Kashmir shut down over Article 35A

first_imgThe Kashmir and Chenab Valleys on Saturday observed a shutdown over the issue of Article 35A. Meanwhile, regional parties, including the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), pushed for a consensus against any revocation, while the BJP decried “deliberate fear psychosis”.Authorities set up barricades in parts of Srinagar to keep protesters at bay in the wake of the separatists’ call for a shutdown. However, traders associated with the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) held a demonstration at Lal Chowk.Normal life hitThe shutdown affected normal life as schools, offices and petrol pumps remained closed. There was thin traffic on the roads. Train services were also suspended.In Jammu region’s Chenab Valley, the bandh call was issued by Anjuman Islamia Bhadarwah, Markazi Seerat Committee Doda, Anjuman Islamia Gandoh, Masjid Committee Thathri and Majlis-e-Shoura Kishtwar against the “dilution of J&K’s special status”.Kashmir is witnessing a political storm following the Attorney-General’s suggestion to the Supreme Court in July “to have a larger debate on Article 35A” while it is being challenged by an NGO. The Article defines exclusive rights of locals in J&K over jobs, immovable property and scholarships.After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, CM Mehbooba Mufti also met the BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav as “part of consensus building against any erosion of special status”, as per the agenda of the alliance. However, National Conference (NC) leader Ali Muhammad Sagar alleged that “Ms. Mufti’s wishy-washy claim of getting an alleged assurance from the PM stood exposed as senior BJP leaders talk of no change in total and complete opposition to Article 35A and Article 370”. The NC’s provincial president claimed that “Jammu Dogras would be the main sufferers if Article 35A is scrapped”.“Jammu people should be given a chance to hold a referendum on whether Article 35A should stay or go,” said Mr. Rana, while describing Pakistan statement over the issue “a ploy.”However, BJP state spokesperson Anil Gupta accused the NC of “creating a fear psychosis.”“NC’s statement clearly indicates the mindset of his party that has always advocated politics of exclusion,” said Mr. Gupta.last_img read more

DNA forensics a vital tool in cracking wildlife crimes

first_imgIn November 2017, 23-year-old youth from North 24 Parganas in West Bengal killed a wild animal and posted photographs on a social media platform. State Forest Department officials tracked down the man but by then the meat was half cooked and the accused denied all allegations. However, a few samples of the cooked meat brought to the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata, were enough to nail the accused. A forensic DNA analysis showed that the meat was that of the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), a Schedule II species protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The analysis helped Forest Department officials press charges against the youth and in further prosecution of the case.In another incident, Forest Department officials arrested three persons from Raidighi in the State’s South 24 Parganas near the Sunderban National Park. Forest officials suspected that the accused were carrying deer meat. The sample recovered from the suspects gave no clues about identity of the species. In this instance, the ZSI’s DNA analysis showed that the meat was that of cattle. The three accused were subsequently released and cleared of all charges.“With investigating agencies facing increased challenges of collecting evidence to ensure convictions in wildlife crimes, DNA forensics are providing a major headway,” said Mukesh Thakur, a scientist with the ZSI’s wildlife forensics team who has contributed to the research.Details of case studies, where advanced DNA forensics were used to help prosecute wildlife related crimes, have been documented in a recently published ZSI report, titled “Ascertaining species of origin from confiscated meat using DNA forensics and Wildlife forensics in nullifying the false accusation.”“Illegal wildlife crime is not confined to a region or to a country but it is an organized crime where several people are involved — from local hunters to the end buyers. This calls for an urgent need to employ techniques of DNA forensics to improve conviction rate which at present remains very low,” Dr. Thakur told The Hindu. Referring to two instances where pangolin scales were seized from Siliguri in August 2017 and April 2018, Dr. Thakur said DNA analysis revealed that these scales were from the Chinese Pangolin whose habitat is restricted to five states in northeast India including parts of north Bengal.Reference database“We have now developed morphology-based identification protocols for distinguishing scales of Indian and Chinese Pangolin with high confidence,” he said. The ZSI is now developing protocols to identify the number of individuals killed in a seizure from the DNA analyses, he added. Scientists at the ZSI, however, pointed out that in most cases the samples they receive from investigating agencies in cases of wildlife crime are disfigured and have lost characters of morphological identity, which poses a major challenge.Wider database“We are not just confining our efforts up to species identification but our scientists are also involved in creating a reference database to assign the seizures to the source of origin, identifying sexes from seizures to understand poaching/ hunting pressure on the species which might impact the species demography in coming years,” said Director of ZSI Kailash Chandra.According to Dr Chandra, the ZSI is one of four organisations authorised by the Government of India to submit species identification reports from the confiscated materials.“We have a dedicated facility for DNA analysis at the ZSI, where we can identify samples at the molecular level using DNA forensics. This new tool is helping in solving a number of wildlife crimes,” he added. The ZSI has also formulated a standard operating procedure in the investigation of wildlife crime. The ZSI also organised a workshop for law enforcement agencies titled ‘Wildlife Forensics and Crime Control’, where the participants were informed on using new technological tools to combat wildlife crime.last_img read more

As Trump Goofs Off, His Administration Targets Hardworking Immigrants

first_imgThese days, it’s almost as if there are two Donald Trump Presidencies. One is a circus performed daily on Twitter and cable news. The other Presidency, which has to do with policy formulation and implementation, receives less attention, but it is more consequential because it is hurting the welfare of millions of people. The latest news from Washington is that Trump’s regular workday lasts for just a few hours. According to a report from the political-news Web site Axios, Trump gets to the Oval Office at 11 a.m. every day and leaves by 6 p.m. And, even during these nominal working hours, large periods are allotted for “executive time,” during which he watches television, gabs on the phone, and tweets. On Wednesday, for example, Trump had an intelligence briefing at eleven, and then he had “executive time” until a meeting with the Norwegian Prime Minister, at two. The final item on his schedule was a 4 p.m. video recording.Read it at New Yorker Related Itemslast_img read more

Fingerprint scanners make little sense in India: Lenovo

first_imgChinese company Lenovo on Tuesday launched its budget-friendly 4G LTE-capable phone, aka the Vibe K5 Plus in India at a price of Rs 8,499. The Vibe K5 Plus offers a well-rounded spec-sheet for the price that it commands. But, it does not have a fingerprint scanner. This is because Lenovo thinks it’s not important, for a market like India. “Many (smartphone) companies are offering a fingerprint scanner (in their phones). Even Lenovo has done that. However, the use of a fingerprint scanner is very limited in India. People (largely) use it to unlock their phone, while its actual use lies in its ability to make secure mobile payments possible. This is why fingerprint scanners make little sense here,” said Sudhin Mathur, director, smartphones, Lenovo India at the launch event.Secure mobile payment services (like Android Pay, Samsung Pay et al) are non-existent in India, at the moment. Lenovo clearly has a point here. It’s certainly no big deal should a mainstream phone (like the Vibe K5 Plus) lack one. But there are companies — read rivals — which think differently. The fact that most of these companies come from China accentuates this difference in opinion further.While Coolpad was the first company to launch the under Rs 10,000 fingerprint scanner-totting Note 3 phone (and later the Note 3 Lite) in India, Xiaomi recently jumped on to the bandwagon with the Redmi Note 3 . Fingerprint scanners must make some sense for Coolpad and Xiaomi. Following closely is Huawei’s Honor that launched the Honor 5X here. Although the Honor 5X may not be in the same league here, from a pricing point of view, but it’s also one of the first few phones to sport an all-metal build and fingerprint scanner at under Rs 15,000. Ironically, Huawei also comes from China.advertisementNot to mention, all ‘Moto by Lenovo ‘ phones are supposed to have one this year. Of course, there’s also the condition that these would only be premium phones. Maybe, what Lenovo actually means is that fingerprint scanners make little sense on a budget phone.The Vibe K5 Plus also lacks a fingerprint scanner because its priorities lie elsewhere. Lenovo is pitching it as a full-on entertainment device and it is multimedia prowess, not fingerprint scanners that drive mobile sales, according to the company. Again, Lenovo has a point here. The company sold over 2 million phones last year and emerged as the top smartphone brand of 2015 on Flipkart . The A6000 Plus and K3 Note were the top two most sought after smartphones in 2015, as per the analysis. Both of them lack a fingerprint scanner.According to a Lenovo study, about 65 per cent people use their phone to access multimedia content. The company wants to tap in to that potential space with its new phone. It’s relying a great deal on two technologies: Dolby Atmos sound tech and TheatreMax. The Vibe K5 Plus comes with twin stereo speakers on the back that sadly don’t support Dolby Atmos. You’ll have to connect headphones to make use of the technology. The K4 Note launched not long ago came with Dolby Atmos supporting speakers (on the front). The Vibe K5 Plus is therefore closer to the K3 Note in this aspect as even the latter came with Atmos limited to headphone out.Lenovo’s TheatreMax technology meanwhile enhances multimedia content to offer a 3D virtual experience on the phone when paired with a supported AntVR headset (sold deparately). It made its debut with the K4 Note. The key highlight of Lenovo’s take on VR is that you don’t need specialised content for it to work. It works on any content.To add to the grand scheme of things, the Vibe K5 Plus comes with a 5-inch FullHD screen and is apparently 3 times faster and 2.5 times more efficient in terms of graphical output over its predecessor, the A6000.last_img read more

Clemson Player’s Reaction To Urban Meyer’s Retirement Is Going Viral

first_imgA closeup of Urban Meyer during an Ohio State football game.NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on prior to the All State Sugar Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Jackson Carman, a five-star offensive lineman at Clemson, was the No. 1 recruit in the state of Ohio coming out of 2018.Typically, Ohio’s top recruits stay home and play at Ohio State, but Carman opted to commit to the Tigers.Carman revealed that something Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told him about Urban Meyer played into his decision.Dabo Swinney told Jackson Carman during his recruitment that Urban Meyer is on the back end of his career in terms of years left. “It wasn’t a major factor, but it was an underlying one,” Carman said.— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) December 20, 2017Swinney didn’t come out and deny this, either.We asked Dabo Swinney about the conversation that Jackson Carman recounted to @AriWasserman about Urban Meyer. The gist of Dabo’s response: He didn’t recall exactly what was said, but in the course of recruiting you generally talk about whatever the recruit wants to talk about.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) December 20, 2017Of course, Swinney ended up being right. Meyer announced at the end of the regular season that he was retiring.Today, Carman was asked about Meyer’s retirement.“I just kind of smile. It’s funny how the universe works. It’s a nice — it’s irony,” he said.Asked Jackson Carman his thoughts on Urban Meyer’s retirement: “I just kind of smile. It’s funny how the universe works. It’s a nice — it’s irony.”— Hale yes! ? (@ADavidHaleJoint) December 27, 2018Ohio State fans are surely going to take that well…last_img read more

Web-Based Information Systems Launched

first_imgThe Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining has launched two web-based information systems geared at providing energy stakeholders with real time data.The systems, dubbed the National Energy Information Clearing House (NEICH) and the Energy Database and Management Information System (EDMIS), were officially unveiled during a press briefing at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston on Thursday, March 21.Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Hillary Alexander, said both programmes were developed as part of plans to implement the Ministry’s National Energy Policy.She said the NEICH is designed to provide up-to-date information on energy related matters to industry stakeholders. In this vein, the system will enable professionals, students and other interest groups to access real time information, prepared by numerous organisations in the energy sector via the internet.“It will facilitate dialogue, which is something we all value,” she stated.Additionally, the Ministry has collaborated with the University of Technology’s (UTech) Faculty of Engineering and Computing, to develop EDMIS.This database solution and information management system is designed to strengthen the data management, analytical and planning capacity of the Ministry’s Energy Division.“Our Ministry is (about) policy and we must be data driven in defining those policies; and we must take very good care to provide well collected, reliable data to inform decision-making and policies,” Mrs. Alexander stated.She further remarked that these tools will together provide the Ministry with improved capabilities to be able to forward plan and make better decisions.“(The programmes will also) enable us to take corrective action where it is necessary, to encourage dialogue, to encourage research, and to provide a framework for investment in the energy sector and renewed interest in an area that is so formative to our future development,” she said.For his part, State Minister, Hon. Julian Robinson, noted that partnership is critical to development, while lauding the partnership involving the Ministry, UTech and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in creating the systems.Mr. Robinson said it is even more satisfying that the systems were developed locally.“I know we have the capacity to build world class solutions and systems right here in Jamaica and it is through the development of these types of solutions that we can solve local problems. But more importantly create opportunities that will allow us to earn (well-needed) foreign exchange for our country,” he stated.Head of the School of Computing and Information Technology at UTech, Arnett Campbell, said the institution’s vision is to further collaborate with the Ministry to commercialise EDMIS, making it an energy data management system for the CARICOM region and beyond.He further noted that UTech is willing and ready to forge new partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders to solve Jamaica’s energy problems.“It is our belief and conviction that a university cannot realise its full potential until it is able to find innovative solutions to the problems of society,” he stated.He said EDMIS is just the beginning of ventures geared at finding solutions to Jamaica’s energy problems by combining skills in computing and engineering.The NEICH and EDMIS websites are accessible at www.neich.gov.jm, and www.edmis.gov.jm, respectively.By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

NSBI Approves Innovation Rebate

first_img Information on NSBI transactions can be found at http://www.novascotiabusiness.com/fundingdisclosures . -30- Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved a business development incentive in the form of an innovation rebate for Kohltech International Limited. Kohltech International Limited designs and manufactures high quality and energy efficient windows and entrance systems. The Debert-based company is proceeding with a $5,365,164 total capital investment to increase the capacity of their insulated glass fabrication line. This will be done through the implementation of a secondary glass cutting machine along with the infrastructure to support its addition. This new machine will use new technology to detect imperfections and improve safety and efficiency. They will also be introducing CNC equipment in their coatings and entrance door facilities to increase capacity and competitiveness. The company is eligible to earn a maximum innovation rebate of $843,388 upon completion of its project, based on eligible Nova Scotia capital spending of $3,373,552. To be considered for an innovation rebate, a company’s total project costs must be between $2 million and $15 million. An approved rebate is 25 per cent against eligible project costs. Quick facts:center_img the Innovation Rebate Program was developed in consultation with Nova Scotia companies the program provides financial incentives on projects that enable a company to increase innovation capacity through private-sector capital investments or adoption of new technologies and business processes the program provides a 25 per cent rebate based on eligible project costs, as defined in the Innovation Rebate Program Guidelines the total project cost must be between $2 million and $15 million. The maximum amount of eligible project costs to which the rebate will be applied is $15 million the maximum rebate amount for an eligible project, including related parties, cannot exceed $3,750,000 over a 24-month period the rebate works as a rebate against a company’s direct costs and is only paid out once the project is completelast_img read more

Pipelines asylum seekers tuberculosis how politics touched us this week

first_imgOTTAWA – Parliament Hill was a swirl of fresh faces and a storm of news this week in the rush to get things done and square events away before the Thanksgiving break.In a sea of pageantry, the next Governor General, astronaut Julie Payette, was sworn in to her new position, replacing David Johnston. Premiers and Indigenous leaders from across the country then gathered nearby for a meeting with the prime minister — a meeting that led to a more solid picture of what legalization of cannabis will eventually look like.The next day, the NDP’s new leader, Jagmeet Singh, took a victory lap through his party’s caucus room, inspiring a jubilance not seen since the days of Jack Layton.Personalities aside, there were impactful developments on pipelines, asylum seekers and tuberculosis. Here’s how politics affected Canadians’ everyday lives this week:PIPELINE APOPLEXYTransCanada has followed through on its hints this summer and cancelled its $16-billion plans for the Energy East pipeline — an announcement that prompted a vicious round of finger-pointing, blame-casting and, in some corners, celebration.Whether the cancellation was because of market forces (as the Liberals contend) or unreasonable public policy (as the Conservatives argue), environmental activists and the mayor of Montreal claimed victory.The animosity exposed unresolved quandaries for Canadian public policy. Will companies in the West find other, better, ways to export oil and gas, and will the public buy in? Will climate policy lead to depressed demand and low prices — and eventually mean Canada turns forcefully away from the natural resources that have buoyed its economy for an eternity? If not oil and gas, then what?And as political leaders in Western Canada lash out at their eastern counterparts, is there any hope of forging a national consensus on how or whether the oil industry can or should coexist and prosper alongside a warming earth?THE FATE OF ASYLUM SEEKERSCanadians are beginning to learn about what is happening to the thousands of asylum seekers who walked across the Canada-U.S. border illegally over the past few months.Their refugee claims are now working their way through a clogged system. Progress is slow. And about half of the claims are being rejected.Government officials said this week they have finalized about 240 cases of about 8,000, and the rejection rate is about 50 per cent. That’s normal for Haitian claims, and most of the claimants over the summer were Haitians crossing into Quebec.At the same time, the federal government is scrambling to live up to a commitment to bring 1,200 Yazidi women and girls into Canada as refugees from northern Iraq, where they had been too often forced into sex slavery.Ottawa promised a year ago to bring them in, and this week Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said 800 had arrived. The Conservatives are questioning his numbers, however, second-guessing whether the 800 are actually Yazidis.The minister insists that the delay in the Yazidi effort has nothing to do with the resources required to process the asylum seekers at the border. But it’s clear that setting up a new home in Canada is not a walk in the park.TACKLING TUBERCULOSISIt’s almost unheard of as a problem in most of Canada, but tuberculosis is a scourge in the Inuit population. This week, the federal government rolled out a plan to eliminate what can be a deadly infectious lung disease.Inuit in Nunavut are 270 times more likely to have TB than the rest of the population, a long-standing problem propelled by poverty and overcrowded, substandard housing.The eradication plan involves setting up a task force with Inuit organizations, combining their prevention and treatment approaches, and incorporating housing into their plans.In the last federal budget, about $1 million was earmarked for TB prevention in the Inuit population — meant to amplify ongoing efforts to improve diagnosis, prevention and new medical treatments.But the TB problem is so entrenched that the government is still grappling with its long legacy. For decades, Inuit infected with the disease were flown south to receive treatment. They often never returned, dying or lost without their family supports. Officials are now trying to track down their graves.last_img read more

Herve Renard Releases Lineup for Moroccos Games with Argentina Malawi

Rabat – Coach Herve Renard has unveiled his official list of the 33 footballers who will take part in Morocco’s final qualifier game of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) against Malawi and the friendly game against Argentina.The list includes Moroccan-Dutch Idrissi Oussama, who will be playing with the Atlas Lions for the first time after choosing to represent Morocco instead of the Netherlands.Both Hamza Mendyl and Nabil Dirar, who played with Morocco in the 2018 World Cup, are not on the list. The two Moroccan goalkeepers Munir El Kajoui,  who plays for Malaga, and Bounou Yassine, who plays for Girona, have made the list.Although he missed multiple CAN qualifier games last year, the captain of the Moroccan football team Mehdi Benatia is on the list, as well as favorites Younes Belhanda, Amine Harit, Faycal Fajr, and Achraf Hakimi.The full list is as follows: Morocco’s football team will play against Malawi on March 22. Morocco has already qualified for CAN 2019 after defeating the Comoros in the qualifier games in November 2018. The defeat gained Morocco a qualification to CAN, also known as AFCON.The Atlas Lions will then play a friendly game against Argentina on March 26 in Tangier.The friendly match is part of the Atlas Lions’ preparation for CAN. read more

Building on measles success UN health agency stresses multidisease prevention strategy

“We begin our discussions in what I believe are optimistic times for health,” UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan told the opening session of the agency’s twice-yearly Executive Board meeting in Geneva.“The news gets even better,” she said, referring to the measles success and the wider health gains linked to it. “Increasingly, this initiative is delivering a bundle of life-saving and health-promoting interventions: bed nets for malaria, vitamin A to boost the immune system, de-worming tablets that help keep children in school, polio vaccine, and tetanus vaccine for pregnant women.“I view this initiative as a model of what can be achieved through integrated service delivery. This is a value-added approach that amplifies the power of public health.”Addressing her first Board meeting since becoming WHO chief earlier this month, Dr. Chan returned to one of her key themes: that the agency’s work should be judged by the impact it has on the health of women and of people in Africa.“Much of what we are already doing has an impact on women and the African people,” she said. “This is not surprising. The threats to these two groups are numerous. Many of these threats are receiving high-level attention as we strive to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to which I am fully committed.”The MDGs, which seek to slash a raft of social ills by 2015, specifically target several health goals including cutting child mortality rates by two-thirds and maternal mortality rates by three-quarters, and halving and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. On polio, the paralyzing and sometimes fatal disease that was once every parent’s nightmare but has now been reduced to virtually a memory in all but a few countries, Dr. Chan noted that it was now technically feasible to interrupt its transmission worldwide but the world must tackle the operational and financial obstacles involved.“I believe we need to assess the country-level operations very carefully to ensure that we can indeed interrupt transmission globally,” she said, adding that she would convene an “urgent high-level consultation” next month to draw up “a set of milestones that must be met if transmission is to be interrupted in the four remaining endemic countries.” The consultation will also consider the funding needed to meet these milestones.On the current bird flu outbreak and the threat of its possible mutation into a potentially deadly human pandemic, Dr. Chan delivered a “straightforward” message. “We must not let down our guard. The whole world has lived under the imminent threat of an influenza pandemic for more than three years. These years of experience have taught us just how tenacious this H5N1 virus is in birds.”A report to the Board on the global strategy for preventing and controlling chronic illness, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, concludes that much has been done but more progress is still needed. Last year, 35 million people died from these diseases, 60 per cent of all deaths globally. These deaths are projected to increase by a further 17 per cent over the next decade.Other issues on the agenda of the nine-day meeting include tuberculosis; gender, women and health; oral health; health systems; and the rational use of medicines, including better medicines for children. Some 10.5 million children under the age of five die every year, mostly from treatable conditions. The Executive Board comprises representatives from 34 Member States, elected by the World Health Assembly, WHO’s decision making body. Its main functions are to give effect to the Assembly decisions. 22 January 2007Building on the “spectacular success story” of the 60 per cent reduction in measles deaths since 2000, 10 per cent above target, the United Nations health agency today outlined its ambitious goals of expanding the integrated delivery of immunization and preventive treatment against a whole host of diseases. read more

WatchRBC earnings HBC deal push TSX higher

TORONTO — Strong corporate earnings and a major real estate deal for retailer Hudson’s Bay (TSX:HBC) sent the Toronto stock market higher on Wednesday.The S&P/TSX composite index rose 63.6 points to 15,228.57.Shares in Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) soared $4.38 or 19.75% to $26.57 after the company announced it was joining with two major real estate trusts — Toronto-based RioCan (TSX:REI.UN) and Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) — to create two real estate joint ventures.HBC estimates it will get $1.1 billion in cash from the transactions over time.“We’re talking about some very prime locations, major metropolitan areas in North America,” said Chhad Aul, portfolio manager at Sun Life Global Investment.“This is really just the latest in a trend that we saw with Loblaws (TSX:L) and Canadian Tire (TSX:CTC.A) — they’re trying to spin out and unlock the value of those real estate portfolios.”The financials sector led TSX advancers, up 1.25% as Royal Bank (TSX:RY) posted a quarterly profit of $2.456 billion, up 17% from a year ago and raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to 77 cents per share. Its shares advanced $2.75 to $77.80.The Canadian dollar was up 0.47 of a U.S. cent to 80.5 cents.New York indexes were little changed as traders failed to get further clues on the pace of interest rate hikes from a second day of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen.The Dow Jones industrials gained 15.38 points to 18,224.57, the Nasdaq slipped 0.98 of a point to 4,967.14 and the S&P 500 index was off 1.62 points at 2,113.86.The TSX consumer discretionary sector was also a leading TSX advancer, up almost two per cent as auto parts giant Magna International (TSX:MG) earned $509 million or $2.44 a share, up 11% from a year ago. Sales rose about two per cent to $9.39 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of $2.24 per share and revenue of $9.08 billion. Magna also cut its revenue forecast for 2015, hurt by weak demand from Europe.Along with the financial results, Magna announced a two-for-one stock split and hiked its quarterly dividend by 16% to 44 cents per share from 38 cents. Its shares jumped $8.99 or seven per cent to $136.67.The gold sector was ahead one per cent as the April bullion contract advanced $4.20 to US$1,201.50. The energy sector turned positive, up 0.75%, while oil prices ticked $1.71 higher to US$50.99 a barrel after five days of losses even as the U.S. Department of Energy said American inventories rose 8.4 million barrels last week, about double the amount expected.Encana (TSX:ECA) is cutting its 2015 capital budget to between $2 billion and $2.2 billion, down about $700 million. Encana joins a host of other energy companies that have been forced to chop spending in response to a 40 per cent slide in oil prices since the end of November.Encana’s operating profit, which excludes extraordinary items, came in at $35 million, or five cents per share for the quarter. Encana shares were 22 cents higher at $16.50.The March copper contract edged two cents higher to US$2.66 a pound and the base metals group also moved into the positive column, ahead 0.23%. read more

More US flights arriving on time but complaints are up too

by The Associated Press Posted Jan 15, 2016 11:01 am MDT Last Updated Jan 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email More US flights arriving on time, but complaints are up too U.S. airlines are doing better at staying on schedule than a year ago, but more passengers are filing complaints against the carriers.Hawaiian Airlines and Delta Air Lines topped the on-time rankings for November, which were released Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.Budget airlines Spirit and Frontier had the worst on-time performance and highest complaint rates.The department said that flights on the 13 largest airlines arrived on time 83.7 per cent of the time. That was up from 80.6 per cent in November 2014 but down from last October’s 87 per cent rate.Passengers on five domestic flights were stuck on the ground for more than three hours, and people sat on a Qatar Airways plane in Detroit for more than six hours, all in possible violation of federal rules. The department said it was investigating the incidents.Complaints against U.S. airlines rose 56 per cent from a year earlier. Still, only 989 people — a tiny percentage of passengers — bothered to file a report with the government. Complaints about foreign airlines rose 14 per cent.SkyWest, which operates regional flights for the major airlines, and Southwest had the lowest complaint rates. Spirit had the highest complaint rate by a wide margin.More people — 1,272 — complained about Transportation Security Administration screeners than about the airlines. The Transportation Department said, however, that it was “not appropriate” to compare the figures because “thousands” of travellers complain directly to the airlines but never contact the government.___The full report can be found at 1.usa.gov/1noesSn read more

Match announced for tonights 1118 WWE Main Event

first_imgFacebook Velvet Sky Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next Pinterest Videos Articles Impact reportedly returning to New York City for TV tapings this November NWA President Billy Corgan announces their first television tapings from Atlanta Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Google+ Roman Reigns is in Remission Now Playing Up Next Twitter Ronda Rousey Highlighting WWEs Problems Now Playing Up Next Ronda Rousey On WWE: I Love This Job, But I Dont Need It WWE has announced that Adam Rose & The Bunny will face Tyson Kidd & Natalya on tonight’s 11/18 WWE Main Event on the WWE Network from Knoxville, Tennessee.Attending tonight’s Main Event & Smackdown tapings in Knoxville? Send us a live report to either AdamMartin@wrestleview.com or Jason@wrestleview.com. Source: WWE.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipBully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On TwitterVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:05Remaining Time -0:26 FullscreenUp NextThis 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.Replay the list Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Charlotte Flair to reportedly take on WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus at SummerSlamlast_img read more

1219 WWE Results Inglewood CA Brock Lesnar returns

first_imgFacebook Wrestleview Live #63: Reviewing and discussing SummerSlam 2019 from Toronto Video: Seth Rollins says his victory over Brock Lesnar might be the greatest victory of his career Twitter WhatsApp WWE RAW Results – 8/12/19 (Night after SummerSlam, Seth Rollins, The Miz vs. Ziggler) center_img Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR 12/19 WWE Results: Inglewood, California* Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz.* WWE Divas Champion Charlotte, Becky Lynch & Brie Bella def. Team B.A.D.* Ryback def. Rusev w/ Lana.* Brock Lesnar def. WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio via DQ. Rusev interfered during the match to setup the DQ finish. Lesnar destroyed both.* The Dudley Boyz, Kane & Tommy Dreamer def. The Wyatt Family.* WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens.* WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns def. Sheamus.Source: PWInsider.com Google+ Pinterestlast_img read more

Stocks soar on continued optimism after Modi win

first_imgStocks soar on continued optimism after Modi win891 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Stocks soar on continued optimism after Modi win891 viewsBusinessMumbai/ New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Bombay Stock Exchange and Nifty were trading higher on Monday as optimism continued after Narendra Modi-led BJP won a majority in the country’s elections. Although both indexes are well below the record highs hit on Friday, when the Nifty gained as much as 1.2 percent before pulling back, brokers continue to raise their targets for the year. Overseas investors bought Indian shares of worth 36.34 billion rupees ($615.6 million) on Friday, marking their biggest single-day purchase since March, provisional exchange data shows. In financial capital Mumbai, stock market expert Sunil Shah said the upcoming new government was fuelling the stock value to new highs.Ventuno Web Player 4.50Mumbai/ New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Bombay Stock Exchange and Nifty were trading higher on Monday as optimism continued after Narendra Modi-led BJP won a majority in the country’s elections. Although both indexes are well below the record highs hit on Friday, when the Nifty gained as much as 1.2 percent before pulling back, brokers continue to raise their targets for the year. Overseas investors bought Indian shares of worth 36.34 billion rupees ($615.6 million) on Friday, marking their biggest single-day purchase since March, provisional exchange data shows. In financial capital Mumbai, stock market expert Sunil Shah said the upcoming new government was fuelling the stock value to new highs.last_img read more

Spotify Buys Podcast Startups Gimlet Media and Anchor Plans Up to 500M

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Spotify is best known as a music-streaming service — and now it’s placing a big new bet on building a podcasting empire.On Wednesday, Spotify announced all-cash deals to acquire Gimlet Media, the podcast producer whose shows include “Homecoming,” “StartUp” and “Reply All,” and Anchor, which offers tools for podcast creation, publishing, and monetization.Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Spotify is paying $230 million for Gimlet, per a Recode report. The transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and subject to usual closing conditions.Spotify chief Daniel Ek is looking for more M&A: The company disclosed that it plans to acquire more podcasting companies, pegging total spending of $400 million-$500 million on multiple acquisitions in 2019.“These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand,” Ek said in announcing the acquisitions. “We are proud to welcome Gimlet and Anchor to the Spotify team, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together.” In a blog post, Ek said that, based on radio-industry data, Spotify assumes that over time more than 20% of all the streaming company’s listening will be non-music content. “This means the potential to grow much faster with more original programming — and to differentiate Spotify by playing to what makes us unique — all with the goal of becoming the world’s No. 1 audio platform,” he wrote.Gimlet Media had raised $28.5 million in funding from investors including WPP, Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, Cross Culture Ventures, Betaworks Ventures, Stripes Group, and Graham Holdings.Anchor had raised $14.4 million, according to Crunchbase. Its long list of backers includes Accel, Acequia Capital, Mick Batyske, Scott Belsky, Betaworks, the Chernin Group, CrunchFund, Eniac Ventures, Nir Eyal, GV, Homebrew, Craig Kallman, Avi Muchnick, Omidyar Network, SV Angel, Questlove, and Vijay Vachani. Brooklyn-based Gimlet Media was founded in 2014 by former public-radio producers Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber. In addition to its lineup of original podcast series, it operates an in-house advertising agency and Gimlet Pictures, a film and TV development and production arm. Among Gimlet’s Hollywood deals was a pact with Amazon Studios to adapt podcast “Homecoming” as a series starring Julia Roberts.Anchor FM Inc. was founded in 2015 by Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman. The Manhattan-based startup provides a free-to-use podcasting platform and content hosting, along with monetization options. The company claims it powers more than 40% of the industry’s new podcasts, with an aggregate of 15 billion hours of content hosted on Anchor in the fourth quarter of 2018.Spotify announced the acquisitions along with releasing Q4 2018 results. The company now has over 96 million Spotify Premium subscribers — up 36% year over year — across 78 markets. Total monthly active users climbed 29%, to 207 million, for the year-end quarter, with growth topping Spotify’s forecasts in most markets with especially strong growth in Latin America and other emerging regions, the company said.Spotify’s Q4 revenue was $1.7 billion (€1.495 billion), up 30%. The company cut operating costs by 17% in the fourth quarter, resulting in an operating profit of $107 million (€94 million) — Spotify’s first quarterly operating profit.For 2019, because of the podcast M&A strategy, Spotify expects to return to red ink. It forecast full-year 2019 operating loss of between $228 million-$410 million (€200 million-€360 million) on revenue of $7.23 billion-$7.74 billion (€6.35 billion-€6.8 billion), up 21%-29% versus 2018. Spotify expects Premium subscribers to be 117 million-127 million at the end of 2019 and total monthly active users to b in the 245 million-265 million range. Popular on Variety last_img read more

State report to EC shows action taken against all troublemongers

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government has submitted a report to the office of the Election Commission stating that steps have been taken against all potential trouble-mongers across the state.The Election Commission had earlier instructed senior officials of the state government to take adequate measures and arrest the trouble-mongers who could trigger violence during the polls. The Commission also instructed senior police officers of the state to execute all the non-bailable cases which were still pending in the state. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt was learnt that more than 20,000 trouble-mongers have been identified both by the city and the district police. The Election Commission also wanted to know from senior police officers in the state if any steps were taken against the miscreants. A report was also sought from them. It can be mentioned here that during his recent visit to the state, Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain had asked Director General of Police Virendra and the then Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma to ensure that all the trouble-mongers should be sent behind bars as a pre-emptive measure ahead of elections. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateVarious political parties also raised a number of issues including the intimidation of voters with the Election Commission. It was also learnt that during his meeting with the election officials, Jain expressed his dissatisfaction over the implementation of the non-bailable cases in some districts. The districts like South 24-Parganas, East and West Burdwan were identified as having a huge number of trouble-mongers. In the report submitted to the Commission by the state government, officials claimed that steps have been taken against all the potential trouble-mongers. Recently-appointed Special Central Police Observer in the state Vivek Dubey also took a stock of the overall law and order situation in the state and also on various pending cases. The full Bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in February held meetings with the top government officials and issued necessary instructions on what measures need to be taken to ensure a free and fair election. The ECI full Bench also discussed the law and order situation in the state.last_img read more

Overcoming the fear of death

first_imgWhy do we fear death and how do we overcome this fear and rise to a higher level of consciousness? The fear comes primarily for two related reasons. The first is that we don’t understand what death amounts to, and the second is simply that the life we are leading is going to end, author Sarada Chiruvolu writes in ‘Home at Last: A Journey Toward Higher Consciousness’.”The prospect of almost any ending, such as the loss of a home, the death of a loved one, or the end of a personal relationship or a job, may cause fear and anxiety. But to know with certainty that one day we will no longer have this life that we have built for ourselves can be devastating,” writes the Princeton-based Chiruvolu, who travels extensively to other countries and annually to India to work towards her mission of addressing most of the rudimentary needs of the people, because “if these essentials are not taken care of, then a detrimental cycle ensues”. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Apart from the deep-sleep state, we are in contact with our inner Divinity on only two occasions. One is when the subtle body departs and the gross body is dissolved at death, and the other when we are in the highest meditative state and attain enlightenment while still living in the physical body.”In both cases we end up shedding the false identification of our existence, but only the latter involves realising the Self (Truth) while we are conscious. Because of this understanding, the fear of death vanishes when we experience a thorough awareness of the merge into the Absolute (void). Not having known or experienced this dimension beforehand is what causes fear at the prospect of death,” writes Chiruvolu, who gave up a lucrative pharmaceutical career to pursue her spiritual calling. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn her own experience, fear lingered for some time until she was able to identify completely with higher awareness by merging repeatedly with emptiness. “It subsided only after the process of realization had been well-established and integrated completely through meditating and experiencing the void repeatedly. We must maintain and continue the practice of being with the new awareness while continuing all our activities. Though the mind may fluctuate in and out at times, a sense of control will come automatically and remain in that higher plane with the feeling of peace,” the author writes. How did the journey begin?”I had practised Reiki for some time to help my husband with certain health issues which brought my interest in meditation to the forefront. From that point on meditation became a habit and a passion,” Chiruvolu told in an interview.There was a sudden radical shift in perception that took place within her that changed everything in the way she viewed life and its purpose. “I felt a strange disinclination toward life in general and what the world has to offer and felt continuously something was missing in spite of having everything. That strangely took me on a deeper inner journey which was not something I had planned or worked on for years or anything. Felt as if it was preordained and was in a sense imposed on me. Suddenly my meditations took me deeper and deeper within and eventually to the final goal,” the author said.The book talks about the author’s meetings with various self-realised individuals and her own experience of self-realisation. What exactly is ‘self-realisation’ or ‘enlightenment’? How is a self-realised person different from an ordinary human being?Self-realisation/enlightenment “is when actual shift from ego consciousness to consciousness of “Self” takes place. We reclaim and re-establish our connection with the source we all come from and realise our own essential nature of being and experiencing that connectedness. One might also describe it as tapping into that oneness of existence: ‘The unification of everything’. That union is the purpose and the ultimate goal of human existence,” the author said. Noting that the purpose of human life is to self-realise, she said the compelled imprisonment of reincarnation will not be enforced. “It ultimately takes us to liberation. It is about how we all can reach that ultimate state of union with all of life,” she added.Self-realised beings are different as their perception of life has changed. “From ordinary consciousness to permanently altered perception of reality, they are more capable of responding and expressing far better. By raising the awareness and perception they can taste larger slice of life. They do not look any different physically but they function with a heightened state of awareness and are able to use their highest potential with that utmost evenness and equanimity,” Chiruvolu explained.last_img read more