Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday participated in the silver jubilee celebrations of Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar and praised its founder late Pramukh Swami for bringing about positive changes in the society.While addressing a gathering of Swaminarayan sect’s disciples, Mr. Modi said Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar and Delhi should be a case study of how modern technology could be blended with Indian traditions.Late Pramukh Swami, who headed Bochasanvasi Akshar Puroshottam Sanstha, a sub-sect of Swaminarayan sect in Gujarat, built around 1,200 temples across the world including the two giant temple complexes in Gandhinagar and New Delhi.During his 30-minute speech, Mr. Modi reminisced about instances of his interactions with late Pramukh Swami and said he was “very lucky” to have the blessings of the Swami from the very beginning of his career.
The Kukis, a major group of tribes spread across Manipur, Assam and Nagaland, have asked New Delhi to “bring Thuingaleng Muivah” to justice for the “Kuki genocide” before sealing the final peace deal with his extremist group, the National Socialist Council of Nagland (Isak-Muivah).In July 1997, the NSCN-IM declared a ceasefire, and in August 2015, it signed a Framework Agreement — the content of which has not been disclosed yet — with the Union government.Protest in DelhiSeeking trial and punishment for Mr. Muivah for the massacre of more than 1,000 Kukis by the NSCN-IM between 1992 and 1997, an apex body of Kukis will observe the 25th Sahnit (black day) in New Delhi on Thursday.“September 13 marks the darkest day in Kuki history. On this day in 1993, the NSCN-IM cadres killed more than 115 innocent Kuki civilians (mostly in Manipur’s Senapati district). The horrendous pogrom that lasted for five years, saw more than 350 villages burnt and 1,000 people, including women and children, killed. This led to the internal displacement of more than 1,00,000 Kukis in Manipur,” Letzamang Haokip of the Sahnit Committee said.The committee, which began observing the black day across the Northeast from Tuesday, said New Delhi needed to be reminded of the atrocities of the NSCN-IM.Denial of justice“Why is the government denying justice to the Kukis, who are as much stakeholders in this country as others? Why is the perpetrator of Kuki genocide, Muivah, being engaged in talks and not brought to justice? Don’t the Kukis deserve to be heard,” asked N. Haoneo Baite, secretary of the committee. The Kukis have also demanded territories from the State and Central governments for self-governance.
Investors from the US and UK will this week spearhead an attempt to remove half the board of one of India’s biggest healthcare companies, as the battle for control of Fortis Healthcare takes another twist.Read it at FT Related Items
Kamlesh Tiwari, a controversial self-proclaimed right wing leader, on Friday died after being attacked by two unknown assailants at his office in Lucknow.It is not yet clear if Tiwari, who was the president of the ultra-right fringe outfit Hindu Samaj Party, was shot or stabbed or both.Pistol recoveredA pistol was recovered from the spot but the body reportedly had stab wounds, sources said, even as the police are investigating the case.Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani said two persons had come to visit Tiwari at his office-cum-residence in the Naka area of the Uttar Pradesh capital.The three had a discussion on the first floor of the office and even had tea, but soon after, the two unidentified persons attacked Tiwari, Mr. Naithani said.An injured Tiwari was taken to the Trauma Centre where he was declared dead, the officer said.Prima facie, it appears the two attacked Tiwari due to a “personal animosity”, said the SSP, adding that it was likely that the victim knew the assailants personally.State Director General of Police O.P. Singh said the accused spent 30 minutes with Tiwari at his house and even handed him a box of sweets.Vital CCTV footageThe accused would be arrested within 48 hours, assured Mr. Singh, adding that the police had found “vital clues and CCTV footages”.A weapon was recovered from the spot, even as the police formed 10 teams to investigate the case.A friend of Tiwari’s, while speaking to the media soon after the incident, said that one of the assailants was wearing saffron clothes and carried a pistol.Tiwari had shot into the limelight when, in 2015, as a member of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, he triggered protests from a section of Muslim groups over his derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad.The Uttar Pradesh government then slapped the stringent National Security Act against Tiwari but the Allahabad High Court revoked it soon after.Contested LS pollTiwari contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Faizabad as an Independent but lost his deposit. He had several criminal cases against him.Tiwari’s wife Kiran Tiwari has alleged that he was murdered as part of a conspiracy by two Muslim clerics from Bijnor, who she said had in 2016 announced a bounty of ₹1.5crore on him over his controversial comments.The State government has constituted a three-member Special Investigation Team under IG Lucknow to probe the case.
In fast-paced political developments in Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday evening invited the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government after the Shiv Sena failed to provide the letters of support from the Congress-NCP alliance.Though the Shiv Sena had asked for three more days to produce the letters, of support, Mr. Koshyari turned down the request and invited the NCP, which is the third largest party with 54 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly.“We will discuss the proposal with our allies tomorrow and will get back with our reply to the Governor’s office before 8.30 p.m. tomorrow,” NCP State president Jayant Patil said after meeting the Governor late in the evening.In a separate late night development, NCP president Sharad Pawar called up Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to clear any misgivings and is learnt to have expressed confidence that the crisis would be resolved by Tuesday.Sena exits NDAThe developments came on a day when the Shiv Sena’s lone representative in the Union Cabinet, Arvind Sawant, resigned as the Union Heavy Industries Minister, and the party severed its ties with the National Democratic Alliance. The political drama took another twist after the Congress announced that it need more time to talk to its ally, the NCP, just minutes before the 7:30 p.m. deadline that the Governor had set for the Shiv Sena to stake claim.Also Read Maharashtra impasse | Congress MLAs stay put in Jaipur resort “The Congress Working Committee (CWC) met this morning and had a detailed discussion on the situation in Maharashtra after which a consultation was held with State leaders. The Congress president has spoken with Sharad Pawarji. The party will have further discussion with the NCP,” the Congress said in a statement.The statement, however, had no mention about extending support to the Shiv Sena. Senior leaders, including A.K. Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge and K.C. Venugopal, are learnt to have voiced reservations on the issue at the CWC meeting. Congress leaders from Kerala, which sends the highest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha, in particular, are learnt to have argued that a tie-up with the Shiv Sena will send a “wrong political signal” and give an edge to the Left parties.However, a majority of the newly elected Congress MLAs were not only in favour of supporting a Shiv Sena-led alliance but also on joining the government.‘Positive direction’Top Congress sources told The Hindu that though “there has been a pause to the process, it is proceeding in a positive direction” as there have been crucial meetings away from the media glare with serious discussions on being part of a non-BJP government. Senior party leaders Mr. Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Mr. Venugopal are expected in Mumbai on Tuesday.While Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, along with party colleague Sanjay Raut, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at a five-star hotel in Bandra, senior Shiv Sena leaders Anil Desai and Arvind Sawant met senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in New Delhi.Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, meanwhile, was optimistic while talking to the media at Raj Bhavan after he met Mr. Koshyari seeking more time.“After receiving a letter of invitation from the Governor yesterday, we started consultations with the Congress and the NCP, which had in principle expressed support to us. We have informed the honourable Governor that while we have the willingness, the duration given to us is less. The process needs 48 hours to complete but he has refused that time. But our claim still stays and we will continue our efforts to talk with support groups,” he said. The Shiv Sena delegation informed the Governor that it had an in-principle support of 162 MLAs, including those of the Congress and the NCP and about 15 Independents.”We have the support of 160 legislators but could not produce letter of support from the Congress and NCP. We are confident of providing the numbers soon,” said Sena leader Anandrao Adsul.
Welcome to the future and behold this futuristic 15-storey showroom in Singapore. The car showroom has been dubbed the “world’s largest luxury car vending machine”.The showroom has opened in Singapore offering customers million-dollar supercars including Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, McLarens, and Porsches.The Singapore facility is built by used car dealer Autobahn Motors (ABM). As many as 60 luxury cars are displayed in its illuminated showcase, making luxury car enthusiasts drool over the show.From modern luxury sports cars to classic, including a 1955 Morgan Plus 4, the car showroom in Singapore has a lot to offer.Twitter: @TheMorganExp/Morgan ExperienceThe luxury cars are displayed on 15 levels and four columns.According to the company, the customers who want to select a car have a touchscreen on the ground floor. They can use the touchscreen device to select the luxury car they want to check out and the car arrives within a minute or two using the advanced vehicle retrieval system.Singapore’s and world’s largest luxury car vending machine format aims to make efficient use of space in land-scarce Singapore as well as standing out from the competition, according to ABM General Manager Gary Hong.”We needed to meet our requirement of storing a lot of cars. At the same time, we wanted to be creative and innovative,” he told Reuters, adding that developers have shown interest in using the company’s Automotive Inventory Management System for parking services.Watch: The world’s largest luxury car vending machineNOT JUST SINGAPOREUS company Carvana also uses vending machine-like towers to sell used cars.advertisementIn March, it opened an eight-floor facility that holds up to 30 cars in San Antonio, Texas. In total, the company has four locations across the United States, with the first car vending machine opened in late 2015.Carvana customers can drop a coin in the slot and pick up their new purchases at the vending machines or have the cars delivered directly to their door, RT reported.
clinics exemptFrom Joyeeta DeySrinagar, May 20 (PTI) Animal slaughtering and services provided by veterinary clinics will be exempt from GST while visits to theme parks and sporting events like IPL will attract a levy of 28 per cent under the new indirect tax regime kicking in from July 1.Besides, supply of foods or drinks in outdoor catering, circus shows, classical dances, including folk dance, drama and theatrical performances, will attract a 18 per cent tax rate under GST.The GST Council over the two-day meeting on May 18-19 has decided to retain majority of the exemptions currently available in the service tax regime in the GST.As per the list of services which will be subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), services provided by tour operators and leasing of aircraft will attract a 5 per cent levy.While economy class travel in airplane is likely to get cheaper with 5 per cent tax, a similar lower levy has been decided for transport of passengers by air embarking from or terminating in a regional connectivity scheme airport.Temporary transfer or permitting use of intellectual property (IP) will attract 12 per cent GST– the same rate as in respect of permanent transfer of IP.These include education, healthcare, services provided by way of religious pilgrimages, charitable activities, those provided by the RBI and diplomatic missions situated in India.Services provided by toll operators and transmission and distribution of electricity and residential house renting would be exempt from the GST.The exempt services will also include animal slaughtering, banks giving loans or deposits and those provided by the veterinary clinics.advertisementA senior advocate giving legal services to any person other than a business entity, or a business entity with a turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh in the preceding financing year will be exempt from goods and services tax.Services of public libraries by way of lending of books, publications and retail packaging and labelling of fruits and vegetables which do not alter the characteristics of the fruit or vegetables are exempt.The Council has also decided to exempt from the purview of GST the companyGoods and Services Tax Network(GSTN) set up to build the IT network for the new indirect tax regime.As per the list, non-AC restaurants will charge 12 per centGST on food bill.The tax rate for AC restaurants and thosewith liquor licence will be 18 per cent, while 5-star hotels will charge 28 per cent GST.Restaurants with Rs 50 lakh or below turnover will gounder the 5 per cent composition scheme.Work contracts like white washing will be liable for a 12per cent GST.Entertainment tax will be merged with service tax underthe GST and a composite 28 per cent levy will be charged on cinemaservices as well as gambling and betting at race course.While the rate proposed for cinema halls is lower than 40to 55 per cent currently, it may not result in a reduction intariffs on cinema tickets as states continue to hold right to levy local charges on them.Hotels and lodges charging per day tariff of Rs 1,000will be exempt from GST.Rate for hotels with tariff of Rs1,000 to Rs 2,000 per day would be 12 per cent, while those with Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000 would be 18 per cent.GST for hotels with tariff above Rs 5,000 will be 28 per cent.Non AC train travel, including in local trains and metro, has been exempt from GST, whileAC train travel will attract 5 per cent service tax, sameas freight levy.Five per cent rate will also apply on rides taken from cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, which currently pay 6 per cent tax.Telecom and financial services will be taxedat a standard rate of 18 per cent under GST.But tax department estimates thatthe taxincidence on this will be unchanged at 15 per centafter the input credit is taken on equipment by the service providers.The GST Council finalised four tax rates of 5, 12, 18 and28 per cent for services including telecom, insurance, hotelsand restaurants under the biggest tax reform since theIndependence.The rates are in line with those finalised for goods. With this, rates of all items except a handful including gold,have been decided ahead of the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1. PTI JD BJ SBT
Uruguayan international striker Luis Suarez has asserted FC Barcelona was the best place for Brazilian star Neymar and he tried his best to convince him to stay at the club.Neymar was sold to French football club Paris Saint-Germain from FC Barcelona on a world-record fee of $263 million earlier this summer.”We miss Ney (Neymar) a lot on the pitch, but more off it, because he was special, he’s said it. We had a lot of fun. He transmits happiness and joy all of the time. He was important for us,” the 30-year-old said.”He’s playing for another team now but I don’t hold it against him, the opposite. I tried to convince him to stay because I think here’s the best place for him, but it’s a decision he had to take,” Suarez added.Suarez, who has scored 88 goals from 105 appearances for Barcelona also said he along with Messi tried to guide Neymar to take the best decision for himself.”(Messi and I) tried to do what would benefit the team. But we never said ‘Don’t go because you won’t be happy,” the Barcelona striker said.”We said we didn’t want him to go, but that he was free to do what he wanted. Because of the friendship we have, it was painful that he left,” Suarez added.
Paris Saint-Germain 5 Anderlecht 0: Kurzawa hat-trick helps Emery’s side book last-16 spot Guy Atkinson 05:39 11/1/17 Getty Images Layvin Kurzawa upstaged his more illustrious team-mates with a stunning hat-trick in PSG’s eye-catching win over Anderlecht. Layvin Kurzawa hit a second-half hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a dominant 5-0 win over Anderlecht at the Parc des Princes.Unai Emery’s side have been in imperious form in Group B and have won all four of their games, scoring 17 goals and conceding none.They now have an unassailable nine point lead over third-placed Celtic after their 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, but will want maximum points from their final two games against those sides to confirm top spot. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Neymar missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the first minute before Marco Verratti’s first goal of the season after 30 minutes broke the deadlock.The world’s most expensive player then scored his 11th goal since his move from Barcelona with a fine long-range finish on the stroke of half-time. Kurzawa then stole the show in the second-half, scoring his first career hat-trick to add a deserved gloss to the scoreline. The only negative for PSG will be Edinson Cavani’s failure to get onto the scoresheet, which brings his run of scoring in seven consecutive Champions League matches to an end. @neymarjr #ICICESTPARIS pic.twitter.com/8hSvcPH5nq — PSG English (@PSG_English) October 31, 2017 PSG started at a blistering pace and should have been ahead inside just 30 seconds. Kylian Mbappe released Neymar behind the visitors’ defence, but the Brazilian’s effort was too close to Frank Boeckx, who was able to block.The Anderlecht goalkeeper then twice got down well in quick succession to deny Julian Draxler and Mbappe, who both drilled in low shots from almost identical positions on the edge of the penalty area.It took until the half-hour mark for the hosts to score the goal their superiority deserved and it came from an unlikely source.The impressive Mbappe found Verratti inside the area with an exquisite disguised pass, the Italian checking back inside his marker before whipping a composed finish into Boeckx’s far corner for just his seventh goal in five years since joining from Pescara. Marco Verratti #PSGRSCA pic.twitter.com/drOD3CVKGn — PSG English (@PSG_English) October 31, 2017 Dani Alves struck an arching half-volley agonisingly past the upright moments before Neymar doubled PSG’s advantage deep into first-half injury time.Draxler played a short corner to the 25-year-old, who moved towards a more central position to whip a fierce effort past the flaccid resistance of Boeckx’s outstretched palm.Neymar started the second half in equally vibrant fashion, crashing a 25-yard free-kick against the post which rebounded kindly to Kurzawa, who hooked home a third into an empty net. Anderlecht nearly pulled back an unlikely goal just after the hour as Ivan Obradovic unleashed a long-range effort, which fizzed narrowly over Alphonse Areola’s crossbar. Kurzawa scored his second in the 72nd minute, heading home at the back post from Alves’ cross, and completed a memorable hat-trick six minutes later with a drilled finish to ensure the Parisian’s finished with a scoreline reflective of their dominance. read more
If you’re planning to visit the tall ships this weekend inHalifax, you’ll also want to check out two new virtual exhibitson tall ships featured on the Nova Scotia Archives website. The first exhibit, Bluenose: A Canadian Icon, is a tribute to thegreatest Nova Scotia schooner of them all. The second exhibit,Brigs and Barques: Images and Artworks from the Golden Age ofSail, celebrates the tall ships once so common in Nova Scotiawaters. Tourism, Culture and Heritage Minister Rodney MacDonald saysthese online products demonstrate the power of the Internet inpromoting Nova Scotia. “People everywhere will be able toexperience first-hand Nova Scotia’s unique maritime heritage.This is what tourism promotion is all about — advertising theprovince as Canada’s seacoast destination, and using new ways todo it.” Bluenose: A Canadian Icon tells the story of the Bluenose andBluenose II, featuring over 350 heritage photographs, originaldocuments, charts and miscellaneous items. The exhibit, located at www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/bluenose , isa collaboration of the Nova Scotia Archives, the Maritime Museumof the Atlantic and the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Theexhibit brings together the best of three separate collections totell the stories of the two schooners, the people who sailed themand the times in which those people lived. Bluenose: A Canadian Icon covers the period from 1920 to 1995. Many of the featured images have not been seen before outside ofthe archives or the museums. One of the highlights is a series ofphotographs taken in the early 1940s by Nova Scotia photographerWallace MacAskill, as part of a marine survey undertaken beforethe Bluenose was sold. Another section of the exhibit features ascrapbook of newspaper clippings and photographs kept by a crewmember during the schooner’s official visit to the ChicagoWorld’s Fair in 1933. “This is the story of a small, intrepid Grand Banks fishingschooner and how it has sailed into our collective memory,” saidprovincial archivist Brian Speirs. “It’s not just the image onthe dime, it’s a living part of our larger Canadian identity.” Brigs and Barques: Images and Artworks from the Golden Age ofSail, located at www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/brigsbarqs ,features striking black and white MacAskill photographs from the1920s and 1930s. It also features oil paintings by the lateWilliam deGarthe, the world-famous marine artist from Peggy’sCove. Both virtual exhibits were developed with assistance fromCanadian Heritage. For more information, visit the archiveswebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm .
About 250 4-H members will compete in public speaking and demonstration competitions, woodsman contests and the Nova Scotia Horse Classic as part of 4-H Weekend, May 6-7. It is held at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Bible Hill. “Young people enrolled in 4-H learn confidence, leadership and communication skills at an early age. Many alumni credit the 4-H program for helping them learn the specific skills needed to be successful at their chosen careers,” said John MacDonell, Minister of Agriculture. “Being able to communicate clearly and effectively helps young people become strong community leaders.” Competition winners will receive their awards at 4-H Night in Nova Scotia on Saturday, May 7. During that evening, members will present their winning speeches, demonstrations and entertainment. Members and leaders who won Canadian 4-H Council National Travel Awards will be recognized and the Nova Scotia 4-H Council will honour individuals who have made significant contributions to the 4-H program with the Friends of 4-H Award. The provincial 4-H host and hostess, who are the official youth representatives for the 4-H program, will be announced. Nova Scotia’s 4-H program has trained young people to speak with poise and confidence for 89 years. It provides youth with technical, social, sportsmanship, leadership and life skills essential for careers in agriculture, business, government and community leadership. For more information visit www.gov.ns.ca/agri/4h/.
Rosie O’Donnell and Cyndi Lauper are offering fans the chance to have dinner with them at New York’s 44&X before heading over to catch Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots on Broadway together.The charitybuzz auction is set to raise funds for Rosie’s Theater Kids, an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children.Also up for grabs are the chance to meet Selena Gomez, with 10 corporate suite tickets to her October 16th concert at the Barclays Center, two tickets to see The Glass Menagerie on Broadway and meet Zachary Quinto, the chance to meet Kathy Najimy and Kristin Chenoweth over lattes in New York, and more!To see the entire list of items and get your bids in, visit charitybuzz.com.To learn more about Rosie’s Theater Kids, visit RosiesTheaterKids.org.
11 February 2009Sudan has made tremendous strides towards peace and recovery in the past few years, but major challenges such as lack of clean water, high maternal mortality and low school enrolment require the sustained support of the country’s partners, the top United Nations relief official there said today. The UN and its partners still need $1.5 billion of the $2.2 billion sought for the 2009 Sudan Work Plan, which was launched last November and covers humanitarian and early recovery needs throughout the vast African nation.Almost half of the funds sought in what is the world’s largest humanitarian appeal are earmarked for the war-torn region of Darfur, where an estimated 4.7 million people continue to be in need of assistance after six years of conflict. “Sudan has taken tremendous strides towards peace and recovery in the past few years,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ameerah Haq told a news conference in Khartoum, noting that the UN and partners have been successful in delivering basic services such as food, water and shelter in many parts of the country over the past four years. Among the other achievements, she cited the building of the first all weather roads in Southern Sudan around Yambio; over 8,000 teachers trained for enhanced education across Sudan; 6.5 million children receiving vitamin supplements; and over 686,000 households receiving food assistance.“But there are still enormous challenges. Humanitarian and social indicators in many parts of the country are alarming,” added Ms. Haq, who is also the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Sudan. “In the south, more than half the population does not have access to clean water, and the number of mothers dying in childbirth is one of the highest in the world, and the number of people immunised one of the lowest. “In some eastern states malnutrition rates are above the emergency threshold, and in several regions school enrolment rates are among the worst worldwide,” she reported.In addition to addressing those challenges, Ms. Haq also stressed the UN’s commitment to tackle important environmental issues. “Sudan’s natural resource base has been damaged by decades of conflict. It is critical to reverse this damage,” she stated.The 2009 Work Plan is the result of collaboration by government, donors, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and covers a total of 910 projects across 10 sectors.
Log in or register to post comments The wireless earbuds include all the features of Jabra’s Evolve line, such as professional quality audio, compatibility with UC solutions, and dual connectivity for a laptop and smartphone. Plus, the earbuds are Skype for Business certified.The Evolve 65t, shown to the right, features four-microphone technology for sound, 15 hours of battery life, multiple fitting options for getting the right seal, adjustable passive noise cancellation, and, for voice commands, one-touch access to a digital assistant of the user’s choosing.The Jabra Evolve 65t will be available in mid-December for $329.Videxio Offers ‘Scan to Join’ FeatureCloud video conferencing service provider Videxio this week announced MeetingConnect, a feature that lets users join a meeting by scanning a QR code when entering a meeting room.With MeetingConnect, Videxio said it wants to eliminate the hassle users face in searching for meeting dial-in details and having to manually type in characters to a video room device. For IT, Videxio said it sees MeetingConnect providing a way to get more use out of their existing video conferencing investments, since it works with legacy room systems from companies like Polycom and Cisco. All employees need are their smartphones – and the QR code, of course.“Our customers have a job to do, and that doesn’t involve fiddling with meeting room technology,” said Tom Erik Lia, CEO and cofounder of Videxio, in a prepared statement. “They just need an easy way to get into their meetings. It’s as simple as that.”MeetingConnect supports most video meeting apps, including its own plus apps from Pexip, Microsoft Skype for Business, Cisco Webex Meetings and Webex Teams, BlueJeans, and Zoom meetings. Videxio is also working on support for Google Hangouts, the company said. To get started with MeetingConnect, admins just need to log in to the Videxio admin portal and print QR codes with instructions to post in meeting rooms. You can see a short demo video here.AvePoint Intros AVAMicrosoft partner AvePoint, an enterprise software and services provider, this week announced the general availability of AvePoint Virtual Assistant (AVA), a bot designed to locate and restore Microsoft Office 365 content for end users.Users who accidentally delete or can’t find files, documents, or emails in Office 365 are able to forego calling up IT and instead chat with AVA in Microsoft Teams. AVA can automatically perform searches based on the individual user’s permissions in Exchange, Outlook, and OneDrive’s recycle bin to restore the sought-after item. Further, when integrated with AvePoint’s Cloud Backup for Office 365 solution, the bot can find content that isn’t retained by Office 365’s native backup capabilities, AvePoint said.AVA is available as a freemium application in the Microsoft Teams Store. Among future developments, AvePoint said it intends to support all major languages with full natural language processing capabilities and to integrate the bot across the full Office 365 portfolio.Versa Networks Teams with AWS Partners on SD-WANSoftware-defined network (SD-WAN) vendor Versa Networks recently revealed that it’s teamed up with Amazon Web Services Partner Network (APN) partners to provide SD-WAN solutions tailored for AWS. The resulting solution will secure and optimize the migration of enterprise on-premises workloads and applications to AWS, Versa said.When selecting partners to work with, Versa said, it looked for service provider and system integration partners that have achieved the AWS Networking Competency status and are an APN partners supporting AWS Direct Connect. Initial APN networking partners include Verizon, Comcast, CenturyLink, and Zayo, the company said. The first package offered in the AWS Solution Space comes from Zayo.The Versa architecture for AWS involves application-aware routing, application traffic optimization, and a diversity of transport options including MPLS, Internet, LTE, and DCA. It includes the capability to use cloud-interconnect and gateway solutions for private, direct access to AWS.Tango Networks Acquires Simetric TelecomTango Networks, a provider of communication solutions for mobile-first enterprises, this week announced the acquisition of Simetric Telecom, a U.K.-based provider known for its ability to blend fixed communications and mobile services to deliver unified telecommunications. Simetric’s Mobile-X service, in particular, provides converged mobile communications that encompass a full enterprise telephony feature set. Tango recently launched its own cloud-powered enterprise mobile communications service, called Kinetic Cloud, that offers mobile UC, mobile communications recording compliance, automated enterprise application mobile integration, and enterprise text messaging.Together as one, Tango is aiming to create an enterprise mobility powerhouse capable of revolutionizing mobile communications services, the company said. The combined offerings will integrate mobile native voice, text, and data communications with enterprise telephony and applications, giving enterprise customers a “ubiquitous, global communications fabric covering all employees in any location,” Tango said.Simetric is now operating as a subsidiary of Tango Networks; it didn’t disclose the price or terms of the deal.Tags:News & ViewsJabraVidexioAvePointVersa NetworksTango NetworksIndustry NewsAI & AutomationAI & Speech TechnologiesEndpointsEnterprise NetworkingMeetingsSD-WANVideo Collaboration & A/V Articles You Might Like Dish Networks Gets a Bone in Sprint, T-Mobile Merger OK Michael Finneran July 30, 2019 A fantasy solution for a fanciful concern clears the way for Sprint, T-Mobile combo — please let it go through, for safety’s sake! One Way or Another, Sprint Needs Out of Purgatory Michael Finneran June 19, 2019 For enterprise customers, the benefits of a T-Mobile/Sprint combination are clear, but the politics remain incomprehensible. In this week’s news roundup, we look at announcements around professional headsets, video conferencing, virtual assistants, as well as a network partnership and an acquisition in the mobile space.Jabra Launches Wireless Earbuds for BusinessUC headset provider Jabra this week launched the latest addition to its Evolve headset line, the Evolve 65t — wireless earbuds aimed at mobile professionals. Avaya & RingCentral: Does This Alliance Make Sense? Zeus Kerravala October 04, 2019 While the benefits for RingCentral are clear, that’s not so easily said about Avaya. No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday Beth Schultz June 14, 2019 A look at news from Slack, Symphony, Intel, Nureva, and PGi Jabra_Evolve65t_300.png See All in Industry News » News_774.png Avaya Taps RingCentral in UCaaS Partnership Beth Schultz October 03, 2019 Deal includes RingCentral’s $500 million investment in Avaya.
Jury awards $8 million-plus in hip implant suit against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy subsidiary by Greg Risling, The Associated Press Posted Mar 8, 2013 3:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A jury Friday awarded $8.3 million to a former prison guard who accused Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary of knowingly marketing a faulty hip implant that was later recalled.Jurors found that the ASR XL implant was defectively designed and caused metal poisoning and other health problems suffered by Loren Kransky after he underwent surgery in 2007.However, the panel rejected the 65-year-old’s claim that DePuy failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with the implant, and it didn’t find the company acted with malice, prohibiting Kransky from collecting any punitive damages.The fraud and negligence suit is the first of nearly 11,000 similar cases involving an all-metal ball-and-socket hip joint that was pulled from the market two years ago to reach trial in the United States. Others like Kransky claim the implants have left them with crippling injuries or in need of other replacement surgeries.Johnson & Johnson has set aside about $1 billion to cover costs of the recall and lawsuits.Plaintiff’s attorney Doug Saeltzer said the verdict bodes well for the other cases.“The message is that these cases are valid, that the injuries are real and severe, and Johnson & Johnson and DePuy have to pay significant money for their mistakes,” Saeltzer said.Loire Gawreluk, a DePuy spokeswoman, said the Warsaw, Ind., company plans to appeal the verdict.“We believe ASR XL was properly designed, and that DePuy’s actions concerning the product were appropriate and responsible,” she said.During the trial, Kransky’s lawyers told jurors that black pieces of metal flaked off the implant and caused a type of poisoning that could have killed him if the material had not been removed.Brian Panish, one of Kransky’s attorneys, said during closing arguments that the company “knew this hip was defective long before Mr. Kransky got it,” the Los Angeles Times reported.“They wanted to play Russian roulette with patients. This defendant didn’t care about patient safety,” Panish said.Defence attorneys denied Kransky’s claims and argued he had a host of pre-existing health ailments and the hip implant didn’t make him worse.The hip joint was sold for eight years to more than 90,000 people worldwide. New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson stopped making the product in 2009 and recalled it the next year.The artificial part is meant to replace deteriorated joints causing severe pain and limiting mobility, and is generally expected to last 10 to 20 years. With the DePuy hip implant, one in eight patients needed theirs replaced within five years.Attorneys representing the patients claim J&J knew about the problems in 2008. The company has denied those allegations.Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest provider of health care products, has issued more than 30 product recalls since 2009. Most have involved nonprescription medicines such as adult and children’s Tylenol and Motrin, but other recalls were for prescription drugs for conditions such as epilepsy or for contact lenses.Johnson & Johnson shares rose 44 cents to $78.19 Friday.
Briefing the Security Council for the last time in his capacity as UN Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating called on all Somalis to draw strength from the positive transformations going on inside the country and work collectively for the common good.“The future of Somalia is in the hands of the Somalis,” he declared.In particular, Mr. Keating – who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) – urged unity among political leaders.“The more [they] show unity, the greater the opportunity, and the responsibility, of international partners to invest in all parts of the country and its leadership,” he said.In his remarks, Mr. Keating highlighted four key concerns the country’s leaders need to address, and issues that the international community should keep focusing on.These include the threat posed by the Al Shabaab and other extremist groups; the risk of political differences overshadowing progress in legislative, reform and security areas; fragmentation within the international community; and the danger of a humanitarian “catastrophe”, especially with most of the population already living in precarious circumstances due to climate change and other vulnerabilities.“Future crises will result from the combination of climate related shocks; armed conflict provoked by Al Shabaab and unresolved grievances; competition over natural resources; and systemic marginalization of certain groups,” warned Mr. Keating. He underscored the need to reduce the vulnerability faced by ordinary Somalis, through job creation and smart investments that safeguard natural resources and help unlock the enormous economic potential of the country.Besides political will, Mr. Keating underscored, success will depend on leaders from the political, business and traditional spheres “working together for the common good, leveraging the country’s potential wealth to transform prospects for people – especially the young.”On 1 October, Nicholas Haysom will replace Mr. Keating as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and the head of UNSOM. Mr. Keating was appointed the top UN official in the Horn of Africa nation in November 2015.Women have brought ‘important voices’ to Somali politicsAlongside Mr. Keating, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of the UN gender equality and empowerment agency for women and girls (UN Women) highlighted the “once-in-a-generation opportunity” that Somalia currently has to establish lasting peace, and gender equality.She commended the nation for improving representation of women in public office, illustrated by the “jump” in women’s representation in parliamentary elections from 14 to nearly 25 per cent of seats in the most recent elections.This progress, she underscored, has brought many “important voices” to Somali politics.She said it had brought to the centre “the fight to end child marriage, end female genital mutilation (FGM), and change laws that discriminate against women,” noting that the participation of women will be further boosted if more leaders, especially clan leaders, embrace gender equality and support women.She also called on the international community and the Security Council to support Somalia’s federal and provincial authorities, advance gender equality, act strongly against sexual and gender-based violence, advocate for meaningful participation and recognition of women in all sectors, and support women’s groups in the country.“Women’s organizations in Somalia are organized. They are dedicated to their country: they are activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, professionals, and patriots,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, noting that as the country prepares to confront the challenges in the days ahead, “women will make the difference.”
In a statement on Friday, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, who is also the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, encouraged all Nigerians to “continue to maintain calm and to exercise patience and restraint throughout the voting process and the announcement of the final results”.As President Muhammadu Buhari aims to extend his time in office, after victory four years ago – when, for the first-time ever, an opposition candidate defeated a sitting president – former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has emerged as his main challenger, according to news reports.Adhere to the tenets of free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections – UN envoyMr. Chambas welcomed the candidates’ signing on Wednesday of the second National Peace Accord, which aims to keep the vote peaceful and ensure a non-violent transfer of power, and urged them to “seek redress of any grievances they may have through legal and constitutional means”.He pressed the candidates to “mobilize” their supporters to “adhere to the tenets of free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections, devoid of hate and denigration of each other”.“Firmly reject all undemocratic and negative voices that may seek to disrupt the elections and promote conflict between Nigerians”, he said, while encouraging voters in Africa’s most-populous democracy to exercise their civic responsibility and come out “in numbers” to peacefully cast their votes.The Special Representative said that success at the polls was “the responsibility of all Nigerians and relevant Nigerian institutions, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, political parties, candidates, religious leaders, civil society”. While calling on all participants to “prioritize the interest of the country”, the UNOWAS head expressed his hopes that the continent’s largest economy will successfully conduct free, fair and transparent elections that will “set an example for the elections coming up in West Africa and Africa, and underscore Nigeria’s leadership in the region”.
Thank you for inviting me here today, I’m very pleased to have this early opportunity of meeting you.Freight transport is essential to the effective functioning of the country. It ensures that supermarket shelves remain stocked, medical supplies and post get to where they are needed when they are needed; factory floors are supplied with equipment, and UK businesses have access to overseas suppliers and can sell UK goods abroad.The UK freight and logistics sector is therefore vital to economic growth and prosperity. It is worth around £75billion to the economy and employs over 2m people across 190,000 companies. It delivers the country’s core needs (food, oil, coal, hospital supplies); facilitates industrial and manufacturing sector (imports and exports) and ensures the service sector can thrive through supply of consumer goods. Efficient freight transport is vital for efficient business.Of course, you all know this, and the Government does too.The Logistics Growth Review, back in November 2011, set out our position on the importance of the freight sector. This made clear that facilitating conditions for growth in the logistics sector is critical to the Government’s growth agenda. It included a wide package of measures to target real barriers to growth identified by businesses across the sector which we have been taking forward.We have made significant investment in increasing rail freight capacity: over £400m between 2009-2014 and over £200m agreed for 2014-2019.To give just one example: the Felixstowe to Nuneaton (West Coast Main Line) capacity scheme (£52.8m) for Control Period 4 (to April 2014) is designed to deliver 16 additional freight paths per day in each direction, enabling rail to accommodate part of the growth arising from the expansion of the Port of Felixstowe.The road network is vital to our economy. Since the late-1980s, more than 60 per cent of goods moved have been transported by road.In the June Spending Round we announced transformational investment in our road network and reform to the status of the Highways Agency.We have committed investment of over £24bn in this and the next Parliament. This should deliver 52 new national road projects and will triple annual investment on road enhancements from today’s levels to over £3bn by 2021.Over 400 extra lane miles of Improved Motorways’ will be added, linking existing stretches to create a new ‘Smart Motorway’ corridor between the North West, Birmingham and London.And we will invest more than £9bn in maintaining our national road networkThe M62 J25-30 scheme near Leeds in South Yorkshire is now fully operational. A number of other schemes are already under construction, including the widening of the A23 between Handcross and Warninglid in West Sussex, and dualling the A11 Fiveways to Thetford in East Anglia, with completion expected in 2014/15;The plans for the Highways Agency will see it turned into a publicly owned company with long term funding certainty, ending decades of underinvestment and uncertainty in our road network, making sure money goes where it is most needed and schemes are backed from design to completion.Commercial vehicles are the basis of the sector. A trial of longer semi trailers is now well under way. Longer trailers enable freight companies to transport more goods, more efficiently, and should give significant economic and environmental benefits. We want to maximise their use during the trial to ensure we properly assess the benefits therefore we have recently changed the allocation procedure to better match supply and demand, so that the trailers can be used by the operators who are ready to use them.Since we made the change, we have had requests for over 500 semi-trailers, from operators who are ready to place their orders with manufacturers within the next six months, in addition to the 550 that had already been authorised since the trial started last year.Heavy goods vehicles are responsible for around 20% of green house gas emissions from domestic transport.We have set up a joint Government and Industry Low Carbon HGV Technology Task Force with the aim of promoting the use of fuel efficient, low emission road freight technologies.We have also launched a low carbon truck trial, which will support over 300 low carbon HGVs, (with around 130 already on the road and the remainder coming soon) and a number of gas refuelling stations that will be open to other operators. The trial aims to demonstrate the wider benefits of low carbon trucks, such as the potential for reduced running costs through fuel savings for operators, and will provide crucial evidence that will link with the government’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) strategy which was been broadened to include heavier vehicles.We are working on our new guidance on quiet out of hours deliveries, which will improve flexibility for freight operators and their customers and relieve peak hour congestion on busy high streets. We will be issuing this soon and disseminating it to all the sectors involved, including freight operators, retailers, local authorities and community groups.We will continue to work with the freight industry to identify priorities where we can do more to help the sector develop and support the wider economy.The HGV road user levy Act has now become law, and we are working to introduce the levy from April 2014.The levy is being introduced to ensure a fairer arrangement for UK hauliers.At the moment there are charges for lorries in almost every European country, yet foreign HGV drivers pay nothing to use UK roads. The HGV road user levy will correct that imbalance and ensure that foreign hauliers pay a contribution whenever they use UK roads and we will introduce other measures to be introduced at the same time to ensure that more than nine out of ten will pay no more than now.We know that the freight sector is very competitive with many small firms and narrow profit margins.In recognition of the impact that persistently high prices have on business costs the 1.89 pence per litre fuel duty increase planned for 1 September was cancelled.Fuel duty has now been frozen for nearly three and a half years, the longest fuel duty freeze for over 20 years. As a result of government actions, average pump prices are 13ppl lower than if we had stuck to the previous government’s plans.Cancelling the September increase will save a typical haulier £750 per year.Budget 2013 announced that vehicle excise duty would be frozen for HGVs meaning that hauliers have been benefiting from frozen VED rates since 2001.In 2013-14 the HGV rates would be around 45% higher if they had increased with RPI since 2001 and around 12% higher if they had increased with RPI since 2010.In 2012, there were almost 300,000 people employed as large goods vehicle drivers in the UK. Driving is a skilled and safety-critical activity and we welcome the work being done by the industry to increase the recognition of it as a worthwhile job. We are committed to doing our part, for example working with industry to enable people with skills acquired in the military to make the most of their potential in civilian driving.We continue to press for the right European-wide rules, the right level of discretion for the United Kingdom and the right interpretation of the European rules. So for example we have just laid a regulation to amend who is in-scope of driver CPC. This means that some drivers who drive infrequently as part of their job will not need to hold a CPC. This change represents a saving to the industry of nearly £24m per year.We continue to negotiate to avoid excessive European requirements for roadworthiness testing. There are still some risks of disproportionate costs including related to caravans, but I am pleased that some of the potential impositions have been stopped.I know that there are a number of issues that concern you.Our proposed option for a new commercial model for the VCA is to create a new company in a joint venture with a private sector partner. The Secretary of State will be a minority shareholder in the new company and will retain the position of UK Type Approval Authority. All of the services currently offered by VCA, including those considered by industry to be a “one stop shop”, will continue to be delivered by the new company. A prime objective for this project is to ensure VCA’s well-deserved international reputation for integrity and the delivery of high-quality services is maintained.The new company will be established so that there will be a seamless transfer of responsibilities from VCA and although customers will obviously see some differences, the VCA’s capacity and quality of service on offer will not be impaired in any wayI understand the concerns of the industry regarding problems when booking an appointment for an individual approval inspection.The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) who are responsible for the inspections are working closely with the trade bodies, especially the SMMT, to identify and address concerns.VOSA has implemented a number of measures including additional administrative and technical staff to boost capacity.At the moment VOSA staff operate from seventeen privately owned inspection facilities and plans to open three more VOSA sites are well advanced.Despite introduction of the requirements in 2009, many manufacturers & builders have only recently had their first encounter with the type approval requirements and VOSA staff spend a lot of their time providing expertise and support. We recognise this is a difficult and demanding area.Individual approval inspection remains very cost-effective route to registration for use on UK roads and VOSA staff will continue to provide assistance to help customers through the process.We know that the freight and logistics industry is vital to the UK’s economy and I look forward to hearing more about the issues that matter to you.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Might not see Terrell Owens in a football uniform again.If Terrell Owens‘ career had not hit rock bottom by playing in the Indoor Football League, it did Tuesday when he was cut from the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.Worse, the team was chasing a playoff spot and still got rid of the one-time Pro Bowl receiver.But why?Apparently, Owens refused to play in upcoming road games against the Nebraska Danger and Everett (Washington) Raptors. According to a statement from the Wranglers, T.O. got the boot because of typical Terrell Owens nonsense.“The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for Mr. Owens was his no-show to a scheduled appearance at a local children’s hospital with other Wrangler players and coaches,” the statement read. It is not the desire of the Allen Wranglers’ organization to disappoint fans by having our most notable player miss a scheduled appearance.”Reportedly, as part of being cut, Owens loses his ownership stake in the team — and almost assuredly any chance of a return to the NFL.
We are asking the UK Government to ensure best practice is in place along the full plastic supply chain, and any further nurdle pollution is stoppedMadeleine Berg, Fidra The largest number recorded in the Great Winter Nurdle Hunt weekend in early February were found at Widemouth Bay, Cornwall, where 33 volunteers from the Widemouth Task Force collected around 127,500 pellets on a 100-metre stretch of beach.Hundreds or even thousands of the tiny pellets were also spotted by volunteers over a short period of time in locations from Porth Neigwl, Wales, to the shoreline in front of the dunes at Seaton, Hartlepool, and after stormy conditions on the Isle of Wight.They are one of the main sources of “primary microplastics” – small pieces of plastic which have not come from larger items broken down into little bits – in European seas and can cause damage to wildlife, such as birds and fish which eat them.Experts warn they can also soak up chemical pollutants from their surroundings and then release the toxins into the creatures that eat them.Overall, more than 600 volunteers took part in the Great Winter Nurdle Hunt organised by Scottish environmental charity Fidra and other organisations.Results from the hunt will be fed into the Government’s consultation on microplastics, looking at ways of tackling the problem. Small plastic pellets that can kill wildlife are being found on nearly three quarters of Britain’s beaches, a new survey has found.Searches of 270 shorelines from Shetland to the Scilly Isles revealed most are being blighted by lentil-sized “nurdles”, which are used as a raw material for building plastic products.Billions of the lightweight objects escape into the environment each year, either spilt into rivers and oceans or getting into drains during their manufacture or transport. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Hundreds of nurdles are used to make a plastic bottleCredit:Telegraph Madeleine Berg, projects officer at Fidra, said: “The information we’ve gathered will be vital to show the UK Government that pellets are found on beaches all around the UK and, importantly, that so many people care about the issue.”Simple precautionary measures can help spillages and ensure nurdles don’t end up in our environment.”We are asking the UK Government to ensure best practice is in place along the full plastic supply chain, and any further nurdle pollution is stopped.”UK factories use 7.3 million tons of plastic each year, most of it made up of tiny pellets between 3mm and 5mm wide and weighing about 20mg each.About 600 nurdles are used to make a small plastic water bottle.Although only a tiny fraction – less than 0.01 per cent – are thought to escape, so many nurdles pass through the UK’s factories that as many as 53 billion are spilled into the wider environment each year, according to the report by the research group Eunomia.That is the equivalent of 35 tanker-loads of pellets weighing more than 1,000 tons.In 2015 study found that nurdles posed a risk to a key puffin colony on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth.It found the tiny pellets in the stomachs of many of the birds, adding to the array of plastic fragments that have become so prevalent in the oceans that nine out of ten sea birds already have some lodged in their stomachs.Campaigners arguing for tougher action on irresponsible manufacturers have pointed to the dramatic reduction of plastic bags on British beaches in the wake of the introduction of the 5p charge.Reports last year suggested the number of bags being washed up onto the shoreline had halved in the 12 months since the minimum charge was brought in.