Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is prepared to go back on his decision to retire from international football if he is picked for the friendlies against England and Argentina next month.The 40-year-old had called it a day in November immediately after Italy’s astonishing failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup, ending a 20-year international career in which he made 175 appearances.However, on Monday Italy’s interim coach Luigi Di Biagio said that it was not right that Buffon’s international career should end with the infamous 0-0 draw against Sweden which condemned them to a first World Cup absence for 60 years.“I had thought about going on holiday for a few days with my family, but when the national team needs you, you must be present and not desert them,” replied Buffon during the programme Tiki Taka broadcast on the Mediaset network.“There’s nothing to add to Di Biagio’s words other than I feel a sense of responsibility and loyalty which I must give to the national team in this transitional moment,” added the 2006 World Cup winner.“I repeat, it’s a way of showing loyalty and a sense of responsibility towards Italy. A new national team is being born and the first games are not comfortable ones because we will face Argentina and England.“I think that any experienced player can be useful at the start, even if it’s just to give advice to the young ones.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesOn average, California cities have warmed by 2 degrees in the past 50 years, he said, and the impact goes beyond the thermometer. “During the summer, when you have higher urban temperatures, that increases the demand for air conditioning, adds to the discomfort of citizens and increases the amount of smog,” Akbari said. Electricity use spikes, water is in greater demand and even milk production at dairy farms slows, said Jay Golden, director of the National Center for Excellence on SMART Innovations for Urban Climate and Energy at Arizona State University. “Ten, 15 years ago, when we were starting this research area, basically no one was talking about it,” Akbari said. But with temperatures this summer reaching record levels in many California cities, more attention is being drawn to the problem. There are, fortunately, some solutions, if city planners get to work fast, experts say. • Photo Gallery: 07/30: Native plants As development replaces Southern California’s natural vegetation and soil, more of the sun’s heat is absorbed, creating urban heat islands. In the megalopolis the region has become, with housing stretching solidly from the desert to the Pacific Ocean, daily temperatures can be boosted anywhere from 3 to 7 degrees. “Los Angeles’ downtown area has heated up since the 1930s by something like 6 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Hashem Akbari, an engineer at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and head of its heat island research program. Cities are about 50 percent pavement and 25 percent roof area, Akbari said – two surfaces that can be replaced with materials that reflect more of the more sun’s heat instead of holding it long into the night. “There has been a lot of effort by manufacturers to try to bring cool roofing products into the market,” he said. Until about five years ago, a cool roof meant one that was painted white. Now many researchers and labs – including the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories – have been working together to create reflective roofing surfaces in a variety of colors and materials. For materials such as metal and clay tiles, efforts have been quite successful, without any significant price increase. Less successful have been efforts to engineer more reflective asphalt shingles, which are used on most houses, and which also cost about 8 percent more when more reflective, Akbari said. The benefits could be enormous. For every extra percentage point of sunlight the roof reflects, its surface will be about 1 degree cooler. That alone could reduce air-conditioning bills for a house by about $100 a year not to mention reducing the heat generated by air-conditioning units in use. Another avenue of research is into lighter colored pavements. Concrete, for example, is more than twice as reflective as asphalt. Narrower streets are also being encouraged in new developments, along with the planting of more shade trees. “Trees are probably the best thing we can do to reduce the heat island,” said Heather Merenda, a planner in Santa Clarita’s environmental services division. It’s a delicate balance, though. Heavily watered landscaping can also absorb heat, said climatologist Bill Patzert of Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He favors native, drought-tolerant plants. In rapidly growing Santa Clarita and a number of other cities, new parking lots are required to include shade trees. But most cities in the Los Angeles area have not passed ordinances to decrease the heat island effect, said Dwight Steinert, director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals, though change is coming. “We’ll probably start seeing it in city council meetings and board of supervisor meetings and at the state level too,” said Josh Meyer, a project manager at the nonprofit Local Government Commission, which advocates environmentally friendly planning. Interest had waned during the cool summers following the 2000-01 California energy crisis, he said, but with the recent statewide heat wave, interest is returning “in a big way.” firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GLENDORA – At one of a few scattered Los Angeles-area press conferences being organized by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign, Glendora community leaders gathered Monday to denounce a tax increase they say gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides wants to put in place. The claim is that Angelides would require car-repair customers to pay a sales tax on labor costs in addition to the tax already paid for parts, a move they said would break the backs of local auto shops. A spokesman for the Angelides campaign called the tax a fabrication by the Schwarzenegger camp and said it “absolutely” will not happen. A Schwarzenegger spokesman fired back that the Automotive Service Councils of California has been unable to get these same assurances. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Such a tax could have a “devastating impact,” said ASCCA member Gene Morrill, who also owns a car-repair shop in Glendora. “It is going to mean more paperwork, more bureaucracy, and perhaps more unsafe cars and more smog, because people will put off repairs because it will be that much more expensive,” Morrill said. He was joined at the press conference by Glendora Councilman Ken Herman and D.J. Jafari, president of the Glendora Chamber of Commerce. “As a small-business owner, we can’t afford to pay any more taxes,” said Jafari, who owns a Glendora auto-repair shop. “I’d have to pass it on to my customers, and that won’t make them happy.” email@example.com
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“We will now work to resolve the remaining issues as quickly as possible and to put the proper remedial measures in place to ensure that this never happens again.” Shares of Apple shed 57 cents to $74.81 in after-market trading after closing up $1.30, or 1.8 percent, on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Wednesday. Apple, one of the most prominent companies caught in the nationwide stock options mishandling scandal, said its investigation into the matter did not uncover any misconduct by any member of Apple’s current management team, but that it did raise “serious concerns” regarding the actions of two former officers. The company did not name the two officers but announced that Anderson, who served as the company’s chief financial officer from 1996 until 2004, had resigned from the company board. Apple said it will provide all details of their actions to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The probe found irregularities in the recording of stock option grants made on 15 dates between 1997 and 2002, the company said. The grants made had dates that preceded the approval of those grants. More than 100 other companies nationwide are entangled in similar stock-option trouble. In most of those instances, companies have traced their problems to “backdating” issues. Under this practice, insiders could make the rewards more lucrative by retroactively pinning the option’s exercise price to a low point in the stock’s value. Apple has said it will have to restate some earnings as a result. The looming restatements threaten to wipe out some of the profits generated during the most prosperous stretch in Apple’s 30-year history as millions of consumers snapped up the company’s ubiquitous iPod. Apple has reported profits totaling $3.1 billion during the past four years. The company’s special committee conducting the investigation examined more than 650,000 e-mails and documents, and conducted interviews with more than 40 current and former employees, directors and advisers.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN JOSE- Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs apologized Wednesday for the company’s past stock-option practices after a three-month internal investigation raised concerns over how some grants were handled between 1997 and 2002. The iPod and Macintosh computer maker also announced the resignation of former Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson from the company’s board of directors. The company said Jobs knew that some grants had been given favorable dates “in a few instances,” but he did not benefit from them and was not aware of the accounting implications. “I apologize to Apple’s shareholders and employees for these problems, which happened on my watch,” Jobs said in a statement.
17 August 2012South African cyclist Jay Thomson was in winning form as the Tour of Portugal got under way on Thursday. He took the honours on the opening stage of the race, which gave him the overall lead after a brave early move.Racing for the American United Healthcare team, Thomson worked hard for his victory, surviving a 174km-long breakaway to claim a solo victory in a time of five hours, 15 minutes and four seconds for the 200km leg from Termas Monfortinho to Oliveira do Hospital.Thomson was also the first cyclist to summit all six of the day’s categorised climbs, which put him in the lead in the King of the Mountains’ classification.BreakAfter only 26 kilometres, the South African and Spaniard Luis Mas Bonet (Burgos BH/Castilla e Leon) established a successful two-man break.At one point their lead had grown to over 15 minutes, but a concerted chase, led by the Portuguese Carmin Prio team, saw the peloton eventually reel in a tiring Mas Bonet. However, the pack failed to catch Thomson, who won by 40 seconds.The 12-day tour carries a 2.1 International Cycling Union grading, which is one level below the Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain.Two wins in two daysThomson’s victory made it two wins in two days for South Africans after MTN Qhubeka’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg claimed the honours in the opening 2.2km individual time trial prologue stage on Wednesday.Team Bonitas is also competing in the Tour of Portugal, giving a strong South African presence in the event, which has attracted 17 teams from five continents.The early successes on the Tour of Portugal are a further indication that South African cycling is in rude health.Top South African resultsBurry Stander recently finished fifth in the cross-country mountain bike competition at the London Olympic Games.His wife, Cherise, claimed a stage win in the Route de France, the women’s version of the Tour de France, while Lise Olivier, riding with Stander on the Lotto- Belisol team, finished second in the overall classification.Pietermaritzburg is set to host the UCI World Tour Final next weekend, which will give South Africans another chance to make an impact on the world stage, when the best amateur age group riders in the world go head-to-head.With the country’s strong culture of mass participation in long distance cycling events, it is likely to produce a number of world champions.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) passed the House on December 19. However, the Senate parliamentarian determined that several provisions violated the reconciliation rules. At press time, a Senate vote was still expected. The bill will then go back to the House on December 20. President Trump has said he will sign the sweeping overhaul of the Tax Code as soon as it reaches the White House.House Passes Tax OverhaulThe House approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act despite unified opposition from Democrats. Twelve Republicans also voted no.Shortly after the House vote, the procedural problem with the bill developed in the Senate. Several provisions, including an excise tax on universities, appeared to violate the reconciliation rule (the so-called “Byrd” rule). At press time, Senate Republicans were likely to remove the provisions and go to a vote.Reaction“Today’s the day we fundamentally reshape America’s tax code into one that is simple, fair, and focused on helping the American people,” House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady R-Tex., tweeted. “Our country will stand on stronger footing so we can continue to lead for generations to come,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted.Changes to the state and local tax income tax deduction cost the GOP some Republican votes in the House. “The partial elimination of the deduction effective January 1, 2018 impacts New York families more severely than those in other states,” Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., said. “Due to pressure of several members like me, bill was improved, but not enough for a significant number of my constituents,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., tweeted.“The bill writes benefits for hard-working Americans in disappearing ink while the breaks for powerful corporations are etched in stone,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said. “Corporations will still get to fully deduct their state and local taxes, but families are limited with an insufficient, paltry cap,” Wyden said.Tax ExtendersIn related news, the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) is reportedly preparing legislation to extend a number of expired tax extenders. Since 2016, a number of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have urged Congress to take up the expired energy extenders. The expired incentives encourage renewable fuels, biodiesel fuels and nuclear power. The biodiesel fuel credits reward producers and blenders. There are also tax incentives for small wind turbines and other fuel cells.The SFC bill could also address some expired non-energy incentives. These include the deduction for higher education tuition and fees and the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not extend the higher education tuition and fees deduction.An extenders package could be attached to an omnibus spending bill. The temporary funding bill for the federal government will expire this week.Conference Committee Report of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1), HRRepNo. 115-466JCT: A Distribution of Returns by the Size of the Tax Change for the Conference Agreement for HR 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs ActLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
The House of Representatives voted down yesterday legislation which, critics say, would have effectively hamstrung endangered species protection in the United States. The measure, part of a larger appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior, would ban the federal government from naming new endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in 2012.The bill would have also blocked the feds from designating new “critical habitats,” tracks of specially managed lands that are important to the recovery of struggling species, under the act. Proponents of the measure contended that the ban would stymie environmental groups from suing the feds in order to see new species make the endangered list. “This bill will allow the biologists to get back to work recovering species, rather than responding to court cases,” said supporter Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) in floor debate. Opponents, however, said that the measure would cut off a number of imperiled species from basic protections. “Without these important preliminary steps of listing and critical habitat designation, it would be impossible to develop a scientifically valid and legally defensible recovery plan for declining species,” said Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA) earlier this week. 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Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), chair of the House interior and environment appropriations subcommittee, a main proponent of the defeated measure, said he intended to send the feds a message that the Endangered Species Act had gone off course and needed to be righted. Like other supporters, he said the act was an example of the government exceeding its congressionally mandated powers. “The Endangered Species Act has become not so much about saving species as it has been about controlling land and water,” Simspon said in floor debate. He pointed to the case of the slickspot peppergrass. In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the grass, native to Idaho, as threatened under the act after its populations showed signs of moderate decline. Debate had since erupted over whether conservationists could limit cattle grazing on certain Bureau of Land Management lands due to the presence of slickspot peppergrass and other sensitive species, the Associated Press reported yesterday. A federal judge ruled last week that cattle could graze on such lands with certain restrictions. Simpson said on Tuesday that the grass’ inclusion as a threatened species under the act “is used to prevent cattle grazing on public lands. … That’s the only reason that the slickspot peppergrass is really listed.” He also pointed to what he views as the act’s slim success rate: While the feds have added about 1400 species to the endangered and threatened list, only 21 of them have done well enough to come back off. The successful effort to strip out Simpson’s measure sends a strong message in support of protecting the country’s struggling plants and animals, said Noah Greenwald, with the Center for Biological Diversity in Portland, Oregon. But it’s still not clear how many new species will make it to the endangered list in 2012, he added. Congress usually sets a cap on how much the Fish and Wildlife Service, which presides over most endangered species decisions, can spend on new listings. It didn’t this year since Simpson and his colleagues aimed to slash those listings entirely. But the wider Department of the Interior and related agencies appropriations bill, H.R. 2584, would cut the budgets of many environmental offices across the board in 2012. Under the legislation, the House Appropriations Committee says, Fish and Wildlife stands to lose $315 million from its current spending levels. The ban on new endangered species listings is not the first measure under the appropriations bill to draw fire. (The bill has yet to clear the full House.) One especially controversial provision added to the bill in committee would limit the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. A second measure, which could speed efforts to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list, survived a vote to strike it from the bill Wednesday. Both measures will likely face opposition in the Democratically controlled Senate.
A fossil sea turtle from Colombia is at least 120 million years old. Scientists have termed it as the world’s oldest sea turtle. The almost completely preserved skeleton from the Cretaceous period, with a length of nearly two metres, shows all of the characteristic traits of modern marine turtles.”Santanachelys gaffneyi is the oldest known sea turtle” — this sentence from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is no longer up to date. “We described a fossil sea turtle from Colombia that is about 25 million years older,” said Edwin Cadena from Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.”The turtle described by us as Desmatochelys padillai sp. originates from Cretaceous sediments and is at least 120 million years old,” Cadena pointed out.The fossilised remains of the ancient reptiles were discovered in Colombia in 2007. Cadena and his colleague examined the almost complete skeleton, four additional skulls and two partially preserved shells, and they placed the fossils in the turtle group Chelonioidea, based on various morphological characteristics.Turtles in this group dwell in tropical and subtropical oceans; among their representatives are the modern Hawksbill Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle of turtle soup fame. “Based on the animals’ morphology and the sediments they were found in, we are certain that we are indeed dealing with the oldest known fossil sea turtle,” Cadena noted.The findings were detailed in the journal PaleoBios.
The White House is hosting a summit today focused on “upskilling” Americans with participation from approximately 150 employers, unions, joint ventures, academic institutions and technology providers like Glassdoor. Glassdoor is included in the official White House Fact Sheet.Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman, who wrote a blog post featured on the U.S. Department of Labor Blog, is participating in the summit, alongside Vice President Biden, who lauded Glassdoor’s tools and resources in his federal report Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity last summer. Additional participants include: Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.The upskilling initiative highlights employers’ career advancement programs that help lower-level, front-line workers develop new skills that can help them move into higher paying, more senior roles. Hundreds of employers across the country have made commitments to upskill employees and/or recruits.Glassdoor is supporting this initiative with existing tools and launching a new tool to further efforts towards upskilling Americans.Introducing On-the-Job Training (OJT) FinderGlassdoor has developed an easy-to-use, interactive map-based tool that allows job seekers to browse positions offering on-the-job training, such as apprenticeships or trainee opportunities, in which they can learn new skills while getting paid. Conception for On-the-Job Training Finder happened during a Jobs Data Jam at the White House last summer. To coincide with the event, Glassdoor launched the OJT Finder yesterday. A version has already been included within the White House’s Ready to Work page, and on the Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship website.The tool makes it easy to search for OJT opportunities by location, be it in one’s hometown or nearby communities. The roles include apprenticeships, those registered with the Department of Labor and state agencies, in addition to other trainee roles. Opportunities range from requiring no experience at all, to a college degree with some prior work experience. Salaries range from $20,000 to more than $50,000 with some opportunities showing career progression paths with an earning potential of more than $100,000 per year. Check out Glassdoor’s OJT Finder and start searching for OJT positions.NEW: Pledges & Certifications In addition, Glassdoor introduced Benefits Reviews & Ratings last summer, and since then thousands of companies have verified the benefits they offer employees. Today, Glassdoor is giving employers another valuable resource to distinguish themselves and stand out, based on programs they offer and/or employment pledges they have made.Any employer may verify Pledges & Certifications and/or Benefits by simply registering for a Free Employer Account, which also allows employers to post real-time Company Updates to their Glassdoor profiles to reach job seekers and employees. For a dynamic list of employers offering each of these, simply click on links below:Veteran HiringPay EqualityTech HiringCareer AdvancementSocial ResponsibilityDiversityRegistered ApprenticeshipsEach verification an employer makes will appear on its profile in the right column of the Benefits tab.For more information about how employers can take advantage of this resource, visit the Glassdoor for Employers Blog.ACCESS OJT FINDER: If you’re interested in integrating the Glassdoor OJT Finder in your website, simply register for a Glassdoor API account and a representative will send the embed code via email.As Glassdoor continues its mission to help people everywhere find jobs and companies they love, we are proud to work aligned with the White House to do our part in upskilling Americans.
How would you like to get a raise before you have the job offer? It is possible, and candidates are doing it right now. Employers are not averse to increasing pay packages to secure the right candidate.If you have the kind of specialist skill or unique experience that employers are desperately seeking right now, it could pay you to negotiate over the starting salary for a new job. Here’s how:1. Benchmark your value. Check vacancies that require your skills and experience, and read relevant trade press articles and statements by recruiters that specialise in your sector. If it turns out that you are a desirable commodity, you stand a good chance of being able to negotiate up the salary quoted in vacancies.[Related: Employers, use Glassdoor’s new tool, Know Your Worth(tm) to be sure your salaries are competitive in the industry.]2. Apply for jobs as normal, but try not to get involved in discussions about salary at initial interviews. Asking about salary before you have been offered the job is usually risky because it looks as though you are only interested in the money. For those who plan to negotiate the salary upwards, it’s an even bigger mistake. You don’t want the employer to rule you out at an early stage because they fear you will be expensive.3. Meanwhile, prepare your case. Start with the current pay rates for employees like you, and then factor in the extra value you bring based on your special skills, experience, network of contacts, visibility within your sector and greatest successes, expressed in terms of financial benefit to your employer. Work out the amount of extra salary you ideally want, and have solid evidence that shows you are worth it. Base your reasons on the benefits you will bring to the new employer, not the benefits for you.4. Then work out the amount you will settle for as a compromise. Look at the whole remuneration package, including benefits. If they will not pay the total salary you are looking for, they may be persuaded to make up the shortfall in increased benefits so as to bring the whole package up to a level that suits you.5. Wait until they offer you the job. Simon Horton, author of Negotiation Mastery, says, “You are strongest when they have offered you the job but not named a figure. Then get in first with a high figure, otherwise they will start low and it will be hard to negotiate upwards.” State your ideal figure. You may be lucky; they may simply accept.6. If they demur, ask why and listen carefully to their reasons. Be prepared to explain why you are asking for more money. Again, stress the benefits for the employer. It will make you a stronger negotiator if you do not see it as an oppositional process. Horton says: “If you enter a deal with a win-lose approach, you will invoke a win-lose approach from the other party.” Realise that you are both on the same side – they want you as an employee and you want their job. Then it just becomes a process of working out how you can achieve your mutual goal – both sides win.7. Have a plan B, such as taking a job with another employer or staying with your existing job. If you have an alternative offer, it may be worth mentioning it. Whether you choose to do this or not, the knowledge that you have an alternative plan will make you a more confident negotiator.8. Be flexible, but do not compromise too soon or too easily. Be prepared to give them time to think, and to ask for time to think yourself.9. If all else fails, be prepared to walk away.