Contrasting poll narratives

first_imgThe ensuing long-drawn general elections are just around the corner. Manifestos or not, narratives in public meets and through the media are for everyone to see. Let us first take the party and alliance in power. There are four pillars to the BJP/NDA narrative. First, there is the pitch for a visibly strong nation high on nationalism and pro-active military action as illustrated through the Balakot strike post Pulwama massacre and reiterated through the Mission Shakti recently. On March 27, 2019, India conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile test, from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex. This was a technological mission carried out by DRDO. The satellite used in the mission was one of India’s existing satellites operating in lower orbit. The test was successful and achieved all parameters as per plans. The test required an extremely high degree of precision and technical capability. The significance of the test is that India has tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space based on completely indigenous technology. With this test, India joins an exclusive group of space-faring nations consisting of USA, Russia and China. Second, there is the pitch for a stable government led by a strong-willed leader Narendra Modi and his version of BJP ably assisted by party president Amit Shah. This underplays the fact that BJP is the leading power among 24 parties in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). There are a few more strong BJP leaders like Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh with a mass base, and there has been a litany of conflicts, major and minor, with alliance partners leading to Shiv Sena, Paswan’s LJP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) being accommodated with a long rope. Alliance partners are temporarily fine as they expect a Modi-driven almost Presidential type of campaign will reap rich benefits. Third, there is an unmistakable tilt towards using the communal lingo in the polls with every passing day. The way Hindu-Muslim rhetoric is being used by the PM himself with reference to the Samjhauta blast alleged miscarriage of justice and about the strong Muslim electorate in Wayanad which Congress president Rahul Gandhi has picked up as his second seat, it is obvious that the ferocity of communal card shall be more aggressive down the line; as is seen in the speeches of UP CM Adityanath. Fourth, the BJP leadership is harping on the dynastic roots of Rahul Gandhi and several other regional political leaders of other opposition parties, and that the opposition alliances are all opportunistic and weak. And, interestingly, there is a fifth narrative, and it is a narrative in absentia. There is virtually no discourse on the very things which brought Modi to power in 2014 or have highlighted while in power; no talks on corruption at high-places, black money from abroad, double-digit GDP growth, benefits of demonetisation, digital or start-up India missions, Namami Gange, bullet train, Beti padhao beti bachao, multi-layered GST, et al. Now, let us look at the main opposition to the government. After bumbling on opposition alliances in Delhi, Haryana, Andhra, Bengal, Telangana, and being left out of UP, etc., Congress is now settling down with alliances in Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu in place. But this is surely a month late. With initial noises of a Mahagatbandhan, Congress seems to have got the successes in recent state elections a bit too much in the head. The scar of being left out of the UP battle has led them to put the two best faces, Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, to sweat it out in the sweltering summer heat and dust of Uttar Pradesh. Even the friends wonder why are they not best used in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Having apparently fumbled, the Congress narrative is picking up steadily now with the promise of its mind-boggling NYAY scheme (Nyuntom Aye Yojana) in which, if voted to power, it promises to ensure minimum income of Rs 12,000 a month for the poorest 5 crore families (20 crore people) incurring an expense of Rs 3.6 lacs crores a year, thereby ensuring the universal concept of Basic Minimum Income in India, along with all other welfare measures like MGNREGA, NRHM, etc., which cover rural, urban and tribal poor. This surely has brought back the narrative on their side, along with the promise of directly elected mayors across India to ensure better urban governance and people’s control over the same. And, ahead of BJP, Congress has now come out with their manifesto too. Apart from NYAY, the promises in the manifesto include commitment to legislate women’s reservation bill and reserve one-third of all government jobs for women, double education outlay at every level, free and compulsory school education up to Class XII in public education, review AFSPA, omit Section 124A of the IPC that is known as the Sedition Law, fill up around 30 lacs of jobs at various levels of the government, separate Kisan budget, legislate Right to Healthcare Act, GST 2.0 with a single moderate tax-rate, implement Forests Rights Act for tribal welfare in letter and spirit, abolish opaque electoral bonds, stringency against hate crimes, establish Environment Protection Authority, enact Right to Homestead Act for the rural homeless, et al. With this, Congress has surely moved ahead with an ‘inclusive development’ campaign narrative. It, however, remains to be seen how far its candidates and cadre can take these promises – music to every Indian ear – down to the grassroots.And the contrasting narratives of both the parties show some positives, in spite of the communal undertone in the ongoing campaign. While BJP scores heavily on the national pride and power front, Congress scores on specific aspects of inclusive justice, especially through its NYAY scheme. Congress will be forced to talk about handling cross-border terror, its possible outlook towards Kashmiri militancy in today’s context, and sprucing up the military arsenal of the nation. It has already got a dossier on national security prepared by the army officer who led the post-Uri surgical strikes, Lt Gen DS Hooda, and has promised in the manifesto to upgrade defence budget and military modernisation. On the other hand, unabated communal rhetoric may not pay desired dividends to BJP and the revival of Ram Janmabhoomi movement did not meet much enthusiasm of the people at large in spite of a well organised Kumbha Mela to launch the same. The Congress approach will require the rulers of the day to turn to a more development-focused narrative especially with regards to jobs, basic income, women’s issues, health and education, among other things. That surely is good for the nation. As electioneering goes ahead, it is also expected that a re-thinking on the role, independence and neutrality of the Election Commission and the media, apart from the fundamental premises of the Constitution, shall emerge. And, that, to my mind is another good outcome of this largest festival of democracy in the world: the Indian General Elections (along with assembly polls of several states too). (The author is a media academic and columnist, currently the Dean of School of Media, Pearl Academy, and earlier the Dean of Symbiosis and Amity Universities. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Air Arabia Maroc Launches Weekly Flights Linking Marrakech to London and

Rabat – Moroccan low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc has launched weekly flights linking Marrakech to London and Paris.The flights were launched this week from Marrakech to Paris’ Charle de Gaulle airport and London’s Gatwick airport. The new routes expand  Air Arabia Maroc’s services, which currently offer direct flights linking Marrakech with Montpellier, Pau, and Frankfurt.The Marrakech-Paris flights will operate Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the Marrakech-London will operate Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Marrakech-Paris flight will also line up with domestic flights to Tangier and Fez.“The domestic air service linking Marrakech to Fez will make the trip more pleasant as it will minimize the travel time between the two cities,” stated  Air Arabia Maroc.Similarly, passengers on the Marrakech-London flights will be able to combine stays in Fez, Tangier, and Marrakech, “thanks to our existing flights to these cities,“  the company said.To date, Air Arabia Maroc serves 32 destinations from six Moroccan cities, bringing its total network to 49 routes. In addition to Marrakech, Air Arabia Maroc runs flights from Casablanca, Tangier, Fez, Nador, and Agadir to various European cities. read more

Track star and UN advocate Carl Lewis to visit Dominican Republic and

The United States track star, who was designated a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in October 2009, will highlight the International Year of Forests during his stop in the Dominican Republic.In February the UN kicked off a year-long celebration to raise awareness of the valuable role of forests, on which at least 1.6 billion people depend for their daily livelihoods and subsistence needs.Mr. Lewis will also spotlight a global campaign by FAO to end hunger known as “The 1billionhungry project,” through which people can voice their outrage about world hunger by adding their names to an online petition. The campaign uses a yellow whistle as an icon encouraging people to blow the whistle against this global scourge.During his visit to Haiti, which begins on 13 June, Mr. Lewis will see first-hand an FAO project aimed at stabilizing the soil and forests in the mountains near the epicentre of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.The impoverished Caribbean nation is one of the most deforested in the world, according to FAO, with only 2 per cent of forest cover left. Deforestation in Haiti makes the country extremely vulnerable to flash floods and landslides.Mr. Lewis’ trip comes at the start of hurricane season, which officially began on 1 June. Severe flooding has been reported in both countries, which share the same island. UN peacekeepers and humanitarian staff have been helping with relief efforts in Haiti, where floods sparked by torrential rains earlier this week have killed at least 10 people in the capital, Port-au-Prince. 9 June 2011Nine-time Olympic gold medallist and United Nations advocate Carl Lewis will embark tomorrow on a visit to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to meet with national leaders and visit forestry and agricultural projects. read more

Human error increasingly a factor contributing to pipeline leaks data suggests

Workers wear protective clothing as the work continues to contain and clean up a pipeline spill at Nexen Energy’s Long Lake facility near Fort McMurray, Alta., Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Human error, whether it’s burying a pipeline too shallow or not fastening bolts tight enough, is increasingly a factor contributing to pipeline leaks, federal data suggests. The AER’s investigation into the spill at the Long Lake facility continues, but Nexen’s preliminary conclusion was that the pipeline design was incompatible with the ground conditions, and wasn’t installed properly. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Human error increasingly a factor contributing to pipeline leaks, data suggests by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 29, 2017 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Jan 29, 2017 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Human error — whether it’s burying a pipeline too shallow or not fastening bolts tight enough— is increasingly a factor contributing to pipeline leaks, federal data suggests.Figures compiled by the National Energy Board show that in the past three years, incorrect operation — which covers everything from failing to follow procedures to using equipment improperly — has caused an average of 20 leaks per year. That’s up from an average of four annually in the previous six years.“It’s both probably one of the most difficult things for an organization to deal with, but also the most important,” said Mark Fleming, a professor of safety culture at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.Fleming said operators have made improvements in safety practices, but to achieve the higher levels of safety required by other industries such as the airline or nuclear power sectors would require extreme attention to detail.What may seem inconsequential at first can later contribute to a disaster, Fleming said.“It’s like a ball balancing on the top of a pyramid,” he said.“Safety, particularly very high levels of safety, requires constant attention and effort. And the tendency is for it to degrade.”Pipelines installed in the U.S. in the past five years have the highest rate of failure of any built since the 1920s, and human error is partially to blame, said Carl Weimer, executive director of the Washington-based Pipeline Safety Trust.“A lot of new pipelines being put in the ground just aren’t being installed right, or things don’t get tightened up quite enough, so within the first year or two things fail,” said Weimer.The consequences of the improper management of pipelines have come to bear in several spills in recent years, resulting in oil coursing down rivers, gushing onto city streets and contaminating many hectares of Canadian wilderness.Alberta Energy Regulator investigations into Plains Midstream Canada, for one, found that the company hadn’t inspected its pipelines frequently or thoroughly enough, did a poor job of managing the ground around its pipelines and hadn’t properly trained control room staff.A subsequent audit found the company had improved its safety practices, but not before those failures helped contribute to a 4.5-million litre oil spill in 2011 near Peace River, followed by a 463,000-litre oil leak into the Red Deer River a year later.In 2015, a Nexen Energy pipeline south of Fort McMurray, Alta. burst, spilling about five million litres of emulsion including about 1.65 million litres of oil near its Long Lake oilsands operation. The AER’s investigation into the incident continues, but Nexen’s preliminary conclusion was that the pipeline design was incompatible with the ground conditions, and wasn’t installed properly.“There’s been a lot of learnings in our industry that have resulted from some very unfortunate incidents,” said Patrick Smyth, vice-president of safety and engineering at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.Smyth said CEPA, which represents pipeline companies like TransCanada and Plains Midstream, have improved their safety practices in recent years.He points to the fact that CEPA members spilled only about 2,500 litres of oil in 2015, with companies implementing stricter safety practices and using better inspection tools to prevent leaks.But even as companies make improvements on safety, Fleming said getting pipelines towards the higher safety standards of industries like airlines will likely require significant financial sacrifice.“To be able to do that, you need to have a very cautious approach to doing work, and that’s something that’s hard financially,” said Fleming. “It does have some cost implications that we are often very uncomfortable talking about.”Follow @ibickis on Twitter. read more

Two killed in collisions in Tipperary and Kilkenny

first_imgTWO PEOPLE HAVE died on Ireland’s roads in crashes in Tipperary and Kilkenny.A man in his late 60s has died after the car he was driving was involved in a collision with a tractor on a Tipperary road this evening.The man, who was the sole occupant of the car, was fatally injured in the crash, which happened at around 5pm at Thomastown. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was removed to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel. The driver of the tractor was uninjured.A technical examination of the scene is currently being carried out by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and the road remains closed.Meanwhile a woman in her early 60s was fatally injured when the car she was driving hit a railway bridge near Paulstown in Kilkenny at around 4pm today.The woman, who was the sole occupant of the car, was taken to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny where she was pronounced dead. A forensic examination of the scene has been carried out by investigators.Gardaí have called on any witnesses to the crash to contact Tipperary Garda Station on 062 80670, Thomastown Garda Sation on 056 774150, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.last_img read more

Augmented reality app helps librarians keep the stacks sorted

first_imgSome truly amazing augmented reality apps have appeared in the recent past. Google Goggles can help you solve a Sudoku puzzle, you can blast TIE fighters in your back yard using your iPhone, and Word Lens will translate foreign language signs for you in real time. Now, while you may not personally have any use for this latest app, that doesn’t make it any less cool.The app is called ShelvAR, and it’s designed to help library staff keep shelf after shelf of books in letter-perfect order more easily. Using an Android AR app and specially coded tags containing call numbers that are placed on the books’ spines, ShlevAR can determine which books have been shelved incorrectly, marking them with a red X . The team behind ShelvAR is currently working to boost its capabilities so that the app can handle anywhere from 75 to 150 books at a time, enabling it to tackle an entire shelf in one go.AdChoices广告Librarians are understandably excited about ShelvAR’s potential. It could be an amazing tool for library volunteers and pages, who might not have a firm grasp of the Dewey Decimal System, and there are plenty of other possible applications. The app could, for example, display star ratings and reader comments — which would enable patrons to make more informed selections when browsing. Patrons who wind up lost among the stacks could also be pointed in the right direction — snap the spines you’re facing, and an overlay could provide walking directions to the tome you’re actually trying to locate.Read more at Popular Sciencelast_img read more

Sweden Dominates Mexico 30 but both head to knockout round

first_img Elizabeth Alvarez, AP, Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsYEKATERINBURG, Russia (AP) — Sweden was so dominant against Mexico at the World Cup that the best Mexican plays of the night were made 600 miles away by South Koreans.The Swedes rolled to a 3-0 rout Wednesday, never challenged in the second half, overtaking Mexico to win Group F just four nights after a gut-wrenching last-minute loss to Germany. The result, combined with South Korea’s 2-0 upset of the Germans, meant Sweden and Mexico — the group runner-up — advanced.The defending champions from Germany go home early.Sweden makes its first appearance in the knockout stage since 2006. Mexico plays in the round of 16 for the seventh straight World Cup, with its fans desperate for its first quarterfinal appearance in 32 years — the elusive “quinto partido,” or fifth game. Sweden Dominates Mexico 3-0, but both head to knockout round Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption Elizabeth Alvarez, AP June 27, 2018 Show Caption Hide Caption Posted: June 27, 2018 Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption 12345678 Sweden didn’t want to focus on getting revenge by helping eliminate Germany, which got some favorable calls in a tense 2-1 victory over the Swedes on Saturday night.“We grew another little bit,” Sweden coach Janne Andersson said. “I am not going to sit here and gloat having won a match or boast about a win. We don’t want to stir things up too much.”Ludwig Augustinsson volleyed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from close range five minutes into the second half, and captain Andreas Granqvist converted a penalty kick to help Sweden take control.Mexico’s Edson Alvarez had an own goal in the 74th minute to put the game out of reach at 3-0.It capped an emotional week for the Blue-Yellow. The team made a unified statement Sunday defending teammate Jimmy Durmaz from criticism and racist attacks after his late foul led to a free kick that won the game for Germany.“A few days ago we lost in the last minute and we were very disappointed, and now we come back and beat Mexico,” Augustinsson said. “I think we deserved to win the group, and Mexico deserved to be second.”As Sweden’s lead grew, Mexican fans paid more attention to the other game, rooting against Germany, which could have passed Mexico with a victory depending on tiebreakers.El Tri’s faithful could be seen frantically checking their phones for scoring updates from Germany’s game soon after Sweden’s second goal. After South Korea’s first goal, they let up a loud cheer and tossed drinks in the air as their chances of advancing improved.Great organization and some fortunate timing played out in the second half for Sweden. Augustinsson scored when the ball luckily landed in his path following a mistimed shot from Viktor Claesson popped up to his teammate.After Granqvist’s penalty kick, Sweden took total control. Alvarez’s own goal occurred when he was trying to prevent Ola Toivonen from connecting with the ball, deflecting it with his arm past Ochoa.“We just need to move on,” Ochoa said. “This is the World Cup. We can’t pull it out of our pocket, it’s not going to be easy and I think it’s a good lesson for what’s to come.”Said coach Juan Carlos Osorio: “We have to say we qualified because we beat Germany and Korea. However and nevertheless, I am very hurt.”Alvarez’s own goal was the seventh overall of the World Cup, one more than the previous record in 1998.Mexico’s Jesus Gallardo was called for a yellow card just 13 seconds in — believed to be the fastest in World Cup history — setting up the first of two quick set-piece opportunities Sweden could not take advantage of.GROUP DYNAMICSSweden wins Group F and will face the runner-up of Group E (Brazil, Switzerland or Serbia) in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.As the runner-up, Mexico meets the Group E winner Monday in Samara.KEYS TO SUCCESSSweden didn’t panic despite missing early chances to score. The Swedes stayed crisp in their exchanges and it helped them find seams in El Tri’s defense.Mexico will lament its missed chances early. Its aggressive style did open up some counterstrike chances for Sweden.SIDELINEDDefender Hector Moreno got his second yellow card of the tournament and misses Mexico’s next game. Sweden’s Sebastian Larsson, who was carted off in the second half with head injury, also received a second yellow and will also be suspended.___Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at Categories: Local San Diego News, Sports FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

New report highlights overtime staffing issues facing SD FireRescue

first_img KUSI Newsroom New report highlights overtime, staffing issues facing SD Fire-Rescue Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: February 13, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- An independent audit highlights how much San Diego Fire-Rescue is spending on overtime for its firefighters.Joining KUSI to discuss those overtime and staffing issues facing his department is Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell.For more information on the audit: center_img KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 6:33 PM February 13, 2019last_img read more

Oil Kings silence Winterhawks

first_imgPORTLAND — An energetic start from the Portland Winterhawks had the Rose Garden hopping on Friday. But it was the Edmonton Oil Kings who got the jump they wanted in the first game of the Western Hockey League championship series.Opportunistic on offense and stubbornly solid on defense, the Oil Kings beat the Winterhawks 4-1 to strike first in their championship rematch.Henrik Samuelsson scored twice and Laurent Brossoit made 35 saves to disappoint 10,097 fans. Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Garden.“We didn’t think we were going to sweep Edmonton,” acting Winterhawks coach Travis Green said. “We’ve said it all year: It’s one game. There’s no since dwelling on it too much, getting emotionally revved up because you lost a game. And if you would’ve won the game it would be the same.”Friday’s game might have been decided early, if Portland had found its finishing touch. The Winterhawks pressured the Oil Kings defense right from the first shift, keeping the puck in the attacking zone for nearly two minutes. But when the Oil Kings finally broke out of their own zone, they broke through. Travis Ewanyk carried the puck deep and sent it in front for Dylan Wruck to back-hand over the shoulder of Portland goalie Mac Carruth 2:03 into the game.That, however, wasn’t the crushing goal. The goal that took the steam out of the home team came early in the third period.last_img read more

National Magazines Take On the Harvey Weinstein Scandal Industry Notes

first_imgMagazines take on WeinsteinAmid near-universal criticism against late-night TV hosts for being a bit slow on the uptake in covering the unfolding Harvey Weinstein scandal, 2017’s other preeminent bastions of social criticism, America’s national magazines, have taken up the charge this week.The New Yorker, whose reporting filled in several of the most disturbing details of Weinstein’s long pattern of sexual harassment and abuse first reported by The New York Times, obviously led the pack among America’s glossies with a deeply reported October 10th piece by Ronan Farrow, whom Page Six reports is now being “aggressively pursued” by ABC, CBS, and CNN for his reporting acumen.Time joined in with a dramatic and damning cover design for its October 23 double-issue, slamming Weinstein with the tagline, “Producer, predator, pariah,” accompanied by a column from the magazine’s film critic, Stephanie Zacharek, asking, “How do you solve a problem like Harvey Weinstein?” The magazine also added a longer piece online by lawyer Jill Filipovic examining Hollywood’s long history of promoting a culture of silence and capitulation and noting that even the men who do not perpetrate the abuse have often been complicit in fostering its continued existence.Kim Masters, editor-at-large for The Hollywood Reporter, told The New York Times‘ Jim Rutenberg that she had been chasing the Weinstein thread for years, but that a lack of cooperation from sources, mostly due to fear, prevented any stories from going to press. A similar experience was reported by a spokeswoman for New York magazine, who told Page Six of a withheld 2016 report, “The fact is that we couldn’t get the story to the point where we had sufficient confirmation and sourcing to publish.”Among magazines that frequently found themselves in Weinstein’s orbit over the years, Vanity Fair, People, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, and Variety have each published dozens of online stories on the fallout from the scandal, although Vanity Fair‘s November 2017 issue went to press too soon to weigh in.Variety took a similar tactic to Time, with a cover illustration of a gruff-looking Weinstein featuring the tagline, “Game Over” and an accompanying cover story by Brent Lang and Elizabeth Wagmeister.The Week was also quick on the uptake, covering its October 20th edition with an illustration of Weinstein, Donald Trump, and Bill O’Reilly, featuring the tagline, “See no evil: Why powerful men get away with sexual abuse.”Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour, whose relationship with Weinstein goes back at least a decade, issued a statement condemning the producer. “Behavior like this is appalling and unacceptable,” said Wintour. “I feel horrible about what these women have experienced and admire their bravery in coming forward. My heart goes out to them, as well as to [Weinstein’s wife] Georgina and the children. We all have a role to play in creating safe environments where everyone can be free to work without fear.”Perhaps the most ill-conceived reaction to date has been from Jewish magazine Tablet, who’s own editor-at-large, Mark Oppenheimer, decided to write at length about the “specifically Jewy” nature of Weinstein’s crimes. The predictable public backlash to the column elicited a public apology from Oppenheimer a day later.The column did have at least one fan on Twitter: noted Nazi enthusiast Richard Spencer.On the Record with Meredith CEO Steve LacyFolio: sister title min caught up this week with Meredith Corp. CEO Stephen Lacy, whose company is significant stakeholder to the MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, to discuss the association’s latest marketing campaign promoting the merits of print media to both readers and brand marketers alike.“As president of the MPA board, I have been part of the discussions about this campaign since the beginning. I think it is brilliant,” Lacy told min. “Magazine media content is thoroughly researched, fact-checked, curated and produced, unlike much of what is available to consumers today.”Lacy tells min the new campaign, titled, “Magazine Media. Better. Believe It,” is all about credibility and promoting the idea that what’s read in magazines is more thoroughly vetted and curated than what’s often found elsewhere — presumably, online.“As advertisers look for partnerships, it is essential for them to advertise in media sources that match their own company’s values,” said Lacy. “Marketers know that context matters. And our Meredith Sales Guarantee, which we have shared with our industry, has proven more than 70 times that magazine-media advertising drives positive ROI for advertisers.”Read the full interview here.Josh Duggar loses legal challenge against Bauer PublishingA federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against Bauer Publishing by disgraced former reality TV star Josh Duggar, asserting that Bauer’s In Touch Weekly did not violate Duggar’s right to privacy when it published a May 2015 story describing Duggar’s history of sexually assaulting underage girls with information received through a Freedom of Information Act request.Judge Tim Brooks, of Arkansas’ Western District, cited in his decision to dismiss the “19 Kids and Counting” star’s claims prior Supreme Court rulings that the First Amendment gives newspapers and other media outlets the right to publish “lawfully obtained truthful information about a matter of public significance.”From the job board…The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc. seeks a full-time, Alexandria, Virginia-based assistant editor for its flagship IA Magazine and affiliated website, newsletters, and other digital properties. The position offers an annual salary of $50,000 to $55,000 and requires two to three years of experience, strong reporting and editing skills, command of AP Style, and knowledge of Google Analytics.See this and other new job openings at read more

Biswa Bhushan Harichandan swears in as AP new Governor

Indias World Cup squad announcement Live streaming TV telecast and predicted team

first_imgIndia defeated New Zealand convincingly in the first ODI in Napier.MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty ImagesIndia will announce its 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 on Monday, April 15, in Mumbai. The tournament is slated to begin on May 30 and its final will be played on July 14When and where to watch the squad announcement India’s World Cup squad will be announced via a press conference at 3 pm IST and 10:30 am GMT. It may also be delayed by half an hour but one will be advised to tune in at 3 pm IST itself. Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1 will telecast the squad announcement live in English. For Hindi telecast, one may tune in to Star Sports 3 or Star Sports 3 HD. The live streaming will be available on Hotstar. World Cup squad preview There has been massive deliberation and widespread debate regarding the composition of India’s World Cup squad. Finally, all this will be put to rest when Virat Kohli finishes his meeting with BCCI’s committee of five selectors on Monday. Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesThe selection committee will be headed by its chairman MSK Prasad who represents the south zone. The other four selectors are – Jatin Paranjape from the west zone, Gagan Khoda from the central zone, Sarandeep Singh from the north zone, and Devang Gandhi from the east zone. These five men, along with, captain Kohli will finalise only a couple of spots which are up for debate. Most of the squad select itself with the openers being Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The captain himself will come out to bat at number three, completing perhaps the most feared top-order batting line-up in the world at the moment. But India will be slightly worried as their openers have not been in the best of nicks. Dhawan has been in patchy form and Rohit is also not looking at his fluent best. But if they can start firing, India will be a difficult side to beat. India’s Achilles Heel is the middle order and in particular, the number 4 spot which nobody has been able to grab. Ambati Rayudu looks primed to hold onto it but it will be more a case of the team management’s faith on a player who has not been performing for a while. Vijay Shankar may also bat at number 4 and is likely to make the squad. MS Dhoni will bat at number 5 followed by Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya. Dhoni will be key to how Jadhav and the rest of the spinners play as, over the last 18 months, he has been a guiding light, asking them where to bowl and what fields to set. India’s bowling line-up will contain the two wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The pace department will boast of the formidable trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is fast becoming a handy lower order batsman.  Dhoni and Kohli singing the national anthem during the World T20 in 2016Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesThe debate on the second wicketkeeper’s slot is another contentious topic and whether Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant is selected remains to be seen. Predicted squad Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK).last_img read more

Small businesses suffer as Indias bruised banks sit on deposits

first_imgPeople queue outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to exchange their old high denomination bank notes in New Delhi, December 30, 2016.[Representational image]Reuters fileBusinessman Vineet Pandey has 500 housekeepers, security guards, electricians and plumbers on his books, servicing offices in India’s booming financial metropolis Mumbai. He would love to hire more to keep up with demand, but cannot get a bank loan.Pandey, 36, recently had to turn away an order that would have created 100 new jobs and helped his firm, Kaarya Facilities, expand its $1.6 million in annual sales, after his credit application to a state-run bank in January went unanswered.”We are a labour-intensive company, but if we don’t get finance from banks then we won’t be able to hire,” Pandey said.A mountain of bad debt in India’s banking system has led to a prolonged credit crunch that is inflicting most pain on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) such as Pandey’s that depend upon banks for their day-to-day working capital and longer-term borrowing needs.India has more than 45 million such enterprises, accounting for nearly 40 percent of gross domestic product. Smaller businesses also account for the bulk of job creation, so a lack of bank credit reaching them threatens Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to create 250 million jobs over the next decade.The problem is not that Indian banks lack deposits to lend. After last November’s decision by Modi to scrap high-value banknotes, a dramatic move to purge illicit or untaxed “black cash” from the shadow economy that forced holders to deposit high value currency with their banks, they are awash with $50 billion in excess liquidity.But banks’ worsening asset quality has made them reluctant to grant new loans, especially to smaller businesses that are perceived as riskier.RISK-AVERSEThe bulk of India’s $150 billion in soured loans are owed to state-run lenders that dominate the banking system. Criminal investigations into some defaults, in which former bank bosses have been arrested, have made today’s managers fearful that bad lending decisions might come back to haunt them.”It is a safety-first approach,” said a senior official at one state-run bank. “No loan officer wants a knock on his or her door later by the investigative agencies.”Banks can park their excess deposits safely with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or hand out smaller, less risky loans to consumers. Even as lending to industry has shrunk in seven of the past eight months, retail loans are growing at a double-digit pace, RBI data shows.Private sector banks, less exposed to the bad loan problem, are more willing to service demand from corporates.But since private banks account for just a third of banking assets, they cannot fully offset the credit slowdown.RECAPITALISATIONIn a bid to fix the loan stress, New Delhi this month empowered the central bank to push reluctant lenders towards writedowns and errant borrowers into insolvency.Government and RBI officials say the measure should speed resolution and improve the flow of credit to industry.Analysts are more sceptical, and expect loan growth to remain weak until banks are adequately recapitalised.”They do not address the lack of capital at the state-owned banks that has prevented them from writing down non-performing loans to realistic levels,” said ratings agency Moody’s.Big companies, meanwhile, have shifted to borrowing via bonds and commercial paper.The most spectacular rise has been in the domestic bond market, where corporates raised 60 percent more in the fiscal year to March 2017 than in the year before, according to Thomson Reuters data.But smaller businesses seldom have the credit profile to tap the debt markets, while the amounts they generally borrow do not justify paying bankers to arrange bonds and get them rated.Turned away by the banks, they are forced to borrow from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), or even relatives and friends, at often-punitive rates of interest.Manish Sharma, whose Delhi-based company manufactures electric cables, recently had to approach one NBFC for a Rs 10 million ($156,000) credit after his bank refused to provide a loan to complete a large order without matching collateral.”They kept insisting on collateral,” said Sharma. “If I had that kind of money, I would have never gone to them for the loan.”Credit demand from borrowers such as Sharma is driving double-digit loan growth at NBFCs. They charge higher rates than banks, but their loans are processed faster and require little paperwork.Sharma is paying 16 percent interest on his loan, higher than the average 12 percent charged by state-run banks. Still, he reckons the return on his investment will outweigh the costs.”The order was very big and very profitable, we had to find a way to deliver it,” Sharma said. “The struggle to get funds has already put brakes on our growth.”($1 = Rs 64.0800)last_img read more

Petrol and diesel prices drop in India for 5th consecutive day

first_imgPeople wait for their turn to fill fuel at a petrol pump in Lucknow, India, November 9, 2016.Reuters fileAfter rallying up for weeks, the fuel prices have started coming down in India, much to the relief of the public. Petrol and diesel prices have started continued to fall for the fifth straight day on Monday, February 12. Petrol price across the metro cities in India saw a dip of 21-22 paise per liter while the diesel price declined by 28-30 paise per liter on Monday alone. According to Indian Oil Corporation’s website, petrol is priced at Rs 80.87 per liter in Mumbai, Rs 73.01 per liter in Delhi, Rs 75.7 per liter in Kolkata, and Rs 75.73 per liter on Monday. Diesel is priced at Rs 67.75 per liter in Mumbai, Rs 63.62 per liter in Delhi, Rs 66.29 per liter in Kolkata and Rs 67.09 per liter in Chennai.Also Read: Fuel prices burn pockets: Petrol costs Rs 81.24 per liter in MumbaiAt present rate of global crude oil, rupee-dollar exchange rate, excise duty, and VAT (Value Added Tax) levied by the ministry and state governments etc are the major deciding factors of fuel prices in India.In India, state-owned petrol and diesel retailers have adopted the daily price revision system from June 2017 by putting an end to the 15-year-old practice of revising fuel rates on 1st and 16th of every month. Under the new dynamic daily pricing system, diesel and petrol rates are revised every dayIn Union Budget 2018, finance minister Arun Jaitley reduced basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per liter.  He also announced the introduction of a new Road and Infrastructure Cess of Rs 8 per liter. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council may consider the proposal to bring fuel rates under GST structure in its next meeting. Currently, the fuel prices are out of the GST regime.last_img read more

Mobile courts can operate two weeks more

first_imgMobile courts can operate two weeks moreThe Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has further extended by two weeks the stay on a High Court verdict that declared the operation of mobile courts by the executive magistrates illegal.Attorney general Mahbubey Alam said the executive magistrates can operate mobile courts during this time.A six-member bench of the Appellate Division led by chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha adjourned the hearing for two weeks more following a plea by the government.On 4 July, the Appellate Division granted two weeks to the government for preparation.The matter was placed before the court for hearing. Hasan MS Azim stood for the writ petitioner.Earlier, the court stayed the hearing till 2 July.Following a stay plea by the state on the HC verdict, the chamber judge stayed the HC verdict till 18 May and sent it to the regular bench for hearing.The matter was placed before the court for hearing on 21 May.last_img read more

Indulge in mangoflavoured delicacies this summer

first_imgSummer heat is becoming unbearable with every year but the only sweet recollection we associate this season with, is mangoes. The pulpy, sweet and flavourful king of fruits keeps us happy irrespective of the killer heat waves. To relish certain innovative dishes and a selection of mango-inspired dishes, one can head to The Spice Route at The Imperial in the national Capital. The collection menu created by Chef Veena Arora is all set to raise the bar for Mango lovers this season. As summer is the time to drool over mangoes and the excitement becomes extraordinary when they rule South East Asian palate.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The various dishes made using this most sought-after fruit has been relished over two decades with Chef Veena’s Summer Collection Menu. This year’s menu features Chef’s selections and creations inspired from the regions of Kerala, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Under the umbrella cuisine of The Spice Route, the menu promises to steal hearts with traditional specialties put together with ripe or raw mangoes, complemented with Chef’s specials. For instance Amba Isso Temperadu is the Sri Lankan style Prawns stir fried with curry powder and slivers of raw mango. Alleppy Fish Curry is made with Sole fillet and raw mango in a Kerala style curry. Kaeng Phed Phol-La-Mai is made with ripe mangoes and assorted fruits, cooked in Thai Red Curry, is truly exclusive as it is made only with fruits and takes its inspiration from Thai Duck curry.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChef Veena has delicately balanced spices with mango in all her offerings. The old favourites have been retained in the menu like Ga Xao Hot Dieu, which is a stir-fried Chicken with fresh Mangoes and Cashew nuts made in  Vietnamese style. Yum Mamuang is the Chef’s special as it is basically a signature salad of fresh grated green mango tossed in spicy and tangy Thai dressing.Chef Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine, The Spice Route says, “Summer Collection menu has been close to my heart since the time The Spice Route opened doors, and invokes timelessness for me, each time I start planning it. Inspired by fashion fraternity, the menu is whipped up to dish out something unique for the patrons from the landmark kitchen of this world famous restaurant. The interesting raw and ripe mango based South-East Asian recipes are refreshing like the advent of summer ought to be and a celebration of the season, of course.  “Most of them are my own creations, wonderfully complemented by rice, chicken, prawns, sole fish, veggies and exotic spices. People in Thailand love their food with fruits and that’s why the complete menu revolves around mango, the favourite summer fruit. “Whether it is Sri Lankan prawns or the Thai Red curry with fruits, my creations this year will truly raise the satisfaction quotient for mango seekers. I have somehow tried to keep the fruit central to the palate, layering and balancing it with other flavours.”last_img read more

Ritz Carlton Cancun celebrates 25 years with luxury residential towers

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cancun is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an expansion project that will include towers of luxury residential homes.The Ritz Carlton Cancun hotel, the first of the company’s luxury chain to open outside the US, is celebrating 25 years in Cancun with a total of five residential towers.The official announcement was made by Yucatan businessman and and hotel owner, Enrique Molina Sobrino. He says the Ritz Carlton Residences project is already in the final processing phase and that next year, they anticipate the beginning of the construction of their luxury residential towers.“There will be five towers in total, but first let’s do two. It is a project of more than $200 million USD,” explained Molina Sobrino.The new residences will be for sale for families looking to live near the sea, but with the characteristic style of the luxury hotel chain. The maintenance and cleaning will be the responsibility of the hotel.Enrique Molina indicated that the key to the success of Ritz Carlton Cancun is the maximum care of the facilities and the detailed attention of the service provided by the “ladies and gentlemen” who work in it.He added that they are in the last phase of renovation of the restaurant Fantino, considered one of the best of the Ritz Carton chain, explaining that they are also adapting the eighth floor so that families can live with their children.The Yucatecan businessman recalls that after a long process to convince owners of the Ritz-Carlton brand to accept the Cancun hotel, it became the spearhead of the chain’s expansion project in the Caribbean and Europe.“It was very difficult because they already had between 8 or 9 hotels in the main cities of the United States, but they did not have one of beach tourism. This was the first hotel of the Ritz Carlton outside the United States and that’s why they began developing other hotels,” he explained.Molina recalled that a US hotelier told him 25 years ago that it was very difficult to develop a project in Mexico because he could not offer a quality service with the Ritz-Carlton standards.“I replied that almost all of the waiters and some employees were Latinos, Mexicans. We have the best people, the most noble and hardworking. All they need is training,” he said.The first two luxury towers of the upcoming Ritz-Carlton Cancun will each host 100 residences.Last year, the Ritz-Carlton brand announced they would begin offering seven to 10-day personalized cruises on luxury yachts. The itineraries are to include seasonal stops in the Mediterranean, northern Europe and the Caribbean which will likely include the island of Cozumel.In January of this year, the Ritz-Carlton Cancun was rated among the top luxury hotels in Mexico by TripAdvisor travellers.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gazette staff start preparing Toys for Joy hampers

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! The Ladysmith Gazette has started filling Toys for Joy hampers…The Toys for Joy drive has really taken off, with offers of help flooding in. The Ladysmith Gazette, partnering with the community and businesses, are trying to give those in need the best Christmas we can…Toys for JoyWhile it is still a long way off, we are starting preparations already.Toys for Joylast_img read more

South Korea struggling without Japanese tourists

first_imgRecent economic and diplomatic issues within South Korea has resulted in a significant drop in tourist arrivals from Japan, according to new research data.Approximately 689,000 Japanese travellers visited South Korea during the first three months of 2013, a 22 percent decline in visitors compared with the same period last year, Channel News Asia reported.These figures stem from data collected by The Korea Culture and Tourism Institute and while research revealed South Korea is welcoming more tourists from countries like China, the drop-off in tourists from Japan has raised concerns for the nation’s tourism industry.“Many travel agencies that cater to Japanese tourists are making their employees take unpaid leave, and many guides are moving elsewhere,” Korea Association of Travel Agents official Seo Dae Hoon said.“There are even one or two travel agencies that have gone bankrupt.”More than half a million Chinese tourists visited South Korea in the first quarter of 2013, up 71 percent from the same period last year.Tour guides that originally catered specifically for Japanese visitors are now learning Chinese in order to become guides for this new wave of visitors.However, the recent influx of Chinese hasn’t been enough to drastically improve South Korea’s struggling tourism industry.Travel agencies in South Korea fear that if this trend continues, it will be difficult for the government to reach its target of attracting 16 million foreign tourists in 2013.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Rise in Chinese visitors not enoughto stabilise tourism industry.last_img read more

New York New York – Reported by Elite Traveler t

first_imgNew York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineRBC Wealth Management and Elite Traveler hosted an elegant dinner at The St. Regis in New York City during The Armory Art Show. Philanthropists Steven and Lauren Schwartz, gallerist Monah Gettner, art collector Kathrin Klingebiel, retired attorney and art fan Alan Gettner, art lovers Juan and Virginia Meyer, radiologist Dr. Shashi Chaddha, investment professional Preston Tsao and his wife Susan all enjoyed the read more