Leaders continue to switch sides, but Oppn. sure of winning 175 seats

first_imgWhile the Opposition claimed that it will win more than 175 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly polls next month, it suffered yet another setback on Monday, with Namita Mundada, the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) candidate for Kej in Beed district, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).NCP chief Sharad Pawar had announced Ms. Mundada, the daughter-in-law of former minister and NCP leader late Vimal Mundada, as the Kej candidate during his tour of Beed district. The seat is currently held by the BJP’s Sangita Thombre, but sources said the BJP is likely to drop Ms. Thombre and field Ms. Mundada instead. Ms. Mundada’s husband, Akshay, also joined the BJP on Monday. BJP leader Pankaja Munde said, “We have always maintained cordial relations with the Mundada family despite being in different parties. The family has been with the NCP since its foundation. We are happy that they feel they can work for the constituency’s development by joining the BJP.”Meanwhile, in Nagpur, Congress MLA from Gondia, Gopaldas Aggrawal, joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Besides, NCP MLA from Karjat, Suresh Lad, is set to join the Shiv Sena in a day or two, as per sources. The NCP also saw some leaders coming into its fold from other parties on Monday. Congress MLA from Pandharpur, Bharat Bhelke, and former Shiv Sena MLA from Shahapur (ST), Daulat Daroda, joined the party at its headquarters in presence of NCP State president Jayant Patil and senior leader Ajit Pawar. Mr. Daroda joined the NCP two months after the party’s sitting Shahapur MLA, Pandurang Varora, switched to the Sena. Addressing a press conference at the NCP headquarters, Ajit Pawar said the Opposition would cross the 175 mark in the elections. “The official announcement of the Opposition alliance will be made in a press conference on October 2. We are confident that we will win the majority,” he said.last_img read more

How Do March Madness Bracket Pools Work?

first_imgWith the majority of the United States’ population set to partake in an NCAA Tournament bracket pool or two, we thought we’d give a quick rundown on how these pools work, for those unfamiliar with the concept. An NCAA Tournament bracket pool is a collection of people who are attempting to predict how the tourney will unfold, and, based on the scoring system, one man or woman will emerge as the victor of their respective pool when the tournament concludes.       IG/bmikolajekIG/bmikolajekTo start, you need to enter a pool. If you weren’t invited into one by someone else, you can enter one of the hundreds of public pools open on ESPN, CBS, or Yahoo. Next, you need to fill out your bracket, which is set to be released Sunday night on CBS. There are 67 games to pick – the four First Four games, the 32 Second Round games, the 16 Third Round games, the eight Sweet 16 games, the four Elite Eight games, the two Final Four games and the national championship game. The scoring of the bracket pools can vary depending on what platform you’re using, but, basically, you get a certain amount of points per each contest that you pick correctly. Typically, the amount of points you receive per win increases by round, so correctly picking the national champion will be worth far more points than correctly picking the winner of a Second Round game. If two or more brackets have totaled the same number of points at the end of the NCAA Tournament, there are tiebreakers. Usually, you’ll have to predict the score of the national title game, and the person with the closest score wins the tiebreaker. Now that you’ve got the NCAA Tournament bracket pools down, go out and win yourself some pools!last_img read more

Extraordinary Journeys Await in Europe with Luxury Gold’s 2020 Pre-Registration Collection

first_img~ Secure your space on a preferred departure on some of our best-selling journeys ~ New York, N.Y. – June 26, 2019 –  Luxury Gold , the award-winning global leader in luxury escorted journeys, has released its 2020 Pre-Registration collection, offering guests the opportunity to travel to Europe and Britain in style in 2020 with unbeatable 2019 prices. Travel Advisors can inform travelers that if the prices of select Luxury Gold journeys increase, we will honor the Pre-registration price and if the prices go down, we will refund the difference. “With our small group departures, the importance of pre-registration is to allow travelers to reserve space that’s limited,” said Jon Grutzner, President of Luxury Gold. “Based on the incredible demand we’ve had on our unique Chairman’s Collection experiences, this will put our guests in front of the line, so they will be sure to meet Princess Anita von Hohenberg at her home in Artstetten Castle or join the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour of her beautiful gardens in Alnwick Castle.” Travelers can view the full collection of pre-registration itineraries including these popular, luxurious journeys filled with lavish Luxury Gold experiences: British Royale (10 Days): From the beautiful Georgian city of Bath to the mesmerizing Lake District, this journey across Great Britain is one of a lifetime. Travelers will meet iconic personalities, such as a Royal Horse Guard in London and a bagpiper in Edinburgh and go to significant destinations that were once frequented by the likes of Shakespeare and notorious kings. On select Chairman’s Collection departures, travelers will join the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour of her beautifully restored gardens at her home, Alnwick Castle. Guests will have the opportunity to walk through the castle’s pretty grounds and learn all about her projects at Alnwick Gardens, now home to one of the only poison gardens in the world. Along the way they’ll also see magnificent landmarks with priority access to all of them. VIP experiences include an after-hours, VIP entry to the majestic RHS Garden Harlow Carr in York, which is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. In London, guests will visit the Tower of London to experience the exclusive Ceremony of the Keys. Later, they can join a senior gardener to learn about indigenous plant species and enjoy an exclusive twilight picnic at one of the garden’s secluded benches. For an exceptional dining experience, guests will enjoy an exquisite Highlight Dinner in the city of Bath at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the British countryside. One of several luxury hotels they’ll lodge at is The Milestone Hotel and Residences in London,located opposite of Kensington Palace and Gardens. Harmony of Central Europe (13-days): On this journey, travelers will uncover some of Europe’s most revered capitals. Part of Mr. Stanley Tollman’s unique and exquisite Chairman’s Collection, guests will step into a romantic fairy tale while in Vienna to attend a private reception with legendary local Princess Anita von Hohenberg, who is a descendant of the famous Habsburgs. They’ll hear all about her life, heritage and the fascinating personalities of the Habsburg monarchy. Guests can walk on the cobblestone streets of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic and gaze their eyes on the marvelous Renaissance and baroque architecture of a 13thcentury castle, known as one of the most important historic sites in Central Europe. Guests will enjoy a lavish dinner at the elegant Gundel restaurant in Budapest, Hungary’s most renowned restaurant, to feast on delightful local dishes with a backdrop of traditional folk music. For an after-dinner treat, guests can look up at the stars with a glass of sparkling champagne onboard a private cruise for an unforgettable voyage along the Danube. Along the way, travelers will witness a private recital of Chopin’s classic works by a renowned pianist in Warsaw and walk in the footsteps of six-year-old Mozart at an after-hours visit to the baroque Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Spain and Portugal In Style (13-days): Experience the passion, creativity and romance of Spain and Portugal as guests witness fiery flamenco performances, marvel at Gaudi’s dreamy architecture and appreciate enchanting citrus-scented squares. In Barcelona, travelers will get VIP, behind-the-scenes access to the opera house, Gran Teatre del Liceu, while attending a reception at its private members’ club, Cercle del Liceu. Along the way, guests will take in the diversity of architectural styles—such as the exquisite Alhambra Palace–and taste some of the region’s most iconic dishes. In Seville, they’ll explore a crossroad of cultures by visiting the city’s lively food markets and admire its charming streets with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Guests will then join a chef at his modern kitchen to watch him prepare a classic Andalusian lunch. Travelers will also enjoy a round of cocktails hosted at an 18th-century mansion, followed by an intimate and passionate performance of fiery flamenco. In Evora, travelers will explore a local winery to enjoy a delicious wine tasting,and in Madrid they’ll experience exceptional dining at the Michelin-starred Albora, a contemporary gastro bar and restaurant known for its distinct flavors and high-quality dishes. In addition to their stay in Madrid, an art historian will provide guests an in-depth look at Spain’s finest collection of paintings at the Prado Museum. Guests can save an additional 10% with Luxury Gold’s Early Payment Discount. **Valued past guests can also save an extra 5% across all journeys and departures during the Pre-Registration period. **Valued past guests can save an extra 5% across all trips and departures during the Preview period.last_img read more

TSA Carriers Call for Rate Hike

first_imgzoom Member carriers in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) say that overall freight revenues must rise as a ‘new normal’ in shoreside and inland operations grows out of recent congestion difficulties and the new longshore labor agreement at the US West Coast ports.The rise should reach levels that will address higher long-term rail, truck, equipment management and cargo handling costs, according to TSA.Container shipping lines have begun the slow work of repairing their networks as U.S. West Coast congestion difficulties ease. At the same time, forward bookings suggest that post-Lunar New Year cargo demand will resume after the week-long Asia holidays and continue to pick up pace. Restoring service levels and further ramping up to meet sustained and rising demand will, in turn, entail significant operational costs, carriers are forecasting.Toward that end TSA has reaffirmed its March 9 general rate increase (GRI) of USD 600 per 40-foot container (FEU) for all shipments, and lines have also filed a previously announced April 9 GRI in the same amount.“Carriers are mindful that all affected parties face higher operating costs as well as lost revenue and business opportunities amid the current situation,” Brian Conrad, TSA’s Executive Administrator said.“But it is also a reality that we are all not simply returning to business as usual. To the extent the U.S. economy is showing sustained recovery and the dollar is likely to remain strong against Asian currencies for some time, carriers need to step up their game, reverse some of the retrenchment seen since 2011 and complete the service integration necessary to fulfill scale and efficiency objective in the market. The limited improvement in freight rates to date neither addresses costs accrued since last September nor the network investment necessary through 2016 to meet customers’ needs,” he added.last_img read more

Concordia Maritime Clinches Deal for a P-MAX Tanker

first_imgzoom Swedish tanker shipping company Concordia Maritime has inked a new consecutive voyage contact for its Panamax (P-MAX) tanker Stena Polaris with an undisclosed partner said to be a large oil and gas company. The contract comes into effect in May 2016, with a duration of one year. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.“This is a new niche trade that we have identified together with our customer. The new contract clearly demonstrates that we have found an arrangement that creates value for all parties. The customer has a specific transport need for which the large load capacity of the P-MAX tankers will be well suited,” KIM Ullman, Concordia Maritime’s CEO notes.The Stena Polaris is a 65,200 dwt vessel built in 2010. With its gross tonnage of 36,000 t, the tanker features a length of 182.9 meters and a width of 40 meters.The company said that the vessel has been employed on one of the same customer’s niche trades to Australia and New Zealand since 2014. According to the company, the Stena Polaris is to be mainly used to transport light oil products from Singapore to island groups in the Pacific Ocean.Concordia Maritime’s fleet consists of ten P-MAX tankers, two newly built IMOIIMAX chemical and product tankers, and one suezmax tanker.last_img read more

No bank has power to employ bouncers to recover loans Govt

first_imgNew Delhi: No bank has the power to employ bouncers for forceful recovery of loans from customers, Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Singh also said there is a clear directive of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to appoint recovery agents only after proper police verification and fulfilling other relevant formalities. “No one has any power to appoint any musclemen or bouncers for recovery of loans forcefully,” he said during the Question Hour. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chiefThakur said the RBI has issued ‘Guidelines on Fair Practices Code for Lenders’ which are required to be adopted by banks, duly approved by their Board. “The said circular prohibits lenders from resorting to undue harassment in recovering loans, viz., persistently bothering borrowers at odd hours, use of muscle power for recovery of loans etc,” he said. The minister said with regard to complaints, the RBI has informed that complaints received by it regarding violation of the said guidelines and abusive practices followed by banks’ recovery agents are viewed seriously. “In such cases, the RBI can consider banning the bank concerned from engaging recovery agents in a particular area for a specified period. “In case of persistent breach of above guidelines, the RBI can also consider extending the period or the area where the bank concerned is barred from engaging recovery agents,” he said.last_img read more

Nova Scotia to provide free legal advice for sexual assault victims

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia sexual assault victims will now have access to free legal advice to help them consider their options after an assault.Victims will receive up to four hours of independent legal advice through a federal-provincial pilot project.Justice Minister Mark Furey says the government has been told clearly that victims and survivors needed better support.“We know most sexual assault cases do not get reported,” he said in a statement. “This pilot program will provide victims with the advice they need to make informed decisions about how they want to move forward.”Victims of sexual assault, or people who think they may have been sexually assaulted, can call the province’s 211 phone service and obtain certificates for services from a pre-approved list of lawyers.A justice official wasn’t available for an interview Friday afternoon, but the department provided a “frequently asked questions” pamphlet that says people can use the service at any stage after an assault, regardless of whether it has been reported to police.“The lawyer can help you to determine your legal options, such as whether you should report the matter to the police or take civil action,” says the pamphlet. “You may decide after meeting with the lawyer, and receiving information about those processes, that you are choosing no further action at this time. This program is to help you make informed decisions. You have some choices on what happens next.”The selected lawyers in the three-year pilot program — funded by $810,000 in federal cash — will be provided with extensive training and will share their experiences and best practices.Nova Scotia Liberal MP Bernadette Jordan said a better understanding of victims’ needs leads to a more just and fair criminal justice system.“If victims do not report sexual assaults because they fear they will not be believed, or they lack confidence in the criminal justice system, then the integrity of the system is called into question,” she said in a statement.Jackie Stevens, executive director of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax, says the project is an important first step towards legal advocacy for victims.“We are excited that this service is in place as there is a major need for legal advice and support for survivors of sexualized violence going through the court process,” said Stevens. “We encourage the Nova Scotia government to continue to prioritize justice reform.”The Public Prosecution Service will also create a guide for victims of sexual assault on the court process and provide sexual-violence training for Crown attorneys.The Ontario government last year announced a $41-million plan aimed at combating sexual violence and harassment that includes a pilot program to provide free, independent legal advice to survivors of sexual assault.Newfoundland and Labrador has announced a similar program.last_img read more

Nearly 9000 more people have returned to southern Sudan this year UN

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reported today that 8,944 IDPs have returned to various locations across the south of the country, some as part of the joint plan and some as spontaneous returns to areas that are now safe and free of armed groups.The new returns join an estimated 850,000 IDPs and 102,000 refugees who have already returned home and begun reintegrating into their former communities following the end of the north-south war in 2005.Most of this year’s returns have headed to the southern Sudanese states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrab, Blue Nile and Jonglei.Earlier this month the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a $56 million appeal to help at least 125,000 additional southern Sudanese IDPs and refugees to return by providing them with reintegration packages and by rebuilding schools and health clinics damaged during the war.As of last month, some 328,000 refugees from the Sudanese civil war remain in Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt.UNHCR also estimates there are 4 million southern Sudanese IDPs, including 1.8 million living in the area around the capital, Khartoum. 27 March 2007Almost 9,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have gone back home to southern Sudan since the start of the year under the joint plan by the United Nations, the Sudanese Government and the Government in Southern Sudan to promote returns as part of the comprehensive peace agreement ending the country’s long-running civil war. read more

Amid counting in Côte dIvoire Ban calls on political parties to remain

Voting took place yesterday in the country’s first legislative elections since the protracted crisis that followed the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to stand down after he lost the United Nations-certified presidential election to Alassane Ouattara at the end of last year.Mr. Gbagbo was later captured by security forces and has since been transported to The Hague to face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity for his role in the post-election violence.In a statement issued today by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said the election marked “an important step towards the full restoration of constitutional order in Côte d’Ivoire, and should contribute to national reconciliation in the country.”He also commended the Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission, known as IEC, and its national and international partners for their efforts in organizing and conducting the polls.IEC, along with staff from the UN Office of Project Support Services (UNOPS) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), are transmitting the tally sheets from polling stations to about 300 local electoral commissions, where they will be compiled and published.In the statement, Mr. Ban “calls on the people of Côte d’Ivoire and all parties and candidates to preserve the existing peaceful atmosphere as the tallying of votes is under way, and to resolve any disputes through the established legal channels.”Bert Koenders, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country (UNOCI), described the voting process yesterday as generally calm and positive.“This calm could be illustrative of a positive development after the violent post-election crisis,” he said in Abidjan.Mr. Koenders noted there had been some security incidents, such as in the Bouaflé area, where armed individuals stole ballot boxes and other electoral materials.He called on the IEC to publish partial results for each constituency “within a reasonable time frame and as they become available.”Mr. Koenders is mandated to certify the election results, and he stressed that the process will be carried out on the basis of five criteria agreed upon by all the Ivorian parties and by the Security Council – peace and security, inclusiveness, State media, the voters’ list, and the results.Cote 12 December 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Ivorian political parties and candidates to continue to act peacefully as counting gets under way in polls to elect the 225 members of their country’s National Assembly. read more

Canadian household debt hits new record at 152 per cent of income

by Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 15, 2012 5:29 pm MDT Canadian household debt hits new record at 152 per cent of income OTTAWA – Canadian households have hit a dubious new record for debt.Fresh Statistics Canada data shows the ratio of debt to personal disposable income rose to 152 per cent last quarter, up from 150.6 at the end of 2011.The number will likely be of concern to Mark Carney, who heads the Bank of Canada, which warned again this week that the record level of household debt leaves Canadians vulnerable to an economic shock.The first quarter numbers show that despite the increase in debt as a percentage of disposable income, borrowing actually slowed — by 0.9 per cent.As well, household net worth rose to $185,800 from $182,900 the previous quarter, mostly due to gains in the value of stock investments and pension assets.The increase net worth reflects a 3.7 per cent rise in the Toronto Stock Exchange index during the first three months of 2012, a gain that has been completely eliminated in the second quarter. The main Toronto index is currently down about six per cent since the beginning of the year.During the first quarter, Canadians were modestly better off financially with their credit market debt as a percentage of assets falling slightly to 24.9 per cent from 25.1 per cent.“Growth in household disposable income slowed in the quarter as a result of a decline in household investment income and an increase in personal income taxes and other social contributions,” the agency explained.“This slowdown was more pronounced than the slowdown in credit market debt, and a result, the ratio … increased to 152 per cent.”Still, Carney has warned that much of the appearance of financial soundness is based on home price values remaining at elevated levels. A drop in house prices would erode their wealth and an economic shock or rising interest rates would leave many households challenged to meet monthly interest payments.In a report released Thursday, the central bank said a three per cent rise in the unemployment rate — similar to what occurred in the last recession — would almost triple the number of indebted households who would be placed in arrears on payments, from the current 0.5 per cent to 1.3 per cent.TD Bank economist Diana Petramala said households can no longer count on asset price gains to do the saving for them.“Households beware — with interest rates low, the cost of servicing debt remains low. However, the excessive borrowing of late has left Canadians more susceptible to the future rise of interest rates,” she said.“Even a one percentage point increase in interest rates could push the cost of servicing debt significantly higher.”On a national accounts basis, which includes governments and the corporate sector, the first quarter saw a two per cent increase in net worth to $6.7 trillion, or $193.500 per person.The advance was driven by higher asset values, as national wealth increased 1.5 per cent to $6.9 trillion, while net foreign debt was $0.2 trillion, a 13 per cent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2011. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

21st century hottest on record as global warming continues UN

“The overall warming trend is more important than the ranking of an individual year,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud clarified today in a press release. “Analysis of the datasets indicates that 2014 was nominally the warmest on record, although there is very little difference between the three hottest years.”High sea temperatures, the UN agency has said, have contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others. Twelve major Atlantic storms battered the United Kingdom in early months of 2014, while floods devastated much of the Balkans throughout May. The monthly precipitation over the Pacific side of western Japan for August 2014, meanwhile, was 301 per cent above normal – the highest since area-averaged statistics began in 1946.At the same time, crippling droughts have struck large swathes of the continental United States while Northeast China and parts of the Yellow River basin did not reach half of the summer average, causing severe drought.The diverse climate impact which afflicted nations around the planet throughout 2014 were, in fact, consistent with the expectation of a changing climate, Mr. Jarraud continued. In addition, he warned that 14 of the 15 hottest years recorded have all been in the 21st century, adding the UN agency’s expectation that global warming would continue “given that rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the increasing heat content of the oceans are committing us to a warmer future.”Around 93 per cent of the excess energy trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and other human activities ends up in the oceans, the WMO press release noted, as it pointed out that global sea-surface temperatures had reached “record levels” in 2014, even in the absence of a “fully developed El Niño” weather pattern. High temperatures in 1998 – the hottest year before the 21st century – occurred during a strong El Niño year. The WMO has released its latest findings regarding its global temperature analysis in advance of climate change negotiations scheduled to be held in Geneva from 8 to 13 February. These talks are expected to help pave the way towards the December 2015 conference scheduled in Paris, France, where a new universal UN-backed treaty on climate change will be adopted. read more

Remaining in Europe critical to future of UK automotive industry warns SMMT

UK automotive industry delivers clear statement on Europe position days before key referendum.Leading British automotive manufacturers stress importance of remaining in Europe.Widespread concern that a “Brexit” could jeopardise current jobs and investment success.Overwhelming majority (77%) of SMMT member companies favour remaining in the EU.1The UK motor industry has today restated its view that staying in the European Union is best for its business and best for British jobs, just days ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which represents the UK automotive industry, wants to ensure there is absolute clarity on the sector’s position given recent misrepresentations in the Europe debate.The industry is a huge employer, supporting 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributing £15.5 billion annually to the economy. It has emerged from the recession stronger, more productive and more competitive and is now a leading global player, with exports at record levels and vehicle production at the highest level for over a decade.The industry is export led with around 80% of vehicles heading abroad and over half of those (57.5 percent) destined for the rest of the EU. Unrestricted access to the world’s largest single market, the negotiating strength of the EU to secure international trade deals, the ability to shape technical regulations and free movement of labour all provide significant benefits to UK businesses. This is why SMMT member companies large and small are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU.Before the start of the campaigning period, SMMT commissioned a survey of its members – which includes car and commercial vehicle manufacturers, parts suppliers, aftermarket companies and other companies large and small. An overwhelming majority of 77% firms surveyed said remaining in Europe would be the best for their business, with only a minority 9% saying leaving would be best. Notably no large company said that an exit would be in their business’ best interests.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “UK Automotive is globally competitive, securing record levels of investment, creating tens of thousands of jobs annually and exporting to over 100 countries. We want this success to continue rather than jeopardise it by increasing costs, making our trading relationships uncertain and creating new barriers to our single biggest and most important market, Europe. Remaining will allow the UK to retain the influence on which the unique and successful UK automotive sector depends.”There should be no ambiguity about the sector’s views ahead of such a critical vote. Senior figures from a wide range of UK-based automotive companies have reinforced this message.Ken Gregor, Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said, “Remaining in the EU – our largest market – will increase Jaguar Land Rover’s chances to grow, create jobs and attract investment in future technologies. Our European supply chain has been fundamental in helping us to meet customer expectations worldwide and achieve sustainable, profitable growth.”Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, said, “After considered review, we believe that continued membership of the European Union is best for our business and for our competitiveness in the longer term.”Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, said, “We firmly believe Britain would be better off if it remained an active and influential member of the EU, shaping European regulations which will continue to impact the UK whatever the decision on Thursday.”Rory Harvey, Managing Director and Chairman of Vauxhall, said, “We are part of a fully integrated European company where we benefit from the free movement of goods and people. We believe not to be part of the EU would be undesirable for our business and the sector as a whole.”Nigel Stein, Chief Executive, GKN PLC, said, “We see a real benefit in remaining in the EU. A vote to leave will not mean manufacturing investment disappears overnight, but over time a UK outside the EU will be disadvantaged and will lose the investment it needs to maintain our industries.”Gamil Magal, Group Chief Executive, Magal Engineering Limited, a medium-sized Tier 1 components supplier, said, “Full unhindered access to the European single market is essential for Magal Engineering’s UK operations and growth.”1. SMMT survey of its members’ views on Europe, published March 2016: http://bit.ly/21mnCwA. ComRes interviewed 204 members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) online between 14 January and 17 February 2016. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data is available at www.comres.co.uk.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Grenfell Tower doors could only withstand fire for half time expected

first_imgFlat doors in Grenfell Tower could only hold back a blaze for half the time they were supposed to, investigators have found.Experts acting on behalf of the Metropolitan Police tested an undamaged front door from the west London block and found that it could withstand a blaze for 15 minutes – not the 30 for which it was designed.Seventy-one people died when a fire ravaged the residential building on June 14 last year.A vast police investigation is continuing into the causes of the fire, Scotland Yard said, as it announced the new findings.The fire in the 24-storey tower block in west London in June is now subject to a public inquiry. The cladding, installed as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment, has been blamed for the rapid spread of the blaze which began with a fire in a fridge-freezer on the fourth floor. 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. “We understand this news will be of particular concern to residents in this borough, which is why we are urging the Government to move as quickly as it can to give us clarity about the situation.”Local authorities have been seeking extra funding from central Government to pay for the work in taking down and replacing flammable cladding.Camden council, which has stripped cladding from five tower blocks, has estimated the cost of replacing it at £50 million and will take until the summer of 2019 to complete.An official report in January identified six councils with 11 or more tower blocks with a “cladding system” that failed safety tests. Four are in London and the other two in the north west. Scotland Yard said in a statement: “The Metropolitan Police Service is conducting a comprehensive investigation into what happened at Grenfell Tower in June last year.”We have previously described that our forensic examination at the scene would be followed by a phase of offsite testing to be conducted by experts on our behalf.center_img A Kensington and Chelsea Council spokesman said: “We understand that tests organised by the Government have found that three fire doors from the same company provided less protection than guidelines recommend, but test results are as yet inconclusive.”Alongside hundreds of councils and landlords across the country, we are seeking further information from the Government on what this means for our residents.”As soon as we have clear advice from the Government about the safety implications of these tests, we will write to our residents about what this means for them. “As part of this investigation, experts tested a flat front door taken from Grenfell Tower. The door tested was designed to resist fire for 30 minutes but during the test, it was only found to resist the fire for approximately 15 minutes, a much shorter period than expected.”The forensic examination and testing phase is ongoing and we are not able to comment on the potential impact or otherwise that any test result may have on the overall criminal investigation.”We have shared this information with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the appropriate Government department, so that they are able to take any action required.”last_img read more

Bad GPS Causes Couple to Crash Into German Church

first_imgAccording to authorities, bad GPS directions sent an elderly British couple crashing into a church in South Germany. The GPS device instructed the couple to make a right at an area without a road, sending the 76-year-old driver behind the wheel of the Renault into a village church along the Germany/Austrian border.The couple were on their way to France, but are now both in a German hospital being treated for minor injuries, according to Reuters. The crash knocked a picture of a church wall and lead to some damage to the structure’s foundation, with damages totaling 25,000 euros ($34,077).A police spokeswoman put it simply enough, “They were confused and didn’t notice that the navigation system was faulty.”AdChoices广告last_img

Searching for an open hardware Arduinopowered gardening system Look no further

first_imgWhether you agree with the messaging (food is medicine and such) or not, the Horto Domi open hardware gardening system sounds like a cool project. It’s a lot more than it appears to be from the outside, which is little more than half of a geodesic dome in your backyard. The Horto Domi has fixtures that provide light, ventilation, and heat, as well as water sensors, optimized earthworm distribution, web-controls (based on a REST API), and, of course, automated operations. Basically, this thing better produce a lot of carrots otherwise it’s going to mean a considerable amount of wasted effort.While $19 will get you plans for the automated gardening dome you’ll have to pledge $499 for all the electronics involved, or $799 for the electronics plus the lighting, heating, irrigation peripherals. If you want the dome and raised bed garden without the electronic gear the kit will cost $1699. If you want a turnkey construction kit with all the parts included you’ll have to pledge $2499. At this point there are no backers for this, though one person has gone with the $799 all-electronics kit and over 50 have ordered the Construction Card, which includes instructions and a materials list.All told this looks like an interesting and worthwhile project, but one that requires a lot of time, money, and know-how. Just based on the electronics involved this kit is clearly not for the casual geek, it’s for a green-thumbed super hobbyist (I know you’re out there).If I could be so bold as to criticize such a noble project, I would say that this seems like a huge step up from standard gardening. This would be something you could get into and build up over time, not a significant initial investment fraught with complications. Just a dome and the light with manual watering would probably be a great first step. And then maybe you could add the sensors and, next, tie it into the web for SMS alerts. Later on you could do the automation and worry about those Arduino-controlled solenoids and such.The Horto Domi project has a goal of $10,000 right now which will make for the initial plans, but the team really wants to expand out, putting their efforts into advanced functions like self-raising domes, multiple dome controls, and desktop software.More at Kickstarter and Horto Domilast_img read more

GreekTurkish diplomacy set to resume after Ankara mistake

first_imgTalks between Greek and Turkish diplomats are expected to resume soon with a focus on easing tensions in the Aegean after Ankara said it had mistakenly issued a notice to reserve a large chunk of air space over the Aegean Sea for military manoeuvres.In a statement posted on the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s website on Tuesday, spokesman Tanju Bilgic said the order had been “issued erroneously with an inaccurate coordinate” and “has been cancelled.” He said “the issue of long period dangerous areas declared by Greece and Turkey in the Aegean has been on the agenda for a long time,” adding that Ankara has “proposed to Greece to mutually cancel those areas” but has yet to receive a response. The statement ended with an appeal to the new Greek government to “approach the existing issues between our countries in a constructive manner and by making use of the available diplomatic channels of dialogue.”There had been no public response from the Greek Foreign Ministry by late Tuesday but diplomatic sources indicated that Turkey’s backtracking was a pleasant surprise. It is the first time that Ankara has made such a statement, which was widely interpreted in diplomatic circles as an indirect acknowledgement of Greece’s reaction to the move. Notwithstanding Turkey’s change of stance, Greek diplomatic sources suggested that vigilance was needed. “Irrespective of whether there was a serious mistake or not, the incident in question showed that provocative behaviour, via the armed forces, can lead to the situation spiralling out of control, for which Greece cannot be held responsible,” a diplomatic source said.When Turkey first issued the notice on Sunday, Athens had reacted by lodging complaints to NATO, the European Union and the United Nations, prompting a flurry of diplomacy.In a related development, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told Russian radio station Sputnik that Greece and Cyprus could act as a “bridge” between the EU and Russia as they have never been opposing powers. Kotzias also claimed that, by questioning EU sanctions against Russia, Greece led to “the Europeans listening… and now we are contributing to the creation of European policy.”Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Les Top et Flop 2011 de la consommation durable selon consoGlobe

first_imgLes Top et Flop 2011 de la consommation durable, selon consoGlobeLe site internet consoGlobe a établi son Top 10 de la consommation durable en retenant notamment les biberons où le bisphénol A est absent, les vélos en libre service et les jouets en carton.Depuis cinq ans, le site internet consoGlobe étudie les évolutions en matière de consommation responsable. C’est ainsi qu’au cours des 12 derniers mois, le site a établi son palmarès des produits et services qui ont le mieux fonctionné. Le Top 10 retient les produits qui ont entraîné une modification du paysage marchand tandis que le Flop 10 met en avant les échecs les plus importants des 12 derniers mois.Ainsi, le premier produit plébiscité est sans contexte le biberon dénué de bisphénol A, suivi des vélos en libre service, des tableaux végétaux, de “la relocalisation du commerce”, du don d’objets sur internet, des récupérateurs d’eau de pluie, des produits ménagers traditionnels, des produits faits maison et en kit, des jouets en carton et enfin des chargeurs solaires pour iPhone.Si les biberons sans bisphénol A ont remporté la palme c’est que ce produit “a été rendu obligatoire, ça a été un phénomène consoGlobe largement corroboré, et même légalisé”, a confié à l’AFP le fondateur du site, Jean-Marie Boucher. Car en plus des sites de troc, dons, échanges, ventes d’occasion, objets d’entraide, le site consoGlobe héberge également une boutique de produits éthiques et écologiques.Nicolas Hulot dans le Flop 10 À lire aussiJournée mondiale de l’environnement : Quelques astuces pour un mode de vie plus écolo au bureauDu côté des Flop 10 on trouve, dans l’ordre : les ampoules fluocompactes (chères, lumière froide, durée de vie plus courte qu’annoncé), les éoliennes personnelles, l’auto partage, les fournisseurs alternatifs à EDF, le tourisme équitable, l’obsolescence programmée, les biocarburants, la banquise arctique, Nicolas Hulot et les promotions locales via l’internet.Si Nicolas Hulot s’est retrouvé dans la liste des flops c’est qu’il a “disparu brusquement des écrans” en 2011 en se fourvoyant “dans une aventure politique qui lui a fait abandonner la tête de la Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme”, a rappelé M. Boucher.Le 24 novembre 2011 à 11:49 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Simeone claims he will surely return to Inter Milan

first_imgDiego Simeone affirms he will surely return to Inter Milan one day but revealed he is enjoying his time at Atletico Madrid.Rumours are rife Simeone and Inter have renewed talks after the exit of the club from the Champions League, given the Argentine spent two years with the Nerazzurri as a player in the 1990s.“I take each day calmly,” the Coach, who also won a Scudetto with Lazio in 2001, disclosed to Football Italia via Radio Anch’io Sport.“I still have a year left on my contract with Atleti and things are going very well.“I’ve been very clear on this 2,000 times already, about my possible return to Inter. There’s no need to say anything other than it’ll surely happen one day.“Lazio and Inter left me with some great memories, so I wish them both all the best.Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“I hope I can continue on the same line that Atleti have been on for 12-13 years. Your club determines your style.“The club has a history to respect and we go with that. Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Bilbao… they all have their own personality. After that, the players will have their own style.”The Argentine then had his say on Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus from Real Madrid over the summer.“Without a doubt, he’s one of the two best players of the last 10 years,” he added.“He always managed to be at the top with Messi. Certainly, his arrival at Juventus has given something more to the Bianconeri.”last_img read more