OTTAWA – Canadian retail sales during the crucial holiday shopping season were far lower than previously projected as consumers appeared to pull back on spending.Statistics Canada has released revised estimates for its retail-trade figures — and they are considerably weaker when compared to the initial readings published by the federal agency.The agency now estimates retail sales for November contracted 1.1 per cent compared to the previous month, which is a downward revision from its previous figure of 0.5 per cent growth.For December, the agency now says retail trade likely fell 1.2 per cent, which is deeper than its previous estimate of just a 0.7 per cent contraction.The report says retail sales grew by only 0.1 per cent in January, compared to the initial estimate of a 0.3 per cent expansion.Statistics Canada also released its monthly number for February, when it estimates retail sales increased 0.4 per cent to $49.8 billion — with the biggest increases coming from new car dealers and general merchandise stores.
Maria Salvetti. Carl Bialik A day during the tournament can involve hours of watching tennis and thousands of decisions. Salvetti arrives by 10:30 a.m. and stays until the end of play, which can be almost 10 p.m. She works one hour and then takes the next one off. On Tuesday, she worked the first, third and fourth sets of the five-set quarterfinal that was won by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over Kei Nishikori, and she expects to work both women’s semifinals Thursday. The tournament pays her about 100 euros (about $110), after taxes, for each day of work. When she’s off duty, the last thing she wants to do is watch tennis.When they are on the job, Salvetti and her French Open crew appear to be very good. For one thing, their numbers are consistent with those of independent match loggers. I compared the official stats for eight matches from last year’s French Open and 11 from this year’s with the numbers from the crowdsourced Match Charting Project and found that the amateurs and pros like Salvetti agree. The official scorers counted just 3 percent more winners and 3 percent fewer unforced errors. Scorers at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon are far more generous, awarding on average 27 percent and 32 percent fewer unforced errors than the independent scorers, according to the dozens of matches I’ve checked.Salvetti said the toughest judgment call is whether a missed shot was forced or unforced. She must decide whether the opponent’s shot was good enough to force the error or whether blame lies mostly with the player who missed. She thinks her courtside seat gives her an advantage over scorers working from home. “On TV, you don’t see all the power that all the players put into the hit,” she said. “You don’t see all the energy they use to run from one side of the court to the other.”Salvetti cited another reason that she’s confident in her work. After matches, the scorers reconcile their numbers with those that come from the umpire’s chair. Umps don’t record winners and unforced errors, but they do take note of whether serves go in, whether they’re aces and who wins the point. Salvetti said that in the rare cases when the umpires’ numbers disagree with Salvetti and her crew’s, 95 percent of the time the scorers are right. She doesn’t blame the umpires for this: They have “a lot more to focus on,” she said.Not every tournament keeps stats on winners, unforced errors and net points, and few do for every match. When they are recorded, they don’t make it into the official stats kept by the men’s tour and the women’s tour. I asked Salvetti how she feels about that. She said she knows from her regular job as an environmental economist how important data is. She wishes more came of her hard work collecting tennis data.“All this information is not used the way it could be used, for players to know more about their games, for coaches, for even journalists and people who bet,” Salvetti said, emphasizing that she was speaking for herself and not the scorers as a group. She teaches at the Sorbonne in Paris and thinks some of her statistically gifted students could do great things with the tennis stats. “All this information, in my opinion, has value that is not used,” she said. “It’s gold that we have in our hands, and we don’t make anything out of it.” Beyond hitting the ball, tennis has outsourced a lot of its work to technology. A sensor determines if a serve clipped the net and should be replayed, radar sensors measure serve speed, and calibrated courtside cameras judge whether a shot was in and generate advanced stats. But when it comes to recording unofficial stats such as winners and unforced errors, the Grand Slams still rely on people like Maria Salvetti.Salvetti has been keeping scores and stats at the French Open each spring for the past 20 years, since she was 19. When she was a child, Salvetti trained in Paris on the courts at Roland Garros, the home of the French Open. But when she was 15, she hurt her knee, stopped playing, and found her way to scorekeeping after a stint as a French Open ballgirl. She is one of about 40 scorers at this year’s French Open. Roughly one-third of them are women, up from about one-quarter when she started, she said.The job is filled with small, fast decisions: When a point ends, scorers determine whether it was decided by a winner, forced error or unforced error that was hit as a forehand, backhand or other type of shot. They also note whether the point was won while one player was at net. The data then feeds IBM databases and powers television graphics, and journalists use it to identify how the match was won.
12/18/1971IndianaNotre DameREG94-29+64 12/29/1972New MexicoDartmouthREG107-36+65 2/27/1994MinnesotaIndianaREG106-56+65 Source: Sports Reference Best men’s basketball wins relative to average expectation 12/9/1955UtahArizonaREG119-45+64 12/23/1998MarylandNorth TexasREG132-57+63 3/3/2008KansasTexas TechREG109-51+67 12/10/1994Southern UtahSouth AlabamaREG140-72+71 DATEWINNEROPPONENTGAME TYPESCOREELO-ADJUSTED POINT MARGIN 12/27/1985North CarolinaManhattanREG129-45+73 Ahead of Saturday’s Final Four matchup between Villanova and Oklahoma, our prediction model had the Wildcats only slightly favored, with a 54 percent chance of winning, and nearly a quarter of the game was as tight as that probability suggests. When Oklahoma led 17-16 after eight minutes, our in-game win probabilities listed the odds as essentially the same as they’d been before tipoff. Fans across the country settled in for an exciting game, perhaps like the one Villanova had played against Kansas in the South Regional final.But from that point on, things were anything but close. ’Nova rattled off a 12-0 run, touching off an eight-minute sequence in which it outscored Oklahoma 21 to 4. By halftime, the Wildcats led by 14 — but they weren’t done yet. After the Sooners briefly cut Villanova’s lead to single-digits with 16 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats scored 49 of the game’s next 63 points, including a 25-0 run that lasted approximately five and a half minutes on the scoreboard (but must have felt like an eternity to Sooner fans).The result was a 44-point landslide win for Villanova, the most lopsided victory in Final Four history. That is a matter of historical fact. But using our Elo ratings (which estimate a team’s strength at a given moment), we can also say that it was probably the most impressive NCAA Tournament win in more than 53 years — and the 10th-most-impressive D-I basketball victory, period, since the 1949-50 season: 1/27/1993OklahomaFlorida A&MREG146-65+63 4/2/2016VillanovaOklahomaNCAA95-51+65 1/12/1952Holy CrossBrownREG100-31+64 3/11/1963Loyola (IL)Tennessee TechNCAA111-42+70 3/12/1993KentuckyTennesseeCTOURN101-40+66 12/17/1986ClemsonArmstrongREG112-39+65 11/17/2009TennesseeUNC-AshevilleREG124-49+64 1/5/1974UCLAWashingtonREG100-48+64 2/27/1956KentuckyGeorgiaREG143-66+65 12/17/1995TulsaPrairie ViewREG141-50+72 12/11/1954DaytonBowling GreenREG109-39+69 11/25/1989DukeHarvardREG130-54+63 Because Elo measures the difference in relative quality between teams going into a game, it can be used (in conjunction with information about the location of the game) to create a predictive point spread. It can also be used to generate a hypothetical point spread that would have been expected from an average Division I team1With an Elo rating of exactly 1500. against the same opponent in a given game. So against Oklahoma on a neutral court Saturday, for instance, Villanova was expected to win by about 2.5 points; an average team would have been expected to lose by 21. That Villanova won by 44 implies that the Wildcats outperformed their own expectations by 41.5 points and those of an “average” team by about 65 points.Suffice it to say that 65 points is an extraordinarily wide margin for a team to beat the D-I average by in a single game. The record since 1949-50 in any game between two D-I schools is 73, set by North Carolina when it trounced Manhattan College by 84 points in 1985. (Elo estimates that an average team, playing at home, would have beaten the 1200-rated Jaspers by about 11 points.) But that also took place in a forgettable non-conference game two days after Christmas.To find an NCAA Tournament win more impressive than Villanova’s romp, you’d have to go back to 1963, when Loyola of Chicago exceeded average by 70 points with a 111-42 opening-round triumph over Tennessee Tech. And before the Wildcats’ win Saturday, no team had beaten average by 60 or more points in an NCAA Tournament game since 1971, when a previous incarnation of Villanova beat Penn 90-47.
Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in the first quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDespite a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit, No. 3 Ohio State (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) rode a stupendous performance from quarterback J.T. Barrett to a 39-38 victory against No. 7 Penn State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) in a battle of Big Ten powers. Head coach Urban Meyer addressed the media Monday afternoon following the victory. Here are three takeaways from the press conference.Improved offensive line led to comeback winJust a year ago, then-No. 2 Ohio State played a close game against the Nittany Lions, but crumbled on the final drive and fell 24-21 to unranked Penn State. Meyer believes this season, the Buckeyes’ resilience in tough situations did not exist a year ago.“The team last year would not have won that game,” Meyer said. “They would have dropped their head. Offensive line would have dropped their head.”Right tackle Isaiah Prince struggled in last season’s loss to Penn State. He looked overmatched the entire game and allowed multiple sacks as the clock ticked closer to zero on what would be Ohio State’s final drive. But Prince has matured after a year of experience and coaching, Meyer said. The head coach was incredulous when asked whether he was worried about Prince heading into last Saturday’s game.“He’s unbelievable now,” Meyer said. “Isaiah, not worried about him at all. He’s a grown man that’s handling his stuff the way a right offensive tackle at Ohio State should.”All five starting offensive linemen graded as successful on between 82 and 86 percent of their plays. Meyer deemed them all to have “champion” effort. Meyer does not want to “micromanage” running back carriesIn the first quarter, freshman running back J.K. Dobbins exploded, taking four carries for 50 yards, including a 21-yard rush. But he did not touch the ball again until the third quarter as redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber took all seven second-quarter carries.Dobbins finished with 13 rushes for 88 yards while Weber had 21 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Meyer said he does not, and would not want to, involve himself in divvying up the carries.“[Dobbins] still had 88 yards and however many carries,” Meyer said. “So we’re throwing the ball so darn well right now, too. So there’s no, once again I don’t micromanage. That’s Kevin Wilson, and that’s Tony Alford to determine. And they’re both practicing very hard. You’d like to get them more carries.”Meyer said he trusts good coaches to make playing-time decisions when the players are “1-A” and “1-B.” “[Running backs coach] Tony Alford is an excellent football coach,” Meyer said. “The last thing he needs is me worrying about that stuff.”Meyer said Weber has “really done a nice job” this season despite an injury which hampered him and made possible Dobbins’ surge, but also mentioned the 2016 starter was humbled. Meyer said Weber’s goal is to reach close to 2,000 rushing yards in a season. But with Dobbins accompanying him in the backfield for the foreseeable future, his path to reaching 2,000 yards is unclear.Search remains for a solution to kickoffsIt took just 15 seconds into Saturday’s game for Penn State to take advantage of Ohio State’s biggest weakness — kickoff coverage — as running back Saquon Barkley returned the opening kick 97 yards to give the Nittany Lions an early six-point lead.After the game, Meyer called the kickoff unit, which he said has historically been near the best in the conference, “comical.” Monday afternoon, he said it was “a joke right now.” “We’re the only school in the America that can’t kick it out of the end zone, even with the wind at our back,” Meyer said. “I’m not a kicking expert but kick the ball out of the end zone and we don’t do that. It’s not because of not telling them to kick the ball out of the end zone.”Former Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston disputed the claim. He took to Twitter to say he does not believe Meyer’s claim about not being able to kick the ball out of the end zone, as he said he has seen both kickers do so firsthand.Regardless of how the Buckeyes fix the unit, they cannot afford to continue to send out the same unit expecting different results. If something doesn’t change, the number in Ohio State’s loss column will.
Antonio Conte believes that Manchester City are capable of dominating the Premier League for yearsThe Citizens were recently confirmed as the new Premier League champions, last Sunday, after local rivals Manchester United suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to lowly West Brom.City have now equalled United’s record from 2001 by winning the league title with five games remaining and are on course to break two further records at the end of this season with Chelsea’s record points tally of 95 points under threat with Pep Guardiola’s side on 87. Also up for grabs is their own goalscoring record at 103 goals during the 2009/10 season with the current squad on 93 goals.Conte, who won the Premier League with Chelsea last season, believes that City stand above every club in the league and are the one side that are truly capable of mounting a challenge both domestically and in Europe.“Manchester City is one club that can continue to dominate, to win, not only in England, but also to fight for the Champions League.” said the Chelsea boss, according to Football365.Report: Inter go top with win over Udinese George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Inter Milan are top of Serie A after beating Udinese to make it three wins out of three.Antonio Conte’s career at Inter Milan, could…“They have the possibility to do this. It is a very strong club, they have an important squad with great players and are a club that want to invest and improve. There are a lot of things that are right.”Although they do have a game in hand against Tottenham in the league standings, Conte admits it will be difficult to recover from an eight point gap to their London rivals at this stage of the season. But the Italian insists that, despite the odds, Champions League football is still the target for Chelsea.“We have to try until the end to reach this target.” admitted the 48 year-old.“If we want to be realistic with five games to go, it’s not simple to reduce the gap, but we must have the will to fight, the desire to take this target. Why not?“We have an important game against Burnley, a really strong team having a fantastic season, and it won’t be easy to get three points.”
Former Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta has allegedly made the controversial switch to Inter MilanMarotta operated as Juventus’ CEO for the past eight years and oversaw the club’s record run of seven successive Serie A titles.However, the 61-year-old decided to leave Turin in October and had been linked with a surprise move to Inter.Now Goal reports that Marotta’s switch to the San Siro is complete and that he will work in a similar capacity to which he had at Juventus.The Italian recently revealed on Monday that he will be remaining at his home country, despite interest from Manchester United.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“I will not go abroad. Italy represents the best of sport and more,” Marotta told Radicchio d’Oro.“For my part I want to stay here and I intend to continue working with an Italian team.”Marotta is expected to begin work at Inter in January.Luciano Spalletti’s side are currently third in the Serie A table and nine points behind leaders Juventus after last Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Atalanta.
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank has recently noted a 13% increase of households in need of food, and as the food bank continues to help they are in need of donations from the community. The Food Bank will also be hosting their annual Thanksgiving dinner. Meyer: “Our Thanksgiving dinner this year, in the Fireweed Diner, is on November 21. That’ll be the day before Thanksgiving from 11:30-2:30, and all are welcome.” For the month of November Safeway has been promoting the Carrs/Safeway Hunger Bags Food Drive. The “Buy a Bag” food drive, is where shoppers can purchase a bag of groceries that will be donated to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. Meyer: “There are a number of food drives going on in the community right now. A number of businesses are hosting and collecting food items right now.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Thanksgiving is just one week away and there are a few ways to get out and help fellow community members before the holiday. Kenai Peninsula Food Bank Director Greg Meyer: “Right now we actually have very bare shelves, and we are in desperate need of donations of non-perishable items. We are putting together Thanksgiving boxes for families that we will distribute next week we have the turkeys and dressing covered, but we need the other things that will go along with the meal.” Food or cash donations can be dropped off at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank during regular business hours.
A general view shows Mount Agung erupting seen from Kubu sub-district in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Tuesday. photo: AFPPlumes of ash from a rumbling volcano forced Indonesian authorities to close Bali’s airport for a second day Tuesday, as a threatened eruption stranded tourists and forced mass evacuations.Tens of thousands of frightened people have fled their homes near Mount Agung, which looms over the resort island, as experts raised the alert level to maximum and warned it could erupt at any moment.Towering columns of thick grey smoke have been belching from the volcano since last week, and in the last few days have begun shooting into the sky, forcing all flights to be grounded until at least Wednesday morning.“The Volcanic Ash Advisory shows that the plane routes have been covered by volcanic ash, this is dangerous for the flights,” Wisnu Darjono from the air traffic agency AirNav official said.Some 40,000 people have abandoned their homes in the danger zone but as many as many as 100,000 will likely be forced to leave, disaster agency officials have said.The exclusion zone around Agung, which is 75 kilometres away from the beachside tourist hub of Kuta, has also been widened to 10 kilometres.As of late Monday some 445 flights had been cancelled, affecting more than 59,000 people travelling to Bali, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year.The airport on nearby Lombok island-also a popular tourist destination east of Bali-closed on Sunday as ash headed in that direction, but reopened early Monday.Memories of disasterMount Agung last went off in 1963, killing some 1,600 people in one of the deadliest eruptions ever seen in a country with nearly 130 active volcanoes.Memories of that disaster have helped drive people towards community centres and makeshift camps, including villagers who have to leave precious livestock behind.“I am very worried because I have experienced this before,” 67-year-old Dewa Gede Subagia, who was a teenager when Agung last roared, told AFP from one evacuation centre.“I hope this time I won’t have to evacuate for too long. In 1963, I left for four months.”Experts said however that Agung’s recent activity matches the build-up to that disaster which ejected enough debris-about a billion tonnes-to lower global average temperatures by 0.2 – 0.3 degrees Celsius for about a year.“What we are seeing at the moment are small explosions, throwing out hot gases and fragments of molten rock, or ash,” said David Pyle, a volcano expert at the University of Oxford in Britain.“The probability of a large eruption is high, but this may take some days or weeks to unfold.”Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people living nearby. Its activity decreased in late October and many returned to their homes.However, on Saturday the mountain sent smoke up into the air for the second time in a week in what volcanologists call a phreatic eruption-caused by the heating and expansion of groundwater.Then on Monday so-called cold lava flows appeared-similar to mud flows and often a prelude to the blazing orange lava seen in many volcanic eruptions.Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region. The archipelago nation with over 17,000 islands lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.Last year, seven were killed after Mt. Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra erupted, while 16 were left dead by a Sinabung eruption in 2014.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uNational politics focusing on the chaotic Trump White House, with guest host, Kaye Wise Whitehead, author, public intellectual and professor at Loyola University MarylandThese stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.