Canada184.108.40.206F1530447730103 Colombia220.127.116.11G19292441<1 South Africa18.104.22.168E39242641<1 USA22.214.171.124G71%23%5%98%77%56%38% Sweden126.96.36.199E2837258339155 CHANCE OF FINISHING GROUPCHANCE OF REACHING ROUND France188.8.131.52G2348218643228 China85.02.00.7E132638652161 Brazil91.02.70.6E55281394602814 Group E: Brazil, Sweden, China, South AfricaBrazil sits atop Group E, the weakest of the groups with an average WSPI of 85.3, and with home field advantage adding a boost of about 0.35 goals per game they are very likely to medal this tournament — they’ve got a 94 percent chance to make the knockout stage and a 60 percent chance of making it to the semifinals. If five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta has any hat-trick surprises left at age 30, the Brazilians could go even further. Sweden is the next-best team in group E and has a 83 percent chance of advancing to the knockout rounds. They tied the U.S. in group play last year at the World Cup and are known to match up well against the Americans thanks to the former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. China exited the World Cup early last year in the quarterfinals, losing to the U.S. 1-0, but they’ve got a 65 percent chance of making it back to the knockout rounds this year as one of the two third-place teams that will advance. South Africa, despite holding the U.S. to only one goal last month, has only an 11 percent chance of advancing from the group stage.Group F: Germany, Australia, Canada, ZimbabweThe second-ranked team in the world, Germany, will be the biggest challenge for the Americans at the Olympics. The U.S. defeated the Germans in the semifinals of the World Cup 2-0 and 2-1 at the SheBelieves tournament in March, but Germany remains the next most-likely team to win gold, with a 21 percent chance. Australia, despite having only a 7 percent chance of winning the Olympics, is a sleeper pick from Group F; they beat Japan, 3-1, in the Asian Qualifiers in February to eliminate the World Cup runners-up from the Olympics. Canada will likely feel snubbed by their third-place rank in Group F, but an early exit at last year’s World Cup quarterfinals and a loss to France just a few weeks ago moved them further down in our ratings. Zimbabwe upset Cameroon on aggregate goals in last year’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) qualifiers to make it to their first major national tournament, but it’s unlikely they’ll see anything past the group games.Group G: U.S., France, New Zealand, ColombiaThe group that features the American women will usually be the de facto “Group Of Death,” but this tournament’s version earns the title with the largest average WSPI of all of the groups, 87.2. France will give the U.S. its most difficult group game, especially if injuries continue to nag the U.S. midfield — the area of the field where France excels. Les Bleues have a 22 percent chance of making the final game and an 8 percent chance of winning it all. New Zealand’s scrappiness can be effective — they held Canada to a draw at the World Cup last year — and they’ve got a 44 percent chance of squeezing into the knockout rounds as the third-place team from Group G. As for Colombia, I’m still waiting for the breakout performance of Yoreli Rincón, but there’s a 61 percent chance the Colombians go out in the group stage.CORRECTON (Aug. 3, 5:23 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misidentified the French women’s national soccer team. The team’s name is Les Bleues, not Les Bleus. TEAMWSPIOFFDEFGRP.1ST2ND3RDQTR.SEMIFINALWIN We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.RIO DE JANEIRO — The 2016 Olympic Games start Wednesday — not with Friday’s opening ceremony — with group play in the women’s soccer tournament. The reigning World Cup champions and four-time Olympic gold medalists, the U.S. women’s national team, play New Zealand in Belo Horizonte, but I’m hundreds of miles away in Rio de Janeiro, the epicenter of the Olympic Games and the city where the host nation’s team will begin its Olympic run against China this afternoon. It seemed like a good chance to catch a Brazil game among local fans. So far, I can’t even find a place to watch the game.“Rio is made of bars, but I’m not sure many people will be watching the women’s game,” Patricia “Patchy” Toledo, a former professional women’s soccer player in Brazil, told me when I asked if there are any places where Brazilian fans will be watching their team play. Cíntia Barlem, a journalist covering women’s soccer in Brazil for Globo Esporte, one of the largest sports news sites in Brazil, said she didn’t think most Brazilians would be paying attention. I told her that in the U.S., everyone will be watching the U.S. women’s national team play. “I would like it if the Brazilians do the same here, but it is not the reality.”Reality has been a trip for the U.S. women. Just over a year ago I sat in a stadium with 53,000 people and watched Carli Lloyd rocket a shot from half-field, sailing the ball over Japan’s backtracking keeper and scoring her third goal in the first 20 minutes of the Women’s World Cup final. Since then, the USWNT — which has won four of the five gold medals handed out in the history of women’s soccer at the Olympics, including three in a row since 2004 — has lost only one game in the past year. It has also added fresh, young talent — Mallory Pugh, Crystal Dunn and Lindsey Horan — to a roster of World Cup champions. All of this makes them heavily favored to win a fifth gold medal this year: They have a 38 percent chance of doing so — almost double the odds of Germany, the next-best team — according to our forecasting model. If they get the fifth gold, they’d be the first team in history to win the World Cup and Olympics in consecutive years.Our projections are based on the Women’s Soccer Power Index (WSPI) we created last year, which uses game-based offensive and defensive ratings to estimate a team’s overall skill level. The 12-team Olympic tournament is much smaller than the Women’s World Cup (which fields 24 teams) which means some of the world’s best teams, such as Japan and Norway, did not qualify while some, like England, have their own reasons not to compete in the Olympics. Instead, the field is stocked with teams like Zimbabwe, ranked 93rd in the world by FIFA and making their international tournament debut.This isn’t to say the Olympics will be inferior to the World Cup. In fact, the overall average WSPI of the teams at the Olympics is greater than it those that were at the World Cup (86 compared to 84) but the tournament is much more stratified with great teams at the top of the table — Germany, France and Brazil — and much weaker teams at the bottom like South Africa and Zimbabwe. Below, we take a closer look at the 2016 Olympic tournament, breaking down each team’s chances of advancing from the group stage to the knockout rounds. At the Olympics, the top two teams (as well as the top two third-place finishers) advance from each of the three four-team groups to the single-elimination knockout rounds: the quarterfinals, semifinals and the championship game. New Zealand83.82.00.9G52044511441 Germany184.108.40.206F58281397634121 Zimbabwe220.127.116.11F<1314111<1<1 Australia18.104.22.168F2738298844187
A week from today, Jim Bankoff, chairman and CEO of Vox Media, will take the stage at FOLIO:’s premiere annual conference: The MediaNext Show. As keynote speaker and head of one of the largest and fastest growing independent online media companies, Bankoff will connect the magazine publishing industry’s traditional identity with the new realities of a fast-paced, multimedia landscape.Here, FOLIO: catches up with Bankoff [pictured] to explore the critical elements of running an online media company and where the new disrupters lie for the digital content market.FOLIO: Describe, in the context of Vox, the core, most critical elements of an online media company—from the way you produce your content to the way it’s promoted and consumed by your audience. Jim Bankoff: The core, critical elements of an online media company are giving audiences quality content and quality advertising that they can consume and enjoy in any setting and on any platform. We believe we’re doing that across the board at Vox. As I noted in LinkedIn, “Web consumers and advertisers crave a higher value journalism and storytelling, and it’s our challenge as publishers and creators to meet that demand.Vox believes fulfilling this demand for quality at scale is an enormous business opportunity. We publish three flagship brands all of which are committed to reinventing quality storytelling and journalism in a manner that is native to the Web. SB Nation (and its 300+ sports communities), The Verge and Polygon are producing magazine-caliber content in sports, tech/culture and gaming on an everyday basis, around the clock—merging old fashioned principles like integrity, design, research and creativity with the new palette of digital media: multimedia, mobility, community and real-time updates. We have even developed our own technology platform, Chorus, to empower the voices of Web-native storytellers and their audiences and advertisers with cutting-edge tools for their craft.”We’ve built on great editorial content with a great design and development team and have embraced responsive design so that consuming Vox is always a satisfying experience no matter what platform you’re on.FOLIO: What are the key revenue trends you’re seeing in the online publishing market? And how are you positioning your brands accordingly for the year ahead?Bankoff: The online advertising market is experiencing two opposing trends: commoditization of inventory sold to direct marketers via programmatic exchanges and native advertising/custom integration bought by premium brand advertisers. Our business is squarely in the latter camp with marketers seeking a customized experience that fits their brand and their message. We’ve been doing that at Vox Media for several years, starting with our first property SB Nation where we have featured sponsored editorial content since 2006. FOLIO: Tactically, how are you driving community interaction and engagement with your brands?Bankoff: Our brands have always had loyal and engaged readers. In 2012 alone, we saw readers consume 820MM+ minutes of our content. They’re interested in our writing and reporting, but also our video content and the places we allow them to interact with each other like our forums, comment section, social pages and areas for user-generated content. The key to our success is our underlying proprietary media stack, called Chorus, which enables our creative teams, our audiences and our advertisers to engage with one another in the context of professional and user generated story telling. By being a technology-driven media company, we can iterate quickly and respond to the ever-evolving needs of brands and consumers.FOLIO: What are the new “disrupters” for the digital content market? What is compelling you to re-examine your operation?Bankoff: The new disrupter for the digital content market is the idea that there’s no such thing as a single homepage anymore. The days when media experiences were linked via big portals and their email screens is gone. We discover great content via social recommendations, expert curators, search algorithms and a variety of other sources. Consumers are grabbing content from all over, and it’s crucial that publishers be everywhere. At Vox we have social feeds, partnerships with other media organizations and presences on apps like Flipboard. We want to be everywhere consumers are.The MediaNext Show will be held January 8-10 in New York City at the Marriott Marquis. For more information on the show and to register click here.
With less than a fortnight to go for the presentation of the Budget 2016, the divide between the two main Indian political parties â€“ the BJP and the Congress â€“ seems to be widening.While the BJP-led NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under attack for its handling of JNU students over the Afzal Guru death anniversary issue, the Congress is keen to take on the government head-on, using macroeconomic data and the latest political development to good effect, just days before Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to present the budget on Feb.29.At a press conference last Friday in New Delhi, Abhishek Singhvi, spokesperson for the Congress, took on the Modi government on a range of issues, from the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan to the JNU protests, besides the state of the economy.”Let us presume that Ishrat Jahan was a suspected terrorist. What is the course of action the BJP is proposing? That she should be liquidated in a false encounter? As a civilised country governed by law and order, should we not proceed by trying her in the court of law as Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru were tried? The BJP was advocating hanging them by the nearest lamp-post. How is India different from a banana republic if we too resort to such practices?” BusinessLine reported Singhvi as saying.Mocking the government for holding events such as “Make in India” without showing commensurate results on the ground, he said: “This clueless government has no idea on how to revive it (the economy) and they seem to move from one slogan and event to another without even attempting to address the real crisis at hand.”Singhvi also said that apart from the fact that 29 state-owned banks have written off Rs 1.14 lakh crore of bad debts during 2013-2015, the rupee, which was at 58.5 to a dollar when the BJP came to power, has dropped to 68.38, a fall of 17 percent. The NDA government is facing a grim situation, notwithstanding the description of Asia’s third largest economy as a “bright spot” by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.Retail inflation at a 17-month high in January, factory output (IIP) registering a second straight month of contraction in December, third quarter GDP growth rate coming at 7.3 percent, the lowest in the past three quarters, and merchandise exports registering decline for the 13th month in a row in December have emboldened the Congress â€“ which was reduced to its lowest tally in its history after the 2014 general elections â€“ to question the government’s performance on the economic front.Given the current political circumstances, Jaitley, who often says that “all political parties are with the government on economic legislations except the Congress,” may find it difficult to secure their support, given that they would find it politically expedient to go with the Congress.After all, the JD(U), the RJD and the Communists have found a common cause to take on the government and would not like to break ranks with the GOP (read the Congress) over the GST legislation, more so when crucial Assembly polls to five states â€“ Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry â€“ are round the corner. It would be politically naive to expect the Congress and the larger Opposition to support the NDA government at a time when it is politically weak.To use a stock market phrase, the Modi government is going through a bearish phase, much like the Sensex that posted its single biggest weekly fall in a year last week.The Budget Session needs to be seen in this context. The probability â€“ a high one at that â€“ of a united Opposition taking on the government over the JNU students’ issue and the Ishrat Jahan encounter case could mar the session. On the other hand, if the government is seen as unable to pass key economic legislations during the session, it would send the wrong signals to the marlets.
.Customs intelligence officials recovered eight iPhones and some cosmetics from five cabin crew members of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Tuesday, reports UNB.Based on secret information, a team of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) searched the bags of the five cabin crew – identified as Morzina Akhter Elin, Salma Sultana, Farzana Gazi, Moinuddin Adnan and Roman Sikder -soon after their flight arrived at the airport from Abu Dhabi.According to the baggage policy, a crew member could bring in up to $300 worth of goods, but these products were detained due to lack of proper buying documents.During preliminary interrogation, they revealed that they (cabin crew) were carrying the seized goods for one Tanim Raj, a local businessman, in exchange for money, said the director general of CIID Moinul Khan.Biman Bangladesh Airlines has been directed to take departmental action against the five crew members for breaching the rules to bring in the seized costly mobile phone sets and cosmetics, including perfumes, he said.
German chancellor Angela Merkel gestures at a news conference with NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg (not pictured) in the German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on 15 June. Photo: ReutersGerman chancellor Angela Merkel, struggling to avert a crisis within her coalition on migrant policy, is trying to set up a meeting of some EU states to discuss the issue before a leaders summit on 28-29 June, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.Citing government sources from representatives of several EU states, top-selling Bild reported on its website that Merkel wanted to discuss possible solutions with Greece, Italy and Austria.“It is not yet agreed, we are in the planning phase. It is also unclear exactly when this special summit would take place,” a member of the Italian government told Bild. The paper added that next weekend might be one possibility.A German government spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the report.EU states are deeply divided on how to deal with large numbers of people fleeing conflict, especially from the Middle East. The issue has come to a head in the last week with a new Italian government refusing to let a ship carrying hundreds of migrants dock at its ports.Merkel is adamant that migrant policy can only be effectively agreed and implemented at the European level and is at loggerheads with her own conservative Bavarian allies and her Interior Minister who want unilateral action.The Bavarians have threatened to defy Merkel and on Monday go ahead with plans which she has sought to block. Under the minister’s proposal, Germany would send back migrants who have already registered in other EU countries.This would undermine Merkel’s authority as it represents a reversal of her 2015 open-door approach, and would also be a blow to the EU’s Schengen open-border system.Merkel has asked the Bavarian conservatives to give her two weeks to come up with bilateral deals with some countries, like Italy and Greece, similar to one agreed between Turkey and the EU in 2016.Bild said it was unclear whether Spain and other countries from the Balkans would take part in Merkel’s meeting.