Two sisters killed in bomb explosion

first_imgTwo sisters belonging to the Zeliangrong tribe were killed when a powerful bomb exploded in Noney district of Manipur on Friday morning. The two were climbing a mountain near their Leisok village, 15 km from the Khoupum police station, when the incident took place. Though Noney district has some extremist groups, no organisation has so far claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion, the police said. Akhiuna Kamei (18), a Class X student of Don Bosco School at Khoupum, was killed on the spot. Her younger sister, Gaikhonliu Kamei (15), succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital. Their mother was also wounded and has been hospitalised. It is not clear who buried the World War II-like bomb near the road used by Leisok villagers to go for cultivation work, the police said, adding that a case has been registered and investigations are on.last_img read more

LOOK: Mayweather says he’ll party all week leading to McGregor fight

first_imgFlags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) August 19, 2017At 40, returning boxing pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have diminished skills, but his confidence remains as high as ever.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutComing off an almost two-year layoff from the sport, “Money” is making a comeback to the ring next week against Irish superstar and UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor in a crossover match for the ages at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension RELATED STORY:Mayweather warns of hefty fine if McGregor kicks him in their fight With such an extended period of time away from professional competition, many thought the seasoned boxer would require a stricter training camp to make up for his long absence. Instead, the ever-brash undefeated fighter recently invited his fans on social media to party with him at his own strip club, ahead of the monumental fight.“Come hang out with me Tonight at “GIRL COLLECTION” and ask me anything you want, live & in person!” he wrote, adding he’d be at the venue on Aug. 17 until the 28th.Just to make sure there was no error there, Mayweather clarified that he was indeed praying the whole week before his next fight.“That’s right… I’m partying the entire week before my fight all the way through to next Monday following my fight ONLY at Girl Collection!!!!” his message read.His opponent, McGregor, on the other hand, hasn’t been too modest either, claiming the undefeated fighter won’t  even get past the first round. /raADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games: Kayla Richardson skips 100m dash, targets 200m gold Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement00:50Trending Articles01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Nextlast_img read more

Dabo Swinney Addresses Kelly Bryant’s Decision To Transfer

first_imgKelly Bryant #2 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after his team scores a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium.COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 25: Kelly Bryant #2 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after his team scores a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Earlier today, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant announced he was transferring. Bryant had started the last 18 games for the Tigers, but was demoted to second string over the weekend in favor of true freshman Trevor Lawrence.Bryant will be immediately eligible wherever he plays next season. He was able to retain a year of eligibility despite starting the first four games of this season because of the NCAA’s new transfer rule.Earlier today, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney addressed the news of Bryant’s transfer on the ACC teleconference. Swinney had previously discussed the possibility of Bryant leaving last night.While he admitted he was “saddened and disappointed” and didn’t think Bryant made “a great decision,” Swinney expressed plenty of support and respect for the senior quarterback.“I know we’ve got a lot of people probably on here that want a comment from that, and obviously saddened and disappointed that he’s chosen to leave the team, but I really have absolutely nothing bad that I can say about Kelly Bryant. He’s one of the best young people I’ve ever been around, and even though I don’t think this is a great decision, I certainly respect it, and it doesn’t change anything that I feel for Kelly. I love him, care about him. I wish him nothing but the best, and, again, sad that he has made this decision.“All I can say is another program, wherever he decides to go, is going to get a quality quarterback and a very quality young man. We appreciate everything that Kelly gave to this program while he was here. He’s a graduate, and like I said, he’s one of the best young people you could ever be around. It’s disappointing, but that’s where we are, and something he decided that he felt like was best for him, so you have to respect that.”After backing up Deshaun Watson in 2015 and 2016, Bryant earned the starting nod at Clemson as a junior in 2017. He started all 14 games, helping the Tigers win the ACC and reach the College Football Playoff.In four games this season, Bryant threw for 456 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 144 yards and another score.For his career with the Tigers, Bryant threw for 3,333 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 987 yards and 16 touchdowns.last_img read more

Dynagas Buys LNG Carrier Lena River

first_imgzoom Dynagas LNG Partners LP, an owner and operator of LNG carriers, has signed an agreement with Dynagas Holding Ltd., the company’s sponsor, to acquire the 155,000 cubic meter ice class liquefied natural gas carrier Lena River, for USD 240 million.The 2013-built tanker is currently operating under a charter contract with Gazprom Global LNG Limited, which has an initial term of five years and expires in October 2018.Dynagas LNG Partners estimates that the Lena River will generate approximately USD 86.6 million of incremental contracted revenues over its remaining minimum charter term, assuming full utilization, and approximately USD 24.8 million of estimated net cash from operations for the first 12 months after the closing of the acquisition, expected to take place on or before December 31, 2015.“In this short period of two years we have doubled the size of our fleet and increased our cash distributions per common and subordinated unit at a cumulative annualized level consistent with the targets we set out to achieve. In addition our contracted cash flows provide sufficient comfort to support our belief that the aforementioned proposed distributions to our unitholders are sustainable,” Tony Lauritzen, Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership, said.Dynagas LNG Partners said that the acquisition will be financed with some USD 72 million from the net proceeds of its underwritten offering, approximately USD 133 million from the borrowings under a new USD 200 million senior term loan facility with a group of lenders, and USD 35 million from credit financing provided by the sponsor.In early 2016, the partnership plans to draw down and utilize the remaining available borrowings under the USD 200 million term loan facility of approximately USD 67 million to repay the sponsor credit financing and for working capital purposes.last_img read more

Govt may hike farm funds by 30 in Budget raise subsidy

first_imgNew Delhi: Continuing its focus on the stressed agriculture sector in the upcoming full Budget in July, the Finance Ministry is likely to increase allocation by a minimum 30 per cent over the interim Budget figures, as well as announce a flagship farmers’ scheme, official sources said on Friday.Sources privy to the budget preparations said, that it may offer more support to some of the existing farmer support schemes, including for minimum support price (MSP), interest rate subvention and higher fertiliser subsidy. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsIn the interim Budget presented in February, agriculture had received an unprecedented 144 per cent hike rise in allocation, from Rs 57,600 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 1,40,764 crore in the February budget. This allocation set for a minimum 30 per cent hike by to reach about Rs 1.83 lakh crore in the full budget due in July. Agriculture had comprised 3.52 per cent of the budget in the 2017-18, but had cornered 5.39 per cent of the interim budget in February. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefThe biggest announcement in the interim budget — the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi to provide structured income support to 12 crore farmers at a cost of Rs 75,000 crore — may see a variant to provide a regular annual income to the farmers, a source said. “There may be some flagship scheme like the Kisan scheme in the 2019 interim budget, in the July full budget which would be a flagship, or a distinct feature, for the farmers”, he said. The Kisan scheme, which has already been rolled out retrospectively from December last year, was earmarked Rs 20,000 crore for the rest of the last fiscal (January-March). Only half this amount could be spent as the election model code of conduct came into operation almost midway through the last quarter. The Budget may also announce a higher interest rate subvention for crops affected by natural calamities like the recent cyclone ‘Fani’, and also on timely repayment of loans, the sources said, adding there is no direct farm loan waiver under consideration as the government does not want to encourage this credit culture. The fertiliser subsidy is also going to see a higher allocation as the government is trying to provider soil nutrients to the farmers. The fertiliser subsidy in the interim budget was pegged at Rs 74,986 crore for 2019-20. The fertiliser subsidy bill in 2018-19 overshot by at least Rs 25,000 crore, which was rolled over to the 2019-2020 fiscal.last_img read more

2017 Saw 2% Decline in Road Accident Deaths in Morocco

Rabat – The number of people who were killed on roads in Morocco decreased by 2.62 percent in 2017, State Secretary for Transport Mohammed Najib Boulif said on Monday in Rabat.During a Road Security Standing Committee meeting, appropriately marking National Road Safety Day, Boulif shared initial statistics, which reveal that 3,499 fatalities were recorded in 2017 against 3,593 in 2016. According to Boulif, the number of fatalities due to road accidents recorded in urban areas last year reached 943 accidents, representing a 4.17 percent year-on-year decrease. More than 2,550 other people were killed in rural areas, recording a 2.03 percent decrease. In 2017, 89,998 traffic accidents were reported, representing 9.99 percent rise compared to 2016. However, the number of fatal road accidents totaled 3,085 in 2017, representing 2.47 percent.Boulif added that 9,175 people were critically injured due to road accidents in 2017, representing a 1.51 percent year-on-year increase. The number of light injuries recorded during the same year reached 119,138.Despite great efforts and measures which have been taken to minimize road accidents, road mortality is still a huge problem in Morocco. Eighteen people were killed and 1,309 were injured in 1,309 road accidents in urban areas in May 2017 alone.These accidents were mainly ascribed to pedestrian and driver errors, driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speeding, and not respecting rules of right-of-way, according to the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN).A statement issued in February 2018 by DGSN says that 1,469 people have already been injured, including 83 seriously, in 1,108 traffic accidents that occurred in urban areas on January 29 to February 4, 2018. read more

Art lecturers auction works inspired by Van Gogh and Titian to fund

Postcard-sized original artwork after “Sunflowers” being auctioned by the NG27 Italian Renaissance specialist Richard Stemp, a spokesman for the group, told the Daily Telegraph: “Between us we have more than 500 years of teaching experience at the National Gallery.“There are 27 of us, the least experienced of whom has worked at the gallery for 10 years and the longest  serving has been there for 45.“We have probably spent more time with these paintings than anybody in the world – even the curators who have other things to do.“Now we can’t use that experience to teach so we’re using it help the legal fund.” Members of the group protesting outside the National Gallery Postcard-sized original artwork after "Sunflowers" being auctioned by the NG27 After Constable's "The Haywain" After Constable’s “The Haywain” November’s tribunal has the potential to set precedent for workers’ right in the so-called “gig economy”.Last year Uber lost an appeal than its drivers should be treated as workers – rather than self-employed freelancers – and given rights including sick pay and paid leave, and this June a tribunal found drivers for delivery company Hermes were workers entitled to employment rights.But this is believed to be the first such case involving a public entity. The gallery is funded by the Department for Culture Media and Sport. Artists and art lecturers locked in an employment dispute with the National Gallery are raising money for their legal fight by selling original artwork inspired by paintings hanging on the walls of the gallery.Their paintings ‘after’ some of history’s greatest artists – including Van Gogh, Caravaggio, Leonardo, Holbein, Cezanne and Constable – are being auctioned on Ebay to pay for a ten-day industrial tribunal scheduled for November.Among the postcard-sized artworks in the auction are a close-up of two sunflower blooms, after Van Gogh, a pencil sketch of the Virgin and Child, after Titian, and a moody black and white charcoal after Constable’s The Haywain.Around £3,000 has been raised across the current auction, and another held last month. The funds have been added to £37,000 raised so far through a funding campaign on the website Crowdjustice. Members of the group protesting outside the National Gallery After Titian's "Virgin and Child" She said: “It is our understanding that the claims have arisen out of the Gallery’s wish to change from offering ad hoc work to offering more secure employment, with additional pension and worker benefits.“This change reflects the Gallery’s strategy to develop our programmes to increasingly reach new audiences and make the most of digital technology to widen our engagement.”She said the group had been consulted over a three month period and had been offered jobs, adding: “The Gallery is not yet in receipt of the details of each complaint, but believes that we have acted both lawfully and fairly in changing our service provision to one of secure employment.” After Titian’s “Virgin and Child” The “NG27” allege that despite working regularly at the gallery for years, teaching school groups and lecturing on artworks, they were unfairly dismissed last October by the gallery which claimed it was simply ceasing a freelance arrangement.They say they were on the gallery’s payroll with tax deducted at source, wore staff passes, were required to attend team meetings and received formal workplace performance reviews; but were dismissed in a meeting at which around a dozen staff jobs were offered to around 45 lecturers.Some of the 27 alleging unfair dismissal continue to work at the gallery on casual contracts.Mr Stemp said: “There would be weeks I worked seven days and other times less. But I relied on that work and they relied on me.”A spokeswoman for the National Gallery said it had received “a number of different claims from a number of freelance workers” and said the majority of claimants continued to work at the gallery. 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

ASA Commends EPA Dicamba Ruling Continues Search for Answers on Dicamba Damage

first_imgWASHINGTON (October 13, 2017)—Following today’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency naming certain new formulations of dicamba herbicide products as restricted-use, ASA President and Roseville, Illinois farmer Ron Moore applauded EPA and urged the industry to continue to search for answers:“Farmers look to new innovations like dicamba-tolerant soybeans to help grow healthy, affordable food while combatting pests and diseases. We’re encouraged by EPA’s label changes which we trust will allow farmers to continue to utilize this important tool while also working to protect and prevent damage to non-dicamba tolerant crops.“Moving forward, ASA looks forward to working with EPA, states, manufacturers and our farmers to implement these changes while also seeking the root cause of this issue so new technologies can be used in years to come.”last_img read more

Washington gun initiatives square off

first_imgOLYMPIA — Whether you are for or against stricter background checks on gun sales, you’ll have a chance in the coming months to support your position by signing an initiative to next year’s Legislature.If both Initiative 591 and Initiative 594 get the required signatures, they’ll likely be on the 2014 ballot if the Legislature follows its recent pattern of punting such measures to the voters rather than adopting them.I-591, a one-page proposal that bans government confiscation of guns and any background check that isn’t part of a national system, started its signature-gathering campaign about two weeks ago at one of the state’s biggest gun shows, the Washington Arms Collectors’ Show in Puyallup.“We knew what the other side was going to do. We filed before they did,” said Alan Gottlieb, campaign manager for Protect Our Gun Rights.I-594, an 18-page proposal that lays out a process to apply the current federal system of background checks required by dealers to private sales in Washington — with some exceptions for family transfer and antique sales — got its final ballot language approved last week and will start circulating petitions this week.last_img read more

Slow Pace Of Trump Appointments Takes Toll On Federal Courts In Texas

first_img Share 00:00 /01:14 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen X There are currently 11 U.S. district judgeships in Texas waiting to be filled, along with two seats on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Several have been vacant for more than two years, in part because the Republican-led Senate held off approving nominees by former President Obama.“Texas is a very large state. There’s a lot of civil and criminal litigation in the federal courts here. And so to have judicial vacancies means, basically, that the other judges have to pick up the slack,” says Hugh Brady, director of the University of Texas School of Law’s Legislative Lawyering Clinic. The longer the seats remain empty, he says, the bigger the backlog of civil and criminal cases will grow.The White House also has yet to name U.S. attorneys for the four districts of Texas. At present, two of the posts are held by acting U.S. attorneys, the other two by Obama-era survivors staying on until the Senate confirms their replacements.“If you’re a holdover or an acting U.S attorney,” Brady says, “you’re there as a caretaker, and you’re not going to be announcing any bold initiatives or taking any drastic actions.”Houston sits in the Southern District of Texas, which prosecutes more cases against defendants than any other U.S. attorney’s office in the country. An acting U.S. attorney has run the office since March.last_img read more

That toy story

first_imgAfter making a huge splash at India Art Fair earlier this year with his 3-D sculptural installations in metal, Israeli artiste David Gerstein is all set to exhibit a body of new works in his first solo show in India. Titled Poetic Mirror, the show is being brought to India by Bruno Art Group and is curated by Alka Pande. Born in Jerusalem in 1944, Gerstein studied in Jerusalem, Paris, New York and London and started exhibiting his work in 1971. He uses a large spectrum of media such as wall sculptures, paper cuts, prints and photographs and other small objects. He is most famous for his large, Fauve -like outdoor installations, which are very much part of the Israeli landscapes. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Though Gerstein has already tasted success in the Indian market with many of his works being sold to Indian collectors post India Art Fair, this is the first time he will be visiting the country. Says the artist who is considered the pioneer of 3-D metal art: ‘Unfortunately, I have never been to India before but for many years, I have been reading about it and hearing stories or seeing films that it seems I know what India is like. My passion for colours always makes people inquire whether India helped determine my love for strong fresh colours which is so typical to the Indian culture. After all, the Mediterranean culture and heritage which we share with India brings us to the same strong sun and shadows. I’m sure India will look familiar to me from the very beginning. Some of my works involve a lot of details and are rich in colours which in recent years have disappeared from the art world trends.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYet, Gerstein admits he looks forward to watching the way ‘life is being performed on Indian streets, to smell the food and to see the wonderful craft that is being done everywhere. India and Israel share the same landscape and vegetation since the weather is closed but I am more interested in urban scenes than just landscape views,’ he says.’My art has always traversed its own path apart from trendy movements and I have stayed away from the ‘isms’, though often it’s been called ‘pop art’. I was a narrative artist from the very beginning and wanted to get people’s attention by representing the values I share with the common art lover. I want to share beauty and happiness and make people aware that there are great values we have as people and not just violence and disasters. After many years of creating narrative and figurative images, I wanted to extend the borders of painting and to give a new sculptural dimension to the so far illusionist look of the flat paintings. By slicing the view to multi layers, I achieved certain volume that was lacking in all the paintings that were done before.’ Among the works that will be on display during the show is the swirling 5th Avenue, a busy street scene inspired by the artist’s stay in New York. Happy Hours depicts the sensation of freedom overwhelming two bikers surrounded by a cloud of butterflies. The powerful Endless walk represents a multicoloured crowd of people walking along lines that form the infinity symbol. Gerstein’s works convey a sense of wonder and amusement at this fervour-ridden reality that is ours, and can be interpreted as a metaphor of life as a mad race. The Burning Lips pass on the feeling of softness of the lips or the sensation of its great sensitivity. Elegance is a comment about femininity and Peloton Wave is all about movement and the way the human figure is integrated with the mechanism of the bicycle. ‘Each image has its own story and solution.’WHERE: Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat CentreWHEN: 6 to 15 May, 10 am to 8 pmlast_img read more

Carl St Clair appointed music director of Costa Ricas National Symphony Orchestra

first_imgNo related posts. If you only looked at his résumé, Carl St. Clair would seem to have lived many lifetimes: Born in 1952, the Texas native has served as music director of orchestras in Michigan, New York, California and even Germany. He has recorded albums. He has headed music festivals. He has collaborated with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma.Now, St. Clair prepares for a new incarnation – as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. Last Friday, it was announced at a press conference in San José that St. Clair would sign on for a one-year contract. He is expected to arrive in Costa Rica in March 2014.“The National Symphony Orchestra has gone for three years without a leader,” St. Clair told The Tico Times this week. “That’s a long span of time. I have been very impressed that they have maintained their discipline and performance level, but obviously there needs to be a cohesiveness, a homogeneity of sound and tone. For me, it’s more about gathering people and unifying their aims and goals.”For 25 years, St. Clair has served as music director of the Pacific Symphony, based in Orange County, California. Three years ago, St. Clair was invited to guest-conduct for the National Symphony in Costa Rica, and the collaboration clicked. He returned for a second stint the following year, then a third in 2013.“I really enjoyed working with the orchestra,” St. Clair recalled. “The relationship with the musicians and my professional relationship with [Director of National Music Center] Guillermo Madriz was wonderful. Sometime between my first and second visit, we began talking about a position.”The orchestra has lacked a full-time music director since the Culture Ministry’s dismissal of Daniel Nazareth in 2011. For Costa Rica, the orchestra has gained a conductor with a wealth of background and experience. For St. Clair, the appointment is an opportunity to refine the orchestra, cultivate new talents and schedule a season of performances.But St. Clair is also married and the father of two children, ages 11 and 12, and the decision to relocate to Costa Rica required some exposure.“I brought my family down this past July for two weeks,” St. Clair said. “We had a wonderful family vacation. We were scheduled to go somewhere else, but we decided we should all know about [Costa Rica], as a family.” They toured the Pacific coast and spent some time in the highlands and around Arenal Volcano. “We just had a great time. The whole family just fell in love with the country. It was important that this be a family decision.”Having worked extensively with the Staatskappelle Weimar and Radio-Sinfonieorchester – both preeminent orchestras in Germany – St. Clair describes his family as “bi-continental.” At the same time, “this came very late in my life,” St. Clair said, and there are copious preparations to make before his arrival. Among his many tasks: studying what the National Symphony Orchestra has accomplished in the past 10 years and deciding where to steer them next.“I’m going to try to compliment what’s been going on by bringing some new composers into the fold,” St. Clair said. He commended their repertoire so far – a diverse spectrum of symphonies and choral works – but St. Clair may introduce less-played artists, such as Shostakovich, Strauss, Wagner and Haydn. “There are a lot of details for next season. We have a lot of planning to do.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The link between Venezuela and Cuba

first_imgCuba and Venezuela are linked as foreign policy challenges for many U.S. lawmakers because of the close ties between the two socialist regimes. Former Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez was an unabashed supporter of Fidel Castro, and helped ensure that Venezuela used its oil wealth to help prop up Cuba’s ailing economy. Chávez repeatedly sought medical treatment for the cancer that eventually killed him in Cuba, and the close relationship between the two countries has continued even as both have moved on to other leaders. Nicolás Maduro was one of the feted guests last summer when Cuba celebrated the 60th anniversary of the start of the Cuban revolution.While Venezuela’s self-proclaimed “Bolivarian revolution” was modeled on Cuba’s, the South American oil giant replaced the Soviet Union as the island country’s main economic patron, underwriting the Cuban economy to the tune of billions of dollars a year.Some estimates of the scale of Venezuelan support for Cuba, including more than 130,000 barrels a day of oil but also salaries for thousands of Cuban officials working in the country, suggest Caracas gives Cuba more than $10 billion a year, or between one-fifth and one-sixth of Cuba’s gross domestic product. That comes close to the level of economic support that Cuba received from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, before the Soviet collapse abruptly ended Moscow’s economic aid to Fidel Castro.In other words, some lawmakers believe, further unrest or even a change in the regime in Venezuela could represent a direct threat to the continued rule of Raúl and Fidel Castro in Cuba. From left, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Cuban President Raúl Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales participate in a torch march, on Jan. 28, 2014, to celebrate the 161th anniversary of Cuban National Hero José Martí’s birthday. Yamil Lage/AFPHowever, a lot has changed since the end of the Cold War. Cuba has slowly tried to reform its economy and find more than one “sugar daddy” to prop it up. Brazil, for one, is increasing investment and trade in Cuba, and just helped construct a major port not far from Havana. Cuba, recognizing the peril that reliance on Venezuelan oil poses for its economy, has also repeatedly sought to tap what it believes are abundant oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, but so far without success.“Do you drive Cuba off the edge of the earth by strangling Venezuela? Nothing the United States has done in 50 years has caused that to happen in Cuba,” Julia Sweig, a Latin American expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Foreign Policy. “My expectation is that Cuba has been planning for this for a long time, and even if they’re not 100 percent ready, they are prepared enough,” including deeper economic ties with Brazil, the European Union, Canada, and China, she said.Oil is at the heart of Venezuela’s support for Cuba, but it is also at the heart of Venezuela’s own woes. Much of the popular anger in Venezuela is a reaction to the government crackdown on students. However, widespread dissatisfaction with the Maduro government’s economic mismanagement has prompted even the middle class — hammered by soaring inflation, empty store shelves and a cratering currency — to join the protests. The New York Times captured the mood this week talking with one such protester: “Look. I’ve got a rock in my hand and I’m the distributor for Adidas eyewear in Venezuela,” Carlos Alviarez told the newspaper.RECOMMENDED: Adiós, El Chapo: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto might want to think twice about popping the champagne.And that economic malaise is due in part to the systemic mismanagement of Venezuela’s oil wealth over the past 15 years. Blessed with the largest oil reserves in Latin America, and the second largest in the world, Venezuela has struggled to attract the foreign investment needed to increase oil production, especially in challenging oil fields laden with thick, heavy oil.Production has remained constant, at about 2.3 million barrels per day in recent years, in part because rampant inflation has made it hard for foreign firms to boost output there and partly because the Chávez and Maduro regimes have used oil income to underwrite expensive social programs at home, to the detriment of productive investment in the industry. A billboard of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) is seen at the entrance of the Cienfuegos oil refinery, 250 km southeast of Havana, Cuba, on Feb. 11, 2013. Jean-Herve Deiller/AFPExports, which account for about half the Venezuelan budget, have plummeted since the advent of Chavismo. Venezuelan oil exports peaked in the late 1990s at about 3 million barrels, but have since fallen to about 1.7 million barrels a day. Additionally, some 400,000 barrels of that export total are sent to Caribbean nations under preferential terms, further eroding Caracas’ potential earnings.While Rubio and others rail at the State Department for not taking a tougher stance on Venezuela, another office in Foggy Bottom did take one important step this week that could ultimately deal a big economic blow to Maduro and the Venezuelan government. The State Department’s Inspector General determined that its environmental review of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline suffered no conflict of interest.That removes one of the last potential obstacles for the Obama administration to finally greenlight the pipeline that would carry almost 800,000 barrels a day of heavy crude oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.The biggest loser if Keystone is built? Venezuela, which currently exports about 800,000 barrels of heavy oil a day to the United States to keep those refineries humming.John Hudson contributed to this article.© 2014, Foreign Policy Facebook Comments Related posts:As oil plummets, Venezuela goes from bad to worse World Bank court orders Ecuador to pay $1.8 billion to US oil firm Oxy Quick Venezuela facts on Election Day US opens greater channels for trade, air links with Cuba WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top U.S. lawmakers from both parties are urging the Obama administration to take a tougher line on Venezuela, which is violently cracking down on popular protests against the government of Nicolás Maduro. For some on Capitol Hill, though, the real target is Cuba.These leading Republicans and Democrats are pushing back at a country that has been a constant thorn in the side of U.S. interests in Latin America in recent years.Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R., Fla., and Eliot Engel, D., N.Y., have both called for the Organization of American States, which meets this week, to take a tougher line on the Maduro government’s treatment of peaceful protesters. Sen. Marco Rubio, R., Fla., has floated the idea of U.S. sanctions against Venezuelan officials involved in the crackdown, and even against the Venezuelan government itself.But Venezuela hawks such as Rubio are making a second argument: tougher action against Venezuela represents a chance to undermine one of the key lifelines of the communist regime in Cuba, whose economy relies on heavily subsidized oil and other gifts from Caracas.“The Cubans get free and cheap oil from the Venezuelans. So their interest is keeping this regime in place because they’re their benefactors,” Rubio told CNN this week. “And Cuba is clearly involved in assisting the Venezuelan government with both personnel and training and equipment to carry out these repressive activities,” he added.center_img A host of key lawmakers have long been skeptical of the Obama administration’s efforts to reach out to Cuba after more than 50 years of a U.S. economic embargo against the island nation. Obama’s efforts to loosen restrictions on travel and remittances, especially for Cuban-Americans, have provoked a backlash among lawmakers, like Rubio, who count on Cuban-American votes.That perception was strengthened in December, when President Obama shook hands with Raúl Castro, the brother of Fidel and the current Cuban president, at the funeral of Nelson Mandela. That came just a month after Obama suggested the United States might need to rethink the embargo.Rubio said in a passionate speech on the Senate floor Monday that he also wants normal relations with Cuba — “a democratic and free Cuba. But you want us to reach out and develop friendly relationships with a serial violator of human rights, who supports what’s going on in Venezuela and every other atrocity on the planet?”last_img read more

FirstTime Jobless Claims Remain at PreRecession Low

first_imgUnemployment,First-Time Jobless Claims Remain at Pre-Recession Low August 22, 2013 403 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Processing Unemployment 2013-08-22 Mark Liebermancenter_img First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 17 rose 13,000 to 336,000, the “”Labor Department””: reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to rise to 330,000 from the 320,000 originally reported for the week ending August 10. The number of filings for that week was bumped up to 323,000.[IMAGE]Even with the weekly increase, the four-week moving average of first-time filings dropped to 330,500–remaining at the lowest level since November 2007, a month before the Great Recession began. The four-week average levels fluctuations in the volatile weekly claims filings.The number of continuing claims–reported on a one-week lag–rose 29,000 to 2,999,000 for the week ending August 10. The number of continuing claims for the week ended August 3 was revised up to 2,970,000 from the originally reported 2,969,000.The weekly reports of unemployment claims covered the same week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for its monthly Employment Situation report. That report is scheduled for release September 7. It will be based on data for the week that includes the 12th day of the month.Using those dates, initial claims were flat from July to August, though the four-week moving average dropped 16,000. Data on continuing claims for the mid-month “”reference week”” will be reported next week.While a large part of the week-over-week increase in first-time claims is due to more layoffs, the report also reflects the seasonal adjustment factors applied by the Department of Labor for predictable and annually recurring events that affect claims. The adjustment factor for the week ending August 17 was 83.1 compared with 87.7 for the previous, which should have led to a drop in first-time claims–suggesting the report is weaker than even the numbers reflect.The seasonal adjustment factors are published in advance by the Labor Department and will bottom at 78.1 in two weeks.The weekly increase in initial claims–13,000–was the largest since early July, when filings increased 14,000. The decline in the four-week average was the sixth in a row.The weekly bump in continuing claims, which largely reflects hiring, was the second in the last three weeks. Even with the increase, the four-week moving average of continuing claims has fallen a net 40,250 in that span.The Labor Department said the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 3 was 4,438,656, a decrease of 148,207 from the previous week. There were 5,594,498 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012. Extended Benefits were not available in any state during the week ending August 3. Extended benefits have been affected by the federal government sequestration. States responded to the reduced federal funds by either cutting the number of weeks of eligibility or lowering weekly payments.According to the BLS, 11,514,000 persons were officially considered unemployed in July, with 4,246,000 “”long-term”” unemployed–that is, out of work for at least 27 weeks. Of those individuals counted as unemployed, 6.93 million were not receiving any form of government unemployment insurance for the week ending July 27, down from 6.99 million one week earlier.The Labor Department reported 1,501,068 persons claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending August 3, a decrease of 51,842 from the prior week. There were 2,326,635 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012. EUC benefits this year were directly threatened by the federal budget sequester. According to the Labor Department detail, also reported on a one-week lag, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 10 were in South Carolina (+907), New York (+762), Oregon (+685), Mississippi (+419), and Indiana (+400), while the largest decreases were in California (-4,105), Ohio (-1,554), Texas (-894), Florida (-881), and Georgia (-712).California said the decrease in first-time claims for the week ending August 10 was attributable to fewer layoffs in the service sector, while Ohio cited fewer layoffs in manufacturing. _Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._ in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

South Africanborn awardwinning comedian Urzila

first_imgSouth African-born, award-winning comedian, Urzila Carlson, has been named as the new Australasian Ambassador of South African Tourism, representing the country as part of an ongoing campaign to encourage Australians, New Zealanders and South African expats living in those countries to visit one of the most diverse destinations in the world.Carlson grew up on the Ingwelala Game Reserve, next to Kruger National Park, a few hours from Johannesburg, before arriving in New Zealand in 2008. To mark the start of the ambassadorship, she embarked on a two-week visit to South Africa earlier this month where she travelled from the Northern Cape through to Cape Town, followed by visits to Johannesburg, Soweto, the Kruger National Park and Durban before concluding her adventure in Port Elizabeth. A series of content from her visit will be published on South African Tourism’s social channels.“South Africa is and always will be a very special place for me, so I’m very excited to be sharing my love of the country with others as part of my role as ambassador,” said Carlson.“A lot has changed over the years for the better and many people don’t realise that South Africa has some of the world’s best in food and wine, adventure activities and cultural experiences at incredible value for money for Australian and Kiwi travellers. It feels like I’ve come full circle and can’t wait to encourage others to discover all that this great country has to offer.” @ Table MountainSouth African Tourism’s Hub Head for Australasia, Mosilo Sofonia, said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to announce Urzila as the new ambassador for South African Tourism. Her straight-up sense of humour combined with her South African roots make her the perfect fit to help tell the country’s story to a Kiwi and Aussie audience.”Carlson will also host all five of South African Tourism’s Meet South Africa Roadshows across Australia and New Zealand; evenings promising South African-inspired food, wine and entertainment. The comedian will provide plenty of laughs, video highlights from her grand tour, and facilitate interviews with a panel of top travel operators.Perth – 8 OctoberBrisbane – 10 OctoberSydney – 11 OctoberAuckland – 16 OctoberMelbourne – 18 OctoberRegister for Roadshows HERE.Expat South Africans living in Australia, and their Aussie mates, will also have the opportunity to hear Urzila’s stories as she takes on the role of MC at South African Tourism’s expat events in Sydney and Perth.Carlson will head back to South Africa with her family on a further visit to her home country in January 2019. ambassadorcomediancomedySouth AfricaSouth African TourismUrzile Carlsonlast_img read more

Travelweek São Paulo by ILTM opened on Tuesday 5 M

first_imgTravelweek São Paulo by ILTM opened on Tuesday 5 May with one of Brazil’s most reputed economists, Ricardo Amorim, sharing his views on the continuing increase in numbers and range of interest of luxury Brazilian travellers. He urged the world’s luxury travel suppliers not to overlook smaller markets such as Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile.Despite Brazil’s poor economy, Mr Amorim observed that real wages for the working population in Brazil are going up. He commented, “Brazilians have more money to spend and they love to travel. However, not only are they able and willing to travel, these are people that love to spend when they are abroad, mainly because Brazil is one of the most expensive countries in the world in which to live.”In fact, Brazilians are second only to the Japanese when it comes to the amount spent when travelling abroad. Mr Amorim continued, “As an emerging market, Brazilians have wanted to travel for decades and now that they can, they take pride in their travels and really enjoy spending their money and sharing their experiences.”In conclusion, Mr Amorim also revealed that in 1980, those who travelled by plane numbered 9 from the US and Europe, in comparison to 1 from the rest of the world.  Within 20 years, these statistics will be totally reversed with 1 person from the US and Europe travelling for every 9 people from the rest of the world and “Brazil will be leading the charge”.The powerful subject of ‘Food as the new global currency in bespoke travel’ then took centre stage at the Opening Ceremony. Three of the world’s most forward-thinking chefs – Brazilian Alex Atala (DOM and Dalva e Dito, Sao Paulo), Peruvian Virgilio Martinez (Central, Lima) and the Spanish Andoni Aduriz (Mugaritz, San Sebastian) – took part in a live discussion on stage, moderated by renowned travel and food journalist Nilou Motamed.Motamed set the scene with the observation that travellers today are obsessed with the sense of place of a destination and this is defined by its food. Atala pointed out that food connects seven billion people on a daily basis and as such, is more powerful than any social media.Alison Gilmore, Senior Exhibition Director of the ILTM Portfolio (read our interview with her here), summed up the impact of this stimulating Opening Ceremony at Travelweek São Paulo by ILTM, “This is what our guests have come to hear – who are the new high-end travellers from Brazil and Latin America, why they choose to go where they go and what they are seeking when they get there. The gastronomic reputation of a destination is redefining the luxury travel map and the topic is on everyone’s lips at Travelweek São Paulo by ILTM.”The business of Travelweek São Paulo by ILTM continues through to Friday 8 May with over 1200 luxury travel suppliers from across the globe and buyers from predominantly Brazil and across Latin America meeting on a strictly one-to-one, mutually matched basis.Connect on social media:@iltm_events #TravelweekSP  #shareyourstorywww.iltm.comwww.travelweeksaopaulo.comlast_img read more

Professors from Israels Hadassah university hospital due in Paphos for seminar

first_imgA critical care update course will be held in Paphos in September and aims to help doctors and nurses with little or no experience in handling intensive care unit incidents.Attendees to the event, which is organised by the Hadassah University Hospital of Israel, (through its representative in Greece and Cyprus, iMER Medical Services), and the Evangelismos hospital, will receive a two-day training course on updated critical care.The seminar will be held on September 6 and 7 at Evangelismos Hospital in Paphos and will consist of theoretical and practical training. Both practical and theoretical training will be carried out by the specialised professors and doctors of the Hadassah University Hospital.These include, Professor Vernon Van Heerden, Head of Hadassah general Intensive care unit, Dr Sviri-Saroussi Sigal, Director of the facility’s internal medicine intensive care unit and Dr Marc Romain, Senior Doctor at the intensive care unit, specialising in Nephrology.A release noted that as there is only a limited number of course participants permitted, a strict order of priority will be followed.For participation, attendance fee and course schedule: 22763001 or 26848091 or email marianna@imer.netYou May LikeYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoMBA Degrees | Search AdsMBA Programs Online – See For YourselfMBA Degrees | Search AdsUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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