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Grenade attack kills 13 audience members in Pakistani cinema as Taliban peace talks continue

15/04/2019 | 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Permalink

Ruthless … A blood-stained shoe of a victim lies on the ground at the site of a grenade attack on a crowded cinema that killed 13 and wounded many others in Peshawar, Pakistan. Photo: AP PhotoPeshawar, Pakistan: Assailants threw grenades into a crowded movie theatre in north-western Pakistan, killing 13 people, officials said, in an attack that shows the challenges as negotiators face off in talks between the Taliban and the government.
Nanjing Night Net

One of the grenades blew up the main door, and two more exploded inside the theatre as about 80 people were watching a movie called “Yarana,” which means friendship in Pashto, officials said. The floor of the cinema was streaked with blood while some of the seats were torn from the force of the explosion.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in Peshawar, a city near restive areas on the Afghan border that are home to Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked foreign Islamic militants. Many militant groups view movies and other forms of entertainment as obscene Western influences.

The manager of the cinema, Fayaz Khan, said he hadn’t received any threats from anyone and urged the government to provide protection for them in the future.

Police official Kamal Khan said the investigation was continuing, and it wasn’t clear how many attackers were involved. Another official Ijaz Khan gave the death toll and said some 20 people also were wounded.

The attack comes days after Pakistan began peace negotiations with Taliban militants fighting in the country’s northwest to end the violence that has killed more than 40,000 people in recent years. The Pakistani Taliban, formally called Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is separate from the Taliban fighting NATO-forces in neighbouring Afghanistan. Although the two groups share similar ideology, the Pakistani Taliban has focused its fight against the Pakistani government.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made negotiating with the militants a centrepiece of his new government elected last May. That policy has many supporters in Pakistan who are tired of the seemingly unending suicide bombings and shootings and view the war as being imposed on Pakistan by the US after the invasion of Afghanistan. But others say the militants have already broken previous agreements.

After some initial stumbles, the government’s efforts have picked up steam in recent weeks with both sides naming people to represent them in the talks.

Members of the Pakistani Taliban’s negotiating team flew to the North Waziristan tribal agency over the weekend to meet with the militant organisation’s leadership at a secret location. North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan to the west, is considered a stronghold for the militant organisation as well as other groups like the Haqqani network.

On Tuesday, they met with negotiators representing the government to discuss their trip. Speaking after the meeting, Pakistani cleric, Maulana Samiul Haq, who heads the Taliban’s negotiating team, said both the militants and the government have recommended a cease-fire as a confidence-building measure.

He said the Taliban had given other recommendations as well and had sought some clarification on the government’s stance but he did not reveal what those were.

But attacks like Tuesday’s show just how difficult it would be to implement a cease-fire.

The Pakistani Taliban have distanced themselves from the recent violence and in some cases issued outright denials.

But analysts say the TTP is an amorphous organisation where many of the factions act on their own, sometimes even in conflict with the group’s leadership.

“That is going to be the problem because even if by any chance some kind of agreement is reached, several of the factions may not accept it,” said Zahid Hussain, a Pakistani security analyst.

APNormalfalsefalseEN-AUX-NONEX-NONERiaz Khan And Munir Ahmed

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Shaun White misses out on medal

15/04/2019 | 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Permalink

No medal: Shaun White. Photo: ReuterCold war mentalityAustralian finishes fourthTorah’s mum speaks out
Nanjing Night Net

When two-time defending champion Shaun White spotted Iouri Podladtchikov during qualifying for the snowboard halfpipe, they hugged.

“I love you man,” the American told him. “But you’re making me nervous.”

The words proved prophetic as Podladtchikov, the Swiss who had once competed for Russia, stormed to the gold medal with a score of 94.75.

Japan claimed the other medals, with 15-year-old sensation Ayumu Hirano (93.50) and Taku Hiraoka (92.25) peeling off superb runs.

Australian 18-year-old Kent Callister also had a night to remember, before a heaving crowd at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, finishing ninth with a top run of 68.50.

“That is the best contest I’ve ever been in,” Callister beamed. “It is the best day of my life, too. I had so much fun riding with everyone. The pipe’s alright, so it was a good experience.”

Like American hope Danny Davis, Callister appeared to lose speed in the flat section of the pipe, which has been heavily criticised in recent days.

“The pipe held up alright,” Callister said. “It could’ve been better but I did my best so I am happy with that.”

White was attempting to become the first American to win three gold medals in the same event at the Winter Olympics.

He had bombed his third trick on his first run, and then sent a scare through his camp when he landed on the base of his spine while attempting a final trick just for show.

The contest came down to final run of the night, but when White failed to nail the tricks needed early on in his run, it was clear the man nicknamed “iPod” was going to claim gold.

“They were pretty tough,” White said of the conditions. “The hard part is not practising but it was the same for everyone.

“I was looking for four (gold medals). I was hoping to do slopestyle, too, but it didn’t pan out. Tonight was just not my time.

“I am disappointed. I hate the fact that I nailed it in practice, but it happens. It’s hard to be consistent.”

White pulled out of the Olympic slopestyle event because of safety fears.

White, who won the halfpipe at the 2006 Turin Games and retained his title in Vancouver, had voiced concerns about the condition and difficulty of the slopestyle course during training runs.

Earlier, Nate Johnstone just missed the cut for final after China’s Yiwei Zhang bumped him out on the last run of the semi-final.

Scotty James, 19, missed out on progressing through to the semi-finals by just 1.25 points, finishing in 10th spot.

Scott scored 68.50 from his first run – a result some in the Australian camp believed should have been more – before crashing in his second run.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Are you happy?

15/04/2019 | 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Permalink

When entering or leaving China, each passport control booth has two buttons you can press. One has a smiley face and the other a frown. When your passport is handed back you can choose which button to press based on whether you are satisfied with the immigration officer’s service or not.
Nanjing Night Net

HappyOrNot, a company based in Finland, has a similar idea. It has taken the same concept, refined and beautified it, and taken it mainstream by selling it to a broad range of businesses around the world.

HappyOrNot is a small display of four buttons mounted on a pedestal that can be placed anywhere on the premises of a business, government office or retail store. If it’s a small retail store for example, it might be located at the checkout or exit. For a larger establishment like a department store, a HappyOrNot installation could theoretically be placed in every department.

Each of the four buttons on a HappyOrNot display has a different emoticon face corresponding to “very happy”, “a bit happy”, “a bit unhappy” or “very unhappy”. The customer pushes the button that most represents his or her impression of the shopping experience. The responses are tallied, diced by variables such as time of day and location, and streamed to management in analytical reports.

Despite the simplicity of the HappyOrNot concept from an analytical standpoint, it has a lot going for it.

First, it sends out a highly visible message to customers that this business or government entity genuinely gives a hoot about what they think. That can be reassuring.

Second, it provides customers with an outlet to express their opinions in a non-confrontational manner.

Third, it provides an incentive to staff to do their best.

Fourth, for the management, it offers a useful indicator of where it might have strengths and weaknesses. A department store, for example, may find it is doing OK in women’s shoes on Saturday morning and wretchedly in handbags on Friday afternoons. This is clearly actionable information, if only to alert the retailer to where a more focused diagnostic and remediation program is required.

A particularly useful feature of HappyOrNot is that the question can be changed to gather different information from customers. They can be asked about their satisfaction with the general shopping experience, with the merchandise on display, with the service, or any other aspect of their visit.

Most businesses are interested in customer feedback but in many cases they are unsure how to gather the information. Often, it’s just a case of waiting to see if the customer comes back. After all, the cash register doesn’t lie. This is not a particularly effective way of finding out how you are doing.

Traditionally, customer surveys have been the preferred method and there are some very simple ones. In a 2003 piece for the Harvard Business Review, Fred Reichheld introduced the “Net Promoter Score” (NPS) that was based on customer responses to just one question: “On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to refer our company to a friend or colleague?” The responses are divvied up into three groups – the “detractors” who gave a rating of zero to 6, the “passives” who rated the company 7-8 and the “promoters” who rated it 9-10. The NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

Reichheld’s NPS became popular and widely used. However, it has since been embellished by a technology company called ForeSee, which added a second question to the one posed by NPS. This was: “How likely are you to discourage others from doing business with our company?” ForeSee then subtracts the percentage of 9-10 ratings given in answer to the second question from the percentage of 9-10 ratings given in answer to the first. That is, it subtracts the “likely to discourage” people from the “likely to recommend” people. The result is called the “Word of Mouth Index”, or WOMI, and is now also widely used.

If your company relies heavily on word of mouth to bring in new business, the WOMI Index may be one useful tool to find out how you are doing with existing customers. Like any diagnostic tool though, it should be used in combination with others. Although such tools offer useful insights, they don’t usually get you to a clear understanding of why you are doing well or poorly.

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What do millionaires regret?

15/04/2019 | 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Permalink

Every businessperson makes mistakes. David Yuile’s cost him $1.3 million in a day.
Nanjing Night Net

The chief executive of telecommunications company AAPT jointly started a CRM consultancy in London in the mid-1990s.

They decided to sell to Interliant, a US-listed company, in a deal including thousands of shares.

“We sold in 1997, just before the tech-wreck when our shares were worth $US12 each,” Yuile recalls.

Over the next few months the then-27-year-old watched his shares price skyrocket. He became a paper millionaire.

“It went up and up and up, reaching $US70 a share at one point and putting my shareholding’s worth between £2.5-3 million, but I held too long, the stock market started crashing, I lost £700,000 in one day and ended up selling for five cents a share.

“The good thing is I was young and starting businesses at that age means you can pick yourself up and do it again … I kept my house, I just wish I could have been a bit richer.”

Yuile’s other regret happened when he was boss of Powertel, which was later sold to AAPT.

Today AAPT, a division of Telecom New Zealand, turns over about $400 million annually.

“We were trying to build an ESL broadband-to-homes business and you had to have pretty good coverage to work because people were pretty spread all over Australia,” he says.

“We were doing things incrementally to boost our coverage; 10 more [coverage] areas here, 12 more there. Then, nine months later, rival company TPG rolled out and we were left going ‘oh bugger’.

“In the end it wasn’t even a tortoise and the hair race as they barrelled past us with about 300 coverage areas to our 70 or 80.

“Looking back I should have been so much more of a believer and pushed harder to expand our network.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, TPG becomes AAPT’s owner from February 28. “The cycles of business,” Yuille quips.

Foodco Group boss Serge Infanti says what doesn’t ruin you makes you stronger – if you accept and learn from mistakes.

“Any businessperson who claims to know it all and see the future with absolute clarity is kidding themselves,” says the managing director and part-owner of the Australian owned company, which today has more than 450 franchise outlets worldwide trading through the Muffin Break, Jamaica Blue and Dreamy Donuts brands.

Infanti started as the franchisee of a Muffin Break outlet in Queensland in 1990.

He says his only business regret is he didn’t fast-track the group’s launch in Asia. Foodco currently has 26 outlets in China, two in Singapore and expects to launch in Malaysia this year.

“Of course there is a graveyard of many Australian businesses that went overseas and failed, so we had to temper our plans. But if I had my time again I would have found some money to accelerate expansion to China, which has this huge rising middle class with aspirations and desires of a Western lifestyle and coffee drinking is very much a part of that,” he says.

“We went into the UK market and in the early 2000s started due diligence for China but we started with a very conservative approach and should have seen opportunity to push the button faster, been more entrepreneurial in finding more money to roll out more quickly because the speed of China’s migration from tea drinking to coffee has been quite astounding.”

A start-up founded on a gentleman’s handshake dealt Leon Lau his biggest business lesson.

“I don’t have any standout regrets but, if pushed, it would be an experience that is a lesson for all people starting up a business with a partner or partners,” Lau says.

The executive chairman of Asia Pacific IT&T recruitment giant Peoplebank Group began his business in the early 1990s. It was a 50/50 partnership with a friend.

By the late ’90s the two partners had differing views on the direction the company should go, which led to a “stalemate at the top”, leading to a dysfunctional company “going nowhere”.

“Our mistake was no shareholders agreement was put in place and everything was done on a handshake.

“Factions within the company evolved and it broke out into ‘open warfare’, almost crippling the company and losing the company two to three years’ growth,” Lau says.

Lawyers and litigation eventually resolved the matter and a shareholders’ agreement was signed.

“An exit mechanism was included in the agreement and I bought out my partner. Lesson learnt ‘get important matters documented’.”

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Food rating: Fiona Nash, chief of staff intervened to have website removed

15/04/2019 | 苏州美甲美睫培训学校 | Permalink

Federal politics: full coverage
Nanjing Night Net

A senior government aide, who demanded a new healthy food rating website be taken down, is married to the head of a lobbying body that works for the junk food industry.

Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash said in Senate question time on Tuesday that both she and her chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, had personally intervened to insist health department staff pull down the new “health star rating” site on the day it was launched.

Mr Furnival was previously a chairman of Australian Public Affairs, listed on the lobbyists’ register as representing the Australian Beverages Council and Mondelez Australia, which owns Kraft, Cadbury and Oreo brands, among others.

In question time, Senator Nash also said Mr Furnival was married to the company’s sole director and secretary, Tracey Cain. Australian Securities and Investments Commission records show Mr Furnival was also previously a director of the company.

Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King has demanded an explanation of the actions of Senator Nash and Mr Furnival.

“The government has a responsibility to act in the best interests of all Australians,” she said. “It is for Senator Nash to explain how her actions and those of her office demonstrate this.”

Public health and consumer groups are furious the site was taken down after two years in development, and have accused the government of bowing to the interests of the junk food industry.

The site, which set up a system for food manufacturers to label their products with easy-to-understand nutritional information, was launched about midday on Wednesday last week, only to be pulled by 8pm.

On Friday, Senator Nash did not respond to questions from Fairfax Media about whether she or Mr Furnival had intervened to have the site removed. But on Tuesday, she told Parliament Mr Furnival had approached departmental staff on her direction.

Labor senator Penny Wong asked whether Senator Nash and Mr Furnival had read and complied with ministerial standards relating to conflicts of interest.

Senator Nash called her line of questioning ”unworthy”.

“The health star rating system is not yet in place – it would have been extremely confusing for consumers had that website remained,” she said. “My chief of staff has no connection with the food industry and is simply doing his job.”

The Public Health Association of Australia and consumer group Choice have condemned the decision to take the website down.

Public Health Association head Michael Moore said the move was inappropriate. ”The disappointing thing to me was that it was a unilateral decision that over-rode a decision of the food ministers.”

He said the food industry had supported the site, until it became clear the Coalition would probably gain power at the election.

The Food and Grocery Council says it is only pushing for a cost-benefit analysis to examine the effects of the system on the industry, something supported by Senator Nash. She told Parliament the process had not yet concluded.

A spokeswoman for Senator Nash said Mr Furnival had met all the requirements of employment and of the ministerial staff code of conduct.

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