The Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Foley and Audio Mixing

first_imgOrganize Audio Clips and Sync Sound with FootageAfter shooting and recording foley, you’ll have plenty of audio to work with from dialogue, sound effects, and music. With all these different files, it’s important to make sure you organize all your clips and tracks so you can sync them.To keep things in order, you’ll need a solid folder structure. You can create your own or just download some free programs that will create folders structures for you. The Film Look has also provided their own Premiere Pro folder structure that you can download here.You will then see them import and rename all of their footage based on the name of the take. Then you can start syncing footage either by using a program like PluralEyes or syncing it yourself in Premiere Pro.For more on syncing audio and footage, check out these articles:Three Ways to Sync Audio to VideoQuickly Sync Audio and Footage in Premiere ProPluralEyes: The Best Workflow for Syncing Audio Did you enjoy this series? Want more like this? Let us know in the comments below. Editing and Mixing AudioOnce you’ve organized, synced, and edited your project, you are ready to start mixing. First, adjust the volume on your machine. This will give you a reference point for how your final video should sound, so you will have a rough idea of how low to mix SFX compared to dialogue.Here are a few level ranges to keep in mind while mixing:Dialogue between -6dB and -24 dBHard foley -5dB to -25dBSoft foley below room tone up to -7dB Ambience will depend on room tone — shouldn’t be overpoweringRoom tone is also important to avoid dead silence. Be sure to match to the levels of room tone silence recorded on set. If some parts of the dialogue are hard to hear, or too loud, you can use keyframes to raise or lower the volume of specific dialogue. While cutting dialogue and SFX, fade in and out of clips to avoid harsh peaks. Finally, layer a variety of SFX not only for practical onscreen noises but also to emphasize emotions. The Final SceneIf you are curious how all of this played out from recording audio to the final mix, you can see the final scene here.Now that you’ve seen everything from recording audio to mixing, you can enjoy this final behind-the-scenes look at the whole process. Check out this comprehensive guide for working with audio in post-production. Learn about foley art, syncing audio, mixing, and more.All images and video via The Film Look.In the original Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Recording Audio, the guys at The Film Look covered topics like audio levels, microphone position, room tone, and capturing wild takes. You can read more and watch the first five episodes here.In the remaining episodes of this series, The Film Look will talk about working with audio in post — specifically, capturing foley and mixing sound. Let’s dive in.Capture the Perfect SFX in Post with FoleyFoley is the reproduction of sound effects in post-production. It mixes in time-specific sounds, like making sure a tap sounds just as a finger hits a table. Mixing in foley is part of a true cinematic experience.If you don’t have a quiet room to record foley, find a space where you can hang some sound blankets and cloth to dampen sound. Then, grab an assortment of props to use to create sounds. Remember, you don’t have to use the exact same dishes or props as you saw on set. You are looking to create the perfect sound; it doesn’t have to be an accurate one.You will need a way to play back a scene so you can time the sound effects, so be sure to have a monitor, laptop, or phone nearby. Then it’s just a matter of recording foley with the right timing.Remember, if you didn’t capture a wild take or can’t recreate a specific sound in foley, you can always browse SFX libraries for additional noises.For more on foley work, check out these videos and articles.Foley: The Art of Making Sound EffectsRecording Foley and Sound Effects: The FundamentalsBehind the Sound Design: Nerf John Wicklast_img read more

Dalit youth tortured over tractor loan

first_imgAfter Pilkhuwa, one more case of alleged custodial torture has come to light from western Uttar Pradesh. A 27-year-old Dalit man was allegedly tortured by policemen when his father failed to pay the instalments of a loan on a tractor in Pahasu area of Bulandshahr. The incident happened on September 27 but the FIR was registered on Friday after the State SC/ST Commission took note of the incident and directed the police to book the three accused policemen.In the FIR, Pramod said that his father bought a tractor by mortgaging a piece of land but started defaulting on payments. Fearing action, he ran away with the tractor three months ago. “On September 27, I was picked up by policemen from my field and was locked up in the police station where I was flogged brutally. I was sedated and tortured for three days.”Pramod said he met senior police officers but when nobody responded, he approached the SC/ST Commission. According to sources, a local politician could be involved in the case.Bulandshahar SSP said an FIR had been lodged against S-I Rajeev Kumar Gaur and Constables Sheel Kumar and Babloo.last_img read more

Dope scandal: Sports ministry orders probe, foreign coach sacked

first_imgUnion Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the doping scandal involving at least eight athletes, including the members of the country’s gold-winning relay race team. The sports ministry also directed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to relieve all foreign coaches attached to these athletes. “I have asked for his removal. He has already been removed,” Maken said referring to Ukrainian athletics coach Yuri Ogrodnik, who is being blamed primarily for the use of banned drugs by the athletes. Maken said the government would take appropriate steps once the inquiry panel, to be headed by a retired high court judge, gives its report. He said the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) would set up increased surveillance on sports persons. He also ordered to set up stricter monitoring facilities at all national training centres. The number of doctors at these centres would also be increased. Maken promised strict action against officials involved in the dope scam. “It is seen that the officials and coaches are left scot-free. So the ministry has decided to take action against officials and coaches alongside the athletes so that such things do not occur in future. I have sought a report from SAI within three days after which we may take action against the erring officials of NIS Patiala also,” Maken said. Golden girls Ashwini Akkunji and Priyanka Panwar had tested positive for anabolic steroid in tests by NADA on Monday. Both of them have been suspended provisionally. Earlier, their relay race team-mate Tiana Mary Thomas had failed a dope test during the national inter-state championships in Bangalore. CWG and Asian Games gold medallist Sini Jose had also flunked dope tests earlier along with top quartermilers Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu, long jumper Hari Krishnan and shot putter Sonia. Ashwini was held back on Monday while she was on her way to Asian Athletics Championship going to begin in Kobe, Japan on July 7. With Ashwini and Priyanka testing positive, India’s chance at winning a medal at 4×400 metre relay event in London Olympics next year seems to have dashed. Seven of the eight athletes have tested positive for methandienone or methandrostenolone, which is an orally-effective anabolic steroid used for muscle growth by bodybuilders. The substance is readily available in various countries without prescription but it is included in the list of prohibited substance of the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA).advertisementlast_img read more

Virat Kohli slams lack of composure in RCB bowling attack

first_imgRoyal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli on Monday blasted his bowlers for letting the opposition go off the hook after their five-wicket loss against the Kolkata Knight Riders. (Scorecard)At one stage, the hosts were sensing victory at the M Chinnaswamy stadium but Yusuf Pathan (60) and Andre Russell (39) absolutely dismantled the Bangalore bowlers in the slog overs to dash their hopes. (Full IPL Coverage) Chasing a daunting 186-run target, Kolkata were in for an early scare as Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn failed to get going. Captain Gambhir got a decent start but failed to convert it. His dismissal was followed by Manish Pandey’s wicket that saw Kolkata reeling at 69 for 4 in the 11th over.However, Russell and Pathan stitched a 96-run stand for the fifth wicket to help Kolkata cross the line and end their two-match losing streak. Both the power hitters were aided by some half-hearted efforts from the Bangalore players on the field. Barring Yuzvendra Chahal, none of the Bangalore bowlers managed to create an impression. (This is how Pathan, Russell stole the match away from Bangalore)”Nothing much to say, we needed to take our chances. We let the game drift away. Composure with the ball was lacking. Guys like Russell and Yusuf will make you pay. Need to take chances in T20 cricket,” a visibly disappointed Kohli said after the match.With their third defeat in a row, Bangalore are staring down the barrel this season in the points table. With just 2 wins in 7 games, they are on the seventh spot.advertisement”If you don’t take chances, the other team will make you pay. These games can pull a player down. Need to be positive and need to correct our mistakes,” he said.On the other hand, Kolkata moved to second spot on the table with five win out of eight games.Gambhir lauded Russell and Pathan for their “unbelievable” knocks.”Unbelievable knock from Russell and Yusuf. This is one of my favourite Yusuf innings,” the elated captain said.last_img read more

(Incorporating related series)

first_imgBJP fields Prabhu from AP, Akbar from MP, RJDs Misa Bharti files papers New Delhi, May 30 (PTI) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and noted journalist M J Akbar figured in BJPs second list of six candidates today for the Rajya Sabha biennial polls with the two being fielded from Andhra Pradesh, where ally TDP has assured its support, and Madhya Pradesh respectively. With one day left for filing of nominations for the polls, the announcement was made by the BJP even as Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and RJD chief Lalu Prasads daughter Misa Bharti were among several candidates from different parties who today submitted their papers. BJP vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who heads a think tank affiliated to the party and is also in-charge of its affairs in MP, and Vikas Mahatme were nominated from Maharashtra while Shiv Pratap Shukla will contest from Uttar Pradesh and Mahesh Poddar from Jharkhand. It had yesterday released the first list of 12 candidates. Elections for 57 seats in the Upper House from 15 states are due to be held on June 11. BJPs general secretary Ram Madhav, whose name was doing the rounds as a contender, is not among the six candidates with sources saying he is likely to get a bigger responsibility in the organisation following a rejig expected soon. Interestingly, the names of 12 candidates recommended by the BJP election committee in MP to the Central Election Committee for two Rajya Sabha seats did not have Akbars name However, the veteran scribe pipped them all. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) nominated party chief Shibu Sorens younger son Basant Soren as its candidate from the mineral-rich state.(MORE) PTI KR PVR MAS LAL GSN GSNadvertisementlast_img read more

Realme 2: Large battery, good cameras and slick design make it one of the best phones under Rs 10,000

first_imgRealme 1, when it launched several months ago, turned out to be one of the best phones you could buy at a price point of around Rs 10,000. Now, the Realme 2 is out and this one too offers enough to be a phone that you can call all-rounder and one of the best purchases in the market at a price of Rs 8,999.While the name suggests that the Realme 2 is the successor to the Realme 1, that is not the case. It is a phone that is part of the Realme series and is sort of Realme Lite 1. And as a Lite phone, it offers more than enough at its price point to be a standout phone in the market. It has got decent hardware, a screen with notch, and features like a fingerprint sensor. But of particular note, and the bits that make the Realme 2 really worth its price, are its fantastic battery life, very capable cameras and a slick design.Let’s start with the design.While the Realme 2 is an affordable phone, it offers consumers a design and body that you usually find in more premium phones. The phone uses a fibre glass body — with its shell made with 12-layer nanotech composite material — and diamond pattern that makes the phone look really slick. Then there is the notch screen, which also makes the phone more appealing. Not to forget the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 layer on the screen which not only makes the phone more durable, but also more beautiful.advertisementThe Realme 2 has a very good design. It actually looks great, particularly the red variant, and has a compact size that allows one-handed usage of the phone despite its big screen. The phone is durable enough to take a fall or two.Looking beyond the design, we feel that the battery life and the camera performance of the Realme 2 are two strong reasons to pick this phone over others like the Redmi Y2 and Nokia 3.1. The Realme 2 comes with a huge battery that has a capacity of 4,230mAh. It is not just about the big number. The battery also lasts long. During the phone’s review, the India Today Tech team found that the phone can last up to 2 days on a single charge. Even if you play a lot of games — hey PUBG gamers — the phone easily lasts one whole day and then some more.The Realme 2 sports a 13-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. The primary camera is accompanied with another 2-megapixel camera — yes, Realme 2 has a dual-camera system — so it supports features like portrait mode, which allows users to click images that have blurred backgrounds. Both rear and front cameras perform admirably well in good light. The colours in photos clicked with the Realme 2 look punchy and there is lot of detail in the images. In fact, we can say with some confidence that the Realme 2 cameras are among the best that you can buy in a Rs 10,000 phone.The rest of the phone is good enough, and that complements Realme 2’s camera and battery performance to give users a device that they will love to use. The software is optimised to a degree that there is no discernible lag in the phone in day-to-day use. The Realme 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, which is as good as Snapdragon 625 for all practical purposes. Even demanding games like the PUBG work well on Realme 2 and apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram are butter smooth.Key details you must know about Realme 2:– The Realme 2 with 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM is priced at Rs 8,990. The variant with 4GB RAM + 64GB is priced at Rs 10,990.– The Realme 2 has a screen-body ratio of 88.8 per cent.– The phone has 3 unlock features: finger print unlock, face unlock and smart unlock.– The Realme 2 has an improved reflecting effect in the diamond cut design compared to Realme 1.– The Realme 2 will be available in Diamond Black and Diamond Red in September, while the Diamond Blue variant will be available from early October.The first sale for the Realme 2 is on September 4 at 12 PM on Flipkart, which happens to be the exclusive retail partner for the phone. If you are looking to buy a smartphone for under Rs 10,000, the Realme 2 should be on your radar. And if you are willing to spend some more, there is always the Realme 1.All things considered, you can say that the Realme 2 is an all-rounder under Rs 10,000 and definitely the best value for money.advertisementlast_img read more

India vs Australia: Cutting off injured finger only way Finch can be kept out of MCG Test

first_imgAaron Finch will not back down from a Boxing Day Test due to an injured finger and declared himself a sure shot to open in the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, unless his finger is “cut off”. Finch retired hurt in Perth after a brutal blow to his right finger off a Mohammed Shami delivery but then returned to bat, lasting just a single delivery before falling to Shami. He thereafter did not field in Australia’s comfortable victory over the Virat Kohli-led team.Traditionally a Boxing Day Test has always taken place at the MCG but if Finch starts, it will be the first time since 1973 that two openers from Victoria [Finch and Marcus Harris] will play a Test on Boxing Day.”With a Boxing Day Test, being from Victoria, it’s going to have to be cut off (to not play),” Finch was quoted as saying by”It’s going to be a catch and bat today and reassess, but it feels like it’s improved 100 per cent over the last couple of days.”I got sent some new bats, so I’ve been walking around the lounge room and waving them around. It feels OK.”If anything changes in the next couple of days, we’ll have to sit down and chat about that but, at this stage, it’s still business as usual and I plan to field at slip and do whatever else is needed.”Finch revealed that when the Shami delivery hit his finger it aggravated an old fracture, exposed the bone and “felt like it was going to explode”. He said that it was the initial pain in the finger that did him.advertisement”It was a bit of a shock. Just the initial pain was the thing that got me,” Finch said.”Being hit a few times in the last month (made it worse), a couple of times by Starcy (Mitchell Starc) at training then obviously Shami.”It’s also an old break. I broke the same finger in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago. I’ve just got to start catching them and using my bat instead of my gloves.”On the other hand, Travis Head said ahead of the Melbourne Test that Australia will have to continue the momentum they got in Perth.”We need to make sure we continue the momentum,” Head was quoted as saying by “The Age”.”I thought the way we batted in the big moments of the game and the way we built pressure with the bat, the way we built pressure in the field, it was a great week. We will try to continue that on Boxing Day,” he added.Also Read | Ravi Shastri reveals why Ravindra Jadeja did not play Perth Test vs AustraliaAlso Read | Virat Kohli’s aggression should not be thwarted: Sandeep PatilAlso Read | Australia must carry the momentum in Boxing Day Test vs India, says Travis Headlast_img read more

TVO host breaks silence says sexual harassment allegation 100 per cent false

first_imgTORONTO – A veteran journalist with Ontario’s public broadcaster fired back and denied a sexual harassment allegation made by a Toronto woman, calling the claim “complete fiction.”Steve Paikin, host of TVOntario’s flagship current events program “The Agenda,” broke his silence Tuesday with an extensive statement on Facebook, where he said he was “gobsmacked” by the allegation outlined to him in an email from his accuser over the weekend.“Even though I knew the allegations were 100 per cent false, I did what I suspected was the appropriate thing to do and immediately passed the email on to my superiors at TVO,” Paikin wrote. “I knew the charges were bogus, but I knew I owed it to my employer to be totally transparent about all of it.”Paikin said he spent two hours Sunday with TVO management and its lawyers “answering every imaginable question.”His comments come after TVO announced Monday that an independent third party will investigate the allegations, during which time Paikin will continue to host “The Agenda.”Paikin commended the broadcaster Tuesday for bringing in the investigator, adding that “I have no doubt that a thorough and fair analysis of the allegations and the parties involved will point to the truth.”Paikin and TVO have said the claims were mounted by former Toronto mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson, who Paikin said he has known professionally for more than a decade.In a post Friday on Thomson’s website Women’s Post, she wrote that a political talk show host, who she did not identify, “asked me if I would sleep with him” after attending a lunch at a Toronto restaurant in 2010. She said her assistant was present for the meeting.She said she “politely” declined his offer, then went to the washroom and called her campaign manager, who advised her to leave, which she said she did.Thomson has not responded to requests for comment from The Canadian Press.Before Paikin released his Facebook statement, Thomson tweeted Tuesday, “Women don’t come forward because they get attacked on social media. Did Paikin go public to scare other women from coming forward? Sad how easily he’s playing people.”The allegation comes amid a social justice movement under the #MeToo and Time’s Up banners, which has sparked an international conversation on sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.Paikin said the movement is “too important to be undermined by spurious allegations. The only good thing about this has been receiving the huge number of emails and phone calls from people who believe me and are prepared to say so publicly.”He said he wrote the statement independent of TVO and his lawyers, and that he has had trouble sleeping since the allegation was made.“You’ve defamed me Sarah. I have no idea why, but you have. And I simply can’t allow that to stand,” he wrote. “The quest to reclaim my reputation, which you’ve tried to destroy, begins now. I look forward to vindication.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Headlines in a previous version said Steve Paikin responded to sexual assault allegations. In fact, he is responding to a sexual harassment allegation.last_img read more

The Latest Spain pulls its frigate from near Persian Gulf

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Latest on the reported sabotage attacks on ships near the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):11:50 a.m.Spain has temporarily pulled out a frigate that was part of a U.S.-led combat fleet from waters near the Persian Gulf, where tensions are mounting between the United States and Iran.The Spanish Ministry of Defence says the Méndez Núñez frigate, with 215 sailors on board, will not cross the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf together with the fleet headed by the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier.The Ministry declined to elaborate on the reasons of the sudden change.Spanish media, citing government sources, said Spain is concerned that it could be dragged to an unwanted conflict as a result of the crisis between Washington and Teheran surrounding the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.The Spanish frigate was the only non-U.S. vessel in the fleet, which is scheduled to sail to California in late October.___7:50 a.m.New satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press show the oil tankers that Gulf officials alleged were the targets of “sabotage” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.The images, provided on Tuesday by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies, show the oil tankers. Two are from Saudi Arabia, one is Norwegian and the other is Emirati.A boom surrounds the Emirati oil tanker, suggesting officials worry about an oil leak from the vessel.Otherwise, the vessels do not show signs of massive damage. The Norwegian ship sustained a hole just above its hull in the incident.A U.S. official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, said all the ships sustained similar damage.—Lolita C. Baldor in Washington;The Associated Press read more

In era of email snail mail still going strong UN postal agency

6 December 2007Despite stiff competition from electronic communications, snail mail is still going strong, the United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) announced today, with letter mail traffic up slightly, more parcels being sent and postal revenue surging. Despite stiff competition from electronic communications, snail mail is still going strong, the United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) announced today, with letter mail traffic up slightly, more parcels being sent and postal revenue surging.In its worldwide statistics for 2006, the Berne, Switzerland-based UPU reported that with a total traffic of 433 billion mail items, domestic letter-post traffic rose slightly compared to the year before, while international mail was down two per cent.The number of parcels sent last year numbered 6.235 billion items nationally and internationally, increasing 4.8 per cent from the year before. Domestically, advertising mail contributed to the rise in mail volumes.The biggest rise in domestic parcels traffic – 11.7 per cent – occurred in Africa, while internationally, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) saw a 21.4 per cent surge.Global postal revenue climbed 13 per cent to $308.1 billion compared to 2005. More than half of these profits were generated by letter post, while more than one quarter was created by parcels and logistics services.The statistics were gathered from responses to a UPU questionnaire, to which 163 out of the 191 UPU Member States responded.The survey showed that the Swiss send the largest number of letters – 713 letters annually – while the Japanese send the most parcels, some 18.1 yearly.The UPU also found that the world’s postal services employ more than 5.5 billion people. Vanuatu has the smallest postal staff globally with 37 employees, while with 796,199 employees, the United States has the largest.With four post offices, the Vatican has the fewest number of them, while India, with the most, has 155,333.The UPU is the world’s second-oldest international organization, created in 1874. The agency acts as the primary forum for cooperation between postal systems worldwide. read more

UN General Assembly votes to ask ICJ for opinion on Israels separation

The United Nations General Assembly, at the resumption of its long-running tenth emergency special session on Palestine, adopted a resolution today asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s construction of a separation barrier between itself and the West Bank.The recorded vote in the 191-member Assembly was 90 in favour, 8 against (Australia, Ethiopia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions. Nineteen delegations were absent.Among those abstaining was the Russian Federation, a member of the “Quartet” advocating a Roadmap to Peace in the Middle East. The other three members of the Quartet are the European Union, the United States and the United Nations.The Assembly also expressed grave concern about the start and ongoing construction of the barrier in and around East Jerusalem — a departure from the 1940s Armistice “Green Line” — disrupting the lives of thousands of civilians and leading to the de facto annexation of large areas of territory.The tenth emergency session on illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory dates back to 1997, when Israel began construction of a new settlement south of East Jerusalem.The ICJ, based in The Hague, the Netherlands, and established in 1946, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It has the dual role of settling legal disputes between member states and issuing advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by international organs and agencies.Arab delegations had called for the vote following the release of a report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which said that Israel was not in compliance with the General Assembly’s past demand that it halt construction of the barrier and remove it.After the vote, Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said more than half the Assembly had not voted for the present “biased resolution,” rejecting it in one way or another. Among those voting for and against the measure, a clear distinction existed between tyrannical dictatorships and corrupt regimes on one side and those with enlightened regimes on the other, he said.Israel regarded the vote as a moral victory for the enlightened, civilized world over the dark forces of tyranny and corruption, he said.The Observer for Palestine, Nasser al-Kidwa, described the barrier as a 21st century “wall of shame,” which was built on a foundation of killings and human rights violations and which must be removed immediately.Continued construction of the wall meant the end of the two-state solution to the conflict, as well as the Quartet-backed peace plan, he said. The entire world stood against the building of the “expansionist wall” and countries had been subjected to “immense pressures” not to vote for the resolution, he added. Video of emergency special session Part I Part II read more

End is near for nasty proxy fight between Agrium and Jana partners

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email End is near for nasty proxy fight between Agrium and Jana partners by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 7, 2013 6:00 am MDT CALGARY – To Agrium Inc., Jana Partners LLC is a hedge fund Hell-bent on breaking up the company, selling the parts and making a quick buck.To Jana, Canadian fertilizer giant Agrium (TSX:AGU) is a chronic underperformer that has mismanaged its business, lacked proper board oversight and been stubbornly resistant to change.Months of name-calling and accusations will come to an end one way or another on Tuesday, when Agrium holds its annual general meeting and shareholders vote on whether to elect Jana’s five nominees to the company’s 12-member board.“We are confident that Agrium will prevail,” said Agrium spokesman Richard Downey.“We look forward to putting the proxy contest behind us so we can focus our full attention on optimizing the business, helping growers feed a growing world and creating long-term value for our shareholders.”Jana also believes the vote will go its way on Tuesday, said partner Charles Penner.“We’re very confident based on the shareholder support that we’ve already received that highly valuable experience and enhanced shareholder focus is coming to Agrium’s board on Tuesday.”In the waning weeks of the fight, the debate has seemed more focused on the tactics each side is using rather than bigger-picture issues around Agrium’s long-term prospects.“At this time, we think investors should take a step back, avoid getting bogged down in the fray and examine the high-level, important issues that will last beyond the next month and truly affect Agrium’s future,” wrote RBC Capital Markets analyst Adam Schatzker in a recent report, adding that splitting the company is a bad idea and there’s nothing wrong with the status quo.Jana has spent more than $1 billion to acquire a 7.5 per cent stake in Agrium, making the New York hedge fund, headed by Barry Rosenstein, the fertilizer company’s biggest shareholder.The activist fund, whose campaigns have never gone as far as a shareholder vote until now, first approached Agrium in May of last year.According to Agrium, Jana’s pitch centred around breaking up the company, spinning off its retail segment and its potash business.Agrium said its board gave fair hearing to Jana’s ideas and after a two-month review decided shareholders would be better off if it remained in one piece.Jana, for its part, says Agrium failed to address the issues it has raised, which go beyond just its split proposal. In addition to addressing Agrium’s “conglomerate structure,” Jana also wants to see improvements in costs, controls, corporate governance and capital allocation — its so-called “5 Cs” platform.The fight went public in August and since then, the two sides have been lobbing barbs at each other on a regular basis.Jana has decried Agrium’s “scorched earth” approach and “thin-skinned” responses. Agrium has likened Jana to a Trojan horse, duping shareholders into allowing the company to be broken up.Jana wants to appoint five directors to Agrium’s 12-member board, including Rosenstein and former Liberal agriculture minister Lyle Vanclief. To address what it sees as a lack of retail distribution expertise on the board, it also wants to appoint David Bullock, Stephen Clark and Mitchell Jacobson, who had leadership roles at UAP, Brenntag and MSC, respectively.In February, Agrium appointed former Viterra CEO Mayo Schmidt and former John Deere & Co. executive David Everitt to the board, but Jana was not satisfied.Around that time Agrium and Jana had come close to calling a truce, but it fell apart at the last minute. Each blames the other for the deal’s failure.In the weeks since, Agrium and Jana have been quarelling about how Agrium’s long-term share price performance ought to be measured and compared with its peers. Each is accusing the other of torqing the numbers.The two firms have also been attacking one another’s integrity. Agrium accuses Jana of putting its director nominees on “golden leashes” — offering them financial incentives based on Agrium’s share-price performance over 30 months — that call into question their independence and commitment to Agrium’s long-term performance.More recently, Jana has pounced on what it sees as “vote buying” on Agrium’s part. Agrium is paying 25 cents to brokers and investment advisers for each share their clients vote in favour of Agrium, to a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $1,500 per beneficial share owner.So far, four institutional shareholders have said publicly they intend to side with Agrium: Alberta fund manager AIMCo, B.C. fund manager bcIMC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Letko, Brosseau and Associates.Proxy advisers have been divided on what Agrium shareholders ought to do. Influential firm ISS, whose recommendations many tend to follow, says two of Jana’s five nominees should join the board: Rosenstein and Bullock.ISS said Jana has made a “compelling case for change” on the board.“The gnawing question is not whether the company should spin off its distribution business, but whether a board still loudly repudiating the very changes it has begun to implement, changes which have encouraged many shareholders and analysts, is a board with a burgeoning credibility problem. Shareholders may well wonder if, once the bright lights of this proxy contest are turned off, the progress will fade as well.”Other proxy advisory firms — Glass, Lewis, Pensions Investment Research Consultants and Egan-Jones — have all endorsed Agrium’s existing board.In a recent research note, Scotia Capital analyst Ben Isaacson said voting Jana’s proxy, even to vote for one or two of its nominees, would be a “mistake.”“In our view, this would inevitably lead to a split and toxic board, where competing visions and in-fighting destroy shareholder value rather than create it.” read more

Bernankes decision to skip US Fed conference in August fuels speculation hell

Bernanke’s decision to skip US Fed conference in August fuels speculation he’ll leave in Jan. by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Apr 23, 2013 3:52 am MDT WASHINGTON – Ben Bernanke is intensifying speculation that this year will be his last as Federal Reserve chairman by deciding to skip the Fed’s annual August conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.Jackson Hole has long been a high-profile platform for speeches by Fed chairmen. Since taking over the Fed in 2006, Bernanke has been the marquee speaker each year. In 2010, he used his speech to signal that the Fed could launch another bond-buying program. Stock prices jumped in response to his remarks.His second four-year term will end in January, and neither he nor President Barack Obama has signalled whether Bernanke will serve a third term.The Jackson Hole retreat, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, will be held Aug. 22-24. A Fed spokesman said Monday that Bernanke won’t attend because of a “personal scheduling conflict.” He didn’t elaborate.Tim Duy, an economics professor at the University of Oregon and author of the FedWatch blog, said Bernanke’s decision suggests that he’ll leave the Fed in January.“I wonder if that indicates what we all believe,” Duy said.All eyes at the conference will likely instead focus on the Fed’s vice chair, Janet Yellen, who is widely considered the front-runner to succeed Bernanke. Yellen, who previously led the San Francisco Fed, was appointed vice chair by Obama. Yellen has been a vocal supporter of Bernanke’s low interest rate policies, and her selection would suggest that the Fed would continue those policies.And if Yellen is the keynote speaker at Jackson Hole this year, “that would just confirm her front-runner status,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Columbia Management, an asset management firm.Pandl said it’s even possible Bernanke could inform the White House of his intention to leave, and Obama could publicly tap Yellen to succeed him, before Jackson Hole.About 140 central bankers, economists, academics and government officials attend the annual conference, which is in its 37th year. In 2010, Bernanke used his speech to list the Fed’s options for stimulating a weak economy, including a second round of Fed bond purchases to try to keep borrowing costs low. That was the approach Bernanke eventually announced two months later.Several of Bernanke’s comments this year have caused observers to speculate that he is ready to leave after eight grueling years, which included the financial crisis and Great Recession, and likely resume teaching at Princeton University.Asked at a news conference last month about his plans, Bernanke said, “I don’t think that I’m the only person in the world who can manage the exit” from the Fed’s record-low-rate policies and $3 trillion in bond holdings. The Fed has vastly expanded its portfolio through bond purchases intended to keep rates low to encourage borrowing, spending and investing.In congressional testimony in February, the normally circumspect Bernanke flashed impatience over criticism that the Fed under his leadership has escalated the risk of high inflation. Responding to a question from Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, Bernanke said, “None of the things you said are accurate.”“He didn’t sound like someone who wanted to stick around in the job much longer,” Duy said.This year’s Jackson Hole conference will occur as even some members of the Fed’s policy committee are pushing to end its $85 billion-a-month in bond purchases, which began last year. That pressure could intensify by the time of the Jackson Hole conference, particularly if the economy has strengthened.Bernanke said in December that the Fed would continue buying Treasury securities and mortgage-backed bonds until substantial progress was made in reducing unemployment. The unemployment rate remains a still-high 7.6 per cent.Assuming he does leave in January, Bernanke’s absence from Jackson Hole would contrast with the 2005 conference, the last one before Alan Greenspan ended his 18-year tenure as Fed chief. That conference featured numerous expressions of praise for Greenspan’s achievements at the Fed. Two years later, the financial crisis pushed the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.“In hindsight, it looks like the participants at the 2005 Jackson Hole conference missed the elephant in the room, which was the growing credit bubble and instability in the financial system,” Pandl said.__Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Amid ongoing Egyptian protests UN chief urges rethinking antidemonstrations law

“He stresses the importance of respect for peaceful protest and freedom of assembly, and a commitment to dialogue and non-violence,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.Egyptian authorities passed a new law on Sunday restricting demonstrations and giving local security authorities the power to ban gatherings that would, among other things, constitute a threat to “security” or “disrupt citizens’’ interests”.The top United Nations official today added his voice to those criticizing the law for leaving the door open to a very restrictive and repressive interpretation, as Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said yesterday.In today’s statement, Mr. Ban reiterated Ms. Pillay’s concerns and urged Egyptian authorities to consider amendments to the law “to make sure that any laws passed are in full conformity with international human rights standards”.Egypt has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests. This past July, renewed protests, in which dozens of people were killed and wounded, led to the Egyptian military deposing President Mohamed Morsy. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.The UN chief today reiterated that an atmosphere where there is free assembly and expression is a key element for Egypt to credibly hold its planned referendum on the Constitution as is expected next month. The referendum is to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections. read more

UN welcomes safe return of two abducted staffers in Pakistan

“The whole UN family in Pakistan welcomes their safe return,” the world body said in a statement.The two staff went missing on the evening of 17 April. When no contact with the staff members was possible, local police were alerted.The police led the investigation, in close contact with UNICEF and the staff members’ families.“Our colleagues are safe and well, and are being supported by UNICEF’s Karachi office, and hope to be afforded privacy as they recover from their ordeal,” the statement added.

Pitching a priority for Blue Jays GM Atkins heading into winter meetings

TORONTO — The off-season to-do list for Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins has a couple of glaring needs at the top as he prepares to head out to Las Vegas for next week’s baseball winter meetings.Pitching and defence are two areas that Atkins would like to shore up as he plans for a 2019 regular season that could see a lot of young players get an opportunity.The organization is well-stocked in the minor leagues but it’s unclear when that depth will bear fruit at the big-league level. A surplus of middle infielders throughout the team’s system could give Atkins some trade bait, or he could go the free-agent route to give his starting rotation a needed boost.“What we’re trying not to do is put any firm timelines on anything,” Atkins said Wednesday. “Try to fine-tune the depth that we have. We feel so strongly about the position player group and wanting to complement that with pitching is a priority.”At the moment, new skipper Charlie Montoyo has Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman as the key cogs in a rotation that could see Ryan Borucki slotted in at the No. 3 spot.“Young controllable pitching is very difficult to acquire,” Atkins said at a luncheon with members of the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. “So we’re not going to easily and readily acquire more Borucki or Sean Reid-Foley types.“I think adding at the free-agent level is more realistic and something that we’ll be looking to do.”The Blue Jays are coming off another down year in the American League East. Toronto settled for a fourth-place finish in the division with a 73-89 record.More pain is expected for at least a year or two. The good news for Blue Jays fans is that the organization’s top prospects could soon be ready for big-league action, with third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., at the top of the list.Guerrero is expected to start the year with triple-A Buffalo before getting a callup a few weeks later, which would give the Blue Jays one more year of contract control. Atkins was asked Wednesday who he expected his starting third baseman to be on opening day.“I think the most likely scenario would be (Brandon) Drury today but we’ll see,” he said. “We have a lot of off-season left.”Another big question mark is at shortstop. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Richard Urena are in the mix and Troy Tulowitzki appears close to a return after heel surgery wiped out his season.Atkins said Tulowitzki, who has been working out with college players, is recovering well but it’s too early to say when he’ll be ready for big-league play. “All of our reports are very positive,” he said. “So it’s really just a matter of getting him in the spring training environment.”The winter meetings are set for Dec. 10-13 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Resort.The BBWAA chapter also announced its annual award winners Wednesday. First baseman Justin Smoak was a unanimous pick as player of the year and left-hander J.A. Happ was named pitcher of the year.Catcher Luke Maile took the most improved player nod and Borucki was named rookie of the year. Former manager John Gibbons was the winner of the John Cerutti Award for goodwill, co-operation and character.———Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press read more

Football Ohio State offensive tackle Jamarco Jones selected by Seattle Seahawks in

Ohio State senior left tackle Jamarco Jones warms up prior to the Buckeyes’ 38-7 win versus Army on Sept. 16 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorFormer Ohio State left tackle Jamarco Jones was selected in the fifth round with the No. 168 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks.Jones started 27 consecutive games during his junior and senior seasons. He was recognized as a First-team All-Big Ten member last season, and second-team in 2016. Jones played in 50 games, including the 2014 national championship win against Oregon, in his four seasons as a Buckeye.Jones helped Ohio State rank 17th in the country with 243.2 rushing yards per game, while also earning the eighth-most yards per rush at 5.78 yards per carry.Ohio State also gave up the ninth-fewest tackles for loss per game during last season (4.14).Jones did not fare well at the NFL combine. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman finished with the third-slowest 40-yard dash (5.50 seconds) among offensive lineman, and the second-slowest 20-yard shuttle (4.99 seconds).Seattle gave up 43 sacks, the 11th most in the NFL, even with one of the more elusive quarterbacks in the league, Russell Wilson, under center.Jones and the Seahawks open up the 2018 season on Sept. 9 against the Denver Broncos. read more

Mens soccer OSU earns draw over weekend against No 7 Indiana

With No. 7 Indiana coming to town, the Ohio State men’s soccer team looked to take down another Big Ten foe at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.Coming off a dominant 3-0 win over Oakland on Tuesday, the Buckeyes looked to ride momentum in hopes of improving their conference record of 2-3.OSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried (1) prepares to return the ball to midfield during the Buckeye’s game against Valparaiso on Sept. 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes won 4-1. Credit: Janaya Greene | Lantern PhotographerOhio State and Indiana played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon, with neither team able to find a game-winner through two overtime periods.“It could have gone either way,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “Earlier in the year we lost three games in sudden-death overtime. I think our guys were determined not to let that happen again.”The Buckeyes opened up the scoring early in the first period.In the 5th minute of play, junior forward Nate Kohl secured the ball in the box after a failed clearing attempt by the Indiana goalkeeper. Kohl deflected the ball off his chest then slid down to redirect it into the back of the net, giving the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead.For Kohl, it was his team-high fifth goal of the season.Indiana netted an equalizer in the 18th minute with a header by sophomore midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr.However, it did not take long for the Buckeyes to answer back.In the 20th minute, Kohl worked a ball down the sideline. He slotted a pass through the middle in between a couple Hoosier defenders, finding senior midfielder Ben Fitzpatrick, who used a good first touch to get around his defender. He then fired it into the back of the net from 12 yards out, putting OSU back on top 2-1.“Me and Ben have worked on and off the ball together pretty well,” Kohl said. “I know how he plays and he knows how I play so it just keeps getting better. Its sad it took until the end of the season to start working, but I guess it’s as good a time as any.”Just as it seemed like the Buckeyes had the game in the bag, Indiana upped the tempo and started applying pressure deep in the offensive zone.With just seven minutes remaining in regulation, senior defender Billy McConnell deflected an Indiana shot inside the box that rolled just out of reach of OSU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Parker Siegfried to tie the game up at two.Neither of the two teams had many scoring opportunities in the two overtime periods, as the game ended in a tie.“When you let up an equalizing goal that late, your team could fold,” Bluem said. “For those last 27 minutes, our guys strapped them back up and fought hard to not allow that winning goal.”The Hoosiers outshot OSU 14-5, including an 8-1 advantage in the second period. Siegfried made five saves.The two teams seemed to have some bad blood, as things got chippy as time went on. Indiana accumulated a staggering 28 for calls, including four yellow cards for Indiana. OSU amassed 12 total fouls.“They were getting a little upset that they are the No. 7 team in the country and we were putting the pressure on them and taking the wind out of them,” Kohl said. “Things got a little chippy, but nothing we couldn’t handle.”Bluem said he was very proud of how his team played despite missing a few of their key guys to injuries.“We have a lot of talent sitting on our bench that can’t play,” Bluem said. “Yaw (Amankwa) couldn’t play today. Danny (Jensen) is out. (Marcus) McCrary is out. The guys that are being called upon in their place are really doing a great job.”Next up for the now 4-9-1 Buckeyes is a road contest against No. 4 Louisville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. read more

Death of former MEPs son inspires establishment of Catholic university in Ireland

first_imgFORMER MEP KATHY Sinnott has said the idea to set up Ireland’s only Catholic liberal arts college was inspired by her son who died in a tragic accident in 2009.A group in the United States has been formed to raise funds for the Newman College Ireland and to pay for scholarships to allow students to attend without paying huge fees. Sinnott said those involved in the project have already started scouting locations for the college but “we haven’t discovered it yet”.Speaking to she said the idea for the four year college, which will offer courses in theology, philosophy, history, literature, maths and natural science, was inspired by her son Kevin, who passed away five years ago. The 22-year-old drowned while trying to swim across a lake near his college.She said he had been through the Irish education system and “didn’t do so well”.He went to a liberal arts college in America, he got a good scholarship and I wanted him to absolutely blossom. He discovered talents there he didn’t know he had. “At his funeral I was thinking how happy he was over the last couple of years and how some of his friends in Ireland didn’t have the same opportunity,” she continued. “Some were doing subjects they wanted to do when they were 16 but changed their minds and I just thought people in Ireland should have this.”ScholarshipsSinnott explained that the college will offer students a chance to major in a particular topic of their interest but they will also be given an education in the base subjects, like theology and history.On a website set up for the college, it says it expects to be able to award students substantial scholarship aid. It also said students will be encouraged “to learn the unity of truth, and to see the goodness, truth and beauty of creation, as well as the inviolable dignity of human life, which is threatened in our time by an eclipse of the sense of God”.The project’s Facebook page promises the college will “form the next generation ot Catholic leaders; ethical businessmen, mothers and fathers, priests and religious eager to serve God.”Sinnott said the project is still in the early stages now and fundraising is expected to pick up once a site for the college has been selected and plans are more concrete. However she said the group is also hoping to collect 3.5 million memorares, as the college “is going to be built on prayer”.Read: Martin: “Insensitive” Quinn should “lay off” schools over religion>Read: Demand from parents leads to four new multi-denominational schools>last_img read more

Apple People will pay 329 for iPad mini because its an iPad

first_imgChoosing a tablet in the 7-inch category is now mainly a choice between a $200 Kindle Fire HD, a $200 Nook HD, a $200 Nexus 7… or a $329 iPad mini. To the budget-conscious consumer who is most likely to buy a 7-inch tablet, the first step in the process of elimination seems pretty obvious. Not to Apple’s marketing team, though.Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller expects throngs of consumers will shill out an extra $129, 65% premium over the standard small-size tablet price because, well, it’s an iPad. Sure, that money gets you an an aluminum case and more internal storage, but some would say those gains are counterbalanced by a lower resolution display, the use of an older SoC, and the possibility of limited availability (at least initially).In an interview with Reuters, Schiller expressed the company’s logic that because people flocked to buy the lowest-end iPad at $399, they will absolutely gravitate to an iPad priced at $329.Of course, this argument is subject to criticism. It would be a great argument if the $329 iPad was very similar to the $399 iPad, but in reality you’re paying 18% less money for 30% less tablet. In addition, in the 7-inch tablet market, Apple comes in as a competitor, not an innovator. The Kindle Fire and Nexus brands have done a nice job of dominating this space. Apple’s logic appears to be very blunt in that it expects people to pay more just because it’s an iPad and it has a lot of apps. It clearly does not see any existing tablet as a true rival.That noted there is little doubt that the new iPad mini will sell out in no time. For the holiday season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it outsell the more established 7-inch tablets.An argument like “people will pay more just because it’s an iPad” might sound a bit arrogant, but sometimes within arrogance there is truth. The fact that the big stories about the iPad mini reveal are about how no one expected it would be this expensive, is an issue. But will it actually hurt sales? That remains to be seen.via Reuterslast_img read more