BJP leader stokes controversy over remark against Muslim women

first_imgBhubaneswar: A BJP leader stoked a controversy in the Odisha Assembly on Thursday when he said “Muslim women dominated the red-light areas of Mumbai and Kolkata” while speaking in support of the “triple talaq” bill. B C Sethi, the deputy leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the House, quoted “survey reports” from magazines and newspapers during Zero Hour to justify his claim even as members of the Congress and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) demanded that the statement be immediately expunged from the records. “What is wrong in quoting survey reports in the House? I have not made any adverse remark against any community, but quoted survey reports that say Muslim women dominate the red-light areas in Mumbai and Kolkata,” Sethi said. He was replying to Congress members, who had criticised the Centre for pushing through the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Parliament.last_img read more

Sustained fiscal restraint needed if United Conservatives win election Kenney

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney says a period of austerity would be required if he is elected premier two years from now to undo damage caused by the NDP government.Kenney, a former federal Conservative cabinet minister who is running for leader of the fledgling United Conservative Party, said it will take time to fix the financial mess left by Premier Rachel Notley’s government.“For us to balance the budget we’re going to have to … restart our economy with pro-growth policies including the elimination of the carbon tax and doing everything we can to make Alberta open for business again,” Kenney said Wednesday in Calgary.“And we will have to go through a period of sustained fiscal restraint. That doesn’t mean cutting 20 per cent of our budget, but it does mean learning from how B.C. and other provinces deliver the same services so much more efficiently.”Kenney says British Columbia has a larger population and more newcomers that need help resettling, but the province spends 20 per cent less per capita than Alberta.Kenney also fired back at Notley for comments she made at the opening of an Edmonton school earlier this month. Notley told students the United Conservative Party wants to cut funding for schools instead of ensuring students get a modern education.Kenney said Notley shouldn’t be campaigning in front of schoolchildren.“She told us that any fiscal restraint means hacking and slashing and threatening schools and hospitals,” he said. “Albertans are way too smart to buy the fear and smear campaign from this government.”Alberta has been struggling for years with a prolonged trough in oil prices, draining billions of dollars from its bottom line and putting thousands of people out of work.In its last fiscal update, the government said it would dip into its reserve fund and look for more in-house savings to keep its $10.5-billion deficit from sliding further into the red.Kenney was endorsed Wednesday by former interim Progressive Conservative leader Ric McIver and former Wildrose member Jason Nixon.Nixon, who was involved in discussions to unite the two right-wing parites, said Kenney was concerned with making a party focused on the membership and people of Alberta. That set him apart from former Wildrose leader Brian Jean who is also running to lead the new party.“One leader was more concerned with trying to make the process easier for their leadership race and that leader was Brian Jean,” Nixon said. “I think that shows a tremendous difference between Jason and Brian.”United Conservative Party members vote for a leader Oct. 28.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Taking stock Businesses brace for nodeal Brexit

first_imgDUNSTABLE, England — British businesses large and small are stockpiling inventory because of concerns they will be cut off from suppliers if the country leaves the European Union without an agreement on future trading relations.The risk of a no-deal Brexit is increasing after the divorce agreement Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU was crushed in Parliament on Tuesday.As companies stock up, storage space is running out and warehousing companies are enjoying a boom in revenue.Danica Kirka, The Associated Presslast_img

MCC Board Approves $ 450 million Aid for Morocco

Taroudant – The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board approved on Thursday in Washington a second financial aid package for Morocco worth $ 450 million, said a statement from the MCC.Under the Compact, approved at the quarterly meeting of the MCC, Morocco will benefit from this financial assistance to develop an open economy, to increase productivity and improve employment in high-growth sectors like fruit tree productivity, fisheries and artisan crafts.According to the MCC Board, the $450 million Employability and Land Compact “will support two Moroccan Government priorities: high-quality education and land productivity.” “An employability project is designed to improve the quality, relevance and equitable access of secondary education and vocational skills training; and a land project will help rural and industrial land markets better respond to investor demand, and modernize property rights policies,” explains the MCC Board.“The Government of Morocco has demonstrated a strong commitment to the reforms outlined in our compact, and we look forward to together creating opportunity for the Moroccan people,” MCC CEO Dana J. Hyde.This new compact comes after the successful completion of Morocco’s first compact in September 2013.Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004, the Millennium Challenge Corporation is an innovative and independent U.S. agency that is working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. read more

UN to host major review of global response to AIDS

The 2006 High Level Meeting on AIDS due to take place from 31 May to 2 June will also include a person living with HIV who will address the General Assembly, delegates close to the process said.Other speakers include the President of the General Assembly, Jan Eliasson, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Peter Piot, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who will present a report on progress achieved in realizing the targets agreed by UN Member States in the historic Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, adopted in 2001 at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS. The meeting will also identify common challenges to scaling-up and sustaining national AIDS responses. Delegates will consider recommendations on how to intensify HIV prevention, treatment, care and support with the aim of coming as close as possible to the goal of universal access to treatment by 2010 for all those who need it.Nearly 800 civil society groups have been granted special accreditation to the meeting, an unprecedented number for such a gathering, and many more are expected to attend as part of organizations already accredited to the UN or as part of national delegations, the officials said. A hearing will be held to provide an opportunity for civil society to exchange views with Member States. The meeting will also feature a series of panel discussions as well as roundtables on a range of critical topics, including financing a scaled-up AIDS response and overcoming stigma and discrimination. Building on these discussions, a political declaration will be adopted at the close of the meeting on 2 June. Officials said today that agreement is close on the key points, though language on financial assistance has yet to be approved.An Evening of Remembrance and Hope: Uniting the World Against AIDS will take place 1 June in the General Assembly Hall. The event will remember the 25 years of AIDS and the heroes who have shaped the AIDS response. In addition to UN officials, the event will see the participation of numerous celebrities, including Noerine Kaleeba, Naomi Watts, Iryna Borisheck, Mary Fisher and Whoopi Goldberg. The event will also include performances by Wyclef Jean, Salman Ahmad, the African Children’s Choir and Angelique Kidjo. read more

Track and Field Ohio States Zack Bazile leaps farthest long jump in

Junior Nick Gray will run the men’s 60-meter-dash, 200-meter-dash and 4×400-meter-relay this weekend at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State AthleticsMultiple members of the Ohio State track and field team set season highs and team highs at one of the most-competitive meets of the season, the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee. One Buckeye, senior Zack Bazile, even set this season’s NCAA record.The Music City Challenge is comprised of 31 teams and some professional athletes. Along with the added competition of professionals, there were 12 different events with at least one athlete qualified for events at the NCAA national championship.Men’s recapIn the long jump, Bazile launched himself into first place with a jump of 8.13 meters. It set the record for the longest jump in the NCAA this season and was the third-farthest jump in the world this year. The jump also broke the Vanderbilt facility record and is second-farthest jump in Ohio State history.In his first 200-meter dash of the season junior Nick Gray took first with a time of 20.92. His mark is fast enough to qualify him for the NCAA national championship. Freshman Eric Harrison finished right behind Gray, taking second place at 21.24.Senior Nick Demaline finished first in men’s shot put with a throw of 19.74 meters. It was Demaline’s season high and was the fifth-best throw in the NCAA this year.In the 4×400-meter relay, Ohio State finished first and had its fifth-fastest time in program history and the best time this season.Junior Luke Landis ran a personal best in the one-mile run, finishing second with a time of 4:06.In his Ohio State track debut, redshirt sophomore Kendall Sheffield finished second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.71. Sheffield beat Avery Hubbard, a professional sprinter, by .001 seconds. Sheffield also plays cornerback for the Ohio State football team.For the second week in a row, senior Cole Gorski set a school record in pole vault, this time clearing 5.47 meters. Gorski finished in third place.In the triple jump, junior DaJuan Seward set a personal best with a second place finish at 15.76 meters. Bazile finished fourth with 15.19 meters.Senior Aaron Zedella came in third place in weight throw with a heave of 21.39 meters.Women’s recapJunior Karrington Winters earned a personal record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.21, which currently qualifies her for the NCAA national championship. For the second meet in a row, the Buckeyes controlled the 200-meter dash. Freshman Anavia Battle set the team’s season high with a first-place finish at 23.62. Sophomore Halimah Barlow finished second (23.66) and freshman Syaira Richardson finished fifth (24.29).Ohio State’s 4×400-meter relay team set a season best with a first-place finish at 3:36. The Buckeyes took the top spot by just .03 seconds.Senior Chantel Ray earned a first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.25. The run tied her personal best.Sophomore Taylor DeLoach continues to be a strong point for the Buckeyes. She took first place in the long jump with a leap of six meters.In the 800-meter run, freshman Aziza Ayoub finished third with a personal-best time of 2:08.Junior Mikaela Seibert finished third in the triple jump with jumps combined for 12.7 meters. This was the season high for Seibert.Junior Sade Olatoye finished fifth in the weight throw with a heave of 22.16. The fifth-place finish comes behind two of the top weight throwers in the country and two professional weight throwers. Ohio State will host the Buckeye tune-up next weekend at the French Field House. read more

Historic joint venture to mine WA iron ore

first_imgTwo Aboriginal contractors in the Pilbara region of Western Australia have formed an historic joint venture to undertake A$200 million worth of mining contracts at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon mine. Eastern Guruma and Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corp (WMYAC), will work together at Solomon, 60 km north of Tom Price, to capitalise on growing opportunities in the mining industry and to build their business capability. Eastern Guruma and WMYAC will work alongside existing contractors at Solomon, including Leighton Contractors. The joint venture is scheduled to commence work in March 2013 and operate over five years. It marks one of the first times that two Traditional Owner companies have come together to form a business partnership. Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said that it was great to see two Pilbara Aboriginal contractors join forces to build their business capability within the mining industry. “There are a phenomenal number of opportunities in the mining industry for Aboriginal people. I’m extremely proud that these two groups, Traditional Owners of the land where the Solomon mine is located, will work together for the greater economic benefit of their communities.”Eastern Guruma has been a partner in several successful joint venture operations in the Pilbara. However, this joint venture marks the first business opportunity in the mining industry for WMYAC.WMYAC Acting Chairperson, Maudie Jerrold, said she was delighted that WMYAC had been instrumental in realising this opportunity for Yindjibarndi people to work with and learn from Eastern Guruma and Leighton.“There is a big chance here for our Yindjibarndi people to create a positive future for our children and their children. Yindjibarndi people will see immediate and long term benefits including education, training, jobs and more importantly for us, to learn more about operating our own businesses in the mining industry,” Maudie said. “This opportunity cannot be lost and the WMYAC Board is solid in its commitment to ensure it happens.”Eastern Guruma Director Sue Boyd said the joint venture would provide employment, training and other business opportunities for Aboriginal people, to ensure that the younger generation have been set up for the future, be self-reliant and to carry with pride that we are looking after our people to get jobs and get out of the poverty that is always highlighted in the media.The joint venture will undertake mining services work in partnership with Leighton Contractors for the five year term of their mining and operations contract. It will also begin a six month earthworks package at the Kings deposit at Solomon starting in mid-2013. The earthworks will be completed in partnership with a major mining contractor which is expected to be awarded in coming months.It is anticipated that the joint venture will draw on Fortescue’s Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) in Roebourne to develop and train new members of the workforce and continue to build the skills and the economic viability of the town.Power said that growing up in Western Queensland he would often see young people leave their Aboriginal communities as they searched for work in regional centres or capital cities. By providing opportunities in the Pilbara, Aboriginal people can remain within their communities.“Fortescue is partnering with Roebourne and surrounding communities to provide accessible and sustainable employment opportunities to its members,” said Power. “I hope that this opportunity might set a precedent for other Traditional Owner groups and I look forward to a successful long term partnership with Eastern Guruma and Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corp.”last_img read more

Panne géante pour les terminaux Blackberry

first_imgPanne géante pour les terminaux BlackberryResearch in Motion (RIM) a dû faire face à un gros problème de serveurs qui a touché l’ensemble de ses terminaux Blackberry en Europe, en Asie et en Afrique.Problèmes de connexion internet, de mises en relation avec un contact, et de contact avec le services clients…C’est l’hécatombe dans les téléphones mobiles Blackberry depuis ce matin.À lire aussiRIM continue son plan d’économiesLa faute à un serveur interne à la firme, hors service depuis la matinée, qui relie les terminaux de millions d’utilisateurs à travers le datacenter de RIM, selon le Telegraph. L’opérateur britannique T Mobile UK précise, sur son site twitter “qu’une enquête est actuellement menée par les services de RIM”.Malveillance ou simple erreur technique ou humaine ? Les utilisateurs du smartphone à clavier devront prendre leur mal en patience jusqu’à rétablissement des services. Pour l’heure, le problème ne semble pas être réglé. Le 10 octobre 2011 à 17:23 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea will always have a special place in

first_imgReal Madrid new signing Thibaut Courtois has thanked his former club Chelsea for giving him the opportunity to carve a niche for himself in professional football.Courtois pointed out earlier that his decision to leave Chelsea and join Madrid i mainly because he wants to be close to his family living in the Spanish capital.“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the four fantastic years that have passed,” said the Belgian in a clip posted on social media as quoted in Football Espana.“Chelsea will always have a special place in my heart.“I was very happy to be part of one of the biggest teams in the world. I fulfilled a childhood dream of playing in the Premier League.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“I want to say a huge thank you to all my teammates and the coaching staff, who I shared success and amazing moments with.“I want to thank the fans for their great support. I hope you understand that being close to my children was considerable in my decision.“I wish you all the best for the future. It was a great honour to be part of the Chelsea family.”last_img read more

Last two standing square off in 18th District race

first_imgDennis KampeDemocrato Age: 64.o Occupation: Director, Clark County Skills Center.o Campaign funds: Raised $54,630, spent $29,976, owes $5,000.o Campaign website: Quote: State government “shouldn’t spend one cent less than we must to provide necessary services, nor should we spend one cent more than we can afford.”Ann RiversRepublicano Age: 44.o Occupation: Political consultant.o Campaign funds: Raised $82,114, spent $68,830, owes $9,000.o Campaign website: Quote: “The No. 1 job of our government must be to enable private business to put people back to work.”La Center political consultant Ann Rivers, a Republican, and Clark County Skills Center Director Dennis Kampe, a Democrat, survived a crowded primary contest for the right to square off for the 18th Legislative District seat in the general election. The seat opened up after Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera announced her candidacy for the open 3rd Congressional District seat last year. The sprawling 18th District, a Republican stronghold for years, encompasses Felida, Salmon Creek, Ridgefield, Battle Ground, north Clark County, Camas, Washougal, and most of Cowlitz County. Rivers, a resident of the district for 18 years, left all other candidates behind in fundraising in the primary election and leads Kampe in overall fundraising by nearly $30,000. Kampe, the founder and longtime director of the Clark County Skills Center and a lifelong resident of the area, is running as a moderate Democrat with deep roots in the 18th. A graduate of Ridgefield High and Clark College, he is also a journeyman machinist, and for the past 19 years has led the nationally recognized skills center, which offers vocational programs to high school students throughout Clark County.last_img read more

New Dimebag Darrell Posthumous Album Coming In November

first_img Email Facebook News Twitter New Dimebag Darrell Posthumous Album Details new-dimebag-darrell-posthumous-album-coming-november New Dimebag Darrell Posthumous Album Coming In November The second volume of ‘Dimevision’ celebrates the life and music of the late Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Nate HertweckGRAMMYs Oct 27, 2017 – 12:33 pm Guitar virtuoso Dimebag Darrell was known for his good humor, almost as well as he was known for his heavy, innovative playing. On Nov. 24 Metal Blade Records will release a second posthumous audio/visual album celebrating the late Pantera and Damageplan guitarist’s life and music with Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over.The new release follow’s 2006’s Dimevision Vol. 1: That’s The Fun I Have and includes “more raw footage, true gems and classic moments,” as well as handwritten lyrics and five previously unreleased demos, according to Consequence Of Sound.Ahead of Dimevision Vol. 2’s release, Metal Blade shared a clip involving Dimebag getting fitted for a CPAP breathing machine.Darrell’s longtime girlfriend, Rita Haney, provided some background on the clip.”I had just rolled outta bed and the doc fitting him was about an hour early for his appointment. Dime and ST were still up partying, so of course things never go as planned in Dime’s world! One thing people need to realize is that when you’re getting fitted for one of these machines, it’s imperative that you not speak during the process so they can ramp the proper amount of air through those things, so you have to keep your mouth closed. But as you can see from this segment in full, that’s a damn near impossible feat for him at the moment. It’s also impossible to be angry at Dime when he made you laugh all the time!”Fans can not only pre-order Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over via Pledge Music, but also support the project by buying a range of additional Dimebag collector’s items, including, of course, Dimebag’s personal CPAP machine (cost: $500). We miss you, Dime!Coal Chamber To Pantera: 15 Memorable Late ’90s Metal AlbumsRead morelast_img read more

NASA replaces Boeing Starliner astronaut before first crewed launch

first_img NASA InSight lander rocks its journey to Mars: A view in pictures NASA astronaut Mike Fincke (pictured) steps in to replace Eric Boe. James Blair/NASA/JSC Due to medical reasons, NASA has had to swap out one astronaut for another.NASA astronaut E. Michael “Mike” Fincke will replace Eric Boe for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner’s Crew Flight Test, scheduled to launch later in 2019.”Boe is unable to fly due to medical reasons,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday, but he will stay on the mission as assistant to the chief for commercial crew at NASA’s Johnson Space Center — the role Fincke previously held.Fincke is a seasoned replacement, having completed three space trips since joining the astronaut corps in 1996. He has spent 382 days in space and performed nine spacewalks.Fincke joins astronauts Nicole Mann from NASA and Chris Ferguson from Boeing for the mission.The Starliner’s Crew Flight Test will be the first manned launch of the spacecraft, which is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a partnership with Boeing and SpaceX aiming to launch humans to the International Space Station (ISS).If successful, Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, reportedly due to make its first launch — unmanned — on Feb. 9, will mark the first time in history NASA has sent astronauts to space on systems “owned, built, tested and operated by private companies”.NASA retired its Space Shuttle Program in 2011, and says working with Boeing and SpaceX will allow American astronauts to launch to the ISS from the US using American-made rockets for the first time since the closure. NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. 0 Share your voice Post a commentcenter_img 22 Photos Tags Sci-Tech Boeing NASAlast_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Friday August 8 2014

first_imgIndividual news stories are posted under APRN News. You can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via email, podcast and RSS.Listen now:Project Chariot: A Nuclear Legacy in Point HopeZachariah Hughes, KNOM – NomeDuring the Cold War, the U.S. Atomic Energy Agency made plans to detonate nuclear bombs a few dozen miles from Point Hope. The idea was to make an Arctic deep draft port by harnessing war-time technology for civil engineering projects with strategic value. Strong opposition from Point Hope halted those plans, but not before secretive experiments were conducted. This summer, state and federal agencies are cleaning out what they hope are the last remnants from Project Chariot’s legacy. Residents of Point Hope say they still feel left out of the conversation about what happens on their land.With Capitol Renovations on Schedule, Contractors Get More WorkJeremy Hsieh, KTOO – JuneauThe Alaska Legislative Council approved an additional $650,000 to its $5.8 million Capitol building renovation contract Thursday. Demolition of the north wall of the west wing of the Capitol will proceed this fall, instead of in 2015. The updated contract won’t change the overall scope of the renovations in Juneau.Early Tests Show B.C. Tailings Spillwater Is ‘Safe’Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauBritish Columbia’s Environment Ministry says water that poured out of a massive mine-tailings pond earlier this week appears to be safe. But local emergency officials continue to warn area residents against drinking, bathing or swimming in affected water.Westward Plant Workers Face Air Pollution ChargesLauren Rosenthal, KUCB – UnalaskaThe U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed charges against two people as part of an ongoing investigation into air pollution at the Westward Seafoods plant in Unalaska. Two former Westward employees are accused of sidestepping pollution controls — and violating the Clean Air Act.New Geotags May Shed Light on Auklet MigrationsAnnie Ropiek, KUCB – UnalaskaEvery summer, thousands of tiny auklets flock to the Aleutian Islands to nest. But scientists don’t know where the seabirds go in the winter. That’s about to change, thanks to a group of researchers who’ve just returned from Buldir Island, east of Attu, and Gareloi, near Adak. They’ve been camped on the uninhabited islands since late May, outfitting crested and parakeet auklets with tracking tags for the first time.Fairbanks Fimmaker Rolls Out Plans For Yup’ik Themed MovieCharles Enoch, KYUK – BethelA Fairbanks resident has a movie in the works featuring Alaska Native characters. She’s looking to cast Yup’ik, or Alaska Native people.Farming Off the GridElizabeth Jenkins, APRN correspondent – AnchorageIt’s peak season for farmer’s markets across the country right now. Food is typically grown in a rural setting. But one Southeast Alaskan couple is taking that to the extreme. They live in a completely off-the-grid location in a place without cell phone coverage or roads. And they have to be inventive to get the produce to market.300 Villages: Port LionsAPRN – AnchorageThis week we’re heading to Port Lions, on the northern tip of Kodiak Island. Kathryn Adkins is a lodge owner and city clerk in Port Lions.last_img read more

Demonetisation New cash withdrawals bank deposits rules

first_imgFollowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise move on currency ban of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes, new rules with regard to cash withdrawals and bank deposits have come up. The central government has come up with new measures, which aims at equal distribution of the new currency notes. Many ATMs have started disbursing new Rs 2,000 notes, however, the supply of smaller denomination notes (such as Rs 100) remains short. Here are top five new rules, which will be henceforth applicable from November 18.Workers, housewives may come under scrutinyHousewives, workers, who were earlier exempted from questioning for depositing cash up to the non-taxable limit of Rs 2.5 lakh in their bank accounts, may now face prosecution charges if found to be helping those convert black money into white. The same rule is applicable for workers and craftsmen, the finance ministry said in a statement. Cash withdrawls upto Rs 2,500 allowed at petrol bunksPeople can now withdraw up to Rs 2,000 cash per debit card at petrol pumps with State Bank of India card swipe machines. The aim of this move is to alleviate long queues at ATMs, since banks are already under pressure for exchanging and depositing cash. The idea was proposed by the All India Petroleum Dealers Association.Cash exchange limit reduced On Thursday, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said that the existing limit of Rs 4,500 that citizens can exchange from bank counters has been reduced to Rs 2,000. The aim of the new rule is to enable a larger number of people to reach the bank counters and avail the new currency notes and those of smaller denominations.Withdrawl limit for traders, farmers risesSince the rural sector is considered one of the most important components of the Indian economy, the central government has allowed farmers to withdraw up to Rs 25,000 per week as against the crop loans sanctioned. This would allows farmers to carry on with their daily requirements. Similarly, registered traders of APMC market would be allowed to withdraw up to Rs 50,000 per week to meet their demands.Withdrawls for central govt employees, marriages increasedThe finance ministry said employees of central government up to Group C could withdraw their advance salaries up to Rs 10,000 that would be adjusted against the November salaries. Similarly, families to withdraw up to Rs 2.5 lakh for weddings from KYC compliant bank accounts. The amount can be withdrawn from one account — father, mother or those who are getting married — per family.Waiving off ATM charges In a bid to streamline the demonetisation effect of overcrowding at banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its circular last week said that banks shall waive off all ATM charges on all transactions (inclusive of both financial and non-financial transactions)- even for customers of other banks.last_img read more

Trump Administration Touts A Smaller UN Budget And Takes Credit For It

first_imgMario Tama/Getty ImagesThe U.N. headquarters in New York City is seen here in 2003.The Trump administration said Sunday that the United Nations budget has been reduced for the coming year, and it framed any cuts as the product of U.S. negotiation.“Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget,” the United States Mission to the U.N. said in a press release. “In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.”A United Nations spokesman confirmed to NPR the reduction in the budget, and said the total U.N. budget for 2018-2019 is $5.396 billion.But cuts to the U.N. budget are typical: The 2016-2017 budget was roughly $400 million lower than the final appropriations for 2014-2015, which was 2.9 percent lower than the previous biennium’s budget.The U.N. budget is negotiated every two years and is decided by consensus rather than a vote. Wealthier countries that pay the lion’s share of the budget — the U.S., Japan, Canada and EU members — routinely push for the budget to be lowered.The wording of the U.S. mission’s announcement, which called it a “historic reduction in spending,” led some to misread it as meaning the U.S. was reducing its own contribution by $285 million next year. The extent to which the U.S. contribution would be reduced isn’t clear.“This is all so misleading,” tweeted Bathsheba Crocker, who formerly led the State Department bureau that develops U.S. policy in the United Nations. “The US fights hard, together with other countries, every year to cut UN budget & regularly does. This is neither new nor a US ‘decision.’”This is all so misleading. The US fights hard, together with other countries, every year to cut UN budget & regularly does. This is neither new nor a US “decision.”— Bathsheba Crocker (@shebacrocker) December 26, 2017The Trump administration has consistently criticized the U.N. and its spending.“The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!” Donald Trump tweeted a month before taking office.“Just 5 months into our time here, we’ve cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we’re only getting started,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley tweeted in June.“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said in a statement Sunday. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked. … You can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency‎ while protecting our interests.”The U.S. plays an important role in funding the U.N., as The New York Times reports:“Under a formula tied to economic size and other measurements established under an article of the United Nations Charter, the United States is responsible for 22 percent of the United Nations operating budget, the largest contribution. It paid about $1.2 billion of the 2016-2017 budget of $5.4 billion.“The United States also is the largest single financial contributor, at 28.5 percent, to a separate budget for United Nations peacekeeping operations, which totals $6.8 billion in the 2017-2018 budget finalized in June.”Haley’s budget announcement came after a week that showcased the United States’ increasing isolation from other member nations.On Dec. 18, Haley vetoed a Security Council resolution — approved by the council’s 14 other members — that called on all states to refrain from building diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.Before the General Assembly voted on a similar resolution later in the week, Haley warned that the U.S. would be “taking names” of those who voted for it. On Thursday, the organization’s members overwhelmingly approved a nonbinding resolution rejecting the United States’ decision to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.“Let them vote against us,” Trump said at a Cabinet meeting before the vote, The Guardian reports. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars … We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”The Trump administration said its decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem recognizes the reality that it is the seat of Israel’s government. But Palestinians living there seek part of the city as a capital for a future independent state, and Jerusalem’s final status has been a central point of contention in peace talks for decades.Guatemala has since followed the U.S. lead, announcing Sunday that it will move its embassy to Jerusalem. Neither country has set a timetable for making the move.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit Sharelast_img read more

AI Invents Internal Language Humans Dont Understand

first_imgStay on target Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesMIT’s AI Knitting System Designs, Creates Woven Garments Artificial intelligence systems can play games, drive cars, trade stocks, write movies—and communicate in a secret language humans don’t understand.Just as children correspond in their own made-up vocabulary, so, apparently, do advanced neural networks.Last year, Google’s AI researchers discovered that their Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) program purportedly developed its own internal language, or “interlingua.”“Within a single group, we see a sentence with the same meaning but from three different languages [English, Japanese, Korean],” according to a November 2016 Google Research Blog post.“This means the network must be encoding something about the semantics of the sentence rather than simply memorizing phrase-to-phrase translations,” the tech titan said. “We interpret this as a sign of existence of an interlingua in the network.”(Self-professed geek and translation enthusiast Gedalyah Reback in January refuted Google’s claims, suggesting that the system’s “‘neural network’ is advanced, but its abilities are being exaggerated.”)If Westworld is any indication of our future (and, my God, I hope it’s not), artificial intelligence has a ways to go before robots and humans reach a level playing field.But AI may already be more advanced than we thought: In June, Facebook reported a similar “internal language” between two “dialog agents” developed to negotiate.The Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) team had to use what’s called a “fixed supervised model” (trained to imitate humans)—because bot-to-bot discussions “led to divergence from human language as the agents develops their own language for negotiating.”“Agents will drift off understandable language and invent codewords for themselves,” Dhruv Batra, visiting research scientist from Georgia Tech at FAIR, told Fast Company earlier this month.The question is: Should we allow artificial intelligence to evolve into chatterboxes (possibly covertly discussing the eventual takeover of the human race)? Or is it our duty to stamp out AI gossip before it’s too late?“It’s important to remember, there aren’t bilingual speakers of AI and human languages,” Batra said.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Wealth and wellbeing not necessarily at logger heads

first_imgEnterprise of the Soul, a book written by R P Singh, Chairman Board of Governor, IIT-Guwahati and former CMD of Power grid Corporation of India Ltd., was launched yesterday in the Capital at the India International Centre by Suresh P Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways. Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways was the Guest of Honour present at the occasion.  Deliberating the wisdom of wealth and the piety of prosperity, Singh has embarked on the exploration of the philosophical roots of Indian business in this book. It is a well researched study of the Indian conceptualisation of wealth and well being, of social implications of enterprise and of spreading of prosperity as opposed to the mere making of profits.  The book suggests that happiness of sharing is far greater than the happiness of accumulating wealth and that creation of wealth and spirituality are compatible and not opposed to each other. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Addressing the gathering, Prabhu praised the book and the writer for his attempt to dwell upon on a unique subject of interlinking soul to the mind.  He said that while wealth is being created by the enterprises, the soul in the form of sharing the benefit with the stakeholders is yet to take root.  The book has come up at an appropriate time and raises some fundamental issues of wealth creation and its utilization. It is also a timely reminder for solving the problem of income disparities and unrest prevailing around the globe. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPrabhu said that we should draw more from the power of the soul than that of mind. He also stated that the book has raised many questions with answers; he expressed the hope that it will raise many more questions and more answers shall emerge.The book also mentions the numerous scams and scandals of the past decade which have led to the distrust of business organisations among the populace and suggests that it is important for the corporations to introspect and take steps to regain trust of the society by migrating from conventional philosophy of profit for stockholders to the philosophy of catering to the interest of the stakeholders.   The book draws heavily from the wisdom contained in scriptures of different religions to emphasize upon the point of view of sharing. Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways in his brief address spoke about the excellent work done by the author, R P Singh in his stint as CMD of Power grid in building the National Grid which led to stability of the grid due to which there was no incidence of grid failure for a number of years since 2002.  He agreed with the view expressed by the author in the book that wealth and spirituality are both compatible.Padamshree Pritam Singh, former Director, IIM Lucknow also spoke extensively on the contents of the book and the need for balanced growth of the mind and soul.  Over the past, the strength of mind has grown manifold at the cost of the soul, shifting the focus of the enterprise to only wealth creation. The book has been published by the Penguin Enterprise and is priced at Rs. 399.last_img read more

Mystery over death of bar employee

first_imgKolkata: Mystery surrounds the death of an employee of a bar-cum-restaurant at Chandni Chowk on Tuesday night.Two of his colleagues took his body to the deceased’s home in Baranagar area and tried to hand it over to his family and leave. However, locals detained both of them and handed them over to the police. According to sources, on Tuesday a singer of the bar identified as Debasish Das (48), was found lying unconscious inside the washroom. As per the claim of his colleagues, they took Das to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata(CMCH), where he was declared dead. However, questions arose over the fact that if Das was declared brought dead, the police outpost of CMCH was supposed to be informed and his body would have been sent for autopsy examination. How his colleagues were able to take his body to his home in Baranagar was not clear either. The family members of Das stated that on Tuesday night, two of his colleagues took his body to Baranagar and told his family that he had died. But they did not tell them how it had happened. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateWhen his family members questioned them about what had happened, they reportedly tried to flee. But hearing the family members shout for help, locals detained the duo. On Tuesday night, Baranagar police station was informed and later police recovered the body and sent it for autopsy examination. His family members lodged a complaint at the police station but no murder case has been initiated till Wednesday. “An Unnatural Death (UD) case has been started. Probe is on,” said Ananda Roy, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Zone II, Belgharia, Barrackpore City Police. Sources informed that Barrackpore police station has got in touch with Bowbazar police station for obtaining information regarding the incident. However, DC, Central of Kolkata Police Nilakantam Sudheer Kumar said: “No case lodged here. We are not probing the case.” No one has been arrested in the case till Wednesday and police are waiting for the autopsy report to identify the exact cause of death. According to police, as per primary opinion of the autopsy surgeon, food particles were found inside his trachea. It is suspected that he died due to choking from the same.last_img read more

Costa Rican coffee exports get a jolt from high prices

first_imgRelated posts:New strain of banana fungus threatens world harvests Costa Rica’s avocado ban turns into a food fight Flooding latest hurdle for Costa Rica’s banana, pineapple producers Morning caffeine fix gets cheaper as rains boost Brazil supplies After years of low prices and falling production from theroya fungus, Costa Rica’s coffee exports are garnering better prices, according to a report from the Foreign Trade Promotion Office, Procomer, and the National Coffee Institute, ICAFE. While coffee and other exports are enjoying a price boom, Costa Rica’s biggest agricultural exports, bananas and pineapple, are looking a little like a bust these days.The value of the country’s coffee exports is up 40 percent compared to the same period last year, from $40.1 million in 2014 to $56.1 million in 2015. Farmers and exporters welcomed the improved prices, but the bump in prices came at a time of low volume.Coffee exports between October 2014 and February 2015 are down 7 percent. Costa Rica exported 1,204,284 60-kilogram sacks of coffee so far this season, down from 1,297,178 sacks during the same period in the 2013/2014 season, according to figures from ICAFE. The coffee authority said it hopes for improved volume during the 2015/2016 harvest.ICAFE said the increase in exports is likely driven by improving international prices, thanks in part to lower production due to a drought in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer.Costa Rica previously estimated that coffee production would reach 1.55 million 60-kilogram sacks of processed coffee during the 2014/2015 season, up 4.5 percent from 2013/2014.Other exports that saw improvement so far in 2015 were medical devices, up 50 percent from $221.9 million in 2014 to $331.7 so far in 2015, beef, sugar and melons.The news wasn’t all good for the agricultural sector. Bananas and pineapples, Costa Rica’s most valuable exports after Intel microprocessors, were down 23 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Banana export values slipped to $111.5 million so far in 2015 from $146 million during the same period in 2014. Pineapples tumbled to $109.9 million from $129.1 million.Both crops have been hurt by rains and low temperatures during the first quarter of 2015. Procomer said that pineapple could bounce back in April if the weather improves, but banana exports may not recover until 2016. Facebook Commentslast_img read more