Tribune stock up on news of dueling acquisition bids

first_imgThe joint bid put the two squarely against real estate mogul Sam Zell, whose own bid is reportedly valued at $33 per share. Representatives of Tribune presented Broad and Burkle with a series of questions on their bid late Friday afternoon, according to the person familiar with the talks. The pair responded to the questions and said they stood by their current offer, the person said. The Burkle-Broad joint bid includes $500 million in cash and would use an employee stock ownership plan to raise money for a buyout. A previous bid by the duo was also valued at $34 per share and included $500 million, but did not include the stock ownership plan. It is believed that Zell was proposing to invest $300 million and use a stock ownership plan. It was unclear Friday if Zell would update his offer, or whether the company’s board would extend its Saturday deadline to review Broad and Burkle’s bid. A spokeswoman for Zell declined to comment. The nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher by circulation also is said to be considering a “self-help” plan that would involve spinning off the company’s broadcast division and borrowing money to pay a one-time cash dividend to shareholders. CHICAGO – Investors awaiting word of a Tribune Co. buyout sent the company’s stock up nearly 2 percent in afternoon trading Friday, as a special committee of directors considered dueling proposals to acquire the media conglomerate. The Chicago-based company set an end-of-March deadline to announce results of its six-month-long strategic review. But company spokesman Gary Weitman remained silent on the status of negotiations Friday afternoon. Tepid bidding for Tribune Co. took an eleventh-hour twist Thursday night when Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle submitted a sweetened offer for the company that owns the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. The pair valued their offer at $34 per share, according to a person familiar with the offer who was not authorized to disclose details and asked to remain anonymous. As the Saturday evening deadline approached, everyone from Wall Street analysts to anxious journalists were left to speculate about the outcome of any deal. “I’m certain they want to get closure sooner rather than later,” said S.W. “Sammy” Papert, head of newspaper consulting firm Belden Associates in Dallas. “From an operational standpoint, this is driving people crazy. It’s tough enough in the newspaper space right now without these distractions going on.” Tribune announced its willingness to sell all or part of the company in September after being pressured by several large shareholders angered by its lagging stock price and sagging fortunes. Leading the outcry was the Chandler family, which owned the Los Angeles Times for decades.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Football To Participate In Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game

first_imgDES MOINE, Iowa – Members of the Drake University football team and the Grand View University football team will be participating in the sixth annual Candoe’s Wheelchair Basketball Game on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Grand View’s Sisam Arena.Candeo is a community-based non-profit organization in Central Iowa that serves individuals with intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury and/or chronic mental illness. The Bulldogs have participated in the event, which raises funds and awareness for Candeo’s mission, for the past five seasons.Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at Proceeds will be used by Candeo to support individuals with disabilities in accomplishing their goals and achieving independence. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Milankovitch Cycles Indistinguishable from Randomness

first_imgA claim has often been made by geologists that the rock sediments record cyclical changes in Earth’s orbit.  Milankovitch cycles, named for the man who analyzed them, are a set of regular periodic changes to the orbital eccentricity, obliquity, and axial precession of the Earth over tens and hundreds of thousands of years.  These subtle changes, it is alleged, produce climate change and sea level fluctuations.  The climate forcing, in turn, produces periodic differences in the thickness of sedimentary layers.  The search for Milankovitch signatures in rock records has been used as a method of dating sediments.    Geologists at Virginia State and Virginia Polytechnic tested this hypothesis with computer models.  They specifically encoded Milankovitch-like cycles in the production of sediments.  The layering produced was indistinguishable from randomness, according to their report in the Journal of Geology.1  Here was their conclusion:The simulations used a cyclic Milankovitch driver to produce cyclic stratigraphy, but the lithofacies thickness frequencies and autocorrelation methods used to analyze the resultant rock successions found that these records often appeared independent of periodic orbital forcing.  This indicates that the factors involved in depositing cyclic sedimentary layers, as simulated in the model, tend to mask the original periodic signal (such as Milankovitch orbital forcing) and produce the appearance of independence or stochasticity.  The hypothesis is that the rocks are independent of extrabasinal forcing, and these simulations indicate how difficult it is to disprove such independence.  Real rock successions are very likely to have been historically more complex than our simulations governed by merely a few basic parameters.  This poses a challenge to even most cleverly designed quantitative methods used to test for stratigraphic patterns, with their statistical outcomes being inherently ambiguous: does a given outcome indicate that the record was not formed in a cyclic fashion, or does it merely reflect the fact that an original cyclic driver has been masked by the complexity of depositional processes?  It is important, therefore, to have controls by which these methods can be tested.  The use of simulations can provide such controls by producing synthetic data with known Milankovitch cyclic drivers and thus providing an independent assessment of statistical methods applied to test real empirical records.They said the results they got with known cyclic drivers was “extremely noisy.”  Obtaining a significant signature required extreme climate differences, like between greenhouse and icehouse conditions for 100,000 years.  Even then, the results were ambiguous: “even with high-magnitude sea level fluctuations, a periodic driver of sediment deposition can be concealed.”.  And that’s not the only factor: “The incompleteness of the carbonate stratigraphic record may act to conceal cyclic driving forces,” they said, “in turn making it difficult to assess the quality of methods developed to measure cyclicity.”  Their computer simulations, they felt, provided a missing control on the theory:The methods for testing for the presence or absence of a Milankovitch driver in ancient successions must demonstrate patterns that are distinct from what would be expected if the rocks were deposited independent of orbital forcing.  One of the problems with many of the methods for detecting cyclicity is that they test a single series (e.g., a stratigraphic column).  This tends to miss lateral substitution of facies that occurs at similar water depths in real settings.  The benefit of using simulations is their ability to capture information such as periods of no deposition or gaps in deposition from erosion that would otherwise be difficult to quantify in real successions.1.  Dexter, Kowalewski and Read, “Distinguishing Milankovitch-Driven Processes in the Rock Record from Stochasticity Using Computer-Simulated Stratigraphy,” The Journal of Geology,2009, volume 117, p. 349�361, DOI: 10.1086/599021.Another dating method is shown to be a bruised reed.  Unfortunately, some well-meaning books like The Privileged Planet have leaned on this reed: “Finally, there are the Milankovitch cycles, probably the single most useful type of clock for layered deposits” (p. 30).  If this is the best, what about the others?  They tried to defend it with mathematical talk about Fourier analysis and power spectra (p. 370 n25), assuming that sophisticated math can discern a reliable signal in noise.  They did not consider the possibility of getting false signals in actual noise.  Then they used it and other methods to portray an old earth embedded with log records of its history over vast ages.    Although that section did not harm the basic thesis of the book (that our planet appears designed for scientific discovery), it exposes a weakness of some well-meaning attempts to ground design inferences in shaky foundations.  Layers of rocks record something, obviously, but the time scale and explanations become increasingly tenuous when eyewitnesses are unavailable and multiple causes are involved.  We should be wary of taking published scientific claims uncritically and placing too much authority in the ability of secular scientists to discern unobservable history through their worldview-tainted glasses.    Be wary especially of the divination methods of pagans (examples: 11/06/2008, 07/26/2008, 06/12/2008, 01/25/2008).  Would Daniel have referred to the scholarship of the Babylonian hepatoscopists as a reliable source?(Visited 94 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Second Grammy for Soweto Choir

first_img12 February 2008South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir won a second consecutive Grammy Award in the category best traditional world music for their album African Spirit at a glitzy ceremony at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on Sunday.Soweto Gospel Choir executive producer and director Beverly Bryer, who co-founded the group in November 2002 with David Mulovhedzi, told BuaNews on Monday that winning the second Grammy was an incredible feeling.“I have spoken to our musical director Lucas Bok who was at the awards to accept the Grammy, and the group’s absolutely ecstatic,” Bryer said.The group fended off stiff competition from four other international acts to win, following up on their 2007 award for the album Blessed.The Soweto Gospel Choir in its entirety is a 52-member group, but 26 members recently embarked on a tour to the UK, where they will be performing in 26 towns and cities between February and March.“The other 26-member choir is busy rehearsing for their ‘Unite of the Stars Gala Charity Event’ where they’ll be performing with Celine Dion and Danny K at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg on 14 February,” said Bryer.After the group’s UK tour, they will be jetting off for Lebanon, Australia, Fiji and a host of other countries, she said, adding that the live DVD album of African Spirit would be released in the middle of the year.The choir, which performs in six of South Africa’s 11 official languages, previously won Australia’s Performing Arts Award for best contemporary music concert in 2003.In May 2004 they scooped the 2003 American Gospel Music Award for best choir, following it up with another Gospel Music Award for best international choir in October 2004.In 2004 the Soweto Gospel Choir’s debut CD, Voices from Heaven, was also nominated for a South African Music Award (Sama) for best traditional gospel. In April 2007 the choir won the 2006 Sama in the category best live performance DVD.“It’s like being at a rock show, the people really love them and the response to the new album has been fantastic,” Bryer said.The other 2008 Grammy nominees in their category were: When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq by Rahim Al Haj with Souhail Kaspar, From Mali to America by Cheick Hamala and Bob Carlin, Live at Couleur Cafe by Konono No1, and Singing For Life: Songs of Hope, Healing and HIV and Aids in Uganda produced by Gregory Barz.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Africa’s education and gender equality goals ‘well achieved’

first_img5 November 2015Africa is on track with goals such as promoting gender equality and empowering women, according to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals Report released at the 10th African Economic Conference this week.The conference was held in Kinshasa, in Democratic Republic of Congo from 2 to 4 November. Increasing government spending on health care, education and support of vulnerable groups such as the elderly, were key topics discussed by experts at the conference.The annual conference is organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. The theme of this year’s event was: “Addressing poverty and inequality in the post-2015 development agenda”. It provided a forum to explore the policy, institutional, and investment frameworks needed to boost Africa’s equitable, inclusive and environmentally sustainable development.Pali Lehohla, the statistician-general at Statistics South Africa, was one of the speakers at the event.Watch Lehohla explain the issues that need to be solved in Africa:Implementing better policiesConference discussion included debate about the call from economists for better policies to promote income distribution in Africa, according to the AfDB.While Africa as a whole had made considerable progress on poverty reduction since the mid-1990s as a result of rapid economic growth, it had yet to have a significant impact on income distribution, said the bank.“Since mid-2000, Africa’s (gross domestic product) growth has been high, averaging 5%, and well above the global average of 3% per year, instilling optimism about the continent’s economic prospects. However, the growth has not been inclusive or equitable, and has made little impact on poverty,” it said on its website.AfDB also said that better social policies could enhance income growth and income distribution, including “improving the complementarity between physical capital and education, especially at the basic educational level”.In addition, there was a need for policymakers in Africa to put greater emphasis on addressing income inequality, empowering women, narrowing the gaps in health, nutrition and education, and challenging prejudices and stereotypes that fed discrimination and marginalisation.Watch Abebe Shimeles, the acting director of development research at AfDB, talk about why poverty will continue in Africa unless policies are tackled per population:Speaking in a session at the conference, Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, the acting vice-president and chief economist of AfDB, underscored the need to take into account the political economy to effectively address income inequalities.“Public policy needs to take (into) account the role of local bureaucracy because they are affected by the same policies,” Kayizzi-Mugerwa said, pointing out that economic managers needed to consult local administrative structures in policy formulation to make it effective. He also spoke about agricultural productivity and industrialisation as necessary to feed the continent and for it to achieve sustainable development.“To feed Africa adequately, agricultural productivity must rise as well as farmers’ incomes.” -Kayizzi-Mugwerwa, #AfDB #2015AEC— AfDB_Group (@AfDB_Group) November 2, 2015“Africa’s industrialization is a must if the continent is to achieve sustainable development.” -Kayizzi-Mugerwa, #AfDB #2015AEC— AfDB_Group (@AfDB_Group) November 2, 2015According to experts, a small number of African countries is relying primarily on improving income distribution to reduce poverty. However, worsening income distribution is the major culprit in the majority of countries experiencing poverty exacerbation.Statistics also show that other regions of the world have performed better, showing that the gap between Africa and the developed world is increasing. This suggests that Africa must perform even better and set up measures to address income inequality to catch up with the rest of the world.There was a greater risk of high inequality in resource-dependent countries as 55% of resource-rich countries had experienced an increase in inequality compared to 50% of non-resource-rich countries, Professor Haroon Bhorat, of the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, argued in his presentation, “Resource dependence and inequality in Africa: impact, consequence and solutions”.He pointed out that high resource-dependent economies were associated with lower levels of civil society organisation, less transparent electoral processes and less effective government. Bhorat argued that drivers of inequality in resource- dependent economies included high initial capital cost of entry into natural resources and poor employment generation.“There is need for strong institutions and good governance to manage resources. There is also a need for greater emphasis on social protection,” he said, pointing out that while there were no clear success stories, countries such as Ghana and Botswana could provide some positive lessons to guide institutional arrangements that governed resource wealth.Report on Africa’s goalsThe Millennium Development Goals Report revealed that three of the seven goals for Africa were on track. These are:  Combating HIV/Aids, malaria, and other diseases: a downward trend is observed in the incidence, prevalence and death rates associated with HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, especially since 2000.  Promoting gender equality and empowering women: for example, Africa has made the most progress in increasing the number of seats held by women in national parliaments, with an average increase of 15% between 2000 and 2014.  Achieving universal primary education: the average primary completion rate stands at 67%, and the youth literacy rate reached 69.61% in 2012, in part owing to increased access to universal primary education.  The goals that were not on track in Africa, were:  Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: poverty is perpetuated by rising inequalities, unemployment, the youth bulge, unplanned urbanisation, lack of diversification, et cetera. Hunger declined by 8% in Africa excluding North Africa between 1990 and 2013.  Reduce child mortality: the under-five mortality rate fell by 55% between 1990 and 2012, while the infant mortality rate fell by 40%. Only Egypt, Liberia, Malawi and Tunisia achieved both targets on reducing child mortality.  Improve maternal health: by 2013, Africa had 289 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, compared to the world average of 210 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births.  Ensure environmental sustainability: declining forest cover in Africa. More than 250 participants from across the continent and outside it, including policymakers, academics, and leaders of civil society and the private sector, attended the 10th African Economic Conference.Source: African Development Bank Grouplast_img read more

Report: Top 10 App Trends of 2011

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces 70% of the chart-topping applications in both usage and gross revenue are games, says Mobclix, citing its own data. Games dominate on every platform, from Apple’s App Store to Android Market and even on newcomers like Windows Phone.9. Apps are EverywhereThis trend seems like a repeat of #5, as it reports on the status of apps in our daily life. The average smartphone users spends 2.8 hours per day using apps and 3 in 5 people first turn to an app before searching the Web, says Mobclix, We also reported on apps’ growing popularity over the browser this year, referencing research from consulting firm Parks Associates. They found that consumers under 3 (“millenials”) are ditching the Web browser in favor of mobile apps.10. Don’t Underestimate iCurrencyThe title of this trend is somewhat cutesy, but also accurate. It’s actually referring to the revenue opportunities via iTunes. Apple has driven over 10 billion downloads of digital content through iTunes this year, says Mobclix, delivering over $1 billion in earnings to developers. It’s still the behemoth in the mobile app ecosystem and can’t be ignored. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#apps#mobile#Trends The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology More than half a million apps are downloaded every hour and the average smartphone user has 22 of them, says Mobclix, citing a Borrell Associates data. But apps are ready to expand beyond the smartphone to appear on TVs (Google TV, Apple TV), desktop (Intel AppUp, Mac App Store, AllMyApps for Windows, etc.) Web browsers (Google Chrome Web Store, Mozilla Open Web App Store, etc.) Blu-ray players and even cars (Ford SYNC AppLink, Android?).6. Rich Media Ads Pay MoreAnother self-promotional, but accurately pegged trend: rich media has a higher clickthrough rate, up to 11 times higher, says Mobclix. We cited data from Greystripe in September that found rich media ads get a 56% higher clickthrough rate than static ads, however.  And Eric Litman, CEO of Medialets, told Mashable in August that rich media ads were getting clickthroughs as high as 33%. Who’s telling the truth? Maybe they all are, the differences between their various networks leading to differently reported data. But the end result is the same: rich media means more clicks.37% of impressions in Mobclix’s exchange were rich media, up 115% since last year, the new report also noted.7. Apps Aren’t a One-Trick PonyApps don’t just get played with once, then ignored – at least, not in all cases. Some app developers have found that constantly re-engaging with your users can lead to a long-term relationship, says Mobclix. For example, Angry Birds launches an update every 4 weeks and sees a 80% retention rate.8. Games are King Mobclix, an iPhone analytics firm and mobile ad exchange network, has released a year-end report which examines the top application trends from 2010. The report, called the “2010 App Game Changers,” neatly summarizes what have been some of the most notable developments in mobile over the course of the year.According to Mobclix (full report here), mobile apps have impacted a wide range of industries from advertising to gaming over the course of 2010, have become a part of our daily life and, per IDC analysts, will increase to nearly 76.9 billion downloads by 2014.Citing both its internal research, and the research put out by other analyst firms, Mobclix has boiled down the many changes in mobile, specifically in the mobile application industry, in an easy to digest format by way of its year-end report.Here’s what they found, summarized below along with some additional comments from us.1. The Platform War Gets Bloody 2010 was the beginning of the smartphone platform wars, with the ever-dominant Android vs Apple fight now underway. Mobclix saw impressions on its Mobclix Exchange for Android grow by 420% since its inception, for example. Other players, like Windows Phone 7 launched this year, apparently in it for the long haul, while Nokia, RIM and even Palm are hoping to not lose ground as the mobile platform shakeup continues.2. Advertising on Mobile Gets Smart (Rise of RTB)At least 50% of all targeted online display ads will be bought through real-time platforms by 2015 and by next year, 10%-15% of total ad buys will involve real-time bidding inventory. Mobclix, of course, offers a solution for this, but cites a “Google executive” as the source of this factoid.Despite the self-promotional aspect to this trend, RTB is a major trend this year. As Business Insider summarized this summer, “RTB is on fire.” AdMeld, an ad inventory optimizer, closed a $15 million round of venture funding this year, AdSafe raised $7.5 million and Google bought Invite Media, a demand-side platform, for a reported $70 million. AdMeld CEO Michael Barrett told BI that ads sold through RTB generate 2-3 times as much revenue for his customers on average, and up to 10 times as much in some cases. He said the market would be worth around $1 billion this year.3. In-App Purchasing Enabling a New EconomySelling apps is no longer the only way to make money, some developers have discovered. In October, Flurry released data that showed in-app purchases were earning developers in certain categories (games, social) more money than ads. Another report forecasted an increase in in-app revenue by 600% in 2011. And Farmville, as a high-profile example of this trend, earns 90% of its revenue from in-app purchases, its Director of Mobile Jen Herman has said.Mobclix cites data from Jupiter Research which says that in-game purchases are expected to surpass $11 billion by 2015. The industry is watching Android expectantly in 2011 to see if it will soon offer an officially supported feature for allowing these types of transactions. In the meantime, there are 3rd-party solutions that let developers implement in-app purchases now.4. It Pays to be PushyAnother finding, this one from a Mobclix survey, found that customer retention is 2.7 times better with push-notification. Apps are opened up 228% more and weekly session times have increased by 103% when push is used. However, Mobclix is referring to incentivized installs, not notifications from the apps themselves. For example, a publisher serving a notification pushes an app suggestion to its users, offering them something in return (virtual goods like health, gold, etc. in a game, for ex.). The advertiser pays for every install this push message led to while the publisher makes an immediate profit.5. Apps are Here to Stay sarah perez Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

The Canadian Trump cartoon that shook a continent

first_imgIn today’s Big Story podcast, you’ve seen Michael de Adder’s viral cartoon by now. It features Donald Trump callously playing golf past the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria—the migrant and his daughter who drowned trying to reach America. The drawing caught fire everywhere it was seen, whipped social media into a frenzy and allegedly cost de Adder a freelance gig at an East Coast publishing house.Why do editorial cartoons still feel so vital in the age of memes? If they are, why are the numbers of employed editorial cartoonists dwindling? What makes a cartoon like de Adder’s so wrenching and ruthless? And how do massive media conglomerates with delicate political sensibilities weigh them when considering what to publish…and what to hold back?GUEST: Sue Dewar, editorial cartoonist, PostmediaAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and SpotifyYou can also find it at read more