Netanyahu plans to visit India ahead of repeat polls to boost his

first_imgJerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who failed to form a coalition after the April polls, plans to visit India ahead of the repeat elections in September hoping that a photo-op with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will boost his campaign, according to an opinion piece in a leading Israeli daily. Israeli lawmakers in May voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving the 21st Knesset (Parliament) and hold an unprecedented repeat general elections on September 17 after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingHa’aretz columnist Yossi Verter, in an opinion piece, ‘Netanyahu’s Out of Luck, but He’s Hoping a Photo-op With India’s Modi Will Help’, over the weekend argued that Netanyahu ‘enlisted’ (or recruited) three heads of world and regional powers to help boost his campaign before the April 9 elections. “Heading the group was the buddy, Donald Trump. In the most transparent manner, from on high, the White House organised a palsy-walsy visit for Netanyahu, whose highlight was when the President signed a document recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. That was on March 25 and was Trump’s modest contribution,” Verter wrote. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang”Pleased as punch, Netanyahu returned to Israel, and on April 1, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, arrived for a visit. Then, a week before Election Day, Netanyahu flew off to Moscow, where President Vladimir Putin organised a spectacular, Hollywood-style ceremony in his honour, marking the discovery of the remains of long-missing Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel”, he added. However, after the Knesset was disbanded and the country hurtled into another election campaign, Verter said that “the Prime Minister’s Bureau dusted off the globe. Where haven’t we visited, who haven’t we met with?” “Only great powers do it for him. And only two haven’t yet had the privilege of offering Netanyahu photo-ops for an election campaign: China and India,” he pointed out. “Netanyahu, who’s fighting for his personal survival ahead of a hearing before the state prosecution on several cases, must find a way to bounce back,” the columnist noted. He said that China was not an option as it is a “tough country, with clear rules”. In view of all this, the PM Office in Jerusalem is said to have reached out to their counterparts in New Delhi and requested for an invitation. “Prime Minister Modi is a true friend. A friend indeed for a friend in need. The Indians checked their diary and got back to the Israelis with a suggestion for an August visit. Not happening, came the answer but we’d be happy to come in the first week of September (about 10 days before the election). It’s a good bet that Modi and his aides know why the bride’s in a rush to go under the chuppah, but, what are friends for?” the columnist wrote. Netanyahu will land, meet, have his picture taken, market the visit as “very important” for Israel’s security and economic interests, complain that the leftist media ignored the trip and upload something to Facebook, the journalist wrote. Informed sources told PTI that a day for Netanyahu’s trip to New Delhi is indeed being worked out and the Indian PMO had suggested the week of August 25 for the visit. The Israeli side prefers a September visit which would be closer to the general elections on the 17th of that month, they said. The first request for an invitation for Netanyahu to visit New Delhi was made in January during the visit of Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Sabbath to India. The two leaders were scheduled to meet on February 11 before the elections in Israel but Netanyahu called off his trip to New Delhi due to other engagements.last_img read more

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Case of alleged spy for China tangled in prolonged secrecy disputes

first_imgOTTAWA — The case of a Canadian man accused of trying to spy for China is once again tied up in mysterious closed-door proceedings over confidential information.It has been more than five years since Qing Quentin Huang was arrested in Burlington, Ont., following an RCMP-led investigation called Project Seascape.Huang, an employee of Lloyd’s Register, a subcontractor to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., was charged under the Security of Information Act with attempting to communicate secrets to a foreign power.Police said the information related to elements of the federal shipbuilding strategy, which includes patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels and ice breakers.Huang, who claims innocence, is free on bail.But the engineer’s criminal trial in Ontario court has been delayed as legal tussles over disclosure of information in the case play out in the Federal Court of Canada, the venue for deciding how much sensitive material can be kept under wraps.Ottawa recently filed a new application in Federal Court to shield information related to Huang’s case, although, given the nature of the proceedings, it is unclear precisely what the application is about.It comes two years after Huang asked a federal judge to release additional portions of a heavily redacted affidavit and warrant that authorized the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to intercept telecommunications at the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.Huang was not a target of the warrant and had never been under CSIS investigation.However, the spy service advised the RCMP of phone calls Huang allegedly made to the embassy and claimed he “offered to provide Canadian military secrets” to the Chinese government. That prompted the police investigation resulting in Huang’s arrest.Huang contends the warrant opened the door to a breach of his charter guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure.His effort to find out more about the warrant continues after winding all the way to the Supreme Court, then back to the Federal Court for further consideration.Huang’s case grinds along amid fractured relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Canadian authorities arrested a Chinese executive of Huawei Technologies in Vancouver last year in response to a request from Washington, and China subsequently detained, then charged, two Canadians for alleged security infractions.Ottawa is also weighing the potential security risk of allowing Huawei, which employs hundreds of people in Canada, to help build the country’s next-generation 5G mobile networks.In a letter last year to the Supreme Court, Huang’s lawyer, Frank Addario, suggested the prolonged wrangling over document disclosure was endangering his client’s right to timely justice.The strict secrecy surrounding procedures for deciding disclosure mean Addario is excluded from closed-door hearings that deal with confidential material.A lawyer serving as amicus curiae — literally, a friend of the court — has been appointed to “represent the interests of justice” in these proceedings.A recent Federal Court order says the amicus will be allowed to present issues, arguments and evidence favouring Huang, as he sees fit, as well as challenge and respond to secret evidence from government lawyers.Addario wanted something more — an order obliging the amicus to act as if he were counsel for Huang.“This will reduce potential breaches of Mr. Huang’s fair trial rights and his liberty interest,” Addario argued in a submission to the court.Federal lawyers objected to the suggestion, saying the amicus is there to help the court, and “cannot also be obliged to represent and protect Mr. Huang’s interests.”— Follow @JimBronskill on TwitterJim Bronskill , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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The Latest: Arizona Supreme Court upholds car-rental tax

PHOENIX — The Latest on an Arizona Supreme Court ruling on a car rental tax surcharge imposed in metro Phoenix to pay for building a football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities (all times local):2:05 p.m.The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld a car rental tax surcharge that’s imposed in Maricopa County to pay for building a professional football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities.Car rental companies challenged the surcharge on the grounds that it violated a section of the Arizona Constitution that requires revenues relating to the operation of vehicles to be spent on public highways.A lower-court judge had previously ruled in favour of the rental companies.But the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed the decision last spring, ruling voters who approved the constitutional provision “did not intend to encompass every tax or fee in any way ‘relating to’ vehicles.”The decision Monday by the Arizona Supreme Court echoes the ruling by the Court of Appeals.7:04 a.m.The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to release a decision Monday in a challenge of a car rental tax surcharge imposed in Maricopa County to pay for building a football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities.The state’s highest court said last year that it would review a lower court’s ruling that concluded the surcharge is legal.Attorneys for car rental companies had argued that a constitutional provision meant the surcharge revenue can be used only to build and maintain roads.The surcharge partially funds the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority. The agency uses the money to help pay off bonds for the stadium where the Arizona Cardinals play, along with baseball spring training venues and youth sports facilities.The Associated Press read more

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OMERS reports 67 return on investments for Ontario local public sector workers

TORONTO — The OMERS pension fund is reporting a 6.7 per cent net return last year on the investments it manages for municipal and other public-sector workers across Ontario.OMERS says its assets grew by $5 billion last year after expenses to about $77 billion, with 52 per cent in public investments and 48 per cent in private investments.Returns for its private investments — including shares of private companies, infrastructure and real estate — outperformed public investments last year.Canadian pension plans buy London City Airport, but the rich price could drive away its biggest customerOntario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Borealis said to win bidding war for London City Airport with US$2.8 billion offerOMERS says its public investments earned 0.7 per cent while the private investments gained 14.5 per cent in 2015.It also received $3.8 billion in contributions from plan members and employers, and paid out $3.4 billion in benefits.The fund administrator says the results exceeded its long-term funding requirement for a 6.5 per cent annual return. Its funded status improved to 91.5 per cent from 90.8 per cent in 2014.OMERS invests and administers pensions for Ontario municipalities, school boards, emergency services and local agencies. read more

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Stock markets dollar back off amid big misses in March job creation

Stock markets, dollar back off amid big misses in March job creation by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 5, 2013 8:21 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Toronto stock market finished lower for a fifth session Friday as big disappointments from jobs numbers in both Canada and the United States raised fresh worries about the pace of the economic recovery.The S&P/TSX composite index closed off the worst levels of the session, coming back from a 119-point slide to close down 31.2 points at 12,331.85 after Statistics Canada reported the economy shed 54,500 jobs — all full time — in March. The unemployment rate also rose by 0.2 per cent to 7.2 per cent.Generally speaking, economists had expected about 6,500 jobs to have been created last month, although BMO Capital Markets had suggested it might be as high as 18,000.The Canadian dollar had tumbled more than a cent in the wake of the weak data. By the end of the day, the currency was down 0.39 of a cent to 98.39 cents US.U.S. markets also fell after the Labour Department reported that the economy only managed to crank out 88,000 jobs last month even as the jobless rate declined 0.1 per cent to 7.6 per cent.The Dow Jones industrials also came from a triple-digit tumble to close down 40.86 points to 14,565.25, the Nasdaq composite index lost 21.12 points to 3,203.86 and the S&P 500 index shed 6.7 points to 1,553.28.The TSX Venture Exchange gained 15.13 points to 1,041.85.“There’s not a lot to get joyful about in this mess,” said Fred Ketchen, manager of equity trading at Scotia Capital.“You have to say, it’s nice to be optimistic. But you have to get back to the land of reality and at the present time, there’s more negative news than positive news.”Traders had started the week off expecting that the U.S. non-farm payrolls report would show that about 190,000 jobs were produced in March following a reading of 220,000 in February.But that was before the release of data over the past few days showing slower than expected growth in both the manufacturing and service sectors, capped off with a report from payroll firm ADP that the economy created fewer than expected jobs in the private sector.It has been a tough week on markets, with the TSX losing 3.27 per cent to move into the negative column for the year to date on worries about the pace of the U.S. and Chinese economies.The resource-based TSX has been particularly under pressure by mining stocks. Base metals are down 17.5 per cent so far this year, reflecting weak commodity prices. The gold sector has fallen 22.2 per cent as gold companies have suffered from bullion costs that haven’t kept pace with growing costs of getting the precious metal out of the ground.The more broadly based Dow industrials is still up around 11 per cent for the year, having ended the week flat.Financials led the declines in Toronto on Friday amid concerns that interest rates will stay ultra-low for even longer than expected.“Those people who have been saying interest rates will stay low until year end, I think they’re probably getting reinforcement of their opinion because I don’t see any reason why anybody would even think about raising rates in this environment,” Ketchen said.TD Bank fell $1.09 to $80.91 while Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) gave back 84 cents to $56.90.Defensive stocks also pushed the TSX lower.The utilities group was down 0.6 per cent as Atlantic Power (TSX:ATP) shed 11 cents to $4.88.The consumer discretionary group was down 0.47 per cent after clothing retailer Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. (TSX:RET.A) reported a net loss of $1.1 million or a penny per diluted share in its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter, reversing year-earlier profits of $4.7 million or seven cents per share.Commodity stocks turned positive after sustaining sharp declines earlier in the week.The metals and mining sector led advancers, up almost two per cent while May copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped a penny to US$3.34 a pound. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) gained 68 cents to C$19.29.The energy sector was up 0.74 per cent while the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 56 cents to US$92.70 a barrel. Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) was 36 cents higher at C$30.35.The gold sector was slightly higher while the weak jobs data pushed bullion prices higher after a string of declines this week, rising $23.50 to US$1,575.90 an ounce.“Well, it’s a fear indicator — (gold) tends to do well when the world is falling apart,” said John Stephenson, portfolio manager at First Asset Funds Inc.“Right now, we’re falling apart.”Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) gained 38 cents to C$32.33. read more

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Joint UNRed Cross appeal to end rising sexual violence as a weapon

Describing how he was “frequently horrified” by the first-hand accounts of survivors in his previous role as head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, Mr. Guterres said that only last year, Rohingya refugees who had fled into Bangladesh spoke of the mass gang-rape of women and girls in their homes, before they fled northern Myanamar.“The world is growing ever more aware of the ubiquity of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence,” he said. “We must do everything in our power to end the horror and stigma that affects hundreds of thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys, worldwide.”We must do everything in our power to end the horror and stigma that affects hundreds of thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys, worldwide – UN chief GuterresHis comments were echoed by women’s rights defender Julienne Lusenge, who heads a coalition of organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that help victims of sexual violence seek justice through the judicial system.“During this month of February, our medical centre, Karibuni Wa Mama in Bunia, has received in a week 28 children, including a two year-old” who were all “victims of serious sexual violence,” said Ms. Lusenge, who is the Director of the Fund for Congolese Women and President of Solidarité Feminine pour la Paix et le Dévelopement Integral (SOFEPADI).“We keep receiving women…sexual slaves of various armed groups in our different offices. They are suffering from sexual slavery but also forced marriage, forced labour, mental, physical and economic violence as well as inhuman and degrading treatment.”Appeal for $27 million, and for countries to ‘re-state their commitment’Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warned that the world was facing a grave protection failure amid rising sexual violence in conflict.“We are asking States to re-state their commitment to international humanitarian law,” he said. “The law is clear: rape and other forms of sexual violence are violations. The Geneva Conventions made this prohibition clear and universal and yet 70 years on, we continue to face failures of behaviour and accountability.”In an appeal for $27 million to fund a better response to the issue in 14 countries, Mr. Maurer described the lasting damage caused by sexual and gender-based violence, which is used as a tactic of war to dehumanize victims and destabilize communities.“We work with the survivors of horrific acts, including with women and girls given as rewards in war, fathers whose sons have been abducted and raped, young women fleeing disaster and conflict only to be sexually enslaved, and with detainees when sexual atrocities are wielded as means of torture,” he said.Following the joint appeal in Geneva, the United Nations and Red Cross pledged to listen to survivors and victims of these crimes, to enable their voices to be heard and to support them through local organizations – particularly women’s organizations – in conflict zones.In addition, the UN will promote women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution and in all formal peace processes; instruct its peacekeeping operations to ensure they have systems in place to prevent conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence; and pursue justice for victims and survivors.An additional way to tackle the prevalence of such violence against women, girls – and to a lesser extent, boys and men – is to promote gender equality, Mr. Guterres told journalists in Geneva.“If we want to address the problems of violence, sexual violence against women and girls and also, indirectly, with a positive impact on sexual violence against men and boys,” said the UN chief, “it’s absolutely essential to look into the questions of power in our societies”.“And, maybe you call it feminism, I can tell that the most important reform I am making at the United Nations is to make sure we have gender parity at all levels of the organization.” read more

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Mourinho Neymar must win with Brazil to match Pele

Mourinho Neymar must win with Brazil to match Pele

first_imgJose Mourinho believes Neymar will have to win big with Brazil before he can start being compared to the likes of Pele.The 26-year-old is widely regarded among the top players in the world on the back of impressive spells at Barcelona and now Paris Saint-Germain.Aside from regularly finding the net for both clubs, Neymar has also won league titles in Spain and France along with winning the Champions League in 2015.The Brazilian superstar’s clever little tricks along with his dribbling and playmaking skills have won plenty of admirers and seen him being compared to Pele.The duo both started out their respective playing careers at Santos in Brazil with Neymar even confessing once that he views Pele as a role model.Unlike the three-time World Cup winner, however, Neymar’s sole success on the international stage has come at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.The PSG forward has come up short in Brazil’s last two World Cup campaigns, which saw them lose 7-1 to Germany at home in the semi-final stage in 2014 before being knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals at Russia last summer.Therefore, Mourinho reckons that the talented Neymar still has a long way to go before he can be put on a similar level to other Selecao greats.Opinion: Neymar needs to apologize to PSG’s supporters Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 After such a dramatic summer during the transfer window, Neymar truly needs to apologize to all the PSG supporters this weekend.When Neymar finished last…The former Manchester United boss made these comments after Brazilian football magazine, Placar, declared Neymar as Brazil’s best player since Pele.“Neymar is a fantastic talent and nobody can doubt that,” said Mourinho, according to Goal.“He came to Europe and won immediately.“But I think they forgot players that were the best of the world at some point, such as Ronaldo and Rivaldo, just citing two, and I could remember more.“They also came to Europe and were fantastic, but beyond that, they passed through this special situation in a country’s life that is succeeding on the international level.“Neymar will keep fighting to be on Europe’s elite, where he already is, and this [winning with Brazil] will continue to be a dream for him”Neymar is currently recovering from a foot injury that he sustained in PSG’s  2-0 Coupe de France win over RC Strasbourg last month.KAZAN, RUSSIA – JULY 06: Neymar Jr of Brazil goes down injured during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Brazil and Belgium at Kazan Arena on July 6, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)last_img read more

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Man hospitalized after power pole falls in Deerfield Beach

Man hospitalized after power pole falls in Deerfield Beach

first_imgDEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A Deerfield Beach man has been hospitalized after a power pole fell on him.The man was standing on the side of the road when a truck brought down some low-hanging wires along the 200 block of Southwest First Terrace, Wednesday.The 23-year-old man did not come in contact with the power lines. His injuries stemmed from the pole that fell.Due to the electric power lines lying across the street, traffic is being diverted in the area.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Apple reportedly investing 500 million on its game subscription service

first_img See All Now playing: Watch this: 0 Best Buy Apple has said Apple Arcade will come with games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, Lego, Mistwalker, Sega, Snowman and Ustwo. That’s an interesting and diverse list of studios and, at this point, we don’t know precisely what all of those teams are working on. The game streaming competition is heating up. Google is working on Google Stadia, Microsoft has also demoed Project xCloud, which features similar streaming technology. But whereas Google and Microsoft will no doubt battle it out on the AAA landscape with established franchises like Forza Horizon and Assassin’s Creed, its reasonable to expect Apple Arcade to be a little smaller in scope, at least in terms of the games themselves — but $500 million is not to be scoffed at. See It See it Apple TV 4K Mentioned Above Apple TV 4K (32GB) Crutchfield reading • Apple reportedly investing $500 million on its game subscription service $169 Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Review • Apple TV 4K review: The best TV streamer keeps getting better Post a comment $179 Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? • Microsoft Apple Apple Apple Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it $179 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors 5:22 Sonic Racing from SEGA on Arcade. Apple In late March Apple announced Apple Arcade, a subscription service that allows Apple users to play games across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV devices. Back then Apple promised that 100 exclusive games would be playable out of the gate, games that wouldn’t be available on other subscription services or even other mobile devices.But it looks like that promise may cost them. Apple may end up spending over $500 million on the service, the Financial Times reports. Sources informed the Financial Times that many of the games in the works have budgets in the millions.Video game budgets are typically huge. It’s not completely unusual for a big budget console or PC video game to cost over $200 million. That being said, the type of video games you’d expect to appear on Apple Arcade would most likely cost less. The indie-style video games you’d expect to see on Apple Arcade are usually made by much smaller development teams. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Share your voice See It Preview • Apple TV 4K: New $179 Apple streamer adds HDR, better gaming 2019 iPhone lineup could include 2 more OLED models $179 Tags Mobile Gaming See Itlast_img read more

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Old cloths bank inaugurated by R Madhava Rao

Old cloths bank inaugurated by R Madhava Rao

first_imgVijayawada: On the occasion of 73rd Independence Day celebrations, Amrutha Hastam Charitable Trust led by Dara Karunasree started its second project ‘Old Cloths Bank’. The project was inaugurated by Consumer Forum president R Madhava Rao here on Thursday. Madhava Rao hoisted the Tricolour and later inaugurated the old cloths bank project. He said that old cloths bank is a good initiative which would help the poor who cannot afford to buy cloths. He said that people can send their old cloths to the Amrutha Hastam trust and they would collect the old cloths and distribute to the needy. He appreciated the trust organiser Karunasree for her initiation and recalled that Amrutha Hastam’s food distribution was a big success which has fed lakhs of people in the city. Also Read – Fit India rally held in Vijayawada Advertise With Us Karuna Sree said that about 2,000 old cloths were collected on the first day and would collect about one lakh old cloths in a month. The members of the trust celebrated Rakhi festival and later saplings were distributed on the occasion. Convener Krishna Kishore, secretary Mahesh, treasurer K Anjaneyulu, G Dilip and others were present.last_img read more

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Want to acquire AIs international operations IndiGo

first_imgAir hostesses walk next to the parked Air India’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner upon its arrival at the airport in New Delhi September 8, 2012.Reuters fileBudget passenger carrier IndiGo on Thursday said that it is interested in acquiring the national passenger carrier Air India’s international operations. However it is not keen on going in for a joint venture (JV) with the government.According to Rakesh Gangwal, Co-Founder IndiGo, the budget airline is interested in Air India’s international operations and that of its low-cost international subsidiary Air India Express.However, Gangwal made it clear that IndiGo would not be “interested” in forming a JV with the government to acquire Air India.Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia who is another co-founder of IndiGo, were speaking at a conference call with analysts and investors.On June 30, IndiGo’s management told its employees that it will not go ahead with its proposal to acquire Air India if the deal “does not add value”.”Let me be very clear that if it is not profitable and does not add value to our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not embark on this journey,” Aditya Ghosh, President and Wholetime Director, IndiGo, said in a letter to its employees dated June 29.”At the same time, we recognise that the Indian government is taking a big, much needed decision and it is important that this decision is always remembered as a huge success,” he said.At that time Ghosh had said that the airline is interested in Air India’s international operations.”Over the past decade, we have created a significant domestic network and that gives us the confidence to build a world class international airline in the scale and scope of some of the largest airlines in the world,” he said.”Without our domestic feed network, it just does not make sense to embark on this journey and if we do go down this path, it would require significant restructuring of the acquired operations.”Last month, IndiGo had expressed its interest in participating in the stake sale of the flag-carrier, after the union cabinet’s decision on Air India following NITI Aayog’s recent report to the Civil Aviation Ministry recommending strategic disinvestment in the loss-making Air India.last_img read more

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Celebrate Star Wars by Building Your Own Astromech Droid

first_img Despite some controversy surrounding the newest Star Wars movie (and no, I haven’t seen it yet, so no spoilers here), The Last Jedi continues to dominate the box office. I’ve long been a fan of the series, well the original trilogy anyway. Aside from the swashbuckling characters, it’s the tech that most intrigues me. The iconic lightsabers, starships, blasters, and of course the droids. Even those who know nothing about the Star Wars universe or haven’t seen a single film, are familiar with R2-D2 and C3PO. And that little chirping R2-D2 astromech droid has especially worked his way into people’s hearts.At Maker Faire NY, I came across several iterations of the enigmatic little droid at the R2 Builders Club booth. They also gave a talk on how to construct your own R2-D2 and related droids. The life-sized replicas are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, plywood, fiberglass, or other traditional materials and processes. Many builds also incorporate CNC and/or 3D printing. You can even build a BB-8 droid. Plans for both droids are available at Astromech.net. And there’s a wealth of knowledge and helpful advice in the forums section.Don’t have the room, budget or time to build a full-size R2 unit? No worries. You can build a ¼ scale 3D printed astromech droid by following the U.S. Water Robot’s tutorial, which they made to celebrate International Star Wars Day, this past May. They even have a mod to make the little droid fly by turning it into a water bottle rocket. The parts can be 3D printed even on a very small print bed and in the tutorial they use a Monoprice Select Mini V2. So, if you want to make your own astromech droid, get out your hyperspanners and get to work.Video Playerhttps://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2017-09-25-11.22.03.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Prepare To Be Amazed By This Tiny Working Lego PianoPlug a Floppy Drive in to Your Android Phone For a Retro Storage Boost last_img read more

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Turkey accused of starving north of funds

Turkey accused of starving north of funds

first_imgBy Esra AyginThe Turkish Cypriot administration, financially dependent on Turkey, has not received any funding from Ankara for more than a year and is increasingly reliant on bank borrowing.The unprecedented stoppage is being viewed as blackmail from Ankara to put political pressure on the ruling coalition.The four-party coalition – Republican Turkish Party (CTP), People’s Party (HP), Democratic Party (DP) and Social Democracy Party (TDP) – which came to power in February 2018, has been relying on domestic borrowing to keep the system running. It currently has an internal debt of about 6 billion Turkish lira (about 980 million euros).Although in recent years the Turkish Cypriot administration has largely been able to pay salaries through local revenues, it depends on financing from Turkey for infrastructure investments, defence expenses, incentives and private sector support.Economists warn that without investments and private sector support the economy will be faced with stagnation in a matter of months. The lender banks are also expected to go under pressure since the administration does not have the capacity to pay even the interest, let alone repaying the loans, said economist Erdal Guryay.“I don’t know how much longer this system can continue. It is not sustainable as it is. Imagine, you borrow but you can’t even pay the interest,” he said.The devaluation of the Turkish lira, which lost almost 40 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2018, has added to the ruling coalition’s woes.According to the 2019 budget, the Turkish Cypriot administration expects 695 million Turkish liras (about 113 million euros) in financial aid and 575 million TL (about 94 million euros) in loans from Ankara. It also needs an additional 825 million TL (about 135 million euros) to compensate for its budget deficit forecasted for the year 2019 – which bring the total amount of resources expected from Ankara to 2, 095 million TL (about 342 million euros).Unless funds start flowing, it will be very difficult for the ruling coalition to sustain stability until the middle of the year, says economist Vargin Varer.“Not only because it will have difficulty in payments but because the drop in public spending will cause stagnation in the economy and cause a reaction in the people.”The official explanation is that the delay is a technical glitch caused by the system change in Turkey as the country finalised the process of adopting an executive presidency replacing the parliamentary system of government last June. This has interrupted transfers to the northern part of Cyprus and delayed the preparation and signing of an economic protocol to regulate grants and loans from Turkey for the years 2019-2021.Despite repeated statements by coalition partners, that the problem would be overcome soon, the delay continues, prompting sources to think that Ankara is using funding as leverage to impose political control on the ruling coalition.“The problem cannot be technical,” said a source close to the administration. “Turkey is blocking the money due to political and social problems it has with the government.”Back in December, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had stated that he did not believe what he called “a financial crisis with Turkey” is due to technical reasons. “Especially now that the system has changed and the powers of the president have increased, this would be something that could be solved with one instruction,” Talat said.The ruling coalition officially denies that the problem is other than technical. Kudret Ozersay of HP, responsible for foreign affairs, told Yeniduzen newspaper in December: “What the Turkish officials are telling us is that they are having problems due to the change in the system and that the reasons are technical… This problem will be overcome. I believe that there are no bad intentions or political ulterior motives.”“The problem is that they are not happy with this government,” said a member of the coalition, who asked to remain anonymous. “Ankara has two main expectations from us: Respect for its authority, and compliance with its Sunni Islam policies. And it is trying to make us conform through financial pressure.”The infamous Afrika newspaper incidents were the first challenge for the Turkish Cypriot ruling coalition.Ankara was open about the fact that it expected the Turkish Cypriot administration to punish Afrika after the newspaper first published a cartoon in December 2017 titled “Through Greek eyes” which showed an ancient Greek statue urinating on the head of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Then, in January 2018, it ran a front-page article criticising Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria, calling it a ‘second occupation after Cyprus’.The publication enraged Erdogan, who called Afrika a “sleazy newspaper” and called on his “brothers in northern Cyprus to give the necessary response”. The newspaper’s offices were largely destroyed the next day by an ultranationalist mob while the riot police stood by.“Ankara believes that the coalition did not back President Erdogan enough against Afrika,” said the source. “And the logic goes: why should Erdogan back a government that did not back Erdogan?”The Turkish Cypriot coalition’s resistance against pressure for increased Islamic policies in the north is also a continuous cause of tension, according to the source. “For example, Ankara demands to directly control the Hala Sultan Mosque. We refuse and say if it is opened it has to operate under Turkish Cypriot control. This is why the mosque remains closed” although it was completed in mid-2018.The monumental mosque, which is one of the biggest in the Eastern Mediterranean, has come to be widely seen as a symbol of Ankara’s religious and cultural pressure on Turkish Cypriots.Last month, in what was widely seen as a big change in Turkey’s handling of relations with the Turkish Cypriots, it was declared that President Erdogan would personally be responsible for Cyprus, including being the sole authority for its financing. Turkey, in the past, managed its Turkish Cypriot affairs through a state minister.“This means that now everything is now up to one person, whereas in the past relations were more horizontal,” said the source. “Erdogan’s approval will be sought for everything.”The lack of any development to resume the flow of Turkish funds is also leading to speculation that soon the ruling coalition will be replaced by a right-wing National Unity Party (UBP)-People’s Party (HP) coalition, which would be more preferable for Ankara as traditionally, right-wing administrations are more compliant and conform to Ankara’s demands.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Rep Chatfield announces November office hours

Rep Chatfield announces November office hours

first_imgChippewa CountySault Area Chamber of Commerce2581 I-75 Business Spur in Sault Ste. Marie?4-5 p.m. State Rep. Lee Chatfield invites residents of the 107th House District to join him during local office hours for the month of November. Categories: Chatfield News,News ?Monday, Nov. 21? Emmet CountyGrand Traverse Pie Co.?316 E. Mitchell St. in Petoskey?9-10 a.m. No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Anyone unable to attend may contact Rep. Chatfield’s office by calling ?(517) 373-2629, via email at leechatfield@house.mi.gov or through his website at www.RepChatfield.com. Mackinac CountyAng-Gio’s Restaurant?232 S. M-134 in Cedarville?2-3 p.m.?center_img Cheboygan CountyChristopher’s Cafe?3725 S. Straits Hwy. in Indian River?11 a.m.-12 p.m. “Since taking office, my staff and I have held monthly office hours in every county throughout the district for 22 consecutive months,” said Rep. Chatfield. “Monthly office hours is a great opportunity for me to stay accessible and anyone is welcome to attend.” His November office hours schedule is: 16Nov Rep. Chatfield announces November office hours ###last_img read more

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Orion Township supervisor joins Rep Reilly for State of the State

Orion Township supervisor joins Rep Reilly for State of the State

first_imgPhoto Information: State Rep. John Reilly (left), of Oakland, invited Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett (right) as his guest on the House floor during Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address, where the governor outlines priorities for the coming year. Categories: Reilly News 23Jan Orion Township supervisor joins Rep. Reilly for State of the Statelast_img

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Rep Markkanens plan helps county road commissions

Rep Markkanens plan helps county road commissions

first_img20Mar Rep. Markkanen’s plan helps county road commissions Categories: Markkanen News,News Measure improves facilities for road improvementsState Rep. Greg Markkanen this week testified before the House Transportation Committee in support of a plan to help county road commissions to improve their facilities and fix Michigan roads.Under current Michigan law, county roads commission have only up to 15 years to make payments when purchasing property for public use. Markkanen’s plan would double that timeframe, allowing road commissions up to 30 years to complete purchases.Gregg Patrick of the Keweenaw County Road Commission testified with Rep. Markkanen in support of the bill.The plan was brought forward to Rep. Markkanen by Keweenaw County residents.“Construction season is here and local county road commissions need all the help they can get to improve our Michigan roads,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “This plan will help local county road commissions in Keweenaw County and across the state have more flexibility on payments when purchasing property. That should translate to savings that can go into road repairs.”No parties were in opposition and MDOT was neutral on the plan.House Bill 4120 remains under consideration in the Transportation Committee.####last_img read more

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Historic Clemency 2014 Effort Seeks Volunteers to Help Make History

Historic Clemency 2014 Effort Seeks Volunteers to Help Make History

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesApril 23, 2014; ACLUIn case you have any doubts about this country’s need to address its rate of incarceration, here is a simple graph to bring the point home. The U.S. prison population is the largest in the world, comprising 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Some of the rapid rise in those numbers is due to mandatory sentencing in drug offenses. Now the Obama administration is taking the issue on, but its very active partner in the effort is a strong coalition of nonprofits that have been working toward this day for many years.In 2010, Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the differences between mandatory minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine. That disparity was considered by many to be race-based; since the 1990s, 80 percent of those imprisoned for crack have been black. Still, although the sentencing from that point on was adjusted, there were 9,000 people who could have been released had the act been made retroactive. According to Al Jazeera, criminal justice and civil liberties groups petitioned the government to address the problem, but they worried that things were not moving to prepare for what would be a massive operation.Then, early this week, Attorney General Eric Holder released a video in which he announced the Obama administration’s Clemency Project 2014. In it, he said, “In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing unfair disparities in sentences imposed on people for offenses involving different forms of cocaine. But there’s still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. This is simply not right.”The administration is making changes to personnel, including to the pardon office, which now has new leadership to facilitate what is expected to be, as the New York Times estimates, the most significant clemency effort since Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter offered amnesty to Vietnam War draft evaders.Standing at the ready for what may be an unprecedented effort is a working group described below, as it was posted on the ACLU website:Clemency Project 2014, a working group composed of the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations, wholeheartedly supports Cole’s announcement and the Justice Department’s plans to restore the integrity of the clemency process.“The doors of the Office of the Pardon Attorney have been closed to petitioners for too long. This announcement signals a truly welcome change; the culture of ‘no’ that has dominated that office is being transformed,” said Mary Price, FAMM General Counsel. “We stand ready to assist in any way we can to support petitioners and bring their cases to the attention of the President.”Clemency Project 2014 launched in January after Deputy Attorney General James Cole asked the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentenced if they’d been sentenced today.NACDL President Jerry Cox said, “Clemency Project 2014 marks the beginning of the end of the age of mass incarceration. We must seize this historic opportunity to start the process of remedying decades of cruel and unnecessarily harsh sentencing policies. I call upon the nation’s lawyers, especially the criminal defense bar, to rise to this challenge in an unprecedented effort to restore hope and the prospect of an early return to freedom for the countless deserving individuals who are languishing in federal custody.”Clemency Project members will collaborate to recruit and train attorneys on how to screen for prisoners who meet the criteria laid out by the deputy attorney general. Pursuant to the criteria announced today, candidates eligible for clemency must be:serving a federal sentence;serving a sentence that, if imposed today, would be substantially shorter;have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels;have served at least 10 years;have no significant prior convictions;and have demonstrated good conduct.“Federal defenders have advocated for reform of the criminal justice system for many years, and we wholeheartedly endorse the President’s commitment to lowering the sentences of prisoners who are serving unduly harsh sentences through the clemency process,” said Michael Nachmanoff, Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. “In recent years, federal defenders have assisted thousands of defendants to reunite with their families through the crack retroactivity process, and we are eager to work with the other organizations affiliated with the Clemency Project 2014 to help many others serving unfair sentences that would not be imposed today.”While Clemency Project 2014 will focus on those cases that clearly fit the broad criteria described by Deputy Attorney General Cole, the groups stress that there are many other federal prisoners whose sentences are grossly disproportionate to the crimes for which they were convicted. The groups will continue to urge the Department of Justice and President Obama to vastly expand use of the clemency power to correct widespread injustice. Similarly, each organization participating in the Project supports legislative action to curtail sentencing laws that continue to cause unjust sentences.Clemency Project 2014 looks forward to support and participation from other legal and community advocacy groups, and gratefully recognizes the early support of the National Action Network, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, as well as state bar associations, including the New York State Bar Association, before which Deputy Attorney General Cole first announced this initiative last January.Lawyers interested in volunteering for the project may do so by writing to clemencyproject@nacdl.org—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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B Corporations Attract Interest Enthusiasm Big Company Acquisitions

B Corporations Attract Interest Enthusiasm Big Company Acquisitions

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares September 15, 2014;Al JazeeraOne slice of the hybrid organization movement that seems to be pumping right along is comprised by “B Corporations,” for-profit entities deemed to meet public benefit standards of being socially responsible, often in terms of their dealings with communities and the environment. Companies assessed and certified by a nonprofit called B Lab can place a “B Corp” logo on their marketing materials. In addition to the private certification process overseen by B Lab, more than half of the states in the U.S. have adopted legislation to authorize “benefit corporations,” which may or may not overlap with certified B Corporations. Writing for Al Jazeera, Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and president of Eat Drink Politics, cites Forbes for the definition of the benefits accorded by benefit corporation legal status: “Incorporating as a benefit corporation legally protects an entrepreneur’s social goals by mandating considerations other than just profit.”Although Simon suggests that the philosophy “of prioritizing positive social and environmental practices” guides both B Corporations and legally authorized benefit corporations, there is a difference. The impact of B Corporation certification is fundamentally one of marketing, like, as Simon notes and the B Lab observes on its webpage, the “Fair Trade” label placed on some brands of coffee. In a time when consumers are increasingly interested in corporate social responsibility regarding the businesses they shop at and support, the B Corporation branding probably counts for a lot. It is a little more questionable to imagine investors challenging B Corporations like the Better Bean Co., Revolution Foods, Numi Organic Tea, Nutiva, Guayaki, and Happy Family because they are not doing enough for shareholders’ bottom-line interests. How many corporations of any sort have had to seek serious legal protection from profit-ravenous shareholders due to the companies’ philanthropic or CSR activities?Perhaps that might be in an issue in the future, though, as big corporations see the market attractiveness of these CSR-minded companies and begin to gobble them up. Simon points out that Campbell Soup Co. acquired the certified B Corporation Plum Organics, a company making children’s food products. This is the first instance of a B Corporation wholly owned by a publicly traded company. She also notes that General Mills is preparing to buy Annie’s, an organic food company. Of course, Ben & Jerry’s is also a B Corporation and is owned by the publicly traded Dutch conglomerate Unilever. (As an aside, Ben & Jerry’s got the brownies it used in its original chocolate fudge brownie ice cream from another B Corporation, the Yonkers-based Greyston Bakery.)Corporate social responsibility sells, so to some extent these acquisitions might be seen as big corporations purchasing and developing new product lines that they’re unlikely going to want to muck around with. For example, despite the acquisition of Ben & Jerry’s, there are no apparent signs that Ben & Jerry’s operates much differently as a subsidiary of Unilever. Also, the mythology that Cohen and Greenfield, the founders of the company, were compelled by corporate law to sell once Unilever made a bid has demonstrated to be patently untrue. Much more plausible is that Cohen and Greenfield cashed out and walked away with something like $50 million in hand. Unilever might not make major changes in a product line that the conglomerate likes and sees as successful. The notion that without the protection of benefit corporation legal status, an offer to acquire from Unilever, General Mills, or Campbell Soup might have to be automatically accepted is simply false.But it is also possible that despite Unilever’s appreciation of the distinctive product lines of Ben & Jerry’s (or General Mills’ of Annie’s), future acquisition of benefit corporations could result in attempts by big corporations to water down the social responsibility content of benefit corporations they acquire. That’s a possible concern, especially since, according to Simon, the B Lab’s assessment criteria do not include important elements of social responsibility such as companies’ marketing practices (like marketing to children) or their standards regarding animal welfare in product testing, which are significant issues among many large corporations in the food industry.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Disney is to begin broadcasting a freetoair chan

Disney is to begin broadcasting a freetoair chan

first_imgDisney is to begin broadcasting a free-to-air channel in Russia next year in partnership with local media group UTH, backed by entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov.Disney has agreed to buy a 49% stake in Seven, owned by UTH, which will be rebranded as Disney when the deal, reportedly worth US$300 million (€214 million), is completed. Entertainment channel Seven had an audience share of about 1.9% in the second quarter of this year. Along with Seven, UTH operates music channel Muz-TV.According to Disney, the new channel will be available to about 40 million households across the country. Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company believed in Russia as a growth market.Ivan Tavrin, CEO of UTV (pictured), said: “We believe that our partnership  with The Walt Disney Company, the global entertainment leader, will  establish a popular and highly successful free-to-air business. The superb infrastructure and technical foundation of UTH in combination  with Disney’s unique brand and global expertise will deliver excellent  results for the Disney Channel in Russia. Seven TV’s transformation from sports to general entertainment in 2010 helped us to significantly improve its ratings and financial results, now it is time for a new page in the network’s history. I am confident about the success of the Disney Channel and our long term partnership with The Walt Disney Company.”Disney Russia managing director Marina Zhigalova-Ozkan said that the channel would focus on a broad family audience and would feature original animation, feature films and content produced in Russia under the Disney brand.The move to launch a free-to-air channel follows Disney’s recent announcement that it would go free-to-air in Turkey. Iger has reportedly said the company is looking at investing in 10 other potential markets to increase Disney Channel’s footprint.last_img read more

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Global sports broadcaster ESPN has promoted progra

first_imgGlobal sports broadcaster ESPN has promoted programming boss John Skipper to the position of president as long time boss George Bodenheimer becomes executive chairman.Bodenheimer is currently president of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chair of Disney Media Networks and he will relinquish his day-to-day operating responsibilities as of January 1. He will continue to chair ESPN’s board of directors.Skipper, who has been executive vice president, content, since 2006, will report to Bodenheimer and The Walt Disney Company president and chief executive officer Bob Iger. 
Iger said: “George has said repeatedly that ESPN’s success has been led by its collaborative corporate culture and a deep bench of executive talent. While that remains true, it obviously and intentionally downplays his leadership and many significant contributions. We’ve focused on succession at all levels of Disney for some time now, and consistent with that approach, George initiated conversations last spring that led to today’s announcement.last_img read more

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