Polling peaceful in six LS, 42 Assembly seats in Odisha

first_imgPolling passed off peacefully in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies of Odisha in the third phase of simultaneous elections on Tuesday.An average of 61% voting was recorded till 5 p.m., and it was likely to increase since voting was in progress, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha. The Lok Sabha seats where polling was conducted during the day are Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur and Keonjhar. The 42 Assembly segments came under these six Parliamentary constituencies.EVMs malfunctioningReports of malfunctioning of EVMs were received from some booths in the morning hours, but polling was resumed after replacing those machines. Polling was postponed in a booth under Sambalpur following error and wrong pairing of VVPAT.In another incident, a polling official passed away while on duty in Dhenkanal district. The official, Nabakishore Nayak, who collapsed inside the booth, was declared dead by doctors at Kamakhyanagar hospital.Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik was among the prominent leaders to cast their votes in the morning hours. After casting his vote, Mr. Patnaik exuded confidence that the BJD would perform well in the elections in the State.The prominent candidates who were in the fray for Tuesday’s elections include former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, former Director General of Police Prakash Mishra and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.4th phase on April 29 Polling is already over in nine Lok Sabha and 63 Assembly constituencies in Odisha in the previous two phases – April 11 and 18. The fourth and last phase polling in the remaining six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies, for which campaigning is still going on, is scheduled to be held on April 29.On the other hand, Mr. Patnaik campaigned for party nominees in areas under the Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituencies later in the day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed two public meetings at Balasore and Kendrapara during the day.last_img read more

Moustache makes the man for all Vivek fans

first_imgVivek OberoiIt’s a hirsute affair-between the nose and the upper lip-that’s keeping Vivek Oberoi busy these days? Other than his film Rakht Charitra and his upcoming wedding, he is busy working his moustache! “Yes. The moustache takes a lot of work. It seems easy and you think you can grow it, keep it. But you have to trim it, comb it. It is tough to keep a moustache. But I am glad to have done so as my fans love it. Guys asked me about it when I went to promote Rakht Charitra in various cities big and small metros. Even girls thought I looked more dashing,” he says.Given the adulation from his young fans, Vivek was more than happy to oblige. Of late, he has been quite busy? travelling across the nation promoting his newest film and helping his parents with the wedding shopping.Sources close to the Oberois say the entire family is in a celebratory mood. From shopping to finalising the wedding venue, their calendar is full. The only thing that is under wraps is perhaps Priyanka Alva, his fiance.Poke him and he grins and mutters monosyllables like a coy bride. “Well, that’s personal,” the actor says.The little bee tells us that she isn’t fond of the moustache and there’s a probability that it will be sacrificed at the altar.Until the wedding, Vivek definitely will sport it for promotional purposes.last_img read more

Bumbling Along

first_imgOn the DefensiveComparing military intelligence (MI) to IB and RAW is unfair and unrealistic (“Intelligence Failure”, June 14). While IB and RAW have a clear mandate of procuring internal and external intelligence, MI has neither the mandate nor the resources for procuring intelligence. Also, defence forces depend on RAW for,On the DefensiveComparing military intelligence (MI) to IB and RAW is unfair and unrealistic (“Intelligence Failure”, June 14). While IB and RAW have a clear mandate of procuring internal and external intelligence, MI has neither the mandate nor the resources for procuring intelligence. Also, defence forces depend on RAW for external intelligence and IB for internal security-related information.Additionally, border surveillance is the responsibility of field formations deployed in a particular sector. There is definitely a need to restructure the existing MI setup in order to make it capable of meeting the defence requirements independently. Moreover,this should not be the time to do a performance audit.Brigadier (Retd) S.C. Jolly, NoidaYour article on the failure of our various agencies in detecting the large-scale infiltration at an early stage reflects very poorly on those in charge of national security. It is also an eye opener for us since it shows how the lack of political stability, lack of consensus on national issues and lack of accountability puts the nation in such dangerous situations. We live on hope and believe in fate.R.S. Kannan, SingaporeShooting Off Their MouthsThe congress reaction to kargil has been shocking and shameful (“Sniper Fire”, June 14). After losing to Pakistan strategic territories which the gallant soldiers won with their blood in the 1965 and 1971 wars, through the Tashkent and Simla agreements, the Congress has no moral right to speak on the Kargil tragedy. After all it is the bungling of the Kashmir issue and the policy of appeasement of the so-called minorities by the Congress that has brought things to such a pass.A.K. Sharma, ChandigarhCampus CapersThe college survey and the methodology adopted to analyse them has many shortcomings (“Top 10 Colleges”, June 14). Most of the respondents interviewed were from the metros. Besides, several colleges which merited a place among the best were neglected.advertisementI suggest that instead of selecting 10 colleges based on some group discussion, you should come up with a broader range that would allow a more representative survey of the colleges of the country.Prashant Saraswat, on e-mailCricket: C’mon, it’s just a GameThe cricket fever gripping the nation and the dismal performance of our team in the World Cup only show how pampered and overrated our cricketers are (“Cricket Crazy”, June 14). If practice makes one perfect, our cricketers ought to have been practising the game and honing their skills instead of selling soft drinks, shoes, shirts and sundry. Had this been done we’d have won the World Cup effortlessly and the cricket craze in the nation would have had some justification. I suggest cricketers should be banned from endorsing consumer goods.T.N. Misra, LucknowUndoubtedly an indulgence in sports is a worthwhile way of achieving the oft-repeated maxim – a healthy mind in a healthy body.But don’t we stretch it a bit too far with our lopsided involvement with the game of cricket? Most cricket fans even seemed insensitive to the bereavement of their idol Sachin Tendulkar. Consider the manhours that get wasted during the matches. Complete paralysis grips the nation – offices bear a desolate look with the cricket-crazy staff either glued to transistors or on leave to watch matches at home. Can we afford to waste so much money and time?Anuradha, Chandigarh Your ranking of the colleges, based on interviews, is not very fair. These may be the most popular but not the country’s top colleges. What we expect is a comprehensive ranking based on facts such as student facilities, campus placement, faculty-student ratio, standard of the pass-outs in the industry, research projects, infrastructure, amount spent per student, class strength, curriculum, teaching methods and the experience of the staff. This can be supported by an on-the-spot assessment by a qualified team.Anand Gopalan, MumbaiHome TruthThe issue of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin seems to be limited only to urban areas (“All Roads Lead to Rome”, June 7).The underprivileged couldn’t care less about her origins. All they see is someone who can improve their quality of life.Whether Sonia, if elected, can deliver is debatable, but the BJP should not raise this issue. If it can improve the standard of rural life, let them make that their manifesto.N. Kumar, CalcuttaPolitics of DramaThe recent emotion-packed melodrama that unfolded in Delhi has severely damaged the already tattered image of the Congress (“Quitting to Conquer”, May 31).This was not the time for Congressmen to bring up the issue of Sonia’s “foreign born” status.Given that the issue had been raised, it was an inappropriate way for a CWC president to react.advertisementInstead of getting emotionally overwhelmed by the situation and submitting a resignation letter, which subsequently led to the expulsion of senior members, a shrewd politician would have tried to resolve the matter behind closed doors and keep the party unified.Swapna B. Batabyal, Logan, UtahThe Better Team Now that we are out of the World Cup, people will concentrate more on the war in Kargil (“Blasting Peace”,June 7). Our soldiers are fighting at 17,000 ft where temperatures range from minus 5 to minus 30 degrees Celsius. The cricketers were routed while playing in better conditions. If killed in action, an IAF pilot gets around Rs 2 lakh in compensation. Our cricketers get an equivalent amount or more as tournament fee, not to speak of the money they get through endorsements and ads. People offered pujas and observed fasts so India could win the Cup. Has anyone cared to do anything for the valiant soldiers? The least the Indian team can do is send all the awards and match fees to the Army Relief Fund. Parvez, on e-mailwrongly Plane FactsYour story wrongly states that the Haryana Government flew BJP leader Sushma Swaraj from Shimla to Delhi at state expense (“Friends in Need”, June 14).Swaraj did use a Haryana state plane on May 20, 1999. But a bill amounting to Rs 17,500 was made in her name and she paid the amount promptly through a cheque in the first week of June itself. In fact state aircraft have been used by VIPs for non-official purposes and they have been billed similarly.It’s a different matter that many of these VIPs, including former chief ministers, have not paid the bills for the past several years.Director, Public Relations, HaryanaClarificationIn our cover story, the map of Kashmir was not to scale (“The Marathon War”, June 21). Therefore, the Line of Control as shown in the map may not conform to the actual LoC.last_img read more

10 months agoKante: What Chelsea players think of Pulisic

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Kante: What Chelsea players think of Pulisicby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has welcomed their swoop for Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic.On Wednesday morning it was announced that the 20-year-old will be moving to west London this summer in a £58million move from Borussia Dortmund.Having watched Pulisic’s impact from afar, Kante can’t wait to see it close up next season.”We know he’s a good player,” he told the Daily Mail following Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday night.”He’s doing well for Dortmund and we are glad to welcome him to Chelsea.” last_img

Quebec floods water levels down but heavy rain expected on the weekend

first_imgMONTREAL – While water levels continued their slow decline in some parts of Quebec on Wednesday, the province’s environment minister warned the situation could deteriorate in others this weekend because of heavy rain.David Heurtel said the central Quebec region of Mauricie is expected to bear the brunt of the precipitation.“We’re looking at considerable rainfall on the weekend,” he told a news conference.“Depending on the region, we’re talking about 20 to 40 millimetres but in Mauricie the impact will be even greater, so we should expect another tough weekend there.”Heurtel said the combination of rain, melting snow in the St-Maurice River basin and rising tides could prove to be damaging in the region.Trois-Rivieres resident Patrice Bourassa, who has been co-ordinating volunteer efforts in Mauricie, said citizens in some of the worst-hit regions are losing energy and patience.“It’s reached the point they have to leave their homes in the morning and take a canoe to their vehicle 500 metres away because it’s too flooded,” he said in a telephone interview.Bourassa said the Facebook page he created has already drawn 1,200 members, with many spending the last few days building dikes, packing sandbags and helping citizens.He says that while city officials have offered all the help they can, some of the smaller towns in the region have fewer resources to deal with flooding.The mayor of Nicolet, Que. said the small town at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Nicolet rivers had put out a voluntary evacuation order in advance of the rising waters.Genevieve Dubois fears the water levels could rise by 25 centimetres putting up to 300 homes at risk and cutting off road access to the town.But she said most people were staying put and planned to simply monitor the water level after a major sandbagging effort she hopes will keep most houses dry.“People are starting to get tired but the morale is still there,” she said.Levels are expected to remain stable in flooded areas in the Greater Montreal area, where Heurtel credited the management of water flow from the Ottawa River and Great Lakes basins with preventing the situation from getting worse.Weekend rain isn’t expected to cause a spike in Montreal-area water levels, Heurtel said.“The flow will continue decreasing and ultimately the rains that are going to come are going to slow down the decrease,” Heurtel said.“We’re not looking at the rainfall rising the levels. It’s going to slow down the decrease or it’s going to be maintained at the same levels.”Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux told the same news conference that 3,882 residences in the province have now been affected by the floods.Coiteux also said 2,721 people have had to leave their homes and that there have been 126 landslides.One of the hardest-hit areas is the Gatineau region of western Quebec. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard were scheduled to tour the area by helicopter on Thursday morning to get a close look at the damage.In Ottawa, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the military is deploying several hundred more Canadian soldiers to help with flood relief efforts in Quebec, bringing the total to 2,200 by the end of the day.Sajjan said about 470 army reservists from Ontario had started arriving in Quebec to fill sandbags, evacuate people and provide other assistance.In Montreal, fire Chief Bruno Lachance said the focus is on consolidating dams and that he doesn’t expect the number of evacuees to rise.A state of emergency remains in effect in Montreal until Sunday, with Lachance saying 243 people have been evacuated and about 400 homes flooded in the city.“We know it will take days before it recedes totally — maybe weeks,” he said. “We ask people to be patient, we’re going to help them when the time comes, (but) for the moment, we’re still in an emergency situation.”At least one person has died in the province because of the floods — a man whose car ended up in a surging river in the eastern Gaspe region on Sunday.Authorities resumed their search Wednesday for a two-year-old girl who disappeared in the same incident but put it on hold later in the day. It will pick up again Thursday with additional provincial police officers who are specialized in searches in water and on riverbanks.The Canadian Red Cross has set up a relief fund, with the federal government contributing $1 million and the Quebec government $500,000.Other Quebec municipalities have also contributed, notably Montreal, which has pledged $250,000.— with files from Morgan Lowrie in Montreal.last_img read more

Rep Griffin Legislation an important step in licensing reform

first_img03Oct Rep. Griffin: Legislation an important step in licensing reform The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved a plan sponsored by state Rep. Beth Griffin making it easier for an individual applying for a state occupational license to have his or her application accepted based on a determination of his or her moral character.Griffin’s legislation, House Bill 6111, is part of a bipartisan, five-bill plan to reform the state’s review of occupational licensing.State regulations often refer broadly to “good moral character” as a requirement for holding a license. In practice, this has often led to those on the licensing board to interpret anyone with a criminal record to be ineligible for an occupational license.“Through data, we are seeing many people – despite spending valuable time and money on obtaining an occupational license – be denied a license after review because of a minor criminal conviction on their record,” said Griffin, of Mattawan, who is a member of the House Regulatory Reform committee. “I understand people convicted of major crimes should be barred from a job for the safety of the community, but in regard to more minor crimes, there are people trying to get their lives back on track and are facing obstacles to obtaining steady employment.”A total of 77 million Americans, or one out of every three adults, have a criminal record according to the National Council of State Legislatures – making it difficult, or even impossible to find work that requires an occupational license. In 2014, employment barriers faced by people with felony convictions – including occupational licensing – were associated with a reduction in the overall employment rate amounting to a loss of at least 1.7 million workers from the workforce and a cost of at least $78 billion to the economy nationwide.“Some Michiganders are missing out on the opportunity to work and provide for their families because of past mistakes they have already paid for,” Griffin said. “This legislative package aids workers in search of employment, helps job providers fill open positions and will work to stop the revolving door some people are experiencing when being released from prison.”House Bills 6110-13, along with 6381, now move to the Senate for further consideration. Categories: Griffin Newslast_img read more

Richard Chambers Amsterdambased multichannel netw

first_imgRichard ChambersAmsterdam-based multichannel network Zoomin.TV has created a studios arm to re–version its digital programmes into broadcaster-friendly long-form formats, hiring a British TV veteran to lead the initiative.Zoomin Studios will also draw on its parent’s network of post-millennial, Gen Z creative talent to develop and coproduce formats and factual programming for TV channels, and mobile and digital platforms.It has brought in former BBC and indie producer Richard Chambers to lead its production efforts. He was worked at prodcos such as IWC Media, Tigress Productios, Icon Films and Touch Productions, and has produced and directed factual shows for Discovery, National Geographic, BBC One, BBC Two and Channel 5.“We know ‘traditional’ TV is by no means dead and just how attractive it remains to YouTube stars and their fans,” said Chambers, who is head of Zoomin Studios.“Our extensive knowledge of the content Gen Z both makes and consumes online, alongside the creative storytelling and high production values needed for long-form TV shows, gives Zoomin Studios a unique ability to source new talent, build an online fan base for them and now, working with coproduction partners, develop formats to bring that ready-made talent and audience to linear TV audiences globally.”Zoomin Studios is already in “advanced” discussions with producers and distributors about coproductions, with Chambers in town in Miami this week for the NATPE market to meet with potential partners about new projects.European broadcaster MTG owns Zoomin.TV, whose Gen Z talent channels amassed around 1.8 billion YouTube views a month, after paying €45 million (US$48.2 million) in July.Overall, Zoomin.TV channels secure around 3.3 billion views across platforms, has 18 offices on four continents, and is now pushing into TV formats.“Traditional broadcasters and advertisers are struggling to provide the right type of content to connect with a Generation Z audience, which has been turning off linear TV channels,” said Zoomin.TV CEO Jan Riemens. “Our talent already has vast audience recognition and loyalty across the 25,000 YouTube channels we manage and Zoomin Studioswill deliver this audience to TV platforms and brands.“Creating Zoomin Studios makes the Company ideally positioned to create a feedback loop between the broadcast and digital worlds and we are uniquely placed to monetise both.”last_img read more

Researchers identify possible role of polyphosphate in dialysisrelated amyloidosis

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 8 2019Long-term dialysis treatment is tough on the body in many ways, but one of the most serious complications is dialysis-related amyloidosis, a disease characterized by abnormal buildup of protein aggregates—called amyloid fibrils—in joints, tissues and organs.Although there is no cure, recent research by Osaka University researchers sheds light on how amyloid fibrils form and aggregate, thereby allowing the identification of new therapeutic and preventive avenues to further improve the lives of sufferers.In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Osaka University researchers have identified that polyphosphate (polyP), which is a naturally occurring polymer in the body and a food and drink additive, induces the formation of amyloid fibrils from β2 microglobulin proteins.PolyPs play an important role in life as storage of phosphorous. When kidney function is normal, β2 microglobulin serum blood levels remain low. However, β2 microglobulin are not efficiently removed from the body in advanced stages of kidney disease. The implementation of dialysis further accentuates this problem, because β2 microglobulin is inable to pass through the dialysis membrane to be filtered. Because blood concentration of β2 microglobulin is higher when dialysis is used, the increased level of β2 microglobulin is the most important risk factor. However, the detailed mechanism triggering amyloid formation remains unclear. We wanted to investigate the effects of polyPs, compounds recently reported to be effective for other amyloid proteins, on the formation of amyloid fibrils from β2 microglobulin in an effort to learn how we may prevent it.”Dr. Yuji Goto Related StoriesScientists develop new class of drugs to treat hereditary kidney diseaseObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantAn 84-year-old man saves neighbor’s life, becomes oldest living kidney donor in the U.S.To do this, the researchers monitored the effect of polyP on the formation of amyloid fibrils from β2 microglobulin under acid and neutral conditions. Under acidic conditions, low polyP concentrations resulted in protein aggregates with an amyiloid-fibril structure but high polyP concentrations induced unstructured (or amorphous) aggregates.”The results observed under acidic conditions were characteristic of a competitive mechanism,” explains Chun-ming Zhang, previous graduate student of the Institute for Protein Research at Osaka University. “Based on this, we hypothesized that the tendency to form amyloid fibrils or amorphous aggregates is dependent upon the chemical environment.”However, under normal pH conditions, the results were quite different. The amyloid fibrils that formed were thicker; polyPs promoted amyloid fibril formation through protein aggregation by salting-out effects.This is the first evidence resolving how polyPs affect amyloid formation at different pH. These findings have clinical application potential because monitoring polyP levels in people receiving long-term hemodialysis could provide information regarding an individual’s risk of dialysis-related amyloidosis. Source:Osaka UniversityJournal reference:Zhang, C. et al. (2019) Possible mechanisms of polyphosphate-induced amyloid fibril formation of β2-microglobulin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1819813116.last_img read more

New technology could improve surgical outcomes for cancer patients

first_imgThe team has recently secured funding for a project on colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment under the Project Ireland 2040 Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund in collaboration with leading cancer surgeon Professor Ronan Cahill in the Mater University Hospital, UCD and Dublin based industry partners IBM-research and Deciphex.The project will look at combining tissues responsive probes, artificial intelligence and machine learning to transform medical care for colorectal cancer patients. Source:RCSIJournal reference:Wu, D. et al. (2019) RGD conjugated cell uptake off to on responsive NIR-AZA fluorophores: applications toward intraoperative fluorescence guided surgery. Chemical Science. doi.org/10.1039/C9SC02197C. At the moment, this is science. A clinical trial is our next goal and that would allow the full potential of this discovery to be realized for patients, enhancing detection of life-threatening diseases and improving outcomes of surgical procedures.” Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 8 2019A study led by researchers at RCSI’s Department of Chemistry has the potential to help surgeons more accurately remove tumors and detect cancer in lymph nodes during surgery. The research, led by RCSI Professor of Chemistry Donal O’Shea, has been published in Chemical Science.Bringing together expertise in chemistry and biotechnology, the research team has identified the potential benefit of fluorescence imaging as a way of detecting cancer cells during surgery, developing a probe that lights up when it detects cancer.Related StoriesBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedAccording to Professor O’Shea, “This is a very significant development which has the potential to transform the surgical management of cancer, improving outcomes for patients. Almost 60% of all cancer patients will undergo surgery as part of their treatment.””A new technology that could improve surgical outcomes by giving the surgical team real-time, informative images during the surgical procedure would have a wide-ranging and sustained impact on the care of cancer patients.”Addressing the next steps, Professor O’Shea said:last_img read more

Amazon ignores Trumps attacks as it molds a business empire

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Trump has hurled one charge after another at the company over the last week. He’s assailed Amazon’s contract with the U.S. Postal Service as a “scam,” accused the company of not paying enough taxes, and declared that its large lobbying operation gives it an unfair advantage. Much of this isn’t new for Trump, who suggested during the presidential campaign that Amazon could face antitrust scrutiny if he were elected.Trump’s attacks have targeted what Amazon is best known for: rapidly shipping just about any product you can imagine to your door. But the company CEO Jeff Bezos founded more than two decades ago is now a sprawling empire that sells groceries in brick-and-mortar stores, hosts the online services of other companies and federal offices in a network of data centers, and even recently branched into health care.Amazon relies on a nearly 30-member in-house lobbying team that’s four times as large as it was three years ago as well as outside firms to influence the lawmakers and federal regulators who can help determine its success. The outside roster includes a retired congressman from Washington state who was a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee when he stepped down.”Amazon is just not on an even playing field,” Trump told reporters Thursday aboard Air Force One. “They have a tremendous lobbying effort, in addition to having The Washington Post, which is as far as I’m concerned another lobbyist. But they have a big lobbying effort, one of the biggest, frankly, one of the biggest.”Overall, Amazon spent $15.6 million on lobbying in 2017. That’s less than Boeing, Comcast and AT&T spent during the same period, according to the political money website Open Secrets.Amazon does not own the Post. Bezos does. He and the newspaper have previously declared that Bezos isn’t involved in any journalistic decisions.Trump’s charge that Amazon pays “little or no taxes” may have merit. Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said in February that Amazon “has built its business model on tax avoidance.” Amazon reported $5.6 billion of U.S. profits in 2017 “and didn’t pay a dime of federal income taxes on it,” according to Gardner. Citation: Amazon ignores Trump’s attacks as it molds a business empire (2018, April 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-trump-tweets-amazon-business-empire.html The company declined to comment on Trump’s remarks or its lobbying operations.Amazon has grown rapidly since it launched in 1995 as a site that sold books. It has changed the way people buy paper towels, diapers or just about anything else. And its ambitions go far beyond online shopping: its Alexa voice assistant is in tablets, cars and its Echo devices; it runs the Whole Foods grocery chain; the company produces movies and TV shows and it designs its own brands of furniture and clothing.The company is in the midst of launching an independent business with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway that is seeking to lower health care costs for employees at the three companies. Given the three players’ outsize influence the alliance has the potential to shake up how Americans shop for health care and the initiative sent a shudder through the industry when it was announced in January.Amazon Web Services is angling for a much larger share of the federal government’s market for cloud computing, which allows massive amounts of data to be stored and managed on remote servers. The CIA signed a $600 million deal with Amazon in 2013 to build a system to share secure data across the U.S. intelligence community.A partner of Amazon Web Services, the Virginia-based Rean Cloud LLC, in February scored what appeared to be a lucrative cloud computing contract from the Pentagon. But the contract, initially projected to be worth as much as $950 million, was scaled back to $65 million after Amazon’s competitors complained about the award.Lobbying disclosure records filed with the House and Senate show Amazon is engaged on a wide variety of other issues, from trade to transportation to telecommunications. The company also lobbied lawmakers and federal agencies on the testing and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Amazon has been exploring the use of drones for deliveries, but current federal rules restrict flying beyond the operator’s line of sight.The $15.6 million Amazon spent on lobbying last year was $2.6 million more than in 2016, according to the disclosure records. The bulk of the money—$12.8 million—went for Amazon’s in-house lobbying team. The nearly 30-member unit is led by Brian Huseman, who worked previously as chief of staff at the Federal Trade Commission and a Justice Department trial attorney.As most large corporations do, Amazon also employs outside lobbying firms—as many as 14 in 2017.In Amazon’s corner is former Washington congressman Norm Dicks of the firm Van Ness Feldman. Dicks was serving as the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee when he ended his 36-year congressional career in 2013. He represented the company on information technology matters and “issues related to cloud computing usage by the federal government,” according to the records, which show Van Ness Feldman earned $160,000 from Amazon last year. Online retail giant Amazon is ignoring Donald Trump’s barrage of taunts and threats, focusing instead on expanding its reach into a swath of industries that the president’s broadsides haven’t come close to hitting. Trump targets Amazon again in new tweets President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One for a trip to White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., for an event on tax policy, Thursday, April 5, 2018, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) read more

Call for more ESG investment opportunities

first_img Related News KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should create more environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment opportunities, similar to those which have been done successfully in line with the growth of the Islamic finance market, says Maybank Investment Bank Bhd chief executive officer Fad’l Mohamed.“We have already embarked on the ship sailing towards a more sustainable future. “It is not a zero-sum game – indeed, sustainable investing has and continues to prove its significance to business decision makers and shareholders alike,” Fad’l said at the The Evolution of ESG Investing Conference hosted by Maybank and Bursa Malaysia Bhd here yesterday.To date, about US$31 trillion of assets under management are invested using sustainable strategies – an increase of 35% in just two years. Corporate News 11 Jul 2019 Govt to call for more large-scale solar power tenders In Malaysia, the ESG trend has started to take place with the country’s large asset owners, namely the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Corston-Smith Asset Management Sdn Bhd.These companies are the signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), which demonstrated their commitment to responsible investments to advocate a more sustainable financial system.Bursa Malaysia CEO Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said more public-listed companies and agencies in the country were taking strong interests in ESG investing and reporting, adding that “they are making voluntary announcements and disclosure of information beyond what is mandated under the rules.”He pointed out that “we reviewed the first batch of sustainability disclosures issued by public-listed companies with market cap of RM2bil and above and we saw an overall average compliance level of 91% among the same companies.” Meanwhile, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, who officiated the conference, said the government would be announcing more bids for large-scale solar (LSS) power projects worth RM2bil by the end of 2020. “There will be some changes on how we will tender the LSS project. “It all be more innovative and hopefully it would be able to drive the cost even lower compared to what we are seeing now,” added Yeo.However, she did not reveal the specific details on the tenders. Earlier this year, the Pakatan Harapan government had called for bids for projects worth RM2bil under the under the third round of the large-scale solar (LSS3) scheme to increase electricity generation from renewable energy.Yeo noted that LSS3 would be commercialised in the next two to three years. “Next year, we are also opening for more LSS,” she said. Given that 719 companies have participated in the tender, she said it would be “a very fierce competition” among players. The submission for proposals will be closed mid-August this year. Besides that, Yeo reiterated that the government would be replacing the Environmental Quality Act 1974 with a new Act, which would be known as Pollution Control Act, pushing for stiffer punishments for those who pollute the environment.On whether the new Act may add costs to businesses, she noted that it would not have a big impact for businesses, saying that the government would present the cost figures during a town hall meeting for the new Act next month. In early March this year, around 6,000 Pasir Gudang residents were affected when the illegal dumping of chemical substances into Sungai Kim Kim released toxic fumes in the area. Nation 09 Jul 2019 Fu: Investment opportunities aplenty along BRI routes Fad’l: It is not a zero-sum game – indeed, sustainable investing has and continues to prove its significance to business decision makers and shareholders alike. Related News Tags / Keywords: Corporate News 10 Jul 2019 Maybank IB adjudged AsiaPac’s best Islamic investment bank, Sukuk adviser Investment , ESG {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

Balasaheb Thorat replaces Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Congress chief

first_imgBalasaheb Thorat replaces Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Congress chiefSenior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat has replaced Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Congress chief. KC Padavi has been appointed the leader of the legislative party.advertisement Asian News International MumbaiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 22:11 IST Balasaheb Thorat. (Photo: Facebook)The Congress on Saturday made organisational changes in its Maharashtra unit in view of upcoming assembly polls and appointed senior state leader Balasaheb Thorat as the state party chief.The party also appointed five working presidents – Nitin Raut, Baswaraj M Patil, Vishwajeet Kadam, Yashomati Chandrakant Thakur and Muzaffer Hussain.KC Padavi has been appointed the leader of the legislative party.Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat appointed new president of the Maharashtra unit of Congress party, replacing Ashok Chavan pic.twitter.com/5AQsqE0hGE ANI (@ANI) July 13, 2019The party releases said that the appointments were made “with approval of Congress president” and did not mention the name of Rahul Gandhi.Gandhi has resigned owning responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest making body, at its meeting in May had rejected his offer to step down.Ashok Chavan offered his resignation in May and said that Rahul Gandhi will now decide the next step for Congress.”We want Rahul Gandhi to take strong steps, make necessary changes and lead our party,” Chavan said.Maharashtra and especially Mumbai was the bastion of the Congress party two Lok Sabha elections ago.Now, the condition of Congress in Maharashtra is quite unfavourable. It started just after the Lok Sabha elections were declared when leader of opposition Radhakrishna Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil left the party and joined the BJP.Also Read | After Rahul Gandhi, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan offers resignationAlso Watch | BJP-Shiv Sena will win by huge margin, say supporters at PM Narendra Modi’s Latur rallyFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow Ashok ChavanFollow Maharashtra Congress chiefFollow Balasaheb thorat Nextlast_img read more