StatCan warns of impact on release of trade data from US government

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is warning the partial shutdown of the U.S. government could have an impact on the agency’s ability to release a complete picture of trade between North America’s largest trading partners.Each country has been using the other’s import data to produce its export statistics since 1990.U.S. imports from Canada reported to U.S. Customs and Border Protection are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and sent to Statistics Canada to be used as statistics for Canada’s exports to the United States.Data for November won’t be affected by the shutdown which started Dec. 22. However, future months could be affected because data for Canada’s exports to the United States ended with the December numbers.The U.S. is Canada’s most important trading partner, with about 75 per cent of Canada’s total merchandise exports destined for the U.S., while Canada is the top export destination for U.S. goods, accounting for about 18 per cent of total U.S. merchandise exports.The statistics agencies of each country normally publish trade statistics simultaneously on predetermined dates.“The sharing of import data, which is generally preferred because of the greater scrutiny import shipments are subject to by customs agencies, helps to ensure accurate and coherent bilateral trade statistics, while reducing the administrative burden on exporting companies,” Statistics Canada said in a statement Thursday.last_img read more

UN rights chief urges Syria to end assault on its own people

9 June 2011The United Nations human rights chief today condemned the ongoing violent crackdown by Syrian authorities against peaceful protestors and called on the Government to respond to her repeated requests to allow a fact-finding mission to visit the country. “We are receiving an increasing number of alarming reports pointing to the Syrian Government’s continuing efforts to ruthlessly crush civilian protests,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a news release. “It is utterly deplorable for any government to attempt to bludgeon its population into submission, using tanks, artillery and snipers,” she added. “I urge the Government to halt this assault on its own people’s most fundamental human rights.”She noted that non-governmental organizations and others are now reporting that the number of men, women and children killed since the protests began in March has exceeded 1,100, with up to 10,000 or more detained. Saying that “bare statistics do not reveal the full extent of individual crimes and suffering,” Ms. Pillay referred to the case of Hamza al-Khatib, the 13-year-old boy, who was allegedly abducted and tortured to death by local security forces. “The unimaginably cruel murder and mutilation of this child seems to be emblematic of the moral and legal bankruptcy of the apparent policy of crushing dissent by all available means,” she stated. Ms. Pillay also voiced particular concern about reports of civilians fleeing the north-western town of Jisr al-Shughour in the wake of recent threatening statements by Government officials.In a special session held in April, the UN Human Rights Council authorized a fact-finding mission to Syria to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law. Ms. Pillay urged the authorities to cooperate and to grant her team access to the country. “So far we have not received any official reply from Syria – either positive or negative,” said Ms. Pillay, whose team is scheduled to issue a preliminary report on the situation in Syria to the Geneva-based Council on 15 June.The High Commissioner also reminded neighbouring countries that no one from Syria should be returned against their will in view of the current human rights situation, and urged States to keep their borders open for refugees fleeing Syria. Ms. Pillay’s comments come as the UN Security Council considers a draft resolution condemning the violence in Syria that was tabled yesterday but has not yet been acted on. Meanwhile, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today strongly appealed for calm and restraint after a number of Palestinian refugees in Syria lost their lives and had been injured in recent events, including in Yarmouk, which is home to a third of the Palestinian refugee community in Syria. “UNRWA calls on all concerned to preserve the sanctity of human life as required by international law, to protect the safety and dignity of all, and to ensure that any further loss of civilian lives is avoided,” the Agency stated in a news release.The protests in Syria are part of a broader uprising this year across North Africa and the Middle East that has already toppled the long-standing regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and led to ongoing conflict in Libya. read more

Lululemon names new chief financial officer as search continues for CEO

VANCOUVER — Lululemon Athletica Inc. has appointed Patrick Guido as chief financial officer as its search continues for a new chief executive.The Vancouver-based clothing company says Guido, who most recently worked as treasurer and vice-president of corporate development at VF Corp., will report to chief operating officer Stuart Haselden.Lululemon has been without a CEO since early February when Laurent Potdevin suddenly stepped down from the post after the company said he “fell short” of its standards of conduct.Yoga apparel maker Lululemon’s fourth-quarter sales, profits surgeLululemon’s surprise split with CEO said to involve employee relationshipExecutive chairman Glenn Murphy told a March conference call with financial analysts that the company had met with several possible candidates, but would be taking its time in its search for a replacement.Potdevin reached a separation agreement with the company that will see him receive $3.35 million in cash, plus a further $1.65 million paid in monthly instalments over 18 months, while agreeing not to sue the company and co-operate with it in the future.The company also lost its executive vice-president and creative director at the end of last year when Lee Holman resigned. read more

Brock Media Clips for Monday Aug 14

Here’s a look at some of the media attention Brock University received recently.Why popular tourist towns are becoming Silicon Valley copycats: Business incubator BioLinc within Brock’s Goodman School of Business was highlighted by CNBC in recent coverage about popular tourism communities nurturing start-up companies.Why students are choosing to go to college in Canada instead of the United States: Brock University Director of International Services Leigh-Ellen Keating received additional coverage on after being quoted in a story last week about increased interest in Canada for post-secondary students from abroad.Brock’s Dirty Badger Trail Race expands for 2017: Growth of the Dirty Badger Trail Race and the anticipation for its arrival on campus was featured in an article on the Erie Media website.Terry Fox Run moves to Brock: Brock University President Dr. Gervan Fearon is quoted in the St. Catharines Standard about welcoming the Terry Fox Run to campus. The story was featured in all Postmedia Niagara dailies and weeklies. A separate story about Brock hosting the popular September event was also featured on the website of local radio station EZ Rock 105.7.Did we miss something? If you know of an appearance or story about a Brock faculty member, student, athlete or alumni, please drop us a line with a link to the story at read more

Dont Be Fooled By Baseballs SmallBudget Success Stories

The Houston Astros currently sit on top of the American League West with a 2.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels, a team paying Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver, and the rest of the squad a combined $146.4 million. The Astros, meanwhile, will spend less than half that figure on players in 2015. Their total payroll comes in just north of $69 million, 29th out of 30 MLB teams and a remarkable $158 million less than the Los Angeles Dodgers are spending to field a team this year.The success of the Astros and the (comparatively) minuscule payrolls of other plucky small-budget teams is often cited by people trying to advance an egalitarian narrative: that the amount a team spends does not matter. In recent years, Time called the Royals the future of baseball. The New York Times went with Smaller Markets and Smarter Thinking. Baseball America wrote an article asserting, “if you look at competitive balance as the opportunity for teams to make the playoffs and legitimate runs at titles, baseball is truly in a golden era.” Sports Illustrated argued that the average payrolls of playoff teams show that money isn’t the factor it used to be and the Providence Journal offered, “money can’t buy success.” Andrew McCutchen, 2013 National League MVP, is the poster boy for what small-budget teams can accomplish, saying, “Payroll doesn’t mean everything. If that was the case, the Yankees would win every year.”That’s all heart-warming, but evidence suggests that the relationship between money and winning is as strong now as it’s been any time in the free-agency era. Check out the figure below, which shows the relationship between spending and win percentage during each of the three 10-year spans since 1985.1Salary and win percentage were standardized within each season to account for the league’s financial growth and changes in league competitiveness. Data collected from Each team season is one dot in the figure, and the red line reflects a smoothed curve fit through the points. The smoothed curves represent the general relationship between spending and performance for each team season in each decade; aggregating all the decade’s data points shows a pattern: More money generally means more wins.The line gets steeper going from left to right, implying that in recent seasons, jumps in salary have been associated with larger gains in win percentage. Altogether, none of the 20 teams with the highest relative salaries since 1985 have finished below .500. GRAPHIC: Using data from the last 30 years, we created win-pay curves for every team in Major League Baseball. Click here to see how well your favorite team spent its money.J.C. Bradbury, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University, found that winning more increases revenue exponentially. “Going from 85 wins to 90 is worth more than 80 wins to 85,” he says. As a result, while it might cost more per win for a team that wins 90 games than 85, it makes financial sense because the revenue reward will be higher as well. This leads to a self-perpetuating cycle. Additionally, fans of teams that win frequently expect them to continue winning, and management pays more to do so. For a team like the New York Yankees, paying 10 percent more than anyone else for a second baseman who is only 5 percent better than his closest peer is worth the money (and they can afford it).But though the current narrative revolves around small-budget success stories as an argument against the importance of salaries, baseball has always had small-budget overachievers. “Just because you don’t spend money doesn’t mean you can’t win,” Bradbury says. As long as there has been baseball, there have been teams with low payrolls that have exceeded expectations in the win column.Perhaps one reason for the renewed focus on the success of small-budget teams is the importance of playoff success versus the regular season. Postseasons in American sports offer a smaller sample size than, say, soccer’s English Premier League, where the winner is determined by 38 games. In baseball, the better team (the one with the higher payroll) is less likely to prevail over the course of a short playoff series than they would be over an entire season. That, combined with the expansion of the playoffs, means it’s easier for a small-budget team to reach the World Series, as the Kansas City Royals did in 2014, losing to the San Francisco Giants in Game 7. Winning a playoff series can come down to a few factors — a couple of good pitchers and luck — that are less important during the regular season. “The formula seems to be: limp through regular season, get into playoffs, then win,” said Rodney Fort, professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.Fort, however, also thinks that the case for the relationship between payroll and wins is overstated. “When have we ever been satisfied that a simple relationship between one variable and another variable tells the whole story of the determination of winning?” he says. “What you really need to do is stop and think about what are all the other things: nothing about coaches, nothing about front office/GM acumen.” In Fort’s view, equating payroll and wins leaves out too many other variables.He has a point, as the relationship between salary and winning can be drastically different among different franchises. Some teams don’t get results when they spend more — the New York Mets frowny face is almost too perfect given their fortunes.For a few small-budget teams such as the Cleveland Indians and the Royals, though, there’s a strong relationship between spending and winning.As you can see in the chart of every team’s win-pay curves, spending usually helps, but incompetent spending gets a team nowhere. It’s a waste.Click here to see every team’s win-pay curves. read more

Letter Until Parker is removed Communities Ministry will be deemed

Dear Editor,The Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) is concerned that Carl Parker is still allowed to fully assume office as Regional Executive Officer (REO) for Region 9.Pursuant to the multiple allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by female workers in the region, and after two (2) long years of outcry, petitions and denunciations by the people of the Rupununi and GEPAN, Parker was finally charged on February 8, 2017, and brought before Judge Judy Latchman. Released on bail set at GY $200 000, he is scheduled to return to Court on February 16, 2017.Minister Bulkan promised to have Parker “immediately” removed from his functions following the charges of sexual assault laid against him. Minister of State Joseph Harmon, later confirmed the removal of Parker during the legal process by the Communities Ministry, during a press conference held two days ago.However, confirmation has reached our organisation that Parker currently still operates in his full capacity as REO for Region 9. Reports also indicate that Parker is encouraging the politicisation of his judicial process by gathering on-the-ground supporters to verbally harass the victim and her entourage in public.GEPAN believes that enough time has been granted for Parker to hand over the documents, keys and other assets in his possession before removing himself from the seat of REO. It is also our firm belief that allowing him to continue his mandate under the pretext that a new REO has not yet been appointed, is utterly irresponsible of the Communities Ministry.Further, permitting a senior political appointee and regional official currently being judged for sexual assault, to operate with such impunity, is demonstrative of the blatant disregard by authorities for the Law, and is equally disrespectful towards the victim who works in the same professional environment as Parker.Parker’s presence at the work place intensifies the malaise felt by the victim and workers, and can result in further emotional and psychological trauma. If this is not remedied immediately, any further trauma suffered by the victim may rightfully be imparted to the responsibility of the Communities Ministry.We urge Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan to put an abrupt end to this anomaly and let the Law take its course in bringing justice to the victim. Until he is removed from the office of REO, the Communities Ministry will continue to be deemed complicit in the tyranny and suffering inflicted upon the victim (s) and the Rupununi people by Carl Parker.Yours truly,The Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEmbattled Parker was still on the job long after Bulkan said he was interdicted from dutyJune 2, 2017In “latest news”Region 9 REO granted bail for sexual assault chargeFebruary 9, 2017In “Court”Residents lobby for Region 9 REO to be firedApril 16, 2016In “latest news” read more

Morning Press Election results protestors at Camas High School Luyster murder trial

first_imgWhat will will the weather throw at us this weekend? Find out with our local weather coverage.Here are some of the stories that grabbed readers’ attention this week.Historic night in Vancouver race for mayorThe city of Vancouver has done what the nation failed to do in 2016: elect its first female head of government. Anne McEnerny-Ogle has a considerable lead with 74.7 percent of the initial vote.“I’m just a little shocked by the numbers, those are fantastic numbers,” McEnerny-Ogle said amid a sea of emotional supporters. She was emotional herself and needed to take a breath before continuing to express her excitement and gratitude.“I have kept my focus for these 11 months,” she said. “I didn’t want to take anything for granted.”McEnerny-Ogle will be first woman to lead city; Campbell has big lead in city council raceMore election news: Orange prevails in port race; Campbell wins Vancouver council raceElection updates: target Camas High production of ‘The Laramie Project’ group of protesters waved religious signs and yelled into a megaphone outside Camas High School on Tuesday afternoon in opposition to the theater department’s production of “The Laramie Project.”The 2000 play written by Moisés Kaufman covers the aftermath of the fatal beating of Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student who was targeted because he was gay, and the murder trial that followed. The show pieces together more than 200 interviews with residents of Laramie, Wyo., and others close to the murder.last_img read more

Carvajal rues missed chances in Real Madrids 22 draw

first_imgReal Madrid defender Dani Carvajal believes they should have added a third goal before Santi Cazorla’s equaliser rescued a point for VillarrealThe European champions lacked sharpness up front in their first game of 2019 at Villarreal with 19-year-old Samuel Chukwueze proving to a threat for the hosts right from the start.The Nigerian would go on to set-up Cazorla’s opener and provided Marcelo with a lot of trouble down the wing with Villarreal seemingly the stronger of the two sides on Thursday.However, two headed goals from Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema caught out Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo to hand Real a 2-1 lead.But Lucas Vazquez was unable to take advantage of a golden opportunity when he was denied by Asenjo in the second half, despite being clean through on goal.Former Arsenal playmaker Cazorla then punished Real for failing to take their opportunities by grabbing an 82nd-minute equaliser to settle things at 2-2.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“We had some real chances to finish the game and make it 1-3, but in the end, we drew and dropped two points,” said Carvajal on the club website.“We needed those three points to close the gaps on the leader. Now we need to keep working hard and rack up some points. This is not an easy place to come play.“We’re disappointed because we were ahead for practically the whole match and not winning really stings.”“We knew that they would have to push forward and leave the defence open. Before finishing with a draw, we had two massive chances to kill it off, we did not finish and they nicked a goal at the end.”Los Blancos, who remain fourth in La Liga, will go up against Real Sociedad this weekend.last_img read more

APE to expand into Southeast Asia USA in 2019

first_img Load More RelatedPosts Macau-based electronic gaming equipment supplier Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE) is planning to expand into the United States and at least two new Southeast Asian markets in 2019, according to the company’s Chairman Allen Huie.Speaking to Inside Asian Gaming at MGS Entertainment Show this week, Huie said that the company was exploring a range of new opportunities for the year ahead and was already deep in discussions with operators in Cambodia and the Philippines to supply its slot machine and eGaming products. Aristocrat wins battle over intellectual property rights with US$3 million settlement Ainsworth launches review of product development after Asia-Pacific struggles see FY19 decline APE completes new installation of Konami’s “Fortune Cup” at MGM Cotai “The second half of the year has been doing very well and in 2019, aside from maintaining our market share in Macau, we are expanding into Southeast Asia,” he said.“Strategically we are expanding further into the region. We are in the process of doing a deal in Cambodia and also the Philippines so we are on the radar for 2019. We should be doing our first transactions next month.”APE is also reaching out beyond Asia for the first time.“Of course Southeast Asia is very important but we are working with our supplier partners and we are looking at the US market,” Huie said. “Particularly for ETGs, the US is a big market.“We’ve already started conducting studies on that and it is probably nine months away depending on how long it takes to get approvals.”Wednesday saw APE celebrate the one-year anniversary of commencement of trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange following the completion of an initial public offering in November 2017.last_img read more

Port Everglades to be expanded as part of federal infrastructure bill

first_imgPORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (WSVN) — Port Everglades will be expanded as part of a larger infrastructure bill signed into law by President Obama.Local Leaders and Broward County’s congressional delegation celebrated the expansion, Thursday, which officials said, will bring thousands of jobs to South Florida.“This is incredibly important to the community,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “We’ve been working on getting this dredging project started for 18 years, and 18 years is an incredibly long time, but we’re well positioned. Port Everglades is one of the busiest ports — particularly cargo ports — in the country. Its an economic engine for all of South Florida, especially Broward, and being able to move forward on dredging the port so we can accept those post-Panamax ships, as the Panama Canal expands, it’s huge for us.”The expansion will allow Port Everglades to accommodate huge new post-Panamax class cargo ships.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

UA President Johnsen recommends closing UAA College of Education amid accreditation debacle

first_imgUA President Jim Johnsen plans to make his recommendation to the UA Board of Regents on April 8 to close UAA’s School of Education by July of 2020. His plan would discontinue the seven initial licensure programs for UAA’s education department, effective September 1st of this year.On January 11, UAA was informed that its education department lost the national accreditation for its initial licensure programs from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP. In its review, CAEP found that UAA failed four of the five categories it was being assessed in. The categories failed were content and pedagogical knowledge, candidate quality and recruitment, program impact and provider quality assurance and continuous improvement. UAA met the criteria for clinical partnerships and practice.Representatives from UAA and the University system as a whole say that the main reason for accreditation loss was a lack of data on the progress of students in the Education Department. It’s called a quality assurance system.“What came out of the evaluation was that UAA was not demonstrating that,” said Paul Layer, UA Vice President for Academics, Students and Research. “That is not to say that student’s weren’t meeting those standards, but the program did not demonstrate to the satisfaction of the accreditor that we were meeting those objectives.”Under Johnsen’s recommendation, after September 1, Anchorage students would have to take education courses with instructors from the University of Alaska Fairbanks or University of Alaska Southeast, both have accredited education departments. Layer says this would be offered in a mix of online courses and teachers from UAS and UAF traveling to teach in Anchorage.He says UAA’s current nursing program is an example of how the three different colleges can coordinate in such a way.“Those students who are based in Fairbanks are taking UAF General Ed and Biology classes, but they are students in the UAA nursing program, and their degree will be from UAA for their nursing program,” Layer said. “Even though they may never set foot in Anchorage.”Layer says that there is only one degree program at UAA that won’t be offered in the same way: the bachelor’s in early childhood education.“UAF will offer a program that will lead to the same certification for teachers when they graduate, but it will have a different title and a slightly different emphasis,” Layer said.Some UAA education courses are still accredited. After students in those programs finish, the entire UAA School of Education would close July 1, 2020.The decision of whether or not to allow UAA to pursue reaccreditation of its education department is ultimately up to the UA Board of Regents.In a statement, UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen said she has “complete confidence the school’s faculty would successfully achieve accreditation based on the significant progress they have made toward compliance with CAEP standards.” But UA President Johnsen is against the idea of re-applying.Layer says that since losing accreditation, UAA’s education department, under Interim Director Claudia Dybdahl, has created a quality assurance program they lacked in the first review.“Should the Board decide to permit UAA to move forward with accreditation, which is not the president’s recommendation, they have begun to collect the data necessary to make a strong case, should they try to seek reaccreditation,” Layer said.The UA Board of Regents meets on Monday April 8th, and is set to vote on Johnsen’s recommendation. In her statement, Sandeen said she’ll abide by the decision to close UAA’s School of Education, should regents make that call. University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen appears on an episode of Forum@360 in Juneau on April 3, 2018. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)The University of Alaska president announced Monday night that he’s recommending that the University of Alaska Anchorage close its School of Education, after losing national accreditation in January.last_img read more

Spread joy not rumours WhatsApp kicksoff campaign to curb fake news ahead

first_imgIBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:11/1:03Loaded: 0%0:11Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:52?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Govt’s bid to control whatsapp!center_img Election Commission of India, earlier in the month held a meeting with top executives of several social media giants such as Facebook, its subsidiary WhatsApp, Google and Twitter, among others to discuss the measures to be taken to combat spread of misinformation and also propaganda content, mostly defaming the opponents, on their respective platforms ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha 2019 elections.Last week, WhatsApp in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Foundation announced to work on improving digital literacy among youth in the country to curb the spread of fake news. It is slated to kick off on March 27. WhatsApp starts new campaign to tackle fake news in India ahead of Lok Sabha 2019 elections.REUTERSNow, WhatsApp has launched another standalone campaign—’Spread Joy, Not Rumours’ in India. With several videos, the company plans to educate people on the controls available in WhatsApp so they are empowered to stop the spread of misinformation. The short online videos can be seen on social media platforms and are a step by step tutorial on how to exit a group, block a contact and the significance of the forwarding label. They are available on YouTube in several regional dialects including  Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Bengali and Assamese in addition to English.”Proactively working with the Election Committee and local partners for a safe election is our top priority. Expanding our education campaign to help people easily identify and stop malicious messages is another step towards improving the safety of our users,” Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp India head, said in a statement.Also, there are ways for the WhatsApp users to report spam or block abusive content with a single tap by going to setting options. [Representational image] WhatsApp will soon bring new feature to curb fake news in IndiaCreative CommonsHere’s how you can report issues to WhatsApp:On Android: Simply go to WhatsApp > Menu Button > Settings > About and help > Contact Us.On iPhone: Simply go to WhatsApp > Settings > About and Help > Contact Us.On Windows Phone: Simply go to WhatsApp > more > settings > about > support.In a related development, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is testing a new– Reverse Image Search–feature, that will allow users to cross check any forwarded image on the Google browser and match it with the vast visual data available on the Internet. This will apparently give you a clear idea on whether the image is a morphed photo or genuine one.Three tips to spot fake news on WhatsAppWhatsApp/YouTubeThe general election is being conducted in seven phases, starting from April 11 to May 19 and the counting of votes will be held on May 23.last_img read more

Ambanis 20 billion bet on TV telecoms may rekindle wealthy brothers rivalry

first_imgIndia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is muscling into the cable TV sector as part of a media and telecoms offensive that pits him against his once-estranged younger brother and threatens to shake up both industries.Ambani controls Reliance Industries, an oil and gas behemoth that is India’s most profitable conglomerate. He is also now targeting consumers, taking steps most recently into telecoms, where he has spent at least $18 billion on 4G telecoms brand RJio, due to launch this year.Now, he plans to spend around $2 billion over three years to capture TV sets, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, as he eyes an opportunity to use his financial clout in what is a highly fragmented sector.Reliance Industries declined to comment on its plans.Home entertainment is wildly popular in India, but it’s a high-volume, low-margin business where many smaller local operators control the so-called “last mile” — the connection from fibre optic cable in the street into the living room.Ambani’s television unit has been aggressively wrapping up deals with hundreds of small players in a street-by-street effort to conquer that final hurdle in its cable TV drive, people familiar with the matter said.It could also snap up rival operators as part of that push, those sources and analysts said, driving tie-ups in a densely populated sector that includes Hathway Cable, Den Networks and Siti Cable.One Reliance official, who didn’t want to be named because the targets are not public, said a mid-year goal of 1 million subscribers would rise to 5 million homes in the medium-term. Within three years, the aim is 20 million.Today, only 20 million homes in India have a broadband or another Internet connection – indicating huge potential in a country with a population of some 1.3 billion. There are just 170,000 subscribers for wireless Internet through optical fibre.”Once the company manages to crack the last mile it will be a formidable player,” said Rajev Gavi, Managing Director of Den Satellite Network, a leading cable operator.Reliance executives say it will offer a bundled package with hundreds of channels and video-on-demand in high definition, along with broadband Internet, a land line phone and home surveillance. It will also offer Jio Play, its version of the Netflix movie and TV series streaming service.LOFTY AIMSAmbani’s targets dwarf the largest current player in either cable or satellite TV. Until 2010, the sectors were, like telecoms, the preserve of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications, known as RCom – though he has dominated neither and racked up debts of more than $5 billion chasing growth.The two brothers fell out more than a decade ago after the death of their industrialist father, eventually splitting the family empire under a truce brokered by their mother. Mukesh took the oil and gas interests and Anil took control of RCom, previously run by Mukesh.In 2010, they reconciled and scrapped a non-compete clause.Within weeks, Mukesh snapped up the only company to have won a national licence in India’s broadband wireless spectrum auction, now called RJio and set to launch by this summer.Analysts say the RJio threat prompted RCom to buy Russian conglomerate Sistema’s mobile business – the first big Indian telecoms deal in seven years – and it is in talks with Aircel to create the country’s second-largest mobile operator.RCom declined to comment.The two have, though, cooperated in some areas.RCom has a 140,000 km, pan-India fibre optic cable network which RJio will use under a 2014 deal, alongside its own 250,000 km network. A Reliance push into TV will also use RCom’s network of towers and cables. In January, the two companies signed a deal to share RCom’s 800 MHz spectrum for its 4G push.That could provide something of a cushion, but is unlikely to ease the pressure. As Mukesh’s telecom and cable projects take hold, analysts and industry executives say Reliance Industries’ clout and the scale of its effort will pressure smaller rivals, including RCom.”If you look at each of these strategies, at the core of it, it’s no different from what others have done,” said Kunal Bajaj, a telecoms consultant. “But (what) the company is planning is at a scale that no one’s done before in India.”last_img read more

General Insurance Corp files for IPO may raise over 1 bn

first_imgPractical Law Cap MarketsState-owned reinsurer General Insurance Corp of India on Monday filed for an initial public offering which bankers have said could raise more than $1 billion, as part of the government’s plans to list five non-life insurers in which it holds stakes.GIC Re’s filing comes amid a surge in IPOs in Asia’s third-largest economy, which has spurred a slew of insurers to pursue listings, including SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd, a unit of State Bank of India.The government will be selling about 107.5 million shares in GIC Re’s IPO, while the insurer will sell 17.2 million new shares, comprising a total 124.7 million, or 14.22 percent of the company’s post-issue share capital, according to the filing.The proceeds would help the government meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.2 percent of gross domestic product for the year ending in March, which includes selling of stakes in companies.Axis Capital, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Kotak Investment Banking are managing GIC Re’s IPO.last_img read more

Nate kills 22 in Central America heads for US

first_imgA man walks near houses damaged by a mudslide during heavy rains of Tropical Storm Nate that affects the country in San Jose, Costa Rica on 5 October 2017. Photo: ReutersTropical Storm Nate killed at least 22 people in Central America on Thursday as it pummeled the region with heavy rain while heading toward Mexico’s Caribbean resorts and the US Gulf Coast, where it could strike as a hurricane this weekend.In Nicaragua, at least 11 people died, seven others were reported missing and thousands had to evacuate homes because of flooding, said the country’s vice president Rosario Murillo.Emergency officials in Costa Rica reported that at least eight people were killed due to the lashing rain, including two children. Another 17 people were missing, while more than 7,000 had to take refuge from Nate in shelters, authorities said.Two youths also drowned in Honduras due to the sudden swell in a river, while a man was killed in a mud slide in El Salvador and another person was missing, emergency services said.“Sometimes we think we think we can cross a river and the hardest thing to understand is that we must wait,” Nicaragua’s Murillo told state radio, warning people to avoid dangerous waters. “It’s better to be late than not to get there at all.”Costa Rica’s government declared a state of emergency, closing schools and all other non-essential services.Highways in the country were closed due to mudslides and power outages were also reported in parts of country, where authorities deployed more than 3,500 police.The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Nate could produce as much as 15 inches (38 cm) in some areas of Nicaragua, where schools were also closed.Nate is predicted to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it hits the US Gulf Coast on Sunday, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.At about 11:00pm EDT (0300 GMT) Nate was some 95 miles (153 km) east-southeast of the Honduran island of Guanaja, moving northwest at 12 mph (19 kph), the NHC said.Blowing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph), Nate was expected to move across eastern Honduras on Thursday and enter the northwestern Caribbean Sea through the night.The storm will be near hurricane intensity when it approaches Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula late on Friday, where up to 8 inches (20 cm) of rain were possible, the NHC said.Nate is expected to produce 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm)of rain in southern Honduras, with up to 15 inches (38 cm) in some areas, the NHC said.The NHC said a hurricane watch was issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.US officials from Florida to Texas told residents on Thursday to prepare for the storm. A state of emergency was declared for 29 Florida counties and the city of New Orleans.“The threat of the impact is increasing, so folks along the northern Gulf Coast should be paying attention to this thing,” the NHC’s Feltgen said.In Mississippi, the US Environmental Protection Agency plans to release as a precautionary measure 40 million gallons (151 million liters) of acidic water from storage ponds at a Pascagoula waste site.The release to a drainage bayou is intended to prevent a greater spill during the storm, the EPA said, adding there are no anticipated impacts to the environment.Major Gulf of Mexico offshore oil producers including Chevron (CVX.N), BP plc (BP.L), Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Statoil (STL.OL) were shutting in production or withdrawing personnel from their offshore Gulf platforms, they said.About 14.6 per cent of US Gulf of Mexico oil production and 6.4 percent of natural gas production was offline on Thursday, the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.last_img read more

Capt Picard is Back Sir Patrick Stewart Announces Return to Star Trek

first_imgThe series Star Trek: The Next Generation ended in 1994, but Sir Patrick Stewart as the cerebral and decisive Captain Jean-Luc Picard maintained his hold over fans’ loyalty ever since, second only to the group that starred in the original show of the 1960s. After the show went off the air, the British actor enjoyed a great deal of career success that had nothing to do with Star Trek, from continuing his stage work in major productions of The Tempest and Hamlet to playing Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series.But now fans may feel they’ve been hit by phasers set to “stun.” Stewart said in a statement released in August 2018 that it is “an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.”Stewart at the 2010 Metropolitan Opera’s opening night of Das Rheingold. Photo by David Shankbone CC BY 3.0The announcement was made at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention. It’s not intended to be a reboot of Star Trek: The Next Generation but seems to be telling the story of Picard’s life after serving as captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.The series will be coming to CBS All Access, though not many details have been released.USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). Photo by Rob Young CC BY 2.0Stewart, 78 years old, said in his statement: “During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership,” Stewart said of the years since he made his final appearance as Picard in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. “I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”Patrick Stewart at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2017. Photo by Maximilian Bühn CC BY SA 4.0On the live panel discussing the show at the Las Vegas convention, Stewart said, “It may not be the Jean-Luc you know and love. He may be a man who has been changed by his experiences…it will be, I promise you, something different…but it will come with the same love for the universe and our fans we had before.”NASA Q&A With the Stars of STAR TREK BEYONDSpeculation is that CBS All Access will emphasize Star Trek as its core entertainment. According to a story on i09, “CBS executives have confirmed there are other potential Star Trek shows being considered for CBS All Access. The plan looks to be all Star Trek, all the time.”A smaller scale replica of the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701-E at Famous Players Colossus Theatre in Langley, BC, Canada.In an interview, executive vice president of original content Julie McNamara said, “We’re looking at limited series for some Trek shows, and we are looking at ongoing series for some other Trek shows. We’ve obviously announced the one that’s coming next with Sir Patrick Stewart, but we have more in development there.”Jean-Luc Picard as Borg Locutus. Photo by Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame Gryffindor CC BY-SA 3.0From the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, it was clear that the show was reeling in new fans. Stewart was a hit as Captain Picard, as was Brent Spiner as Data, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, and more. The series ran for seven seasons.Captain Picard, a native of France (with a difficult relationship with his adult brother), found comfort in Shakespeare and enjoyed archaeology during his rare moments of free time. He had a longstanding attraction to the ship’s physician, Dr. Beverly Crusher, and lingering trauma from being abducted by the enemy species, the Borg.Read another story from us: Harlan Ellison and His War With ‘Star Trek’Alex Kurtzman will oversee CBS’s new Star Wars series. “With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the ‘Star Trek’ fold,” Kurtzman said. “For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old.”In related news, Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 is set to launch in early 2019.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to read more

Three shot killed in back yard of Cancun home

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — The bodies of three men were located at a house in Cancun on Monday. Police were called to the home in Region 221 at 2:37 p.m. near the intersection of Chac Mool and Niños Héroes avenues.When they arrived, they discovered the bodies of three deceased men, two of whom were located near each other in the back yard, while the third was found a few meters away in undergrowth.Municipal Police arrived and cordoned off the area to prevent people from entering and contaminating the scene. The Red Cross also arrived to confirmed that the three men no longer had vital signs.Witnesses say that several people with long weapons entered the home, which is when they heard a burst of gun shots before the assailants fled in a white van on Chac Mool Avenue.The deceased have been identified as Francisco N, Orlando N and Christian N. One of the three, Christian N, was apparently the target of a shooting less than three weeks before. One of the other victims is reported to have been a taxi driver.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tulum lifeguard shot by beach jewelry vendor

first_imgTulum., Q.R. — A lifeguard in Tulum was shot in the leg after an altercation with a street vendor selling jewelry on the beach. The dispute took place on the beach outside Bahía Príncipe around 10:00 a.m. When the pair began to exchange words, the seller of alpaca jewelry pulled out a gun and shot the hotel’s lifeguard in the leg. The bullet hit the man in his right knee. Paramedics also arrived to tend to the gunshot wound and transfer the lifeguard to hospital. The victim has been identified as Carlos Manuel N. He was taken to a Playa del Carmen hospital. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window) The vendor immediately fled on foot. Police were called but unable to locate the armed salesman. last_img read more

Who Is Stepping in as Ginnie Maes New Head

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) announced that Michael Bright, EVP and COO at Ginnie Mae will be stepping down on January 16 and has requested that his nomination for President of the agency be withdrawn to pursue a new opportunity in the private sector.In his resignation letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Bright said that he would institute an orderly transition process, including handing over delegated authority for policy decisions immediately.”The opportunity to serve the country and our economy in this capacity has been a tremendous honor… I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished since early 2017,” Bright said. “As you are aware, over the past two years, Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding portfolio crossed the $2 trillion mark, and last year we served 1.9 million American families as they purchased or refinanced a home. This would not have taken place without the dedication and leadership of the Ginnie Mae staff, who are some of the most knowledgeable and mission-focused professionals I have ever worked with.”Maren Kasper, current EVP of Ginnie Mae, will serve as the Acting President upon Bright’s departure. Kasper joined Ginnie Mae in June 2017.“I want to thank Michael for his many contributions to Ginnie Mae over the last two years,” said Secretary Carson. “He has assembled a first-rate team and successfully managed and expanded a portfolio that enables millions of Americans to become homeowners each year. We wish him the best in his future.”Nominated to head Ginnie Mae in May, Bright had said that he intended to continue Ginnie Mae’s ongoing work to strengthen and modernize the agency as well as ensuring that the security of the FHA, VA, and USDA loans it oversees to ensure better security price and lower rates for borrowers of these loans.“Between the work we have done administratively at Ginnie as well as the language recently passed into law, we have taken a major step towards rooting out behavior that was threatening the very viability of the Ginnie security, and thereby threatening the viability of the VA, USDA, and FHA programs we support,” Bright had said during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Banking Committee. “We will not tolerate this behavior, and we now know that Congress stands with us. Collectively, our efforts are working. We can already see that in the form of a better security price, which directly translates into lower rates for FHA, VA, and USDA borrowers.” January 9, 2019 1,706 Views Ginnie Mae michael bright 2019-01-09 Radhika Ojhacenter_img Share Who Is Stepping in as Ginnie Mae’s New Head?last_img read more