Skoda shows locomotive for the third millennium

first_imgCZECH REPUBLIC: On July 24 Skoda Transportation’s Plzen works unveiled the long-awaited prototype for a fleet of 20 type S 109E electric locomotives ordered by Czech Railways. Marking Skoda Transportation’s re-emergence as a major player in the European rail industry, the triple-voltage 200 km/h 109E is the first mainline electric locomotive design from the company since 1994. Skoda has built more than 5 550 locomotives since 1927, but suffered a serious drop in orders after the demise of the Comecon system. The company has since recovered, concentrating mainly on trams. Managing Director Tomás Krsek said the 109E is Skoda’s ‘locomotive for the third millennium’. Suitable for 25 kV, 15 kV and 3 kV DC, it meets all the needs of the modern market, including the European interoperability standards which have developed rapidly in recent years. This led to delays in production of the prototype, with the body being revised to meet changed crashworthiness requirements. Porsche Design developed the styling of the locomotive, which Skoda says contains 30 km of cable and more than 10 000 electrical connections. CD placed a KC2·5bn order for the 20 Class 380 locomotives in April 2004, funded through Eurofima. The first locomotives are expected to begin hauling passenger trains early next year, with regular service on international routes from December 2009. Deliveries will be completed in 2010, and certification will be obtained for use in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Railway Gazette International is the official international media partner of InnoTrans. Read about the 109E in the September issue.last_img read more

Five Recommendations to Power-Up Employee Communication Trending

first_imgHow would you like to keep track of trending topics within your distributed workforce at any given moment in time? This valuable tool would give the chief human resource officer the ability to apprise the CEO of internal workforce trends.  Important workforce and operational decisions could be made quickly by taking advantage of this Internet technology. Having served as a chief human resource officer for a large private energy company located in several countries, the ability to keep track of trending workforce and operational issues would have made the employee survey process, including flash surveys, look like the Pony Express.  I think we can agree that real time information is extremely valuable. Twitter is a company that has tapped the power of instantaneous information. Twitter users can Tweet micro-blogs with up to 140 characters to followers quickly and easily. According to Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, on BusinessInsider.com in September 2011, Twitter had 100 million users, 400 million monthly unique visitors, up to 230 million tweets sent per day, and three million websites had the Tweet button on their sites. Twitter users now spread news and information instantaneously around the world in seconds. During recent major international events, political unrest and natural disasters, Twitter has been the source of instantaneous news for media and the digital population. So how does micro-blogging relate to the C-Suite? If you want to understand your workforce and your operation on a daily basis, we must rid ourselves of social media paranoia.  Social media will evolve and likely become faster, better, cheaper, easier, while increasing the numbers of savvy participants on this worldwide digitized communication platform. Below are five recommendations to power-up employee communication trending within your organization: Determine your digital communication platform. Share company information frequently. Listen to employee comments and operational trends. Initiate changes based upon feedback and trends. Embrace the benefits freedom of communication brings.last_img read more

How to Hire Courageous People

first_imgIn The One-Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson present the “praise down/criticize up” model of management. This upends the traditional arrangement in which direct reports extol the virtues of their bosses, and bosses have the freedom to find fault with their direct reports. Blanchard and Johnson say that if companies are to succeed, their leaders must welcome disagreement, even — or especially — from their subordinates. Courageous employees make the lives HR managers easier because they are willing to address problems that would be easier to ignore. Next time, we’ll look at what it means to be a fair person and how to evaluate this quality in job applicants. The following questions and suggestions may be useful for evaluating a job candidate’s commitment to courage.  The questions are courtesy of Bill Treasurer, founder of Giant Leap Consulting, Inc., and author of Courage Goes to Work. This is the fourthin a series of blog posts on how to hire high-character people. The first three were How to Hire Honest People, How to Hire Accountable People, and How to Hire Caring People.   Tell me about a time when a direct report pushed back on you and felt strongly about a position. What was the situation? What did they say, and how did you react? A person who is willing to expose an injustice like fraud, sexual harassment, or bullying is one of the Good Ones– high-character employees whose commitment to honesty, care, courage, and other moral qualities benefits their employers, their clients, and themselves. “McKinsey & Company is one company that prides itself on constructive disagreement,” Bill notes, adding that in his experience this is a rare trait in corporate culture. Bill says managers who ask these questions should pay attention to how the respondents portray themselves. An authentic response will probably include a reference to vulnerability. Courage, Bill notes, isn’t the absence of fear; fear goes hand in hand with doing courageous things. Standing up to someone in a position of authority or influence, as Marvin did with the dishonest vendor, would be frightening for a lot of people. The best leaders, Bill observers, welcome principled pushback. “They don’t want to be surrounded by sycophants and yes people. Otherwise, they’ll be closed off from the good information they need to make good decisions. That’s why they do well to listen to people who have enough backbone to resist going along with dunderheaded ideas.” Having less power and authority may explain why direct reports don’t always speak up when something bothers them. But that doesn’t justify the practice. This question, Bill says, aims to get a sense of the type of leader the candidate is. Does he or she invite people to speak their minds? It takes a strong leader to admit to the possibility that he or she is mistaken or hasn’t thought a matter through thoroughly enough. Describe a time when you had to disagree with someone in authority and stand your ground. What was the situation? How did the other person react? What did you do? Dr. Bruce Weinstein is on Twitter at @TheEthicsGuy.  A more in-depth version of this post appears on The Ethics Guy Blog.last_img read more

SEC Announces Player Representatives For Every Program At Upcoming Media Days

first_imgSEC media days 2016 promotion.Twitter/@SEC_ChuckSEC Media Days kick off next Monday in Hoover, Ala., and the league has announced the three players from every program that will be in attendance.SEC Media Days student-athlete attendees announced https://t.co/e42R6125bB— SEC (@SEC) July 6, 2016The full list:Alabama:Jonathan Allen, Senior, DL O.J. Howard, Senior, TE Eddie Jackson, Senior, DBArkansas:Brooks Ellis, Senior, LB Jeremy Sprinkle, Senior, TE Deatrich Wise Jr., Senior, DLAuburn:Montravious Adams, Senior, DL Marcus Davis, Senior, WR Carl Lawson, Junior, DLFlorida: Jarrad Davis, Senior, LB Marcus Maye, Senior, DB David Sharpe, Junior, OLGeorgia:Jeb Blazevich, Junior, TE Brandon Kublanow, Senior, OL Dominick Sanders, Junior, SSKentucky:Jojo Kemp, Senior, RB Courtney Love, Junior, LB Jon Toth, Senior, CLSU:Leonard Fournette, Junior, RB Ethan Pocic, Senior, C Tre’Davious White, Senior, DBOle Miss:Evan Engram, Senior, TE D.J. Jones, Senior, DT Chad Kelly, Senior, QBMississippi State:Richie Brown, Senior, LB A.J. Jefferson, Senior, DL Fred Ross, Senior, WRMissouri:Sean Culkin, Senior, TE Charles Harris, Junior, DE Michael Scherer, Senior, LBSouth Carolina:Marquavius Lewis, Senior, DL Deebo Samuel, Sophomore, WR Mason Zandi, Senior, OLTennessee:Joshua Dobbs, Senior, QB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Senior, LB Cameron Sutton, Senior, DBTexas A&M:Myles Garrett, Junior, DB Trevor Knight, Senior, QB Ricky Seals-Jones, Junior, WRVanderbilt:Zach Cunningham, Junior, LB Oren Burks, Junior, LB Ralph Webb, Junior RB29 of the 42 players in attendance will be seniors. Interestingly, only three teams are sending their quarterbacks: Ole Miss (Chad Kelly), Tennessee (Josh Dobbs), and Texas A&M (Trevor Knight). 22 of the 42 players are on defense.SEC Media Days run from July 11 to July 14.[SEC Sports]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

Women Behind Canadian TV Catherine Reitman

first_img Login/Register With: This interview has been edited and condensed.The TV Junkies: You have done a lot of work as an actress, but was the goal always to work behind the scenes?Catherine Reitman: With my type of personality I knew early on that I needed to be in control of myself and have a say. Being an actress is a really unbelievable head trip because you’re going in and giving this performance, and even though you have control over your body and the performance, the takes they ultimately choose and how they cut the scene often can leave you feeling really unsatiated. The coverage might not be the one, the take is too big or it’s disappointing because it didn’t honor the work you had done on that character.Look I was raised around directors obviously, but even as an actress I remember feeling like I want to be able to choose my takes, direct myself and help others without feeling so powerless. Showrunning was a huge gift in that because even when there were other directors, I could step in respectfully and change things. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment How to balance who we are as women with a healthy home life is at the core of Catherine Reitman’s new CBC comedy series Workin’ Moms. It’s a story and show that was born directly from Reitman’s own experience, and during production of the show’s first season she was a woman literally trying to have it all. Reitman was living the exact plot of her show as a mother to two young boys who was also creating, starring, directing and writing a new comedy series about the struggles women face as they return to work after having children.The actress, who had roles on Blackish, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and How I Met Your Mother, created Workin’ Moms to open the dialogue around motherhood and share in the fact that no one is doing it perfectly. In order to help her, Reitman hired an all-female writers’ room for the show’s first season and put women in many other key behind the scenes positions such as director, editor and camera crew.She recently joined The TV Junkies as part of our Women Behind Canadian TV series to discuss why she felt responsible as showrunner to hire other women. Reitman also shares her experience and the struggles she faces as a woman looking to maintain her professional identity now that she has two small children at home. Twitter Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP GRANTS FULL PARDON TO FORMER CANADIAN MEDIA BARON CONRAD

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment In 2018 he published “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.”Trump has also pardoned Patrick Nolan, a former Republican leader of the California State Assembly. Nolan has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform since he spent more than two years in federal prison during the 1990s. WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has granted a full pardon to former Canadian media baron, Conrad Black, a former newspaper publisher who has written a flattering political biography of Trump.Black’s media empire once included the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Telegraph of London. He was convicted of fraud in 2007 and spent three and a half years in prison.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Black “has made tremendous contributions to business, and to political and historical thought.”last_img read more

BC chiefs pitch sustainability plan to Kinder Morgan stockholders

first_imgAPTN NewsIndigenous anti-pipeline leaders say they won the approval of Kinder Morgan’s stockholders during an annual meeting in Houston on Wednesday, after successfully pitching a sustainability plan.Chief Judy Wilson, of the Neskonlith Indian Band (also known as te Secwepemc Nation), presented the sustainability proposal on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement fund, a major Kinder Morgan shareholder.The resolution called on the Texas-based company to issue annual sustainability reports that would outline the company’s social, environmental and governance risks, including risks related to Indigenous rights.The majority of shareholders approved the plan, a move that marks an “unprecedented shift in stockholder sentiment,” according to the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.“There’s a new reality. There’s a changed political climate, landscape in British Columbia, Canada, with the recognition of our inherent title and rights,” said Wilson, following the meeting.“There’s a shift away from just mere consultation.”Wilson had planned the “emergency” trip to the annual meeting with a clear message for Kinder Morgan: The pipeline will not get built without the full consent of Indigenous communities.Wilson said Kinder Morgan has not adequately explained to its shareholders the “drastic risks of Indigenous opposition” to the pipeline.“It threatens our culture, our spirituality, and our identity, our way of life. That means, fundamentally, more to us than anything that they could offer us,” she said. “This means that there will be further delay and risk and uncertainty for the overall project and we wanted to carry that message to the shareholders today.”Lisa Lindsley, of advocacy group Sum of Us, said the sustainability proposal is non-binding, but now it’s up to shareholders to hold the company to account.The fact that shareholders voted in favour of the resolutions is “a clear indication that the investment community is tired of ignoring climate change and denying that the rights of Indigenous peoples and the impact on the environment of business practices of companies like Kinder Morgan have an impact on shareholder value,” she said.Wilson said Kinder Morgan did not adequately evaluate or disclose the risks to the project.Regardless, 43 First Nations and Metis communities have signed deals with the company to expand the pipeline.“Those federal reserve bands do not speak for the territory,” Wilson said. “We’re outside of the treaty processes that the government developed.”Meanwhile, federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr maintains the Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline expansion project will be built, despite legal challenges and Indigenous opposition.The federal government only has three weeks to convince Kinder Morgan that its pipeline will be built – or else the company will pull out by May [email protected]@lucyscholeylast_img read more

Canada China delay launch of trade talks as Trudeau continues state visit

first_imgBEIJING, China – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concluded talks with the Chinese premier in Beijing, but they were not able to announce the start of formal free trade talks.Trudeau said there wasn’t one particular issue that held up the talks, but he wants a progressive trade deal that includes addressing issues such as gender, the environment and labour.“China is very aware that this is a precedent as they move forward with the first trade deal with a G7 country and there is a desire that we get it right,” Trudeau said.“There is a coming together on the sense that this is going to be a big thing, not a small thing,” Trudeau added.Premier Li Keqiang lauded the “golden age” of relations with Canada and said China was amenable to continuing exploratory trade talks.But tempers flared on the Chinese side during Trudeau’s Monday visit to Beijing’s opulent Great Hall of the People.Chinese security guards blocked photographers from The Canadian Press and the Prime Minister’s Office by throwing up their hands and moving their bodies between them and Trudeau as he walked a red carpet next to Li.A Chinese foreign ministry official berated a diplomat from the Canadian embassy for not bringing the passports of the reporters travelling with Trudeau. The diplomat fired back at him in what was clearly an angry exchange.Afterwards, the Chinese side cancelled a planned press conference, Trudeau’s office said.The two countries have spent months in exploratory talks that have taxed China’s patience with Canada seeking to add provisions regarding the environment, human rights, labour and gender issues.Despite the fact the much anticipated next step in Canada-China trade relations failed to materialize, Li had kind words for Trudeau and Canada. Li said it was rare for him to have yearly leader’s meetings.“This is also a testament to the golden era of our bilateral relations. This also shows the importance you attach to the relationship between our two countries,” Li told Trudeau through a translator after their meeting.Later, at a separate event, Li said Canada and China had entered a “golden age.”Both leaders gave prepared remarks after their meeting, and later at a podium where their planned press conference never happened.Trudeau said they had “frank and direct” conversations and that he looked forward to deepening economic relations with China.“The opportunities for deepening our economic and people-to-people ties are tremendous,” Trudeau told Li, who was seated across a large boardroom table in a cavernous and ornate meeting room. Both leaders were each flanked by eight officials.“We had (a) candid and in-depth exchange of views just now and reached important common understanding,” said Li, without elaborating.The Trudeau government said it is still deciding whether to formally begin trade negotiations with China and has been pushing for a framework to broaden the talks to include the environment, governance, labour and gender issues.It recently released the results of consultations with more than 600 businesses, academics and civil society groups.Some of those surveyed expressed fears a freed trade pact with China could kill Canadian jobs and reduce their ability to compete against China’s lax labour standards, lower environmental requirements and state subsidies.China says a free trade deal would be purely economic, and should not include talk of human rights.Wenran Jiang, the Alberta based president of the Canada-China Energy and Environment Forum, said Monday’s inconclusive outcome should not have taken anyone by surprise.“The Chinese have patience and are pragmatic,” said Jiang, who returned from China last week after his sixth visit to the country this year.“They know if they push, it is not good. So the talks stay at the grand level – golden age,” he added.“We found out that the Chinese followed Canada and its internal debate closely. They are saying that an FTA will be much more in Canada’s interests, but they are not going to rush us or push us.”last_img read more

Cong telling lies by saying its govt conducted surgical strikes Modi

first_imgSikar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday challenged the Congress’ claim that its government too had conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control, accusing the party of telling “lies”.”Pehle upeksha, fir virodh, ab me too me too (They initially rejected it, then opposed and now saying ‘me too’ ),” Modi said at an election rally here. Modi’s remark came a day after the Congress came out with a list of six anti-terror surgical strikes carried out during the UPA term. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe UPA government carried out six surgical strikes — Bhattal sector in Poonch (June 19, 2008); Sharda sector, across Neelam River Valley, in Kel (August 30-September 1, 2011); Sawan Patra checkpost (January 6, 2013); Nazapir sector (July 27-28, 2013); Neelam Valley (August 6, 2013); and one on December 23, 2013, Congress spokesperson Rajeev Shukla had said in a press conference on Thursday. “They initially mocked and rejected surgical strike but people had faith in me and they stood by me,” he said. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadHe accused the Congress of telling “lies” and said the party does surgical strikes only “on paper”. A Congress leader had said four months back that three surgical strikes were conducted during Congress’ term and now another leader is saying six surgical strikes were carried out by the party, Modi said. “The number increased from three to six in four months. By the time elections are over, this number would increase to 600. What does it matter when the strike is on paper! Congress only speaks lies,” he said. Taking a dig at the Congress, Modi said, “I think such leaders play video games and perhaps enjoy surgical strikes thinking it of some game,” he said. He alleged that Congress leaders call the Indian Army chief a ‘gunda’ and the IAF chief a ‘lier’. They do not trust valour of our jawans and raise doubts on terrorist casualties, he said. “Do they intend to send ‘chadars’ to bury the terrorist? (Kya inka dafan karene ka congress ki tafar se chdar behjne ka irada hai kya),” he asked. The prime minister began his address by saying “main apka abhinandan karta hu (I greet you). He then mocked the Congress leaders saying they will go to the Election Commission complaining that Modi had taken the name of IAF pilot Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistan in February, and violated the model code of conduct.last_img read more

NFL Elo Ratings Are Back

A good deal of FiveThirtyEight’s NFL coverage last season used Elo ratings, a simple system that estimates each team’s skill level using only the final scores and locations of each game. For 2015, we’re not only bringing Elo back (with a few small tweaks — more on those in a moment), but we’ve also built a continually updating Elo NFL predictions page that allows you to see the latest rankings, plus win probabilities and point spreads for the current week of NFL games.How do our Elo ratings work? FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver wrote a detailed FAQ about the formula before the 2014 season, and almost all of it still applies. The only changes we made mirror the methodology we used when applying Elo to the entire history of the NBA back in May and involve what to do when new (expansion) teams are added to the closed circuit of a league.Originally, our Elo formula started each franchise (at its founding) with a rating of 1500, which also represented the rating of an average team. This worked in general, especially since it had been a long time since the league had expanded. But it’s not such a good assumption for handling expansion teams and analogous situations, such as mergers between different leagues. Eventually, we determined that new franchises should be given a rating of 1300,1Which is effectively the Elo level at which the NFL’s expansion teams have played since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. and in conjunction with this change, we also regress teams toward a mean of 1505 (instead of 1500) after every season.2More specifically, we regress each team’s rating to the mean by one-third. This helps balance against the low ratings assigned to expansion teams, though it does mean the average team no longer carries a 1500 Elo rating.3Because the NFL hasn’t added an expansion franchise since 2002, the average at the end of the 2014 regular season was 1,504.9.Aside from those slight adjustments, Elo still works exactly the same way it did last season: Teams gain and lose ground based on the final score of each game and how unexpected the result was in the eyes of the pregame ratings. Under Elo, teams pick up where they left off: The initial team rankings for 2015 are by definition the same as last season’s end-of-year rankings,4Had our tweaked version of Elo been in place at the end of last season. only more compressed because of the regression toward the mean.Going into Week 1, that means the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are once again the NFL’s highest-rated teams, albeit with lower Elo ratings than when they faced off last season in one of the strongest championship matchups in NFL history. Why? Like other well-designed predictive rating systems, including ESPN’s new Football Power Index, Elo is appropriately cautious early in the season; a team needs to prove itself to warrant a very high or very low rating.5Incidentally, some of you may be wondering why we used FPI in our season previews instead of Elo, and the answer is simple: This year’s preseason Elo ratings are just a regressed-to-the-mean version of last year’s final Elo ratings. The FPI, by contrast, is grounded in not only last year’s ratings but also Vegas over/under win totals and a poll of NFL experts. Combine that with the luck inherent in the NFL — the best teams don’t always win — and even Elo’s top-rated teams, the Seahawks and the Patriots, have just a 15 percent and 14 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, respectively.Just like last season, we’ll be writing a weekly column using Elo as a jumping-off point to discuss the week’s games. And in between, you can find ratings and predictions on our interactive page.Here’s to another great NFL season! UPDATE (Sept. 7, 2016; 12 p.m.): Our 2016 NFL Elo predictions follow the same methodology as our predictions from last year. Check out the article below for more details. read more