Indian Agency Set to Invoke Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance Against Mallya

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate is soon going to request a special court to begin the procedures for getting liquor baron Vijay Mallya declared as an absconder under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, the Hindu reported.The law permits seizing and disposing all the assets of fugitives in India and foreign nations. The agency has narrowed down several assets associated with Mallya in countries like the United Kingdom, United States, France, Scotland and South Africa. If proceedings against him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance begin, it can result in such properties being confiscated.The agency could move the application in one week, since almost all the paperwork required for the case has been done, according to the report. A charge sheet has already been filed by the ED against Mallya, against whom extradition proceedings are currently underway in a UK court. Mallya has also been declared a proclaimed offender.According to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, once the court accepts the application, it can issue a notice, giving six weeks to the accused to appear before it. If the order is not complied with, the person is then declared a fugitive. The law can be invoked against people who are involved in economic offences that amount to at least Rs 100 crore.The court could also seize the properties of the accused, after which all the rights and titles of these assets will be given to the central government. The court could also order disposal of the properties that have been confiscated.So far, the ED has attached properties worth more than Rs 9,600 crore, as part of the proceedings against Mallya and some others as per the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the report said.Mallya on May 8 lost a lawsuit that was filed in the United Kingdom by Indian banks looking to recover over £1.15 billion ($1.55 billion) from him. The lenders, including the State Bank of India and IDBI Bank Ltd., can enforce an Indian court ruling, which is linked to accusations that Mallya deliberately defaulted on around $1.4 billion in debt for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., Judge Andrew Henshaw said in London.While presiding over the extradition hearing of Mallya at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on March 16, judge Emma Arbuthnot said that there were clear signs that the banks went against their own guidelines while sanctioning some loans to Mallya. She had described the case as a “jigsaw puzzle” comprising different pieces of “massive evidence” to be put together to paint a picture, which she said she could now see “more clearly” than a few months ago. Related ItemsEnforcement DirectorateUnited KingdomVijay Mallyalast_img read more

Killing Them Softly

first_imgIndia’s rising affluent lifestyle is becoming a greater public health threat than poverty. Heart diseases accounted for almost a quarter of deaths in the country, according to the government survey of 130,000 mortalities between 2001 and 2003, nearly twice the number of deaths from tuberculosis and diarrhoea-related diseases combined.The report by the Registrar General of India and the Indian Council for Medical Research has surprised health professionals who have long assumed that poverty was the greatest public health threat in the country  Related Itemslast_img

Behind the God-Swapping in The South African Indian Community

first_imgHinduism is a religion of vast diversity with different philosophical views and religious practices. It has more than 900 million adherents worldwide. Hindus subscribe to some common ideas such as rebirth of the soul based on one’s past actions. Although they worship a variety of gods, such as Vishnu, Shiva or Mother Goddess, they generally think of themselves as of one faith due to similar ideas about life after death.Christian missionaries in South Africa targeted Hindus to try and convert them. However, contrary to popular belief among the Hindu community, there seems no evidence of significant conversion in the mid-19th century. Much of the Christian conversion activity then was focused on African communities.P. Pratap Kumar is emeritus professor, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Hindu religious ceremony in South Africa. Photo: Megan NaidooThere were five major Christian denominations active among Indians at the time — Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans, Lutherans and Baptists. Indian members of these churches were not new converts from the Hindu community but rather those who had already been Christian when they arrived in Natal. When the early Indian indentured workers arrived, the estimated figures along religious lines were as follows: 87% Hindus, 7% Muslims and 4% Christians.The mission boards did not seem to be that enthusiastic in providing support for the missionary work among the Indian community in order not to cause any disruption to the indentured work. The white farmers were also not so keen for the missionaries to be around the plantations.The early Christian missionary activity among Indians was mainly focused on providing community services such as clinics, hospitals and schools. Yet, these material benefits yielded hardly any converts.This is very significant in the context of the early Hindu leaders complaining about conversion. The Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement that arrived on the Natal scene in 1905 from India. Its leaders quickly began Hindu reform activity on the assumptions they had made based on their experience in India, where mass conversions did take place in the mid-19th century.In Natal, however, the percentage of Christians among Indians in the 19th and early 20th centuries remained constant at 4%.Threat to the Hindu faithStill, the leaders of Hindu organizations in South Africa saw conversion as a threat to their faith. At its 1918 council meeting, the Hindu Maha Sabha, a council established by various Hindu organizations, urged all Hindu parents to protest against the religious instruction given at the Christian mission schools.In the initial period of indenture in Natal it was Christian missionaries who established schools for Indian education where Christian religious education was part of the curriculum. As there were no non-Christian schools at the time, the Indian community demanded that government schools be established in place of mission schools for fear of their children being converted to Christianity.In the absence of any statistical evidence pointing to a significant growth in the original Indian Christian population in Natal during the early period, it is difficult to correlate material benefits directly to conversion.Pentecostal impactNarainsamy Temple, near Durban, founded in 1896 is believed to be the oldest Hindu temple in South Africa. PHOTO: Janek SzymanowskiPHOTOSo, if material benefits failed to yield conversions, the question then is: what was the basis of the success of the Pentecostals who came onto the scene later in the early 20th century?It is largely three factors that made a significant difference to people who were at the lower rungs of society.First, what is known as the “holiness gospel” that emphasized sin.Second, the “prosperity gospel” that emphasized poverty. These two Christian preaching modes tended to focus on different lifestyles.The third factor was the focus on social ills such as drugs and crime.Instead of being involved in community service, the Pentecostals placed emphasis on critiquing Hindu belief systems and caste practices. They focused on healing and exorcism. The Pentecostals have made significant inroads since the early 20th century to date in South Africa.Gerald Pillay, writing in Christianity in South Africa, points out that Pentecostal churches became so active that between 1925 and 1980 the Indian membership of the Pentecostal churches grew larger than all the other Christian denominations put together. It remains the case today.It isn’t just the doctrines of South Africa’s mainstream and Pentecostal churches that differ. The way they have been trying to convert members of the South African Indian community to Christianity since the early 20th century has contrasted widely.Back then, the mainstream Christian churches provided clinics, hospitals and schools. Yet these material benefits yielded hardly any converts, as is evident from the low percentage of Christians (4% of the total Indian community) in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.The Pentecostals had a different approach. Instead of being involved in community service, they placed emphasis on critiquing Hindu belief systems and caste practices. They also focused on healing and exorcism.It paid off. Between 1925 and 1980 the Indian membership of the Pentecostal churches grew larger than all the other Christian denominations put together.There were three main Pentecostal groups active in the Indian community in the earlier part of the 20th century: the United Pentecostal Church; the Apostolic Faith Mission; and the Assemblies of God.Making Hinduism more attractiveIn response, Hindu reform organizations worked hard to make Hinduism more attractive to their own followers.Many of these organizations, such as the Arya Samaj, the Ramakrishna Centre and the Divine Life Society, have emphasized the departure from old ritual belief systems to a more philosophical understanding of Hinduism.Photo: Mergan NaidooThese neo-Hindu movements believed that ordinary Hindus lacked the more enlightened understanding of Hinduism – an understanding, they maintained, that was present only in the sacred texts of Hindu philosophy. These texts emphasized the oneness of divinity. They also dismissed worship of multiple gods in temples, saying it was based on ignorance.In research conducted by JH Hofmeyr and GC Oosthuizen in 1981, a shift towards a more philosophical approach to Hinduism was visible. More than 88% of Hindus affirmed a monotheistic understanding of God in Hinduism as opposed to only about 11% admitting to polytheistic notions.Pentecostal inroadsDespite the Hindu reform efforts, the Indian Christian number grew from 4% in 1925 to 24.4% in 2011, with the Pentecostals making the most significant inroads. For a comparative perspective on the different dogmas’ performance, let’s take three churches from each of the two different persuasions as per South Africa’s 2011 national census. There were 8,520 Indian members of three mainstream churches, the Anglican Church, the Lutheran Church and the Methodists, together.It is a different story on the thriving Pentecostal side of the pew. Indians in the Full Gospel Church, the Apostolic Church and the International Fellowship of Christian Churches (an umbrella body of charismatic churches, including the prominent Rhema church) together constituted 36,371 members.The penetration of the Pentecostal movements into Hindu society is felt especially in the KwaZulu-Natal Indian townships.According to the Hofmeyr and Oosthuizen survey, the majority of Hindus in the Durban township of Chatsworth seemed to acknowledge that “Jesus was the only son of God.”In other words, they seemed to know the claim by Christians that Jesus is the only son of God and hence the path to salvation. The authors tempered their analysis by suggesting that “assent to the belief did not imply consent to the exclusivist claim of Christianity”.Still, the Hindu religious life based on rituals in temples and shrines continued to flourish. It continues to be evident during the festivals of fire-walking rituals at which some Hindus illustrate affirmation of their faith in their deities. In more recent times the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, now the official organ under which all Hindu associations in the country fall, has held conferences on Hinduism to educate the faith’s youth.Absence of casteIn South Africa, Indians who were Christian largely came from the barracks and mill stations during the colonial period. It is commonly perceived that they belonged to a lower order of society.In the case of Indian Anglicans in Natal, Arun Andrew John in his doctoral thesis argued that the converts were more interested in a change of social identity. They hoped that the conversion would bring them from being lower-caste groups to social equality. However, it must be noted that neither in India nor in South Africa was a significant change in social identity visible as a result of conversion to Christianity.It is important to note that a new social identity, which the converts to Christianity sought through conversion to escape social discrimination, did not seem to have come to fruition.Old social disparities continue to plague the local Indian community, despite the absence of caste as an organizing social unit. The discrimination now seems based on religious distinctions as well as class.Within the Indian community it is difficult to separate religious and class distinctions, as most Christians happen to be from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Therefore, Christian identity implicitly follows the status of a lower rung.Conversely, not all Hindus may be economically better off. But there seems to be a sense inherent in the Indian society that those who became Christian through conversion were not only poor but also socially inferior. And this perhaps has to do with the remnants of caste consciousness that prevails even after its formal demise as a social unit.In addition to this, Christians feel that the majority Hindu community has hijacked the linguistic identity. The result is that they keep Christians of the same linguistic background on the periphery. For example, the Andhra Maha Sabha in South Africa is an organization of the Telugu-speaking community. Yet it is solely Hindu in its orientation, notwithstanding its linguistic signification.Likewise, the Tamil Federation of South Africa is Tamil only in name, and is Hindu inherently.All of this points to cultural alienation of one group, as Gerald Pillay writes. It offers ample opportunity to the alienated party to find social identity elsewhere, which is to affirm a Christian identity.For as long as this tendency to monopolize linguistic identity by the Hindu majority persists in the Indian community in South Africa, the issue of conversion will remain a thorny one both for the Hindu and the Christian communities.Reprinted from The Conversation  Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian Origin Doctor Gets 5-Year Jail Term for Health Care Fraud

first_imgAn Indian-origin doctor has been sentenced to over five years in jail with multiple health care fraud charges and making false statements regarding health care benefits.A 47-year old Indian-origin doctor was handed down a 63 months jail term by United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett for health care related frauds. The sentence was given by the District Judge Lucy H. Koh on August 28.Vilasini Ganesh and her husband Gregory Belcher, 56, both of Saratoga, California, were convicted of the charges on December 15, 2017, after an eight-week trial in which the jury found Ganesh, head of the Campbell Medical Group, guilty of five counts of health care fraud and five counts of making false statements relating to claims fraudulently submitted to health care benefit programs. Both Ganesh and Belcher had illicitly billed patients and insurance companies for underperformed services, exaggerated treatments or for patients they did not see. For example, Ganesh submitted claims for days when a patient had not been seen by her and for patients who had been seen by a physician who no longer was affiliated with her practice. Additionally, Ganesh billed insurers with claims that certain patients were seen twelve to fifteen times in a single month.A federal grand jury first convicted the Saratoga couple in July 2017, charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and multiple counts of other health care fraud. While Ganesh was convicted with five counts of health care fraud and making false statements, Belcher was convicted with one count of health care fraud.In addition to the prison time, Ganesh has also been sentenced with a 3-year term of supervised release and a was ordered to pay a restitution amount of $344,916.During Ganesh’s sentencing hearing, Judge Koh stated that she obstructed justice by misrepresenting her understanding of the legal system, the amount of money she was paid by insurers, and whether she understood that it was improper to “upcharge” when submitting claims to insurers. Judge Koh also found that Ganesh had abused a position of trust by submitting false claims.Ganesh will begin her jail sentence from November 1, 2018. On April 4, 2018, Judge Koh sentenced Belcher to a year and a day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.According to patients’ reviews on, Campbell Medical Clinic, which claims to provide patients a nonsurgical approach to pain or injury, had repeatedly sent bills to them that either the insurance should have covered or for services that they did not seek.Campbell, which calls itself one of the largest medical facility in South Bay, has reportedly served more than 30,000 patients including children, seniors, individuals, and families with health care needs. Related Itemslast_img read more

Decision to Leave South Africa Not Linked to Gupta Scandal, Says Bank of Baroda CEO

first_imgBank of Baroda chief executive PS Jayakumar has denied in an interview that the withdrawal of the South African division of the bank from the country has anything to do with the Gupta family scandal. The closing of its South African operations is a mere coincidence, Jayakumar said in an interview with the magazine Asiamoney, that was published a day after a South African court ruling allowed the bank to close its operations in the country next month.“We have closed in three or four countries [recently] before coming to South Africa and it just culminated at the same time. For us, the South Africa business was not even 1 per cent of our balance sheet. It just doesn’t make sense for us to stay there,” Jayakumar said.The scandal-hit Bank of Baroda  has been facing heat over its connection with India-born Gupta family who have been accused of “state capture” in South Africa.Judge Ntendeya Mavundla of Pretoria High Court on March 12 dismissed an application by 20 Gupta-linked companies, which moved the court to stop the bank from closing its accounts and moving out of the country. The bank had decided last month to move out of South Africa citing strategic decision to cut down its international market. Bank of Baroda was reportedly the only one that did not close the Gupta family’s accounts and continued working with them even after many South African banks closed the family’s accounts. Leading South African banks turned their back to the Gupta family after allegations of corruption against the brothers came to light through a South African anti-graft watchdog.Jayakumar defended the move in the interview, saying: “Bank of Baroda could actually not close the accounts as a loan taken by the Gupta companies was still outstanding and there were deposits that couldn’t be pre-terminated.”Mavundla, in his judgement, stated that the courts could not interfere with the bank’s decision to leave the country. He said: “The respondent’s rights to trade or not to trade supersedes whatever right if any the applicants might have. I further conclude that the balance of convenience far outweighs that of the applicant’s and tilts in favor of Bank of Baroda.”He added: “Put differently, the courts cannot compel the respondent to keep the doors of its business open for whatever duration.”The Gupta-linked companies had secured an interim order against the bank last year after the latter said it would be closing all accounts. The application made by the companies quoted difficulties they would have with closure of salary payment of thousands of employees in their businesses, which range from information technology to mining.In the latest judgement, the court said that the bank has “every right to” terminate the business contracts, including those of the 20 Gupta-linked companies. No representative from the Gupta companies or the Bank of Baroda has commented on the ruling so far.The Gupta family came to South Africa two decades ago from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, and has established a massive business empire that is facing accusations of corruption and influence peddling due to their closeness with former president Jacob Zuma.The three brothers, whose whereabouts are unknown, along with their private jet, are being sought by authorities. Ajay Gupta has been declared a fugitive. The authorities are also on the lookout for Duduzane Zuma, son of former president Jacob Zuma who stepped down from his post on Feb. 14 under pressure from the ruling party. Related Itemsbank of barodaGupta FamilySouth Africalast_img read more

Melbourne Community Rejects Proposal to Install Gandhi’s Statue

first_imgThe local community in Melbourne has turned down a proposal to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Dandenong railway station in the city.The proposal to put up the statue, floated by the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV), was rejected in a survey conducted among the local population. Over 50 percent of the 900 people who took part in the survey, conducted by the Greater Dandenong’s city council, said no to the proposal of installing a life-size bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi.The details of the survey, which closed on June 7, were put up recently before a meeting of the Indian Prescient Task Force led by Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams, South Asia Times reported.At least 38 percent of the participants in the survey belong to Dandenong, which is home to over 52,000 people of Indian origin, FIAV’s president Vasan Srinivasan told SBS Punjabi.“Being an Indian, it is difficult to digest that our own community has said no to a Gandhi statue here in Melbourne,” Srinivasan was quoted as saying by the publication. “It is pretty uneasy, but since we went in for the democratic process, we don’t have a choice now, we will have to abide by the community’s decision,” he added.Another plan of the FIAV, to install a statue of the 12th century Indian philosopher Basava, has now taken a back seat, with Srinivasan expressing his concern that if the community is unwilling to put up a statue of Gandhi, they may not agree to Guru Basava’s statue either.However, the FIAV is not ready to give up hope just yet. It is looking forward to November elections, when the fate of Victoria’s leader of opposition Matthew Guy will get clear. If he wins, the Indian community hopes to get the promised Indian Community Center where Gandhi’s statue can perhaps then be installed.However, three large scale artworks, including one on Gandhi, were recently commissioned and completed by the Dandenong Council in Little India, Foster Street, to lend the area the flavor of the Indian subcontinent, according to the South Asia Times. A temporary mural of Gandhi was finished by the famous street artist Julian Cavijo on a former substation within the Indian cultural precinct on Foster Street.Statues of Gandhi can also be spotted in several others areas of Australia, such as Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.In April this year, a digital interactive exhibition based on Gandhi’s life was organized at Victoria’s Immigration Museum in Melbourne, complete with interactive “touch walls” to extend his message of non-violence to the younger audience. The exhibition, titled “Mahatma Gandhi: An Immigrant,” was also attended by noted peace activist Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. Related ItemsAustraliaGandhiMelbournelast_img read more

Sikh Man, Target of Racist Rant, Wins South Australia Council Seat

first_imgAn Indian origin Sikh man, who was racially targeted by a man in a truck shouting racial slurs at his life-sized cut-out, has been elected as one of the new councilors of the South Australian town of Port Augusta.After his win, Sunny Singh thanked the Indian community for their support.“I have been here for ten years and as per the information I have gathered, I think I am the first Indian-origin candidate at least in the past 20 years to have been successfully elected as a counselor in Port Augusta,” Singh told Australian website won the election with a total of 753 votes, the highest number of votes received by any of the 21 candidates contesting in the area, the news portal reported.“I was totally surprised because the Indian votes in the area are not more than 30 percent. But I have received a total of 753 votes, which means people outside the community have also voted for me in large numbers,” SBS quoted Singh as saying.Last month, the 32-year-old Indian immigrant, who moved to Australia a decade ago, was racially targeted by Grant Moroney, a local truck owner, who posted a video of himself shouting racial slurs at a life-sized cut-out made from one his election placards. At the end of the video, Moroney drives over the cut-out.At the time the video came out, Singh said this was the first time he had experienced racism in the local community, Australian broadcaster ABC reported.“I was a little upset and shocked because I’d never even seen this man before, never met him, I don’t know why he did it,” the report quoted Singh as saying.“I was amazed how welcoming the people of Port Augusta were when I came here. This is the first time this has happened here.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Photo Advisory First, Photos released upto 4 p.m.

first_imgNew Delhi: July 23, 2018 (PTI) EDITORS: Photos withCaptions released today. To view thumbnails of thesePhotographs, visit PTI website at..http.//www.ptinews.comNATINONALNew Delhi:Traffic Jam in Delhi(B)New Delhi:Tilak’s birth anniversary(B+A)New Delhi:Parliament’s Monsoon Session-TV GRAB(A+B)New Delhi:#HumFitTohIndiaFit programme(B+A)Patna:Protest in Patna(B)Patna:Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with DeputyCM Sushil Kumar Modi(A)Karnal:Haryana CM at a plantation campaign(B+A)Kolkata:Heavy rains in Kolkata(B+A)Mumbai:Dindi procession in Mumbai(A)Karnal:Haryana CM at a plantation campaign(A)Patna:Protest during the ongoing Monsoon Session in Patna(B)New Delhi:National Traders Conclave(B+A)New Delhi:An elephant with a load on its back walksamid traffic(B)New Delhi:Antony addresses the press(B+A)INERNATIONALSao Paulo:110th anniversary of Japanese immigrationto Latin America’s largest country(B)Toronto: Plainclothes police officers work the scene ofshooting in Toronto(B)Quezon:Protesters burn an effigy Manila(B)Kathmandu : Holy month of Shrawan dedicated to lord Shiva(B)SPORTSSan Francisco:Rugby Sevens World Cup bronze finalin San Francisco(B)Colombo:Sri Lanka vs South Africs test cricket match(B)PTI PHOTO GCS DLDLlast_img read more

Babar Azam, Shadab Khan star as Pakistan sweep 3-T20I series vs Australia

first_imgPakistan thrashed Australia 33 runs in the the third and final Twenty20 International to sweep the three-match series on Sunday.Pakistan rode on Babar Azam’s (50) second half-century of the series to post a competitive 150/5 after Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and chose to bat in Dubai.In response, Australia were bowled out for 117 in 19.1 overs thanks to Shadab Khan’s 3/19.It ws another clinical performance by the world No.1 Pakistan, who won both the Test and T20I series.163 runs in the series with two half-centuries. @babarazam258 is the Man of the Series. #PAKvAUS Official (@TheRealPCB) October 28, 2018Australia finished their disappointing tour without a win as they also lost the Test series 1-0 after narrowly escaping with a draw in the first Test.The Australian chase fell off for the third successive time, with leg-spinner Shadab destroying the Aussie batting line-up and Shoaib Malik taking three smart catches in the deep.”Boys have worked hard and the result is just the reward,” said Ahmed, who won his 10th consecutive T20 series.For his excellent spell of spin bowling (3 for 19), @76Shadabkhan is the Man of the Match. #PAKvAUS Official (@TheRealPCB) October 28, 2018Shadab could have finished with at least two more wickets had he not dropped D’Arcy Short off his own bowling and Faheem Ashraf dropped a sitter from Andrew Tye.Azam and Sahibzaba Farhan (39), who was given his first game of the series, gave Pakistan a solid start of 93 before both fell in successive overs.advertisementFarhan struck three sixes and two fours before he holed out in the deep while Azam got a big inside edge to Tye after hitting five fours and a six.Winners #PAKvAUS Official (@TheRealPCB) October 28, 2018Australia came back through wrist spinner Adam Zampa (1-25) and a tidy spell of 0-27 by Short before Mohammad Hafeez (32 not out off 20 balls) and Malik (18 off 12) lifted the total.Alex Carey gave Australia a whirlwind start of 20 when he smashed left-arm spinner Imad Wasim for two sixes and two boundaries in the first over.But Australia’s top order faltered for the third time in a row through some reckless shot selection.Pakistan thrashes the Mighty Australians and wins the last T20I by 33 runs. They seal the series 3-0. Incredible stuff by the Shaheens as they were always on throughout the series. #DerAlaShaheens #PAKvAUS #No1T20Side: @TheRealPCB (@PeshawarZalmi) October 28, 2018Carey tried to turn around Hafeez’s first delivery and got a leading edge; Chris Lynn swept Shadab’s first ball and was caught at midwicket; and Glenn Maxwell played a needless big shot to give Malik one of his three catches.Ben McDermott (21) was run out for the third time in the series and Mitchell Marsh, who also scored 21, gave an easy catch at long on.(With inputs from AP)last_img read more

With USA out, Fox could lose millions in World Cup

first_imgUnited States With U.S. out of picture, Fox could lose millions in World Cup dollars Michael McCarthy Last updated 2 years ago 03:06 10/20/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Michael Bradley Christian Pulisic USA Getty United States World Cup The USMNT will miss the World Cup for the first time since 1986, and the television network is poised to lose up to $20 million due to its failure Fox Sports is smiling bravely, but no amount of spin by the network can hide the damage caused by the U.S. men’s soccer team’s dramatic crash and burn out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.Fox is poised to lose an estimated $10 million to $20 million because of the U.S. team’s failure to reach the tournament final in Russia. The network shelled out $400 million to beat ESPN for the English-language rights to four World Cups from 2015-22, including the men’s World Cups in 2018 and 2022. USA’s absence is expected to hurt U.S. TV ratings, particularly early in the tournament.Some U.S. advertisers who have previously bought airtime will probably stay on the sideline now that the tournament likely will generate less TV/radio/online coverage than anticipated. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Financial analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group estimates a negative impact for Fox in the “low tens” of millions.”Reports indicating a $10 million to $20 million negative impact for Fox from the U.S. team’s failure to qualify seem correct and represent a negligible amount for the network,” he wrote in a research report while analyzing the impact on parent company 21st Century Fox.Wieser, in fact, believes the seven-hour time difference between Russia and the U.S. Eastern Time Zone will be more of a problem for Fox than the absence of the U.S. team. ESPN had to deal with time differences of one to two hours while broadcasting the 2014 World Cup from Brazil. “Arguably the challenging time zone (with the 2018 tournament hosted in Russia) will prove to cause a more significant factor depressing viewing when comparing 2018 vs. 2014,” Wieser added.Meanwhile, advertising industry bible Adweek warned Fox will likely suffer “a big ratings hit” without the U.S. squad playing. “More than a dozen” advertisers had agreed to buy time on Fox’s broadcasts before the U.S. team’s failure, Adweek’s Jason Lynch wrote, and the network was deep in talks “with FIFA partners like Adidas and Coca-Cola.”Soccer TV analysts were stunned by the USMNT’s ignominious exit.Fox’s Alexi Lalas, a former national team player, felt shame.”This team, they failed themselves, they failed the sport and they failed their country,” he told Colin Cowherd on FS1.Who can forget ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman’s angry rant following the team’s 2-1 loss to Trindidad and Tobago on the final night of CONCACAF qualifying? “This is an utter embarrassment,” the former USMNT member declared as he practically came out of his chair on the set.Fox, in keeping its chin up publicly, issued a statement saying the United States’ loss did not change its “passion” for the world’s biggest sporting event. The statement was a preview of how the network plans to generate enthusiasm in the States for a U.S.-less World Cup.”While the U.S. was eliminated, the biggest stars in the world from Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo stamped their tickets to Russia on the same day, and will battle teams ranging from Mexico to England that have massive fan bases in America,” the statement read. “The World Cup is the greatest sporting event on earth that changes the world for one month every four years, and FOX Sports remains steadfast in our commitment of bringing the games to America for the first time in 2018 and will continue to support the U.S. Soccer Federation as they look ahead to the 2022 World Cup.”The network has to hope that the country’s growing Latino population, and the continued growth of soccer in the U.S., will be enough to put it over the top next summer.Fox is planning 350 hours of World Cup coverage, with its main TV set located in Moscow’s Red Square. During a launch event in New York last month, now-former team manager Bruce Arena guaranteed the U.S. would qualify.“I will tell you this: We’re going to be there, and I’m going to miss all this great Fox coverage,” Arena said, per Sports Illustrated .Now Arena will have plenty of time to watch that TV coverage.last_img read more


first_imgThe Touch Football Australia Australian Football League Tipping competition is back in full swing for season 2007.Existing members do not have to rejoin.New members can register and submit their tips by clicking onto the “TFA Tipping competition” logo on the left side of the home page and following the prompts.Good luck and happy tipping!last_img

Bureau Veritas Snatches Offshore Technology Paper Award

first_imgzoom A team in the R&D department of international classification society Bureau Veritas, working with Brazil’s Petrobras, has been awarded the prestigious OMAE 2013 Best Paper of Offshore Technology Symposium for its paper detailing ground breaking research into second-order rolling of FLNGs.The basic research in the paper has led to a Joint Industry Project involving nineteen companies including most of the energy majors and managed by Bureau Veritas which is developing harmonised guidelines for the estimation of roll motions of FPSOs.The award was made on June 15 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at the ASME 2014 International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering held in San Francisco.The award was given to Flavia C. Rezende, Manager, Bureau Veritas Technology Center, Rio de Janeiro, Allan C. de Oliveira, Petrobras R&D Center, Xiao-bo Chen, Director, Bureau Veritas Deepwater Research and Technology Center, Singapore and Fabio Menezes, Petrobras R&D Center, Rio de Janeiro.The paper, entitled “A Comparison of Different Approximations for Computation of Second Order Roll Motions for a FLNG”, details extensive research into the roll motions of FPSOs or FLNGs with long natural periods, above the periods of the waves, which is a non-linear response not yet fully understood. That research led to the start of the JIP Non Linear Roll which will deliver its results next year.Press Release, June 18, 2014last_img read more

US Senators Push to Exempt Puerto Rico from Jones Act

first_imgzoom US Senators John McCain and Mike Lee have introduced legislation that would permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act to aid recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria and encourage long-term economic growth.While the Trump administration granted a 10-day Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico on September 28, the senators’ legislation, introduced the same day, would provide Puerto Rico with “the permanent, sustainable relief it needs to rebuild.”“While I welcome the Trump administration’s Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico, this short-term, 10-day exemption is insufficient to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild from Hurricane Maria,” Senator McCain said.“Our legislation would permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, an antiquated, protectionist law that has driven up costs and crippled Puerto Rico’s economy. For years, I have fought to fully repeal the Jones Act, which has long outlived its purpose to the benefit of special interests. It’s time for Congress to take action, end this injustice, and help our fellow citizens in this time of need.”The Jones Act requires that all goods shipped between waterborne ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the US and owned and operated by Americans. Shipping costs from the US mainland to Puerto Rico have been estimated to be twice as much as from neighboring foreign islands.last_img read more

King Mohammed VI Morocco is Determined to Defending Africas Vital Interests

Marrakesh – King Mohammed VI affirmed, on Wednesday, that Morocco, a committed actor in the task of consolidating regional security and stability, is determined to defending the vital interests of Africa.The Kingdom of Morocco is determined to enhance its contribution to defending the vital interests of the continent, alongside sister nations and, soon, within the African Union, said the sovereign in a speech at the opening of the “Africa Action Summit”, held in Marrakesh on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22).As it implements its ambitious program in the field of renewable energy, “Morocco is making its expertise available to its partners,” said the King, adding that the Kingdom will also lead an African climate expertise network, through the Climate Change Competence Center based in Morocco. Morocco “is actively preparing” for the implementation of the “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (Triple A) initiative.  The Moroccan monarch went to say that this innovative system “promotes the adoption and financing of solutions to increase productivity and ensure food security.”Underlining that Morocco has made financing a priority issue of the COP22, the King said that Morocco encourages the involvement of Sovereign Funds in order to develop green infrastructure in Africa.“Doing things ourselves and for ourselves is imperative. And involving our strategic partners has now become a necessity,” he said. read more

BlackBerry to stay in Pakistan after government drops serveraccess request

BlackBerry to stay in Pakistan after government drops server-access request A Canadian flag flies at BlackBerry’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ont., Tuesday, July 9, 2013. BlackBerry says it will remain operating in Pakistan after that country’s government backed off from its request to gain access to the company’s BES servers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins BlackBerry (TSX:BB) says it will remain operating in Pakistan after that country’s government backed off from its request to gain access to the company’s servers.Marty Beard, chief operating officer of BlackBerry, wrote on the company’s blog Thursday that the Waterloo, Ont.-based technology firm decided to stay there once the government’s decision was made.BlackBerry previously said it would rather close its operations in Pakistan than provide the government “unfettered” access to its BlackBerry Enterprise Servers.Pakistani officials had wanted to monitor all traffic in the country, including every email and BlackBerry Messenger correspondence. BES communications are routed through the company’s servers in Canada, BlackBerry had said before the resolution announced Thursday.The company had been considering its options ahead of a Dec. 30 deadline.“We are grateful to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Pakistani government for accepting BlackBerry’s position that we cannot provide the content of our customers’ BES traffic, nor will we provide any so-called back doors to our BES servers,” Beard said in the blog entry.Exiting Pakistan would’ve put BlackBerry in a difficult position as it tries to recover a share of the international market.The company has built its reputation on security, buying up specialized software firms and marketing its phones, including the new Priv, on their privacy features.BlackBerry is rolling out its latest Priv smartphone across the world. The phone’s distribution will spike to 31 countries by the end of February when the company’s fourth quarter ends.Deflecting requests for its phone user’s data isn’t a new situation for BlackBerry. In 2010, several countries including India and Saudi Arabia threatened to ban BlackBerry over its refusal to hand over correspondence between its customers.Similar to Pakistan, India said it had public safety as its primary concern as it tried to combat militants in the wake of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. BlackBerry was able to convince each country to comply with its existing lawful access policies.However, there are some exceptions to BlackBerry’s policies on privacy.Earlier this month, chief executive John Chen said he’d be willing to hand private customer information over to law enforcement under certain circumstances.He cited BlackBerry’s “long-standing policy” that outlines when the company would be willing to give access to police under a court order. Those instances would not provide actual correspondence between users, but would be able to provide a phone’s location, which users contacted each other and certain metadata, Chen said.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 31, 2015 8:03 am MDT Last Updated Dec 31, 2015 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Syria UN envoy calls on government to start truce

first_imgTHE INTERNATIONAL ENVOY to the Syrian conflict called on President Bashar Assad’s regime to take the lead in implementing a cease-fire during a major Muslim holiday later this month.Lakhdar Brahimi said rebel representatives have assured him they will also observe the truce if the government takes the first step.The Syrian people are burying hundreds of people each day, so if they bury fewer people during the days of the holiday, this could be the start of Syria’s return from the dangerous situation that it … is continuing to slip toward.Brahimi’s push to get Assad and rebels seeking to topple him to stop fighting for the four-day Eid al-Adha feast set to begin October 26 reflects how little progress international diplomacy has made in halting 19 months of deadly violence in Syria. Activists say more than 33,000 people have been killed.‘Microscopic’ stepUnlike his predecessor as joint UN-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, Brahimi has said he has no grand plan to end Syria’s civil war. Instead, he presented the truce as a “microscopic” step that would alleviate Syrian sorrow temporarily and provide the basis for a longer truce.Brahimi spoke following meetings with top Lebanese officials as part of a regional tour. He said all countries must work to stop the bloodshed by halting arms shipments so the conflict doesn’t spread.Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are sympathetic to the rebels and are believed to be facilitating their acquisition of weapons or arming them directly. Iran and Russia are Assad’s biggest supporters and provide the Syrian military with most of its advanced weaponry.“These countries need to realize, as we heard today in Lebanon, that it is not possible that this crisis will stay inside Syrian border forever,” Brahimi said. “Either it has to be taken care of or it will spread and spill over and consume everything.”Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi said the government was waiting for Brahimi to come to Damascus to brief officials there on the results of his tour.Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolgu said his country supports a holiday cease-fire but was skeptical that it would lead to a longer truce without an international force to make it “sustainable.”TurkeyOnce a close ally of Damascus, Turkey has become one of Assad’s staunchest opponents. The two neighbors have traded artillery fire over their border since October 3 when a Syrian shell struck a Turkish border town, killing five civilians and sharply escalating tensions.Turkey’s military again returned fire on Wednesday at Syria after a mortar round landed three metres  inside its Turkish territory. There were no casualties in the exchange, according to the governor’s office for the border province of Hatay.Inside Syria, activists reported clashes in the northern provinces of Idlib and Aleppo as well as outside of the capital, Damascus.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the helicopter downing, saying the debris fell in the village of Baseeda. The activists’ claims and videos could not be independently verified.On Wednesday, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said more than half of Syria’s health facilities have been destroyed or damaged in the war and many children are not getting vaccinated or going to school.The BBC reports today that human rights groups say there are 28,000 disappeared in Syria, who were abducted by soldiers or militia.Read: Turkey, Syria ban flights to each other as tensions soar>last_img read more