Sebi may force full disclosure on loan defaults with rating agencies

first_imgNew Delhi: Amid concerns over banks citing ‘client confidentiality’ to resist sharing of information on delayed loan repayments and possible defaults by their borrowers, capital market regulator Sebi is planning to tighten its norms to make it mandatory for companies to provide these details to credit rating agencies. Amid numerous cases of huge loan defaults by corporates, including in cases like Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), credit rating agencies have also come under the scanner for failing to flag potential credit risks of the securities and entities rated by them. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHowever, the rating agencies have often sought to shift the blame to the companies and lenders by claiming that they find it difficult to get information about delay in meeting bank obligations and payment failures which are considered early indicators of a default. Officials said there have been occasions when some entities have sought to take the benefit of certain regulatory gaps as banks are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) while rating agencies and listed companies come under Sebi’s jurisdiction, while the problem becomes more acute in case of unlisted companies. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostTo fill this regulatory gap, Sebi is now proposing to amend its regulations for credit rating agencies to ensure that any listed or unlisted entity, before getting rated, gives an explicit consent to obtain from their lenders and other entities full details about their existing and future borrowings as also their repayment and delay or default of any nature and provide the same to the rating agencies. The proposal is likely to be presented for approval by Sebi’s board at its meeting later this month, the officials said. The move is aimed at helping the rating agencies get timely information about the rated entity’s financial strength and incorporate the impact of these details in their ratings. The provisions of the rating agreement between a rating agency and its client or issuer of securities is governed by the Sebi (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulations, framed in 1999. This regulation provides that every rating agency needs to enter into a written agreement with each client whose securities it proposes to rate and mentions detailed provisions that every such agreement should include. As per these regulations, rating agencies are required to continuously monitor the rating of securities during the lifetime of such securities. Sebi is of the view that any default or delay in meeting bank obligations are often early indicators of default on other borrowing obligations of the issuer, an official said. “However, banks have not been forthcoming in sharing such information with credit rating agencies citing client confidentiality as a reason,” the official added. In order to address this issue, Sebi had earlier decided to mandate the rating agencies to incorporate an enabling provision in the rating agreement with their clients. The official said Sebi had also written to the RBI in May, apprising the banking regulator that the rating agencies are contemplating incorporating such enabling provision in the rating agreement. The RBI was also requested to advise banks to provide timely and accurate information to the credit rating agencies regarding any default or delay in payments by the rated entities, but no response was received in the matter till last month. In view of this, Sebi is now proposing to amend its regulations for the rating agencies to insert a clause requiring the clients to give an explicit consent for obtaining such details from their lenders and other organisations holding information on their borrowings and provide the same to the raters.last_img read more

Probe ordered into illegal sale of manjha

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Monday directed the Chief Secretary to probe how Chinese manjha was being rampantly sold in the city markets despite it being banned by the city government. Reacting to a request on the same by AAP MLA Mohinder Goyal, the Speaker asked Delhi Police to investigate the places where this manjha was being sold. “Despite the ban, it should be probed how it is being sold. A high level probe should be done. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”I urge the Chief Secretary to probe the issue. The Chief Secretary should ask the police to inquire about the Chinese manjha, where all it’s being sold. What fine is being imposed,” the Speaker said. Goyal reminded the House about the recent deaths due to this manjha in the city. He demanded that the Social Welfare Minister give compensation to the bereaved families. Use of glass coated manjha is banned by the Supreme Court. However, on occasions like Independence Day and Rakshabhandhan, the ‘manjha’ is sold at shops all over the city. “A 28-year-old civil engineer was killed and at least half a dozen others, including a retired defence forces officer, were injured after being allegedly hit by sharp kite strings (manjha) in separate incidents,” said AAP MLA Mahenrder Goel. Mpostlast_img read more

Taxpayers Federation applauds stipulation in possible Calgary Olympic bid

first_imgThursday’s announcement that the federal and Alberta governments support the formation of a bid corporation to explore the idea of Calgary pursuing a 2026 Olympic bid came with a condition: that a plebiscite is held before it could move forward. Although the plebiscite could cost upwards of $2 million, Craig says it’s money well spent. The Olympic bid itself is expected to cost around $30 million. The International Olympic Committee will invite bids beginning in January. “There’s certainly an argument, too, that it would be a positive thing to host a province-wide referendum, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.” Alberta Director Colin Craig says it’s important to poll public opinion. The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation applauded Premier Rachel Notley’s decision. “There is a cost to democracy. It’s important to involve the public in major decisions, not just simply during election time,” said Craig. “We think it’s important for taxpayers to have an opportunity to vote yes or no on an Olympic bid, so we’re pleased the Alberta government is making that a requirement of their funding.” Last year, the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee concluded that hosting the 2026 Games would cost $4.6 billion. “It’s not like a core government service like running a police department or fixing a road. This is something that’s very much a luxury option, and it’s important to ask taxpayers ‘do you want to spend extra money on this type of activity?’” said Craig, who adds they’ve been receiving complaints about the cost of the Games from around the province.last_img read more

Death toll in Myanmar crackdown higher than Government figures – UN expert

“Several reports of killings indicate that the figure provided by the authorities may greatly underestimate the reality,” Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro states in a report to be presented to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council next Tuesday.Mr. Pinheiro, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, visited the country at the Government’s invitation to verify allegations of abuses during the Government crackdown, determine the numbers and whereabouts of those detained or killed, and collect testimony about what happened. According to “credible eye-witness reports,” there were more than 30 fatalities in Yangon associated with the September protests, including the killing a Japanese photojournalist, states Mr. Pinheiro, who describes the lethal force used by the security forces in responding to peaceful demonstrators as “unnecessary and disproportionate.”In his report, the Special Rapporteur also states that between 3,000 and 4,000 people were arrested in September and October, and between 500 and 1,000 are still being detained. In addition, 1,150 political prisoners held prior to the protests have not been released. Most of the arrests took place during the crackdown on the demonstrations and the night raids carried out by the security forces and “non-law enforcement officials.” Of particular concern are “numerous accounts of the use of large capacity informal detention centres, unacknowledged by State authorities, which are regarded as ‘secret’ facilities,” he says, adding that detainees have included children and pregnant women.Mr. Pinheiro says he is aware of at least 74 cases of enforced disappearance, and calls allegations of the burning of a large amount of bodies “very disturbing.”In addition, he condemns the new arrests of political activists, despite the assurances given by Prime Minister Thein Sein to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, in early November that no more arrests would be carried out.Mr. Pinheiro has shared his report and a list of names of 653 detainees, 74 persons disappeared and 16 killed – in addition to the list of 15 dead provided by the authorities – with the Government for comments.He also recommends a number of measures to the Myanmar Government, including releasing unconditionally all those taken into custody for peaceful assembly or the peaceful expression of their political beliefs, revealing the whereabouts of those still detained or missing, returning the remains of the deceased to their families for proper burials and ensuring immediate access by Red Cross officials to all detainees. 7 December 2007An independent United Nations human rights expert says that at least 31 people died during the crackdown by Myanmar authorities on peaceful protesters a few months ago – 16 more than had been acknowledged by the Government. read more

UN labour agency calls for new international policies to create jobs in

“The extensive policy advice given to Africa needs a reality check – a wake-up call,” International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Juan Somavia told the agency’s Tenth African Regional Meeting at its opening session in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. “Work is at the heart of the economic, political and social concerns of people. So let’s make Decent Work in all countries the new organizing factor for a globalization that works for all,” Mr. Somavia added.He noted that the ILO’s Decent Work agenda has been assumed by its African tripartite constituents as a primary means of dealing with real problems as perceived by individuals, families and communities. That agenda is rooted in the ILO’s core strategic objectives of employment and enterprise creation, rights at work, basic social protection and social dialogue.”If we are serious about tackling poverty, then we must fight for jobs, sustainable livelihoods, income generating activities, and quality self-employment,” he said. “Through the African Union, Africa is developing a new vision and institution to tackle collectively its challenges. Through (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) NEPAD, Africa is calling for new types of partnership. Through the Extraordinary Summit on Employment and Poverty, Africa is shaping its own priorities that connect with people’s immediate needs.”That creativity and commitment should be matched at the global level,” he added. “It is time for a new generation of policies for international cooperation.”The four-day meeting brings together governments and workers’ and employers’ representatives from 53 African States to discuss initiatives to alleviate the plight of the continent’s hundreds of millions of impoverished people and creating more and better jobs for both adults and youths, both men and women.Delegates will discuss employment, development and social challenges, including employment promotion and advancement of social protection and social dialogue. They will also consider elements of a strategic plan whose objectives are based around three directions: elimination of barriers restraining the productive potential of Africa; promotion of investments for the creation of a sound framework for the governance of labour markets, based on the ILO’s fundamental principles and rights at work; and creation of opportunities for people and their families living and working in rural areas as well as the informal economy to make their way out of poverty. read more

UN food agency plants seeds for the future in southern Sudan school

More than 20 years of civil war, ending in January 2005, destroyed most of southern Sudan’s infrastructure, where estimates show that only 20 per cent of children attend primary school. Of those who do, just one third are girls. These troubling statistics prompted WFP to add school construction to its list of recovery projects across Sudan, where the agency is working to feed up to 6.1 million people this year in an emergency operation.“For me, it has been very moving to see the foundations of a WFP school being laid. They also serve as the foundations for the future of thousands of young southern Sudanese lives,” said WFP Executive Director James Morris visiting the building site of one of the schools.Employing 100 teachers and catering to over 10,000 students, the construction project is in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of global antipoverty targets adopted in 2000 – and the policy of the Government of Southern Sudan, both of which call for universal primary education. The project also complements WFP’s School Feeding Programme, which aims to increase school enrolment and attendance by giving children a free meal when they go to class.WFP has already partnered up with the Norwegian Refugee Council and German Development Corporation to build four schools following donations from the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. “This is one of the best examples of the humanitarian community working together to improve lives,” Mr. Morris said.Meanwhile in a separate development related to southern Sudan, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday that nearly 500 people in the region have died from cholera over the past six months, with the epidemic recently spreading north to the Khartoum area, causing 77 deaths since April.The Sudanese Ministry of Health has formed a task force, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WHO to coordinate the overall response to the epidemic, including strengthening the surveillance and reporting systems, standardizing case management and promoting health education and hygiene, with the chlorination of public water supplies. read more

Brock researcher named innovator of the year

Chemist Tomas Hudlicky has won the Ontario Partnership for Innovation’s Innovator of the Year award. Chemist Tomas Hudlicky can now add “innovator” to his many titles.Hudlicky has won the Ontario Partnership for Innovation and Commercialization (OPIC)’s Innovator of the Year award, which comes with a $5,000 prize to support his research.The award recognizes an outstanding OPIC faculty member who has advanced academic innovation for one or both outcomes of a better quality of life and economic well-being.“Dr. Hudlicky has developed efficient and ‘green’ processes for the production of many medicines, resulting in a cleaner environment and relief for thousands of patients,” says Karen Zavitz, OPIC’s managing director.OPIC, supported through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, is a virtual network of specialized technology transfer experts located at nine member institutions.These experts enhance knowledge and technology transfer capacity by sharing expertise, educational resources, and partnering with clients both within the institutions and in the surrounding communities.Hudlicky, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Biocatalysis – biological methods of manufacturing – heads an international group of scientists focused on converting toxic waste into usable products through an “environmentally benign” chemical reaction process.In addition to green chemistry, his research also centres on new pain and cancer medicines and natural product synthesis.“I was very surprised and pleased. I almost deleted the message thinking it was a spam,” says Hudlicky.“I will use the money for supporting the current projects in the group.”Accomplishments during the decade since Hudlicky came to Brock University from the University of Florida include:• Winning the Alfred Bader Award (2010) from the Canadian Society for Chemistry for excellence in research in organic chemistry• Filing 10 patent applications• Negotiating five licenses with a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, providing it with new processes for a more efficient production and synthesis of alkaloid compounds, which are key agents in pain control and the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. Payments from these licenses have exceeded $100,000 per year over the last three years and are expected to grow• Patenting a more efficient process for the manufacture of TamifluTM (oseltamivir) and additional anti-viral compounds having the potential to be more effective than TamifluTM• Partnering with Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (Toronto) for the development of cancer drug therapeutic candidates based on his work with the drug pancratistatin and related derivatives.“Professor Tomas Hudlicky is not only an outstanding academic, but he has been Brock University’s leading innovator,” says John Wilson, Director of Innovation and Commercialization, Office of Research Services.“His award advances Brock’s mission to reach out to the community through the development of strong partnerships with businesses and research organizations, and continue to foster the culture of innovation here at Brock,” says Wilson. read more

Bucyrus wins prestigious management award

first_imgBucyrus International is the recipient of this year’s Baird Management Excellence Award. Baird is an employee-owned, international capital markets, private equity, wealth and asset management firm. The award will be presented today to Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of Bucyrus. “Bucyrus International is a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality mining equipment,” said Paul E. Purcell, Baird’s Chairman, President & CEO. “The company’s innovative products, commitment to reinvesting in its facilities and workforce – at its South Milwaukee headquarters especially – and talented leadership team make it a proven performer. It is my pleasure to recognise Bucyrus as the recipient of the 2008 Baird Management Excellence Award.” International Mining’s December issue will nclude a focus on the mining technology coming out of Milwaukee and Peoria.Created in 1981, the Baird Management Excellence Award recognises companies that consistently demonstrate superior performance on behalf of customers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which they operate. Baird selects winners in consultation with officers of the Executive MBA Alumni Association at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business. This is the 27th year Baird has presented the award. At the event, Baird and EconomicsWisconsin will also present six Wisconsin teachers with awards for excellence in teaching economics and financial literacy.Founded in Bucyrus, Ohio, in 1880, Bucyrus moved its headquarters to its current location in South Milwaukee in 1893 and earlier this year completed a more than $200 million multi-phase capacity expansion of that facility. The company has more than 6,000 employees worldwide, nearly 60 facilities around the globe and a presence on six continents. Recently, it ranked fourth on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the “100 Fastest-Growing Companies,” and was recognised as one of IndustryWeek magazine’s “50 Best Manufacturing Companies.”Sullivan joined Bucyrus in June 1976. He has been President since August 2000, and its CEO since March 2004. He has been a director of the company since August 2000. During his career with the company, he has held numerous positions including: COO, Executive VP – Marketing, VP Marketing and Sales, Director of Business Development, Director of Parts Sales and Subsidiary Operations, and Product Manager of electric mining shovels and international sales. He earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Carroll College and a M.B.A. from American Graduate School of International Management.Sullivan was recently elected to serve as the new chairman of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee for 2008-2009, and was co-chair of the United Way’s 2007 Community Campaign. He also serves as Chair of the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment. Additionally, he is involved with various nonprofit boards, including serving as a director for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, Business Health Care Group of Southeast Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Advisory Council, Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and St. Ann’s Center for Intergenerational Care.Previous recipients of the Baird Management Excellence Award are Rockwell Automation; Johnson Controls, Inc. (honored in 1983 and 2003); MGIC; Kohler Co.; Sybron International Corporation; Midwest Express Airlines; Harley-Davidson, Inc.; the Green Bay Packers; Fastenal Company; Kohl’s Corporation; Briggs & Stratton Corporation; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Fiserv, Inc.; Manpower Inc. (honored in 1991 and 2005); the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club; Wisconsin Energy Corporation; Oshkosh B’Gosh, Inc.; Ameritech; Quad/Graphics, Inc.; Fort Howard Paper Company; G. Heileman Brewing Company, Inc.; Snap-On Tools Corporation; Northwestern Mutual; and Marshall & Ilsley Corporation.last_img read more

You can now find a plugin point for your electric car every

first_imgTHERE AREN’T VERY many electric cars in Ireland just yet — but if you happen to be amongst the tiny proportion of people who drive one, at least you’ll be able to find somewhere to plug it in.There are now more than 1,200 public charge points around the island of Ireland, the ESB confirmed today, as it announced it had completed its programme of installation for “vehicle fast chargers”.It means there’s now a place to plug in your car ‘every 60 kilometres along Ireland’s main roads’ according to the energy provider.The new “fast chargers” — which allow a driver a charge of up to 80 per cent in around 25 minutes – are located at: The M4 at EnfieldThe N4 at Carrick-on-ShannonThe M5 at BallinasloeThe M7 at MonasterevinThe M8 at CahirThe M9 at Kilkenny CityAnd the M11 at Gorey There’s also fast chargers on the M1 Dublin to Belfast road, and at a number of commercial sites – including Applegreen, Topaz, Tesco, Supervalu and Londis outlets.In addition, there are 10 AC chargers installed at Irish Rail sites.A regularly-updated map of public charge points can be found online here via the ESB eCars website…The government has set ambitious targets for the introduction of e-cars in the coming years — with 10 per cent of all vehicles to be electric-run by 2020.So far, however, it appears there are more charge-points than vehicles. There were 259 electric vehicles registered in the country last year.Read: How well is Ireland set up for electric cars?Read: Electric cars can now be powered up at Dublin Airportlast_img read more

Heres Some Weird Stuff Roger Stone Said at a Weed Conference

first_img People Got High on Cannabis At Funerals 2,500 Years AgoTrying to Get Pregnant? Stop Smoking Pot Roger Stone is bad. This is known.The depths of the veteran Republican strategist’s consummate shittiness are like a rotting onion. Layer upon layer of dirty political tricks and cons from a conspiracy theorist and serial liar who has found his way behind the scenes into most of the major political controversies and scandals of the past 40-plus years. The Nixon acolyte been allegedly involved in everything from Watergate and the 2000 Florida recount to the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal and of course, his decades-long friendship and association with President Donald Trump (and alleged back-channel involvement with WikiLeaks in the current Russian hacking scandal).Stone has routinely made racist, sexist, and Islamophobic statements in public and on Twitter, which led to a ban from appearing as a commentator on CNN and MSNBC. Stone showed up to President Trump’s inauguration in an outfit that can only be described as 19th-century robber baron Mr. Peanut meets Oswald Cobblepot. He has a website called the Stone Zone. These trifles alone are irrevocable proof of his objective shittiness.Nonetheless, Roger Stone may be one of our best hopes for marijuana legalization in this the Year Of Our Lord 2017…at least while Donald Trump is still running the show.Roger Stone as babadook on Inauguration Day #WikiStoneLeaks— Kat ☙ O’Shaughnessey (@graces_anny) April 1, 2017Stone gave a keynote speech at Cannabis World Congress this week, a marijuana trade show in New York City that’s equal parts business tech conference and stoner hypocrisy. Stone has actually been a cannabis legalization advocate for more than 30 years, and has worked to reform what he has called New York’s “draconian drug laws.” Stone announced a new non-profit organization called the United States Cannabis Coalition to reform federal drug laws and push for nationwide marijuana legalization. He also said he’s lobbying President Trump to declassify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, change restrictive banking regulations for cannabis-related businesses, and get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to back off his renewed war on drugs.“The essence of old-fashioned Barry Goldwater-style conservatism is I don’t want the government telling me what I can smoke,” said Stone. “To me, when the government tells you how to live, what you can ingest, well that’s the essence of big government liberalism, which I oppose.”Check out some of the more interesting and downright weird things Stone said during his Cannabis World Congress keynote.On Lobbying Trump For Legalization“I am going to be working with a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, Progressives, and Libertarians, Liberals and Conservatives, to persuade the President to keep his pledge,” said Stone. “To remind the President and the voters that the President took a strong and forthright position on this issue in the election, and in all honesty, it’s time for him to tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cut the shit!”“The bi-partisan coalition will have several purposes,” Stone explained. “One: to get the President to keep his pledge. Secondarily, President Trump could do what President Obama should have done on his way out the door but didn’t—change the schedule of marijuana from Schedule 1 so doctors across the country can prescribe it for people who need it and who it can help. While we’re at it, the federal bank regulators could lay off on banks that want to do business with a legitimate industry that is legalized and paying massive taxes in states.”“I’d like to remind the administration in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that this legal industry is generating. You reinforce federal laws against marijuana, and you bankrupt the states of Colorado and California and a handful of other states, and you bankrupt the counties.”“In addition to urging him to change the schedule so doctors can prescribe cannabis, we’re also going to urge the Trump Administration to support additional federal funding and adequate levels for unbiased scientific research into the medicinal properties of cannabis.”The United States Cannabis Coalition“What happens if we are unable to persuade the President to honor his pledge? What if we’re unable to persuade the President that the support of legal cannabis in 29 states is not only good public policy, it’s also good politics? Well then, it’s incumbent on us to build a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Libertarian-reminded Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate for the purposes of legalizing cannabis once and for all,” said Stone. “We have the votes. The votes probably exist in the house today for a legalization bill. The votes in the Senate would be tougher but not impossible. This is the next stage of the fire.”“This has to be a bi-partisan movement. I recognize that I have disagreements with people in the crowd on many other issues. We can disagree about anything you like: immigration, trade, war. That’s fine…I think we can find common cause around this issue.”“I have agreed to work with the United States Cannabis Coalition, a non-profit with an extremely narrow focus. Our focus is to persuade the President to keep his pledge, move marijuana from Schedule 1, and get us more federal research.”He’s Not a Fan of Jeff SessionsThroughout his speech, Stone kept coming back to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others pursuing renewed enforcement of federal marijuana regulations.“Presently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are talking about a crackdown on legal cannabis,” said Stone. “They’re talking about undoing the famous Holder memo in which the Obama administration did something I strongly agreed with, which was to essentially stand down on federal laws pertaining to possession and distribution in the 29 states where cannabis is legal in some form. That was good public policy.”“Now, the Attorney General talks about a crackdown. The other day, the AG went to Congress to ask for approval for such a crackdown. Then I saw an interview in which Secretary Kelly said ‘marijuana is a gateway drug.’ What planet does this guy live on? By definition, if everyone who used marijuana moved on to other drugs, we’d have millions of heroin addicts today. Where are they?”“Attorney General Sessions said, I quote, ‘good people don’t use marijuana.’ No, Attorney General, sick people use marijuana. Millions of them.”“Now we have a bunch of drug warriors like Jeff Sessions, like John Kelly, like Chris Christie—who would like to be the drug czar, god forbid—they would like to reunite the war on drugs,” said Stone.“I’m not focusing the campaign I have in mind on Jeff Sessions. I think I might as well target the campaign at this wall,” said Stone. “I like Jeff Sessions, but he comes from a southern conservative tradition. I’m willing to bet Jeff Sessions has never smelled marijuana in his life. He has no idea what it’s like. But he has heard from the time he was in school that one puff will turn you into a heroin addict.”A Jab At Hillary, Of Course“I’ve looked, I can’t find Hillary Clinton ever coming out for the legalization of cannabis, and this astounds me. I salute Bernie Sanders because he had the courage to say it. I salute Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein; they had the courage to say it. Donald Trump had the courage to stand up for medical marijuana on a states’ rights basis. Where was Hillary?”Stone Is Growing His Own Weed Strain“With partners, I am farming a new strain of marijuana. We’re doing this with all of our state permits in Yorba Linda, California. The name of the strain is Tricky Dick. Some people say when you smoke this you become paranoid and you want to go to a Chinese restaurant…that’s not true. We hope to have our first harvest this October.”Did you know Roger Stone has a Richard Nixon bong? You do now.Happy 420! #NixonBong— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) April 20, 2017One thing’s for sure: Stone definitely has the president’s ear. Stone publicly and reportedly in private urged Trump for weeks to fire now-former FBI Director James Comey, which Trump did. That’s working out great.Let us know how we’re doing Stay on targetlast_img read more

Halibut quotas for 2018 come in slightly lower than expected

first_imgCredit Creative Commons photo by Ed BiermanThe total allowable catch for the 2018 Pacific halibut season in the Gulf of Alaska and Southeast will be set slightly lower than what U.S. commissioners on the International Pacific Halibut Commission had asked for.Listen nowThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will publish a final rule in the Federal Register Tuesday setting combined charter and commercial quotas in Southeast, area 2C, at 4.4 million pounds. That’s about a 17-percent drop from the total allowable catch in 2017.In the central Gulf of Alaska, area 3A, commercial and charter fishermen will be allocated 9.1 million pounds, a roughly 900,000-pound difference from last year and about 400,000 fewer pounds than what U.S. commissioners requested. In all, Alaskan charter and halibut fishermen will be allowed to harvest 20.5 million pounds, down about 2 million pounds from last year.This comes after Canadian and U.S. IPHC commissioners, who typically set quotas together, could not come to an agreement at their annual meeting in January, the first time since 1990. Both countries decided to set quotas through their own domestic rule-making processes.According to a NOAA press release, the U.S. will continue following the IPHC process, but says it may seek to re-negotiate the 1923 treaty that created the international regulatory body in order “to improve the circumstances for U.S. fishermen.” The 2018 halibut season will open on March 24.last_img read more

Queen Elizabeth and the royal treasury will be taxed extra because of

first_imgThe Duchess Of Sussex Undertakes Her First Official Engagement With Queen Elizabeth IIPhil Noble – WPA Pool/Getty ImagesYes, she is a member of the royal family in Britain and that should make her a citizen of UK but since the Duchess of Sussex has not renounced her citizenship of her home country, it might cause monetary headache to the royal family.Since she is still a citizen of the United States of America, the US law still recognizes Meghan Markle as a tax paying citizen of the nation. In an interview to CNN, American Tax Return Ltd. founder David Treitel revealed that the way taxation works in the US could force Markle, who is still a US citizen and holds onto an American passport, to pay taxes on income she, as well as her baby, make as members of the royal family.Ultimately, the tax system in the United States—the law says all income everywhere is taxed unless it’s exempt,” he said, explaining that compensation for personal injury is exempt. Otherwise, “most income everywhere is taxed so if the baby has income, Meghan has an income, they are taxed.” Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesWhat poses a bigger problem is that the taxes can also be collected on account of royal family heirlooms and jewellery that Meghan Markle borrows. This will become a big headache for the Queen for she has occasionally allowed Meghan to borrow jewellery that belongs to the royal family.”The Queen has to sit there and her advisors have to sit there thinking ‘what if I lend Meghan a tiara? If I have the baby use a beautiful silver rattle that was used by Queen Victoria?’ How much is that worth? What’s the value of it? How much should be reported to the state? It’s a tough question, not easy,” David added.Already Meghan Markle has used taxable items like her wedding ring from Princess Diana’s collection. Even the residence in Frogmore Cottage can be reported to the US for tax purpose. This is not the first time that the Duchess of Sussex is being reported for tax purposes. When she got married to Prince Harry, it was reported that Meghan’s income will be doubly taxed due to her status as a US citizen, living in the UK.last_img read more

More pain ahead Indian banks stare at Rs 25 trln new bad

first_imgAn employee works on electric pylons at a power station in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi June 8, 2012 (representational image).Reuters fileThere is more pain lurking for India’s troubled banking sector with the lenders staring at potential bad loans of $38 billion (Rs 2.5 trillion) from the power sector, according to a report.”Of the $178 billion (around Rs 11.7 trillion) of debt of the power sector, $53 billion are already under stress (primarily to the generation sector) and of this, as much as $38 billion have the potential of being written-off as bad loans,” the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said in a report on Wednesday.The report is based on the fact that as much as 71 gigawatt of private sector coal-based projects are facing bankruptcy filings at various National Company Law Tribunals, implying probable resolution from June 2019 and it expects an average 75 percent write-off in these loans.Power sector has been a major concern in India, due to decline in fiscal health of State Electricity Boards. The debt-laded sector is struggling to service and pay off billions of dollars in loans, posing a major debt risk for the banking sector.In order to rescue the sector, the government is trying to revamp the space by releasing the projects that have been stuck due to major need of funds but failure to enact and implement supplemental laws at the state level have continued to pose a hindrance.As per the BofA-ML report, of the $178 billion loan, the distribution companies have $65 billion, generation companies have $7 billion, and transmission firms have a debt burden of $36 billion.Brokerage estimates the power generation sector accounts for 53 percent of the debt on domestic bank watchlists, followed by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) at 35 per cent and the balance from the states.It also states that tariff hikes are not the way forward for the sector to turnaround as already tariffs for industrial and commercial consumers, who constitute 37 percent of demand, are very high compared to its regional peers.But the report is critical of the reforms introduced to address inefficiencies saying they expect limited progress.last_img read more

Greece wildfires death toll rises to 91

first_imgThe wreckage of a burnt car is pictured on the sea side of the village of Mati, near Athens, on 28 July, 2018, after Greece`s worst wildfires killed 88, many of them children, on 23 July. Photo: AFPGreek fire services on Sunday said three more people were confirmed killed by the wildfires that have devastated seaside resorts near Athens, bringing the death toll in the disaster to 91.Another 25 remain missing, said spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri, giving a precise figure for the first time after mounting criticism over the issue.But some or all of the missing may be among 28 victims whose bodies are currently being examined by forensic pathologists and have not been identified, civil protection spokesman Spyros Georgiou told AFP.Several children — the total is not yet known — have become the face of the tragedy, including nine-year-old twin girls, a six-month-old infant, a brother and sister aged 11 and 13, and another 13-year-old.Four foreign victims have so far been identified including a young Irishman on his honeymoon, a Polish woman and her son, and a Belgian man whose daughter was rescued.A picture taken on 28 July, 2018 shows the outside of a villa in Mati, near Athens, where three children and their grandparents were found dead after Greece`s worst wildfires killed 88, many of them children, on 23 July. Photo: AFPFinger-pointing over the authorities’ handling of the crisis intensified on Sunday as the rightwing and centrist opposition accused the government of initially trying to hide the loss of human life.The fire services on Sunday continued to probe the causes of the wildfires, with the government suspecting criminal origins.The daily Kathimerini said that an initial report pointed to criminal negligence on the part of a resident who lit a bonfire of dead leaves and branches.last_img

Judge Bars Trump Administration From Detaining Asylum Seekers Without Cause

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Listen AP Photo/Susan Walsh, FileA federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from arbitrarily detaining asylum seekers at the border. The ruling comes in response to a suit filed in March by the American Civil Liberties Union.U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled the Trump administration was violating a 2009 Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive. Under that rule, ICE must grant parole to any asylum seeker who passes what’s known as a “credible fear interview.” That’s an interview used to determine if they have a legitimate reason to fear persecution or torture if they’re deported.  Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the University of Houston Law Center’s Immigration Clinic, spoke with Houston Matters. “In 2009, about 90 percent were actually released,” said Hoffman. “And then under the Trump administration, according to the stats that were given to the federal judge, about 100 percent were denied parole in various field offices, including El Paso, Philadelphia and Newark.”Houston Matters contacted the Justice Department for a response to the ruling, but the department declined to comment. 00:00 /00:51 Sharelast_img read more

THQ Games will cost 100 on average next console generation

first_imgBefore the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, consoles tended to have roughly five year lifespans. This generation is going to be different, though: Mirosoft just released the Kinect, which they view as taking the Xbox 360 through at least a few new years, while Sony went on record at the launch of the PS3 that they viewed it as being a console that would be around for a decade.Why are console makers suddenly being so conservative about releasing new consoles? In an interview with Eurogamer, THQ’s Danny Bilson basically puts it all in perspective: if Sony and Microsoft were to announce new hardware tomorrow, the price of games would have to shoot up way past $100 a copy in order to finance the teams.AdChoices广告“It still costs us a fortune to make games on this platform. If they’re going to up the scale, up the art, up the content, I don’t know how to make that and sell it to anybody for under $100 a game.” Wilson said. “Who wants to do that? It’s bad for everybody.”That’s a very interesting point, but it’s worth noting that in the 80s and early 90s, games already cost almost that much, and that’s without accounting for inflation. Games have been stuck at a price of roughly $50 or $60 for a couple decades now. Maybe it’s time for inflation to take its course?Read more at Eurogamerlast_img read more

The Craziest Movie Props People Actually Own

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. There was an interesting thread going around on Twitter last week asking “if you could own any movie prop from the history of cinema, what would it be.” Answers varied from the ridiculous to the sublime. Han Solo’s body in carbonite, the Necronomicon from Evil Dead, Spinal Tap’s guitar amps… it’s a great read.The thing is, there are already people who own these movie props. And they gather on an incredible website called YourProps to showcase their collections. I did a deep dive to discover some of the most insane movie props people actually have in their private collections.Night Of The Living Dead Winchester RifleGeorge Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead is one of the most influential horror movies ever made, but it was filmed on a shoestring budget outside of Pittsburgh with most of the props abandoned to the ages. The weaponry used in the flick, though, was the personal property of George Kosana, who played Sheriff McClelland, and afterwards he took this iconic Winchester used by Ben back home to his private collection. In 2007, he consigned it to the Profiles in History auction house, which is where YourProps user Cabell292 picked it up. This is up there with Freddy’s original glove and Leatherface’s chainsaw for totemic horror items.Labyrinth One Of The Four Guards’ FeetJim Henson’s 1986 fantasy Labyrinth is probably best known for a screen-chewing David Bowie performance as the Goblin King, but it also featured a bevy of the puppets that made Henson famous in the first place. The Four Guards were a quartet of odd-looking stone figures who present Sarah with a riddle she must solve in order to gain safe passage. They were dismantled after production and somebody saved one of their feet, which wound up here. Collector HollywoodHistory has a massive and bizarre collection of screen-used detritus like this.Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey Robot Bill & Ted MasksThe criminally underrated Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey still holds up today minus a few jokes. The bizarre 1991 sequel is probably the only teen film to feature an Ingmar Bergman parody and hermaphroditic nude aliens at the same time. Prop collector Guardian Devil is lucky enough to own this pair of prop masks from the film used by the malevolent robot duplicates of our metalhead slacker heroes in a deleted scene. I wonder if he wears these around the house when he’s bored?Wayne’s World 2 Garth’s Tighty WhiteysI’ve spent money on lots of really ridiculous things in my lifetime, but I have to say that “a pair of tiny underwear belonging to Dana Carvey” isn’t on that list. The 1993 sequel followed our favorite public access hosts as they attempt to put on a massive music festival called “Waynestock.” One memorable scene has Garth washing his clothes at a laundromat for the first time only to shrink his underwear down to about a third of their normal size. And these… these are those tiny underwear, from the collection of pinkxxl.The Shining Jack’s AxeNow this one is pretty damn cool. Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining is one of the most iconic, layered horror flicks ever released, a portrait of isolation and madness with multiple unforgettable scenes. This here is one of the axes Jack Torrance used in his rampage through the Overlook Hotel in the movie’s climax, courtesy of collector moviepropplace. It’s not known if this is the one that smashed through the door in the “Here’s Johnny” scene but that’s OK.Aliens Xenomorph Inner JawPlenty of people have scraps and props from later Alien movies, but having a piece of the original xenomorph is a rare achievement. The spring-loaded inner jaw of the beast that terrorized the Nostromo is one of its most recognizable features, and collector Hero Props got theirs from a crew member on the 1979 movie who had held onto it since filming wrapped.’Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Sub-Zero’s CostumeOur love for the Mortal Kombat movies is eternal and unflagging, as is collector Hero Props, who owns multiple objects from the first two flicks. The crown jewel of their collection is this screen-worn Sub Zero costume, which protected the Chinese ninja warrior with his heart so cold as he travels to the Outworld to open a can of whoop-ass on Shao Kahn.RoboCop CostumePaul Verhoeven’s 1987 RoboCop stands unbowed as one of the greatest, nastiest sci-fi movies ever made, an unflinching examination of corporate power and essential humanity that also has a big cyborg shooting people in the balls. Collector dbFX has a bunch of items from the movies (and even the 1994 TV series), but the coolest thing in their vault is this original costume, cast from urethane resin and used in scenes where the bulkier fiberglass version wasn’t practical.Boogie Nights Dirk Diggler Oil PaintingI’ve always thought that a pretty awesome job would be making fake paintings for movie sets. Imagine getting to make the painting of the guy with two dogs from Goodfellas and getting paid for it? There’s actually a pretty bustling aftermarket for cinema-exclusive artwork, like this hilariously inept portrait of Dirk Diggler from Boogie Knights. In story, it was painted by fellow porn star Jessie St. Vincent after she and Dirk got married, but the actual artist remains unknown.Nightmare On Elm Street 4 Soul PizzaThe Nightmare On Elm Street movies were notorious for taxing the props department making Freddy Krueger’s dream murders. As the franchise continued, the kills got even weirder, and few were as weird as the “Soul Pizza” from A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Directed by Renny Harlin, it’s full of bizarre set pieces with the peak being Debbie’s dream, where the knife-handed maniac stalks her in a diner and serves her a pizza with screaming human face meatballs on it. That effect, created by makeup artist John Carl Buechler, was cool enough that collector c. omosh bought one of the prop pizzas used in the scene.Beetlejuice Sandworm PuppetI’ve been sort of dismissive towards some of the props on this list, but honestly I’d kill to own this one. The sandworm puppets for Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice are painted with the director’s signature black and white stripes (some scurrilous rumors claim his ding-dong is tattooed the same way) and contains a wire armature that allowed the creature to hold poses for the stop-motion animation used in its scenes. Props to collector Hollywood History for snatching this bad boy up.last_img read more

VIDEO Northern Illinois fake punt on 4th and 18 from their own

first_img Of course, Duke capitalized and punched in the gift. Garbage bowl season is the time of year to throw caution to the wind, open up the playbook and run a trick play or two, but there are limits.Take Northern Illinois for example. The Huskies trailed Duke, 7-0 in the Quick Lane Bowl – which will always be The Little Caesars Bowl in our hearts – and thought they’d catch the Blue Devils off guard on a 4th and 18 from their own 10 with a fake punt. Bad idea.This isn’t Colts fake punt bad, but it’s a strong candidate for worst play call of the college football season. This is gross, even for the Quick Lane Bowl. Not. Even. Close. Advertisementlast_img

3 Lessons From Sony Pictures Cautionary Tale

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. December 29, 2014 It seems like as each day passes, another embarrassment unfolds in the Sony Pictures security breach saga — from unflattering internal discussions to Sony’s ill-advised DDoS counter offensive against the sites leaking their data.But more than just a PR disaster, the headlines spell out a cautionary tale for any business with sensitive data and high-value intellectual property. While the cost of the Sony hack has yet to be assessed, experts predict losses of up to $100 million resulting from the leak of personal financial info, unreleased movies and more.Related: 5 Lessons Leaders Can Learn From the Sony Hacking ScandalThe burning question on any business owner’s mind is: Could Sony have prevented this? Here are three key takeaways from the Sony hack, and what you can do to avoid these mistakes.1. The risk of a data breach is bigger than you think.In terms of probability and losses, the risk of a data breach is huge. If investing in security doesn’t provide a visible enough return to convince your chief financial officer, just look to the statistics: in the past year, 43 percent of companies have experienced a data breach. While the likelihood that you’ll get hacked is high, what makes or breaks your business is its ability to respond.Unfortunately, Jason Spaltro, Sony senior vice president of information security, didn’t get that memo: “It’s a valid business decision to accept the risk. I will not invest $10 million to avoid a possible $1 million loss.” Once he receives the final tally of damages from the Sony hack, he’ll likely revisit that ratio.2. Behave yourself in your emails.One of the biggest embarrassments from the Sony hack has been the leak of several unsavory emails, some of which may cost executive Amy Pascal her job. Racially insensitive comments about the president and declarations that Angelina Jolie is a “spoiled brat” count among her most egregious faux pas. Sony has hired attorney David Boies to try to put the lid on the leaked emails, but now that they’re out in the wild, there are no take-backs.Related: FBI Warns U.S. Businesses of ‘Destructive’ CyberattacksMost of us know better than to let our unscripted thoughts fly in business emails, but most of us also don’t expect our emails to show up on Gawker. If, by chance, you need a reminder to keep it classy, the Sony hack is a powerful example.3. Use email encryption.An email hack can cost you more than your reputation. Consider the sensitive data you send via email, from your business’s financials to important intellectual property. Encryption adds a layer of protection to your data by making it unintelligible to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. Even if a hacker manages to steal your data, without the key, they can’t do anything with it. End-to-end email encryption not only helps protect against data leaks, but also keeps your Angelina Jolie disses hush.As the Sony hack continues to prove, with cyber crime, more than money is at stake — besides the PR catastrophe, the threat to some jobs and leaks of unreleased films and other IP, employees and their families have had their medical data exposed and are receiving personal threats.While the loss is staggering, one thing is clear: much of this could have been prevented. By adequately investing in data security and encrypting sensitive files and emails, Sony might have avoided much of the fallout from this data breach.You never know where something you send could show up. Once you hit send, it’s out of your control, right? Wrong. There are new technologies available that give email users back control over how their messages are viewed and shared online. These tools (such as Virtru) provide email users with easy to install, and use, end-to-end encryption and unique privacy controls such as the ability to revoke a message after it’s been sent, restrict forwarding and set expiry for sensitive emails to auto-delete.The hard truth is that sending an email is like sending a postcard — the message is there for virtually anyone to see and use. If you’re an email user who has mistakenly sent an email to the wrong person or wants to ensure your private information remains private and confidential, an extra layer of protection is needed. Just ask Sony.Related: Make Hacking Harder (Infographic) Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

The Tico Times Weekly Digest Feb 25 2019

first_imgRelated posts:The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Jan. 14, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Jan. 28, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: March 04, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: April 1, 2019 This week in Costa Rica (Feb. 25, 2019):————————————-Featured News Stories————————————-Guaidó-appointed ambassador takes possession of Venezuelan embassy in Costa RicaAt Costa Rica’s request, Guaidó-appointed ambassador temporarily leaves embassyÓscar Arias’ Crucitas case dismissed; prosecutor plans appealCosta Rica’s Health Ministry confirms three imported cases of the measlesThousands affected by water shortages in Costa RicaSaprissa defeats Mexico’s Tigres UANL behind Venegas goalHerediano beats MLS champs Atlanta United, 3-1Announcing The Tico Times’ next Deep Dive – Costa Rica’s Southern ZoneThe Tico Times launches Patreon with perks for donors—————————————-Follow The Tico Times—————————————-TwitterInstagramFacebook Facebook Commentslast_img read more