Friday, 23 March 2018

Check Out Ten Qualify For TV Africa Bumper to Bumper Talent Show

Check Out Ten Qualify For TV Africa Bumper to Bumper Talent Show

After days of tight game and show, 10 dance talents have qualified for the TV Africa's first-ever dance competition show which is about to storm the Ghanaian television airwaves.

The 10 participants who were picked from the audition stage to join the maiden edition of "Bumper To Bumper" will be visited in their various neighborhoods to find out their preparedness towards the commencement of the competition.

Each contestant will be representing themselves as well as their community for the enviable cash prize and the bragging right.

"Bumper To Bumper" is a talent hunt TV show, targeted at the youth and lovers of dance in general. The dance reality show is set to air somewhere in May 2018.

The show has been certified as part of TV Africa's flagship programs and reviews from participants and followers points in the same direction.

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Africa Set in Malappuram Grounds - Especially Nigeria

Africa Set in Malappuram Grounds - Especially Nigeria

Take a really long look around and you can see a multitude of stories just waiting to be told. The stories are all there — the people, places and events, all hidden in plain sight. It takes an astute filmmaker to identify the characters and the story and translate that to the marquee. When placed in the hands of the right directors and actors, some stories take on a life of their own and become tales that are far more real than the original. Director Zakariya is one such person who witnessed an event happening in his backyard in Malappuram for 10 years and took that for granted. But years later, when he thought of making a film, from nowhere that event came unbidden to his mind and he saw with new eyes a story waiting to be told. The result of that is the film Sudani from Nigeria, releasing today.

Admitting that he is slightly tense about the outcome of the film, Zakariya first explains how he decided to make it, “Right from my Class X, I have been dreaming of films and so made short films. Film festivals were learning grounds for me to watch the working style and subject treatment of different world directors. That is when I realised that there are stories and subjects all around us.” That was his initiation into films and the story of Sudani… originated from the Sevens Football Tournament held in major districts of the state, which had seven players in each team.

Though not a football fan, the game aroused his curiosity. Zakariya continues, “Students from Sudan studying in various colleges in Kerala used to participate in these tournaments because of their love for the game. The fame and money attracted more students from Africa and soon each team had at least three players from Africa. All these teams had a manager who took care of the visa and stay facilities of these African players. The funny part was that the African players did not know English and the managers knew only Malayalam, leading to hilarious situations.”

Also the players would be put up in houses in Malappuram leading to further interesting scenarios. Zakariya saw all these instances and translated them as characters in the story running through his head.   Before he embarked on writing the story, Zakariya met African players to know their perspective and thus emerged Sudani... with all these true life incidents that he witnessed. Samuel Abiola Robinson plays the Nigerian player and Soubin Shahir plays his manager. Zakariya reveals, “Soubin suited the character of the middle class manager I had in mind and he has played his character effortlessly. The two ummachis in the film too have good screen space.”

Talking about interacting with Samuel brings a smile to his face, “Thankfully the Nigerian actor knew English — so that was a huge relief. While shooting, I would generally speak in Malayalam to the other actors and then explain to Samuel in English. Sometimes I would forget and Samuel would be standing there with his hands up in the air, a quizzical look in his eyes.” Though the film has football as the base, Zakariya emphasises that it is not a sports film but a family one with its share of tender moments.
Streaming Your Entertainment Outdoors After Big Rains In Bay Area

Streaming Your Entertainment Outdoors After Big Rains In Bay Area

Rivers, streams and creeks provide the instruments for nature’s symphony. Watersheds can be some of the prettiest places in nature, but what stays with you is how their flows and sounds can make you feel inside. After all, like a great concert, it only lasts awhile. Each song is an unrepeatable moment.

Now is the time to feel this.

Spring arrived Tuesday, right when the last in a series of gully whompers swept through the Bay Area and across California. The March storms have transformed creeks from trickles to torrents, and in canyons, the heavy rains have fed cascades, chutes and steps.

This weekend, watersheds through the region will be at their peak for the season. At many, you can drive to streamside. Some have trails for hikes or nearby service roads for mountain biking. All provide payoffs.

With clear, warm weather imminent, here are my No. 1 picks, plus other favorites, for this weekend.

North Bay

Lagunitas Creek: Marin’s prettiest stream runs from its first drops high on the flank of Mount Tamalpais past Lagunitas, Bon Tempe and Kent Lakes en route to the southern end of Tomales Bay. The prettiest spot right now is the Inkwells, a series of small, gorgeous cascades near Shafter Bridge/Inkwells Bridge and Samuel P. Taylor State Park. After heavy rain recharges the watershed, it is drop-dead beautiful. Another favorite spot is the secluded riparian zone below Kent Dam (take the Pump Trail and then break off to your left, down the canyon), a historical spot where a swimming hole was once dammed up in the summer months. Near the stream’s entrance to Tomales Bay, another cool spot is Whitehouse Pool. You can launch kayaks here for access to the adjacent marsh area, the Giacomini Wetlands, to explore and bird watch. Little known: Leopard sharks spawn in this area.

Contacts: Marin Watershed Information Line, (415) 945-1195; Samuel P. Taylor State Park, (415) 488-9897, www.parks.ca.gov; Whitehouse Pool, Marin County Parks, (415) 499-3795, marincountyparks.org.

Others of note: Petaluma River; San Geronimo, Nicasio and Olema creeks (tributaries to Lagunitas Creek; Upper Napa River; Dry, Rector and Milliken creeks (tributaries to Napa River); Devil’s Well, Archer Taylor Preserve.

Peninsula

Pescadero Creek: Following Pescadero Creek will take you to a series of pristine landscapes that span from redwood forests to a coastal lagoon and marsh. The trip starts at Portola Redwoods State Park. Near the visitor center, take the trailhead (near Iverson Cabin Site) for the Old Haul Road. It is routed along the headwaters of Pescadero Creek for 5 miles (one way) with an easy 500-foot descent into Pescadero Creek County Park and to Memorial County Park at Wurr Road (off Pescadero Road). The stream then runs west past Loma Mar en route to Pescadero and beyond to the ocean. Just upstream of Highway 1, on the north side of Pescadero Road, there is a staging area for Pescadero Marsh. An easy, flat walk, the Audubon Trail, runs into the interior of a 600-acre marsh and lagoon, fed by Pescadero Creek. Resident egrets, herons and owls are common. Roughly 200 migratory species of shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors have been verified here.

Contacts: Portola Redwoods State Park, (650) 948-9098, www.parks.ca.gov; Memorial County Park, (650) 879-0238, http://parks.smcgov.org; Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve c/o Pescadero State Beach, (650) 879-2170.

Others of note: Peters Creek, Long Ridge Open Space through Portola Redwoods State Park; Tiptoe Falls, Portola Redwoods; Brooks Falls, San Pedro County Park; Purisima Creek, Purisima Redwoods Open Space Preserve; San Gregorio Creek; San Francisquito Creek, Stanford to Palo Alto Baylands.

East Bay

Alameda Creek: From the deep interior of the East Bay hills, Alameda Creek flows out of the Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness, into Little Yosemite, then through Niles Canyon and Coyote Hills Regional Park to San Francisco Bay. In the process, there are a series of staging areas with payoffs, from top to bottom: Little Yosemite in Sunol Regional Wilderness is gorgeous when recharged with fresh flows with its small pool-and-drop waterfalls, a mile walk to get there. Downstream, Highway 84 runs through Niles Canyon. In Niles, there are two trailheads for the Alameda Creek Regional Trail: one on the north side for hikers, another on the south side for cyclists. The trail spans 12 miles west past Shinn Pond, Quarry Lakes and extends the final four miles to remote bay wetlands and where Alameda Creek enters the bay.

Contact: East Bay Regional Park District, (888) 327-2757; www.ebparks.org.

Others of note: Redwood Creek, Redwood Regional Park; Abrigo Falls, Briones Regional Park; Murrieta Falls, Ohlone Wilderness; Pine Creek, Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area; Donner Creek, Mount Diablo State Park; Wildcat Creek, Wildcat Canyon Regional Park; Bollinger Creek, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness; Walnut Creek, City of Walnut Creek.

South Bay

Santa Clara County: Coyote Creek may undergo more changes in its path than any other stream in the Bay Area. It starts as a pristine brook deep in a wilderness canyon at Henry W. Coe State Park east of Gilroy. Most get their first glimpse of Coyote Creek near the Hunting Hollow staging area and ride a mountain bike along the creek and past a gate into the park. The creek runs downhill into Coyote and Anderson reservoirs. Below Anderson Dam, at Morgan Hill west of Highway 101, it emerges as a pretty stream, with picnic sites. The Coyote Creek Parkway, a bike route, then spans 15 miles to Hellyer Park and Cottonwood Lake. Most stop here.

You can instead trace the creek north through San Jose to where it feeds into tidal wetlands near Alviso for the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Best access is on Dixon Landing Road. A boardwalk trail provides a route to the interior of the wetlands. Before it enters the bay, Coyote Creek becomes a tidal slough, and in a kayak at high tide, you can venture to one of the Bay Area’s ghost town s , Drawbridge.


Contacts: Santa Clara County Parks, (408) 355-2200, www.sccgov.org/sites/parks; S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge, (510) 792-0222, https://www.fws.gov.

Others of note: Stevens Creek, Monte Bello Open Space; San Felipe Creek, Grant County Park; Los Trancos Creek, Foothills Park (Palo Alto residents only); Los Gatos Creek, Lexington to Vasona. Note: Uvas Canyon County Park and its waterfalls remains closed due to a collapsed access road.

Source: Sfchronicle.com
China's Live Entertainment Industry Experience Steady Increase

China's Live Entertainment Industry Experience Steady Increase

Online ticketing website More Tickets launched cooperation with popular lifestyle app “Where Will You Go On Weekends” to provide more discounted tickets and interactive events for users.

According to Cui Jiefu, founder and CEO of More Tickets, online entertainment ticket sales have shown robust and steady growth in recent years, particularly among the younger generation.

Diverse cultural and live entertainment programs are now in high demand in China. Insiders anticipate that creative art exhibitions, gaming and original theater will be new areas for the industry.

Last year, More Tickets created an experimental theater for cancer sufferers. The drama, based on a heart-warming and inspirational true story, aims to help patients face the situation with courage and confidence.

Since its launch two years ago, more than 2.5 million tickets have been sold through the platform, with more than 80 million yuan (US$12.66 million) in sales every month. VR technology is applied to simulate the theater-going experience, helping users choose the best seats.

The latest report from Analysis.cn demonstrates that users from 24 to 30 years of age make up the largest proportion of China’s live entertainment market. Customers in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen contribute over one-fifth of the total revenue.

“Live entertainment is expected to become another promising industry of huge market potential in China following the film industry,” said Xue Yongfeng, an analyst from Analysis.cn. “In the near future it will cover customers in smaller cities and towns of the country.”

Officials from another online ticketing platform, xishiqu.com, also noted that small-scale performances and fan meeting parties will become increasingly popular among the post-1990s and 2000s generations.

Source: SHINE
Check Out Five Leadership Tips For Transforming The Insurance Industry

Check Out Five Leadership Tips For Transforming The Insurance Industry

The insurance industry is caught in a paradox. While effort is being made to innovate, stark realities are getting in the way of advancing the industry in the best interests of the consumer. Antiquated legacy systems that don't have the ability to produce high-quality data insights and actuarial-led decision-making processes are impeding companies' ability to evolve into the digital age and leverage that data to better meet, and ultimately exceed, consumers' expectations.

Even with increasing investments in internal capabilities, a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study of insurance company CEOs noted that the areas they would still most like to strengthen are digital and technological capabilities, followed by customer experience.

While both require changing the current way the insurance industry works, which is the biggest challenge, you cannot achieve one without the other.

As business leaders and managers within the industry, there are some key areas that we must focus on to ensure we are continually innovating and evolving how we deliver solutions for our clients.

The millennial generation should be a key target audience for us. It is currently the largest living generation. We constantly hear how they were raised with technology at their fingertips and that they are looking for more from the brands and organizations they choose to interact with. So what can next-generation insurance industry leaders and managers do to evolve to meet the growing expectations of today's consumer?

Build for the consumer, not the industry

"We've always done it that way," is all too often the answer to questions impeding change relating to archaic legacy systems, paper-driven processes and lack of digital advancement, particularly in the insurance field. Savvy business leaders recognize that today's consumer has different needs, wants and goals than the consumer of 10, five or even one year ago. Technology has changed the way they interact with businesses, and for the insurance industry to truly win tomorrow's consumer, it must build products and capabilities that focus on the consumer. That means leveraging big data, analytics and AI to inform companies on consumer behaviours, not just actuarial analysis, and help to deliver better products based on their wants, needs and habits.

Deliver services, not products

The single, most-important factor is that millennials don't want a product, they want a service.

Wealthsimple is a great example of a company that took a consumer-centric approach to the millennial market. The company recognized that millennials want easy, technology-based solutions that take the time and complexity out of the investment equation. Wealth Simple delivered a service and millennials bought into it.

At Everest, when we rolled a funeral planning and concierge service into a life insurance plan, we had the consumer at the centre of our thinking. We knew that if we could offer them a service, they would be more likely to buy our product.

Give them the tools

People today aren't looking for companies to plan their lives; they want tools that help simplify their lives in a world of complexity.

For example, they want the freedom to plan their own trips and curate their own experiences; virtual solutions like Airbnb help them do that.

Consumers want to be able to access the insurance industry with the same ease and simplicity as everything else in our lives today – hailing a ride with Uber or using Waze to help navigate traffic. As we look at how we serve our clients, we need to ask ourselves a question: "How is what I am offering my clients making their lives better?"

Keep it simple

There is a misconception in our industry that if something is simple, it must be cheap, and if something is complicated, it must be sophisticated and better.

The reality is just the opposite. People want simplicity. Especially millennials.

And this is what we in the industry, need to be constantly weighing ourselves against.

If it's simple to use and makes their lives easier, they will adopt it.

For the insurance industry, it comes down to one critical enabler: technology. If you want to provide insurance as a service, not a product, you need the right technology in place and be willing to adopt new practices to deliver on it.

Build partnerships

The 2017 World Industry Report conducted by Capgemini and Efma found that 75 per cent of senior insurance executives believe developing insurtech (insurance technology) would help them meet their demands.

Yet, P&C Insurance Transformation found that many carriers who are looking to modernize their core systems are discovering that their on-premise hosting environment is insufficient to support new technology being brought in, as well as customers' and agents' real-time "always-on" expectations.

To transform customer offerings, the key for insurance industry leaders is to partner with technology companies. Technological innovation will enable our industry to be more responsive to consumer demands and to more quickly deliver creative solutions to meet their needs. For example, MasterCard recently teamed up with Toronto-based tech company Dream Payments to speed up the process for insurance claims.

As next-gen business leaders and managers, we need to confront these historical impediments to change and work proactively to make lives better for our customers. When companies put consumer-centricity at their core, there is no limit to what they can do.
 Affordable Health Insurance Packages Introduces By Firm

Affordable Health Insurance Packages Introduces By Firm

President, Beep Magnet International Group, Mr. Gilead Okolonkwo, has assured Nigerians that with his newly introduced health packages, even the less-privileged can access and enjoy its benefits in the event of medical eventualities and exigencies.

He disclosed this at the launch of the Beep Health Care and other products in Lagos yesterday. According to him, health insurance is key to addressing challenges faced by the health sector.

According to him, majority desires a health insurance scheme but they do not know how to go about it while others do not trust insurance policies in any way.

Packages launched and introduced to the large gathering include; Beep healthcare, Sisi Box, Annual Community Check and Stem Cell Therapy.

He expressed fear over population that is increasing on daily basis, pollution and lack of improved environmental sanitation, lack of exercise, mental stress and called on well-meaning Nigerians to invest in health insurance for the sake of the poor in the society.

Okolonkwo argued that insurance health scheme is not only for the highly placed individuals or for those working with oil companies but for everyone including entrepreneurs.

“Our packages are very cheap and cost effective. We don’t also compromise quality that is why we maintain high standards and expect same from our service providers.

“The Sisi Box is for women with emphasis on their monthly menstrual system. We would be providing all information they need so that they can manage the period well with reduced pains. It is a one-stop-box for every woman.

“As for the annual community check package, it is like what is obtainable in Korea. The government ensures every citizen carry out a health check annually which will also help to redirect their budget and enable them know where and areas to concentrate on.”

On stem cell therapy, Okolonkwo said it is collaborating with Korean partners especially to handle cases of terminal diseases like HIV etc.

Panelists at the event, Dr. Bashola Femi and Ukpeba Godspower, took time to explain the challenges associated with health insurance scheme and its benefits adding that Beep healthcare is partnering with the renowned HMO Provider, Hygiea in order to provide excellent medical services to its customers.
UK Insurance Cover For Terror Attacks Upgraded

UK Insurance Cover For Terror Attacks Upgraded

Companies in the UK affected by future terror attacks will be covered for non-physical damage for the first time by Pool Re, the government-backed insurer, under changes set out by the Treasury on Thursday.

The changes, announced exactly one year after the Westminster terror attack that claimed five lives and injured 50 others, will be largely welcomed by businesses.

Many companies suffered financial losses after last year’s terror attacks in Manchester and London that were not covered by their insurance policies.

But there is likely to be unease about the timing of the changes, which will not go into effect until the government can find a space in the parliamentary calendar.

Pool Re does not sell insurance directly, but provides back-up to other insurers, enabling them to sell terror insurance to customers.

The group was set up in 1993, when the major terrorist threat was large-scale bombs targeted at buildings. In recent years, the nature of the terror threat has changed, with attackers using cars, knives and homemade devices to target individuals.

The London Bridge attack last June caused an estimated £1.4m of economic losses, as some stallholders and restaurants in Borough Market were forced to close for nearly two weeks. But because the terrorists did not cause any major physical damage to their properties, Pool Re did not pay out after the incident.

The only incident that Pool Re paid out for last year was the Manchester Arena bombing in May, which caused physical damage to buildings.

Neil Coyle, the Labour MP for Southwark & Old Bermondsey, has been campaigning on behalf of the businesses hit by the Borough Market terror attack.

He said on Thursday that the government should prioritise pushing the legislation through to ensure the proposed changes go into effect.

“It is overdue and no further excuse for delays,” he said. “The government must act now given it has an almost vacant legislative agenda.”

Julian Enoizi, chief executive of Pool Re, said that the change was “a landmark moment for the insurance industry’s ability to provide a comprehensive response to acts of terrorism in the UK”.

He added that the expansion of the scheme should encourage small businesses to buy cover.

“Take up of terror insurance by small businesses and outside major cities is very low,” he said. “We want to make the cover so affordable that it is an easy decision to make.”

Not all of the terrorism insurance policies available in the UK are backed by Pool Re, and the government has been concerned that any changes to Pool Re’s remit could distort the wider market.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers trade body said on Thursday: “Pool Re plays an important role and we support updating its scope to reflect the changing nature of terror attacks.

“It is important to remember there are already insurance products that offer business interruption cover where there has been no physical damage to the insured premises from a terrorist attack, but this should help cover become more widespread provided the legislation is well thought-through.”

SOURCE: The Financial Times Limited
India Allocates $1.5 Billion for 'Modicare' Health Insurance

India Allocates $1.5 Billion for 'Modicare' Health Insurance

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India has allocated $1.54 billion for its ambitious health program aimed at providing insurance cover for about half the population, the health minister said on Thursday, labeling it the largest such scheme in the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which has dubbed the scheme "Modicare", announced in February the program would provide 100 million families, or about 500 million poor people, with health cover of 500,000 rupees per year for treatment of serious ailments.

The federal budget had made an allocation of 20 billion rupees for the scheme for 2018-19, but officials had said more funds would be made available as the program was rolled out.

Health Ministry officials said the government has allocated 100 billion rupees ($1.54 billion) for the "National Health Protection Mission" for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

"It's a historic step and a bold decision. It will be the largest public funded health protection scheme in the world," Health Minister J.P. Nadda said at a news briefing.

The measures are Modi's latest attempt to reform a public health system that faces a shortage of hospitals and doctors. The government has also in recent years capped prices of critical drugs and medical devices and increased health funding.

Still, India spends only about 1 percent of its GDP on public health, among the world's lowest, and the health ministry estimates such funding leads to "catastrophic" expenses that push 7 percent of the population into poverty each year.

"This will give underprivileged families the financial support required when faced with illnesses requiring hospitalization," Nadda said.

Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters.
Arms Education: Area Gun Owners Attend Convention To Brush Up On Firearms and CA Law

Arms Education: Area Gun Owners Attend Convention To Brush Up On Firearms and CA Law

DEL MAR — Gun laws are a hot topic and California possesses some of the strictest regulations in the country when it comes to guns.

On March 17, the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee held its second annual gun law convention at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Executive Director Michael Schwartz organized three discussions and a live demonstration to inform attendees of the state’s current and soon-to-be laws.

The first panel featured four attorneys discussing and taking questions about some of the latest laws, many of which they said are contradictory and overreaching. The second panel featured those in the industry working on legislation for gun owners, activism, education and complying with the law.

“Everybody that attended enjoyed it, got a lot out of it and learned a whole lot,” Schwartz said. “We really want to grow this into a true convention that is regional. There are bans on accessories, types of semi-automatic rifles and pistols to some degree.

Navigating all that is very, very difficult because in the rest of the country it’s very normal activity to own these types of rifles, pistols and accessories that are banned in California. Trying to navigate an industry that sells products that are normal across the country and that are illegal here is very difficult.”

Schwartz and Craig Deluz of the Firearms Policy Coalition described their work on educating local and state lawmakers and working toward sensible legislation. They both said their groups are bipartisan and focus only on Second Amendment issues, cautioning the audience of supporting a politician just because of party affiliation.

San Diego County Gun Owners has endorsed San Diego County Sheriff candidate Dave Myers, noting his support and action for allowing concealed carry permits. Deluz said his group has worked with Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento to fight against overreaching legislation.

In addition, he said the group’s social media presence is a source of news and information for gun owners in California and several other states.

“We didn’t exist four-and-a-half years ago,” Deluz said. “You can use social media, but social media must be strategic. It has to lead someone to take action.”

On the liberal front, Lara Smith of the Liberal Gun Club was also part of the panel. Although much of her political concerns were different from many in attendance, her love of guns, safety training, education and activism allows liberals afraid to express those same views a safe place.

She noted 25 percent of Democrats in the state own a gun, perhaps surprising many in attendance. She also said issues such as self-defense don’t play well with liberal gun owners, therefore other tactics are used to educate and welcome those people into the community.

“My group is specifically targeted,” Smith said, adding that Liberals aren’t traditionally targeted by the gun community. “I don’t support bans because bans don’t work. Our focus is on education. So many people are afraid of guns because the only place they see them are strapped to the hip of a cop.”

Wes Cross, co-founder of Cross Armory in Carlsbad, gave a demonstration with the AR-15 rifle, showing attendees how his company ensures compliance. Cross demonstrated the differences between a fixed magazine (where the magazine cannot be removed unless the upper and lower receivers separate), featureless (weapon cannot have a pistol or forward grip and a collapsible stock, among others) and the bullet button (which is classified as an assault rifle, must be registered and where a tool is inserted to release the magazine).

“We make compliance products that make the laws more easy to comply with,” Cross said. “There’s a lot of fear out there. Our main goal is to let people know we have parts and products to use. Typically, gun owners aren’t very vocal. That general demeanor has allowed for all these radical laws to be passed without much pullback.”