Dakshinayan Abhiyan extends support to DU students

first_imgPANAJI: The Dakshinayan Abhiyan, an all India movement for freedom of expression by writers and rationalists, has decided to support the ongoing struggle of the Delhi University student community, who are fighting their right to freedom of expression.In this connection, the Abhiyan has planned to stage a demonstration in the city on Thursday.The decision to support the students movement — which gained a nation-wide support after a Kargil war martyr’s daughter Gurmehar Kaur supported the students’ right to expression — was taken at a core committee meeting of the Abhiyan held recently. The meeting was attended by former student union leaders of Goa, including Datta Damodar Naik , Dilip Borkar, Dr. Subodh Kerkar, and Mohandas Lolayekar, among others.The Dakshinayan Abhiyan has appealed to all students union activists of the past, students union representatives of different colleges and the Goa University, and to the general public who support the cause of freedom of expression, to participate in the demonstration.last_img read more

Six children, driver die as bus falls into gorge in Himachal Pradesh

first_imgSix children and the driver of their school bus were killed on Saturday when the vehicle fell into a gorge in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, the police said.The accident, in which 12 children were injured, occurred at Sangrah around 8 a.m. “A private bus carrying students of the DAV School, Renuka, fell into a gorge. Seven people — six schoolchildren and the driver — were killed,” Sirmaur Superintendent of Police Rohit Malpani said.Samir, 5, Adarsh, 7, Kartik, 14, and driver Ram Swaroop, 40, died on the spot. Abhishek, his sister Sanjana and Naitik Chauhan succumbed to their injuries at the Nahan Medical College, he said. The injured were admitted to hospital.Deputy Commissioner of Sirmour Lalit Jain asked Sangrah Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rajesh Dhiman to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within 15 days.Mr. Jain also asked Mr. Dhiman to disburse an immediate relief of ₹20,000 to the families of those killed and ₹10,000 to those of the injured.last_img read more

H-1B Visa, Anyone?

first_img11,000 H-1B visas still remain available this year, according to the figures released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The annual cap of 65,000 visas was reached on Dec 21 in 2009 and on April 8 in 2008. Until the current economic crisis, the H-1B visa cap was reached in just a few days and there was industry pressure to increase the cap.A steep hike in visa fees from $320 to $2,320 to pay for a $650 million security fence along the US-Mexican border is partly blamed for the softening in H-1B visa demand. Related Itemslast_img

Can The Make In India Promise Work

first_imgWithin the 24 hours surrounding Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the government’s new, pro-manufacturing “Make in India” policy, the nation also boasted a successful mission to Mars and a credit rating that had been raised from “negative” to “stable” by Standard & Poor’s. Suddenly, a lot of things seemed to be going India’s way — but for “Make in India,” at least, there are plenty of hurdles ahead.The campaign, which focuses on the manufacturing sector, is not going to be easy to deliver, despite the enthusiasm that accompanied the launch of the effort’s new logo and website. FDI (foreign direct investment), Modi, told investors, should stand for First Develop India. “India is the only country in the world which offers the unique combination of democracy, demography, and demand,” he said. In the audience were CEOs from abroad — Maruti Suzuki’s Kenichi Ayukawa and Lockheed Martin’s Phil Shaw — and home, including Tata Group chief Cyrus Mistry, Reliance head Mukesh Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla of the Aditya Birla Group and IT tycoon Azim Premji.Modi followed the launch with meetings with other CEOs, such as Mary Barra of General Motors, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and (earlier) Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo. They all gave the appropriate soundbites to the media. But the key question is: Will they bite? Will they be able to convince their boards and companies to invest in India? Will Make in India work?“This is a great idea,” says Jagmohan Raju, professor of marketing at Wharton. “The Indian consumer has come of age, and domestic demand will continue to increase to justify the production of goods in India. If goods are produced in India, it creates manufacturing sector jobs. It creates an infrastructure of ancillary industries. More jobs will be created in the industrial sector and the economy will get a boost. Japan started its growth path by making goods for the U.S. China has a strong manufacturing base. India can achieve the same.”Getting Rid of Red Tape“There are several hurdles to Modi’s Make in India campaign,” counters Ravi Aron, professor at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. “The reason that there is very little manufacturing investment in India is not because the country has done a poor job of marketing itself. India today is a bad choice for foreign investment in manufacturing. It is not surprising that manufacturing accounts for only about 15% of the Indian GDP.”Modi has not yet initiated many policy changes to improve the business climate in India, although he has assured investors that a red carpet will replace red tape. India is currently ranked 134th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list. According to government officials, as part of the Make in India initiative, all hurdles related to starting or doing business in India will now be resolved in a maximum of 72 hours. The government has created a panel of experts and representatives from various departments to hear issues related to domestic and global investment. To put that in perspective, Vodafone has been fighting the government in the courts for several years. Walmart is still waiting on the sidelines, having abandoned its partnership with the Bharti Group.Almost a month after the new policy was announced, the government amended some of the labor laws. The changes pertain to the system of inspection of companies, known as the Inspector Raj. Under the new system, inspectors will no longer be able to visit companies of their choice and stay there for as long as they want. A computerized database system will decide who goes where. There is also a time limit for filing reports. An online Shram Suvidha portal has been unveiled for employers to submit one compliance report for 16 labor laws. “These facilities are what I call minimum government, maximum governance,” Modi said at the launch of the campaign. There were a few other measures, such as portability of provident funds, designed to benefit employees. But the Industrial Disputes Act, which does not allow a company to close down a loss-making unit, remains intact for now.“Modi has taken the position that India must be transparent and efficient,” says Janice Bellace, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton. “Poor infrastructure, crony capitalism and corruption have likely done more to dissuade investment than labor laws. What Modi needs to do is eliminate outdated legislation and replace them with up-to-date laws, where appropriate, and streamline compliance and enforcement procedures. Most importantly, Modi should commit the government of India to ‘decent work,’ an International Labor Organization term that includes opportunity, security, adequate remuneration and freedom of association.”A Mindset ShiftModi is trying to change mindsets — that of labor, of bureaucrats and of employers. “The policy offers few tangibles except acceptance of self-certified documents, a 72-hour window to get clarifications on the Make in India website and 25 defined focus areas,” says Radhicka Kapoor, fellow at the Indian Council for Research and International Economic Relations and the author of a recent paper titled, “Creating Jobs in India’s Organized Manufacturing Sector.”“While the PM has acknowledged that India is indeed a difficult place to do business due to the large number of regulatory bottlenecks and has set a target of elevating India’s ranking by 85 rungs in the World Bank’s Doing Business survey, he has not outlined a specific strategy to achieve this goal,” Kapoor notes. “What the policy does, however, is to send signals of vigor and enthusiasm. But it will take a lot more than a flashy new website, a new lion symbol and catchy phrases to make India a manufacturing powerhouse and create productive jobs for India’s rapidly-expanding workforce.”Adds C.S. Rao, chief economist at apex chamber Assocham: “At this point, the policy mirrors Modi’s thoughts. It needs to be seen how it turns out.” According to Kumar Kandaswami, senior director at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, so far the campaign is “a statement of intent.” That said, he adds, “it is a very important one as it will mobilize activity and direct the attention of stakeholders. The government has brought on board industry leaders. The fact that this is held out as an important initiative of the prime minister means that there will be serious follow-up action.”No one is quarreling with the need to boost manufacturing, but Pankaj Chandra, professor of production and operations management at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, says that the government must take a proactive approach if it wants to get results. “In the past, the bureaucrats didn’t do their part of the job. They did not have the strategic framework,” Chandra notes. “There were the big manufacturing investment zones. But the bureaucrats couldn’t see beyond a real estate play. And manufacturing is everything but a real estate play. The world over, manufacturing has changed. Modern manufacturing is about science and technology, R&D, new processes, innovation, skills and quality. If we can’t do all this, I don’t think the Make in India project will work.”But Babu Khan, senior director (manufacturing & infrastructure) at apex chamber the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), says that “Make in India” is more than a statement of intent. “[Make in India] underscores a sound strategy and the strong reforms process that the new government is committed to,” Khan says. “The Indian economy is at a major turning point, as we can now look back at the global financial crisis and move ahead toward economic revival.”Khan adds that recent statistics show how critical it is for India to focus on boosting manufacturing. “After growing at 10.1% during the five-year period 2005-2006 to 2009-2010, the manufacturing sector slowed down sharply, growing at just 4.2% in the past four years,” he explains. “As a result, its share in GDP has declined to 14.9% in 2013-2014 from a peak level of 16.2% in 2009-2010.”Déjà VuThis is not the first time that India has tried to boost its manufacturing prowess. In 2004, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and McKinsey produced a report titled, “Made in India: The Next Big Manufacturing Export Story.”According to the report, “Manufacturing exports from India have not taken off even though India has several advantages, including engineering skills (process, product, quality and capital), a growing domestic market, a raw material base and a large pool of skilled labor.… India has the potential to increase manufacturing exports from $40 billion in 2002 to $300 billion by 2015.”In 2004, the government set up the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC). In 2006, the NMCC came out with a national strategy for manufacturing. The objective: to raise the share of manufacturing in GDP from 17% to 30%-35% by 2015. The council dubbed 2006-2015 as the “decade of manufacturing in India.” In 2012, McKinsey wrote: “If India’s manufacturing sector realized its full potential, it could generate 25% to 30% of GDP by 2025.” In May 2011, the department of commerce finalized a strategic paper on doubling India’s exports from $246 billion to $500 billion in the next three years (2011-2012 to 2013-2014). Merchandise exports needed to grow at 26.7% to achieve this target. For the record, the manufacturing sector saw a decline of 1.4% in August 2014.The figures have not changed materially; only the target year has moved from 2015 to 2025. A more recent FICCI report dated August 2013 notes: “In the current scenario, to expect manufacturing to grow at 14% (as targeted) on a long-term basis may not be feasible.” (Incidentally, Modi has appointed former McKinsey India chairman Adil Zainulbhai as chief of the Quality Council of India, which will spearhead the Make in India effort.)Aron says that there are several things fundamentally wrong with India that will continue to stifle manufacturing. “There are four classes of deficits,” he explains. First are the factors of production. India faces crippling shortages in, for example, power. Businesses are forced to rely on expensive and inefficient ways of producing power. India’s labor laws make it hazardous for businesses that face seasonality in their demand to set up mass production facilities. By telling industry that it cannot retrench a part of the workforce in accordance with falls in demand, India has succeeded in making original equipment and component manufacturing extremely unattractive, Aron notes.Second, continues Aron, are the enablers of production — such as surface transport and ports. “Manufacturing requires a significant edifice of infrastructure support. This edifice is absent in India,” he points out.“The third set of issues has to do with the legal regime. Laws are made to suit the extremely myopic and expedient objectives of the regime in power,” Aron notes. “The Vodafone retroactive taxation is a case in point. Even after the Supreme Court ruled that the company did not owe taxes, Parliament passed a retroactive law to claim the money from Vodafone in what must surely seem to foreign investors like state-sponsored larceny. Walmart, Amazon and Nokia are all faced with capricious tax and business laws being implemented by a corrupt bureaucracy. Is it any surprise that Microsoft did not include Nokia’s manufacturing facility in Chennai in its deal for Nokia’s phone and tablet assets. The reason? Tax terrorism again.”Finally, there is chronic, all pervasive corruption. It is only the fourth deficit that Modi can tackle to some extent, says Aron.Raju contends that Aron is too pessimistic. On infrastructure, for instance, “many manufacturing companies in India and elsewhere do create their own infrastructure. Look at Jamshedpur [a city with a population of more than 600,000 built by the Tatas over 100 years].” But he sees other problems. “I am less worried about labor laws, and more worried about the availability of a skilled workforce,” he says.Kandaswami says the Make in India policy can bring in more FDI, make the sector more competitive, create good quality jobs and enhance the quality and quantum of exports. “But the vision statement has to be followed up by action on the policy and implementation fronts,” he explains. Not delivering on the promise would be a significant setback for manufacturing in India.Has Time Run Out?Considering that India realized the manufacturing imperatives several years ago and did nothing but produce a series of reports that gathered dust, it may already be too late. “The window for growth through export-led manufacturing may well have closed for India,” says Aron. There are two reasons for this, he adds. First are supply efficiencies: Large volume component manufacturers move to a region because they wish to co-locate with other firms in the same supply chain. “Between 1985 and 2000, many manufacturers went to China because of cheap labor,” Aron notes. “But their growth in the second phase — from 2000 through 2012-2013 — was because an ecosystem of suppliers comprising members … of many business verticals — semiconductors, medical equipment, heavy electrical, molded plastics and toys — had sprung up in China. In other words, many firms took their manufacturing to China because their supply chain partners were already there. Companies first went to China for cheap labor, but stayed for supply chain efficiencies.”The second issue is the extent of automation in production, continues Aron. “In industry after industry, we have seen automation in the form of robotic production, digitization of business processes and precision manufacturing techniques,” he points out. “Manufacturing is returning to the U.S. much faster than manufacturing jobs are. The growth in manufacturing jobs is not really about where unskilled laborers swing their hammer at a widget moving on the assembly line; it is about workers that calibrate, operate and manage machines as a part of the manufacturing routine.Even with all these challenges, Modi could still attract some manufacturing FDI to India, Aron says, though it would be nothing like China’s “spectacular gains” made between 2000 and 2010. “But nonetheless, [it could be a] significant amount,” he notes. “Before he does that though, he will need to build roads, ports and power plants — the manufacturing infrastructure. Perhaps a CEO could tell the PM: ‘If you build it, they will come.’” Related Itemslast_img read more

SC allows 7 more girls to reunite with their families

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Friday allowed seven more girls, who were at the Muzaffarpur shelter home where allegations of sexual assault surfaced last year, to reunite with their families. The top court had earlier allowed eight girls, out of 44 in all, to be reunited their families but only six of them have been able to do so. TISS project‘Koshish’ — a field action project of TISS — in its report told the court that 12 more girls, besides these 15, have been identified to be restored with their families. Several girls were reportedly sexually assaulted at the NGO-run shelter home in Bihar. The issue had come to light following a report by TISS, which had conducted a social audit. A Bench of Justices N.V. Ramana and Krishna Murari said that as and when their families are identified and the verification done, these girls can be reunited with them. Counsel for TISS told the Bench that out of the eight girls, only six have so far been restored with their families. It asked the State Child Protection Societies of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Punjab to provide all necessary help to identify and verify the family members of the girls. The Bench clarified that it cannot monitor the restoration on day-to-day basis but in case of any problem, the matter could be mentioned for hearing. On September 12, the apex court had allowed eight of the 44 girls of Muzaffarpur shelter home to be reunited with their families. The top court had directed the Bihar government to provide all necessary financial and medical assistance to these eight girls identified by ‘Koshish’ as fit for being sent to their families.It had also directed the State government to assess the compensation liable to be paid to the girls under the victim compensation scheme and submit a report to the court in eight weeks. The decision came after TISS filed its report before the SC in a sealed cover, saying the eight girls were fit to be handed over to their families.last_img read more

Stakes are high as Kolkata take on upbeat Mumbai in the eliminator

first_imgAfter dishing out a last-ball thriller in the last league match on Sunday, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders would square off against each other yet again in Mumbai on Wednesday.But the stakes are high as it will be end of the road for the loser in the Indian Premier League.Thanks to the changed format, the tie has become a sort of a quarter-final since the winner will then clash with loser of the first qualifier to earn a shot at the title match.Kolkata were well-poised to hand Mumbai their fourth straight defeat in their last league match but allowed them to escape and record a thrilling last-ball victory.The Kolkata players, particularly Laxmipathy Balaji, who was hit for 23 runs in the last over which included a last- ball six by Mumbai’s Ambati Rayudu, can forget that stunning change of fortunes in a jiffy.Wednesday’s match which would get nerves jangling and the team that shows iron grip on its emotions is likely to win the Eliminator.The Knight Riders batting has done quite well with Jacques Kallis (417 runs from 14 games), Manoj Tiwary (355 from 14) and skipper Gambhir ( 374 from 14) being its mainstays.Yusuf Pathan has not exactly scored big with 47 not out being his highest score in a tally of 257 from 14 games, but Mumbai would be aware of the damage the big- hitting Baroda man can cause once he gets going.The new ball bowling of the Knight Riders has also been below par with Brett Lee not really pulling his weight ( 4 wickets in 11 games) while Balaji ( 10 wickets in 13) and Jaidev Unadkat (6 in 7) have been expensive.advertisementBalaji’s confidence would also be a bit low after the mauling he received from Mumbai’s gangling left- handed batsman James Franklin, who struck four successive fours in the last over of the Tamil Nadu bowler to put his side on the threshold of a famous win.Balaji, however, was backed by his captain Gambhir who said after the stunning last ball loss that the medium pacer would be back in his elements in the next game.Kolkata have depended mostly on their spinners, especially Yusuf and Iqbal Abdulla who have grabbed 13 and 16 wickets respectively and also been economical for this format of the game. The Wankhede track has afforded turn over the last few matches and the duo would relish bowling on it.If Kolkata have some problems to solve, Mumbai too have a few to tackle, the biggest of them being finding an effective opening partner to Sachin Tendulkar.The team has tried out five batsmen but no one has clicked though Davy Jacobs appeared to have settled down in his role when he broke his thumb and had to be replaced. In the last match, Tirumalasetti Suman was tried but he failed for the second time in the key batting position and this has upset the balance of the team to some extent.The team would again be looking forward to contributions from the trio of Tendulkar (477 runs), Rayudu (383) and Rohit Sharma (359) in batting.Hard- hitting Kieron Pollard (140) and Andrew Symonds (135) have disappointed Mumbai but the blistering 45 not out in 23 balls by New Zealander Franklin, incidentally his highest in the IPL, has given them new hope.Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga (27 wickets) and Munaf Patel (17) were the kingpins till a few games ago before they were mauled at the death.Malinga still remains Mumbai’s best bet to give them early advantage while Patel, dropped for the previous game, is set regain his spot.Harbhajan Singh has been quite efficient if not spectacular in most matches and Mumbai would be expecting more from him against the likes of Yusuf Pathan.Tendulkar is aware that the stung Knight Riders are capable of storming their way back.last_img read more

Huawei Nova 4 goes official with punch-hole display, 48MP camera

first_imgOn Monday, Huawei announced its first smartphone with a hole in the display, called the Nova 4. This comes a week after Huawei sub-brand Honor teased the Honor View20 and Samsung officially announced the Galaxy A8s, both of which offer a punch-hole display. Much like the other two phones, the Nova 4 highlights a cut-out in the display to house a selfie camera. Additionally, the Nova 4 also touts a massive 48MP rear camera, just like the Honor View20.In a way, the Nova 4 is almost identical to the Honor View20. It gets a similar circular piercing on the top left side of the display. This allows the phone to offer over 91 per cent screen-to-body ratio. The punch-hole also removes the need for a notch on top of the display. Within the cutout lies a 25MP selfie camera with support for AI beautification. The other big highlight is the triple camera system on the back that includes a 48MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture. The Honor View20, which is expected to go official in China on December 26, will also offer a single 48MP rear camera. The other two cameras on the Nova 4 includes a 16MP wide-angle sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP sensor for depth of field support.Huawei also announced that there will be a cheaper version of the Nova 4 that will offer a 20MP primary sensor instead of a 48MP sensor. The rest of the cameras remain the same. The cheaper variant has been priced at CNY 3,099 (approx Rs 32,150), while the top-end 48MP version will cost CNY 3,399 (approx Rs 35,200). As of now, the phone has been launched in China, but it may come to India in the near future. To recall, the Nova 3 was launched in India earlier this year at Rs 34,999.advertisementAs for everything else, the Nova 4 sports a tall 6.42-inch FHD+ (1080×2310) display. It is powered by a Kirin 970 chipset much like the Nova 3. This is coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage. The Huawei Nova 4 will ship with EMUI 9.0.1 based on Android 9 Pie. The phone houses a 3,750mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging over USB Type-C.ALSO READ | Honor View20 comes with a punch-hole display, 48MP camera, official launch on December 26ALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy A8s launched with Infinity-O display, Snapdragon 710 and triple rear cameraslast_img read more

TNEA Rank List 2019 to be out shortly at tneaonline.in

first_imgTNEA Rank List 2019: The Tamil Nadu Directorate of Technical Education (TNDTE) will release the TNEA Rank List 2019 shortly on the official website. The TNEA Engineering 2019 Rank List will be released today June 20 by the TNDTE at around 11 am. This year 1.33 lakh candidates have registered for TNEA out of which 1.04 lakh candidates took part in the certificate verification process. The candidates who appeared for the exam can check result at the tneaonline.in after release.Earlier the rank list was scheduled to be released on June 17, 2019, which was postponed. As per near sources, the TNEA 2019 Rank List is expected to release at today. Once the rank list is released, candidates would be required to apply for admission based on the seat allotted. The counseling for admission will start from July 2.TNDTE Diploma Result 2019: Important DetailsName of the organizer: Directorate of Technical Education, Government of Tamil NaduName of Exam: TNDTE Diploma April Exam 2019Date of Result declaration: June 20, 2019Official Website: tndte.gov.inTNEA Rank List 2019: How to checkStep 1: Visit official website of Tamil Nadu Directorate of Technical Education (TNDTE) tndte.gov.in or click tneaonline.inStep 2: Click on the given link on homepageStep 3: Enter the Id, password, and captchaStep 4: Submit the detailsStep 5: The TNEA Rank List 2019, TNEA Engineering 2019 Rank List will appear on the screenStep 6: Download the PDF and take a printout of it for future useTNEA 2019 rank list: Important datesCommencement of online registration and filling of applications: May 2, 2019Last date for Registration of Online Applications: May 31, 2019Assigning Random Number: June 3, 2019Certificates verification at TFC’s: June 6 – 11, 2019Publication of Rank list: June 20, 2019Counseling for Differently Abled: June 20, 2019Counseling for Ex-Servicemen: June 21, 2019Counseling for sports: June 22, 2019Commencement of counseling academic: July 3 to 28, 2019Commencement of counseling vocational: June 25 to 28Supplementary counseling in person: July 29, 2019SCA to SC counseling (In person): July 30, 2019End of counselling: July 30, 2019advertisementREAD:SSC GD Constable Result 2019 to be out tomorrow @ ssc.nic.in: Direct link to check SSC GD Constable scoresREAD:No access to menstrual hygiene is the fifth biggest killer of women in the worldlast_img read more

What would Dez Bryant be like as the Bachelor?

first_imgDez Bryant as the Bachelor?Dez Bryant as the Bachelor?I always get squeamish whenever TMZ approaches somebody with these handheld cameras but Bachelor host Chris Harrison actually handles this pretty well.He’s asked which athlete would make a good Bachelor contestant and he goes all in on a former (and current) Cowboy.“I’m selfish, I’m a Dallas Cowboy fan so I’d probably make it one of the Dallas Cowboys. Who’s single on the Cowboys?” wondered Chris.[pause]“Dez Bryant! How good would that season be? How emotional? That would be a great season, right?! And at the end we might have the same issue…was it a catch?”Good one, Chris.Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

10 months agoReal Madrid defender Varane: How can I complain about my Ballon d’Or place?

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid defender Varane: How can I complain about my Ballon d’Or place?by Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid defender Raphael Varane had no problem with his placing in the Ballon d’Or vote.Varane finished seventh in this year’s running.He said, “It’s (Luka) Modric, a friend, who won. So I can only be very happy for him. “There are only great players in the race. If I had been told a few years ago that I would be disappointed if I did not have the Ballon d’Or, I’d have signed for that right away (laughs). “No, frankly, I cannot be disappointed because my year for 2018 was fantastic. And for me, the most beautiful reward, it is the comments of some people in the world of football which were expressed.” last_img read more

a month agoSergio Ramos hails Real Madrid ‘hunger’ for victory at Sevilla

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Sergio Ramos hails Real Madrid ‘hunger’ for victory at Sevillaby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSergio Ramos hailed Real Madrid’s “hunger” for victory at Sevilla.Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game as Zinedine Zidane’s side bounced back from their 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.”We knew how difficult the game was going to be as it’s been years since we won here,” Ramos told Movistar+ at full time.”We came with a very strong mentality and with the intention of making as few mistakes as possible.”Even though Sevilla had possession, we always knew we’d have little of the ball and when we did have it we took advantage of it.”We achieved the objective and we stayed calm this week, after everything that was said.”Real Madrid are always hungry to win.”The team is always very optimistic.”The team is improving.”This is very long, we’ve drawn level with Athletic Club in the table and we have to keep trying to improve as a team and especially to take chances like we did today.” last_img read more

ESPN Releases Its New Top 10 Following Week 7

first_imgDwayne Haskins plays against TCU.ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks for an open receiver against the TCU Horned Frogs in the third quarter during The AdvoCare Showdown at AT&T Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)Week 7 of the 2018 college football season was a crazy one, with several highly-ranked teams falling in upset losses. In total, there were four teams ranked inside the top 10 that lost on Saturday.The new rankings are going go feature a lot of changes as a result.The new Coaches’ Poll and AP Poll will be out later today, but we have ESPN’s new Football Power Index rankings to hold us over until then.ESPN’s computer has updated its top 10 following Week 7.Here are ESPN’s new rankings:AlabamaClemsonOhio StateGeorgiaPenn StateMichiganOklahomaWashingtonNotre DameLSUThese rankings will likely look a lot different than the rankings that come out in the new polls. ESPN’s computer is apparently still quite high on Georgia, Penn State and Washington despite their losses this weekend.last_img read more

Weekly Traffic Advisories

first_img ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Cribbons Point Road Cribbons Point Road, at the intersection of Route 337, east for about 1.7 kilometres, will have one-lane closures for repaving until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. HANTS COUNTY: Route 214 Route 214 from Park Road, to Trunk 14, will be reduced to one lane for repaving until Tuesday, July 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-893-5784 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-542-6342 Local Area Office: 902-543-7376 Fax: 902-543-5596 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Lawrencetown River Bridge Lawrencetown River Bridge on Highway 207 near Lawrencetown Beach will be closed until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic will be directed through the site on a temporary bridge regulated by traffic lights until the replacement is completed. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Route 302 Route 302 at the intersection of Trunk 2/Route 320 running westerly to Trider road will have one-lane closures for road work until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic control people are on site. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 111 Highway 111, eastbound and westbound, from the Windmill Road overpass to Lake Micmac and Lake Banook will have lane closures at various locations until late July for construction. Two travel lanes will remain open for commuters from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., Halifax bound, and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Dartmouth bound. At least one travel lane will remain open at all other times. Motorists are advised to use extra caution when travelling through the work site, and be prepared for delays. Traffic is controlled by traffic control people, signs, cones and barrels. Work is expected to take place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday (some weekend work may take place). DIGBY-YARMOUTH COUNTIES: Trunk 1 Trunk 1 from Darling Lake, Yarmouth Co., to Salmon River, Digby Co., will be reduced to one lane for a paving project until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic control consists of a pilot vehicle. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Trunk 7 Trunk 7, about 2.6 kilometres north of the Antigonish-Guysborough county line for about 8.3 kilometres, will have one-lane closures for repaving until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125, Leitches Creek Bridge The eastbound lanes of Highway 125, over Leitches Creek, will be reduced to one lane, 24 hours a day, until Sunday, Sept 30. This will allow concrete repairs, waterproofing, and repaving of the bridge deck. Drivers should use extra caution and be prepared for traffic delays in the construction area. Keltic Drive is available as a detour. PICTOU COUNTY: West River East Side Road The West River East Side Road near Salt Springs is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of signals. A wide-load detour route is marked. KINGS COUNTY: Victoria Road and Route 221 The intersection of Victoria Road and Route 221 will have one lane closures for repaving and shoulder work until Friday, June 29. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Highway 103 from Exit 8 to Exit 7, will be reduced to one lane until Tuesday, July 31, for repaving. Traffic control consists of a pilot vehicle, a flashing light, barrels, cones and traffic control people. A detour is available on Trunk 3 from Exit 6 to Exit 9, between Hubbards and Chester Basin. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: Trans-Canada 104 Trans-Canada 104, from Broadway Overpass easterly to Exit 29 at Barney’s River Station for about 8.10 km will be reduced to one lane until Tuesday, July 31 for repaving. Motorist will follow a pilot vehicle through a 2-km work zone. Wide load detour signs to be posted. Motorist are advised to use extreme caution when travelling through construction zone. Traffic control persons on site. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Groves Point Road Groves Point Road, from Highway 105 to Groves Point Beach Park, will be reduced to one lane for repaving until Sunday, Sept. 30. The detour is St. James Road. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-667-0366 Fax: 902-667-3424 CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 105 There will be one-lane closures on Highway 105 from one kilometre east of the Highway 125 interchange (before Ed’s Playland), easterly to the bridge near the Marine Atlantic Terminal, for ditching, pipe work, and repaving. The work is scheduled to be completed Sunday, Sept. 30. A detour is available on Gannon Road. Traffic control people will be on site. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 YARMOUTH COUNTY: Brooklyn Road Brooklyn Road at the intersection of Highway 101 in Yarmouth County is closed to traffic for construction of a new underpass until Friday, Aug. 31. Drivers are asked to take an alternate route. Local Area Office: 902-752-6224 Fax: 902-755-7184 Local Area Office: 902-424-6144 Fax: 902-424-7116 Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-827-5388 Fax: 902-827-5190 Local Area Office: 902-794-5120 Fax: 902-794-5141 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102 south and northbound lanes will have intermittent one-lane closures between Exit 11 (Stewiacke) and Exit 13a (Power Centre) for repaving until Tuesday, July 31. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-755-7146 Fax: 902-755-7049 RICHMOND COUNTY: Black River Bridge Black River Bridge in Dundee will be reduced to one lane until Tuesday, July 31, for repairs. Traffic control consists of signals. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Route 327 (Marion Bridge Highway) Traffic on Route 327 (Marion Bridge Highway) is reduced to one lane for repaving from the intersection of Caribou Marsh Road south for six kilometres. Traffic will be controlled by traffic control people. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The project is scheduled to be completed by Tuesday, July 31. Local Area Office: 902-532-2844 Fax: 902-532-7092 NEW WORK PICTOU COUNTY: Big Gut Bridge Big Gut Bridge, on Route 348 near Pictou Landing, is open to motorists. A temporary bridge will accommodate one-lane traffic and is controlled by traffic signals. The bridge width restriction is 4.2 metres. Motorists should proceed with caution. INVERNESS COUNTY: Highway 105 Highway 105 from Victoria/Inverness county line westerly about 3.5 kilometres will be reduced to one lane for clearing and repaving from Monday, June 25 to Friday, Aug. 31. Pilot vehicle will be on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Barronsfield Road Barronsfield Road at the intersection of Route 242/Barronsfield Road in River Hebert northerly six kilometres will have one-lane closures for gravelling and paving until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic control persons are on site. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125 Highway 125 in Cape Breton Regional Municipality from Exit 2 to Exit 4 will be reduced to one lane for re-paving until Sunday, Sept. 30. A detour route is available via Keltic Drive. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Trunk 4 Trunk 4, from west of Addington Forks, west for 6.5 kilometers, will be reduced to one lane for road construction until Tuesday, July 31. Traffic will be controlled by signs and traffic control people. Motorists are advised to use extra caution when travelling through the construction zone. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-295-2700 Fax: 902-295-2617 Local Area Office: 902-883-9789 Fax: 902-883-3732 Local Area Office: 902-670-1727 Fax: 902-538-8288 Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 Local Area Office: 902-485-5254 Fax: 902-485-7047 KINGS COUNTY: Old Baxters Mill Bridge The Old Baxters Mill Bridge near Baxters Harbour will be closed to replace the bridge from Monday, June 25 until Thursday, Aug. 23. Detour route at Long Beach Road and Baxters Harbour Road. Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 CONTINUING WORK ANTIGONISH COUNTY: West Side South River Road West Side South River Road, from the intersection of Highway 104 for five kilometres to the south, will be reduced to one lane for road construction until Friday, Aug. 31. Traffic will be controlled by signs and traffic control people. Motorists are advised to use extra caution when travelling through the construction zone. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-638-3150 Fax: 902-638-3356 KINGS COUNTY: Glebe Bridge Glebe Bridge on Route 201 will have a 2.7-metre height restriction and 15-tonne weight restriction until further notice. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-542-6342 RICHMOND COUNTY: Route 320 Traffic on Route 320 will be reduced to one lane from north of the intersection of Route 206 near Arichat north for 4.5 kilometres toward D’Escousse to allow for repaving. Work will take place between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. and traffic will be controlled by traffic control persons. The project is scheduled to be completed by Tuesday, July 31. Local Area Office: 902-825-4827 Fax: 902-825-3593 INVERNESS COUNTY: MacEachern Bridge Traffic on MacEachern Bridge on Trunk 19 near Campbellton Road will be reduced to one lane until Friday, June 29, for bridge repairs. Traffic will be controlled by 24-hour traffic signals. Wide loads will be restricted to 3.55 metres. Local Area Office: 902-860-5614 Fax: 902-860-5616 Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 Local Area Office: 902-667-0366 Fax: 902-667-3424 KINGS COUNTY: Oak Island Road Oak Island Road between West Brooklyn Road and Avonport will be closed to build a wall until Friday, June 29. A detour route is available via West Brooklyn Road. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125 Highway 125 in Cape Breton Regional Municipality from Exit 2 to Exit 4 will be reduced to one lane until Sunday, Sept. 30. The detour is Keltic Drive. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: West Branch Road Closed West Branch Road in Pictou County is closed between College Grant Road and Black River Road to allow for bridge repairs. The road will be closed 24 hours a day until Friday, June 29. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Sackville River Overpass The Sackville River Overpass on Highway 102 southbound, south of Exit 4A, will have a left lane closure for bridge repairs until Saturday, June 30. Traffic control consists of a jersey barrier and speed reduction to 80 km/h. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 Local Area Office: 902-674-2146 Fax: 902-674-2170 Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 KINGS COUNTY: Hantsport Kates Bridge on Tannery Road in Hantsport will be reduced to one lane for repairs and replacement of the bridge abutments until further notice. A detour is available on Avon Street. ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Brickton Bridge The Brickton Bridge on Mount Hanley Road will be closed to traffic for repairs and painting until Friday, Aug. 17. Detour route at Trunk 1 to Lawrencetown Lane to Middle Road. Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 Local Area Office: 902-742-0587 Fax: 902-742-6000 -30-last_img read more

Chandrababu Naidu stares at biggest crisis of his political career

first_imgHyderabad: A month ago, he was at the centre stage of national politics, making hectic efforts to prop-up a non-BJP government at the Centre. Today, with four of his Rajya Sabha members defecting to the BJP, Nara Chandrababu Naidu is staring at perhaps the biggest crisis of his political career. Till May 22, a day before the counting of votes, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief was shuttling between Delhi, Amaravati and other state capitals, using his political experience to cobble together an alliance as he was optimistic about chances of a non-BJP coalition taking shape at the Centre. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The results were devastating for many regional players, hoping to play a crucial role in the formation of next government or at least emerge as kingmakers. For Naidu, it was a double whammy as he could not even retain power in his home turf. In its worst-ever poll performance, TDP finished with just 23 seats in 175-member Assembly. The massive majority secured by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha upset all calculations by Naidu at the Centre. The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) juggernaut in Andhra Pradesh bagged 22 parliamentary seats, leaving just three for the TDP. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize With his friend-turned-foe Narendra Modi retaining power at the Centre and bete noire Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy storming to power in the state, 69-year-old Naidu was staring the biggest challenge of his four-decade-long political career. Just as he was coming to terms with the new reality and was holidaying in Europe with his family members, came the shocking news of defections by four Rajya Sabha members of the TDP to the BJP. What rattled Naidu is that his close confidantes Y.S. Chowdary and C.M. Ramesh were among the four, who not only switched the loyalty but also requested Rajya Sabha Chairman to merge the TDP parliamentary party with the BJP in the upper House of Parliament. A shrewd politician, Naidu is known for his political master strokes. That’s the reason, many of his rivals see in the defections by four Rajya Sabha members a ploy by Naidu. All the four Rajya Sabha members who joined BJP are businessmen and TDP leaders say they defected for their ‘vested interests’. While YSRCP leaders claim that Naidu asked the MPs to join the party to save themselves in various cases opened against them by the Central agencies, others said that the TDP chief perhaps wants to mend fences with the saffron party. However, the TDP leaders have rubbished all these claims. “We fought with BJP for the state’s interests and will continue to do so. There is no need for us to do any such thing,” said senior TDP leader K. Rammohan Rao. Political analysts say with the TDP out of power in Andhra and Modi back at the helm in Delhi, the MPs were not only looking to secure their political future but two of them also wanted to save their skin. Chowdary, who served as a minister of state in the Modi government till the TDP pulled out over the issue of special category status to the state, has been facing probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax for alleged for defrauding of banks by his firms. Chowdary denies the charges maintaining that his decision has nothing to do with the cases. Ramesh, another right-hand man of Naidu, too faced I-T raids with regard to the financial dealings by a company in which he is the director. Interestingly, both Chowdary and Ramesh had called the raids by the central agencies a political vendetta by the BJP. Naidu had always defended them and had even withdrawn permission to the CBI to conduct investigations in the state. A group of TDP leaders even see a BJP conspiracy in engineering the defections. Rammohan Rao alleged that the BJP and YSRCP are working in tandem to put the party in trouble. Since the YSRCP has 151 members in 175-member state Assembly, it is not keen on luring the TDP legislators. However, the BJP has gone aggressive. The TDP leaders suspect it may try to woo their remaining two MPs in the Rajya Sabha and the three Lok Sabha MPs. They alleged that BJP was also trying to woo the MLAs to deprive the TDP of the post of Leader of Opposition in state Assembly.last_img read more

AFN launches 11th hour lobbying over Indigenous rights exclusion from climate change

first_img(An all-Indigenous flotilla took to kayaks Sunday on the Bassin de la Villette, which is Paris’ largest artificial lake and connects to the city’s canal system. Photo/Allan Lissner)APTN National News GATINEAU, Que.—The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has launched an 11th hour lobbying effort targeting countries with natural resource investments in Western Canada over the current exclusion of Indigenous rights from the operative text of a global climate agreement under negotiations in Paris, according to a British Columbia grand chief.First Nation Summit Grand Chief Ed John said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde will be sending letters to the ambassadors from countries like India, Malaysia, China, Japan and the European Union pressing them to back efforts to put Indigenous rights into the text of the climate agreement. John said the AFN wants to remind these nations that they have investments in resource development projects that are on Indigenous territory.The AFN passed an emergency resolution on the issue Tuesday directing Bellegarde to begin lobbying on the issue.“The pressure is still on,” said John, whose organization represents B.C. First Nations.AFN chiefs are currently meeting at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Que.The AFN resolution has been sent to the Indigenous caucus at the Paris climate talks for distribution among the 190 states currently involved in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), said John. The Indigenous caucus is not directly involved in the negotiations which involve only member states.EU ambassadors were also lobbied during a meet and greet at held Tuesday evening, said John.EU countries have been among the states that are against the inclusion of Indigenous rights in the final climate change agreement, which aims to stem the warming of the planet to 2C above pre-Industrial temperatures.Canada is warming at the twice the global rate.The preamble of the draft climate change agreement currently includes a mention to Indigenous rights, but even that is now under threat.The reference to Indigenous rights was removed from the main body of the text during the round of negotiations headed by officials from the countries involved in the negotiation. The negotiations have now moved to the political level and a final agreement is expected by Dec. 11.Canada is backing efforts to include Indigenous rights in the climate change agreement.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Recent financial woes highlight need to revive Doha trade talks – UN

Progress on the stalled Doha round of trade liberalization talks would not only boost the world economy but also confidence amid current economic and financial uncertainties, such as those being witnessed in the United States banking sector, the head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said today.“We are witnessing a confluence of different crises this year,” Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told the annual session of UNCTAD’s governing Trade and Development board, which is currently meeting in Geneva.“As for Doha, we need this one multilateral effort to be completed successfully. Then we could face these other difficulties with a more optimistic perspective,” he added. Mr. Panitchpakdi joined the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pascal Lamy, in stressing that reaching agreement on the Doha talks – which have been going on for seven years – is important at this time not only because it can strengthen the world economy and livelihoods, but also boost confidence in the midst of shaken economies and financial markets.“We are told that this is one of the most serious crises we’ve seen in the last 60 or 70 years. There must be some better rules and regulations to help the financial system as rules help the trading system. Unfettered market mechanisms have led to crises every few years,” the UNCTAD chief told the meeting.Developing countries “can only do so much” in the face of turmoil that is beginning to affect their exports and their economic growth prospects, he added. Recent crises, including rising food and fuel prices, climate change and threats to the global financial and banking systems, “can only be dealt with at the multilateral level. We need international predictability and stability in the global financial system,” he stated, adding that concluding the Doha round will provide a good foundation for facing these other crises. Mr. Lamy stated that “there is far too much on the table, particularly for developing countries, to give up on these negotiations. “A multilateral system offers many solid, important benefits which other ways of trade opening do not offer. Trade is one of the necessary conditions for development – this is clear. Because of this clear view, the pressure for concluding the round on the side of developing countries is now very high,” he told participants. 16 September 2008Progress on the stalled Doha round of trade liberalization talks would not only boost the world economy but also confidence amid current economic and financial uncertainties, such as those being witnessed in the United States banking sector, the head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said today. read more

Technology companies clash on crossborder flow of digital data under NAFTA

OTTAWA — Some Canadian information technology companies are pushing back at warnings that the personal information of Canadians is being compromised in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.They see nothing wrong with a proposal by the United States that would forbid the storage of sensitive data in computing facilities on Canadian soil.They say data should be allowed to flow freely across borders, like other products, and that the privacy of Canadians would not be compromised.“Privacy and national security elements are part of the discussion, but they shouldn’t be seen as the entire discussion,” said David Messer, a vice-president of the Information Technology Association of Canada.“It’s about allowing businesses to operate how they see fit and not necessarily fragmenting the internet.”That view is clashing with another industry group, the Canadian Council of Innovators, which is calling on the government to resist the U.S. proposal, citing concerns over the U.S. Patriot Act and “less stringent” restrictions on access to data for U.S. companies.The council’s chair, Jim Balsillie, the former head of Research in Motion, said Wednesday in an interview that he worries the government is weak at the bargaining table when it comes to data — an issue he argues is “existential” for Canada.Balsillie has met Canadian negotiators in his role as chair of the council, which represents some of the country’s fastest-growing tech firms and investors.“Based on my interactions, I remain deeply concerned about the lack of sophistication for the 21st century economy with our NAFTA team, and most especially and including data,” said Balsillie.“My fear is our trade negotiators are guided on data policy by the big U.S. tech firms who tell us what’s good for Silicon Valley is good for Canada.”The council wants the government to back “data localization,” which would protect the sensitive personal information of Canadians especially health and financial records — from unwanted American intrusion, by storing it in on servers in Canada.The U.S. rejects that idea, and so do a number of Canadian technology firms.“To me, free trade and NAFTA, it’s all about free flow of people, goods, services, capital and now the fifth one is data,” Dirk Schlimm, executive vice-president of Oakville, Ont.-based GeoTab Inc., said in an interview Wednesday.“What is being proposed here is protectionism, because it now makes it impossible for a global player, like GeoTab, to use our scale and say ‘I want to have central data storage and to sell our system.”‘The company markets a digital tracking system that is being used in 750,000 vehicles around the world to track the movements and performance of commercial fleets. It tracks the route of a vehicle as well as providing engine diagnostics, predicting maintenance needs and measuring fuel consumption. It can detect the speed of a vehicle and whether its driver is wearing a seatbelt, he said.The product helps companies improve transportation safety and efficiency, he added.While some data is clearly private, there’s a vast trove of “non-critical data” that can and should be shared across borders, said Altaz Valani, director of research of Toronto-based Security Compass.“If we talk about everything in terms of, ‘it’s too risky to take the next step,’ the challenge is at what point to we begin to say we’re actually inhibiting businesses from what they need to do?”Widespread global concern has been stoked by fears of U.S. surveillance on private citizens. The post 9-11 Patriot Act gives American law enforcement access to data stored in U.S. facilities. Revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the U.S. National Security Agency’s covert surveillance programs have also raised concerns.Schlimm said Canada has strong privacy laws and can’t afford to let those standards slip because firms such as his do business with European firms, which are also subject to the continent’s stringent digital privacy provisions.His company has been able to negotiate higher privacy standards with U.S. companies because “they want to keep the Europeans as clients and that’s why they’re willing to do it for us.”But Canadians have to recognize, especially in light of the Snowden revelations, that being able to protect their data from the NSA is a “fallacy” because Canada shares information to fight terrorism with its Five Eyes allies in the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand, said Schlimm.“If you look at the level of co-operation that is going on now in the international intelligence community … there is a tremendous amount of intelligence sharing going on between Canada and the U.S.” read more

Heavy rain and strong winds to continue tomorrow

Heavy rain and strong winds will continue in several parts of the country tomorrow, the Department of Meteorology said.Fairly strong winds at times (up to 40-50kmph) can be expected over the island (especially in the western slope of the central hills) and strong winds at times in the Northern and Southern sea areas (up to 60-70 kmph). Showers or thundershowers will occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-western provinces. Fairly heavy falls (more than 50 mm) can be expected at some places. Showers or thundershowers will likely occur at several places in the Eastern and Uva provinces after 2.00p.m tomorrow. (Colombo Gazette)

In Paris Ban discusses Mediterranean crisis and climate change with President Hollande

With regard to the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, Mr. Ban welcomed “with satisfaction the measures announced last week by the Heads of State and Government of the European countries,” on the Mediterranean crisis. “They represent an important first step towards European collective action,” he added at a joint press conference with French President, François Hollande.“This is a humanitarian crisis, not a safety issue. We need to defeat the criminals who are trafficking in human beings. But we must also concern ourselves with the root causes of migration, so that people are not forced to leave their homes,” the UN chief added.“If there are so many migrants, it is because people fleeing war and persecution. Violent extremism is fuelled by conflict and poor governance.”The Secretary-General said that to “confront this threat against global security; we must deploy comprehensive and complex solutions. In a few months, I will present to the General Assembly at its 70th session, a plan to fight against violent extremism.”Mr. Ban also delivered a speech to students of the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, where he encouraged students to express themselves and become global citizens.He urged them to take action on climate change and welcomed initiatives to organize momentum for the upcoming conference on the issue, which will be held later this year in Paris. “Young people have more ideas and I really count on your commitment,” said the Secretary-General. “The world must find ways to adapt to the changes already underway.”“We will need to do is considerable resources. Developed countries must clear path that will allow them to collect 100 billion by 2020 to finance climate action in developing countries. And the Green Climate Fund should start operating effectively and making payments before we meet in Paris,” he emphasized. While he was in France, the Secretary General also announced the appointment of French national Jean Todt as his Special Envoy for Road Safety. Mr Todt is the President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).Each year about 1.3 million people are killed and nearly 50 million more injured on the roads worldwide. Half of the deaths are pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists, according to the UN. read more

Week In Brussels – Week ending Friday 20 January 2012

DONWLOAD1. Martin Schultz elected as new President of the European Parliament2. EU new car registrations down 1.7% in 20113. Small companies create 85% of new EU jobs4. On-board diagnostic limits proposed5. EFSF credit rating cut6. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)