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Ahead of election, deforestation continues to climb in the Brazilian Amazon

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Newly released analysis of satellite data by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO, shows that deforestation in the Amazon is continuing to climb.Imazon’s deforestation alert system detected 545 square kilometers of forest clearing in August, a tripling of the area deforested the same month a year agoThe Brazilian government’s own deforestation detection system, run by the national space research institute INPE, also shows a recent rise in deforestation, albeit a substantially less dramatic increase relative to Imazon.The apparent rise in deforestation this year in Brazil is not unexpected due to current political and economic trends. Newly released analysis of satellite data by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO, shows that deforestation in the Amazon is continuing to climb ahead of the country’s presidential election.Imazon’s deforestation alert system detected 545 square kilometers of forest clearing in August, a tripling of the area deforested relative to the same month a year ago. For the twelve months ending August 31, Imazon’s system picked up 4,656 square kilometers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the highest such tally since July 2007. Article published by Rhett Butler Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Governance, Government, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Satellite Imagery, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests The Brazilian government’s own deforestation detection system, run by the national space research institute INPE, also shows a recent rise in deforestation, albeit a substantially less dramatic increase relative to Imazon. INPE’s twelve month deforestation figure stands at 4,853 square kilometers.Brazil uses a separate system for tracking deforestation on an annual basis using August 31 as the end of its “deforestation year”. The preliminary data for the 2017/2018 year is expected to be released in late November or early December. For the 2016/2017 year, deforestation amounted to 6,947 square kilometers, a 12 percent decline from the prior year, according to INPE.The apparent rise in deforestation this year in Brazil is not unexpected due to current political and economic trends. Donald Trump’s trade war with China has reduced the competitiveness of American agricultural products, boosting soy and beef exports from Brazil, including the Brazilian Amazon, which is a major producing region. Brazil’s weak currency is also increasing the profitability of agribusiness in the country at the same time that Brazilian lawmakers are pushing through measures to weaken environmental regulations and protections for indigenous peoples.Rising deforestation bucks a long-term trend of declining rates of forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon. The annual rate of deforestation in the region dropped from 27,772 square kilometers in 2004 to 4,571 square kilometers in 2012, leading scientists to cheer Brazil as a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon since 2009 according to INPE. Brazil started to lose ground in its progress toward meeting its emissions from deforestation reduction goal in 2015, when deforestation exceeded its official target. It has now missed its mark three years in a row.Correction 10/3/2018: This article originally misstated INPE’s twelve month deforestation figure at 4,656 square kilometers. It was corrected to 4,853 square kilometers on October 3, 2018 at 16:00 Pacific Daylight Time.last_img read more

SA wins big at World Travel Awards

first_imgA view of Green Point in Cape Town with the city’s 2010 Fifa World Cup stadium at left, and Table Bay beyond. The city regularly receives global accolades for its tourist attractions. (Image: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jane Larcombe World Travel Awards Press and PR Director +44 1892 785071 jane@janelarcombecommunications.com RELATED ARTICLES • Cape Town: most beautiful city • SA restaurant best in the world • SA a favourite among expats • Dash of Zulu in heart of London • SA shines at world travel showMary AlexanderSouth Africa cleaned up at the annual World Travel Awards for Africa last night, winning 36 awards out of the total 49 categories. Despite the pyramids, Egypt, its nearest rival, managed to win only four.For the sixth time in seven years the city of Cape Town was named Africa’s leading destination, at an awards ceremony held in Sandton, Johannesburg. South African Airways was named Africa’s leading airline, South African Tourism the continent’s leading tourism board and Durban harbour the leading port.Of the 49 categories, six were awarded to multinational entities with a strong presence in South Africa. Kenya, Morocco and Namibia garnered one award each.Cape Town, South Africa’s most-visited destination, regularly receives international accolades for its attractions. This year it joined Paris, London, New York and Venice as one of Forbes magazine’s 10 most beautiful cities in the world.In 2009 the city was named best destination in the Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, the world’s second-best city by Travel+Leisure magazine, the world’s best entertainment and lifestyle destination in the Luxury Travel Awards, and best tourism investor city in the AI Tourism Investor Awards. Cape Town was also named one of the “places of a lifetime” by National Geographic in 2008.The World Travel Awards also nominated Cape Town as the leading destination in the world in 2002, 2005 and 2006.“These awards are an incredible endorsement,” said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du-Toit Helmbold. “Being recognised by the industry makes all the hard work we put into hosting the Fifa World Cup in Cape Town so worthwhile.“We do believe that Cape Town is one of the greatest cities to live, visit, study and invest in. It’s a place of a lifetime, and it just keeps on getting better.”The World Travel Awards, first held in 1994, is a tourism industry initiative, with travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organisations across the globe voting for the winners.The full list of the 2010 World Travel Awards for Africa winners:Africa’s Leading Airline: South African AirwaysAfrica’s Leading Airport: OR Tambo International Airport, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Apartment Hotel: The Regent, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Boutique Hotel: Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand: Mantis GroupAfrica’s Leading Business Car Rental Company: AvisAfrica’s Leading Business Hotel: Hilton DurbanAfrica’s Leading Business Travel Agency: Travel with FlairAfrica’s Leading Casino Resort: The Palazzo Montecasino, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Conservation Company: Shamwari Game Reserve, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Convention Hotel: Sandton Sun, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Destination: Cape TownAfrica’s Leading Family Resort: Sun City Resort, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Green Hotel: The Phantom Forest Eco-reserve, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Hotel: Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Innovative Hospitality Company: Signature Life HotelsAfrica’s Leading Low-Cost Airline: 1timeAfrica’s Leading Luxury Hotel: Arabella Western Cape Hotel & SpaAfrica’s Leading Luxury Lodge: Shambala Private Reserve, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Luxury Train: The Blue TrainAfrica’s Leading Luxury Villa: Thanda Private Game Reserve, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre: International Convention Centre Durban, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Meetings & Conference Hotel: The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Online Tour Operator: 1timeAfrica’s Leading Port: Durban (Port)Africa’s Leading Resort: Sun City Resort, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Safari Lodge: Shamwari Game Reserve, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Spa Resort: Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Sports Resort: Legend Golf & Safari Resort – South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Suite: Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite, Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Tourism Development Project: Fairmont ZimbaliAfrica’s Leading Tourist Board: South Africa TourismAfrica’s Leading Town House Hotel: Shamwari Town House, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Travel Agency: Club Travel, South AfricaAfrica’s Leading Travel Exhibition: INDABAAfrica’s Leading Travel Management Company: Travel with Flair South AfricaAfrica’s Tourism Personality Of The Year: Dr Aupindi Tobie Aupindi – MD Namibia Wildlife ResortsAfrica’s Leading Golf Resort: The Palmeraie Golf Palace, MoroccoAfrica’s Leading Beach Resort: Diani Reef Beach Resort & SpaAfrica’s Leading Beach Destination: Sharm El Sheikh, EgyptAfrica’s Leading Beach Hotel: Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna Hurghada, EgyptAfrica’s Leading River Cruise Company: Sonesta Nile CruisesAfrica’s Leading Villa: Queen Cleopatra Villa, Savoy Sharm El Sheikh, EgyptAfrica’s Leading Car Hire: EuropcarAfrica’s Leading Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Cruise LineAfrica’s Leading Game Reserve Brand: Mantis GroupAfrica’s Leading Hotel Group: Starwood Hotels & ResortsAfrica’s Leading Responsible Tourism Company: &Beyond Africa’s Responsible Tourism Award: &Beyondlast_img read more

Mobile Computing: Working Out the Rough Edges of Collaborative Mobile

first_imgBy 2016 Gartner predicts that most collaborative tools will run on any type of device, across smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers. Fragmentation of communication technologies has been a pain point with many IT shops, but collaborative technologies are expected to evolve and eventually provide a more seamless experience across platforms.Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum, said that the combination of cloud and mobile mean that users need no longer be “tethered to one location… The way in which we work will change dramatically over the next seven years, more than in the previous 30, meaning the enterprise of 2020 will need to be more agile and more responsive than it is today.”Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner, said that “mobile devices enable a new generation of collaboration and three trends are rapidly boosting mobile collaboration strategies and investments in organizations. These are: bring your own device (BYOD), personal cloud file sharing and the increasing availability of mobile applications. Empowering workers with mobile collaboration capabilities through smart devices, personal cloud sharing and mobile apps is a smart move for organizations to innovate in the workplace and stay competitive.” Personal cloud file sharing will allow users to be able to more easily swap and get access to files no matter what their device or location is. Cloud sharing will allow users to move their files, documents, audio, pictures and video easily among multiple machines. Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, told Will Kelly of the Tech Republic, that the lines across the devices that connect into collaborative apps will blur blurring. “So the first piece of advice is not to think about it as mobile collaboration per se. It’s really about how we do we give access to the content, information, and the customers that the people in the small business need to work with and on from wherever they might be. That might be on a tablet, a smartphone, or even a laptop–but on the go.”last_img read more

As the Saradha scam taint threatens to wash up at her door, the cheers quickly morph into jeers for Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal’s promised change agent not so long ago

first_imgIllustration by Pawan TiwaryA stranger in Kolkata would be forgiven for thinking that a bunch of Rabindrasangeet-singing aliens had landed, all extremely disciplined and determined to synchronise their music with the traffic lights turning red in the centre of the city. Beware, the bewilderment metamorphorsing into consternation, as you take,Illustration by Pawan TiwaryA stranger in Kolkata would be forgiven for thinking that a bunch of Rabindrasangeet-singing aliens had landed, all extremely disciplined and determined to synchronise their music with the traffic lights turning red in the centre of the city. Beware, the bewilderment metamorphorsing into consternation, as you take the lift at the state secretariat building on the other side of the Hooghly called Nabbano-the Raj-era Writers’ Buildings that have housed the government for the last 300 years or so are under renovation-and the same music assails your privacy. This must be a happy city, one hopes, or at least a singularly tuneful one.If only music was the food of politics, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) President Mamata Banerjee would be playing on and on. Unfortunately for her, the last few weeks have been particularly stressful as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in accordance with a May 2014 Supreme Court order, has been investigating several of her closest aides and confidantes in the alleged Rs 10,000-crore Saradha chit fund scam. Late in December, the state Transport and Sports Minister, Madan Mitra, was arrested, while in mid-January the party’s General Secretary and second-in-command Mukul Roy was summoned by the CBI. His questioning will take place on January 30.In an exclusive interview with INDIA TODAY (see box), Banerjee rubbished the allegations of the involvement of her close aides, especially Roy, widely acknowledged to be her man both in Delhi and in Bengal. “He is a brilliant man,” she said of him, emphasising that the BJP was using the CBI to embark upon a political vendetta against her and her party, especially in the run-up to elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well as 90-odd other cities and towns in the state around April.advertisementIf the TMC wins Kolkata, the jewel in the West Bengal crown, Banerjee will prevail in this bout of shadowboxing the BJP has unleashed since it came to power at the Centre in May 2014. If she loses Kolkata, the attendant body blow could seriously endanger her party. Already the main prize looms large-the assembly polls in mid-2016-and the challenges are reaching right inside Banerjee’s lair. In mid-January, Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Manjul Krishna Thakur, who belongs to the lower-caste Matua community, left to join the BJP; the Matuas, originally from Bangladesh, command about 10 million votes. Meanwhile, Dinesh Trivedi, a former Banerjee favourite and railways minister underManmohan Singh, and Birbhum MP Anupam Hazra are openly complaining about the party, perhaps in the hope that they will be expelled for indiscipline and can then join the BJP without fear of attracting the anti-defection law.As for the BJP, party chief Amit Shah seems determined to light a fire under the TMC. The fact that Bengal has always been disdainful of the BJP, despite Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, has only fanned the flames of desire in Shah’s heart. Apparently, he will do anything to win Bengal. A massive enrolment drive since January has already logged 1.4 million members. At the time of the last polls in 2011, there were only around 50,000.It wasn’t supposed to be like this, certainly not so soon after Banerjee dislodged the mighty Left Front from power after 34 years in 2011, on the slogan of “poriborton”, or change. She was like a whirling dervish then, everywhere at the same time, a lithe figure in a white or cream cotton sari and rubber chappals. She took on the mighty Tatas, scorching their well-laid plans in Singur in 2007, and taunted the venerable Communist and then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for daring to dream about building a 1,000-acre factory at Nandigram in the heart of picture-postcard Bengal.Congress supporters burn effigies of Mamata Banerjee and TMC leaders accused in the Saradha scam. Picture by Debajyoti ChakrabortyHow things change. The same Didi, or elder sister, as several Bengalis insist on calling her in affection as well as gratitude for daring to take on the Left, has, at least in large parts of Kolkata, today become a figure of derision, disparagement and disdain.She is reputed to have a temper and often flies off the handle. She has a penchant for transferring bureaucrats and is believed to allow her party cadre the freedom to indulge in violence when local panchayats don’t fall in line. The Bengali word tolabhaari, loosely interpreted as the alleged regular bribe to local alleged TMC goons, is rampant in the state. Banerjee is said to be wilful and intolerant of criticism, especially from the once-fawning media, and definitely from the powerful Anandabazar Patrika Group, whose owner-editor Aveek Sarkar she accuses of fomenting a conspiracy against her. In fact, Kunal Ghosh, a former confidant and MP who later fell out with her and was arrested by the state police for his alleged involvement in the Saradha scam, is believed to have told Banerjee that it was imperative to build, operate and support an alternative media house which would, naturally, also be sympathetic to her.advertisementAs the Saradha Ponzi scheme evaporated, the alleged involvement of several TMC leaders, including Madan Mitra, Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose, Mukul Roy’s aide Asif Khan, and former inspector-general of police Rajat Majumdar, came to the fore. And now with the CBI summoning Roy to question his familiarity with Saradha owner Sudipta Sen, it’s clear that the noose is tightening around Banerjee.As a TMC leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “If winter is here, can spring be far behind?”But the fact remains that Amit Shah’s rhetoric may not quite be able to challenge the power of TMC cadres on the ground, especially in rural Bengal. Truth is, Banerjee has plastered the districts of Jangalmahal (which were overrun by self-proclaimed Maoists in the 2011 polls) as well as Darjeeling and Cooch Behar with roads and electricity lines, giving development the good name it deserves. She is rightfully proud of several affirmative action schemes in education, including for OBCs in higher education, especially ‘Kanyashree’, which seeks to delay the marriage of girls by keeping them in school till the age of 18 by offering them a stipend of Rs 500 a year; evidently 2.1 million young women have taken advantage of the idea. A tableau on the scheme was omitted from the Republic Day parade, leading to much heartburn in the TMC. She has ordered the opening of medicine shops in each hospital across the state where drugs are discounted by as much as 67 per cent, while maintaining quality controls.Sitting behind a large glass table in her otherwise brutally plain office on the 14th floor in Nabbano-with not even a Rabindranath Tagore painting or print for company-the interview with Banerjee begins on an affectionate note. She has ordered a piece of fish fry for this reporter and soon the tea arrives, in small, handmade ceramic cups, which Banerjee shyly admits that she has personally bought from a shop in Kolkata’s spanking new airport. By now you are definitely getting the “mamati-manush” feeling, a slogan that translates into “mother-earth-people” and which she popularised during those days of the “movement” in Singur and Nandigram in 2007.She has lost so much weight she looks emaciated. She insists that it’s not stress, but walking, 10 km a day on her treadmill. But she rotates one fist into the other palm, a clear sign that something is definitely wrong in Bengal. Small chit-chat about how many books she has written (52 so far, six of them in the last year), why she hasn’t hung her own art work on the walls (Sudipta Sen famously bought a painting for Rs 1.8 crore, according to income tax records) as well as the successful handling of the Gangasagar Mela (over three days 2.1 million pilgrims from across the country have visited the sacred island where the river finally flows into the Bay of Bengal) are all contributing to a soft afternoon in which the second Hooghly bridge seemingly sways over a gleaming river through the large glass window panes at the far end of her room.advertisementThen the thunderstorm breaks and it has Saradha written all over it. Asked why Roy was summoned by the CBI and whether he met Sudipto Sen-whose statement that he spoke to Roy 86 times when he was on the run in Kashmir have not been denied by Roy-Banerjee reacts as if all the eastern goddesses have been collectively scorned and personally betrayed. The BJP, she fulminates, “is deliberately targeting my organisation and trying to malign me. But make no mistake, we will fight back, in Parliament against the land acquisition bill and outside. We are not scared of the Enforcement Directorate. We gave birth to a movement. Whoever is doing this will have to face the music.”And then, the throw of the poison dart: “How do you think Amit Shah got a clean chit from the CBI after he was charged in a murder case in Gujarat?”Another TMC leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity pointed out that “Mamata is torn between loyalty to those who worked with her closely, such as Madan Mitra and Mukul Roy, and the possibility that they are involved in the Saradha scam”. So when it became clear Mitra would be arrested, he was dropped from cabinet meetings while Roy was removed from public view when summons came from the CBI. Leaders such as MP Subrata Bakshi, Urban Development Minister Firhad ‘Bobby’ Hakim, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee, Finance Minister Amit Mitra, her own nephew Abhishek Banerjee and party spokesperson and MP Derek O’Brien have now begun to lead the pack of party faithful.But the feeling that the Supreme Court-ordered CBI investigation into the Saradha scam is actually a witch hunt by another name runs deep in Banerjee. Finance Minister Mitra points out that the scam broke much before the TMC came to power in 2011, and wonders why institutions such as SEBI, RBI and the Registrar of Companies did nothing about it. So when the CBI came for Mukul, Banerjee decided to counterattack, pleading before the Supreme Court to monitor the investigation.”The BJP strategy is to undermine Didi’s popularity, to defile her image,” Mitra says, pointing out that when the TMC inherited Bengal it was severely broke, at least 58,000 factories had shut down and capital flight of a serious nature had already taken place.Mitra’s fightback has yielded significant results. He says the tax collection has nearly doubled from Rs 21,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore, fiscal deficit has fallen from 4.12 per cent to 3.08 per cent, capital expenditure has grown from minus 26.08 per cent to 103 per cent, and the index of industrial production has grown by 6.3 per cent. Much of this money has been spent on massively adding infrastructure, including the aforementioned roads and highways, as well as in the creation of 31 colleges, six new universities and 195 industrial training institutes.Mitra staunchly defends the private sector investment promises made at the Bengal Global Business Summit in early January-Rs 93,329 crore of the total of Rs 2.43 lakh crore-but he has not been able to overcome the perception that small remains beautiful in Bengal, a reflection of how his Chief Minister’s political struggle has shaped her world view. The long shadow of the Singur debacle, which she once leveraged to oust the Left Front government, chases her in power. Harsh Neotia, one of the state’s richest businessmen who was part of the Chief Minister’s steering committee to promote the global summit, believes she is “deeply empathetic about the poor and believes they need much more support than the rich”.But another businessman who spoke on the condition of anonymity said “the problem is that because she has always been a grassroots leader, she has no understanding of the economic process. For her, the handloom industry has the same weightage as the automobile industry.”Sugato Bose, MP from Jadavpur and a professor at Harvard University, believes that the TMC could “project a vision of federal unity and protect the economic interests of the underprivileged, considering the BJP under Modi seems much too beholden to big business? The rule of law must prevail but only a corruption-free TMC can fight the majoritarianism of the BJP”.Bose was referring to the Saradha scam-accused whose defence by none other than the Chief Minister is creating disaffection within the party. Certainly, as Banerjee well knows, the perception of corruption can be as damaging as corruption itself, and at least Kolkata- never mind that it is a much cleaner city under her than under its previous ruler-seems to have decided that the time has come to abandon its capricious new memsahib. Talk that she is besotted with Tollywood, as Kolkata’s Bengali film industry is known, is rife and only adds to her gathering Alice in Wonderland reputation. Indeed, as many as five actors-Moon Moon Sen from Bankura, Sandhya Roy from Medinipur, Satabdi Roy from Birbhum, Tapas Pal from Krishnanagar and Deepak ‘Dev’ Adhikari from Ghatal- are members of Parliament, while Bengali singer Indranil Sen, part-time film producer Shibaji Panja and film distributor Shrikant Mohta are said to be part of Banerjee’s inner circle.And so the battle for Bengal is fully underway, no matter that the assembly election is over a year away. Banerjee is already marshalling her forces- consolidating the Muslim vote, a formidable 30-31 per cent of the electorate, and travelling in districts where she hopes voters won’t be influenced by Kolkata’s critical media-for what she knows is a life-and-death election. The CPI(M) may have got 29 per cent of the vote in the 2014 General Election, compared to the BJP’s 17 per cent, but Banerjee is fully aware that the CPI(M) is yesterday’s party; moreover, several of her TMC cadres have allegedly killed scores of key CPI(M) cadres, thereby irrevocably breaking the link between party workers on the ground and the party’s senior leadership.Meanwhile, with Amit Shah as its charioteer, the BJP hopes to be able to dislodge a woman who is increasingly beginning to look like her own worst enemy. Unfortunately, instead of mounting a cold-blooded attack on the saffron party, Banerjee is losing her composure. She is letting the BJP get under her skin. That allows the mostly male, and probably chauvinist, opposition to paint her as a fragile, intemperate politician with a brittle ego.Certainly, Mamata Banerjee can reinvent herself. She can dump all the Saradha scam-accused and recover her standing within her party by announcing that she will not tolerate corruption. She can apologise to Bengal’s women for her terribly insensitive remarks against the Kolkata rape survivor some years ago. She can return to her rabble-rousing roots (some would say she never left) and fight the rising BJP as well as the remnant Left in ways she knows best.Certainly, too, the process of poriborton must begin with her. But if she refuses to recognise that she is the centre of this change, then she and her beloved TMC may just be blown away by the gathering winds of history.Followthe writer on Twitter @jomalhotraTo read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

Five-Star Cornerback Iman Marshall Dons Charles Woodson’s No.2 While On Visit To Michigan Monday

first_imgThe Michigan Wolverines Cheerleaders support their team against the Brigham Young Cougars at Michigan Stadium.ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 26: The Michigan Wolverines Cheerleaders support their team against the Brigham Young Cougars at Michigan Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Cougars 31-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Consensus five-star cornerback recruit Iman Marshall of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly made a visit to Michigan on Monday, and while on campus, he got to don a no. 2 Wolverine jersey. Prospects wearing jerseys with their numbers on them is standard recruiting visit procedure, but no. 2 also happens to be the number of former Michigan star cornerback and 1997 Heisman Trophy winner, Charles Woodson.Marshall celebrated the honor by taking time to pose with a mural of Woodson celebrating the Wolverines’ 1997 Rose Bowl win over Washington State. ichigan pic.twitter.com/wXlwejyW6b— Biggie (@iman_marshall8) January 19, 2015New Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff have already made some noise on the recruiting trail since taking over in Ann Arbor this month, but landing a player of Marshall’s caliber would be a home-run coup. The no. 3 overall player in the country according to Rivals, Marshall has offers from essentially every major program. He already made an official visit to Florida State, and has trips to LSU and Oregon scheduled before signing day.last_img read more

Data usage in India to grow at 73 CAGR by 2022 Study

first_imgNew Delhi: India’s data consumption is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 72.6 per cent to 10,96,58,793 million MB by 2022, according to a study. “With lower than ever data tariffs and increasing number of smartphone penetration in the country, which is around 40 per cent as of 2017, it is safe to assume that the Video on Demand (VoD) market will be a significant beneficiary of these developments. Internet consumption is clearly on the rise in India,” according to the Assocham-PwC study. Data consumption in India will grow from the level of 71,67,103 million MB in 2017 to 10,96,58,793 million MB (megabytes) in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 72.6 per cent, it said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepWhile the average Indian used to spend more on voice services than on mobile data services until 2013, the majority of an average mobile bill is now spent on data. The average monthly spend on voice services in 2013 was Rs 214 compared to Rs 173 spent on data. In 2016, the spend on voice fell to Rs 124, while data spend rose to Rs 225, according to the report. Video streaming constitutes roughly 65 75 per cent of the traffic, as per the Nokia Mobile Broadband Index 2018. While internet penetration is increasing in India, with mobile internet penetration set to reach 56.7 per cent in 2022 from a mere 30.2 per cent in 2017, connectivity and consistency in speed issues need to be addressed, said the study titled ‘Video on Demand: Entertainment reimagined’. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIt further said that in a country where approximately 65-70 per cent of the population resides in rural areas, no service meant for the masses can afford to ignore this market. Internet connectivity and speed issues are significant in rural areas as against urban areas. It is important for OTT (over-the-top) players to cater to the rural market if they wish to stay relevant. Thus, apps like YouTube, which support low Internet connectivity, will be able to penetrate faster into rural areas, according to the study. The report also noted that there has been a value shift to platforms. “Social media and technology platforms, instead of content creators and packagers, have emerged as the primary beneficiaries of the increase in user time and spending,” it added. Another major aspect in the journey of OTT players will be the ability to personalise experiences. Emerging technologies would help companies create unique experiences that add value to the services provided to users.last_img read more

A look at the Holocaust through Franks eyes

first_imgThe diary of Anne Frank, a young chronicler of the horrors of the Nazis’ genocide of the Jews, offers a beacon of hope – and humanity – to the millions who read her thoughts, written while hiding with her family for two years before being betrayed and sent to the death camps. Reflecting on her life 75 years after her arrest, and death, is a travelling exhibition that has come briefly to Delhi. ‘Anne Frank: A History for Today’, an exhibition of photographs and archival information, takes visitors to Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War as it follows Anne’s journey from homeland Germany to the promise of a refuge in the Netherlands, but back to a German concentration camp. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIn the exhibition’s photographs, a young Anne and her sister Margot are seen growing up from childhood to teenage. Happy family photographs and images taken at school, soon gave way to a dark place in their factory – the secret annexe where the Franks went into hiding. Recorded are quotations from her diary, a small, red-chequered notebook that went on to contain her vivid observations and experiences, and eventually become one of the world’s most popularly-read personal accounts of the Holocaust. During a walkthrough of the well-curated exhibition, the Deputy Head of the Netherlands Embassy in India, Anneke Adema, spoke of Anne’s life and the tragic experience she had. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”We have a tendency to forget history, and people should see these pictures – of Auschwitz, for instance. I heard about it during my life in the Netherlands, but the moment you see it, you feel everything. You see the suitcases of the people who were gassed, the hair, the glasses, kids’ toys and shoes – we have to make it visible,” Adema said. The exhibition is open for public at the India International Centre here till April 29. It is organised by the The Anne Frank House, PeaceWorks and Embassies of the Netherlands and Israel.last_img read more

Ohio State womens soccer earns NCAA tournament berth hosts Dayton

OSU junior forward Nichelle Prince (7) dribbles the ball during a game agaisnt Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 1-2. Credit: Sam HarrisThe Ohio State women’s soccer team’s season added at least one more game to its season Monday night after the Buckeyes were selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament.OSU finished the regular season with a 10-6-3 (4-4-3 Big Ten) record, and will host the Dayton Flyers in the first round at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, with a 6 p.m. scheduled kick-off.  The Flyers come to Columbus with a 9-9-3 regular season record, also having captured the Atlantic 10 Tournament championship.This tournament bid marks the 11th time the Buckeyes will compete in the NCAA Tournament, and is the seventh in the last eight seasons. OSU joins seven other Big Ten teams in this year’s tournament, including Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan and Nebraska. With their last matchup being on Oct. 26 versus Penn State, the Buckeyes will have had a total of three weeks’ rest before Saturday’s game.  Dayton presents a tough lineup for OSU, as junior forward Alexis Kiehl is tied for the NCAA lead in total goals scored this season with 20. The winner will move on to the next round, facing either Northern Kentucky or West Virginia, who OSU played in the regular season. read more

TEF provides additional 350M for Exim Bank Loan Facility

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, September 4, 2017 – Kingston – The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has allocated an additional $350 million to the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Jamaica to continue the provision of loans to the operators of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs).The allocation represents the second tranche of the $1-billion TEF/EXIM Bank Jamaica loan facility, which was launched in September 2016 with an initial $300 million capital injection by the tourism entity.    The facility enables the industry stakeholders to access between $5 million and $25 million at five per cent interest for five years.Among those eligible are operators involved in spa and wellness; gastronomy – restaurants and food-related businesses; small accommodations; shopping and galleries; attractions; knowledge networks; and sports and entertainment as well as manufacturers and suppliers.Speaking at the official handover at the Tourism Ministry in New Kingston on Wednesday, August 30, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the loan facility was a critical financial lifeline that had allowed and would enable more sector stakeholders to create jobs, generate growth and facilitate economic well-being.Additionally, he said it represented the Government’s acknowledgement of the entities’ integral role in the tourism value chain.“The idea was born out of the need to build capacity within the sector and provide financial support to enterprises that would better enable them to capitalise on business opportunities to better participate in the supply chain of the sector,” the Minister said.Mr. Bartlett advised that the first tranche of the loan facility has been fully disbursed, and encouraged other entrepreneurs not yet accessing the provision to take advantage of it to grow their businesses.EXIM Bank Managing Director, Lisa Bell, disclosed that the entity has, to date, processed more than 28 loan applications totalling $509 million under the programme. She said applications totalling $408 million have been approved, with disbursements totalling $311 million.The applications processed for approval fall in the categories of: attractions – $84.5 million; small accommodations – $105 million; gastronomy – $25 million; linkages – $32 million; shopping networks – $30 million; manufacturing – $47.5 million; services – $48.4 million; spa and wellness – $12. 5 million; and domestic tours and car rentals – $125 million.“We are very pleased about that, because we knew this programme could be revolutionary, not only because of its attractive terms and conditions but it really would put funding into the hands of those who needed it,” Mrs. Bell said.She further noted that the Bank has received an additional 25 qualified expressions of interest totaling approximately $470 million.In 2015, the World Bank noted that formal SMTEs contribute up to 60 per cent of total employment and up to 40 per of national income in emerging economies.In the Caribbean, these enterprises contribute more than 90 per cent of employment and 70 per cent of the gross domestic product.For more information on the loan facility, persons may call the EXIM Bank at (876) 630-1400 to make an appointment; visit its offices at 85 Hope Road, Kingston 6; or website at www.eximbankja.com.last_img read more