DHT Holdings Clinches USD 485 Mn Refinancing Deal

Posted On Oct 23 2019 by

first_imgzoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Crude oil tanker owner and operator DHT Holdings has entered into a USD 485 million secured credit facility agreement for the refinancing of 13 of the company’s VLCCs. The new credit facility, with a six-year tenor, will bear interest at a rate equal to Libor + 2.40 pct and will have a 20-year repayment profile.The credit facility was provided by ABN Amro, Nordea, Credit Agricole, DNB, ING, Danish Ship Finance, SEB, DVB and Swedbank.The vessels concerned are Sundarbans, Taiga, Redwood, Hawk, China, Falcon, Condor, Leopard, Lion, Panther, Puma, Mustang and Bronco.In addition, DHT has entered into an agreement with ABN Amro to increase the company’s revolving credit facility to USD 57 million from the current USD 43.4 million. The revolving credit is currently undrawn.Commenting on the refinancing deal, the co-CEOs Svein Moxnes Harfjeld and Trygve P. Munthe said that the facility has supported the company’s focus on robust cash break even levels for the fleet.The facility extends the maturity for the refinanced facilities to the second quarter of 2024 and increases DHT Holdings’ liquidity position.last_img read more


NB Liberals lure Green votes but government still likely to fall Friday

Posted On Oct 17 2019 by

first_imgFREDERICTON – Premier Brian Gallant’s Liberals appear headed for defeat Friday, setting the stage for a Progressive Conservative government to take over in New Brunswick.Tory Leader Blaine Higgs said Thursday the Liberals had tried to lure some of his members to support the throne speech in Friday’s vote, but they are standing firm and will all vote against it.“We stand firm, all 22 of us. We are voting against this throne speech tomorrow morning, and there’s no necessity for any further debate,” said Higgs, who is now positioned to become premier.People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin — who earlier Thursday would not confirm how his party would vote — said they would vote to defeat the Liberal government.“We are here to say collectively as a caucus, we will not be supporting this government or its throne speech. We’ve made up our mind,” Austin said.The Liberals don’t have the numbers to survive the confidence vote.They won just 21 seats in the September election — one fewer than the Tories — while the Greens and People’s Alliance each won three seats.All three Green members of the New Brunswick legislature said Thursday they’ll vote in favour of the throne speech, which had offered Gallant a brief but dim glimmer of hope that his minority government could survive at least a bit longer.Higgs said he is confident the Liberals will be defeated.“I still remain optimistic, but I’m not here for the goodness of my health … we’ve got to make some decisions that matter,” he said.If the Liberals lose the confidence vote, it’s expected the lieutenant-governor would ask the Tories to try to form government.Gallant said Thursday that if he loses the vote, the Liberals will step aside.“I’ll resign the government. I’ve made it clear that I don’t think New Brunswickers want an election. And frankly if we were to go into an election we would be rebuking the very strong message sent to us on election night. People have sent a minority government to Fredericton for a reason,” he said.If he loses, Gallant said he would speak to his wife about whether to stay on as opposition leader, or quit.Gallant will have one last chance to make his case when he closes debate on the throne speech Friday morning, before the vote is held.Despite the indication of their vote, Green members weren’t giving the Liberal government any glowing endorsements in the legislature Thursday.Leader David Coon said over the last four years he has lost confidence in the government and its leadership.“The political meddling in the work of the legislature, the neglect of our health, child protection and senior care systems, and of the poor, the firing of our chief medical officer of health and the dismantling of her office, the handing over of extramural to Medavie, the inaction on renewable energy and climate change, and the degradation of our forests have all left our province worse off,” Coon said.But he didn’t have a glowing review of the Tories either.“I have little confidence that they have changed, and recent comments on fracking, language rights, Indigenous people and climate change have only confirmed this to me,” Coon said.However he said the amended Liberal throne speech, which contains some items from the Green platform, could be advanced for the benefit of their constituents, and all New Brunswickers.Gallant said he’s hoping opposition members will decide to put politics aside and base their decision on the actual throne speech.“If they do that, and they base their vote on the contents of the speech from the throne, I feel like we can gain the confidence of the house,” he said.Gallant said if he continues to govern, then he knows he will have to do better by working more collaboratively with the other parties.last_img read more


Natalie Cole And David Foster Perform At Prostate Cancer Foundation Gala

Posted On Oct 16 2019 by

first_imgProstate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit organization which remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and fund groundbreaking cancer research programs to save the lives of millions, hosted its annual gala at the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, NY on Saturday, August 29, 2015.Natalie Cole At Prostate Cancer Foundation GalaCredit/Copyright: Johnny Nunez WireImage.comThe weekend’s events raised over $4 million, which is a record for this event.The gala was hosted in support of the 11th Annual Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament being held from August 28 – 30, 2015, named after the successful entrepreneur who constantly turned tragic events throughout his life into philanthropic causes. The gala evening, catered by Robbins Wolfe, was a celebration featuring cocktails, dining and special performances from Natalie Cole and David Foster with special guests including American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard. 100 percent of the funds raised throughout the evening went to supporting groundbreaking discoveries in cancer research.The night began with a short quiz by the Founder of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Michael Milken, who asked questions about magic to the crowd of gala guests such as what caused Famous Illusionist Harry Houdini’s Death, Peritonitis, and what was the first book of magic called, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584). Fellow performer David Foster then introduced the first performer Natalie Cole, with whom he had just wrapped up an Asian tour.Once she got onto stage, she began her set by telling the audience, “This is going to be one of the shortest sets I ever did, so listen carefully.” She began her set with her song “Almost Like Being In Love” and did a couple of covers including Renee Olstead’s “What A Difference a Day Makes.” Then she performed “Unforgettable,” her Grammy award-winning duet with her father Legendary Singer Nat King Cole, which was also the first song she had produced by fellow performer David Foster, which was received with loud applause. As she performed, video of her father singing along to the song played on TVs behind her and were interspersed with images of her and Nat while growing up. She closed her set with her father’s famous track “L.O.V.E.”Following Cole’s set, Milken discussed the young investigators program and the funding the Prostate Cancer Foundation is doing on their behalf. As he defines them, these young investigators are young scientists in their 30s who have received all of the advanced degrees and research experience to run their own labs, however they lack the funding. It is these investigators, he said, that are leading to groundbreaking advancements in cancer research. Currently, PCF works with 153 of these young investigators who are currently researching 22 candidate molecules for cancer research, and these investigators have impacted the creation of six different FDA- Approved Prostate Cancer drugs. Following the presentation and quiz questions discussing these young investigators, Milken asked gala attendees to pledge $75,000 over the course of three years, then $75,000 for one year and then $25,000 for one year. At the conclusion of the fundraising portion, he said, “next year we will tell you how each of our young investigators changed the world.”After a video introduction, David Foster began his set, during which he invited many of his friends to the stage to perform as he accompanied on the piano, first being Emily West, a runner-up on Reality TV competition show America’s Got Talent. She performed a couple of songs including “Nights In White Satin,” a song she performed while competing on the show. David Foster & Emily West performed The Prayer, a song David Foster wrote for Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, and halfway through the song, David Foster cut her off and said that this is meant to be a duet and introduced Forte, another top competitor on America’s Got Talent. Forte participated in a contest to see who could hold the longest note with Foster and Nathan Gunn, a baritone opera singer in the crowd that evening. At the conclusion of Forte’s set, Foster brought Shelea Frazier to the stage, who performed two songs from The Bodyguard including a cover of Whitney Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Halfway through the performance of I Will Always Love You, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard joined them on stage. David Foster said “Ruben Studdard has a talent, he can write a song on the spot. So let’s write one for tonight’s event.” The crowd names the song, “A Cure Is On the Way” and Studdard improvised the words as he sang. The show ended with a group rendition of Hey Jude, then Michael Milken thanked David Foster and asked everyone to go to the other stage. At the other stage, guests danced the night away to Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond cover band.Weekend hosts and sponsors of the Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tournament include: Bill & Karen Ackman; Bob & Deanna Adler; Seth & Marie Bernstein; Jim Coleman & Cynthia Ott; Larry Gagosian & Chrissy Erpf; Bonnie Pfeifer Evans; Jeff & Mei Sze Greene; The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.; Tom Lee & Ann Tenenbaum; David & Julia Koch; Bill & Phyllis Mack ; Richard Merkin, MD.; Mike & Lori Milken; Modell’s Sporting Goods; Glenn & Jennifer Myles; Dean Palin; Mickey Palin; Joel Pashcow; Artie & Selma Rabin; Stewart Rahr; Jonathan & Sheryl Sokoloff; Lady Sheila Stable; Leon & Leesa Wagner; Mort Zuckerman.last_img read more


Shares drop on mining company behind Prosperity mine

Posted On Oct 14 2019 by

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Shares of a British Columbia mining company waiting on the federal cabinet to decide the fate of their controversial gold and copper mine plummeted Thursday.Taseko Mines saw its stock fall by 11 per cent by the end of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday, Bloomberg reported.The dip marked its biggest negative shift since this summer when its shares dropped by 35 per cent after the July 2 release of a federal environmental panel report that panned the Prosperity mine project, Bloomberg said.Taseko’s Prosperity project would cause the draining of Fish Lake, which is sacred to the Tsilhqot’in people who have pledge to fight the project at all cost.Taseko released a statement Thursday saying it was “unaware of any information that would cause the price of the company’s stock to change materially.”A decision by the federal cabinet to reject the mine proposal would have a negative impact on the company’s shares.An analyst told Bloomberg that Thursday’s drop may have been just a mistake.“One fat finger can send a bunch of other guys into auto-sells,” Adam Graf, a New York-based analyst told the financial wire-service.The company has expressed confidence it would get approval for the project and APTN National News’ camera recently captured images of one of its helicopters landing on the shores of Fish Lake to pick up surveyors.Taseko’s last major drop came in July. Its shares began sliding on June 26, days before the release of the environmental panel report, and bottomed out on July 6, according to a Yahoo financial chart.Taseko was at $4.93US share on June 25 and dropped to $3.40 US on July 6.A spokeswoman for Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea told APTN National News on Thursday afternoon that no decision had been made on the project.Fisheries and Oceans has the lead on the Prosperity file because of the project’s impact on fresh-water fish.Takeo’s shares had recovered in early trading Friday.last_img read more


Muzaffarpur horror Delhi court fixes Mar 18 as date for framing charges

Posted On Oct 12 2019 by

first_imgNew Delhi: A Delhi court Wednesday fixed March 18 for the framing of charges in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault case. Additional Sessions Judge Saurabh Kulshreshtha passed the order after completion of the arguments of all the accused. Five people accused in the case had earlier denied allegations levelled against them by the CBI and said there was not enough evidence to prosecute them. Other accused in the case too had denied allegations against them previously. There are 21 people chargesheeted in the case. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! On Feb 7, the Supreme Court ordered authorities to transfer the case from Bihar to a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Saket District Court complex in Delhi, which would conclude the trial within six months by holding preferably day-to-day hearing. Several girls were allegedly raped and sexually abused at an NGO-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. The issue had come to light following a report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).last_img read more


Moroccos Reaction is Proportional to Seriousness of Bans Blunders Official

Posted On Oct 12 2019 by

Rabat – Morocco’s reaction to statements by UNSG Ban Ki-moon on the issue of Western Sahara, during his latest visit to the region, “was proportional to the seriousness of his blunders,” said Nasser Bourita, Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs at a press conference.This was the least Morocco can do, he said, noting that Morocco, which differentiates between the UN and the UNSG, does not need to be taught lessons on his commitments to the UN and has no problem with the UNSC or the UN but rather with the blunders of Ban Ki-moon.Morocco is one of the major contributors to the UN peacekeeping missions around the world where many soldiers fell as martyrs under the UN banner, he said, underlining that the Kingdom is among few countries which were involved in peacekeeping missions in the four continents. He also recalled that Morocco chairs the Global Counterterrorism Forum and will host the COP22, in addition to his contribution in the different UN bodies.He enumerated four controversial blunders made by Ban concerning the national issue as the use of the word “occupation” which has serious consequences politically and legally as it touches the very essence of the issue.Secondly, the travel of Ban from Tindouf and not from the Moroccan southern provinces to Bir Lahlou insinuates that this region is an extension of Tindouf, he said, explaining that this region is located in the buffer zone and is part of the Moroccan Sahara which the Kingdom put at the UN’s disposal to facilitate the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.The third thing, he went on, is the UNSG’s allusion to the referendum, a concept which has become outdated and obsolete and which the UNSC gave up since 2004 and so did the UNGA since 2007.The fourth blunder concerns Ban’s call for a conference of donors while the other parties refuse a census of populations in captivity in the camps of Tindouf, he said, recalling that Ban Ki-Moon himself has repeatedly called for such headcount since 2009.Bourita concluded by saying that the current settlement process is under way thanks to the Moroccan autonomy proposal.MWN with MAP read more


UN experts call for two pesticides to join international trade watch list

Posted On Oct 11 2019 by

19 March 2010United Nations experts have recommended that two pesticides be added to a trade “watch list” under a UN-backed treaty aimed at helping poorer countries more effectively manage potentially harmful imported substances. Endosulfan and azinphos-methyl each pose an unacceptably high risk to human health and the environment, according to the Chemical Review Committee with the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.The committee experts based their recommendations on a review of actions by national regulators towards the two pesticides, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a joint press release issued today in Geneva.Endosulfan, an insecticide used in the production of crops, especially cotton, coffee and tea, is a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and can lead to reproductive and developmental damage in humans and animals.Azinphos-methyl, an insecticide derived from nerve agents developed during the Second World War, is mostly used in the production of vegetables and on several kinds of fruit trees. It is considered toxic to humans and has been linked to reproductive and developmental damage.Parties to the Rotterdam Convention will consider including the two chemicals to the watch list at a meeting next year.There are currently 29 pesticides and 11 industrial chemicals on the Rotterdam Convention’s international trade watch list, under which an exporting nation must ensure no substance on the list leaves its territory without the consent of the recipient country.The Convention is designed to ensure that hazardous chemicals do not endanger human health and the environment but inclusion on the list is not a recommendation for an international ban or severe restriction of the use of the substance. read more


Security Council deplores attacks against Israeli diplomatic staff

Posted On Oct 11 2019 by

In a statement to the press, issued by Ambassador Kodjo Menan of Togo, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, the 15-member body urged all United Nations Member States to play their part to combat terrorism.On 13 February, several diplomatic personnel and civilians were injured when a bomb reportedly placed on an Israeli embassy vehicle exploded in the Indian capital, New Delhi. On the same day, in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, a bomb found in the vehicle of an Israeli diplomatic official was reportedly defused before it could explode.“The members of the Security Council condemned the new and recurring acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives, which endanger or take innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work of such representatives and officials,” the press statement noted.The statement, which echoed similar comments last week by a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also stressed the obligations facing Member States under a series of global conventions relating to diplomatic agents and their activities. 23 February 2012Security Council members today strongly condemned two recent attacks against Israeli diplomatic personnel and underlined that terrorist acts can never be justified regardless of their motivations. read more


Russia and Sri Lanka aim to strengthen military cooperation

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Antonov reportedly highlighted necessity to develop a legal framework for bilateral contacts in the military sphere. “Karunasena Hettiarachchi reaffirmed the intentions of further strengthening and development of mutual contacts. Within the meeting the Russian Deputy Defence Minister pointed out the future directions of the Russian-Sri Lankan cooperation including the one in the field of preparation of military officers in the educational institutions of the Russian Defence Ministry,” the statement reads. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov and Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi during a bilateral meeting on Sunday pledged to deepen military cooperation between the two countries, according to a statement issued by the Russian ministry.The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 15th Asia Security Summit, or the Shangri-La Dialogue, currently underway in Singapore and bringing together regional defense officials and Western military officials to discuss the pressing security issues, sputniknews reported. The sides “positively estimated the developing cooperation” while the meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere, the ministry added. (Colombo Gazette) read more


French President François Hollande awarded UNESCO peace prize

Posted On Oct 2 2019 by

The President of France, François Hollande, will receive the United Nations cultural agency’s peace prize this year for his “valuable contribution to peace and stability in Africa,” it was announced today.“After analyzing the global situation, it is Africa that held the attention of the Jury with the various threats affecting the continent,” said the former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, who chaired the Jury of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize.“Having assessed the dangers and the repercussions of the situation on Africa, and on Mali in particular, as well as on the rest of the world, the Jury appreciated the solidarity shown by France to the peoples of Africa,” Mr. Chissano said after the Jury’s meeting in Paris.The award, created in 1989 by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), honours people, institutions and organizations that have contributed significantly to the promotion, research, preservation or maintenance of peace. It is named for the first president of Côte d’Ivoire.Northern Mali was occupied by radical Islamists after fighting broke out in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels. The conflict uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Malian Government to request assistance from France to stop the military advance of extremist groups.“The Jury condemns the violation of Mali’s territorial integrity, the violation of human rights, the taking of hostages and the destruction of the cultural heritage of humanity in Timbuktu,” Mr. Chissano said. “The Jury therefore decided to award the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic, for his great contribution to peace and stability in Africa.”Previous winners of the prize include former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Nelson Mandela and Frederik W. De Klerk; Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat; King Juan Carlos of Spain; and former United States President Jimmy Carter.The award ceremony for the prize – which consists of $150,000, a gold medal and a diploma – will be held on a date to be announced. read more


England has more distilleries than Scotland for first time in history as

Posted On Sep 25 2019 by

England now has more distilleries than Scotland for the first time in history after the craft gin boom drove an increase in spirit makers.While Scotland has always had the lead when it comes to distilleries because of their popular whisky industry, the popularity of gin has given England the edge.In 2018 the UK recorded a total of 361 distilleries – of which 166 are in England compared to 160 distilleries based in Scotland, according to new HMRC figures.The latest HMRC figures reveal that a total of 54 new distilleries opened in 2018 – eight closed – which means that the number of spirit makers increased by 46 last year. Of the 54 new, 39 were for businesses in England, 11 Scotland, two in Wales, and two in Northern Ireland.Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), Miles Beale, said: “There’s no doubt that the gin boom is behind the majority of new distillery openings in the UK in the last few years. Most of our entrepreneurial craft spirit makers who have launched recently started by making and selling gin. Many of them are now widening their portfolio to include other spirits.”It lifts the spirits to hear that distillery numbers continue to grow in the UK. It’s not just our gins picking up awards, but we have also seen a growing number of excellent quality English and Welsh whiskies too. With all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit it is extremely reassuring that our talented spirit makers are continuing to innovate, invest and grow. “The WSTA has claimed that thegin boom has helped the number of UK distilleries to more than double in the last five years with, which meant HMRC issued 31 new distillery licences in England in 2018 compared to just 11 in Scotland.This was a huge increase from 2017, when Scotland had a total of 149 distilleries beating England’s 135.Chief Executive of the London Distillery Company, Killian O’Sullivan, said: “Growth in the gin category shows no sign of abating and we were delighted to see a number of English distilleries open in this space.”Consumers continue to demand innovation across all spirit categories. Our view is that each of the new English distilleries will bring their own unique style and sense of place to the industry which in turn will drive the innovation that consumers have embraced over the last number of years.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more


DKK BUNDESLIGA Zebras celebrate in Hamburg

Posted On Sep 22 2019 by

12.HBW Balingen-Weilstetten2:2-8 15.TuS N-Lübbecke2:4-5 THW Kiel beat HSV Handball 20:19 in “handball krimi” at “O2 Arena”, where over 8.500 fans came to see one of the biggest derby matches in our sport. The TOP scorer in the winning team was Marko Vujin with 7 goals, while Johannes Bitter had 21 saves in home squad…HSV: Bitter (1.-60., 21/1 SAVES), Herrmann (n.e.); Schmidt, Schröder (2), Simicu (2), Jansen (3/2), Flohr (1), H. Toft Hansen, Hanisch (1), Brauer (n.e.), Mahé (5), Hens (3), Dominikovic, Pfahl (2); Trainer: Gaudin 5.SG Flensburg-Handewitt4:2+9 8.THW Kiel4:2-1 4.HSG Wetzlar4:2+12 7.SC Magdeburg4:2+5 1. 2.FRISCH AUF! Göppingen6:0+9 14.Bergischer HC2:4-4 9.MT Melsungen4:4+7 16.TSV GWD Minden2:4-6 11.Füchse Berlin2:2+7 19.HC Erlangen0:6-27 3.VfL Gummersbach5:1+7 THW Kiel:Sjöstrand (13/1 saves), Palicka (48.-60., 1 Parade); Duvnjak (2), R. Toft Hansen (2), Sprenger (4), Weinhold, Wiencek, Ekberg (1/1), Cañellas, Dahmke (n.e.), Palmarsson (1), Klein (2), Jicha (1), Vujin (7/1); Trainer: Gislasonstandings: 18.SG BBM Bietigheim0:6-23 10.TSV Hannover-Burgdorf3:3+3 1.Rhein-Neckar Löwen6:0+28 17.TSG Lu-Friesenheim0:6-18 13.HSV Handball2:4-1 6.TBV Lemgo4:2+6 ← Previous Story OPEN SKY HANDBALL: Celje PL wins Super Cup Next Story → Veszprem and Gyor win Hungarian Super Cup! read more


TDs divided on whether PAC should hear from garda whistleblowers publicly

Posted On Sep 22 2019 by

first_imgFianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming echoed this view, saying: “We need to see this witness in private session and then decide do we want to hear him in public session.”He cautioned against hearing from the whistleblowers in public session given that the committee has never met with them before, and said that it is important to establish their willingness to appear publicly before deciding the best course of action.Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald said that the hearings with the whisteblowers “should be in public session unless there is some compelling reason to the contrary”. McDonald added that she sees no reason to “mark them out exceptionally as being a danger of using or abusing the platform of the committee”.Labour’s Gerald Nash said his “instinct” is that the meeting should take place in private session.Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy questioned whether the committee had even agreed to bring in the whistleblowers, saying: “As far as I am concerned no decison has been made to call in the whistleblower, and I am not necessarily sure that this should fall to the PAC.He echoed the views of Fleming, Nolan, and Nash that it should be “in the first instance in private session”.Meanwhile, Ross has been criticised by Fianna Fáil’s justice spoksperson Niall Collins for his comments this morning. Collins said he had “serious concerns about the approach that certain members of the PAC are taking” towards the gardaí.“Ross expressed surprise and disapproval at the fact that the most senior Garda officer in the country referred to ‘subordinates’ and presented it as evidence that junior Garda ranks are treated as ‘second class citizens’,” he said.“This betrays a worrying lack of understanding and respect for the nature and role of An Garda Siochána.”Poll: Should the garda whistleblowers be brought before the PAC?‘The facts as I know them’: 11 things we learned from Martin Callinan’s evidence to the PAC MEMBERS OF THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are divided on whether or not they should hear evidence from garda whistleblowers in public or private session.Committee members are set to come face-to-face with at least one of the two whistleblowers who have alleged that fixed charge penalty notices have been cancelled corruptly and illegally – claims that were robustly dismissed by the Garda Commissioner yesterday.The allegations are being advanced by a serving garda, Maurice McCabe, an ex-member of the force, John Wilson, both of whom committee chairman John McGu inness has indicated are willing to appear before the PAC.However, it is not clear if they wish to do so in public or private session.Martin Callinan told PAC members yesterday that he intends to take legal advice on whether or not to challenge the appearance of the whistleblowers before the PAC and could go to the High Court in the coming days to get a temporary injunction.But even if the PAC can hear the whistleblowers’ evidence, members are divided on whether it should be in closed or public session.Earlier, independent deputy Shane Ross indicated a desire for the PAC to hear from the whistleblowers and challenge them in public, telling Morning Ireland: “We want to give fair play to everyone, we want it done in public.”But in a tweet this morning, the Labour TD Derek Nolan warned that parliamentary privilege is “too powerful” to allow the whistleblowers to appear publicly until members meet with them first:last_img read more


Ouya Kickstarter ends with 859 million pledged

Posted On Sep 21 2019 by

first_imgThe Ouya Kickstarter has broken all kinds of records. The first of which was the amount of money raised in the first 24 hours on Kickstarter. Double Fine held the record with $1,064,652.05, but Ouya more than doubled that ending its first day with $2,589,687.77 pledged.Since then the money has continued to roll in, and the $99 Android games console also got the support of OnLive and can count Final Fantasy III as a launch title.Today, the Kickstarter finally ended, and it will come as no surprise the total pledged has set another record. In just 30 days the project has raised a staggering $8,596,475 through the backing of 63,416 people. Remember, the project originally only wanted $950,000 to reach its goal.Now the pressure is on the Ouya team to deliver the Rubik’s Cube-sized console by March next year. Only 1,000 are promised to ship as early bird units, but after that there’s tens of thousands of people waiting to get their hands on one.There is obviously going to be a lot of interest surrounding the launch of Ouya from the games industry and in particular hardware manufacturers. Nothing like this has been attempted before, and it threatens to upset the tried and tested approach of console release cycles.Typically, a company like Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft invests millions developing a new machine hoping to make the costs back many times over in sales of the console and games. The Ouya took the opposite approach, being funded by gamers and other interested parties before it is manufactured. The question now is can it continue to grow its user base to hundreds of thousands, if not millions next year after release?Read more at Kickstarterlast_img read more


Ubuntu Edge achieves 10 percent of 32 million goal in just 12

Posted On Sep 21 2019 by

first_imgCanonical’s most ambition project yet was met instantly with thousands of excited users willing to hand over cash and wait for the Ubuntu Edge superphone.It’s hard to call the project currently being funded on Indiegogo by Canonical a phone. With 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, the specs start to sound like a low end Ultrabook at some point. The Ubuntu Edge is designed to be a smartphone that can flip between Android and Ubuntu mobile operating systems, but also dock into a monitor and behave like a traditional desktop. This phone concept is the combined vision of everything Mark Shuttleworth has been trying to accomplish in the last year and a half, and since the smartphone manufacturers seem unwilling to take the leap he’s relying on the Ubuntu loyal to take him to the finish line.With a lofty goal of $32 million, the Ubuntu Edge project hinges on more than just people. While it is incredibly impressive to see that the 5,000 day-one slots were filled within 12 hours, that drop in the bucket doesn’t get the phone made. The top two perks on the Indiegogo campaign need to see some love as well, and that means people willing to spend $10,000 for a one-of-a-kind Ubuntu Edge experience and the $80,000 enterprise bundle.In a world where so many companies are switching to the Bring Your Own Device model, it seems unlikely that many companies are going to sign up to buy 100 Ubuntu Edge phones complete with training sessions for IT managers and CIOs that will not become useful until some time in 2014.It’s truly exciting to see the clear interest in this project. Over 5,000 people on the first day gave up $600 or $830 for an idea that they think will be great. Canonical has been building this idea for a while and if they can deliver it will be an experience that is unique for the time being.If this project succeeds, Shuttleworth plans to make Canonical-made hardware a yearly occurance, like Google’s Nexus program only better. Ubuntu Edge could be the start of something truly incredible, a premium phone made of premium parts that actually manages to deliver a no compromise mobile computing solution. All it has to do is get there.last_img read more


Olympia Summer Academy returns for 2015

Posted On Sep 21 2019 by

first_imgThe Olympia Summer Academy (the Academy) announced its return to Greece for 2015. The Academy is an annual run institute that provides post-graduate students working towards a Masters or a PhD, and some advanced undergraduate students, the opportunity to engage with well-known educators in Greece, in a faculty that is on the cutting edge of academic research. The academy takes place over 10 days in July, in the picturesque port of Nafplio, and is an integral way for students to engage with a highly diverse, scholarly network from more than 30 countries, making the program’s social dynamic one that is not to be missed. The Academy began in 2002 and has been offering its students a wide range of specialised courses in the fields of political science and international studies ever since. For the past 12 years, the Academy has taken place at the birthplace of the Olympic Games in ancient Olympia. In 2015, the Academy will move to Nafplio; a picturesque seaport town which was the original capital city of modern Greece. The program is co-organised by the Navarino Network and the European International Studies Association, along with the sponsorship of many other organisations. The funding and support of these organisations allows for eight working days of intensive, high-level teaching, where six carefully defined social areas are taught in depth by a faculty of international standing. The 2015 teaching programs include the following:– Conflict & Political Violence (eight working days) – History, Philosophy & Sociology of IR (four working days) – Religion & Politics (four working days) – Terrorism & Counterterrorism (four working days) – Political Risk Analysis (four working days) – Nationalism and Ethnic Politics (four working days)The Academy will take place between 13-23 July, all applicants must be fluent in English and all interested applicants must apply by 30 April 2015. If you wish to take advantage of the incredible educational and social opportunities provided by the Academy, head to www.olympiasummeracademy.org for further information, including how to apply. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more


Former Premier League player forced to retire

Posted On Sep 18 2019 by

first_imgAfter discovering he had heart problems, Andrea Orlandi Stabilin has been forced to retire from the world of football.Spanish winger Andrea Orlandi Stabilin, who played for Barcelona B and even for Barcelona’s first team once, has been forced to retire after discovering he has heart disease.The former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder will leave behind a career that started in 2003 and lasted until 2019.“I felt like this was coming after I had the medical but until it was made official I still had that glimmer of hope,” he told the Brighton official website.“Sadly it is not safe for me to play on and I was devastated when the doctor broke the news. However, I am coming to terms with it quite quickly and am so thankful to all the medical staff who have helped me.”“I could have had an operation to try and carry on playing, but at 34 it would have been risky and stupid to do so. I have to think about my future more than football now,” he added.“The truth is I could have died during my career, so I must look at the bright side that I am still here with my wife and kids and that I enjoyed many years playing the game I love,” he continued.“It is still very early so I have not planned my next step yet. For now, I will enjoy some time with my wonderful family.”Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.Orlandi played for many teams in the world, starting with Alaves in his native Spain, then Barcelona, Swansea City, Brighton, Blackpool, Anorthosis, APOEL, Novara, and Chennaiyin.He was trying to say goodbye to his career playing in Italian Lega Serie C with Virtus Entella.“I had a special five years at Swansea but my two years at the Albion were the greatest of my career,” he commented.“It was a fantastic group of players and some of my best friends in life were at the club at the same time. It made those wins extra memorable when enjoying them alongside true friends at a tremendous club.”“My first season was the best I have ever played personally and I absolutely loved the city of Brighton. I have missed the place ever since I left and hopefully I will get the chance to come and visit soon,” he concluded.😍 “Poetry in motion!”#BHAFC 🔵⚪️https://t.co/uXXD2Mi6YJ.— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) February 25, 2019last_img read more


Soybean Farmers Chart ASA Policy Course During 2013 Commodity Classic

Posted On Sep 16 2019 by

first_imgMembers of the voting delegates of the American Soybean Association (ASA) reaffirmed the association’s commitment to a comprehensive long-term farm bill, as well as additional critical soybean industry priorities, including exports and trade, transportation and biotechnology, among many others during its annual meeting Saturday during the final day of the 2013 Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.”The resolutions process is a great reminder that ASA’s policies come directly from the ground up,” said ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “The policies are raised, voted on and established as ASA priorities through an entirely farmer-driven process. It keeps farmers involved and it keeps ASA firmly tied to the everyday concerns of soybean farmers.”Farm BillWithin the farm bill resolution language, ASA maintained that any new farm bill must not distort planting decisions, and it should protect and strengthen crop insurance as a viable risk management tool for soybean producers. While ASA supported the revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program in previous farm bill negotiations, ASA noted that it recognizes funding may be insufficient to cover the cost of this type of program, in which case, ASA also expressed its openness to consider strengthening the current crop insurance program with a Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) program similar to that which was included in both the Senate and House versions of the bill.Given that ASA recognizes some commodities also are interested in a program that protects against long-term price declines, the voting delegates affirmed ASA’s openness to including a program based on target prices and price losses in a new farm bill, provided that payments are decoupled from planting decisions. ASA will continue to oppose a target price program that would interfere with the ability of producers to respond to the market by distorting planting decisions.Also in the farm bill discussion, delegates noted that in order to pay for the costs of improvements to crop insurance, SCO, and a decoupled target price program and to meet part of any deficit reduction targets, Direct Payments may have to be reduced or eliminated. As has been ASA’s position throughout the negotiations, ASA encourages agriculture to accept its fair share of spending reductions, provided they are proportionate with cuts to other federal programs and do not weaken the federal crop insurance program.The farm bill resolution approved by the delegates also contained language encouraging Congress to protect valuable programs streamlining conservation programs, reauthorizing and funding biodiesel and biobased education programs, agricultural research, trade development and food aid programs.TradeASA’s delegates formalized the association’s support of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement with the European Union that would provide meaningful market access for exports of U.S. soybean products and address trade barriers, including current EU biotechnology policies, and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).TransportationASA continues support of funding for waterways infrastructure including additional and alternative financing measures that provide a steadier and more reliable funding stream to reduce project costs and timeframes for completion.BiotechnologyBiotechnology was also a key topic of discussion, as delegates voted to encourage the swift approval and deregulation of high-oleic soybeans. The delegates also established the association’s opposition to state food labeling requirements that go beyond those implemented by the federal government.RegulationOn regulatory matters, ASA’s delegates supported raising the quantity of on-farm fuel storage that would be subject to the EPA’s new regulations requiring containment plans and practices to 10,000 gallons or greater. Delegates also expressed support for voluntary conservation and water-quality programs that are farmer led.SustainabilityFinally, delegates endorsed the work undertaken by the soybean industry to develop a “U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol” that documents and promotes to buyers worldwide that U.S. soybeans are the world’s most sustainably-produced soybeans.The resolutions passed by the delegates on Friday will be available in full on the ASA website, www.soygrowers.com, in the coming weeks.ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through voluntary farmer membership by farmers in 30 states where soybeans are grown.###For more information contact:Danny Murphy, ASA President, 601-906-3809, dpmurphy@bellsouth.netPatrick Delaney, ASA Communications Director, 202-969-7040, pdelaney@soy.orglast_img read more


Union rejects Boeing contract in Calif

Posted On Sep 16 2019 by

first_imgThe aerospace union that represents an estimated 1,000 workers on Boeing Co.’s dying C-17 cargo jet program in Long Beach, Calif., rejected a proposed contract because of cuts to pension and medical benefits, union officials announced Thursday.The company’s offer didn’t even make it to members for a vote.“The proposal we received from the company is economically inferior and legally detrimental to this membership,” wrote bargaining committee officials for the United Auto Workers Local 148. “As a result, we have rejected the company’s proposal.”The local union had originally sought a membership vote Tuesday but decided to reject the offer outright in a sternly written letter to Boeing’s chief negotiator, Tom Easley. The union said the offer shortchanged workers in their final six months of work — when they’d be without a contract, as it now stands.“It’s all in the company’s court right now. We are willing to go back to the table and work something out,” UAW Local 148 President Stan Klemchuk said.A strike is not immediately in the picture because a five-year contract remains in place until February. The C-17 program ends in August, so a labor disruption in the six months after the current contract ends in February is speculative.last_img read more


47 prefer better benefits package to higher wages

Posted On Sep 15 2019 by

first_imgJust under half (47%) of UK respondents would prefer to have a better benefits package which included income protection than accept higher wages, according to research by Zurich and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.The 2016 Income protection gaps: challenge and opportunity report, which surveyed 11,000 people from 11 different countries, also found that only 19% of UK respondents claim to have good knowledge of income protection products.The research also found:42% of UK respondents have experienced a loss of income in their working lives due to serious illness.20% of UK respondents have income protection cover in the event of becoming too ill or disabled to work.37% of UK respondents believe their employer should cover income loss in the event of illness.13% of UK respondents have been offered income protection by their employer.47% of UK respondents expect to rely on their savings if the worst should happen, with 23% having enough savings to last for one month, and 21% report with enough savings to last three months.Gary Shaughnessy, chief executive officer, Global Life, at Zurich, said: “As we witness a shift in the burden of responsibility from the state to individuals, people need to take more responsibility to protect themselves and those they love. As an industry, we have a duty to continue raising awareness and help people mitigate this growing risk.”last_img read more