Anti-graft stir evokes a sense of deja vu here

first_imgG R KhairnarWhen a senior Congress leader in Delhi was asked recently about the claim made by the proponents of the Jan Lokpal Bill that their version had the support of the majority of the country’s population, the Congress leader said the people’s desire would be known in 2014 during the general elections. Call it cockiness or plain indifference, but the sentiment is shared by Congress leaders in Maharashtra too.For the Congress party at both the state and the centre are having a dj vu moment without even realising it.In 1993, one man had the attention of the whole state when he took over the then chief minister Sharad Pawar. G R Khairnar then just an Assistant municipal commissioner took on the might of the state when he alleged that Pawar was corrupt.Khairnar’s act came as a shock.Never in the history of the state had any serving officer levelled such an allegation against the chief minister, and Pawar was no ordinary politician. Khairnar was Mumbai’s original ‘Demolition Man’, a title he earned after demolishing illegal structures in Mumbai belonging to the high and the mighty. Khairnar claimed Pawar was not just corrupt, he was hand-in-glove with those behind the mushrooming of illegal structures. In those days, there were not many TV channels but Khairnar’s actions gained him widespread public support. A concerted and deliberate effort was made to show him as corrupt, but none of the charges stuck.While the honest officer was subsequently suspended and victimised by the BMC, his remarks against Pawar had struck a chord.advertisementThis was evident in an incident a year later. On November 23, 1994, the Gowari tribals in Maharashtra demanding reservation were camping outside the Nagpur assembly in Maharashtra. The more than 30,000 strong crowd waited in vain for the chief minister or any minister to speak to them. When no one came they tried to march towards the assembly. The police started a lathicharge and there was a stampede in which 113 people lost their lives.A couple of days later Pawar said that he was the chief minister and could not give in to everyone who wanted to meet him. The statement angered everyone in the state, so it wasn’t a surprise when in March 1995 the Sena-BJP came to power for the first time in the state.Why this is relevant now is because one can see the same anger among people against the rulers and the same indifference of those in the government towards the people who voted them in.Eighteen years since Khairnar’s crusade another man from Maharashtra is galvanising the crowd and challenging the writ of the rulers. This time though the protest is against the Centre.Anna Hazare has got the whole country fired up and his arrest and incarceration at Tihar Jail where other scamsters and criminals have been put up has not gone down well with people across the country. There is anger against the government for the price rise and many other scams.In Maharashtra there is rising anger after three protesting farmers were shot dead recently by the Pune police in Bhaur village, their crime being that they had blocked a section of the Mumbai-Pune Express way demanding that the collector meet them.The police came and began thrashing them, and when matters got out of hand began shooting directly at the protestors. One of those dead was a woman. It is not the firing itself but the state’s justification of the firing and its approach towards the farmers that was more shocking.Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said that the firing was in self-defence. All this when video recordings of the incident clearly show police firing at farmers who were fleeing from the spot.Congress leaders in both Delhi and Mumbai have been claiming that 2014 is still a far away.Well if the governments in the Centre and the state continue to behave in this insensitive manner then in 2014 they might well find the people far away from them. Tewari’s slur on Hazare came from the state Manish Tewari’s attack on Anna Hazare marked the culmination of an almost two month long exercise to find dirt on the crusader. Apparently, a senior leader in Delhi sent feelers to Congressmen in Maharashtra to dig up Anna’s past. So ‘secret’ inquiries were made in Anna’s adopted village,’Ralegaon Siddhi’ in Ahmednagar district and the various trusts that he headed.When they could not find anything even after looking up his armed forces record, the Justice P B Sawant report was dug up. The report was allegedly handed over by a Mumbai based leader who interestingly is himself mired in a disproportionate assets case. It was then handed over to the senior leader in Delhi who wanted the report on Anna.advertisementFrom here it trickled to Tewari.However his attack boomranged as he was given a dressing down by the Rahul Gandhi camp as the Congress heir-apparent disapproved of personal attacks on Anna.This could explain why Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan sports a broad smile these days. Party insiders say that Chavan was not in favour of attacking Anna and had apparently told those looking for dirt not to try any such tricks.Anger everywhere as man pays the ultimate price for inflation It’s no secret that inflation and price rise are causing a huge burden on the common man, but the sheer desperation of the public can be gauged from a tragic incident that took place in Thane a few days back.Bhimrao Bhandare a 60 yearold resident of Thane hanged himself last Wednesday.Before killing himself, Bhandare wrote a note blaming the price rise and the government’s inability to control it for his death. With food and petrol prices rising, Bhandare – a retired employee – didn’t want to be a burden on his family and hence ended his life.It is shameful that with prices of food products reaching the sky, people like Bhandare consider death as the cheaper option. How many more Bhandares will have to pay the ultimate price before the government wakes up from its apathetic slumber?Cop runs away from posting in Naxal areaIn an embarrassing incident, a State Reserve Police Force constable literally ran away from being posted in the Naxalite affected Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.On August 9, Pramod Patil and his colleagues were supposed to board a train from CST in Mumbai to Gadchiroli for their new posting. However Patil who had already expressed his apprehension did the unthinkable. As his colleagues boarded the train, Patil did not move and then just discarded his rifle at the platform and fled.The could have been a security disaster as the unattended rifle was lying at the platform for a while. Patil’s superiors have now launched a search for him, but he has not been seen at the SRPF camp in Goregan or his home town Kolhapur.He has even switched off his cell phone!last_img read more

Report Palmali Files USD 2 Bn Claim against Litasco

first_imgzoom Turkish shipping company Palmali has reportedly filed a claim against Litasco, the international marketing and trading company of Lukoil, worth up to USD 2 billion.The claim, lodged with the English High Court of Justice, stems from the alleged failure by Litasco “to provide contractual quantities of cargo under long-term contract between the companies,” Palmali told Reuters.Additionally, Reuters cited the company as saying that the case involved breach of contract “amounting to just under USD 2 billion plus interest and costs.”World Maritime News contacted relevant parties for more details on the matter, however, they are yet to reply.Earlier reports unveiled that Lukoil has been looking to dispose of its Swiss unit Litasco due to new US sanctions on Russia, which would supposedly complicated lending to Russian companies.The company is scheduled to make a decision related to the transaction in November 2017. The financial details of the transaction were not revealed.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

ShortTerm CR in Works as Talks Remain Frozen

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Bipartisan negotiations over a year-end omnibus are stalled over whether to include about 40 contentious policy riders, forcing the House GOP to consider moving a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to provide the two parties a few more days beyond the Friday deadline to strike a deal.The stopgap would last “a handful of days” and allow the government to remain open past Dec. 11 when the current CR runs out, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Tuesday following a meeting of the Republican conference.The president would sign a CR that extends funding by an “extra day or two” while lawmakers “go through the legislative mechanics” of crafting and clearing a fiscal 2016 spending measure, said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, reported CQ Roll Call.At the same time, Ryan vowed to finish work on the package before lawmakers head home for the holidays. “We don’t expect to do this for a long term. We need to get it right. I don’t want us to go home until we get this done,” Ryan said.Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said “40 or 42 poison pill riders” are holding up the negotiations, including provisions targeting Middle Eastern refugees, abortion, campaign finance restrictions, environmental and financial regulations, and a National Labor Relations Board ruling. The two sides also are locked in a battle over a package of permanent tax extenders which may be attached to the spending package.“We were making very good progress on resolving the money issues,” Mikulski told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “We have about 40 or 42 poison pill riders, but some are really big — Hobby Lobby, campaign finance reform — things that should have never even been on the appropriations. So we’re kind of stuck at the riders stage,” she said.Mikulski said negotiations mainly involved congressional leadership and the White House.last_img read more

Demonetisation Media multiplexes films will suffer says IDBI Capital Markets

first_imgThe almost-certain economic slowdown induced by demonetisation of high-value currencies is set to affect the media and entertainment sectors, according to an update by IDBI Capital Markets & Securities.For the media, the hit will be in the form of lesser advertisements next month and in the last quarter of the current fiscal. “No significant impact on advertisement revenue has been visible as the inventory was already sold. The actual impact to be visible over the next month and Q4FY17,” the brokerage said in a note on Thursday.A similar fate awaits Hindi films, impacting producers as well as cinema halls where two latest releases, Rock On 2 and Force 2 are being shown.”Multiplexes have seen impact of decline in footfalls for movies like Rock On 2 and Force 2. This is likely to have impacted both the box-office collection and F&B sales. We expect 15-20 percent impact on footfalls due to decline in cash transactions. We believe that this should ease in December with the improvement of content. Impact on smaller film producers to be felt over the next three-six months,” IDBI Capital Markets & Securities said.It reiterated what many other analysts have said on the negative impact of demonetisation on the real estate sector.”Secondary market is frozen since the date of event. Unsold inventory could lead into price correction. However, they are very property specific. The impact on private real estate players is very negative,” it added.Share prices of listed multiplexes have dropped ever since the November 8 “surgical strike.” PVR slipped from Rs 1,284 (as on November 8) to close 10.90 percent lower at Rs 1,144 on Thursday, while Inox shares have lost 8.57 percent from Rs 245 apiece to Rs 224 on Thursday during the comparable period.Eros International Media closed at Rs 155, a loss of 15.3 percent from its November 8 closing of Rs 183. The company is into film production and distribution in India and abroad.last_img read more

South Africas struggling ANC elects Ramaphosa as new head

first_imgCyril Ramaphosa.Photo:ReutersSouth African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was narrowly elected head of the ruling ANC party Monday, winning a bruising race that exposed rifts within the organisation that led the fight against apartheid.Thousands of raucous Ramaphosa supporters sang and chanted in the conference hall as rival backers of defeated candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma appeared dejected.Ramaphosa won 2,440 votes to Dlamini-Zuma’s 2,261.”We declare comrade Cyril Ramaphosa the new president of the African National Congress,” an official told party delegates in Johannesburg.The victory puts Ramaphosa in line to succeed President Jacob Zuma, whose reign has been plagued by corruption scandals, economic slowdown and growing anger at the once-omnipotent party.The vote was a long and acrimonious process. Delegates who had travelled from around South Africa cast their ballots after repeated delays caused by disputes over who was entitled to vote.President Zuma was seen as backing Dlamini-Zuma, allegedly to secure protection from prosecution on graft charges after he leaves office.But his loyalists did win senior positions in the vote, including David Mabuza as party deputy chief, meaning Ramaphosa is likely to face strong internal opposition to his pro-business reform agenda.President Zuma stepped down as party chief at the conference but could remain as head of state until the 2019 election.”I hope you will cooperate with the new leadership… as we move to the 2019 elections,” Baleka Mbete, party chairwoman, told delegates.- Falling public support -The ANC, which has ruled since 1994 when Nelson Mandela won the first multi-racial vote, could struggle to retain its grip on power in the next election due to falling public support.”The party will decide if Zuma goes (before the 2019 election),” Mzwandile Mkhwanazi, a delegate from KwaZulu-Natal province, told AFP.”Ramaphosa’s victory is good for the country. We need a stable country, a president able to fight corruption. We think he is up to the task.”Ramaphosa, 65, is a former trade unionist leader who led talks to end white-minority rule in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.He is often accused of failing to confront Zuma while serving as his deputy since 2014.Dlamini-Zuma was head of the African Union commission until earlier this year and a former interior, foreign affairs and health minister.She had four children with Zuma before divorcing in 1998.”I believe Ramaphosa will work to bring back the principles of liberal politics in the party,” Amanda Gouws, politics professor at Stellenbosch University, told AFP.”The outcome of the vote was not easy to call. What is at stake here is unity — the new leaders need to forge unity and rebuild the image of the party.”Allegations swirled of delegates being targeted with bribes, but ANC spokesman Khusela Sangoni told reporters that the process had proceeded “smoothly”.”I’m bowing out very happy because I think… I made my contribution,” President Zuma said on Monday as he walked through the vast conference centre hosting the five-day event.Soaring unemployment and state corruption have fuelled frustration at the ANC among millions of poor black South Africans who face dire housing, inadequate education and continuing racial inequality.Party veteran Zikalala Snuki told AFP: “It’s democracy. We are happy that we managed to elect the top leadership.”We have Ramaphosa, who may be able to steer the ship in the right direction.”The opposition Democratic Alliance party said that the ANC was “held together only by the glue of patronage and corruption, and Cyril Ramaphosa is just a new face to the same old ANC.”last_img read more

Suicide attack kills 27 Iran elite Revolutionary Guards

first_imgMap or Iran locating the city of Zahedan. Photo: AFPA suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, state media said, in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country’s Sunni Muslim minority.The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.The heavy losses among Iran’s premier military force prompted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander to issue a warning to the country’s foes.“Our response in defence of the Islamic Revolution will not be limited to our borders,” Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying by Fars.“The enemies will receive a very firm response from the Revolutionary Guards like before.” He did not specify which enemies or what actions Tehran would take.In the past Iran has accused its regional rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia, of supporting Sunni separatist groups who have attacked its security forces. Riyadh has denied the charges.Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighbouring country to crack down on them.A suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards, the force said in a statement. Thirteen people were wounded.A video posted by Fars showed blood and debris at the site of the attack on a road in a volatile area near the Pakistan border where militants and armed drug smugglers operate.The bus was turned into a twisted pile of metal, a photo published on Fars showed. Reuters could not independently verify the image.While Sunni militant groups are not regarded as a major threat, the attack dealt a fresh blow to Iran’s security establishment, which has often said it can repel any threat no matter how big, even from the United States and its ally Israel.Military Might And Business InterestsThe assault in impoverished Sistan-Baluchistan province – among the worst ever on the Guards – illustrated that Iran’s elite force, which answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, can be vulnerable to guerrilla-style operations.The Guards’ estimated 125,000-strong military, with army, navy and air units, has acted as the sword and shield of Shi’ite clerical rule in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.The force also operates outside of Iran’s borders in countries such as Iraq and Syria where it works with proxies to promote Tehran’s interest. It runs a business empire in Iran worth billions of dollars.“The self-sacrificing military and intelligence children of the people of Iran will take revenge for the blood of the martyrs of this incident,” Fars quoted Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying.Iran’s Guards fired missiles at Islamic State militants in Syria in 2017 and 2018 after the group claimed responsibility for two attacks in Tehran and Ahvaz. In 2018, the Guards launched missiles at an Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group in northern Iraq.Wednesday’s violence comes during a month in which Iran has been commemorating the 1979 Islamic Revolution which swept the US-backed Shah from power. Tehran showed off ballistic missiles in defiance of US efforts to curb its military power.Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to blame the United States for the attack, citing a US-sponsored conference in Warsaw aimed at rallying support to further isolate Iran.On Twitter he asked: “Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins?”Iran had enjoyed relative stability compared to Arab neighbours who have grappled with political and economic upheaval touched off by popular uprisings in 2011.But economic hardships fuelled by US sanctions have triggered waves of protests that sometimes call for Iran’s clerical leaders to step down.Twelve members of the Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in the southwest. The Sunni Islamic State and an Arab separatist group both claimed responsibility.Jaish al-Adl emerged as the main armed opposition movement in the southeast after members of another Sunni group, Jundullah, joined it after their leader was captured on a plane in 2010. He was tried and executed.last_img read more

After Immigration Enforcement Some Builders See a Slowdown in Construction

first_imgMIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / KUTConstruction site at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alexander Avenue.An increase in immigration enforcement and proposed policies from President Donald Trump may be taking a toll on businesses that rely on an immigrant workforce. Some in Austin’s construction community say undocumented workers don’t feel safe reporting to work.On Tuesday night, about 20 construction workers and their families gathered for a community meeting in the Windsor Park area. The goal was to get some clarity on the recent changes to immigration policy.One of those workers was Felix, who came to Austin from Mexico about 16 years ago. Felix didn’t want to give KUT his full name because he’s undocumented. Speaking through a translator, he said he and other undocumented workers are afraid of being deported.KUT’s Syeda Hasan reportsFelix said he has still been going to work in recent days, but he doesn’t feel like he has much of a choice since he’s the chief breadwinner of his family.Tuesday’s meeting was organized by the Worker’s Defense Project, an advocacy group. Executive Director Jose Garza said policy changes made by the Trump administration have increased uncertainty about the priorities for immigration enforcement.“What we have done is to make sure that the entire community here in Austin is aware of their rights, that they know that they have a right to remain silent,” Garza said. “And we want everyone to know that regardless of their immigration status, they have access to certain rights under our Constitution.” The Worker’s Defense Project estimates that 50 percent of construction workers in Texas are undocumented. If they’re afraid to show up to work, it could have a big effect on Texas businesses.Phil Thoden, president of the Austin chapter of the Associated General Contractors, said among local builders, there has been a mixed response. He began asking around after the recent Day Without Immigrants protest, when several workers took part in a nationwide strike.“I heard the range from ‘We haven’t seen any change,’ to ‘[We’ve] seen a few people not coming, but work is still proceeding as normal,’” Thoden said. “But then I heard a couple of people sort of through the grapevine saying, ‘Oh yeah, it had a real big impact.’”For now, most of what we know is anecdotal. Thoden thinks it’s too soon to say whether recent immigration enforcement actions are slowing down construction overall.Copyright 2017 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM. Sharelast_img read more

Borrowed from natures garden

first_imgThe works of art done by Sun Deep reflect her philosophy, her life’s experiences and her love and passions, overwhelmingly inspired by everyday miracles and beauties in Nature. Nature inspires her life’s philosophy.She integrates elements from nature’s garden into her artwork, reflecting on our oneness and connectedness with Nature. The artwork showcases just a small sample of God’s living canvas, as she hopes to inspire others to stop and contemplate on the beauty and peace in his complex patterns and designs. Momentarily escaping the human construct. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Gingko Biloba Tree: The yellow leaves are all natural leaves, from the Gingko Biloba tree in her Chicago neighbourhood. These leaves were handpicked in November 2013, dried and pressed using natural elements, without the use of any chemicals or preservatives. Angel: The bright yellow Bracteantha flowers on the angel’s blue shawl are all natural. So are the orange cosmos and the yellow limonium petals in her shawl, the camouflaged gypsophila in her wings and the green grass earrings. These leaves were handpicked between 1997-2014 from India and USA. The angel is painted with acrylics on canvas. Frame is from Picturesque in Santushti Market. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBlue Ice on Fire: The unicorn’s horn, tail and mane are embellished with all natural ferns and flowers, from my Chicago neighborhood. The foliage was handpicked in the summer of 2014. The fire has petals of the yellow straw flower camouflaged in its flames. The two daisies are to depict cosmic bodies The horse and the fire is painted with acrylics on canvas. Unframed.Peacock Lady: In search – This artwork was the focus of a solo exhibition in a local Chicago gallery. The dress of the peacock lady is embellished with natural foliage. The foliage was handpicked between 1997-2014, The dress has camouflaged flowers and wild grass.last_img read more

Get paid while travelling

first_imgFrom high-altitude places to spots near the waters, densely populated cities to the dense jungles – there are a lot of travel lovers who wish to explore every corner of the world but arent able to do so due to financial constraints. But there’s a solution.There are some top tips and tricks with which people can earn a living and get their trips sponsored while travelling peacefully around the globe. Experts list how.Put your language skills to use: If you possess leadership qualities, and have commendable knowledge of two or more foreign languages, you will find many opportunities to put all of that to work. You can work as a tour guide for travellers and earn a pretty hefty sum of money in exchange. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAnother way to put your language skills to good use is by teaching English online. There are lots of portals where you can teach the language online while you are still travelling the globe, all you need is an Internet connection.Click! Click! to earn big: The scenic beauty of the places close to nature, away from the daily hustle-bustle of the city amplifies many times more from the pictures clicked by an avid photographer. If you have the skills of creating a magical spell with the camera while exploring new places around the world and are receiving huge appreciation for the same. Find the right portals, be it travel magazines, newspapers, or even websites, share the pictures and get ready to earn some handsome bucks to travel more and more. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpread the magic through social media: Thanks to the digitalisation wave, an avid traveller is blessed with platforms like Facebook, WordPress, Twitter and Instagram to share their story with travel lovers around the world with some easy-breezy tips and tricks to survive in a new place. The more engaging and helpful your insights are to the audience, the more followers will be there on the wall, ultimately making you a renowned personality of the social media world. And, once this gets done, brands and top-notch corporates will approach you for paid collaborations. First of all, even if you are a semi-decent photographer and shoot pictures of lesser known treks or difficult to see animals during your exploration quest, many magazines and online sites will be ready to pay for your photographs.Next is if you maintain a blog or social profile of your own and post original content (travel experiences) at regular intervals then slowly your follower base will grow exponentially as online travel researchers are hungry to hear first hand experiences.As you grow traction on your blog and social media, there will be many hoteliers, brands, travel companies offering you free trips, free stays or monies in lieu of their promotion. At the same time, you also have to maintain a clear travel niche (trekking, wildlife, homestays, remote countries) of your own and keep delivering original content regularly.last_img read more

TICO updates guidelines for trust accounts

first_imgTags: TICO Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — TICO is advising registrants that revised Trust Accounting Guidelines are now available on TICO’s website.The updated guidelines can be accessed here:“Although there are no changes to the existing trust accounting requirements, the revised Guidelines provide further clarifications related to the requirements under the Legislation. The revised Guidelines are a consolidated document which replaces the former retail and wholesale trust accounting guidelines which were last updated in June 2013,” says TICO President and CEO, Richard Smart.Any questions regarding the revised Guidelines should be directed to TICO’s Financial Compliance Department at 1-888-451-8426 or email Travelweek Group Tuesday, August 16, 2016 TICO updates guidelines for trust accountslast_img read more