Latest shift in US immigration policy prompts renewed Liberal outreach

first_imgOTTAWA – Liberal MPs are headed back to the U.S. to fend off a new surge of asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border following the latest move by the U.S. to tighten its immigration policy.The Trump administration has placed around 5,000 Nicaraguans on notice that their temporary status in the U.S. will be revoked in the next year, while nearly 86,000 Hondurans have been given an extension until July, at which point their status could be revoked.Upwards of 200,000 Salvadorans are also awaiting a decision on their status, which is expected in the coming weeks.Pablo Rodriguez, who represents a Montreal-area riding, said Wednesday he’s headed to Texas to reach out to all three communities after myths circulating earlier this year prompted hundreds of people a day to cross illegally into Canada in search of asylum, fearing the end of the temporary status program in the U.S.“We want to make sure that people have all the facts and what we’re telling them is before selling your house, leaving your job, picking up the kids from school, make sure you understand the rules,” Rodriguez said.Temporary protected status spares people from deportation and gives them quasi-legal status in the U.S., so they can work or go to school. It’s extended for things like major natural disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, that can make deporting people a potential violation of humanitarian law. But critics saw it as an overly permissive policy in need of being reined in, something the U.S. began doing last spring.A decision by U.S. officials in May to only extend protection to Haitian nationals for six more months, rather than the usual 18, was cited as a major factor behind the hundreds of Haitians who daily made the illegal crossing into Canada over the summer to request asylum, rather than face deportation back to Haiti.Some were motivated by fake social media messages about special immigration programs that would smooth their paths here; in fact, Canada still deports Haitian nationals, and their asylum acceptance rate was only about 50 per cent in 2016.The Liberals sent MP Emmanuel Dubourg to Miami earlier this year to combat that misinformation, and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Wednesday he’s also being sent back the U.S. to continue the work.Briefing notes prepared by officials at Global Affairs earlier this year said Haitian government officials also believe some of those entering Canada were actually just transiting through the U.S. from Brazil.The briefing notes describing the factors driving asylum seekers were obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. They also suggest the influx of Haitians wasn’t connected to any current developments in Haiti, where notwithstanding rampant poverty and poor health conditions, the overall security and stability situation remains “calm and steady.”Rodriguez and other government officials have said so far, there’s no sign of a mass migration of Central Americans.But there could be, the briefing notes suggest.A lack of economic opportunities, fear of violence and insecurity and climate change are key drivers for illegal migration from the region, and the notes point out the UN refugee agency has recently said migrants themselves are often victims of violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking.“As a result of an increase in deportation from the United States, the termination of a program that allowed protection to Central American children, and the expected termination of a temporary protected status program in the United States, Canada is likely to become a more popular alternative.”last_img read more

UN s AsiaPacific gathering wraps up with call for better trade deal

6 November 2009Exports from the world’s poorest countries should be granted duty- and quota-free access to markets, according to government officials, economists and academics attending a regional United Nations trade meeting as they warned against a turn towards protectionist policies. More than 100 participants at the first session of the Committee on Trade and Investment of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which wrapped up today in Bangkok, said protectionism could undermine the multilateral trading system and delay recovery from the global economic crisis. They called for the poorest States, classified as least developed countries (LDCs), to be granted better export rights, even without waiting for the completion of the so-called Doha round of negotiations on reducing international trade barriers. ESCAP Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer told the gathering that they were enormous opportunities for growth in South-South trade and investment, but high tariffs and procedural obstacles were the biggest stumbling blocks to that goal. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said the Asia-Pacific region must not let the recovery from the current economic crisis be a jobless one. “This financial crisis has turned into a social crisis for some countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with job losses and deterioration in social well-being,” he said. read more

HIVrelated stigma discrimination prevent people from accessing health services – UN

“When people living with, or at risk of, HIV are discriminated against in health-care settings, they go underground,” said Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in a press release. “This seriously undermines our ability to reach people with HIV testing, treatment and prevention services,” he added. When people living with, or at risk of, HIV are discriminated against in health-care settings, they go undergroundThe report, Confronting discrimination: overcoming HIV-related stigma and discrimination in health-care settings and beyond, gives evidence on how stigma and discrimination is creating barriers to accessing HIV prevention, testing and treatment services and putting lives at risk. It then highlights best practices on confronting stigma and discrimination. “Stigma and discrimination is an affront to human rights and puts the lives of people living with HIV and key populations in danger,” Mr. Sidibé said. Often, people living with HIV avoid going to clinics for fear of having their status disclosed or of suffering further stigma and discrimination based on their HIV status. Related story: UN hails landmark pricing deal for faster rollout of ‘game-changing’ HIV treatmentIn 19 countries with available data, one in five people living with HIV avoided going to a clinic or hospital because they feared stigma or discrimination related to their HIV status, and one in four people living with HIV have experienced discrimination in health-care settings. Where programmes have been put in place to respond to stigma and discrimination, access to services for HIV prevention, testing and treatment has improved. In one clinic in Namibia, a shift towards integrated health service delivery led to a 20 per cent reduction in deaths among people with HIV. The report was launched at the Human Rights Council Social Forum taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2 to 4 October under the theme of ‘Promotion and protection of human rights in the context of the HIV epidemic and other communicable diseases and epidemics.’ read more

Josh Smith Bolts Hawks for Pistons 56 Million

Josh Smith, the enigmatic but immensely talented small forward from Atlanta, skipped the team he grew up watching, signing a four-year, $56-million contract offer from the Detroit Pistons.While Smith reportedly considered rejoining the Hawks, he chose Detroit over Houston and his hometown team with whom he has had a sometimes-turbulent run over nine years.Certainly Smith was impressed that the Pistons made him their primary target, meeting with him one minute after midnight last week, when free agent discussion could begin. He cannot sign the new deal until July 10.A former NBA slam-dunk champion with dynamic athleticism, averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Hawks last season.But his time was marked by surly behavior at times, run-ins with coaches, questionable effort and a penchant for firing up three-point shots that puzzled fans and the organization because his perimeter game is average.Smith will be playing for new coach Maurice Cheeks, who replaces fired Lawrence Frank. Detroit has not made the playoffs in four years, and while the addition of Smith should inject some excitement within the franchise, the Pistons remain a young team.Smith, 27, will start at small forward alongside 20-year-old center Andre Drummond and power forward Greg Monroe, who is 23. And the team’s backcourt likely will be second-year player Brandon Knight and rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the eight pick in the recent NBA Draft.For Smith, the change of teams could take his career to another level. He will be the most talented player on the Pistons, and will be relied on to score points in bunches. He will have to continue to be a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, while either becoming a more reliable shooter from deep or minimizing the number of jump shots beyond 15 feet that he takes.The Hawks plugged in Paul Millsaps, a hard-working, rugged forward who had some good years in Utah playing a relatively limited role. read more

Former Police Scotland chief handed new role after misconduct claims

Scotland’s former chief constable, who resigned earlier this year in the wake of a series of misconduct allegations against him, is reportedly being given a new role.Phil Gormley, who tendered his resignation from Police Scotland in February amid ongoing investigations into the claims of gross misconduct, will be announced as inspector of constabulary for England and Wales, the BBC said.He denied any wrongdoing, and resigned after saying it would have been “impossible for me to resume my duties in a meaningful way prior to the end of my contract”.The role will see Mr Gormley assess and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and will start on October 22, the broadcaster said. The work will involve inspecting 12 forces in the north of England, according to the BBC.Mr Gormley, formerly chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary, was investigated by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) over allegations of bullying.The conduct, which was the subject of one of the allegations, would – if proved – amount to “gross misconduct”, the commissioner said. Pirc said all misconduct investigations regarding Mr Gormley were closed following his resignation.Claire Gormley, a retired police officer, said at the time her husband Phil had been “vilified” in a “disproportionate fishing expedition”, while describing him as one of the most inspirational police leaders of his generation. She said he had never before had a single complaint from those who worked for him in 32 years of policing, and suggested he may have been treated as an “outsider” in Police Scotland because he is English.His resignation meant Police Scotland’s first two chief constables since it was formed in 2013 had left under a cloud. Sir Stephen House, his predecessor, stood down in 2015 following a series of scandals culminating in a furore over a woman who was left dying in a crashed car by the side of the M9 motorway for three days. 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. read more

Iron ore market sentiment in China is mixed as new pricing system

first_imgMacquarie Commodities reports that on the morning of the first day of the Metal Bulletin iron ore conference in Beijing “news broke that various Asian steel mills had reached agreement with Vale on iron ore prices for the April-June quarter. This led some delegates to call the end of the recent spot market iron ore rally, as the bullish news flow speculating on possible contract settlements would dry up. However, this was not the universal view, with many believing the strength of steel demand would support continued raw material and steel price rises.”Vale announced that it “has reached agreements on a new iron ore pricing regime with the majority of its clients, based on short-term market references and price changes on a quarterly basis. The agreements, permanent or provisional, reached 97% of our client base, which corresponds to 90% of the sales volumes under contracts. The structural change in iron ore pricing is consistent with our previous announcements about the implementation of a new marketing policy, involving, among other issues, a more flexible approach towards pricing.”At the conference, Jia Yinsong of the Ministry of Industry and Information opened the conference by saying that, although Chinese steel demand had been strong last year and had exhibited a “classic V-shaped recovery,” steel prices had suffered a “W-shaped recovery.” The principal reason for the volatility in prices was overproduction caused by anticipated demand growth being higher than actual demand growth. Jia warned that this could happen again in 2010, and highlighted that steel product output grew by 27.1% year-on-year (YoY) over the first two months of 2010, while FAI growth was only 26.6%. Macquarie highlights: “the steel product output figure is somewhat unreliable and  apparent consumption of steel actually grew by only 24% YoY. Also, just looking at FAI ignores the strength of demand from the manufacturing sector.”Jia stood out among the Government speakers for his apparent support of a shift to a more flexible pricing system for iron ore. He referred to annual pricing as “un-transparent and unhealthy” and said prices should reflect actual demand and supply.“Other speakers were not so convinced,” according to Macquarie, “saying that big mills would suffer the consequences of small mills buying iron ore without caring about the price and of the big three miners doing their best to push up the price. The proposed solution? The same as always: eradicate the small mills and increase China’s self-sufficiency in iron ore. We maintain that this is a highly flawed view. The smaller mills have shown themselves to be the most sensitive to raw material price hikes, pulling out of the market when they can no longer make money. And when China is forced to rely more heavily on its domestic iron ore reserves, the spot price goes up, not down, to cover the higher production costs (although we believe that the iron ore price may overshoot to some extent).”Wu Rongqing of the China Mining Association said that Chinese domestic iron ore output would exceed 1,000 Mt in 2010, up from 874 Mt in 2009 (on a run-of-mine basis). Macquarie notes there are problems with China’s official iron ore production numbers, “but we agree with the trend. Our current forecasts have China’s iron ore requirement increasing by just over 100 Mt YoY in 2010 (on a 63.5% Fe basis), of which 72 Mt will come from domestic mines.Wu explained that the government raised the VAT on domestically produced iron ore from 13% to 17% on January 1 2010. This should serve to further raise the cost of domestic iron ore production and seems inconsistent with calls for lower iron ore prices. Wu called on the government to scrap VAT on domestic iron ore altogether to encourage production.Pedro Gutemberg of Vale made the case for his company’s new pricing system. He said the benchmark system “had failed” the test in 2009, when many clients (not just Chinese) “opted out” of the benchmark system and took a lower price on the spot market. At the peak of this activity in May 2009, Vale was selling 70% of its material on a spot basis. Gutemberg estimated that 45-50% of total global iron ore sales would be on a spot basis (more correctly a “floating-price basis linked to spot”) in 2010, ensuring that the market was highly liquid.When asked by a steel mill representative how the steel industry was expected to handle a 90% increase in iron ore prices, Gutemberg responded by saying that the new system reflected mills’ ability to pay: “If mills can’t afford the ore, they reduce demand, so the price falls.”Much of the talk on the sidelines centred on how much further iron ore and steel prices had to run. Some believed that speculative activity would slow now that pricing arrangements for the June quarter appear to have been broadly agreed on and that this would lead to the spot price cooling. It should be noted, however, Macquarie warns, “that there is no evidence of stock building so far – the surge in buying seems to be on the basis of actual consumption needs.The traders of Indian iron were keen to highlight to the conference that supply disruptions in Orissa would tighten the market. The Indian government is cracking down on illegal mining in the region and has banned the loading of iron ore onto trains to be taken to port. As a result, the equivalent of 5-6 Mt/y of ore is not being shipped (India exported 109 Mt of iron ore in 2009). Macquarie understands “that, although shipments are not moving, mining continues. As such, while there may be a short-term impact, the lost material is likely to find its way out eventually. We re-iterate our view that spot prices will eventually revert towards the marginal cost of production for domestic iron ore miners in China, estimated at $110-120/t on a 62% Fe basis.“There was further evidence that domestic iron ore miners were coming back, based on conversations with manufacturers of iron ore concentrators. Sales were reported to have risen sharply since Chinese New Year as miners invested in improving the quality of their output. This activity has been stimulated by a policy introduced on  January 1 that allows miners to claim a tax rebate on any fixed asset investment. The price gap between iron ore grades has been widening, suggesting that Chinese domestic mining activity has been softening the market for lower-end material. This will likely encourage miners to improve the quality of their product through concentrating in order to take advantage of the higher prices.“According to Malpas, the freight market is currently oversupplied. Additional freight capacity is expected to exert downward pressure on freight rates over the short-to-medium term. The order book for capesize vessels is full, with ~280 new builds scheduled to be delivered during 2010 and 2011, in addition to the current fleet of ~700 vessels. Malpas believes that cancellations are not expected to change this materially. Furthermore, Malpas indicates that only 5% of the current fleet is >25 years old, so there is unlikely to be material scrapping.”last_img read more

Priests tell Ruairí Quinn to stop undermining religion in schools

first_imgA GROUP OF Catholic priests have said Ruairí Quinn’s suggestion that schools could use religious teaching time for core subjects is an effort to undermine religion.The Association of Catholic Priests strongly criticised the Minister for Education’s suggestion after he said that religious teaching should take place within homes and parishes, rather than being the responsibility of schools.The group of socially progressive priests questioned whether the Labour minister was trying to remove religion from the public sphere and said his comments were not reassuring for the ‘large numbers’ of Catholic parents who wanted their children to receive religious education in schools.“It seems at best a hapless effort to devise education policy ‘on the hoof’ and, at worst, an indication of an intention to undermine religious education in the vast majority of our schools,” the ACP said.“The Minister’s comment will be widely interpreted as an effort to undermine religion and religious-run schools and may damage the negotiations, at present at an advanced state, to provide a wide choice for parents”.“The Minister may be unhappy with the pace of change, and with the power of parents to influence decision, but his unreflective comments could have the effect of placing a huge question mark over the Minister’s intentions,” the group said.The ACP said that opinions “which will be interpreted as threats fail to reassure those in discussion with the Minister, or the large numbers of Catholic parents who have a right to the religious education of their children”.Read: Quinn prepared to have Department officials meet with concerned teachers > Read: Bad teachers can be punished more easily under new rules >last_img read more

Investment – getting the mix right

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Retirement investors need to learn an approach called ‘portfolio optimisation’. It’s something the professional fund managers aim for, but they create funds that suit many investors, whereas you can tailor a portfolio that is optimised for your own needs. There are three factors in portfolio optimisation, a concept that is the specialty of the RP Data-Rismark economist, Chris Joye. The first is your target return. This is the return you want from all of your investments when you retire. Start with an actual sum so you can track back and find the annual rate of return you are aiming for. This is where you start deciding what kind of assets and what kind of yields are in your portfolio. Which brings us to the second factor: your risk. There are many ways of defining risk, and many that are marketed to us. But if you are not a professional I think its quite reasonable to see risk like this: it’s the risk that you won’t get back as much as you put in. This is not scare mongering. As you age, you have less margin to earn-back the money you lost on an investment and the risk you face is that you might go backwards when you can’t afford to. The third factor in portfolio optimisation is one of correlation. That is, you can insulate the risk in one type of asset by investing in a different asset with an unrelated risk characteristic. Bearing in mind these factors, it’s fascinating to read Chris Joye’s research into which asset-mixes performed best from 1982-2012. For non-home owners over this 30-year period, who opted to buy one investment property, this was their optimised portfolio: 46.8 per cent in cash; 36 per cent in Australian government bonds; 9.2 per cent in Aussie shares and 8 per cent in the investment property. Did you notice what weighting Aussie shares had in this optimum portfolio? The optimum investment portfolio for home owners 1982-2012 is also interesting: the family home plus one investment property should have been 60 per cent of the portfolio, 21.9 per cent should have been cash, 10.9 per cent Australian government bonds and 7.2 per cent Aussie shares. Volatile listed property trusts and global shares don’t make it into these portfolios while cash and bonds have a heavy weighting. Exercises such as these are valuable to the independent investor because they illustrate what performs long-term, and Chris Joye’s figures are presented as a mix – an optimised portfolio with a high degree of uncorrelated investment. I’ve been predicting for a while now that Australians are going to move their retirement savings to fixed income investments such as cash and bonds. Fixed income products have reasonably high returns with nowhere near the volatility of equities. And as Chris Joye’s research shows, they seem to be a good portfolio fit with property ownership. Always get advice, but if you don’t, start thinking in terms of portfolio optimisation. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on mark.neos@ybr.com.auwith any queries you may have or check www.ybr.com.au for your nearest branch.last_img read more

Dijit bientôt sur iPad

first_imgDijit bientôt sur iPadL’application Dijit de contrôle à distance de vos appareils domestiques (TV, lecteurs DVD…), fonctionnant comme une télécommande, sera bientôt disponible sur l’iPad.Actuellement, un iPhone ou un smartphone Android conviennent pour utiliser Dijit comme télécommande universelle (Dijit serait compatible avec 200 000 appareils). Apple aurait reçula version iPad, en attendant de la valider. En effet, la surface de la tablette, plus large et sur mesure, correspondrait mieux à une telle utilisation. À lire aussiUn Français de 17 ans crée une appli pour aider les malvoyants à lire les étiquettes des produitsL’équipe du projet, qui travaille main dans la main avec Griffin Technology’s Beacon (spécialiste des dispositifs Bluetooth et infrarouge), a montré quelques possibilités de leur bébé, à savoir un programme TV en direct (pour les USA et le Canada), une option de partage sur Netfix avec les applications Facebook et Twitter. La surface de l’iPad serait optimisé avec, dans les coins, un tutoriel, un guide, des offres, des images ou des infos pour aider l’utilisateur. Un emplacement pour le pouce serait également présent, histoire de pouvoir tenir correctement votre tablette.Pour utiliser Dijit sur vos anciens modèles de télévision, cela nécessite une balise “add-on” (pour 70 dollars – 52 euros). Les Smart TV, elles, s’en passent. Quant à l’application Dijit elle-même, elle est gratuite sur l’Apple Store et l’Android Market. La sortie de la version iPad n’a cependant pas été définie.Le 3 décembre 2011 à 15:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

New Cingular sues city to recover 500000

first_imgA wireless telecommunications affiliate of AT&T has sued the city of Vancouver to recover over $500,000 that the city improperly collected in taxes from the company’s customers between 2005 and 2010.The city intends to fight the repayment demand, said Brent Boger, a Vancouver assistant city attorney.The lawsuit filed by New Cingular Wireless is one of many being filed across the state and nation over tax overcharges that the company attributes to its own coding error. Because of the error, cities and states taxed New Cingular customers not only on telephone services, which is allowed, but also on internet access, according to the lawsuit. State and federal law prohibits taxation of internet access, the suit says.Customers in Washington and 29 other jurisdictions filed suits against AT&T Mobility Services and its affiliates, including New Cingular, to recover payments from the improper tax. The cases were consolidated into a single case in which New Cingular agreed to seek refunds from cities and counties that collected the tax.Vancouver was asked to repay the tax money in 2010 but has refused to return the funds, the lawsuit says. Boger said the city will raise numerous legal defenses, including whether the lawsuit was filed after expiration of the statute of limitations.Vancouver isn’t alone in resisting payment. AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said Friday that the telecommunications company is in the process of filing lawsuits against Washington cities that have not responded to the repayment demand or that have refused to pay. Similar actions are taking place throughout the country.last_img read more

Australia announces surprising World Cup squad leaves out star players big takeaways

first_imgAustralia pose with the Chappell Hadlee Trophy 2016 after clinching the ODI series 3-0Cricket Australia / TwitterMerely hours before India, the Australian selectors have announced the 15-member squad that will travel to England this summer to participate in the ICC World Cup 2019. The big news coming out of it is that they have left out Peter Handscomb and Josh Hazlewood. The selectors have named Aaron Finch the captain of the side, while the suspended duo of Steve Smith and David Warner also returns to the team for the first time since the ‘Sandpapergate’ saga. Australia’s 15-member squad: Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam ZampaHere are the big takeaways from the squad announced by the defending champions. Warner and Smith are indispensable  Steve Smith and David Warner pose with the Ashes urn after the WACA Test on December 18Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesThe biggest talking point in Australian cricket was that surrounding former captain Steve Smith and his former deputy David Warner. The duo was banned following a ball-tampering incident in March 2018 and did not play competitive cricket of any note for a long time. They also suffered injuries and underwent surgeries to be back just in time for the Indian Premier League. While Warner has been playing with the proverbial fire in his belly and has been a resounding success, Smith is still finding his way around in a format he is not best suited to. But the Aussie selectors did not think twice before bringing the two world-class players back into the fold and it is expected that they will slot straight back into the playing 11. “We have been extremely pleased with how the ODI squad has been building over the past six months, including the recent series wins in India and against Pakistan in the UAE,” said chief selector Trevor Hohns.”Steve Smith and David Warner come back into the squad. Both are world-class players and it has been pleasing to see them produce some good form in the IPL.”  Depth of talent and unlucky Aussies  Mitchell Starc bamboozled James Vince with an unplayable delivery.ReutersThere is absolutely no doubt that Australian cricket is packed with immense talent and in order to find room for the generational talents who missed out one year of international cricket, there have been a few unlucky dropouts. Peter Handscomb will feel the most grieved as he had a century and a half-century in his last 6 innings. Ashton Turner also missed out on the flight to England despite playing an unbelievable knock against India in Mohali during Australia’s recent tour of India. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has also missed the berth as he has been sidelined since January with a back injury. He has been named in the Australia A squad, along with Handscomb, that will travel to England in June.  In Hazlewood’s absence, Pat Cummins will lead the pace attack that also boasts of Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile. “Given the depth of talent and competition for spots there were a number of tough calls we had to make to settle on our squad of 15,” said Hohns.Predicting the playing XI The Australian openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja have been in cracking form which puts them in a dilemma over the positioning of Warner. But skipper Finch has hinted that he will not move down the order, which means Khawaja might and Marsh may thus be left out of the playing XI.  Glenn Maxwell at his destructive best.Robert Cianflone/Getty ImagesHere’s the possible lineup the Australians will field in their first game. Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampalast_img read more

Roseneft to soon sign binding agreement to buy 49 stake in Essar

first_imgA binding agreement that would give the Russian oil company Rosneft 49 percent stake in India’s Essar Oil could soon be signed, Essar director Prashant Ruia said. This transaction, which marks the deal’s final stage, will be completed by October this year.When the deal closes, Rosneft will gain access to Essar’s Vadinar refinery in Gujarat as well as 2,400 petrol pumps across India, Press Trust of India reported. However, the deal excludes Essar’s portfolio of Coal Bed Methane blocks, which comprises 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.Vadinar refinery is India’s second largest single site oil refinery with a capacity of 20 million tonnes per annum. Last year, Rosneft had planned to increase the Indian refinery’s capacity to 45 million tonnes (900,000 barrels per day).In December 2014, Rosneft had entered an agreement to provide 10 million tonnes of crude oil to Essar until 2024.Meanwhile, the Ruias have also initiated discussions to sell an additional 25 percent stake in Essar Oil, which would increase the total stake sold to 74 percent, in an attempt to halve their Rs. 88,000 crore debt, PTI added. The 25 percent stake sale is expected to close by next month.Essar had completed the procedure to get delisted from stock exchanges in December 2015. Essar Oil had paid Rs. 3,745 crore in the largest payout by a public company to its stakeholders. Essar Oil’s valuation has been pegged at Rs. 38,000 crore.last_img read more

Orlando theme parks offer free bug spray to ease Zika concerns

first_img Posted by Tuesday, August 30, 2016 The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img Tags: Zika Orlando theme parks offer free bug spray to ease Zika concerns ORLANDO — Orlando’s major theme parks are now offering free bug repellent to visitors as concerns about mosquito-transmitted Zika virus mount in Florida.Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando on Sunday began offering the mosquito spray and lotion free of charge at their parks.No mosquito-transmitted case of the Zika virus has been found in central Florida. But theme park officials say they’re offering the repellent as a precaution and to ease the fears of visitors.The Department of Health is investigating mosquito-transmitted Zika cases in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in South Florida, as well as in Pinellas County in the Tampa area.Zika causes a mild illness in most people but can lead to severe brain-related birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy.last_img read more

Consortium threatens to stop work on expanding Panama Canal

first_imgPANAMA CITY – The Spanish-led consortium expanding the capacity of the Panama Canal has threatened to halt construction due to alleged breaches of contract by the maritime route’s administration, local reports said Wednesday.But canal administrator Jorge Quijano warned GUPC that the canal authority would use contractual mechanisms to ensure the completion of the $5.3 billion project.“No matter what kind of pressure is exercised against the ACP (Panama Canal Authority), we maintain our demand that Grupo Unidos por el Canal respect the contract that they agreed to and signed,” he said in a statement quoted by broadcast and print media.A year ago, GUPC demanded an extra payment of $1.6 billion from the ACP due to construction delays.“The ACP has 21 days to comply with the requirements. But in the meantime, we will continue to work normally,” GUPC said.Led by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso, the consortium also includes Impregilo of Italy, Belgian firm Jan De Nul and Panama’s Constructora Urbana.It began work on a third set of locks for the canal in 2009 and expects to complete construction in June 2015, already a nine-month delay over the date set in the contract.The new locks will accommodate larger ships with a capacity of 12,000 containers – instead of those with 5,000 containers that are now able to navigate the canal.Shortly after work began, there was a delay of four months because GUPC had planned to use low-quality cement that would have prevented the construction from lasting more than 100 years, according to the canal authority.Roughly five percent of international commerce passes through the waterway, an 80-kilometer (50-mile) stretch connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Facebook Comments Related posts:Panama Canal expansion hits $570 million snag Panama Canal aims to go carbon neutral in 2014 Billion-dollar Panama Canal expansion halted due to labor strike Panama Canal expansion to proceed no matter what, says officiallast_img read more

Dutch peacekeepers still suffer stigma after Srebrenica

first_imgHe said that mothers of victims of the genocide still won’t shake his hand if they are invited to memorial events to mark the massacre.Zwaan has been back to Bosnia repeatedly and says he has made friends there.“They said to me, ‘Derk, you also have to continue your life. You can’t stay in 1995.’”___Cohadzic contributed from Srebrenica.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Dutch troops sent to serve in the international force in Afghanistan were sent with plenty of military hardware and a robust mandate.“They had big weapons, big armored personnel carriers, they had helicopters, they had close air support — F16s, Apache (helicopter gunships),” said Derk Zwaan, a former Srebrenica peacekeeper who has also suffered trauma.The lack of air power was key to the failure of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Srebrenica. The Dutch commander repeatedly called in vain for air backup as Serb troops bore down on the enclave. In the end, only one Serb tank was hit by a single air attack carried out by two American and two Dutch planes, said Joris Voorhoeve, the Dutch defense minister at the time.Voorhoeve said a contributing factor in the debacle was an agreement between major powers not to use air strikes against Serb forces because it could endanger peacekeepers being held by Mladic.“We could have bought time by earlier, stronger application of air force,” Voorhoeve told The Associated Press.He said it would not have saved the enclave, but could have given the United Nations a window to evacuate the population.Instead, Mladic summoned scores of buses and separated men and boys from women as they were loaded on board. THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Rob Zomer has heard the comments many times over: You’re cowards, killers. How could you stand there and do nothing?A stream of insults to add to the mental injuries they suffered 20 years ago when they were part of a vastly outgunned and outnumbered Dutch battalion of United Nations peacekeepers who failed to halt the slaughter by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia. “When you hear — for 20 years now — only bad things that you do,” said Zomer, “that makes you stressed, crazy.”Zomer is quick to acknowledge that the main victims of the worst massacre on European soil since World War II are the mothers, wives and daughters of Srebrenica who lost their men and boys in July 1995. But the lives of the small contingent of lightly armed Dutch troops who were powerless to intervene also changed forever. Many suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, and some have taken their own lives.The Srebrenica massacre also had a profound effect on the Dutch nation. The government resigned seven years later after a damning report criticized authorities for failing to adequately prepare, arm and support the troops, sending them to Bosnia with a vague mandate to protect lives but insufficient weaponry to shield civilians from Bosnian Serb forces led by Gen. Ratko Mladic.Now, as a result of what happened in Srebrenica, this nation that prides itself on a long history of contributing to international peacekeeping efforts makes sure its servicemen and women are ready to protect local populations but also themselves when they are sent overseas. Zomer recalls a young mother pressing a baby, more dead than alive, into his arms. He carried the infant to a Dutch field hospital, but medics there were unable to save the child. Zomer was forced to bury the baby himself.Years later, the mother found the remains of her child and buried them in a cemetery in Srebrenica reserved for victims of the genocide.He said he hopes the baby’s mother one day hears that, “I put her baby with a lot of respect in the ground,” Zomer said.It was the best he could do in Srebrenica.Now, he helps other veterans deal with their traumas.Dozens have dropped in since he moved to Srebrenica three years ago. They come to revisit places of horror etched into their memories by the events of July 1995 and Zomer hopes they leave with new memories. He takes his former brothers in arms to places where they served as peacekeepers. There, they build a fire, grill some meat and talk.“First you’re thinking of that place only (in terms of) stress,” he said. After a barbecue on a summer evening, “then you have another mindset.”Some local residents, however, don’t appreciate Zomer’s decision to move to Srebrenica, where survivors still blame Dutch troops for not doing enough to protect the enclave’s men. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories In this photo taken on Monday, June 29, 2015, Rob Zomer Dutch UN veteran gesture as he sits in front of main gate of former UN Dutch bat base near Srebrenica, 150 kms northeast of Sarajevo, Bosnia. Zomer was a member of Dutch battalion of United Nations peacekeepers who failed to halt the slaughter by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. Today he lives in a house he built himself overlooking the undulating hills and forests of Srebrenica. (AP Photo/Amel Emric) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “The buses with the males went in a different direction and we know the horrible effects,” Voorhoeve said.Serb forces methodically gunned down thousands of men at killing fields around Srebrenica before plowing their bodies into mass graves.Both Zwaan and Zomer still struggle with the aftereffects of their roles in Srebrenica. Neither managed to hold down a job after leaving the military.Zwaan joined the police in the Netherlands but had to leave due to stress-related complaints; Zomer became a locksmith but wound up quitting the job and the country.Zwaan is now suing the Dutch government for compensation, alleging that it did not do enough to help veterans after they returned home.Zomer has chosen a radically different path.Instead of running from the Srebrenica phantoms haunting him, he went back and confronted them. Zomer now lives in a house he built himself overlooking the undulating hills and forests of Srebrenica. He spends his summer days tending his small herd of goats, cutting the grass with a scythe and making hay.He still has horrific memories of doing what little he could to help Srebrenica’s terrified population as Mladic’s Bosnian Serb forces bore down on the enclave. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

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what he called a "friendly veto" in a letter to the City Council last week in which he expressed concern that final numbers from Polk County showed a 10 percent levy increase would increase city property taxes by about 7 percent either via VHF radio or satellite Naaz Foundationthe transwomen who I think people come out for tradition According to Economic Confidential But on Monday Apple generates a unique ID number for each transaction N The conference comes amid reports that House Democrats plan to “troll” the president by inviting guests that have been directly impacted by the president’s early policies Beliveau said Storms have a natural tendency to change direction and to change intensity yesterday accused President Goodluck Jonathan as the first and only Nigerian leader to have attended a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries who condemned stealing of public money and in Mississippi hospitals"I would say it’s the perfect way to get rid of it sparked by two kills and a 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