South Africa’s rand steady ahead of S&P rating update

A new five rand coin is displayed during its launch at the South African Mint.South Africa's rand steadied against the U.S. dollar early on Friday as investors held positions ahead of a Standard & Poor's credit rating update on Africa's most advanced economy later in the session. Standard & Poor's in December kept South Africa's rating at BBB-, the lowest investment level, with a stable outlook. The rand has also been under pressure after data on Thursday showed that April factory output unexpectedly contracted.

APSCo appoints HR Manager & Member Services Liaison

Following a 21 per cent growth in membership in 2014, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has appointed Gill Hamilton-Orr as HR Manager & Member Services Liaison.

Gill has been Chair of APSCo’s HR Forum – a peer group meeting of HR professionals within recruitment – since 2009. She has over 14 years’ experience in HR within the recruitment profession, most recently in her former role as HR Manager at Capital International Staffing.

Commenting on her new position, Gill said: “I am excited to be bringing my skills to APSCo, developing the HR Function and building on the current success of the Forums available to members.”

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said that the creation of a dedicated HR function is in response to the huge expansion of APSCo over the past couple of years. “Growth in membership numbers, and indeed our own team, has created a fresh need for a permanent HR Function – a task that Gill is certainly qualified to lead! Gill will be working closely with the Member Services team to deliver first class Forums, supporting Chairs to ensure they are packed with relevant, appealing content. I look forward to working together to deliver the level of excellence that our members have come to expect.”



All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

New research highlights growing importance of corporate communications in Asia

The third edition of The Pulse, an annual survey by specialist recruiter VMA Group, of over 500 corporate communication professionals across Asia, has found sustained growth in the importance of corporate communications in the region.

Perhaps influenced by the fact that over half of respondents expect their communications teams to expand over the next two years, it’s not surprising that nearly three-quarters (73%) forecast that their function will increase in influence in the same period. And almost half (44%) expect their total communications budget to grow with two in five (47%) predicting that, at worst, it will remain the same.

As a result of this, communications teams are expanding rapidly. 37% of internal communications functions grew in size over the last 12 months and 28% expect to grow again in the coming year. However the most significant area of expansion was digital. Three quarters of digital teams took on more staff over the past year and over 40% expect to add extra headcount in 2015/2016.

Whilst in previous years communications teams have tended to concentrate in regional hubs, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, VMA’s Pulse found that there was a trend developing for them to be based ‘on the ground’. As a result, 40% of practitioners in mainland China are forecasting team growth compared to just 25% in Singapore and 31% in Hong Kong.

Reflecting a function yearning for influence, a permanent question mark hangs over the place of corporate communications in a company’s structure and specifically whether it should have a seat at the boardroom table. The Pulse this year suggests a roughly even split in Asia, with 51% of communications functions having a seat on their organisation’s executive team – a slight growth on last year’s results (48%).

In other findings, for the third year running media relations was the resource with the highest level of advocacy from senior leaders, with 95% of respondents reporting that senior leaders are either key advocates or supportive of the function.

31% of those questioned said their favoured method of finding a new job was through recruitment consultancies, while for the second year running only 7% of respondents found their role through internal promotion. On average, 70% of respondents took less than three months to complete their job search.

Attitudes towards remuneration are also improving among communications professionals with an 8% increase across the region in those who felt that they were “adequately paid”.

“The future for Asian business is optimistic, and The Pulse 2015/16 report confirms that the future of Asian communications looks set for corresponding growth” says Katrina Andrews, Executive Director of VMA Group based in Hong Kong.

Download your copy of The Pulse –…

If you would like to discuss the findings or implications of The Pulse please contact Jane de Podesta, Regional Marketing Manager at VMA Group, Asia Pacific on: +852 5808 2526.

For further information on VMA Group please go to


About The Pulse

Now in its third year, and with input from over 500 communication professionals across China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar, The Pulse 2015/16 is the most wide-ranging tool currently available for benchmarking the function, structure and future challenges of corporate communications departments

About VMA Group

Since its inception in 1978, VMA Group has grown to be the leading global provider of corporate and marketing communications recruitment and training services.

Its practices cover specialist recruitment for Public Affairs, Marketing Communications, External Communications, Internal Communications, Financial Services, Investor Relations, International, Permanent, Interim and Executive Search.
In 2010, it introduced VMA Enhance – a holistic approach to professional development for communications and HR professionals.

The Group has offices in London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Singapore and Johannesburg.


All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

Honda hits the road with $184,000 RC213V-S MotoGP replica

RC213V-S – Is this the most collectible Honda production street bike ever?

Honda has announced that the prototype Moto GP replica it showed at EICMA last year is to become a road-going reality. Based on the RC213V that MotoGP champion Mark Marquez won two championships on, the RC213V-S is billed by the company as its “absolute MotoGP machine for the street” – though some of that depends on what country the street is in.

.. Continue Reading Honda hits the road with $184,000 RC213V-S MotoGP replica

Section: Motorcycles


Related Articles:

All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

Nest Caravan delivers a monocoque-built glamping adventure

The Nest Caravan is a new camping trailer from Bend, Oregon

One of the members of a new generation of stylish camping trailers that also includes the Mogo Freedom and Happier Camper HC1, the Nest caravan was designed for a more luxurious road-tripping experience. It combines a sleek, infusion-molded monocoque body with a comfortable, fully featured interior.

Continue Reading Nest Caravan delivers a monocoque-built glamping adventure

Section: Outdoors


Related Articles:

All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Is A Special Film

When you think of high school, in most cases you are brought back to that time of awkwardness and anxiety. 

A time when you try so hard to fit in and the harder you try, the more left out you feel.  Some may view high school as the best years of their lives, but for the many that don’t have this sort of lighthearted view towards it; high school was a time of high stress levels, high social anxiety, and a lot of tears.  Most adolescents during this time are on the road to discovering themselves and figuring out what their role is in life and in the movie Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, the main character Greg (Thomas Mann) does just that.  Greg is the type of guy who doesn’t like being in the spotlight.  Someone who wants to casually be friends with everyone in his school and not make enemies; the only real friend that he has is his friend, or coworker as Greg calls him, Earl (RJ Cyler).  But everything changes when Greg’s mother, played by Connie Britton, finds out that one of Greg’s classmates, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), has been diagnosed with leukemia.  She then forces Greg to hang out and befriend Rachel in hopes that Greg can comfort her through this difficult time.  The only problem with this plan is that Greg doesn’t like to get close with people and barely even knows Rachel as it is.  With this coming of age story, Greg faces many obstacles such as discovering who he is and what role he plays in the world as well as being a support system to a dying girl he barely knows.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl can easily be considered one of the best films of this year, possibly even a ‘sleeper’ classic waiting to emerge.  There are few times in which a movie can touch the deepest parts of your soul and when that happens, you know that the particular movie is something special.  And this movie is something special.  Taking a subject matter such as cancer and death and adding elements of humor in it is something extremely risky and very rarely works.  However, the pairing of the lighthearted and witty humor with this emotional topic ends up working flawlessly.  There are times within this movie where you think you may shed some tears but then comes some sarcastic remark made by Greg and you ended up laughing hard.

What was also an interesting twist to this movie was how strange the characters were.  Greg, living his whole life trying to be invisible, comes off as not caring about everything, like he is above everything that other people find enjoyable.  Even when he is filming movies with Earl, he doesn’t seem like he cares.  Earl is also like this where there doesn’t seem to be a time where he cracks a smile even though most of his comments and lines within the movie are the funniest moments.  But the reason that this needs to be talked about is how many of the characters lack emotion while their main role within the story is to be the emotional support that Rachel needs.  Even Greg’s father, played by Nick Offerman, is just weird in the way he comes off.  And with such a wide range of characters, it would seem to be hard to keep an audience interested in each individual character.  However, with each character’s little quirks and nuances, it just makes them all the more likable and memorable.

And lastly, the acting was great.  Molly Shannon, for example, who plays Denise, Rachel’s mother, gives one of the best performances of her career.  Shannon being from a comedy background, brings such an emotional performance in the way she portrays this drunken mom who is coping with the fact that her only child is dying of cancer.  She starts off coming off as their weird, overly friendly, and obviously drunk mom but by the end of the film you understand the pain that she has been feeling this entire time, making her probably the most human and relatable character in the film.  Shannon to made this character believable and showed tremendous depth in her limited screen time. Thomas Mann also gives a great performance especially towards the end where you see how he has been affected by Rachel and her sickness.  Mann does a stellar job at playing this character, making even the smallest moments something special in the way he controls his character’s emotions and plays off of his character’s quirks.

Overall, this movie is something special.  It is a must see movie.  There are very few movies that can make someone laugh, cry, and touch someone to their core, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl hits all those marks.

The film comes out on June 12, 2015.

-Vinesh Vora

Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Jackson Martinez, Stephan El Shaarawy Rumours

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has admitted negotiations with Porto over striker Jackson Martinez are “difficult,” providing Arsenal with a route back toward the player’s signature.

As reported by Italian publication La Stampa (h/t Tom Olver of the MetroGalliani suggests other sides remain in the frame to land the Colombian’s services: “‘It’s a difficult negotiation,” said the Milan chief. “There are a lot of other clubs interested in the player, his wishes will be crucial.”

On Wednesday, B/R UK’s Matteo Bonetti passed along word from Gazzetta dello Sport that Milan have confirmed a deal with the player:

Ben Fairthorne of CNN believes Gunners boss Arsene Wenger isn’t interested in Martinez and may decide against strengthening his attacking options during the summer:

Arsenal continue to be linked with the £25.5 million hitman, reported by Nicholas Gooden of the MailOnline.

“Jackson’s future is already pretty much decided,” his agent Henrique Pompeo told O Jogo (h/t Gooden). “Things should be clarified in the next few days. He’ll go to a big European club, which will be announced as soon as the contract is signed.”

At 29 years old, Martinez can provide a few years worth of quality to his new side. He’s powerful, pacey and most importantly, a natural goalscorer. Martinez netted 21 in 30 appearances during the 2014-15 Portuguese league season, not to mention seven in eight Champions League displays, per

Wenger has quality options in Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, but neither can be relied on to deliver a title. A third striking option is needed, especially when considering the aforementioned duo’s recent injury problems.

Milan’s transfer business could be key to Arsenal’s summer. The Gunners are linked with versatile forward Stephan El Shaarawy, a player who may be open to a move, according to his brother and agent Manuel, reported by David Wright of the Express

He’s happy at Milan. Let’s see what happens with the team this summer, the transfer campaign seems a bit different from recent years. A move for El Shaarawy? There have been several teams interested, Stephan is a player who lots of teams like.

There were several offers, both in January and now in the summer, offers which we looked at. We can’t rule anything out, the transfer market is always the transfer market.

B/R UK’s Andy Brassell recently looked at other under-the-radar signings who might interest Wenger:

El Shaarawy doesn’t offer an improvement on the forwards Arsenal already possess. He scored just three goals in 18 Serie A appearances during the 14-15 campaign and hasn’t put together a memorable run of form in some time. He’s tricky and hard-working, but El Shaarawy‘s lack of final product continues to halt his potential.

Wenger needs players who are going to make a difference. The basis of his squad is excellent, so a couple of world-class additions could genuinely turn Arsenal into title contenders. Martinez has the quality to score at any club, but he’d only be a short-term solution for the North London club.

El Shaarawy shouldn’t be considered, especially with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and others at Emirates Stadium. He’d struggle to land a consistent run in the first-team, and as Fairthorne‘s tweet notes, the funds may be better spent away from attack.

British tourist who stripped naked on Malaysian mountain to be charged

Eleanor Hawkins, from Derby, and her three companions will be charged on Friday, according to police in Kota Kinabalo

Four tourists, including 23-year-old Briton Eleanor Hawkins, who are accused of stripping naked on a scared Malaysian mountain, will be charged on Friday, the chief police officer investigating the case told the Guardian.

“The will be charged today at 3 o’clock,” Jafri Abdul Halim told the Guardian by telephone. He refused to say what sentence the police are looking for. It is thought the charge will be public indecency or causing a public nuisance.

Continue reading…

All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

Alan Bond remembered by hundreds of mourners at Fremantle funeral

The winning skipper of Australia II and Bond’s first wife, Eileen ‘Big Red’ Bond, joined family and friends to farewell the colourful businessman in Perth

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Fremantle, Western Australia, on Friday, for the funeral of controversial businessman Alan Bond, whose tumultuous career made him both the most revered and one of the most hated public figures in Australia.

A boxing kangaroo flag snapped against the legs of one mourner as the 77-year-old entrepreneur, who died in hospital on 5 June following complications from heart surgery, was taken from St Patrick’s Basilica in Fremantle to Fremantle cemetery for a private burial.

Continue reading…

All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

Pin It on Pinterest