Valencia coach Marcelino has suggested the club are open to Michy Batshuayi leaving after an underwhelming loan spell from Chelsea.Batshuayi joined Chelsea in 2016 to significant fanfare after impressing with Marseille, but he has had little impact at the club.The 25-year-old made 28 appearances in his first season at Stamford Bridge, scoring nine goals, including the winner at West Brom that secured the Premier League title. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! However just seven of those appearances were starts, with Batshuayi struggling to dislodge Diego Costa from the central striking role under Antonio Conte.After again struggling for regular starts during the first half of last season Batshuayi was shipped out to Borussia Dortmund on a temporary deal in January and caught the eye, scoring seven times in 10 Bundesliga games.That form saw him attract significant interest in pre-season, with Chelsea again keen to see him leave, and Valencia struck a deal which included a purchase option.However, he has struggled to replicate his Dortmund form in Spain, scoring just once in 13 La Liga outings. That has sparked reports claiming Valencia want to send him back to Chelsea early.When asked about Batshuayi’s future Marcelino did little to cool such speculation.”At the right time will analyse the final situation and we will decide [what to do with Batshuayi],” Marcelino told reporters.”There is a transfer [clause], I do not know what the situation is contractually, but for all parties who want to leave, we will look for what is best for Valencia and thus the appropriate decisions will be made.”Valencia’s form has begun to improve in recent weeks after a poor start to the season that saw them win just one of their first 13 matches in all competitions.Four wins out of their last seven games have lifted Los Che up to 15th in La Liga and progress in Copa del Rey.However, the club have been eliminated from the Champions League having taken just five points from five matches.They take on Manchester United at the Mestalla in their final group game on Wednesday already guaranteed to finish third in Group H and drop into the Europa League next year.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced a brilliant finish two minutes from time to earn Manchester United a 2-1 Premier League win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday. (Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool win)The Swedish striker latched on to a neat through pass from Paul Pogba to seal victory for United, adding to a controversial goal from Pogba just before halftime in which Ibrahimovic appeared to handle the ball.James McArthur equalised for a ball-starved Palace in the 66th minute after he ran on to an audacious backheel from Damien Delaney.United deserved their win, though, with Juan Mata having an effort wrongly ruled out for offside and they extended their unbeaten league run against Palace to 15 games to remain sixth in the table.”It was very difficult but very deserved. In the first half we were in control. In the second half they had a little reaction and got the bonus of the goal and then we went into our best period of the game,” United manager Jose Mourinho told the BBC.”For 20 minutes we were almost unstoppable. Their goalkeeper made a magnificent save from Rooney’s shot, we had Mata’s goal, a penalty (appeal) and our goal. It was an amazing reaction and I am really pleased for the players.”
Srinagar, Jan 3 (PTI) Fresh snowfall in the upper reaches of Kashmir, including the tourist resort of Gulmarg, has literally come as a boon from the heavens for winter sports and tourism-related activities in the Valley, with the Tourism Department making arrangements for hosting a Snow Carnival later this month.The carnival, which is organised by the Tourism Department annually at Gulmarg resort, was scheduled to be held in the first week of January but a prolonged dry spell across Kashmir and scant snowfall at Gulmarg this winter almost dashed all hopes of holding of the event this season.”It has been snowing in Gulmarg since the wee hours today and if it continues for the next 48 hours, as has been forecast, we shall be able to organize a lot more snow-based activities during the coming Snow Carnival,” Deputy Director Tourism Department Peerzada Zahoor told PTI.Zahoor said the carnival will be held from January 21 to February 5 this year.The tourism department is planning a wide range of activities for wooing tourists to Gulmarg during the carnival, which has been a hit with the visitors in the past, he said.”We will have ice hockey, snow boarding, snow sledging, snowball fight competition and painting competitions during the carnival,” the official said.He said Tourism Department will also organise a night bazaar (market) and cultural shows at the Gulmarg bowl so that the tourists have wider range of activities to choose from.”If the snow accumulation is in the range of four to five feet, we will also add snow skiing to the events of the carnival,” Zahoor said.advertisementPeople associated with tourism and travel trade in Kashmir are hopeful that a good spell of snowfall will help them tide over part of the losses suffered during the summer unrest in the Valley.”The tourism related activities came to a standstill post-July due to the unrest in Kashmir. As the situation is getting back to normal, we hope the tourists will visit this winter to enjoy snowfall,” Mohammad Shoaib, a travel agent, said.He said low airfares to and from Kashmir should also attract more tourists to visit the valley.Fresh snowfall in Gulmarg and other higher reaches of Kashmir started this morning while many parts of the valley were lashed by light to moderate rainfall.The weatherman has forecast wet weather including light to moderate snowfall over the next three days in Kashmir. PTI MIJ BSA
Mahendra Singh Dhoni ended his barren run with a majestic hundred on Thursday. He struck his 10th ODI century during the second match against England in Cuttack.Dhoni, who last scored a hundred against Australia in 2013 (an unbeaten 139 not out in Jaipur), started off on a quiet note before he switched gears to entertain the capacity turnout at the Barabati Stadium.Dhoni reached the three-figure mark, which came after 46 innings, off 106 balls, studded with nine fours and three sixes. Dhoni also became the first Indian to hit 200 sixes in ODIs. He hit three more sixes and a four before he was caught in the deep for 134 off 122 balls.200th ODI six for MS DhoniFirst Indian to do so! #IndvEng Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) January 19, 2017Dhoni had joined Yuvraj Singh, who blasted his way to his 14th hundred, after India were reduced to 25/3 in 4.4 overs. However, after getting out to a short ball in his previous match, Dhoni stayed calm under immense pressure and with Yuvraj at the other end toyed with the English attack.Dhoni and Yuvraj added 256-run stand for the fourth wicket, bettering their 148-run partnership, their 10th century-plus stand.It was a special knock by Dhoni, who dreams of playing the 2019 World Cup in England. Dhoni, who is now free from the burden of captaincy after he handed over the reins to Virat Kohli, batted at No.5. Though he managed only six runs in his first ODI after stepping down as leader, the wicketkeeper-batsman did not throw away his wicket this time and proved his worth in the middle-order yet again with an important innings.advertisementKohli had expressed hope that Dhoni, having given up the responsibility of leading India, would play fearless cricket. On Thursday, the 35-year-old showed no fear and no nerves as India powered on towards a massive total. While Dhoni revived memories of old with his power-packed shots and quick running, Kohli applauded from the dressing-room. A new era in Indian cricket has commenced with Dhoni and Yuvraj as veteran middle-order stars and King Kohli is in charge.
Going deep into the latter stages of the Europa League will only add to Manchester United’s concerns about a hectic schedule but manager Jose Mourinho says his side must keep all their options open to get into next season’s Champions League.United have already had one Premier League game, an away trip to Manchester City, postponed after they reached the final of the League Cup and their schedule could see further disruption depending on their FA Cup and Europa League progress. (Also read: Jose Mourinho pleased at Manchester United stretching unbeaten record to 16 games in Premier League)”The accumulation of FA Cup and League Cup and the match postponement make it really hard for us,” Mourinho told British media. “If we progress in the competitions we will be in trouble in May.”Mourinho’s side resume their Europa League campaign against St Etienne in the first leg of their round-of-32 clash on Thursday.”It will be difficult but we don’t throw away competitions.” he said, adding that the automatic Champions League berth reserved for winners of the Europa League was a huge reason to give the competition their all.”We prefer difficult and progressing to easy and being out of the competition. The plus is it is another opportunity to qualify for the Champions League. We have two doors still open.”One is the Europa League but we know we are in the last 32, not even the last eight or four, so there is a long way to go. In the Premier League the door is also open but we still have a long way to go.”advertisement
Dustin Johnson returns to this week’s U.S. Masters a different person than a year ago, more confident and comfortable, a golfer with greatness in his sights but some Everest-like mountains still to climb.Johnson, the newly-ascended world number one, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are the three clear favourites for the year’s first major championship, though at least two dozen others have a realistic chance of winning if the stars all align at the right time.But the road to the Green Jacket will lead through Johnson, who ticks all the boxes as the man to beat. Before he is measured for a Green Jacket, however, it would be wise to remember he would not be the first favourite to be spat out by the unforgiving Augusta National layout.The American, with victories in his past three starts, has a game tailor made for Augusta, prodigiously long off the tee, confident with his irons and short game and a soft putting stroke that seems to be getting better with age.He also has a good recent Masters record – tied fourth last year and tied sixth in 2015 – and returns approaching a golfer’s usual peak at the age of 32.”I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a major being ranked number one,” he said recently, before adding to laughter: “Actually, I know I haven’t.”It’s not going to be any different for me. I’m still going to prepare like I always do and go out and try to play the best I can. I played good there the last two years. I’m excited to go back when the game is in good form. I feel like everything is working pretty well.”advertisementWhile Johnson arrives with a spring in his step, Spieth is hardly looking forward to being reminded of his 2016 debacle, when he endured arguably the worst collapse in Masters history, giving up a five-shot lead over the final nine holes, due largely to a quadruple bogey at the 12th hole.He missed the cut in Houston on Friday, but publicly at least sounded an upbeat note.”I made strides in my putting this week, which is something I can take a lot of confidence into next week,” he said. “Putting well next week obviously is important considering I didn’t strike it very well last year and certainly was in position to win.”MCILROY SHARPWhile Spieth’s short game and putting are usually second to none, McIlroy has been working to raise those facets of the game to a level close to his ball-striking.Perhaps only Johnson can drive the ball as long and accurately as McIlroy, whose chances often hinge on the quality of his wedge game and putter.”I feel like that part of my game is as sharp as it has ever been going into Augusta, so that’s a good thing,” said McIlroy, who with a victory would become just the sixth man to win all four modern major championships.Others to watch include American veteran Phil Mickelson as he goes for a fourth Green Jacket at the age of 46, Hideki Matsuyama trying to fulfill the hopes of a nation and become the first Japanese player to win a men’s major, and Jon Rahm, young, strong and fearless, whose chances maybe be hindered only by his lack of course knowledge in his Masters debut.Fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia has the quality to end his majors drought if he can turn back the clock and putt as well as before several near-misses started to weigh him down.For those searching for a realistic dark horse, keep an eye on Australian Marc Leishman, winner of the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational.Another outstanding ball-striker, Leishman tied for fourth in 2013, when he played the final round with eventual winner Adam Scott.
Another great cartoon from Marketoonist Tom FishburneWhy are you engaged in social media and what do you hope will happen?This was the topic of my panel last week with Beth Kanter and KD Paine, authors of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. They have a good way to avoid the nonsense this cartoon so vividly portrays. It’s super simple — and invaluable.Here’s what you do: Ask the question, “So what?” three times.As Beth describes, you want to worry about less data – but think about it more. You have “likes”- so what? You have followers – so what? Because you want awareness? So what? Keep going till you get to the heart of what matters. Then do and measure that.
A few years ago, Bonny Wolf told a great story on NPR that goes something like this:In Chicago, a friend cuts off the end of roast beef before she cooks it. She does it because her mother does it. Her mother does it because her grandmother did it. So one day, the friend asks her grandmother why for years she has cut the end off the roast beef. The reason? Her grandmother says, “because my pan is too small.”I love this story because it tells us so much of how humans think. We often do as we have always done out of tradition or habit or imitation without questioning why. We move within our personal frames of reference, over and over, back and forth, until our ways are ingrained and unquestioned.Established nonprofits and companies create cultures that inadvertently lock in this dynamic. It is a very hard thing to resist the comfort of checking the same boxes without even asking how they got there. Each of my children went through a phase where they asked “why?” about every last thing. It has passed. Things get familiar and they don’t feel the need to pose the question. I think familiarity is one of the biggest barriers to innovation. It’s why we pay for fresh eyes – like consultants. – to ask “why?”In the spirit of rejecting the familiar frame we’re given, here are four questions to ask yourself before you check the same old box:1. Why did we start doing this activity?2. What underlying purpose does this activity serve?3. If it’s because of problem, is there a way to solve its root cause and prevent even needing to do the activity in the first place?4.If it’s because of an opportunity, is there a way to go bigger?The box may not be needed after all. There may be better ways to spend your time.
Fundraising ideas are always in demand for nonprofits, and the options are endless, but many of them cost a lot of money to produce. High-end fundraisers, like an annual gala, bring in the big donations, but they are a lot of work and can be very expensive to put on. Not everyone can participate in them, so you also need to have fundraisers that are more casual and easier to put on. Here are some ideas for low-cost, or free, fundraising events.Use What You’ve GotThe first step in free charity fundraising is to assess your resources. Take a look at what your organization already has that may be of use. If you have a building, look at your space — both inside and out — and see if you have a place you can use for an event. If the indoors is all office or clinic space, but you have a lawn, then consider an outdoor function. A couple of ideas to get you started thinking of possibilities might be:Build community by holding a small-town feeling event like a pancake breakfast or spaghetti supper. If you can get some “celebrity” chefs (the mayor, radio personalities, doctors, etc.), you can create a bigger draw.Support the arts by hosting an art show or sale. Use hallways as the gallery if you don’t have a room you can dedicate to the effort. You can sell pieces and charge a commission, encouraging sales by publicizing the fact that a certain percent of all sales goes to the charity. Of course, you can ask the artists to donate something for an auction too. Alternatively, you could just make it a show and ask local businesses to donate the prize money. Additional funds can be raised by selling ad space on a program or through sponsorships that you will publicize on flyers for the event. You also have the opportunity to make money from entry fees and guest admissions.Take Advantage of Fundraising WebsitesPhysical events are fun for guests and are a great way to give potential supporters a sense of connection with your organization, but more and more people are spending time online and developing personal networks there. Young people, especially, connect with others online and love to share what they are passionate about, so the Internet can be a great “place” for free fundraising.Auctions are great because the process is familiar; you get the donations, post details (pictures are vital!), and buyers make their offers and pay with online donations when it’s over. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, though. Consider the popularity of the “ice bucket challenge” that came out of nowhere and spread virally.Every organization is different, so the opportunities are endless. Hopefully, these ideas have given you a starting point for planning some events of your own.Network for Good has a blog with more free information on nonprofit marketing, including how to set up an effective donation page, and how to be successful at nonprofit fundraising. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your fundraising efforts, so contact us today or call 1-888-284-7978 x1.
Contributions from all giving sources are expected to grow 4.8 percent in 2015 and 4.9 percent in 2016.The bigger picture! Each year’s growth will exceed the average annual growth in total giving in the years following the Great Recession (3.1 percent) and the long-term average for the 40-year trend in total giving for 1973–2013 (3.8 percent).Individual and household giving will see the slowest overall growth in 2015 and 2016, compared with other sources of giving.Foundation and corporate giving is expected to be strong in both 2015 and 2016.No surprises here, but a hugely important reminder: Broader economic forces will weigh heavily on individuals’ willingness to give and will significantly affect corporations and foundations.Dig in for yourself: The Philanthropy Outlook 2015 & 2016.P.S. I find this report more reliable than most because it’s based on rock-solid economic research methods. The researchers applied well-tested financial prediction models to philanthropic giving. U.S. charitable giving predicted to rise 4.8 percent in 2015.The tide may be turning!Giving momentum is strong and getting stronger, according to research findings recently released by the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy and Martz & Lundy.Here’s more of the good news reported in The Philanthropy Outlook 2015 & 2016:
Manchester United travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday as part of a busy period of fixtures which could say a lot about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s potential to take the manager’s job on a permanent basis.After a bizarre 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Sunday which featured four first-half injuries, Solskjaer goes into the midweek clash with up to 10 player unavailable due to injury.And with three games a week scheduled over the next fortnight, he will need all of his reserves to maintain United’s challenge for the top four as they look to overhaul the one-point deficit behind Arsenal in the race for the final Champions League qualification spot. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Man Utd Injuries Following their issues against Liverpool, Solskjaer will have to do without a huge number of first-team players.Anthony Martial will not be risked before the weekend’s fixture against Southampton due to a groin injury, especially after Jesse Lingard’s speedy return for the Liverpool game resulted in a setback in his recovery from a hamstring pull.Juan Mata and Ander Herrera will also miss out after they too were substituted in the first half at Old Trafford on Sunday with hamstring injuries, while a late decision could be made on Marcus Rashford’s ankle problem with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku likely starters instead.Nemanja Matic remains sidelined with a muscle issue he suffered in training on Saturday, and club captain Antonio Valencia again sits out due to a calf injury.Matteo Darmian has trained after recovering from injury but is still short of the required fitness, and Phil Jones’ recent illness means he will also miss the trip south.Even Mason Greenwood, the academy striker who would otherwise have been called up for first-team involvement due to the injury crisis, is suffering himself from an undisclosed problem.There is one piece of good news on the injury front, with Marcos Rojo back in contention after a shin injury, while Jimmy Garner, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong will all travel with the squad after being relieved of Under-23s duty on Monday night.Man Utd Suspensions Neither side have any suspensions, and nor are there any players within one yellow card of a potential future ban.Man Utd Potential Starting Line-Up Solskjaer has few options open to him in the attacking half of the field such is the extent of the injury crisis. Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Jimmy Garner may all be considered as starting options, with the disappointment in Fred’s development meaning there could be one slot up for grabs between the three youngsters.Paul Pogba could be considered in a role just behind the front two, but with Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira likely to start in midfield the Frenchman’s experience may be needed in a more familiar role in the engine room.Sanchez and Lukaku will both start regardless of Marcus Rashford’s injury status, and it could be that Chong gets the nod to join them in a front three.At the back, Solskjaer may choose to rest one of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof in favour of Eric Bailly or Marcos Rojo. Ashley Young might also be considered for a rest, with Diogo Dalot standing by.Crystal Palace Team News Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s hamstring injury could see him join Pape Souare on the sidelines. The Senegalese full-back is expected to remain out of action for three more weeks with a shoulder injury which has already ruled him out for the last two months.Opta Match Facts Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 21 league games against Crystal Palace, since a 0-3 away defeat in May 1991 (W17 D4). Following their goalless draw at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture, Crystal Palace are looking to avoid defeat in both league meetings with Man Utd in a single season for the first time since 1989-90 (W1 D1). Manchester United have won their last seven away matches in all competitions, their best such run since April 2002 (also seven in a row); the last Premier League side to win eight away games in a row were Man City in November 2017 (11 consecutive wins). Only Huddersfield Town (6) have scored fewer home Premier League goals than Crystal Palace this season (9), with Selhurst Park seeing fewer goals than any other ground this season (21). Manchester United have kept more clean sheets in the Premier League than any other side since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge (five). Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has lost more Premier League matches against Man Utd (11) than he has against any other side. Against Liverpool, David de Gea became only the second Manchester United goalkeeper to keep 100 Premier League clean sheets, after Peter Schmeichel (112).TV Coverage & Kick-Off Time Kick-off is 8pm GMT (3pm US ET) on Wednesday, but will not be shown live in the United Kingdom. It will be shown on NBCSN in the United States, and on various channels around the world. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Freelancing and parenting seem like a natural pair: like peanut butter and jelly, crayons and construction paper, or Play-Doh and a new carpet.It’s also true that – while both pursuits are very rewarding – they can also be challenging and exhausting.We asked a few ‘freelance parents’ how they juggled the demands of freelancing and parenting, and how the freelance lifestyle can benefit both parents and kids.Here are 5 of their top tips to achieve Freelance Parent Success:1. Take advantage of flexibilityOne of the best parts of being a freelance parent? The freedom to set your own schedule. Being your own boss means that you can determine your own professional and personal priorities – and that can vary from day-to-day.Freelance editor / writer Erin Brenner (www.righttouchediting.com) told us, “I love that I can be there for my kids when they need me. I don’t worry about missing work due to sick days or snow days. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to go sledding or bake cookies! My work adjusts to the life I want to lead.”2. Find your balanceFreelance web hosting business owner / WordPress consultant Nedra Rezinas (check out some of her work at bluedeerforest.com) acknowledges that juggling your obligations can sometimes be challenging: “I’ve been working for myself before I had my daughter, so I tend to think of my business as a child. I get torn between working and playing with [her] sometimes. I think that’s normal and you find ways to shuffle and make it work, depending on deadlines and emergencies.”Odds are that you’ve got a To-Do (or Would-Do-Given-A-Moment-To-Breathe) List a mile long. Try to handle the things you need to do first, and then work your way down.Says Rezinas, “Plan out times when you know you can have at least an hour or two to focus and get work done. Turn off your phone, Facebook, and other distractions when you have time to work so you can be as productive as possible.”3. Be realistic (you don’t have to be Superdad or Supermom)Especially in today’s hyper-tuned-in parenting world, it’s easy to feel like you’re slacking if your kids aren’t eating 100% organic vegan gluten-free meals and using Tolstoy flash cards in their spare time – all while you run a powerhouse business.Don’t try to be perfect; that’s the path to burnout. It’s okay for the kids to chow down on takeout sometimes, and it’s okay to quote clients a slightly longer turnaround time in order to cover any ‘surprises’. Forgive yourself slipups at the end of the day. Try to plan for Clark Kent’s – rather than Superman’s – agenda.“Set goals, but be prepared for them to take longer than you expect,” says Rezinas.4. Remember that it’s okay to get supportBoth Brenner and Rezinas emphasized the importance of finding support – whether within the family, or externally. Brenner, who has children in middle school, says: “The balance was harder when they were younger. We often hired mother’s helpers to give me some quiet time. Life got a lot easier when my husband took a job that let him work from home two to three days a week. We share the childcare between us, supporting each other’s work needs.”Rezinas also recommended that parents find other freelance parents to connect with – there are lots of you out there! Check out one of our Freelancer Happy Hours or community classes, make a friend on our Facebook page, or see if there’s a Meetup in your area. Remember, you’re not alone.5. Make time for you!Freelancers, in general, are busy people – and freelance parents are some of the busiest people around.The best piece of advice we gathered from our freelance parents? Make time for yourself, just as you would schedule time for an important client. Your ‘you time’ doesn’t have to be constructive, or even productive; you may need time to take a nap, or read, or just sit and stare at a wall and think of nothing for a half-hour or so.Brenner’s advice to freelance parents concurs: “The most important advice I can give is to not work every available minute of the day. It’s tempting to let parenting and working become your entire life, especially when you worry about the feast-or-famine cycle. You want to squeeze in every bit of work you can while the kids are sleeping or otherwise engaged. But you can’t be a good parent or a good business owner if you don’t refresh yourself. Be a good role model for your kids by taking care of yourself!”One of the best things about being a freelance parent is the example you’re setting for your kids; you’re right in front of them every day, showing them that they can pursue their dreams and make their own path. And we bet that those days, as Rezinas told us, are “never boring!”So keep on keepin’ on, freelance parents – you’re an inspiration!
In the week since we announced our partnership with Empire for 2015 health plans, we’ve heard from many of you about your questions, concerns, and ideas about the partnership.In the nearly 20 years since I founded Freelancers Union, my number one concern has always been the well-being of our members. That’s what drove our decision to partner with Empire and invest in expanding our Freelancers Medical practices — and why we want to help you find the health coverage that works best for you, even if it’s not the plan we suggested for you.In this note, I want to walk through some of the factors that went into our decision and address some of the most common questions we’ve heard in the past week.To begin, it’s important to look back at why we started Freelancers Insurance Company (FIC) in the first place. When we first started planning FIC in the mid-2000s, the New York individual insurance market was, simply, in a state of market failure. It was a terrible time to be a freelancer looking for insurance. Coverage was unaffordable at best and totally inaccessible at worst.That’s why we went to Albany to get New York State to allow us to build a pilot program bringing freelancers together to access group-rate insurance — just like big employers do for their employees. For the first time, FIC was able to bring affordable, quality coverage to New York freelancers.I’m proud of what we built — a true social-purpose insurance company that provided affordable, quality coverage to the new workforce at a time when there were no other options out there. And for the last three years, FIC has had no rate increases and a 98% re-enrollment rate.Then came the Affordable Care Act, and it changed everything. We knew that the first year of any major initiative can be bumpy, so we went to Albany again and fought hard to get a one-year extension of our pilot so our members would have safe harbor for a year to see how the new healthcare landscape unfolded.During that year, we looked at every possible option to move ahead — always guided by what is best for the largest number of our members. The feedback we heard from members during 2013 and 2014 was that the Affordable Care Act had helped ease the challenge of getting access to coverage. But, they told us, it was getting increasingly hard to get quality primary care.We soon realized that a small insurer like FIC simply wouldn’t have the scale and size to offer quality plans at a price point our members could afford. That’s when we started looking for a partner. We had an exhaustive search process where we prioritized three factors:The best value for our membersThe least disruption possibleContinued access to Freelancers MedicalThe partner we chose was Empire, which FIC has relied on for its provider network since its inception. Their size and scale helped keep premiums low — without the partnership, our rates would have been an additional 14% higher than the 2015 Empire rates and those plans still would not have covered out-of-network care. That would have been simply unaffordable for too many members.There are a lot of great aspects to the partnership. Our members continue to have power as a group because Freelancers Union remains the conduit between our members and Empire. So, if we’re noticing a consistent challenge among our members, I can get on the phone and call the CEO of Empire himself to help sort it out. On your own, your only recourse is a front-line customer service rep.We have also kept our Freelancers Medical no-co-pay primary care practices open and growing — thanks in part to this partnership, we expect to build two more in Upper Manhattan and Jersey City soon.Of course, changes come with challenges. Without question the single biggest concern we’ve heard has been about the shift from a PPO plan (with out-of-network coverage) to an HMO (with in-network coverage only). The Affordable Care Act has had many great impacts and has sparked some new challenges — including this one. The New York insurance market has reacted to changes mandated by the ACA by simply ending PPO plans on the individual market. There’s not a single PPO plan on the NYC individual market today. FIC wouldn’t have been able to offer affordable PPO plans next year, either, and we haven’t heard of any new ones coming out in 2015.That’s not to say there’s nothing to be done. We’ll work hard to make sure that you can get the best possible care within the new network. Along with other consumer groups, we know the lack of out-of-network coverage is a real challenge and we’re working to change it. But we had to deal with the market as it is right now, not how we wish it would be in the future.In my two decades running this union, there has been one constant — our members are an inspiring mix of smart, passionate, practical, and innovative. In the past week, I’ve seen all of those parts on full display. You’ve asked probing and important questions. You’ve shared your heartfelt concerns. You’ve dived deep into the details of the new plans. And you’ve sent in remarkable ideas about how we can all move forward together.I know this past week may have been difficult for some of you. I also know that the entire team at Freelancers Union has the well-being of our members as our first, last, and only consideration. I can assure you we’ve done our best to make decisions that make the most sense for the most members.If you still have questions, there are many ways to get in touch. And remember that open enrollment doesn’t begin until November 15 and your plans stay exactly the same until December 31, so you have some time to figure out what makes most sense for you.For overview and detailed plan information, visit www.freelancersunion.org/2015plansFor constantly update Frequently Asked Questions, go here.The easiest and fastest way to get in touch is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you want to call us, you can at 800-856-9981 (press pound to get to the right person)
Kozhikode, Feb 21 (PTI) The Volleyball Federation ofï¿½ India (VFI) today entered into an agreement with sports marketing and branding firm Baseline Ventures, to promoteï¿½and build Indian volleyball. The ten-year partnership was signed on the sidelines of the 66th senior volleyball nationals being held here with the Core Economic Committee of VFI in attendance. The first project on the anvil for the partnership is the professional Indian Volleyball League with franchises in majorï¿½cities to be held on October this year. Baseline Ventures, founded in 2014, is a leader in sports,ï¿½events, entertainment and licensing with offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangaluru and in Singapore. It represents and manages sportspersons including P V Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Ravindra Jadeja, Pankaj Advani, Himanshu Rana and Arjun Maini among others. It has been working with IPL, FIFA, ATP and the NBA. Speaking on the occasion, VFI Secretary-General Ramavtarï¿½ Singh Jakhar said, “volleyball is an extremely popular sport around the country and India has always been competitive at the Asian level.” “We feel it is the right time to partner with professionals to take the game to the next level in India and continue to grow its appeal, specially with the new generation,” he added. PTI KV SS
Guwahati, Mar 19 (PTI) The Assam government would spend Rs 20 lakh each to modernise 500 playgrounds in rural areas to promote sports talents, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said today.”The state government has taken up various steps to develop sports infrastructure in the state,” Sonowal said at the concluding ceremony of Inter Academy Master League under-11 Football tournament at Duliajan in Dibrugarh district.The state government has also organised several international sports events in an effort to transform Guwahati into Indias sports capital, he said.”FIFA and AIBA authorities have already appreciated the state governments initiatives in this regard, Sonowal added.The chief minister further said that the state government would set up a sports university at Chabua in Dibrugarh district and would also organise panchayat level football tournament.The sports policy recently formulated by the state government has also made provisions for cash initiatives and jobs in the government sector for the medal winners of Olympic and other international events. PTI DG JM
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The excitement among cricket fans is growing day-by-day with just a day left for the start of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League.The new season will bring new challenges for the teams, especially for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the two returning teams in the cash-rich league.Fans will once again get to see MS Dhoni in the yellow jersey leading a new set of players barring the ones who were retained by the franchise.When Jazz Boom met the Lions! #WhistlePodu #Yellove pic.twitter.com/eeE2xCZdG5Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 6, 2018The Royals meanwhile, will make a return with a whole new bunch of players with Ajinkya Rahane at the helm. The team however, was dealt with a huge blow even before the start of the tournament when captain Steve Smith got banned for a year due to his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.The captaincy was then handed over to Rahane, who became a superstar after four outstanding seasons with the Royals from 2012 to 2015. Ajinkya Rahane replaced Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain (PTI Photo)The Indian Test vice-captain will now return to the team and also reunite with Shane Warne, who brought him into the Royals setup from Mumbai Indians in 2012.Warne will reunite with Royals but this time as their coach-cum-mentor. The Australian was responsible in turning the careers of players like Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan and Shane Watson during his tenure as Royals captain and coach.advertisementNow it will be interesting to see what Warne does with the team as a mentor. Rajasthan mark their comeback against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday with both teams forced into a late leadership change following the ball-tampering scandal. SRH will be led by Kane Williamson after David Warner was also banned along with Smith from IPL 2018 for a year.Our newbies of #OrangeArmy are ready for #IPL2018 #UnitedInOrange . They are waiting for u to #GoOrange pic.twitter.com/EGLZOQXlAvSunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) April 5, 2018Another mouth-watering prospect is the return of Gautam Gambhir to Delhi Daredevils.The league’s second-most successful captain, Gambhir will be leading the Daredevils now and will be expected to turn the team’s fortune around after 10 disappointing seasons looking at what he did for the Kolkata Knight Riders.In a span of just 7 seasons, Gambhir led KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. The team was struggling to even win matches on a regular basis before the India opener came on board. Gautam Gambhir, who played for Delhi Daredevils in the first three season, returns to lead the side (Picture tweeted by @DelhiDaredevils)They say that home is where the heart is which is the case with Gambhir as well as he expressed his desire to play for Delhi on numerous occasions even when he was captaining KKR.Like Rahane, 36-year-old Gambhir will also have an Aussie to guide him throughout this season with Ricky Ponting as coach.Ponting shifted base from Mumbai Indians to DD earlier this year and is already a big hit among the players with Shreyas Iyer even stating that his speeches gave him goosebumps.And then come the Chennai Super Kings, who will be headed by none other than Dhon himself.IPL in any case has always been very interesting to watch for a number of reasons and Dhoni’s return as captain of CSK will be a major attraction.Dhoni is still the most successful captain in the tournament with 83 wins and 59 losses in 143 games. The 36-year-old has led CSK in 132 matches since 2008 and has won 79 games, lost 51 while 2 matches failed to produce results. In the 8 seasons up until 2015, CSK won back-to-back IPL titles in 2010 and 2011 with Dhoni at the helm.Every cricket fan including the ones who are loyal to the other teams in the IPL is eagerly waiting to see Dhoni lead the yellow brigade once again. That is how much love and respect Captain Cool commands.CSK and MI will kickstart the tournament on April 7 at the Wankhede, trust even the Mumbai Indians faithfuls to cheer for the opposition just because of Dhoni. We can safely assume that many fans from Chennai will also travel to Mumbai for the match. Afterall it’s like a cult following down south.Ready to spin their #MICamp #CricketMeriJaan pic.twitter.com/pBqUTG2I2VMumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 4, 2018Dhoni’s CSK has created a separate identity for themselves based on their dominant run in the league over the years. The former India captain is loved by millions around the world but his following in Chennai is at a different level altogether. CSK and Dhoni is like a marriage made in heaven.advertisementThe scattered pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling into place with Gambhir back in Delhi, Rahane returning to Rajasthan and Dhoni at the helm in Chennai. Everybody is back to where they belong so now it is up to the players to set the ball rolling and turn up the heat in the hugely-popular T20 carnival.Iss IPL ka yaaron kya kehna! #VIVOIPL with – @ChennaiIPL @DelhiDaredevils @lionsdenkxip @KKRiders @mipaltan @rajasthanroyals @RCBTweets @SunRisers pic.twitter.com/FeOmCMd1v0IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 12, 2018
India had a disastrous start to their Thomas and Uber Cup campaigns as both the men and women lost to France and Canada, respectively, in Bangkok on Sunday.In the most shocking result of the day, Saina Nehwal went down in three games against Canada’s Michelle Li and that jolted a depleted Indian squad early on. India, thereafter, lost the tie 3-1 to Canada with one match to spare.Saina lost 21-15, 16-21, 16-21 to Li in 52 minutes and Canada took a 1-0 lead in the tie.After Li, Rachel Honderich played the second singles against debutant Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy and Reddy fell 11-21, 13-21 without much resistance.However, unexpectedly, Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram breathed life into the match with a doubles victory over Michelle Tong and Josephine Wu.Also read – MS Dhoni sends an autographed bat to badminton star Kidambi SrikanthIn just 27 minutes, Jakkampudi and Poorvisha showed excellent skills to down the Canadian pair 21-19, 21-15.Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli then played the third singles against Brittney Tam and it took the Canadian just 22 minutes to beat the Indian 21-11, 21-15.India next take on Australia on Monday.In the Thomas Cup, India were completely outplayed by France 4-1 and began their tough campaign on a sour note.India are clubbed alongside France, Australia and China in Group A and with the loss on Sunday, they now face an uphill challenge to make it to the knockout stage.India got a perfect start in the match when B Sai Praneeth thrashed Brice Leverdez 21-7, 21-18 in just 32 minutes.advertisementPraneeth, currently ranked 18th in the world, was expected to have a tough battle against world No.23 Leverdez, who is known for his staunch defence. However, Praneeth closed out Leverdez brilliantly and did not give an opportunity to the French to hit back.However, apart from Praneeth’s win, there was no other notable performance from the Indian men. HS Prannoy sat out injured and therefore, the burden of the singles lay on the shoulders on Sameer Verma and Lakshya Sen.Youngsters MR Arjun and Ramchandran Shlok had lost the doubles 13-21, 16-21 against Bastian Kersaudy and Julien Maio as France equalised 1-1 in the tie.Sameer took the court after that but after battling for an hour and one minute, he lost 18-21, 22-20, 18-21 to Lucas Corvee.Thom Gicquel and Ronan Labar then thrashed Arun George and Sanyam Shukla 21-10, 21-12 to give France a 3-1 lead.Lakshya, in the final match of the tie, failed to get India another point on the board and lost 20-22, 21-19, 19-21 to Toma Junior Popov in an hour.India will take on Australia on Monday in their second tie of the group.
New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) Following are the top stories from the northern region at 8.30 pm. SRINAGAR DEL32 JK-4THLD-ENCOUNTER Srinagar: Two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including a Pakistani national, were today killed in an encounter while a civilian died and 20 others sustained injuries during clashes with security forces near the scene of gunbattle in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. LUCKNOW DEL26 UP-LD GANGSTER Lucknow: A day after Munna Bajrangi was shot dead allegedly by another gangster inside a jail in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh DGP O P Singh today said there was no lapse on part of the police force in providing security to the mafia don. CHANDIGARH DEL36 PB-MODI-RALLY-SECURITY Chandigarh: The Punjab police has beefed up security in the state’s Muktsar district where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address a ‘thanksgiving’ rally of farmers tomorrow, to be organised jointly by the SAD and the BJP in the wake of recent hike in MSP of Kharif crops. GURGAON DES4 HR-NURSES VIDEO Gurgaon: A man was arrested for allegedly recording a video of two nurses while they were sleeping in their paying guest accommodation in sector-5 here, the police said today. BATALA NRG13 PB-COP Batala: An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) posted at Fatehgarh Churian police station near here was suspended for “misconduct” after he touched the feet of Punjab minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa at his Qadian residence, police said today. CHANDIGARH DEL23 PB-HARMANPREET Chandigarh: Indian Women’s T-20 Captain and vice-captain of women’s national team Harmanpreet Kaur, who was appointed as a deputy superintendent of police (DySP) in March this year on the basis of her sporting credentials, may be demoted to the rank of constable after her graduation degree was found to be “fake” by Punjab Police.advertisement CHANDIGARH LGD22 CH-HC-FREEDOM FIGHTER Chandigarh: A freedom fighter from Haryana finally got justice but it came a trifle too late as he passed away 18 years ago. CHANDIGARH DEL36 PB-MODI-RALLY-SECURITY Chandigarh: The Punjab police has beefed up security in the state’s Muktsar district where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address a ‘thanksgiving’ rally of farmers tomorrow, to be organised jointly by the SAD and the BJP in the wake of recent hike in MSP of Kharif crops. JAIPUR DES19 RJ-ASHRAM Jaipur: The Pali district administration has found several irregularities in the ashram being run by self-styled godman Daati Maharaj, Rajasthan State Commission for Women Chairperson Suman Sharma claimed today. JAMMU DES20 JK-HIGHWAY-LD TUBE Banihal/Jammu, Jul 10 (PTI) One of the two tubes of the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed today after it developed cracks, officials said. PTI ASHASH