Several trade unions on Wednesday expressed solidarity with contractual workers of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) Private Limited on the second day of their protest against the dismissal of over 200 workers.The company, meanwhile, announced to shut “B” and “C” shifts at its Manesar Sector 3 plant from Thursday saying that it was difficult to run all three shifts due to the protest. Shift “C” remained shut on Wednesday as well.Intervention soughtCentre of Indian Trade Union (Haryana) president Satvir Singh told The Hindu that the Trade Union Council (TUC), a conglomeration of all trade unions in Gurugram and Rewari, had submitted a memorandum to Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri seeking his intervention for an amicable solution. The memorandum warned that the situation could escalate and disturb peace in other companies as well.Besides Mr. Singh, All-India Trade Union Congress Haryana deputy general secretary Anil Panwar; Maruti Udhyog Kamgaar Union general secretary Kuldeep Janghu; and Hind Majdoor Sabha Gurugram secretary V.S. Yadav, were also part of the delegation.Extending support to the Honda workers, Bellsonica Auto Component India Employees Union vice-president Ajit Singh said that more than 75,000 workers were rendered jobless in Gurugram industrial area alone on the pretext of economic slowdown. He alleged that it was a conspiracy hatched by big industrialists in collusion with the government to lay-off permanent workers and hire labour at cheaper rates in violation of the labour laws.Later, the members of the TUC along with several hundreds of workers from different automotive companies, including Maruti Suzuki, Napino, Munjal and Shivam Autos, gathered outside the Manesar plant of Honda to express solidarity with the protesting workers. While around 2,000 contractual workers are on a continuous dharna inside the plant since Tuesday hampering production, the affected workers are holding a simultaneous sit-in outside company premises. The plant has around 1,800 permanent workers and 2,500 contractual workers.HMIS Employees’ Union president Suresh Gaur said talks with the management had been inconclusive since the company was not willing to take back the sacked workers.Deputy Labour Commissioner Ajay Pal said the contractor had offered to settle the legal dues of the dismissed workers or help them secure jobs elsewhere or asked them to wait for the market situation to improve as part of solution, but the workers rejected all the three offers and instead sought compensation over and above their legal dues. “Since the contractual workers don’t have an elected leader, they have been told to discuss among themselves and come up with the mutually agreed compensation amount. The talks would continue on Thursday,” said Mr. Pal.
Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ JRU saw its winning run snapped at four by the Arellano Chiefs and JRU head coach Vergel Meneses praised his team for showing maturity in bouncing back from a loss.“It was important for us to bounce back after we lost to Arellano,” said Meneses in Filipino. “And this win showed the character of the players, that they can recover after a heartbreaking loss.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the second game, Christian Garcia dropped 20 of his 27 points in the first quarter alone and Sidney Onwuebere had 16 points and 15 rebounds as Emilio Aguinaldo College ripped Mapua University, 85-72, to keep its Final Four hopes afloat.Already playing minus big man Hamadou Laminou, who went down with a season-ending ACL injury, the Generals also lost bruiser Juju Bautista, who hurt his shoulder in a previous match. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES So-Baadur match goes to tiebreaks But it hardly mattered against an undermanned Cardinals squad, who dropped to 1-11 for the season. The Generals, meanwhile, improved to 5-6 to move to within half a game out of the playoff circle. —BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NETSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games JRU’s Teytey Teodoro (right) evades the defense of Letran’s JP Calvo. —AUGUST DELA CRUZJose Rizal University wasted no time in getting back to the win column by frustrating Letran, 77-68, in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Heavy Bombers held on to the third seed with a 7-4 record while the Knights slipped to a 5-6 card to hang precariously out of the top four.ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Indian shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram and H.S Prannoy advanced into the second round after defeating their respective opponents in the men’s singles competition of the Japan Open here on Wednesday.Srikanth, who reached the quarter-finals at the Rio Olympics defeated his compatriot Parupalli Kashyap 14-21, 21-14, 23-21 in a contest which lasted over 50 minutes.Shuttler Jayaram defeated Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-19, 23-21 in a 46-minute match while Prannoy defeated Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin 23-21, 19-21, 21-18.Jayaram will now face Srikanth, while Prannoy will face the winner of the match between Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent and Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.
3rd ODI, Brief Scores: India (244/3) beat New Zealand (243) by 7 wickets to take an unbeatable 3-0 series lead. Rohit (62), Kohli (60), Rayudu (40*). Full ScorecardNew Zealand batsman Ross Taylor Monday said losing three matches in a row was a bitter pill to swallow but admitted his team could not match all-round prowess of a far superior Indian team.India beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the third ODI on Monday to take a series-clinching 3-0 lead.”It is tough to swallow 3-0 loss. But we have to give credit to the Indians. They have been far too good in all the three matches. India put us under pressure for a long period of time and got wickets at crucial times,” Taylor said at the post-match press conference.”India are a step up in opposition. They won key moments and put us under pressure. We could not just capitalise when we were on a semi-dominant position. We were three-four wickets down and 20 overs to go and long way behind the game. We fought hard today but that was not just enough,” he added.Taylor, who top-scored for New Zealand with a 106-ball 93, said his side would look to do well in the remaining two matches.”There are two more matches to go. Even though the series is gone there is still a lot of pride in the team. Hamilton [venue for fourth match] is a good hunting ground for us as a team. We have to get on to the business and hopefully we can bounce back in the last two matches,” he said.advertisement”We need to play better in all facets of the game. Hopefully we can get some pride back in the last two matches.”New Zealand made two changes to their team, announced for the last two matches. Ask about that, Taylor said, “World Cup is not far way but still team combinations are to be sorted out. Obviously new personnel coming in and hopefully they can bring in new edge to the team.”Asked about India resting captain Virat Kohli for the last two matches, Taylor said, “It is very tough to replace Virat Kohli. He is an inspirational leader but I am sure they are trying to find combinations for the World Cup. It gives an opportunity to a new player.”Taylor also agreed to the view that Hardik Pandya, who made it to the playing eleven after his suspension for sexist remarks on a TV show was lifted, brought a lot of value addition to the Indian team.”He brings a lot of balance to the Indian side. He got two wickets today and a good catch as well. He uses his strength very well and with the wind also. We wanted to do well against the spinners and I thought I would do that,” said Taylor.Asked how New Zealand should learn to tackle the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, he said, “You have to be patient and acknowledge that they are going to bowl good balls. You can catch up later with wickets in hand and we tried to do that today.”Also Read | India are teaching us a lesson: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson after series defeatAlso Read | New Zealand better team than Australia, India have been too good: Harbhajan SinghAlso Read | Thank you, Hardik Pandya tweets after strong comeback
THE COMMITTEE STUDYING EXPANDING WOODBURY COUNTY’S LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER AND JAIL PLANS TO FORM A CITIZEN’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO HELP STUDY THE ISSUE.COUNTY BUILDING SERVICES DIRECTOR KENNY SCHMITZ SAYS A BROAD BASED GROUP OF PEOPLE WILL BE SELECTED TO HELP STUDY THE JAIL PROJECT:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JAIL4.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…..SOME CLERGY. :26SCHMITZ SAYS THE CURRENT BUILDING HAS BEEN DETERIORATING FOR SEVERAL YEARS, AND THE TIME IS DRAWING NEARER WHEN THE FACILITY MAY BECOME UNABLE TO HOUSE INMATES:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JAIL5.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………A NEW FACILITY. :23SCHMITZ SAYS THE JAIL FACILITY WILL LIKELY BE MOVED FROM DOUGLAS STREET DOWNTOWN TO A NEW LOCATION.ONE PROPOSAL IS THE OLD PRAIRIE HILLS SITE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN, BUT PROVIDING UTILITIES THERE WOULD BE EXPENSIVE.THERE’S OTHER SITES BEING CONSIDERED:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/JAIL6.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……………THAT WE’VE LOOKED AT. :13THE JAIL COMMITTEE STUDY GROUP WILL NEXT MEET AT NOON ON APRIL 26TH.
MONTAGUE, P.E.I. – Canadian rugby associations, and some of the sport’s most prominent players, are expressing condolences to the family of a P.E.I. high school athlete who died after what one expert says was a “rare” serious injury.Brodie McCarthy, 18, sustained a fatal brain injury during a routine play on Friday which resulted in bleeding from two different parts of his brain.McCarthy was coherent and lucid when he came off the field after the play, Seana Evans-Renaud, principal of Montgomery Regional High School, said Tuesday.He answered questions from the coach, who told him to sit down and asked another player to sit with him, she said.Then McCarthy lost consciousness.The teen was taken by ambulance to Moncton, where doctors conducted brain surgery Friday night. On Saturday, doctors conducted a CAT scan which registered no brain activity, Evans-Renaud said.McCarthy was weeks away from graduating.“The P.E.I. Rugby Union and the Prince Edward Island rugby community are devastated and heartbroken at the tragedy over the weekend,” a statement from the union’s website said.Jen Kish, retired Rugby 7s player and Olympic bronze medallist, tweeted Monday that her “heartfelt condolences goes out to the McCarthy family.”Her former teammate, Karen Paquin, tweeted: “I have no words. All my thoughts go to the family of this young man.”“We are deeply saddened to learn about Grade 12 student Brodie McCarthy, and the tragic incident in P.E.I. that occurred at a high school rugby match,” wrote Rugby Canada in a blog post on their website.According to Statistics Canada, rugby was the third most common sport in which 15- to 19-year-old males sustained concussions and other brain injuries between 2012 and 2014, behind ice hockey and football.In 2013, Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old high school rugby player from Ottawa, suffered two concussions in one week before sustaining a third during a rugby game that led to her death two days later. In March, Ontario passed Rowan’s Law, concussion safety legislation designed to protect amateur athletes and educate coaches about the dangers of head injuries.However, a study conducted by the medical director of Trauma Nova Scotia, Dr. Robert Green, shows youth sport-related deaths, especially rugby-related deaths, are rare.According to the study, the five deaths from sports injuries in Nova Scotia between 2000 and 2013 happened while children were skateboarding, swimming or cycling.Green said fewer than five rugby-related major trauma incidents were reported in Nova Scotia over the last 16 years. All involved adults, and none died.“I can understand the backlash and discussion about rugby-related injuries, and yes it’s a violent sport — I played it myself,” Green said. “But as far as major injuries and if they happen more than American football? No.”Green said he hopes the tragedy will start a conversation about youth taking major traumatic injuries seriously and what parents and coaches can do to prevent and treat them.Rugby Canada’s PlaySmart program was launched in 2016 to educate members and provincial unions on the risk of head injury on the field and how to properly manage and report the injuries.“Any player with concussion or suspected concussion should be immediately and permanently removed from training or play,” the Rugby Canada website says.Evans-Renaud said this isn’t the first time tragedy has hit her high school.“We lost three students in an accidental fire,” she said. “We have lost a teacher, a bus driver and a student all in one year.”“We just want to get through one year without something like this, but unfortunately we are no stranger to tragedy and grief that goes along with it.”— By Fadila Chater in Halifax
Here’s your chance to attend the renowned Vanity Fair Oscar party in Los Angeles on March 4, 2018 – the exclusive opportunity is now up for auction at Charitybuzz.The highest bidder will not only get to attend this star-studded event, but will also help support non-profit partner NEXT for Autism with their donation.The Vanity Fair Oscar Party will take place at a custom-designed space that connects the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts with Beverly Hills City Hall. This experience is valid for two people.To learn more and bid on this glamorous opportunity, please click here by February 1st.
Rabat – The National Judicial Police Brigade on Wednesday in Rabat arrested six foreigners for their supposed involvement in fraud through social networks.The suspects, are of Senegalese, Nigerian and Guinean nationality. Two of the six suspects are women, according to the National Security Directorate General (DGSN). The network’s members are accused of accessing Internet discussion sites using false accounts and identities. In the online discussions, they would claim to be European nationals wishing to marry Moroccan women. They also convinced their victims that they would send them packages containing precious gifts and large sums of money earmarked for so-called investments in Morocco. The group then asked victims to transfer money as customs taxes, according to a DGNS press release.The suspects made large amount of money through these fraudulent acts. The DGNS press release noted the seizure of money transfer receipts, computer equipment, mobile phones, and the booty resulting from the scam. One of the suspects was arrested red-handed with 75,000 dirhams sent by one of the victims.The police took the suspects into custody for the investigation conducted under the supervision of the competent prosecutor’s office. Investigations are ongoing for the arrest of others people involved with the network. Such fraudulent practices are a common occurrence in the country. Last December, the Judicial police in Kenitra, north of Rabat, arrested two women who were charging people for a fake opportunity to get a government job. Two people who fell victim to the suspects showed up at the police school in Kenitra carrying false “summonses” to take the police exam.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Fox Sports viewers tuning in to broadcasts this fall will not only see the game, but also will get betting predictions.The network announced a partnership Wednesday night with the parent company of the PokerStars online gambling giant.Fox Sports is buying just under 5% of The Stars Group for about $236 million. Both companies will offer real-money sports betting this fall in states where it is legal and they are licensed.The Stars Group says it has market access through licensing in 13 states, and is seeking licensing in others.The network has the option to acquire half of the Stars Group’s U.S. business within 10 years.Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno made his comments at a press conference in Sudan on Thursday, the final day of a joint UN-African Union (AU) mission that has been holding talks with government officials, regional leaders, IDP representatives and others in efforts to strengthen the AU force already in the region (AMIS), as well as prepare for its possible transition to a full-fledged UN operation.“Our assurances are that the UN as well as the African Union does not take sides. It only takes the side of the United Nations that is to work for peace…IDPs representing hundreds and thousands of people said that they wanted a deployment of United Nations troops so we did our best to develop plans to satisfy all the people of Darfur,” Mr. Guéhenno told reporters.But he also acknowledged that Sudan’s Government has so far rejected any idea of a UN force taking over from the AU, although he stressed that humanitarian concerns should be at the forefront of discussions regarding such a force.“Let us not try to get into polemics but try to bring an end to the suffering of the people of Sudan. If we don’t do that, I think history will be very hard on those who would not have done everything to bring an end to that suffering.”In a related development, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters in New York that “dialogue continues” regarding a possible UN force for Darfur, adding also that he was looking forward to meeting Sudan President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir next week.“We have not got the agreement of the Sudanese Government yet, but the dialogue continues, and I look forward to seeing him again at the African Union summit in Banjul [Gambia] next week. I hope we will be able to pursue the discussion, not only with me, but with other African leaders.”“I have tried to get across the message that we are coming in to help the Sudanese authorities and the people of Sudan, the people in Darfur, and quite honestly, if they had been protected, the question of UN deployment would not be necessary,” he pointed out.Three years of fighting in Darfur between Government forces, pro-government militias and rebels have killed scores of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million others amid charges of civilian massacre, rape and other atrocities.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Mar 14, 2014 12:09 pm MDT New South Korean trade deal should benefit Alberta agriculture: expert Canada signed its first free trade agreement with an Asian country this week, and according to Todd Hirsch, an ATB senior economist, Alberta’s agriculture sector should be the major benefactor. “We have a hog and cattle industry in this province that’s desperately trying to find diversified markets,” he said, adding the lowered tariffs will allow freedom for producers in the market of 50-million people. “They’re growing in affluence, they’re growing consumer class, they are going to be looking for more fresh meats and vegetables and food products and Alberta’s got those exports, particularly pork and beef.”When it comes to the future, Hirsch said the west could play a bigger role compared to central Canada. “They’re still larger in terms of economic output, but that’s not where the growth is happening, it’s all happening in western Canada and I think western Canadian industries will have a lot of influence.”Hirsch said, although it doesn’t have nearly the same weight as a major oil and gas deal, it’s important to gain in new partners.
by Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 1, 2014 1:49 pm MDT Manitoba government’s latest job numbers one-sided, say two economists WINNIPEG – A report that touts the economic benefits of the Manitoba government’s infrastructure spending is flawed and tells only one side of the equation, say two economists.Kevin Milligan, who teaches economics at the University of British Columbia, and Prof. Stephen Gordon from the University of Laval say the report counts the benefits of increased government spending, but ignores any negative economic impact from higher taxes that leave consumers with less money to spend.“This sort of economic impact assessment is standard fare among think-tanks and is generally given little weight in academia,” Gordon wrote in an email Wednesday.“It looks at the benefits of spending and not the costs of extracting the revenues used to finance that spending.”Milligan called the report an “incomplete analysis.”“The money raised to pay for (the infrastructure) comes out of pockets and also has a negative … effect, so I would have very little confidence in any such job numbers.”Milligan and Gordon, at the request of The Canadian Press, reviewed the report by the government that said its infrastructure program provided economic benefits of $1 billion last year alone.The report, prepared by the Conference Board of Canada, said the government spent a total of $844 million on core infrastructure — roads, bridges and the like. It said that spending was helped in part by $190 million brought in by increasing the provincial sales tax to eight per cent from seven last year. All the infrastructure work led to 8,163 direct and indirect jobs and left workers with $388 million in disposable income, the report said.It did not calculate how much disposable income was lost in the taxes paid to support the program, or how many jobs would have been created had the money been left in taxpayers’ pockets.Pedro Antunes, a director at the Conference Board of Canada, confirmed the group was only asked by the province to look at the benefits of increased government spending and not factor in the negative impact of higher taxes.“It’s not atypical to do that type of analysis,” he said.Theresa Oswald, the province’s minister responsible for jobs and the economy, stood by the report Wednesday. She said boosting spending on infrastructure was a good way to help the economy through a global slowdown.“We don’t believe that an austere, do-nothing approach was the right approach. And, in fact, many governments across the world also chose a stimulus, an investment in infrastructure, option.”Antunes was unable to provide an estimate of how many jobs would have been created had the tax money been left in consumer hands. But generally, he said, infrastructure spending has a multiplying effect because the government money goes to contractors who hire employees, who in turn spend more.Lower taxes tend not to boost spending as much because consumers may save some of the money or spend it out of province, he added.Gordon said there are sometimes no net benefits to government infrastructure programs over consumer spending.“To a rough approximation, the two offset each other. For small jurisdictions, the costs (of an infrastructure program) could outweigh the benefits, since some of that spending will be on goods and services produced outside Manitoba.”Milligan said there are benefits to infrastructure spending — bigger roads that let companies move goods to market more quickly, for example — but “the jobs are incidental.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Nearly 300 amateur and professional wine lovers put their palates to the test April 14 at the 10th annual Wine Tasting Challenge held at the prestigious Liberty Grand in Toronto.Nearly 300 amateur and professional wine lovers put their palates to the test April 14 at the 10th annual Wine Tasting Challenge held at the prestigious Liberty Grand in Toronto.The event is a blind tasting that aims to bring together the world’s best wine enthusiasts to compete at the highest level. It offers more than $100,000 in prizes in the professional, amateur, VQA and spirit categories. Participants can win cash, travel packages and VQA and international wine and spirit baskets.Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is an associate partner of the event, and leads the organization of the challenge which aims to highlight Canada’s best and brightest in wine and spirit knowledge.“Over the last 10 years, the challenge has evolved into the world’s largest wine tasting competition,” said Barb Tatarnic, the challenge’s director and auditor and CCOVI’s manager of continuing education and outreach. “CCOVI is extremely proud to be the challenge’s presenting and auditing partner.”After the competition, a ceremony recognized the top finishers from the previous challenge, including 2012 grand award winner Nelson Abreu.“The Wine Tasting Challenge is the only event that manages to attract so many people from our community together to compete and raise our game in a friendly, sportive environment,” Abreu said.The challenge also presented two awards at this year’s ceremony. The distinguished sponsor award was presented to Huff Estate Winery in gratitude of its longstanding support of the challenge.The Donald Ziraldo Award – acknowledging innovation, development and inspiration in the food and wine industry – was presented by Ziraldo to brothers Paul, Matthew and Daniel Speck of Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery.“The Speck boys and their commitment to sustainability exemplify the hard work that creates success in our industry,” Ziraldo said.The complete list of award winners can be found on the challenge’s website.Results from this year’s competition will be available May 15.
For anyone yet to wander through Brock’s arts facilities, this weekend is your chance.Both the University’s state-of-the-art Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) and the historic Rodman Hall Art Centre will be offering tours Saturday, June 24 as part of Doors Open Ontario — an annual event that prompts more than 1,000 sites across the province to invite visitors in free of charge.More than 20 St. Catharines locations will open their doors on Saturday for the initiative.Rodman Hall Art Centre is one of several St. Catharines venues participating in Doors Open on Saturday, June 24.Brock ambassadors will be at the Marilyn I. Walker School in downtown St. Catharines providing tours and answering questions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tours will begin on the hour, with the final group of the day departing at 2 p.m.The building opened in 2015 on a former 19th century industrial site and includes a 235-seat theatre, digital media studios, photo darkrooms, music rooms and other specialized facilities that support students in Dramatic Arts, Music and Visual Arts.Visits to specific studios and the theatre will be by supervised tour only, although the public is welcome to roam the halls of the accessible venue and visit the Visual Arts Gallery on their own. Refreshments will be available. Visitors are invited to have their photo taken with Brock’s mascot Boomer, who will be dressed in his arts gear to greet guests between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.Department of Music alumna Negin Rezaei Asl will perform an open recital in the Piano Suite from 1 to 3 p.m. At Rodman Hall Art Centre, guided tours will take place Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.Visitors will have the chance to explore the historical Thomas Rodman Merritt House, built in the 1860s, and its adjoining contemporary art gallery.There will be opportunities to create art and take a walk through the nearby Walker Botanical Garden and sculptures.More information on locations participating in Doors Open this weekend is available online.
Opening the RBC Capital Markets’ second annual Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Conference at Grosvenor House in London yesterday, Leon Esterhuizen, Director and Equity Analyst at RBC Capital Markets said: “Almost three quarters of the world’s platinum supply and about half of the world’s palladium supply comes from South Africa but, given the current strength of the rand, which is effectively neutralising much of the recent US dollar metal price increases, over half South Africa’s supply is generating negative cash flow (after capital expenditure). On the premise that demand may be lower, but will not contract any further, this implies only one of two possible outcomes – either metal prices will have to increase even further or mine production will be cut, pushing prices higher as supply contracts.“Higher metal prices seem likely, but so do higher costs – effectively leaving only two areas of potential investment: ETFs of both platinum and palladium should continue doing well, and new junior producers will be able to supply metal at low cost, reaping the most benefit from a rising metal price. Not only do we believe the low-cost juniors and low-cost projects will benefit, but it should be clear that these also represent excellent takeout targets for majors struggling with high costs.”Mineweb writes that “in a refreshing, and enlightening presentation, Aquarius Platinum CEO, Stuart Murray – instead of presenting a sales pitch on the company as did most of the other speakers at the event, instead set out a refreshingly sanguine and honest, picture of the realities facing the South African platinum sector in today’s economic environment.Murray’s presentation was over lunch and he chose to give it informally without Powerpoint aids, or other visual statistical props. He devoted his time to telling the audience of the realities facing the South African platinum miners today – a sector in which he reckoned that two thirds of current production was, if one takes sustaining capital expenditure into account, at break even or worse.Not only are miners faced with a platinum price that is back at 2005 levels, but with 2010 costs and an ever-strengthening Rand against a declining dollar in which the metal is priced. And there may yet be no respite with “President Obama turning the dollar into the peso and Gordon Brown the U.K. pound into the lira!” This is coupled with a virtual freeze in new car manufacture – the automobiles being bought now were probably all built or assembled at least a year ago – and a corresponding complete lack of purchases of platinum by the western auto sector. Murray quoted the CEO of one of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers as saying his company hadn’t bought an ounce of platinum for 13 months – and when asked when purchases might be resumed the answer was still another 3-9 months away!There has been one mitigating sales element out there and that is sales to the jewellery market in the East where high gold prices and relatively low platinum ones, have made the latter more attractive – but then the high gold price has also had the effect of dragging other precious metals up with it, including platinum and he fears this fillip to demand may thus be short-lived.With around 60% of platinum destined for the auto industry, but with only China showing any real growth in auto purchases, this puts the industry in a difficult state, and the logic is that maybe platinum prices are actually higher than the current market situation might justify.In South Africa itself there is yet another worry for the miners. The country’s state-owned electricity utility, Eskom, which supplies virtually all the country’s power, is faced with financing a R350 billion programme to build up its power supply capacity and is talking about 40% year on year price increases for the power it supplies. (South Africa has had up to now some of the world’s lowest power costs.) The deeper underground platinum mines, along with plants and smelters etc. are heavily power dependent. Meanwhile forward costs may be exacerbated by the strong South African labour unions also looking to yearly above-inflation pay increases.All in all this is not a pretty picture for the existing South African platinum miners, yet alone the juniors developing new platinum mining projects there. The latter may have an advantage in some cases in terms of being able to keep costs down, but raising debt finance in the platinum sector at the moment is virtually impossible and in most cases stock prices are too low to contemplate equity financing. Murray reckons a platinum price of at least $1,700 an ounce is needed to get a Greenfield project into production. He also sees little chance of the major producers, Anglo Platinum, Impala and Lonmin, cutting production in line with the demand fall and perhaps bringing more stability to the metal price.Murray was also a little scathing on platinum ETFs pointing out that during last October’s financial meltdown that in the platinum sector was exacerbated by sales of holdings of platinum ETFs leading to the offloading of 350,000 ounces of inventory in 3 weeks which helped decimate the metal price.Looking at the current stock price situation Murray reckoned that arguably stock prices have run ahead of reality, but there may still be investments which are worthwhile in the sector. “Do your homework” he said. “Look at margins on a Rand basis – also look closely at what the company is p***ing away on capex.”Aquarius itself is one of the country’s most successful and lowest cost mid-tier producers, but cuts its cloth according to its needs. Its Everest mine is currently on a care and maintenance basis, but Murray reckons the company won’t bring it back into production until there are clear shareholder benefits in doing so – which may not be until the middle of next year, if then.Despite all the problems faced by the industry at the moment – “This space is going to be very hard work” he said, Murray still has confidence in the sector. “It’s a case of when, not if” he said talking about price recovery; but I can’t tell you when!”Among other speakers at the conference was James Wellsted, Executive Manager Commercial of Mvelaphanda Resources, who said: “While we anticipate continued weakness in prices due to the depressed global economic climate, we are positive about the longer term outlook for the PGM market. Northam Platinum, in which we have a majority stake, is well positioned, with its Zondereinde mine cash generative even at current low metal prices and significant growth potential at its Booysendal project.”Other speakers sharing insights at RBC Capital Markets’ conference were Anooraq Resources, Eastern Platinum, Jubilee Platinum, Platinum Australia, Platinum Group Metals, Nkwe Platinum and Sylvania Resources.
In another article leading up to Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) from 29-31 August, the organisers stated that the Australian mining industry “looks set to enjoy a much needed reprieve as 2017 shapes to be the year the industry can catch its breath.” The article refers to analyst reports from companies such as PwC and Ernst and Young that have “indicated a shift in the industry to one of planning which seems to be a sentiment expressed by mining companies in quarter one of 2017.”“Cost optimisation and increased productivity will remain core to the mining industry. The strategies adopted over the past two years will place mining companies in a strong position to capitalise on improved operating margins and if market conditions continue to strengthen the focus will shift to growth developments which will come in the form of asset expansion as well as asset acquisition. In recent times, expansion projects and tenement developments have been put on hold but as many sites enter into the final stages of their life, these developments are once again commencing to ensure asset continuity. Asset acquisitions have been most recently driven by the portfolio realignment of some of the major players. This change in strategy has seen a number of profitable sites up for sale over the last 18 months providing great acquisition targets for the small to medium sized operators. These predominately equity based transactions will continue in 2017 and will consolidate the position of the mid-tier players helping them become major players in their respective commodities at the peak of the next cycle.”The article concludes: “While the industry is by no means at the beginning of its next boom the overriding sentiment of the sector is one of optimisim. While it is safe to say that the focus will still be on strengthening the balance sheet, improving commodity prices has freed up funds to replace much needed equipment which will ultimately filter down to the suppliers. As the focus shifts to the future miners will ensure they have the best assets in their portfolio to achieve sustainable growth and maximise the financial return to their shareholders.”The article uses information from http://www.ey.com/gl/en/industries/mining—metals/ey-mergers-acquisitions-and-capital-raising-2016-trends-2017-outlook as well as http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/energy-utilities-mining/assets/pwc-mining-transformation-final.pdf
NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – 7’s Chief Meteorologist Phil Ferro was on hand for the Free Heart Fair at Miami Dade College, Thursday.The fair took place at Miami Dade College’s North Campus.The event encouraged minorities to get heart healthy, allowing people to get blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings.Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, but it is also preventable in most cases.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday visited the family of slain policeman Arshad Khan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar district. Amit Shah arrived at the Balgarden locality residence of the slain Station House Officer’s family. The Home Minister offered condolences to his bereaved family of Arshad Khan. The officer is survived by his wife, two children, parents and a brother. Also Read – Chinmayanand case: Woman tells Supreme Court she wants to stay in Delhi Advertise With Us Arshad Khan was injured during the Fidayeen attack on the K.P. Road in Anantnag town on June 12. He was shifted to AIIMS Delhi where he succumbed to his injuries on June 16. Five CRPF troopers and the Fidayeen terrorist were killed in June 12 attack in Anantnag town. Amit Shah is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. He will chair the unified headquarters meeting in Srinagar on Thursday. Unified headquarters is the apex anti-militancy grid in the state. It comprises top officers of civil, military, paramilitary, state police and the intelligence agencies. Shah will also meet members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) core group. He will interact with panchayat members and some delegations at the Nehru Guest House in Srinagar on Thursday.
Office of Mindtree Ltd.WikimediaHome-grown IT services company Mindtree is the cynosure of all eyes after major shareholder VG Siddhartha sold 20 percent stake in the company to L&T, triggering a hostile takeover bid. Though engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro has said it’s not a corporate raider who’s pushing a hostile takeover of the Bengaluru-based IT company, the deal has become a much muddled affair.After gobbling up Siddhartha’s 20 percent stake in Mindtree, L&T is going ahead with a plan under which it will acquire as much as 67 percent of the company. Though the Mindtree founders are pushed against the wall they haven’t given up and are scheduled to meet on 26 March. The founders have vouched to protect the company from the ‘corporate raider’ by any means.Mindtree non-executive director Subroto Bagchi. Courtesy: mindtree.comAmid all the chaos Mindtree founder and former CEO Subroto Bagchi dropped a bombshell on Friday saying all the founders were offered huge amount of money for stepping aside. “KK, Rostow, Partha and I were offered huge bags of money to give Mindtree away. We have respectfully said “no” to their overtures,” Bagchi said, according to IANS.”Our polite refusal has been interpreted as foolish idealism of a bunch of lower middle-class folks. That, we are,” Bagchi added.I cannot stay miles away, ensconced in another world to live the nightmare that the builders have arrived with the excavators, bulldozers, chainsaws, cranes and the impeccably drawn up blueprint to raze MindtreeThe Mindtree top brass, Bagchi, Krishnakumar Natarajan, Rostow Ravanan and Parthasarathy N.S. are digging in their heels and fight off the predator. The firm they founded in 1999 has gone on to employ nearly 20,000 people globally. It has offices in 17 countries and an annual revenue of $847 million.Who are Mindtree founders?Bagchi holds 3.1 percent stake in Mindtree while Krishnakumar Natarajan, who took over as the executive chairman of Mindtree from Bagchi in 2016, holds about 3.72 percent. Executive vice-chairman and chief operating officer Pathasarathy, holds 1.43 percent shares of Mindtree. Rostow Ravanan, who is not part of the original founding group, is the chief executive officer and managing director. He holds 0.71 percent stake in the company. Another founder, Ashok Soota, who initially served as the chairman of Mindtree, sold his 11 percent stake to Coffee mogul Siddhartha.With Mindtree’s future in the balance, Bagchi wrote a emotionally charged letter to the employees. Bagchi sought to shore up the morale of the employees. He was also explicit in his condemnation of the L&T move, saying the bigger corporate company should be focusing on building institutions rather than taking over another.”Suddenly, Mindtree has become an “attractive asset” that they must have,” Bagchi said. He also said he was resigning from his position with the Odisha government in order to focus on the problems at Mindtree. “I cannot stay miles away, ensconced in another world to live the nightmare that the builders have arrived with the excavators, bulldozers, chainsaws, cranes and the impeccably drawn up blueprint to raze Mindtree,” he said. Mindtree is bracing to fight off a likely hostile take over bid by Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T).mindtree.com”KK, Rostow, Partha and I will be the first line of defence on behalf of all Mindtree. I will be meeting each one of you at every Mindtree location in the coming days to answer any question you may have. Meanwhile, stay the course. Remember, you hold the Tree”,” Bagchi said in the letter.He also asked the employees to stay focused on their work, asking them to keep their “eyes on the screen, fingers on the keyboard and our customers on your mind”. Mindtree founders are mulling various options to save the company from the takeover bid. The long-simmering fear of the Mindtree founders finally came true on Monday when L&T bought a 20.4 percent stake in Mindtree from Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha for about Rs 3,300 crore.