Hope to return soon, Parrikar says in video

first_img Mr. Parrikar said that for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be re-elected to power with a full majority in 2019, it was essential that Goa returned its two BJP MPs to the Lok Sabha. Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar addressed a convention of BJP booth workers here on Sunday through a video message from a hospital in the U.S. The meeting was chaired by BJP national president Amit Shah. “For the last two months, on account of ill health, I have been abroad for treatment and I could not meet you,” Mr. Parrikar said in Konkani. “But the treatment is working well and I hope that in the coming few weeks I will join you with more vigour.” My message to BJP Booth Karyakartas. pic.twitter.com/cgkfIY31cF— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) May 13, 2018last_img

India Bulids Towards Reforms

first_imgWhen Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a simple majority in the recent general elections, India’s business community was sure that a new reform era was about to begin. The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index (Sensex) rose 1,745 points (7.81%) in three sessions on the strength of opinion polls predicting a BJP victory even before the results were announced. It surged nearly 1,500 points on the day of the results.The first statement of the government’s intent was the Union Budget. But finance minister Arun Jaitley rolled out what was widely considered to be a very pedestrian effort. On July 11, a day after the Budget was made public, the Sensex stood at 25,024 following a single-day drop of 348 points. The peak of 26,100, recorded on July 7, now seems like another mountain to climb.What went wrong? The Budget was expected to mark a new direction for India and its economy — but it did nothing of the sort. “It’s not a radical Modi budget but a [former Congress finance minister P.] Chidambaram budget with saffron lipstick added [saffron is the house color of the BJP],” wrote economist Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar in The Times of India. “Many thought Jaitley’s maiden budget would produce a vision for five years, major reforms and some bitter medicine. Sorry, there was no great fiscal vision, only minor reform, and sugar-coated pills rather than bitter ones.”Commented Business Standard: “This was a Budget prepared by incumbent bureaucrats, not incoming politicians. This was a Budget that represented stale continuity when the need of the hour was demonstrable change.” Chidambaram himself took a shot at Jaitley, noting that the BJP had campaigned for an India free of the Congress Party, but proved that it couldn’t even produce a Budget free of the Congress Party.But Wharton management professor Jitendra Singh says the budget has done “a reasonable job” and provided “a good starting point for bolder steps” that may follow. “Critics, some of whom are quite vocal, need to take a step back and view matters with the appropriate perspective,” he notes.Saikat Chaudhuri, executive director of Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management, adds: “Like most people, I was a bit underwhelmed, as I did not see a marked shift or new impetus.” But he notes that critics should “give some benefit of doubt and grant more time, until the next budget, to see the contours of the Modi government’s new thrust. There simply wasn’t sufficient time to understand, analyze and plan for a new direction a month into assuming office.”The expectations placed on the new government’s budget “would be high to begin with,” says Wharton professor of finance Krishna Ramaswamy. “Their eye on a weak monsoon and unresolved global economic recovery uncertainties might have tempered their desire to make aggressive changes that might affect the deficit.” In particular, he adds he would have looked for “more positive measures” in the tax initiatives.Fiscal DeficitThe key elements of continuity from Chidambaram’s interim Budget are the fiscal deficit numbers. The February 2014 Budget had set the target for 2014-2015 at 4.1% of GDP. “The target of 4.1% fiscal deficit is indeed daunting,” said Jaitley in his Budget speech. “Difficult as it may appear, I have decided to accept this target as a challenge. One fails only when one stops trying. My roadmap for fiscal consolidation is a fiscal deficit of 3.6% for 2015-2016 and 3% for 2016-2017.”Not everybody thinks he can do it. “The Budget announcement lacks details on revenue and expenditure measures to lower the deficit, making it difficult to assess the likelihood that future deficit targets will be met,” according to a report by Moody’s Investor Service. Adds an analysis by India Ratings: “The Budget arithmetic is slightly optimistic.”The economy appears to be swinging into a growth phase, so Jaitley’s numbers may yet have a chance. On the other hand, the Iraq conflict, which has resulted in higher prices for oil (India’s main imports), and a very poor monsoon to date may send the calculations awry.With so many imponderables, there is some praise for Jaitley’s efforts. “I believe this is a prudent, courageous budget,” says Wharton professor of marketing Jagmohan S. Raju. “The Budget provides incentives in important sectors such as infrastructure and manufacturing, with plans to keep deficits under control.”Wharton professor of operations and information management Kartik Hosanagar praises the budget for providing a boost to manufacturing, saying that such a measure “is exactly what India needs right now.” He adds that more progress is needed on this front. “For example, the import tax on finished products was lower than that on parts, which hurt Indian manufacturers. They fixed that,” Hosanagar says. “They will need to do more, but it’s a good start.” He lists other priorities the Modi government must respond to: “India needs to address its deficit and reduce some of the mass subsidies, and offer subsidies in a more targeted fashion.”At the same time, it is important to note that Modi’s approach to developing Gujarat, the state where he served as chief minister from 2001-2014, “was not a flashy one,” notes Chaudhuri. “[Modi] spent years developing infrastructure and accumulating land, as well as streamlining policy and administrative processes, before being recognized for attracting industry and economic growth. So he may not be one to offer ‘quick fix’ type approaches, but will emphasize building fundamentals.”The Union Budget demonstrates a similar focus, adds Chaudhuri, pointing to moves including the formal sanction of the dedicated Eastern freight corridor with industrial parks around it, development of the Ganga waterway for transport, various cluster initiations in biotech and the completion of a number of ongoing, but slow-moving, infrastructure projects. He expects “a clearer vision” of the Modi government’s agenda to emerge over the coming months through policy modifications, culminating in the next budget.“Given the limited time since being elected and the current state of the economy, I don’t think big-bang reforms were quite possible yet,” says Pankaj Dinodia, CEO of the Delhi-based Dinodia Capital Advisors. “But the Budget has set the tone right and has all the ingredients to put India back on growth track.”Creating a CatalystManish Sabharwal, co-founder and chairman of staffing services firm TeamLease, notes that the role of the Union Budget is “not to set things on fire but to create the conditions for spontaneous combustion,” namely “a number of genetically diverse and statistically independent tries by all kinds of entrepreneurs — small, big, local, foreign.“In 1991, we wrongly defined reforms as purely fixing the sins of commission — what the state was doing wrong — but our big problems are the sins of omission — what the state is not doing,” Sabharwal notes. “The four big themes of this Budget — urbanization, infrastructure, education and entrepreneurship — are about the sins of omission. India should have become a very attractive destination [during] the global financial crisis, but we got a heavy dose of friendly fire. Of course, the finance minister could have done more and I am confident he will. But there is a difference between the list of ingredients and the recipe. This government understands that prioritization, sequencing and tradeoffs are the key to execution because they have a decisive mandate for five years.”But the problems many critics have with the Budget is not the recipe, but some specific ingredients. Take, for instance, retrospective taxation, which was used in the 2011-2012 Budget to impose a $2.2 billion liability on Vodafone after the company had won its case in the Supreme Court. The case has now gone for arbitration.It was expected that Jaitley’s budget would address the Vodafone issue, which has been a deterrent to foreign investment. Instead, the Budget states that “the sovereign right of the government to undertake retrospective legislation is unquestionable.” Thus, the Vodafone case is expected to drag on. Jaitley did, however, throw a bone to investors, noting that “this government will not ordinarily bring about any change retrospectively which creates a fresh liability.” Curiously, however, the Budget elsewhere introduced some minor taxation changes with retrospective effect.“It is not as if the current government has created all the vexing issues India finds itself beset with,” says Wharton’s Singh. “The rather pointless tamasha [Hindi for “theatrics”] with Vodafone, which has done grave damage to India’s image in the global business community, was not authored by the Modi government. Neither was the grim situation with the fiscal deficit.” Singh agrees the government could have done more with the budget, but he wants to give it more time to set a longer-term agenda for reforms.On the subject of retrospective taxation, Singh notes that he can understand why no government would want to tie its hands and rule out the possibility of changing the tax laws with retrospective effect. Even so, a better option for the Jaitley budget would have been to focus on how the Modi government does not intend to move toward retrospective changes in tax laws, he adds.As for the Vodafone matter, Singh says it would be best if the Modi government settles the issue quickly, as much damage has already been done as a result of what Singh calls an “embarrassing mistake.” He notes that “ignoring the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in favor of Vodafone, the incumbent government went after the company, with quite negative results overall. Settling the Vodafone matter would be a positive symbol of the direction the Modi government is moving in.”Clearly, the Vodafone controversy is a test case for foreign investors. “There has been no other single largest deterrent to foreign investment in India than the Vodafone case,” says Dinodia. “Every single company that has looked to set up operations in India has hired an advisory firm to do a deep dive into the Vodafone case and see the probability of them [ending up in a similar situation.] I think the expectations were high that the government would give a clear and direct answer with regard to retrospective amendments. While I don’t think they have sidestepped the issue, it will need to be addressed with further clarity in the next few months in order to bolster investor confidence. Just saying that it won’t happen in the future is sometimes not enough.”Higher FDI LimitsForeign investors are also being wooed by a move to raise the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in defense and insurance from 26% to 49%. Observers say it’s a good beginning, and potential Indian joint venture partners are keen to pursue projects. But the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) points out that U.S. companies may not be queuing up at India’s doors. This is only an incremental step, according to the group, and U.S. defense firms would not be enthusiastic about transferring sensitive technology or conducting innovative research unless they have ownership of the joint venture — i.e. a minimum 51% ownership.The USIBC has welcomed the increase in the insurance cap as a sea change. But the “full Indian management and control” stipulation in the Budget may not sit well with some foreign firms. At the same time, India is one of the most underinsured markets in the world — less than 5% of its population has life insurance coverage. While foreign insurance companies could be looking at further relaxations in the future, not all Indian firms are happy with the change. Insurance is a capital-intensive business; not all of them have the deep pockets to match foreign funding. They could be reduced to minority partners when the laws so permit.One other provision of the Budget could cheer foreign investors. “Foreign portfolio investors have invested more than $130 billion in India,” Jaitley said in his speech. “One of their concerns is uncertainty in taxation on account of characterization of their income. Moreover, the fund managers of these foreign investors remain outside India under the apprehension that their presence in India may have adverse tax consequences. With a view to put an end to this uncertainty and to encourage these fund managers to shift to India, I propose to provide that income arising to foreign portfolio investors from transaction in securities will be treated as capital gains.”Jaitley’s two-hour plus oration was the longest Budget speech on record. Among other notable provisions: The public sector banks will recapitalize, but the government will maintain 51% control. There is $33 million for a statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel — the country’s first home minister and deputy prime minister, known as the “Iron Man of India” — being built in Gujarat. On the revenue-garnering side, there have been steep increases in imposts on cigarettes and tobacco products and aerated waters. “These are healthy measures,” said Jaitley. India may be the first country to put carbonated drinks on the same platform as cigarettes.Waiting for the Fine PrintThe Budget also sets aside $1.66 billion for a fund to finance start-up ventures, but the details are unclear.Bharati Jacob, managing partner at VC firm Seedfund says: “It is very refreshing to hear words like entrepreneur, start-up, incubator and accelerator in a budget speech — outside of the word entrepreneur, all others were used for the first time. It is also great that the government has recognized entrepreneurs as a distinct class and also recognized the role they play in job creation, since jobs are the need of the hour for India. [But] I would like to see finer details [of the $1.66 billion] before getting excited about it. What is it meant for? How will it be deployed? If the government uses the money to become a venture investor, it will be disastrous. That job should be left to professional investors. On the other hand, if the government were to use this to create physical incubators — such as the Startup Village in Kochi — managed by professionals, we might see greater impact. So I would wait to see the fine print before getting excited.”E-commerce companies, too, are waiting for the fine print. Jaitley has allowed manufacturing companies to sell their products on e-commerce platforms without any additional approvals. But the issue of FDI in e-commerce remains in limbo.“The Finance Minister’s statement of allowing manufacturing units to sell their products through e-commerce platforms without any additional approvals is a positive statement of intent for the e-commerce industry,” says a spokesperson for Amazon India. “It recognizes the role of e-commerce companies in the growth of the manufacturing sector. Following this statement, we are hopeful of a more positive and liberalized policy on e-commerce in the near future aimed to help grow the manufacturing industry.”Jaitley’s initiative is not so much about e-commerce as manufacturing. “The manufacturing sector is of paramount importance for the growth of our economy. This sector has a multiplier effect on creation of jobs.” said Jaitley in his speech. According to a report by Barclay’s Capital: “The Budget appears to reflect the strong intent of the government to boost the manufacturing sector…. We expect specific action plans to follow in the next few months. The National Manufacturing Policy proposed by the previous government — but yet to be implemented — intended to boost manufacturing to 25% of GDP (from 15% currently) and create employment for 100 million workers in the next 10 years. If the current government sticks to similar targets, it could be a complete game-changer.”Laurent Demortier, CEO and managing director of Avantha Group company Crompton Greaves, says that the government should have done more. “If India needs to be a world-class manufacturing hub, the ecosystem has to facilitate that and incentives for innovation have a big role to play in actualizing this ambition,” he notes. “The big disappointment is the lack of incentives for R&D and innovation.”Job CreationThe manufacturing focus, as Jaitley points out, is necessary for job creation. The Budget also proposes a national program called Skill India, intended to provide training for younger workers, with a focus on employability and entrepreneurship. The proposal gets right to the heart of India’s greatest challenge and opportunity: While the world is aging, India is adding to its numbers in the working age group. The problem, however, is that workers’ skills don’t match the requirements of jobs that employers are seeking to fill.“Job creation is about fixing India’s five geographies of work — physical, sectoral, enterprise, education and legislative,” says Sabharwal. “Fixing the physical geography of work is about urbanization and infrastructure; there was a lot in the Budget about that. The sectoral geography of work is about increasing manufacturing employment … and reducing low productivity agricultural employment …, and there was a lot in the Budget about that.”According to Sabharwal, the enterprise geography of work is about more productive companies. “Today, our 62 million enterprises only translate into 900,000 companies. Of these, only 7,500 have a paid-up capital of more than $2 million,” he notes. “There was a lot about improving the ease of doing business and giving access to credit to entrepreneurs via small banks and the start-up fund.” He adds that the education area also had significant representation.The missing piece, he says, “was probably action around the legislative geography of work. But action on labor law reform began many days ago on the website of the central ministry of labor and in states like Rajasthan. So, overall, I think the Budget was consistent with their election manifesto and what most people believe is needed. Obviously the magic lies in execution. But, as Victor Hugo said, there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Skilling and employment at the heart of the policy are ideas whose time has come.”Wharton’s Hosanagar notes that the government has demonstrated its willingness to take bold and decisive steps, some of which will be symbolic of the measure of its commitment. He points out the fare increase in the railway budget that preceded the Union Budget as one among “several unpopular measures.” A $340 million allocation to clean up the Ganges River is consistent with the priorities Modi outlined in his election campaign, he adds, although he describes the allocation for a Vallabh Bhai Patel statue as “populist.”Cleaning up the Ganges might be a more welcome action and offer a sensible long-run benefit to all, according to Ramaswamy. “It would have been best to show the right way by leaving the statue-raising to privately-funded groups,” he says.Singh believes that the Ganges cleanup plan is symbolic in many ways. “Indeed, the Ganges can best be viewed as a symbol of much that has gone wrong in India in recent decades, with words sometimes becoming substitutes for decisive action, while serious problems linger beneath the surface,” he says. “We need to see a cleaned-up Ganges, and that will have a salutary effect. This is worth repeating: The importance of symbols in any change program cannot be overstated. This could well prove to be a visionary example of change leadership, though only if the desired results are achieved.”While there is no dearth of critics, Sabharwal and many others are willing to give Jaitley another shot. “We believe a single Budget or one year’s efforts cannot bring the economy out of the low-growth phase; a concentrated effort will be required,” says India Ratings chief economist Devendra Pant. Adds Dinodia: “Hopefully this was a good trailer to a great movie that will be shown in the next full Budget to be presented in February 2015.”As Jaitley himself told the media in Delhi: “This is the beginning of our journey, not the end.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Australian girls supreme in gymnastics

first_imgAustralia made it a grand double in team gymnastics when their women took top honours at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex on Tuesday.The Aussie men had reigned supreme in the corresponding event on the first day of the Commonwealth Games and it was the turn of the girls a day later.Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan, Emily Little, Lauren Mitchell and Georgia Wheeler teamed up to add another gold to the Aussie tally. It was a similar scenario to the one in the men’s team event with England and Canada taking silver and bronze respectively.India – represented by Debjani Samanta, Priti Das, Meenakshi and Dipa Karmakar – finished eighth among as many teams. The difference between the top two teams was 5.5 points as Imogen Cairns, Laura Edwards, Jocelyn Hunt, Becky Wing and Charlotte Lindsley settled for silver.Catherine Dion, Kristine Jana Ann Klarenbach, Emma Leigh Willis, Gabrielle May and Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette claimed bronze for Canada with 154.750 points.Malaysia, Scotland, Singapore and New Zealand finished fourth to seventh. None of the Indians qualified for the individual all-round final, but Dipa has made it as a reserve.Among individual apparatus, the Australians came first in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercises while England were best in the beam. Mitchell was the best individual on show with a tally of 56.950, followed by Little (53.600) and England’s Cairns (53.500).last_img read more

No positive dope test is heartening

first_imgWith almost two-thirds of the events over in the Commonwealth Games and India adding to the medals tally, one thing which has not been spoken about is dope.Less than a month before the Games began, Indian athletes were in the news for the wrong reasons as almost a dozen of them from various disciplines has tested positive for MHA (Methylhexanamine) Few knew what this stuff was all about since it was added on the list of banned substances by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) only in January this year.At home, when wrestlers like Rajiv Tomar, swimmer Richa Mishra and even shot putter Saurabh Vij tested positive for MHA, the feeling was disgusting. The world of sports is made ugly by any form of doping and for the host nation to be caught before the Games was distressing.On Sunday, Commonwealth Games Federation boss Mike Fennell answered questions on dope tests being conducted during the Games. He said approximately 850 random tests have been conducted at the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), a WADA-accredited lab in the Capital, and 600 results have come out. The surprising part is, not one test has been reported positive.At a time when people are still critical of the Games, and rightly so, because of the ticketing, transportation and food problems for volunteers, people are not aware how the people in the lab are also working overtime.India has a dubious history of sorts in the Commonwealth Games and as far back as 1990 in Auckland, a weightlifter called Subrata Kumar Paul had flunked a dope test.advertisementIndia athletes also shamed the nation during the 2004 Athens Olympics when women weightlifters were caught in tests just before the Games. I was scared that in a sport like weightlifting, the Indians would be under the scanner because of their dubious past.To have been penalised $500,000 by the International Weightlifting Federation was shocking. The Indian body had to virtually beg, borrow and steal before paying a sizeable portion so that India could compete in the Games. Obviously, nobody in India wanted to take a chance with dope and athletes were subjected to stringent testing.However, there was a school of thought which said that a WADA-accredited lab being used for checking athletes was wrong. As the hosts celebrate the rich medal haul, what needs to be highlighted is how the Indians have been fair while competing. At least till now.last_img read more

CJ Cansino slowly getting his groove back for UST

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Totally focused Read Next The 6-foot-2 combo guard believes it’s only a matter of time before he returns to his old self and continue his strong play pre-injury last year when he became a rookie sensation in Season 81.“I think there’s a certain fear still because of what happened but that’s all in my mind,” said Cansino, who averaged 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists last season. “But my slashing capability is still there.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Cansino’s season-best followed up his 12-point outing in an 84-78 win over the Fighting Maroons.“I was frustrated during the first games because I thought that I’ve done everything I can,” said Cansino in Filipino. “I didn’t take breaks, I was going to my therapy and playing basketball every day.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice“I thought I was at 100 percent but my play wasn’t translating to what I was expecting. Everything has been a learning process and that I won’t stop when things are getting comfortable.”Cansino, who’s coming off an ACL tear in his freshman year, played more than 25 minutes against the Bulldogs and his play was instrumental in UST getting a 7-5 record to stay at the top half of the tournament. MOST READ DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Photo from UAAPANTIPOLO CITY—CJ Cansino has been struggling for the most part of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament but he has seemed to have regained his form as of late, helping University of Santo Tomas pick up back-to-back wins over National University on Saturday and University of the Philippines on Wednesday.The 19-year-old sophomore fired a season-high 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting that went with five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Growling Tigers’ 88-76 rout over the Bulldogs at Ynares Center here.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Becoming his own man Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical This jewelry designer is also an architect Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ View commentslast_img read more

2015 Watch Guide: Week 1

first_imgI love midweek games for one reason and one reason only. We get to enjoy the weekend stress-free. Here’s this weekend’s schedule courtesy of Ryan Hartwig.Weekend Watch Guide – Week 1If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

Robben: I could retire after this season

first_imgArjen Robben Robben: I could retire after this season Last updated 1 year ago 17:46 11/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Arjen Robben Bayern Munich Getty Bayern München Anderlecht v Bayern München Borussia M’gladbach v Bayern München UEFA Champions League Bundesliga The Bayern Munich star is out of contract at the end of the season and he would not rule out bringing an end to his career at the end of the campaign Arjen Robben says his future is yet to be decided, but admits retiring this season is a possibility.The 33-year-old winger retired from international duty in October as Netherlands’ 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign ended in failure, while his contract at Bayern Munich expires at the end of the season.FCB 1/2 to beat Gladbach Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Robben picked up an injury in Wednesday’s Champions League win at Anderlecht, but is not expected to be out for long, according to coach Jupp Heynckes.The ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid star has suffered consistent muscle issues in recent years, however, and he admits the end could be coming soon, but is open to committing to a new deal in Bavaria.”The future is open!” Robben told Kicker. “It may be over after this season, something new may come or I’ll play three more years at Bayern. Everything is possible. .”The appreciation between Bayern and I has always been there, from both sides. I know what I have at this club, and I always say that.”I just look to the next game, not beyond. I want to try to have fun as long as I can and play football at a high level, I do not know how long that will go on.”Robben is currently in his ninth season with Bayern, where he has won six Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals and the Champions League.last_img read more

10 months ago​Arsenal quoted enormous asking price for Lille winger Pepe

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say ​Arsenal quoted enormous asking price for Lille winger Pepeby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal have been quoted a fee of roughly €80 million if they want to sign Nicolas Pepe.The Lille winger is a hot prospect from Ligue 1 who has been in impressive form this season.Gunners boss Unai Emery does want to sign a winger to add another dimension to his team.But Lille sporting director Luis Campos said to Telefoot: “I hope he will stay this winter. We’ll do everything to keep him.”All the top clubs in the world have their eyes on him, and that’s normal, but the president has been clear. The idea is for him to continue at the club.”In contrast, with my experience in football, I would say that if a club arrives with a big number and can convince the player… I would sell him for €80 million.”That’s the price tag, but you’d have to convince the player and he’s been a big part of us being in second place.” last_img read more

STRONG & KIND Bars: Protein-Packed Workout Fuel

first_img The Best American Liqueur How to Pair Oysters with Martinis Editors’ Recommendations Ever crave a post-workout bar after an evening at the gym, playing basketball or riding your bike around town that doesn’t involve what feels like a gunky chewy mass of processed ingredients you can’t identify? The folks at KIND — the snack company that makes products like snack bars and grain clusters with flax seeds, that began in 2004 with only eight bar varieties and now has 22 bars and six snack clusters. They believe that their customers deserve snacks that are both healthy and tasty, and so do we. They came up with a bar that has the tagline, “bold flavor. 10g protein.” — now who wouldn’t want that?We sure wanted a taste of these bars, aptly called the STRONG & KIND bars. Plus they have everything you health conscious folks out there want: they’re non GMO and have no whey, no gluten, low sodium and no MSG. What could such a bar possibly be made of, you ask? A host of all-natural ingredients, like almonds, pumpkin seeds, honey rice flower, hemp seeds and sea salt. The five varieties even stay true to their names; Honey Mustard has actual honey and mustard seed; Honey Smoked BBQ has garlic powder and distilled vinegar, just like real BBQ sauce; Roasted Jalepeño uses actual jalapeño chilis, Hickory Smoked has natural smoke flavor; and Thai Sweet Chili has jalapeño chili and turbinado sugar.Is there any way that STRONG & KIND bars can get any better? you must be thinking. Actually, there is. Oklahoma City Thunder forward and NBA All-Star Kevin Durant is a fan, and his promo pic for the bars cleverly reads “Being KIND isn’t a sign of weakness — you gotta be KIND to be STRONG.” Now that’s something we like to hear. So next time you need a snack that’s all-natural, tasty and good for you. Pick up a STRONG & KIND bar.For more information, visit kindsnacks.com. Welcome to the Botanist Bar, Canada’s Most Extraordinary Cocktail Bar A Brief History of Bubble Tea and the Best Flavors to Try How to Thrift Like a Pro: Tips for Making the Most of Secondhand Stylelast_img read more

Two women commit suicide in separate incidents in UP

first_imgBanda: Two women allegedly committed suicide in separate incidents in Banda district, police said on Monday. The first incident took place in Pangara village on Sunday, where a 20-year-old woman, identified as Aarti, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan of her room over being scolded by her mother, Additional Superintendent of Police Lal Bharat Kumar Pal said. In the second incident, which took place in Murwal village under the Baberu police station area on Sunday, Seema, 26, allegedly set herself ablaze after she had a tiff with her husband on phone. She had come to her stay at her parents ‘place and was to return to her in-laws’ by Tuesday, Pal said. Police said the bodies have been handed over to their family and investigation in both the cases is underway.last_img read more

QuickSketch of Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard

first_imgMONTREAL – A quick sketch of Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard, who is vying for a second mandate as premier when Quebecers go to the polls Oct. 1.Age: 61Born: June 26, 1957, in Montreal.Job before politics: Neurosurgeon.Education: Earned a doctorate in medicine in 1979 and neurosurgery degree in 1985 from Universite de Montreal, a specialist certificate from College des medecins du Quebec and a specialist certificate from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1985.Professional career: Strategic adviser in health and in life sciences with Secor-KPMG; senior follow in health law at McGill University; head of the department of neurosurgery at St-Luc Hospital from 1989 to 1992, and again at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke from 1996 to 2003.Political career: Embarked on a career in provincial politics in 2003; served as health minister between 2003 and 2008; elected Liberal leader in March 2013; won byelection in December 2013; became premier in April 2014.Current riding: Roberval, about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City.Quote: “We need to bring a team that is going to be both experienced and made of new people. We’ve always renewed ourselves at strategic moments. This is one of those moments.” — Couillard as he recently announced the controversial candidacy of former NHL player Enrico Ciccone to replace longtime Liberal backbencher Francois Ouimet.last_img read more

Metallica Donates Prize Money To Charity

first_imgMetallica have announced they will donate their prize money from the Polar Music Prize to three charities.The band were awarded the $130,000 prize in Stockholm by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on June 14. 50% of the prize will go to the Stockholm City Mission, while 25% will go to The World Childhood Foundation, and the remainder will go to the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.“Our primary thing for the last year has been, all over where Metallica goes to, to support local food banks,” said drummer Lars Ulrich. “We write checks in every city. We just played a 39-day European tour where we wrote checks to the local food banks.”Last year, Metallica established their new charity, the All Within My Hands Foundation, dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger and other critical local services.last_img read more

Protracted conflicts creating semipermanent refugees warns top UN official

4 October 2010Warning that “never-ending” conflicts are creating new semi-permanent refugee populations, a top United Nations official today called on governments to expand their efforts to ensure protection for the world’s 43 million forcibly displaced people. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres noted that over half of the refugees that the UN refugee agency, known as UNHCR, is responsible for today are stuck in protracted situations – more than 5.5 million. Most of them are in the developing world where four fifths of the world’s refugees reside.Last year was the worst in two decades for the voluntary repatriation of refugees, with only about 250,000 returning home – about one quarter of the annual average over the past 10 years.“There is a simple explanation for this. The changing nature and growing intractability of conflict make achieving and sustaining peace more difficult,” Mr. Guterres told the opening of the annual meeting of UNHCR’s governing Executive Committee in Geneva.“As a result of never-ending conflicts, we are witnessing the creation of a number of quasi-permanent, global refugee populations, of which Afghans and Somalis are the most obvious,” he said. “Afghan refugees are dispersed across 69 other countries – a third of all States in the world… [Meanwhile in Somalia] there seems no real prospect of peace… I do not believe there is any group of refugees as systematically undesired, stigmatized and discriminated against.” The High Commissioner appealed to countries to broaden their support for those affected by such situations and the principles of international protection on which his agency’s work is based. “We need to increase international solidarity and burden-sharing,” he said. “A better understanding and recognition by the international community of the efforts of host countries is absolutely necessary.”One tangible and effective example of burden-sharing, he noted, is resettlement, which enables refugees who cannot find safety or a durable solution in their first country of asylum to take up residence in another country.Since June 2008, 12 new countries have established resettlement programmes and the total number worldwide now stands at 24, with the United States, Australia, and Canada in the lead. “But a huge gap remains between resettlement needs and resettlement capacity,” Mr. Guterres stated, noting that while as many as 800,000 refugees need resettlement, the number of places available annually is only around 10 per cent of that. “Only with resettlement and voluntary return maximized, and a more equitable sharing of the responsibility for hosting refugees, can we hope to see more receptivity to local integration.” Mr. Guterres also touched on the needs of other groups of forcibly displaced people beyond just refugees. These include people fleeing natural disasters, the 27 million people who today are displaced inside their own countries due to conflict, and the estimated 12 million people worldwide who are stuck in the legal limbo of statelessness. read more

Swiss to get tough on Sri Lankan refugee status

“Anybody who returns risks being treated like an LTTE sympathiser. They will be taken in for questioning at the airport and most likely tortured and imprisoned,” Anna Annor, vice-president of Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils, told swissinfo.ch.She claims that many prisoners of war from the 2009 war have still not been released.A 47-page report released by the SEM on Tuesday – based on visits to Sri Lanka in January and February – testifies that conditions have improved since its last analysis in 2014.Poverty and lack of economic and career prospects were cited as the biggest problem in conflict-affected north of the country. The report acknowledged that individuals entering the country from abroad are investigated and those who left the country illegally (by sea using the services of human traffickers) can be denounced and fined for violating immigration laws. Swiss authorities have announced that they will apply more stringent criteria for granting Sri Lankan nationals – mostly ethnic Tamils – refugee status. They believe that the situation on the ground has improved since the 2009 civil war, swissinfo.ch reported.“Today we acknowledge that considerable progress has been made in the area of human rights, for example in the freedom of expression and assembly,” the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said in a statement. However, the authorities acknowledged that “some gaps remain, especially in the area of human rights” and as a result individual circumstances will be taken into consideration while examining asylum requests.At the end of May 2016, 1,316 asylum applications from Sri Lankan nationals were pending at the SEM. In total, over 5,000 Sri Lankans have been taken in by Switzerland, of which 3,674 have been given refugee status. A total of 1,613 have been admitted provisionally and potentially face the threat of expulsion. “Therefore, more restrictive conditions now apply for recognising the refugee status of journalists, human rights activists and opposition politicians.” “Although police violence is known to be a general problem, no more recent information is available on ill treatment upon entry at the airport in Colombo,” the report states. The SEM also added that the need to protect those with a link to the vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist rebel group of ethnic Tamils, was decreasing since the end of the bitter war in 2009 between the Sri Lankan army and LTTE for control of northern, Tamil-dominated part of the country, in which the latter were defeated. During the visit of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to Switzerland in March, there was talk of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the area of economic cooperation. The trade between Sri Lanka and Switzerland is worth around CHF300 million. A “migration partnership” was also agreed during the visit whose technical details ought to be finalised soon.Annor claims that Switzerland’s keenness to trade with Sri Lanka is affecting its stance on the human rights situation in the country.“The Swiss government needs to be neutral on the issue instead of supporting Colombo. It is all about business,” she said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Top Girls opens Friday at MIWSFPA

What would you sacrifice to get to the top?That’s the question at the heart of Top Girls, a contemporary play that takes a critical look at women and their relationship to power and success.First produced in 1982 and last seen in Niagara at the Shaw Festival in 2015, Top Girls by playwright Caryl Churchill will have an eight-day run from Friday, March 2 to Saturday, March 10 at Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.The production is being presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts and is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Danielle Wilson. Top Girls tells the story of Marlene, a career-driven woman in 1980s London whose only interest is business success.The plot takes Marlene to a dinner party with five women from history, literature and art, and as the drinks begin to flow, so do their stories of family, adventure and loss, which overlap in witty and humorous dialogue. Throughout the play, we also meet the real-life women in Marlene’s life who struggle to rise to the top of the corporate ladder, but are held back by lack of opportunity and the harsh competitiveness of the business world.Top Girls examines themes that are extremely topical such as the challenges of working women who choose self-promotion and career over motherhood, family and domesticity. It highlights the contradictions between feminism and capitalism.In addition to Wilson directing, MIWSFPA students behind the play include Michelle Mohammed as assistant director (who is writing about the development of the show in a dedicated blog), Alicia Marie Bender as stage manager, Whiney Braybrook-Byl as assistant stage manager and performers Helena Ciuciura, Emma McCormick, Samantha Mastrella, Meryl Ochoa, Manchari Paranthahan, Catherine Tait and Kristina Ojaperv. Community professionals involved in the production include set designer Nigel Scott, costume designer Kelly Wolf, lighting designer Jennifer Jimenez and music composer Max Holten-Andersen. Jane Gooderham is the dialect coach.Top Girls runs Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m., and Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. There is also a special presentation for high school students on Friday, March 9 at 11:30 a.m.Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, $10 for groups and $5 through the eyeGo high school program. They’re available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office online, at 905-688-0722 and via email at boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca read more

Cheer up July 14th is the happiest day of the year

first_img 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. The formula  Exams are over, school's out and youngsters have not yet grown restless in the long summer holiday Exams are over, school’s out and youngsters have not yet grown restless in the long summer holidayCredit:Frederick Florin AFP With tricky Brexit negotiations ahead, gloomy economic forecasts and no chance of a Brit winning Wimbledon there may seem little to smile about.But, according to experts today is the happiest day of the year with the UK reaching peak cheerfulness thanks to the good weather, summer holidays and light nights.Dr Cliff Arnall, who coined the term Blue Monday in 2005 to describe the most miserable day of the year – the third Monday in January – used a similar formula to find out when the UK is at its most content.He discovered that July 14th is when well-being soars, as the end of the working week coincides with the beginning of the summer holidays and long warm days allow people to spend more time with friends and family outdoors. The new formula was commissioned by Jury’s Inn who have developed a Stay Happy Guide for guests. Dr Arnall said: “The start of the school holidays has a positive effect on the household. Family stress can be significantly reduced as the usual hassle of getting children ready for school then joining the rush hour school traffic stops during the holiday period. Key for the formula  Teenagers who have taken exams in May and June are also feeling much calmer by July as schools and colleges close for the summer and results are over a month away.The cabin fever associated with the end of the six week break is also many weeks away and children have not had enough time to get bored and restless. “This reduction in traffic congestion also benefits people without children, or whose children have grown up, as the roads are clearer and car trips are more relaxed.”Previous studies have found that happiness rockets on Fridays, as levels of stress hormone cortisol fall gradually throughout the day with the approach of the weekend. The formula  Key for the formula  The new formula factors in emotional connectedness, kindness, health, being true to yourself, calmness, uncertainty, friends, family and fun. Crucially it does not include financial wealth after several studies have shown that money does not make people happier.“The world today is a very different place to 2005,” said Dr Arnall, 51, a from Brecon, Wales, a former lecturer at Cardiff University who now runs happiness and confidence sessions for organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions and the NHS.“We are now in a time where massive socio political national and international changes force us to examine where we are heading.“The formula addresses the core human fundamental issues head on to help people build and maintain their happiness and well-being in spite of a very uncertain world.”This year’s Blue Monday, which fell on January 16, was deemed to be the most depressing ever because of a string of celebrity deaths, anxiety of Brexit and fears about the Donald Trump presidency in the US. The gloom was compounded by bad weather and Christmas debts.last_img read more

Man admits murdering his brother by setting him alight on New Years

first_imgLogan’s father David tried to get into the living room but was beaten back by the smoke and flames. After he escaped from the house he and a neighbour rescued Miss Williams from the kitchen. She suffered burns to her hands, arms and face, which has left scarring and has undergone surgery four times.She later described her boyfriend as a sensitive, kind and funny “teddy bear”, who had done well at university and wanted to join the police and become a detective.Shelagh McCall QC, defending, said her client had shown “wicked recklessness” but did not intend to kill his brother. He was said to have “felt physically sick at the whole thing”.She added that he had “unusual” personality traits and a lack of understanding of the impact of his actions on others. blair logan “The accused then ran from the living room and went out the front door. Catherine Logan slammed the door behind him, shouting something like ‘get the hell out of my house’, still not knowing who it was. Blair Logan claimed he only wanted to ‘maim’ his brotherCredit:PA Rebecca Williams was seriously injured in the attack that killed her boyfriendCredit:PA Rebecca williams The attack was said to be in retaliation for an incident at the house when his brother had punched him. Logan also told police they had not spoken since the death of their grandmother in 2013. cameron logan “When she turned back towards the living room she saw ‘orange and crackling’ and the room turning black. She also heard Cameron and Rebecca screaming.”She tried to open the door to the room without success and ran out of the house to ask neighbours for help.Miss Williams managed to crawl out of the room into the kitchen, and put her head in the fridge in a bid to protect herself from the fire. The fire damaged family houseCredit:PA 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. On the night of the fire, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend, who lived in Glasgow, had arranged to stay over at the family home and his mother set up an inflatable mattress for them in the living room. They returned from a Hogmanay party at around 4am and went to sleep.At around 7.15am, Mrs Logan was woken by Gomez whining and when she went downstairs she saw a figure in dark clothing standing inside the living room.Rebecca also saw a man in the room, holding something that was on fire, and she and Cameron both screamed.Mr Prentice told the court: “Catherine Logan then heard Cameron roar in surprise, shock and fear, before the accused made a jerking motion with his arm as if throwing something. After his arrest, he told police: “I didn’t want to kill him.” Alex Prentice, prosecuting, said the accused admitted pouring petrol over his sibling “with the intention of maiming or crippling” him.Logan, a Tesco store assistant, told detectives he took the petrol from a church garage a month and a half before the fire and stored it in his bedroom.The court heard that the brothers had a “hostile” relationship and searches of the killer’s computer found he had researched burn injuries. cameron logan Cameron Logan’s parents, David and CathyCredit:PA A man has admitted murdering his brother by pouring petrol on him and setting it alight on New Year’s Day.Blair Logan doused his younger brother Cameron, a 23-year-old psychology student, in fuel as he lay in bed with his 25-year-old girlfriend Rebecca Williams, who was seriously injured.Logan, 27, a solicitor’s son, is facing a life sentence after pleading guilty to killing his brother and attempting to murder Ms Williams, a radio journalist, at the family home in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire.His parents David and Catherine were here at the time and had to be treated for smoke inhalation. The family’s dog, Gomez, also died in the fire.Logan was also charged with endangering the lives of his parents, who were at the High Court in Glasgow to hear his guilty pleas. The judge Lady Scott asked for a social work report and will sentence Logan on August 11last_img read more

New wetsuits act as shark invisibility cloaks

first_imgThere have been many methods and products to help you escape from an encounter with a shark, from underwater shark cattle prods, to magnetic repellents. Whether or not these methods truly work, there is one underlying common thread: the sharks still see you and know you’re there. Now, however, with a new camouflage wetsuit, the sharks may not even know you exist.Scientists from the University of Western Australia and designers from Shark Attack Mitigation Systems, collaborated to create two new wetsuits that are designed to act as something of an invisibility cloak to sharks. Rather than employing fancy technology like cattle prods or magnetic pulses, the two suits simply use nature to their advantage. The suit seen above, dubbed Elude, sports a color and pattern that takes advantage of sharks’ color blindness, so ideally a shark just won’t even notice you’re in the vicinity. The second suit, seen below — dubbed Diverter — features white and dark blue stripes in an attempt to mimic nature’s own color scheme and pattern that is intended to ward off predators.In theory, the design of the suits are sound. The Elude suit makes sense because, obviously, if a shark doesn’t know you’re there, then you can’t be targeted. The Diverter suit, however, is slightly more complicated, but is founded on an idea just as sound. In nature, certain colors and patterns are a prey’s only protection. Bright orange stripes may alert a predator to stay away from a fish because those colors mean the fish is poisonous. This is the theory the Diverter follows.Currently, the designs have been tested around tiger sharks, but have not yet been tested worn on humans. However the initial results were reportedly so promising that the suits were already put up for sale. If the lack of human testing, or testing on only one kind of shark (though it is a shark that is known to be aggressive toward humans), seems a little worrisome, the suits are continuing testing this summer with great whites.last_img read more

Man killed after horrific collision on slopes of French Alpine resort

first_img 24,835 Views By AFP Image: Shutterstock/cynoclub Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Mar 13th 2017, 2:31 PM Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3284825 File image of a ski slope in the French Alps. center_img 13 Comments Share Tweet Email Man killed after horrific collision on slopes of French Alpine resort The Italian died and a British tourist was left seriously injured. A 52-YEAR-OLD Italian skier died and a British holidaymaker was left seriously injured after a violent collision on a gentle blue piste in a French Alpine resort at the weekend, emergency services said.The Italian was knocked unconscious and could not be revived after he skied into the 33-year-old Briton yesterday in Les Deux Alpes in an area used both by beginners and more experienced downhillers.The British skier was taken to a nearby hospital in Grenoble where he is being treated for head injuries, the mountain rescue service in the local Isere region said.The French Alps have been hit by a series of avalanches in recent weeks following heavy snowfall.© – AFP 2017Read: Death toll after fire at Guatemalan children’s shelter rises to 40Read: Dutch PM says he won’t apologise to Turkey over escalating diplomatic row Monday 13 Mar 2017, 2:31 PM File image of a ski slope in the French Alps. Image: Shutterstock/cynoclublast_img read more