ExCabinet Secy slams CAG for reports on 2G coal block allocations

first_imgNew Delhi: Former Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi has slammed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for its reports on 2G spectrum allocation and coal block allotments, saying the auditing body had sought to “usurp” the government role of policy making and tried to enter the domain of policy making, which is not its remit. Referring to the report on 2G, he said, “It almost appeared as if the CAG wanted to exaggerate the figure of loss, treating the public as his audience rather than the PAC (Public Accounts Committee of Parliament) when he used the figure of 3G auctions held in 2010 to compute losses in licence given in early 2008.” Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist “The CAG report in the 2G case raised questions that had serious implications for governance and its approach to audit,” Chaturvedi wrote in his book ‘Challenges of Governance: An Insider’s View’. “While the CAG was correct in pointing out the errors in the allocation of licences, he also raised the issue of presumptive loss, which was taken as loss to government revenue,” the retired IAS officer said about an issue that had created a huge political uproar during the UPA-II period and led to stalling of Parliament for weeks. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Highlighting the “wide variation” in the audit body’s calculation of the market value of loss from Rs 33,000 crore to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the 2G spectrum allocation, the former top bureaucrat wrote, “By computing presumptive loss as loss to the government, the CAG tried to usurp the government’s role in making public policy.” Chaturvedi, who was the Cabinet Secretary from 2004 to 2007, said, “All losses are computed based on government policy when a decision is taken. It is prerogative of all governments to price their resources. This is part of public policy. Many pricing structures are, at times, below the market price. This may be necessary to stimulate economic growth or expand reach of services.” He said the government “clearly exercised a wise choice” by going for revenue-share and by pricing spectrum moderately, thus expanding the market rather than fixing prices at very high rates and “killing the golden telecom goose”. “The government decided against raising the spectrum charges for new licencees. The CAG felt that this was wrong and hence computed loss to the government based on the market value of spectrum. While doing so, he did not take a broad and more comprehensive economic view of the issue in assessing the policies of the telecom sector,” said Chaturvedi, who also served as a member of the Planning Commission and 13th Finance Commission after his tenure of Cabinet Secretary ended in 2007. “By deviating from the time-honoured principle of computing losses to the government based on difference between the pricing fixed by the government and the price actually charged, the CAG, by arriving at a sale price he thought should have been fixed, brought in uncertainty to the auditing process, as the exercise involved discovering the market value of the telecom licences given in violation of the FCFS (first come first served) policy,” he said. The Padma Bhushan awardee of 2010 added, “Market access was changing fast and growing at the rate of about 40 per cent per annum in 2003-2010. The type of 2G services was quite different from 3G, which included data. So neither were the market conditions for 2010 comparable to that of early 2008, nor was the type of spectrum allotted, viz, 3G, comparable to the allocations made to new licences. And yet this was chosen as the estimate of loss.” While targeting the government auditor, then headed by Vinod Rai, Chaturvedi said, “By moving into the realm of market value of telecom licences rather than sticking to the audited numbers of accounts, the CAG entered an area that needed a more comprehensive assessment than had been done before.” He wrote that if market value were to be assigned to the new licensees, the growth of the telecom market could take a different trajectory. “Wherever possible, the new players would try to recover the cost by focusing on value-added services instead of mere expansion. This could slow down growth and the access of common citizens to these services. The overall growth of the economy and governance benefits could be impacted. “Thus a comparison of loss required a more comprehensive assessment, including economic impact in the two scenarios: one with the rates on which allocation was made and the other based on different market values identified and indicated by the CAG,” the former bureaucrat wrote. “The cost-benefit comparison would then yield the implication of the decision to award the licences at the rates prevalent so far. Even this analysis, would involve a lot of assumptions. With different assumptions, the results would be different. The CAG thus entered an area that had large uncertainties,” he added. Chaturvedi said there was also the question of equity, “which was ignored by both the CAG and the SC in its judgement.” “All the earlier licencees had paid an entry fee and were annually paying a revenue share towards the licence fee and spectrum usage. While getting the licence, a start-up spectrum had been bundled along with it. The new licensees had to have similar terms so as to be able to provide competition, which was in the interest of consumers. But the CAG ignored this issue in his report. How the competition was going to be on a level-playing field and thus fair, was not considered at all,” he contended. Under the section “CAG’s Blunders in the Coal Saga”, he referred to the CAG’s report in May 2012 in which the auditor criticised the government’s allocation of coal blocks to private and government companies. The CAG computed a “huge benefit” of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private parties who were allotted these blocks, he noted. “However, there are serious concerns about the issues raised in the report. The CAG tried to enter the domain of policymaking, which is not the remit of the CAG but of the government,” the retired bureaucrat wrote. He said the CAG report “ignored the way decision-making is done in governments and came from a position which was, strictly speaking, factually incorrect.” He said many of its findings were “derived from first assuming what the government policy should have been and then computing profits to the private sector.” “The CAG failed to realize that when captive coal allocation was permitted by the legislature in 1993, there was no computation of how much profit the captive-mine allotees could derive, beyond which they would have to surrender any extra gain to the government,” he said. “The report also did not fully appreciate the overall economic logic of the decision made by the government in 1993 but focused on direct revenues from the coal block auction rather than on the huge overall economic benefits and revenues that would flow from it,” Chaturvedi said. “The CAG has also erred in observing that the allocation of captive coal blocks was not transparent,” he said. “The crux of the matter was whether in the given system, it was fair. The method used for this purpose, as in many other areas, was of an inter-ministerial committee with representation from all the concerned states. Such a method of selection is used widely in many areas, and the intention in these meetings is to consider the views of all stakeholders and then decide the best option for the sector,” he said. He said when the committee took a view considering the overall picture, “it was acting in the best interests of the sector” and “there were practically no representations against these decisions.”last_img read more

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A quick look at MP Leona Alleslev who left the Liberals for

first_imgOTTAWA – Leona Alleslev rose in the House of Commons Monday as a Liberal and spoke. By the time she was done, she had blasted the government, quit the party and joined the Official Opposition. Here are a few quick facts about the newest Conservative MP:Military experienceGraduated from the Royal Military College of Canada and served as a logistics officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, retiring as a captain.Close election victoryAlleslev ran as a Liberal in the 2015 election, narrowly defeating Costas Menegakis, the incumbent Conservative. She won by 1,093 votes in the newly created Toronto-area riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill.Parliamentary workAs an MP, she has served on the immigration and defence committees and as chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association. From December 2015 until January 2017, she also served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of public services and procurement.Quote“My attempts to raise my concerns with the government were met with silence. It is my duty to stand and be counted. Our country is at risk.”last_img read more

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Zakir Naik says ED is lying

first_imgMumbai: Absconding NRI tele-evangelist Zakir Naik on Friday slammed the Enforcement Director (ED) for alleging that though he had no earnings he had transferred Rs 46 crore in a six-year period. In a detailed statement, Naik said: “Why is the ED lying? When everyone – including all the government agencies – know that I have multiple businesses and revenue streams and my earnings have always reflected in the tax returns I have filed, why is ED lying about it?” Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh He sought to know “whether the pressure” is so huge that they (ED) had to resort to lies to achieve the goal set out by “their political bosses”. Naik’s rejoinder came two days after the ED filed a chargesheet before the Special PMLA Court’s Special Judge M.S. Azmi, accusing him of money-laundering. According to the ED chargesheet, Naik, an Islamic preacher, keeps travelling around the world with no “known sources” of income and yet he managed to transfer Rs 49.20 crore to his Indian bank accounts and that the total proceeds of the crime were around Rs 193 crore.last_img read more

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Security Council meets again to discuss violence in South Ossetia Georgia

The Council held an open meeting to discuss the crisis following earlier consultations among members, after holding an initial late-night meeting last night in the wake of the escalating clashes between Georgian and South Ossetian forces.Georgia’s Permanent Representative, Irakli Alasania, told this afternoon’s Council meeting that Russian forces have launched a “full-scale military invasion” of Georgian territory, with tanks and personnel entering the country and jets bombing airfields, military bases and villages.Mr. Alasania called on Russia to withdraw its forces, to stop the bombing campaign and to negotiate a ceasefire, adding that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was willing to take part in dialogue with Moscow.Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was Georgia that had carried out “a treacherous attack” on South Ossetia, in violation of a 1996 agreement ending earlier fighting between the Georgian and South Ossetian sides and in spite of Russian calls for negotiations and a ceasefire.Mr. Churkin said Georgian forces were bombarding towns, including those outside the immediate conflict zones, and had created panic among the civilian population, many of whom were now trying to flee to safety.In a statement issued by his spokesperson Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced serious concern yesterday at the mounting violence, and UN agencies report that the situation has only worsened since then, with rising numbers of civilian deaths and injuries.Today the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) joined their voices to calls urging all sides to show restraint and take steps to prevent any further casualties.OHCHR called on all sides “to safeguard the rights of displaced people and refugees, including through the creation of safe passages for them to leave conflict areas,” according to a press release issued in Geneva.The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) is also closely following the situation, saying that Russian border officials informed the agency’s sub-office in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz that people have been arriving in North Ossetia-Alania, in Russia, throughout the night. “Authorities say thousands of people have arrived from South Ossetia to North Ossetia-Alania this week,” UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva. UNHCR’s office in Vladikavkaz is in daily contact with the authorities and following the situation closely, he said, adding that the Georgian and Russian Governments are responding to the immediate needs of the recent arrivals and have not asked for help.Reports are “trickling out” of South Ossetia, and a UNHCR staff member has reported that many buildings and houses have been destroyed and that only military personnel are moving on the streets. Mr. Redmond said that water is also in short supply – a chronic problem worsened by recent events – and that most transport has stopped and shops are running out of food.In addition to those that have crossed over the border into Russia, some 400 people are believed to have moved from South Ossetia to other parts of Georgia. UNHCR staff in Georgia and their partners are monitoring the new arrivals from South Ossetia and maintaining close contact with the Georgian Ministry of Refugee and Accommodation.UNHCR’s operations in the country focus on more than 275,000 people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) linked to the separate conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless people and returnees. 8 August 2008The Security Council met this afternoon for the second time in 24 hours to discuss the deadly violence wracking South Ossetia, Georgia, where hundreds of people are reported to have been killed and thousands of others are now on the move, seeking shelter from the fighting. read more

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Bombardier waiting for answers following backtoback plane crashes in Nepal and Iran

Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. is awaiting the causes of two deadly aircraft crashes over the past couple of days involving its Q400 turbo and Challenger business jet.At least 50 people were killed Monday when a US Bangla Airlines passenger plane carrying 71 people from Bangladesh crashed and burst into flames as it landed Monday in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, officials and witnesses said.The incident came a day after all 11 people on board a private Turkish Challenger 604 business jet crashed and burst into flames on an Iranian mountainside while bringing a wealthy businessman’s daughter and her friends home from a Dubai bachelorette party.‘Moving full-steam ahead’: Bombardier to begin CSeries jet deliveries to U.S. this yearWhy investors may want to cool their jets on Bombardier shares, despite the good newsBombardier stock soars to three-year high on stunning trade victory that opens U.S. market for CSeriesBombardier spokesmen for the commercial and business aircraft divisions said the company was saddened by the accidents, adding their thoughts were with those impacted and their families.Nathalie Siphengphet and Mark Masluch said the planes are “safe and reliable” and other planes haven’t been grounded.“It (Q400) has been designed to be robust and reliable in consideration to high cycle demands of regional airlines,” she said in an interview.Masluch said more than 1,000 Challenger 600 series planes have been delivered and are “one of the most robust and reliable aircraft in business aviation.”He called the back-to-back crashes an “unfortunate coincidence.”“Certainly each accident is isolated to its own circumstances so it would be inappropriate to comment on any links between or just assume or speculate while both investigations are ongoing,” Masluch said in a separate interview.The causes of both crashes aren’t immediately available. Bombardier is waiting for invitations from Nepalese and Iranian officials before sending investigation teams to the crash sites.The Q400 has sustained several landing gear incidents over the years but this is just the second crash of the aircraft resulting in death.All 49 people on board were killed on Feb. 12, 2009 when a Colgan Air flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, stalled and crashed into a house while preparing to land at the airport.The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that pilot error, including the response by the captain, was the main cause of the accident.Officials at Kathmandu Medical College, the closest hospital to Nepal’s only international airport, said they were treating 16 survivors of the Q400 crash.An AP journalist who arrived at the scene soon after the crash saw the twin-propeller plane broken into several large pieces, with dozens of firefighters and rescue workers clustered around the wreckage in a grassy field near the runway. Hundreds of people stood on a nearby hill, staring down at what remained of the propeller plane.The plane swerved repeatedly as it prepared to land in Kathmandu, said Amanda Summers, an American working in Nepal. The crowded city sits in a valley in the Himalayan foothills.“It was flying so low I thought it was going to run into the mountains,” said Summers, who watched the crash from the terrace of her home office, not far from the airport. “All of a sudden there was a blast and then another blast.”Fire crews put out the flames quickly, perhaps within a minute, she said, though for a time clouds of thick, dark smoke rose into the sky above the city.The 17-year-old plane had circled Tribhuvan International Airport twice as it waited for clearance to land, a company official said.Meanwhile the crash of the out-of-production business jet was owned by the private holding company of Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran.Those on board included Basaran’s daughter Mina, 28, and seven of her friends, all flying back from a party ahead of her planned wedding next month.Iranian investigators on Monday found the “black box” from the Turkish plane and all the dead from the crash site in the Zagros Mountains, some 370 kilometres south of Iran’s capital, Tehran, according to a report by the state-run IRNA news agency.It remains unclear what caused the crash, though a witness told state television the Bombardier CL604 was on fire before it hit the mountain. read more

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June new car preregistration figures

Today, SMMT released figures for June pre-registrations in the UK new car market. The data shows the number of cars disposed of by vehicle manufacturers in June 2015 that were defined as pre-registrations.CLICK HERE: Download the June 2015 release.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

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Soups dished out for a good cause

Douglas Kneale and Mike McCallum serve up the winning roasted sweet potato and pear soup at the United Way Souper Star Lunch.Five chefs duked it out, but in the end, there could only be one winner — Mike McCallum with his roasted sweet potato and pear soup.The Sodexo chef and his celebrity guest chef, Dean of Humanities Douglas Kneale, received the most votes for best soup from those attending the 2010 Souper Star Lunch on Oct. 20. The annual event benefits Brock’s United Way campaign.Brock’s campaign goal this year is $112,000. The 2010 campaign goal for the United Way of St. Catharines and District is $3.1 million.“The United Way is not just about dollars. It’s about the people, and most of all, it’s about the community,” said Valerie Jaeger, 2010 campaign chair for the United Way of St. Catharines and District, at the lunch.The lunch featured the following soups:Cream of broccoli — Roger Gallagher (guest chef: Sohail Ahmed, Brock University Students’ Union)Roasted sweet potato and pear — Mike McCallum (guest chef: Douglas Kneale)Beef chili with Chorizo sausage and chipotle — Jim Harper (guest chef: Frances Hallworth, executive director, United Way of St. Catharines and District)Cheese and wine (Riesling and smoked cheddar) — Tara Lisoy (guest chefs: Kevin Lawr, Brock staff co-chair of the university United Way campaign; Greg Finn, faculty chair)Roasted garlic and potato — Pascal Badaoui (guest chef: Barb Daly from the Graduate Students’ Association)The next fundraiser for Brock’s United Way campaign is a Halloween office decorating contest and food drive on Friday, Oct. 29. To submit your office for judging, email Kevin Grout at kgrout@brocku.ca. The winning office will get a prize. There is no theme this year.There will also be a trivia night on Wednesday, Nov. 10. The cost is $20 per player with tables of eight people. To participate, email Tara Franken at Tara.Franken@brocku.caThere will also be a wrap-up lunchtime event on Friday, Nov. 26.Unveiling Brock’s United Way campaign goal are, from left, Val Jaeger, staff campaign co-chair Lynne Prout, staff campaign co-chair Kevin Lawr, President Jack Lightstone and Greg Finn, faculty campaign chair. read more

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Brock alumni help deliver critical care in Niagara

A quality critical care facility is something you don’t realize is important until you need to use it .Niagara Health is home to a Level 3 Intensive Care Unit providing the highest level of critical care that wouldn’t be possible without a talented team of registered nurses.Among the 26 nurses in Niagara Health’s Critical Care Response Team (CCRT) are numerous Brock University nursing program alumni, including clinical manager Elayn Young (BScN ’02) and registered nurse Mark Dinga (BscN ’08).Young is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the CCRT, Critical Care Department and the Respiratory Therapy program for Niagara Health. A major aspect of her role is to ensure critical care is taken from the ICU out to the rest of the hospital.“The CCRT is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take care of the sickest, most acute patients in the region,” said Young. “We are available to be called to anywhere in the hospital, day or night.”The CCRT is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take care of the sickest, most acute patients in the regionPatients presenting to the hospital or being transferred from another ICU in Niagara with life-threatening conditions such as cardiac arrest, anaphylaxis, heart attack, stroke or respiratory failure could be taken care of by the CCRT.“We can be called to the emergency department, medical or surgical floors to take over care and transfer the patient to our floor in the ICU. We work to stabilize and provide advanced life support treatment including advanced airway management,” said Young.Respiratory therapists, as an integral part of the CCRT, provide care for people’s lungs and manage needs such as ventilation and airway management.“We definitely work in a high-stress and complex environment due to the technology and medications we deal with,” said Young. “Fortunately, the professors in the Brock nursing program stress the professional aspect of nursing and have really encouraged aspiring nurses to raise their standards.”Young’s role also involves mentoring less-experienced critical care nurses.“When a novice ICU nurse joins our team, I enjoy watching their knowledge and confidence grow. For example, Mark Dinga was relatively new when I started here and he has progressively taken more informal leadership roles within the unit,” she said, describing Dinga as “calm and collected” with a strong attention to detail.When the CCRT was developed in Niagara in 2015, Dinga was one of its first members.“At any given time, there are three of us dedicated to the team, a physician, respiratory therapist and registered nurse. Having a dedicated RN means time is set aside to helping people outside of the ICU,” Dinga said.“Much of the work of the dedicated RN is focused on prevention activities. Often, we already know the special needs of the patient. By catching things early we can start treatment right away.”If a situation arises where the CCRT is activated, the team responds with a specialized cart that allows them to begin triage on the spot.“Being able to bring our cart bedside saves us from having to find items that might not necessarily be on the floor. The cart is supplied with a defibrillator, glide scope to intubate, IV fluids and other medications that might be needed,” Dinga said.Another complex aspect of Dinga’s role is helping patients and families have realistic end of life discussions.“Sometimes the goal is not to swoop in and fix the person. Sometimes there are situations where there is not a lot we can do medically. So what needs to happen is finding out how much treatment a person wants before ensuring a comfortable death with dignity.”While dealing with those situations can be emotional and tiring, there are other outcomes he finds energizing.“Sometimes I’ll be standing in a line waiting for coffee or doing my groceries and I’ll see a patient who I treated that was on life support. Often they have no idea the role I played in helping them, but it is wonderful to see them get better.” read more

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Carmelo Anthony Likely to Stay With Knicks Says Wife

Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks star who plans to become a free agent after the season, will shun various overtures and re-sign with the Knicks. This is according to his wife La La Anthony.The actress said: “I definitely think he will stay” during an interview with Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens Live.” “I know that he wants to stay, and I support wherever he wants to go.“Listen, I used to live in Denver with him. If I can live in Denver, I can live anywhere. I just want him to be happy.”Carmelo Anthony, who is under contract through next season, says he will exercise his right to opt out of the contract and test free agency this summer.The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be a suitor.“Well, everybody wants to play in Los Angeles,” Kobe Bryant said when asked about Anthony’s potential interest in joining the Lakers. “I mean, New York is a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong, but it is colder than s**t out here. You know, palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing.“All jokes aside, I think that players, when that time comes, will have to make the best decision for them and their families. I try not to think about it too much. If he wants to call me for advice later as a friend, I will be more than happy to give it to him.”Anthony, who is in his 11th season, said Monday that his sole motivation is to win an NBA title.“That’s the only thing I care about. Anything else is irrelevant to me when it comes to basketball,” he said. “Championship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish, I want to achieve, and I’m going to do what I got to do to get that. That’s my motivating factor. Nothing else even motivates me anymore, just that.”Bryant agreed with that position.“The only way to do that is win,” Bryant said. “That’s it. I won five championships, and there’s some of you guys [who] still say that. You just got to take it and roll with it. The important thing is winning a championship. That’s the only way to shake it. That’s the only way Michael [Jordan] shook it. That’s the only way any top scorer will be able to shake it.” read more

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THIS IS SPARTA Barca in Djokovic style before trip to Skopje

FC BarcelonaHandball Sparta FC Barcelona Lassa had an interesting photo-shooting before the second EHF Champions League match with RK Vardar SKopje, one of the most important in the race for the first place in Preliminary Group which lead directly to the quarter-final this season. Barca beat Vardar 31:30 in the first match last Sunday at Blaugrana, but lost Filip Jicha who suffered serious injury of pubic bone. He will be replaced by experienced Spanish back Carlos Ruesga.However, team and fighting spirit among the players are on the highest level in the moment about whom speaking photos. Will be Sparta or Skopje in “Jane Sandanski” on Sunday at 19.00?Will Tomas, Lazarov and team-mates have chance to scream at the end of epic battle like Novak Djokovic after winning US Open when 20.000 fans supported Roger Federer?PHOTO: FC Barcelona ← Previous Story GOLD IN TOKYO: DHB and Dagur Sigurdsson together until 2020? Next Story → ROMANIAN HANDBALL TRAGEDY: Three died, 11 injured in traffic accident read more

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Personal Insolvency service will be available to gardaí

first_imgMEMBERS OF AN Garda Síochána will be able to avail of Personal Insolvency Legislation, it has been confirmed today.The Minister for Defence Alan Shatter said that there was nothing in the Garda Code, the Discipline Regulations or the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 which would prevent gardaí from availing of the debt resolution mechanisms contained in the Act.Labour TD Michael McNamara, who had raised the issue in the Dáil, said that he welcomed the clarification.“Having spoken to many gardaí of varying ranks about this, I am aware that the pressure of paying mortgages incurred during the boom years makes it very hard for them,” McNamara said. The majority of gardaí have less than ten years’ service, so to accept any reduction in their take-home pay which is already squeezed, is difficult. For those who over-extended themselves on investment properties, I am sure this clarification will come as a small relief.Read: Struggling borrowers may have to move house, sell car and change creche to enter new insolvency process >Column: The insolvency process should be a competent public system that ensures everyone has access >last_img read more

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TBox Harnesses Wind Created By Trains

first_imgHigh-speed rail is certainly a greener travel alternative, but a new design concept could make the concept even greener. The T-Box has been designed to capture the wind created by speeding trains, turning it into a renewable source of energy.The device would actually be placed in the spaces between the tracks, so that it can harness the wind that’s created below the train itself. According to the creators, 150 boxes could be installed for every 1000 meters of rail. Over that range a train travelling at 200 kilometers per hour could theoretically produce 3500 watts of power.The T-Box was a winner at the 2010 Lite-On awards, which recognize green design excellence.Via Inhabitatlast_img read more

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Tizen 20 release shows Samsung is serious about an Android alternative

first_imgThe Tizen 2.0 source code and SDK has officially been released, according to a post on the project’s developer website. The alpha release came just five months ago, so clearly someone has been putting a lot of effort into the operating system equivalent of the mythological Phoenix. Tizen has been re-born twice already, first transforming from Moblin into MeeGo, and subsequently taking its current form after Samsung stepped in to play the lead role.The list of new features and updates is an extensive one, though a lot of the changes are under-the-hood and aimed at offering a more attractive platform to application developers. Access to critical hardware like NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (including Wi-Fi Direct) has been added, and hardware accelerated graphics have been flipped on to provide a performance boost. Tizen also now offers scalable UI tools, which should make the process of supporting multiple screen sizes easier for developers. That’s an important tweak, since Tizen is aimed at everything from phones and tablets to in-dash multimedia systems… and probably refrigerators, knowing Samsung.Just about every part of the OS has been polished up. On-device encryption hearkens back to Samsung’s not-so-secret desire to gobble up the corporate market once dominated by BlackBerry. New camera, gallery, and music apps have been added, and Tizen’s native web browser (which is, of course, WebKit-based) has been updated to offer drastically improved support for HTML5 and emerging W3C specs like Widgets (Packaged Web Apps), Web Audio, and Touch Events. Tizen’s social networking and messaging core has also undergone an extensive overhaul. In addition to the Tizen 2.0 source code and SDK, the project is offering up an assortment of sample web apps so that testers can quickly get a feeling for what the updated OS can do.2012 was quite a rollercoaster ride for Tizen. In January, Samsung showed its commitment to the platform by merging the Bada OS code. Samsung had previously pegged Bada as the go-to OS for lower-end smartphones, so the integration seemed to indicate profound interest in doing something commercial with Tizen. After getting a look at all the progress on Tizen 2.0, it’s pretty clear that Samsung is building something that can play a much larger role in its future. With plans in place for Android support on Tizen devices, Samsung may be ready to pull double down on its own software and move away from Windows Phone as a backup plan.last_img read more

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1010 WWE RAW sees the audience remain even with last week WWE

first_img 1 COMMENT You mean Brock doesn’t = ratings? Here’s my shocked face. (:0 Twitter Pinterest Google+ Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte Comments are closed. Facebook WhatsApp WWE RAW Preview: King of the Ring Final Match, Fallout from WWE Clash of Champions WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 October 13, 2016 at 1:33 am Last night’s 10/10 WWE RAW drew an average audience of 2.80 million viewers on Monday night according to a report by Showbuzzdaily.com.This is up the same as last week’s show that also drew an average of 2.80 million viewers. Monday Night Football on ESPN (9.05 million viewers) and the MLB NL Division Series on Fox Sports 1 (4.09 million viewers) dominated the night on cable.RAW came in at No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 for the night on cable in the 18-49 demographic. The show once again drew averaged below three million viewers for all three hours.Hourly breakdowns were as follows.Hour 1: 2.790 (down from 2.877 million viewers last week)Hour 2: 2.876 (up from 2.870 million viewers)Hour 3: 2.610 (down from 2.644 million viewers)RAW, headlined by Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins, averaged a 0.94 rating on Monday night among adults 18-49. This is down from last week’s show that averaged a 0.98 rating. TheCyberZonlast_img read more

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Who will win at the Employee Benefits Awards 2019

first_imgThe winners of the 17th annual Employee Benefits Awards, sponsored by Aon, will be unveiled today (Friday 7 June 2019).BT, Havas Media, Goodman Masson, Lendlease, University of Lincoln, Royal Mail Group, Siemens, Sky, Three UK and Virgin Active are among the employers shortlisted for recognition at this year’s event, which is being held at The Pavilion at The Tower of London.There are 20 awards in total, including the coveted Grand Prix and Employee benefits professional of the year title, as well as a new category for 2019: the Rising Star award.The winners will be announced during a lunch-time ceremony, hosted by actor and comedian Kerry Godliman.Following the ceremony, attendees at the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party 2019 will be able to network and socialise with colleagues, peers and industry leaders.To follow the action and see which employers come out on top, stay tuned to @EmployeeBenefit. Follow #EBAwards19 for live updates from the event.See the full shortlist.last_img read more

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Missing ministry officers school owner arrested

first_imgThree persons, including the personal officer (PO) of the education minister, who went missing in the past four days, surfaced at detective branch (DB) of police office in Dhaka on Sunday night.Deputy commissioner (public relations) of Dhaka metropolitan police (DMP), Masudur Rahman confirmed their arrest by the detectives while talking to newsmen at night.Details of how they disappeared and rescued or arrested, could not be known immediately.The education minister’s personal officer Md Motaleb Hossain could not be traced since Saturday and the ministry’s upper division assistant Nasir Uddin went missing on Thursday.And Khaled Hassan Matin, owner of Lakehead Grammar School in the city, remained missing since Saturday afternoon.The education minister’s PO, Motaleb Hossain, was allegedly picked by several people aboard a microbus from Basila area, ministry officials said. Motaleb went there to supervise the construction work of his multi-storeyed building.Motaleb’s family members filed a general diary with Hazaribagh police station in city the same day.last_img read more

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Sacked Sri Lanka PM resists eviction order

first_imgSri Lanka`s ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (C) speaks to his supporters at the Prime Minister official residence in Colombo on 27 October 2018. Photo: AFPSri Lanka’s sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe resisted moves to evict him from his official residence Sunday, defiantly summoning allies for a crisis meeting as a thousand supporters stood guard.Wickremesinghe, who says his shock dismissal on Friday was illegal, ignored a deadline to vacate the colonial-era residence, even as his controversial successor sought blessings at a prominent temple ahead of naming a new cabinet.Officials said police will now seek a court order to evict Wickremesinghe, 69, threatening to escalate the standoff as neighbours and Western nations asked all sides to exercise restraint and respect the constitution.About 1,000 of his supporters gathered outside the Temple Trees residence, with troops seen nearby, but there was no sign of an intervention into the dispute.Wickremesinghe’s security and official cars were withdrawn by President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday, as the ousted prime minister demanded an emergency session to prove he still commanded a majority in parliament.Instead, Sirisena shut parliament for nearly three weeks to forestall any challenge against his appointment of former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse as the new prime minister.Loyalists to Rajapakse, whose decade-long rule was marked by grave allegations of rights abuses and growing authoritarianism, still control the headquarters of two state-run television channels.All police leave was cancelled as tensions heightened in Colombo, with soldiers seen near the prime minister’s residence as well as the president’s office.- International concern -Meanwhile, Rajapakse travelled to a highly venerated Buddhist temple in the central district of Kandy to seek blessings from monks before naming a cabinet.Rajapakse’s aides said he was likely to name a few cabinet ministers later Sunday and begin work on Monday.He is yet to make a formal statement or address the nation since being elevated to the new post.The former strongman is a controversial figure at home and abroad and presided over the crushing of a decades-long Tamil Tiger uprising.He is seen as being closer to China than Wickremesinghe, who had sought to re-establish stronger ties with traditional ally and regional power India.The crisis has again put the Indian Ocean in the international spotlight following turmoil in the neighbouring Maldives over its presidential election.India said it was “closely following” events in Colombo.”As a democracy and a close friendly neighbour, we hope that democratic values and the constitutional process will be respected,” India’s foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Sunday.The United States and European Union ambassadors in Colombo have called on the Sri Lankan rivals to follow the constitution and avoid violence.China’s ambassador to Colombo met separately with Rajapakse and Wickremesinghe on Saturday, officials said.Colombo-based Western diplomats met with Wickremesinghe for a briefing on the sacking.- ‘Constitutional coup’ -The suspension of parliament has made it difficult for speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who comes from Wickremesinghe’s party, to announce which of the two rivals he recognises.Many observers now expect the crisis to turn into a series of court battles.Privately-run newspapers on Sunday described Sirisena’s move as a “constitutional coup”.Political commentator Victor Ivan said Sirisena’s action was a blatant violation of the constitution and “a capture of power through a conspiracy”.However, Rajapakse loyalist and former foreign minister G. L. Peiris said there was nothing illegal about sacking Wickremesinghe and challenged him to prove his majority when parliament returns on 16 November.The falling out between Wickremesinghe and Sirisena has come to a head since the president this year backed a no-confidence motion against the man he had handpicked to lead the government.The two allied against Rajapakse in the 2015 election, but their relationship steadily soured.Sirisena initially said he would be a one-term president but has since indicated he will seek re-election next year, pitting himself against Wickremesinghe who also has presidential ambitions.Wickremesinghe’s party has the largest number of parliamentary seats, but the president’s United People’s Freedom Alliance walked out of the coalition shortly before Wickremesinghe was sacked.This is the second time that a president has ousted Wickremesinghe from office. In 2004, the then president sacked him and called snap elections.After winning the premiership a third time in August 2015, Wickremesinghe amended the constitution to remove the head of state’s power to sack prime ministers to prevent a repeat of his earlier ouster.last_img
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Houston Immigration Activists Criticize End Of Temporary Protected Status For Nicaraguans

first_imgJacquelyn Martin | APYurexi Quinones, 24, of Manassas, Va., a college student who is studying social work and a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies next to Ana Rice, 18, of Manassas, Va., far right, in support of DACA and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS), outside of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.Local immigration activists criticized Tuesday the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from Nicaragua, and demanded the federal government maintains the status and offers its beneficiaries an opportunity to become United States permanent residents.Nicaraguans were granted TPS back in 1999 when Bill Clinton was President of the United States.The U.S. made that decision after the devastation hurricane Mitch caused in Nicaragua, as well as in Honduras, in 1998.Currently, 5,000 Nicaraguans live in the U.S. under TPS and, according to the Congressional Research Service, about 2,550 were expected to renew their status, the AP reports.According to 2016 US Census Bureau figures, almost 10,000 Nicaraguans were living in Harris County, however it’s not clear how many of those are under TPS status. Elaine Duke, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, said Monday that TPS was no longer necessary for Nicaraguans and specified those who are in the U.S. will be given 12 months to return to their country.Reacting the government’s decision, Carlos Duarte, director of the Texas chapter of the grassroots organization Mi Familia Vota, said: “What we see is a pattern of the [Trump] Administration of not wanting to renew the Temporary Protected Status as part of a wider strategy to deport immigrants.”Duarte added the decision will disrupt families and could also create a situation by which some TPS beneficiaries could “become undocumented immigrants.”For Teodoro Aguiluz, executive director of Houston based Center of Central American Resources (CRECEN, by its Spanish acronym), TPS beneficiaries “should be considered” to be granted permanent residency in the U.S.Aguiluz argues that these “are people who, every 18 months, every time they have renewed their fingerprints have been processed by the U.S. Department of [Homeland] Security” and added they are people of “good moral character who have abided by all the laws of this country and all the requirements.”Aguiluz also stressed that many of the Nicaraguans impacted by the government’s decision have children who have been born in the U.S. and the vast majority are employed and productive members of the communities where they live.Amanda Baran, a consultant with the national non-profit Immigrant Legal Resource Center, said her organization doesn’t think TPS is no longer justified for Nicaraguans.Baran noted that the Central American country was hit by hurricane Otto in 2016 and hurricane Nate this year, so the assumption that they can safely and effectively take back the TPS beneficiaries is questionable.The government has postponed until July the decision to renew the TPS for 86,000 people from Honduras who are currently in the country because of this program. Sharelast_img read more

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You Probably Missed Mays Full Flower Moon

first_img Moon Glows Brighter Than Sun in NASA Fermi’s Vibrant ImagesHelp NASA Develop Autonomous Rovers Stay on target With only a few days left before the turning of another calendar page, May’s full Flower Moon made a cameo this morning.East coasters may have spotted the shining satellite around 10:20 a.m. today, 14 days into its latest cycle.Named by Native Americans who used lunar phases to track the seasons, the full Flower Moon takes its cue from the blossoms that tend to “spring forth in abundance” this month, The Old Farmer’s Almanac reported.AdChoices广告Some Algonquin tribes knew this full Moon as the Corn Planting Moon (which seems pretty self-explanatory) or the Milk Moon; others called it Mother’s Moon.“The May Moon marked a time of increasing fertility, with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom,” the reference website said.Believers, beware: According to folklore, clothes washed for the first time in the full Moon will not last long. So think twice about cleaning that new top this week.On the other hand, if you’re mulling over a proposal of marriage, now’s an ideal time to accept. (Congratulations!)Thought to have formed some 4.51 billion years ago from debris left over after an impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia, the Moon is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object—after the sun.While the Moon itself does not radiate light, its dark surface reflects the sun’s rays at various times of day, making it a convenient timepiece; some of the earliest calendars were based on the Moon’s periods of waxing and waning.Keep up with the rest of the lunar year by following The Old Farmer’s Almanac‘s full Moon calendar:June 28 @ 12:54 a.m. ET: full Strawberry MoonJuly 27 @ 4:22 p.m. ET: full Buck MoonAug. 26 @ 7:58 a.m. ET: full Sturgeon MoonSept. 24 @ 10:54 p.m. ET: full Corn MoonOct. 24 @ 12:47 p.m. ET: full Hunter’s MoonNov. 23 @ 12:41 a.m. ET: full Beaver MoonDec. 22 @ 12:50 p.m. ET: full Cold MoonLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Who can say no to chocolate

first_imgChocolate comes from The Cacao tree which is called as ‘Food of the Gods’. It is only apt to pair this heavenly ingredient with Cognac also known as ‘Nectar of the Gods’. Get a mental high and your heart pounding with delicious antioxidants that chocolate is made of, with the Cognac and Chocolate Symphony at The Imperial New Delhi. In life these sinful and luxurious pleasures are a treat to the senses. Cognac paired with chocolates and then enjoyed as nightcap has been a tradition to go by. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Imperial New Delhi presents a delightful way to end a great meal with our house made artisanal chocolates and a crystal glass of the finest and rarest cognacs.Being the trendsetting hotel with an avante garde approach, here is an innovative mixing some creative cocktails based on Cognac and then artfully paired with chocolate. A few of the cocktails are legendary and are served as an ode to patrons by talented bartenders. For instance, a clever old fashioned made with cognac will leave a great impact on your senses. Old school toddy (The Imperial Bartender’s Special) is another fine example of our mixologist’s technique in extracting a fine balance of flavors and colors to create a great cocktail. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChoose from an innovative menu featuring Stinger: Cognac, mint liquor and ice cubes; Red Russian: Cognac, vodka, cherry juice and rock ice;  Old Fashioned: Angostura bitter, cognac, sugar cube;  Burnt Orange: Angostura bitter, cognac, orange juice and ice cubes; Bartender special: Cognac, Indian spices, lemon juice, sugar syrup and hot water, and many more satiating concoctions this March.Where: 1911 Bar and Patiala PegWhen: March 15-25AROMAS OF BENGAL Satiate your love for Bengali cuisine as Imperial’s Daniell’s Tavern’s Executive Chef Vishal Atreya brings to your palate, inspired gourmet from Kolkata, the culinary capital of Bengal. From ‘Daab Chingri’ to ‘Shukto’ and ‘Ilish Maach Bhape’, the spices, the flavours and the aroma will delight you in each bite. We invite all you gourmands to take on an epicurean sojourn of East India.Where: Daniell’s Tavern (all day dining restaurant) When: March 10-25last_img read more

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