New UN Sudan envoy arrives in Khartoum for meetings with toplevel officials

23 October 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s new Special Representative for Sudan arrived today in the country’s capital, Khartoum, where he is expected to hold meetings with top-level officials. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s new Special Representative for Sudan arrived today in the country’s capital, Khartoum, where he is expected to hold meetings with top-level officials.Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, who also heads the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), is expected to meet over the next few days President Omar Al Bashir, First Vice President and President of the Government of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir, and senior officials of the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan.Mr. Qazi, a Pakistani national who was appointed last month, served previously as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq since 2004. This followed a long diplomatic career with his country’s foreign service, including postings in the United States, India, China, the Russian Federation, Germany and Syria. Diplomatic activity on Sudan has intensified in recent weeks as preparations continue for talks on the Darfur conflict scheduled to be held in Libya on 27 October. The UN Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, and his African Union counterpart, Salim A. Salim, have been heading up that effort. read more

Annan urges 1year extension of UN office in Sierra Leone where challenges

In his latest report on the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), which covers the past three months, Mr. Annan also recommended that the Security Council approve the temporary increase of UNIOSIL’s military and police components by 15 officers to assist in the July presidential and parliamentary polls.“While Sierra Leone continues to make progress in its peacebuilding efforts, the country still faces major challenges and will need the sustained support of the international community for the foreseeable future,” he said, referring to the reconstruction needed after the brutal and disastrous civil war of the 1990s.“I also recommend that the Security Council approve the increase of the strength of the UNIOSIL Military Liaison Team by 5 additional officers and that of the Police Section by 10 additional police officers,” he said, calling for a 12-month extension, through the end of 2007.Describing next year’s elections as a “major milestone,” Mr. Annan also called for a comprehensive assessment of the role of UNIOSIL closer to the polls, to decide when to withdraw the operation.He said that over the past three months the security situation, although still fragile, had remained stable, and he also said the country was continuing to move forward in terms of human rights but “progress in the area of economic and social rights remains limited.”“The most serious threats to the tenuous stability in the country continued to be related to the high level of youth unemployment, the poor social and economic conditions of the people, and the general public perception of the Government’s mismanagement of public resources,” Mr. Annan stated.He also highlighted the need for “considerable” support from Sierra Leone’s international partners to ensure the success of the elections, describing as a “major concern” a $7 million electoral budget shortfall. Member States should help to close this funding gap, he said.Mr. Annan also urged the Government to work closely with the UN’s Peacebuilding Commission, particularly after its decision in October to declare Sierra Leone eligible to benefit from the recently set-up multi-million dollar Peacebuilding Fund, which is aimed at assisting countries emerging from conflict to rebuild and prevent them falling back into bloodshed. Sierra Leone’s 10-year civil war began in 1991 and left thousands dead and many more with amputated limbs. UNIOSIL, the first integrated UN office established to support the peace-consolidation process, followed the completion of a peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone that ended on 31 December 2005. It is made up of almost 300 people, comprising 82 international staff, 192 local staff and 24 UN Volunteers. read more

ADP survey Businesses added 176000 jobs in August down from June and

by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Sep 5, 2013 8:44 am MDT WASHINGTON – American businesses added 176,000 jobs in August, a private survey showed Thursday. That was fewer than in June and July but roughly in line with the monthly average for the year.The payroll company ADP said professional and business services firms added 50,000 jobs. Manufacturers created 5,000, reversing a drop in July, and construction firms 4,000. Companies in all industries and of all sizes hired in August, ADP said.The ADP figures come a day before the Labor Department will release its jobs report for August. The department’s report will capture both private- and public-sector job growth for the month.The ADP figures often vary from the Labor Department’s official job figures. According to ADP, private employers have added an average 170,000 jobs a month this year through July. The Labor Department shows companies added an average of 196,000 new jobs a month through July.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, said the ADP hiring figures were “broadly consistent” with economists’ expectations that Friday’s Labor report will show that private and government employers combined added roughly 180,000 jobs in August.“The job market has held up better than I would have thought,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which compiles the ADP report. He called the job creation “remarkably consistent.”Zandi had expected hiring to be depressed by federal budget cuts that took effect in March and by employers’ preparations for President Barack Obama’s health care law.The law requires companies to provide full-time workers with health insurance or pay a penalty. In doing so, this provision provides an incentive to reduce full-time jobs, though the requirement won’t take full effect until 2015. ADP survey: Businesses added 176,000 jobs in August, down from June and July AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Chinese growth concerns help push Canadian dollar oil prices lower

Chinese growth concerns help push Canadian dollar, oil prices lower by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 12, 2014 6:39 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Canadian dollar was lower Wednesday as Chinese growth worries pressured commodity-sensitive currencies and oil prices.The loonie was down 0.11 of a cent at 89.96 cents US.The catalyst for the latest round of concerns about growth in the world’s second-biggest economy was data released on the weekend showing a drop of 18 per cent in Chinese exports in February.Copper, viewed as an economic barometer as it is used in so many applications, has tumbled in recent days to the lowest level since mid-2010, having fallen 8.3 per cent over the previous three sessions. On Wednesday, the May copper contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed early losses and moved up a cent to US$2.96 a pound.But demand concerns are only part of the problem for copper.Chinese authorities gave the go-ahead late last week for the country’s first credit default, involving a manufacturer of solar panels. And another solar energy company is also in danger of default.This is worrisome because copper is used as much for financing transactions as for its industrial applications. Traders worry that a wave of defaults could result in a massive liquidation of copper on the markets, which would further depress prices.Oil prices have also headed steadily lower and the April contract in New York was down another $2.04 to US$97.99 after losing about $2.50 earlier in the week.Worries about China, along with tensions in Ukraine, pushed bullion prices higher with the May contract ahead $23.80 to a six-month high of US$1,370.50 an ounce.Traders have also kept an eye on simmering tensions between Russia and Ukraine.The U.S. Senate has prepared legislation that would impose economic penalties on Russian officials complicit in Ukrainian corruption or anyone responsible for Moscow’s military takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. read more

Stronger partnerships with postconflict countries needed to ensure path towards durable peace

The UN chief told representatives at the briefing, entitled “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: strengthening partnerships for successful nationally-owned transitions”, that the Organization is putting a stronger focus on transition periods, when the UN reconfigures its missions, or leaves a country.  The meeting was part of a process which has seen the Security Council and UN system place more emphasis on ensuring the successful closures of UN missions, following the release of a 2014 report by a group of independent experts, which said that the UN system needed to pay more attention to transitions, describing them as “frequently poorly timed and poorly managed”.The loss of life, economic devastation and reversal of development gains caused by a relapse into conflict can go far beyond a country’s borders António Guterres, UN Secretary-GeneralThe authors also noted that the drawdown of peace operations usually comes with visibly diminished political attention and a rapid drop-off in financing to continue UN engagement through a country team. This was reflected in the comments made by Mr. Guterres on Thursday, when he noted the risks inherent in mission transitions: “The international community may pay less attention to the country concerned. Strategic gains achieved during decades of international support can hang in the balance. And the loss of life, economic devastation and reversal of development gains caused by a relapse into conflict can go far beyond a country’s borders”.The 2014 report led to the adoption of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, which recognized the importance of providing adequate resources for peacebuilding, including during the transition period during the drawdown of missions.Since then, the UN has implemented measures to improve transition planning, such as strengthening the ability of resident coordinators (the senior UN official in a particular country) to conduct conflict analysis and prevention.In his briefing remarks, Mr. Guterres said the UN’s ongoing reform process is leading to more “joined-up engagement”, from the deployment of peace missions, to their reconfiguration and eventual withdrawal.’We must prioritize partnerships’The importance of partnerships, and close collaboration between the UN and host governments in ensuring successful transitions, was highlighted in the 2018 Declaration of Shared Commitments on Peacekeeping Operations, and the UN Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping Initiative, and emphasised by Mr. Guterres during Thursday’s Council session.“We must prioritize and strengthen partnerships”, he said, “with national stakeholders, across the UN system and with international financial institutions, and with Member States, for collective action to ensure their success”. Strong partnerships, added Mr. Guterres, can help avoid a drop-off in support as the UN reduces or alters its presence in a country.The UN chief gave several examples of UN peacekeeping missions in transition, that, he said, he is following closely. They include Darfur, Sudan, where local UN operations have allocated $32 million to priority areas such as the rule of law, human rights, and durable solutions for displaced people; Haiti, where the UN Country Team is working with the national government to work on priority projects; and Colombia, where the UN has supported the peace process with two successive political missions.Countries that are “healing after conflict”, said the Secretary-General, may face urgent and complex challenges, and need support to address the “root causes of conflict”, in areas such as political leadership, strong institutions, and sustainable development. He cited the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework as a “central tool” for support, helping countries to put in place reforms that ensure “atrocities and serious crimes will never happen again”.Mr. Guterres insisted that the UN’s role in transitions must be “comprehensive and coherent”, and work in an integrated way to address the drivers of conflict, which include “poverty, exclusion, inequality, discrimination and violations of human rights, exacerbated by climate change and the movement of people.” read more

The Weaknesses Of The Four Remaining NFL Playoffs Teams

The NFL’s conference championship weekend is finally here. In the video above, FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine breaks down the two matchups. Share on Facebook

Boy stabbed at tube station in Londons second teenage knife death in

Police at the scene in south London Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Police at the scene in south LondonCredit: David Wilcock/PA Charity director Robin Pritchard said he moved through a crowd and saw the victim lying in a pool of blood while someone provided CPR.The 47-year-old told the Press Association: “I saw the guy on the floor, a pool of blood like he’d been stabbed in the stomach, his clothes were soaked.”It was strangely calm and quiet. I think everyone was in shock. Lots of kids there from the local college.”All I really registered were grey tracksuit bottoms which were soaked with a pool of blood coming from his waist like he’d been stabbed in the stomach.” A 17-year-old boy has died after being stabbed outside a Tube station, becoming the second teenager to be fatally knifed in London within 24 hours.It comes the day after a 15-year-old, named by police as Jay Hughes, was stabbed to death in Bellingham, south east London.The killing marks the 115th homicide in the capital so far this year, of which 19 victims have been teenagers.Officers were called to Clapham South Tube Station in south west London at 4.35pm on Friday, where they found the teenager suffering from a stab wound.He was taken to a south London hospital, where he died less than an hour later, the Metropolitan Police said. Another witness, who did not want to be named, said he saw “a bunch of guys” shouting and appearing agitated, with one carrying a large knife.He added that the area is usually noisy after students leave nearby Saint Francis Xavier College.He said: “I had no idea it was different to any other time the students get a bit noisy, until I saw the knife as I was literally passing them.”Officers are in the process of informing the victim’s family, although formal identification has yet to take place.No arrests have been made so far and inquiries continue.Surrounding roads and the Tube station have been closed with police remaining on scene.A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at approximately 16:35hrs on Friday, 2 November to reports of a stabbing outside Clapham South Tube Station.”A 17-year-old male was found suffering from a stab wound. He was taken to a south London hospital where he died a short while later.”Police are in the process of informing his next of kin.”Formal identification has not yet taken place. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.” read more

Simplifying multiple displays on equipment operator consoles

first_imgGuardvant has released the Guardvant Mobile Server (GMS) which aims to reduce the in-cab clutter and operational costs of multiple hardware platforms and displays installed on mining equipment.  The GMS provides the computing power, sophisticated system architecture, redundant storage and a robust quantity and variety of inputs needed to operate multiple, concurrent on-board software applications. The GMS simultaneously hosts Guardvant’s OpGuard and ProxGuard products and third-party applications including fleet management, fire suppression alarm communications, vehicle health monitoring, and biometric access systems. With only the GMS installed in the cab plus a single touch screen display, the operator can easily control multiple on-board applications. The GMS also streamlines the installation of multiple applications and reduces maintenance downtime.“We developed the GMS because we saw the need to support the mine’s increasing use of on-board applications to improve efficiency and productivity, while streamlining implementation and operation of those applications in the cab.  As mines continue to invest in on-board technology they are looking for a solution, like GMS, to provide the support needed in one piece of hardware,” said Sergio Blacutt, Guardvant’s CEO.The GMS was recently demonstrated at the World Mining Congress (WMC) and 30th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining (ISARC) held August 11-15, 2013 in Montreal, Canada. The demonstration was part of the Unified Shovel Display hosted by the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Situation Awareness Working Group (www.globalminingstandards.org) as a proof of concept demonstration of multiple third-party applications sharing a common on-board hardware platform and display. The GMS was used as the common on-board server platform hosting multiple application demos. The GMS was interfaced with a Unified Shovel Display screen with four viewing panes showing application demos of fleet management, proximity detection, bucket tooth monitoring, and a presentation of the companies providing the hardware and software for the demonstration, including Guardvant, Wenco, Motion Metrics, and Azonics.last_img read more

New laws on preschool regulation in final stages

first_imgA RANGE OF new laws aimed at improving quality and regulation of the pre-school sector is currently being finalised.According to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald, the new legislation will ensure that high standards are being met.Threat to remove registrationThe new legislation will provide a statutory basis for registration of pre-school services and inspectors will have the power to specify conditions that a service must comply with. The new law will also have the threat of removal of registration available.The regulation and inspection of pre-schools and creches came under the spotlight this year following an investigative programme by RTE revealed serious failings in some pre-schools.She said the new legislation would “ensure that parents and the sector have the fullest confidence in the inspection and regulation systems”.OffenceSpeaking in the Dáil today, the minister said that  in July the heads of the new legislation to amend the Child Care Act 1991 was approved by government. She added that under the new legislation the penalty for the offence will increase to a maximum Class A fine.The minister said she hoped to bring the legislation before the Oireachtas during this term.She added that, as of today, 914 pre-school inspection reports have been published on the Pobal website since July.Read: Here’s how Fianna Fáil proposes to reform childcare and education>Read: Cabinet approves tougher sanctions on childcare providers>last_img read more

Internet et Islam le Pakistan surveille sept grands sites

first_imgInternet et Islam : le Pakistan surveille sept grands sites Pakistan – Les autorités pakistanaises ont décidé d’organiser une chasse aux propos anti-Islam sur Internet. Dans la ligne de mire : près d’une trentaine de sites surveillés en permanence, dont sept géants du web.Le concours de dessins de Mahomet sur Facebook lancé mi-mai aura visiblement des conséquences à long terme. Après avoir bloqué le réseau social pendant plusieurs jours, le Pakistan a décidé de surveiller en permanence le site afin que ce genre de débordement ne se reproduise plus. De plus, les autorités ont décidé de renforcer leur vigilance pour six autres sites importants, en l’occurrence MSN (et Hotmail), YouTube, Google, Bing, Yahoo! et Amazon. En cas de propos injurieux, selon la communauté islamique, le lien sera bloqué au Pakistan mais aucune plainte ne sera déposée à l’encontre du site concerné. Dix-sept autres sites ont été purement et simplement bloqués.Le 28 juin 2010 à 10:42 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

More fire another home attack

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 13, 2017 – Grand Turk – Early reports are there was another fire in Grand Turk over the weekend, this one was quickly contained and in Provo there was another home attack in Blue Hills where a Jamaican man had to jump from an upper story of an apartment building during a reported armed robbery.Police have been contacted for information in both cases; up to news production time there was no reply.#MagneticMediaNews #FireinGrandTurk #BlueHillshomeattack Related Items:#BlueHillshomeattack, #FireinGrandTurk, #magneticmedianewslast_img

Bitcoin price falls below 7000 Will it rebound

first_imgBitcoin pricesPixabayUS-China trade war concerns remain the dominant issue in the market and its effect can be seen influencing the cryptocurrencies also. Virtual currencies are facing uncertainty and the prices of bitcoin, the world’s best-known cryptocurrency, fell below $7,000 on Wednesday.The crash in bitcoin prices has been attributed to a number of factors including tightening cryptocurrency regulations in South Korea. Bitcoin prices peaked near $20,000 in December last year according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. As cryptocurrency rose at unprecedented rates throughout 2017 governments across the globe started taking measures to regulate the crypto industry to protect investors and collect tax revenues.The fall started in March after a slew of negative news from Google, Twitter, and Facebook who banned cryptocurrency-related ads on its network. Also, the International Monetary Fund urged an international crackdown on the use of cryptocurrencies for money-laundering.While the bitcoin price is falling, market experts forecast an increase in bitcoin prices in the coming days. According to Coindesk, the decline in bitcoin prices could be quickly undone as suggested by the positive hourly momentum studies. An upside break of the falling channel would confirm the short-term bullish reversal, it added.According to a NEWS BTC report, if bitcoin price is able to sustain its bounce at current levels, a double bottom pattern could form and this is often considered a classic reversal signal. That way, the neckline would be at $7500 and an upside break could lead to a rally of the same height as the formation.Rivals to bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market such as ethereum, ripple and bitcoin cash have also been crushed in the Wednesday trading. Bitcoin, Etherum, and Ripple are down by 7 percent.last_img read more

Morgan President Leads HBCU Students on Cultural Exchange Trip to China

first_imgHBCU students arrive in China with Dr. David Wilson (center), president of Morgan State University, to begin study abroad cultural experience. (Courtesy Photo)This summer, 168 students and 22 chaperones from Congressional Black Caucus districts will travel to China, as part of an Black education initiative sponsored by the China – United States Exchange Foundation and China’s Ministry of Education in collaboration with its partners. The program is an extension of the HBCU scholarship initiative announced by Chinese Vice Premier Madam Liu Yandong on Capitol Hill in November 2013.“This exciting initiative is a cross-cultural relationship-building effort designed to enhance U.S.-China relations – and to give students from predominantly Black American universities and colleges a special opportunity to interact with Chinese students and educators in a progressive and collaborative environment,” said Julia Wilson, CEO and founder of Wilson Global Communications, which is managing the program in the U.S., in a statement.“It is an amazing opportunity for African-American students to learn about other cultures, languages and history,” she added in an AFRO interview. “And, because China is the second-largest economy in the world behind the United States, it behooves African Americans to pay attention to trends in that country.”In total, 400 two-week scholarships were awarded to the CBC along with 1,000 longer-term scholarships, ranging from six-weeks to two years awarded to HBCUs, as part of a three-year program.David Wilson, chairman of the HBCU Network—the schools involved in the program—and president of Morgan State University in Baltimore, said students have shared that traveling beyond their borders and seeing the rising dominance of China in real time have been life-altering.“For some of the students who have gone on this program this is the first time they have been on a plane, much less visited a different country,” Wilson told the AFRO in an interview one day before traveling to China for the seventh U.S. China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange where he was expected to give an update on the program.“The students have called their experiences transformational, and they were appreciative of how embracing students in China have been, how much they have learned about Chinese history and culture and what they were able to share with the Chinese students about African-American culture,” he added. “This program is a way to break down barriers that might have existed because of lack of understanding and enable students at HBCUs, who rarely get opportunities to study abroad, to get that opportunity and make themselves more attractive to employers and also open their world view. As a result, when they graduate from our institutions they are no longer hesitant to go to another country to embrace an opportunity.”For the HBCUs, themselves, the China exchange program has been beneficial not only in enhancing their ability to better mold global leaders but also in their ability to attract other similar partnerships and market themselves to prospective students, Wilson said. Morgan State, for example, now has similar arrangements with Saudi Arabia and Brazil.Besides their academic activities, the HBCU students will get to tour major Chinese cultural and historic sites, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Bird’s Nest stadium, the iconic site of the 2008 Olympics.Brea Ellis, a sophomore at the University of the District of Columbia, participated in the program last summer. She said she was in such shock over the rare opportunity that she didn’t believe it until she landed in China after a 16-hour flight.“It was a culture shock after coming from D.C. where I was born and raised,” she told the AFRO.In addition to the language barrier, the sights, smells and sounds were different as was the food—which in no way resembled the American takeout version of Chinese food. And the Chinese people were just as fascinated with her and the other Black visitors, she said.“Everywhere we went we would get a lot of stares because they didn’t see many African Americans in China or their only way of seeing us was on television. We were sort of a spectacle but it wasn’t a negative thing, they were just curious,” Ellis said.The experience, she added, “opened me up to traveling abroad and finding more opportunities to study abroad. It made me more confident.”Shinzira Shomade, 40, a senior psychology major at Bowie State University is looking forward to making her own discoveries when she travels to China July 16-30.“I’m already there in my mind,” she said of her excitement.The aspiring counselor said she looks forward to learning about Chinese society—the nuances of gender relations, seeing how they problem-solve and how seniors are treated, etc.—and applying what she learns to her future practice.The mother of three girls, who has experienced more of the world than most urban Blacks through the postcards her Navy dad sent from different countries and her time living in Nigeria, said she wants to model to her daughters the importance of being open-minded, learning about different cultures and grasping untapped opportunities.“You become more confident and you’re able to dream bigger that before,” she said.Student groups slated to study in China this summer include delegations from:  Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas and the District of Columbia.  HBCUs involved are:  Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Kentucky State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Philander Smith College, Savannah State University, Spelman College and the University of the District of Columbia.  Each delegation is comprised of at least 20 students and two chaperones.last_img read more

N Bengal districts to witness heavy rainfall in next 48 hours

first_imgKolkata: The Regional Meteorological Center at Alipore predicted heavy rainfall in some of the North Bengal districts in the next 48 hours whereas South Bengal districts may receive light to moderate rainfall.The city is expected to witness scattered rainfall in the next two days. According to a senior official at MeT office, a low pressure trough has formed over the Gangetic plains that will be further intensify from Saturday. This will bring heavy rainfall in North Bengal. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe districts that will receive maximum rainfall in North Bengal are Alipurduar, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The other districts may also receive heavy rainfall, weather office predicted. The situation will improve in North Bengal from Monday.People in South Bengal may experience sultry and discomfort weather as the humidity level is predicted to go up in the next few days.Though some parts of the city and adjoining districts may receive scattered rainfall on Saturday and Sunday, it will fail to bring the discomfort level down. The city’s air will be filled with water vapour resulting in the rise of humidity, a senior weather official said on Friday.It may be mentioned that some parts of North 24-Parganas, Nadia, South 24-Parganas and several parts of the city received moderate rainfall on Friday afternoon.Rain lasted for nearly half an hour in North 24-Parganas and Nadia accompanied by lightning. The traffic movement was slow on some stretches in the afternoon after rainfall.last_img read more

Now pay fine up to Rs 1 lakh for littering in public

first_imgKolkata: Citizens will now have to pay a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 and a maximum fine of Rs 1 lakh for littering in public places. The amendment was passed in the form of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill in the state Assembly on Thursday.In the existing Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, the fine ranged from Rs 50 to Rs 5,000. The amended Section 338 of the Act reads: “Whoever deposits or throws or causes or permits to be deposited or thrown any solid waste on any place in contravention of the provisions of this Act shall… be punishable with fine which shall not be less than five thousand rupees and more than one lakh rupees.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources in Kolkata Municipal Corporation said littering any place that is not designated as a waste dumping site or a vat by the civic body can activate penalty. “As the formalities regarding the appointment of Mayor is still in the process, no decision can be taken at this juncture on the aspect of implementation,” said Debabrata Majumder, Member Mayor-in-Council (Solid Waste Management) of the previous Board under Sovan Chatterjee. A source in the state Municipal Affairs department said a notice will be issued and the matter will be forwarded to the municipal court, which will decide on the quantum of the fine. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government has already formed a high-level 11 member committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De to strengthen the state’s anti-spitting drive. It is also trying to bring about changes in the 2003 anti-spitting law in the state. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who chaired a meeting on the subject at Nabanna, recently had stressed on the practice to curb spitting and littering public places. “Massive infrastructure development including projects like setting up of skywalk and floating market is taking place in the city. But there is a section of people who spit at and litter in public places. We have to keep in mind that it is our state and it is our duty to keep it clean,” a senior official of the Municipal Affairs department said. Banerjee had expressed anguish that many people had spat betel juice on Dakshineswar skywalk within 24 hours of its inauguration. The amended Bill that was passed in the assembly will also allow the KMC assessment department to offer 10 percent exemption on property ax to those citizens who have attained 60 years of age. Earlier only those in the age group of 65 years and above were eligible for the exemption.last_img read more

Argentinas media divisions stoked by president

first_imgAssociated PressBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – When Argentine President Cristina Fernandez got an earful from some reporters frustrated over her general refusal to take questions at news conferences, she offered little hope for change: “If you want official information, listen to my speeches,” she told them. “I won’t be speaking against myself.”The brief encounter in the presidential palace press room, recounted by a radio reporter, reflects Fernandez’s distrust of the media in a country deeply polarized by her rule. Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories As does Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Fernandez often interrupts regular programming to give speeches that TV and radio stations are required by law to broadcast. Major announcements are fed first to sympathetic journalists. And like Chavez, when Fernandez appears before crowds packed with loyal, cheering supporters, targeting opposition media can be part of the discourse, both on stage and in the crowd.These “pro-government followers … seek to intimidate journalists, yelling chants and slogans, and creating a hostile environment for the exercise of our profession,” the Journalism Forum recently said.Clarin keeps track of what it considers to be hostile acts, complaining of “intimidation, threats and persecution against journalists and media outlets, especially those who do not agree with those in power.”The Inter-American Press Association said that “public information is still released selectively as if it were private property, and it is used to discriminate between journalists, hindering the exercise of the profession.”Fernandez suggested in her brief talk with the Government House reporters that their accurate reporting is later changed by editors. That fits with a constant theme in her speeches: that Clarin and La Nacion exist to protect the economic interests of a select few. Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Fernandez’s supporters say her critics in the media just can’t stomach the positive impact her politics are having on Argentina.“If you want to ask a question you must be willing to accept the answer,” says Luciano Galende, host of a state-run television program called “6,7,8” that has guests pick apart each day’s criticism of the president.Argentine society has long been polarized, but the media divide worsened after Fernandez succeeded her husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president, and tried to raise taxes on grain exports.Clarin and La Nacion gave ample coverage to agri-business protests and criticized the tax hike in editorials and political cartoons. Fernandez saw the coverage as an attack on her government.“They wanted to bring me down in 2008. Yes, I don’t have the slightest doubt. They hadn’t wanted me to be the candidate,” Fernandez told her biographer, journalist Sandra Russo of Pagina 12, a newspaper that made its name covering human rights and now sides with the government.Fernandez responded by pushing through a law designed to break up media conglomerates and taking millions of dollars in official advertising away from her critics. The new regulations and redirected funding fostered a pro-government media boom ahead of her 54 percent landslide re-election last October. Four benefits of having a wireless security systemcenter_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Fernandez had been accessible as a senator, reporters say, and she constantly appears in public even now. Transcripts of her speeches are promptly posted online.But she has held only five news conferences in almost as many years as president, and even then she used the opportunity to criticize Argentine reporters. Her Cabinet ministers rarely speak to the press and when they do, they hardly ever take questions. Sen. Anibal Fernandez and other sympathetic lawmakers often serve as proxy speakers, suggesting initiatives and positions in ways the government can later deny if it chooses to do so.The Associated Press sought comment from Sen. Fernandez as well as the president’s official spokesman, Alfredo Scoccimarro, and his deputy, Gustavo Fernandez Russo, but none responded to email and telephone requests.“They don’t want to face an audience that they consider hostile,” said Andres D’Alessandro, executive director of the Argentina Journalism Forum, a media advocacy group that includes some 300 journalists. “When the president says, `I won’t be speaking against myself’ … she means that she will not be giving the press an opportunity to ask her uncomfortable questions” about issues important to voters, such as rising crime and inflation. Journalists from these and other media groups have joined a campaign on television, at public events and in social media asserting a right to public information. One popular Twitter account is “Queremos preguntar,” or “We Want To Ask.” A typical tweet a few days ago said: “Mdme President, We Want To Ask: When are you going to give a televised speech about a national plan against crime?”Lanata brought some 300 of these journalists onto his “Journalism for All” program, a mix of investigative journalism and entertainment that appears on a Grupo Clarin channel.“This wasn’t a meeting of friends,” Lanata said. “It was a professional demand, meant to say: `Sirs, you have the obligation to speak, because you are public officials. You can’t ignore the press, because doing that is ignoring the public.’”___Associated Press writer Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Argentines have many news outlets to choose from, and nearly all of them take strong positions for or against her government, and frequently spend ink and airtime accusing the other side of bias. With few opportunities to establish a dialogue with officials on neutral ground, the two camps depend to an uncomfortable extent on leaks and rumors, reducing the credibility of all involved.One side is led by the newspapers La Nacion and Clarin and their sister broadcast stations and magazines, which generally portray Fernandez as a power-hungry despot who is increasingly mismanaging Argentina’s affairs.On the other side are a growing number of media outlets staffed by Fernandez supporters who call themselves advocacy journalists and describe the president as a transformative figure who is challenging entrenched economic interests and redistributing wealth to the poor.It’s a profound divide, but reporters on both sides say the split has been encouraged by Fernandez, who has found a politically useful enemy in the opposition media.“There’s an ideological and I would say even philosophical attitude here against the press,” said Jorge Lanata, a leading Argentine journalist who has challenged authorities on both sides. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img

GDP Growth Pegged at 17 Up From Earlier Estimate

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Profits Residential Construction Service Providers 2012-08-29 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Secondary Market GDP Growth Pegged at 1.7%, Up From Earlier Estimate The U.S. economy grew in the second quarter at 1.7 percent, slightly faster than the originally estimated 1.5 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday. [IMAGE]At the same time BEA reported second quarter grew at a meager 0.5 percent from the first quarter, but an improvement from the 2.7 percent drop in corporate profits registered in the first quarter. Profits in the financial sector though fell more than 9 percent.The upward revision in second quarter GDP growth was in line with the forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.The improvement in total profits ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô though modest – could be a key driver in labor markets. The drop in profits in the first quarter coincided with weak employment reports. Businesses often use profit per employee as a metric.Domestic financial corporations, according to BEA, made $389.7 billion in the second quarter, a drop of $39.2 billion from the first, more than the $12.3 billion decline in profits from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year. Non-financial corporations made $1.1 trillion, an increase of $30.4 billion from the first quarter and more than four times the $7.3 billion in profit growth from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of 2012.The revised estimate of the second-quarter percent change in GDP, BEA said, primarily reflected a downward revision to imports and upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures, to exports, and to state and local government spending that were partly offset by downward revisions to private inventory investment and to nonresidential fixed investment.[COLUMN_BREAK]Even with the improvement, the growth pace is below the 3.0 percent level need to add jobs to make a dent in the nation’s unemployment rate.The GDP report covered the same quarter which saw the weakest job growth ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 225,000 jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô since the third quarter of 2010 when the economy grew at a relatively robust 2.5 percent. In dollars, GDP increased $58.1 billion in the second quarter, down from the $65.4 billion increase in the first. Most of the second quarter increase was due to a $40.1 billion gain in personal spending, also down from the first quarter when personal spending grew $57.5 billion.Residential fixed investment added $7.6 billion to the economy in the second quarter, a sharp drop from the $16.1 billion it contributed in the first quarter.Government spending continued as a drag on the economy, subtracting $5.5 billion from overall GDP but less than the $19.0 billion subtraction in the first quarter. Most of the reduction in government spending – $5.1 billion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô came at the state and local government levels. Government spending has fallen for eight straight quarters ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô dating back to the third quarter of 2010 – during which time GDP growth has averaged an anemic 1.9 percent. In the preceding four quarters (since third quarter 2009, just after the official end of the recession), GDP growth averaged 3.3 percent.The slowdown in total growth was due to a combination of factors: real personal consumption grew at just 1.7 percent in the second quarter compared with 2.4 percent in the first> Non-residential fixed investment grew at 4.2 percent in the second quarter compared with 7.5 percent in the first. Residential fixed investment grew 8.9 percent in the second quarter after growing at 20.5 percent in the first.Personal consumption represented 70.7 percent of total GDP in the second quarter compared with 71.1 percent in the first.Inflation according to the GDP price index was 1.6 percent, annualized, down from 2.0 percent in the first quarter.BEA issues three GDP reports for each quarter: an “”advance”” report one month after the quarter ends and revisions in each of the following months as more data are received.center_img August 29, 2012 416 Views Sharelast_img read more

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