Government makes DMK pay for its greed

first_imgWith the landgrab tsunami gaining momentum, DMK leaders are being sent to jail one after the other. No wonder, when party chief M Karunanidhi cries foul, he finds no takers.Jayalalithaa’s anti-landgrab drive is forcing the DMK leadership to run for cover.Among those put behind the bar include four former ministers. In fact, the quartet – Veerapandi Arumugham of Salem, Ponmudy of Villupuram, K N Nehru of Trichy and N K K P Raja of Erode – were no ordinary cabinet ministers. They were the face of the party in their respective region. Each one was presiding over a fiefdom.The landgrab tsunami has rattled the party’s southern satrap M K Alagiri so much that he isn’t frequenting Madurai as much as he used to. The Union minister’s trusted lieutenants – henchmen in public parlance – were the first to face the music. The indications are clear that the noose is tightening around him. As the czarina continues to keep the heat on the DMK, the patriarch wants everyone to believe that an ‘undeclared emergency’ is prevailing in the state. With the second line leadership either in prison or waiting for their turn, the party apparatus remains crippled. More than anything, this has helped the diva to reinforce the image of the DMK as a party of the land mafia. But for a fortunate few, the who’s who of the party are behind the bars.Already, the gargantuan 2G spectrum scam has robbed the sheen off the DMK and the Karunanidhi clan. The political discourse of the octogenarian has changed into that of an apologist of nepotism and corruption.advertisementHerein lies the victory of Jayalalithaa, who has been consciously denying any political space for the old fox lest he bounces back.True, there are charges that only cases against the DMK functionaries are being pursued by the police. With the DMK leadership suffering from a huge credibility gap, there is none to shed a tear for the present plight of the party and its leaders.Rather surprisingly, there is a sense of relief among the people.”There is no selective targeting of DMK functionaries. We go by the law. It is not as though we are on a witch hunt. Only cases involving the DMK leaders get wider publicity and we can’t help it. The special cells constituted to deal with landgrab cases have restored the faith in the system. The number of complaints that have poured in proves this,” says N K Mayilvahanan, Salem Police Superintendent. To his credit, he was the first one to restore a prime property usurped by a DMK leader to the original owners – two women. Citing this, he shut the mouths of doubting Thomases about the efficacy of the anti- landgrab drive in getting justice.However, there are contrarian views on the political fallout of the Czarina’s drive. Whether the cases would be taken to their logical end remains a question as it demands the necessary political will. Moreover, whether these cases could stand the test of law is also hotly debated.However, it is undoubtedly a setback for the DMK. But, observers feel that this could give it a fresh lease of life by helping it to regroup. Somewhere down the line, it can play the victim card.These cases will be fast tracked and tried by special courts.Now, the landgrab charge has come to haunt the patriarch himself. The imposing party headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, and his Gopalapuram residence have come under cloud. The AIADMK government has made it clear in the Assembly that legal steps would be initiated to recover the public land occupied in these two places. Though Karunanidhi maintains that the issue has been settled, the controversy refuses to die. Yet, there is a lurking suspicion as to whether Jayalalthaa is indulging in vendetta politics. For, while it was in power the DMK too had created irritants for her.The first 100 days of her rule have been marked by a determination to attack the DMK. The extent to which she goes in her onslaught will be under scrutiny.===Cornered in his own bastion Summons have been served on DMK strongman and Union Minister M K Alagiri! He has to present himself before the Madurai District Collector on September 16 in connection with the violations in the construction of the Daya Engineering College, a dream project of the satrap through his ‘M K Alagiri Educational Trust’. Sounds incredible! Well, this could be the first such case of a District Collector issuing summons to a Union Minister. The Collector is none other than U Sagayam, a no- nonsense IAS officer, who is proving to be the nemesis of the DMK leader.advertisementThe summons has been issued as per section 1 of The Madras Revenue Summons Act, 1869.Prior to that, he had inspected the site and ascertained the facts following a complaint from a farmers’ association.Apart from Alagiri, his wife Kanthi and son Durai Dayanithi have also been directed to appear before the Collector. The charge against them is that they have committed offences under the TN Irrigation Works Act 1959 by constructing the college on an agricultural wetland, affecting poor farmers, besides destroying irrigation channels from a local tank serving cultivation in Sivarakottai near Madurai.The summons has Alagiri in serious trouble.Ever since Sagayam assumed office shortly before the Assembly poll, at the intervention of the Election Commission, he has been giving sleepless nights to the DMK patriarch’s elder son. Part of the New Triumvirate of Madurai along with Asra Garg, the SP and City Police Commissioner Kannappan, he contained cash flow during the election. As a Sub- Collector he is known for sealing the manufacturing unit of a cola giant near Kancheepuram. Will Alagiri appear or attempt to circumvent it? ===She dares to be bold yet again Shruti Hassan has set tongues wagging in Kollywood once again. If it was her daring bikini act in her debut movie ‘Luck ‘ that had earlier grabbed the public’s attention , this time the buzz is about her reported lip- lock scene with national award winning actor Dhanush – the son- in- law of matinee icon Rajnikant.Though she is yet to make her mark as an actress, Shruti, born to Kamal Hassan and Sarika, has always been in the limelight. Her popularity on the celebrity circuit too has never been on the wane. Well, she is no different from any other glam girl. The buzz in Kollywood, however, is whether fans would get to see the lip- lock in the upcoming movie ‘3’. So far there has been no denial of the kissing scene.Even for sporting the bikini, she had remained nonchalant saying it was like yet any other scene.None need to teach her the art of being in the news. ===AS usual the Congress has chosen to swim against the tide in Tamil Nadu. When popular opinion is ranged against capital punishment, the Youth Congress organised a protest fast on Friday to oppose leniency to the three convicts in the Rajiv assassination case. To sound credible, they brought a few people from the families of those who died along with Rajiv in the blast on that fateful day.Sadly the Congress finds itself isolated as even its ally, the DMK, has called for clemency. In the face of the clamour for commutation, the Congress’ voice has found no resonance. Ironically, a party legislator remained silent when the Assembly passed a unanimous resolution seeking pardon for the trio.last_img read more

MS Dhoni will be desperate to show he is still a modern giant

first_imgMS Dhoni is not finished yet. Yes, he has totalled only 28 runs in three innings for Rising Pune Supergiant but he would be desperate to show he is still a modern day giant in the limited-overs formats. (Dhoni champion in ODIs, not sure if he’s a good T20 player: Ganguly to India Today)There is no doubt Dhoni is under pressure. He is bound to be, having scored only one half-century for RPS in 17 matches. To make matters worse, he is no longer captain of an IPL team for the first time in a decade and from the outside, it seems like he is not enjoying his stint in a set-up where he does not have decision-making responsibilities. (POINTS TABLE)There is no point speculating what his role in the team is. Common sense would tell you that the team management gets him to do exactly what Virat Kohli has been able to make him do after Dhoni stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain: bat higher up the order and explode.Steve Smith, who took over as RPS skipper from Dhoni, said he was not worried about his predecessor’s form: “I am not bothered about his (Dhoni’s) form. He is a class player, and we have just played three games, so he will be fine (with the bat) in the tournament.”They are diplomatic words but do not really mean much. Dhoni is key to the RPS team which relies on a blend of solid batting and powerful hitting. MSD is capable of both. In such a scenario, if Smith is not worried about Dhoni’s current run of scores, then he would be a careless captain. And as we have seen, Smith is anything but careless and callous. (Dhoni should try and play his natural game: Lee to India Today)advertisementMany feel Dhoni has never been a great T20 cricketer anyway. That while he is undoubtedly an ODI champion, his T20 stats have left much to be desired. (Gujarat Lions vs RPS preview)But is that really the case? From 2008 to 2015, Dhoni amassed 2987 runs including 15 fifties for Chennai Super Kings, who he led to two IPL titles. His least productive year for CSK as a batsman was in 2010 when he managed 287 runs.Besides, Dhoni has an overall average of 38.81 and his strike rate is handsome: 137.97.Just when the world felt Dhoni was at the dusk of his career, he rattled England, first with a powerful hundred, his first in ODIs since 2013 and then his maiden T20 International half-century, nearly a decade since his debut.No, Dhoni is not done yet. For years, he kept the team’s needs ahead of him, for years he batted down the order to try and finish games so others could express themselves at the top.Kohli gave Dhoni the license to thrill by letting him bat higher up and India’s most successful captain delivered the way only he could. The question is: can Smith do what Kohli did? Can he give Dhoni the same kind of assurance and confidence to go out and hit those big sixes?Smith has been a terrific captain for Australia and his batting has reached new peaks. Kohli has done exactly the same things for India but it is clear who has handled MSD better.Dhoni’s contrasting recent fortunes with India and RPS show that even legends need reassurance, even they need someone to tell them they are still wanted. If Smith can go and mutter a few words to pep him up, MSD could explode like only he can for the rest of the tournament.last_img read more

Tough Draw for Olympiacos

first_imgOlympiacos’ hoopsters didn’t get rewarded for winning its group in Euroleague play and were placed in a draw with the toughest opposition.The Reds begin European play on Dec. 29 while Panathinaikos, which finished third in its group, got a far easier set of opponents in its draw of 16.In a meaningless game, a listless Olympiacos, playing without Vassilis Spanoulis and Matt Lojeski, lost handily at home, 81-68, to the Turkish team Anadolu Efes.Olympiakos is now in the same group as Real Madrid, Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, Khimki, Zalgiris Kaunas, Laboral Kutxa and Bamberg.Panathinaikos will be grouped with Malaga, Red Star Belgrade, Lokomotiv Kuban, Cedevita Zagreb, and three Turkish teams: Fenerbahce, Darussafaka and Efes. The top four teams of each group of eight advance to the play-offs.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi passes away

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi has passed away after a prolonged illness. Sethi, who breathed his last at his East Delhi residence on Saturday, was 81. He is survived by his wife, a married son and two married daughters. Sethi started his sports journalism career in 1964 with ‘Motherland’ newspaper and remained associated with it till 1975 as sports editor. He also worked with the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, National Herald and Navbharat Times. For the last few years, he was associated with Sandhya Times. Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran and its managing committee members mourned the demise of Sethi. PTI PDS ATATlast_img read more

Trelawny Venue for First National Jamaica Day Celebration

first_imgThousands of students from schools across the island are expected to converge at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Trelawny on Friday (February 22) for the first national Jamaica Day celebration. The national activity will be a celebration of Jamaica’s culture and will feature a parade, reading of the Jamaica Day Proclamation, drumming, performances by gospel choirs, among others. Speaking at a recent JIS Think, Director of the Culture in Education Programme in the Ministry of Education, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, informed that within the stadium, “a gala will be mounted that will centre the students in the experiences that some of us had in 1962. ”  “We want to build a generation that will be centered in memories that will drive their understanding of their citizenship,” she stated. Ms. Blackwood-Meeks told JIS News that the six education regions will be asked to mount displays depicting their interpretation of the Jamaica Day theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica: I’m On It’ This interpretation, she explained, should be centered on their uniqueness, for example, “the region in which Trelawny falls, which has yam and Usain Bolt, they would have a different interpretation from the region in which St. Thomas Technical High School falls, being the place in Jamaica where the sun rises first, hence the name Golden Grove.” Agencies such as the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ)/Jamaica Memory Bank; Social Development Commission (SDC); Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC); National Library of Jamaica; and the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), are expected to participate.                                                Education Outreach Officer at the ACIJ, Tracian Meikle, told JIS News that“on Jamaica Day, we will be putting on a display showcasing Jamaica’s culture.” “It will focus on persons or groups that have really fought to make Jamaica what it is today.  For example, we will have a display showcasing Maroon artefacts, the period of slavery, and abolitionists, who actually fought to make us free”. The event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. Aspects of the extravaganza will be transmitted live on CVM Television, which is one of the event partners. Ms. Blackwood-Meeks said that in addition to the national event, schools will be required to celebrate Jamaica Day in their own way.  “But whatever we do, we want to make sure we involve our communities, the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) our police, our youth clubs, our churches, and so,” she stated.last_img read more

J. Lauritzen Sells Its Shares in Hafnia Tankers

first_imgzoom Danish shipping company J. Lauritzen has completed the sale of its stake in Hafnia Tankers Ltd. as the company decided to abandon the product tanker and offshore service segments during the first quarter of 2016.The company also sold its stake in Axis Offshore Pte. Ltd., which is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.The shares owned in the two companies were sold to LF Investment, a company fully-owned by Lauritzen Fonden, the company said, adding that these were “non-strategic assets” for J. Lauritzen.In February 2016, the Oslo-listed company secured a cash injection of some USD 19 million from Lauritzen Fonden in order to strengthen J. Lauritzen’s balance sheet and improve its cash position.The transactions provided J. Lauritzen with additional cash of USD 125 million during 2016 as the assets have a combined book value of USD 105.9 million.“Previously advised transfers of certain non-strategic assets and obligations to LF Investment ApS were largely completed during Q1. These transactions have together with a capital injection strengthened our balance sheet and improved our cash position,” Jan Kastrup-Nielsen, President and CEO said.“Dry cargo markets remained under severe pressure and on average Q1 reached an unprecedented low level, whereas the gas carriers performed largely as expected,” he added.During the first quarter of 2016, J. Lauritzen reported a net loss of USD 8.3 million against a net loss of USD 27 million seen in the same period a year earlier.EBITDA for the first three months amounted to USD 17.2 million against USD 9.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, mainly attributed to dry bulk market developments.Total operating loss for the quarter amounted to USD 25.6 million compared to a loss of USD 20.3 million in same period in 2015.Regarding the outlook for 2016, the company said that “the full year estimate is unchanged. For the remainder of the year there is still a high degree of uncertainty related mainly to the development in the dry bulk segment and hence to the global economy in general. Currency and interest rate fluctuations as well as effects from sale of assets, if any, may impact the result.”J. Lauritzen held a 5.3 percent stake in Hafnia Tankers, which operates a fleet of some 35 tankers, ten of which were bought from J. Lauritzen in October 2013.last_img read more

Blood Tribe in Alberta struggling to find solution to prescription medication crisis

first_imgBrandi Morin APTN National NewsEDMONTON –The chief of an Alberta First Nation said his community is struggling to find solutions to a soaring prescription medication problem.Chief Charles Weaselhead said after a meeting with Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose this week that a lack of resources is holding the Blood Tribe back from getting people the attention they need.Weaselhead, who attended a symposium in Edmonton that focused on prescription medication, said in the last six months there have been 40 overdoses and 20 deaths related to the use of Fentanyl, a potent and dangerous drug disguised as Oxy80s.He said they are struggling to find access to proper treatment beds and detox facilities for community members.“That in itself compounds the issue of people who are ready to go to treatment and it’s not there,” he said.Ambrose met with various stakeholders to discuss ways of tackling the issue. She said the improper and recreational use of prescription drugs is threatening the health and safety of communities across the country.“Substance abuse and prescription drug abuse are very serious and complex health, social and economic issues and as such cannot be addressed or resolved in isolation,” said Ambrose.The federal government will fund $13 million over the next five years to undertake 1,000 annual pharmacy inspections across Canada.Rona Ambose announcing $13 million for pharmacy inspections. Photo APTN/Brandi MorinThe initiative is to help curb the increasing use of highly addictive pain prescription medications that are sold illegally on the streets.According to a 2013 international products control survey, Canada is now the second largest per capita consumer of prescription opiates.The 2012 Canadian Alcohol and drug use monitoring survey indicated that close to 1 million youth reported having used prescription drugs in the last 12 months. A large number of youth reported accessing prescription drugs at home in their own medicine cabinets.Weaselhead said what his community needs are resources to help people.“We do have a big problem and if we don’t find those beds, if we don’t find detox for them I’m afraid they’re going to go back to their habits. And we’ll continue to see over doses, we’ll continue to see the deaths and the number will continue to climb.”Alberta Health Services (AHS) have been working closely with the Blood tribe and First Nations/Inuit Health Services.AHS medical health officer of health for southern Alberta, Dr. Karen Goodison said while accessing resources is a challenge, addressing the situation is considered a top priority.The AHS currently distributes a take home Naloxone Kit that serves as an anti-dote for reviving individuals who are overdosing.“We will continue to build capacity for our community support and wrap around services, this needs to be a collective approach,” said Weaselhead.Blood Tribe chief Charles Weaselhead sitting down with Health Canada Minister Rona Ambrose. Photo APTN/Brandi Morin (Chief Charles Weaselhead speaking in Edmonton. Photo APTN/Brandi Morin) Weaselhead said that Blood tribe officials continue to work to provide information to members focused on intervention and treatment for prescription drug abuse.In April, Health Canada announced it will invest $13.5 million dollars over the next five years to First Nations communities across the country to enhance prevention and treatment capacity specifically for prescription drug abuse.This will include crisis intervention teams that provide First Nation communities with counseling and other supports.In addition Health Canada launched national TV ad campaigns to help equip parents with information on how to talk to teenagers about prescription drug use.They also urge all Canadians to take their unused medications back to their local pharmacy when they’re no longer needed.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

Uber restarts modified selfdriving testing in Toronto focused on AI

first_imgTORONTO — Uber Technologies Inc. says its self-driving vehicles have returned to the streets of Toronto in a modified program after it halted testing earlier this year when one of its autonomous vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.The company said Thursday that the limited relaunch of a few vehicles in the Toronto area will have a driver in control at all times and include a second operator as a precaution. The Arizona crash in March happened while an operator was streaming a television show and the vehicle was operating autonomously.Raquel Urtasun, chief scientist at Uber Advanced Technologies Group in Toronto, said in an interview that since the incident Uber has reviewed safety measures company-wide, including at the research group.“Since the tragic incident, ATG has been working, has really been looking at all of our processes and the way we develop the technology.”She said safety comes first and the company has looked to emphasize more simulations in autonomous development.“We have revamped all our offline testing such that we minimize the need for tests on the roads, and instead we leverage all of our data collection processes and we can test and create simulations so that we minimize the risks until the technology is ready.”The Toronto testing will focus on development and data collection for the company’s artificial intelligence systems including map building, more-so than testing the real-world self-driving capabilities of the vehicles, said Urtasun.Self-driving vehicles generally require high-definition road maps to operate and supplement the various on-board sensors. The company says it’s working to build technology that will allow map building in real-time to speed up the mapping process.Uber says it has also restarted testing in Pittsburgh, where vehicles will be operated in a fully autonomous mode with two safety operators, and in San Francisco where drivers will control the car similarly to the Toronto program.The company says it also plans to move its ATG research and development hub a couple kilometres west from its current base in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District tech hub as it plans to double the size of its AI research team to 100 next year. The growth of the AI research team is on top of plans announced in September to invest upwards of $200 million and hire 200 engineers in its first engineering facility in Canada. The Advanced Technologies Group will relocate to a mixed-use development under construction by RioCan called the Bathurst College Centre.Urtasun said the company hasn’t had problems with recruitment yet despite strong demand in the Toronto technology sector.“This is one of the fundamental problems that, you know, is going to influence the way we live in this century. So everybody’s very excited to be working in self-driving.”Ian Bickis, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Loonie up amid hopes for central bank action strong US factory orders

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar advanced Tuesday, supported by strong gains in commodity prices as traders looked to central banks to take action to keep the fragile global economic recovery on track.Prices for oil and metals also ran ahead following a strong report on U.S. factory orders.The loonie rose 0.54 of a cent to 98.76 cents US from the close on Friday before the Canada Day holiday.The U.S. Commerce Department said factory orders increased 0.7 per cent in May after two consecutive months of declines. Core capital goods, such as machinery and computers, rose 2.1 per cent. That’s better than the 1.6 per cent estimated in a preliminary report a week ago and is a good measure of companies’ plans to invest.However, manufacturing has slowed so far this year, hurt by declining consumer and business confidence and weaker global demand.Some analysts expect the European Central Bank to cut lending rates by 0.25 of a point later this week and the Bank of England to boost money in circulation. There are also hopes that Japan and China will announce new stimulus measures.Oil prices made a particularly strong gain as traders also closely watch the impact of tighter sanctions starting July 1 by the U.S. and Europe against Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, is finding fewer countries willing to buy its crude, which could pinch global supplies.The August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange ran ahead $3.61 to US$87.36 a barrel.Copper futures jumped eight cents to US$3.55 a pound while bullion gained $22.90 to US$1,614.50 an ounce. read more

Two arrested after stabbing on King Street

Hamilton Police are investigating a stabbing that happened near Hess Street early this morning.A 19 year old man from Hamilton was found at the corner of Caroline and King Street by a restaurant around 3 a.m. He was stabbed in the stomach. Paramedics arrived on scene and took the teen to hospital. He is expected to be okay.Two men were arrested and those arrest were caught on camera. A 36 year old and 27 year old both from Hamilton are facing charges including assault with a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon along with drug possession charges.Police say an altercation at the doorway of the Vita la Pita led to the 27 year old drawing a weapon and stabbing the teen.Police say the 19 year old has already been released from hospital. read more

Orders for US durable goods fell 1 pct in Jan but some

In this Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, photo, a woman walks through a display of refrigerators at a Lowe’s store in Cranberry Township, Pa. The Commerce Department releases durable goods for January on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Orders for US durable goods fell 1 pct. in Jan., but some demand recovers after Dec. stumble by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Feb 27, 2014 6:36 am MDT WASHINGTON – American businesses ordered fewer durable manufactured goods in January, cutting demand for planes, autos and machines. But a key category that reflects business investment rebounded on the strength of demand for electronics and fabricated metals.The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods fell a seasonally adjusted 1 per cent in January from December. Much of the decline was driven by a 20.2 per cent drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile month-to-month category. Orders for all transportation-related equipment fell 5.6 per cent.More encouragingly, orders rose 1.7 per cent in a closely watched category, known as core capital goods, which excludes volatile transportation and defence orders. This category had dropped 1.8 per cent in December.Economists track this category to determine whether business investment is expanding. Last month’s rebound nearly erased all of December’s decline, a sign that companies might be anticipating more business during spring.“There is some evidence that the growth rate of equipment investment is strengthening,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. But “we won’t know for sure until the weather improves.”Frigid weather and snowstorms have cut into factory output in recent months. As manufacturing has slowed, the effects have echoed across the economy to dampen hiring, retail demand and home sales.Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting in January, as cold weather delayed shipments of raw materials and caused some factories to shut down, the Federal Reserve has reported. Factory production plummeted 0.8 per cent last month, ending five straight months of gains.The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said its index of manufacturing activity fell to 51.3 in January, from 56.5 in December. It was the lowest reading since May, though any reading above 50 signals growth in manufacturing.The broad slowdown emerged after the economy had picked up momentum during the final half of 2013.Retail sales tumbled last month, including a 2.1 per cent dip in auto purchases. Sales of existing U.S. homes plummeted in January to the slowest pace in 18 months, according to the National Association of Realtors.Most economists say the economy will pivot to stronger growth this year after a halting recovery that followed the recession’s end in June 2009. Many analysts are forecasting the economy will grow by around 3 per cent in 2014, an increase of more than a percentage point for 2013.Much of the hope for a better 2014 reflects a belief that the federal government will be less of a drag this year. In 2013, higher taxes and across-the-board spending cuts trimmed about 1.5 percentage points from growth. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Republicans block Senate bill that would curb tax breaks for firms moving

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Republicans block Senate bill that would curb tax breaks for firms moving operations overseas by Stephen OhlemacHer, The Associated Press Posted Jul 30, 2014 9:25 am MDT WASHINGTON – Republican senators blocked an election-year bill Wednesday to limit tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas.The bill would have prohibited companies from deducting expenses related to moving their operations to a foreign country. It also would have offered tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.The Senate voted 54-42 to end debate on the bill, six short of the 60 votes needed to advance it. The White House says President Barack Obama supports the legislation.“Today in the United States, any time an American company closes a factory or plant in America and moves operations to another country, the American taxpayers pick up part of that moving bill,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “Frankly, a vote against this bill is a vote against American jobs.”Republicans called the bill an election-year stunt. They noted that Democrats tried to pass a similar bill two years ago, right before the last congressional elections.Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the bill is “designed for campaign rhetoric and failure, not to create jobs here in the U.S.”Republicans also complained that Reid wouldn’t allow any amendments. The legislation now joins a growing number of bills that have stalled in the Senate this year because Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on amendments.The bill would have cost U.S. companies that move overseas $143 million in additional taxes over the next decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, which analyzes tax legislation for Congress. Companies moving into the U.S. would have seen their tax bills drop by $357 million over the same period.The difference — $214 million — would have been added to the budget deficit.___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: read more

Marking World Tourism Day UN highlights role of travel sector in protecting

‹ › Credit: WTO The important relationship between recreational travel and the world’s water resources is the focus of this year’s United Nations observance of World Tourism Day, which aims to raise awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.“World Tourism Day offers a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on water both as an asset and as a resource and on the actions needed to face up to the water challenge,” Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said in a statement on the 2013 theme, “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future.”“I urge all those involved in the tourism sector to join our global World Tourism Day campaign and continue to devise innovate solutions to ensuring tourism contributes to sustainable access to water resources worldwide,” he added.In his message on the occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that unsustainable consumption and climate change were threatening global water and stressed the responsibility of the tourism industry to safeguard and intelligently manage the resource. “In this International Year of Water Cooperation, I urge tourism establishments to cut consumption and improve waste management, and I call on individuals to play their part by making environmentally conscious choices when they travel,” Mr. Ban said.As part of the worldwide observance of the Day, in the Maldives, a conference on tourism and water will bring together public and private sector tourism stakeholders, experts on water preservation and media experts today, according to the UNWTO. read more

IBM is developing 500 mile range lithiumair car battery

first_imgThe electric vehicle has to overcome three major hurdles if it is ever going to be a success with consumers. They need to charge fast, be cheap to buy, and have a decent range between charges.At the moment, the range of electric vehicles is around about 100 miles on average, which may be adequate for most journeys, but certainly isn’t good enough. The issue is the battery technology in use today that relies on lithium-ion, and whose make-up is rather heavy and energy density not really high enough for use in a vehicle. IBM has been developing an alternative though, using a type of battery previously thought unsuitable for long-term use in electric vehicles.It’s called a lithium-air (Li-air) battery and uses carbon instead of metal oxides so it is therefore a lot lighter than an equivalent lithium-ion battery. As it uses oxygen there is no need to store a fuel, so Li-air also has a very high energy density, around 1000x that of lithium-ion batteries.The one issue with Li-air is the fact the oxygen reacts with the conducting solution as well as the cathode. This drastically shortens the life of the battery and makes it unsuitable for use in cars. But IBM has a solution.Physicists Winfried Wickle and Alessandro Curioni modeled the reactions inside a Li-air battery using an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer. They then tried different conducting solution materials to see if any could work without reacting with oxygen. They found one, but are not prepared to tell anyone what it is yet.What they have managed to do is build a working prototype of a Li-air battery capable of offering electric vehicles a 500 mile range. A final prototype of this battery is expected by the end of 2013, and then if all goes well it will be used in electric vehicles by 2020.That’s seven years away, but hopefully by then we’ll have a number of other advancements, such as creating a car that achieves 444 mpg, that allow an even greater range.Read more at New Scientistlast_img read more

Water warning issued for Miami Beach after high bacteria levels found

first_imgMIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A water warning has been issued for part of Miami Beach, Wednesday.The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County is urging people to stay out of the water at 73rd Street in North Shore until further notice.Water samples showed high levels of bacteria that could make people sick.Tests will continue until the issue is resolved.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Duo steals heirlooms from elderly couples home after posing as landscapers in

first_img“Please call because they’re gonna do it to someone else, and it could be your parents,” Ribas said.If you have any information on this residential burglary, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “She feels like such a fool, and there’s nothing we can say or do to her to take that away,” Ribas said. “I have nothing nice to say about them. I cannot imagine the type of person who would take advantage of two people like that. She had them there for about 20, 25 minutes and told them that they couldn’t leave that if they left, she would get fired.”Police have released sketches of the man and woman believed to be behind the heist.The woman stands approximately 5 feet 2 inches tall, has short, black hair and was last seen wearing a white V-neck shirt and colored pants.Officials said the man stands approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall, has short black hair and was last seen wearing a khaki short and navy pants.“She trusted them,” Ribas said. “The woman got a text, said, ‘Oh, OK. Thank you,’ and left, and my parents went back in, and they didn’t notice until the next day that everything was taken. I was pissed. I was so mad that someone would do that to any elderly couple, not just my parents.”Meanwhile, Raquel said she has taken measures to make sure the robbery doesn’t happen again.“I have an alarm on the door. They’re gonna put alarms on the windows,” she said, “so I just have to remember not to open the door.” SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a pair of crooks who stole thousands of dollars worth of heirlooms from an elderly couple’s home.Enrique, 88, and Raquel Macia, 82, were inside of their home, located in the area of Southwest 81st Drive and Camino Circle, at around 3 p.m., on May 29, when a man and a woman showed up to their door posing as landscapers.Detectives said the woman distracted the elderly victims and lured them outside while the man went inside the home and took their valuables.“She was very nervous,” Raquel Macia said. “The man was OK, but she was nervous, and I could see it.”The thieves left the scene before the victims noticed approximately $30,000 worth of their family heirlooms missing, including Raquel’s mother’s engagement ring and wedding band.“I didn’t realize what had happened until the next day,” Raquel Macia said. “The wedding band has my dad’s name, her name and the date of the wedding. It’s very sad to lose that. They got me good.”Cecilia Ribas, the couple’s daughter, was furious when she found out her parents had been duped. last_img read more