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Friday, Feb 27, 3:28 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: 1 on 1 with Rob Manfred”The panelists: Brian Kenny, Rob ManfredRob Manfred has a long history with Major League Baseball. And Major League Baseball has long tried to avoid letting its history weigh it down. In a wide-ranging interview at Sloan on Friday, one month into his tenure as league commissioner, Manfred sounded like a man trying to make sense of how to reform a game without hollowing it out.A few days ago, Manfred said that there was a universe in which baseball could shave eight games off its regular-season schedule “sometime down the road.” A reduction in the current 162-game schedule could make the sport’s playoff timing a little more flexible, and might increase fan interest in each game. At Sloan, Manfred said he chose the 154-game mark because it would take the majors “back to a number that’s already in our record books.” Could he see MLB going even lower, to 150? No, because then “you’re going to go have a record book with 150, 154, 162 …” Only in baseball, a sport hallowed enough to get the Ken Burns treatment, could the record book be more important than the ledger. Integrity is paramount. (Or as Manfred, who has worked for the league for nearly two decades, put it when talking about whether to reform gambling laws around sports betting: “Integrity, it’s Rule One.”)Yet this is a commissioner who clearly wants to find ways to change the game. Manfred has introduced rules to speed the pace of play, and said Friday he’s very happy with the replay system MLB added last year. He said that in the future — “past Rob Manfred” — the league could have a team outside North America, and before that, maybe even one in Mexico. Now that would be historic. — Chadwick Matlin Sunday, March 1 12:17 a.m.After what conference co-organizer Jessica Gelman said was a “heated discussion,” voters for the top research paper at Sloan reached a split decision and split the $30,000 prize pool between two papers. The winners:Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattCounterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryRosales and Spratt, both of Baseball Info Solutions, presented work suggesting that pitch framing, which has traditionally rewarded most of the credit to catchers alone, is actually a function of three independent participants: the catcher, pitcher, and umpire.Franks, Miller, Bornn, and Goldsberry — all members of Harvard’s XY Hoops group — used player tracking data to quantify individual defensive play in the NBA. The academic version of this group’s paper has been accepted at the statistics journal Annals of Applied Statistics.The groups behind the winning papers each received $15,000 for their efforts. Additionally, Bornn and Goldsberry, along with co-authors Alex D’Amour and Dan Cervone, received the conference’s top poster prize of $1,000 for “Move or Die: How Ball Movement Creates Open Shots in the NBA.” — Mike Lopez Friday, Feb 27, 11:55 a.m.Daryl Morey has been as instrumental to the rise of the Sloan conference as he has been to the rise of the Houston Rockets. Morey, the general manager of the Rockets, has steered the team to third place in the Western conference — behind MVP-candidate James Harden, whom he acquired in a now-legendary 2012 trade — and helped start the Sloan conference in 2007. At Sloan on Friday, I boxed him out to ask a few questions about advanced basketball analytics, specifically player-tracking data from companies like STATS’ SportVU technology. While he can’t divulge the details of the Rockets’ private statistics, Morey’s remarks about the publicly available numbers are especially insightful because the Rockets are one of the most stats-savvy teams — not just in the NBA, but in all of sports. — Andrew FlowersAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/flowers_morey.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Saturday, Feb. 28 3:15 p.m.Will sports betting inevitably become legal in the U.S.? It sure seems like it.Momentum behind legalization has grown since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times in November 2014 explicitly endorsing legal sports gambling. The facade of professional sports leagues that oppose sports betting is beginning to crack. And it’s clear why: money.Silver estimated the market for illegal sports wagering is currently $400 billion per year, though it’s likely that figure is inflated. But even lower-end estimates of around $80 billion still represent a huge market. Sports betting is already enormous in Europe, Australia and many other regions. State governments want in because of the potential revenues.Professional sports leagues are intrigued because they see gambling interest as a ratings driver, much like fantasy sports have been. (And, coincidentally, daily fantasy sports sites – with cash prizes – bear an eerie resemblance to gambling anyway.) Gambling is already inherently analytical; but the appetite of stats-savvy fans for geeky coverage about odds is growing. Jeff Ma, a contributor to ESPN’s new sports-betting site, Chalk – said gambling analytics would meet the demand from those with a “high-brow” interest.But there are major risks to legalization. The revelations that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy owed gambling debts and bet on games he officiated was a reminder of the long, scandalous history of how gambling can challenge the integrity of sports. Here, too, analytics can help. Ryan Rodenberg, a professor at Florida State University, suggested statistical scrutiny of betting markets would combat fraud and fixing. Several private European firms already specialize in such analytics.The panelists were asked that if they had to bet on legalization sweeping the country, when it would happen. The lines offered by the panelists ranged from 2-to-10 years. Dan Spillane, the Assistant General Counsel for the NBA, didn’t offer a timeline, however. He just said “years, not months.” — Andrew Flowers Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:00 p.m.The session: “Analytics of the Tommy John Injury Epidemic”The speaker: Glenn FleisigWe’re in the midst of an epidemic of elbow injuries among major league pitchers. Twenty-five percent of current MLB pitchers have had an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”) and 15 percent of minor league pitchers have undergone the procedure. Over the last decade, the problem has trickled down to high school and little league players. In 1990, none of the baseball players coming to the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center clinic Tommy John surgery were kids. Today, one third of them are high school age or younger, said Fleisig, the research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute.What’s to blame for the epidemic of torn elbow ligaments? Are more players getting hurt? Or are we just better at diagnosing these injuries? Are doctors more willing to do the procedure? Or are patients more eager to have it?The answer, said Fleisig, is all of the above. Some players assume they should go in for surgery at the first sign of elbow pain, just “to get it over,” but that’s the wrong attitude. Best case scenario, the surgery can return a player to the career trajectory he was on before he got injured, but it won’t improve performance and not every player makes it back to play, Fleisig said.About 80 percent of major league players who get Tommy John surgeries make it back to the mound, but only two thirds of those who undergo the procedure make it back and stay there.Most elbow ligament injuries occur due to overuse. During the middle part of the pitch when the elbow is held upright at a right angle, the joint experiences severe torque. “It’s like holding a string with five 12-pound bowling balls,” Fleisig said. (That’s why doping raises the risk of an elbow injury — “If you’re on the juice you’re making your muscles too strong for your tendons and ligaments to handle.”)There’s a common notion that curveballs are dangerous, but the research doesn’t bear that out, Fleisig said. “We expected the curveball to have more torque than the fastball, but it turns out it has less.”Four things determine which players get injured — biomechanics, how much a player pitches, training and recovery. “It’s not one of these things or the other, it’s all of them,” Fleisig said.Wear and tear on the elbow is one of the most important factors, and when Fleisig’s group followed a group of 500 kids over a ten-year period, they found that pitching more than 100 competitive innings more than tripled the risk of needing a Tommy John surgery. Likewise, more than 80 pitches per game quadrupled the risk of injury, and kids who pitched when fatigued had 36 times the risk of having surgery.In an effort to cut the rates of elbow injuries among young pitchers, Fleisig and his colleagues have teamed with Major League Baseball to create Pitch Smart, age-appropriate guidelines to avoid injury. Suggestions include limits on the number of pitches thrown and not pitching when fatigued. “The best computer we have is right here,” Fleisig told me, pointing to his head. — Christie Aschwanden Saturday, Feb. 28 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, 11:20 a.m. Friday, Feb 27, 12:21 p.m.The Panel: “Valuing Franchises: How Sports Teams Break the DCF”The Panelists: Lyle Ayes, Aswath Damodaran, Joe McNulty, Randy Vataha, Abe Madkour (moderator)The recent sales of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers for over $2 billion have opened up a new paradigm in sports franchise valuations. As shocking as the price of those transactions may have been, the mood at this Sloan panel was buoyant. In fact, panelists seemed to be most worried about prices getting so high that billionaires would be priced out of the market. As Lyle Ayes, managing director of the investment bank Evercore’s sports advisory practice said, “how many people can pay $4 billion for an asset?”Panelists thought the seemingly inexorable rise in franchise valuations was driven by the increasing value of media and content rights. Aswath Damodaran, an NYU professor who focuses on valuation (and FiveThirtyEight contributor), commented that across the entertainment industry, owning content is becoming king. Ayes cited the NBA’s massive new TV deal as evidence of this trend. He noted that advertisers put a large premium on live content like sports because viewers are relatively captive during the event. Interestingly, none of the panel members thought that a team’s performance had a large impact on valuation. The most important factor, according to the panel, was metro area population and GDP. The New York Knicks can command significantly more from their local TV rights for bad basketball than the San Antonio Spurs can command for good.Despite the increase in the real earnings of teams as media deals improve, panelists (with the exception of Ayes), broadly agreed that sports franchises still do not make sense as actual businesses. While they are relatively low-risk and uncorrelated with other potential investments, almost any analysis of the current cash flows — or lack thereof — will not find them to be great investments. As Damodaran noted, the supply of franchises is relatively fixed, while demand has been growing. The panelists did not see this dynamic changing any time soon. — John Ezekowitz Friday, Feb 27, 2:20 p.m.The panel: “Basketball Analytics: Push the Tempo”The panelists: Shane Battier, Mike Zarren, Sue Bird, Mike D’Antoni, Pablo TorreAre basketball teams now so saturated with data and analytics that it’s hard to use them for a competitive advantage?Mike Zarren, assistant general manager for the Boston Celtics, raised an interesting point about what qualifies as analytics in an analytics age. “If I know how well a player slept last night, is that analytics?” The breadth of topics discussed — injuries, biometrics, pace, traditional positions, rest, incentives, shot selection, team chemistry — reveal what a truly broad spectrum of questions and answers fall under the umbrella of basketball analytics. However the field is defined, it all serves the same master: talent. Shane Battier, the poster boy for the adoption of analytic ideas at the player level, summed up the mission perfectly: “It’s about creating space to allow talent to do what they do.”Zarren returned to a well-worn focus at this conference — communication of insights — and defended that arena as the place where a competitive advantage still exists: “You have to use it, it has to affect the decisions you make. I don’t think there is a saturation of that yet.” — Ian Levy Friday, Feb 27, 10:40 a.m.The panel: “Innovators and Adopters”The panelists: Shane Battier, Michael Lewis, Daryl Morey, Jeff Van Gundy and Jackie MacMullanPity Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Out for the season with injuries after performances well below their high standards, they’re now punching bags in Boston, at least according to the first session of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday.The other panelists treated the retired Battier more or less as Lewis depicted him in a New York Times Magazine article in 2009: the platonic ideal of the intelligent NBA player, one who incorporates insights from advanced statistical analysis to optimize his game for team success. (Battier initially resisted that framing, saying “it was about winning,” before eventually letting on that yeah, he was a pretty smart player.) LeBron James, with whom Battier won two titles in Miami, was the more typical player, open to occasional tastes of analytics-based tips.Anthony and Bryant, though, were depicted as the anti-Battiers, in a question by moderator MacMullan (who, like Battier, works for ESPN, which owns this website and sponsors Sloan). MacMullan noted their selfishness and focus on scoring over other ways of contributing to their teams. (To which my boss, Nate Silver, would respond that Anthony’s shooting makes his teammates better.) Battier made clear how much he relished having those two stars as foils, learning their tendencies so that he could neutralize their strengths when playing defense. MacMullan pointed out that Battier blocked more of their shots than any other player’s. Anthony also topped the Battier leaderboards for balls stolen and offensive fouls drawn. And the pair led another personal leaderboard Battier innovated: They gave him the most “looks of disdain” when they found out he’d be guarding them. — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb 27, 4:35 p.m.At last year’s Sloan conference, Dean Oliver was our ESPN colleague, leading analytics at the Stats & Info Group. This year, he’s here as the Sacramento Kings’ director of player personnel and analytics. I spotted him Friday huddled with a few of his peers from other NBA franchises. Oliver has been in the sports analytics business for three decades, and has seen it grow from a field wrestling with a lack of data to one with more data than it knows what to do with. He spoke with me about the similarities in working for teams and working for sports media, and about what it takes for a franchise to succeed at using analytics. — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb. 27, 6:10 p.m.Walking into a conference at Sloan today I walked by yet another guy in a sports coat — and then did a double take, because this guy’s blazer sleeves were rolled up…and he was a 13 year-old. There are some teenagers running around Sloan but none looked younger than Sam Hafetz and his friends, Manu Hurskovitz, 14, and Jonah White, 14. After calling their parents for permission (hi, Mr. Hurskovitz!), I dragged them to our podcast table. There, Jody Avirgan asked what brought them to Sloan (it’s their second year attending), why they love sports analytics, and what they’d do if they became GMs of the Celtics. — Chadwick MatlinAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/kidsatsloan.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Friday, Feb. 27, 4:43 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: Growing Soccer with Don Garber”The panelists: Don Garber, Grant WahlMLB and MLS share two letters and the pickle of how to balance tradition and innovation. Baseball’s struggle comes from within, as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred showed earlier Friday. Major League Soccer isn’t as conflicted about changing rules and trying new technologies, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. Its burden, unlike MLB’s, is its peripheral place in a global game.Garber said he wanted goal-line review technology, extra time put on scoreboards (instead of only a ref with a “Timex that probably cost 20 bucks” knowing how much time remains) and a whole lot more. “If I were king, we would have instant replay, we would have cameras on our players, we would be putting them on goalposts.” He’d put a microphone on the field. Players would wear GoPro cameras. He watched hockey players wear GoPros at the NHL All-Star Game and thought it was cool.But Garber can’t have all those things. Other sports’ U.S. pro leagues just need to get the owners to agree, but MLS needs the approval of IFAB, the International Football Association Board — or, as Garber called it, the International Federation of Somebody Who Has Something To Do With the Rules That’s Not Me. Garber’s message to IFAB: “Let us be the Guinea pigs.” He worries that the world’s most popular sport could lose its lead “just because of our structure. We should be able to use the power of our influence to lead.” — Carl Bialik Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:50 a.m.There are bold-faced names headlining the ninth annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, sure. But for academics like myself the real action is in the research paper contest, where academics and researchers are hoping to create the kinds of insights that the bold-faced names one day treat as gospel. For these researchers, Sloan marks the culmination of what can be more than a year’s worth of work. The stakes are high: top prize is $20,000, with second place worth $10,000. For some of the PhD students submitting papers, that may equal their annual salary.But until now, the mechanics of how this contest is judged have largely been cloudy (see an overview of the 2015 contest here, or my personal experience submitting a paper to the 2014 contest here). On Friday, conference co-lead Paul Campbell helped clarify how Sloan makes its picks. “We try to be consistent about what we solicit,” said Campbell. “We kind of have our perspective on the validity of the method, and making sure that the academic and mathematical rigor is there. Also, do the results make sense?”The 2015 research paper contest began back in September, when Campbell and this year’s judging committee, comprised of various MIT student organizers and academic advisers, received 189 abstracts. Of that total, 68 were invited to turn in a formal paper for submission in mid-December. Paper submissions were placed into one of four tracks: basketball, baseball, other sports or the business of sport. The top two submitted papers from each track were given the opportunity to present at this year’s conference. In addition, 11 papers were given a poster in the halls of the convention center.Each of the eight finalists were allotted a 20-minute presentation on Friday. The judging committee identified the top presentation in each of the four categories based on a 50-50 split of the presentation itself and the originating paper.“We have an idea of what the best analytically rigorous paper is, but we want to see if it is presented well. It’s an equal weighting with [the presentation] and the paper,” said Campbell. The four papers still in the running for the top prize, are:Baseball: Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattBasketball: Counterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryOther Sports: Assessing the productivity of NHL players using in-game win probabilities by Stephen PettigrewBusiness of Sports: Diamonds on the Line: Profits Through Investment Gaming by Clayton Graham.Those four finalists are given an additional 10 minutes with which to make their case, this time in front of a larger and more general audience, including Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and FiveThirtyEight’s own Nate Silver.Those judges, according to Campbell, are asked to judge by something different than the last committee. “Which of these [papers] seems like the most applicable or potentially transformative within the industry?” $20,000 rides on the answer. — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:46 p.m.The panel: “Beating the Shift: Baseball Analytics in the Age of Big Data”The panelists: Sandy Alderson, Dan Brooks, Dave Cameron, Ben Lindbergh, Jonah KeriSloan’s flagship baseball panel largely focused on teams’ reactions to sabermetric findings. Alderson, the general manager of the New York Mets, spoke about the proliferation of defensive shifts, and how it has led to changes in the way certain players are valued — specifically right-handed power hitters.Along the same lines, no discussion of baseball analytics would be complete without some mention of strike zone analysis and catcher pitch-framing metrics. Despite the volume of research on the subject in recent years, the consensus of the group was that the market may still not be properly valuing catchers who “steal” strikes on the edge of the strike zone at a higher rate than their peers. Then again, part of that may relate to a theory that pitch-framing is a taught skill. (We’d have liked to hear more thoughts about how umpires doing better at calling an accurate strike zone has led to baseball’s aforementioned drop in run-scoring.)Finally, Keri asked the panel their thoughts about wins above replacement (WAR). The panel agreed WAR was a valuable framework, even if its individual parts can always stand to be improved. For his part, Alderson confirmed that teams use at least some version of it, even with its imperfections, because the idea of creating a cumulative statistic is appealing. — Harry Enten and Neil Paine FiveThirtyEight’s delegation made the pilgrimage to this year’s Sloan conference, a kind of mecca for anyone who’s obsessed with sports, data and retelling how they first felt when they read “Moneyball.” We updated all of Friday and Saturday from Boston, where Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and our own Nate Silver roamed the halls. Read on for highlights from the weekend. CORRECTION (Feb 28, 9:47 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the ages of Sam Hafetz and Jonah White. read more


The No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) will open divisional play this weekend, when they travel to Bloomington, Ind., to face the Indiana Hoosiers (2-3). First-year coach Urban Meyer talked about the upcoming challenge the Hoosiers might present, last weekend’s game against Nebraska and recruiting at the weekly Big Ten football coaches’ teleconference Tuesday. Looking past the Hoosiers? After back-to-back wins against ranked opponents, including a 63-38 drubbing of then-No. 21 Nebraska last weekend, the Buckeyes seem to be a confident bunch. But are they too confident? Meyer said it’s important for his team to realize there is plenty of football to be played before they can be considered a great team. “These kids are 6-0 and a lot of people are telling them how good they are,” Meyer said. “Quite honestly, we have a long way to go.” It is something that, arguably, happens every year in college football. Teams can win a big game against a ranked team, ride that high all week, and then lose to an inferior opponent that they underestimate a week later. Meyer said, however, that he is not concerned with his team’s focus as they prepare for an Indiana team that has lost its last three games. “We’re not at the point that we can start overlooking anybody,” Meyer said. “I’m concerned about execution and stopping them, not overlooking them.” Last week’s win bodes well for the future Last Saturday’s win against Nebraska could have major implications on the OSU football program for years to come. Meyer wasn’t able to give an exact number of recruits in attendance, but said that “there were a lot” of prospective Buckeyes in the Horseshoe last Saturday. Meyer also said the atmosphere in the stadium during the Buckeyes’ blowout left an impression of some of the nation’s elite high school prospects. “It’s a little risky sometimes to have a bunch of recruits come in on a big game, because if you fail and you lose, it’s miserable,” Meyer said. “The atmosphere was tremendous. The way we won in the second half, that was very critical for recruiting.” Miller, the Heisman Hopeful? As one of college football’s leaders in rushing yards per game, and the quarterback of the Big Ten’s only unbeaten team, sophomore Braxton Miller is gaining hype as a Heisman Trophy contender. “He’s one of the best players in the college game,” said Indiana coach Kevin Wilson. Wilson did say that, “there are better players out there,” but pointed out that the sophomore quarterback will only improve as he grows into Meyer’s system. “He’s young,” Wilson said. “Knowing a little bit about him, and knowing the coach that he’s got, he will get better and better. You’re not seeing the best of him.” A key component in winning the Heisman Trophy is having big games on big stages against ranked opponents. Miller might have done that last Saturday, rushing for a career-high 186 yards and scoring two touchdowns in a win against Nebraska. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, however, was not willing to anoint Miller as a favorite for college football’s most prestigious individual award. “That’s up to you guys,” Pelini said. read more


Christian Bryant, safety C.J. Barnett, safety Kenny Guiton, quarterback Corey “Pitt” Brown, safety Bradley Roby, cornerback Jordan Hall, running back Andrew Norwell, offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, offensive lineman Corey “Philly” Brown, wide receiver Marcus Hall, offensive lineman Chris Fields, wide receiver Former quarterback Kenny Guiton (13) celebrates a touchdown with former wide receiver Chris Fields (80) and former center Corey Linsley (71) during a game against California Sept. 14, at California Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 52-34.Credit: Eric Seger / Sports editorOhio State is set to hold its Pro Day Friday, and a total of 17 former Buckeyes are on the docket to show their skills.Per an OSU press release, 69 NFL scouts and team personnel are scheduled to attend the Pro Day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to get a look at the former Buckeyes — 16 of which were part of last season’s 12-2 squad.The one player who wasn’t on the team last year is Etienne Sabino, a linebacker who played for OSU from 2008-12. Sabino went undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, and last played professionally with the New York Giants where he signed April 27 as an unrestricted free agent.According to the release, the NFL allows players to participate in pro days a year after leaving the school.OSU’s Pro Day is likely the final chance former Buckeyes will get to make an impression on NFL teams before the 2014 NFL Draft begins May 8.Below is list of the players scheduled to compete at Pro Day, although the events each will be participating in is unknown: George Makradis, long snapper Etienne Sabino, linebackerRyan Shazier, linebacker Drew Basil, kicker Carlos Hyde, running back Corey Linsley, offensive lineman read more


first_imgA sharp increase over the next three years in the number of personnel and aircraft based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in central California has prompted Navy officials to begin discussions with local leaders about the possibility of expanding the 19,000-acre base.At a luncheon Monday at the Rotary Club of Fresno, Capt. Monty Ashliman Jr., the base’s commander, praised the station’s surrounding communities for their willingness to consider a possible expansion. Ashliman emphasized the need for the base and its neighbors to avoid conflicts that could interfere with Lemoore’s mission.“Without our military installations and surrounding communities working in coordination with one another, we run the risk of minimizing training opportunities available,” he told the audience, reported the Fresno Bee.A 25 percent jump in personnel at the base, home of the Pacific Strike Fighter Wing, is expected as DOD diverts 60 percent of its spending to the Pacific theater, the commander said.Lemoore, which already is the largest naval installation in the country for carrier-based aircraft, will gain more than 3,000 people, including family members, before 2019. The Navy will add two F-18 fighter jet squadrons by the end of 2018 to the 15 F-18 squadrons — plus one auxiliary squadron — now stationed there. In a year, F-35 crews will start arriving at the installation.An expanded mission can be expected to bolster the central San Joaquin Valley economy, according to the story.In addition to expanding its boundaries to accommodate its expanded mission, Lemoore also will need to obtain more water to farm vacant land on the installation. Growing crops on the land helps control the rodent population, which in turn limits the number of birds at the installation — a serious threat to aircraft operations. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more


first_img Tags 2019 Fiat 500X first drive: New engine, same problems Car Industry More From Roadshow 2018 Honda Accord: Turbo engines, sharper design and more space Enlarge ImageEV credits will help automakers meet the terms of the new pact. Sebastian Rothe/EyeEm/Getty BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen have hashed out terms with the state of California on a new fuel economy and emissions agreement. The pact closely mirrors clean car standards put in place by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration. The greenhouse gas deal, which affects new vehicle sales through 2026, is being viewed as a rebuke of the Trump administration’s planned emissions and fuel economy rollbacks for the auto industry. In an joint statement released Thursday in coordination with the California Air Resources Board, the automakers said, “These terms will provide our companies much-needed regulatory certainty by allowing us to meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations while continuing to ensure meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions.”President Trump and the EPA have been working to undo California’s policy of setting its own emissions and fuel economy standards, a practice set in motion by the 1970 Clean Air Act. The White House argues that national standards effectively preempt individual states from setting their own regulations. To date, a dozen states have adopted California’s current emissions standards.As part of the voluntary deal, these four major automakers have agreed to lift the average fuel economy of their individual new cars to almost 50 miles per gallon by 2026. The plan calls for a 3.7% increase annually beginning with the 2022 model year, with 1% of that targeted rise being coverable by credits for electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles. While so far only four automakers have signed on to this pact, the deal is open for others to join. Further, BMW, Ford, Honda and VW comprise about 30% of worldwide auto sales.The newly announced standards are actually somewhat less ambitious than the rules put forth under the Obama administration, which called for hitting 50-plus MPG by the 2025 model year.Back in August of 2018, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a plan to keep the automaker efficiency standards at a fleet average of 37 mpg — 2020 levels. The rationale, in part, was that continued investment in more efficient technologies will push new vehicle prices out of reach of many consumers, keeping more motorists in older, dirtier and unsafer vehicles. The plan was criticized by automakers for its lack of flexibility and an August 2018 survey found that the White House’s proposed rollbacks would be unpopular with consumers. 2020 BMW 745e xDrive plug-in hybrid is more potent and stylish 2019 Audi TT Roadster review: The exit interview 0 Share your voice 73 Photos Post a comment BMW Ford Honda Volkswagenlast_img read more


first_imgProthom Alo File PhotoAn examinee of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination tried to commit suicide by jumping off the second floor of a school in Savar after the examiner expelled her for adopting unfair means in the examination on Tuesday, reports UNB.The SSC examinee is identified as Jannatul Ferdous, daughter of Yajul Islam of Savar bank colony and SSC examinee of Savar Girls High School.Upazila Family Planning Officer Mezbah Uddin, also representative of Upazila Nirbahi Magistrate who was on-duty at the examination hall, caught the student while she was copying the answers written on her hand and expelled her.Being frustrated after her expulsion, Jannatul jumped off the second floor of Adhar Chandra High School injuring herself severely, said Mezbah Uddin.After rushing Jannatul to Savar Upazila Health Complex, the doctors said her two legs were broken and she was rushed to National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation in Dhaka.last_img read more


first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina enters Lancaster House in London on Thursday. Photo: Focus BanglaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Commonwealth’s reform appeared essential to cater evolving needs and member states’ expectations as she joined the first executive session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.”Reform is also essential if we wish to achieve the goals identified in this CHOGM under the four thematic pillars,” she said while delivering her speech at the session after Britain’s queen Elizabeth opened the 25th CHOGM at her Buckingham Palace.British prime minister Theresa May made the opening remarks at the session as the host while her Bangladesh counterpart said the role and functions of various Commonwealth bodies needed reorientation and reorganisation to meet the “constantly evolving needs and expectations of the member states”.”We also recommend formation of an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to undertake a comprehensive reform of Commonwealth,” Sheikh Hasina said.The PM also underscored the need for revitalisation of the Commonwealth Secretariat through a comprehensive reform to achieve the goals to be identified in the ongoing CHOGM while appreciating the Strategic Plan 2020-21 of the grouping’s secretary general in line of the objectives with the Charter and the 2030 Development Agenda.Lauding the secretariat for developing an annual delivery plan, the prime minister said the move should be considered as a beginning and part of the broader and comprehensive reform of the Commonwealth to make it more people and development centric.In this connection, she suggested that the secretariat should continue to intensify its focus on development issues, capacity building, technology transfer, aide for trade and investment related issues.Besides, she said, the secretariat should design action plans to implement the Commonwealth declarations on connectivity, cyber security and governance, as well as blue charter.Sheikh Hasina hoped that the Commonwealth would focus on result oriented efforts in their work in the next two years centring more on the trade, economic and sustainable development and practical challenges faced by majority of the member countries.The PM acknowledged the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) role to be sensitive one particularly in dealing with delicate country situations and suggested that it needed to be objective having comprehensive understanding of the situations in line with the spirit of Commonwealth consensus.The prime minister said upholding democracy, good governance and the rule of law are the cherished aims and these are also the basis for sustainable peace and stability.Sheikh Hasina said she believed that a positive engagement for supporting development of the institutions of democracy and good governance, rather than a punitive approach, is the best way to protect democracy, peace and stability in member countries.She expressed hope that the 25th CHOGM can help the association take a leap forward in realising the vision and shared responsibility for a poverty-free, progressive, prosperous, vibrant and visionary Commonwealth of Nations for the future generations.last_img read more


first_imgStationary buses are seen in this Prothom Alo File PhotoTransport workers enforced a shutdown of inter-district bus services from the capital on Thursday morning protesting at the vandalisation of buses and demanding their security.No buses left from Gabtoli, Sayedabad and Mahakhali bus terminals or entered into those terminals in Dhaka, police said.The transport workers also brought out a protest procession in Gabtoli bus stand area in the morning, sergeant Sohel Rana said.Satkhira Express bus service manager Borhan Ahmed said no buses left for security concerns.Movement of buses will remain halted until the situation becomes normal, he added.last_img read more


first_img Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Following a recent cautionary statement by the Reserve Bank of India directed at people who buy and sell digital currencies, India’s largest Bitcoin exchange service has suspended its operation.”This is being done to protect the interest of our customers and in no way is a reflection of Bitcoin’s true potential or price,” BuySellBitco.in said on its website. The trading platform was reportedly processing about 12 million rupees, or about $194,000, worth of Bitcoin transactions each month prior to the announcement.The shutdown looks like a precautionary measure, one that will shield the service from potentially forthcoming legal restrictions on digital currency businesses. On Christmas Eve, India’s central bank, which controls the nation’s monetary policy, released a statement warning Indian citizens of the risks associated with virtual currencies, including price volatility, vulnerability to hackers and a lack of ability to resolve payment disputes. However, unlike China, India’s government stopped short of banning financial institutions from handling Bitcoin-related transactions.The Reserve Bank of India “is presently examining the issues associated with the usage, holding and trading of virtual currencies under the extant legal and regulatory framework of the country,” Ajit Prasad, assistant general manager of the bank, said in the statement.BuySellBitco.in isn’t the only Bitcoin-related business in India to shut its doors following the central bank’s advisory. Another trading platform, INRBTC, has also suspended its services indefinitely. Citing the fact that people who buy and sell digital currencies are “exposed both legal and financial risks,” the exchange said on its website that “the only option left now is suspend the services until further arrangements can be made.”Just as China entered the Bitcoin market in a big way earlier this year — with the platform BTC China, which is open only to Chinese users, becoming the world’s largest in short order — Indian interest in the digital currency has grown in recent months, allowing India-based Bitcoin exchanges to spring up. But now their future appears to be in doubt.And yet Bitcoin is still the most valuable currency in the world. While down from the high of more than $1,200 that it reached last month, it remains well above $266, its previous high value before November.At 11:43 a.m. EST, the exchange value of a bitcoin on San Francisco-based Coinbase, which allows deposits and withdrawals in U.S. dollars from users’ bank accounts, was $732.Related: Bitcoin Price Plummets After Chinese Exchange Bans Yuan Deposits December 27, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min readlast_img read more


first_imgEutelsat’s order backlog has increased almost 10% to a record €5.3 billion, the satellite operator said on announcing its first half 2011-2012 results. This follows the launch of two new satellites to expand its presence in the Middle East, Africa, central Europe and the Indian Ocean islands.Video applications remain Eutelsat’s key business, generating first half revenues of €403.3, 67% of total revenues and a 2.9% year-on-year increase. By the end of 2011, Eutelsat’s fleet was delivering 4,173 channels, 391 more than a year earlier. The number of HD channels transmitted by the fleet increased 45.1% to 283.Total revenues amounted to €602.4 million, up 4.6%. A refinancing deal finalised in December meant net income was down 10.1% to €157 million.“With new in-orbit resources recently entered into service, the Group remains on track to achieve annual revenues of over    €1,235 million for the current fiscal year. This objective is however more challenging in view of the current competitive environment in some regions and a partial delay in the roll-out of Ka-Sat services. The EBITDA target of over €955 million for the current year is confirmed,” said Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen.last_img read more

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