first_imgCharts, graphs and statistical analysis will not explain Germany’s shock World Cup exit. The reason lies not in numbers but in German football’s complacency in recent years.Every aspect of the national pastime, and that includes clubs, the top league, the national association (DFB) and the players themselves, has fed off this complacency for years.Ever since their brilliant 2014 World Cup victory the main actors of German football rested on their laurels, raked in the cash and thought the good times will last for ever.But they didn’t.Two defeats and one last-gasp victory in the group stage meant an embarrassed Germany made their earliest World Cup exit in 80 years on Wednesday.Rewind to 2014 just before the world Cup, when four German clubs battled their way through the group stages and into the Champions League round of 16. This season it was just one.Back in 2013, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund played out an all-German Champions League final. No German club has made it past the last four since.In 2011 and 2012 Dortmund won the league. Since then it has been a Bayern monopoly.The reasons for all this are simple: money.The Bundesliga is eager to highlight its ongoing financial boom but that boom has also brought with it a one-sided, boring and predictable competition where Bayern win every time.The lack of league competition, as the cash-rich DFB looks on without any interest of intervening, has meant that German players have seriously lost their competitive edge.Deals in China are more important than giving fans in Freiburg or Hanover a decent competition to watch.Even Bayern does not need to create its own players anymore. Its swelling savings account has meant it can just buy them, with Thomas Mueller being their truly home-grown player.STUBBORN LOEWAdd to that Germany coach Joachim Loew’s own complacency, with the coach stubbornly insisting on fielding virtually the same core of players for almost a decade.“Why should I lose trust in them after one game,” he snapped after their opening defeat to Mexico.Players like Mueller, Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Manuel Neuer have long stopped chasing international success and are now quicker to show off their latest clothes, cars, houses, tattoos or shoes than their latest football achievements.Their collective last good season was back in 2014.Even the DFB’s own smugness was evident in its tournament slogan — ‘the Best Never Rest’ –, its constant marketing drive and sponsor photo shoots and its continuous demand to “bring back the fifth star” — a fifth world title.When two DFB employees stormed the Sweden bench after Germany’s last-second 2-1 victory to celebrate and gesticulate at their opponents, it was indicative of their complacency suddenly being replaced by pure panic.Until that point the DFB had no clue a disaster was looming.Whether Loew decides to stay on, the post-World Cup Germany coach must clean house and rebuild the team from the same source as the 2014 World Cup-winning team.The country’s outstanding youth work and its vast pool of talented players was the start of their decade-long exciting run in world football and it is there the coach must turn to, instead of players more interested in taking pictures of their latest sports cars or presidents.last_img read more

first_imgDear Editor,The sugar industry continues to be one of the most important industries in the Guyana. It supports more than 15,000 jobs and $22 billion in taxable compensation to workers. The sugar industry also attracts direct investment valued at close to $3 billion directly and more than $5 billion indirectly. This is approximately four per cent of all direct investment in Guyana; more investments than what the “permanently travelling to conferences” CEO of GO-Invest has developed in all his work life.So what we see Clive Thomas doing today by clandestinely making decisions that continue to accelerate the breaking up of the Guyana Sugar Corporation is nothing but anti-national and anti-patriotic. His actions continue to spread misery in the industry and will continue to deny Guyana economic activity. But strangely enough, there are tons of academic literature from the 1970’s proving that it is this same Thomas who wrote widely on the relevance of the sugar industry, its usefulness to Guyana, how much the sugar industry contributed to the Guyanese economy by way of the sugar levy and how it has paid its dues and subsidising other industries. So why this fip-flop from Thomas? Why this determined attempt to destroy the sugar industry by Thomas? Is he suffering from a serous state of geriatric amnesia or dementia?But this stubborn attempt to defund the industry and bring greater poverty to the rural folks of Berbice and Demerara will backfire on Thomas and his new political masters in the People’s National Congress (PNC). This group is now dogmatically supported by their chief apologist who has now added his voice to the oppressive dialogue. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told the media that “Bailing out sugar is like raiding the Treasury”. Is that so?But this same Nagamootoo was the one who wrote extensively in the Mirror newspaper in the 1980’s on how the PNC was attempting to actively destroy the sugar industry with the sugar levy. Today, this same Moses has “turncoat” on the workers and joins with the PNC elitist in their aloft agenda of destroying the livelihood of sugar workers. This makes him nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, prepared to destroy the welfare of the people at the bottom so that he can fill his own pockets. That makes him anti-Guyanese.But this history of the PNC oppressing the workers is well established. If one checks the International Labour Organisation’s records, they will find a complaint lodged internationally in 1978 which outlined how the PNC Government was actively trying to dislodge permanent workers with PNC members by hiring some 6132 ” PNC scabs” to cut cane, although there was an excess supply of regular sugar workers. As a result of this oppressive political action by the PNC then, thousands of rural folks from the villagers were denied an income.Today we have the same old PNC and some new friends in the form of Moses Nagamootoo, playing their same old imperialist game with the lives of the working class.My comments are not racist since some of the best cane harvesters can be found at the Wales, Rose Hall and Blairmont Estate and they are all Afro-Guyanese citizens. At Wales Estate, more than 40 per cent of the cane harvesters are Afro-Guyanese people but yet this is the first estate this cabal of North Georgetown African elites chose to shut down. The consequence of this Noel Holder-led charge against the sugar workers of Wales will reduce them to a state of beggary. So in their quest to destroy the sugar industry, they are prepared to starve many people who may have voted for them. This is nothing but desperation on the part of the Granger-led Government.In the final analysis, this Government of geriatrics and political opportunists, like Moses Nagamootoo, are no good for Guyana, since all these “fat cats” are more concerned with is how much cash they can stuff in their own pockets, how many foreign trips they can make and how many free perks they can draw from the sweat of the working people of Guyana.Sincerely,Jai (Harry) Lalllast_img read more

first_imgUnited Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed a Norwegian diplomat to meditate the border controversy between Guyana and its Spanish-speaking neighbor Venezuela.Dag Halvor Nylander, who dealt with the Colombian peace process, will seek to settle the longstanding border controversy between Venezuela and Guyana by the end of the year, the Associated Press reported.Norwegian diplomat Dag Halvor NylanderUN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the appointment of Nylander as Guterres’ personal representative “with a strengthened mandate of mediation”.Dujarric said on December 16 that then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Guterres, who succeeded him on January 1, had agreed that the UN chief’s use of his “good offices” (since 1990) to resolve the dispute would continue for a final year until the end of 2017.If Guterres concluded that no significant progress has been made by that time, Dujarric said the Secretary General would refer the issue to the International Court of Justice for settlement — unless the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela jointly request him not to do so.Dujarric said Nylander “will actively engage with the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela with a view to exploring and proposing options for a solution to the border controversy between the two countries”.Trained as a lawyer, Nylander was Norway’s special envoy to the Colombia peace process from 2012 to 2016 and headed the country’s mission in the South American nation from 2006 to 2008. He previously served at Norway’s UN Mission in New York and its embassy in Buenos Aires.The border controversy, which was not on Venezuela’s front burner for several years after being first officially mooted in 1962, was reignited by the Spanish-speaking country, when US oil giant ExxonMobil began exploratory works in the Stabroek Block offshore the Essequibo.With Guyana on the verge of becoming a lucrative oil-producing nation, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro issued a decree in May 2015 purporting to claim the majority of Guyana’s waters off the Essequibo.The decree was a flagrant violation of international law and was inconsistent with the principle that all states should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states.In an effort to defend its sovereignty, Guyana made it clear to the Venezuelan Government that the Essequibo and the waters offshore belong to this country, and strengthened its push for judicial settlement of the issue, as the Good Offices process had yielded little result.The border between the two countries was set by an international tribunal in 1899, in an award the parties, including Venezuela, had agreed would be the final settlement. Since the belligerence from Venezuela, moves have been made by the international community, including the UN Secretary General, to push for a peaceful resolution of the issue.last_img read more

first_imgStrict quarantine rules, partly in response to outbreaks of exotic Newcastle disease in California, have created a thriving black market for pet birds, authorities say. Talking parrots like those returned Wednesday – some cawing in Spanish or calling for “Lolita” – can fetch up to $1,000 apiece. “This is all about money,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Perry, whose prosecution of animal smuggling cases has earned her the nickname “Bird Lady.” “It’s all about getting around the quarantine, which can be very expensive.” A woman stopped at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing late one June night faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines after pleading guilty last month to bringing in 47 Amazon parrots and half-moon conures without permits. Both species are protected by international trade restrictions on endangered animals, according to court records. A man who was also stopped in June transporting 10 baby Amazon parrots at San Ysidro faces up to a year in prison if he is convicted of violating wildlife importation rules. Smugglers routinely quiet birds with sedatives to stop them from talking or moving in transit, usually by spiking food put in boxes or duffel bags, sometimes with tequila. “This is the black market – they certainly aren’t using veterinary-approved methods,” said Lorraine Concha, an assistant special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Allison Hoffman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN DIEGO – They were caught coming into the U.S. illegally from Mexico, sedated and hidden under blankets or in duffel bags. On Wednesday, 149 parrots and parakeets seized from smugglers were sent home. The neon-green birds, which had been held in quarantine for up to 18 months on U.S. soil at San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing, were handed over in cages to Mexican authorities. They will be returned to native habitats in southern Mexico or kept for breeding purposes if veterinarians determine they cannot survive in the wild. last_img read more

first_imgWes Brown has told Manchester United fans they can’t expect Paul Pogba to be like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.The Frenchman was signed from Juventus last summer for a world record fee and has largely struggled to live up to that hefty price tag.That has led to criticism in many quarters but Brown, who played with a young Pogba in the midfielder’s first spell at United, has defended his former team-mate against the critics.He told talkSPORT’s Extra Time show: “I’ve known Paul from an early age. It’s not his fault he got bought for that [amount of money] and I think he’s done well.“Obviously everyone was expecting Messi and Ronaldo type things off him, but it’s his first season and I think he’s done well. I’m sure as the years go on, he’ll get even better and he’ll feel at home.”You can listen to the full interview with Wes Brown on talkSPORT’s Extra Time show with Tom Latchem tonight from 1amlast_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PANGANDARAN, Indonesia (AP) – A tsunami crashed into beach resorts and fishing villages on Java island Monday, killing more than 300 people and leaving more than 160 missing after bulletins failed to reach the region because no warning system was in place. The Java coastal area was spared by the devastating Asian tsunami of 2004, but many residents recognized the danger when they saw the sea recede. Frantic tourists and villagers shouted “Tsunami! Tsunami!” as the wave more than 6 feet high approached. Some climbed trees or fled to higher ground to escape while others crowded into inland mosques to pray. At least 23,000 people fled their homes, either because they were destroyed or in fear of another tsunami, Dudi Junaidi, an official at an emergency coordination post in the worst-hit area of Pangandaran on Java’s southern coast, said Tuesday. “We saw a big wall of black water. I ran with my son in my arms when I looked back, the waves were at our house, they destroyed our house,” said Ita Anita, who was on the beach with her 11-month-old child and other relatives. “The water knocked me down, my son slipped out of my hands and was taken by the water.” Anita, 20, and her husband live 30 feet from the beach in Pangandaran, a resort popular with tourists. Also on the beach were her son, mother, sister, brother, nephews. All except her mother are missing. She said a series of large waves as tall as coconut trees came and then the water began to recede. “When the wave receded, there was total panic. Everybody was looking for everybody,” Anita said from her hospital bed at the Pangandaran medical clinic. She said she was swept inland by the wave into a rice paddy, tossed around and dragged across asphalt before she managed to climb to safety on the roof of a house. Early Tuesday, desperate villagers and soldiers dug through destroyed homes and hotels looking for survivors as the death toll rose to at least 306. Junaidi said at least 172 people were killed and 85 others were missing in the Panganderan area. He said a Pakistani national, a Swedish national and a Dutch national were among the dead, but did not give their genders. Most of the victims were believed to be Indonesians. In nearby Cilacap district, at least 77 were killed and more than 70 others were missing, said central Java police chief Dody Sumantiawan. At least 44 others died in Tasikmalaya, said Lina, a district official who like many Indonesians goes by only one name. Another 13 died elsewhere along the coast, local officials said. “I don’t mind losing any of my property, but please God return my son,” said Basril, as he and wife tearfully searched though mounds of debris pile up on the beach at Pangandaran. Nearby, the body of a woman lay on the beach, covered with a mat. Regional agencies had warned that a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck 150 miles off Indonesia’s southern coast was strong enough to create a tsunami on Java. But there was no warning system for those on the southern coast. The waves sent boats, cars and motorbikes crashing into resorts and fishing villages. Houses and restaurants were flattened along a 110-mile stretch of the densely populated island’s southern coast. Jan Boeken, from Antwerp, Belgium, said he was sitting at a bar when his waiter started screaming. “I looked back at the beach and saw a big wall of thundering black water coming toward us,” said the 53-year-old, who escaped with minor cuts to the head and knees. “I ran, but I got trapped in the kitchen, I couldn’t get out. I got hit in the body by debris and my lungs filled with water.” A witness told el-Shinta radio station he saw the ocean withdraw 1,500 feet from the beach a half-hour before the powerful wave smashed ashore, a typical phenomenon before a tsunami. “I could see fish jumping around on the ocean floor,” Miswan said. Witnesses said the wave came several hundred yards inland in some places. Buildings sit close to the beach in Pangandaran. Pedi Mulyadi, a 43-year-old food vendor, said he was waiting on the beach for customers when the wave struck, killing his wife, Ratini, 33. The pair were clinging to one another when they were swallowed by the torrent of water and pulled 300 feet inland, he said. “Then we were hit, I think by a piece of wood,” Mulyadi said. “When the water finally pulled away, she was dead. Oh my God, my wife is gone, just like that.” Roads were blocked and power cut to much of the area. Damage and casualties were reported at several places along the 110 miles of beach affected, officials and media reports said. “All the houses are destroyed along the beach,” one woman, Teti, told el-Shinta radio. “Small hotels are destroyed and at least one restaurant was washed away.” Indonesia has installed a warning system across much of Sumatra island but not on Java. The government has been planning to extend the warning system there by 2007. Java was hit seven weeks ago by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 5,800 people, but was spared by the 2004 tsunami that killed 216,000 people, nearly half of them in Indonesia’s Aceh province. Chris Goldfinger, an earthquake expert at the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, said Monday’s quake was probably not related to the 2004 tsunami though some of the tremors in the region since then were related. The May earthquake did not affect the part of the island hit by Monday’s tsunami, which was spawned by a quake that struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean 150 miles southwest of Java’s coast. The quake struck at 3:24 p.m., causing tall buildings to sway hundreds of miles away in the capital, Jakarta. The strength of the temblor was revised upward from magnitude 7.1 after a review by a seismologist, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks. After the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued warnings saying there could be a tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The tsunami struck Java about an hour after the quake and its effects could be felt as far as Bali island and near Australia’s Coco Islands. Indonesia is on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.last_img read more

first_imgChatham-Kent councillors and administrators will be looking to bend the ears of provincial politicians on issues related to climate change, recreational infrastructure funding, child care and social services next week.The municipality will be sending nine members of council and seven municipal staff members to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference in Ottawa from Aug. 18 to Aug. 21.Don Shropshire, Chatham-Kent’s chief administrative officer, said they plan on discussing climate change and Great Lakes erosion with both the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.“We’ve done a number of council meetings and public meetings on that,” he said. “We’ve experienced erosion along both Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, and also on some of our major river systems.”Shropshire noted the province is already working with the municipality on a study about issues related to Lake Erie.Flooding will also be part of the discussion, said Shropshire, pointing out the Thames River had a breach in February that impacted a “couple hundred acres” of farmland.He said lobbying within the last year resulted in securing $16.5 million over 10 years from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to implement flood-mitigation projects.“If we’re going to invest time from the elected officials and the staff to go down, you’re hoping you’re going to get a financial return or a political commitment to address some of our issues,” he said.Mayor Darrin Canniff and councillors Mark Authier, Joe Faas, Amy Finn, Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, Clare Latimer, Jamie McGrail, Carmen McGregor and Brock McGregor will be part of the trip.The group will also be discussing funding for the planned multi-sports complex in Chatham-Kent through the community, culture and recreation infrastructure stream of the federal-provincial Investing in Canada program.Shropshire said the municipality has committed up to $18.5 million towards the project. Based on how the program has worked in other provinces, he said that could represent up to 27 per cent of the cost, with the federal government covering 40 per cent and the province covering 33 per cent if the municipality is successful.“We’re basically going to make sure that we’re on their radar and that we’ll be acknowledging that we’ll be requesting additional funding when the program is launched,” he said.The municipality will also look to ensure the area has access to quality licensed child care during its meeting with the Ministry of Education, said Shropshire.“As we’re trying to get people back to work, folks living close to the margins sometimes have a major need for quality licensed child care so their kids have a place to go when they’re off to work, and (with) some of their (the province’s) changes in the budget, we want to make sure there’s continuous support for child care,” he said.During the same meeting, Shropshire said the group will also highlight the importance of keeping rural schools open.Changes to social services will be discussed with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.Shropshire said the municipality understands the government ran on a program of restoring its fiscal house, but the municipality wants the province to also understand how some of their decisions could impact vulnerable populations.Canniff and Shropshire will also attend meetings as part of the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus and other regional and provincial groups for municipalities.last_img read more

first_imgShare This!Last week, we asked which do you prefer, CityWalk Orlando at Universal Orlando Resort or Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. You’ll be shocked when you see the results. Not really – I’ve just seen too many internet clickbait ads and wanted to try it out for myself. Read on to see which shopping and dining destination is where you want to spend your time and money.Results:Disney Springs – 981✅CityWalk Orlando – 141The majority of our users subscribe to Walt Disney World, so it’s no surprise that Disney Springs would win this one. But the lopsidedness of the vote surprised us. If you’re writing off CityWalk or you’re just not familiar with it, you may want to give it another look.Getting there and moving aroundEven though the garages are each hellish in their own ways, Universal does make you pay for the privilege of parking in them because CityWalk parking is also the parking for visiting Universal parks. There is valet parking available at both Disney Springs and the Universal parking garage, but at Universal we actually recommend it.However, that does mean that if you’re staying on site at Universal or visiting the Universal theme parks, you don’t need to make a special trip just to go to CityWalk. And because it’s located between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure parks, it’s a great option for lunch. I would happily eat at most of the CityWalk restaurants before I’d choose any of the in-park options, including the ones inside Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Yeah, I’m the one. Send your Howler to me in Celebration, FL. I’ll be expecting it.Disney Springs is bigger, but does that mean better? Most of the West Side is a wash for me and will stay that way until Jaleo opens. CityWalk and Disney Springs handle crowds fairly well, though it’s good to remember that people walk through CityWalk to get to the Universal theme parks. This means you’ll see peaks in CityWalk crowd levels around park open and close with guests arriving and leaving.Dining, entertainment, and nightlifeWe can’t say enough good things about Toothsome. I’m just there for the Chocolate Stout (day-drinking for the win), but most people show up looking for the insane desserts. Check out this blast from the past from Derek. And I do prefer Antojitos to Frontera. VIVO compares favorably to any Italian food at Disney Springs. Don’t get me wrong – Disney Springs is a great destination for dining, but it’s not the only destination for dining when you’re taking an Orlando vacation.Both CityWalk and Disney Springs have interesting entertainment options for families. You’ll find Hollywood Drive-In Golf (two courses, alien and horror) at the entrance to CityWalk. I don’t want to brag, but I’m a bit a pro at mini-golf. I think Hollywood Drive-In is a much nicer course than either Fantasia Gardens or Winter-Summerland. Disney Springs has the Star Wars experience at the Void, which has seen some hardware improvements and is even better than when it opened.As for nightlife, can I be honest here? I went to sleep at 8:30 last night. Len and I have a note to review The Edison at Disney Springs, which I LOVE, for after hours, but I’ll need a big nap to do anything that begins at 10 pm. CityWalk still has actual night clubs (pour out a Kungaloosh for the Adventurers Club), but I haven’t been to them. Have you, readers? Talk about it in the comments. I’m curious (but sleepy). CityWalk is marketing to a more young adult and local crowd for its late-night entertainment while Disney Springs still has no true night clubs. Anecdotally, we’re hearing that The Edison is popular with cast members for after-hours. And the fact that Homecomin’ has added a special menu for Saturday nights tells us that people are showing up after 10 pm.ShoppingDisney Springs has more shopping, but most of it is not unique to Disney Springs or even unique to Orlando. If anything, Disney Springs shopping is like your local mall with Disney souvenirs and CityWalk is like your resort gift shop with Universal souvenirs. It’s nice that you can find a Coach, Sephora, and Lilly Pulitzer at Disney Springs, but you can also find those at the Mall at Millenia, which has the added benefit of a Neiman Marcus and an Apple Store. Because frankly I never know when I’m going to need a new pair of Prada pumps and a Thunderbolt 3 cord for my MacBook Pro. CityWalk, amazingly, has the Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company. So if you’re the type who has really good ideas while on vacation, make a point to check it out.What say you, did you read anything here that makes you want to try out CityWalk? Are you already planning your Dark Mark tattoo to get there? Or are you still Disney Springs ride or die? Talk about it in the comments and look for today’s poll.last_img read more

first_img12 August 2011The JSE has gained a new property fund with the successful listing of Vunani Property Investment Fund (VPIF), previously a private joint venture between black economic empowerment group Vunani Capital and property company Hyprop.The fund listed in the “Real Estate – Real Estate Holdings and Development” sector on the main board of the exchange under the share code “VPF”, with an initial market capitalisation of R850-million.“The JSE is pleased to welcome Vunani Property Investment Fund to its Main Board,” JSE chief executive Russell Loubser said this week. “The listing reflects further opportunities presented to investors looking to gain exposure to the real estate holdings and development sector.”Focus on continued growthVPIF was formed in 2006 when Vunani (50.2%) and Hyprop (49.8%) pooled two portfolios of commercial properties into a property fund with the intention of growing the fund.“We are proud to be making our debut on the JSE . and welcome all new shareholders,” VPIF chief executive Rob Kane said in a statement this week. “The take-up exceeded our expectations and enables us to list the fund with almost zero debt.”The fund will be managed by Vunani Property Asset Management, a 60% black-controlled fund, while JHI are the outsourced property managers.“We can immediately start to selectively assess various value-enhancing opportunities,” said Kane. “Our focus post listing will be to continue growing the portfolio, whilst maintaining the quality of the properties and delivering superior shareholder returns.”Office dominated property portfolioVPIF represents the only office-dominated property portfolio listed on the JSE. The portfolio currently comprises 21 buildings with an aggregate value of R947.6-million.These properties are mainly in Gauteng and the Western Cape and are predominantly leased by national clients, including Standard Bank of South Africa, Vodacom and the government.Vacancies are low at 4.8%, which includes planned vacancies of 2% due to yield enhancing refurbishments under way.Divesting from non-core assetsIn line with Hyprop’s strategy to divest from non-core assets, it has, pursuant to the listing, reduced its existing interest in VPIF. Taking into account new institutional investment in VPIF on listing, Hyprop’s interest in the fund now stands at 11.5%.Going forward Hyprop intends exiting its remaining investment in VPIF entirely.“The investment in VPIF has served as a successful realisation of Hyprop’s enterprise development strategy, particularly in light of today’s listing,” said Hyprop. “We look forward to VPIF’s continued future growth and success.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgAcademics who examine crime and security-related issues aren’t always seeking practical solutions, but some recent research studies have pragmatic applications and impart some actionable advice on relevant loss prevention issues. Below are questions that researchers have recently looked at and what loss prevention should know about what they found.1. Does providing a financial incentive for reporting workplace theft, such as a percentage of the recovered loss or a cash reward, increase employee reporting? A research project out of the University of Texas suggests that incentives can be beneficial, but that it seems to be limited to work environments where job satisfaction is low. Financial rewards probably have less or a negligible impact on reporting among workers with high job satisfaction and at businesses with robust pre-employment screening programs, according to the study, “Comparing Risk Reducing and Incentive Bases Reporting in a Small Business.”2. Is it only violent acts or does the mere fear of violence have an impact on client-facing staff? Perception matters, according to a study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, “Consequences of client-initiated workplace violence: The role of fear and perceived prevention.” Fear levels—based on workers’ perception of violence and how well they think they can cope with client-initiated violence and threats—have negative personal and organizational consequences, including turnover, the study concluded.- Sponsor – 3. Do shoplifters consider the design layout or just security techniques as they walk the store? Both expert and novice shoplifters consider both, according to a study that put shoplifters in an actual department store and then gathered their thoughts on the deterrents they recognized. The most commonly cited deterrents by both expert and novice participants were formal surveillance, product positioning, employee positioning, access control, and store layout.“This supports previous research that found shoplifters considered both design and security techniques,” concluded the study, “Advancing Retail Security Design: Uncovering Shoplifter Perceptions of the Physical Environment,” published in the Journal of Interior Design. “All shoplifters focused attention on the physical layout of the store and security devices and typically remarked that the best deterrents combined multiple strategies for preventing theft.”4. Do stores in neighborhoods that are in good order benefit from more aggressive interventions by neighbors? A researcher walked up and down streets of a medium-sized coastal city in the northeastern United States to test whether individuals took notice of her observing their properties or went further and confronted her or called police. The experiment was designed to test if environmental factors, such as property maintenance issues like broken lights, trash, and graffiti, have an impact on “guardianship intensity.” That is, would casual observers be more likely to actively intercede to discourage crime in orderly neighborhoods?Ultimately, the study found “a weak but significant direct relationship between the guardianship level and the image/maintenance of the property.”More significant, however, was the relationship between guardianship level and opportunities for surveillance. That is, the study showed that guardianship intensity is lower when physical features obstruct property windows from public space. The experiment also showed that individuals don’t need to be actively looking for trouble to provide a crime deterrent. “Previous statements that it is the mere presence of guardians who could be watching and could observe untoward behaviors are supported by this research,” according to the study published in Security Journal, “What makes a guardian capable? A test of guardianship in action.”5. Do body cameras impact behavior in a way that makes lawsuits less likely? Lawsuits are one of the more prevalent loss prevention issues for today’s LP executives, so it’s worth noting that researchers have found that when police officers wear body cameras use of force is cut in half, which translates into fewer public complaints. The experiment, written up in Journal of Quantitative Criminology, was the first to test the effect of wearable video cameras on officer compliance rates and citizen complaints, “The Effect of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”Over 12 months, the researchers from University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology randomly-assigned Rialto, Calif., police officers to “experimental shifts” during which they were equipped with body-worn HD cameras and “control” shifts, in which officers did not wear cameras. “We found that the likelihood of force being used in control (non-camera) conditions were roughly twice those in experimental (body camera) conditions,” according to the study. “The number of complaints filed against officers dropped from 0.7 complaints per 1,000 contacts to 0.07 per 1,000 contacts.”This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated August 6, 2018. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more