Senate, House Tax Staffers Doubt Success of GOP’s Tax, IRS Package

first_imgSenior tax staff on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees seem to doubt Republicans’ catch-all tax and IRS package’s chances of success. Whether the roadblock will come down to time or votes, the package currently faces an uphill battle in the Senate.House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., unveiled the 297-page measure late on November 26. Generally, the broad legislative package, an amendment entitled the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Bill of 2018 (HR 88), addresses year-end tax extenders, retirement savings, disaster relief, IRS reform, and technical corrections to last year’s tax reform legislation, among other things.Time is Not on Your Side“Leadership has to decide if they want to spend time processing a tax bill at a time when they hadn’t plan to do that,” Tiffany Smith, chief tax counsel for Senate Finance Committee (SFC) ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said at a November 29 National Press Club event in Washington, D.C. Smith participated in a discussion panel along with Aruna Kalyanam, democratic tax counsel and democratic staff director for House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy and Jennifer Acuña, senior tax counsel and policy advisor for the SFC (majority).Processing a bill on the Senate floor is “not a short process,” Smith said. “We don’t have much time,” she added. Additionally, Congress is in a “funding fight,” according to Smith. Democrats and Republicans are reportedly struggling to reach an agreement on a year-end government spending bill that is needed to avoid a government shutdown. Funding for federal agencies is on track to expire at midnight on December 7.“Usually when there is a funding fight, that’s the focus. If tax becomes a part of it, it’s the last thing,” Smith said. To that end, there has been talk among lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the tax and IRS oversight package could be shortened and attached to the spending bill to ease the procedural dilemma in the Senate.Additionally, Kalyanam, a longtime and well-versed Hill staffer, does not see the Senate taking the tax package on before the end of this Congress, and certainly not in its entirety. “I don’t know what the appetite is to do major surgery [on the tax package] here. Our joke is that it takes the senate 30 hours to clear its throat,” Kalyanam said. “My understanding is that they [lawmakers] are not close on a spending bill; there are a lot of problems there.”Democratic Support NeededAdding to the stumbling blocks on the package’s rocky road in the Senate is Republicans’ struggle to garner enough Democratic support. The package needs at least nine Democratic votes in the Senate to reach the chamber’s 60-vote threshold.While Democrats are largely supportive of the IRS reform provisions and are generally supportive of tax extenders, Democratic lawmakers do not seem eager to help Republicans’ fix the GOP-crafted and enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97). Last year’s tax reform came as a product of a Republican controlled Congress, but Democrats will take the House majority in January. Current House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal, D-Mass., is expected to chair the committee next year. Although the package contains some bipartisan measures for which Neal supports, he has expressly denounced the package as a whole. Specifically, Neal has said he would like to focus on technical corrections to the new tax law in the next Congress.“Neal feels strongly about having public hearings on TCJA – [is it] working or…not, and that includes technical corrections,” Kalyanam said. Although Brady has said the corrections are minor and uncontroversial, Kalyanam suggested that in addition to minor drafting errors, Republicans are eager to correct both intended and unintended consequences of the TCJA.To that end, Brady introduced a manager’s amendment to the tax package on November 28 that would repeal the TCJA’s new business income tax of 21 percent on certain transportation expenses incurred by nonprofit organizations. However, the technical corrections provisions have a “low” chance of passing [in the Senate] with the package, according to Kalyanam. There is “talk” on Capitol Hill that the IRS reform and tax extenders provisions may be the only part of the package to survive. However, the package is expected to easily clear the House in its entirety on November 30.Update – November 30: House leadership pulled the tax package from the floor late on November 29. Although the House voted 219-to-181 on November 29 in favor of bringing the package to the floor for a vote, leadership subsequently pulled the measure. At this time, it is thought on Capitol Hill that the package was pulled because of absent members as well as controversy surrounding certain provisions and its over $54 billion estimated price tag. Reportedly, the package was not expected by House leadership to have enough votes for an end-of-the-week approval during the lame-duck session.Name of the GameAccording to Acuña, there is no other path for the package through the Senate than by regular order, unlike the TCJA, which was approved by a reconciliation process requiring only GOP votes. Therefore, the package must achieve 60 votes, she acknowledged. “Building consensus is the name of the game.”By Jessica Jeane, Senior News EditorLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Micromax Canvas Tab P470 launched in India for Rs 6,999

first_imgMicromax on Friday launched the Canvas Tab P470 in India. It costs Rs 6,999 and will be available in stores December 20 onwards.The tablet supports 21 local languages, which is rather unique for a tablet. Other than that, it is a rather standard low-cost Android tablet.It has a 7-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels. The product is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat.The tablet is 3G enabled and has slots for two SIM card slots, which also means it supports voice calling.On the back, it has a 5-megapixel camera, and on the front it has a 3-megapixel camera. Internally, it sports a 3,200mAh battery.The tablet comes preloaded with the usual set of Google apps. Of course, this means that it has apps like Hangouts, Google Drive, Chrome, and Gmail amongst others.The Canvas Tab P470 comes back of the heels of the Canvas P666, which was powered by an Intel atom processor.In the past month Micromax also launched the Canvas Selfie smartphone, and it also launched a new subsidiary called Yu. It announced the first Yu smartphone called Yureka on December 18.last_img read more

Cricket fraternity calls for change after NZ’s World Cup heartbreak over boundary-count rule

first_imgSHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL × Published on 0 RELATED COMMENT World Cup 2019: Ben Stokes’ wisdom helped in Super Over, says Jofra Archercenter_img cricket COMMENTS sport Officials erred in giving 6 overthrows in WC final says former umpires , ICC declines comment July 15, 2019 Cricketers, current and former, shared New Zealand’s pain on losing the World Cup title on boundary countback with tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma asking for a “serious look” into the rule, which was slammed as “absurd” by several former players. In a pulsating encounter on Sunday night at the Lord’s, England were adjudged the winners of the world Cup on the basis of their superior boundary count – 22 fours and two sixes — to New Zealand’s 16 after the epic final, and also the ensuing Super Over, ended in a tie. “Some rules in cricket definitely needs (sic) a serious look in,” tweeted Rohit on Monday. Rohit amassed 648 runs in the tournament, including five hundreds, before India were knocked out in the semifinal stage. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who is now a parliamentarian, lambasted the ICC for the “ridiculous” rule.“Don’t understand how the game of such proportions, the #CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule @ICC. Should have been a tie. I want to congratulate both @BLACKCAPS & @englandcricket on playing out a nail biting Final,” Gambhir wrote on his twitter handle. Gambhir’s former teammate Yuvraj Singh also disagreed with the rule.“I don’t agree with that rule ! But rules are rules congratulations to England on finally winning the World Cup, my heart goes out for the kiwis they fought till the end. Great game an epic final !!!! #CWC19Final,” he wrote.Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris called the ICC a joke.“Nice work @ICC … you are a joke!!!,” he wrote. Indian spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi was also scathing in his criticism of the ICC rules.“Grossly unimaginative ICC rules help #England win World Cup..Ideally it would have been better if both Eng & NZ were declared joint winners..& shared the underdogs #NZ did more to create such an amazing result..while #Eng were expected to win hands down..Think ICC think!,” he tweeted.“The DL system is actually based on runs and wickets lost… yet the Final result is only based on Boundaries hit? Not fair in my opinion. Must have been great to watch!,” wrote former Australian batsman Dean Jones. Opting to bat, New Zealand had put up a modest 241 for eight. In reply, England ended at the same score leading to the one-over eliminator. In the Super Over, England batted first and the duo of Ben Stokes, who kept the hosts in the game with a brilliant 84 off 98 balls, and Jos Buttler made 15, and New Zealand also ended at the same score but for the loss of one wicket, paving the way for an English victory on boundary count. Former Australian pacer Brett Lee called for a change in the rule.“I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change,” he tweeted. Former New Zealand cricketers were also left hugely disappointed by the ICC’s rule, describing it as “absurd” and “unfortunate“.Former Black Caps all-rounder Dion Nash said he felt cheated after the finals.“I feel really empty, and a bit cheated,” he was quoted as saying in“Clearly, it’s ridiculous… really absurd. It’s about as random as tossing a coin.” Nash, however, said there was no point complaining as the rules were laid down much before the tournament.“But you also have to look at it from the (view of the) people setting the rules. I mean who thinks it’s going to be a draw, and then you draw in the Super Over? What are the chances? “You can’t complain, it was done at the start of the tournament. But I think that’s probably indicative of where the game’s mindset’s at. Why not credit the guys who took the most wickets? “The real measure that was used for generations was least amount of wickets lost. So why have we changed that?” Kyle Mills, who was part of the 2015 team which lost its first-ever World Cup final to Australia, felt that the decision could have been on the basis of wickets lost.“I guess the game of cricket is about runs and wickets and when the runs are tied, it’d be ideal then to take it back to how many wickets were lost,” he said.“It’s just unfortunate. Those are the rules, we can’t complain.” last_img read more

2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India

first_imgNew Delhi, Jan 1 (PTI) As many as 122 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2016 globally, 93 of them in targeted killings and others in natural disasters and accidents, while India witnessed death of five scribes and was eighth on a list topped by Iraq, according to a new report.The targeted killings, including murders, bomb attacksand crossfire incidents, span 23 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East and Arab World regions, said International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its annual report released Friday.The IFJ said the number (93 targeted killings) was down from 112 targeted killings in 2015 while Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan (13) and Mexico (11).These were followed by Yemen (8), Guatemala (6), Syria (6), India and Pakistan (5 in both), according to the statistics published by the largest global federation of journalists trade unions.In addition to the 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists perished in a plane crash over the city of Medellin in Colombia, a country where for the first time in many years no killing was recorded this year, against three in 2015. Nine Russian journalists were killed in a military plane crash.Although the 2016 figures for targeted killings of media professionals are down from the previous years, the IFJ has cautioned against complacency citing reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship as evidence that attacks on freedom of expression remain at critical levels.In India, Tarun Mishra, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, died on 14 February; Indradev Yadav, Journalist with Taaza TV, on 16 May;Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan on 13 May; Kishore Dave, Bureau Chief of Jai Hind on 22 August andDharmendra Singh, Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar on 12 November, the report noted.advertisementIn 2015, India had reported targeted killings of six media professionals, including those from news channel Aaj Tak and Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran, the report states.Noting that India along with Yemen, Pakistan and Syria form a group which saw little or no change in the numbers of killings from 2015, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, “Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis.”The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, has recorded at least 2,297 killings of media professionals in targeted assassinations, cross-fire incidents and bomb attacks till 2015. PTI KIS TIR DIPlast_img read more

Haryana govt cancels award function for CWG medallists after prize money furore

first_imgChandigarh, Apr 25 (PTI) The Haryana government today cancelled the felicitation function for the states Commonwealth Games medal winners after being threatened with a boycott by top athletes such as wrestler Vinesh Phogat and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra over a proposed cut in prize money. The function was to be held in Panchkula tomorrow but athletes such as Phogat, Chopra and boxer Manoj Kumar had refused to attend it, citing the cut proposed for athletes employed with units like the Railways and Services. While Phogat and Chopra had won gold medals, Manoj claimed a bronze in the Gold Coast event. “We have decided to cancel tomorrows programme. We will be holding a meeting soon wherein we will review the existing policy. Under our sports policy, it is quite clear that we have to give award money to those who have played from the state,” Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij told PTI. “There is no provision in the present policy to give award to those who have represented other bodies like Railways or the Army,” he added. Vij said even the reduced prize money being planned for the likes of Phogat (Railways) and Chopra (Services) is a departure from the past provision of not awarding athletes belonging to other units. “…we gave relaxation in our policy and considered even those players who play for bodies like Railways, lest they feel that they got any less than what their counterparts who represent the state get. “Everyone is aware that Haryana gives highest award money. What we had said is that we will deduct the prize money that they get from their employer, in case of any, from the total reward money,” Vij explained.advertisement Vij said that sportspersons objection to the government plan is not justified. “If we dont go for deduction of this amount, then those who played from Haryana, their reward money will be reduced whereas those who played from other bodies, they will take Rs one crore, lets say from Railways as well as get Rs 1.5 crore from the Haryana government. We will be holding a meeting. We will review the existing policy,” he said. The preparations for organising the mega awards function at Panchkula had almost been completed. As per earlier programme, Governor Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki was to honour the medal winners in the presence of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Sports Minister Anil Vij. Of the 22 CWG medallists from Haryana, 13 represent organisations such as Indian Railways and Army. The Haryana government was to felicitate all the 22 medal winners. However, controversy broke out after a few of the medal winners threatened boycott if the government didnt withdraw its decision of making the deduction from their prize money. According to Haryana?s sports policy, a CWG gold medallist from the state is to get Rs 1.5 crore, a silver-medallist Rs 75 lakh and a bronze-medallist Rs 50 lakh. PTI SUN PM PM PM PMlast_img read more

Virat Kohli does not have to be the only leader in the Indian side: Jonty Rhodes

first_imgVirat Kohli does not have to be the only leader in the Indian side: Jonty RhodesFormer South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes said the Indian team has got a fine balance of youth and experienced so he doesn’t have to be the only leader within the side.advertisement Rasesh Mandani MumbaiMay 15, 2019UPDATED: May 15, 2019 20:17 IST Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni (IANS Photo)HIGHLIGHTSJonty Rhodes said Virat Kohli doesn’t have to be the only leader in the Indian sideRhodes said Kohli has the likes of MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma for adviceRohit Sharma will be the vice-captain of the side for World Cup 2019Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore was forced to be content with the wooden spoon in IPL 2019. That’s three times in a row that RCB finished in the bottom half of the points table.But when Virat Kohli dons the captain’s hat for team India, things change completely. Statistically, Virat is the most successful Indian skipper in one day cricket, with winning rate of close to 74 percent in the 68 games he has led India. That comfortably beats MS Dhoni’s captaincy record of winning 59.50 percent games out of the 200 he has led India in.Does it boil down to superior personnel that Virat Kohli has while leading team India? How much does it help that he has vice captain Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni beside him in making real time tactical moves?Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes thinks there are no bragging rights to be won in singularly leading a team to success and sees no harm in having multiple leaders in different departments in a side.”It’s important as a leader that you have to lead by example. But the interesting thing is you don’t always have to lead from the front. Dhoni’s example was of setting incredible standards on fitness and control mindset point of view. So there are different styles of leadership. Kohli’s style is to take things by the scruff of the neck and he likes to impose his stamp on the game. It’s fine when you are doing well but you also have to inspire the guys around you. The Indian team has got a fine balance of youth and experienced so he doesn’t have to be the only leader within the side,” he tells India Today.advertisementRohit Sharma, the most successful IPL captain with four trophies, will serve as Virat’s deputy at World Cup 2019. India’s leader of the 2011 winning World Cup campaign MS Dhoni makes a lot of decisions for Virat when the captain chooses to field in the outfield. Jonty sees nothing wrong in that.”As a captain, sure you make all the decisions. But when you have senior players, it’s trusting your senior players to be leaders in their departments. Because there is so much pressure on you as a captain. You might have more time in 50 overs’ as opposed to a T20, but you still want to be making the right decisions,” he says.Also Read | When MS Dhoni suggested a Rs 10,000 fine, no one was ever late again for team meetingsAlso Read | IPL 2019: Why Virat Kohli has been unable to do what Rohit and Dhoni do so oftenAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow Virat KohliFollow Royal Challengers BangaloreFollow IPL 2019Follow Rohit Sharmalast_img read more

Hyundai Mipo Bags Gas Carrier Trio

first_imgzoom Ulsan-based shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard has won an order for the construction of three gas carriers worth a total of KRW 166.5 billion (USD 140 million).The order has been placed by an undisclosed European shipping company and includes construction of two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and one liquefied ethylene gas (LEG) carrier.According to Hyundai Mipo, the newly ordered trio is scheduled for delivery by the end of October, 2017.The orders comes in the wake of a contract for four MR product tankers also from an unnamed European client, inked two weeks ago.The vessels, worth USD 143.9 million, are scheduled to be delivered by the end of the first half of 2017.The shipyard’s current orderbook now stands at KRW 3.97 trillion (USD 3.38 billion).World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Rs spurts 52 paise to 7114 per on trade truce hopes

first_imgMumbai: Continuing its winning run for the sixth straight session, the rupee climbed 52 paise to end at 71.14 against the US dollar on Thursday as signs of easing trade tensions between the US and China buoyed global markets. Easing crude oil prices and fresh foreign capital inflows provided further support, forex traders said. The Indian currency has appreciated by 125 paise in the last six trading sessions. At the interbank foreign exchange market on Thursday, the local unit opened on a strong note at 71.46 and shuttled between a high of 71.00 and low of 71.46. It finally closed at 71.14, showing a gain of 52 paise over its previous close. The rupee had settled at 71.66 against the greenback on Wednesday. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.13 per cent to 98.51.last_img read more

Man pleads not guilty to killing three people including father and toddler

first_imgLETHBRIDGE, Alta. – A man accused in the deaths of three people in southwestern Alberta, including a two-year-old girl and her father, has pleaded not guilty.Derek Saretzky, 24, was formally arraigned in a Lethbridge courtroom Monday before a lengthy pre-trial hearing which is under a publication ban.Wearing a blue jumpsuit, Saretzky stood in the prisoner’s box and pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one charge of committing an indignity to a human body.The trial before a judge and jury is to begin June 5.Saretzky is accused of killing Terry Blanchette, who was 27, his daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and 69-year-old Hanne Meketech.He was charged in the deaths of Blanchette and Dunbar-Blanchette in September 2015.In April of last year, police added the third murder charge in the slaying of Meketech, who died five days before the others. Her body was found in her home.Saretzky was arrested in the Crowsnest Pass area after Blanchette was found dead in his Blairmore home on Sept. 14, 2015, and an Amber Alert was issued for two-year-old Hailey.Her remains were discovered in a remote rural area a few days later.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Saretzky pleaded guilty.last_img read more

Sportsnet personality fired over claims of inappropriate behaviour at work

first_imgTORONTO, ON. – A personality at Sportsnet, owned by Rogers, has been fired following complaints by multiple female employees about inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.Gregg Zaun was immediately let go today when the allegations surfaced.“After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately,” says Rogers Media President Rick Brace. “This type of behaviour completely contradicts our standards and our core values. We believe in a professional workplace where all employees feel comfortable and respected. We are grateful to our employees who spoke with us and we will take every measure to protect their privacy.”Rogers is the parent company of 660 NEWS.last_img read more

Philippines recalls envoys in Canada over trash shipments

first_imgMANILA, Philippines — The Philippine foreign secretary says the ambassador and consuls in Canada are being recalled over Ottawa’s failure to take back truckloads of garbage that Filipino officials say were illegally shipped to the Philippines years ago.Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted Thursday that the Philippines “shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there.”President Rodrigo Duterte threatened last month to forcibly ship the containers of garbage back to Canada and dump some at its embassy in Manila if Canadian officials don’t take back the waste by May 15.More than 100 containers of household trash, including plastic bottles and bags, newspapers and used adult diapers, were shipped in batches from Canada to the Philippines from 2013 to 2014.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Encana PetroChina form joint venture to develop natural gas in Alberta

PetroChina has already paid $1.18-billion to Encana, with the remainder being stretched over the next four years. The two companies plan to invest about $4-billion in the project over that time.“This joint venture will build a foundation for the successful development of the Duvernay play and help to diversify our business portfolio,” said Pheonix CEO Zhiming Li.“Encana is our ideal long-term partner for the development of our future natural gas business.”Encana and PetroChina have a history: an earlier $5.4-billion joint-venture deal for Encana’s lands in the Montney region fell apart in mid-2011 after they failed to see eye-to-eye on how that project would operate.Encana has been inking several joint venture deals in recent years so that it can develop its huge resource base more quickly than would otherwise be the case.The cash injection from deep-pocketed partners has helped Encana cope with persistently low natural gas prices.Encana shares rose 2.3%, or 47 cents, to $20.91 in Thursday afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Encana has drilled nine wells into its 445,000 acres (180,100 hectares) in lands in the Duvernay, where numerous companies have amassed large land positions through government land sales and takeovers.In October, Exxon Mobil Corp. agreed to spend C$2.6 billion to take over Celtic Exploration Ltd., which has extensive acreage in the region.A study by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Geological Survey said the Duvernay formation, which extends through much of central Alberta, contains 443 trillion cubic feet of total gas in place, 11.3 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 61.7 billion barrels of oil, putting it on par with some of the continent’s largest shale prospects.The Canadian Press, with files from Reuters “I think Prime Minister Harper was clear that Canadian was still welcoming foreign investment,” said Geoff Hill, a partner at Deloitte’s Calgary officer.“Where he was also clear was that control and complete ownership, especially by state-owned enterprises, would be much more difficult.”Encana estimates there are nine billion oil-equivalent barrels initially in place on its Duvernay lands, which are rich in valuable natural gas liquids. It will remain operator of the project.It is a strong endorsement of Encana’s position as a reliable long-term partner“Phoenix’s investment demonstrates the tremendous value that Encana has created in this early-life, liquids-rich play and enables us to accelerate the pace at which the full production potential of our Duvernay lands can be achieved,” Encana CEO Randy Eresman said in a release.“A transaction of this magnitude keeps us on track to create a more diversified commodity portfolio and maintain our balance sheet strength. It is a strong endorsement of Encana’s position as a reliable long-term partner.”Ted Rhodes/Postmedia News files CALGARY — Less than a week after Ottawa waved through CNOOC Ltd.’s $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc., a different Chinese state-owned company is plowing another $2.2-billion into the Canadian oilpatch.Natural gas giant Encana Corp. and a subsidiary of PetroChina announced Thursday they have reached a deal to work together in the Duvernay, a promising shale natural gas formation in west-central Alberta.PetroChina will end up owning just shy of half of the 180,000 hectares Encana has in the Duvernay, which means the deal won’t be subject to the same federal review as the Nexen deal.In announcing the Nexen decision — as well as a green light for Malaysian state-owned firm Petronas’ takeover of natural gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper stressed that those types of deals would not be the norm.Click to enlarge read more

Global antiterrorism strategy will only succeed if countries work together says Annan

In a statement delivered on his behalf by Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Annan said “we now have a chance to harness real political will that has been built up over the past four months.”The strategy was adopted by consensus earlier this month by the General Assembly’s 192 Member States after a year of sometimes fractious negotiations as countries worked to overcome their differences and agree on a common approach.Acknowledging many countries will still continue to pursue their own approach to combating terrorism, Mr. Annan said that only time would tell whether Member States actually meet their commitments under the global strategy.“If future generations are to live in a world free from terrorism and its inhumane tactics, Member States must embark without delay on the journey they have mapped out so carefully. They must start translating their commitments into reality at once.”The strategy, which consists of a resolution and a plan of action, includes practical steps at the local, national and international level – ranging from strengthening the capacity of individual States to prevent and combat terrorism to ensuring that human rights and the rule of law are always respected in the fight against terrorism.It also calls for measures to enhance the role of the UN system to deal with terrorism, and to make sure that the world body’s efforts are better coordinated.Mr. Annan stressed today that he will play his part, including reaching out to the biotechnology industry to ensure that advances in the field are used for the public good and not for terrorist purposes, and working towards strengthening UN counter-terrorism partnerships with regional organizations.The strategy makes clear that it is vital to consistently, unequivocally and strongly condemn terrorism in all forms and manifestations, committed by whomever and for whatever purposes. Terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.Speaking at the launch, General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa urged world leaders to do their utmost to agree on a comprehensive global convention against terrorism as soon as possible.She also stressed that the new strategy must be a living document that can be updated to respond more effectively to any future changes in society or technology. read more

Greek parliament OKs referendum proposal country faces critical week as future in

by Raf Casert And Elena Becatoros, The Associated Press Posted Jun 27, 2015 6:39 am MDT Last Updated Jun 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, right, speaks with lawmakers of left Syriza party during an emergency Parliament session for the government’s proposed referendum in Athens, Saturday, June 27, 2015. After five months of fruitless negotiations, relations between Greece and its creditors crumbled further Saturday after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stunned them by calling for a referendum on the proposed reforms needed to get bailout loans.(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) ATHENS, Greece – Greece’s parliament voted early Sunday in favour of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ motion to hold a July 5 referendum on creditor proposals for reforms in exchange for loans, with the country’s future in the eurozone looking increasingly shaky.Tsipras’ surprise call stunned Greece’s international debt negotiators, and the country took a big step closer to falling out of the euro currency union after fellow eurozone member states refused to extend its bailout program past its expiry date on Tuesday, leaving Greece on the brink of financial chaos.In the streets of Greece, worried people queued outside banks for cash from dawn to dusk after Tsipras’ announcement in the early hours of Saturday, after billions of euros had already been emptied in the preceding weeks.Greece has a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) debt due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday and its bailout program expires the same day, after which it is unclear how the country might survive financially.The referendum is set for next Sunday with the question on whether to accept proposed reforms needed to get bailout loans from other eurozone countries and the IMF. The government is advocating a rejection of the proposals.The radical left-wing leader accused the creditors of using blackmail and ultimatums against his proud but struggling people. European officials and all Greek opposition parties except the extremist far-right Golden Dawn party called his move for a vote a foolish and rash gambit that effectively ended negotiations to keep Greece financially afloat.The sudden move comes after five months of stalemated negotiations, with Tsipras accusing creditors of trying to strong-arm his country into taking harsh austerity measures he says would hammer an economy already on its knees after five months of creditor-demanded spending cuts and tax hikes.“They didn’t ask us to agree, they asked us to surrender our political dignity,” Tsipras said during a tumultuous and nearly 13-hour parliamentary session that cumulated in a vote just before 3 a.m. Sunday. Out of parliament’s 300 lawmakers, 178 voted in favour and 120 against, with two people absent.He insisted the Greek side had “exhausted every limit of concessions so there could be an agreement, adding that “perhaps some saw that as a weakness.”The referendum move further crumbled already strained relations between Greece and its European partners.Tsipras said the Greek people would vote against a deal next Sunday.“This no will also be a big yes, a big yes to the decision of the Greek government to reject an ultimatum that insults the Greek people.”Tsipras dismissed harsh criticism from other European countries on his decision.“The referendum will take place as scheduled, next Sunday, whether our partners want it or not,” he said.Eurozone finance ministers earlier rejected Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ request for a one-month extension to the bailout program, with Varoufakis then leaving the meeting.“It’s a sad day for Europe, but we will overcome it,” he said.The other 18 finance ministers then huddled without him to assess how to minimize the damage from the Greek crisis on their currency.“Our institutions are and will be prepared to take any action if needed,” said top eurozone official Jeroen Dijsselbloem of fears that financial turbulence might extend to the rest of the currency bloc. Fellow ministers spoke candidly about the risks of a Greek exit from the euro in a way that would have been inconceivable only weeks ago.The ministers stressed Greece remained in the eurozone for now, and Dijsselbloem said “the eurogroup stands ready to reconvene to take appropriate decisions where needed, in the interest of Greece as euro area member.”Without a bailout program extension or more loans from creditors, Greece is likely to be in arrears on a debt payment due the same day. Its banks face the risk of collapse.“The Greek authorities have asked for a month extension. But in that month there can be no disbursements,” Dijsselbloem said. “How does the Greek government think that it will survive and deal with its problems in that period? I do not know.”France’s finance minister, Michel Sapin, stressed a deal was still possible and that he was ready to act as a go-between among Greece and the creditors after relations neared a breaking point.Dijsselbloem refused to slam the door full shut. “The door is open. It was not the institutions that walked away from the last talks last night.”Now much will depend on whether the European Central Bank will accept to continue to prop up Greek banks even after the country’s bailout program expires. It would be under huge pressure to stop using eurozone taxpayer money to keep alive the banks if there is no prospect for a deal.The eurozone finance ministers suggested Greece should take steps to stabilize its financial system — code for putting limits on cash withdrawals and money transfers.If Greece’s banks collapse, the government would have to support them itself. Penniless, it would have to revert to printing a new currency, effectively drawing the country out of the euro union.The ECB’s governing council will meet “in due course” to assess the situation, most likely this Sunday, officials said.While the government is recommending a “no” vote, Varoufakis noted “the high possibility that the Greek people will vote against the advice of the Greek government.”What would happen in that case — whether Greece would have to leave the euro or try to renegotiate with creditors — is unclear.An exit from the euro would put Greece through a new era of economic pain. With the new currency less valuable than the euro, the government would have to write off a chunk of its foreign loans — mainly owed to eurozone countries — and many companies and households would go bankrupt. Experts predict a long and deep recession in a country that has already been through five years economic depression.The uncertainties of all this would roil European and global markets, though experts are divided on the extent. Some say Europe is better equipped to handle a Greek euro exit, but others say it is unclear what might happen. The euro dropped in value slightly on international markets after the referendum was called.___Casert reported from Brussels. Demetris Nellas, Thanassis Stavrakis and Paris Ayiomamitis in Athens, Greece, and Derek Gatopoulos and Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed. Greek parliament OKs referendum proposal; country faces critical week as future in balance read more

Who Is In The Most Trouble Brazil Germany Or Argentina

And while that could just be a fluky bad game from Neymar, Brazil has reason to worry. The draw against Switzerland was Neymar’s first match back from injury, and before the game, Brazilian coach Tite said Neymar was not fully fit. Brazil struggled to break down Switzerland because, time and again, its attack waited for Neymar to beat a defender, and he couldn’t do it.Unlike Argentina, however, Brazil already has the players to lean on while Neymar works himself back into shape. Coutinho and Marcelo are elite passers, while Willian adds about 3.5 complete dribbles per 90 minutes, 12th highest among players in the big five leagues with at least 2000 minutes played. None of them alone can do what Neymar usually does, but Brazil’s starting lineup as a collective can carry some of Neymar’s workload. What will be required for Brazil, rather, is that the team rebalance the attacking load until its superstar is fully fit. Brazil has the talent to continue to roll without Neymar at 100 percent, if it can limit his responsibilities.All of these teams remain favored to escape their groups. But a shocking early exit is possible for Germany and Argentina if they cannot solve some major problems. Brazil should be able to continue and succeed without Neymar at his best, at least for a while. But to reach or win the final, all three teams must make important changes.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. The World Cup has been full of surprises. Of the five teams rated most likely to win the World Cup before the tournament by FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index, only France won its first match. Spain, Argentina and Brazil could manage only draws, and worse yet, Germany lost to Mexico. While Spain’s 3-3 draw against Portugal can be excused — Cristiano Ronaldo’s team is rated the eighth-best side in the tournament and has legitimate hopes of winning the whole thing — the other three face larger problems.Germany’s difficulty may be the most acute. While Argentina and Brazil saw their chances of reaching the knockout round go down only slightly (77 percent to 68 percent for Argentina and 89 percent to 85 percent for Brazil), Germany is suddenly at risk of being the third consecutive defending World Cup champion to go out in the group stages. Die Mannschaft’s odds of reaching the round of 16 plummeted from 90 percent to 64 percent.Germany can’t say the loss was undeserved. Mexico created more expected goals, a statistical estimate of the quality of scoring chances, than Germany did, with the Mexican counterattack ripping up the German defense even when it did not create shots. Eight times in the match, Mexican players combined to move the ball straight through midfield — with more than 50 percent of ball movement directly toward the goal — and into the German penalty area. Though only four of those ended in shots, one produced a goal.That Hirving Lozano game-winning goal was the most devastating example of this counterattack. It starts with an open-play turnover, leading to a few quick passes and runs, a couple of defenders beaten on the dribble and a pass into the penalty area. The map below shows the Lozano goal and three other moves like it. If Mexico had been more clinical in creating good shots from these moves, the result could have been even worse for Germany. So what can Germany do? Only with better counterpressing from the forward line and midfield — to prevent opponents from striding through the center of the pitch with ease as Mexico did — can Germany regain its defensive strength. Coach Joachim Low started only two central midfielders, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira, in order to get playmakers Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller into the lineup behind a central striker. A personnel shift that adds another central midfielder to the mix while dropping an advanced creator seems like the obvious next step. Of course, this isn’t as easy as just scribbling a new name on the lineup sheet. Player positions and relationships will have to be reconsidered and restructured. Mexico exposed Low’s first lineup, and now he needs to identify a backup plan and get his players ready to go with it in just a few days. The task is great.A similar tactical problem looms for Argentina. While La Albiceleste did not see its chance of advancing go down by a large margin, it was in trouble from the moment it was placed in a group full of such capable defensive sides as Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria. With a 32 percent chance of being eliminated before the knockouts, Argentina should be worried.And what went wrong against Iceland does not seem easy to solve. Argentina attempted 26 shots against Iceland but generated only about 1.1 expected goals, a rate of about 0.04 expected goals per shot. The only teams in the tournament that have created lower-quality shooting chances are Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.You would expect a team with Lionel Messi to be creating good scoring chances. But Argentina has a problem: Messi is tasked with bringing the ball forward from defense to attack. If Messi must pick up the ball in deep areas, who will make the pass or run near the penalty area to break open the defense? According to the statistical company Impect, which tracks whether passes took a team beyond an opposition defensive player, Argentina’s passes only bypassed a defender 23 times, the fourth-fewest of any team in the World Cup through the first four days.At the same time, Iceland created about 0.9 expected goals on eight shot attempts, a rate of 0.11 expected goals per shot,1Ninth-highest in the tournament so far, only slightly behind Mexico’s 0.13. showing that Iceland was able to create good scoring opportunities despite Argentina’s conservative approach. If Argentina’s defense can be exploited like this, it’s hard to suggest that coach Jorge Sampaoli should bring on a more attack-minded midfielder like Ever Banega and risk opening up further at the back. A counterpress could also work, but Argentina already tried that. Sampaoli drilled his players to press high up the field and seek to create turnovers that could give them new possession in advanced areas, but the team’s middling results and underlying numbers from qualifying suggest that has not worked either. It may be that the only real solution is hoping that Messi puts together a truly legendary tournament and covers both creative roles, advancing the ball through the midfield and beating the defenders.By contrast, Brazil’s exceptionally talented roster should not have to depend on one player. But against Switzerland, it did. Although its goal came from a brilliant individual finish by Philippe Coutinho, in general, Brazil tried to ride Neymar to victory. The creative winger was constantly on the ball and, more than that, constantly tasked with beating a man to create space for the attack to move forward. Eighteen times Neymar was involved in a one-on-one with a defender. This is high even for Neymar, who averaged about 10 one-on-ones per match for Paris Saint-Germain. But while Neymar was successful about 60 percent of the time in the French league, here he struggled, winning only five of 18 contests. Switzerland consistently bodied and often fouled Neymar, leaving him unable to progress the ball as he usually does. read more

New Democracy leader calls for no more measures

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras has called for “no more measures’ to be introduced because it would lead Greece into a deeper recession. The opportunity is before us and must not be lost.Mr Samaras comments were made while he was addressing a meeting on Wednesdasy evening to support New Democracy candidates in the local government elections. Samaras said “it can go no further, something must change, the policy of the memorandum (IMF/EU support mechanism) must change,” adding that “the memorandum was not a one-way path and, on the contrary, the policies of the memorandum had lead to a vicious circle of recession, economic paralysis and to even harsher measures that are merely being postponed in light of the local administration elections.” He accused Prime Minister George Papandreou of “driving the Greece to the memorandum and degraded the country abroad” and that the Pasok “has deceived the Greeks and now it is trying to blackmail them”. He called on citizens to send a message to the government through the local administration elections that a different path exists. “The opportunity is before us and must not be lost,” Samaras said. “Let everyone think how worse things will be if the government can claim tomorrow that its decisions are rewarded, if the government believes that the people agree with the padlocks, with the cutbacks in incomes, with the high cost of living, with unemployment,” he added. Samaras also pointed out that if the government is not decried, harsher measures will come on the day after the elections. “We are not simply and only against the memorandum, against the mist and the depression that it is spreading in the country, we are expressors of a different proposal that is condensed in the triptych growth-prospect-hope,” the ND leader underlined. Source: ANA-MPA.last_img read more

Grands prématurés 40 dentre eux présentent des troubles du développement à lâge

first_imgGrands prématurés : 40% d’entre eux présentent des troubles du développement à l’âge de 5 ansFrance – Les grands prématurés seraient davantage touchés par les troubles moteurs, sensoriels ou cognitifs que les enfants nés à terme, selon une étude épidémiologique sur les petits âges gestationnels (Epipage), dévoilée par l’Institut national de veille sanitaire (InVS).L’étude menée depuis 1997 par l’Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm) auprès de 1.817 prématurés a été publiée dans la revue scientifique The Lancet. Elle révèle qu’à l’âge de 5 ans, près de 40% des anciens grands prématurés étudiés présentent une déficience motrice, sensorielle ou cognitive. 9% de ces anciens grands prématurés présenteraient une paralysie cérébrale, empêchant un tiers d’entre eux de marcher, ou seulement avec une aide. 32% ont obtenu un score de capacités cognitives (équivalent au Q.I) inférieur à 85 et 12% un score inférieur à 70, contre respectivement 12 et 3% dans le groupe de référence. Environ 5% des grands prématurés, contre seulement 2% du groupe de référence, n’ont pas achevé le test.Les chercheurs estiment que “prévenir les troubles d’apprentissage associés aux déficits cognitifs dans ce groupe représente un réel défi pour la médecine périnatale actuelle”.En France, 10.000 grands prématurés naissent chaque année.Le 5 mai 2010 à 11:42 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Independence Day patrols focus on impaired drivers

first_imgClark County police departments are deploying extra officers for DUI enforcement on Independence Day.The Vancouver, Washougal and Battle Ground police departments will participate in the heightened patrols. While July 4 is known for barbecues and cold beers, officers will be looking for drunk as well as drugged drivers, according to a VPD news release.A grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission covers the overtime costs for the extra officers.Police advise people who spot a potentially impaired driver to keep their distance and call 911.last_img read more

BAHAMAS American woman drowns in Berry Islands Police investigating

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 30, 2017 – Berry Islands – An American woman died on Sunday while swimming in waters of Great Sturrup Cay in the Berry Islands.  The woman became unconscious while enjoying a swim with family, she was taken to shore and despite CPR, she was declared dead by a doctor.   There is an autopsy to come for an exact cause of death, police say they are investigating.  A Sunday armed robbery around 1pm in Nassau has Police on the hunt for two males responsible for the crime at a web shop on Cowpen Road.  The duo robbed the cashier and sped away in a silver colored car. #MagneticMediaNews#americanwomandrownsinBerryIslands Related Items:#americanwomandrownsinBerryIslands, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more