Fuel prices: Rajasthan CM announces a 4% reduction in VAT

first_imgRajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four-per cent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel on Sunday, reducing fuel prices by ₹2.5 per litre in the State. VAT on petrol will be reduced from 30% to 26% and on diesel from 22% to 18%, Ms. Raje announced at a public meeting organised in Rawatsar in Hanumangarh district as part of her ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’The revised rates will be effective from midnight. The decision will cost the exchequer ₹2,000 crore and will provide the people a relief of ₹2.5 per litre on petrol and diesel.“We have decided to reduce VAT on diesel and petrol by 4%, which will provide much-needed relief to the people of the state, be it farmers or women or others,” Ms. Raje told reporters in Rawatsar after making the announcement.Petrol and diesel prices set new records on Sunday as they continued their upward march on fall in rupee and surge in global crude oil rates. The opposition Congress has called for a nationwide shutdown on Monday over rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee. Targeting the Congress, the chief minister said that the party had failed to play the role of an effective opposition and came out of its shell just before the election. Assembly election in Rajasthan is scheduled for later this year. Reacting on the decision, AICC general secretary and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said that Ms. Raje had to take the decision because of public support the Congress was gaining for Bharat Bandh on Monday. “The chief minister had to reduce VAT on diesel and petrol because of the public support Congress was gaining for Bharat Bandh on Monday. The reduction is not enough and the relief should also be provided on gas cylinder without any further delay,” Mr. Gehlot said in a statement. He said that the former Congress government led by him in the State had reduced ₹25 per cylinder and looking at the prices of today, there should be a cut of at least ₹100 on the gas cylinder.last_img read more

GATE 2016: All you need to know about the GATE awareness programme

first_imgThe schedule for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2015 were announced recently. Keeping in mind the aim to enhance the aspirants’ future, and in order to help them explore a world of opportunities beyond their graduate degree, the GATE Academy is conducting GATE awareness programme called LakshyaGATE all over India.The GATE Academy is an institution providing quality GATE education driven by technology and coaching, is initiating an awareness programme called LakshyaGATE. The academy ensures that pioneer venture the aspirants of GATE will be made familiar with the opportunities beyond their B.E. and B.Tech degrees. It is also intended to inspire confidence among engineering students and assist them in their preparation to crack GATE.”LakshyaGATE as the name denotes is meant to equip students to be well prepared for their aim of cracking one of the most crucial exams of their career, i.e. GATE. The initiative will familiarise the students with some of the most commonly made errors while preparing and writing the competitive exam. It will enable interactive sessions with the students to help them gain knowledge and clarify their doubts regarding the GATE exam,” said Mr. Nitin Rakesh Prasad, Co-founder of the GATE academy, while talking about the initiative.Prasad has shown great oration skills in the past, and apart from being the Co-founder, he is also the speaker for LakshyaGATE. He secured an All India Ranking of 9 in GATE 2004 and hold an M.Tech in Instrumentation degree from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He has helped motivate about 25,000 students to clear the GATE exam. He adds, “LakshyaGATE is an attempt to inspire students to hone their skills to do better in their academic and professional life. Our future plans include augmenting this activity to embrace more speakers to share different ideas that can help students. We also wish to branch out to smaller towns to spread awareness about GATE and its benefits.”advertisementApproximatley 64,000 students across the coutry have registered for this event so far. It has been conducted as a webinar multiple times and is also available on the Youtube channel of the academy, which has attracted 110,571 views since last year.About GATE Academy: The academy was incepted in 2009, this Bengaluru based institute offers technology driven coaching that blends faculty-based and online learning. Their model of teaching includes blending the standard faculty based classroom learning with pre-recorded video lectures, online tests and GATE focused books for concept clarity.last_img read more

Maharashtra Day: Shreehari Aney hoists Vidarbha flag, says fight for separate statehood will intensify

first_imgFormer Maharashtra Advocate General Shreehari Aney hoisted a’Vidarbha flag’ in presence of several organisations that have beenpropagating separate state for some time and said that their efforts for separate statehood would further intensify, today on Maharashtra Day inNagpur.Aney said that while he flag of separate Vidarbha isbeing raised on 1 May, for last three years, the movement for separateVidarbha state has gained momentum since it has been strongly opposed by the ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena, besides MNS.The hoisting was a mark of protest against the merger of the then Vidarbha, theCentral Provinces and Berar into Maharashtra on 1 May, 1960. Similarflags were also unfurled at about 24 other places across the Vidarbharegion.”We are not apprehensive of any political party or groupwhich is opposing the creation of Vidarbha state, but our fight will goon and it will be further intensified from day one of the commencementof the winter session of state Legislature here in the second capital(of Maharashtra) in December,” he said.”Till December, we are chalking out a strategy to agitate for carving out Vidarbha from Maharashtra,” Aney said.He declined to comment on alleged remarks by Shiv Sena president UddhavThackeray against him and said, “Come what may we will maintain ourdiscipline and decency in agitation.”Prominent members ofpro-Vidarbha organisations, Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED), Shetkari Sanghatana, Vidarbha Vikas Aghadi and other outfits alsoparticipated.Former three-term MLA, Shetkari Sanghatana’sWamanrao Chatap, former Minister of State and Dalit leader SulekhaKumbhare, ex-Director General of Police Prabir Chakraborty, former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax B Dharmik, Jan Manch president advocate Anil Killor, former Vice Chancellor of Nagour University Haribhau Kedar were among those present on the occasion.advertisementMeanwhile, the local Shiv Sena unit protested the movement for separate state and the unfurling of the ‘Vidarbha flag’ by Aney.The Shiv Sainiks, led by district president Satish Harde, gathered at HBTown, in the eastern part of city, raised pro-Maharashtra slogans andallegedly burnt an effigy of Aney.The MNS, which is also opposed to creation of Vidarbha, organised a Maharashtra flag-hoisting eventadjacent to Aney’s programme at Bajaj Nagar Square.In anotherdevelopment, four activists of Aam Aadmi party, which has extendedsupport to Vidarbha state, climbed up an 80-feet mobile tower of aprivate telecom company at Akashwani Square in favour of the separatestatehood demand.Sporting white caps with pro-Vidarbha stateslogans painted on it, the youths wanted to draw the attention ofpolitical leadership over demand for Vidarbha.However, nountoward incident was reported from any part of city in view of theevents in support of and against the Vidarbha statehood issue.last_img read more

After Sonam and Twinkle, Taapsee Pannu tries her hand at an off-beat saree

first_imgOff-beat, crazy, here-and-there, mad sarees are the new fascination Bollywood has taken to. And the latest celebrity to join that bandwagon is beautiful actress Taapsee Pannu.Last night, Taapsee Pannu was spotted at the Sportsperson of the Year 2017 awards, wearing a saree we’ve not seen on anyone before.What was so special about this saree? Well, everything. The white-gold saree’s fall was pristine white with tasteful, self-cloth shreds, while the rest of it was a royal golden embroidery–that in itself is enough to make a saree worth all your attention.Picture courtesy: Instagram/officialeshasethithiraniAdd to that was this tube-top blouse, with a dainty white, embroidered net that enveloped Taapsee’s arms gracefully. What took the saree to a whole new level, however, was the fact that the pallu of the saree went from inside the blouse, all the way over Taapsee’s shoulder. The reason for doing that, we guess, was to highlight the beautiful blouse’s dainty embroidery–a move that was smart and just not over-the-top.Photo: Yogen ShahThis beautiful creation was by designer Esha Sethi Thirani, and Taapsee decided to team it up with an elegant white choker by Narayan Jewellers.In the past, only Sonam Kapoor and Twinkle Khanna have dared to experiment with the ethnic Indian saree, and the results have been phenomenal, just like this one!last_img read more

PM follows 55 women on Twitter to mark Raksha Bandhan

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today followed on Twitter 55 women, including sports and media personalities, to mark Raksha Bandhan.These women include professional badminton doubles player Ashwini Ponnappa, tennis players Sania Mirza and Karman Kaur Thandi, athlete P T Usha, former Miss India and child rights activist Swaroop, and journalists Romana Isar Khan, Sweta Singh, Padmaja Joshi, Sheela Bhatt and Shalini Singh.Others followed by the prime minister on the micro-blogging platform include actor Koena Mitra, weightlifter Karnam Malleswari, photo journalist Renuka Puri and some BJP members and state government ministers.Some of those followed by Modi, thanked him and wished him on Raksha Bandhan.Sources in the government said the prime minister followed them on Twitter to mark the festival.The prime minister follows 2,000 people on his personal Twitter handle @narendramodi and is followed by 43.7 million people.His official Twitter handle @PMOIndia follows 438 people, including world leaders. The official account is followed by 26.9 million people. PTI NAB NAB ANBANBlast_img read more

Evin Lewis withdraws from limited-overs series vs India citing personal reasons

first_imgThe West Indies team on tour of India have been depleted further after opener Evin Lewis pulled out of the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) citing personal reasons.Lewis was not a part of the West Indian Test team and was called for ODIs and T20Is, where he can be at his destructive best.The first ODI is to be played on October 21 in Guwahati while the five-match ODI series ends in Thiruvananthapuram on November 1.Recently, Lewis had also declined a central contract by Cricket West Indies, that potentially made him more available for T20 leagues around the world — something that big stars from the region like Chris Gayle have done.Also read – West Indies coach Stuart Law suspended for 2 ODIs for breaching ICC Code of ConductLewis’ blow comes for the West Indies after Gayle, who is playing the Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah, made himself unavailable for the series in India.Lewis’ would have come handy in India, having played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. He has two ODI hundreds in 35 games and as many in T20 format in just 17 matches.Also read – Umesh Yadav replaces Shardul Thakur for first two ODIs vs West IndiesKieran Powell will replace Lewis in ODIs while Nicholas Pooran will take his place in the T20s. Uncapped pacer Obed McCoy has also been drafted into both the squads.”Powell and Pooran have been asked to replace Evin Lewis in the ODI and T20I squads; while McCoy will replace Alzarri Joseph, who remains under observation for his return to full fitness,” a Cricket West Indies statement read.advertisementAlso read – MCA members file petition against BCCI’s decision to shift ODI out of WankhedeRevised West Indies squad (ODI): Jason Holder (Captain), Fabian Allen Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Oshane Thomas.T20 squad: Carlos Brathwaite (Captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford and Oshane Thomas.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Sam Curran leads England’s second Test fightback against Sri Lanka

first_imgShare on WhatsApp England cricket team The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Messenger match reports Share on Facebook Support The Guardian Since you’re here… On a beige surface as dry and crumbly as a forgotten biscuit at the bottom of the tin England, with the considerable benefit of batting first, put some runs on the board – 285 of them. Whether that is enough to control the game we must wait to know for sure but the likelihood is that this is a highly satisfactory total.It is certain that this surface is offering more help to the spinners than the one in Galle and the contest is likely to be mesmerising, which is nearly always the case when the pitch possesses a few demons and runs are at a premium.The main contributors were Jos Buttler and Sam Curran, who hit 63 and 64 respectively and both innings were brimful of bravura. For most butlers spending much of the day sweeping is a task well below their station, but this is certainly not the case with England’s new number five. Fifty-one of Buttler’s runs came from a miscellany of sweeps, the paddle, the reverse, the slog and even the occasional orthodox one; five of his runs were taken from the paceman, Suranga Lakmal, so just eight more against the spinners came, rather boringly, via a vertical bat. This was a knock of remarkable daring and skill; inevitably it ended with a miscued reverse sweep. Joe Root stayed true to the team’s determination to be aggressive by hitting a delivery from Pushpakumara over mid-off very early in his innings. As ever he looked untroubled and then mysteriously he missed a straight ball from the left-armer, which passed through a surprising gap between bat and pad. Top class players seldom miss such deliveries. All the while Rory Burns had been busy and reassuring. After three innings he has yet to reach 50, but he looks the part. Here Burns, on 43, edged a floated off-break from Akila Dananjaya to slip.From the start of his innings Buttler decided it was a day for sweeping especially against the slower of the Sri Lankan spinners, Pushpakumara and Dananjaya. And unlike when he tried to play with a conventional straight bat he never missed, whether reverse sweeping or thumping the ball in front of square leg. So England had raced to 120 for four by lunch in another spellbinding first session.They decelerated a little in the afternoon. Moeen Ali was lbw on the back foot to Pushpakumara; Ben Foakes flickered before being caught at slip off the inside edge and pad. When Buttler’s first flawed sweep was caught England had slumped to 171 for seven but as is often the case in a buoyant side the tail wagged. Topics Adil Rashid batted masterfully for 31 and then came the inspired hitting of Curran, which had a large English contingent on the grassy banks in raptures. Whether their elation was shared by those tourists who had been bumped out of their hotel to be compensated by “a banana and half a bottle of wine” according to one punter and inconvenienced by more than two hours commuting from Dambulla, is debatable. They may soon be uplifted by a letter of sympathy from the England captain. center_img Sri Lanka v England: second Test, day one – as it happened England in Sri Lanka 2018 Read more Cricket Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Equally gobsmacking was yet another virtuoso effort from the precocious Curran at the end of the innings. Initially Curran displayed more restraint than any of the England batsmen; it took him 50 balls to reach double figures. But when the last man, Jimmy Anderson, came to the crease Curran accelerated in the most spectacular manner. He hit six sixes against the spinners despite there being six men on the boundary most of the time. The last wicket partnership of 60 was the largest of the innings and when Malinda Pushpakumara dropped Curran on 51, a straightforward chance at long-on, the Sri Lankans were in despair.All the English batsmen, with the exception of Keaton Jennings, who was dismissed early on by Lakmal, reached double figures. Given the frequently used mantra of “the first 10 balls are the hardest against the turning ball” perhaps England should have made more of winning the toss and all those starts. Yet such was the brilliance of Curran, nobly supported by Anderson, who did not have to face very often, that England were not in a mood to quibble about lost opportunities come the close of play – especially after Jack Leach had bowled Kaushal Silva with a beauty, which turned obligingly past the outside edge to clip the off bail.Jennings, caught behind to a stiff-legged prod, was the only batsman to be dismissed by a pace bowler. The statistics suggest that he would be a better number six since his record against spin bowling is so much better than against pace. But England have enough men who can bat down there. That group used to include Ben Stokes, who now emerges at number three. He was at ease against the pace of Lakmal but twice he loitered on the crease to full-length off-breaks from Dilruwan Perera pitching on middle and leg and on the second occasion he was lbw. Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Sri Lanka cricket team Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Councillors Encouraged to Acquaint Themselves with Building Act

first_img Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, has called on colleagues in the Municipality to acquaint themselves with the Building Act of 2017. Senator Williams noted that the passage of the Act represents a significant moment in the history of the country and local government, “as it will make our infrastructure far more resilient than it is now, and will help to protect our environment from man-made and natural hazards”. Story Highlights “As councillors, I urge all of you to ensure that you know it. I will be convening a meeting to have presentations on the Act, which will give you the opportunity to ask various questions on clauses, so that you are comfortable with the law, because, as you all know, it comes under Local Government,” he told them. Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, has called on colleagues in the Municipality to acquaint themselves with the Building Act of 2017.The law was passed in the House of Representatives last year with 24 amendments and in the Senate with 30 amendments.“As councillors, I urge all of you to ensure that you know it. I will be convening a meeting to have presentations on the Act, which will give you the opportunity to ask various questions on clauses, so that you are comfortable with the law, because, as you all know, it comes under Local Government,” he told them.The Mayor was addressing the monthly meeting of the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation at its Church Street offices in downtown Kingston on February 13.Senator Williams noted that the passage of the Act represents a significant moment in the history of the country and local government, “as it will make our infrastructure far more resilient than it is now, and will help to protect our environment from man-made and natural hazards”.Some provisions of the Act include ensuring public safety and welfare, ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities regarding accessibility and safety, preventing squatter settlements, and promoting sustainable development.The law also provides for the establishment of the National Building Code and identifies the Bureau of Standards Jamaica as the agency that will set the acceptable local and international standards for construction.In addition, the legislation establishes that the municipal corporations are to be the local building authorities and will be responsible for inspecting, certifying and taking the actions necessary to approve new structures, change existing buildings or destroy dangerous structures.It also streamlines the permit application system to eliminate unnecessary referrals and expedite responses, and facilitates the introduction of special express services.last_img read more

Interview: Sohar’s Expansion Goes Full Steam Ahead

first_imgSOHAR Port and Freezone, a deep-sea port and the adjacent free zone, located in Sohar, Oman, is undergoing a major expansion and has set very ambitious goals on a global scale, all with the goal of attracting major shipping players to the port.The Port has invested USD 15 billion in building up its infrastructure and has reached several milestones over the recent period. The big news at the moment is the move of all commercial traffic from Muscat to SOHAR – around 300,000 TEU, with the deadline for relocating operations set at the end of August.We wanted to find out more on the ongoing activities, and the best person to tell us all about that is Mr. Andre Toet, Chief Executive Officer at Sohar Port.WMN: First of all, as the port is readying for a complete switch of container operations from Muscat to SOHAR, scheduled for August, what can you tell us on the progress of this operation? Is everything going according to schedule?Image Courtesy: Sohar PortAndre Toet: “The transfer of container traffic from Muscat to SOHAR is by far the biggest moment in the Port’s history since it was established as a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam and the Government of Oman, in 2002.As such we have been encouraged with the way in which the transition has been handled. Many of the companies that were operating out of Muscat have already made the move to SOHAR and have invested in our vision of a modern industrial hub in the Al Batinah region.We have also been pleased with the efforts that have been made to ensure we are able to accommodate both larger ships and greater container volumes.The Oman International Container Terminal has undergone a major USD130 million relocation and redevelopment project that almost doubled quay length, increased yard space from 28 to 68 hectares, and added 14 rubber tyred gantry cranes, and three post-panamax ship-to-shore cranes to the four already located on the quay.Although only a few hundred yards from its current location, the expansion of the container terminal and construction of a new Terminal C building is a symbol of our ambition. It also took investment in the port beyond USD 15 billion.”WMN: Could you elaborate on what will this switch mean for SOHAR in terms of handled capacity, benefits and employment? What have been the greatest challenges in enabling the transfer?Toet: “The switch of commercial traffic from Muscat is an integral part of our plans for the future but it is also an important step forward for Oman as a whole. While last year’s 12.7 percent growth in container throughput at Port Sultan Qaboos – in Muscat – was impressive, the ever-increasing size of container vessels and the shallow draft at the 40-year old port means economies of scale will always be limited without major redevelopment.This, of course, would be time consuming and expensive, not to mention disruptive to the nation’s capital. There is also the issue of space and low cost energy – something we have here in abundance within the Port and Freezone.Interest in the first phase of the Freezone, which has been fully leased out 3 years ahead of schedule, means that space will not be around forever.Especially given that container traffic is projected to pass 1.5 million TEU. For now, the move will mean container throughput more than doubles, from 206,000 TEU to around half a million containers.This is well within our current capacity of 800,000 – leaving enough room for expansion, but not too much for overcapacity. Meanwhile, as far as challenges go, the biggest challenge will be the sheer scale of the move, but like I say we have prepared well and have every confidence in the team we have in place.In terms of employment, we have created over 8,800 jobs and there are another 430 in the pipeline. While we offer the opportunity for companies to set up with lower levels of Omani employment, many choose to employ locally and therefore given our impressive growth rate of over 1,000 percent, I don’t see any reason why we can’t continue to do so – to create local jobs.”WMN: Your company announced plans to attract global operators to the port, can you tell us, what operators are you focusing on? Have there been any concrete results you would like to reveal?Toet: “Maersk Line was the first to embrace the move of commercial activity from Muscat and announce their commitment to SOHAR, which is already home to many of the world’s most renowned shipping companies such as UASC, CMA and APL.At the same time, our list of world-class terminal operators is growing by the day. Vale, Air Liquide, Larsen & Toubro, Methanol Holding International and Jindal Power and Steel operate their own terminal facilities at the Port, while independent terminal operators include Hutchinson Whampoa for containers, C. Steinweg for general cargo, and a joint venture between Oiltanking-and Odfjell for liquid bulk. WMN: What will be your growth strategy in the future period, what market will you focus on? Are there any particular branches for which you see potential for expansion?Toet: “Emerging economies are where we are seeing both tremendous growth and sustained interest in SOHAR Port and Freezone. This included BRICS countries Brazil and India, with investment in the Port seen through the establishment of Brazilian iron ore giant Vale’s 9 megaton pelletiser plant and distribution centre, and a steel manufacturing plant set up by India’s Jindal. We are also interested in markets in the Far East, such as Japan, China, and of course, Singapore. This strategy is based on the almost daily enquiries that we receive from potential investors.When you talk about specific industries, we are obviously keen to build on the success of our existing clusters – logistics, petrochemicals, and metals. Five ferrochrome smelters are being constructed on the Freezone as we speak, and another important development is taking place in the form of the expansion of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries – which will take the refinery’s capacity from 120,000 to 180,000 barrels per day and will feed into local industries.As already mentioned, we are also planning to capitalise on the decision to house a national food reserve at SOHAR by adding a dedicated agro-bulk terminal. We are also seeing interest in the automotive industry which, according to global consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan is set to record compound growth rates of 6.0 per cent in 2012-2017, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE among the largest markets. Spare parts sales are expected to double by 2017, to USD 13 billion.In line with this trend, SOHAR has secured lease agreements with Oman’s largest business house, Saud Bahwan, who will lease 40 hectares of the Freezone for a pre-delivery inspection and service centre – for Toyota, Daihatsu, Lexus, Kia, and Ford. SOHAR is already home to Suhail Bahwan, who represent Nissan and BMW in the region – taking annual car handling to 200,000.”Interview by Jasmina Ovcina Mandra, July 28, 2014; Images: Sohar WMN:  What benefits can your prospective clients expect if they decide to start up a business at SOHAR Port and Freezone?Toet: “Location, land, power, and skilled staff are our strengths, and put SOHAR in an extremely strong position, particularly compared to our neighbours.Everybody is struggling to produce energy to meet rising customer demands, but we have it here in abundance. The area is also home to a young workforce with ambitions that equal our own and, with an average national age of 19 there is a certain amount of time on our side when it comes to providing the right training.There are of course other incentives, including 100 percent foreign ownership. If you want to do business in Oman, you have to have an Omani partner, but in the Freezone you don’t.You can also get a corporate tax holiday of up to 25 years. In this case, the tax break is constant, while its length is linked to the number of local staff hired. There are also no restrictions on sales to GCC countries, so ultimately, investors can set up projects in a profitable, easy, and flexible manner.All of these benefits are made available to businesses through our innovative one-stop-shop, which is a unique service that has been set up to support companies looking to register their operations at SOHAR. This innovative feature means companies no longer need to deal directly with the government, which saves time and ensures businesses can focus on what they do best.”WMN: Has trade been impacted by overcapacity of ships?Toet: “Our sustainable approach to business means the age-old debate surrounding overcapacity is not something that concerns me. As with any venture, there must be a balance between cargo throughput and expansion. Too much cargo and not enough space can be just as debilitating as having a large empty industrial facility, but SOHAR Freezone is already filling up faster than expected and phase one has almost been completely leased out much earlier than expected.As far as other ports are concerned, in Oman it is more about coordination, but beyond that competition prevails. Every port in Oman has its own value proposition. Salalah is the connection point between east and west. We in SOHAR are the gateway to Oman and the Middle East, the upper Gulf, and Indian Rim. Duqm will play a similar role, but their focus is primarily on heavy industries. As a result, you simply cannot compare Salalah with what is happening in SOHAR or Duqm. Of course there will some competition, but not as extreme. Again, beyond that, we see competition as being healthy and will keep us on our toes.”center_img The relocation of the Oman International Container Terminal has freed up space and paved the way for the addition of a new agro-bulk terminal and storage facility for a strategic national food reserve. The motivation for the reserve came from a request from the Omani governments as it looks to improve its food security, and is is envisioned as a complex of silos for the storage of a variety of grain commodities, including wheat, rice, barley and other types of grain.Oman Flour Mills (OFM) has been selected by the government to operate the facility and will handle public and private grain in order to achieve the economies of scale necessary to bring down the costs associated with maintaining the government reserve. The addition of an agro-bulk terminal is important in that it deviates from the original clustering established by the Port of Rotterdam.”last_img read more

Le procureur général annonce une nomination à la magistrature

first_imgLe procureur général et ministre de la Justice, Cecil Clarke, a annoncé aujourd’hui la nomination de Marci Lin Melvin comme juge au tribunal de la famille et à la cour provinciale de la Nouvelle-Écosse. « Mme Melvin a plusieurs années d’expérience et offre une perspective unique, » a dit M. Clarke. « Elle sera au service des Néo-Écossais et contribuera à l’administration juste et équitable de la justice. » Mme Melvin a été admise au Barreau de la Nouvelle-Écosse en 1982. Elle a été avocate à l’emploi de l’aide juridique à Yarmouth, où elle était spécialisée dans le droit familial. Elle compte 24 années d’expérience de pratique. Elle prévoit améliorer ses compétences linguistiques en français afin de pouvoir juger des causes en français. Elle a également publié six livres pour enfants et un roman historique. Tous les profits réalisés par la vente de ses livres ont été versés à des oeuvres de bienfaisances pour enfants et à la Fondation canadienne du cancer du sein. Les juges de la cour provinciale doivent avoir au moins cinq ans d’expérience comme procureur de la Cour suprême de la Nouvelle-Écosse et doivent répondre à d’autres critères établis par le Conseil consultatif sur les nominations à la magistrature provinciale. Les membres du comité incluent deux membres de l’Association des avocats de la Nouvelle-Écosse, les juges en chef de la cour provinciale et du tribunal de la famille et quatre membres non juristes nommés par le ministre de la Justice. La cour provinciale a compétence exclusive sur toutes les infractions punissables par procédure sommaire en vertu des lois provinciales et des lois et règlements fédéraux. Le tribunal de la famille offre un forum pour l’audition de causes liées à la pension alimentaire, aux questions de garde et d’accès, à la violence familiale entre conjoints ou entre un parent et un enfant, ainsi qu’aux questions de protection de l’enfance. Pour plus d’information sur les tribunaux de la Nouvelle-Écosse, consultez le site Web www.courts.ns.ca.last_img read more

Nova Scotia Businesses Look for Export Opportunities

first_imgDozens of Nova Scotia businesses will be looking for opportunities to sell their goods and services in new markets with support from government. Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson announced today, Oct. 21, that 26 companies will receive help to export their products through the Global Business Accelerator Program. “These are innovative, leading-edge businesses that want to do business around the world,” said Mr. Samson. “Government understands that sometimes there are barriers to this kind of expansion, and we want to partner with our ambitious entrepreneurs and corporate leaders to create the conditions where they can grow and be successful.” Considering the small size of the Nova Scotia market, trade is critically important to the economy and standard of living. The Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy said the private sector must generate significantly more exports to achieve lasting economic turnaround. Under the program, businesses hire a professional with international business expertise, and is reimbursed by government up to 80 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum of $35,000. One recipient is AGADA Biosciences. The Halifax company is working to develop drugs to fight disorders like muscular dystrophy. “In the first 12 months of operations, we have had contracts from Italy, France, Sweden, England, and the United States, and new contracts are coming in from Japan, South Korea and Australia,” said company president Dr. Kanneboyina Nagaraju. “This program is certainly contributing to the rapid growth and success of AGADA.” The program is administered by Nova Scotia Business Inc. on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. This year’s total investment is $740,811. For more information, including a list of recipients, visit www.novascotia.ca/econ/GBAP .last_img read more

Dem vs DemTulsi Gabbard seeks apology from Kamala Harris

first_imgWashington DC: Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard has sought an apology from her fellow party lawmaker, Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris, alleging that people “suffered” when she was the attorney general of California. Both Gabbard, 38, and Harris, 54, who are popular among Indian-Americans, appeared on the same stage in Detroit on Wednesday at the CNN’s Democratic presidential debate. Trailing far behind Harris in current opinion polls, Gabbard — the first Hindu to ever run for the presidency of the United States — was aggressive in attacking the Senator from California on the criminal justice system. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a decision and an impact in these people’s lives you did not and worse yet, in the case of those who are on death row, innocent people you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so,” Gabbard said amidst applause from the audience. “There is no excuse for that. And the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor you owe them an apology,” she said. Harris was quick to defend her record as attorney general of California. “As the elected attorney general of California, I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of a state of 40 million people which became a national model for the work that needs to be done,” she said. The Indian-American Senator said she was proud of her work in California.last_img read more

Dirty Chinese Restaurant game denounced as racist by US Ont politicians

first_imgA Toronto-area company’s upcoming video game called “Dirty Chinese Restaurant” is being denounced as racist, but the business says its product is meant as satire.Big-O-Tree Games says the game — in which players chase cats and dogs with a cleaver, scavenge for ingredients and dodge immigration officials — “in no way is meant to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture.”The Markham, Ont., company says the game is coming out soon for Apple and Android devices but it has yet to announce a release date.A New York congresswoman this week urged all platforms not to carry the game or any other that “glorifies in hurting any community.”In a Facebook post on Monday, New York Rep. Grace Meng says the game “uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American.”Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also condemned the game on Twitter on Thursday, saying such racism has no place in Ontario.Big-O-Tree has issued two trailers for the game, which show the protagonist, Wong Fu, dumpster diving, evading tax collectors and sabotaging competitors.The videos begin with the company’s logo and the tagline, “Because being politically correct is so…boring.”The company defended the game in a statement posted on its website.“It has come to our attention that our small, independent game, ‘Dirty Chinese Restaurant,’ has upset some people due to its content,” it said.“Our game is mainly satire and comedy influenced by the classic politically incorrect shows we grew up watching, such as: ‘South Park,’ ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Sanford & Son,’ ‘Family Guy,’ ‘Simpsons,’ and ‘Chappelle’s Show.’ We also listen to Jay-Z.”The company describes itself as a small independent game studio “making games no one thought possible” and says it strives “to create entertainment that we all want to experience which is fun, addictive, and hilarious.”last_img read more

Navy comfortable with one temporary support ship Commander

first_imgOTTAWA — The commander of the Royal Canadian Navy says he is “comfortable” having only one temporary support ship given the current timeline for the permanent vessels to start arriving.The federal government is facing calls and pressure from Quebec and opposition parties to lease a second temporary support vessel from Davie Shipbuilding pending the completion of new ships to replace the ones that were retired in 2015.However Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd tells The Canadian Press the first ship is meeting the navy’s requirements and that his focus is on the two permanent support ships currently being built in Vancouver.While the scheduled delivery of those vessels has slipped several times over the years, defence officials say they are now reasonably confident the first will be delivered around 2023.The federal government paid Quebec-based Davie nearly $700-million to lease a converted civilian vessel to be a temporary support ship and it is currently working in the Pacific with the navy.Advocates for a second ship have said the plan is a win-win by arguing that the navy needs the vessel and the deal will support hundreds of underemployed Davie workers in the Quebec City area.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Western Canada Fashion Week

first_img Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Photo: Kelly RosboroughWestern Canada Fashion Week (WCFW), which was established in 2005, has developed into a nationally-recognized fashion and design event and the second-largest Fashion Week in Canada. What sets us apart is our mission to create a community of all involved in the fashion and beauty industries, including media and production staff. WCFW demonstrates a commitment to the development of the fashion, art and design community through subsidizing all designers who showcase at our events, creating competitions that generate recognition and financial support for entrants, and providing year-round opportunities for designers to market collections and gain publicity. We are unique among fashion weeks around the world because we are a platform for established designers as well as an in-house incubator that discovers new talent and launches the careers of young designers. WCFW is a local event with a global vision, enabling our designers to work locally while reaching larger markets. Advertisement Advertisement About Western Canada Fashion Week We are proud to have been a part of launching the careers of designers such as Sid Neigum, Caitlin Power, Derek Jagodzinsky (LUXX ready-to-wear), Malorie Urbanovitch, and Jessica Halabi as well as models such as Linsay Willier (Canada’s Next Top Model). WCFW At a GlanceMain EventMarch + September; 9 days of runway showsDesigners50 local, national + international designers; notable past presenters include David Dixon, G-Star Raw, Izzy Cammerlleri, Joeffer Caoc + Paul HardyModels400 per yearAudience15,000+ attendees for WCFW + other fashion events per yearNotable GuestsCasey Affleck, Kreesha Turner, Lloyd Lewis (CTV), Mayor Mandel, Talla Rajaei (Big Brother Canada)Notable PerformersCitie Ballet, Quentisha, Manuela WüthrichMedia CoverageExtensive recognition including magazines (Avenue, Elle Canada, Flare, LOULOU), TV (City, CTV, Global), newspapers (Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Globe and Mail, National Post, Vancouver Sun), radio (CBC Radio, HOT 107)PhotosOver 1 million hits on official WCFW Flickr page per seasonCommunity InvolvementLois Hole Hospital for Women, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Global Women with Vision, Bavaria BMW fundraiser for Maier Centre for Autism Services, The Works Art and Design Festival, Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, Couture for Cambodia, Bissell Center, HIV EdmontonUnique to WCFWCompetitions to develop the design community such as the Emerging Designer Competition, Costume Design Competition, Fantasy Hair & Makeup Competition, PHABRIKATED Design Competition (create a gown using non-fabric materials), For the Love of Winter (WinterCity Strategy Design Competition)Salon Showcase (featuring innovative hair teams and salons)Support for independent retailers, designers + local art communitiesYouth outreach programsIncubator ProgramDeveloped to nurture and support Western Canada’s young, local fashion entrepreneurs by providing them resources needed to create a marketable lineSOCIAL MEDIA LINKSWEB:  http://westerncanadafashionweek.comFACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/WesternCanadaFashionWeek/last_img read more

Business Highlights

first_imgCHELMSFORD, Mass. — Army looks for a few good robots, sparks industry battleThe Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight — not yet, at least — but to help the men and women who do.These robots aren’t taking up arms, but the companies making them have waged a different kind of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized robots that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the work has spilled over into Congress and federal court.___Euro currency remains a work in progress on 20th birthdayFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The euro is about to celebrate its 20th birthday, but the countries that use it are still wrestling with how the shared currency should work and how to fix flaws exposed by the debt crisis that marred its second decade.The euro was launched on Jan. 1, 1999, when 10 countries fixed their exchange rates to it and handed decisions on interest rates to the newly-founded European Central Bank. Euro notes and coins went into circulation three years later.The shared currency was seen as a solution to the constant quarrels over exchange rates that had marked European politics after World War II and as a logical extension of the European Union’s tariff-free trade zone. Britain, notably, opted out, but 19 of 28 EU countries use the euro.___North Korea’s ‘Singapore shops’ expose gap in sanctions pushPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Despite the unwanted publicity of a criminal trial for one of their main suppliers, business is booming at Pyongyang’s ‘Singapore shops,’ which sell everything from Ukrainian vodka to brand-name knock-offs from China. The stores stock many of the very things United Nations’ sanctions banning trade in luxury goods are intended to block and provide a nagging reminder that not all potential trade partners are lining up behind the U.N.’s pronouncements or the Trump administration’s policy of maximum pressure on the North.Especially when there’s a buck — or a few million bucks — to be made.The stores are anything but secret.___US pending home sales slipped 0.7 per cent in NovemberWASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in November as higher mortgage rates and prices continued to squeeze would-be buyers out of the market.The National Association of Realtors said Friday that its pending home sales index dipped 0.7 per cent last month to 101.4. The index based on contract signings has dropped 7.7 per cent over the past year and has recorded 11 straight year-over-year decreases.___Tesla names Oracle’s Ellison to board in SEC settlementNEW YORK (AP) — Tesla named Oracle’s Larry Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board Friday as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk.Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, an executive vice-president at Walgreens Boots Alliance, join the board as independent directors, effective immediately.Musk got into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early August when he said in a tweet that he had “funding secured” to take the electric car company private at $420 per share.___GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sightWASHINGTON (AP) — The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year, as both parties traded blame Friday and President Donald Trump sought to raise the stakes in the weeklong impasse.As agreement eludes Washington in the waning days of the Republican monopoly on power, it sets up the first big confrontation between Trump and newly empowered Democrats. Trump is sticking with his demand for money to build a border wall with Mexico, and Democrats, who take control of the House on Jan. 3, are refusing to give him what he wants.Trump raised the stakes on Friday, reissuing threats to shut the U.S.-Mexico border to pressure Congress to fund the wall and to shut off aid to three Central American countries from which many migrants have fled.___EPA proposes easing regulation of mercury from coal plantsWASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is considering backing off of its regulation of toxic mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.In an announcement Friday, the EPA proposes what would be another Trump administration rollback of federal enforcement under the Clean Air Act. It’s the latest administration effort on behalf of the country’s coal industry.___Wall Street faces annual losses despite solid gains for weekWall Street capped a week of volatile trading Friday with an uneven finish and the market’s first weekly gain since November. Still, a rough month of December has erased all the market’s 2018 gains and nudged the S&P 500 closer to its worst year since 2008.___The S&P 500 index fell 3.09 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,485.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 76.42 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 23,062.40. The Nasdaq added 5.03 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6,584.52.Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.6 per cent to settle at $45.33 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, inched up 0.1 per cent to close at $52.20 a barrel in London.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Polio campaign shows it is possible to treat all in Angola –

“Reaching children is no longer the main problem,” Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said today on his first national visit since taking office last month. “What needs to be done now is to deliver more proven health interventions, including routine immunization, improved care for mothers and newborns and surveillance and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS. “Several million Angolans are now resettling into their home areas. Now is the time to bring health services to them by rebuilding the infrastructure at communal level,” he added, referring to the more than 4.5 million Angolans displaced during the war. Dr. Lee, participating in the latest stage of the national polio immunization days, chose Angola for his first visit to demonstrate his commitment to working with countries facing extremely difficult health issues, including high rates of malaria, growing incidence of HIV and a health system working with extremely limited resources. The three-day polio campaign aims to vaccinate more than 5 million children under five against the disease. Using cars, bicycles, canoes, motorcycles, helicopters and travelling by foot, tens of thousands of vaccinators have in the last year successfully reached more than 5 million children with polio vaccine three times. As a result, no cases of polio have been found in Angola since September 2001. By contrast, the country had the largest recorded outbreak of polio on the African continent in 1999, when more than 1,000 children were paralyzed. With 2.4 million displaced people already back in their homes, WHO and its partners have been providing basic health kits, supporting immunization services including routine immunization, the polio and measles national immunization campaigns, and lab supplies as well as drugs for malaria, TB, leprosy, trypanosomiasis, onchocerciasis as the government plans resettlement of 2 million more people. read more

Employersponsored pension funds grew 41 per cent in Q1 StatsCan

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Employer-sponsored pension funds grew 4.1 per cent in Q1: StatsCan by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 12, 2012 9:28 am MDT OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the market value of employer-sponsored, trusteed pension funds was $1.1 trillion at the end of the first quarter, up 4.1 per cent from the previous quarter.The agency says that’s the largest gain since the fourth quarter of 2010.The report says pension fund investments in stocks rose nine per cent to $369.1 billion.Investments in bonds edged down 0.3 per cent to $423.6 billion.Pension fund revenues increased 26.7 per cent to $37 billion in the quarter, on significant gains from the sale of securities.Just over six million Canadians are members of employer pension plans, with the vast majority members of trusteed plans. read more

New renders show the PSP2 in more detail

first_imgEarly in November, images leaked purporting to be of Sony‘s next-gen handheld PSP2 console.The problem was… those images were pretty bad: they looked more like something the TSA might pull off a body scanning machine than a real leaked shot of the device. They were practically X-Ray, and although they showcased the basic hardware of the device, they weren’t exactly a pretty way to contemplate the future of the portable PlayStation line.AdChoices广告Here, though. Is the image above better? It’s not an official image from Sony, of course: it’s a mock-up created by PSM3 magazine for an article speculating on both the PSP2 and the PlayStation Phone.As you can see in the image above, the PSP2 is believed to sport the look of the PSP Go, while also boasting twin cameras and a back-mounted touch panel, seen in the image below:Otherwise, the PSP2 is still the subject of rumor, although it’s said that the PSP2 will have “the horsepower of the Xbox 360” when it finally launches next year. Even if that’s exaggeration — and it is — the PSP2 should be a very visually impressive machine if it follows the trail of its predecessor.Read more at PSM3last_img read more

Mass grave of Greek Cypriots discovered

first_img-“A Turkish military zone in the illegally occupied north of Cyprus may hold the answer to the fate of some of the 1,464 still-unaccounted-for missing from the Turkish invasion of 1974,” said Theo Theodorou, spokesman for Lobby for Cyprus in London. Theodorou was referring to recent reports that up to 1,000 Greek Cypriots are buried in the area near the occupied village of Lapithos, in the Kyrenia district. The area is fenced off with barbed wire and signs have been erected warning about mines, although a Turkish Cypriot newspaper has reported that “everyone can walk around in that area as he wishes. No mines have been found until now.” “According to what appears to be an open secret,” Theodorou said, “whenever anyone wants a skeleton or a skull for medical studies, he is directed to the site where he is free to dig for whatever he seeks.” Theodorou explained that since the invasion, the Republic of Cyprus has been demanding information about the missing Cypriots, and Turkey has refused to provide any information either to the Republic or to the International Red Cross.“Witnesses have reported that shortly after the invasion, between 800 and 1,000 Greek Cypriot bodies were collected from Lapithos and Vasilia, and were buried in a place known as “Agni,” close to the little harbour where the Lapithos fishermen kept their boats,” Theodorou said. One witness has reported that shortly after the bodies were buried, he noticed a fire started by the Turkish army and, upon enquiring about it, he was told that the recent rain had uncovered some of the bodies and the Turkish Army was burning the bodies. “The time has long passed for Turkey to officially account for the missing Greek Cypriots,” Theodorou added. “Reports and depositions from witnesses are not enough, and the European Union must demand that Turkey cannot hope for accession to the EU until it does.” Since the invasion, Turkey has been occupying 37 per cent of the north of the island, and has been supporting its control of the area with an occupation army of 43,000 men. In addition, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Turkey has imported 160,000 Anatolian colonists into the north to change its demographics. Lobby for Cyprus is based in the UK, and is dedicated to the unification of the island through the removal of the 43,000-man Turkish army. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more