Ex-rep says Adidas gave airfare, gifts to ex-Duke star Zion Williamson’s family and others

A former consultant to Adidas says in a sworn statement that the company provided airfare and other benefits to college players, including former Duke basketball star Zion Williamson.

In a deposition in a lawsuit filed by disqualified University of Louisville recruit Brian Bowen Jr., Dan Cutler said an Adidas representative provided four airline tickets for Williamson’s family before he enrolled at Duke.

In a September 2015 text message to an AAU coach, Cutler also said he had arranged to put up Williamson’s family in a hotel, adding, “We officially aren’t putting any parents up, so let’s make sure we all keep that private, please.”

Adidas says in court papers filed April 23 in the lawsuit it is “aware of certain documents suggesting that certain fund transfers to Williamson or his family may have occurred.”

The documents were not included in the lawsuit, and lawyers for Adidas and Bowen declined to provide them to The Courier Journal.

But an Adidas attorney, William Taft V, said in a letter filed in the lawsuit that those payments may have included $3,000 a month transferred to Williamson’s family for an unspecified period of time by Christopher Rivers, a top marketing executive at the apparel company, as well as unspecified payments to Lee Anderson, Zion Williamson’s stepfather.

Taft declined to comment on the payments or their purpose. Williamson’s New York attorney, Jeffrey Klein, also declined to comment.

But responding in 2019 to allegations Williamson and his family received improper benefits from Nike and Adidas before he enrolled at Duke, a university spokesman said it had investigated and found no evidence to support any allegation.

“Zion thrived as both a student and an athlete at Duke, and always conducted himself with integrity and purpose,” the statement said.
Pay for play allegations

NCAA rules prohibit players from receiving extra benefits, which are defined as any “special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete’s relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation.”

Cutler, who worked for Rivers, was aggressively questioned in a March 23 deposition by an attorney for Bowen Jr., a prized basketball recruit who enrolled at U of L but was barred from playing after the disclosure that an Adidas executive and others had conspired to pay his father $100,000 to steer him to the university.
Brian “Tugs” Bowen II poses for a photo during the 2017 McDonald’s All American Game portrait day.

Bowen alleges in a suit filed in 2018 in federal court in South Carolina that Adidas and its intermediaries engaged in a criminal enterprise using bribes and other inducements to “poach” elite players and “chain” them to the Adidas brand, to increase its market share in the ultra-competitive $25 billion athletic shoe market.

The suit is set for trial this summer.

Bowen, who insists he knew nothing about the payment to his father, alleges the conspiracy ruined his college and potential NBA career.

U of L’s board of trustees voted unanimously in October 2017 to fire men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino after the allegations that Adidas representatives offered $100,000 in bribes to Bowen’s father to steer him to Louisville.

Pitino, who now coaches at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, has said he was not aware of any pay-for-play scheme, though he told WFAN Radio last year he deserved to be fired.

“Was I innocent of any wrongdoing? Yes, I was, but I was the leader and I deserved to be fired,” he said.

Adidas began sponsoring Louisville in 1998 and in August 2017 the university confirmed a 10-year contract extension worth $160 million, at the time the fourth-richest apparel agreement in college sports.

Responding to Bowen’s suit, the company filed a cross-claim against Bowen Sr. alleging he solicited and accepted bribes in return for promising that his son would play basketball for specific schools — and money for the bribes was misappropriated from the company.
FBI investigation results in four convictions

Cutler is a central figure in charges against the University of Kansas, in which the NCAA alleges he had impermissible conduct with a recruit by promising he and Adidas would ensure the recruit’s “parents could attend his games by providing financial assistance for their travel expenses.”

Three weeks later, Coach Bill Self learned of the contact and called the recruit and his mother about playing for Kansas, according to the NCAA.

Kansas, Louisville and five other schools have been accused of misconduct by the NCAA stemming from an FBI investigation into men’s college basketball that resulted in the 2018 trial and convictions of James Gatto, an Adidas executive; Merl Code, an Adidas consultant; and Christian Dawkins, an aspiring sports agent.

A fourth defendant, Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola, pleaded guilty to being a fixer in the secret scheme to funnel cash to players and their families. Testifying for the government, he said the scheme was known within the company as its “black ops” program.

In a 341-page deposition, Cutler claimed he never heard the term, even though it was used in messages the defendants sent him.

In a text on Feb. 18, 2015, for example, his supervisor told Cutler and others “please don’t include any confidential Black Ops information” in reimbursement requests “but make sure there is enough detail that validates the money we spent in addition to demonstrating how we are building relationships that will help us in the grassroots process.”

Cutler testified he was paid $85,000 a year to “build relationships” with high school and even younger players “so if there is an equal offer between Adidas, Nike and Under Armor … we would hope that relationship would be able to carry us in that particular signing.”
Adidas courted young players by ‘product seeding’

Cutler described an operation awash in mysterious cash.

He said he was once instructed by the company to bill Adidas International in Amsterdam for $30,000, without being told what the money was for, then told five days later to do the same thing again.

He testified he would send shoes and apparel to prospects as young as 11 to 14 years old in what the company called “product seeding.” He said the goal was to make inroads with elite high school talent that might someday wear Adidas brands in the NBA.

To bring Maryland high school prospect Immanuel Quickley into the Adidas fold, for example, Cutler said he sent Adidas products to Quickly and his family.

But he signed with the University of Kentucky, a Nike school and now wears Nike shoes as a budding star for the New York Knicks.
Immanuel Quickley shoots during the Kentucky game against Auburn on Feb. 29, 2020.

Williamson signed with Duke, a Nike school, and signed a shoe deal with Nike after he was chosen first in the 2019 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cutler also acknowledged he paid for airfare for Duke star Frank Jackson to fly back to his home in Utah for fall break and for Jackson’s girlfriend to fly to visit him at the campus in Durham, North Carolina.

In a text message, Jackson, who had been highly recruited before he signed with the Blue Devils in 2015, asked, “Can Adidas pay for my flight? LOL.”

We can’t, but it can magically appear,” Cutler said in a text back.

Cutler said he paid for the flights himself because he considered Jackson “a good friend.” Jackson also left Duke after one year and now plays for the Detroit Pistons.

He did not immediately respond to a message left with the club.

Cutler also testified he bought a high school graduation present — a Key West cruise — for 6-foot-9 power forward Dewan Huell, who in 2016 chose Miami, an Adidas school, over five other major college offers.

Cutler said he made the gift because Huell’s mother had been evicted and was in dire financial straits.

Huell, who later changed his last name to Hernandez in her honor, was the 59th pick in the 2019 NBA draft and signed with Toronto but most recently played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League.

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Farm Tires Market is forecasted to Register a CAGR Growth of 6.0 % over the Forecast Period 2028- States Fact

The broader sluggishness in the farm equipment market continues to influence farm tire sales globally, however, opportunities exist as global sales are likely to surpass 42 million in 2018. Demand is led by tractors and harvesters, with trailers and sprayers following suit. Sales continue to remain concentrated in the independent aftermarket channel, with OEM and OES complementing demand.

The latest study by Fact.MR projects the farm tires market to grow at 6% CAGR through 2028. The report finds that sluggishness in the US farm sector remains a key restraining factor for the growth of farm tires market. Weak commodity prices have cut farm earnings, which has led to a decline in equipment spending. The sluggishness continues to impact sales of both new and replacement tires.

The report finds that manufacturer focus has shifted to digitalization and adoption of innovative technology. Product differentiation has emerged as a key strategy for market players to increase sales. The prevailing low commodity prices are influencing farm owners to boost operational efficiency, while reducing overheads. These developments have compelled farm tire manufacturers to launch technologically superior and cost-efficient products in the market. In view of the evolving end-user demand, launch of innovative agriculture tires that are equipped with sensors is likely to gain ground during the assessment period.

The prevailing scenario in the market has also induced a ‘shop for value’ trend among end-users. The weakness in global commodity prices has meant that farm owners are prioritizing price over quality. The change in buying behavior has made farm tire manufacturers to make changes to production. Farm tire manufacturers are now including cost-effective offerings in their portfolio.

Demand for Farm Tires Higher in Tractors vis-à-vis Harvesters

Demand for farm tires is higher in tractors segment as compared to harvesters. According to the report, demand for farm tires is highest in the 45 to 140 HP category. The demand for farm tires in the 300 to 450 HP harvesters is the highest. The report projects these two vehicle types to remain at the forefront of adoption for farm tires during the assessment period. Spreaders remain the least attractive segment for farm tire manufacturers, and the status quo is likely to remain unchanged during the assessment period.

Radial Farm Tires Continue to Outsell Bias Variants

The radialization trend in the farm tires market is tapering off, however, radial tires continue to be an attractive segment for manufacturers. In a bid to cater to the evolving demand from farm owners, manufacturers are focusing on increasing the tire size to support heavy weights. Farm tire manufacturers are shifting to Group 49, which are 7 ft. tall, and have a rolling circumference index of 256 inches. The report projects 20 to 45 inch rim diameter to grow at the highest CAGR, signifying a shift towards large radial tires. The report opines that size will continue to be a key focus area for manufacturers during the assessment period.

Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) will lead the global demand for farm tires, with nearly 20 million tires expected to be sold in 2018. Growth will be complemented by steady demand in North America and Europe. The weakness in commodity prices will continue to offset gains made in lucrative markets.


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México, Direct Relief entrega 650.000 dosis de la vacuna antipoliomielítica a Nicaragua CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 2 de abril de 2021

Direct Relief, en colaboración con el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de México, BIRMEX y el Ministerio de Salud de Nicaragua (MINSA), transportó esta semana 650.000 dosis de la vacuna contra la polio a Nicaragua para reforzar los esfuerzos de vacunación a los niños del país.

Los suministros se entregaron a través de un vuelo de AeroMéxico alquilado por Direct Relief desde la Ciudad de México a Managua el miércoles pasado.

Como la mayoría de las vacunas, la de la poliomielitis es un medicamento que requiere cadena de frío; debe mantenerse refrigerado en todo momento entre 2 y 8 grados centígrados, entregado en contenedores especiales con monitoreo de temperatura durante su tránsito hasta su entrega final.

A principios de este mes, Direct Relief, una asociación civil registrada en México con condición deducible de impuestos, trabajó con el gobierno de México para transportar 95.000 dosis de la vacuna antipoliomielítica oral bivalente a Ecuador.

Los distribuidores farmacéuticos y Direct Relief se encuentran entre las únicas organizaciones con capacidad de envío de vacunas con cadena de frío.

Direct Relief tiene amplia experiencia trabajando con los fabricantes médicos más grandes del mundo para distribuir medicamentos recetados con cadena de frío, relacionados con esfuerzos humanitarios y de respuesta a emergencias.

En 2020, Direct Relief completó dos mil entregas de dichos productos con cadena de frío, gestionando la distribución de extremo a extremo a los centros de salud de los Estados Unidos, México y a más de 50 otros países.

Las entregas contenían 21.6 millones de dosis de medicamentos sensibles a la temperatura, incluidos insulina, medicamentos contra el cáncer, tratamientos para la hemofilia, vacunas y terapias biológicas para pacientes con enfermedades genéticas poco comunes.

Acerca de Direct Relief

Direct Relief, una organización humanitaria comprometida con mejorar la salud y la vida de las personas afectadas por la pobreza o las emergencias, ofrece recursos médicos que salvan vidas en todo el mundo a las comunidades necesitadas, sin importar la política, la religión o la capacidad de pago. Para obtener más información, por favor


Kia EV6 redefines boundaries of electric mobility with inspiring design, exhilarating performance and innovative space

EV6 is the symbol of Kia’s new brand and the first BEV built on new dedicated EV platform

Choice of multiple zero-emissions powertrain configurations; over 510 kilometers from a single charge

800V ultra-fast charging from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes; 100 kilometers in less than 4.5 minutes

EV6 GT accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with top speed of 260 km/h

New EV architecture delivers spacious interior and high-tech features for an intuitive user experience

SEOUL, South Korea, March 30, 2021 / The new Kia EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive styling to the crossover SUV market. The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

This pioneering crossover – the first dedicated BEV launched under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposites United’ – displays a future-oriented EV design characterized by high-tech details. It is powered exclusively by electric energy, with a choice of multiple long-range, zero-emissions powertrain configurations. The 800V charging capability means EV6 can go from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in just 18 minutes, while the GT version, engineered to inspire consumers with exciting driving performance, can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 260 km/h.

The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.

“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia. It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies, and exciting electric performance,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President & CEO said. “EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”

The EV6’s world premiere video can be viewed on the Kia Global YouTube channel.

For more information, please visit the Kia News Center.

Disclaimer: The images shown are pre-production models and may differ from the actual production model. Some of the images are artistic impressions and for illustrative purpose only.

SOURCE Kia Corporation

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Coal Handling System is slated to expand at around 4% CAGR during the forecast period of 2020-2030

Consumption of coal remains strong across industries due to its low price, which is also leading to strong sales of coal handling systems, globally.

These systems are an integral part of a plant’s material flow and coal quality management. Coal handling system are largely used across industries, especially at coal mining plants, thermal power stations, and ports.

Even though developed regions of the world are pushing for use of renewable energy, overall, coal mining across the world, especially APEJ, which is the largest market, is increasing, consequently leading to more demand for efficient coal handling systems.

Fact.MR analysis points towards steady growth of the global coal handling system market over the next ten years.

Key Takeaways from Coal Handling System Market Report

In the region of Asia Pacific, demand for the coal management systems is expected to surge on the back of increasing capacity expansions, particularly in India and China. As such, APEJ will hold more than two-third share of the overall market through 2030.

Demand from coal mines in high across North America, while in the rest of the world, demand is high for operations at thermal power plants.

By product, conveyors hold the top spot as far as sales of coal handling systems are concerned.
Technological advancements will play a huge role in advancing sales over the coming years.

“In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to trade and other restrictions, industrial activities suffered a blow, which reduced demand for coal handling equipment. However, as restrictions have been eased, demand has picked up and is getting back to its original growth trajectory,” says an analyst at Fact.MR.

Important Market Movements

Notwithstanding of pollution issues, India authorized 13 GW thermal plants from January 2017 to August 2018.

Growth of the coal handling system market is likely to be threatened by increasing inclination of industrial sectors towards renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, and bio-electricity, due to emissions concerns.

The Chinese government pledged to invest around US$ 360 billion in the renewable sector before 2020.
ThyssenKrupp AG signed a contract with Doosan Power Systems India, with a view of providing coal management systems worth around US$ 115 million for two big thermal projects in UP, India.

Famur SA signed an energy and mining expansion agreement, and has strengthened its position in the market in Poland with the Polish Development Fund.

In 2016, in an attempt to improve its position in Russia, Metso Corporation broadened its agreement with Sever Minerals.

What Does the Future Hold?

Leading companies such as FLSmidth & Co. A/S, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., ThyssenKrupp AG, Metso Corporation, FAM Förderanlagen Magdeburg, and IHI Transport Machinery Co., collectively hold around 35% of the market share.

These big companies have been found to be focusing on tapping the Asia-Pacific region due to its high thermal power potential.

The technology of HELE (High-Efficiency Low Emission) has recently seen increasing acceptance, as it helps enhance a power plant’s capacity while controlling the emission of carbon dioxide.

Comparatively low amount of carbon consumption per unit of electricity produced, less environmental footprint, and positive efficiency results from the generation of electricity fired by coal, which is why, penetration of HELE plants will increase in this industry.

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