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first_imgWhile heavy rains have already claimed 22 lives in Himachal Pradesh over the past two days, the meteorological department on August 19 predicted that the downpour is likely to continue in parts of the the State during the next 24 hours. Light-to-moderate rainfall will occur at many places in the state in the next 24 hours with heavy rains expected at isolated places, Shimla Meteorological Centre Director Manmohan Singh said. Over 500 people are stranded in several parts of the State as a number of roads have been blocked by landslides and flash floods, officials said. Efforts are on to clear the roads and restore traffic to move them to safer places. The National Disaster Relief Force is diverting the water accumulated in Kangra district’s Nurpur sub-division by digging an alternative route, an official said. Multiple landslides blocked the flow of water in streams and formed a big artificial lake in Khadetar village in the sub-division. Residents of Trindi, Danni, Mairka, Lador, Thana, Hindorghaat, Letri and Jassur villages have been asked to vacate their houses, the official added. In Chamba district, several roads remain blocked, another official said.The Chamba-Pathankot road has been blocked at Parihar, the Chamba-Chowari road via Jot has been blocked at Bhatalwan Ghar and Mathunu. The Lahru-Sihunta road is blocked at Lahri Bhatti near Lahru; the Lahru-Tunnuhatti road is blocked at Barian Gala. The Kihar-Chamba road is blocked at Gharatnala and Rohala Nullah near Sundla; the Tissa-Chamba road is blocked at Pangola Nullah; and the Chamba-Pangi road is blocked at Saach Pass. At least 22 people were killed and 12 injured in rain-related incidents in the State on August 18, officials said, adding that the total loss amounted to ₹490 crore.last_img read more

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first_imgRead Next Kemba Walker, who was named an All-Star reserve earlier in the day, scored 40 points for Charlotte. Marvin Williams, who returned after missing four games with a left ankle sprain, finished with 10.Portland pulled ahead 102-100 in the extra period before Dwight Howard fouled McCollum on a 3-point attempt. McCollum made two of three to extend Portland’s lead, and Maurice Harkless dunked with 37.4 seconds left to make it 106-100.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWalker hit a 3-pointer before McCollum’s layup on the other end all but sealed it with 12.2 seconds left.After trailing 79-65 heading into the final quarter, Walker’s layup got Charlotte within 92-88 with just over five minutes left. Walker pulled the Hornets closer with a pair of baskets that tied it at 95. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s pull-up jumper tied it at 97 with 1:45 to go, and neither team could score the rest of the way in regulation. LATEST STORIES Walker finished the half with 17 points, including 15 in the second quarter.Portland stretched the lead to 75-61 on a long jumper from Damian Lillard in the third quarter, and the Blazers kept the margin at double digits into the fourth until Charlotte’s late run.Lillard finished with 18 points and eight assists.TIP-INSHornets: Earlier in the day, Walker was selected as an All-Star reserve by Commissioner Adam Silver, replacing the injured Kristaps Porzingis. “It’s surreal. It’s my second one. I’m just very fortunate, very blessed,” Walker said.Trail Blazers: The Blazers were thought to be considering a big move at the trade deadline, but Olshey, their president of basketball operations, told the team’s broadcasters: “We looked into the rental market and as it turned out, a lot of the things on the rumor mill weren’t true. Those guys just weren’t available.” … Maurice Harkless started for the Blazers at small forward.CONDOLENCESThe Blazers were stunned by traffic collision in Houston that claimed the life of R.J. Adelman, the son of former Blazers coach Rick Adelman.R.J. Adelman had been an assistant on his father’s staff when the elder Adelman coached the Houston Rockets from 2007-11. He also was player personnel director for the Minnesota Timberwolves when his father coached there.“I would like to send out my sincere condolences to coach Adelman and his family for the tragedy of losing their son. Obviously it took everybody by surprise and certainly it’s an emotional day,” Stotts said.UP NEXTThe Hornets visit the Jazz on Friday night. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises AFP official booed out of forum View comments The Trail Blazers visit the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. At the trade deadline earlier in the day, the Blazers sent forward Noah Vonleh to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the rights to center Milovan Rakovic. Vonleh, the No. 9 overall pick by Charlotte in the 2014 draft, averaged 3.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 33 games for the Blazers this season, including 12 starts.The Hornets made a move the day earlier, acquiring center Willy Hernangomez from the Knicks in exchange for Johnny O’Bryant and two future second-round draft picks. Hernangomez averaged 7.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 98 career games with the Knicks, including 22 starts.Hernangomez was not yet with the Hornets and it was likely he would not be available for Friday night’s game in Utah.“I’m glad it’s over,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said about the deadline. “We’ve been getting ready for Charlotte. It really hasn’t impacted what we’ve done over the last few days. Certainly (GM Neil Olshey) and his staff have spent a lot of time, hours on the phone, in leading up to this. It’s probably more of a relief for the players because it is a stressful time.”Portland jumped out to a 22-5 lead early, and went into the second quarter up 29-18, led by Nurkic with 10 points and five rebounds. Charlotte got within 44-42 on a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer from Walker, but trailed 49-45 at the half after Meyers Leonard hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, center, shoots against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)PORTLAND, Ore. — Jusuf Nurkic had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers returned home with a 109-103 overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.CJ McCollum added 22 points for the Blazers, who were coming off a winless three-game trip. The victory over the Hornets was their ninth straight at Moda Center.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Court rejects appeals by 47 Russians against Olympic bans Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stinglast_img read more

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first_imgWith the introduction of electronics into a growing number of areas of daily life, the demand for innovative interaction possibilities between human and machine has also been growing. The touch display has largely established itself as an intuitive medium. But not every display has to be rectangular. At electronica 2018, display specialist Tianma is going to present new prototypes and process technologies with which developers and designers can now design displays in line with their individual ideas, following the classic design motto “form follows function”.To demonstrate the possibilities for producing such new and unconventionally shaped displays, Tianma presented a round display with a hole in the middle. Until now, it has been difficult to create comparable shapes because of the matrix-shaped arrangement of the pixel elements required.  With individually embedded gate drivers as Virtual Gate Inline Pixel Array (VGIA), the desired degrees of design freedom are achieved when designing the display.To meet customer demand for free-form displays, Tianma has solved several problems in the manufacturing process. These include the low cutting accuracy and the limited range of shapes that have hitherto precluded any free design options. Laser-assisted material processing offers the possibility of high-precision cuts in the 100 micrometer range. For example, very fine holes can be created by gentle laser ablation. This production technique enables classic and analog clock hands in combination with a background display. Applications include “smart” wristwatches and cockpit instruments in the automotive sector.A prototype presented by Tianma illustrates the specific features of this technique. The display with a diameter of 12.7 cm provides an extremely slim concentric edge of 3 mm. This result is achieved by using a special oxide semiconductor material as active TFT backplane, which offers much higher electron mobility compared to conventional amorphous silicon. Smaller pixel structures, as well as more compact, transparent driver circuits, can be generated while maintaining the same level of current. The latter can be housed in the edge of the screen to save space or even arranged within the active display area.Despite the capacitive touch sensor (PCAP), the display with a thickness of just 2.1 mm can be considered ultra slim. With a resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels and a very high contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, the display is capable of producing impressive graphics.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous Bridgetek: credit card sized HMI development hardwareNext u-blox: multiradio and gateway modules with concurrent support for Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetoothlast_img read more

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first_img Next Associated Press ShenzhenAugust 17, 2019UPDATED: August 17, 2019 10:31 IST Armored vehicles and troop trucks are parked outside Shenzhen Bay Stadium in Shenzhen, China. (Photo:AP)Members of China’s paramilitary People’s Armed Police marched and practiced crowd control tactics at a sports complex in Shenzhen across from Hong Kong in what some interpreted as a threat against pro-democracy protesters in the semi-autonomous territory.The sound of marching boots and synchronized shouts echoed from the grounds on Friday. Officers in green camouflage stood guard at closed entrances. A stadium security guard said it wasn’t clear when the paramilitary police would leave the grounds.Chinese state media have only said that the Shenzhen exercises were planned earlier and were not directly related to the unrest in Hong Kong, though they came shortly after the central government in Beijing said the protests were beginning to show the sprouts of terrorism.From a distance, police could be seen conducting drills in military fatigues, using shields, poles and other riot-control gear. In one exercise, two groups marched in formation with those in front raising shields as if to protect themselves from projectiles. Others behind held red flags and banners. The words the law and prosecuted could be seen on one.Outside, dozens of armored carriers and trucks sat in the parking lot of the Shenzhen Bay Stadium, close to a bridge linking mainland China to Hong Kong.Asked if Hong Kong police could maintain order or if mainland Chinese intervention is becoming inevitable, Hong Kong police commander Yeung Man-pun said that while they face tremendous pressure, I can tell you we’re confident the police have the capability to maintain law and order.advertisementGermany, meanwhile, said it considers China to be a responsible actor that will respect Hong Kong laws guaranteeing freedom of speech and rule of law.Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday that Hong Kong’s 1997 Basic Law, under which the city was promised a high degree of autonomy when the former British colony returned to China, is a Chinese law, and as such we naturally expect that the People’s Republic of China, too, won’t call into question the peaceful exercise of these rights.Weeks of protests in Hong Kong have been marked by increasing violence and a shutdown of the Hong Kong airport earlier this week. The demonstrators are demanding expanded political rights and the scrapping of legislation that could have seen criminal suspects sent to mainland China.A weekend of protests began Friday night with a university student-led power to the people rally in Chater Garden, a public square in the financial district.A pro-democracy march is planned for Saturday along with a separate pro-government Save Hong Kong rally, ahead of a major pro-democracy rally called for Sunday. Police have denied permission for the march on Sunday, but protesters have ignored such denials in the past.China has pressured foreign and Hong Kong companies to support the ruling Communist Party’s position against the protesters.The CEO of Cathay Pacific Airways, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent companies, resigned Friday following pressure by Beijing on the carrier over participation by some of its employees in the anti-government protests.Cathay Pacific said Rupert Hogg resigned to take responsibility following recent events.The company chairman, John Slosar, said in a statement the airline needed new management because events had called into question its commitment to safety and security.On Monday, Hogg threatened employees with disciplinary consequences if they took part in illegal protests.Last week, China’s aviation regulator said Cathay Pacific employees who support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behavior are banned from staffing flights to mainland China.On Friday morning, Frenchman Alain Robert, who has been dubbed spiderman for his unauthorized climbs of skyscrapers, hung a banner appealing for peace as he scaled the 62-story Cheung Kong Center, a landmark Hong Kong building that is the base for property tycoon Li Ka-shing’s business empire.The banner showed the Chinese and Hong Kong flags over a handshake and a small yellow sun with a smiley face.The banner is to give joy and smile to the people of Hong Kong, he told the AP as he sat in a taxi about to leave for his climb. He added that he didn’t want to get mixed up in the political situation.Robert, 57, was taken to a police station afterward. It wasn’t immediately clear if he would be charged. He was banned in 2017 from returning to Hong Kong for one year after climbing another building.READ | French Spiderman scales skyscraper with banner urging peace amid turmoiladvertisementWATCH | China warns Hong Kong protesters of harsh consequencesGet 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 bySumeda China flexes muscle near Hong Kong amid more weekend ralliesChina’s paramilitary People’s Armed Police marched and practised crowd control tactics at a sports complex in Shenzhen across from Hong Kong.advertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgOn May 27, Queen Mary 2 docked at Hamburg’s terminal Steinwerder carrying 2,000 passengers. In the next few weeks, the cruise ship will undergo a major refit – the biggest in its 12-year history – at German Blohm+Voss shipyard. The video shows the cruise ship being pulled by a tug into the dry-dock Elbe 17 and its subsequent docking.The 21-day refurbishment will cost a couple of EUR million and include new drives, maintenance of the three bow thrusters, a paint job and installation of four new scrubbers as well as the corresponding exhaust gas filters.The shipbuilding and mechanical engineering work comprises modifications to the bridge wing, the installation of new bulkheads for improved damage stability as well as modifications to the tanks.In addition, 50 new cabins and 200 tonnes of steel construction will be integrated into the ship.It is the sixth time that the Queen Mary 2 docks at Blohm+Voss.Built in 2003, Queen Mary 2 is owned by Carnival’s Cunard Line. With 148.528 gross tons, the cruise ship has a length of 345.03 meters and a width of 48.7 meters.After the refit, Queen Mary 2 starts its voyage on June 17 to Southampton before it departs to New York.In 2015, Blohm+Voss conducted 10 similar refits of cruise liners preparing them for the future.World Maritime News Staff; Video Courtesy: Inselvideolast_img read more

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first_imgVANCOUVER – British Columbia’s information and privacy commissioner has ordered a Surrey-based vigilante group to stop posting personal information about two men the group alleges are linked to child luring.Acting information and privacy commissioner Drew McArthur says in his ruling that Surrey Creep Catcher violated B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act by gathering and posting information about the men.McArthur investigated complaints from two people and says the group used deceptive or misleading practices when it communicated with them and made video recordings of their meetings.The decision says the recordings were posted to social media along with added allegations that the men had attempted to lure and meet with a minor for sexual purposes.Surrey Creep Catcher defended itself saying that it wasn’t violating laws because it was acting for journalistic purposes, a claim McArthur rejected in his decision.McArthur says the group made no effort to provide an accurate and fair description of the facts, and he has given the group 30 days to remove videos and personal details of the men from its social media sites.“In short, the organization’s true purpose in collecting, using and disclosing personal information is to “name and shame” those whom it considers to be creeps, rather than offer a journalistic perspective on the issue,” he says in his written decision released Tuesday.McArthur has also ordered the group to destroy all of its records, video and communications with the complainants.Surrey Creep Catcher president Ryan Laforge was not immediately available for an interview, but he told Vancouver radio station CKNW that he will not comply with the ruling.“No, the whole purpose of what we do is to protect children from these guys,” he says. (The Canadian Press, CKNW)last_img read more

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Rabat – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Monday, November 19.Called “Bienvenue en France” (Welcome to France), the international education reform bill is meant to “increase France’s attractiveness” as a study destination.Starting from the 2019-2020 academic year, international students at French universities will pay higher enrollment fees, namely the equivalent of 30 percent of the total cost of their degrees. For bachelor degrees (which cost €10,000), students will be charged €2770, instead of the current €170 registration fee.Read Also: Moroccans, Largest Foreign Student Community in FranceAnd for Master’s and PhD degrees, whose registration fees were €234 and €383 respectively, students will pay €3,770. Even with the increase, international students in France will still be “paying significantly less than they do in North America, Netherlands, Great Britain, and most of European countries.”‘Competing with North America and most of Europe’France, one of the few Western countries where access to education has until now been nearly free of charge and subsidized by the government (except for a tiny number of elite schools called Grandes Ecoles), is now bidding to join other European and North American institutions in the scramble for international prestige.In a global education system where prestige is associated with the amount of university fees, the size of research budgets, and the quality of education facilities, Philippe argued, it is “unfair” to have “rich international students” pay the same fees as their low-income French counterparts whose parents pay taxes.The prime minister said that the increase will serve to fund more education-related projects. The plan includes renovation works as well as establishment of new scholarships to attract low-income students from the developing world.According to French newspaper Le Figaro, France is the fourth country (behind the US, Great Britain, and Australia) with the highest number international students. Students come from developing and emerging countries, especially francophone Africa, North-east Asia, Latin America, and the Arab world.“We can do much better,” Phillipe said, as he explained how the increase can help French learning institutions be more competitive.The funds will be used in building more facilities to accommodate students and invest more in foreign language learning, he said. For Philippe, France should benefit from its status as a prized destination for higher education.The move has come under heavy criticism from education syndicates, however. They argue that many of the concerned international students are not as rich as the prime minister claimed. Instead, the reform will “reinforce social precarity” for students for many of the targeted students.Fage, a students’ rights advocacy group, said in a statement that “it is not students’ job” to help rekindle France’s “underfunded education system.”The bill will only be applied to students who are not citizens of an EU country. read more

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3 February 2008India has played a vital and long-standing role in helping the people of Nepal and also in supporting the efforts of the United Nations across the South Asian region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says. In a statement issued by his spokesperson on Friday, Mr. Ban clarified comments to the press made by Matthew Kahane, the UN’s Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, on 24 January.“His comments were not intended to suggest that the Government of India has influence over Nepalese groups that have recently been limiting the steady flow of essential goods into the Terai region of Nepal, such as food,” the statement noted.“India is an important partner in the region and we appreciate very much the unfailing and long-standing assistance and support that India has provided to the United Nations and, more importantly, to the people of Nepal.” read more

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16 April 2010United Nations officials have called on Member States and private donors to support a trust fund to pay for a permanent memorial at United Nations Headquarters in New York to the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communication and Public Information, and Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP), made the appeal yesterday while receiving a donation of $250,000 from India, which is currently the largest single contributor to the fund.In 2007 the General Assembly commemorated the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade by designating 25 March as an annual day of remembrance and endorsing the idea of constructing a permanent memorial at UN Headquarters “in acknowledgment of the tragedy and consideration of its legacy.”The trust fund was launched in May last year to pay for the memorial construction and India’s donation means that about $700,000 has been raised so far – less than a quarter of the $4.5 million that is estimated to be needed if the memorial is to be erected by 2012.Ambassador Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica is heading efforts to erect the memorial, while a committee of interested States is also participating in the trust fund.At a ceremony yesterday to mark the Indian donation, which was handed over by Ambassador H. S. Puri, Mr. Akasaka stressed that the memorial should serve as a living reminder to the international community of the need to maintain momentum in combating the legacy of slavery, including pernicious contemporary forms of the practice. read more

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TORONTO — Falling oil stocks helped pull the Toronto stock market lower Wednesday as further signs of rising crude inventories in the U.S. sent oil prices tumbling.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 67.23 points to 14,995.65, paced by a four per cent drop in the energy sector.The Canadian dollar — a big beneficiary of the recent rally in oil prices — tumbled 1.08 cents to 79.59 cents US after rising two cents over the previous two sessions.U.S. indexes were mixed amid positive news on the employment front two days before the release of the U.S. government’s jobs report for January. Payroll firm ADP reported that the American private sector created 213,000 jobs last month. Overall, economists are expecting the government data to show the economy created 233,000 jobs in January.Other data showed greater expansion of the U.S. service sector last month. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index rose to 56.7 from 56.5.The Dow Jones industrials gained 6.62 points to 17,673.02, the Nasdaq was down 11.04 points at 4,716.7 and the S&P 500 index shed 8.52 points to 2,041.51. Crude prices gave back a chunk of the 19 per cent surge registered over the previous four sessions, down $4.60 to US$48.45 a barrel. Prices started heading higher late last week following a string of cutbacks in capital spending by oil companies — and in some cases production cuts — raising hopes for relief from a huge imbalance in demand and supply.However, data released Wednesday by the Department of Energy showed U.S. inventories last week rose by 6.3 million barrels, much higher than the 2.8-million-barrel increase that analysts had expected.Crude prices have plunged about 50% since last summer amid a glut of supply on world markets.Analysts have warned that oil prices could retest lows of $44 or even move lower. In the meantime, investors are trying to look past the volatility in the markets.“You look through the valley, as we say. The thing that you have to remember is that equity markets look six months ahead,” said Chris King, portfolio manager and vice-president at Morgan, Meighen and Associates.He pointed out that the U.S. is dramatically cutting shale production while many Canadian companies have announced substantial cuts in spending plans.“The big (energy) names are pricing in high $70s, low $80s for oil because they are looking through (to) the other side.”The other big TSX decliner was the base metals sector, which advanced over the last few days on a run-up in copper prices. The sector gave back 2.65% even as March copper added a penny at US$2.59 a pound.The gold sector was the leading advancer, up 2.7% as April bullion climbed $4.20 to US$1,264.50 an ounce.The TSX was also supported by strong gains in the consumer staples and tech sectors.In earnings news, General Motors Co. posted quarterly profit of US$1.99 billion or 66 cents per share. Earnings adjusted for non-recurring costs were $1.19 per share. The average estimate of analysts was for earnings of 85 cents per share. GM also reported that revenue of $39.62 billion, missing expectations for $40.1 billion but its shares were ahead 5.45% to $35.83. read more

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The JVP leader said that he does not believe the concerns of the Tamils will be addressed by Constitutional changes. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which in 1983 was accused of attacking Tamils, today recognised the legitimate concerns of the Tamils in the North.Speaking in Parliament today, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the Tamils in the North have suffered as a result of the war and continue to face social and economic issues. “The Tamils also face the psychological issue of being second citizens of this country,” he said. Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that while the Tamils elected the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to power the TNA has rarely been seen standing with the Tamils in the North to address their legitimate concerns.Dissanayake said that simply pushing for Constitutional reforms will not see the basic needs of the Tamils in the North being met. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Marlboro maker Altria’s 1st-qtr net income up nearly 4 pct on higher prices, cost-cutting RICHMOND, Va. – Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose almost 4 per cent as higher prices and cost-cutting helped offset declines in cigarette volumes.The owner of the nation’s biggest cigarette maker reported net income of $973 million, or 48 cents per share, for the three-month period ended March 31, up from $937 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier.Adjusted earnings were 49 cents per share. That matched analyst estimates, according to a survey by FactSet.Revenue, excluding excise taxes, rose about 1 per cent to $3.99 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $4.01 billion.Its shares rose 22 cents to $31.91 in afternoon trading. Its shares have been trading near their 52-week high of $32.10 and traded as low as $23.20 over the past year.Richmond, Va.-based Altria said cigarettes volumes fell 2.6 per cent to 31.1 billion cigarettes compared with a year ago as an increase of nearly 18 per cent in its discount cigarette brands offset declines in its premium brands like Marlboro.Its top-selling Marlboro brand gained 0.1 points of market share to end up with 42.3 per cent of the U.S. market. Marlboro volumes declined 3.4 per cent.The company has introduced several new products with the Marlboro brand, often with lower promotional pricing. They include special blends of both menthol and non-menthol cigarettes to try to keep the brand growing and steal smokers from its competitors.Altria still faces pressure in the current economy from less-expensive brands such as Pall Mall from Reynolds American Inc. and Maverick from Lorillard Inc.Like other tobacco companies, Altria is focusing on cigarette alternatives — such as cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco — for future sales growth because the decline in cigarette smoking is expected to continue.Volumes of its smokeless tobacco brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal fell 7.5 per cent compared with the year-ago period, which included the launch of several Skoal products. For the quarter, the company’s smokeless tobacco brands had 55.5 per cent of the market, which is tiny compared with cigarettes.Volume for its Black & Mild cigars grew more than 14 per cent during the period.The company also owns wine and financial services business that saw gains during the quarter. It also holds a voting stake in brewer SABMiller.In his final earnings conference call, CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk said he believes the company has many strengths that position it for growth and is “excited about the prospects for Altria’s future.” The company announced last quarter that he would retire following Altria’s annual shareholder meeting on May 17.Altria has been forced to cut costs as tax hikes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher.After completing a $1.5 billion multi-year cost savings program last year, the company rolled out a plan to cut $400 million in “cigarette-related infrastructure costs” by the end of 2013 in advance of anticipated cigarette volume declines.The company said its marketing, administration and research costs fell about 12 per cent to $483 million, and its gross profit rose 2.5 per cent to $2.2 billion.Altria also reaffirmed its full-year adjusted earnings guidance of between $2.17 and $2.23 per share.During the quarter the company also said it repurchased 9.9 million shares for a total cost of about $294 million as part of its previously announced $1 billion share buyback program. It has $378 million remaining in the program and intends to complete it by the end of the year.Altria is the last of the major U.S. tobacco companies to report first-quarter results.On Wednesday, No. 3 Lorillard Inc., maker of Newport and Maverick cigarettes, said its net income fell 10 per cent in the first quarter as higher prices couldn’t offset an about 3 per cent decline in the number of cigarettes sold.Reynolds American, the nation’s second-biggest tobacco company and maker of Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit brand cigarettes, said Tuesday its first-quarter profit fell 29 per cent as restructuring charges and a 5 per cent decline in the number of cigarettes sold more than offset the effect of higher prices and productivity improvements.___Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum . by News Staff Posted Apr 26, 2012 3:35 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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“We are concerned that the Supreme Court’s decisions appear to seek to strip her Office of its mandate and responsibilities as enshrined in the Venezuelan Constitution, and undermine the Office’s independence,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), addressing journalists in Geneva. The Venezuelan Supreme Court on 28 June decided to begin removal proceedings against Attorney General Luisa Ortega, freeze her assets and ban her from leaving the country. It also transferred some of the Attorney General’s, until now, exclusive functions to the Ombudsperson.Mr. Colville said that the dismissal of judicial officials should be subject to strict criteria “that do not undermine the independent and impartial performance of their functions.”UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors stipulate that governments should ensure that prosecutors can do their jobs without intimidation, harassment or improper interference, among other things.OHCHR noted that since March, the Attorney General has taken “important steps to defend human rights, documenting deaths during the wave of demonstrations, insisting on the need for due process and the importance of the separation of powers, and calling for people who have been arbitrarily detained to be immediately released.”According to the Attorney General’s Office, 75 have been killed and some 1,419 injured so far in the two months of protests.Mr. Colville urged “all powers of the Venezuelan State to respect the Constitution and the rule of law,” and called on the Government to ensure that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression are guaranteed. “We also call on all people in Venezuela to only use peaceful means to make themselves heard and urge all parties to renounce violence and harassment of opponents,” he continued. read more

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first_imgUpdated at 8.30pmNIGERIAN POLICE SAY they have opened a murder probe after the discovery of rotting bodies and skeletons in an abandoned building the media has branded a “House of Horror”.Police also rescued several severely malnourished people founded wandering in the bush near the building in the city of Ibadan, while media reports said 15 or more had been found shackled in leg-chains inside.The grisly discovery came after a group of motorcycle taxi riders reported that some of their members had gone missing and were believed to have been kidnapped.“When we got to the abandoned building in the Soka community of Ibadan yesterday, we saw decomposed corpses, skeletons and skulls in the building and surrounding bushes,” Oyo state police spokeswoman Olabisi Ilobanafor told AFP.“Some malnourished human beings looking like living skeletons were also rescued in the bushes surrounding the building,” she said.Ilobanafor said police had launched a murder investigation and arrested some suspects at the scene in Ibadan, Nigeria’s third largest city and the capital of the southwestern Oyo state.Some victims of kidnapping in Nigeria are often tortured or sacrificed in black magic rituals.PicturesThe Ibadan-based Sunday Tribune, Nigeria’s oldest private newspaper, showed gruesome pictures of rotting bodies, human skulls and other body parts littering the scene, as well as ID and and ATM cards, shoes, bags and clothes.It also published a photograph of a haggard woman who was allegedly kidnapped in the southern Edo state in 2008 and rescued at what it called the “House of Horror”.It said said at least one skeletal-looking man was found in the throes of death, groaning in pain as flies hovered around his face.The Tribune said about 15 people suspected to have been kidnapped were found leg-chained in the eight-room house, but the police spokeswoman declined to comment.Some other local newspapers carried similar reports about the discovery.Ilobana said some commercial motorcycle riders had stumbled upon the bodies after complaining to police that some of their members had gone missing in suspicious circumstances.- © AFP, 2014First posted at 3pmRead: 34 dead, as Ebola confirmed as source of Guinea epidemicRead: Nigerian police free pregnant teens in ‘baby factory’ raidlast_img read more

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first_imgTHE IRISH COAST Guard has warned people to take care after two boys were found in a tiny dinghy off the coast of Dublin last night.A routine patrol was in the waters at Howth in north county Dublin last night when it came across the small vessel with the two boys in it.The children were wearing swimming armbands as a flotation aid, rather than life jackets.The Coast Guard said it was an example of the type of dangerous behaviour its patrols have been encountering during the current spell of warm weather.“This ‘vessel’ was encountered by our boat based in Howth tonight while out on safety monitoring and training,” the Coast Guard said.“They were taken aboard [the Coast Guard vessel] for their own safety and brought back to Howth harbour,” the Coast Guard said.There have been repeated warnings about water safety during the spate of good weather, with Irish Water Safety urging people to take precautions when swimming or boating. An average of 140 people drown in Ireland every year.Read: Two swimmers rescued from Howth cliff after being caught by strong currents > Read: Couple in their 50s rescued from rhododendron forest in Tipperary >last_img read more

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first_imgLes ambitions spatiales françaises réaffirméesAprès 24 heures de décalage, Ariane 5 a réussi son envol, emportant à son bord Johannes Kepler, un vaisseau cargo qui a pour mission de ravitailler l’ISS. La ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche Valérie Pécresse était sur place, en Guyane, pour assister au décollage.Valérie Pécresse a profité du 200e lancement d’une fusée Ariane pour réaffirmer les ambitions spatiales françaises pour l’année 2011.500 millions d’euros devraient être alloués aux projets spatiaux. La moitié doit être investie dans la navette qui viendra prendre le relais d’Ariane 5 et l’autre moitié dans des programmes visant à la mise au point de nouveaux satellites.La ministre a annoncé que 2011 serait “une grande année pour l’Europe spatiale”. En effet, 11 autres décollages sont programmés, y compris celui du lanceur russe Soyouz depuis la base française de Kourou.Le 17 février 2011 à 19:12 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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first_imgRazzia de frelons sur une ruche d’abeillesUn documentaire exceptionnel tourné en Europe par le National Geographic montre le massacre de milliers d’abeilles d’une ruche par des frelons japonais, une espèce invasive qui vole les larves des abeilles pour en nourrir sa propre progéniture.30.000 abeilles mises à mort en trois heures : ce massacre des occupants d’une ruche par seulement une trentaine de frelons n’a pas échappé aux caméras du National Geographic, qui en a fait un documentaire intitulé “Hornets From Hell” (“Les frelons de l’Enfer”). Et le titre suffit à traduire le carnage.À lire aussiQuand 30 frelons japonais s’en prennent à un essaim de 30.000 abeilles (Vidéo)Impuissantes face à ces mastodontes presque insensibles à leurs piqûres et 4 fois plus gros qu’elles, les abeilles sont décapitées, leurs pattes et leurs ailes arrachées. Tout comme leurs larves, elles finissent même en ‘boules’ de viande, emportées par les frelons dans leur repaire pour nourrir leurs propres rejetons. Jusqu’à 40 abeilles peuvent être tuées par minute. Un “quota de massacre” dont on ne doute pas à voir la vidéo de ces milliers d’abeilles décimées. Toutefois, une précision : les abeilles de ce documentaire sont européennes et leurs agresseurs sont des frelons géants japonais (Vespa mandarinia), contre lesquels elles ne savent pas lutter, contrairement aux abeilles asiatiques. Ces dernières, elles, ont en effet appris à encercler chaque ennemi pour, battant des ailes, entraîner une véritable ‘surchauffe’, fatale, du corps de l’intrus. Découvrez en vidéo le documentaire du National Geographic sur Maxisciences Le 17 janvier 2012 à 13:12 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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first_imgWith Abdoulie DibbaThis column is devoted to monitor and report on issues that are related to food security in the Gambia as well as the interventions of Government and Non-governmental Organisations. In this edition, Farmers’Eye will explain what The Gambia National Agriculture Database entails with regard to its Users and Beneficiaries, Key features, How it works, and its benefits according to the lead consultant Mr Bho. The lead consultant told the audience at the launch that the Gambia National Agriculture Database is creating a common source of reliable data for The Gambia Agriculture Sector.He continues his presentation as follows:-The Gambia National Agriculture Database, its Users and BeneficiariesThe Government of the Gambia and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) jointly, funded the development of a database application called the Gambia National Agriculture Database (GANAD).The GANAD is the heartbeat of a broader Agriculture Sector M&E system (Ag-sector PM&E), that is designed to capture, store, process and report diverse data types depicting implementation progress and results for MoA   and   its   Ag-sector development partners.The GANAD is centrally managed, enabling it to stand out as a “single common source of Ag-sector data” for all data requirements for national and Ag-sector planning.It focuses mainly on capturing regular progress monitoring data (tracking implementation progress, outputs and immediate benefits, whereas most outcome and impact level data is captured through periodic surveys into SPSS for analysis.Direct beneficiaries and users of the GANAD include all Ag-sector senior and middle level management (who can generate reports), the system Administrator (who administers the database and manage users), M&E staff (who can validate, approve and generate reports) and Data Entry staff (responsible for data entry only).Other beneficiaries include Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, other government sectors and all development partners, who will only receive requested data.KEY FEATURES OF THE GAMBIA NATIONAL AGRICULTURE DATABASEThe GANAD is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (a relational database management system) and Visual Basic.NET, as the backend and frontend, respectively.The GANAD currently run on a hard drive capacity of 1.5TB which can be upgraded when necessary.It consists of a login screen and four main menu items: Administrator, Data Entry, Partner Reports and Ag-Sector Reports.The GANAD has an easy to access menu system and user friendly interface, well delineated user and access rights at data entry, validation, approval and report generation, all controlled through user level­ user names and passwords.The data entry menu has 15 modules i.e. Value Chain Actor (VCA) Registration, Horticulture, Livestock , Field Crops, Infrastructure, VCA Capacity Development, Staff Capacity Development, Budget Allocation, Service Provision, Fisheries, Natural Resources, Imports and Exports, NARI, ITC and Financial service, under which specific data is entered and can be viewed.The GANAD has several setups and drop­ downs for II non-repetitive data for each module that allows only selection of the applicable options and minimal typing, for example all applicable crops species and varieties, livestock species and breeds, diseases, pests, drugs, pesticides, villages, districts, regions and many others have been set to allow selection instead of typing, at data entry level.The Database Administrator is responsible for adding any newly identified and approved repetitive data and reports.HOW DOES THE GANAD WORK?All data that is entered is grouped by region, district, village, partner/funding source, value chain segment (business type), enterprise type and at lower levels by gender, age, crop/ livestock species etc.The system captures bio-data for 3 categories of VCA, i.e. individuals, partnership and groups (institutions) and either a National Identity Number (NIN) or Registration Number is required as the unique ID, so as to minimise double registration of VCA and double counting.Security features include, passwords, an audit trail module that tracks the activity history of every user to ensure accountability etc.A data quality assurance feature also exists wherein the Central Projects Coordinating Unit/Planning Services Unit M&E Officer can only view and use data that the project and department level M&E Officers have validated and authorised for further viewing and use.Data from regions can only be available when the regional M&E Officer/RAD has approved it. Thus, the system creates an opportunity for the Regional offices and Project Management Units to take full responsibility and ownership of the data that originates from their regions and projects.THE BENEFITS OF THE GANADBoth static and cumulative reports for specific date ranges can be generated immediately once data has been approved at project and department levels.Several prescribed reports and many others can be generated in real time through the partner and Ag-sector level reports menus.The typical report types are: crop, livestock and fish (production, yield, pest and diseases, sales and consumption & technology application); agro-VCAs reached with support and benefits thereof; number and type of infrastructure developed; area of land developed and conserved; service provision (extension, financial); budget allocation and natural resources managed and others.Raw data or reports can be exported from GANAD into Excel and subsequently to other data analysis applications. GANAD data outputs can directly be saved as, and printed from Word and PDF formats.GANAD is one-stop-shop for all Ag-sector progress monitoring data that is essential for evidence based resource allocation, planning, decision making and sector donor coordination.The GANAD enables MoA and its partners to accurately and timely measure its implementation progress and the Ag-sector’s contribution to PAGE, MDG, and Vision 2020 objectives and targets.The GANAD can be used to track extension service provision and activity of extension workers.Although it doesn’t capture outcome and impact data, it provides the primary data that can be analysed to provide further quantitative facts during evaluations. It therefore reduces the time required for surveys and evaluations.It is a one stop shop for Ag-sector progress monitoring data that can be accessed anywhere as long as there is internet connection and one has valid user rights!  ]]>last_img read more

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first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, January 8, 2018 – Providenciales – The general public is hereby notified that commencing 8th January 2018 the Customs Department will be temporarily relocated to the Ministry of Finance Office, Butterfield Square Providenciales.A further update will be provided to advise the general public when normal Customs Department operations are restored. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.Press Release: TCIG Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img

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