practices and improve the ongoing harmful algal bloom problem in Lake Erie.Ohio’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI) is a statewide response to the harmful algal blooms issue. Funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education since 2015 and managed by Ohio Sea Grant, the initiative funds research across the state and is led by The Ohio State University and The University of Toledo. For more information about the program, visit go.osu.edu/HABRI. Additional translational products can be found by visiting http://kx.osu.edu/project/environment/habri-multi-model.last_img read more

first_imgBringing all U.S. homes to airtightness levels spelled out in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code would save as much as $33 billion in energy costs annually, according to new research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.Berkeley Lab scientist Jennifer Logue, lead author of the study, and her fellow researchers used “physics-based modeling” to calculate how much energy is wasted by air leaks, Berkeley Lab said in a news release. Researchers also wanted to identify a standard of airtightness that represented the best balance between costs and energy savings.Researchers considered five levels of tightening:“Average” tightening, which researchers defined as meeting levels of both the Weatherization Assistance Program and other non-WAP energy retrofit programs for an overall reduction in leakage of between 20% and 30%.“Advanced” tightening, in which all houses would be as airtight as the top 10% of houses with similar characteristics.Airtightness as defined by the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, which is no more than 5 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50) in climates zones 1 and 2 and no more than 3 ach50 in climate zones 3 through 8.Canada’s R-2000 standard, which is 1.5 ach50.The Passivhaus standard of 0.6 ach50. IECC standard offers the best balanceThe total amount of source energy used in American homes is 22 quads (22 quadrillion BTUs) per year, or 23% of total U.S. consumption, the report says. Source energy includes the energy consumed on site plus the raw energy required to produce and deliver it.Tightening every one of the country’s 113 million homes to be as airtight as the top 10% of similar homes (what researchers called “advanced tightening”) would save 2.6 quads of energy per year, or roughly $22 billion, the report said.Getting to the IECC standard would save 3.83 quads, or $33 billion, annually. And that level offered most of the benefit of the two tighter standards while being more realistic to achieve. “According to their analysis, raising the U.S. housing stock to the IECC standard would reduce airflow in homes by a median value of 50 percent,” the Lab said.“As we move forward and look to build better housing stock, we want to know what standards we should enforce,” Logue was quoted as saying. “It looks like the IECC standard gets us the majority of the benefit of air sealing. More research is needed to determine the cost of implementing each of these standards in new homes to see which are cost-effective. As we get better at air sealing we can move towards tighter envelopes in buildings.” Ventilation carries low energy penaltyBerkeley Lab said the study took into account the amount of energy that would be required to increase ventilation to meet the ASHRAE 62.2 standard for healthy indoor air.“We found that the energy burden would be pretty small, only about an additional 0.2 quads of source energy annually to get everyone to the level where they’re getting enough whole-house ventilation,” Logue said in the press release.last_img read more

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd draw up plans for four new signingsby Paul Vegas23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United plan to make four new signings for the start of next season.The Manchester Evening News says United want to sign a full back, midfielder, a forward and a striker to add depth and quality to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.United chiefs ‘held a recruitment meeting’ at the start of last month to begin drafting a shortlist of targets for the January transfer window and next summer.It is claimed that James Maddison, Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Declan Rice are principal targets as they look to continue their recent transfer strategy of purchasing young, British players.The club know that those deals would require significant negotiating and therefore the club is also drafting a longer list of targets. last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Cracking down on hate, abuse and online trolls is also hurting Twitter’s standing with investors.The company’s stock plunged Friday after it reported a decline in its monthly users and warned that the number could fall further in the coming months. The 20.5 per cent plunge comes one day after Facebook lost 19 per cent of its value in a single day.Twitter says it’s putting the long-term stability of its platform above user growth. That leaves investors seemingly unable to value what the biggest companies in the sector, which rely on their potential user reach, are worth.Twitter had 335 million monthly users in the quarter, below the 339 million Wall Street was expecting, and down slightly from 336 million in the first quarter. That overshadowed a strong monthly user growth of 3 per cent compared with the previous year.The company said its monthly user number could continue to fall in the “mid-single-digit millions” in the third quarter.While Friday was Twitter’s second-worst loss since it went public in November 2013, the stock has still doubled in value over the last 12 months.Long criticized for allowing bad behaviour to run rampant on its platform, Twitter has begun to crack down, banning accounts that violate its terms and making others less visible.Twitter is now attempting to rein in the worst offenders after years as one of the Wild West corners of the internet.At the same time, it must convince people it’s the go-to platform in social media, even though it is dwarfed right now by Facebook.Facebook has more than 2.23 billion users while its apps WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger each have over 1 billion.Twitter on Friday reiterated its efforts to “to invest in improving the health of the public conversation” on its platform, making the “long-term health” of its service a priority over short-term metrics such as user numbers.As part of these efforts, Twitter said that as of May, its systems identified and challenged more than 9 million accounts per week that are potentially spam or automated, up from 6.4 million in December 2017. The company has previously disclosed these numbers.A Washington Post report put the total number of suspended accounts in May and June at 70 million. The Associated Press also found that Twitter suspended 56 million such accounts in the last quarter of 2017. While Twitter maintains that most of these accounts were dormant and thus not counted in the monthly user figure, the company also warned that its cleanup efforts could affect its counted user base without giving specific numbers.“We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviours that distort and distract from the public conversation,” CEO Jack Dorsey said in a prepared statement.Twitter’s market value dropped by more than $6 billion Friday, to around $26 billion. Investors still value Facebook at $503 billion. Facebook lost $119 billion in value on Thursday.Twitter’s second-quarter net income hit $100.1 million, after a loss last year during the same period. It’s the company’s third profit in a row, the third it has ever posted.Per-share, the San Francisco company’s net income was 13 cents, or 17 cents adjusted, in line with expectations, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.Revenue of $710.5 million, up 24 per cent and edging out expectations of $696 million._____Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on TWTR at https://www.zacks.com/ap/TWTRlast_img read more

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