The cheerful rhino Chukuru will spearheadTeam SA’s bid for Olympic glory.(Image: Road to London 2012) The South African public voted Chukuruas their favourite in the mascot race.(Image: Sascoc)MEDIA CONTACTS • Mark KeohaneSascoc spokesperson+27 11 483 3788RELATED ARTICLES• Olympic community gathers in SA• Supporting SA’s sports stars• SA producer gets Olympics for Korea• Laureus honour for Blade Runner• Playing the dreamMediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterTeam South Africa’s mascot for the 2012 London Olympic Games is Chukuru, a rhino.The animal was introduced to the nation at a function in Johannesburg, during which Team SA’s official kit was shown off on the catwalk by some of the country’s Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, including swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Natalie du Toit, javelin champion Zanele Situ, and long jumper Khotso Mokoena.The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) announced that the gear would be made by Erke, one of China’s leading sportswear manufacturers.According to Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy, the organisation approached local manufacturers first but were unable to come to an arrangement with them.The Erke deal is reported to be worth US$4-million (R30-million), and includes tracksuits, golf shirts, t-shirts, sandals, caps, backpacks, towels and more.All items bear the protea, South Africa’s national flower and the main symbol of the Sascoc logo.“Our athletes must feel not only comfortable and at home in their kit but also extremely proud and honoured whether they wear it in or out of competition,” said Reddy.The athletic models were impressed with the quality of the Erke product, saying that it’s light, breathable and comfortable.The rhino Chukuru, with five other finalists, took part in a week-long countrywide voting process to decide the nation’s favourite.It will inspire Team SA in all multi-coded sporting events from the Olympics onwards. These include the 2013 World Games in Columbia, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the 2015 All Africa Games, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Sascoc says it plans to create a national identity for events such as these, and this strategy includes having the same mascot for international tournaments, to bring the country together behind Team SA.Highlighting the plight of real rhinosThe name chukuru is a Southern African word for rhinoceros, in the Setswana language.The Sascoc mascot features the five colours of the Olympic rings around its horn, but fittingly these are also the colours of the South African flag.The cheerful animal was designed by the Johannesburg-based Mortimer Harvey advertising agency, and saw off competition from over 100 entries to make it to the final six and then claim top spot, winning by a margin of 233 over its closest rival.“We knew, straight away that this was a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said designer Vanessa de Castro. “It was a chance to create something that would represent our Olympic team and the hopes and pride of the entire country. It doesn’t get better than that.”Codesigner Prudence Tshikalange was elated, saying that the design team was “honoured and humbled”.Mortimer Harvey also hopes that the national sporting mascot will raise awareness about the poaching crisis affecting real-life rhinos.With almost 160 animals already killed for their horns in South Africa alone in the first quarter of 2012, and reports of even rhino exhibits being vandalised for the horns, there is a growing worldwide call for toughter action against and harsher punshment for poachers.
Brad Seehoffer, district loss prevention manager for thirty-eight Big Lots stores in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, remembers the good old days of loss prevention, but he doesnt miss them. I would spend days searching through journal tapes to find one transaction for a fraud investigation, says Seehoffer. Or discover I didnt have visual evidence on a theft because someone forgot to change the tape on the stores VCR. It was a waste of my time and the companys money.Company loss prevention leaders knew something had to be done to help its managers in the field, but new technology carries a hefty price tag.So David Orahood, manager of shortage control for the closeout retailer, teamed up with Rick Fannin, director of technical support, to take a look at the options.We looked at several remote digital surveillance systems and began to test them in nearby stores so we could give them immediate attention, says Orahood. According to Orahood, some systems failed miserably while other systems didnt work at all. Often units were inadequate and frames were delayed going across the network, making the video choppy.- Sponsor - Taking It One Step at a TimeIt took a lot of careful study, but the team did its homework. They evaluated many comparable models on the market with a focus on things like screen-size resolution, refresh rate, the ability to transport various image file sizes, and ease of administration. And, it was important they find a system that created a central management database. That way they could make routine system settings changes in one location and not be required to connect to each individual location.Research included talking to about thirty different vendors, attending various trade shows, and speaking with other retailers who were using similar products.Armed with what they learned, the team went to upper management with the facts and figures. Combined with an intensified target store campaign, which included loss prevention store visitations and the introduction of a customized associate awareness program, they estimated the new system would dramatically reduce costs associated with shortage. When the actual numbers came in from the first fifty-four stores that tested the remote digital video technology, shrink rates were reduced by 35 to 50 percent.In November 2001, Big Lots installed fifty-four Rapid Eye remote video units from Ademco Group in a select group of its stores with the highest shrink rates. The system uses a frame-relay network. Frame relay is a constant connection communication infrastructure that allows the retrieval of data from the units. Credit card transactions, the store PC, and Rapid Eye all use the frame-relay communication network. In addition to on-the-spot video surveillance, the constant connection optimizes other store functions as well. A credit card transaction, for example, saw as much as an 18-second delay in the past. Now one comes through in about a second.We wanted to create a communication framework that we could build on, says Fannin. The frame-relay network also allowed Big Lots to move forward with projects like customer and associate kiosks. The kiosks, now located in select stores, are filled with company facts and figures, ad fliers, and other pertinent information.With the new system, loss prevention experts can look at live stream video or go back and retrieve previous data they have questions about. In some cases, they lay it against point-of-sale exception software to verify transactional data. The system also provides a snapshot of all the action in the stores, allowing analysts to watch morning openings, night closings, and traffic flow from anywhere in the country.Right away, shortage analysts at the companys corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, caught dishonest behavior, such as an associate pocketing money in the counting room and proof to refute a workers compensation claim that a cashier had fallen at her register.After only four months, test stores saw dramatic improvements. In fact, during the past year since Big Lots began using remote digital video and data tracking software, shrink in these test stores has been reduced by double the company average. Based on this initial success, the company purchased another 100 units this year. Eventually, the goal is to equip a third of all 1,350 Big Lots stores with the systems.Today, keeping tabs on things is a lot simpler. Big Lots eight regional loss prevention managers and seventy-one district LP managers can watch store openings and closings from wherever they are, 24-hours-day, without having to travel from one store to another. The companys director of shortage control, along with his managers and analysts, can monitor stores for POS exceptions. Big Lots four distribution centers can be monitored by the LP operations manager and his staff from home or at work.More than Catching ThievesOK. So it saves money. But Big Lots discovered even more advantages.Remote digital video feed allows a retailer to be proactive from a safety perspective, like spotting blocked doorways or other potential hazards.With VHS, there is the human factor for error. Maybe someone forgets to change the tape or the recorder is accidentally unplugged. Digital technology is simpler to operate and there is no downtime because the recording is continuous, 24/7.Retrieval is as quick as a keystroke. About forty days worth of video can be saved on a computers hard drive or filed for future reference. And the system cant be tampered with. In the past, robbers have broken into Big Lots stores and stolen security tapes, making it harder for authorities to track them down. This cant happen with the digital system. They would have to take the whole computer unit and their locations are hidden.In fact, it used to be easy for dishonest associates to just unplug security VCRs before they stole merchandise. The new system, tied into the Big Lots server at company headquarters helps deter that kind of associate theft because analysts are alerted within seconds if a unit goes off-line or is disconnected.Digital technology enables the user to quickly send detailed information to police. They simply dial in, pull up the related video clip, and email it to law enforcement officers.Other areas of the business benefit as well. The information systems (IS) department also uses the new system as a tool to see how cashiers interact with point-of-sale equipment. By installing the cameras in test stores, IS was able to discreetly look at forty different stores and evaluate several hundred customer transactions.According to Steve Bromet, senior vice president of information systems at Big Lots, they are using what they learn to help change associate behavior patterns and training. With our old environment, for example, about half the time our cashiers would scan merchandise as they put it inside the bag. We found that method was 25seconds quicker than setting the item down, scanning it, and then placing it in the bag.In another test, Big Lots used remote digital technology to study things like traffic flow and customer movement. Last year, when Big Lots opened its six LAB (Learning and Building) stores new stores experimenting with layouts, fixtures, lighting, and signagesixteen cameras installed in each store observed customer shopping patterns. And the system is installed in all Big Lots distribution centers to track traffic flow and monitor entrances, exits, and perimeters.Going from videotape to digital also allows Big Lots to investigate elements of a suspected crime with a lot more detail. Digital technology provides LP professionals with the ability to conduct video forensics to enhance the evidence. Now they can lighten or darken images, and combine frames and other techniques to improve the quality of the feed.Doing More with LessRemote digital technology allows Big Lots to do more with a whole lot less less legwork, less staff, and less revenue spent on expenses like airfare and mileage. The company has created open communications with its associates about all new technology being installed. And its allowed a switch to preventive shrink management instead of focusing on the apprehension side of the business. Its helping Big Lots close more cases and provide a better quality of evidence than ever possible in the past.This open approach seems to be working well, according to LP professionals. Employees know the systems are in place and they are comfortable with their function in the stores.Sounds great. But is there a down side?As long as youre dealing with computers you run the risk of any computer-related problem occurring, like programming issues or the occasional need to reboot the system. But the system is maintained and updated regularly and Big Lots provides every loss prevention district manager with a training video of key informationtheyll need for proper installation and trouble-shooting.It Doesnt Stop HereIn April of this year, Big Lots became one of only a few retailers in the country to use computer forensics software to investigate computer activity. This enterprise-level software allows examiners to preview or acquire a bitstream image or an exact copy of the suspects computer over the network, including even deleted files. And examiners can acquire a specific hard drive over the network before a person even knows theyre being investigated. Previously examiners would have to physically seize the computer to continue with such an investigation.We are also testing electronic article surveillance (EAS) to protect merchandise from shoplifters and to minimize liability in the event of a customer dispute over an alarm. As part of a one-year test, targeted stores are applying the tags to things like electronics and pharmaceuticals, which are high shrink items thieves often steal to sell on the secondary market.Big Lots uses remote digital video in conjunction with EAS to review door greeters and their role responsibilities. And we’re taking a look at management and hourly associates responses to alarm conditions created by the EAS system. This allows us to monitor, educate, and train associates while minimizing liability.We are also in final negotiations with a vendor to do data modeling. It may sound a little like the plot of a science fiction movie, but some experts believe we can recognize, track, and analyze transaction patterns captured through in-store systems and use the data to stop loss before it happens. This data is based on clusters of information such as cash register transactions, markdowns, and refunds identified by point-of-sale data collection software. The data analysis software quickly pinpoints suspicious POS activity, drills down reports, and flags high-risk transactions.Finally, Big Lots is taking a look at some emerging scientific principles to fight shrink. Neural networks and genetic algorithms are mathematical models that mimic the human brains learning the process. The human brains neurons are the basic processing units that receive signals from and send signals to the many nervous system channels throughout the body. When the body senses or inputs an experience, the nervous system carries many messages describing that input to the brain. The brains neurons interpret the information from these signals by passing the information to combine and transform the data. Through repeated stimuli, the brain learns to process and respond to the stimuli.Just as a human brain learns through repetition, a computer-based neural network trains itself with repeated input and output of data. The network can then pinpoint probabilities of theft or other shrink contributors by analyzing the data patterns. By looking at such behavior patterns, analysts hope in some cases to predict if a store is likely to experience high shrink.Retailers continue to face damage to their profit margins as a result of security and loss prevention risks, says John Capicchioni, director of shortage control at Big Lots. To combat shrink in the future, well need to leverage our use of technology to maximize our effectiveness. Well need to use more sophisticated data mining and pattern recognition techniques to identify early warning signs of shrink to employ corrective measures.Previously, we relied on physical inventory to identify high shrink stores. With this technology, we hope to identify at-risk stores. Then we can focus our resources on those stores to resolve any issues and prevent future shrink.Capicchioni and other experts believe that technology and innovative theft prevention methods will have a dramatic impact on the future and the retailer who masters them could have a distinct advantage in the marketplace. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Installing a home surveillance camera system can add great benefits but also may introduce new risks to privacy and network security. The goal is to increase the security and peace of mind, while avoiding cybersecurity threats. Here are three tips to consider when purchasing, installing, and configuring your new home camera system.The RisksHome internet connected cameras are targets for cybercriminals. Recently a number of large Internet-of-Things (IoT) attacks have occurred where hacker have compromise hundreds of thousands of devices and enlisted them in massive botnets. These collections of ordinary devices, such as IP Cameras, DVRs, and home routers, are then directed by their bot-herder to all send network traffic to a target destination. The massive flow of data overwhelms the target site and makes it unavailable. A recent attack against DYN, an Internet DNS lookup service, took out much of the U.S. East Coast access to Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, PayPal and other sites. Hacking home internet connected devices has become a powerful tool for cybercriminals. That home camera you are considering could add to the problem and even be used by hackers to spy on you!Tips for Securing Home CamerasMost attacks are not incredibly sophisticated. They can be traced back to insecurely designed products, absence of patches, and poor installation configurations. Security does not need to be difficult or time consuming, but it does require forethought and care.1. Choose the vendor wiselyIt all starts with choice. If privacy and security is important to you, it should be part of your purchase criteria. Not all home camera vendors are equal. Look for ones which works hard to keep safe your privacy and security. How do you tell? Go out to their webpage and look beyond their marketing advertisements, as everyone will splash the word “secure” everywhere. The question you must consider is do they take it seriously and deliver? Look to see if they publish security updates, is there a security team, and do they talk in detail how they secure their products and services.No product is safe for indefinitely, especially in the Internet of Things (IoT) world. What is important, is the level of commitment a company places on keeping their products secure for their customers. It is highly desirable if they are producing security patches and explaining what vulnerabilities they are closing. Transparency is a sign of trust. For your part, you must be sure to patch and keep products up to date.Many companies don’t bother to have a security team. It is a major warning sign if the vendor is without such expertise. It means they are not likely designing in robust security features, don’t have people looking at vulnerabilities, not developing patches, and not verifying security in updates.Those with a security team should be open in the controls designed into the product, testing criteria, certifications, and what bugs they have closed. Professionals work hard and want to build trust with their customers. I like companies who also have bug bounty programs that reward white-hat hackers who find vulnerabilities and bring them to the attention of the company. Having the hacker community helping make your products more secure is a good thing.The first and most important step is yours. You must select a trustworthy partner who is supplying the camera, software, and any additional services. Look at reviews, comments from owners, and by security professionals who test these cameras. Choose wisely and you will be rewarded.2. Setup in a non-sensitive areaCameras are great ways to watch over your home. But expect at some time, even the best products, could be compromised for a period of time. Therefore, placement is hugely important. Entry, common areas, and even watching over babies are great places to setup cameras. Bedrooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, and other private areas are not optimal. Many modern cameras have microphones and other sensors. So even in common areas, you might want to consider what you are saying. Home cameras are tailored for easy setup and minimal fuss when dealing with data. Most work with cloud services which store data and make it accessible to you anywhere on most devices. A great feature, but that also means the recordings are not directly under your control and it is another place for hackers to target. So consider what data you want in the cloud. You don’t want embarrassing or private clips appearing on the internet. Where you setup the camera will determine the limits of how uncomfortable such situations become.3. Change default passwords Home cameras come with a number of default settings to facilitate easy setup. Most don’t need to be modified, but the default password should be changed! Change them to a unique and strong password which you don’t use anywhere else. Store it somewhere safe. Worst case, if you forget it, the can typically be reset on the camera itself. Many of the current variants of IoT botnets are targeting the vast number of devices which still have default passwords, which are published on the Internet, thus granting them full access to cameras. Some vendors are now forcing users to change the password upon installation, but many still don’t. Don’t be an easy target. Be smart and change the default password, as it makes a significant difference.Home cameras a great. They provide a new sense of security and flexibility to our modern lives. It is important to balance those benefits with the accompanying risks. By following a few steps, you are increasing the controls and making yourself a less attractive target. Enjoy your new camera with the confidence of security and privacy.Interested in more? Follow me on Twitter (@Matt_Rosenquist) and LinkedIn to hear insights and what is going on in cybersecurity.
No Biz: Ambumani Ramadoss doesn't want stars to endorse colasDELHI: After bullying striking doctors into submission in the recent OBC reservation feud, PMK leader and Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss feels he can overwhelm film and sport celebrities as well.At the Central Food Laboratories' golden jubilee celebration in Kolkata recently,,No Biz: Ambumani Ramadoss doesn't want stars to endorse colasDELHI: After bullying striking doctors into submission in the recent OBC reservation feud, PMK leader and Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss feels he can overwhelm film and sport celebrities as well.At the Central Food Laboratories' golden jubilee celebration in Kolkata recently, he appealed to Shah Rukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Aamir Khan, Virender Sehwag, Aishwarya Rai and other stars to "refrain from endorsing" soft drinks.Ramadoss's logic is that colas endanger children as they get hooked to them. "Even if they (colas) do not contain pesticides, children are being harmed," he said. When asked about the reasons behind his outburst, his office at Nirman Bhawan, Delhi, belts out an exhaustive list of side effects including obesity.A doctor himself, Ramadoss feels rising cardiac problems among children are linked to drinking colas. The appeal is unlikely to be followed by any official action soon, Nirman Bhawan sources say.Soft drink giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola use celebrity endorsements globally, but the minister wants to set a precedent by trying to end the practice in India. Last year, he had created a bigger controversy by issuing a circular banning on-screen smoking. It was to be effective from January 1 this year.However, the information and broadcasting ministry put its foot down on the proposal following intense pressure from the film fraternity. The minister's request is being taken lightly by his colleagues in the council of ministers who think Ramadoss is being unrealistic.Worse still is the fact that the UPA's anti-MNC components like the RJD and Left haven't spoken a word yet in his favour.advertisement
Bhopal, Mar 24 (PTI) Bhopal Badshahs made a remarkable comeback to hold second-placed Chandigarh Comets 4-4 in an 11th round match of the World Series Hockey here today. Down 0-4 in the first two quarters, Badshahs made a spirited comeback and scored four goals in the next two periods to deny Comets full points. Expectedly it was the team from Chandigarh which dominated the first two quarters pumping in as many as four goals through Sukhwinder Singh Gabbar (8th minute and 20th), Gurjinder Singh (9th), and Amir Khan (30th). But it was not to be Comets day as Badshahs came out a determined lot in the last two quarters and scored through Affan Yousuf (40th minute), Sameer Dad (47th), Shailendra Singh Bundela (61st, 64th) to share points with the better-placed visitors. By virtue of this draw, Comets have consolidated their position in the standings and have moved to the second position with 19 points from 11 matches. The draw also raised Badshahs semifinal hopes and they now lie in the sixth position in the tally with 14 points from 11 games. Badshahs will next host bottom-placed Mumbai Marines here tomorrow, while Chandigarh will travel to Chennai to play third-placed Chennai Cheetahs on Monday.
Rohit Paniker New DelhiMarch 25, 2019UPDATED: March 25, 2019 13:26 IST With the withdrawal of Chen Yufei, He Bingjiao is the highest-seeded women's singles player at India Open (IANS Photo)The India Open 2019 was on Sunday dealt with a major blow as World No. 2 and reigning All England Championship winner Chen Yufei and defending champion Shi Yuqi withdrew from the tournament just two days before the main draw.The Chinese duo, top seeds at the tournament, cited injury as the reason behind their withdrawal. The extent of the injury is yet to be known,The 22-member contingent arrived in the Capital in the early hours of Sunday and also held a practice session later in the afternoon at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall of IG Stadium - which is also the venue for the tournament.Speaking to Mail Today, Girish Natu, the technical director of the India Open, said: "We just received the letter from China that Shi Yuqi and Chen Yufei have withdrawn from the tournament. They have cited injury concerns. We don't know the extent of the injuries as we haven't received their medical certificate. The Chinese coaches are yet to arrive, they come on Monday and we will only know once they hand us the certificates. The qualifiers will now take their place in the tournament."The absence of these top-billed players blows the main draw wide open, especially in the women's singles which already misses the star power without the big names in Carolina Marin, Sung Ji Hyun and World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying.Earlier this week, Saina Nehwal, seeded fifth, pulled out after failing to recover from an acute gastroenteritis problem.In the absence of the highest world-ranked Chinese singles players, PV Sindhu becomes the favourite for the women's crown, much like Danish World No. 4 Viktor Axelsen, in the men's singles.advertisementSindhu, seeded second, will be closely followed by third seed He Bingjiao and 2016 winner Ratchanok Intanon.Additional responsibilities now lay on the shoulders of young Chinese shuttler Bingjiao, who was all smiles during the practice session on Sunday.The 22-year-old World Championship bronze medallist finished quarter-finalist at All England and enters the India Open with a fresh perspective and an aim to put an end to her title drought."The biggest thing I changed about my game was my attitude towards it. When I started, I wasn't that serious. I was young and just wanted to play. Now, that the senior players have retired and we have really entered the fray, I feel a sense of responsibility towards my country. I have become more serious and have been working much harder to achieve my goals," she said.With one eye on the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, starting April 29, Bingjiao has made already chosen her priorities."I have three main targets after this tournament. First, I want to work closely with my team members to win the Sudirman Cup that will be held in China. Secondly, my bigger target will be to improve upon my performance at the World Championships. Last year, I beat Tai Tzu but failed to progress further. I want to improve on that.Third, and most important target for me, is to work hard to qualify for the Tokyo Games. It is a dream for any athlete to play at the Olympics and while I don't think about winning medals, my focus remains on qualifying for it," she concluded.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn't like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow India Open 2019Follow He BingjiaoFollow Chen YufeiFollow PV Sindhu Top billing up for grabsWorld No. 2 Shi Yuqi and Chen Yufei withdraw from India Open as Bingjiao now headlines Chinese contingentadvertisement
zoom German ship-owner Conti Reederei has exercised options for additional eight 63,800 dwt dry bulk carriers with Jiangsu Hantong Shipbuilding & Heavy Industry, according to Seatrade Global.Dolphin 64 designThe order for the first four bulkers was signed back in March and the vessels will join the shipowner’s fleet in the second half of 2015.The eight newbuildings, to be designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (Sdari), will also feature eco-friendly Dolphin 64 design.The delivery of the eight bulkers, to be classed by Lloyd’s Register, will take place from November 2015 to June 2016.Conti Reederei already ordered last year eight vessels with the same shipyard that will be delivered in the first half of 2015.World Maritime News Staff, June 23, 2014
zoom The owner of the ill-fated El Faro cargo ship TOTE Marine is being targeted with yet another lawsuit from the victims’ families.Namely, the latest legal challenge submitted on Tuesday in Jacksonville seeks to challenge the company’s attempts to limit its financial responsibility and has been filed on behalf of the families of 34-year-old Danielle Randolph and 23-year-old Dylan Meklin of Maine, the Associated Press reports.The two were among the 33 crew members who are presumed dead after El Faro sank on October 1st having succumbed to the strong winds of the Hurricane Joaquin. The crew consisted of 28 U.S. citizens and five Polish nationals.The latest lawsuit claims that Tote’s liability should not be limited as the company allowed the ship to sail too close to the storm.Following several lawsuits from the victims’ family members, Tote filed for protection from legal claims regarding its liability for the deaths of the ship’s 33 crew members.The company filed for exoneration from or limitation of liability in U.S. district court in Jacksonville, Florida, at the beginning of November.Tote claimed that it had “exercised due diligence” to ensure the 40-year-old vessel was seaworthy, properly manned and well-equipped for its September 29 trip from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and should therefore be “from claims for damages that have been or may hereafter be made.”However, legal representatives of the plaintiffs believe the defendants knew that El Faro was an aged vessel with structural problems and that, despite that, they encouraged the ship to leave port knowing the potential dangers that lay ahead of the hurricane. What is more, the ship owners and operators failed to instruct the captain to change the ship’s route to avoid the hurricane and subsequent tragedy.World Maritime News Staff
zoom The shipping industry is expected to use a mixture of experience and innovation to navigate what is likely to be another volatile year for the industry in 2017, shipping adviser Moore Stephens said.The oil prices should continue on an upward trend on the strength of the recent OPEC production cuts. Calls for higher levels of ship demolition are expected to increase significantly, although not ship demolition itself, Richard Greiner, Moore Stephens Partner, Shipping & Transport, said.Additionally, the cost of meeting regulatory requirements should become clearer as the industry and its financiers grapple with the financial consequences of having to burn lower-sulphur bunker fuel whilst ensuring that their ballast water management systems are fit-for-purpose.“Orders will be placed for new ships. If they are not, a number of shipyards will go to the wall. For many, freight rates will continue to struggle to reach the levels required to ensure commercial viability, while consolidation will remain the buzzword in the liner trades,” Greiner said.If operating costs do not increase, Greiner said that concern will spread about whether quality and safety are being sacrificed.Confidence in shipping increased steadily for most of 2016, underlining just how robust the industry can be in difficult times. The inherent volatility of the industry will continue throughout 2017, during which time shipping will resort to tried and trusted methods and to fresh innovation alike in an effort to keep its head above water.
Families across the South Shore will have more opportunities to be physically active thanks to the province's annual recreation facility development grant program. Barry Barnet, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, announced today, May 1, investments totaling $471,085 for the South Shore region. The investment is part of the annual $3-million provincewide grant program. "Investing in sport and recreation facilities is part of our overall strategy to make Nova Scotians healthier and help reduce the demand on our health-care system," said Mr. Barnet. The grants will be used to upgrade and build playgrounds, repair and improve tennis courts, construct a sailing wharf and develop new and existing trails. Community groups work with Health Promotion and Protection staff to develop projects and apply for funding. The recreation facility development grant program provides up to one-third of capital costs; communities are responsible for raising the rest. The program will help create about $14.5 million in construction through 84 organizations. "Our goal is to make Nova Scotia the healthiest province in the country," said Mr. Barnet. "We can not do this alone. I congratulate the many volunteers that recognized a need in their communities and worked so hard to build the support and make it a reality." Grants through the recreation facility development program are provided based on criteria such as community need and benefit, the amount of planning and preparation, sustainability, and other funding commitments. The grant program helps municipalities and community groups plan, construct, renovate, conserve or acquire facilities for public recreation. Eligible projects include community centres, pools, sport facilities, parks, playgrounds, trails and other outdoor facilities.