Lazio: No Milinkovic-Savic offers yet

first_imgTransfers No offers for Milinkovic-Savic, says Lazio director Tare Sacha Pisani 11:43 5/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) SergejMilinkovicSavic-cropped Getty Images Transfers Lazio Serie A Despite links with Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United, Lazio have not yet received any bids for the midfielder Lazio director Igli Tare said the Serie A club have not received any offers for star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, though they would consider a transfer if a bid was lodged.Milinkovic-Savic is hot property in Europe, with Serie A holders Juventus, European champions Real Madrid and Premier League giants Manchester United reportedly interested in the Serbia international.The 23-year-old scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, 12 of those coming in Serie A as Lazio finished fifth. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Asked about Milinkovic-Savic’s future ahead of the World Cup, Tare – who previously said it would take more than €90 million (£79m/$105m) to lure the Serbian away from Rome – told Sky Sport Italia: “The failed Champions League qualification doesn’t change things, we know what we must do and must improve on.”We must put [Simone] Inzaghi in the condition to do well next season, so Sergej’s predicament wasn’t started yesterday but two years ago. We’re talking about a player who deserves this stage.”We don’t want to talk about figures, the market isn’t based on ‘if’ and ‘maybe’.”At this moment we have yet to receive an offer, and when it arrives we’ll decide what to do.”last_img read more

Lessons from Housing Privatization Can Be Applied to New Installation Initiatives

first_imgThe Army’s successful housing privatization initiative can be used as a model to guide future reforms of DOD’s real estate portfolio, two former high-ranking Army officials say in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal.“The program’s success shows how partnerships between business and the military can often achieve better outcomes than the military can achieve on its own. This is especially so when applied to the vast infrastructure that consumes more than $200 billion of today’s defense budget,” say Sandy Apgar, who served as assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment from 1998-2001, and Jack Keane, who served as the Army’s vice chief of staff from 1999-2003.Apgar and Keane suggest that other assets, such as offices, warehousing and maintenance, could be monetized and their performance improved.“If the Defense Department were authorized to follow the best practices of American business and shed 10 percent to 20 percent of its infrastructure-related costs, it could save $20 billion to $40 billion a year,” they state.They cite five principles of defense reform that the next administration should follow in launching new initiatives:integrate public needs with private means and methods;plan from the inside out — military-business partnerships start with the soldier and the family, not the budget or the building;act strategically, trading short-term gains for long-term benefits;cross institutional, functional and geographic boundaries — bypassing DOD’s vertical silos and risk-averse culture can eliminate overhead and produce outcome-based systems; andfocus more on best-value outcomes than least-cost activities.“Partnerships have shown that the Pentagon’s conventional contracting methods can be more costly in the long run while risking mediocre results,” Apgar and Keane say. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Unmarked buildings quiet legal help for accused priests

first_img Share This! Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,DRYDEN, Mich. (AP) — The visiting priests arrived discreetly, day and night.Stripped of their collars and cassocks, they went unnoticed in this tiny Midwestern town as they were escorted into a dingy warehouse across from an elementary school playground. Neighbors had no idea some of the dressed-down clergymen dining at local restaurants might have been accused sexual predators.They had been brought to town by a small, nonprofit group called Opus Bono Sacerdotii. For nearly two decades, the group has operated out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, providing money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse across the country.Again and again, Opus Bono has served as a rapid-response team for the accused.When a serial pedophile was sent to jail for abusing dozens of minors, Opus Bono was there for him, with regular visits and commissary cash.When a priest admitted sexually assaulting boys under 14, Opus Bono raised funds for his defense.When another priest was criminally charged with abusing a teen, Opus Bono later made him a legal adviser.Informational pamphlets for Opus Bono Sacerdotii are displayed with others at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Detroit, on June 7, 2019. For nearly two decades, the small nonprofit organization called Opus Bono Sacerdotii, operating out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, has provided money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to priests accused of sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)And while powerful clerics have publicly pledged to hold the church accountable for the crimes of its clergy and help survivors heal, some of them arranged meetings, offered blessings or quietly sent checks to this organization that provided support to alleged abusers, The Associated Press has found.Though Catholic leaders deny the church has any official relationship with the group, Opus Bono successfully forged networks reaching all the way to the Vatican.The AP unraveled the continuing story of Opus Bono in dozens of interviews with experts, lawyers, clergy members and former employees, along with hundreds of pages of documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests.In recent months, two of the group’s founders were forced out after Michigan’s attorney general found that Opus Bono had misused donated funds and misled contributors. A third co-founder, a priest, was abruptly removed from ministry earlier this month after the AP began asking about an allegation that he had sexually abused a child decades ago.Still, since 2002, Opus Bono has played a little-known role among conservative Catholic groups that portray the abuse scandal as a media and legal feeding frenzy. These groups contend the scandal maligns the priesthood and harms the Catholic faith.Opus Bono established itself as a counterpoint to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and other groups that have accused the church of trying to cover up the scandal and failing to support victims of clergy misconduct. Opus Bono focuses on what it considers the neglected victims: priests, and the church itself.“All of these people that have made allegations are very well taken care of,” Opus Bono co-founder Joe Maher said in a radio interview, contending that many abuse accusations lodged against priests are false. “The priests are not at all very well taken care of.”___Opus Bono’s roots reach back almost two decades to a sex abuse scandal that convulsed The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, a grand stone structure set amid Detroit’s crumbling brick blight.For 25 years, the Rev. Eduard Perrone presided there. Inside the church, commonly known as Assumption Grotto, glossy Opus Bono brochures tout the pastor’s role as the group’s co-founder and spiritual lifeblood. Stern and imposing, the 70-year-old Perrone is a staunch conservative; he refused to marry couples, for example, if he thought the bride’s dress was too revealing.In this June 9, 2019, file photo, the Rev. Eduard Perrone conducts a choir during a Mass at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Detroit. Perrone was a co-founder of a small nonprofit organization called Opus Bono Sacerdotii, which has provided money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to priests accused of sexual abuse. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Earlier this month, his parishioners were shocked when Perrone was removed from ministry after a church review board decided there was a “semblance of truth” to allegations that he abused a child decades ago. Perrone told the AP that he “never would have done such a thing.”In the years before Perrone helped start Opus Bono, he and Assumption Grotto took in at least two priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct at dioceses in other states. One of them later admitted to molesting as many as 50 children in the 1980s and ’90s, according to court documents in Texas.In 1999, Perrone welcomed the other priest — a West African clergyman named Komlan Dem Houndjame — to come work at Assumption Grotto. Two years later, Detroit Archdiocese officials say, they asked Houndjame to return to his home country, Togo, after learning of accusations of sexual misconduct against him in Detroit and at an earlier posting in Florida.Instead he went to a treatment facility in St. Louis.In 2002, Detroit police charged him with sexually assaulting a member of Assumption Grotto’s choir.This undated photo, provided by Mary Rose Maher in 2019, shows her as a child standing with the Rev. Komlan Dem Houndjame at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Detroit. Detroit Archdiocese officials said that two years after he arrived at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in 1999,  they asked Houndjame to return to his home country, Togo, after learning of accusations of sexual misconduct against him in Detroit and at an earlier posting in Florida. Instead he went to a treatment facility in St. Louis. In 2002, Detroit police arrested him and charged him with sexually assaulting a member of the church’s choir. (Courtesy Mary Rose Maher via AP)The 48-year-old parishioner who accused Houndjame of rape said Perrone’s response was to protect the church, testifying in court that he told her, “Just walk by him and ignore him.”Perrone responded to the charges against Houndjame by asking the congregation to support the priest in his time of crisis.Joe Maher was among those who were moved by Perrone’s plea for help.Maher grew up Catholic in the Midwest, then headed to California, where, he said in a podcast, he found work producing live entertainment for Hollywood award shows and other events. “I had access to all the studios,” Maher said. He told a radio interviewer he found his faith again in California before moving his family back to Michigan.Maher led the effort to support Houndjame, serving as media spokesman for the accused priest during the case. Maher even brought the priest home to live with his family, according to his daughter Mary Rose, who was about 10 at the time.In court files, the AP found two other women at Assumption Grotto also had told police about sexual misconduct by Houndjame. But their testimony was never heard in court.When the case went to trial, “it was essentially her word against the priest,” said then-prosecutor Maria Miller. Houndjame was acquitted and moved to Las Vegas. He told the AP that Perrone had been “a real friend.”Joe Maher, meanwhile, was inundated with calls from other desperate priests, begging for help.Out of those pleas, Opus Bono was launched.Around the clock, the organization’s main number rang through to Maher’s cellphone. Maher and fellow co-founder Peter Ferrara, who had worked in accounting, would mobilize, picking priests up in person or buying them plane tickets, then moving them into a hotel, an apartment or one of several “halfway houses.”“We’re on our way to help a priest in need, in the Midwest, so it’s going to be a long trip and not much sleep and it could be potentially a dangerous situation,” Maher said in a homemade video posted on Opus Bono’s Facebook page. He didn’t explain why the mission might be dangerous.___Opus Bono’s client list is confidential, but its promotional brochures say it has helped over 8,000 priests. The Michigan attorney general estimates the real number is closer to 1,000.One of those was Rev. Gregory Ingels, a well-known priest in San Francisco’s archdiocese who was charged in 2003 with abusing a 15-year-old boy in the 1970s. The criminal charges were dismissed after California’s extended statute of limitations was ruled unconstitutional, but the archdiocese later settled a lawsuit filed by another Ingels accuser.Opus Bono made Ingels one of its advisers on canon, or church, law. When reached by the AP, Ingels said the allegations against him were false and said his involvement with Opus Bono was minimal.“With Opus Bono, I only answered canon law questions that they had before I hit retirement age,” he said.The group also provided support to Jason Sigler, a former Detroit priest convicted of molesting dozens of children in New Mexico and Michigan.In a lawsuit, one former altar boy said Sigler forced him into “hundreds of sexual abuse events, each a violation of criminal sexual penetration laws.”Maher visited Sigler in prison regularly, funded his commissary account and took his calls, said Mary Rose Maher. She also says her father introduced her to Sigler before and after he was sentenced to prison, and put her on the phone with him while he was behind bars.“I really didn’t know who Jason was. I had only met him once and I didn’t understand why I had to speak to a priest in prison,” she said.Mary Rose Maher, the daughter of Opus Bono Sacerdotii co-founder Joe Maher, visits a former Opus Bono location in Oxford, Mich., on June 5, 2019. In a February 2017 letter to the state attorney general, she wrote, “A simple investigation into the Michigan non-profit charity Opus Bono Sacerdotii would bring to light the millions of embezzled dollars, years of mail fraud, and the constant systemic abuse of donations.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)She told the AP that while she was still a teenager, she and her homeschooled friends began working for her father’s organization — and often spent time with men who were accused of abuse. Sometimes Mary Rose, her father and other employees would meet with accused priests, drive them around town and take them to lunch, she said.Opus Bono also hired accused priest Dennis Druggan, who headed a Catholic seminary high school in Wisconsin for more than a decade. Druggan was put on administrative leave in July 2012 after allegations surfaced that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor at a Catholic high school for Native American teens in Montana in the 1980s.Druggan was later removed from public ministry, according to a 2013 audit of the Capuchin province where he served, and is no longer a member of the order, said the province spokesman Tim Hinkle.Instead, Druggan went to work for Opus Bono, according to employment records the group turned over to Michigan’s attorney general.Druggan occasionally visited Opus Bono’s office to say Mass or conduct other business, according to Mary Rose Maher. She recalls sitting at his side for lessons on fundraising.When contacted by the AP, Druggan said he no longer works for Opus Bono and declined further comment.Another former priest, Robert Kealy, was sent by church officials in Chicago to Opus Bono for “monitoring/therapy” in 2003 after admitting he abused teens. The group described him as an adviser on church law.The exterior of a former location for Opus Bono Sacerdotii is shown in Dryden, Mich., on June 6, 2019. For nearly two decades, the group has operated out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, providing money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse across the country. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Earlier, Kealy himself had helped handle sex-abuse cases for the church. Now his out-of-town trips had to be approved by the Chicago Archdiocese, and documents show they outsourced his monitoring to Maher, who was listed as his “Therapist, Spiritual Leader, Doctor, Monitor,” even though there is no indication Maher is a licensed therapist.Kealy also attended a conference Opus Bono put on in Detroit, monitored by Monsignor William Varvaro, a former president of the Canon Law Society of America and an early Opus Bono adviser, records show.Kealy did not respond to requests for comment. Varvaro died in 2007.___From the very beginning, the group won backing from influential members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy who were eager to advocate for the rights of accused priests.In 2002, Maher sent a news article about Opus Bono to Father Richard John Neuhaus, the editor of a conservative Catholic journal who served as an unofficial adviser to President George W. Bush. “Some priests have suggested I write to you and let you know what we’re doing,” Maher told Neuhaus.“More power to you!” Neuhaus replied in a letter the AP located in archives at the Catholic University of America. “The demand that a person ‘must be punished,’ no matter how long ago the offense or the repentance and transformation of the offender is nothing more than a demand for vengeance.”Neuhaus introduced Maher to his friend Cardinal Avery Dulles, the son of John Foster Dulles, the former U.S. Secretary of State. Dulles was a pre-eminent conservative Catholic theologian in his two decades at Fordham University.Both men became Opus Bono’s theological advisers. Correspondence shows they forged critical connections for Maher in Rome with at least three powerful Vatican officials. Photographs of American cardinals Raymond Burke and Edmund Szoka were displayed in the group’s promotional materials, along with pictures of other high-ranking church officials who paid calls to the group’s Michigan headquarters. Others sent donations.Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, the former archbishop of Baltimore and now a Vatican official, said he occasionally sent money to Opus Bono over the years but has not done so in at least a year. He said he never met Maher, Ferrara or other founding members and never visited Michigan.“I saw some charity being done and wanted to encourage them. They were very appreciative,” O’Brien said, but added that the next time the group reaches out, he will ask that his photo be removed from its Facebook page.Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the only contact between the Vatican and the U.S. group that he was aware of was the receipt of some promotional materials from Opus Bono years ago. He was not aware of a response.Don Hanchon, an auxiliary bishop in Detroit, said he was surprised his images were featured on the group’s website and in brochures. Hanchon told the AP he might have sent in a donation, but the photograph “seems like I’m a big supporter, and that’s just not the truth.”Szoka died in 2014 and Burke could not be reached for comment.The Rev. Eduard Perrone talks to a reporter in Warren, Mich., on June 7, 2019. In July 2019, Detroit’s Catholic archdiocese removed Perrone, one of Opus Bono Sacerdotii’s co-founders, from public ministry after a church review board decided there was a “semblance of truth” to allegations that he abused a child decades ago.  Perrone told the AP that he “never would have done such a thing.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Perrone told an interviewer in 2013 that Opus Bono’s relationship with the Roman Catholic Church was deliberately arms-length.“The church benefits from what we’re doing but it doesn’t give it the support,” he said. “The whole point of this is to be a counterpoint to a movement which is also outside the church, a movement of dissent and against the priesthood.”But the group also presented itself as deeply entwined with the church, right down to its name, which means “work for the good of the priesthood.”“Use of the Latin, which is the official language of the Church, helps to identify OBS with the Catholic Church in Rome and the Papacy,” the group’s founding documents note.In addition to courting religious leaders, Opus Bono also has benefited from connections to wealthy U.S. Catholics.A radio network founded by Tom Monaghan, a billionaire Domino’s Pizza founder who later advised President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, interviewed Maher and Perrone and promoted Opus Bono’s work, according to archived Ave Maria Radio recordings.Monaghan’s Ave Maria Foundation also sponsored a community talk Maher gave at a Detroit hotel, according to the recordings. And a former chaplain at Florida-based Ave Maria School of Law, which Monaghan founded and on whose board he serves, was listed as an Opus Bono adviser on the group’s website.A spokesman for Monaghan declined to comment on Opus Bono. Joe Maher has said that Monaghan never made any direct donations to the group.___In their four locations over 17 years — three of them in towns in rural Michigan — the group didn’t post signs.In 2005, in Oxford, Michigan, Opus Bono retrofitted one side of an old metal-casting facility adjacent to a high school for its headquarters. At noon, metal workers would halt their noisy work to let Opus Bono staffers observe Mass and sometimes join in prayer, two former employees of the group said.The group’s next move, in 2014, was 20 miles away to the village of Dryden. Local officials were puzzled when they heard Maher and Ferrara wanted to set up a Hollywood-style production studio in a dilapidated warehouse off Main Street — again facing an elementary school playground.Nothing was mentioned about priests.“They were very tight-lipped and never talked about anything having to do with priests,” said Gyrome Edwards, a building and zoning official in Dryden. “They were just trying to go unseen.”Each week inside the warehouse, office workers mailed out appeals to potential donors in envelopes featuring pictures of the pope. The letters inside, as well as postings on the group’s website, included testimonials describing the purported experiences of priests who’d faced desperate crises, including false accusations of sexual abuse.One testimonial from May 2018, for example, claimed that a “Father David” had been stalked by a mentally unbalanced parishioner who had accused him of sexual misconduct after he turned down her offers of gifts and money.“Even when a priest has done absolutely nothing wrong,” the testimonial asserted, “the Church will sometimes go to the nth degree, including subjecting some priests to unwarranted psychological trauma, and a very long wait to return to active ministry, all to appease a terribly aggressive accuser.”The testimonials, however, were misleading, an investigation by Michigan’s attorney general found. Opus Bono’s lawyers conceded to state investigators that Maher had concocted them by stitching together stories from various priests.Mary Rose Maher, the daughter of Opus Bono Sacerdotii co-founder Joe Maher, holds a photo from her childhood with her parents in Detroit, on June 12, 2019. Opus Bono’s finances came under scrutiny after authorities were contacted by a once-loyal employee — Mary Rose — who began questioning the way money was spent. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)The state’s investigation began after it was contacted by a once-loyal Opus Bono employee — Maher’s own daughter, Mary Rose, now 27.In February 2017, she wrote a letter to the state attorney general accusing the group of financial misconduct.“A simple investigation into the Michigan non-profit charity Opus Bono Sacerdotii would bring to light the millions of embezzled dollars, years of mail fraud, and the constant systemic abuse of donations,” she wrote.The tip landed on the desk of Assistant Attorney General William Bloomfield, a devout Catholic with a law degree from Ave Maria.The investigation lasted more than a year.Investigators concluded the group’s fundraising solicitations had been deceptive. They also found that Maher and Ferrara had violated state charity laws by using donated funds to cover such personal expenses as sushi lunches, chiropractor visits and power tools to work on their homes, according to a cease and desist order filed by Michigan’s attorney general.Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a Michigan based nonprofit that aims to assist priests accused of sexual abuse, raised more than $8 million between 2002 and 2016. (AP Graphic)Over the years, as the group grew richer — financial records show donations increased from $73,000 in 2002 to $1.3 million in 2016 — Maher’s pay soared from $40,500 to $212,000. Ferrara’s rose from $16,300 to $316,000.“Maher and Ferrara took what they wanted, when they wanted it,” the attorney general’s office wrote, demanding repayment of more than $500,000.A former board member — J. Michael Carrigan, a former Smithsonian Institution director — said that whatever the co-founders paid themselves was only to reimburse the tens of thousands of dollars they spent out of their own pockets supporting priests in Opus Bono’s early days.Ultimately, Bloomfield oversaw a settlement last December that required Opus Bono to pay $10,000 to cover the costs of the state’s investigation and forced Ferrara and Maher from their jobs at the nonprofit. The group’s entire board of directors was replaced.Within weeks of the settlement, Bloomfield left his job at the attorney general’s office and took a job with the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, as general counsel.Bloomfield said his work on the investigation did not represent a conflict of interest because Opus Bono is a nonprofit, separate from the church.But four years before Bloomfield began directing the state’s investigation of Opus Bono, he attended a service chanted by Perrone and the Assumption Grotto choir that moved him “to a deep and joyful praise of God,” he wrote on Facebook. Bloomfield told the AP his parents knew Perrone and that he had attended services at Assumption Grotto on occasion as a youth.Bloomfield also sells religious texts through his own imprint, Sacred Art Series, which sometimes can be found for sale at Assumption Grotto’s gift shop, a clerk said. Bloomfield said he has never sold books there directly, but added it’s possible that his mother, who served on a nonprofit board with Perrone, may have dropped off copies.___Despite the settlement, the story of Opus Bono continues to unfold.The Archdiocese of Detroit has asked the Vatican to review the sexual misconduct allegations against Father Perrone.Mary Rose Maher recently launched her own nonprofit group. She says the group will support survivors of sexual abuse, positioning it squarely in opposition to her father’s organization even as she adapts some of its tactics — offering shelter, legal representation and emotional and financial help. She is soliciting donations to build a “safe haven house” and raising money by selling tickets to a banquet that will be held at an as-yet-determined date.Her father, who was required by the state to never again run a nonprofit in Michigan, has launched a second nonprofit that seems to have the identical mission of helping priests in need.The new group is called Men of Melchizedek, a reference to an Old Testament figure who was thought to be both a king and a priest. It is registered in Indiana, but its website says its “principal office” is located in Michigan. The group lists Maher as its president.In a March letter to the Michigan attorney general, Maher’s attorney described him something akin to a case worker whose labors are “a corporal and spiritual work of mercy; it is how he practices his Catholic faith.” The letter said the new group will provide the same services as Opus Bono, but warned that “more vulnerable beneficiaries may be lost to suicide during the transition.”Both Opus Bono and Men of Melchizedek now list the same canon lawyer, the Rev. David Deibel, as their chairman.Deibel, Joe Maher and Maher’s attorneys did not return multiple messages from the AP.On its website, the new group promises “non-judgmental support and life-time accompaniment for our priest-clients who are so very much in need.”“We turn no priest away,” it says.(Martha Mendoza, Juliet Linderman and Garance Burke write for The Associated Press.)  Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,The Village Church sued for more than $1 million over alleged abuse at church camp Catholicism By: The Associated Press Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 The Associated Press Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This!center_img News • Photos of the Week Investigation reveals Chicago Archdiocese’s financial woes By: The Associated Press Share This! News By: The Associated Press The Associated Press,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email TagsCatholic Church clergy sex Eduard Perrone homepage featured Komlan Dem Houndjame Opus Bono Sacerdotii Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,You may also like Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

Samsung Seeks Smartphone Revamp to Arrest Profit Slide

first_imgOctober 30, 2014 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free 3 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday said it would revamp its smartphone line-up to take on competitors in the rapidly growing mid-to-low range segment, after third-quarter earnings set it on course for its worst year since 2011.The global smartphone leader’s market share declined in annual terms for the third straight quarter in July-September, lagging Apple Inc in the premium market and overtaken by rivals like Lenovo Group Ltd and Xiaomi Inc at the bottom end, research firm Strategy Analytics said.Executives said the South Korean giant would overhaul its lower-tier line-up to boost price competitiveness and use higher-quality components to set its devices apart, after it announced its worst third-quarter profit in more than three years.”The mid-to-low end market is growing rapidly, and we plan to respond actively in order to capitalise on that growth,” Samsung Senior Vice President Kim Hyun-joon said during a conference call with analysts.Samsung said its third-quarter operating profit fell by an annual 60.1 percent to 4.1 trillion won ($3.9 billion), matching its guidance issued earlier this month.While the company expects profits to pick up in the fourth quarter on strong demand for televisions and memory chips, analysts still expect Samsung to record its worst annual operating profit in three years.Profit for the mobile division fell 73.9 percent to 1.75 trillion won in the third quarter, its worst performance since the second quarter of 2011.Samsung spent most of the quarter without launching a new flagship device, and continued to struggle in the mid-to-low tier markets against cheaper and value-packed offerings like Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S.Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations, said the firm would launch new mid-tier models in the fourth quarter, although he didn’t specify what features they would have.Samsung expects average selling prices for handsets will rise in the fourth quarter due to an increase in premium smartphone sales, namely of the Galaxy Note 4, and as demand picks up in the holiday shopping season.Analysts say Samsung will likely have to sacrifice margins to protect its market share. Cheaper phones are expected to drive global smartphone market growth in coming years, meaning a general trend of lower average selling prices.Samsung’s chips division was a bright spot, recording a 2.26 trillion operating profit for the July-September quarter to mark the highest earnings since the third quarter of 2010.(1 US dollar = 1,053.5000 Korean won)(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates) This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more

Major South Cheshire road closed due to accident

first_imgThe road is closed between points A and B (Image: Inrix) Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here. Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA major road is closed due to an accident in South Cheshire tonight. The A50 Street Lane is closed due to an accident between Townsend Lane ( Rode Heath) and Church Lane (Fourlanes End). The road is currently shut in both directions following the accident, which is believed to have taken place at around 11pm. We have no further details on the nature of the accident at this stage. The closure is affecting traffic between Rode Heath and Holmes Chapel, according to traffic data company INRIX. We’ll bring you an update on this story when one becomes available. Read MorePolice searching for missing 13-year-old last seen at railway stationlast_img read more