Dealer.com,Mark Bonfigli, CEO and Founder of Dealer.com, Burlington, has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration s (SBA) 2009 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year. Bonfigli was selected for outstanding leadership related to his company s staying power, employee growth, increase in sales, innovation and contributions to the community. Bonfigli s company, Dealer.com, is a leading provider of online marketing solutions to the automotive industry. Dealer.com offers award-winning website design incorporating dynamic video, user-friendly management tools, search engine advertising and metrics and web analytics. Dealer.com s suite of online marketing solutions creates a 360 degree view of auto dealers online and traditional marketing investments and results. Dealers can easily track spending and determine which activities lead to the highest return on investment, allowing them to streamline advertising and marketing efforts to increase sales. Firmly committed to helping improve the community by giving back, Dealer.com supports local charitable events and holds regular fund raisers to benefit local charities. In an innovative partnership with the state of Vermont and VT HITEC (Health Care and Information Technology Education Center), the company provided job training to local Vermonters and overcame the difficulty of finding highly skilled IT workers in the area. Bonfigli attributes the company s success to employee creativity and hard work, under his guidance, and Dealer.com provides over 200 full-time employees with high wage jobs, training and the potential for career growth. Dealer.com permits employees to work flexible schedules and provides numerous seminars and workshops related to career growth, personal financial planning, nutrition and other topics. The company recently opened the doors to its new 60,000 sq. ft. headquarters featuring a state-of-the-art health club, indoor basketball court, indoor tennis court, indoor track and an organic foods cafÃ©. The building is LEED certified, meaning it is environmentally responsible, and incorporates solar panels and natural light to help limit carbon emissions. Matt Cota, Executive DirectorVermont Fuel Dealers Association, MontpelierFinancial Services Champion The Burlington Small Business Award celebration will also honor the following winners of the 2009 Vermont Small Business Champion Awards: Dealer.com employees drive our success and are the heart of the business, commented Bonfigli. The company would not be so successful without the many talented and hard-working people dedicated to offering our clients the best service and technology. I am honored by the award and share it with everyone who is part of the Dealer.com team. Major Randall K. Gates, State Family Program DirectorVermont National GuardVeterans Small Business Champion As Vermont s Small Business Person of the Year, Mark Bonfigli will compete for the national title at National Small Business Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C., May 17-22. Mr. Bonfigli will be locally honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration on June 10th at a ceremony presented by Vermont Business Magazine, Waterfront Park, Burlington. Jim Sault, General ManagerPorter Music Box, RandolphSmall Business Exporter of the Year Gail Wheel, President & OwnerWheel House Designs, Inc., Hyde ParkMicroenterprise Success Tara Lynn Scheidet, OwnerTara Lynn Studio, SuttonSBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Steven Paddock, Assistant Director, AgribusinessVermont Small Business Development Center, MiddleburyHome-Based Business Champion Bonfigli has more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience in the auto industry, including 10 years as the co-founder of EARTHCARS, Inc., a New England-based automotive retailer. Bonfigli was named as a Finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the New England Region and his company has received numerous recognitions including the Deloitte & Touche Tech Fast 50, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, the Inc 5000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., and several automotive industry awards for being the leading Internet marketing solution for auto dealers. John Vincent, OwnerVincent s Drug & Variety Store, WaterburyJeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business Bonfigli founded Dealer.com in 1998 to offer automotive dealers a best in class solution for their Internet marketing needs. At the time, the Internet auto market was dominated by two large companies, but Bonfigli persisted. Despite difficult times in the automotive industry, 2008 saw the highest annual revenue increase in the company s eleven-year history, for a five-year growth rate total of 1,225 %. According to Bonfigli, more of the top 150 largest dealer groups in North America use Dealer.com Internet marketing services than those of any other provider. Mary Peabody, Community Development SpecialistUniversity of Vermont Extension, BerlinWomen in Business Champion
What does a tomato grown in Little Sandy Mush, the Nantahala River and an Asheville brewer have in common? To thrive, each depends on the health of WNC waterways and aquifers. The food that grows in our rich soil, the icy rivers and unique commerce that draw so many tourists to this playground we call home, and future generations must motivate us as we take a close look at fracking — and what it means for Western North Carolina and the state as a whole.If you’re new to the conversation, you might be feeling confused in the middle of what seems like a sudden uproar around fracking.It’s a complicated process but at a basic level hydraulic fracturing, or, “fracking,” involves pumping water and sand along with a mixture of chemicals down a drill hole to extract natural gas or oil. Extremely high pressure from the pumping accelerates until the underground rock, already vulnerable from the initial drilling, fractures into many smaller fragments (like a bone shattering from impact). The cracks are propped open by the sand and sediment so that as extraction continues, more natural gas can be drawn from the site.Rather than arguing for or against the industry, I aim to capture the heart-felt testimonies of those who stood up at the final public commentary period on September 12 to critique the proposed rules in draft 15A NCAC OFH regarding fracking in NC. These brave citizens faced three representatives from the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) in the large purple and gold Ramsey Center of Western Carolina University. From politicians to professors, directors of non-profits to an advisor for American troops, speakers questioned why the people lacked a vote on an issue that in the words of WNC Alliance co-director Julie Mayfield would be a, “single use lock-up of shared land.”Others questioned how a few commentary periods could be seen as sufficient after the motion to allow fracking was, “Ramroded through congress,” in the words of one. Another man asked, “Why is North Carolina rushing?” He cited the MEC’s claims that they had done exhaustive research, extensive review, and careful planning, yet it was only a few years ago in a 2010 study that fracking in NC was first brought to the table and a 2012 motion that legalized it, with many rules not available to the public until 2014.Still, a belief in democracy is what empowered another speaker to call on her, “inalienable right” to speak up and her, “inalienable responsibility” to protect the land she and her family call home. Of the nearly 90 people who took the podium before the four hours ran out, 100 percent opposed fracking in North Carolina and called for much tighter regulations if it must happen at all. Many said that there is no safe way to frack and that the rules as currently written actually incentivize violations since proposed penalties are far less than the profits companies stand to gain by cutting corners. Cited in the criticisms were an increased risk of earthquakes (documented in some areas near fracking sites which previously had no reported seismic activity) and damaging the tourism industry.Western North Carolina is in danger particularly, Elaine and Tom Robbins said, because of its unique topography and culture. The activist tag-team used their talking time to highlight the risks of fracking in a region prone to erosion. Elaine Robbins cited 11 major landslides that have shut down 1-40 since 1972 and hundreds of others that threaten farms, homes, and ecosystems each year. Because of flooding, she said, her land was running with over-flow from creeks, rivers, and streams for nearly three months last year. She and other speakers asked that all toxic fracking wastewater be contained and not injected back into underground wells. Disposal or storage in open-pits (which is currently allowed in draft rules) they said, should be banned completely.One commentator pointed out that while states in some parts of the nation are experiencing droughts so severe that they are considering desalinization of ocean water, it is morally wrong to even think about pumping (on average) 3 million gallons of water into a well site that will be not only wasted, but will be rendered toxic by the process.Perhaps the most shocking stipulation of the draft rules is that it is illegal for anyone to reveal the chemicals that are used in the fracking injection fluids. This means, as one speaker pointed out, that, “A fire chief could face up to four months in prison if he told his crew the chemicals they were dealing with in the event of an accident.” In response to fears about the volatile components, James Womack of the MEC was quoted at another hearing saying, “Most of the chemicals are things you could find under your kitchen sink.” Thankfully, Donna Dupree of Jackson County who has a background in biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine and worked as an EMT, pointed out to Womack, “We don’t drink or deliberately inhale the chemical under our sinks.”One of the most moving testimonies came from a long time resident of Murphy, NC, who said he’d been, “reared in Cherokee County public schools.” He reported that after, “heeding the call of duty,” as a young man, he found himself at Camp Lejeune as a U.S. Marine. “Forty-one years later,” he said, “It caught up with me as a diagnosis of leukemia.” For decades soldiers were exposed to water at the camp poisoned by chemical solvents, but it took years to find the contamination and establish a link between it and the health effects many veterans and their families experienced. Speaking to the unknown effects of chemicals in the drinking water, “How many years,” he asked gravely, “before it shows up in you?”If you’re wondering how anyone could think it’s a good idea to shatter the foundation that our homes and infrastructure rely on for thousands of miles from a drill site, the answer from proponents is “job creation,” and “homeland security.” These tag lines may hit us where we are vulnerable, but as Louise Heath of the Cherokee Nation pointed out, “There are no jobs on a dead planet.” As to homeland security, speakers cited policy makers who were favoring “short-term gains,” over permanent degradation of our water supply, tourism industry, and ecosystems. “Western Carolina,” said one speaker, “Is the most biodiverse region of the US and draws tourists to the natural beauty of places like Joyce Kilmer National Forest in Swain County.” She elaborated on how fracking would threaten the viability of the tourism industry and the survival of many species due to noise pollution, constant road-traffic and air and water contamination.A speaker who grew up in Eastern Kentucky where fracking has been going on for years pointed out that, “If what they are promising were true, Eastern Kentucky should be wealthy and full of jobs.”Investment in the cleanest forms of energy available is the only way to get at the heart of the issue and truly make the East Coast energy independent, speakers said. Renewable energy, specifically solar, would create jobs and economic gains that would not be lost when companies exhausted resources and left town.Students in their first semester at WCU to elders born in these hills spoke from their souls, drawing from solid evidence and research, deeply held faith and pride in our democratic system. “We love this place so much,” confessed Krista Slavik, leaning over the podium towards representatives from the MEC. Slavik who came in a 15 passenger van with other activists from Asheville was one of the last to speak.The many political candidates and incumbents who spoke said that the only way to protect ourselves from misrepresentation of the kind that allowed fracking exploration to be funded by tax-payer dollars is by speaking with our votes. From Mayor Nick Breedlove of Sylva, to Tom Hill, a retired aerospace physicist running for the House of Representatives, and others like Jane Hipps, candidate for State Senate, all urged citizens to research the stance of political candidates in their districts and own the power of their vote.Take ActionYou can read the the proposed rules regarding fracking on lands in NC that could include Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest here.The MEC is accepting comments on these draft rules until September 30th, so if you’ve used water today, if you love our precious mountain lands, please submit a comment and encourage others to do so. As one speaker reminded us, “This is it, there is no Planet B.”Directions on how to submit electronic and written comments can be found at the bottom of the web page here.Check out www.frackfreenc.org to learn more about the work of grassroots organizations who are mobilizing activists around the state.
Sammy Walker is decidedly content for a man who, forty years ago, nearly had it all.Walker had two records out on a major label and his work drew comparisons with the likes of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. And then, things changed. His label and the whimsy of the fickle listening public shifted their attentions away from folk music and towards disco and pop in the mid-seventies and, suddenly, Sammy Walker’s music wasn’t drawing much attention anymore and he found himself without a record deal.Fast forward some twenty years. Walker moved to North Carolina to care for his wife’s mother in 1996, his music career seemingly a thing of the past. Walker soon crossed paths with Dolph Ramseur, who would later found Ramseur Records and play an instrumental role in sending The Avett Brothers to greatness. Ramseur was a fan of his music and asked Walker to play his thirtieth birthday party. Thus began a nearly two decade friendship and another record from Walker, 2008’s Misfit Scarecrow.This month, Ramseur Records released Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’, a collection of songs and demos Walker recorded forty years ago.This record, which should have sparked a keen interest in Walker’s music, shall now – four decades later – lead new listeners back to one of Americana’s unsung folk heroes.I chatted this week with Sammy Walker about his music, the past, and what the release of this record could mean for him.BRO – Can you describe how you felt when you held your first very own guitar and began your musical journey?SW – We had guitars around the house since I was a little kid. I had a small one when I was four or five years old, but I had never really learned to play. I got my first real guitar at Christmas when I was thirteen. My mom and dad sent me for guitar lessons at a little music store, but that only lasted about a year, because I broke my hand playing baseball. But I had always loved music. From the time I was really little, I would spend hours and hours listening to records. Early rock and roll, country, and pop music. When I finally learned to a few chords a could play a little bit, it was really exciting to me. I just kept at it all through my life.BRO – How important has Dolph Ramseur been to you and your music in recent years?SW – I made my first record in 1975 and by 1979 had made three more. I didn’t have record another until 1990. That was a long hiatus and I wasn’t doing much musically. But Dolph had gotten his hands on my records. The first time he heard me, he was in a record store in Winston-Salem. He knew the guy who ran the store, and the guy told him that he had a record Dolph needed to hear. It was the first record I had cut for Warner Brothers. The guy played some and Dolph really fell for it. It was the kind of music he liked it and the guy gave him the record. He didn’t even make him pay for it. I’m not sure he got my number, but he called me in 1999 and told me he had my records and asked me if I would be interested in playing at his 30th birthday party. I did, and we have been friends for seventeen years. Dolph credits me with giving him a push into the music business. He was interested in starting his own company and I told him he should do it. And he did. For me, this is my second record that he has put out. He is doing it for me, not for commercial success, and I am lucky to have gotten to know him.BRO – You ever spend time thinking on what might have been?SW – I used to. I recorded my first record for Warner Brothers forty years ago, in May of 1976. When things didn’t develop and take off the way I thought they were going to, it was kind of depressing for a long time. That album, I think, just didn’t get the attention it should have. It got good reviews, and I recorded with some of the best musicians in the world, like James Burton, who played guitar with Elvis Presley. I think it should have gotten a heck of lot more attention than it did. My second record with Warner Brothers was also really good. One guy wrote that there was a perfect storm of things that went wrong for me. But I don’t dwell on it anymore. I am grateful for having the opportunity to do it and I am happy my old music is getting attention now.BRO – Now that Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’ has been released, is there a sense that the circle is now complete, or do you see this as a new beginning?SW – Time will tell if it garners new attention or not. I recorded these songs forty years ago, and almost all of them ended up on my first record for Warner Brothers. But then the music scene changed. I have been away from it all for so long, but maybe now there will be some interest from a younger generation of fans that will like it. I hope it is a new beginning.Sadly, Sammy Walker isn’t performing live anymore. Don’t let that stop you from delving into his catalog, though. Check out Spotify for his entire collection of records, and then make your way to your favorite local record shop. If you’re lucky, you might come across Blue Ridge Mountain Skyline or his eponymous debut on vinyl. Either record would be a musical journey well worth the time, and, like Dolph Ramseur, you might catch the store owner feeling particularly generous.And be sure to check out “Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’” on this month’s Trail Mix.
At NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus last month, NCUA Board Chairman Rodney Hood announced that the agency has the authority to phase in the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) current expected credit loss (CECL) standard. NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters – in a new op-ed – provides further clarifications to this and other recent developments that will help credit unions in their CECL transition.NAFCU has shared its concerns about the CECL standard – from its implementation burdens to its impact on credit unions’ capital – since the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued the standard in 2016. NAFCU’s advocacy has obtained relief for credit unions; FASB is currently considering an additional one-year delay of CECL for credit unions.McWatters, in the Credit Union Journal op-ed, explains that “the NCUA’s general counsel determined the NCUA board has the authority to phase in the day-one adverse effects on regulatory capital that may result from the adoption of CECL.” Similar to recent relief given to banks, McWatters says he would support – and hopes the NCUA soon acts on – a rule that would phase in CECL’s impact on credit unions’ net-worth ratios over three years. NCUA headquarters continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Topics : Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s commitment to working together with Indonesia to fight the COVID-19 pandemic during a phone call with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, asserting the Southeast Asian country as among priority nations to engage with.In a statement issued by the State Secretariat, Xi shared his concerns about the COVID-19 spread in the archipelago and discussed his country’s experience in addressing the global health crisis. He mentioned his country’s readiness to support Indonesia in its fight against the pandemic.“We believe that with your perseverance, Indonesia will be able to defeat this [COVID-19] pandemic,” said the Chinese president. “We have to continue working together to curb the spread of the virus. I also disagree with stigmatization, as it is not beneficial in such a hard time like this,” Jokowi said.The Indonesian Military transported medical gear from Shanghai to Jakarta on March 23.The medical gear included disposable masks, N-95 masks, protective clothing, goggles, gloves, shoe covers, infrared thermometers and surgical caps to be used by the country’s doctors and fast-response team for COVID-19.Read also: Faulty virus tests cloud China’s European outreach over COVID-19On the next day, the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia announced that the Chinese government had shipped another round of medical kits.The State Secretariat, however, has yet to share details about future cooperation and whether Indonesia would receive another round of aid from China.The Chinese Embassy in Jakarta and the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing did not respond to The Jakarta Post’s request for comment. As the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, China has phased out of the crisis and is ready to cooperate with other countries.Read also: UN adopts resolution calling for ‘cooperation’ on virus“Indonesia will be one of our priorities [in engaging in such cooperation],” Xi said. “We’re ready to work together with the Indonesian people.”Jokowi said during the phone call that cooperation must be maintained as the virus knows no borders.
Sweden’s default premium pension fund AP7 plans to add emerging markets and small cap investments into its giant equities portfolio to increase diversification.In an interview with IPE, Ingrid Albinsson, CIO of the SEK370bn (€39.2bn) pension fund, said: “What will try to do going forward is to get some more diversification into the equities portfolio. “We haven’t decided exactly how and when, but we will try to get more emerging markets and we will try to get bit more small cap exposure into the portfolio.”Unlike the other large AP national pension funds in the Swedish system, AP7 is not a buffer fund to back up the state pension. It instead runs the default option within the Premium Pension System (PPM). The PPM is the part of the state pension that allows individuals freedom to choose their own investment providers and funds. “Because we have a lot of large caps and medium-sized stocks in the portfolio, we think we would be able to get some diversification by adding small caps as well, but at the end of the day, you always have to look to see whether the practice is as the same as the theory,” Albinsson said.The pension fund’s inhouse investment team will look into the reality of implementing this diversification strategy.AP7 is also to consider the use of risk factors, Albinsson said: “It is something that could diversify the portfolio more [but] we haven’t decided exactly when and how we will do this.”The CIO added: “The aim of the diversification exercise is to create a more efficient portfolio, which will create more value for the risk we take.“When the pension product was first created, there was a lot of simplification, but in the meantime, markets have changed, techniques have changed — and we have changed. It is possible now to develop our product by diversifying our portfolio and getting more efficiency.”The organisation’s overall investments have remained largely unchanged over the past few years in terms of their asset allocation.AP7 runs two funds which act as building blocks for its Såfa default premium pension product — an SEK257bn equities fund and an SEK112bn bond fund.Proposals to reform the PPM currently under consideration in Sweden could result in AP7’s assets under management more than doubling in a few years’ time.Under the new plan, the consultation for which closed this month, individual PPM savers would be required to re-evaluate their fund choice every seven years, with their savings being transferred to AP7 if they fail to express a choice.If the ideas become law, the resulting extra business will serve to make AP7 more efficient, Albinsson said: “Economies of scale really do matter in the financial sector. It’s a clear advantage if you really have size.”At the moment AP7 has a staff of 25, based in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. Albinsson said the company would “probably” look to hire more staff if its asset base was to double in size.However, the balance of in-house and outsourced asset management was unlikely to change, she said. Some 30% of AP7’s assets are managed in-house, and 70% outside.“We think it’s appropriate for us to have that, because we have a lot of beta in the portfolio, so that is best outsourced in order to get the economies of scale,” Albinsson said.AP7 was an early institutional mover in sustainable investment, and has used the twin tools of engagement as well as stock exclusions for longer than most of its investor peers. It was working on bringing in ‘green mandates’, Albinsson said, as the pension fund continued with its plan to move into the clean tech area which it started a few years ago.“At the same time, we’re not in a hurry to do this, because to get value out of this kind of investment, it takes time. We have been having a very active discussion, with targets of increasing our exposure especially in climate investments, but for us its more of a gradual increase,” Albinsson said.
Compenswiss, the manager of Switzerland’s social security funds, has turned to IPE Quest to search for a core European real estate fund.According to search QN-2555, Compenswiss is looking to award a €50m-100m mandate as part of a bid to diversify its global real estate portfolio.It wants to invest in in high-grade real estate across Europe via an open-ended pooled fund with a multi-sector/country strategy.The fund should have maximum leverage of 50%. Compenswiss said it was not interested in listed REITs. A third IPE Quest from a Swiss pension investor is for an FX hedging mandate of around CHF1.5bn (€1.33bn).According to QN-2556, the successful applicant would be responsible for implementing a passive foreign exchange overlay on exposure to currencies other than the US dollar, euro and sterling. The list currently comprises the Australian, Canadian, Danish, Hong Kong, Israeli, Japanese, Norwegian, New Zealand, Swedish and Singapore currencies, and should be hedged to Swiss francs.The unnamed pension fund hedged the main currencies in-house, it said, and the winner of the mandate was expected to use the same infrastructure. The deadline for applications is 9 August at 5pm UK time.Nordic insurer seeks China A-sharesFinally, according to QN-2557, an unnamed Nordic insurer wants to allocate to China A-shares via a UCITS-compliant pooled vehicle domiciled in Luxembourg or Ireland. It specified that a segregated mandate was not of interest.The mandate is for a unit-linked platform, so there is no size for the initial investment.The benchmark will be MSCI China A index. A tracking error of at least 3% is expected, but no more than 10%.Applicants should have at least $3bn in assets under management as a firm and $20m for the asset class. The deadline to apply is 1 August at 5pm UK time.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested parties should apply by 22 July at 5pm UK time.Large Swiss scheme targets global real estateA “large” but otherwise unidentified Swiss pension fund is looking to allocate CHF200m (€89m), with potential for further growth, to global real estate equity via unlisted funds.Search QN-2554 stated that the style should be core or core-plus. The pension fund wants a veto right on individual investments. Applicants should have at least $7bn (€6bn) in assets under management as a firm, and $3bn in the asset class. The deadline is 7 August at 5pm UK time.€1.3bn FX-hedging contract up for grabs
Loading… The Nigeria international was substituted in the 11th minute of Everton’s goalless draw against Arsenal at the Goodison park after picking up a hamstring injury and has not featured since then.Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash against West Ham United in Thursday’s press conference, Ancelotti disclosed that the Eagles forward is closer to a return.Everton Boss Ancelotti sets Alex Iwobi Return Date – https://t.co/wsmcOUymLH pic.twitter.com/8NE5CYGswh— FootballLiveNG (@footballliveCH) January 17, 2020Read Also: Ancelotti set to hand Nigerian youngster EPL debut“Alex Iwobi will not be ready for the match. I think next week he will be able to train with us,” Ancelotti told Everton TV [as quoted on royal blue mersey].FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has hinted that recuperating winger Alex Iwobi is set to return from injury that has kept him out of actions for weeks.Advertisement Promoted ContentTop 10 Must-Know Facts About Ivanka Trump7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black Holes10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Recharging8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth10 Of The Best Places Around The World To Go Stargazing11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top10 Stargazing Locations To ‘Connect With Nature’A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesThe 18 Most Visited Cities In The World
Press Association Both Swansea and Spurs are currently on a pre-season tour in America, which has been to Tottenham’s advantage in conducting negotiations. Davies played 45 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Chivas Guadalajara on Wednesday and was due to play in Swansea’s final tour fixture against Minnesota United on Saturday before the squad flies home. Garry Monk wants to use any deal with Tottenham to engineer a return for midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored seven goals in 18 league appearances during a five-month loan spell at the Liberty Stadium in 2012. The club are unlikely to pursue Sigurdsson as a stand-alone transfer, however, should Davies’ move to White Hart Lane fall through. When contacted on Saturday, Swansea were unavailable for comment. Swansea full-back Ben Davies is set to undergo a medical with Tottenham, Press Association Sport understands. Davies has been at the centre of an apparent transfer tug-of-war between Spurs and Liverpool, with both clubs seeing the 21-year-old as a long-term solution to their problems at left-back. The Wales defender was expected to choose Champions League football at Anfield and a reunion with former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers but Tottenham have moved quickly since having a bid accepted earlier this week.
The National Communications Network (NCN) on Monday inked a deal with DIRECTV, to become the official Broadcast rights holder for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, set for Russia, from June 14 – July 15.Lennox Cornette, NCN’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Bernard Pantin, DIRECTV’s Caribbean and Latin America Director, placed their ‘John Hancock’ on the document to solidify the deal at NCN’s Homestretch Avenue studios.At the signing, which was broadcast live on NCN’s Channel 11, Cornette said the 2018 World Cup, the world’s largest sporting event (behind the Olympic Games), will be viewed by more Guyanese than ever before, with the company (NCN) expanding their reach to the hinterland and other outlying regions.According to Cornette, the investment is a testimony to NCN truly being Guyana’s largest broadcasting company, and affording all Guyanese the right to proper programming and the world’s biggest events.Meanwhile, Pantin said regional broadcasters, over the years, have been weary of pirated events and have been reluctant to invest. However, this time around, he added DIRECTV has ensured that those rights holders will be protected and lauded NCN for the deal.Pantin pointed out that with the FIFA World Cup being one of the events the world over is excited for, Guyanese, will for the first time, be guaranteed seeing the 32-team tournament in its entirety.Next year’s tournament will be the 21st FIFA World Cup. The tournament , which will be hosted by Russia will be the first World Cup held in Europe since 2006; all but one of the stadium venues are in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains to keep travel time manageable.Of the 32 teams, 20 will be making back-to-back appearances following the last edition of the tournament in 2014, including defending champions Germany, while Iceland and Panama will both be making their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup.A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final will take place on July 15 in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium.