STARKVILLE, MS – OCTOBER 13: A general view of Davis Wade Stadium during a game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Mississippi State Bulldogs on October 13, 2012 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)Mississippi State can no longer win the SEC West after a loss to Alabama this past Saturday, but the Bulldogs still have a lot to play for. MSU, at 7-3, still has a chance to post a 10-win season for just the fourth time in school history. The Bulldogs will need to get things started with a strong bounce-back performance against red-hot Arkansas this weekend.Wednesday, the school released a two-minute hype video to tease the contest. Check it out:The Bulldogs and the Razorbacks are set for a 7:00 PM ET kick off.
In a steamy new PETA campaign, the glamorous Lucy Watson appears wrapped in nothing but a fluffy feather-free duvet next to the words “Choose Comfort Without Cruelty”.Lucy Watson: Choose Comfort Without CrueltyCredit/Copyright: Ruth RoseIn a cheekier version of the ad, the Made in Chelsea actor wears lavender lingerie and sits confidently in bed next to the words “Feather Bedding? Go Pluck Yourself”.In an exclusive video interview with PETA, Watson explains why her bed and wardrobe are now down-free: “[The feathers] are plucked continuously and forcefully from the birds, and sometimes, they die just from the shock”. The socialite says feather-free bedding is just as sumptuous. “It’s cruelty free, allergy-free and most of the time, it’s less expensive”, she says. “Next time you’re out buying duvets or pillows, if it says ‘down’ on the label, leave it on the shelf.”As seen in PETA US’ video exposé of the down industry, birds used for down are tightly restrained as feathers are violently torn from their bodies, often resulting in gaping wounds. The down industry also helps support producers of foie gras – which is made by forcing tubes down the throats of geese and ducks and pumping grain into their stomachs until their livers become enlarged and diseased – as the feathers of many of the birds on foie gras farms are sold for down.This is Watson’s third time teaming up with PETA. She has previously posed for the group’s iconic “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign and posed for an ad encouraging her fans to “have a heart – try vegetarian”.
Tom Fennario APTN National NewsNow that floodwaters have receded, Mohawks in Kanesatake are facing a daunting clean up.Help has been slow to arrive for those most affected and the band council says they lack services to better prepare for future disasters.
CALGARY – Canada’s competitive disadvantage with the United States is being reflected in lower spending plans by oil and gas producers, and Tuesday’s budget does nothing to change that trend, oilpatch observers say.In a report released Wednesday, Statistics Canada said capital spending to extract oil and gas will fall for a fourth straight year in Canada in 2018.Spending is expected to be about $33.2 billion, down 12 per cent from 2017, with the biggest declines in the oilsands sector where spending will fall by a fifth to $10.2 billion, the federal agency said, citing a survey of investment intentions.It said the largest spending decline is anticipated in Alberta, down 12 per cent to $22.5 billion, but spending will also fall off in Newfoundland and Labrador, by 31 per cent to $1.7 billion; in British Columbia, by 8.7 per cent to $4.6 billion; and in Saskatchewan, by just under one per cent to $3.9 billion.The numbers are falling because big projects are wrapping up and not being replaced, a trend that also points to Canada’s failing competitiveness with the United States, said CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld in an interview.“The bigger picture is some Canadian companies are looking south of the border,” he said. “They’re seeing the bottlenecks in the ability to get product to the market, the lighter regulatory environment in the U.S. and the disadvantage in spreads between U.S. and Canadian oil benchmarks — all are reasons to devote capital elsewhere.”In Tuesday’s federal budget, the government said more analysis was necessary before considering tax cuts to match the U.S., which announced in December it would drop its federal corporate tax rate to 21 per cent from 35 per cent.“The finance minister says he wants to see evidence that Canada is losing its share of the corporate investment dollar to the U.S. and, if these numbers pan out, that could be part of the evidence that Ottawa needs to think about a response,” said Shenfeld.Canada had a tax advantage over the U.S. until recently but that has evaporated, said University of Calgary tax expert Jack Mintz, adding there was “absolutely nothing” in the budget to address the issue.The decline in spending is also being seen by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which estimates the industry will spend $45 billion this year, down about one per cent from 2017, and representing the fourth year of decline after $81 billion was spent in 2014. (CAPP’s numbers include spending on exploration lands and other costs that Statistics Canada doesn’t measure.)The four-year decline in oilsands spending in particular is the worst since the early 2000s and can be linked to uncertainty related to market access, the regulatory burden and competitiveness with the rest of the world, said CAPP vice-president Ben Brunnen.“There are jurisdictions around the world that are actively trying to attract capital. Canada is not one of those,” he said.Brunnen said U.S. tax reform includes allowing immediate 100 per cent deductibility for certain capital expenditures, a move expected to spur investment in oil and gas, liquefied natural gas facilities and refineries — high-cost projects that compete directly with the oilsands for funding. Canada allows 30 per cent deductions for similar investments, he said.Depressed Alberta natural gas prices and Canadian oil prices that haven’t kept up with increases in the U.S. are forcing Canadian producers to cut spending plans this year, said Jackie Forrest, senior director of research at ARC Financial Corp. in Calgary.She said adjustments made over the past several weeks mean that she is changing her spending forecast for 2018 from a decline of two per cent to a drop of five per cent compared with 2017.Patrick O’Rourke, managing director of institutional research at AltaCorp Capital in Calgary, said executives at the energy companies he covers are more frustrated with increased regulation, carbon taxes and delays in building pipelines than income taxes.He said Tuesday’s “do-nothing” budget failed to address any of those concerns.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Dawson Creek city council voted in favour of awarding the contract for the City’s new curbside recycling program, which will be rolled out this fall.Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said that the possibility of Dawson Creek getting curbside recycling collection has been brought up several times in the past several years. During planning for this year’s budget, he said the City was able to include curbside recycling collection. The program will be single-stream – similar to Fort St. John’s – meaning residents can dispose of all acceptable items into the 360-litre wheelie bins without the need to sort.Redfearn explained that the cost of the program will see residents’ utility bills – which already include water, sewer, and waste collection – rise by $6.86 for the next five years. The cost of the wheelie bins is included in that amount. The recycling bins will be collected every two weeks, while unlike in Fort St. John, household waste will continue to be collected weekly. Dawson Creek received two bids for the contract to do the new curbside collection. On Monday, Council awarded the contract to its current household waste collection contractor, Waste Management, since its bid was 43 cents/month cheaper than the only other bid from DC Recycling.The contract is set to begin on September 1st for a period of five years. Redfearn said that the program will be rolled out in stages for residents in each part of Dawson Creek after it comes into effect.
“When combined with asset monetizations announced in May, the sale of our Canadian G&P Business significantly advances our strategic priority of moving to a pure play regulated pipeline and utility business model.” said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge. “It also demonstrates our focus on prudent capital allocation and ensuring the continued strength of our balance sheet and funding flexibility. With a total of roughly $7.5 billion in asset monetizations announced in 2018, we have more than doubled our initial target of $3 billion.”Separate sale agreements have been entered into for those facilities currently governed by provincial regulations (Alberta and B.C.), and those governed by federal National Energy Board regulations. The transaction involving the sale of the provincially regulated facilities is expected to close in 2018, while the transaction involving the sale of the federally regulated facilities is anticipated to close in mid-2019.Proceeds from these transactions provide significant additional financing flexibility going forward as the Company continues to execute on its current portfolio of secured growth projects. The Company’s outlook for DCF/share through 2020 and its target credit metrics remain unchanged as a result of these asset sales.Enbridge will continue to hold its long-haul regulated natural gas transmission assets which include the Westcoast transmission system in British Columbia and the Alliance pipeline that carries natural gas from western Canada to the Chicago market.Brookfield intends to maintain the Canadian G&P workforce and anticipates that they will remain with the G&P business upon transaction close.“I’d like to thank our colleagues at the G&P Business, who have done an exceptional job building and expanding a substantial gathering and processing franchise while operating the business safely and reliably day-in and day-out,” added Monaco. Enbridge said it will work with Brookfield to ensure a safe and orderly transition of the G&P business’ operations. RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor and Torys LLP acted as legal advisors to Enbridge on the transaction. CALGARY, A.B. – Enbridge has announced the sale of its Canadian natural gas assets including those in Northeast B.C.The company said that its natural gas gathering and processing business in the Montney, Peace River Arch, Horn River and Liard basins in B.C. and Alberta are being sold to Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners for a cash purchase price of CAN $4.31 billion, subject to customary closing adjustments and receipt of regulatory approvals.The business includes 19 natural gas processing plants and liquids handling facilities, with a total operating capacity of 3.3 Bcf/d and 3,550 km of natural gas gathering pipelines.
As for the peas, Kassian says they will be a bit delayed as they need more sun and time to dry up and mature before they are ready to harvest.According to Kassian, some of the fields were hit hard by the unfavourable weather as some had wet spots and even crops knocked down.Environment Canada is calling for mostly warmer temperatures and sun this week, with a chance of showers on the weekend. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the amounts of rain experienced for most of the summer in Fort St. John and surrounding areas, it looks like farmers are now getting a break in the weather.Kelly Kassian, manager of Viterra in Fort St. John, the crops and fields were affected by the steady rain but are now ready for harvest, starting on canola by the end of this week.“They didn’t mature as fast as we wanted them to because of all the rain and everything but they’re coming along now. We should have some canola start getting swathed down by the end of this week.”
New Delhi: Retail inflation jumped to a four-month high of 2.57 per cent in February due to costlier food articles, according to official data released Tuesday. The Consumer Price Index-based inflation for January was revised down to a 19-month low of 1.97 per cent from earlier estimate of 2.05 per cent. The retail inflation number for February 2019 is the highest since October 2018 when it stood at 3.38 per cent, the data released by the Central Statistics Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) showed. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepFood inflation was lower at (-) 0.66 per cent in February against 3.26 per cent in the same month last year. The retail inflation in February 2018 was at 4.44 per cent. On monthly basis, consumer food price index moved up by 0.15 per cent in February against January 2019. Protein-rich items such as meat & fish and eggs witnessed a quick rise prices at 5.92 per cent and 0.86 per cent respectively in February. Prices of cereal and products went up at 1.32 per cent. Prices of fruits (-4.62 per cent) and vegetables (- 7.69 per cent) continued to decline in February. In January, the prices declined 4.18 per cent and 13.32 per cent respectively. In fuel and light category, the rate of price rise slowed to 1.24 per cent from 2.20 per cent in January.
Beijing: Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, on Tuesday denied that restrictions imposed by the US on its products and supplies will affect the roll-out of 5G technology. In an interview with Chinese state media, Ren said that the decision by some American tech companies to stop selling components and software to Huawei “doesn’t mean much” and added that the company was already prepared to deal with the ban, reports Efe news. “We can make chips as good as those made by US companies, but it does not mean that we will not buy chips from them,” Ren said. Huawei’s founder acknowledged that the clash with the US was inevitable owing to the company’s interest in becoming one of the global leaders of the 5G technology and said that “others will definitely not be able to catch up with Huawei in 5G technologies for two or three years”. “But in our business (5G), Huawei is at the forefront, though when it comes to comparison between countries, we are still far behind the United States,” he added. The Huawei executive also said that his company will not exclude US chips and that Huawei was “very grateful” to the US companies including tech multinational IBM. “Instead, we should grow together. But if there is a supply shortage, we have a backup. In the “peace period”, half of our chips are from the US companies and half from Huawei. We cannot be isolated from the world,” he said. When asked how long the crisis surrounding the company would last, Ren said the question should be directed at US President Donald Trump. “Blame should be directed at US politicians, not companies,” he said. Ren’s remarks comes a day after the US Department of Commerce issued a temporary general license lifting the ban on Huawei and its subsidiaries to prepare for a transition. The Department said in a statement that the decision was taken to grant “operators time to make other arrangements and the Department space to determine the appropriate long term measures for Americans and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services”. Last week, the US included Huawei in a list of companies and individuals that would be denied access to US technologies. As an outcome of this ban, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has revoked Huawei’s Android license, which means the Chinese telecom giant will lose access to updates to the Android operating system except those available through an open source license and also no longer have access to Google’s proprietary services such as Google Maps. Huawei on Monday said it “will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally”. “We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” the company said in a statement. US semi-conductor companies such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx Inc and Broadcom and Germany’s Infineon Technologies as well as American chip manufacturing firms including Micron Technology and Western Digital will also stop supplying components to Huawei in compliance with Trump’s order, which could delay the global roll-out of 5G networks.
The only question about Mariano Rivera’s candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame was whether he would be the first player voted in unanimously by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which serves as the primary gatekeeper for entry to the Hall. On Tuesday, the great New York Yankees pitcher became the first player to appear on 100 percent of writers’ ballots, with all 425 voters finally agreeing on something: that Rivera should be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York.With his ballot sweep, the fearsome closer did something unmatched by even the greatest of his starting pitcher brethren, including Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Tom Seaver and Randy Johnson — all of whom topped 97 percent. Three years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. came the closest to complete consensus when he received 99.32 percent of the vote — just three ballots short.Rivera, eligible for the first time this year, was joined by three other inductees — the late Roy Halladay (85.4 percent of ballots), longtime Seattle designated hitter Edgar Martinez (85.4 percent) and former Oriole and Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina (76.7 percent).1Voters are limited to 10 names per ballot. Based on ballots that had been made public before the announcement, we were expecting that Rivera, Halladay and Martinez would gain entry to the Hall. As of our last model run,2Conducted just a few minutes before the announcement, when 232 ballots had been revealed. we thought Mussina was just a borderline case. Mike Mussina76.774.5-2.2 Jeff Kent22.214.171.124 Mariano Rivera100.0%100.0%0.0% Manny Ramirez22.825.02.2 The Mussina miss notwithstanding, our projections were pretty accurate, with an average error of 2.1 percentage points; only the totals of Halladay and Larry Walker were off by more than 4 points.3Shoutout to Jason Sardell, whose alternative model did even better, with an average error of 0.9 points.Appearing fifth, sixth and seventh in the actual voting were Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Schilling jumped to 60.9 percent from 51.2 percent last year. He has three years of eligibility remaining on the BBWAA ballot. Meanwhile, Bonds and Clemens, whose careers were tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, could only inch up on a crowded field. Clemens received 59.5 percent, up from 57.3 percent last year. Bonds received 59.1 percent of the vote, up from 56.4 percent in 2018. Their glacial rate of improvement means they will be hard-pressed to hit the required 75 percent in their three remaining years on the ballot; they appear to have hit a plateau. Lance Berkman1.21.0-0.2 Roger Clemens59.563.33.8 Curt Schilling60.961.10.2 Edgar Martinez85.482.3-3.1 Billy Wagner16.717.60.9 Omar Vizquel42.841.9-0.9 Andruw Jones7.510.42.9 Sammy Sosa126.96.36.199 Barry Bonds188.8.131.52 Fred McGriff39.843.43.6 Andy Pettitte9.95.9-4.0 Todd Helton16.519.53.0 Gary Sheffield13.614.40.8 Michael Young2.11.3-0.8 The Hall of Fame has four new membersActual results of the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame election vs. our finalpre-announcement projection Miguel Tejada1.20.8-0.4 Larry Walker54.662.27.6 Scott Rolen184.108.40.206 Roy Halladay85.491.25.8 PlayerActual ResultFinal Model Projection*Error *With 232 public ballots known.Sources: Baseball Writers’ Association of America, RYAN THIBODAUX’S BASEBALL HALL OF FAME VOTE TRACKER Roy Oswalt0.90.90.0 Walker, however, is rapidly trending toward Cooperstown: He ranked eighth in voting percentage (54.6 percent), making a substantial leap from 34.1 percent last year. Next year will be his final year of eligibility, and he’s still 20 points short of election — usually an impossible task. But this year proved that Walker is capable of such a massive gain, so his candidacy is likely to provide genuine suspense next year.But Tuesday was headlined by Rivera making history.Anyone familiar with baseball knows of Rivera’s excellence. There is a strong case to be made that he is the greatest reliever in history. The 13-time All-Star is the sport’s all-time saves leader with 652. He was a part of five World Series championship teams in New York. In addition to his regular-season dominance, he has the lowest career postseason ERA (0.70) and most playoff saves (42) in MLB history.And when using advanced measures to evaluate performance, Rivera stands out not just as a great relief pitcher — only Dennis Eckersley ranks higher among relievers in the JAWS metric that combines career and peak performance to evaluate Hall candidates — but as an all-time great pitcher regardless of role.His ERA+ — which adjusts a pitcher’s earned run average for ballpark and run environment, enabling comparison between eras — ranks No. 1 all-time among all pitchers (minimum 1,000 innings).Traditional statistics like wins and saves are increasingly viewed as poor measures to evaluate performance because they award or penalize pitchers for many factors out of their control. But even the most common new-age measure to evaluate performance, wins above replacement, is inadequate to measure reliever performance because it is in part volume-based, and relievers pitch fewer innings than starters. Better measures to evaluate the performance of relief pitchers are statistics like win probability added, which tallies the change in win expectancy between plate appearance, and a context-neutral version of win probability added (WPA/leverage index).For instance, Rivera is 77th all-time in Baseball-Reference.com pitching WAR. But he ranks fifth all-time in WPA (56.6), trailing only Clemens, Lefty Grove, Maddux and Warren Spahn. In other words, he’s among the elite of the elite.Of course, relievers face a greater proportion of high-leverage situations than starting pitchers do; protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning is more critical than pitching with a one-run lead in, say, the second. But even when employing a context-neutral win probability (WPA/leverage index), Rivera still ranks as the 21st-most win-adding pitcher of all time and is 13 spots higher than the next reliever (Hoyt Wilhelm at No. 34).Rivera combined elite command with an almost unhittable pitch: his cut fastball. Though just a portion of his career took place during the pitch-tracking era, he ranks second to Dodgers stopper Kenley Jansen in the run value of his cutter.Rivera is just the eighth pitcher to work primarily as reliever to be enshrined. The others are Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Eckersley, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith. Three have joined the Hall since last year — Rivera, Smith (veterans committee, 2019) and Hoffman (BBWAA vote, 2018) — and the number of relievers figures to grow over time as bullpens are used in an ever-greater share of innings. Last season, relievers accounted for a record 40.1 percent of innings.The only position group with fewer players in the Hall than relief pitchers is the designated hitter group. Despite not playing a position in the field for much of his career, Martinez’s bat was so dominant that he made it to the Hall in his final year on the ballot.Martinez’s career OPS+4OPS+ considers a hitter’s overall ability but adjusts to account for ballpark and run-scoring environment. An OPS+ of 100 is league average. of 147 is tied for the 42nd-best mark of all time. Martinez joins Frank Thomas and Harold Baines — another 2019 veterans committee selection5Baines, a controversial pick in December, had a career OPS+ of 121, tied for 340th place. — as the only players in the Hall to play more than half their games at DH. Thomas ranks 52nd all time in batting WAR (73.9), while Martinez ranks 80th (68.4).Halladay, who died in a 2017 plane crash, tied with Bob Feller for 41st in all-time pitching WAR (65.5). He tied for 37th in all-time ERA+ (131). The two-time Cy Young Award winner was the ultimate workhorse for his era, leading his league in innings pitched four times and exceeding 230 innings six times. He’s also the only player other than Don Larsen to throw a no-hitter in the postseason.Mussina pitched in hitter-favorable ballparks and during the high scoring “steroid era” of the late 1990s to early 2000s. While his traditional stats might not seem elite, his career WAR (83.0) and JAWS (63.8) totals rank ahead of the average (73.4 WAR, 61.8 JAWS) for Hall of Fame pitchers.A few years ago, it was hard to imagine pitchers like Mussina, with a 3.68 ERA before adjustments, or Halladay, with barely 200 wins, getting into the Hall of Fame. And it was probably unthinkable that anyone — let alone a relief pitcher — would be elected unanimously. But the Hall of Fame electorate is changing, and that seems to be increasing both the quality and quantity of the players being elected.