Costa Coffee, the Whitbread-owned chain, has posted a rise in like-for-like (LFL) sales of 5.2% for the 13 weeks to 27 November as it plans rapid expansion. For the 39 weeks to the same date Costa was up 5.8% with total LFLs for Whitbread as a whole up 6.7%. Total sales were down 13.2% over 13 weeks and 13% overall.Costs was praised as performing ‘strongly’ with total system sales growing in the 39 weeks by 15.9% to £1,022m (17.5% at constant currency). Within this, franchise sales were up 14.7% to £398.1m.Whitbread has opened 127 new stores in the year to date and there are plans to open a further 230 net new stores worldwide, as well as installing around 800 Costa Express units in the full year.Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “As we said in our interim results on 21st October, our strong trading momentum has continued into the third quarter, with total sales growing by 13.2% and like for like sales up 6.0%. We remain confident of delivering full year results in line with expectations, mindful that the fourth quarter last year was particularly strong, boosted by the absence of snow.“Our strong brands continue to win market share, reinforced by our ambitious organic network expansion. We remain on track to open around 4,500 new Premier Inn UK rooms and around 230 net new Costa stores worldwide this year. Our committed UK room pipeline stands at around 12,400 new rooms, with a number of attractive London freehold opportunities at various stages of negotiation.”
Dr Gregory Harris of the Linden Hospital Complex receives his– Guyana Times journalist awarded In observance of its 14th anniversary, the Linden-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), For the Children’s Sake Foundation (FCSF) recently hosted a youth empowerment concert and award ceremony in theRegion 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) community.The occasion was observed under the theme “Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” The event saw numerous awardees from across the region being honoured for their outstanding contribution in the areas of journalism, civic responsibility, community building in and around Region 10, youth development, awards of service and excellence, and volunteer service.Some awardees included Dr Gregory Harris of the Linden Hospital Complex, who was awarded for his contributions in the area of community building and Guyana Times journalist Utamu Belle was also awarded for her contributions in journalism.Meanwhile, E Division (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Commander Calvin Brutus was awarded in the civic responsibility category, while Chiedum Okei-Nwabuokei was awarded for volunteer service, among severalGuyana Times journalist Utamu Belle receives her awardothers in the various categories.The concert provided an opportunity for secondary school students from within the community to be educated on prominent issues including suicide and poverty, through music, dance, poetry and other art forms. Exciting performances by Youth For Change, songstress Diana Chapman, Code Red artistes Lil Colwyn and Davey Marley and motivational speeches set the tone of the event held at the Linden Concert Hall and School (LICHAS).Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland provided encouragement to youths, telling them to always reach for higher heights regardless of their present situation.He also shared his experiences as a youth growing up in difficult circumstances, while motivating the youths to never give up.A co-founder of the organisation, Vernon Todd also spread the message of youths being leaders in today’s society, stressing that they are not only future leaders but also the leaders of today.
National Geographic News gave some halfway-enthusiastic press to another recurrence of a theory that circulates from time to time – that earth got its ocean water from comets. They gave air time to work by Uffe Jorgensen and a team from the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark that concludes “comets were the culprits” in the crime of delivering water to our planet. They made their assessment based on iridium counts in some of the world’s oldest rocks in Greenland. “We may sip a piece of the impactors every time we drink a glass of water,” he said. On page 2, NG gave some air time to a critic. A geophysicist at the University of Chicago wasn’t convinced. He looked at the study and saw too many estimates. “I am afraid [they have] stretched their conclusions too far,” he said. The article ended with Jorgensen holding hands with Chandra Wickramasinghe, the Indian astronomer who thinks comets not only brought water to earth, but also life. He thinks it was a “remarkable coincidence” that the first appearance of life on earth appeared at the end of the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment, a theoretical epoch when comet or asteroid strikes were common. Jorgensen calls that period an accident, but agrees on one point: “If it had not happened, there would have been no water on Earth, and no life.”We citizens just sit here passively, listening to our shamans tell their stories of the history of the world. It has become like Muzak to our ears. We don’t even pay attention to it. We may smile when one of them comes up with a witty line, like “we may sip a piece of the impactors every time we drink a glass of water.” We even enjoy the manufactured controversies that seem to pit one shaman against another, knowing that it’s all rigged, and the outcome is not in doubt—Emperor Charles DearOne will always be vindicated, no matter what. Phrases from the epic tale The Darwinian Nights, like “Late Heavy Bombardment” and “building blocks of life” are so familiar, they go in one ear and out the other. It has the comforting lilt of a presumed truth. Snap out of it.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Global pop icon and committed animal advocate Ke$ha will receive the prestigious Wyler Award at The Humane Society of the United States’ 2013 Genesis Awards Benefit Gala on Saturday, March 23, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.Ke$ha To Be Honored By HSUSCredit/Copyright: Yu Tsai via HSUSThe HSUS’ Wyler Award is one of the animal protection organization’s highest honors and is bestowed on a celebrity or public figure for increasing awareness of animal issues via the media.Humane Society International’s first Global Ambassador for animals, Ke$ha balances her hectic career as a platinum recording singer/songwriter and one of the world’s most dynamic performers with her outspoken stance on critical animal protection issues. Ke$ha has spread the word about street dogs, the trophy hunting of endangered lions, shark-finning, Canada’s commercial seal slaughter, dogfighting and cruelty-free cosmetics, among many other important animal welfare concerns, highlighting a different animal issue each month on her website and urging her massive fan base and social media following to take action for animals. By talking about her role with The HSUS’ international arm, Humane Society International, and her commitment to helping animals in numerous media interviews, she has brought worldwide attention to the cause.“It means so much to me to be recognized by The Humane Society of the United States because advocating for animals is second nature to me,” said Ke$ha.“My affinity with animals and the natural world inspires me and my music. I don’t understand how anyone can justify abusing or exploiting animals, and as long as it continues, I intend to keep talking about it.”“The animals have a bold and passionate ambassador in Ke$ha, who is not known for holding back on what she thinks,” says Beverly Kaskey, senior director of The HSUS’ Hollywood Outreach and executive producer of The HSUS’ Genesis Awards Benefit Gala. “The Humane Society of the United States is grateful to Ke$ha for informing her millions of fans worldwide about new and ongoing threats to our fellow creatures, while connecting them to resources that enable them to take action.”Global superstar Ke$ha has taken the world by storm since the release of her debut album “Animal” in 2010. That year she was declared Billboard’s Hot 100 Artist and her smash debut single, “TiKToK,” was named Billboard’s #1 Hot 100 Song, was the most played song of that year and was the biggest-selling digital track in the world. Her debut album “Animal” has sold over 2.5 million units worldwide, and Ke$ha has had seven consecutive Top 10 hits including four #1 singles in “TiKToK,” “Your Love Is My Drug,” “We R Who We R,” and the latest, “Die Young.” Ke$ha recently released the track “C’Mon,” the second single from her critically acclaimed second album, Warrior. Ke$ha has toured the world, playing over 200 live shows in support of “Animal” and its companion album, “Cannibal.” She took home the MTV EMA for Best New Act in November, 2010 and was nominated for two American Music Awards, three MTV VMA Awards and six Billboard Awards. She has performed on dozens of television programs all over the world, including MTV Europe Music Awards, Much Music Awards (Canada), Echo Awards (Germany), X Factor (Australia), American Music Awards, Billboard Awards, American Idol, Saturday Night Live and The Today Show Summer Concert Series. She has over 22 million Facebook likes, over three million Twitter followers and over 330 million views on VEVO. She has sold over 27 million combined tracks and ringtones in the U.S alone and over 34.5 million worldwide to date. Ke$ha is an international powerhouse.“Animal” has been certified Gold, Platinum or multi-Platinum in 15 markets (including Platinum in the United States) and was the biggest selling debut album from an international female in 2010 in the UK. In November, 2012, Ke$ha released her first book through Touchstone Publishing. The full-color photo journal/scrapbook entitled, “My Crazy Beautiful Life,” sheds light on Ke$ha’s hectic, non-stop life on tour and provides an exclusive look into the creative process of her latest album, “Warrior.” Also in late 2012,Ke$ha announced Ke$ha Rose by Charles Albert, a new jewelry line that reflects the singer’s distinctive personality throughout the collection.The Wyler Award is named after former Broadway actress, animal advocate and founder of The Genesis Awards, Gretchen Wyler. Ke$ha joins Wyler Award alumni Sir Paul McCartney, Hayden Panettiere, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Kristin Davis and Ian Somerhalder.Honoring the news and entertainment media for their role in raising awareness of animal issues, The HSUS’ Genesis Awards Benefit Gala marks 27 years of inspiring change for animals, with this year’s event benefitting three of the organization’s top animal welfare priorities: Pets for Life, Chimps Deserve Better and Farm Animal Protection.The HSUS’ 2013 Genesis Awards Benefit Gala is sponsored in part by Misix, One Car One Difference, Market Development Group, Prai Beauty Group, Tenet, and Havas Edge.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress on Thursday gave a big push to its social media campaign before the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, with its new music video titled Ma Mati Manush. The video was launched by party supremo Mamata Banerjee on her Facebook page.”I am very happy to share the new music video Maa, Mati, Manush for the forthcoming #LokSabhaElections2019,” Banerjee wrote in the Facebook post, sharing the 2 minute 38 second video on all her social networking pages. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe video presents the picture of a peaceful and harmonious Bengal and at the same time, takes a dig at the Narendra Modi government by claiming that it has not been able to fulfill its promises. The title of the video Ma Mati Manush (literally translating to Mother, Motherland and People), is a Bengali political slogan coined by Banerjee herself. It depicts the development that Bengal has witnessed under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. More than 8.5 lakh people are getting rice at the rate of Rs 2 kg under the Swastha Sathi scheme. The several people-friendly schemes of the state government like Kanyashree, Rupashree, and Sabuj Sathi have also been highlighted through the video. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIt also lambasts BJP for creating an atmosphere of anarchy and riot in the country, through their efforts of trying to create division among people on religious grounds. It further reiterates that Bengal is a place where people of all caste, creed and religions live amicably. The video is a visual treat with beautiful imageries of rural Bengal, a man rowing a boat with a smile on his face, a group of Bengali women praying by the riverside, schoolgirls riding on bicycles and dancers performing wearing Chhau masks. A cheerful tune plays in the background. The song sung by Rupam Islam and Somlata Acharya has already gone viral on social media, through several shares with comments and likes pouring in abundance. It may be mentioned that TMC has already launched a web series called Pradhan Mantri Hisab Dao on social media recently, which compares various welfare schemes of the Narendra Modi government with those launched by Trinamool Congress in the state. It points out the failures of the Modi government in these schemes and demands an explanation from the Prime Minister regarding the same.
New Delhi: A man hurled shoes at BJP leaders addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters here on Thursday and was detained by police.The middle-aged person identified himself as Shakti Bhargava and claimed to be a doctor by profession, but he did not speak about the reason behind his action as he was being bundled out by BJP staff and security guards. The Delhi Police, which questioned him for several hours, said they were letting him off as no complaint was lodged against him. Nothing incriminating was found against him and he just wanted to grab attention, they said, adding that he hails from Kanpur and is facing legal cases related to property and Income Tax. The incident took place when a scheduled press conference of BJP leaders Bhupendra Yadav and G V L Narasimha Rao was on. The person threw a shoe and flung another after stepping close to the dais when Rao was attacking the Congress, accusing it of “defaming” the Hindu religion by linking it to terrorism during its rule at the Centre in 2004-14. It is an attempt by a “Congress-inspired” person but it will not deter the BJP, Rao said and carried on with his attack on opposition parties after being left momentarily surprised as one of the shoes brushed past him. Though it is unclear if the person involved in the incident had any political motivation, shoe-throwing has often been a show of protest, political or otherwise, by people seeking to bring attention to themselves or their issues. Jarnail Singh, then a journalist, had thrown a shoe towards the then Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in 2009 to protest against the party’s ticket to anti-Sikh riot case accused Sajjan Kumar, now convicted. Though he lost his job, Singh went on to become an MLA on a Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket. Political leaders cutting across party lines have been at the receiving end of show-throwers.
Washington: Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman has pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to a fake charity that facilitated cheating when her daughter took the SATs for college admission. When she appeared in court in Boston on Monday, prosecutors recommended a sentence of four months prison time for the 56-year-old “Desperate Housewives” TV star for her role in the college admissions scandal, CNN reported. They also suggested a $20,000 fine and 12 months of supervised release for the charge, which is a felony. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger She is slated to be sentenced on September 13. The charity was associated with Rick Singer, who has confessed to helping wealthy parents cheat on standardised tests for their children. Singer also bribed college coaches to falsely designate students as recruited athletes, smoothing their path to admission, a criminal complaint says. “I had no knowledge of Singer paying (others),” Huffman said on Monday before she broke down in tears. “Everything else (prosecutors) said I did, I did.” Also Read – Salman pays tribute to Vinod Khanna on ‘Dabangg 3’ wrap up Huffman and Singer exchanged emails on how to provide her daughter with extra time to take the SAT exam, prosecutors said, and arranged for the girl to take the test in a location controlled by an administrator whom Singer had bribed. Huffman’s daughter received an SAT score of 1420 out of a possible 1600 — about 400 points higher than her Preliminary SAT exam a year earlier. The actress agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in April. She was among 13 parents who have said they would plead guilty in the scam, reports CNN. Seventeen other parents, including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, submitted not guilty pleas. Singer pleaded guilty in March to racketeering, money laundering; conspiracy to defraud the US, and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19. Huffman’s husband, actor William H. Macy, is not charged in the case.
The opening matches of the 2014 CONCACAF Championship were played on Wednesday, marking the start of the nine-month countdown to next summer’s Women’s World Cup. Although the focus Wednesday night was on the United States (six-time CONCACAF champions and the tournament’s host), the spotlight quickly shifted to the U.S. women’s opponent, Trinidad and Tobago. The Trinidadians managed to hold the Americans scoreless until the 55th minute, when Abby Wambach headed in her 171st international goal (the all-time record for any American player, male or female). The U.S. won 1-0.Up to five teams from the North American, Central American and Caribbean football associations might appear at next year’s World Cup. Only three CONCACAF teams played in the 2011 tournament (the U.S., Canada and Mexico). As next year’s host, Canada receives an automatic bid, which in turn allows for an “extra” CONCACAF spot. The top three teams from the CONCACAF Championship will automatically qualify. The fourth-place team will play in a two-game series against Ecuador, who placed third in the 2014 Copa América Femenina, to determine who goes to the World Cup.All of this to say that an otherwise unlikely CONCACAF team, like Trinidad and Tobago, could make its World Cup debut in 2015. But just how likely are the Soca Princesses to be one of the top four CONCACAF tournament teams?To calculate the expected wins and various probabilities for each team in the tournament, we used the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, which are based on a variant of our old friend the Elo ratings. FIFA provides a nice explanation of how to turn their ratings into win probabilities for a given matchup (though for group stage matches we had to adjust the formula a bit to account for the possibility of draws). Once we had the ratings and probabilities, we programmed a Monte Carlo simulation to run 1,000 simulations and track how well each team performed in the group stage, as well as how far it advanced in the knockout round.Despite last night’s disorganized formation and lack of finishing from the U.S. side, the Americans are still far and away the CONCACAF favorites, with a 95.5 percent chance of winning the tournament. Mexico is the next most likely team to win, but it has only a 3.8 percent chance. Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, has a less than 1 percent chance of winning.Below are the expected group points and win probabilities for every CONCACAF tournament team:Fortunately for Trinidad and Tobago, reaching the knockout round of the tournament is enough to give the team a shot at going to the World Cup, and it has a 51.2 percent chance of doing just that. Wednesday night’s quality performance, including 11 saves by Trinidadian goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, may bode well. Haiti sits just behind Trinidad in Group A, with a 45.3 percent chance of reaching the knockout round. Haiti also edged past Guatemala last night 1-0, despite going down a player in the 17th minute after goalkeeper Cynthia Chery was issued a straight red card.The Group B matches start Thursday night, with Costa Rica taking on top-seeded Mexico, and Jamaica playing Martinique (Martinique can’t qualify for the World Cup because it is not a member of FIFA, so we threw out the two simulations we ran where Martinique advanced). Mexico is the most likely team to advance from Group B, with a 94.4 percent chance, but Costa Rican standout Shirley Cruz Traña (who plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain in one of the top women’s leagues) will likely be a major threat in Thursday’s game.The next Group A matches take place Friday, when the U.S. will resume play against Haiti. After Wednesday night’s performance, newly appointed head coach Jill Ellis may be looking to tweak a rather chaotic formation. The U.S. players veered from their typical 4-4-2 formation against the Trinidadians; Wambach sat in an attacking midfield spot but she often drifted forward, creating what looked almost like a 4-1-3-2 at times. Similarly, Trinidad will need to break from Wednesday night’s defensive 4-5-1 formation to put some points up against Guatemala.We’ll be updating our predictions periodically throughout the CONCACAF tournament.Oliver Roeder contributed analysis.CORRECTION (Oct. 24, 4:37 p.m.): A previous version of this post included a table with an incorrect column header. The table lists the chances of placing third, not reaching the third-place game.
VIDEO: Gonzaga-WVU is the Sweet 16 game to watch Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (March 21, 2017), we break down the first and second rounds of the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments and talk about where teams stand going into the Sweet 16. Next, we discuss the U.S. women’s hockey team’s decision to potentially sit out the world championships amid negotiations with USA Hockey over pay. Finally, we’re ready for baseball to come back — and preview what to expect in the National League this season. Plus, a significant digit from the NBA.Links to what we discussed:A Duke loss was always going to look like the one they suffered Sunday, writes FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine.Neil also wrote about how Wisconsin ousted Villanova.Just how mad was the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament? ESPN’s Paul Sabin investigates.FiveThirtyEight’s Benjamin Morris noted that despite its continued winning streak, UConn’s chance of winning the women’s tournament dropped after round one.The Washington Post took a look at the origins of the U.S. women’s hockey team’s threat to boycott a tournament.ESPNW reported on the ongoing negotiations between USA Hockey and the women’s national team.Neil, Nate Silver and FanGraphs writer Craig Edwards recently had a chat about why the Cubs are the favorites to win the National League Central.Significant Digit: 77.7 percent, the “Charge Rate” of Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver. FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring created the metric — a “simple stat that measures how efficiently a player draws charges” — to try to figure out who the savviest charge-takers in the league are. Tolliver is No. 1.