Latest: Chelsea 1 Burnley 0 – Blues within sight of another victory

first_imgBranislav Ivanovic’s fourth goal in six games kept Chelsea on course for victory at Stamford Bridge.The right-back turned the ball in from close range after a sublime run and cross from the outstanding Eden Hazard to earn a deserved half-time lead.But despite dominating play, having two strong penalty claims turned down and creating numerous excellent positions, a second goal has so far eluded the Premier League leaders.Chelsea, chasing a 12th home win in 13 league games, made a decent start and could have gone ahead within five minutes.But Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton did well to tip over Juan Cuadrado’s header from a Filipe Luis cross.At the other end, Thibaut Courtois made a routine save from a spectacular long-range Ashley Barnes strike.However, the majority of attacking threat was coming from the home side.Cesc Fabregas, playing in a deeper role to accommodate Cuadrado, was dictating play and allowing the Chelsea to dominate possession.And after Ivanovic’s opener, Oscar had a shot saved from the edge of the box, Ivanovic was denied what looked a clear spot-kick by the outstretched arm of Michael Kightly.And Diego Costa also claimed a spot-kick after going down under a challenge from Jason Shackell.Ivanovic was still providing as big a goal threat as anyone after the interval, his near-post header from a Fabregas corner almost teeing up Nemanja Matic.Costa was then through one-on-one after a perfectly timed Hazard pass but his finish was not convincing and Heaton was able to make a comfortable save. Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Filipe Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Cuadrado (Willian 63), Oscar, Hazard; Costa. Subs: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ramires, Drogba, Remy.  Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Stratton strikes first, Padres strike back as Giants fail to complete sweep

first_imgSAN DIEGO–With a violent swing of the bat, Giants pitcher Chris Stratton delivered the type of two-strike, two-out hit most of the club’s position players have struggled to produce this season.Stratton’s second-inning double cleared the bases as three of his teammates raced home to give the Giants the early lead.It was the perfect tone-setter for a team trying for a sweep. But Stratton soon found himself in a troubling situation, and he didn’t escape it in an 8-4 Giants loss.Those three runs …last_img

Quarterback deficient Redskins say they discussed Kaepernick; why he didn’t get a tryout

first_imgWashington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said team personnel discussed giving quarterback Colin Kaepernick a tryout, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.Before you get all fired up, it’s not happening.“Not a lot of time to really get a brand new quarterback and new system installed and taught in a couple of days of practice,” Gruden told the AP. “So he’s been talked about and discussed, but we’ll probably go a different direction.”Hail to the Redskins. Mark Geragos, …last_img

Draw sets stage for magical 2010

first_img26 November 2007One hundred and seventy teams were given the route they will have to follow to reach the 2010 Fifa World Cup when the preliminary draw took place at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Sunday, in a dazzling ceremony that gave a foretaste of the magical tournament South Africa promises to deliver.The draw, beamed to a television audience of millions across the globe, went off successfully as the first major Fifa event on African soil, with a stunning line-up of artists mixing African colour and rhythm in with the serious business of lining up the teams contending for a place at the 2010 tournament.On a spectacular stage with three rotating sections for the performers, an orchestra and the draw itself, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Fifa President Sepp Blatter – accompanied by a host of Fifa delegates and soccer greats of yesteryear – welcomed the world to the start of the race to the 2010 finals.‘A sport that touches the whole world’Mbeki said the game had the amazing ability to promote unity through its educational, cultural and humanitarian values.“Football is a sport that touches the whole world,” Mbeki said, adding that South Africa aimed to “stage an event that will send ripples of confidence from the Cape to Cairo – an event that will create social and economic opportunities throughout Africa.“We want to ensure that one day, historians will reflect upon the 2010 Fifa World Cup as a moment when Africa stood tall and resolutely turned the tide on centuries of poverty and conflict.”Blatter said the decision to bring the World Cup to Africa for the first time would give the world the opportunity to give back to Africa. “The continent has done so much for this sport in terms of players and clubs, and it is justice that Africa hosts the World Cup,” Blatter said.“There is no doubt the World Cup will be held here and it will be a success. No doubt.”The football world then watched in earnest as Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke and his draw assistants – George Weah, Ali Daei, Marcel Desailly, Kasey Keller, Kaizer Motaung, Abedi Pele, Doreen Nabwire, Jomo Sono, Lucas Radebe and Christian Karembeu – guided 170 teams into their respective qualifying pools.Fascinating duelsAs Fifa.com reports, some will have a tough road to travel. These include Croatia, England and Ukraine, who will compete against one another in the European zone’s group 6, as well as group 1 rivals Portugal, Sweden and Denmark.Bulgaria and Ireland must tackle reigning world champions Italy, while Romania and Serbia have to navigate Germany 2006 runners-up France.Australia, who narrowly missed out on a quarter-final place in Germany last year, will face reigning Asian champions Iraq, China and Qatar in their pool, from which two teams will advance to the concluding stage of Asian qualifying.South Africa, who qualify automatically as 2010 hosts, will nonetheless compete in the preliminaries, which double up as qualifiers for the 2010 African Nations Cup, in a group that includes African powerhouse Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.In the Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean) region, Canada landed the stiffest stage 2 challenge in the form of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who impressed during the qualifying rounds for the 2002 World Cup.“Perhaps the most intriguing development was how the Stage 4 groups will appear if the favourites avoid upsets,” Fifa.com reports. “Indeed, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica and Honduras could do battle for two places in the deciding phase, while USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Guatemala may have to do the same.“In the Asian zone, Korea Republic and Korea will clash, with the latter looking to reverse two unanswered losses to their neighbours in Fifa World Cup preliminaries. Kuwait will also be out to upset a trend: in six qualifiers for the competition against Iran they have failed to win.“Over in Europe, Czech Republic and Slovakia, the two sides that formerly made up two-time Fifa World Cup finalists Czechoslovakia, will face off, and memories are bound to resurface when Scotland take on Netherlands, whom they beat 3-2 in a memorable match at Argentina 1978.”These are just some of the fascinating duels lined up for football fans around the world as the journey to South Africa 2010 gets under way. For more information, check out Fifa.com.SAinfo reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Piketty’s contribution to unpacking inequality: timely and relevant

first_imgRenowned French economist Thomas Piketty will deliver the 13th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. What lessons can he offer South Africa? Watch him speak during the live broadcast on 3 October on SABC 2 from 3pm to 4.30pm. There will also be a live stream on the Nelson Mandela Foundation YouTube account and website. Rock star economist Thomas Piketty will be in South Africa to deliver the 13th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on 3 October. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation) • Thomas Piketty to deliver Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture  • What South Africa can learn from Piketty about addressing inequality? • Ethical buying power: Coffee, chocolate and Fairtrade • Top 50 Brands in South Africa named  • Almost half of African millionaires make South Africa their home Vishnu Padayachee, professor and Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics, School of Economics and Business Sciences, University of the WitwatersrandVishnu Padayachee, University of the WitwatersrandNot many economists with something approaching a rock star status visit South Africa. So the visit by French political economist Thomas Piketty, author of the bestselling Capital in the Twenty-first Century, appears to be eagerly awaited by academics, especially those broadly on the left, and by many South Africans.In 1976, Milton Friedman, then the rising rock star economist of the anti-Keynesian right wing in the US and Europe, made a visit to South Africa. He was wined and dined by the President Nico Diederichs and Finance Minister Owen Horwood. He and his economist wife Rose met with leading South African businessmen, political leaders and the South African Reserve Bank governor, among others.Friedman’s message to South Africa was both political and economic. He was mightily impressed by what he described as:The unbelievably sophisticated economy you have developed at the tip of Africa, thousands of miles away from any similar civilisation.Friedman urged the West to support South Africa and Rhodesia as bastions against Soviet penetration.Two nights before the couple left, then-South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Gerhard de Kock remarked:Friedman’s visit will have at least a ten-year impact on South Africa’s economic thinking.De Kock was right. What followed were major changes in monetary policy, including those recommended by the De Kock Commission on Monetary Policy.I am not sure whether Piketty will have a similar impact on economic thinking in South Africa today. I do predict, though, that ministers and former ministers will be bounding up the stairs to join him on his many platforms around the country. I would not be surprised if they expressed their total support for his analysis and his ideas.Some, without the slightest sense of irony, may well make a case that they were and are the true champions of the struggle against poverty, inequality and unemployment in democratic South Africa. This despite the fact that they arrogantly relegated left, social democratic options such as the Freedom Charter and the Reconstruction and Development Programme to the dustbin of history.Instead, in 1996 they opted for the neoliberal Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy, a macroeconomic policy. So a rewriting of the recent economic history of South Africa may well be one outcome of the Piketty visit.Piketty’s demolition of what went beforeTo date, data from the relatively short post-second world war period up until the end of the 20th century has been read mostly in sympathy with a neo-classical interpretation. In this period the hypothesis behind the Kuznets Curve was the dominant thinking about development and income inequality. This argues that inequality first increases in the early stages of development, reaches a maximum at an intermediate level of income, and then declines as the country achieves a high level of per capita income.Into this picture steps Piketty. With his 300-year-old datasets he demolishes the Kuznets hypothesis. He shows instead that the turn away from inequality over time and in the course of development and global integration is not assured. And, he argues, intervention in the market mechanism is required to arrest and reverse the increasing share of income that capital relentlessly claims over time.Piketty shows that it was the interventions between 1914 and 1945 that arrested the trend towards greater and greater inequality. These included taxation policies in the 1920s and 1930s which were less favourable to the owners of capital.He shows that patrimonial capital is the largest contingent of total capital. Central to understanding capitalists’ drive to accumulate is increasing economies of scale. Whereas Karl Marx focused on the increasing economies of scale of industry, Piketty shows how the same benefits of scale apply to investment performance of capital.Despite some reservations about his analysis and his policy prescriptions I believe that Piketty does convey an important and timely message. He combines a grasp of western economic history and an analysis of long run historical data to point to the nature, form and variety that western capitalism has assumed over an extended time. Sharply widening inequalities of income and wealth between rich and poor is the most blatant.Piketty does indeed have something to say to the beneficiaries of this variety of capitalism who praise and parrot this model and its values. This includes the corporates and the ever-richer elites and to many in aspirant and new middle classes in countries including South Africa and India.So, what are Piketty’s answers?Piketty is right to point to the need for a robust debate about the kind of state – a social state, he calls it – that is required at the beginning of the 21st century to regulate a rampant inegalitarian capitalism. New institutions and instruments are needed to regain control over globalised financial capitalism, and “to achieve a just social order”. But when it comes to specifics, Piketty’s economic policy prescriptions are not very convincing.In my view, they do not take progressive macroeconomic policy much further. If anything it sets back thinking in this crucial policy arena, both at national and global level. His policy response to the crisis he correctly analyses, as Chris Gregory notes, is constructed:… in the narrowest apolitical, mathematical tradition of 20th century mainstream economics.An international tax on capital is not likely to be implementable under current national or regional political models. Action is more likely to originate at a national, not international level. In my view this would include a serious relook at old and new forms of control over currency, capital mobility and banking regulation.Piketty has little to say about all this, apart from noting (on the basis of China’s admittedly opaque and unstable system of capital regulation) that:… capital controls are one way of regulating and containing the dynamics of wealth inequality.But how would this work in more democratic, transparent and liberal regimes than the China of today?By way of contrast, and much more practically, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has teamed up with others to push for US national economic policy options aimed at curbing the flow of economic gains to the wealthiest and most powerful. Those he has teamed up with include New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Senator Elizabeth Warren.Their argument is based on the premise that “equality and economic performance are complementary rather than opposing forces”. On the agenda are policies such as increased taxes on the wealthy to fund education, affordable housing and job-creating infrastructure, as well as minimum wages and benefits for the poor.These issues, and a few others, are of relevance to South Africa today. The others would include an appropriate form and shape of a “social state”, tax policy, a national minimum wage, and capital controls to curb the billions of dollars leaving South Africa legally and illegally. Perhaps Piketty can be persuaded to share his views on these matters.Vishnu Padayachee, Distinguished Professor and Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics, School of Economics and Business Sciences, University of the WitwatersrandThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

Facebook is Great, But Does It Make Businesses Any Money?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… john paul titlow There is no shortage of hype around social media, especially for the space’s most dominant player, that 500 million user-strong behemoth called Facebook. For businesses of all shapes and sizes, the need to jump on the social Web bandwagon is pretty much a given at this point. Indeed, more than 70% of small businesses use Facebook, according to a recent Merchant Circle survey.While the perceived urgency of getting on board is clear, what’s less obvious to businesses is whether or not social pays off. Of course, the question of what social media ROI even means varies across different types of businesses, all of whom have different goals in mind for their social marketing strategies. For most e-commerce-based businesses, the use of Facebook is not translating into cash, at least according to a recent report from Forrester. Of the 24 companies interviewed, only 7% cited social networking as one of their most effective sources of customers. Affiliate programs, organic search traffic and even offline advertising scored higher than social. By far the most effective channel was paid search marketing, which 90% of respondents put in their top three biggest sources of customers. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#biz Is it just a matter of time? Not so fast. As the report points out, paid search marketing was viewed as effective pretty much from the beginning. Seven years in, shouldn’t Facebook be driving e-commerce by now? The businesses surveyed reported a 1% click-through rate on Facebook posts, which pales in comparison to the 11% average click-through rate seen with good old-fashioned email marketing. Some Hope For Small BusinessesThe report leaves hope for certain types of businesses, who it says may be in a better position to make money from their Facebook presence. Among them are what they call “small pure plays”, small businesses for whom “Facebook is the 2011 version of Yahoo Merchant Solutions or eBay ProStores.” Because the online sales of these sellers are often generated by their own word-of-mouth advertising and because Facebook is essentially their eCommerce platform, it is not uncommon to hear of 100% of the online revenues of such sellers coming through Facebook.” For small businesses, using Facebook for their e-commerce needs frees them from some of the administrative headaches of hosting their own solution, not to mention the lower cost of entry (free). Indeed in the Merchant Circle report we cited above, nearly 37% of small businesses named social networking profiles as their most effective marketing method, second only to search engine marketing. “For such small businesses, it can be more cost-effective to direct customers to one’s fan page on Facebook rather than invest in setting up one’s own website,” the report said. “Local businesses or offers are particularly suited to Facebook as well because individuals often have other local friends in their online social networks.” 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more