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Angelina Jolie Awarded Honorary Damehood

first_imgCo-Founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie has received an honorary Damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war zone sexual violence.Since co-founding the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative with William Hague, Foreign Secretary, in May 2012, Angelina Jolie has made an exceptional contribution to the development, promotion and impact of this major UK objective. Building on her long-term humanitarian work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) she has been at the forefront of the initiative to highlight and seek justice for the plight of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet, the victims of sexual violence in conflict.On learning of her award Angelina Jolie said: “To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.“Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine.”last_img read more

Sherlocks Martin Freeman Wants Wild Animals Banned From Circuses

first_imgWild animals still haven’t been banned from being used in circuses in the UK, but Sherlock star Martin Freeman is on the case.With Parliament due back in session next week, the actor has sent an urgent letter on PETA’s behalf to Prime Minister David Cameron, from one father to another, urging him to do the right thing and bring in a ban on wild animals in circuses. The letter comes after David Cameron’s failure to follow through on his promise to ban wild animals from travelling circuses by January 2015.“As a father, I’d like to see my children grow up in a country where animals are treated with respect, not as objects of ridicule”, writes Freeman, who has two children with Sherlock co-star Amanda Abbington. “Allowing circuses with wild animals to continue to operate in the country sends the message to children that it’s OK to dominate animals and ignore any pain and suffering that they’re experiencing – which, of course, it’s not.”Wild animals in circuses commonly suffer from chronic health problems, abusive treatment, psychological disorders and aberrant behaviour, and many die prematurely. By virtue of the very nature of circuses – which confine animals to cages or boxcars for long periods of time, force them to perform tricks that are uncomfortable and even painful for them and deny them the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour – animal welfare can never be ensured in a circus environment.This legislation has been a long time coming. In 2011, Cameron was instructed by Parliament to get wild animals out of circuses, and despite overwhelming public support for a ban, evidenced by a Defra consultation which saw 94 per cent of respondents, including the British Veterinary Association, backing an end to this archaic form of entertainment, the Prime Minister has so far failed to act.Freeman joins Michael Sheen and Ann Widdecombe in teaming up with PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – to push the government to join Austria, Bolivia, Finland, India, Mexico and many other countries in prohibiting wild-animal circus acts.last_img read more

Richard Branson And Jennifer Lawrence Speak Out Against Immigration Bans

first_imgSir Richard Branson has blogged about the immigration bans imposed by the US government over the weekend.“There are many reasons to be concerned about the Executive Order issued by US President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon, suspending all refugee immigration for 120 days and specifically barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the United States.“The ban, which went into effect immediately, has already caused enormous confusion and despair. Hundreds have been stranded at airports around the world and thousands more are left in uncertainty. The growing number of those denied entry to the US includes students with valid US visas, academic researchers en route to their workplaces and conferences, and even several people who have risked their lives working as interpreters for US forces in Iraq. The people affected are as diverse as they can be, yet they share one thing in common: they pose no threat whatsoever to America’s security.“What worries me the most is that the President’s order breaks with well-established US humanitarian policy – and international law. Opening her door to “the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, has made America great for more than 240 years. If life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have been the engines that power the American Dream, immigration has been its fuel. And many among the tens of millions who have arrived at American shores in hope for a better life were refugees who lost everything – from European Jews escaping persecution in Nazi Germany to Vietnamese boat people hoping to start a better life after the end of the war that ravaged their country.“To them, the US stood and continues to stand for a life free from oppression and fear, a haven of freedom and opportunity, regardless of the colour of their skin or their religious beliefs. Just imagine how many of today’s truly American success stories are refugees’ stories. Albert Einstein and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin and artist Wyclef Jean stand for millions of others whose ethnicity or beliefs didn’t matter. What mattered was that they needed a compassionate welcome and a fresh start.“I fear that Friday’s order has set a dangerous precedent for the systematic exclusion of those who come full of hope and with the best intentions. And I’m reminded of the darker chapters of US history, like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 or the ineffable internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II – racist policies that caused untold suffering. “The necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain origin or a certain religion,” said the spokesperson of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and I agree wholeheartedly.“And praise to the America’s northern neighbour whose Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote earlier that “Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.” I haven’t given up hope that Congress, across the aisle, will come to the same conclusion.“In the meantime, I applaud the thousands who have taken to the streets and the airwaves in solidarity across the US; the hundreds of lawyers camping out at airports and donating their time to fight the good fight on behalf of those caught up in this mess; the brave federal judges who have shown that checks and balances are still in place. They all stand for a kinder, gentler and more welcoming America – the America that is admired the world over.“The Virgin family includes many companies in the US and elsewhere that are proud to employ people from all around the world, and I speak on behalf of us all in saying we stand together in valuing an open and diverse society. As George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, tweeted: “The best of America is open, courageous and compassionate. That’s when we’re strongest. The EO should be withdrawn.” Mary Wittenberg, CEO of Virgin Sport, also wrote to her team: “We stand for diversity – of all types. We welcome all to join us, and we are inspired by the values of our birth countries, the United States and the UK. With chaotic winds of change whipping, we will stand strong for, and on the side of, our values and people.”“Like many others, including Google’s wonderful crisis fund, I am donating to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee, and would urge anyone who can afford it to donate to the causes close to their heart too.”Read Branson’s blog here.Jennifer Lawrence has also made a statement about the bans on her Facebook page, saying: “My broken heart goes out to the innocent lives of Muslim refugees that are trying to escape terror and find safety for their families. I and millions of Americans understand that someone’s race or religion should never keep them in harms way. It should be every person’s duty to help and protect anyone no matter their nationality. I pray for sanity and compassion to return to the Whitehouse.”The world continues to condemn the US government’s immigration bans, and the effects they could have on world peace.last_img read more

Eldorado Gold suspends work at Skouries project in Greece amid government dispute

first_imgVANCOUVER – Eldorado Gold Corp. is suspending work at its Skouries development project amid its ongoing dispute with the Greek governmentThe company says Greece’s Ministry of Energy and Environment has not issued the required permits for the project.Eldorado (TSX:ELD) also says the company also initiated legal action.The company says it will re-assess its investment in the Skouries project once it receives the required permits.Eldorado has been embroiled in a fight with the Greek government and accuses it of delaying key permits and licenses. In September, it threatened to suspend work at its operations in northern Greece, but backed off when it began talks with the government.Elsewhere in Greece, Eldorado says work at its Olympias project continues, while exploration drilling at its Stratoni project to extend the mine life are positive.last_img read more

Trump misses tax returns deadline set for legal war

first_imgWashington: The White House has refused to meet a Tuesday deadline to deliver six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress, escalating a battle that is expected to head to court. The House Ways and Means Committee’s chairman, Richard Neal, had given the Internal Revenue Service until April 10 to turn over the president’s personal tax returns, and those of several entities connected to Trump, for 2013 through 2018. That deadline was extended to April 23. But Trump has signaled he does not want his financial information disclosed, repeating his oft-used excuse during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would not release his tax returns while under audit by the IRS. Trump broke with a long-established norm during the 2016 elections by refusing to release the returns as most presidents have done since the 1970s even though it is not required by law. “The president is pretty clear: Once he’s out of audit, he will think about doing it,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News on Tuesday. “He’s not inclined to do so at this time.” The US Treasury Department said it was reviewing Neal’s request and consulting with the Justice Department, and that there were “serious constitutional questions” related to the request. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a letter to Neal, said the department would render a final decision by May 6 on whether or not to comply. But Mnuchin also warned that congressional Democrats, through the Ways and Means demand, were seeking “to obtain and expose the president’s tax returns.”last_img read more

Spain Orders Detention of Alleged Member of ISIS

Madrid – The Spanish justice ordered on Sunday the detention of the suspected head of a terrorist cell, associated with the “Islamic State” organization, disbanded on Friday by Moroccan and Spanish security services.A judge of the Spanish highest penal jurisdiction, Javier Gomez Bermudez, heard on Sunday the suspect, Mohamed Said Mohamed, who holds the Spanish nationality, and decided to put him in detention without bail, out of fear that the suspect could flee the Spanish territory or destroy the pieces of evidence.Investigations led so far show that the defendant, a former serviceman, arrested on Friday in Morocco’s northern city of Melilia, under Spanish rule, was the head of a jihadist band that was planning to join the “Islamic State” Organization. The man, who has criminal records and who had already served a prison sentence between February and August 2014, was wanted by Morocco which had issued an international arrest warrant for suspicion of establishing armed gangs to plot and carry out terrorist acts”, the Spanish judge said.Eight other members of the same cell who had been arrested on Friday in Nador (northeastern Morocco) were found to be in close contact with a former Spanish serviceman who had rallied in 2012 the “Mujao” organization, associated with Al Qaeda, before joining later the “Islamic State” organization.The Moroccan interior ministry announced last Friday the disbanding, in close collaboration with the Spanish security services, of a network, active in Nador and Melilia (northeastern Morocco), suspected of recruiting fighters for the Iraqi-Syrian jihadist group “Islamic State“.Investigation showed that the eight men were in touch with members of “Attaouhid” and “Al Mouahidine,” two other groups disbanded in May 2013 in Nador. They also coordinated with “Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb” group in northern Mali. read more

Over 60 countries hit hardest by food crisis to receive increased UN

4 June 2008The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it will provide $1.2 billion in additional food aid in the 62 countries hit hardest by the current crisis resulting from the surge in food and fuel prices. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it will provide $1.2 billion in additional food aid in the 62 countries hit hardest by the current crisis resulting from the surge in food and fuel prices. “With soaring food and fuel prices, hunger is on the march and we must act now,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in written remarks delivered today to the food summit taking place in Rome. “If we do not act quickly, the bottom billion will become the bottom two billion virtually overnight as their purchasing power is cut in half due to a doubling in food and fuel prices,” said Ms. Sheeran, whose agency will provide some $5 billion to assist nearly 90 million people in 78 countries this year. To address the current crisis, WFP is tripling the number of people who receive food in Haiti, doubling those who will receive food in Afghanistan, and delivering more critical food aid to people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. The three-day High-level Conference on World Food Security, hosted by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has brought together leaders from around the globe, international organizations and financial institutions to tackle the current crisis arising from the recent dramatic escalation of food prices worldwide. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the meeting yesterday by calling on world leaders to take “bold and urgent” steps to address the crisis, including boosting food production and revitalizing agriculture to ensure long-term food security. Also addressing the summit yesterday was High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, who told those gathered that human rights violations by Governments often lie at the roots of food crises and hinder efforts to assisted affected populations. “Food insecurity is often compounded by warfare, bad governance, and natural disasters,” Ms. Arbour said. “In such cases, it becomes painfully evident that we cannot always rely on the willingness and ability of national authorities to discharge their obligations towards people in need. Not surprisingly, Governments that commit or turn a blind eye to gross violations of human rights are also the most likely to disregard their duties and responsibilities.” The High Commissioner emphasized that problems of access to hungry populations did not simply emerge at the start of a crisis, but were part of a much longer-term pattern of human rights violations. “Long-standing international tolerance for human rights abuses allows both the obstruction of international assistance when a need arises, as well as the hindrance of corrective international efforts in the long term,” she said. read more

Indias central bank cuts lending rate to 540

NEW DELHI — India’s central bank has cut its key interest rate for the fourth consecutive time, reducing the repo rate by 0.35% to 5.40% to shore up the economy, with consumer spending and corporate investment faltering and the production of capital goods and consumer durables decelerating.In a bimonthly review of the economy Wednesday, the bank trimmed the GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal year to 6.9% from 7%.The benchmark interest rate is what the Reserve Bank of India charges on lending to commercial banks.The bank maintained an accommodative stance for monetary policy, implying that an increase in interest rates is off the table.Lower interest rates help make credit cheaper for borrowers, though they can also spur inflation.The Associated Press read more

Federal investigators beef up scrutiny of 787 fire Boeing shares fall 46

by Joshua Freed, The Associated Press Posted Jan 8, 2013 6:03 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Federal investigators beef up scrutiny of 787 fire; Boeing shares fall 4.6 per cent in 2 days MINNEAPOLIS – Federal safety investigators intensified their scrutiny of a Monday fire aboard a Boeing 787 as concerned investors sold shares in the aircraft maker for a second day.Boeing on Tuesday confirmed that the fire aboard a Japan Airlines plane appeared to have started in a battery pack for the plane’s auxiliary power unit.The National Transportation Safety Board described the fire damage to the battery as “severe,” and said it is sending two more investigators to examine the Japan Airlines plane. It also formed investigative groups to look at the plane’s electrical systems as well as the fire response.Boeing has a lot riding on the 787. The long-range jet promises a smoother travel experience and is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than older models. After years of delays, Boeing has now delivered 49 of the planes, with almost 800 more on order.The fire on Monday happened on the ground at Boston Logan International Airport, with no passengers on board. But in-flight fires can be catastrophic, so the matter is getting close scrutiny by aviation authorities.Interest is especially high in this fire because of indications that lithium batteries — which generally have not been used on large planes before the 787 — can burn very hot, with fires that are difficult to put out. The NTSB said it took firefighters 40 minutes to put out the fire near the back of the plane.JAL spokeswoman Carol Anderson said the airline inspected its 787s after the fire. She declined to discuss the results, but noted that no schedule changes were made as a result of the inspections.United Airlines said it inspected its six 787s overnight. A spokeswoman would not say what the inspections found. The Wall Street Journal reported that the inspections found an improperly installed bundle of wires connected to the same battery that burned on the on the JAL plane.Electrical problems have been the 787’s nemesis.Last month, a United Airlines 787 flying from Houston to Newark, New Jersey, diverted to New Orleans because of an electrical problem with a power distribution panel. Last week, United said it would delay the start of 787 flights from Houston to Lagos, Nigeria because it wanted to “improve the reliability of the aircraft.”In November 2010, a test flight had to make an emergency landing after an in-flight electrical fire. The fire delayed flight tests for several weeks while Boeing investigated.Boeing said the fire on Monday appears to be unrelated to previous electrical problems on the 787.“Nothing that we’ve seen in this case indicates a relationship to any previous 787 power system events,” Boeing said in a prepared statement. Those earlier problems involved power panels elsewhere in a rear bay for electrical equipment. Boeing also said it “would be premature to discuss additional details at this stage” of the investigation.Boeing said it has shared information about the prior events with the NTSB.Shares of Chicago-based Boeing have fallen 4.6 per cent since the fire was reported, wiping out almost $2.7 billion of the company’s value. On Tuesday they fell $2, or 2.6 per cent, to close at $74.13.Investors may have been unnerved by the fire after it appeared that the mechanical and manufacturing kinks with the 787 had been worked out.They may have also reacted to another 787 issue on Tuesday. A different Japan Airlines 787 at Logan had to be towed back to the gate after spilling 40 gallons (150 litres) of jet fuel. The flight was re-scheduled for later in the day. read more

Global growth outlook lowered about 7 times since Liberals took power Morneau

Global growth outlook lowered about 7 times since Liberals took power: Morneau by Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 9, 2016 2:52 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 10, 2016 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks in Toronto, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Facing dismal economic data at home, Canada’s finance minister is pointing out that the global growth outlook has been downgraded about seven times since the federal Liberals took office last year.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima OTTAWA – Facing dismal economic data at home, Canada’s finance minister is pointing out that the global growth outlook has been downgraded about seven times since the federal Liberals took office last year.Speaking in Sudbury, Ont., on Tuesday, Bill Morneau made his first public comments since Statistics Canada released grim numbers last week about the country’s labour force and its international trade performance.The federal agency said Canada lost 31,200 jobs in July, while its trade deficit with the world swelled to a record level of $3.6 billion in June.The Canadian economy also contracted 0.6 per cent in May — the country’s worst one-month performance since the depths of the Great Recession seven years ago.Morneau did not mention any of these figures to his small audience of business people in Sudbury, but he did note that weak growth has been a serious challenge for the world economy and that it has fed into Canada’s economic issues.“Global growth has been marked down a number of times — I think seven times — since we’ve come into office, believe it or not,” Morneau said during the event, which was also broadcast live on Facebook.“We recognize that growth is a real challenge and something that we need to think about.”The finance minister said the Liberals have made efforts to address economic concerns by boosting child benefits, enhancing the Canada Pension Plan and making income-tax bracket changes to provide relief for middle earners.“So, that really was the frame of reference for our (election) campaign,” said Morneau, who recently attended a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in China.“It’s certainly the global frame of reference now.”To generate growth, the Liberal government also hopes the economy will gradually get a lift from the tens of billions of dollars it has committed to spend on infrastructure.Last Friday, Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey said the country shed 71,400 net full-time jobs last month — the category’s biggest one-month hit since it lost 80,300 positions in October 2011.The national unemployment rate for July crept up to 6.9 per cent from 6.8 per cent the previous month.On trade, Statistics Canada said exports slid 4.7 per cent in the second quarter to $124 billion, the steepest drop since the second quarter of 2009 during the recession.Most of the questions Morneau fielded at the Sudbury event were focused on Ottawa’s agreement-in-principle with the provinces and territories to expand the CPP.The deal, if ratified, would gradually increase contributions and retirement benefits through the public pension plan.Morneau was asked Tuesday if the enhanced portion of the CPP would be the same as the existing plan, particularly when it comes to the rules indicating when someone may begin making withdrawals.He acknowledged there are still details to work out when it comes to CPP reform.“The agreement with the provinces was that the enhanced CPP would broadly be similar to the core CPP, but we haven’t dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts yet,” Morneau said.“So, given that we have to co-govern the plan with the provinces, I would say that we need to work with them to make sure that we get to agreement on those issues. And I’m optimistic that we will.”In June, every province except Quebec supported the tentative agreement and the signatories had agreed to ratify it by July 15.But Morneau’s push to conclude the deal quickly came to a halt when British Columbia declined to put its pivotal signature on the agreement before the deadline. The province said it needed more time to explain the deal to its residents and stakeholders, such as business owners.Under the formula, B.C. can make or break CPP expansion, something deeply coveted by the federal Liberals.B.C. is the third-most populated province. A deal to reform the CPP needs support from a minimum of seven provinces representing at least two-thirds of Canada’s population.Morneau has insisted that B.C.’s delay would not derail Ottawa’s plan to table new legislation in the fall.On Tuesday, he told his audience that nine of 10 provinces supported the deal. He did not mention B.C.’s decision to hold off on ratification.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter read more

Progress achieved in India highlights benefits of quotas for women says UN

“Here in India, quotas have spurred one of the world’s greatest successes in women’s empowerment and grassroots democracy,” Michelle Bachelet said in her keynote address to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference of Women Speakers of Parliament, held in the capital, New Delhi.Ms. Bachelet, the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), highlighted India’s efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, stating that the successes of the world’s largest democracy can serve as an example to others. Ten years ago women comprised less than five per cent of elected leaders in village councils in India; today, more than 40 per cent of local council leaders are women. “This dramatic and rapid change is the result of quotas,” said Ms. Bachelet, who is on an official visit to the country.Globally, however, women – who constitute 51 per cent of the world’s population – are under-represented in the representative bodies that make key decisions affecting their lives. Currently, women average a mere 20 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide.“That is why I am a strong advocate for affirmative action, for temporary special measures, such as quotas, until we have a level playing field,” said Ms. Bachelet.She highlighted the Women’s Reservation Bill, passed by the upper house of India’s Parliament, that would set aside one-third of the elected seats for women in the lower house of the Parliament and in all legislative assemblies. “If it becomes law, it could potentially lead to one of the most significant changes in India since independence in 1947,” she stated. “It will send a strong message to the women of India. And it will send a strong message to the world that India is leading the way for democracy, for women and for equality.”Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to increase women’s political participation, and the Executive Director reported that, one year later, progress is being made. From Algeria to Libya to Senegal, more women serve as representatives in their national parliaments, Ms. Bachelet said. The number of countries reaching the 30 per cent mark of women in parliament has risen from 27 to 33, and 30 of these countries achieved this through temporary special measures such as quotas.“It is a matter of straightforward justice, and it is also a matter of improving the democratic quality of representation. By having more women as legislators, more concerns – different concerns, will be brought to the public arena to respond to the diverse needs of society,” she stated. Women leaders, she noted, have proved themselves to be strong advocates for many issues including girls’ education, clean water and sanitation, sustainable energy, decent work, healthcare, and pensions for the elderly.“Having more women in politics also has a positive effect in terms of creating positive role models and a new vision of the future and what is possible,” stated Ms. Bachelet.Also today, Ms. Bachelet met with private sector leaders at a high-level event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, at which she noted that research shows that unleashing women’s full economic potential by removing barriers and supporting equal opportunity increases growth and performance.“Having more women in company boards, in senior management, supervisory positions and workers in the formal sector is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do,” she said. “It’s good for the bottom line.”The UN official added that increasing women’s economic role is important for India and it is good for women and good for business. It is about engaging the productive capacity, creativity and talent of half the population, she noted, and maximizing their role and rights as formal sector workers in agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors as well as increasing their purchasing power as consumers.“As a major economic force worldwide, India and Indian companies have the opportunity to set the standards in Asia in terms of women’s right to decent work,” said Ms. Bachelet.During her three-day visit, the Executive Director will also launch a Regional Centre of Excellence for elected women representatives at the local level, during the National Leadership Summit hosted by the Indian Government in the city of Jaipur. read more

Kingfisher Airlines Pilots Stay Away from Work Over 40 Flights Cancelled

first_imgKingfisher Airlines hit an all time low Monday with over 40 of its flights being cancelled after the pilots stayed away from work over non-payment of their salaries.Pilots of the cash-strapped Airlines have been complaining about the management’s indifferent attitude and delay in the payment of their salaries for over three months. Several flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata were cancelled after pilots didn’t report for work.”The flight loads have reduced because of our limited distribution ability caused by IATA suspension. We are therefore combining some of our flights. Also, some of the flights are being cancelled as a result of employee agitation on account of delayed salaries. This situation has arisen as a consequence of our bank accounts having been frozen by the tax authorities. We are making all possible efforts to remedy this temporary situation,” CNN IBN quoted a statement from the Airlines.”We will operate approximately 80 per cent of our planned schedule. We expect to return to our full schedule shortly. Those guests whose flights are affected are being notified. They are either being accommodated on other airlines or offered a full refund,” added the airline.Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal had earlier met the pilots and requested them not to stay away from flying duties, assuring them that they would do all they could to unfreeze the bank accounts and pay the salaries.last_img read more

Syndicate Bank Bribery Case Bhushan Steel Shares Dip 20 at 52week Low

first_imgStocks of Bhushan Steel recorded a year’s low at ₹305 per share following involvement in Syndicate bank corruption case.The price of each share slumped ₹76.20 or 20 percent during trading hours on Wednesday at 1.30 pm.On Saturday, CBI arrested the chairman of Syndicate bank, S K Jain and a few others for demanding bribe to enhance the credit limit of Bhushan Steel and Prakash Industries.According to reports, Jain was found demanding a bribe of ₹50 Lakh from Neeraj Singhal, Bhushan Steel’s vice-chairman. CBI director, Ranjit Sinha ordered an internal inquiry after his team failed to arrest Singhal during the investigation at his residence in the bribery case.After conducting raids at 20 different locations across Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Bhopal, CBI seized ₹21 lakh cash, fixed deposit receipts of ₹63 lakh and gold jewellery worth ₹1.68 crore.Bhushan Steel had taken a loan of ₹100 crore and Prakash Industries also borrowed ₹120 crore from Syndicate Bank. Both the companies allegedly tried to settle the loan by bribing Jain last week.CBI has also seized ₹50 lakh offered to Jain by both the companies. Moreover, both companies are also being investigated in connection with the coal block allocation scam, popularly known as Coalgate.Incorporated in 1989, Bhushan Steel’ reported net loss of ₹19.57 crore in Q4 March 2014 against its net profit of ₹280 crore in Q4 March 2013. Net sales plunged 10.9 percent to ₹2,399.73 crore in Q4 March 2014 over Q4 March 2013.During the year 2013-14, the company took loan of ₹1,042 crore from Axis Bank.Bhushan Steel facility is located in Sahibabad (Uttar Pradesh), Khopoli (Maharashtra) and Meramandali in Orissa state. The company is listed in BSE with stock code 500055 and in NSE with name BHUSANSTL.last_img read more

Amazon plans to buy 26 stake in Mukesh Ambaniled Reliance Retail

first_imgReliance Industries LimitedAmazon is in talks with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries to acquire about 26 percent in Reliance Retail. Reliance had been in talks with Alibaba Group for a similar acquisition which was scrapped due to a valuation rift.Amazon is aiming to step into India’s large brick-and-mortar chain. The acquisition will help the e-commerce major to gain a long-term hold in the industries where shopping is concentrated on public outlets.According to The Economic Times, the proceedings for the acquisition are going forward slowly. It also states that Amazon is planning the deal cautiously by taking the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms into consideration.The e-commerce giant wants to play safe by acquiring less than 26 percent to avoid getting barred due to FDI norms. Amazon LogoAPAs per the ET report, the Seattle-based firm aims to be an investor in Reliance because of its market-leading position in consumer electronics and mobile phones. Amazon also has been trying to get into the grocery vertical and Reliance’s grocery stores might help the e-commerce gain momentum in the long run.The report additionally states that the Mukesh Ambani-led company is looking forward to the deal to ease Reliance Retail’s outstanding debt of about Rs 2.88 lakh crore. The successful completion of the deal will help Reliance become a seller on Amazon India platform.The recent changes in FDI norms by the Narendra Modi government allows 51 percent in multi-brand retail. The new norms allow 100 percent overseas investment in cash-and-carry or wholesale stores and online marketplace to help third-party sellers with a platform to sell their goods. grocery (Representational Image)Reuters fileReliance Retail has been operating about 10,644 retail stores in about 6,700 cities. The major part of the revenue of Rs 73,508 crore last year was generated from electronics, grocery, and fashion. Total e-commerce retail business in the country accounts to three percent, which is expected to double by 2021, according to a study by Deloitte and Retailers Association of India. Amazon and Flipkart have seen a steady increase in their revenue even after drastic changes in the FDI policy.last_img read more

Truck overturns in Coxs Bazar 5 killed

first_imgRoad accident logoFive people were killed and nine others injured as a bamboo-laden truck overturned in front of Balukhali customs office in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Monday morning.The identity of the deceased could not be known yet.Ekramul Siddik, assistant commissioner of Ukhia upazila, said the bamboo-laden truck overturned on four human haulers and a CNG-run auto-rickshaw standing beside it around 9:00am after the driver lost control over steering, leaving five people dead on the spot and nine others injured.last_img read more

EU Approves Revamped Copyright Rules Which Would Force Internet Companies to Proactively

first_imgThe final wording of the EU’s overhauled copyright rules includes the controversial Article 13, which would require internet platforms like YouTube and Facebook to proactively block uploads of copyrighted material. The provision has been supported by European producers and the music industry.Article 13 would require internet services with at least 5 million average monthly users to “demonstrate that they have made best efforts” to prevent the upload of content flagged as copyright-protected by rights holders, per the final text of the rules. When there are no licensing agreements between an internet platform and right holders, the platforms will need to make best efforts to obtain an authorization. The “best efforts” verbiage had been criticized by European film and TV groups as too lax.The intent of Article 13 is to let creators and actors in entertainment space “have more control over the use of their content uploaded by users on these platforms and be remunerated for it,” according to the EU. The proposed rules protect individual users’ fair use of copyrighted material, for example, in memes or parodies; also, students and teachers will be able to use copyrighted materials in online courses.In addition, under Article 11 of the new copyright code, European news outlets will receive a new right to “facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is reused on online platforms.”Google and YouTube have been staunchly opposed to the new EU regs, arguing that they will lead to unintended consequences that stifle expression.In an initial statement, YouTube said: “Copyright reform needs to benefit everyone — including European creators and consumers, small publishers and platforms. We’ll be studying the final text of the EU copyright directive and it will take some time to determine next steps. The details will matter, so we welcome the chance to continue conversations across Europe.” Popular on Variety European Union negotiators agreed Wednesday on codified language in a new set of sweeping copyright-reform rules — including a provision that would mandate YouTube and other internet platforms block copyrighted material when it’s uploaded. YouTube in particular has been particularly vigorous in opposing the proposed changes to the laws.The finalized text of the rules must next be formally confirmed by the European Parliament, which holds elections this May, as well as the Council of the EU. After that, the EU’s member states will have 24 months to adopt the new rules into their national legislation.“To finally have modern copyright rules for the whole of EU is a major achievement that was long overdue,” European Commission VP for the digital single market Andrus Ansip said in a statement released Wednesday. “The negotiations were difficult, but what counts in the end is that we have a fair and balanced result that is fit for a digital Europe: the freedoms and rights enjoyed by internet users today will be enhanced, our creators will be better remunerated for their work, and the internet economy will have clearer rules for operating and thriving.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Article 13 “threatens the livelihoods of so many creators in Europe and around the world,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a blog post last week. Presumably, Google and YouTube’s lobbying efforts will now shift to focus on members of the European Parliament to vote down the rules.In September 2016, the European Commission proposed to modernize the two-decades-old EU copyright rules in order “for European culture to flourish and circulate.” In December 2018, EU co-legislators agreed on new rules to make it easier for European broadcasters to make certain programming available on their live TV or catch-up services online.last_img read more

EA registers domains for Battlefield 13 through 20 secures FIFA license

first_imgEA is making some serious long term commitments to its most lucrative game series of late, to the point where we will be playing iterations of today’s popular games all through the 2020s.The exclusive Star Wars games deal clearly wasn’t enough, because yesterday EA Sports managed to secure the FIFA license until 2022, so that’s another nine annual football game releases and three more World Cups to cash in on. But that FIFA deal pales in comparison to what EA looks to have planned for the Battlefield series.You can currently play Battlefield 3 while we wait for Battlefield 4 to be released later this year. It’s a popular series, so no one would be surprised to see it run for a few more years at least. In fact, EA already owns the domain names for Battlefield2.com through to Battlefield9.com. That clearly isn’t future-proof enough for EA, though, as the publisher has just registered Battlefield13.com through Battlefield20.com. I’m sure they’d love to own the 10, 11, and 12 versions as well, but some third-party managed to snap them up before EA could hit the buy button.So, if you’re a fan of the FIFA football games you are going to be well catered for over the next 9 years. But Battlefield gamers are more likely to suffer series fatigue, because even if EA and DICE squeezed out a new game in the series every year, we wouldn’t get to Battlefield 20 until 2029. Your guess is as good as mine as to how we’d be experiencing the game by then–maybe a seventh generation Oculus Rift headset, full-body sensor suit, and omnidirectional treadmill, perhaps?last_img read more

Breakthrough on NHS as consensus reached with parties

first_imgTHE government on Thursday expressed satisfaction on the consensus between all heads of the parliamentary parties during their meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades as to how to proceed with the National Health Scheme (NHS).The meeting was part of the president’s initiative to steer steps leading up to the implementation of a health system.Getting all of the political parties on board was very important, the government announced earlier in the month, as this was a major task and the support of everyone was necessary. The meeting aimed at exchanging of ideas and the formation of a common policy that would lead to a comprehensive proposal for the final implementation of the NHS.Following the meeting, deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said that the heads of the political parties had come to a mutual understanding on six issues concerning the NHS, the implementation of which would be based on the studies and planning of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO). Papadopoulos said they also agreed that hospital autonomy was necessary as it was an “integral part of the NHS planning”.“(They also agreed) that the adoption of bills on the autonomy of hospitals and the implementation of the NHS will be done simultaneously and its gradual implementation, will be based on schedules that will be set,” he said. The fourth point they agreed to, he said, was that “an important precondition” would be the completion as soon as possible of the HIO’s tender bid for the NHS software programme.At the same time, Papadopoulos said, “the effort will continue to solve or alleviate the day-to-day problems the public health sector is facing…”.The dialogue between the government and the political parties will continue in order to reach final decisions, he said.He added that the political leaders were presented with the government’s proposal which includes a road map for the implementation of the NHS. The parties, too he said, submitted theirs and another meeting would follow. “Some timeframes have been discussed”.“Everything that has been agreed today were very important,” Papadopoulos said.Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis also expressed his satisfaction on what has been agreed by the parties.He added that the NHS is not something abstract “that will come in our lives tomorrow,” but that the procedure for its implementation has begun.What was missing was understanding between political parties, he said, “which I believe now exists”, so that all aspects concerning the NHS are gradually implemented.“Today will be the beginning of a new era for healthcare,” Pamboridis said.Discussion on the NHS began at the cabinet last week, following the tabling of the bill on hospital autonomy by Pamboridis. As part of the government’s pledge to push forward with the implementation of the NHS, the health minister in cooperation with the finance minister and the undersecretary to the president, will continue dialogue with all stakeholders in the public and private sector.The NHS is a requirement of Cyprus’ bailout programme. Under the deal, Cyprus was supposed to offer a national healthcare scheme by 2015. A major reason for the delay is that the autonomy of state hospitals is still pending. Pamboridis submitted the bill to the cabinetBack in 2014, the then Health Minister Petros Petrides had announced that the NHS would indeed be introduced in 2015, but it would be implemented in stages and completed in 2016.Since then, dates have been constantly pushed back. You May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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