Rajya Sabha adjourned due to demise of sitting Congress member

first_imgNew Delhi, May 12 (PTI) Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day today as a mark of respect towards sitting Congress member Praveen Rashtrapal, who died this morning after suffering a heart attack. Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari announced the news of the demise of Rashtrapal and after paying respects to the departed soul adjourned the House for the day as a mark of respect.Rashtrapal was a member of upper house from Gujarat. He became member of Rajya Sabha in April 2006 and was re-elected in April 2012. He was also elected to the 13th Lok Sabha in October 1999. Rashtrapal retired as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax and was also associated with the trade union movement of Income Tax employees. PTI RNK RTlast_img

Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar among 50 under 30 Indians in Forbes list of super achievers

first_imgOver 50 Indians, including gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and actress Alia Bhatt, are among Forbes list of super achievers from Asia under the age of 30 who are “pushing boundaries of innovation”.The second Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list 2017 features 300 impressive young entrepreneurs — 30 in 10 categories, including entertainment, finance and venture capital, retail, social entrepreneurs and enterprise technology, under the age of 30 years who are pushing the boundaries of innovation.India have 53 achievers on the list, second only to China which has 76 honorees.Leading the pack from India is Karmakar, 23, who became the first Indian female gymnast to ever compete in the Olympics during the last games held in Rio de Janeiro – and the first Indian gymnast to compete in 52 years.”While she didn’t win a medal, she ranked an impressive fourth on her first-ever Olympic outing, missing the bronze by a hairs breadth – 0.15 points,” Forbes said adding that she performed the Produnova vault in the finals – making her one of only five gymnasts to ever successfully do so.Fellow athlete Malik, 24, became the first Indian woman to win a medal in Rio in wrestling, where she bagged the bronze.Forbes noted that Malik, who hails from a small Indian town Rohtak, faced a lot of local opposition to her desire to wrestle when she took up the sport at age 12.Srikanth Bolla, 25, founder of Bollant Industries has been featured in the manufacturing and energy category. Bolla was born blind into a family of farmers in rural India and “went on to become the first international blind student at MIT”, where he studied business management. Post-MIT, Bolla chose to return to India where he set up Bollant Industries in Hyderabad, a company that employs and trains differently-abled individuals to manufacture eco-friendly and compostable packaging.advertisementBhatt, 24, has acted in over 20 high-grossing Bollywood movies, with at least six of them grossing well over USD 15 million worldwide in opening weeks.The list also features Sharath Gayakwad, 25, Indias first Paralympic swimmer, coach and Arjuna award winner who has won 96 medals.”Swimming wasnt enough – he realised that the struggle to find swim apparel was still difficult in India – so he formed Gamatics, an aggregator between international brands and domestic retailers, for anyone to find swimwear in India,” Forbes said.Trisha Shetty, 26, is the founder of SheSays, an Indian non-profit that empowers the countrys women to act against sexual violence by providing education, legal, medical as well as psychological support.So far, the organisation has engaged more than 60,000 young people through educational workshops and online, creating awareness and support to survivors who often reach out to share their personal stories and ask for help through SheSays social media platforms.On the list is Ankit Kawatra, 25, who founded Feeding India, which aims to solve the countrys hunger problem by providing free meals through volunteers and donation centres.It operates a smartphone app where restaurants and individuals can sign up to donate food, which are then collected and distributed to people in need.The youngest Indians on the list are brothers Sanjay, 15, and Shravan Kumaran, 17, who founded GoDimensions, a mobile app developer five years ago. To date, theyve built a total of seven apps for the App Store and three for Google Play, including goDonate, a platform for sharing excess food, clothes and furniture with those in need.Their apps have clocked over 70,000 downloads in over 60 countries. They hold the distinction of being the youngest Mobile Application Programmers in India by Apple, Forbes said.The list also features 29-year-old Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder of hike, an instant messaging service designed to rival WhatsApp, 29-year-old Vaishnavi Murali, founder of Eikowa Art, an India-based online art gallery curating works from many of the countrys contemporary artists.Indian-American author, screenwriter and filmmaker Kovid Gupta, 28, and Amanat Anand, 24, Shubham Issar, 23, and Yogita Agrawal, 23, co-founders of SoaPen, a teaching tool in the form of a wearable soap crayon, are also featured in the list.Forbes said it was fascinating to see entrepreneurs who are using technology to empower their communities and overcome cultural barriers.last_img read more

11-15 years old? TFA wants YOU!

first_imgTFA is proud to announce the development, piloting and introduction of the AusSquad program. TFA is focused on the continued development of junior participation in sport and the growth of community links in sport. The AusSquad program will become a key element in the TFA junior framework and a key link between the AusTouch Program and pre-elite senior competition.11 to 15-year-olds are the target of the launch, which will involve a demonstration of the program’s clinics and will be conducted by a number of Australian Open players and coaches. The participants need to be there at 5.00pm for the launch to commence at 5.30pm. The participants are then encouraged to stay at the fields to watch the National Training Squads take on the Alliance in their first ever encounter. The participants will receive a free AusSquad shirt as well as a free barbecue taking place on the night. To be a part of the launch, please contact TFA’s National Sport Development Coordinator, Adam Raptis on adam.raptis@austouch.com.au by Thursday, 9 September 2010. Please click on the attached flyer for more information. Related Filesaussquad14-jpglast_img read more

City receives 18 mm rain on Sunday morning

first_imgNew Delhi: Rains lashed some parts of the city on Sunday morning, providing much-needed relief to the people from the sultry weather. The city received 1.8 mm rain on Sunday morning, said a MeT department official. Rain, however, eluded many parts of the city, including those covered by Ridge, Palam and Ayanagar weather stations, he said. Cloudy skies with possibility of light rain is forecast for the day. The minimum temperature was 27.6 degrees Celsius, three degrees above the average in the season. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 35 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity was 81 per cent at 8.30 AM, said the MeT official. The maximum temperature was 35.2 degrees Celsius whereas the minimum was 27.6 degrees Celsius on Saturday.last_img

I am done with public life says former BC premier Christy Clark

first_imgVANCOUVER – Former British Columbia premier Christy Clark says a disappointing finish on election night had her feeling like she should leave politics, but her head didn’t catch up with her heart until shortly before she told her caucus of her decision.Clark, 51, looked relaxed and relieved as she gave her last news conference Monday with her teenage son Hamish at her side, calling her 6-1/2 years as premier “an incredible journey.” She announced Friday that she would be resigning as leader of the Liberal party.“I took a long walk along the lakeshore on Friday morning and I knew it was time to leave,” she said of the decision that had been percolating since the May 9 election, when the Liberal party finished one seat shy of a majority.“I didn’t want to leave in the midst of chaos so I stuck around,” Clark said, adding thoughts about resigning grew last month when Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon asked NDP Leader John Horgan to govern.Clark said she had the full support of “every single person” in her caucus the day before she made her announcement, but felt her departure would give the Liberal party a chance to renew itself and prepare for the Opposition benches after 16 years in power.She said the timing of her exit is good for both her and the party because she doesn’t believe there will be an election in the fall.She will also be giving up her seat in the legislature, triggering a byelection in Kelowna West within six months.“I am done with public life,” Clark said. “There is nothing worse than a politician hanging on because they think they’re irreplaceable.”Clark said she’s proud of her party’s accomplishments, including five consecutive balanced budgets and the creation of the Great Bear Rainforest.However, she was widely criticized last month for abandoning long-time Liberal ideals with a throne speech that adapted promises from the NDP and Greens, including a commitment to a poverty-reduction plan and adding $1 billion over four years for child care and early childhood development.Her party was ultimately defeated in a non-confidence vote following an NDP-Green deal. That alliance will have a two-seat majority when Clark vacates her seat.Clark said she has no immediate career plans but will do some gardening and “get Hamish to do his homework because Grade 11’s a busy year.”Mom and son said they’re looking forward to going to the theatre and Clark said she’ll likely be a “stage mom” to Hamish, who she said is a talented actor.Clark was elected to the B.C. legislature in 1996 but left politics in 2004 to spend time with her son. She made a failed bid for mayor of Vancouver the following year before launching a successful leadership bid for the Liberals in 2011.Hamish Telford, a political science professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, said Clark could still make a political comeback if the Liberal party drafts her back into the fold, especially if the potentially fragile New Democrats fall in the coming months.He said that in 1979, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau left politics when the Progressive Conservatives had a minority government under Joe Clark.“Then the Clark government fell before the Liberals had a new leader. Caucus asked Trudeau to come back and he did and his greatest accomplishment in politics came after that with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982,” Telford said.However, the former premier dismissed a return to politics, even saying she won’t be getting involved in any leadership campaigns for candidates vying for her job.“I’m not planning on going back, that’s for sure. Politics isn’t a happy job. It’s not a fun job. It’s a fulfilling job.”— Follow CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

Tis the season for doorstep stealing Shoppers vent about delivery security

first_imgTodd Bailey is fed up with delivery companies that drop his online purchases at his door.A few years ago, the Grande Prairie, Alta., resident was at the hospital for the birth of his child when a big-screen TV he had ordered was left on his front stoop.Bailey figures the enormous box, a target for would-be thieves, was there nearly 24 hours. The frequent online shopper has been repeatedly frustrated that expensive purchases have been left unattended rather than transported to a safe location like a post office.“It’s not the first time but it still surprises me when you come home and there’s a big package on your doorstep out there for everyone to see,” Bailey says.“I think the assumption is it’s being delivered to a person and not to an address. The assumption is it’s being delivered to go inside the house.”For some shoppers, having a package left at their home — especially if it’s placed in an inconspicuous spot — is preferable to trekking to a faraway depot that’s always busy.But Facebook neighbourhood groups and local news broadcasts are now frequently reporting on thieves caught on home security cameras stealing packages left outside.On Thursday, Bailey tweeted a photo to Purolator of a box left against his door. It was a Christmas gift from his mother for his seven-year-old son.“It’s almost too easy (for a thief),” he says. “It just boggles your mind.”In response to his tweet, a customer service representative for Purolator replied: “Our delivery service requires a signature however if the sender selects the signature-not-required service, and there’s no risk of it being stolen or damaged, we’ll honour it.”There are no easy answers for consumers who are victims of theft.In an email, a Purolator spokeswoman said “the receiver should notify local authorities. They can also file a claim with Purolator.”Meanwhile, Canada Post and UPS Canada both say shoppers should contact the retailer. FedEx Canada did not respond to an interview request but a page on its website invites customers to file a claim if a package is lost.Amazon.ca shoppers are told — if they read the legalese in the site’s conditions of use — that “risk of loss and title for items purchased from Amazon.ca pass to you upon our delivery to the carrier or, if such items must cross an international border, then risk of loss and title pass to you when they clear customs.”Amazon added in a statement that “the vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue. In the rare case something occurs, we work with customers directly to make it right.”The Seattle-based company thinks it’s solved the problem with its new Amazon Key product, which allows a customer’s door to be wirelessly unlocked to accomodate a delivery. A camera records the drop-off to protect against anything inappropriate and the door locks as soon as the delivery is complete. The service is not yet available in Canada.Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton agrees that package theft is still “a small issue that gets a lot of attention,” but could not provide any figures on how many complaints the organization receives.While he acknowledged it does happen, he notes the volume of parcel deliveries is at an all-time high.“What we have right now with (holiday) online shopping is we’re delivering over one million parcels a day across the country,” says Hamilton, noting the postal service hit that daily marker 60 times this year.He invites shoppers that are afraid of theft to use Canada Post’s FlexDelivery service, which allows online purchases to be directed to a post office for pickup.But some Canada Post locations have been overloaded by packages being stored for online shoppers. On Friday, there were six across the country that were jammed full and unable to accept any new deliveries.“The one part of the process we can’t control if a parcel goes to a post office is when people will pick it up. About 80 per cent of the parcels that are dropped off at a post office get picked up within three days and there’s about 20 per cent that will linger,” Hamilton says.“And at this time of year when more and more parcels are arriving every day with online shopping, that can add up.”He added that one major retailer’s recent sale on the Instant Pot wrecked havoc with Canada Post’s network, given how large the cooking devices are.“(We) were chock-a-block with Instant Pots … so you can imagine how that could eat up a lot of space in a short period of time.”Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, says e-commerce is still in its relative infancy so it’s not surprising that there are inefficiencies in the delivery process.He also believes that on a percentage basis, the number of packages being stolen is small.“Consumers love the convenience and at the moment, I don’t think there’s an immense danger in people looking to take deliveries,” Cran said.“I don’t get the impression at the moment that it’s anywhere near the quantity that would prevent us from utilizing these services. We value being able to order on Thursday night and maybe get it on Friday morning.”last_img read more

Reflecting upon the transient nature of female mind

first_imgA bureaucrat by profession and novelist by choice, Dr Rashmi Kamal, launched her debut work on fiction ‘The Philanderer’ at Oxford Book Store, Park Street, Kolkata on March 3, 2019. The launch was held in the gracious presence of Jogen Chowdhary, eminent painter; and Subodh Sarkar, an accomplished writer as well as the Chairman, Poetry Academy, Government of West Bengal.The story of ‘The Philandered’ gives two aspects of how people live in India and how they ought to live a dilemma that has no respite. A story of a restless mind. Expressed in a clear yet silent voice, the protagonist of the story is a small town girl who meets the elite section of the city on her journey, around whom the story is woven. The story begins with a prohibitive note, a taboo about the social norms in which the females ought to live in a society. The wings that Reva aspires to use as a symbol of freedom is trimmed by herself in bits and pieces due to her emotional turbulence. Losing for her (any battle) is like a setback created by her own hands. In this process, she runs after a mirage and she is never complacent. Neil, who happens to be her first love, has an everlasting impression on her. His image is perceivable in every man she meets in her life. She looks for him among every bit and pieces of everything that she comes across. Having no solace anywhere, she agrees for a marriage in which she has no interest. But the pain never withers. She looks for the connect everywhere. She knows her actions would be eventually scrutinised by society but she can’t restrain herself. She goes with the flow and leaves falling with the zephyr. She befriends Shiv only to discover that he wasn’t true to her. Dejected and shamed by him, she finds comfort in the arms of Raj who loves her truly. Fate has something in store for her when he leaves her too. Her love for Raj grows in abundance once he is no more, something that she never realized when he was available for him. Never did she imagine that Neil was looking for her, from behind, everywhere and every time. The novel reflects upon the transient nature of a female mind. The writer has put down all flavours to romanticise every situation that arises. Being her debut novel, the author quotes, “I have tried to pour in as many human feelings as possible, for the readers to instill a bout of empathy with the characters with whom I ate, drank and slept for last few years.” It is not renunciation. It is not reconciliation either. It is not even a decision. She doesn’t surrender her independence or her native wit. But there is a change, an acceptance that the readers cannot miss. Rashmi Kamal, by profession a doctor turned bureaucrat, she has qualified civil services for her greater dreams for the nation. She is originally from a small town Bhagalpur. The experiences from Patna Medical College have left long-lasting footprints on her journey and Kolkata is the melting point of her cognition. In her debut novel ‘The Philanderer’ she explores the uncharted mind of a woman who undergoes upheaval in life and refuses how it is supposed to be, thus, she quotes ” Bold insertions were not necessary but very much required, simply to establish a connection with thousands of readers who live and love life like my characters.”last_img read more

Ivory Coast Honors CEO of Attijariwafa Bank With National Order Medal

Rabat –  The Grand Chancellor of the National Order of Ivory Coast, Henriette Diabaté, presented the medal of Commander of the National Order of Ivory Coast to Mohamed El Kettani, CEO of Attijariwafa Bank.  Acting on behalf of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, Diabaté honored the bank CEO on July 22 at the Grand Chancellery of National Order of Ivory Coast in Abidjan.Among the 150 guests who attended the ceremony were the Ambassador of Morocco to Ivory Coast as well as several Ivorian Ministers. Members of the Attijariwafa bank, Ivorian Bank Corporation (SIB, subsidiary of the group), other local subsidiaries of the Group, corporate clients of the Attijariwafa bank in Ivory Coast, and heads of partner organizations of the SIB also attended the award giving. Speaking on this occasion, Diabaté congratulated El Kettani for “the quality and volume” of Attijariwafa Bank’s activities in Ivory Coast at a time when Morocco represents the first African economic partner of Ivory Coast.“I am particularly happy to see in you a figure and a symbol of thecontinuity of the friendly relations between our two countries,” affirmed Diabaté.A press release from Attijariwafa bank group mentioned that “this distinction is a recognition of the commitment of the group, and of Mr. El Kettani, for the consolidation of Moroccan-Ivorian relations in particular and for strengthening South-South cooperation in general.”El Kettani noted that this distinction is for him as well as for all the group’s employees. He sees it as an encouragement to continue the efforts made for an efficient and inclusive South-South cooperation.“In the space of a few years, our Ivorian subsidiary (SIB) has become a major player in household financing, since it granted, on average, 15,000 consumer loans per year,” said El Kettani. read more

Moroccan Hotels Top the Charts in Travel Leisures 2019 Worlds

Rabat – Marrakech’s Royal Mansour and Kasbat Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains won their categories.Travel + Leisure runs an annual competition, where readers of the famous monthly travel magazine vote for their favorite hotels based on the quality of the rooms and facilities, location, service, food, and value.This year, readers voted the Royal Mansour of Marrakech as the best city hotel in North Africa and the Middle East.  It is yet another award for the luxury hotel in the heart of Marrakech. In 2018, the Royal Mansour won 7 awards including the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide annual award and the World Luxury Spa Award.The hotel was commissioned by the King of Morocco. It is spread over five stories and an estate, with multiple restaurants, 53 riads, and a 2,500 square meter spa. Many guests report having an “exceptional experience” on TripAdvisor. “Positively amazing in every way. [sic] This was our 4th time to the Royal Mansour – you are treated like royalty from the moment you arrive until the second you leave,” says one guest. For another, “the surroundings/service/décor/food/everything [were] the best I have ever experienced in a hotel.” The riads cost between $1,195 and $6,752 per night. Of the nearly 600 reviews, most are excellent, although some are more critical. “The common area is filled with people posing and taking photos,” complained one reviewer. “The design might appeal to some guests, but for my taste, it screamed gaudy and pretentious,” they added. A minority report having a “terrible” or “poor” experience. “Pure esthetics over genuine service and quality,” reports one guest. “For those with more money than sense,” finds another.Read also: Three Moroccan hotels among four best hotels in AfricaFor Travel + Leisure readers though, the Royal Mansour deserves recognition.Marrakech’s Four Seasons Resort and the famous Mamounia Hotel, also both made it to the top ten list.Travel + Leisure also awards the readers’ “top five resort hotels in North Africa and the Middle East” located outside major cities. Kasbat Tamadot won this category.Kasbah Tamadot is the former governor’s mansion at the base of the Atlas mountains. The 28 room hotel near the Toubkal, Morocco’s highest summit an hour’s drive south of Marrakech is owned by the British entrepreneur Richard Branson.The hotel has collected hundreds of positive reviews on Trip Advisor. “100% over the top AMAZING,” says one guest. “The place will make your draw drop! Wow!,” says another. “When you arrive at the hotel, it feels almost magical. The grounds are unbelievably beautiful, complete with a pool overlooking endless breathtaking views,” describes another.But you can’t please everyone. “Seriously disappointing! In fact, pretty downright awful,” complains a guest.“The fixed smile Branson-worshipping management, recently transferred from the Caribbean, were irritating to everyone we talked to and were better suited to a Virgin gym reception than a Moroccan hideaway in the mountains,” criticizes another.The rooms and suites cost between $600 and $2,700 a night in the low season. read more

Latin American and Caribbean exports drop 24 per cent in 2009 UN

7 January 2010The value of total exports from Latin America and the Caribbean in 2009 fell 24 per cent compared to the previous year due to the global economic crisis, according to a new United Nations study released today. The value of imports in the region also declined by 25 per cent, according to “International Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean 2009: Crisis and Recovery,” published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).The 24 per cent drop in the value of the region’s exports represents a combined 15 per cent decline in value and 9 per cent decrease in volume. “This simultaneous decrease in price and volume is unprecedented in recent history. The last similar situation took place in 1937,” states the report, which updates a study published last August.It also stated that although both exports and imports declined significantly, the drop is not as bad as during the first part of 2009, when they declined by 31 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively. This implies a better outlook for 2010, according to a news release issued by ECLAC.The report attributed the “economic recovery” in the last quarter of 2009 to, among others, the partial rise in the price of several commodities, such as copper, zinc, oil, wheat and soya, and the strong demand from China since the second quarter of last year. Significant differences were also cited between countries and subregions. While exports diminished 42 per cent in Venezuela and 32 per cent in Andean countries as a whole, they decreased 29 per cent in the Caribbean, 22 per cent in Mexico and Chile, and only 6 per cent in Central America (excluding Mexico). Mining and oil exports fared the worst, according to the study, with an average decline of 42.3 per cent from January to September 2009. Meanwhile, manufactured products dropped 25.4 per cent and agricultural and livestock exports decreased 18.4 per cent. Last month ECLAC predicted that Latin America and the Caribbean will bounce back faster than expected from the global financial crisis, with growth projected at over 4 per cent in 2010. In its annual report, the Commission said it expects positive growth rates for most countries in the region, but notes there are still doubts about whether the recovery will be sustainable, since external scenarios remain uncertain and could impact the area. read more

PM designate seeks backing on National issues

Wickremesinghe said he was ready to take oaths as Prime Minister and pledged to work for the betterment of his people. “We will carry this forward as I will take oaths as Prime Minister and I have discussed with President Maithripala Sirisena the need to take this concept forward where we all need to build a consensus on our national policies,” he added.Wickremesinghe who ousted former President Mahinda Rajapakse and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the parliamentary polls said that he would now put forward a national plan which would require all parties to work together. “We want everyone to come together now. Think of the country and think of the people. We can achieve unity and progress in this country if we work together even for two to three years for the sake of the people,” he said.“Together with the president and all party leaders we will be looking forward to having a new era of politics and government in this country,” he added.Wickremesinghe is to take oaths tomorrow as Prime Minister after which his new Cabinet will be appointed. (Colombo Gazette) Prime Minister designate Ranil Wickremesinghe, today sought the support of all political parties represented in Parliament to work together on National issues.The Prime Minister made the appeal when making a brief statement to the media at Temple Trees today. “On Aug 17 the people of this country exercising their franchise in the parliamentary election confirmed the Jan. 8 revolution and the good governance we have started,” he said. read more

UN rights expert on arbitrary executions set to visit Afghanistan

A United Nations human rights expert is set to undertake a fact-finding mission later this month to look into extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in Afghanistan, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights announced today.Asma Jahangir, a Special Rapporteur of the Geneva-based UN Commission on Human Rights, is scheduled to begin her 10-day visit on 13 October in Kabul. During the mission, Ms. Jahangir is slated to meet with Government officials and UN representatives. She is also expected to visit a number of cities and towns, where she will meet with local authorities, international agencies and others concerned.”I will endeavour to meet all relevant parties and interlocutors in order to make a balanced and independent assessment,” said Ms. Jahangir, who is expected to prepare a report on her visit for the next session of the Commission in March.The mission, which came at Ms. Jahangir’s request, was agreed to by the Government of Afghanistan and supported by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). read more

UN envoy to Afghanistan says positive trends must spread to south

The senior United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today reported economic growth in the war-ravaged nation, but emphasized that strengthened cooperation with Pakistan is key to stability in their volatile border region. Briefing reporters in Kabul, Tom Koenigs, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has risen by 13.8 per cent, up from 8 per cent last year. But growth was only found in three quarters of the country, he said, acknowledging that the security situation in the south has not stabilized. “That is where we have to improve. I say explicitly ‘we’ because UNAMA will try to take its share [of responsibility] to improve the situation,” he said. “We will try to increase our presence in the southern provinces in the course of this year to support the Government to function and to improve their functions.”Mr. Koenigs, who met recently with officials in Pakistan, said they are “aware that they have to prevent a Talibanization of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”During his meetings in Pakistan, he said he urged the Government to continue its cooperation with Afghanistan on security issues.Responding to questions, he pointed out that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are fighting in the border regions the Talibanization through military actions against Al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists.“You know that the Pakistani Army and the Afghan National Army are losing soldiers in this battle,” he said. “Civilians are dying on both sides and there is a clear knowledge that stability in Afghanistan and stability in Pakistan are closely linked.”Emphasizing that security operations must be accompanied by improved governance, he voiced optimism that change would come. “I think the efforts being made at this moment in the southern provinces are very promising,” he said. “Looking back over the last four years, the security situation has improved and quite a number of conflicts have ceased to exist, and that is why we are optimistic.”He emphasized that peace lies in tolerance and not extremism. “Extremists, terrorists and other enemy action in Afghanistan will only lead to what you have experienced in the last decades,” he said.“The international community and the United Nations are clearly committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan in their fight against terrorism and extremism.” read more

Choppy trading likely this week amid heavy slate of earnings economic data

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market is in for more choppy trading this week amid a heavy slate of earnings and economic data and an investment climate without massive stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.“It’s just going to be a flood of news coming out,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.“It will be interesting to see (if) the markets can build on that. (Or) are the markets just going to top out again and come back down?”Traders will digest the latest reading on U.S. manufacturing and factory orders and find out if the European Central Bank plans more stimulus aimed at staving off recession in the eurozone. Canadian data includes manufacturing shipments.And at the end of the week, employment data for the U.S. and Canada will be released.Meanwhile, it’s a heavy week for earnings, with reports from heavyweights including Talisman Energy (TSX:TLM), TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP), Enbridge (TSX:ENB), insurers Sun Life (TSX:SLF) and Great-West Lifeco (TSX:GWO), Tim Horton’s (TSX:THI), Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) and Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ).The TSX ended last week ahead 69 points or 0.5 per cent as stocks continue to claw back some of the losses racked up during a sell-off that peaked mid-October.The Dow industrials fared much better, gaining 585 points or 3.5 per cent and actually ending the week at a new record high.But the Toronto market is weighed down by the resource sector, with the gold component in particular taking a hammering last week. It lost a good 15 per cent as bullion prices fell sharply in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would end its massive bond purchases, or quantitative easing, at the end of October.The showing last week left the Toronto market down 7.25 per cent from its early September highs, although still ahead 7.1 per cent year to date.Cieszynski said it will be tough for the Toronto market to improve on its performance because of weakness in the commodity sectors. The energy sector has also been losing ground as oil prices try to find a floor around US$80 a barrel amid lower demand and rising supplies.South of the border, Cieszynski said that with New York indexes recovering all or most of the losses sustained during the fall retracement, it’s tough to see a catalyst that would lift these markets further.“We’ve already had the rally in the last couple of weeks,” he observed.“The U.S. isn’t stimulating any more, the earnings are OK but they’re not a total barn burner and there have been enough misses that you have to wonder — and the longer you wait, the closer the interest rate hikes come (from the Fed).”On the economic front, traders are particularly anxious to see how job creation held up in Canada and, especially the U.S., in October.U.S. job growth has been pegged at 228,000, slightly lower than the September gain of 248,000 with the jobless rate holding steady at 5.9 per cent.At the same time, markets may be at a point where good economic data can be viewed in a negative light as it raises concerns that the Fed could act on upping interest rates sooner than thought.“That’s kind of the environment that I think we are in right now,” said Philip Petursson, director of institutional equities at Manulife Asset Management. “It’s a guessing game as to how is the Fed going to view this data.”But he also pointed out that the Fed has a problem in raising rates. While it would like to raise rates closer to more historic norms, economic weakness in the rest of the world makes this difficult.“Just imagine the reaction in the currency markets if the Fed indicated they were going to start raising rates when the rest of the world was cutting. That actually hurts U.S. businesses — 46 per cent of S&P 500 earnings come from outside the U.S. so this is a headwind.”Meanwhile, in Canada, data is likely to show that job growth stalled in October following the huge 74,000 gain in September. Economists looked for the economy to have shed about 8,000 jobs in October, but the jobless rate should stay unchanged at 6.8 per cent. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Choppy trading likely this week amid heavy slate of earnings, economic data by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 2, 2014 8:00 am MDT read more

CRC ORE and Austmine in new partnership

first_imgThe CRC for the Optimisation of Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) and Austmine have launched a new partnership “to deliver the next wave of innovation in mining and create new export opportunities for Australia’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services [METS] sector.” The partnership “provides a framework for collaboration between the mining industry, research institutions and the METS sector to develop the innovative solutions needed to ensure Australia retains its position as a global leader in mining.”Speaking at the launch of partnership and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, CRC ORE Chair Jonathan Loraine acknowledged the challenges currently faced by the mining industry and emphasised that “the next wave of significant productivity improvements will require a whole-of-business system approach”.This is the core focus of CRC ORE. “CRC ORE will develop an advanced manufacturing approach for mining; targeting operational inefficiencies, reducing energy use, and enabling economic recovery of lower-grade ore deposits. The approach will generate the business case required to activate numerous latent technologies by defining value in the context of system-wide manufacturing principles. This will stimulate creation and expansion of global markets for METS companies that support the mining sector by delivering productivity improvements made possible through innovation.”Loraine recognised that the participation of Australia’s METS sector would be critical to the success of the CRC. “It is these organisations…that have the skills, expertise and vision to help take innovations from the laboratory to the mine and ultimately to the market.” As the peak body representing the METS sector, Austmine is at the helm of one of Australia’s most innovative and successful industries. In 2012, the METS sector invested in excess of A$1.6 billion in research and development and generated A$90 billion in gross annual revenue.Chair of Austmine Elizabeth Lewis-Gray welcomed the MoU. “Austmine promotes the Australian METS sector globally and encourages the advancement of innovation and technology in mining. This partnership will create opportunities for the Australian METS sector to collaborate with large end-users and globally renowned researchers. Many of our companies are small and medium enterprises which would not otherwise have the capacity to be involved in research and innovation at this scale. The establishment of a mining innovation exchange will ensure Austmine members have access to regularly updated information on the latest technologies under development and the opportunity to commercialise research outcomes. This will support long-term growth in our technology and service export markets”.last_img read more

Barbra Streisand profoundly sorry for comments about Michael Jacksons accusers

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Hayley Halpin Barbra Streisand ‘profoundly sorry’ for comments about Michael Jackson’s accusers Allegations about the late singer have surfaced in the documentary Leaving Neverland. 62 Comments Barbra Streisand Image: Sonia Moskowitz via PA Images Share126 Tweet Email https://jrnl.ie/4558493 51,974 Views “I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives,” she said, addressing the allegations. “I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them,” she said.Members of the Jackson family have denied the allegations and defended Michael Jackson.  Image: Sonia Moskowitz via PA Images Source: Barbra Streisand/Twitter https://t.co/VYQLQullhd pic.twitter.com/10MluYcCWp— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) March 23, 2019 Short URL Sunday 24 Mar 2019, 3:29 PM Mar 24th 2019, 3:29 PM Barbra Streisand BARBRA STREISAND HAS apologised over her comments about Michael Jackson and two men who have accused him of sexual abuse, which she said “didn’t kill them”. In an interview with The Times, the actress and singer said she “absolutely” believed the allegations made by Wade Robson (36) and James Safechuck (41) in the recently released documentary Leaving Neverland.However, she added that Jackson’s alleged actions “didn’t kill them”. “You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there,” Streisand told the newspaper.“They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”When asked if she was angry with the late singer over the allegations, Streisand added: “It’s a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him.” Allegations about the late singer have surfaced in the documentary Leaving Neverland, where two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, outline the abuse they say they were subjected to.Both Safechuck and Robson allege that Jackson abused them, gaining their families’ trust and manipulating them into keeping their sexual relations secret.Streisand has since posted an apology on social media, saying she is “profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding” she caused by not choosing her words more carefully. last_img read more

Vic Govt unveils language vision for schools

first_imgMany more Prep students in Victoria will be learning a language by 2015 according to a far-reaching plan announced by the state government. The bold initiative to increase and improve the teaching of languages in Victorian schools and to reverse a 30 per cent decline over the last ten years in the number of primary schools offering a language was unveiled this week at the launch of The Victorian Government’s Vision for Languages Education. Hosted by Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon and Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras, the launch announced new scholarships for teachers, as part of the Coalition government’s expressed commitment that all government school students in Victoria, from Prep to Year 10, would be learning a language by 2025. The Education Minister also announced that the government’s vision would be implemented by offering start-up grants to schools to encourage the introduction of languages programs. Scholarships of up to $20,000 for undergraduate teachers and $50,000 for schoolteachers to become qualified languages teachers, and a Certificate IV in Community Languages Teaching at Victoria’s TAFE institutes will be introduced. Mr Dixon said the Victorian Government had already trained 30 languages teachers to teach subjects such as science and history in another language, and funded 14 school clusters involving 103 schools to trial new approaches to languages education.The minister reported that the Victorian Government had already provided $16.3 million to accredited Community Languages Schools to support after-school-hours languages education for students, and $280,000 to enhance the sister-school program, linking Victorian schools with schools across Australia and overseas. “The Victorian Government knows that when students learn another language they also improve their first language, develop better problem solving skills, and increase their awareness and respect of other people and cultures,” Mr Dixon said. Claire Read, Principal of Lalor North Primary School, told Neos Kosmos that the new support offered was warmly welcomed. “There’s a lot of research which shows that bilingual students have better outcomes overall. At Lalor North we have many students who are learning two languages and developmentally it’s really positive for them.” Lalor North, which began its Greek language program in the 1970s, has a long established commitment to languages education and currently offers three language options for Prep and Grade 1. “Many people think it may be difficult or confusing for them, but actually we have students that move between two languages with great facility,” said Ms Read, adding that despite a crowded curriculum, in her experience introducing and expanding languages education had huge benefits. “When you see students who are able to communicate in different languages the learning outcomes improve; it’s fantastic and it’s worth giving it a go.” Jean Hellerud, Principal of Clarinda Primary School, renowned for its Greek program from Prep to Grade 6, also welcomed the announcement. “It’s very good news. We’re a small school on a small budget and I would love to be able to teach an Asian language. Perhaps the new start-up grants can help us,” said Ms Hellerud, who believes sustaining the teaching of a new language would be the challenge. “It’s the long-term funding of it that would become an issue.” Multicultural Minister Nicholas Kotsiras said he believed Victoria owed it to its young people to equip them with the linguistic and intercultural skills needed to succeed in a competitive and globalised world. “When we look overseas, we see languages being taught as a central part of the curriculum and we see how these nations capitalise on the success of their bilingual and multilingual citizens. “The non-English speaking world – including our closest neighbours and most important trading partners – are learning English in addition to their own languages. Imagine the opportunities and possibilities if we in Victoria are doing the same.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Sinodinos slams foreign aid backflip

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram With the federal government’s announcement that $375 million will be diverted from its foreign aid budget in 2012/2013 to pay for the spiralling costs of asylum seekers released into the community, the decision has met a wave of protest, including from those within its own ranks. With its border protection policies costing way beyond the government’s expectations, and its commitment to returning the budget to surplus next year, Treasury is looking to every corner of public expenditure in an effort to meet the target. Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr told reporters: “If you’re providing support for refugees, or potential refugees on your home turf, that’s regarded as equivalent to providing support for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan. “It is internationally accepted that spending on potential refugees onshore is the same as spending it on the same people offshore.” The controversial decision means deferring or cutting foreign aid projects to provide $375 million until June 2013 in order to provide basic services for refugee applicants in Australia. Coalition Senator Arthur Sinodinos told Neos Kosmos that the reallocation of funds was detrimental to Australia’s prestige, and more importantly those who relied on the aid overseas. “It’s not within the spirit of our aid program to be providing assistance in this manner for a domestic purpose, as opposed to helping people abroad. “The problem is that the Government has been running up a very high bill in terms of meeting the costs of processing and they’re looking around for budget-neutral ways to do it. “There’s already been a $6.5 billion border protection blow-out across the board. This pipeline has been allowed to build up too much over time.” Mr Sinodinos said the fact that Labor Party backbencher Melissa Parke has called the move “counterproductive”, and one NSW Labor MP – Janelle Saffin – has threatened a mass campaign targeted at the Treasurer’s office to protest, showed how the Government’s action has been widely deplored. The Senator added that the Coalition would have avoided the massive extra border protection costs at the heart of the re-allocation. “If we were in government I don’t believe there would have been this flow of boat people to Australia. “The budget would have been under more control, because the problem would have been under more control.” Mr Sinodinos said the budget transfer was particularly ill-judged in relation to Australia’s recent appointment to a seat on the UN Security Council. “We would have made aid commitments as part of our campaign for the seat, so we’re in a situation where we may be abrogating some of those commitments. It’ll be seen as another broken promise.” Acting Opposition Leader Julie Bishop echoed the Senator’s comments, saying that aid promised was a key element of Australia’s pitch to the UN – that it would increase its aid spending to 0.5 per cent of gross national income. “They have mislead countries into voting for them,” Ms Bishop told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday. She also criticised Senator Carr for trying to “sneak” the news of the aid diversion out before Christmas. “There can be no more excuses for Bob Carr … this is a direct attempt to take money away from developing countries overseas to make up for their border protection failings.” Indonesia is the largest recipient of foreign aid from Australia ($578 million). Papua New Guinea is the second largest ($491 million) and the Gillard government is now the third largest recipient. Meanwhile, in evidence provided to a parliamentary inquiry this week, refugee advocate Paris Aristotle told the inquiry that asylum seekers attempting to get to Australia by sea would increase in 2013. “At the current rate … we could see upwards of 25,000 to 30,000 people coming. There is simply no way the navy has the capacity to get to every boat that will get into distress in those circumstances,” said Mr Aristotle.last_img read more

Les premiers Nokia Lumia réfractaires à Windows phone 8

first_imgLes premiers Nokia Lumia réfractaires à Windows phone 8 !Les anciens smartphones Nokia n’accepteraient pas de passer de Windows Phone 7 à son successeur. Un problème technique qui pourrait impacter autant Microsoft que Nokia…Les utilisateurs équipés de smartphones pourvus du système d’exploitation Windows Phone 7 ne parviennent pas à installer Windows Phone 8… et la liste de toutes les améliorations promises. Frustrant !Selon Les Échos, les premiers smartphones de la gamme Lumia -sans plus de précisions – seraient incompatibles avec Windows Phone 8. La principale cause à cela : l’architecture du système d’exploitation qui bénéficie d’un noyau NT et non Windows CE. Voilà qui contrarie les plans de Nokia qui ambitionnait de revenir au premier plan des ventes de smartphones. Les ventes d’appareil Nokia pourraient en effet souffrir durablement d’un tel problème, empêchant l’évolution du système d’exploitation…Un expert d’Exane-BNP Paribas a ainsi commenté cette nouvelle dans Les Échos : “l’incompatibilité des actuels Lumia avec Windows 8 pourrait affecter la demande des consommateurs au deuxième et au troisième trimestre, causant une grande dépression dans les ventes de smartphones de Nokia”. Mais pour Microsoft, c’est également l’image même de Windows Phone qui pourrait se trouver écornée. D’autant plus que l’OS peine à dépasser les 2% de parts de marché actuellement…Le 12 avril 2012 à 19:30 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more