Category: eksiqumz

Don’t force Christmas festivities on students, Hindu Jagran Manch tells Agra schools

first_imgAfter Aligarh, the Hindu Jagran Manch in Agra has issued warnings to Christian schools against making Hindu students celebrate Christmas. The outfit said it planned to oppose Christmas celebrations throughout the country. The Agra unit chief of the Hindu Jagran Manch, Amit Chaudhary, told the media on Thursday that no Christian school should force Hindu students to celebrate Christmas. “We want to warn all Christian schools in the city that they should not even think of forcing a Christian festival on a student who is Hindu. If they do it and if we get any complaint, we will organise protests against that school,” he said just days before the celebrations. “Festival of a religion”“It is simple logic. Christian schools survive due to Hindu children. It would be unfair on their part to culturally convert them to Christianity by making them celebrate Christmas, which is a festival of a religion which is completely alien to Bharat,” he said.Mr. Chaudhary added that the HJM has chalked out a plan to monitor activities in all the schools in the city. He also said the HJM would hold protests across the city opposing celebration of Christmas by the people. “Hindus celebrating Christmas is like being converted to Christanity. We will raise awareness among Hindus against celebrating a festival which belongs to an alien culture,” he added. The threat from the HJM unit in Agra comes days after its Aligarh unit issued a similar warning to schools in Aligarh.last_img read more

In Rajasthan, dairy farmers live in fear

first_imgYet another instance of cow vigilantism, involving the alleged lynching of a Muslim dairy farmer, Rakbar Khan, 31, in Alwar district of Rajasthan on the night of July 20 led to nationwide outrage and prompted both the Central and State governments to take urgent measures to control the situation.What happened?Rakbar and his friend Aslam were herding two cows on foot through a forest area in Ramgarh’s Lalawandi village, when a group of villagers stopped and attacked them around midnight on the suspicion that they were smuggling the cows to their native village in Haryana. While Mr. Aslam managed to escape, Rakbar sustained severe injuries and died on the way to hospital.The incident comes just over a year after another dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, was lynched by a mob near Behror in Alwar district on April 1, 2017. Pehlu Khan and four others were transporting cows in vehicles to Nuh district in Haryana when they were stopped and assaulted. In another incident, a mob killed Umar Khan near Govindgarh in November 2017.What did the govt. do?After the quick arrest of three accused, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria visited the spot of the alleged lynching, met Rakbar’s family and promised a fair probe and an initial ex gratia of ₹1.25 lakh. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the Waqf Board also announced assistance of ₹5 lakh and ₹3 lakh respectively to the victim’s family.Mr. Kataria admitted that Rakbar had died in police custody and there was a delay in taking him to hospital, as the policemen first made arrangements for taking the cows recovered from him to a ‘gaushala.’ For this “error of judgment,” an assistant sub-inspector was suspended and three policemen were sent to the Police Lines.Four inquiries were instituted in the case in four days, and the investigation was shifted from Alwar to Jaipur. The government’s swift response seems to have been guided by political compulsion and pressure from the Opposition, as the Assembly election is due later this year in Rajasthan.How is Rakbar’s village coping?There is a palpable fear and unease in Rakbar’s native village, Kolgaon, situated in the Ferozepur Jhirka region of Haryana. Rakbar’s family, comprising his wife and seven children, faces a bleak future with no permanent source of livelihood. The Meo community inhabiting the region, which has been rearing cows for dairy occupation for several generations, feels that it is being targeted. A huge panchayat held at Kolgaon on July 29 by the Rakbar Insaaf Committee, comprising about 40 prominent people from five villages, sought a Supreme Court judge-monitored investigation into the alleged lynching, ex-gratia of ₹50 lakh for the family of the victim and the arrest of BJP MLA from Ramgarh Gyan Dev Ahuja on charges of criminal conspiracy in the case. Activists and family members also believe that a “deliberate attempt” is being made to shift the blame on to the police and let the lynch mob escape.The accused arrested so far are reportedly affiliated to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).What lies ahead?With civil rights groups demanding that both the Rajasthan and Haryana governments chalk out a plan for protection of dairy farmers in the Mewat region, the ruling BJP in these States has a task cut out to deal with both alleged cow smugglers and mobs. The extortion rackets being run in the garb of cow vigilantism are now under the police radar. Besides making attempts at communal harmony, the police are finalising the chargesheet to be filed in Rakbar’s case. The police in Alwar district are also in the process of identifying miscreants after examining their criminal record. Jaipur range Inspector-General of Police V.K. Singh says this will be followed by preventive measures, including arrests, to stop the recurrence of violence.last_img read more

Otto Marine Sells AHTS Vessel DEEP SEA 1

first_imgzoom The Board of Directors of Otto Marine Limited announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Deep Sea 1 Pte. Ltd. (DS1PL) has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement  (MOA) to sell a vessel known as DEEP SEA 1 to PT GO Marine International (GMI), a company incorporated in Indonesia in which it owns 49% for a sum of USD95 million.The vessel is built in its own shipyard in Batam, the sale of the Vessel will reduce its inventory on hand and is part of the ordinary course of business of the shipyard business.None of the Directors or Controlling Shareholders or Substantial Shareholders of the Company has any interest, direct or indirect, in the abovementioned agreement save for their directorships and/or shareholdings in the Company, DS1PL and GMI.Shareholders should note that the MOA has no legal or binding effect, and it does not purport to create any legal relations other than to provide a period for the parties to negotiate and enter into formal binding contracts.Otto Marine, November 1, 2013last_img read more

Bulker Ordering Frenzy 110 Bulkers Ordered Since July

first_imgzoom Since the beginning of the second half of this year, shipowners have ramped up dry bulk ordering, bringing the newbuild count to 110 new ships in the last three months.The number has almost doubled when compared to 63 newbuilding orders from the first half of this year, according to the data from VesselsValue.Interestingly enough, the majority of shipowners contracting newbuilds comes from Japan and they have ordered 41 new dry bulk carriers since July 1, 2017.The Japanese owners are followed by their Greek counterparts with 25 orders, 13 from Singapore, 8 from Turkey and 7 from China. The remaining 16 orders are split between other countries, including those from Saudi Arabia’s Bahri and Bulgaria’s Navibulgar.To remind, earlier this month Japanese company Nissen Kaiun placed an order for ten 82,000 DWT bulk carriers at compatriot shipyards.Furthermore, Japan’s Kambara Kissen has ordered eight Panamaxes and two Ultramaxes at Tsuneishi Cebu Shipbuilding, slated for delivery by 2020.Big orders also came from Nisshin Shipping and Singapore’s Yangzijiang Shipping Pte that ordered seven bulkers each during the said period.A new mega-order seems to be in the making, as indicated by brokers, involving Brazilian miner Vale which has been linked to a time charter deal for up to 30 Valemax newbuilds.Under the long-term contracts of affreightment lasting up to 25 years, Chinese joint venture between ICBC Leasing and China Merchants would be providing ten 400,000 DWT bulkers, while South Korean shipping company Pan Ocean would be providing 4 Valemax newbuilds.In addition, Pan Ocean’s compatriots Korea Line Corporation, H Line Shipping, and SK Shipping would each contribute two 400,000 DWT bulkers, data from Intermodal Research shows.Furthermore, Polaris Shipping is reportedly ordering up to ten newbuilds to support the contract.The orders are said to be spread across several Chinese and South Korean yards, with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) being tied to an order from Polaris, with likely deliveries in 2019-2020.When asked about the order by World Maritime News, Vale said it could not comment on the reports.Polaris and HHI are yet to confirm the market reports as well.Prompted by attractive newbuilding prices the owners are rushing to the yards to secure newbuilding tonnage anent the anticipated market recovery.Nevertheless, the ordering spree might result in the boomerang effect and delay the much-needed recovery even further amid the threat of tonnage oversupply that is likely to keep freight rates down.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Stocks sink again as job gains send bond yields higher

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stock and bond prices fell again Friday after the Labor Department said the economy continues to add jobs at a strong pace, and investors worried about a three-day surge in yields.The Department of Labor said employers added significantly more jobs in July and August than it previously thought, which made up for a slightly disappointing gain in September. That was another sign economic growth is likely to continue.While that’s usually good news for stocks, the market stumbled this week as investors sold government bonds at a rapid pace. That pushed yields to their highest levels in more than seven years, a sign that investors are unsure how high and fast interest rates will rise.Kate Nixon, the chief investment strategist for Northern Trust Wealth Management, said the decline in stock and bond prices started with comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday.In a moderated discussion, Powell expressed confidence in the economy and said rising interest rates are a “long way” from holding back growth. Nixon said that means the Fed is intent on raising rates further, and investors aren’t sure when it intends to stop.“The Fed is clearly no longer in the business of being accommodative and now the burden of proof is on the data to prove them wrong,” she said. Until last month, the Fed had described its policies as “accommodative,” or encouraging faster growth, since the Great Recession.The S&P 500 index lost 16.04 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,885.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 180.43 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 26,447.05.Technology and internet companies and smaller, more U.S.-focused companies continued to suffer steep losses. The Nasdaq composite skidded 91.06 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 7,788.45. The Russell 2000 index lost 14.80 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 1,632.11.The Nasdaq dropped 3.2 per cent this week and the Russell tumbled 3.8 per cent. That was both indexes worst weekly loss in more than six months. The Russell index finished at its lowest level since late May.The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 3.23 per cent, its highest since May 2011, from 3.19 per cent.“It’s so unusual to see these kinds of dramatic moves in the U.S. Treasury market without there being some kind of Big Bang event,” said Nixon, of Northern Trust. “We haven’t seen anything like it since the (2016 presidential) election.”While technology companies and retailers have been the biggest gainers on the S&P this year, they took steep losses this week. Banks and industrial and energy companies, which have struggled for most of 2018, changed place and finished with strong gains.Among technology companies, chipmaker Nvidia lost 3.4 per cent to $269.86 and Apple slipped 1.6 per cent to $224.29. Among internet and communications companies, Netflix slumped 3.4 per cent to $351.35. Retailers also declined and Amazon gave up 1 per cent to $1,889.65.Several major banks will report their third-quarter results late next week as the next round of company earnings begins.Tesla stock fell 7.1 per cent to $261.95 to end a particularly wild week for the electric car maker. Thursday evening, CEO Elon Musk taunted the Securities and Exchange Commission on Twitter just days after he agreed to settle an SEC lawsuit triggered by a tweet he sent in August.As part of that settlement, Musk agreed to step down as chairman and submit to oversight when he’s communicating company news. His criticisms of the SEC don’t appear to be company news, but they may have worried investors who hoped his feed would be a little more boring from now on.According to media reports, financier David Einhorn also criticized Tesla, comparing it to Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt during the financial crisis. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Musk and Tesla are also paying $20 million each to end the lawsuit over his false tweet that he had secured funding to take Tesla private.Wholesale club operator Costco gave up 5.6 per cent to $218.82 after it said it discovered technology problems related to its financial reporting processes. Costco said it hasn’t found any mistakes in its earnings reports so far.European stocks fell for the second day in a row. Germany’s DAX lost 1.1 per cent and the CAC 40 in France dropped 1 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.3 per cent. Bond prices in all three countries fell again sending yields higher.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 per cent and the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2 per cent.Benchmark U.S. crude was little changed at $74.34 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, the standard for international oil futures, fell 0.5 per cent to $84.16 a barrel in London.Wholesale gasoline slipped 0.7 per cent to $2.09 a gallon. Heating oil dipped 0.3 per cent to $2.39 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.7 per cent to $3.14 per 1,000 cubic feet.Gold rose 0.3 per cent to $1,205.60 an ounce. Silver added 0.4 per cent to $14.65 an ounce. Copper fell 0.5 per cent to $2.76 a pound.The dollar slipped to 113.73 yen from 113.86 yen. The euro rose to $1.1525 from $1.1515.____AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jaylast_img read more

First look at Finlands basic income trial no major changes

COPENHAGEN — Finnish officials say a nationwide experiment with basic income has not increased employment among those participating during the first year of the trial, but their general well-being seems to have increased.A report by Finland’s Social Insurance Institution, or Kela, looked at the first year of the trial. It said Friday that “it was not yet possible to draw any firm conclusions” from the experiment, where about 2,000 randomly selected, unemployed people got tax-free income of 560 euros ($636) a month with no questions asked.Finland is looking into ways to reshape its social security system and became in January 2017 the first European country to launch the trial, which will end in 2020.Kela said basic income recipients had fewer stress symptoms and were more confident in their future than a 5,000-member control group of social benefit recipients.The Associated Press read more

More legroom less conversation for Uber riders who pay

NEW YORK — Uber is letting passengers tell their driver in advance that they’d like a little less conversation, and more legroom, if they’re willing to pay.The ride-hailing giant launched “comfort” rides Tuesday. Riders are guaranteed a minimum amount of legroom in cars less than five years old and can use the app to tell drivers they don’t want to talk. Comfort rides cost 20% to 40% more for time and distance than standard Uber rides.Uber says it’s responding to requests from business travellers and other riders.The move could help Uber boost revenue, which could nudge the company closer to profitability.Uber has yet to turn a profit and lost $1 billion in the first quarter of 2019. Executives have said it could take years to turn a profit.Cathy Bussewitz, The Associated Press read more

Letter Was this a case of hand wash hand

Dear Editor,The Public Health Minister made much about the donation to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation of refrigerators to store the emergency supplies at the internationally acceptable temperature (‘ANSA McAL is only company to ever provide cold storage facilities for drugs’ – Lawrence ).This disclosure by the Minister raises the troubling question whether her judgment to sole source was compromised?Did this benevolent, charitable act play a part in any way or cloud the Minister’s consideration to bypass Tender Board procedures and opt for the controversial sole source route?Was this a case of hand wash hand? The Minister says she is not for sale. It seems Public Health Ministers just keep blundering on.Regards,Shamshun Mohamed Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedInvestigation into New Demerara bridge corruption probe complete- SOCU HeadJanuary 15, 2019In “latest news”$605M Drug scandal: No reason for COI into Lawrence’s involvement – HarmonMarch 24, 2017In “Business”ANSA McAL sole sourcing: President says ‘disciplinary actions if’ persons at faultMarch 11, 2017In “Business”,Dear Editor,The Public Health Minister made much about the donation to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation of refrigerators to store the emergency supplies at the internationally acceptable temperature (‘ANSA McAL is only company to ever provide cold storage facilities for drugs’ – Lawrence ).This disclosure by the Minister raises the troubling question whether her judgment to sole source was compromised?Did this benevolent, charitable act play a part in any way or cloud the Minister’s consideration to bypass Tender Board procedures and opt for the controversial sole source route?Was this a case of hand wash hand? The Minister says she is not for sale. It seems Public Health Ministers just keep blundering on.Regards,Shamshun Mohamed read more

IMO recommends junior doctors say yes to LRC proposals

first_imgAFTER DAYS OF talks between the Irish Medical Organisation and the HSE, there has been positive movement in the ongoing dispute over working hours for junior doctors.A spokesperson for the IMO told TheJournal.ie that the Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs) committee from the IMO met this evening to consider a set of proposals which were developed through the Labour Relations Committee.He said they agreed to put those proposals to a ballot of NCHD members, and that this ballot will take place as soon as is practicable.“The IMO will be recommending a ‘yes’ vote,” the spokesperson said.Regarding the proposals, the IMO believes a particular concern about sanctions and how to make sure hospitals comply with the EU working time directive is a “robust” proposal.It would involve penalising individual hospitals if they fail to comply with the codes. This proposal was described as “very credible”.The IMO believe it is now down to the members to make a decision when taking part in the ballot.On 8 October, 3,000 doctors took part in industrial action to draw attention to their 24 No More campaign. This campaign was set up to bring an end to doctors’ long working hours, which often includes working 24-hour shifts.Read: “Progress made” on doctors talks, but no deal yet>last_img read more

Armed gardaí rush to robbery only to find TY students making a

first_img 29,994 Views Armed gardaí rush to ‘robbery’ only to find TY students making a film The incident happened on Wednesday evening. 27 Comments Friday 27 Jan 2017, 10:09 PM Image: RollingNews.ie http://jrnl.ie/3210125 By Garreth MacNamee Jan 27th 2017, 10:09 PM Share Tweet Email Image: RollingNews.ie OVER A DOZEN gardaí rushed to the scene of what they believed to be an armed robbery only to find a group of Transition Years teenagers making a student film.A number of both uniformed and armed officers were dispatched to Causeway in Kerry after being alerted by a member of the public on Wednesday night who thought they were witnessing a crime in progress.Causeway Comprehensive had sought permission from the local shop owner to film the production but the school forgot to notify the local gardaí.Speaking on Radio Kerry, Inspector Liam Wallace from Listowel garda station said a large amount of resources were sent to the village. However, he warned that the miscommunication could have left gardaí short in case a real incident had occurred elsewhere at the time.He said: “You are talking about armed units from both Listowel and Tralee and uniformed gardaí from both Ardfert and Listowel. At least in and around 14 people were sent.“In this instance there was a slight break-down of communication. A simple phonecall to us in advance could potentially save us a lot of trouble and a lot of difficulty. Our concern is that, while we have resources attending at that particular incident, they might have been required elsewhere.”The school’s vice principal Anne-Marie Hassett apologised for not notifying officers.Read: New service means you can now track your passport application online >Read: Spy chief confirms ‘Q’ from James Bond is a woman in real life > Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Officials identify body found in Columbia River as Camas man

first_imgThe Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man whose body was found Thursday morning in the Columbia River as Carl Lacour.Lacour, 45, of Camas jumped off a boat Aug. 21 near Jantzen Beach and presumably drowned then. A Hayden Island resident spotted his body on Thursday and it was recovered by Portland Fire & Rescue.The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s office determined Lacour died from drowning.last_img

Rivers receding in Calgary 3 dead in floods

first_imgCALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The two rivers that converge on the western Canadian city of Calgary are receding Saturday after floods devastated much of southern Alberta province, causing at least three deaths and forcing thousands to evacuate.The flooding forced authorities to evacuate Calgary’s entire downtown and hit some of the city’s iconic structures hard. The Saddledome, home to the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, was flooded up to the 10th row, leaving the dressing rooms submerged.Water lapped at the roof of the chuckwagon barns at the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, which is scheduled to start in two weeks. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said the city will do everything it can to make sure that the world-renowned party goes ahead.Bruce Burrell, director of the city’s emergency management agency, said Saturday they are seeing improvements in the rivers. Dan Limacher, director of water services for the city, said the Elbow river is expected to recede by about 60 percent over the next two days, while the larger Bow river will recede by about 25 percent.The improving conditions Saturday morning prompted Calgary’s mayor to tweet: “It’s morning in Calgary! Sunny, water levels are down, and our spirit remains strong. We’re not out of this, but maybe have turned corner.”last_img read more

Microsoft Invests 300 Million in Upcoming Barnes Noble NOOK Spinoff

first_imgBarnes & Noble did not immediately return request for comment on this news. B&N is counting its College business as an important factor in NewCo, “NOOK Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market.” After announcing plans to possibly spin off its NOOK business in January, Barnes & Noble enters into a partnership with Microsoft. The tech company invested $300 million in the new subsidiary (currently under the working title NewCo), a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion, equating to a 17.6 percent equity stake. Barnes & Noble retains an 82.4 percent ownership of the new subsidiary. This partnership follows the end of an ongoing patent dispute between the companies, as Microsoft previously claimed the use of Android on the NOOK violated its patents. A resolution has since been reached, “Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and NewCo will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK e-reader and tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.” The partnership will “accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people, consume, create, share and enjoy digital content,” according to a company press statement. NewCo will combine Barnes & Nobles’ digital and College businesses, though there is no official plan to completely spin off the business from the parent corporation quite yet, “The company intends to explore all alternatives for how a strategic separation of NewCo may occur. There can be no assurance that the review will result in a strategic separation or the creation of a stand-alone public company, and there is no set timetable for this review.”The company also stated it will not comment further regarding the review “unless and until a decision is made.”One result of the deal is NOOK access for Windows 8 users in the form of an app. William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, says of the partnership, ““The formation of NewCo and our relationship with Microsoft are important parts of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of the NOOK business, and to solidify our position as a leader in the exploding market for digital content in the consumer and education segments.”last_img read more

2020 VW Golf slated for techrich October debut report says

first_img 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Originally, it was believed that the 2020 Volkswagen Golf would make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, perhaps alongside the ID electric hatchback’s production form. Now, a new report points to a later debut, but based on what the Golf will carry with it, the wait sounds worth it.The eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf is currently scheduled to make its formal debut in October, Automotive News Europe reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. There are, according to ANE, two reasons for this: First, Volkswagen wants the ID to steal the spotlight at the show, as it’s a pretty important vehicle for the automaker; also, as earlier reports noted, VW did have some software setbacks to work through.But the Golf that shows itself to the world in October will be reportedly worth the weight. ANE’s report says that the eighth generation is positioning itself as “the benchmark for connectivity.” Standard features will allegedly include lane-keep assist, LED headlights and a massive digital cockpit in addition to a center-console screen no smaller than 8.25 inches.In addition to all that kit, most of which is currently relegated to more expensive Golf trims, there’s some interesting digital tech in there. The vehicle will reportedly be capable of vehicle-to-x communication, likely using the DSRC standard (802.11p) that the automaker has championed in the past. The new Golf should also carry a digital key option, which allows the vehicle to be opened using a phone instead of a key, although it’s unclear if this technology will rely on near-field communication like Hyundai’s, or if it will use Bluetooth Low Energy like the Tesla Model 3.The 2020 VW Golf will enter production in Wolfsburg, Germany, in the third quarter of 2019, the report says. Europe will be first to take a crack at the new hatchback; as with generations past, it’ll take about a year or so for the new Golf to make its way to the US. Hatchbacks Future Cars Tags 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Volkswagen Review • 2018 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen: Stirring sensibility 23 Photoscenter_img 1 More From Roadshow 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI is a hot hatch for grown-ups Comment More about 2018 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Share your voice Volkswagenlast_img read more

Modi brainstorms with 40 economists at Niti Aayog

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a meeting with more than 40 economists and industry experts to review the macroeconomic situation of the country. The meeting took place amid growing concern over the slowdown in the economy. “During the session, participants shared their views, in five distinct groups, on the economic themes of macro economy and employment, agriculture and water resources, exports, education and health,” said a release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. Also Read – Charge sheet against AAP MLA Gulab Singh Advertise With Us The meeting was also attended by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State (independent charge) for Statistics and Programme Implementation Rao Inderjeet Singh. The high-level meeting took place days ahead of the General Budget that will be presented in parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5. Ahead of Saturday’s meeting, public policy think-tank NITI Aayog had divided the economists and sectoral experts into different groups to brainstorm on key sectors of the economy such as like infrastructure, agriculture as well as the larger challenge of job creation, sources said. Also Read – JNU poll panel cancels Yogi’s nomination Advertise With Us These groups were given specific targets to identify the hurdles to growth and what steps the government can take to address these bottlenecks and bring back the growth sentiment in those sectors. On May 31, a day after Modi was sworn in for a second term following his election victory, the government had announced the third straight fall in quarterly growth to 5.8 per cent in the first three months of the year (FY 2018-19). Advertise With Us The economy grew at its slowest pace in 17 quarters. The figure was down from 6.6 percent in the last quarter of 2018. The figure meant India is no longer the world’s fastest growing major economy; it is China, with 6.4 per cent growth in the first quarter. India has fallen behind China’s pace for the first time in nearly two years. The Statistics Ministry last month said the unemployment rate was at a 45-year low, at 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, confirming the figure leaked to Business Standard newspaper in January, which said it was the worst since 1972-73. Last Saturday, at meeting of the NITI Aayog, Modi said the goal to make India a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024, was challenging, but achievable. The meeting was attended by chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, union ministers and senior government officials.last_img read more

UPDATE Lawmakers Push Zuckerberg On Security Diversity Drug Sales On Facebook

first_imgFacebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, 33. Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesA few of the other topics discussed in the hearing:What is Facebook? Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., committee chairman, noted that Facebook has exclusive broadcasting deals as well as tools that allow people to transfer money.“Is Facebook a media company?” he asked. “Is Facebook a financial institution?”Zuckerberg replied: “I consider us to be a technology company because the primary thing that we do is have engineers that write code and build products and services for other people. There are certainly other things that we do do. … We build planes to help connect people, and I don’t consider us to be an aerospace company.”Facebook has been testing planes that broadcast Internet signals to the ground.Does Facebook’s data collection amount to surveillance of users? Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., accused Facebook of “the wholesale invasion and manipulation of users’ right to privacy.”“What is the difference between Facebook’s methodology and the methodology of the American political pariah J. Edgar Hoover?” he asked, referring to the former FBI director.“The difference is extremely clear, which is that on Facebook you have control over your information,” Zuckerberg said. “The content that you share, you put there. … The information that we collect, you can choose to have us not collect. You can delete any of it, and of course, you can leave Facebook if you want.“I know of no surveillance organization that gives people the option to delete the data that they have or even know what they’re collecting,” Zuckerberg said.Do consumers understand what they’ve agreed to as they use Facebook? Walden asked Zuckerberg, “Did it ever cross your mind that you should be communicating more clearly with users about how Facebook is monetizing their data?”“I would say that we do try to explain what we do as time goes on,” Zuckerberg said. Every time someone adds content to Facebook, he said, there is “a control right there about who you want to share it with. … I think that in the product that’s quite clear. I do think that we can do a better job of explaining how our advertising works.”Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, approached the same question from a different angle. “Can the average layperson look at the terms and conditions and make the evaluation: Is this strong enough protection for me to enter into this arrangement?” he asked.Zuckerberg said, “I think if someone wanted to know that they could, but a lot of people probably just accept terms of service without taking the time to read through it. I view our responsibility not as just legally complying with laying it out, getting that consent, but actually trying to make sure that people understand what’s happening throughout the product.”He repeatedly said he believes users do understand how their data will be used. Multiple lawmakers expressed skepticism on that point.The question of financial penaltiesIn an occasionally tense exchange, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., challenged Zuckerberg over his company’s billions of dollars in profit and what she described as the lack of financial penalty over prior privacy breaches.She cited two settled class-action lawsuits — Lane v. Facebook, in which users received no compensation, and Fraley v. Facebook, in which users received $15 each. DeGette expressed surprise when Zuckerberg said he was not familiar with the details of the cases.She also asked whether there was a financial penalty involved after a Federal Trade Commission investigation ended in a 2011 consent decree. Zuckerberg said he couldn’t remember, which prompted more skepticism from DeGette.“The reason you probably don’t remember is because the FTC doesn’t have the authority to issue penalties for first-time violations,” she said.“We continue to have these abuses and these data breaches, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem like future activities are prevented,” DeGette said. “I think one of the things that we need to look at in the future … is putting really robust penalties in place in case of improper actions.” On racial diversity within Facebook’s staff and leadershipCongressional Black Caucus member Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., said that Facebook lists five leaders on its website, none of whom are black. “This does not reflect America,” he said.“We have a broader leadership than just five people,” Zuckerberg said.“Do you plan to add an African-American to your leadership team in the foreseeable future and will you commit that you will continue to work with us, the Congressional Black Caucus, to increase diversity within your company?“Congressman, we will certainly work with you,” Zuckerberg said. “This is an important issue.”Butterfield asked for data on the retention of employees by race; Zuckerberg said he would discuss it with his team.Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., also pushed Zuckerberg hard on the question of diversity, tying the “monolithic” makeup of the company to Facebook’s failures to anticipate and prevent disinformation campaigns. After five hours of testimony before a joint session of two Senate committees on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the Capitol for a second straight day of grilling — this time before the House.For another five hours on Wednesday, Zuckerberg took questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Representatives took a generally sharp tone, pushing Zuckerberg to commit to “yes or no” answers and occasionally exclaiming with mock surprise when he protested that he couldn’t answer.And the questions extended far beyond questions of security, privacy and data-sharing, addressing diversity at Facebook headquarters and whether the company is tacitly allowing illegal drug sales on the platform.The congressional hearings, Zuckerberg’s first, come in the wake of a scandal in which Facebook user data was sold to Cambridge Analytica, a third-party group that assisted the Trump campaign. (Cambridge Analytica saysit did not use the Facebook data in its 2016 election work.)Zuckerberg has repeatedly apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, while blaming the information-sharing on a researcher who, according to Facebook, violated the platform’s terms of service.Zuckerberg says he found out that the data was sold to Cambridge Analytica after The Guardian reported on the issue.“Do you routinely learn about these violations through the press?” Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., asked on Wednesday.“Sometimes we do,” Zuckerberg said.He told members of the House that his own data was included in the privacy breach. Zuckerberg said Facebook relies on users flagging inappropriate content to be taken down. He said with billions of pieces of content shared daily, it was not feasible for the company to examine all those posts. But he said the company hopes to use artificial intelligence tools to help flag inappropriate content.On Facebook’s collection of data on non-Facebook users Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony has focused on how Facebook handles user data. But Rep. Ben Luján, D-N.M., pushed Zuckerberg on how exactly Facebook uses the data of people who are not users of the service.Their conversation went like this: Is Facebook doing enough to stop opioid sales?Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., brought up America’s opioid crisis and posted a photo of drugs available for sale on Facebook, no prescription necessary.“Your platform is still being used to circumvent the law and allow people to buy highly addictive drugs without a prescription,” he said. “Facebook is actually enabling an illegal activity, and in so doing, you are hurting people.”Zuckerberg replied, “There are a number of areas of content that we need to do a better job policing on our service.”“You’ve said before you were going to take down those ads but you didn’t do it,” McKinley said. “When are you going to take them down? … Where is your accountability to allow this to be occurring?”center_img How does Facebook use information it collects, as opposed to what users provide?In his testimony, Zuckerberg has consistently emphasized the information people voluntarily supply to Facebook — photos they upload, status updates they write, pages they click “like” on. He says people own that data and can delete it at any time. He also stresses that Facebook, while it uses that data to power its ad business, does not sell the data itself to advertisers.Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., pressed Zuckerberg on something different — the “metadata” about users that Facebook gathers without users uploading it themselves. That includes things like when and how users access Facebook and what they click on or look at, including on sites other than Facebook. (The Wall Street Journal recently published a visual breakdown of data provided vs. data collected by various platforms.)“There’s an awful lot of information that is generated that people don’t think that they’re generating, and that advertisers are being able to target because Facebook collects it,” Kennedy said.“Yes,” Zuckerberg said. “My understanding is that the targeting options that are available for advertisers are generally things that are based on what people share. Now, once an advertiser chooses how they want to target something, Facebook also does its own work to rank and determine which ads are going to be interesting to which people. So we may use metadata or other behaviors of what you’ve shown that you’re interested in in news feeds or other places in order to make our systems more relevant to you, but that’s a little bit different from giving that as an option to an advertiser.”“I don’t understand how users then own that data,” Kennedy said. He then ran out of time for questions.On its business help pages, Facebook tells advertisers it can target ads based on, among other things, users’ purchase behaviors and “activities people engage in on and off Facebook.”Members of Congress also asked pointed questions about how Facebook will defend civil rights — by preventing housing discrimination in advertising, for instance — whether the platform suppresses conservative speech or might in the future, and the degree of responsibility Facebook has over content on its platform, including disinformation.On Tuesday, the hearing before the Senate covered many of the same topics as well.As NPR’s Peter Overby reported earlier this week, Facebook — like Silicon Valley in general — has grown more involved in Washington politics over the years: Luján: “Facebook has detailed profiles on people who have never signed up for Facebook, yes or no?”Zuckerberg: “In general, we collect data from people who have not signed up from Facebook for security purposes.” Luján: “… On average, how many data points does Facebook have on each Facebook user?”Zuckerberg: “I do not know off the top of my head.”Luján: “The average for non-Facebook platforms is 1,500. It’s been reported that Facebook has as many as 29,000 data points for an average Facebook user. Do you know how many points of data Facebook has on the average non-Facebook user?”Zuckerberg: “Congressman, I do not off the top off my head, but I can have our team get back to you afterwards.”Luján: “I’d appreciate that. It’s been admitted by Facebook that you do collect data points on non-Facebook users, so my question is, can someone who does not have a Facebook account opt out of Facebook’s involuntary data collection?”Zuckerberg: “Congressman, anyone can turn off and opt out of any data collection for ads, whether they use our services or not, but in order to prevent people from scraping public information … we need to know when someone is trying to repeatedly access our services … “Luján: “You’ve said everyone controls their data, but you are collecting data on people who are not even Facebook users, that have never signed a consent, a privacy agreement, and you’re collecting their data. And it may surprise you that on Facebook’s page, when you go to ‘I don’t have a Facebook account and would like to request all my personal data stored by Facebook,’ it takes you to a form that says, ‘Go to your Facebook page and then on your account settings you can download your data.’  … You’re directing people who that don’t even have a Facebook page to have to sign up for a page to reach their data. We’ve got to fix that.” “Facebook opened its D.C. office when it was five years old — and already worth billions. It routinely hires lots of top-tier, veteran lobbyists, as does Google.“The current lobbying environment is ideal. Many lawmakers still don’t fully grasp the technology. Congress long ago defunded its in-house technology office, which could have taught them.“Facebook reported its 2017 lobbying cost at nearly $12 million. Google spent even more: $18 million. … Some of the money goes to think tanks, where experts can shape policy debates on Capitol Hill. … Then there’s campaign money. …“Facebook’s PAC and employees made political contributions totaling $4.5 million in the 2016 cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. For Google’s parent company, Alphabet, the total was nearly $8 million.” Sharelast_img read more

Enter the Gungeons Gun Puns Are A Blast on Nintendo Switch

first_imgStay on target It seems fitting that one of the last games I write about in this otherwise great year is a roguelike. Despite my distaste for the genre’s obsession with permadeath and randomized levels, the fact that so many interesting indie games use this formula means I still have to put up with it to keep a pulse on the scene. This has become even more true as more and more roguelike indie hits land on Nintendo Switch.Today’s roguelike indie hit? The fracas of firearms that is Enter the Gungeon. Once again, this isn’t the game to make me enjoy roguelikes. But its infectious style and nimble bullet ballet shine regardless.If you thought Enter the Gungeon’s name (and kick ass theme song) alone is a great pun, boy are you going to enjoy soaking in all the lore this (fictional) gun-worshipping world has to offer. Players enter deeper chambers of the titular keep to find a legendary gun that can kill the past. You do battle with bullet-based bosses like heavily armed bird Gatling Gull or the Lead Lord. New guns you find get added to the Ammonimicon tome. The combination of hellish religious fervor and breakneck brutal gunplay gives the game an almost Doom vibe, and I am here for it.AdChoices广告The charming retro graphics also do a lot to sell this literal bullet hell. UI elements like your health and the reset clock are made out of bullets. Low-level “Gundead” enemies are cute walking shell casings. Your tutorial gun in an actual pea shooter. Different character classes are pixelated parodies of classic shooter heroes archetypes like space marines or treasure hunters. The parody aspect of the presentation does a lot to keep the game funny and ridiculous and entertaining, not some kind of gross NRA masturbatory Second Amendment fantasy.Naturally, all that gun garnish is in service of gameplay entirely about shooting. There are some surface level similarities between Enter the Gungeon and The Binding of Isaac seeing as they both roguelikes that play like top-down shooters. But Gungeon’s sophisticated mechanics make it feel more like a shrunken down version of a modern console shooter instead of yet another homage to Smash TV.Players weave between big and visible yet fast and relentless projectiles while returning fire. You always have a basic gun with unlimited ammo but to make real progress you’ll have to manage limited but better random guns you find along the way like shotguns and crossbows and laser cannons and light guns. You can aim in all directions but always need to eventually reload, so your shooting needs to be fast but purposefully timed. The game even lets you prioritize speed and performance over graphical quality in video settings, which is a strange inclusion for what doesn’t seem to be a technically demanding retro-looking game.The defensive options also manage to add to the aggressive, action movie nature of the combat. Players can pull off a slick little diving dodge roll move (the name of the developer is Dodge Roll) to leap past walls of bullets unscathed. It’s the only solution when you’re backed in a corner and need to deal with a giant whose sword slashes bullets. Or when you’re really desperate you can use finite blanks to briefly wipe all bullets from the screen.The game takes advantage of its randomized nature as well by letting players adapt to their specific environments in cool ways. Beyond just learning the overall level layout and teleporter shortcut network, players can turn a room itself into a weapon. Blow up barrels for splash damage. Shoot down chandeliers like it’s The Phantom of the Opera. Kick over a table to use as quick cover. Strategies can get even crazier in two-player co-op, although I wasn’t a fan of the tilt controls for single Joy-Con play.That all sounds awesome, and I found Enter the Gungeon’s moment to moment gameplay to be intensely satisfying. Unfortunately, I also found it to be another set of promising mechanics needlessly saddled with a roguelike formula. I just don’t think the game gains anything of value by being this difficult, this willing to wipe your progress on a whim, and this uninterested in crafting cool specific levels to tackle. I just can’t care enough to buy the best loot at the shop, learn boss patterns, or even give it my all during any particularly run when it’s inevitably all for naught. At best, roguelikes should be cool endless bonus modes, not the entire experience.Enter the Gungeon is an awesome little shooter with a heaping hilarious helping of great gun mysticism. And if you like roguelikes obviously you’ll get more from it than I did. But here’s hoping that next year’s promising Nintendo Switch indie games keep the cool controls and intriguing ideas but ditch the pointless permadeath.Buy it now!Super Mario OdysseyThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Enter the Gungeon is a hit indie roguelike top-down shooter now on Nintendo Switch.2. The game’s mystic lore is obsessed with firearms, from Gundead enemies to your Ammonomicon encyclopedia.3. The shooting itself also feels great, with free aim and defensive options like rolling or kicking down cover.4. I’m just not a huge fan of its roguelike elements like permadeath and randomized levels.5. Still, Enter the Gungeon is an awesome and intense little shooter.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… last_img read more

Authorities arrest lawyer with ties to ruling Citizen Action Party on fraud

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s Solís claims $112 million in losses from corruption in speech highlighting first 100 days of his administration No clear path forward, opposition lawmakers lament after Solís’ 100-day report Supreme Court re-elects Jorge Chavarría as Costa Rica’s chief prosecutor despite protests After 7 months on the run, El Salvador’s ex-President Flores turns himself in At 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) agents raided the home of Jorge Sibaja Rodríguez, a lawyer and member of the ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC). Police are investigating Sibaja’s alleged use of forged documents to commit fraud against the Costa Rican Social Security System, or Caja, in April.Sibaja worked as a consulting attorney for the Caja in debt collection. Earlier this year, Caja officials noticed irregularities in billing for Sibaja’s fees, which allegedly included falsified documents stating that several collections had been completed. But Caja officials were unable to find any matching documents in their financial records.During Tuesday’s raid, OIJ agents seized Judicial Branch watermarked stationary and rubber stamps apparently used by the attorney to forge collections documents.Sibaja, who is a member of the PAC’s Internal Elections Tribunal, recently was scrutinized after it was made public that he charged the party ₡277 million ($500,000) for the authentication of 55,000 party member signatures presented to the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE), despite the fact that the requirement is unnecessary. The TSE has free online tools to certify signatures.In light of the ongoing scandal, members of PAC’s directorate last week agreed not to file those expenses as public campaign financing funds reimbursed by the TSE.Following his weekly Cabinet meeting today, President Luis Guillermo Solís responded to media questions about the arrest by saying, “Sibaja was not part of this campaign. He was a party employee.” Solís added that the issue is in the hands of judicial authorities and he had no further comment.During the raid, OIJ agents also seized several archaeological artifacts that were verified as genuine by experts from the National Museum. Possession of those artifacts is forbidden under Costa Rican law.At about noon, Sibaja was sent to the Prosecutor’s Office to be officially charged. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Princess Cruises named Australias Most Trusted Cruise Operator

first_imgPrincess Cruises named Australia’s Most Trusted Cruise OperatorLeading cruise line Princess Cruises has been named Australia’s most trusted cruise operator in the annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey.The recognition comes as the cruise line prepares to celebrate 10 years since it started cruising from Australia year-round.Princess Cruises Vice President Australia & New Zealand Stuart Allison said the cruise line was honoured to have received the gong.“We pride ourselves on the holiday experience we provide, including our exceptional customer service, so we are very excited to have been recognised with this award,” Mr Allison said.“Since we began cruising from Australia year-round in October 2007, Princess Cruises has grown from strength to strength in the local market.“Australians now spend more nights sailing with Princess Cruises than on any other cruise line, enjoying holidays on our local fleet of four ships which sail full-time and seasonally from Australian ports, as well as on our international fly-cruises.”In September next year, Princess Cruises’ flagship, the stunning Majestic Princess, will arrive in Sydney for her inaugural season Down Under, in a further indication of the growing popularity of the cruise line amongst Australian holidaymakers.Princess Cruises was selected from a field of nine ocean and river cruise operators.The annual Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey has included a cruise category since 2013, with Princess Cruises being highly commended for the past four years. This year, 71 categories were featured and more than 2450 people were surveyed. Princess CruisesSource = Princess Cruiseslast_img read more

Their romance is the

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CRUZ: And let me take a moment,贵族宝贝Adrianna, Both proposals are part of a jobs and innovation package worth AUD $1 billion over 4 years announced on 17 February by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Image courtesy: Indian Super League official website "The grand finale will be played at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday, This latest cover is perhaps a throwback to the first season, Rand Paul, who is also his deputy in the cabinet. as a productivity tool. Congress needs something new and unconventional. read more