Back from Afghanistan

first_imgThree weeks after returning to the United States from my latest tour of duty in Afghanistan, I arrived in Cambridge to begin the midcareer master in public administration program at the Harvard Kennedy School. As the program began, I was introduced to my extraordinary classmates, representing more than 50 nations, who in many cases have traveled the globe tackling significant issues as diverse as environmental sustainment, health care, and international development.For all of their fantastic experiences, however, very few have experienced interacting with soldiers. Some classmates are from countries where the armed forces lack credibility, and some perhaps have been influenced by negative press reporting. As a veteran, I feel a sense of responsibility, not only to make the most of the tremendous educational opportunity that I’ve been given, but also to be an international ambassador for those serving in uniform.“What is it like?” is what I’m most often asked. Yet I’m never quite sure exactly what I’m being asked or how to respond. In conversations at school, there’s often an uncomfortable silence when I reveal that I’ve just returned from “the war.” Many Kennedy School classmates and Cambridge residents have never even met a soldier, much less one involved in the war. The truth is, though, we are just like you.I, along with more than 80 other former or currently serving veterans at the Kennedy School, share pasts similar to yours. We attended college. We played soccer and explored the outdoors. We have mothers who insist on making our favorite food, and fathers who enjoy giving us their advice. We love our wives and play Frisbee with our children. We have dreams and aspirations. As veterans, we represent the full diversity of not only the American people but also the international community. We are Democrats and Republicans, Muslims and Christians, Hispanics and African Americans. We went to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries to serve our nation when she called. We are you.Soldiers are not politicians. We did not choose this war; it was given to us. We weren’t asked our opinions, but we left our families, many of us multiple times, to fly halfway around the world to try to make a difference and support fledgling democracies. Many of us have buried friends or lost young men and women that were under our command. Most of us came home seemingly whole, but we all were forever changed. Some of the scars of old wounds are visible, but others go deeper.Sitting at an outdoor café recently with a woman I’d just met, my back was to the road (mistake No. 1). I was relaxed and enjoying a mouth-watering steak when suddenly I heard an explosion directly behind me. My body, having survived five previous IED [improvised explosive device] attacks, involuntarily jerked toward the ground. Within a fraction of a second, I realized that I was in Cambridge and not Kabul. The explosion? It was only a car that had hit a noisy metal plate in the road.  As I sheepishly looked at the concerned face of my new friend, she graciously offered to switch seats with me, so “you can see the cars as they approach.” She understood.Harvard purposefully creates an environment that allows us to open our minds and dissolve existing barriers. The faculty has accomplished the extraordinary task of removing discriminations including gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, which continue to divide other parts of our society. Slowly, the invisible divide between those who have served in the armed forces and those who have not is also disappearing. It is up to us, the student body, to bridge this final gap.When you meet veterans or, as Harvard President Drew Faust fondly calls us, “soldier-scholars,” on campus, put your preconceptions aside. Look for similarities instead of differences. Connect with us. Ask about our backgrounds. Listen. Leverage our experience and probe deeply to understand. Embrace us as part of your community. Unless you take the time to get to know us, you’ll miss what a national treasure we are. We are just like you.Bob Kinder, a retired Army officer, recently spent a year in Afghanistan creating and leading a counterinsurgency advisory team for the former U.S. Army commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student and have an essay to share about life at Harvard, please email your ideas to Jim Concannon, the Gazette’s news editor, at [email protected]last_img read more

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Getting the record straight

first_img The #MeToo surge against sexual abuse provides opportunities for pivotal societal change, but challenges too Ronan Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize on Tuesday for his reporting in The New Yorker about the many sexual assault claims made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Four days earlier, Italian director and actor Asia Argento, who had shared her own nightmare with Weinstein for the story, chastised Farrow for his “simplification.”Farrow, she said, hadn’t fully grasped the complicated nuance of her interactions with the powerful Weinstein in 1997 when she was 21, and how what she said were years of his stalking, manipulation, and “ultimate domination” of her had taken hold of her life and made her fear for her career and her safety.“I tried to explain this,” Argento told a crowd in Harvard Hall Friday. And while she acknowledged that Farrow couldn’t devote five pages to her story, she called his summary for the article “a simplification that ruined my life.” Related The women’s revolt: Why now, and where to Argento said her willingness to come forward against Weinstein, combined with what she sees as Farrow’s mischaracterization, exposed her to criticism and harassment. In the months since the story first ran, Argento said she has been victimized again on social media and in the Italian press. The director explained that misogyny is still deeply ingrained in Italian culture and that women there who challenge men are regularly blamed, shamed, and disbelieved. When The New Yorker story ran, many critics in the Italian media questioned why she didn’t speak up sooner, go directly to the police, or say “no” more forcefully.“It was worse than the rape, the re-victimization,” said Argento.Argento said she has received support from other women and feminist groups in Italy, and shared her story with others who suffered similar assaults. “This is what saved me,” she said.She also said she has spoken to Farrow about his work, and what she views as its shortcomings.“It’s hard for him to accept that this summarization, this simplification ruined my life. He told me, ‘I am sorry that you feel this way.’ Well, it’s not that I feel this way; it’s what’s written that is wrong.”A lawsuit that that might challenge his reporting “would take away from what he is trying to do,” said Argento, who is considering writing a book about her experience that would “explain the simplification.” Yet the director still expressed support for Farrow and his efforts. “I want him to expose other things … bless him. Mad props to Ronan Farrow.”,In the aftermath of the article, the director, who is a mother of two and a longtime advocate for the rights of women, minorities, and members of the LBGTQ community, has become a leading voice in the #MeToo movement. Before arriving at Harvard she took part in the Women in the World Summit on April 12 in New York City. Last month, she addressed the European Parliament in Brussels ahead of International Women’s Day.At Harvard, she continued to call for change in how women are treated. Power structures that enable abusers must be dismantled, said Argento, and sexual predators who commit crimes should be sent to jail, not to a spa, as she said Weinstein was, to be “cured for sex addiction” in Arizona.“He belongs in jail.”In the months since stories broke in The New York Times and The New Yorker, dozens of women have come forward with allegations against Weinstein, ranging from rape to sexual harassment, and criminal investigations into several complaints are ongoing.Argento also wants to see change in her native country. More women need to be in positions of power in Italy, she said, instead of men like former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is better known for corruption allegations, sexual scandals, and objectifying women than for reform. In addition, harmful laws, such as the six-month statute of limitations for sex crimes, need to be changed, she said.Despite the backlash at home, the director said she refuses to remain silent, and she encouraged women who may be suffering in silence to share their experiences.“I have to be a part of this movement,” said Argento, “especially in Italy where the situation is so difficult, and to bring the word outside. Because talking to you gives me strength to continue, and I hope you will do the same after this — and if you are suffering the same, to share it. This movement, I can’t see it stopping … I see it becoming bigger and bigger.”Alex Moore, a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard’s history department who helped organize the event, captured Argento’s hope in his opening remarks. Quoting the American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, Moore told the crowd,  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world.”Argento’s talk was sponsored by sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response at Harvard, One Queer Harvard, and by the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality.last_img read more

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Colorado legislators propose major changes to state’s oil, gas drilling regulations

first_imgColorado legislators propose major changes to state’s oil, gas drilling regulations FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Colorado Democratic lawmakers released a plan late Friday afternoon for a major overhaul of oil and gas regulations that would make human health and environmental protection the state’s highest priority, not energy production.The bill also includes provisions giving local governments the authority to regulate the location of new wells and to impose fines for spills and pollution. Currently, only the state has those powers. The bill would also put a hold on some new state drilling permits until the revised rules are in place.The legislation would bring a fundamental change to the way the state oversees one of its biggest and most contentious industries. State law currently requires regulators to encourage oil and gas production and says health and environmental protections are limited by what is feasible and cost-effective.Drilling often leads to conflicts in Colorado, where growing suburbs overlap lucrative oil and gas fields. The state has repeatedly revised regulations over the past few years, but the changes did not go far enough to satisfy health and environmental advocates and some local governments.Republican lawmakers blocked previous attempts at major changes, but Democrats now control both houses of the Legislature after capturing a majority in the state Senate in November.Newly elected Democratic Gov. Jared Polis supports the overhaul. At a news conference Thursday that previewed the bill, he said change was overdue.More: Colorado Dems unveil plan for big change in oil-gas drillinglast_img read more

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EIOPA sees ‘common methodology’ referenced in ESRB stress test calls

first_imgRecommendations from the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) for improved stress testing of non-bank entities reference the “common methodology” EIOPA developed for its stress tests of occupational pension funds, according to a spokesperson at the latter.The ESRB recently said regulatory stress tests for pension funds, asset managers, central counterparties and other non-bank entities “need to be developed further and carried out in a more holistic fashion, modelling the transmission of shocks across sectors”.It made the comments in a strategy paper setting out its vision for improving macroprudential policy addressing financial stability risks that originate “beyond banks”.The paper sets out short-term policy options and a long-term agenda. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank and chair of the ESRB, said: “In recent years, financial sector growth has primarily occurred outside the banking system. “This development is expected to continue, supported by the move to a European Capital Markets Union. The growth of finance beyond banking reflects new opportunities but may also bring financial stability risks.”The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) carried out its first EU-wide stress tests of occupational pension funds last year, having already done such exercises for insurers; the results were announced in January 2016.A spokesperson at EIOPA told IPE the authority developed its “common methodology” to be able to take a more holistic view of potential deficits in pension funds across Europe, with direct comparisons made difficult by “the diverse and fragmented regulatory system in Europe”.“This methodology,” the spokesperson added, “is also referenced in the ESRB report as the preferred way forward for future stress tests – as opposed to running exercises based on the national regimes.”As part of the European System for Financial Stability (ESFS), EIOPA cooperates closely with the ESRB, which contributed to the development of EIOPA’s pension fund stress tests.EIOPA had input into the ESRB’s strategy paper, and the spokesperson said EIOPA “welcomes the macroprudential discussion beyond banking and, in particular, for the insurance and occupational pensions sectors”.“These two sectors represent significant differences when compared with banking,” added the spokesperson, “both on the systemic relevance and on the transmission channels of potential risks to the system but also on the possible macroprudential approach to deal with them.”Many in the pensions industry were critical of the so-called common methodology, seeing it as a re-named version of the Holistic Balance Sheet and linked to since-abandoned plans to introduce harmonised solvency rules.EIOPA is planning to carry out further stress tests of occupational pension funds in 2017.In February, the ESRB suggested future stress tests should incorporate carbon asset risk.The ESRB’s recent strategy paper also states that the monitoring of systemic risk would benefit from aggregate and sector-specific indicators, which could enable policymakers to focus on sectors that contribute most to systemic risk.“In addition to banking,” it says, “it is likely that market-based finance (including open-ended investment funds), insurers, pension funds and financial market infrastructures such as CCPs will make a relevant contribution to overall systemic risk.“Such an approach could allow monitoring of risk shifting to or from different sectors – for example, as the size of a sector grows.“Such risk indicators could be complemented with sector-based indicators of resilience, which could be linked to a resilience standard.”last_img read more

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Enjoy the village lifestyle with these five Cairns homes

first_imgCairns real estate: 13 Bellevue Crescent, Edge HillHOMEBUYERS around the nation have been demanding properties that offer a village lifestyle – a desire brought on by the global pandemic but one that is likely to stick around according SJB Architects urban designer Adam Haddow.“Modernism said we couldn’t have working, living, sleeping and recreation together but the coronavirus pandemic is encouraging that,” he said. “We’re living more locally. It’s not all about the floor to ceiling windows anymore.”Mr Haddow’s comments were welcomed by two leading Cairns real estate agents who say the “garden city” offers multiple pockets of residential villages. REMAX’s broker-owner Ray Murphy said Edge and Whitfield were great suburbs for a village lifestyle. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY MORE NEWS A four-bedroom family house on a generous 724sq m block, this property is just a short drive to Edmonton’s Piccone’s Village, and walking distance to parks and schools. It features a low-maintenance living area, filled with an abundance of natural light. 36 Cyperus Drive, Redlynch Just a short walk to the centre of Gordonvale providing access to parks, cafes and medical facilities, this four-bedroom house sits on an 846sq m block. It features a spacious open-plan living area and a modern kitchen. RE/MAX Cairns broker-owner Ray Murphy said suburbs like Edge Hill and Whitfield offered properties for all demographics, that could enjoy the village lifestyle. “With Edge Hill you get a real safe and community atmosphere and you have all your amenities from medical to schools and the cafe precinct in the centre,” Mr Murphy said. “During COVID lockdowns, locals discovered how fortunate they were to have everything at their fingertips and not have to go into the city or the major shopping centres.” Ray White Cairns South principal Therese Plath said the city’s southern suburbs were a great choice for families who would not be deprived of any CBD conveniences. From major retail hub Mt Sheridan Plaza to Piccone’s Village Edmonton and the whole town of Gordonvale – the southside presents clusters of small, community villages surrounded by parks.“Gordonvale is a great example because the whole town has the village feel,” Ms Plath said.“It has such a lovely atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of the city. There is the park right in the middle of town, a stand out feature and with the markets, it just brings everyone together – a real community.” Here are five Cairns properties that offer their owners an in-demand village lifestyle: 13 Bellevue Crescent, Edge Hill Buy a Cairns Master Builders home This four-bedroom house will be auctioned on Tuesday September 22 with RE/MAX’s Ray Murphy and is within walking distance of Edge Hill’s cafe precinct – Collins Avenue, the Cairns Botanic Gardens and nearby parks, courts and schools. The elevated 906sq m property sits atop Mt Whitfield and also offers 270-degree views over Cairns. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago 37-39 Jamieson Close, Gordonvalecenter_img Most ‘epic’ residential shed at Bayview Heights Victorians invading FNQ property market 7-39 Jamieson Cl, Gordonvale Just a short drive to the village town of Gordonvale’s CBD, this five-bedroom home listed with Ray White Cairns South’s Therese Plath is surrounded by natural bushland offering privacy and tranquillity. 25 Canecutter Road, Edmonton The bright and colourful backyard of this four-bedroom home instantly provides a village feel. The 953sq m corner block house is within walking distance to all major amenities at Redlynch including private and public schools. 16 Gadd Close, Gordonvale last_img read more

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Council wages war on Wicked

first_imgScene.co.nz 7 April 2016Family First Comment: More progress!! Well done, Queenstown.  Queenstown’s council is about to unleash hell on Wicked Campers.Hefty $300 fines will now be issued to the company when their vehicles displaying offensive slogans are seen in Queenstown.The council initially gave Wicked the opportunity to comply with its district plan – which bans sexually explicit, indecent or offensive signs.But Wicked doesn’t see the problem, the council says, despite its infamous track record.Council regulatory boss Lee Webster says: “We disagree so when we have evidence of a sign-written camper that we believe is sexually explicit, lewd or otherwise offensive, we will issue a $300 infringement.“That will either be when one of our routine parking patrols finds a vehicle that breaches our rules, or we receive a complaint from the public.”Wicked may be blind to the problem but Queenstowners are not.READ MORE: http://www.scene.co.nz/council-wages-war-on-wicked/327764a1.pageQueenstown to fine Wicked CampersNewsHub 7 April 2016Wicked Campers could be in for a wicked surprise.The Queenstown Lakes District Council will now be issuing $300 fines any time one of its vans is seen in public if it bears an “offensive slogan”.The company has recently been under fire for the lewd, sexually explicit and offensive slogans on its vehicles.“When we have evidence of a sign-written camper that we believe is sexually explicit, lewd or otherwise offensive, we will issue a $300 infringement,” council regulatory boss Lee Webster told local paper Mountain Scene.Family First, which launched a campaign in February to have offensive advertisements or messages removed from the company’s vehicles, has welcomed the council’s efforts.“We’ll be encouraging our supporters to watch out for and report offending signage on Wicked Campers,” says national director Bob McCoskrie.READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/queenstown-to-fine-wicked-campers-drivers-2016040713#axzz44suxZ4vpWicked Campers faces fines in QueenstownNewsTalk ZB 7 April 2016The Queenstown Lakes District Council will be issuing $300 fines to the company behind Wicked Campers every time a vehicle is seen in the area.The council’s action comes as the Tasman Council looks to ban the campers from its campgrounds.Queenstown Council’s Lee Webster said they don’t comply with the district plan that banned explicit, indecent or offensive signs.But Wicked doesn’t see the problem, the council says, despite its infamous track record.READ MORE: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/wicked-campers-to-be-fined-in-queenstown/Council plans $300 fines for Wicked campervansRadio NZ 7 April 2016Queenstown is looking to fine Wicked Campers over offensive slogans on the company’s vans.The local council wants to be able to use an existing district plan rule – normally used to regulate signs on buildings – to issue $300 fines when the campervans are seen displaying lewd or sexually explicit signs.The company’s controversial slogans sparked numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, and Tasman District Council is also investigating banning Wicked Campers vans from its campgrounds.READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/300895/council-plans-$300-fines-for-wicked-campervansKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

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Johnson’s injury is ‘crusher’ for Trojans

first_imgMatt Barkley left the Coliseum on Saturday as the undeniable leader of the USC offense, but the team’s mock game still left the unit with plenty of unanswered questions.Wide receiver Ronald Johnson broke his collarbone during the scrimmage and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. The injury is the latest blow to an offense that has already seen its starting line reshuffled because of various health concerns.Unwelcome news · Junior receiver Ronald Johnson will be out for at least six weeks after breaking his collarbone in Saturday’s scrimmage- Nathaniel Gonzalez | Daily Trojan Johnson was hurt in the first quarter after hauling in a 34-yard pass from Barkley. He attempted to retreat to the sideline after the play, but collapsed to the ground before being helped off by trainers.“It’s just a crusher,” USC coach Pete Carroll said of the injury.Johnson was one of the team’s top big-play threats last season after averaging a team-high 17.3 yards per reception. His injury will move David Ausberry into the starting lineup at split end and push Damian Williams back to flanker, where he started last season.Brice Butler, who led all receivers with 66 yards on four catches, and freshman De’Von Flournoy are also expected to figure into the wide receiver rotation in Johnson’s absence.“We’ll be OK,” Williams said. “We’ve still got great guys here. We’ve got to keep on pushing, but we’re definitely going to miss him.”Barkley remained the focus for most throughout the day. Playing in his first scrimmage as the starter, Barkley completed 10 of 17 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception to help lead USC’s starters to a 36-0 win against the scout team.The first drive proved tough for the 18-year-old, as a lineman stepped on his leg during the first play, which he salvaged by flipping the ball to Joe McKnight. But on Barkley’s third throw of the day, defensive end Devon Kennard dropped back in coverage and tipped the ball into the air, where freshman defensive back Byron Moore leapt for the interception.Barkley eventually settled down and connected with Blake Ayles on a short bootleg pass for his lone touchdown through the air.Carroll said Barkley “missed some chances” and that he had to continue his rapid maturation into the season.“To think, how could he possibly be a finished product at this point? But we’re kind of expecting it,” Carroll said.The weight of being the first true freshman tabbed to start an opener at USC was not lost on Barkley.“It’s a great feeling, but it didn’t change the way I’m approaching anything or how I play the game,” Barkley said. “It’s great to know that everyone is supporting me and coming behind me knowing that I’m the guy.”Aaron Corp, who entered fall camp as the starting quarterback, played two series and went 5-of-7 passing for 89 yards. The redshirt sophomore showed improved mobility from previous practices, in which the effects of his cracked left fibula were still hampering his scrambling.Carroll said that his decision to name Barkley the starter would have remained the same if he had held off until after the scrimmage to make his decision, but he was encouraged by Corp’s recovery.“I said to him a couple days ago, ‘When you finally take off and hook slide, I’ll know you’re ready,’ and he did,” Carroll said. “He kind of gave me a little look, ‘OK,’ which was great. He’s ready to play.”last_img read more

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Asia Pacific Golf Summit gets underway in Gurugram

first_img First Published: 4th November, 2019 16:00 IST LIVE TV FOLLOW US Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT Press Trust Of India WATCH US LIVE 10 months ago Mickelson’s streak of 26 years in the top 50 comes to an endcenter_img Gurugram, Nov 4 (PTI) The Asia Pacific Golf Summit (APGS), which has come to India for the first time, began here on Monday and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism.The 13th edition of the summit is being held at the DLF Golf & Country Club till November 6.The annual event will see international speakers discuss various operational and business aspects of golf in the context of the summit’s theme which is “A 5G Mindset For Golf’s Future In Asia.””We have considered India as a possible venue since 2012 and are delighted that it’s finally happening in a nation as vast and diverse as India,” said Mike Sebastian, Chief Executive Officer of the Asia Pacific Golf Group, the owner and producer of APGS.”We believe that we have a venue and a country that is going to lead the thrust and growth of golf in Asia and together with China and the rest of Asia,” he added. WE RECOMMEND 10 months ago German govt at odds over pensions as deeper troubles lurk 10 months ago ZorroSign Announces the Launch of its Mobile Apps 10 months ago Lewis Hamilton considers prospect of winning 6th F1 title ‘unreal’! Last Updated: 4th November, 2019 16:00 IST Asia Pacific Golf Summit Gets Underway In Gurugram The Asia Pacific Golf Summit (APGS), which has come to India for the first time, began here on Monday and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism. 10 months ago MMA: Tito Ortiz is confident about defeating Alberto El Patronlast_img read more

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Bookies launch 2018 World Cup masterplans

first_imgShare Related Articles Duma approves overhaul of Russian sports betting laws  July 23, 2020 Matthew GlazierMatthew Glazier of bookies.com looks ahead to next summer’s World Cup extravaganza in Russia, which promises to be typically record-breaking.Aside from an Under-21 European Championship and the glorified group of friendly matches that comprised the Confederations Cup, there wasn’t a lot of football played during the summer of 2017, although at least the latter tournament whetted the appetite for an event twelve months further down the line.While many don’t approve of the way Russia effectively bought the hosting rights for the quadrennial international football tournament, nor its flimsy approach to stamping out racism, it won’t stop football fans all over the world enjoying the latest FIFA World Cup and the various betting opportunities that are presented to them.Football is the most popular betting sport in the majority of countries and the World Cup remains the pinnacle of that sport, with sixty-four matches being played between 14 June – 15 July and there will be action taking place on most of those days.During the group stage of the competition, we can expect three matches to occur daily. As one trader disclosed to bookies.com: “It’s like Sky Sports Super Sunday taking place every day for the best part of a month.”Indeed, punters will aim to soak up as much football as they can and the opportunity to place a pre-match or In-Play bet has never been more tangible. Bookmakers have the customers in the palm of their hand, but can they deliver the sort of World Cup betting service that keeps them coming back for more?Cash Out and Request a Bet enter World Cup pictureFour years is a mighty long time in the world of betting, especially with the sort of technological advances that are now occurring. Cash Out has become commonplace in the lexicon of modern day gambling, although it’s easy to forget this is a pretty new phenomenon unless customers were previously familiar with the workings of the Betfair exchange which relied on liquidity being available.Not content with introducing Cash Out as a product, bookmakers such as bet365 now have a Partial Cash Out facility and it gives customers the perception that they are taking control of their bets. It’s not difficult to see the appeal of Cash Out, especially when it comes to multiple bets where a profit can be realised before the bet is eventually settled.Requesting a bet is another empowering tool which plays to an audience now immersed in social media, especially Twitter whose real-time mechanism has led bookmakers and affiliates to side-line Facebook and focus on using a tool which appears as though it was designed for betting purposes.Bet requesting was discussed in depth at the recent #bofcon2017, with figureheads such as Eoin Ryan of BetVictor and Andrew Wright of Sky Bet considering how the process can be automated ahead of the World Cup. The latter operator has become the market leader with their RequestABet facility and this has obvious connotations for the World Cup.In the United Kingdom, there will be a heavy focus on the England football team, with operators looking to accommodate any number of special bets that apply to the Three Lions and there’s a fair chance that many of them will relate to losing in a penalty shoot-out. However, it’s the match markets where RequestABet really comes into its own.Watching an England World Cup match might ultimately prove to be underwhelming but the hype and feverish anticipation lends itself perfectly to requesting bets outside the usual markets, while games like these are often social occasions watched with groups of friends. The opportunity for an England fan to create their own bet is akin to allowing a child to make their own pizza.Let battle commence Imagine a group of friends who have been drinking all day and are now shouting over each other to be heard. You’ve just painted a picture of what operator competition will look like in the weeks building up to the 2018 World Cup.The operators who are already part of the UK and Irish landscape will have budgets across the marketing mix to ensure that their presence can be felt, while there’ll be a substantial squeeze from new bookmakers wanting to make a splash and gain a foothold into a mature market where online betting has become a mainstream activity.We should expect some fireworks as a result. For Euro 2016, BetVictor went with a “Golden Goal” promotion that promised to give away £1 million to any customer(s) who could predict the First Goalscorer and time of goal in the final. It was an imaginative effort although somewhat scuppered by Portuguese substitute Eder breaking the deadlock after the match had gone into extra-time.Sky Bet will have their usual array of game products such as Super 6 and Fantasy Football where big cash prizes can also be won, while we should expect bet365 to fire up their free In-Play bet facility for several of the big matches including the ones involving England.We’re a year away from the 2018 World Cup but the wheels are in motion when it comes to having a first-class betting product for next summer’s big tournament. It’s an opportunity for operators to not only accrue new customers but also showcase a range of innovative products for the biggest football stage of all. StumbleUpon Share Ilya Machavariani, Dentons – CIS regional dynamics will come to play prior to gambling take-off July 31, 2020 PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 Submitlast_img read more

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Betinvest: Tailoring the iFrame solution for Asian operators

first_img Share Betinvest has taken a leap into the world of esports through its industry-first customisable iFrame solution. Vitalii Humeniuk, the firm’s esports development manager, and Valentyn Kyrylenko, VP of Business Development, spoke to SBC News about the development of its solution and why it is such a good fit for Asian market operators.SBC: Hi Valentyn, can you outline the key USP’s of the Betinvest iFrame solution?VK: Our iFrame is a ‘plug-and-play’ solution which allows easy integration for operators. This can reduce running costs by at least 80%. We also chose to keep our sportsbook and esports solutions separate to enabling firms to have more flexibility.Firms will be able to try the platform out easily through our ‘plug-and-play’ integration so that they can gain an understanding of how it works and be able to decide whether they really want to start their own operations. They won’t have to go through the long processes of development and testing stages because we already have done that, saving them time to just get into the betting.SBC: Why is it such a good fit for Asian market operators?VK: We worked with our partners in Asia and investigated the key features of the market. We came to multiple conclusions such as adapting the betting handicap, reducing the quantity of events and markets, all to suit the players’ needs.One example of this is reducing the handicap from the European three to two as in the Asian market there’s no need for a draw. This means that there are no high risks for bookmakers and no low prizes for players, helping to maintain a balance which is vital for any operator.Another discovery we made was that customers in Asia weren’t used to seeing high numbers of markets, but instead tend to have only a few. By contrast, in Europe we provide a vast range of markets so we decided on the option to hide unnecessary markets.SBC: Turning to you, Vitalii. We understand that you have completed a platform integration for omg.bet; how excited are you for this product to hit the market?VH: We are delighted to get started with omg.bet and for us to be concentrating so many of our resources on the development of a new product is very exciting.We want to kill the stigma that esports isn’t a genuine industry, while helping the next generation to realise how serious it can be as a business opportunity. Through brands such as omg.bet, we can really push this. We are so pleased to be working with them because they help drive this aim, and their emphasis on creating original content and sharing news about esports shows this.SBC: How does the front end set up for clients such as omg.bet need to be tailored for the best chance of success in Asia?VH: Modern society needs instant results, otherwise people will go to other sites before you have chance to display your products.Omg.bet has been developed specifically with this in mind and tailored towards minimalism. It has been optimised to be visually easy on the eye, accessible across all devices.As their provider, we have been able to provide our knowledge from other betting sites in order to develop a strong site that will attract esports fans.SBC: The final word for you, Valentyn. How important has esports become to an operator’s product mix? And what is next for Betinvest with esports?VK: If you were to tell anybody in this industry just a couple years ago the next big market would be esports, there would definitely be sceptics. For example, we didn’t have a team specifically for esports until last year and now we provide our clients with odds for 2,000 pre-match and up to 1,000 live events for major games around the globe. We also have our esports iFrame solution and in-house esports Data Feed so we are truly trying to push the seriousness of esports. Next, we are looking to conduct tournaments and arrange sponsorships. This industry will continue to develop rapidly as it has done and we want to be at the forefront of its growth. Submit Betinvest boosts Sportradar coverage with table tennis solution May 11, 2020 Confidence, Variety, Creativity: Betinvest’s advice for times of crisis May 7, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles BetInvest: The benefits of separating esports betting markets August 7, 2020last_img read more

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