Will the Raiders find a starting O-lineman in the draft?

first_imgDerek Carr spent more time on his back than most quarterbacks in the NFL last season.Just two seasons after Carr was sacked only 16 times (34th-most in the NFL and better than three separate Browns quarterbacks), the Raiders’ porous offensive line surrendered 51 sacks in 2018. Yes, 51. Carr sustained only 36 sacks combined over the two seasons prior, then tied for third in the NFL for most sacks taken last season, trailing only Deshaun Watson (62) and Dak Prescott (56).Only two players remain …last_img

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South Africa: We Fix

first_imgVictoria Clarke, who was chief communicator for Donald Rumsfeld, the American secretary of defence, has just published a memoir. The title is “Lipstick on a Pig”. Clarke’s message to those of us who toil in the vineyard of public relations is that if the client has a pig of a story to tell, putting lipstick on it won’t make it any prettier or more saleable.Did I mention Clarke is no longer at the Pentagon?At IMC, we don’t use lipstick. At least not on pigs. We don’t have to. For one thing, we have a great story to tell. For another, nobody is pressing us to hide the bits that aren’t so great. We have challenges in this country, serious ones. They are part of the story. We must never deny it.  In a very important way,  they are part of what of makes our story great.‘Getting things fixed’You see, what makes South Africa the amazing place it is is the extraordinary capacity of our people to meet challenges head on and find solutions.If we’re sometimes a little testy with each other, it’s because we’re impatient with those whose sole contribution is to moan about what’s wrong. But we’ve got lots of time for people who are ready to work on the practicalities of getting things fixed.IMC’s US country manager Simon Barber tells me there’s a garage not far from Washington, which advertises its services in a striking way.  The owner has hoisted a seriously wrecked Volkswagen beetle on the top of a telephone pole and on the side of the beetle, he has painted the words We Fix.  The shop lives up to its motto.  Its mechanics do tough jobs well.Everyone here will, I hope, be familiar with our pay off line for South Africa, “alive with possibility”, but what is it that makes the slogan ring true?  What make this one of the most exciting places to be in the world today?By way of at least a partial answer, our country manager proposes another slogan, borrowed from his local garage: “South Africa — We Fix.”‘Finding solutions’South Africans have established a terrific track record of fixing what others have written off as terminally broken and of finding solutions where others have despaired.Few observers really believed that South Africans would come together the way they did in 1994. As the American columnist Roger Cohen wrote in the International Herald Tribune the other day:“That apartheid’s demise would be violent was almost universally accepted. The swimming pools of the white-owned villas in the leafy northern Johannesburg suburbs would run red with blood; the whites would flee; and the African National Congress would wreck the strongest economy by imposing doctrinaire communism.”Didn’t happen. Instead we have representatives from every troubled corner of the planet — from Iraq,  Palestine and Israel, from Northern Ireland to mention just a few – coming to us to see how we pulled off what actually did happenHow did we do it? Oceans of ink has been spent on this topic, but perhaps the best short explanation I’ve seen came from President Mbeki is his speech to parliament  on the tabling on the TRC report in 2003.“At a critical moment in our history,” he said, “we came as a people to the conclusion that we must, together, end the killing. We took the deliberate decision that a violent conflict was not in the interest of our country nor would it solve our problems.“Together we decided that in the search for a solution to our problems, nobody should be demonized or excluded. We agreed that everybody should become part of the solution, whatever the might have done or represented in the past. This related both to the negotiating of the future of our country and working to build the new South Africa we had all negotiated.”In a nutshell, this is the spirit of  “South Africa – We Fix”.Ordinary people  doing extraordinary thingsI wish everyone would drop, once and for all, the word miracle from the lexicon of descriptions for this country’s achievements. It reeks of  low expectations. And it misses the point. South Africans are not miracle people.We’re quite ordinary human beings with an extraordinary diversity of knowledge, wisdom and talent, who makes things work.And the more we’ve been able combine the splendid diversity of our human capital, the better we’ve made things work.Consider our constitution, ten years old this year. Some people still grumble that it’s a hodgepodge of compromises cobbled together to meet a deadline. Depending on where they’re coming from, they wish there had been fewer protections for property rights or that second generation rights to housing, health care, clean water and the like had not been included or that there had been greater recognition of group rights or that we opted for something other than list based proportional representation.But look at the South Africa the constitution has helped build, precisely because it was able to encompass the full diversity of genius in our country.We are today a tolerant and stable society because everyone came away feeling ownership in the result. And we have a strong economy because our leaders knew to the realize the ambitious social agenda we set for ourselves in the constitution, we would have to create the wealth to pay for it. And what helped us create the wealth? Peace, stability and property rights that are just as secure as they are in the US.‘Steadily rising  growth’Ten years ago, how many of you honestly would have thought we’d be sitting here in 2006 with inflation and interests rate at historic lows, enjoying 87 months of steadily rising growth, with our government in a position to launch a massive capital expenditure program while running budget deficits that are the envy of fiscal hawks the world over?Would you have projected that our stock market would have been among the world’s top performer’s in 2005, posted a total return of 47 per cent? Would you have said we’d be attracting more FDI than India?How many of us really foresaw the creativity and energy that our fusion into a new nation would trigger, or it how would take our economy onto a new plane?Our economy is in the midst of an extraordinary tectonic shift. You see it in the retail sales figures, you see in the explosion in new car sales (and traffic jams), you see it the now almost routine windfalls of unforeseen tax revenue.Maybe we have all underestimated our capacity as South Africans to get things fixed. But other are starting to catch on.‘Doing difficult things well’One of IMC’s guests, Roger Bate, a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute has been telling people after touring the country with us last November: “South Africans seem to specialize in doing difficult things well.”Roger was part of  a group of American science writers to take a look at our science and technology.  We called the 10-day tour South African Solutions.  We took our visitors to Anglogold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine. We took them to Sasol. They saw fuel elements for the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor being manufactured at Pelindaba. They met AIDS researchers doing groundbreaking work at Chris Hani Baragwanath. They saw state-of-the-art winemaking at Tokara. They went to the opening of the Southern African Large Telescope – and spent the night at the Karoo Hotel in Sutherland, which I have to tell you is not on the typical tourist trail.And that was just the half of it. They met biologists, anthropologists, geneticists, nuclear physicists, software engineers, geologists, hydrologists, and more. And to help put it all in context for them, we took them to Robben Island and Hector Pietersen Memorial and its stunning museum, we showed the high points and the low points of Soweto and we had them stay at bed and breakfasts in Orlando West, where, needless to say,  the hospitality was beyond compare.This group will never think or write about South Africa in the same way after that trip. It was impossible not to come away from those ten days without agreeing with Roger Bate that South Africans do difficult things well.Getting from June 16, 1976 to April 1, 2006 the way we have is no mean feat. It has taken guts, it has taken resourcefulness and a great capacity for lateral thinking, it has taken patience and determination, it has taken teamwork and a talent for human relations. Our politics has not been for amateurs or sissies.Teamwork and collaborationWhile perhaps not in quite the same league of accomplishment, digging gold out of a sliver of a seam three kilometers underground is no mean feat, either.  It too takes guts, resourcefulness and lateral thinking,  patience and determination, and, yes, a great capacity for teamwork and collaboration.  It’s not for amateurs or sissies, either. The pressure down there makes the rock hot to the touch. To cool it at the Mponeng mine, Anglogold Ashanti has had to build the largest snowmaking machine in the world.To anyone here who hasn’t been down one of our deep mines, I strongly recommend it – it’s an outlook changing experience. In every sense, it helps you understand what we’re made of. Let’s say it again. South Africans do difficult things well.Every sort of difficult thing: From building prize-winning catamarans to inventing respirators that may save countless miner’s lives using gold as a catalyst to turn deadly carbon monoxide into CO2.From solving the riddles of a nuclear reactor technology that will reinvent the industry to uncovering the secret lives of dinosaurs from the fossilized residue of the DNA.From designing software that will track down and deter corruption to converting the might of the Congo River into light for a continent.From inventing the world’s first truly economic photovoltaic solar panel to revolutionizing the care and treatment of AIDS patients in resource poor setting by designing new testing equipment and harnessing the Internet for long distance diagnostics and patient monitoring.Most difficult of allAnd yes, we do that most difficult of things. We make great wine. Congratulations to Vergelegen for being named best new world wine of the year by Wine Enthusiast in New York.And let’s not forget great films. Out of South Africans’ wondrous fusion comes Oscar-winner Tsotsi. Tsotsi is a vital window on the South African condition. It reminds us that we still have much to fix. Poverty, crime, disease.  But in its message of redemption, not to mention the enormous talent it puts on display ,  Tsotsi also reminds us, and the world, that we have it in us as South Africans to do the fixing.South Africa. We don’t put lipstick on a pig. We fix.Yvonne Johnstonlast_img read more

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WEF raises South Africa’s global competitiveness ranking

first_imgSouth Africa has risen two places, to 47th, in the 2016 World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index, improving its ranking in 10 of the 12 pillars measured. The country has the most competitive economy on the African continent.The newly released World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index ranks South Africa as the 47th most completive economy of the 138 studied. The improvement in the rankings, the best in five years, comes as the country has improved both the competitiveness of our markets and relationships between labour and business, made modest, but important, progress in the quality of education, which is up five places from 2015.One reason for South Africa’s rise in the annual appraisal of prosperity and productivity is, according to the report, our ability to withstand the fall in price of commodities. Unlike African neighbours and other developing economies, South Africa has also built on the strength of its financial sector, which shielded the country from the worst effects of the global economic crisis.South Africa is ranked first out of 138 countries for auditing standards, the protection of minority investors and ability to finance through equity markets. The country is second or third for soundness of banks and financial services, efficacy of boards and regulation of the stock exchange.Robert Crotti, a WEF economist, explained to the Biznews website: “What we noticed is that to make a country really competitive, you need to have all the pieces in place. To rank number one in one specific dimension without having the other factors also well-placed, doesn’t really bring the country to grow and reach the prosperity where we see. In fact, when we look at the top countries in ranking, they tend to rank quite high on all the dimensions.”The report highlighted the biggest future challenges for our economy. “Infrastructure development has stalled, both in transport and electricity, with power shortages experienced this year. Institutional quality has diminished, with increased political uncertainty, less transparency, some security concerns, and business leaders having less trust in politicians (down 11 places since last year).”Crotti said the GCI is not meant as a criticism of each economy studied. For WEF it is a way to benchmark progress. “Therefore, we hope that it can be used as a platform for all the actors in the economy in looking at how and what worked, to then take the next steps to improve their economy.”South Africa’s growth forecast for 2016 is now set at 0.1%. Outside factors, slowdown of the Chinese economy and the volatility of the rand have dampened the potential for stronger growth. Where developed economies are accepting a “new normal” of lower economic growth, lower productivity growth, and high unemployment, South Africa and other developing economies have an opportunity to grow by improving productivity.Despite China’s slowdown it is the best-placed Brics nation, at 28, followed by India, Russia and South Africa. Brazil lags behind its Brics peers at 81. As Crotti explained, “India is really the bright spark in the area of competitiveness improvements and this is done mainly on the back of reforms, especially in terms of investment and market efficiency.”Crotti said India, more than any other country, should be the example South Africa follows to move further up the rankings. The Indian government has improved market and labour efficiencies, and stabilised government policy and the macroeconomic sector. As important, its government has improved the country’s technological readiness.”That’s really important to be able to jump-start the economy and as we’ve seen, also be able to gain innovation,” Crotti said. “To learn much more about technology and innovation. At the dawn of this Fourth Industrial Revolution it is really going to be key going forward.”South Africa.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

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Queen Wig Long wave Clip in/on Wavy Ponytail Hair Extension Hairpiece Claw – -) one happy customer!

first_imgSo wouldn’t sit in hair thoroughly the weave was to fine for me. Individually for me it was significantly to light, appears a lot darker in the photo. Clasp was incredibly restricted, so would not sit in hair adequately the weave was to fine for me. Granted it is low-cost so should not complain , in all honesty if it can be tour color and you have thinner hair i’m absolutely sure it would do for a night time out.Thank you wonderful solution will use you once again. Fully appreciate this: ) tremendous quick to clip onto your. Fully like this 🙂 super quick to clip on to your have hair and blends in really nicely with a little bit of adjustment. I have worn this above and around again.Great to have hair swinging down back again is long not identical shade as my hair.Features of Queen Wig Long wave Clip in/on Wavy Ponytail Hair Extension Hairpiece Claw – #14/613 Medium Blonde/bleach blonde20inch/50cm 100gramMaterial:100% synthetic fiber Texture: wave Style: ponytail clip claw Packing: one piecePremium quality clip claw ponytail hair extension for an instant hair transformation! Free flow volume hairs, so silky and smooth it moves and feels like real human hair.For glamour, fashion and elegance, and at any occasions. TOP quality product at a stunning price!Color that appears on your monitor could have a little difference from the original color of the wig ,due to different settings of your monitor.Was brilliant and would acquire again. Was fantastic and would purchase all over again.Colour was looking a very little phony, worn after in. Colour was looking a little false, worn after in club lights as to not determine the brightness of the blonde, not sure if i’ll have a great deal put on, sorry i bought two.Best hair extensions, beauty top quality and feels so smooth ??.With a minimal existing inside way too. Thank you so a lot cannot hold out to put on it for my hen do 🙂 just one content consumer.I purchased two so glad i did. Excellent restricted fitting comb that is definitely superior. Really really good.so wouldn’t sit in hair properly the weave was to fine for meInstant hair make overTotally love this: ) super easy to clip onto your Was brilliant and would buy againColour was looking a little false, worn once in last_img read more

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Omnibus Includes 235M to Upgrade Replace Dilapidated Schools on Bases

first_imgLawmakers included $235 million in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill signed into law last week to construct, renovate or expand elementary and secondary public schools on military installations. The funding represents the latest tranche of funding Congress has allocated since FY 2011 to DOD’s Public Schools on Military Installations program for repairing or replacing schools having the most serious capacity or condition deficiencies. The program is administered by the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). A local educational agency or state is required to provide matching funds to receive a DOD grant under the program, according to the measure. … Meanwhile, the omnibus includes $57.8 million for OEA’s various grant programs supporting communities and states addressing BRAC and mission changes, defense industry cutbacks and compatible land use issues. The allocation matches the administration’s FY 2018 budget request and is roughly in line with the agency’s baseline funding over the past decade. … Congress also included language in the $1.3 trillion spending package barring any of the funds from being used “to propose, plan for or execute” a new BRAC round. With lawmakers already prohibiting the Pentagon from launching a round of base closures in the defense authorization bill, the provision is superfluous but not unexpected as it has been included in past appropriations bills. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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Rural people will soundly beat unholy nexus of Opposition says Partha

first_imgKolkata: The rural populace will defeat the “unholy alliance” of CPI-M, Congress and BJP in the forthcoming Panchayat election, scheduled to be held on May 14, Partha Chatterjee, Secretary General of Trinamool Congress, said on Thursday.He said Trinamool is fully ready to face the election, as the party workers go to the people and serve them throughout the year. In the past seven years, massive development has taken place in rural Bengal. “The communication has improved because of construction of new roads and the maintenance of the existing ones. The economic standard of the people has also improved and the students are getting scholarships. The rural people have seen how the development work is being carried out,” Chatterjee said.Coming down heavily on the Opposition, he said “The Opposition did not keep faith on the people and instead moved the Court with a motive to spoil the election. They have no contacts with people and so, an unholy alliance has been formed between CPI-M, Congress and BJP.”Chatterjee said that Congress and CPI-M had formed an unholy alliance against Trinamool in the 2016 Assembly election. The people had defeated the alliance, which was not formed on the basis of any principle, he said.”CPI-M and Congress has again formed an alliance and this time, they have BJP on their side. The people are against the alliance, which has been formed without any principle and will defeat them,” said Chatterjee.Chatterjee said that the Opposition is not saying a single word on the development that has taken place in rural Bengal. From roads to drinking water, there has been total development. “The Opposition think that they can conduct the election from their homes,” he said, adding that the leaders should go to the people instead.Meanwhile, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and one of the party’s senior leaders Pratap Banerjee, have given contradictory views on the Court judgment. While Ghosh said the people will vote and the State Election Commission should ensure their safety and security, Banerjee expressed his displeasure over the judgment.last_img read more

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Ten poets on a pan India literary tour

first_imgTen poets from India and Wales are taking part in an exchange organized by Literature Across Frontiers in India as part of the UK India Year of Culture. The collaborative project has brought them together to explore each other’s home location and create new work in six languages during a series of residencies in both countries. Alternating between the hustle and bustle of Indian metropolises and the peace and quiet of Welsh towns, the project literally spans across the two countries from Thiruvananthapuram in South Kerala to Shillong in the North-East, and from Bangor in North Wales to Swansea on the south coast. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn January and February 2018, the poets will tour literary festivals across India, with performances, debates and workshops at Bhubaneswar Literary Meet, the Brahmaputra Literary Festival in Guwahati, The Hindu Lit for Life Festival in Chennai, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival, Jaipur Book Mark, Kolkata Literary Meet, and at higher education institutions in Delhi.Poetry Connections celebrates the thriving literary relations between India and Wales as developed through Literature Across Frontiers’ work since 2009, harnessing its legacy, and establishing a deeper collaborative relationship between the five pairs of poets. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe poets address the theme of “independence” in a series of creative encounters that will have a ripple effect on the immediate environment in which the participating poets live and work.At a time of global change which sees increasing friction between identities, the project aims to open up a unique dialogue and formulate new narratives and ideas which both uncover and move beyond difficult histories. Alexandra Buchler, Director of Literature Across Frontiers, said: “We are thrilled to bring together ten talented poets from India and Wales to visit each other’s home locations and collaborate on producing new work reflecting their perspectives on historical and contemporary relations between the two countries. The project is a culmination of almost a decade of exchanges with India’s rich and varied literary scene, and will no doubt lead to further cooperation in the future, apart from leaving a legacy of publications, documented performances, and most importantly, ever stronger creative links.”last_img read more

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