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Majority of Ships Still Scrapped in South Asia

first_imgImage Courtesy: NGO Shipbreaking PlatformA total of 128 end­-of-­life ships were sold for scrap to the South Asian beaches during the first quarter of 2017, according to the data collected and analysed by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.The number represents 65 percent of ships which reached the shores of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, out of a total of 196 vessels sold for demolition worldwide during the three-month period.This quarter 22 ships were sold for breaking at Pakistan’s Gadani yard, “one of the world’s most dangerous places to work,” despite a number of incidents at the yard including a major explosion on the tanker Aces in November 2016, a fire on a Greek-owned LPG tanker, and a lifeboat fall from the UK-based Zodiac owned Snowdon, which together claimed at least 34 workers’ lives.A further 37 ships were sold to Bangladesh’s Chittagong breaking yards, where as many as six accidents struck the industry in the first months of 2017 killing three workers and seriously injuring another three.The Alang beach in India was by far the most popular destination for end-of-life ships this quarter, with 69 ships sold for breaking. The yards in Alang have recently been portraying their practices as improved compared to Bangladesh and Pakistan, but the overall unnecessarily risky conditions of breaking ships on tidal beaches remains, the Platform said, adding that serious accidents were reported in Alang this quarter, resulting in at least two fatalities.Image Courtesy: NGO Shipbreaking Platform“Beaching yards offer cheap, but dangerous and polluting scrapping. Ship owners have been aware of the detrimental effects of breaking ships on tidal beaches for more than 20 years, yet the ease with which existing environmental laws can be circumvented for the sake of the extra profit the shipping industry makes by selling to the beach yards allows the worst practices to persist,” NGO Shipbreaking Platform said.European companies accounted for half of the vessels beached in South Asia the first quarter. For the first time, German owners topped the list with 26 ships sold to South Asian breakers, followed by Greek owners with 17 beached end-of-life vessels.German ship owners, Hansa Mare Reederei GmbH & Company KG and Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG, “top the list of the worst dumpers this quarter with each having beached five end-of-life ships,” according to the Platform.Whilst grey- and black-listed flags, such as Comoros, Palau and St Kitts and Nevis, continue to be particularly popular for end-of-life ships, also ships registered under the flags Malta and Cyprus ended up on the beaches.last_img read more

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New Storage Vault to Preserve Provinces Film Heritage

first_imgNova Scotia’s film heritage will be preserved for future generations thanks to a new, specially equipped vault at Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. Nova Scotia’s first cold vault for the long-term storage of archival film footage was officially opened today, May 26, at the public archives building in Halifax. “This new film preservation vault is a reality thanks to the collaborative efforts and persistence of a number of individuals and organizations,” said Brian Speirs, provincial archivist. “Now we can ensure that both archival film and colour footage produced by today’s vibrant film industry in Nova Scotia will be secure.” The archives staff have been working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Council of Nova Scotia Archives to obtain a facility to store at-risk colour film that was produced in Nova Scotia over the last 70 years. The new climate-controlled, 600 square-foot vault was purchased with assistance from the departments of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Education, and Transportation and Public Works. It will store more than 18,000 film cans from the provincial archives, the CBC and the Council of Nova Scotia Archives, and may also rent some space to commercial film producers. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management acquires, preserves and makes available the province’s documentary heritage, including archival film footage. More information and sample film clips are available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm .last_img read more

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Province Working to Restore Forests in Mabou Highlands

first_imgThe provincial government is restoring forests in Cape Breton’s Mabou Highlands ravaged by the spruce bark beetle. The Department of Natural Resources has authorized the harvesting of two sites on crown land, located in the northern end of the Mabou Highlands, Inverness County. Harvesting on the 95-hectare area has begun and will last about two to three weeks. “The spruce bark beetle is native to Nova Scotia and widespread throughout the province, but it has been particularly damaging to the white spruce in the Mabou Highlands and surrounding area,” said Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell. The harvesting will reduce the amount of white spruce trees, which are being killed by the spruce bark beetle. It will be done in a manner that encourages the natural regeneration of hardwood trees such as yellow birch and sugar maple, indigenous to the highlands region. The effort will have the added benefit of curtailing forest fires which could be fueled by the dead trees and providing easier access for firefighters. “Removing these infested trees will help reduce the potential for fires, help maintain parts of the trail system, and promote the growth of hardwood trees,” said Mr. MacDonell. Department of Natural Resources officials met with stakeholder and interest groups in the region last month. “We have studied this issue closely and listened to the concerns of those in the area,” said Mr. MacDonell. “We feel confident that this is the best approach to dealing with the problem.” Once completed, the department will assess the harvested areas prior to proceeding with the restoration of as many as five additional sites and a further 305 hectares next spring and summer.last_img read more

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Mining sector helps lift Toronto market loonie lower against US dollar

first_imgA spike in the copper price helped mining companies lift Canada’s main stock index Tuesday, while U.S. markets were mixed and the loonie dipped.The July copper contract closed up six cents at US$3.20 a pound because of potential labour issues at the world’s largest copper mine, said Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Global Asset Management.“The bigger factor pushing up some of the base metal names like Teck and Lundin is largely that the copper price is soaring on the potential supply disruption in Chile at BHP’s Escondida copper mine.”Taseko Mines jumped 11.19 per cent on the day, Teck Resources Ltd. was up 5.04 per cent, Lundin Mining Corp. up 5.62 per cent, and Sherritt International was up 4.92 per cent.Because copper is integral to so much economic development, the price is sometimes looked at as an indicator of global economic health, but Jerusalim said this latest spike is caused by supply issues, not increased demand.“I don’t think it’s as foretelling as in the past, but even before these supply issues, copper over US$3 is suggesting that overall global economy is still quite healthy.”The climb in base metals, gold and materials helped the S&P/TSX composite index close up 70.01 points at 16,122.25, with healthcare and technology stocks also rising.The healthcare rise was largely due to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. rising $2.17 or 7.63 per cent to $30.60 on no clear news, while technology stocks exposed to the global economy have been rising all year, said Jerusalim.The information technology index has climbed more than 20 per cent this year, led by gains at companies like Shopify Inc. and Kinaxis Inc., but it has had a modest effect on the overall TSX as it makes up only about four per cent of the broader index compared with about 24 per cent on the S&P 500, he said.The gains in the sector are some of the largest since the dot com boom, but are supported by much better financial performance, said Jerusalim.“It’s really the fundamentals for some of these companies that’s driving the outperformance, which is a bigger positive.”In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 13.71 points at 24,799.98. The S&P 500 index ended up 1.93 points at 2,748.80 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 31.40 points at 7,637.86, a second record high in as many days.The Canadian dollar averaged 76.96 cent US, down 0.39 of a US cent as more encouraging economic data came out of the U.S. The Labor Department said the number of available jobs in the U.S. rose in April, and for the first time since records began in December 2000, there are more job openings than unemployed Americans.Continuing trade tensions also weighed on the loonie, said Jerusalim. On Tuesday President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser said the president now prefers to negotiate separately with Canada and Mexico over their three-country trade deal, potentially further complicating talks.The July crude contract closed up 77 cents at US$65.52 per barrel and the July natural gas contract ended down four cents at US$2.89 per mmBTU. The August gold contract was up US$4.90 at US$1,302.20.Hudson’s Bay Company closed down 16 cents, or 1.51 per cent, at $10.46 after reporting a $400-million loss and announcing it will sell its Gilt online retail business and shutter multiple Lord & Taylor locations.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated that the August gold contract was US$1,392.20.last_img read more

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Dorel warns US tariffs could impact its business result in price increases

first_imgMONTREAL – Manufacturer Dorel Industries Inc. warns that proposed tariffs in the U.S. would have a significant impact on all three of its major business lines and could result in higher prices for consumers.The bicycle, furniture and baby ware maker, which manufacturers some of its goods in low-cost China, says the proposed U.S. tariffs on imports from that country is creating business uncertainties for the company and its competitors, adding that higher costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers.The Montreal-based company slipped into a loss in its second quarter even as its children’s division in the United States overcame the earlier impact of the closure of Toys “R” Us stores to post its best year-over-year quarterly growth in nine years.The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, had a net loss for the quarter ended June 30 amounting to $14.8 million, or 46 cents per share, compared to an income of $11.4 million, or 35 cents per share in the second quarter of 2017.The second-quarter results included higher tax rates than in the year-ago quarter and expenses related to restructuring and a number of other one-time items.On an adjusted basis, however, the company reported an income of 39 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 27 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Revenue rose two per cent to $623.2 million as seven per cent growth in its sports segment offset a more modest decline in sales in its home and juvenile segments.Positive results in the company’s U.S. juvenile division were offset by an overall disappointing quarter, largely due to difficulty implementing a warehouse management system in Europe that caused it to miss sales and its Chilean segment in the midst of a turnaround.last_img read more

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Jaguar Land Rovers Rangee crowned 2011s best automotive innovation

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has won SMMT’s 2011 Award for Automotive Innovation for its prototype Range_e – the world’s first luxury Plug-in Hybrid Electric 4×4 with integrated V6 diesel engine.The award, sponsored by GKN Driveline, was presented to JLR’s Chief Engineer, Hybrids, Peter Richings at SMMT’s Annual Dinner by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker and Rob Rickell, Global Engineering Director, GKN.The Range_e beat off stiff competition from companies across the car, commercial vehicle and supply chain sectors to win SMMT’s second annual award designed to showcase the importance of R&D and the role the UK plays in developing global automotive products.Commenting on the announcement, Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive and chair of the five-strong judging panel said, “JLR has engineered and manufactured a highly-efficient and technologically advanced prototype vehicle that clearly demonstrates industry’s commitment to lowering vehicle emissions and creating exciting products for demanding consumers.“This award champions industry innovation – promoting cutting-edge automotive engineering and design that the UK is famed for around the world.”Receiving the Award, Peter Richings, Chief Engineer, Hybrids, JLR said, “Innovation and technology are the lifeblood of our business and we are delighted that our work has earned this recognition from our industry peers. Range_e demonstrates the advances we are making in cleaner and more fuel-efficient performance without compromising the performance and all-wheel-drive capabilities that are at the heart of our brand and we look forward to bringing its benefits to the market in the near future.“The award for the Range_e project is testament to the range of skills, excellence and enthusiasm of not just our own engineers and designers, but the people in the research and academic organisations in the UK that have supported them.”Sponsor of this year’s Award, GKN Driveline‘s Engineering Director, Rob Rickell said, “GKN Driveline is once again proud to sponsor the award. As a UK company, we recognise that research and development of technology will result in innovative solutions satisfying our society’s demanding and ever evolving needs. By doing this successfully, we and others will have a positive impact on the environment, the communities and the economies in which we all operate. The finalists tonight demonstrate fine examples of developments that embody that spirit.”The Range_e, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this year, impressed judges with its four different modes of operation, ability to deliver emissions of 89g/km CO2.On presenting the Award, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker, spoke about the importance of recognising innovation within the UK’s automotive sector, adding that a collaborative approach across the commercial, business and government sectors was essential in encouraging new technologies and products to market.This year’s Award was judged by a panel of senior industry figures, including Dave Salt, Chief Engineer, GKN Driveline, Ralph Hosier, Engineer and Motoring Journalist and Jon Beasley, Group Technology Officer, GKN.UK engineering of the Range_e has been undertaken at JLR’s Gaydon engineering site and UK fleet trials began in December 2010. Earlier this year, Land Rover announced its plans to launch the first diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.Visit the Award for Automotive Innovation micro-site to find out how it’s helping to drive innovation within the automotive industry.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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FLSmidth wins material handling contract in Vietnam

first_imgFLSmidth has signed a contract worth some $40 million with state owned LILIAMA Vietnam Machinery Installation Corp for the supply of a coal handling facility, including ship unloading and storage facilities with a capacity of 400,000 t, for a coal-fired power plant owned by Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam). The plant is located in Ha Tinh province, approximately 400 km south of Hanoi. The scope of the contract includes complete engineering, design and supply of all key components as well as supervision of erection and commissioning. Among the equipment is approximately 8 km of conveyors.    “Vietnam is a well-known market to FLSmidth and we have delivered numerous material handling solutions to various industries in the country over the past decade. This contract therefore further strengthens FLSmidth’s presence and position in the region,” Group CEO Jørgen Huno Rasmussen comments.last_img read more

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OLYMPIC CHAMPION Michael Damgaard extends in Magdeburg until 2018

The Olympic champion will stay in Magdeburg! The 26-years old back line player Michael Damgaard had fantastic summer with the Danish national team, who won the Olympic gold medal in Rio, but there is no time for rest. The new season will start soon, and SC Magdeburg decided to keep one of the best players with the new contract until 2018.The 26-years old shooter had previous one until summer 2017.SC Magdeburg won the German Cup trophy last season. The most popular team from Eastern Germany have two EHF Champions League trophies in their trophy room.photo: Instagram ← Previous Story Serhiy Bebeshko leads Meshkov Brest until 2020 Next Story → TSV Hannover Burgdorf sign Ex-Veszprem line player Zivan Pesic Michael DamgaardSC Magdeburg

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Police in Portugal reopen Madeleine McCann case

first_imgUpdated 23.13POLICE IN PORTUGAL are to reopen the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a holiday resort six years ago.The announcement was made by the attorney general’s office in Portugal. The original investigation by police ended in 2008.“The attorney general’s office has decided to reopen the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann following a request by police due to new elements,” the statement from the attorney general’s office said.The Metropolitan Police in London said the Portuguese investigation will run in parallel with their own operation.“This is a welcome development but both investigations [are] at relatively early stages with much work remaining to be done,” Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley of Scotland Yard said.Police in England received more than 300 phone calls and over 170 emails after they broadcast a new appeal for information on the BBC last week.The Crimewatch programme established a number of significant changes to the timeline of the disappearance of the 3-year-old from Praia da Luiz in 2007, including the discounting of some information which had previously been believed to be relevant to the investigation.Additional reporting by AFP – First published 13.30Read: Police receive more than 300 calls after Madeleine McCann >last_img read more

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Cork Man arrested following armed robbery of bank

first_imgA MAN HAS  been arrested by gardaí following an armed robbery of a bank in Cork today.Gardaí say they have arrested a man aged in his 30s following an armed robbery at North Main St, Cork.At approximately 4.05pm, a lone male entered a bank at North Main Street and threatened staff with a handgun before escaping on foot with an amount of cash.No shots were fired and there were no reported injuries during the incident.During a follow-up operation, a man aged in his 30s was arrested a short time later in the Shandon St area. He is currently detained under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939, at Bridewell garda station.Gardaí are now appealing for information on the incident. In particular they are appealing to anyone who was in the North Main St area between 3.45pm and 4.15pm today who can assist with their inquiries to contact Bridewell garda station on 021 4943330, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.last_img read more

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Tumis bulletproof briefcase is 9600 but your iPad will be very safe

first_imgIt can be rough when you’re just trying to go about your daily grind as an important business person and people keep shooting at you. It’s not even so much that you keep getting shot, but your precious papers and personal effects are getting riddled with bullets as they sit unprotected in a cheap leather briefcase. Well, Tumi is coming to your rescue with a slick, expensive bulletproof briefcaseThe Tegra-Lite is a stylish case designed to the highest manufacturing tolerances, and is not to be confused with Nvidia’s similarly named line of ARM chips. The Tegra-Lite is not some kind of metallic monstrosity, but is made of a heavy-duty polypropylene plastic — 65 layers of it. It even has a handy iPad sleeve built in.The Tegra-Lite is said to be in compliance with NIJ Standard 0108.01 Threat Level 1 for bullet resistant material. What does that mean? Well, According to the National Institute of Justice, the Tegra-Lite will be able to withstand a .22 or .38 caliber bullet impact square-on with no penetration of the projectile. A .357 or 9mm might be able to puncture one side of the case at the correct angle, but that’s still impressive.Tumi is careful to point out that this limited edition briefcase is not to be used as a personal shield of some sort — it’s just to protect items inside the case. But let’s be honest; you want to pull some James Bond shenanigans with this thing. Sadly, the Tegra-Lite will break the bank at £5,995, or a little over $9,600. It does come with free monogramming, though.Tumi, via Selectismlast_img read more

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Reckless buses at Mahakhali

Reckless buses at Mahakhali

first_imgAfter the Eid holiday people are returning to Dhaka. The city is still not crowded. The roads and highways are free. But bus drivers in Dhaka do not care about traffic rules. They are hell-bent on competing with other buses, dropping passengers indiscriminately in the middle of the road, making unlawful U-turns, unnecessarily creating obstructions for other buses, risking the lives of passengers as well as pedestrians.Prothom Alo on Tuesday afternoon took a visit to the Mahakhali intersection. Here are selective shots from the spot.Photo: Dipu MalakarThree buses compete to enter the same lane, obstructing the whole width while other vehicles are forced to slow down, creating a jam. Photo: Dipu MalakarDespite enough space on the road. the bus drops its passenger in the middle of the street, causing a traffic jam.Photo: Dipu MalakarA passenger in a hurry to cross the road as three buses race. Photo: Dipu MalakarThough the yellow buses are of the same transport company, they are in a competition with each other. Photo: Dipu MalakarA bus suddenly overtakes, crossing the line.Photo: Dipu MalakarU-turns are regular at the Mahakhali intersection.last_img read more

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Trinamool activist found dead in Bengal

Trinamool activist found dead in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: A Trinamool Congress activist was found dead at Bhangar in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district on Sunday after being missing since Saturday night, police said. While the relative of the deceased claimed that the state ruling party activist has been killed by opposition party workers, police said they have not found any proof of murder. “The body of Shibu Debnath, a Trinamool Congress worker was found in a pond near his house in Bhangar’s Saitgachi on Sunday morning. There are no injury marks on the deceased’s body,” a senior officer from Bhangar police station said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “We have got the news that the man was drunk. He consumed alcohol thrice on Saturday. The body has been sent for autopsy to find out how he died. No proof of him being murdered has been found as yet,” he said. The family members of Debnath accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers of kidnapping and killing him. “He suddenly went missing yesterday. We guess that he was kidnapped and murdered by some BJP workers as he supported Trinamool Congress,” a relative claimed. The villages in Bhangar witnessed massive unrest over the construction of a power grid in the area for the last one year. Violent clashes took place between anti-power grid agitators and state ruling party Trinamool Congress workers several times including at the time of state rural polls in May.last_img read more

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I will be delighted if Mamata becomes PM Moon Moon Sen

I will be delighted if Mamata becomes PM Moon Moon Sen

first_imgAsansol, West Bengal: Veteran actress Moon Moon Sen says she is in politics to win people’s love and feels donning a politician’s hat has been easier for her as there is far less amount of mudslinging compared to the film industry. The 64-year-old Oxford alumnus, who is fighting the 2019 polls from West Bengal’s Asansol parliamentary constituency on a Trinamool Congress ticket, says she would be “delighted” if West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee becomes the next Prime Minister. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Sitting in the lobby of a plush hotel on National Highway 2 on the outskirts of Asansol city, Sen, draped in an elegant white saree and a flower bouquet in her hand, talked to IANS after two-and-half hours of a gruelling evening campaign, where she was accompanied by her daughters Raima and Riya. Asansol, a hub of coal mining and railway activity, will go to the polls on April 29 where Sen is pitted against BJP’s sitting MP and Union Minister Babul Supriyo besides candidates from both the Left and the Congress. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “I am not a full-fledged politician. But I can say there cannot be more mudslinging than there is in the film industry. There it is cut-throat, it is soul destroying. This is easy compared to all that,a said Sen, the daughter of Bengali screen legend Suchitra Sen. Sen, a former school teacher, said she would focus on environmental issues to control Asansol’s pollution and work on improving health care if the people elected her. “I am here to win some votes and do my work which, let’s say, is away from politics. I am in politics to win peoplea¿s love. If I become an MP again, I would like to work on improving the environment and providing better medical care. There is a shortage of doctors and nurses all over the world,” she said. Talking at length on pollution issues in the area, she said children and women were choking due to the coal mines and black furnaces all around. “Their lungs are being affected. It is taking a toll on people in general and is life threatening for pregnant women. The district magistrate said the local administration has started planting trees,a she said. Sen, who had pulled off a surprise victory five years ago in Bengal’s Bankura where he handed out a shock defeat to nine time CPI-M MP Basudev Acharia, has been shifted to this coal belt constituency bordering Jharkhand this time. But she is not bothered by the opposition’s allegations that she is an outsider unaware of the core-problems in Asansol. “I am not concerned about what the opposition says. I do not plan to justify myself to them either. There is no room for negativity in my life. “At the moment I am involved in planning to win an election. I know I will figure out things slowly on my own. I will do what I can, within my capacity but there are certain issues, things which would be tackled by the state government and the centre. So there is no point in boasting and saying I am going to fix everything,” said Sen, conceding that people had told her before she came to the constituency that she could lose as it was a BJP bastion. “I have never lost in politics. I have people’s support with me. I know that once I am committed, I have to do my duty. If I win, I win. If I don’t win I have still done my best. That’s what I am focusing on. If I win here, I will be delighted,” she said adding she is much better prepared this time compared to the 2014 polls. Sen, who has acted in numerous Bengali, Hindi and South Indian films in her career spanning over three decades also welcomed the entry of two more Bengali actresses, Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan, into politics and said the parties should look to bring in more young and energetic faces with “bright new ideas”. “I do not see why the parties should not now bring in more young and glamorous people from other spheres. Most of them are intelligent enough to let them be guided and do the work they’re supposed to do,” Sen said. Expressing her love and admiration for Banerjee, she said the Trinamool Congress supremo inspired her to join politics through her “work ethics and tremendous devotion towards people”. “Ia¿ll be delighted if she becomes the Prime Minister. We know who all are in contention. This lady has been a long time MP, a central minister and now a chief minister for eight years. Also she is quick to point out a crisis and take steps to solve it. She is the one who first talked about the Mahagatbandhan (grand alliance). People across the country are recognizing her potential today. “You can’t take West Bengal away from her (Banerjee). I know nothing about the politics in Delhi and what might happen if the opposition alliance wins but I know that people across the country are suffering due to demonetisation and GST. Many have had to close down their businesses,” she said. When asked whether she is still in touch with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who used to be her classmate in Oxford, Sen said though she has not spoken to him since he took over the hot seat, she assumes their friendship is still intact. “I haven’t talked to him since he became Prime Minister. I haven’t met him recently either. But I assume we are still friends. Imran is often quoted as saying he has a number of friends in Kolkata,” she signed off.last_img read more

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Whats Your Business Telling You

first_imgMarch 4, 2010 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Brought to you by Business on Main Know what you’re looking for. It’s difficult to collect and analyze all the data your business produces unless you know what you’re looking for. You need to identify certain metrics that, given the nature of your business, will provide insight into how you can run the shop better (aside from the obvious, such as revenues and profit figures). Big businesses call these “key performance indicators,” or KPIs. I call them common sense. For example, if you publish a magazine, you need to know how well each of your sales associates is performing, the renewal rate for advertisers in various industries, and the demographic information of your readers. Garbage in, garbage out. Not all facts are created equal. That’s to say that though you may be collecting and storing information, if it’s not accurate, relevant or current, it’s likely to hurt more than help. Data management specialists call this “garbage in, garbage out.” If your data is not clean, it will yield dirty and misleading analyses. So if you’re going to use data to support business decision making, be sure it’s scrubbed. Trust the data. Once you’ve collected the right information, and you’re certain it’s accurate, put it to use. I’ve spoken with many business owners who collect data and view the analyses, but don’t act on it. The data is there to tell you something. It’s the most objective source of advice you’re going to get. It holds no bias. It’s the story of your business laid bare. And if it’s telling you to change something, change it. The software and various other tools you can use to collect and analyze your business data are too numerous to list here. There are thousands of custom software packages built for every industry under the sun. There are so-called “business intelligence” software suites that can be applied to nearly any company. And there are good old-fashioned spreadsheets, which are far more powerful and useful than most people realize (I highly recommend taking a course to familiarize yourself on the features of these applications).Which software you use is less important than your approach to data gathering and analysis. So set your goals, collect good, clean data, and take action on that information. 4 min read To many small-business owners, the facts and figures their daily work casts off are more incidental than instrumental. Reluctantly storing it all on disks, in file cabinets and on scraps of paper strewn about the back room, business owners often think this constant stream of information is useless (except maybe to the IRS). They see it as a burden, another onerous management task in a work day that is already too short.What they don’t realize is that they’re sitting on a gold mine. Almost every piece of information that a business produces is important, and can be used to boost sales, fatten margins or increase customer loyalty. From transactions to inventory to shipping costs to customer data, small businesses are starting to learn that mining business data for insight is not just for major corporations anymore.Data can tell you whether your store hours are ideal. It can tell you if you’re charging too much for some products and undercharging for others. And it can tell you who your best customers are and why. Taken together, all this business information tells an important story, one that can and should make a major impact on how you run your company.But there are some rules for collecting and utilizing business data effectively. Because it can be a time-consuming task, business owners need to make sure they are going about both gathering and analyzing information the right way and achieving the right results. Here are some basic guidelines: Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

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Diagnostic AI By the People of the People for the People

Diagnostic AI By the People of the People for the People

first_imgFacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Blog | Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant | Information Technology| January 11, 2016 Diagnostic AI: By the People, of the People, for the People Greg Freiherr, Industry Consultant Greg Freiherr has reported on developments in radiology since 1983. He runs the consulting service, The Freiherr Group. Drawing courtesy of Pixabay Want to be a super expert in radiology? Join a swarm.A start-up company called Unanimous AI wants to use a computer algorithm to turn the individual talents of a group into an artificial intelligence. Called swarm AI, it is a better bet than machine intelligence, says its creator, Louis Rosenberg, Ph.D.His logic is hard to argue with.Swarm AI builds on the millions of years of evolution that have led to human intelligence. And it has none of the drawbacks of creating smart machines — a likely reticence of the FDA to approve the use of non-human diagnosticians (see “Will the FDA Be Too Much for Intelligent Machines?”) and the chance that smart machines might dominate the human race into oblivion (“Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates Warn About Artificial Intelligence”).The potential for improved decision-making without the risks of machine intelligence make swarm AI an attractive alternative to machine learning. Now in beta testing, swarm AI could emerge commercially this year.Radiologists could be among the first to benefit. Swarm AI has already proven effective in radiological applications.In one study, a collective intelligence of radiologists reduced false positives and false negatives when interpreting mammograms. This swarm AI overcame “one of the fundamental limitations to decision accuracy that individual radiologists face,” the authors concluded. Their study demonstrated that the collective or swarm intelligence could improve mammography screening and has the potential to improve many other types of medical decision-making, “including many areas of diagnostic imaging.”In another study, a dozen radiologists increased their ability to diagnose skeletal abnormalities correctly. The researchers reported that the “algorithm’s accuracy in distinguishing normal vs. abnormal patients was significantly higher than the radiologists’ mean accuracy.”You can argue that the real world doesn’t have the luxury of bringing groups of radiologists together to develop a consensus on every case. Sooo .. don’t use swarm AI in every case, Rosenberg retorted.Routine studies could be interpreted by individual radiologists who, when stumped by a complex case, tag it for later study by the swarm. This would improve diagnosis, while empowering team members.Rather than polling members, as in a vote, swarm AI uses a cyber “puck” that members of the group constantly pull or push. The puck moves in real-time on the computer screens viewed by the group toward or away from different possibilities. It does so depending on the beliefs and conviction of group members about the correctness, for example, of a diagnosis.“They are all at the same time watching the members of the group express their conviction, where the group converges on the decision that optimizes their collective will,” Rosenberg said.Swarm AI is distinct from voting in that once members of a group have cast their votes, the process is over. “Votes just reveal the differences in the group,” he said. “Swarm AI helps the group come to a decision.”Swarm AI amplifies human intelligence, raising the question: Why create an intelligence that “will not share our interests and would likely be as foreign from us as an alien intelligence?” Rosenberg askrf. Why, indeed, spend the time, money and effort to synthesize intelligence, he asks, when exactly what constitutes intelligence is up in the air.“I think the people who are really excited about conventional AI systems underestimate what doctors are really doing (when they make diagnoses). There is more to it than just simple rule-based decisions,” Rosenberg said. “With swarm AI, we are trying to have the benefits of amplified intelligence while keeping human sensibilities and human values and human interests deeply ingrained in the system as opposed to just replacing them.”To promote swarm AI, Rosenberg last year founded Unanimous AI with the goal of enabling groups to “think together.” With this, Rosenberg borrows a page from nature’s playbook wherein a species can accomplish more by participating in a flock, school, colony — or swarm — than they can individually. Unanimous AI offers the unique infrastructure, he said, by which people can form intelligent swarms. “We know that groups are smarter than individuals and we also know that nature has addressed this by having swarms (of animals) make optimal decisions,” he said. “We are just connecting people in a way that can harness their diverse perspectives and opinions and knowledge.”Rather than taking people out of the decision-making loop, swarm AI would make them a critical part of it. And it offers the ultimate off switch.Take the humans out and the AI … disappears.Author’s note: Check out a 1-minute 20-second video to see how swarm AI works. Or sign up as a user. The algorithm runs from 9 to 10pm EDT each of three days a week. Monday is “happy hour,” during which users can pursue topics from gaming to politics. Wednesday is for fantasy football; Friday for technology and futurology. Editor’s note: This is the fourth blog in a series of four by industry consultant Greg Freiherr on Machine Learning and IT. The first blog, Will the FDA Be Too Much for Intelligent Machines?, can be found here. The second blog, Smart Scanners: Will AI Take the Controls?, can be found here. The third blog, Will Smart Medical Machines Take Us to the Eve of Destruction?, can be found here.last_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Singita has announced

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterSingita has announced the opening of Kwitonda Lodge in late 2019 on 70 hectares on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, where more than one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in the high-altitude cloud forests.The presence of Singita Kwitonda Lodge on the park border will help to create a natural space between agricultural plots and the habitat of the estimated 320 mountain gorillas that find sanctuary here. From a guest perspective, the opening of the new property puts gorilla trekking within easy reach and in combination with a classic safari at Singita’s private concessions on the Serengeti plains in Tanzania. Besides gorillas, there is much to see and explore, from the Afro montane forests of Nyungwe National Park to the vibrant and sophisticated capital city, Kigali.Working in close partnership with the Rwandan Development Board and local communities, Singita will be taking a measured, long-term approach to conservation on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, in line with the company’s established 100-year vision to build sustainable revenue streams to fund the preservation of African wilderness for future generations. Reforestation of land heavily impacted by farming is vital, and will initially include the establishment of a nursery and the planting of over 60,000 tree saplings in and around the new lodge. Ultimately, Singita hopes to be able to support the Rwandan government in finding ways to increase gorilla habitat while remaining sensitive in assisting neighbouring communities to thrive economically and socially.Singita Kwitonda Lodge will be built to embody the spirit of Rwanda and offer a tribute to the lodge’s namesake – Kwitonda – a great silverback gorilla whose legend lives on in Rwanda and was known for his humility and gentleness. Fundamental to the design is treading lightly on the land. Singita Kwitonda will offer eight suites and a villa with magnificent views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes and sustainability is at the core of the construction project. Luke Bailes, Founder of Singita, states that an extensive sustainability framework was compiled in the design stage to ensure design efficiency throughout the project. The architects and interior designers are selecting locally sourced and produced materials for walling, ceilings and surface finishing. The local community has been engaged in building traditional dry stone walling on site for specialist areas within the landscape. ‘We believe this project will set a new standard for construction and landscape design in Rwanda’ notes Bailes.Rates for suites range between $1500 – $1750 per person per night, fully inclusive but excluding gorilla trekking permits. Reservations are now open.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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House concurs with Rep LaFave Essential Air Services should continue

House concurs with Rep LaFave Essential Air Services should continue

first_img14Jun House concurs with Rep. LaFave: Essential Air Services should continue The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a resolution introduced by state Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain that would urge the president and Congress to continue fully funding the Essential Air Services program.The Essential Air Services program provides smaller communities around the country with commercial airline services. President Trump has recommended cuts to the program’s budget, which would affect regional airports across the state, including five in the Upper Peninsula.LaFave calls the program essential for the region’s economy.“Failing to fund Essential Air Services in these communities would increase ticket prices immediately,” LaFave said. “The flights funded by this program help keep our state and its residents connected, and cuts would negatively impact jobs and tourism.”The Airline Deregulation Act, passed by the federal government in 1978, gave airlines freedom to select which markets to serve.Congress created the Essential Air Services Program as a response to ensure that smaller communities would not lose commercial airline services. Categories: LaFave News,Newslast_img read more

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House OKs Rep Marino bill waiving driver responsibility fees on completion of

House OKs Rep Marino bill waiving driver responsibility fees on completion of

Today, the Michigan House voted to eliminate and forgive outstanding debt related to driver responsibility fees. Included in the package is a bill sponsored by state Rep. Steve Marino, of Harrison Township, that helps people regain their driver’s licenses.Marino’s legislation waives the fees for people who successfully complete a DUI/sobriety court program, which would also make them eligible to obtain driving privileges.Driver responsibility fees became law in 2003 when a previous administration was facing a budget hole and needed an infusion of funds. In the ensuing 14 years, the fees have done nothing to make the people paying them better drivers.“These fees have only created another problem by holding people back and stifling their potential by keeping them in deep debt, and in many instances, placing them in a perpetual state of unemployment,” Marino said. “This bipartisan legislative package will help people get back on their feet, back into the workforce, and back to providing more for their families.”While the fees will remain in effect until Oct. 1, 2018, people who owe them will be able to fulfill their obligations by participating in workforce development programs or community service projects. The legislation also forgives all outstanding debt.The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.#####The bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079 and 5080. 02Nov House OKs Rep. Marino bill waiving driver responsibility fees on completion of DUI court program Measure part of bipartisan package to eliminate fees Categories: Marino News,News read more

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House votes for Frederick plan to give high school students advanced education

House votes for Frederick plan to give high school students advanced education

first_img The state House today approved state Rep. Ben Frederick’s legislation to better inform Michigan’s high school students on college level courses and testing options.The plan calls more information to be shared with students on the eligibility and registration for college level equivalent credit examinations and courses. Frederick developed the bill from his own experience, completing 10 examinations to help speed his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.“There are many paths to a college degree and we should let our high school students know what their opportunities are,” said Frederick, chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee. “Advanced placement coursework and the College Level Examination Testing and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) programs are great options. If students can achieve their goals faster with less cost, why not let them know of these opportunities?”During committee testimony, Frederick invited Ty Krauss, a member of the Owosso Public Schools Board of Education and a business services manager with Michigan Works, to speak on the plan. He described the bill as a path to start a college education quickly, while allowing students to pursue advanced courses immediately after arriving on campus.“If we can help students get into their major coursework faster and complete their degree in four years or even less, it’s better for the student’s career and their wallet,” Frederick said. “Approximately 52 percent of college students in 2016 received their degree in four years. This bill has the benefit of giving students a jumpstart on their education after high school, while also having the chance to limit any personal debt as student debt nears $1.5 trillion nationally.”House Bill 5907, which received unanimous support in committee, advances to the Senate for consideration.##### 30May House votes for Frederick plan to give high school students advanced education options Categories: Frederick News,Newslast_img read more

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