BJP resorting to divisive politics in Haryana: Hooda

first_imgFormer Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana, accusing it of resorting to cheap politics, causing divisions in society. “Unity and social harmony is our biggest strength and I appeal to all sections to defeat the divisive forces by staying united and maintain social harmony,” the former CM said at a public meeting at the start of the fifth leg of his ‘Jankranti Yatra’ in Mahendragarh. “The BJP made tall promises to farmers and soldiers before the elections. But after coming to power the BJP has not fulfilled any of the promises. Farmers were promised 50% profit for their crops but the BJP has betrayed their trust. The soldiers were promised One Rank One Pensions but they continue to agitate as they are not getting the same on the formula promised to them by the Congress government,” said Mr. Hooda. “The BJP government had promised the government employees to bring pay parity with their Punjab counterparts but like the other promises, this one too has been thrown in the dustbin. The result is that all work has come to grinding halt in the State,” he said. He added that the Congress would bring this pay parity after assuming power following the Assembly elections next year. Flays INLDMr. Hooda also took a dig at the Indian National Lok Dal for their failure to bring any development in southern Haryana and challenged them to list even one development initiative during their six years of government from 1999 to 2004. “INLD leaders criticise the Congress but never talk about their achievements because they have nothing to highlight. Instead of bringing any development to the region, they opposed the construction of the Hansi-Butana canal,” he alleged. Mr. Hooda added that both the BJP and the INLD were trying to mislead the people of the State. “The INLD did not vote against the BJP government in the no confidence motion moved by the Opposition in the Lok Sabha while they voted with the BJP in the recently concluded elections for the post of Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha,” he said. In Kurukshetra’s Babain, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala criticised the BJP government for not waiving farm loans despite the farmers distress.“The BJP government imposed huge taxes on farmers, thereby increasing farm costs. Fertilizers, pesticides and farm implements earlier attracted zero per cent tax in most States but under the GST, the BJP government has imposed huge taxes,” he said, addressing a ‘Jan Chetna’ rally. “The people have made up their mind to teach a befitting lesson to the BJP in the next polls,” he said.last_img read more

Unbeaten NU averts disaster vs UE, wins 3rd straight

first_imgWhen NU committed several four straight errors that allowed UE to trim the deficit to six, 23-17, in the fourth set, it was Santiago, who stopped the Lady Warriors’ fun with a well-placed kill that put the Lady Bulldogs in match point, 24-17.Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs’ charge with 23 points while Roselyn Doria added 12 points.Shaya Adorador and May Ann Mendrez led UE with 11 points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES After going back and forth against the Lady Warriors and trailing, 11-10, midway through the fourth set, the Lady Bulldogs upped the ante and went on a 13-2 run to take a 23-13 lead with Aiko Urdas finishing it off with a through-the-block kill.NU head coach Babes Castillo said they had a good win, but after seeing his team falter in the second set he knew his players could do better.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“The win earlier was a good win, but it was not a good performance,” said Castillo in Filipino. “I told them to forget about the second set and let’s move on, it’s already marked on the card.”“My players’ captain responded on the dot on what the situation needed and the team will go with the captain,” Castillo said, referring to Jaja Santiago. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t mention the score: North Korean media silent on 8-0 loss AFP official booed out of forum Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNational University recovered from its dismal second set to beat University of the East, 25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, and stay undefeated in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Lady Bulldogs streaked to their third straight win to take sole possession of the top seed while the Lady Warriors are at the bottom with a 0-3 card.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

Famed gymnast Dipa returns home in Tripura

first_imgAgartala, Apr 22 (PTI) First Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, Dipa Karmakar today returned home amid loud cheers from thousand of fans, who had throned the Agartala airport here. Dipa and her coach, Bisweswar Nandi, who arrived from Delhi this morning, were received at the Agartala airport by the Director of Sports of the state, Dulal Das, Secretary of the Sports Council of Tripura, Dilip Chakraborty. After a hectic schedule at Rio de Janeiro and a long journey back home, Dipa is now looking forward to stay with her parents for a week. “Now Ill prepare myself to participate in the Olympic game and would put every effort to bring a medal for the country. I have come here to stay with my parents for about a week and have home maid food prepared by my mother,” she told reporters. Visibly cheerful, Dipa said she got cooperation from all corners of the country and the contribution of her coach was unparallel. She booked her Rio ticket after qualifying in artistic gymnastics following a total score of 52.698 points in the Test event. She also won the gold medal in vault final in the event. Apart from being the first Indian woman, she also became first from the country to qualify for the quadrennial extravaganza after 52 long years. Since Independence, 11 Indian male gymnasts took part in the Olympics (two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964). PTI JOY PR ATK ATK PSlast_img read more

Country’s Rating Upgraded from Stable to Positive

first_img Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the country’s rating has been upgraded from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ by international rating agency, Fitch, as a result of macroeconomic improvements. Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the country’s rating has been upgraded from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’ by international rating agency, Fitch, as a result of macroeconomic improvements.He said these include further reduction in unemployment to a 10-year low at 10.3 per cent; stabilisation of the Jamaican dollar, which revalued to $125.50 against the US dollar up to Friday (February 2); growth in the tourism and business process outsourcing industries; and a construction industry that is “literally booming”.The Minister was speaking at Thursday’s (February 1) signing ceremony for €9.17 million (US$10 million) in grant funding under the European Union-Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF) for the Government’s energy management and efficiency project, at the Ministry in Kingston.Additionally, Mr. Shaw said the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is poised for further reduction and is expected to close the 2017/18 fiscal year below 105 per cent.“We are moving in a very aggressive way to deal with all the fundamental issues that collectively militate against business and consumer confidence and investments (and by extension, growth).We have to make sure that we do the necessary things to make our country more appropriately aligned with global standards,” the Minister said.Meanwhile, representatives of several of Jamaica’s multilateral and development partners have welcomed the news of the country’s macroeconomic progress and upgraded rating.The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) General Manager, Country Department, Caribbean Group, Therese Turner-Jones, noted that the out-turns show that Jamaica has “come a long way”.She said the Fitch announcement also indicates how far Jamaica has progressed in terms of reducing debt and improving the overall macroeconomic environment.“So, I think we are all extremely proud of that – the IDB especially, because we have been working with you on this for the last five years. I think the future is bright,” Mrs. Turner-Jones added.For his part, visiting Director-General for International Cooperation and Development in the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi, said he is “very happy” with Jamaica’s progress, which has contributed to the improvement in the country’s global rating. Story Highlightscenter_img The Minister was speaking at Thursday’s (February 1) signing ceremony for €9.17 million (US$10 million) in grant funding under the European Union-Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF) for the Government’s energy management and efficiency project, at the Ministry in Kingston. last_img read more

Shell Looking Into Hydrogen Energy Supply

first_imgzoom The Anglo–Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell has joined a pilot project related to hydrogen energy supply chain development, the company confirmed to World Maritime News amid media reports that it was teaming up with Japanese Kawasaki Heavy Industries on the project.“Shell is participating in a Technical Research Association and Pilot Demonstration Project for hydrogen energy supply chain development (HySTRA). The HySTRA consortium was established in February 2016,” Shell said in statement.In an agreement to start working together on the project, the two companies are said to be planning to produce hydrogen from low-quality brown coal abundant in Australia at low cost and then ship liquefied hydrogen in special vessels, Nikkei reported.According to reports from the news agency, the project would also see contribution from Iwatani and Electric Power Development. As part of the project, Kawasaki would provide transportation vessels and storage tanks, Iwatani would contribute facilities for loading hydrogen stored tanks onto transportation vehicles, while Electric Power Development would manage production plants.A pilot operation was allegedly scheduled to launch in 2020, targeting annual hydrogen imports of 660,000 tons in 2030.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

MSI Shipping Faces a Stormy Road to Recovery

first_imgzoom The shipping industry is set to experience a stormy road to recovery, with uneven supply/demand trends set to test the nerve of investors and operators, according to research and consultancy firm Maritime Strategies International (MSI).Addressing the Hansa Forum in Hamburg, Germany this week, MSI Senior Analyst James Frew warned that the industry will continue to face multiple challenges to a sustained recovery despite positive demand fundamentals.“The commodity shipping sectors remain well correlated with each other – with the exception of offshore and LPG – and most sectors are positively correlated, but not tightly so,” Frew said, adding that the question is “whether it is supply or demand that is wrecking the markets?”In demand terms, headline trade in goods and services has stalled in relation to GDP and policy decisions rather than fundamentals, hold the key to future direction. Factors including increased energy efficiency, slowing containerisation demand and reshoring are all threats. However, the demand side is far from all bad news.According to MSI data, ships required versus ships on order exceed projected demand for product tankers and chemical carriers but lag for bulk carriers and containerships. This is thanks to the industry’s self-prescribed medicine, with 2016 scrapping levels at or near record levels in the bulk carrier and containership sectors.“The recovery is going to be uneven at best, with a disproportionate increase in vessel earnings for LNG carriers, tankers and LPG carriers. Even with improvements, earnings for containerships and bulkers will not approach their pre-crisis highs,” Frew said.He added that shipyards will continue “to suffer from a lack of forward cover next year and only cost pressure will stop newbuilding prices falling further in 2018.”last_img read more

Reducing Red Tape Helps Business and Nova Scotia Succeed Oped

first_imgNova Scotia needs and values the significant contribution businesses of all sizes make to our communities and our economy. Their success is our success. They employ people, build skills through training, innovate, invest, provide Nova Scotians with the goods and services they need, and export those goods and services abroad. They also volunteer their time and expertise in countless areas. For these reasons, we’re always looking at ways to help businesses succeed. Jan. 23 to 27 is Red Tape Awareness Week, drawing attention to ways governments can reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and free up needed time to grow their business – and the economy. Across government, we’ve made reducing red tape a priority. Just 18 months ago, we created the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness to help with this work. The office, together with many departments, has made progress I’m proud of. We’ve removed unnecessary or redundant requirements such as eliminating the video retailer licence and the requirement for alcohol manufacturers, like our local wineries, to maintain a separate retail space. We’ve made changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to make compliance easier for landlords and tenants. We’re moving services online, like new vehicle registrations for car dealerships, to make things simpler and faster for business. We’re piloting a new service, the first of its kind in Canada, to help businesses navigate what can be a complex regulatory environment. We have people dedicated to answering questions and providing advice to help businesses. We’re also working with our regional neighbours to eliminate unnecessary differences to make it easier for businesses to succeed across the region. For example, there’s now one date for changes to the minimum wage and one standard for record-keeping requirements across the Maritimes. There’s a shared look and feel for some procurement documents to make bidding for government work across the Maritimes easier. Soon, businesses across the region will be able to register for all four Atlantic workers’ compensation systems through Canada Revenue Agency’s One Business Number, saving time and money. And we’re harmonizing trucking standards from Ontario to Nova Scotia for long-combination vehicles, lowering costs for trucking companies and their customers. A handful of these initiatives will save Nova Scotia businesses $2.2 million every year and that’s only a fraction of what’s been saved overall. This is the work we’ve been doing over the past year. There’s much more to do – but we’re on it. -30-last_img read more

Mamata set to address states biggest ever peoples rally

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will reiterate her demand for the reintroduction of ballot papers replacing the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) from the stage of the Martyrs’ Day rally on Sunday. The police had gunned down 13 Youth Congress supporters who took part in the march to the Writers’ Buildings demanding “no ID card no vote” on July 21, 1993 under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee who was the then Youth Congress president. The day is observed as the Martyrs’ Day by the Trinamool since the inception of the party on January 1, 1998. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersWhile on her visit to the venue on Saturday evening, she said she has been rooting for the electoral reforms since 1995 and added: “For preventing black money (in polls), restoring democracy, ensuring transparency on the part of political parties, the reforms are must. It should include state funding. Why should a party collect funds? Why should black money be there?”. Maintaining that the EVMs have been discarded by many countries, including England, France and Germany, the Chief Minister said: “Those who introduced EVMs are not using it. When there are so many complaints, ballot papers should be revived. We are saying no to EVM, and asking for the return of ballot papers.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanerjee visited the venue in front of the CESC House on Chittaranjan Avenue to see the last-minute arrangements on Saturday afternoon. She was accompanied by Mayor Firhad Hakim and Trinamool state president Subrata Bakshi. She inspected the main podium and the arenas where the party leaders and functionaries will sit on Sunday. It may be recalled that during her election speeches, Banerjee had spoken over and again about the manipulation of the EVMs. After the result of the general elections was declared, all the Opposition parties had echoed her thoughts. But till date, none has launched any concrete movement on the issue. Banerjee proposes to launch an all-India movement on the issue and is expected to highlight the same during the mega rally. Large sections of Trinamool supporters are suffering from fear psychosis because of the BJP’s unprecedented result in the Lok Sabha elections. From two Lok Sabha seats in 2014, the party has bagged 18 seats in 2019. Ironically, Jangalmahal and North Bengal are two areas where the TMC failed to get a single seat despite massive development taking place in the region in the past eight years. In the meetings with the presidents and other functionaries of the districts, the party supremo has told them not to get worried as the party’s vote percentage has gone up by 4 percent. She has also assured them that TMC will be back to power in 2021. Meanwhile, many Trinamool leaders who had joined the saffron party have come back to the party fold. It is to be seen how Banerjee can cheer up the party’s rank and file and inspire them to carry out the party’s ongoing programmes successfully.last_img read more

Feds spool up outreach to Hispanics in US to ward off more

first_imgOTTAWA – A Liberal MP is heading to Los Angeles this week for a pre-emptive strike against misinformation about Canada’s immigration system circulating in the Spanish-language press that officials worry could inspire a new wave of asylum seekers.Central Americans have long been thought of as the next population primed to make the journey across the Canada-U.S. border due to major changes on the horizon in U.S. immigration policy. That includes the potential end of temporary protected status for nearly 350,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans, meaning all could face deportation to their home countries.Spanish-speaking MP Pablo Rodriguez had already been tapped as the likely federal point-person for outreach to Hispanics in the U.S., but his trip to L.A. on Friday has been given new impetus.On Aug. 30, the Spanish-language publication La Prensa reported that the Canadian government was set to welcome Hondurans living in the U.S. with temporary protected status, quoting a community organizer who said he had been contacted by the Canadian Embassy to explore programs.Except that never happened.The piece mirrored those that had been circulating in Creole-language traditional and social media earlier this summer, cited by some of the Haitians who have arrived in Canada in recent weeks as the reason they decided to come north from the U.S. Since July, some 7,000 asylum seekers have crossed into Canada from Quebec, the majority Haitian.The surge prompted the Liberal government to hastily arrange for a Creole-speaking MP to visit Miami to try to stem the flow of arrivals. The number of people crossing per day currently sits at under 100, from a high of over 250 this summer. According to multiple government sources, just over 60 people arrived Tuesday.But the Liberals are mindful that a decline now doesn’t mean the problem is over. Rodriguez is being dispatched to “neutralize” any misunderstandings about Canada’s system before they gain too much ground, a senior government official said.The Montreal MP, born in Argentina, will make the rounds of Hispanic media in L.A. as well as meet with members of the Honduran and El Salvadoran communities and local officials.“I’ll be able to communicate with them and tell them exactly how things are in Canada,” Rodriguez said Wednesday. “We have a system in place, a system that works and that has to be respected.”The La Prensa piece was spotted as a result of a much broader monitoring effort launched by the Liberal government at the height of the surge in Haitian arrivals in late July and early August.Consulates are on alert to keep close tabs on local media for discussion of Canada’s immigration and asylum policies, so when officials in Honduras spotted the La Prensa article they flagged it immediately to their bosses in Ottawa.The reporter at the paper was contacted, and the next day another article appeared clarifying that Canada has no program in the works for Hondurans, and if someone has temporary protected status in the U.S. it is not granted automatically in Canada.The unnamed government spokesperson in the article also noted that if people seek asylum in Canada, they could risk their protected status in the U.S.Refugee claims by Salvadorans and Hondurans do appear to be increasing in Canada. In the first three months of 2017, 255 claims for asylum were lodged, compared to 380 in all of 2016.Canada currently deports failed asylum claimants from El Salvador and Honduras back to their home countries.last_img read more

Insurgents realizing violence not the answer says UN envoy to Somalia

“There is a need for Somalis to talk to each other inside the country to solve the ongoing problems,” Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, wrote in a letter to the diaspora. “Somalis speak the same language, share the same culture and religion, they are more than able to reconcile between themselves going beyond all personal suspicion,” he added. A recent African Union (AU) summit in Tripoli, Libya, ended with a strong call for African nations to support the Somali Government, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said. “Those in the African Union, and particularly in the regional grouping IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development, bringing together seven East African countries], are in the best position to support Somalia given their close ties to the country,” he noted. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate last week that there is an urgent need for support for his Government and stressed the importance of reconciliation. Mr. Ahmed was elected earlier this year as leader of Somalia, where violence has continued despite the signing in June 2008 of the UN-facilitated Djibouti Agreement by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), in which they agreed to end their conflict. In his address to the Assembly, he also pointed the finger at foreign extremists for much of the fighting and humanitarian suffering that continues to engulf Somalia, where anarchy has prevailed for nearly 20 years. The renewed surge in fighting this year – which has driven more than 250,000 people from their homes since May – is part of a new type of rebellion under way in his country, the President said. Mr. Ahmed said this rebellion was being conducted mainly by foreign extremists and went against Islam, but was able to continue in part because Somalia has not had a functioning nation-wide government since 1991. “At this difficult moment in history, we need assistance and support,” he said, urging the international community to back the efforts of the TFG to defeat the rebels, restore law and order and distribute humanitarian aid to the millions of people in need across the country. In his letter to the diaspora, Mr. Ould-Abdallah also mentioned the 17 September suicide attack against the headquarters of the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which claimed the lives of 22 people and wounded many others, and was roundly condemned by the UN, AU and other organizations and countries. The Governments of nations contributing troops to AMISOM “have made it clear that they will remain in Mogadishu and are determined to protect themselves,” he said. “Regrettably those leaders who made public statements supporting the attack have made their international case even more difficult to defend.” The envoy voiced hope that progress towards attaining a durable peace will continued to be made, “and that after 20 years, the guns will finally fall silent.” 30 September 2009It seems that in recent months some of those fighting Somalia’s Government are coming to understand the impact of the violence on the people of the struggling Horn of Africa nation, a senior United Nations official said today. read more

Driver of Defender jeep which killed cop further remanded

The driver of a Defender type jeep which killed the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the traffic division of the Borella Police, IP Sarathchandra, has been further remanded till March 18.IP Sarathchandra was injured in a hit and run incident in Bambalapitiya last month and succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Saturday. The son of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage and seven others were arrested over the hit-and-run accident. However Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s son and seven others were later released on bail while the driver was remanded. (Colombo Gazette) A Defender type jeep in which the son of a Parliamentarian was travelling, was involved in the accident.

UN legal expert calls on Ecuadors Congress to rectify removal of judges

A top United Nations legal expert who visited Ecuador to study the “serious crisis” that “could irreversibly affect the independence of the judiciary,” has called for urgent steps to fully re-establish the rule of law in the South American country and “rectify” congressional measures replacing Supreme Court judges.The Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, visited Ecuador last week, citing urgent concerns over the replacement of 27 of the 31 Supreme Court judges with magistrates of Congress’s own choosing and the resignation of the court’s president.During a news conference in the capital Quito, the Special Rapporteur identified a number of serious irregularities in the measures adopted by the National Congress concerning both the removal of the previous magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and the designation of the new ones.“It is the duty of the National Congress, as the organ that adopted the key measures of removal and designation which provoked the current crisis, to take measures to rectify the situation,” he said.The formula for the establishment of the Supreme Court of Justice should include the independence of the judges, a procedure to fill vacant posts through election by the rest of the judges of the Court, a system of designation of judges guaranteeing their capability and probity, and including a transparent process for the participation of citizens.Mr. Despouy thanked the Government and all the authorities and sectors of the civil society that cooperated very openly in making the visit possible and for having provided valuable information.During his weeklong visit, which ended 18 March, he met with President Lucio Gutierrez, Congressional leaders, judges from courts at various levels, as well as with judicial associations, jurists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). read more

UN launches 92 million appeal to stave off new hunger deaths in

Facing a difficult new lean season which could mean death for more than 300,000 children in four West African sub-Saharan countries unless steps are taken now, the United Nations today launched an appeal for nearly $92 million to feed one of the world’s poorest regions.“We cannot wait for thousands of people, the majority of them women and children, to die of hunger or malnutrition to react,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, said. The new request covers the four Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, which suffered a food crisis last year, and includes 22 projects in the areas of agriculture, food, nutrition and health.“This year, malnutrition will be the cause of death for more than 300,000 children in the Sahel if the necessary measures are not taken in time. We know what must be done, but we need the resources to do so immediately,” the Deputy Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional office, Théophane Nikyema, said. In the countries of the Sahel, the first victims of malnutrition are the children; according to UNICEF studies, with those under three years of age the most vulnerable. The programmes will be implemented by seven UN agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNICEF, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) along with the non-governmental organization (NGO) Afrique verte.Today’s appeal revises the 2006 Consolidated Appeal for West Africa, originally launched in November 2005, which requested $145 million. In the absence of a good harvest, the countries of the Sahel are preparing for a difficult new lean season this year (April to October). Many households are already vulnerable due to the impact of past crises, OCHA said. For example, many are still paying off debts incurred during last year’s crisis. In another crisis hotspot, the UN is appealing for $4.5 million to feed up to 50,000 people in the Central African Republic (CAR) for the next six months to prevent what it warns could be a “humanitarian tragedy.” Over half of those at risk are believed to be internally displaced persons (IDPs), uprooted by warfare in 2002-2003 and living in the forest without food supplies, adequate medical care, or shelter, OCHA said. Attacks, looting and the burning of fields have intensified since December and food scarcity is rapidly increasing, it added. In a related development, WFP reported today that its emergency funds are perilously low as it struggles to feed more than 50 million people in Africa this year, with only $20 million left in its Immediate Response Account (IRA) after it was forced to allocate an unprecedented $100 million from the account in 2005.Despite persistent appeals to the international community to support its operations across the continent, an acute shortage of project donations has increasingly forced WFP to deplete its own reserves to finance immediate needs. Many people are now only receiving aid because the agency has drawn down substantially from these reserves to stave off suffering and starvation. “We have put financial systems in place to help ensure people do not starve if donations are not immediately forthcoming. But these internal loans cannot be repeated if the international community does not step in to replenish funds,” WFP Executive Director James Morris said. read more

Its old vs young with a chip Goliath as World Series of

FILE – In this July 14, 2015, file photo, players compete at the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. The World Series of Poker’s main event returns Sunday, Nov. 8, offering a $7.6 million prize to the victor. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) by Kimberly Pierceall, The Associated Press Posted Nov 6, 2015 1:01 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The World Series of Poker main event returns Sunday offering a $7.6 million prize to the victor and it appears to be 24-year-old Joe McKeehen’s to lose.The Pennsylvania poker pro and mathematics graduate will have more than twice as many chips as his nearest competitor when the cards get dealt for no-limit Texas Hold ’em at the Rio All-Suites Las Vegas casino-hotel on Sunday.Its eight Davids versus a self-described “average Joe” with a Goliath chip stack at the final table. Or if 61-year-old Neil Blumenfield gets his way, he has another tale in mind: going head-to-head with 72-year-old Pierre Neuville, “and the young kid wins it all.”Blumenfield, who once founded a tech startup, and Neuville, a former board game executive, are the oldest competitors in recent history to make it this far.“It says a lot for the ability, my generation, to hang in there in a game that’s become dominated by kids,” Blumenfield said.World Series of Poker tournaments began in May and continued for 51 days with 68 events, culminating with the annual main event. It’s a grueling multi-day poker marathon that whittled down the competition from 6,420 entries at $10,000 each to nine players, all already guaranteed at least $1 million each.Among the remaining “November Nine” are a poker star turned daily fantasy sports pro, an Israeli software developer and four young poker professionals from New York, New Jersey and Italy.McKeehen has the largest lead a player has had since the World Series of Poker switched its format in 2008 to give people more chips. Chips have no monetary value in the tournament — a player must lose all his or her chips to be eliminated or win all the chips in play to take the title.Since 2008, only one other player has entered the main event as its chip leader and won the whole thing: Jonathan Duhamel in 2010.“He’s certainly not even-money to win,” said popular poker celebrity Daniel Negreanu, who narrowly missed his own chance at the final table after being knocked out in 11th place by McKeehen in July. “I expect him to make it down to the final three.”The inclusion of Blumenfield and Neuville has changed the dynamic of the final table, too, he said.“They don’t play the typical style of poker,” Negreanu said. “They’re more unpredictable. They’ll add a little wrinkle.”Casino owner Benny Binion started the series in 1970 as an invitation-only event. It was so casual the ultimate winner was chosen by the other, usually older, guys at the table.Poker caught fire in 2003, when an accountant from Tennessee in need of no nickname — Chris Moneymaker — entered a $39 online poker satellite contest, won an entry to the main event and won the whole thing, inspiring other amateur players. Caesars Entertainment Corp. bought the tournament in 2004.The number of poker tables in Las Vegas-area casinos ballooned from an average of 293 to 707 between 2003 and 2006. Online poker sites multiplied, too, until a U.S. law sent them packing overseas in 2006 and eventually a federal crackdown shut the sites down to American customers in 2011, with just a few states legalizing the sites since. The number of poker tables dropped every year starting in 2011 until there were about 603 in Las Vegas last year.Poker pro Max Steinberg, for one, had replaced the card games with a new game for much of the last year: daily fantasy sports. Late to the poker boom but just on time predicting the rise of the fantasy sports contests, the Las Vegas resident won his entry into the World Series of Poker main event via a DraftKings fantasy basketball contest. Now he’s back playing cards, singularly focused since Nevada regulators recently shut down unlicensed fantasy sports sites in the state since they consider it gambling.For someone who needed to keep an eye on the poker prize in the days leading up to Sunday’s main event start, the state’s decision was, “sort of a blessing in disguise for me.” It’s old vs young with a chip Goliath as World Series of Poker returns to crown $7.6M champ read more

Super Bowl XLIX Was Not The Most Exciting Super Bowl Ever

Well, that was quite a game. Despite a 10-point fourth quarter comeback, the New England Patriots looked like they were headed for another gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of a circus catch (this time with the Seattle Seahawks’ Jermaine Kearse playing the role of David Tyree), before undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler stepped in front of a Russell Wilson pass and sealed the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl crown since 2001.Much will be made of the Seahawks’ decision not to run the ball from the Patriots’ 1-yard line, instead opting for the fateful pass that Butler intercepted. During the 2014 season, 57.5 percent of all rushing plays from the opponent’s 1 yard-line ended in touchdowns — and, as Harvard Sports Analytics Collective pointed out Sunday night, you could make a strong case for Seattle’s probability of scoring being even higher against New England’s defense: But I’ll leave most of the second-guessing to others for now. In the moment, I was mainly interested in where this game ranked among all classic Super Bowls in terms of excitement. (After all, it featured an impressive comeback and some wild swings in win probability late in the game.) To quantify how thrilling the game was, we once again turn to the Excitement Index, which we wrote about in our Super Bowl preview Friday. The Excitement Index measures the sum of the absolute changes in win probability throughout a game, which theoretically captures how many extreme ups and downs there were in a given Super Bowl.Perhaps surprisingly, though, this year’s game only ranks 12th all-time if you use the data from NumberFire’s in-game Win Probability tool:(Consider this an unofficial early return; the numbers we used last week were from Pro-Football-Reference, which won’t post Super Bowl win probability until Monday. It’s worth noting that some of the NumberFire probabilities don’t completely match what Brian Burke’s model lists.)Certainly, there were some plays that moved the probability needle dramatically. According to NumberFire’s model, Wilson’s interception dropped Seattle’s chances of winning from 64 percent to essentially zero. The bobbled completion to Kearse several snaps earlier raised the Seahawks’ probability by 30.8 percentage points. But most of the changes before that sequence were more gradual. The Patriots built a modest cushion for most of the first half before the Seahawks tied the game; likewise, the Seahawks rise to 91 percent win probability early in the fourth quarter was a slow march.At the same time, models like the Excitement Index are, well, just numerical representations of football reality. No index can really capture the craziness and excitement of what just transpired on the field — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. read more

2017 Big Ten football preview Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12), under pressure, puts the ball in the air against Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The host Wolverines won, 14-7. Credit: Courtesy of TNSLocation: Madison, Wisconsin2016 record: 11–3 (7–2)Head coach: Paul Chryst2017 record so far: 2-0All-time record vs. OSU: 18-58What has happened thus far in 2017Wisconsin made quick work of Utah State and Florida Atlantic, outscoring both by a combined score of 90-24. Its offense rode the legs of two running backs, freshman phenom Jonathan Taylor and redshirt sophomore Bradrick Shaw. Taylor ran all over Florida Atlantic, racking up 223 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Badgers have been lights out against their opponents, limiting them to an average of only 276 yards per game and just 24 total points. Wisconsin travels to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU in its next test Saturday.Impact playerWhile eyes might gravitate to 6-foot-6, 249-pound senior tight end Troy Fumagalli, the Badgers’ season hinges on the play of redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook. He’s been steady through the team’s first two games, throwing for 445 total yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Hornibrook grew into the starting role last season, and though his numbers from a season ago indicate he might not put up eye-popping stats, he should be able to, at least, remain a steady presence for the team under center.StrengthsWisconsin fields another all-around solid team in 2017. There’s plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but the Badgers’ offensive line has the potential to be the best unit on the team. If redshirt sophomore left guard Jon Dietzen can stay healthy, the line could provide Hornibrook with some of the best protection in the conference. With Taylor and Shaw also lining up in the backfield, Wisconsin boasts its latest grouping of talented running backs.WeaknessesYou’ll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pencil a different Big Ten West team ahead of Wisconsin. Why? The Badgers are extremely talented and have one of the easiest schedules in the country, with neither Ohio State nor Penn State on the docket. The problem with the Badgers last year, though, was their inability to close out games, losing by seven points to Michigan, to Ohio State in overtime and then to the Nittany Lions in the conference-title bout. Wisconsin must come out on top in those kind of matchups if it is to take the next step this season. read more

RIP Mygazines 20082008

first_imgWe thank you for your patronage. If you are a publisher interested in understanding more about our model and vision for the future of the publishing industry going forward, or to discuss our Business to Business model opportunities, please email us at Sincerely,The Mygazines Team It’s over:Dear valued members, visitors and publishers, Due to monetary reasons and the state of the global economy, we unfortunately must close We simply ran out of funds to support the daily operations. last_img

Imagination Award Winners Revealed at IMAG Conference

first_img Revenue: Atlantic Re:think & Netflix House of Cards’ “The Ascent” – The Atlantic A panel of 25 judges from various “independent” magazine companies—essentially, those titles not published by Hearst, Condé Nast, Time Inc., and the like—refined more than 100 entries for the inaugural awards down to winners across six categories, plus a special, “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” award. See the full list of winners below: “Counter to the meganormous companies who are trying to appeal to the largest audience possible, tonight’s awards demonstrate that you don’t have to be everything to everyone in order to be successful—and that’s a wonderful accomplishment to celebrate,” said Seymour. Why Didn’t I Think of That?: The Factory – Surfing Magazine Audience: Leveraging Online Engagement – Roadkill Magazine Lesley Jane Seymour, quipping about her own newfound independence, served as emcee. The winners of the inaugural Imagination Awards, recognizing the best work produced by independent magazine media brands, were revealed by the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) in San Francisco last night as part of the IMAG 2016 proceedings. Leadership: Catapult Creative Labs – Active Interest Media Digital: PORTER Shoppability: Enabling Real-Time Purchases Through Content – PORTER Magazine Content: National Park Service Centennial – Backpacker Projects completed between January 1 and December 31, 2015 were considered, but digital-only brands were not. MPA membership was not a requirement.  Active Interest Media took home a pair of awards: in the Content category for Backpacker’s National Park Service Centennial, and in the Leadership category for its content marketing unit, recently branded as Catapult Creative Labs. Accepting the award, Jon Dorn, AIM’s SVP of digital and creative services, gave reference to the upheaval and associated challenges that have consumed the independent space of the magazine media industry for the last several years, predicting, “If we stick with this, it’ll be the most fascinating and satisfying time of our lives.” Events (tie): Dwell Presents The Monogram Modern Home – Dwell and Gingerbread BLVD – Taste of Homelast_img read more

GE to sell 14 billion US hotel franchise loan portfolio

first_imgGeneral Electric Co said it had agreed to sell GE Capital’s U.S. hotel franchise loan portfolio to a unit of Western Alliance Bancorp.The business, which includes outstanding loans of about $1.4 billion, provides real estate financing to owners of limited service hotels.GE said it would also sell to an unnamed buyer its business that provides financing to Canada’s hospitality and restaurant industries. The unit has about $300 million of loans.GE said it would gain about $200 million from the deals, which are expected to close in the second quarter.Both the businesses represent a large part of GE Capital’s franchise finance unit, which is the last North American business to be sold as part of a plan to cut down the size of GE Capital, GE said.The deal is expected to immediately add to Western Alliance’s earnings, the bank said in a separate statement.last_img read more

Dwarakish death hoax Veteran actorfilmmaker is alive clears the air with a

first_imgA screen shot from Dwarakish’s video.PR HandoutVeteran Kannada actor and filmmaker Dwarakish has become the latest victim of a death hoax. There were rumours doing rounds that he passed away following which his fans started sharing their condolence messages on social media.”This is to clarify once again. Dwarakish sir is fine and well. Please don’t allow rumors to spread [sic],” director Chaitanya KM gave a clarification on Twitter when the speculations started going viral.Meanwhile, Dwarakish himself has issued a statement in a video to put an end to the rumours. “Hello everyone, this is your Karnatakada Kulla. I am hale and healthy. Please do not believe any rumours on my health,” Dwarakish said. He added that with the people’s blessings and love he is “doing well.”Since Monday evening, speculations were doing rounds on WhatsApp which had come as a shock to the fans of Kannada films. The clarification has come as a relief to the cine-goers which are still recovering from the death of veterans like Ambareesh, Parvathamma Rajkumar and Kashinath in recent years. Dwarakish is a multifaceted actor, who has produced and directed quality movies in Kannada. Known as Prachanda Kulla by his fans, he directed, acted and produced the movies of legends like Dr Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan. He found a place in the hearts of millions of fans as a comedian. Gradually, he displayed his directorial skills and made landmarks movies like “Mayor Muthanna”, “Kulla Agent 000”, “Singaporenalli Raja Kulla”, “Guru Shishyaru”, etc.last_img read more