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first_imgRecent news about an increase in Indian corporates and state entities issuing dollar bonds is welcome news, especially since it clearly shows investor appetite for lending to credible Indian business models. However, relatively easy liquidity and high investor appetite for lending in the international markets must be tempered by the fact that borrowing in foreign currencies is beneficial for businesses with certain specific balance sheet structures. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhile relatively low interest rates abroad and increasing investor demand for relatively good quality debt assists in borrowing for Indian businesses, it is essential to realise that severe foreign exchange rate fluctuations can severely impact the debt servicing capacity of a company that relies excessively on foreign borrowings. For businesses that have assets creating dollar cash flows, borrowing in the currency makes sense. For instance, for an exporter of products or services to the United States with a dollar-based stream of income, financing greenback liabilities is more feasible. While macro factors are beyond the control of a business, understanding and creating a well-balanced balance sheet is something that deserves attention. Not only is it essential for a balance between assets that can generate cash flows to match liability outflows, in the case of multiple currencies, it is vital that currency mismatches are avoided as far as possible. Also Read – Insider threat managementFor businesses looking to take on foreign currency denominated debt, it is essential that there is a long-term focus on how foreign exchange volatility will be dealt with. For firms that do not have dollar-based assets that generate foreign currency denominated cash flows, prudence is advised on foreign currency borrowings. While the appreciation of the Indian rupee can lead to windfall gains by way of lower interest and principal payments, a severe depreciation of the currency, a factor beyond the control of a business can leave the company in a precarious position with debt servicing. Most importantly, the company might be in the sectors of financial services, energy or IT services, and therefore being exposed to the macro-vagaries of the foreign exchange market for business success is not an ideal situation to be in. The experiences of European and Japanese financial institutions during the 2008 financial crisis are a good reminder of the perils of creating excessive dollar-denominated liabilities while owning assets primarily in domestic currencies. Balance sheet imbalances and a shortage of dollar funding precipitated a crisis that severely damaged the financial systems and institutions in Europe and Japan. One major takeaway from the 2008 crisis was that creating an imbalanced balance sheet renders the business exposed to risks, managing which is inherently not the core objective of the company. For instance, an energy developer facing severe pressure to fund dollar liabilities isn’t ideal. The funding pressure may lead to a situation in which despite having a robust energy business, the energy developer might be severely loss-making due to a significant change in the cost of foreign liabilities that need to be paid off. The decision of how much of liabilities must be in a foreign currency is no less important than the choice of how much debt a business must utilise. While the decision around leverage is driven by the quality of cash flows that a company has to finance the future liability payments, i.e. interest payments, the decision around the currency to be utilised must also be factored in separately. Effectively, the risk a business undertakes in using foreign currency debt must factor in the volatility in the currency pair that is applicable in terms of the cash flows and liability payments. For instance, if a business receives all incoming cash flows in Indian rupees, then the amount of dollar-denominated debt ideal for the company needs to be carefully evaluated. In a world with relatively low yields, especially in the developed economies, and a growing economy such as India, the interest to lend to Indian businesses by global investors is inevitable. For any business, the focus must be on creating a long-term track record of utilising foreign currency denominated debt effectively to either take advantage of relatively low-interest rates or potentially finance international growth. However, prudent usage of foreign debt by Indian business is also vital to ensure that investor confidence builds up for both individual companies and Indian firms in general. Judicious usage of foreign currency debt is critical for the long-term goal of increased access to global capital markets for Indian companies. As with financial structures and balance sheet decisions, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for foreign currency borrowings. A sustainable long-term focused borrowing strategy will be the key differentiator for successful businesses.(The author heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

The peace process in Burundi has witnessed significant progress in recent months but the country needs help to ensure successful elections next year and to tackle challenges such as human rights abuses, corruption and weak institutions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report.“Next year is crucial,” Mr. Ban writes in his sixth report to the Security Council on the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), which is helping to promote peace and stability in the country following a brutal civil war. “Burundi must be assisted to ensure that the gains achieved so far are consolidated before, during and after the 2010 elections, so the country can continue on the path of national reconciliation, democratic and accountable governance, and development,” he adds.In 2005 more than 90 per cent of Burundians approved a new constitution and separate ballots were held for parliamentary seats and for the presidency. Next year voters will choose a president, parliamentary lawmakers and local representatives.Noting that it is primarily the responsibility of the Government and its national partners to create the “propitious” conditions for the elections, he commends political leaders for adopting an electoral code that enjoys wide consensus and is encouraged by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s assurance that the polls will be free, fair and peaceful. At the same time, he remains concerned about reports on restrictions to the freedom of assembly and expression of opposition parties imposed by local authorities, and by the reports on militant activities of youth groups allegedly associated with certain political parties that are generating fear and suspicion. “I call on the Government and the political leaders to remain vigilant and to take the necessary actions to put an end to these activities,” states Mr. Ban, who also voices deep concern about human rights abuses and “the prevailing climate of impunity,” including a number of serious crimes that remain unaddressed. He also cites the need for the Government to address corruption, improve governance and stem the proliferation of small arms among civilians, noting that professionalizing the police and strengthening the judiciary will be crucial for these efforts. Among the progress achieved in recent months, Mr. Ban notes that the Forces nationales de libération (FNL), the last rebel movement, disarmed and transformed itself into a political party, completing a major part of the last phase of the peace process.“I encouraged by the effective demobilization and reinsertion of FNL combatants, as well by the successful disengagement of adults and children associated with the movement,” he states, adding that the longer-term socio-economic reintegration of former combatants, returnees and other vulnerable groups remains a challenge. “Every effort must be made to ensure sustainable reintegration of these groups, in order to prevent them from becoming an added source of insecurity,” he adds.To assist the country in its efforts to restore peace and stability, Mr. Ban recommends a one-year renewal of the mandate of BINUB whose mandate expires on 31 December.“It is clear that so much has been achieved in Burundi in such a short time, considering where the country has come from,” says the Secretary-General. “Yet the situation remains fragile.” 3 December 2009The peace process in Burundi has witnessed significant progress in recent months but the country needs help to ensure successful elections next year and to tackle challenges such as human rights abuses, corruption and weak institutions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report. read more

The police have arrested 12 people who attempted to go to Australia by boat illegally from Chilaw and Mahawewa, the police media unit said today.All 12 people were arrested yesterday by the Chilaw police intelligence unit together with two vans and a motorbike, the police said. The failed asylum seekers are said to be from Lunuwila, Mahawewa, Chilaw, Mullaitivu, Puthukudirippu, Jaffna and Akarayankulam.The Chilaw police are conducting further investigations.

A key suspect wanted over smuggling people to Australia from Sri Lanka was arrested in Kiribathgoda today, the police media unit said.The police said that the suspect, a businessman, was arrested by the Matara police special crimes unit. The police had also arrested a Navy officer recently over his involvement in human smuggling as well as four other sailors. He was arrested based on information provided by a group of people arrested recently while they were about to head to Australia from Matara by boat illegally. Australia and Sri Lanka have an agreement in the fight against human smuggling. (Colombo Gazette) read more

“NFF and other fishermen representatives will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to appraise her about the issue and appeal her to ensure the release of boats of the Indian fishermen seized by the Sri Lankan navy,” he said.Noting that nearly 19 boats seized by the Sri Lankan navy were damaged during the last rainy season, Ilango said 46 boats still remain in the custody of Lanka and this will also be damaged, if not returned soon. Stressing that the fishermen crossed the maritime boundary unintentionally and never indulged in anti-social activities, he appealed to the Lankan government to desist from going ahead with the Bill. “Both Sri Lanka and India are signatories to the International Laws of the Sea. The two countries should treat the crossing of the maritime boundary as “innocent passage” (as stated in the International Laws of the Sea) and as a livelihood issue,” he said. Welcoming the Sri Lankan decision to release the fishermen, Ilango said that unless their boats were also released, the fishermen will suffer losses to the tune of crores and this will hit their livelihood.He further said that the forum will request the External Affairs Minister to form a committee, consisting of navy, coast guard representatives of government officials and fishermen, to propose recommendations to address the fishing row.Pointing out that Sri Lanka has already formed a committee, he said that the Centre should form a panel ahead of the fourth round of talks between the two countries to sort out the issues. According to information gathered here, Sri Lankan Fisheries Director General MCL Fernando has said that amendments were considered to be introduced to the Fisheries Act to impose severe penalties, up to `150 million (Sri Lankan currency), on foreign vessels poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters. The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in India is planning to approach the International Court of Justice or the United Nations on the Sri Lankan government’s proposed move to draft a bill to impose hefty penalties on foreign vessels poaching in Lanka’s waters, NFF chairperson, M Ilango said.Talking to the New Indian Express, Ilango said that the NFF, along with other representatives of fishermen on coastal regions, will approach the Central government to pursue, through diplomatic channels, and prevail upon Sri Lanka not to go ahead with the move. The island nation’s government has also appointed an advisory board to formulate recommendations to solve the crisis of illegal poaching by Indian fishermen before the government initiates fresh talks with India.

“Earthdive” urges professional and amateur divers to record findings on the marine environment – including coral reefs, mangrove swamps and coastal waters – on the initiative’s web site, thereby contributing scientific data on key indicator species to build a “global dive log.”Observations of illegal trade in endangered species are also recorded and then passed on to a wildlife trade monitoring network.In addition, members sign an international petition demanding action to protect the oceans while half of all membership fees are donated directly to marine conservation projects.UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said, “In conserving the oceans, we are not only saving a key part of the planet’s life support systems and many wonderful marine life-forms, we are also playing a key role in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals in areas from poverty eradication to hunger reduction.”Those targets, known as MDGs, were set at a UN summit in 2000. They call, among others, for reversing the loss of environmental resources while cutting in half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and those who lack safe drinking water. The project is supported by UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, England, which has been providing scientific assessments of biodiversity for 25 years and is one of the world’s leading centres for coral reef conservation. The Centre is providing a unique mapping service that will allow divers to pinpoint locations and log their observations, which in turn can be shared with other divers and the scientific community. read more

Hungary has taken significant steps to address the problems faced by its minorities, particularly the Roma, but the country’s economic transition as well as racial discrimination continue to place them at a disadvantage compared to the majority, an independent United Nations expert said today.In a statement issued in Geneva, UN Independent Expert on minority issues Gay McDougall hailed the “high degree of cooperation and assistance demonstrated by the Government of Hungary” in the course of her visit, which began on 26 June and included talks with officials and members of minority groups. Ms. McDougall highlighted that the Hungarian Government has demonstrated significant political will to address the unique needs of and problems faced by minorities in general and, in particular, the Roma minority. Among other measures, she hailed a comprehensive anti-discrimination law and a newly established Equal Treatment Authority to handle complaints. But the expert noted that Roma still face daunting challenges. “Statistics demonstrate that between the late 1980s and the early 1990s a disproportionately high percentage of employed Roma lost their jobs, compared to members of other communities,” she observed. “Amongst the Roma, startling statistics also reveal a life expectancy some 10 years less than that of the general population.”She also called for attention to ensuring equality of schooling, noting that education of Roma is “characterized by widespread segregation on racial grounds, and poor educational opportunities.”The estimated 600,000 Roma population face serious discrimination, exclusion and unusually high levels of poverty, according to the expert, who said economic factors were not solely to blame. “The desperate situation faced by Roma is not only the consequence of the transition to a market economy, but is also due to the pervasive effects of racial discrimination.”Ms. McDougall expressed concern that moves by the Government to dismantle its current institutional focus on Roma issues, in favour of a broad-based policy to address ‘disadvantaged groups,’ could lead to an erosion of progress on Roma issues that require urgent and focused attention. She highlighted in particular concern over the situation of Roma in the fields of education and employment, as well as the need to comprehensively address the widespread societal discrimination and anti-Roma prejudice. Ms. McDougall, who is unpaid, was appointed the first UN Independent Expert on minority issues in 2005. read more

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Macy’s Inc. reported a 38 per cent increase in its first-quarter profit as the department store chain continues to reap benefits from its move to tailor its fashions to local markets.The earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations. But its shares fell more than 4 per cent in morning trading Wednesday as Macy’s failed to make a conforming boost in its earnings guidance for the year.That spooked investors who are worried that consumer spending is slowing amid a choppy recovery.Macy’s, which also operates the upscale Bloomingdale’s chain, said that its net income rose to $181 million, or 43 cents per share, for the three-month period ended April 28. That’s up from $131 million, or 30 cents per share, a year ago.Revenue rose 4.3 per cent to $6.14 billion from $5.89 billion a year ago.Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected earnings of 40 cents per share on revenue of $6.14 billion.“The momentum in our business at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s continued to build in the first quarter, with sales and earnings exceeding our expectations going into the year,” Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “The quarterly data clearly demonstrates the strength of our results as we continue to implement our strategies.”Macy’s is the first in a series of major retailers reporting first-quarter results that should offer clues into consumer spending, which accounts for 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity. Analysts will be carefully studying the reports because the economy is at a critical juncture.A flurry of economic data has sparked worries over a spring slowdown for the third year in a row. Companies have slowed their hiring in March and April. The stock market has lost momentum as the European debt crisis accelerates. And housing remains weak. April’s sales reports from retailers, including from Macy’s, also showed a pullback from shoppers but warm weather and an early Easter helped to pull sales forward. Analysts believe that May results will offer more clarity on the consumers’ mindset.Macy’s has been able to deftly navigate its way through the recession and a slow recovery by embracing its own initiatives. The chain has benefited from the strategy Lundgren conceived to tailor merchandise to local markets as consumer spending slowed down in 2007. A better trained sales force also helped. The company has also locked in exclusive brands including its Material Girl fashion collection, created by pop star Madonna and her daughter Lourdes, and Tommy Hilfiger sportswear.Macy’s revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4.4 per cent for the quarter, though it had a weak finish to the period. The measure was up 1.2 per cent for April. Rival Kohl’s posted a meagre 0.2 per cent increase for the quarter. J.C. Penney is expected to post a decline for that measure as it is in the midst of overhauling a new pricing strategy, launched Feb. 1. With the pricing strategy, Penney got rid of hundreds of sale events and instead is focusing on everyday prices and deeper promotions that last an entire month.Investors were hoping that Macy’s would benefit from rival Penney’s period of transition since the new pricing will take time to resonate with shoppers, who are used to racks of discounts. Penney’s pricing strategy is part of an overall transformation spearheaded by its new CEO Ron Johnson.Still, Macy’s only slightly increased its annual guidance for revenue at stores open at least a year. It now expects that figure to be up 3.7 per cent, compared with its earlier guidance of 3.5 per cent.Macy’s reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the year of $3.25 to $3.30 per share. Analysts had expected $3.39 per share, according to FactSet.Macy’s shares fell $1.60, or 4.1 per cent, to $37.91 in morning trading. They peaked for the past year at $42.17 a week ago. They traded as low as $22.66 in mid-August. Macy’s 1Q earnings beat Street view but unchanged outlook disappoints investors AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted May 9, 2012 11:23 am MDT read more

Michael Crabtree Says He Lost Vision in Super Bowl

Michael Crabtree, the San Francisco 49ers receiver who was targeted on the team’s last three plays of Super Bowl XLVII, said Thursday that he lost vision after being hit hard in the face near the goal line on third down.Speaking to NFL Network in an interview Thursday, Crabtree said he took such a shot from Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith that he temporarily couldn’t see.“When the guy hit me, he hit me all in the face,” Crabtree told NFL Network. “I’m not tripping. I’m not one to whine about nothing, but he hit me all in the face and I couldn’t really see after he hit me.”Asked to again recount what happened to him, Crabtree said, “They hit me, I really couldn’t see. … Then [my vision] just came back. It’s not concussion-like. When you get hit in football, it’s going to feel like you can’t see. It’s going to feel intense. But it snapped back. It happens all the time in football.”Crabtree told the network that his sight returned before the next snap and that he had no complaints about the non-call on fourth down.Starting with second-and-goal from the 5-yard line, three pass plays to Crabtree all went as incompletions. The Ravens got the ball back on downs with less than two minutes left, San Francisco did not get the ball back, and Baltimore went on to win 34-31. read more

first_imgIF THERE IS one topic that I get asked questions on more than any other it is in the area of bank deposits, the Deposit Protection Guarantee Scheme (DGS) and Deposit Interest Rates. The first answer I always give is that we should worry about the areas we can control, and ignore things that we cannot control.Reading and discussing economic and investment updates seems to have replaced past discussions on property values and everyone seems to have an opinion on the Bank Guarantee, Euro Stability, Yen Devaluation and German Government Bond Yield. In reality, the investment world is very simple, but investment managers, stockbrokers and economists make their living from selling fear, greed and excitement in equal doses!€150 billion is on deposit in Irish banksTo set the scene, there is over €150 billion on deposit in customer deposit accounts in Irish Banks as of February 2013. This figure has been steadily falling ever since the banking crisis began in the summer of 2008, but is still a significant figure.At that time, the Irish Government introduced the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee (ELG) which covered all deposits and some bonds in Irish covered institutions, in their entirety. I won’t cover the merits or otherwise of this blanket guarantee, or whether they were forced into it by higher powers. However, the ELG did give Irish depositors some comfort that all of their hard earned savings were fully guaranteed by the Government, and at the end of the day, the European institutions.This comfort was taken away at the end of March when the ELG expired and we reverted to the historic guarantee. This guarantees €100,000 per institution. Therefore any individual who has a deposit with a covered institution with a balance under €100,000 can take some amount of comfort in a government guarantee.If you’re lucky to have over €100,000, you should protect itThis does cause some confusion for individuals with multiple accounts, as the guarantee is per ‘institution’ not per account. For example, if an individual is lucky enough to have a savings deposit with AIB for €100,000, and also a portion of their pension on deposit with AIB for another €150,000, these accounts are taken in aggregate and only €100,000 of the combined balance (€250,000) is guaranteed)Most sensible individuals are now rightly worried about the security of their cash and how to mitigate all the risks associated with savings and investments at the moment.While I don’t personally believe the European Institutions or the Irish Government will default on their guarantee, recent news in Cyprus has, at least partially, brought this possibility into focus. It is clear that spreading deposits around the guaranteed banks and keeping exposure to any one bank below €100,000 is the obvious way to reduce this risk to a minimumThe threat to people’s depositsSince banks have had some success with recent bond issues and seem to be stabilising, deposit rates have fallen significantly. There were wide spread offers during the summer of 2012 for 5 Year Fixed Deposits earning over 5 per cent. The best rate on the market as of the time of writing is now 2.75 per cent (excluding specialist accounts with Danske Bank).This return, after DIRT is deducted, will only just beat inflation and I see this as being a larger threat to people’s deposits over the long term than any short term default risk. However, inflation never gets the headlines and is an invidious threat which is hard to understand in the short term.The only true way to protect you from risks is to be widely diversified across a whole range of asset classes. €150 billion on deposit in Ireland would indicate to me that we are over-invested in cash at the moment, just as we were over-invested in property and Irish Equities in 2007.Diversifying is the only way to protect your cashIn the long run, well managed and well protected portfolios never have too much in any one asset class. I would recommend assistance from a professional (ideally from a Fee Based Financial Advisor) before deciding exactly how to invest in a widely diversified portfolio but it’s the only way to truly protect against all the threats to our wealth and wellbeing in the current economic environment.My biggest fear for Irish Investors and any of those individuals sitting on large deposits is that as the interest rates keep falling, they will become more and more restless. Equity markets have been on a fairly steady bull run since the market bottom in March 2009. The US indices are at or above all-time highs and this strong short term past performance might tempt some of these depositors to finally leap back into the markets.I don’t know what is going to happen, but I would be nervous about equity markets at their current valuations and can easily see a correction in the second half of 2013. As markets keep going up, the risks of this correction keep getting larger and I just hope Irish depositors don’t’ get caught out by the markets again.In summary then, the only way to reduce risk is to diversify. At a minimum this diversification should be across all the guaranteed banks, and for funds with a long term focus, diversification into other asset classes is ideal.David Quinn is the Managing Director of Investwise.ie. Established in 1988, Investwise is the trading name of Fitzpatrick Morris Financial Services Limited. With years of experience in the financial industry, they offer independent services and advice on a range of financial matters.Read: Survey finds the majority of people are unaware of pension tax breaks>Read: 54 per cent of people still believe now is a bad time to save>last_img read more

first_img Source: Jimmy Kimmel/Twitter By Sean Murray Monday 27 Feb 2017, 7:27 AM ‘Hey Trump, are you up?’ There was a political edge to the Oscars last night Irish actress Ruth Negga was one of the people to make a political statement on a controversial Oscars night. Short URL Ruth Negga wore a blue ribbon to express support for the ACLU Image: Richard Shotwell AP/Press Association Images Share Tweet Email 33,364 Views I want to say thank you to President Trump. I mean, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?Mel Gibson’s film Hacksaw Ridge was nominated for a few awards, and Kimmel referenced one of Gibson’s most famous roles in another section of his monologue, when he said that people had been telling him that he needs to unite people with his speech.Let’s just get something straight off the top: I can’t do that. There’s only one Braveheart in this room and he’s not going to unite us either.He added that the Oscars were being broadcast in “225 countries that now hate us”, and expressed his relief that French Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert was allowed into the country by Homeland Security.He also said that he was surprised that Trump hadn’t tweeted about the Oscars yet, so sent him one of his own. Ruth Negga wore a blue ribbon to express support for the ACLU Image: Richard Shotwell AP/Press Association Images THE MASSIVE MISTAKE that saw La La Land being named best film by mistake will dominate the headlines, but there was a political edge to last night’s Oscars ceremony.Last year, several black screen stars boycotted the ceremony, citing a lack of diversity after minorities weren’t represented among the nominations in the best actor and actress, and best supporting actor and actress categories.This year, from the host’s opening monologue to some of the victory speeches, issues of diversity and current political events got a wide airing at the awards ceremony.Ruth NeggaIrish actress Ruth Negga, who missed out on the best actress gong to Emma Stone, sported a blue ribbon on her dress in support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Ruth Negga wore a blue ribbon to express support for the ACLU Source: Richard Shotwell AP/Press Association ImagesThe ACLU represented the woman that Negga portrayed in the film, Loving, in the landmark 1967 Supreme Court Case that saw Mildred Loving fight against her incarceration for marrying a white man.Jimmy KimmelThe host of the Oscars used his platform to make a string of pointed political statements in his opening speech. Source: Ava DuVernay/Twitter On my way to #Oscars. Taking a moment to remember #TrayvonMartin. Our hoodies are still up and the movement is still strong. #OurSonTrayvon pic.twitter.com/PdxuXMktOg— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 26, 2017 He then added a reference to Meryl Streep’s recent criticism of Trump, by complimenting her dress and asking “Is that an Ivanka?” Source: ABC News/YouTubeUsing the platformSeveral stars used the platform of the Oscars stage to issue messages embracing diversity and rejecting any form of division.Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal came on stage to introduce the nominees for best animated feature, but instead chose to make a statement on current relations between his home country and the US.I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.The President of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, echoed this speech saying that films aren’t for any single person, and are meant for all, in a clear reference to the furore over a lack of diversity in recent years.She said that “art has no borders” and that it “does not belong to a single faith”.Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who won an award for “The Salesman”, did not attend the ceremony.He didn’t even travel to the United States because of the travel ban, but sent a speech to be read out on his behalf.Dividing the world into the us and our enemies categories creates fear. [Filmmakers] create empathy between us and others, an empathy we need today more than ever.Director Ava DuVernay, whose film 13 was nominated for best documentary, tweeted a message of support for Trayvon Martin, the teenager shot in a Florida neighbourhood on the same day five years ago. 46 Comments http://jrnl.ie/3260897 Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 27, 2017 Read: 17 of the most important moments from last night’s OscarsRead: Who won? Here are the 2017 Academy Awards winners Feb 27th 2017, 7:27 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_imgFukushima : la décontamination passera par un sacrifice de l’environnementLa décontamination des zones irradiées suite à la catastrophe de Fukushima sera longue et coûteuse. Mais par la destruction de terres, de plantes, et d’organismes contaminés, elle constituera aussi un second désastre écologique, préviennent des scientifiques américains. Au début du mois, un premier chantier de décontamination a été lancé près de la centrale accidentée de Fukushima. Afin de permettre aux personnes évacuées de rentrer chez elles, quelque 1.000 kilomètres carrés de forêts et de champs vont être nettoyés. Mais avec cette décontamination, alertent des chercheurs américains dans un article publié par The Guardian, c’est une seconde catastrophe écologique qui s’annonce. Pulvérisation des bâtiments, champs à gratter, enlèvement des feuilles mortes et des broussailles près des maisons : d’immenses zones de végétation devront être sacrifiées, expliquent les scientifiques. Le ministère de l’Environnement estime que 15 à 31 mètres mètres cubes de terres contaminées et de débris devront être déplacés. Le coût de ce nettoyage pourrait dépasser un billion de yens, soit plus de 10 milliards d’euros. “La décontamination peut être efficace, mais il faudra arbitrer entre la réduction des radiations et l’impact environnemental”, souligne Kathryn Higley, de l’université d’Oregon. L’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique (AIEA) a recommandé au gouvernement japonais d’éviter le “sur-conservatisme”,  en ne s’attaquant pas à des zones plus vastes que le strict nécessaire assurant la santé de la population.Protéger la faune sera extrêmement difficile À lire aussiLa fusion nucléaire pourrait bien devenir prochainement une réalitéLes agriculteurs sont invités à épandre du potassium sur leurs champs afin de minimiser l’absorption du césium par les plantes, mais dans les champs fortement contaminés, plusieurs centimètres de terre végétale devront probablement être enlevés. “Vous enlevez les feuilles mortes du sol de la forêt et le rayonnement des niveaux diminue”, explique Shinichi Nakayama, un ingénieur nucléaire de la Japan Atomic Energy Agency. “Vous emportez les couches plus profondes et ils diminuent encore. Mais vous prenez tout cela et l’écosystème est détruit. La rétention d’eau diminue et des inondations peuvent se produire” souligne-t-il. Certaines espèces menacées ou en danger, comme le papillon des prairies ou le faucon pèlerin japonais, pourraient également être affectées par les opérations de décontamination. Mais comme l’explique, Kiyomi Yokota, naturaliste et secrétaire de l’Association Fukushima Conservation de la Nature, protéger la faune dans la situation actuelle sera extrêmement difficile. “Si les gens veulent rentrer chez eux, je ne pense pas que je pourrais leur dire, “Non, arrêtez la décontamination, à l’exception des poissons”” déclare-t-il. Le 12 janvier 2012 à 09:37 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Constitutional Case to be launched by Mike Misick at Supreme Court

first_img Thorne, QC maintains SIPT Trial is political vendetta Ten Year Anniversary, Commission of Inquiry announced for TCI this day in history 2008 Related Items:beryn duncanson, commission of inquiry, margaret ramsey-hale, mike misick, qc thorne, ralph thorne, Sipt, sir robin auld Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI: Judge rules there is ‘a case’; all nine defendants will go to trial in September Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 31 Jul 2015 – Next Week, Michael Misick will formally argue that the Turks and Caicos Islands judiciary went too far when it set up a special court to hear the SIPT cases of alleged government corruption. Misick in a news release shares with media that next week, a constitutional case will be launched before Chief Justice, Margaret Ramsey-Hale. The applicant, Michael Misick, through his Attorneys-at-Law, Ralph A. Thorne, QC and Beryn Duncanson are challenging the constitutionality of the court headed by retired Jamaican judge Harrison. The lawyers are also challenging the power of the court to order a trial without a jury. Misick contends the circumstances in the TCI did not warrant this move. “We are contending that the government has established a special court akin to those of other countries that have experienced severe, social, political and military unrest. Unless it can be demonstrated that this kind of upheaval has taken place in Turks & Caicos, every citizen of this country remains equally entitled to the protection of the constitution.” The attorneys for Misick, the first and a former Premier of the Turks and Caicos explain that others are being given rights that Michael Eugene Misick himself is being denied. QC Thorne calls the constitutional challenge case important and regretful adding that it is wrong that the report from Sir Robin Auld and the Commission of Inquiry he led in 2009 have dictated some contents of the 2011 TCI Constitution. “It is a matter of some regret that a document which sought to prescribe solutions to a political crisis has transfigured portions of itself into to a legal regime of trial in a non-traditional court and without a jury. It seems horribly wrong in a stable democracy with a strong inheritance of English legal values and we hope to persuade the court to a similar view.” Again this argument will be laid out in the Provo Supreme Court next week. last_img read more

first_imgMat-Su Borough Assembly and staff in Willow on Thursday. (Photo: Phillip Manning – KTNA)On Thursday night, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly held it’s third and final public hearing on its annual budget at a special meeting in Willow.Listen nowNearly 70 people came out for the final public hearing on the Mat-Su Borough’s budget at the Willow Community Center. The majority of those who spoke focused on one line item, schools.Overall, the borough budget has shrunk by several million dollars, but the proposed level of funding for the Mat-Su Borough School District is the same as in last year’s budget. Over a dozen parents, teachers, and school administrators say that still isn’t enough.“Flat funding results in more cuts, to the tune of $3.4 million dollars, and fewer opportunities for our kids.” Talkeetna Elementary School Principal Lisa Shelby said. “What I’m asking of you will take courage, to put kids and families at the top of your list.”The district is asking the borough to cover that $3.4 million gap. In recent years, the Mat-Su Borough has met the requests from the school district for increased funding, but this year, members of the assembly say it simply isn’t possible.“Right now—for the amount of money that’s being asked for—I don’t see where it is, and I’ve been through the budget for a little bit.” Assembly Member Jim Sykes said. “There might be some, but I don’t want to give people false hopes on this count.”The reason Sykes and others say the money isn’t there is due to the borough’s revenue cap. Each year, the total amount the Mat-Su can raise in tax revenue has a ceiling based on population growth and the cost of living index for Anchorage. This year’s budget is at that cap. Assembly Member Randall Kowalke said that means it’s not a question of finding additional revenue.“So, if we take money and give it to the school, it’s coming from somewhere else,” Kowalke said.With the borough in a position where it cannot increase education funding without cutting elsewhere, Mayor Vern Halter believes it’s critical that the Alaska Legislature not carry through with a proposed five-percent cut to schools as proposed by the state Senate.“That’d be backwards. That would be the direction we don’t want to go,” Halter said. “They’re even talking about hitting some of the [Base] Student Allocation funding, which would be a backward step.” Halter added, “That would increase the debt of our school district by several million dollars more.”There is the possibility of some increase to school funding, though not the full amount being requested. Assembly Member Dan Mayfield said the school site selection fund, which currently has just under two million dollars in it, is not likely to be needed any time soon, and that the money could be moved to the school district’s operating budget. Mayfield said he plans to make an amendment to move those funds when the Assembly begins budget deliberations on Monday.last_img read more

Chandrayaan2 successfully enters 2nd Lunar orbit

first_imgChennai: The second Lunar orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully completed on Wednesday, said India Space Research Organisation (ISRO). According to ISRO, the orbit manoeuvre began at 12.50 p.m. and took 1,228 seconds to complete. The orbit achieved is 118 km X 4,412 km. All spacecraft parameters are normal. The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on August 28, 2019 between 5.30 a.m. – 6.30 a.m. Also Read – Abrogation Of Article 370 Carried Out In Inhuman Way: Urmila Matondkar Advertise With Us On Tuesday, the Chandrayaan-2 was put into its first Lunar orbit. On July 22, the Chandrayaan-2 was injected into an elliptical orbit of 170X45,475 km by India’s heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a text book style. The spacecraft comprises three segments – the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander ‘Vikram’ (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover ‘Pragyan’ (27 kg, two payloads). The Indian space agency said the major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, the trans-lunar insertion, lunar-bound manoeuvres, Vikram’s separation from Chandrayaan-2 and touch down on the Moon’s South Pole.last_img read more

HC reserves order on plea on medical reimbursement of SC judges

first_imgDelhi High Court on Thursday reserved verdict on a plea moved by an RTI applicant challenging the single-judge order exempting medical reimbursements of Supreme Court judges from disclosure under the Right to Information Act.“Heard both the party. Order reserved,” said a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Deepa Sharma, as it expressed the view that disclosure of medical reimbursement data would not serve any public interest. The petition has sought setting aside of the High Court’s December 19 last year’s order of a single judge who had held that disclosure of the medical reimbursements would not serve public interest and was thus exempt from the Act’s purview. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe judge had held that the information sought was of a personal nature and the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order was “erroneous”.The petitioner, Subhash Chandra Agarwal, contended that “salaries, pensions and allowances payable to or in respect of judges of Supreme Court are to be charged under Consolidated Fund of India”, as per the Constitution.“Therefore, source of reimbursement money of the medical bills of Supreme Court judges comes from the hard-earned money of citizens as taxpayers,” advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for Agarwal, said. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedSenior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Supreme Court registry, opposed Bhushan’s contention, saying the information sought is not in the public interest.Bhushan had contended that “information pertaining to expenditure of public money on public servants cannot be exempted from disclosure under RTI”.He said he had not sought information regarding the illness or medical treatment of the judges, but only the amount spent on the same.He also sought an order directing the Apex Court registry to comply with the CIC’s February 2012 order directing them to provide the information.last_img read more

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Avalon welcomes Canadian songbird onboard Blue Danube cruise

first_img Travelweek Group Share Tags: Avalon Waterways, Blue Danube Discovery << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, July 3, 2019 center_img Avalon welcomes Canadian songbird onboard Blue Danube cruise Posted by TORONTO — Passengers onboard Avalon Waterway’s recent Blue Danube Discovery cruise found themselves onboard with a Canadian musical icon.Jann Arden, award-winning musician, entertainer and author, escorted the June 16 departure that sailed from Budapest to Prague. As a treat for the 160 passengers onboard, Arden also performed with her band and hosted a signing of her new book, ‘Feeding My Mother’.In addition, passengers were treated to a private concert by the local men’s choir in Regensberg, Germany, who performed their own version of Arden’s hit ‘Good Mother’.“It was great fun to travel with Jann again,” said Kim Clarke, Canadian director of sales for the Globus family of brands, Avalon’s parent company. “She is so approachable and funny and our guests loved having the chance to chat with her one-on-one, and of course get photos!”Arden has a special connection to Avalon – she served as Godmother of the Avalon Tranquility II in 2015 and escorted another cruise in 2017. The next Jann Arden Cruise with Avalon is set to depart in 2021.last_img read more

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