Time Inc EVP and CFO Jeff Bairstow Stepping Down

first_img Additional responsibilities have also been added to the plates of Erik Moreno and Jaison Blair. Moreno who was EVP, business development, will now hold the title of EVP and president, corporate development, new ventures & investments. Blair, whose title was SVP, investor relations and corporation communications, will now hold the title of SVP investor relations, finance & corporate development. Moreno will report to Battista, and Blair will report to D’Emic. One of the last remaining Time Inc. c-level executives who began 2016 with the company is now moving on, too. Today, CEO Rich Battista announced that EVP and CFO Jeff Bairstow will  step down next month after three years on the job. “Jeff has led many of our key initiatives, beginning with our separation from Time Warner and securing financing from the investment community, to the monetization of real estate assets, driving key acquisitions and divestitures, growing our India operation to an industry-leading center of excellence and working closely with Marcus Rich to drive the successful turnaround of Time Inc. UK,” Battista says in a statement. Jeff Bairstow Replacing Bairstow will be Sue D’Emic, who has been serving as SVP, controller since 2013. This latest leadership change rounds out a reboot at the top of the company. Battista, of course, replaced Joe Ripp last month. Other changes this this year have included CTO Colin Bodell, who was let go back in May during a major restructuring. He was replaced by president of digital Jen Wong, who was later named to the newly-created COO position. Norm Pearlstine stepped down as chief content officer in July, and is now vice chairman. He was replaced by Allan Murray. The summer also saw the departure of several other executives, including EVP Evelyn Webster. “Sue brings more than two decades of public company finance and operations expertise and a deep understanding of our industry and company,” Battista says about her in the same statement. “I am confident that she will be a strong financial and strategic partner as we continue to aggressively execute on our transformation.” Sue D’Emic Battista also announced the appointment of a new c-level title. Greg Giangrande, EVP and chief human resources officer, will add chief communications officer to his business card. He will continue to report to Battista.last_img read more

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Time Inc Productions and Paramount Team Up on NonScripted TV Series

first_imgTime Inc. is taking two of its popular titles to a new destination— the small screen.Launching in January of next year, Time Inc. Productions and Paramount Network are teaming up for a multi-project deal that includes a set of premium non-scripted television series currently in pilot production.As part of this new initiative, the series will be linked to both Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly titles.Bruce Gersh, SVP, Strategy and Business Development at Time Inc. spoke to Folio: about the development process for the series. “Our development is a blend of original ideas, and leveraging existing IP,” says Gersh. “’The Bullseye’ and ‘Sports Illustrated: True Crime’ are editorial features that we reimagined for television.”The one-hour “Sports Illustrated: True Crime” series, launched by the brand and Jerry Bruckheimer TV, will investigate athletes involved in criminal activity and misdeeds, and is based on the title’s “SI True Crime” franchise. Each episode of the series will be complemented by an article on the brand’s website and in its print magazine.Additionally, the half-hour “Entertainment Weekly: The Bullseye” series will run as a late-night comedy panel/talk show based on the magazine’s “The Bullseye” column, and will feature a multitude of celebrity guests.When forming the ideas behind the series, Gersh notes that Time Inc. Productions has a devoted creative team that works to develop television programming across the company’s brands.In terms of the pitch process, Gersh says that both series were developed with Time Inc. Productions’ partners, and were then pitched as a team to Paramount.“We formed Television teams, and the process is collaborative between Time Inc. Productions and the individual brand stakeholders,” says Gersh.Looking ahead for Time Inc., Gersh tells us that extending the company’s brands in television is a priority.“We are seeing tremendous demand for our premium-quality content, and leveraging our intellectual property with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Jerry Bruckheimer and Morgan Spurlock,” notes Gersh. “For instance, we recently won our first Emmy award in a traditional TV category for our “Year in Space” program. By the end of 2017, we will have produced over 50 hours of TV program- ming, more than doubling versus 2016.”last_img read more

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GACs Entranze concept is a slick EV with room for seven

first_img 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Feb 7 • Chevy’s full-scale Lego Silverado is plastic fantastic in Chicago Concept Cars Electric Cars Tags See All Jan 22 • Our highlights of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show Detroit Auto Show 2019 Post a comment China’s GAC Motor first made its main-floor debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Now, in its third year, the automaker came to Detroit to show off a brand new concept.GAC Motor on Monday unveiled its Entranze EV concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Loaded with the kind of tech you expect in a concept these days, GAC created this seven seater with the great American road trip in mind.The Entranze looks similar to Chrysler’s Portal minivan concept from CES 2017. The front lights follow the form of the front end closely, while the rear lights are tucked up under the glass. There are some big ol’ openings on the sides that make ingress and egress a breeze. Since the Entranze is electric, there’s no internal combustion engine to take up a bunch of space. And the wheels are pushed to the extreme ends of the body, allowing for even more space inside the vehicle.Enlarge ImageSliding glass doors and a front bench seat? Yep, I love it. Steven Pham/Roadshow The interior is the focus of this concept. Since it’s woke to use environmentally friendly materials in 2019, GAC claims the Entranze’s interior is made from more than 90 percent sustainable materials, including cork. The interior’s 3+2+2 configuration is atypical, but you’ll never hear me gripe about a front bench seat. The rocker panels on the side unfurl into steps, but they can also act as benches for just hangin’ out on the roadside. The interior looks like a work of art, with interesting blends of materials, colors and textures.The tech isn’t anything to shake a stick at, either. There are OLED screens all over the darn place — there are two little screens flanking the steering wheel, two screens at each front corner and a massive screen directly in front of the passenger. Those screens will be necessary to keep boredom at bay because, like many newfangled concepts, the Entranze is also capable of autonomous driving.While the Entranze is unlikely to make it to production, at least without a slew of changes, GAC does intend to bring its products to the US. However, it’s unclear when that will actually happen. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have some extra eye candy in Detroit. Share your voice 0 More From Roadshowcenter_img GAC Entranze concept debuts in Detroit Detroit Auto Show: Check out all the latest reveals.Concept cars: Soak in all the highfalutin tech and design. 39 Photos 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value reading • GAC’s Entranze concept is a slick EV with room for seven • 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous May 14 • History of the Toyota Supra, a Japanese sports car legend Detroit Auto Show 2019 Feb 4 • 2020 Kia Telluride: Detroit Auto Show debut turns Super Bowl ad starlast_img read more

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Twitter tests new desktop layouts

first_img Share your voice CNET’s Queenie Wong contributed to this report. Internet Tech Industry 0 Post a comment Tags Put the old page design back, twitter. This is a cluttered mess without rhyme nor reason. Everything’s small and crowded. What were you thinking? #twitterupdate— Cobalt (@chrissutor2) April 23, 2019 Twitter has a new look. Steven Musil/CNET If your Twitter feed looks a bit different, there’s a good reason.The microblogging service rolled out a redesigned desktop layout on Tuesday that features a simpler, airier look. The redesign, which Twitter announced in January, was previously available to a limited number of users through an opt-in program.The design revamp doesn’t appear to be the same for everyone though. One layout features two columns rather than three, with a larger timeline on the left and the trending topics and who to follow features moved from the left to the right column. Still others are getting a layout with a third, static column that holds the usual tools such as notifications and messages.mytwitterEnlarge ImageNew look with the (optional?) third column on left. Steven Musil/CNET A Twitter representative said the company is still testing new designs for the website.”We’re testing a few things so people may see different versions,” a Twitter spokeswoman said. “We wanted to test out in the open to get feedback and see what people think.”The new appearance also corrals other customizable features, some that had been made available piecemeal, including the option to change the size of your text, switch to dark mode (with a black background instead of white) and the option to choose the latest tweets first.The changes come as Twitter continues to try to come up with new features to boost user engagement. On Tuesday, Twitter said its monthly active users increased to 330 million in the first quarter from 321 million users in the fourth quarter.Even though Twitter warned months ago that changes were afoot, some users seemed confused by the changes Tuesday.A D. Giggs wondered if Twitter had rolled out a redesign… …while a user named Cobalt begged Twitter to switch it back to the previous layout. “This is a cluttered mess without rhyme nor reason. Everything’s small and crowded,” Cobalt tweeted. “What were you thinking?” Did Twitter just roll out a new design in the last 5 mins? What the….?— D Giggs (@PuddinCusp) April 23, 2019 Twitterlast_img read more

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Sun Pharma Shares Plunge over 15 on Profit Warning

first_imgStock prices of India’s biggest drug-maker Sun Pharma fell sharply on Tuesday as the company said its profit could come under pressure due to costs involved in merging of Ranbaxy Laboratories.Share prices of Sun Pharma fell by ₹143.30 or 15.14% to close at ₹803.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).On Monday, the Mumbai-based multi-national pharmaceutical company said its revenue growth will remain flat in the current fiscal year owing to factors including expenditure on integrating Ranbaxy into the company, extended impact of “remediation measures” at Halol and sale of low-margin businesses.However, brokerages remain mixed over the outlook for stock prices of Sun Pharma despite a warning for a slump in profit.”The miss, in our view, is largely due to one-off issues (Halol disruptions and integration costs) and are non-recurring. With business fundamentals remaining intact, our FY17 number sees only marginal downgrade and we retain our buy rating with a target price of Rs 1,100,” global brokerage firm Jefferies said in a note to The Economic Times.Sun Pharma had witnessed a fall in profit by 44% to ₹888 crore during January-March quarter against ₹1,587 crore in the same quarter last year.”Things seemed to be getting murkier for the company and it is likely to be under stress not only for the current financial year but also FY16-17,” BSE & NSE member Dipan Mehta, told moneycontrol.com.Nevertheless, the management of Sun Pharma remains hopeful of making comeback to a “sustainable growth path” starting from next fiscal year once the hurdles clear off.The Sun-Ranbaxy merger was expected to be a complicated process, considering the large size of the two companies. Combined sales force of the two firms is nearly 30,000.”We continue to believe that these issues pressuring near-term earnings do not impact the medium-to-long-term outlook of Sun and hence would look to add on any disproportionate declines,” said the Macquarie report.last_img read more

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Two Indian diplomats locked up harassed at gurdwara in Pakistan

first_imgGurdwara Sacha Sauda near Lahore, Pakistan.FacebookIndia has raised its concerns with Pakistan over harassment of two of its diplomats by intelligence personnel last month and asked it to conduct an inquiry and prevent recurrence of such incidents, sources said in New Delhi on Saturday.It also conveyed its concerns regarding the security of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.Sources said that the concerns about the security of the mission were conveyed to Islamabad in a demarche on April 25.India also sent a note verbale last month protesting about the harassment of two of its diplomats and their being locked up in a room for over 20 minutes at Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Gurdwara near Lahore on April 17.The two Indian diplomats, who were at the gurdwara to facilitate Indian pilgrims, were also threatened and asked never come to the area again.They were locked up in a room by about 15 Pakistani intelligence personnel, their bags were searched and they were questioned.India had earlier this year also raised concern over harassment of its diplomats with Pakistan.last_img read more

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Bangalore Metro hopes for better ride this fiscal with rising traffic nonfare

first_imgCommuters disembark from a Namma Metro (Kannada for “Our Metro”) train at an elevated station in the Indira Nagar area of Bangalore March 7, 2012.Reuters fileBangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), Indian IT city’s five-year-old network, hopes to improve operational efficiency in the current fiscal with higher passenger traffic and increased non-fare revenues.Namma Metro, as the network is colloquially called, saw its net loss widen to Rs 360.98 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 263.26 crore in the preceding fiscal, even as operating income rose 58 percent to Rs. 28.28 crore from Rs 17.83 crore in 2014-15. Total revenues stood at Rs 45 crore for 2015-16.Read: Cauvery water dispute: Woman burns bus in exchange for biryani during Bengaluru shutdownThe metro network’s interest costs in 2015-16 were Rs 37 crore in comparison to Rs 29.64 in the previous financial year. Its debt stood at Rs 9,661 crore as on March 31, 2016, according to the financial statement for financial year 2015-16.More ATMs at Metro stationsBMRCL’s other income, which stood at Rs 16.78 crore last fiscal, is poised to rise in the future as it finalises to leverage its sprawling at its 22 stations. The most significant would be the setting up of ATMs at 17 stations, for which it has selected five banks in the first round of tenders. The number of stations and ATMs will go up after the second round of bids.”There was a lot of interest but because the closing date of the tender was during the holidays this month, a few banks could not complete their applications. As a result, around five stations did not got bids. But this will be set right in the coming days with another tender,” a BMRCL official told The Hindu. The cumulative rental income from the ATMs will be around Rs. 2.5 crore annually, the official told the daily.The non-fare revenues are expected to spurt in the coming years, according to Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director, BMRCL. “With the increase in ridership, the rent at Metro stations is set to soar. We are presently charging Rs 1,000 as rent per square foot. This could increase in the future,” he told The New Indian Express (TNIE).Higher passenger trafficWith the purple line becoming operational from April this year, the number of passengers carried has shot up to 1.75 lakh everyday from 46,055 earlier. This will reflect in BMRCL’s increased revenues from operations.”We were running at an average of 40,000 commuters per day before the launch of the underground corridor. It has now increased four-fold, with almost 1.7 lakh to 1.8 lakh riders daily,” Pradeep Singh Kharola told TNIE.The network operates two line — east-west corridor (also called purple line) and north-south corridor (also referred to as green line). The newly inaugurated Namma Metro Purple Line start operations connecting the east and west of Bengaluru on April 30, 2016.IANSlast_img read more

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Gold steady as unease with Trump policy weighs on dollar

first_imgGold prices were steady on Tuesday as the dollar remained under pressure on signs that United States President Donald Trump would adopt a protectionist stance on trade.Read: After Donald Trump pulls out of Trans-Pacific Partnership, Australia opens doors for China to join trade dealSpot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,217.42 per ounce by 0337 GMT, after hitting their strongest since Nov. 22 at $1,219.59 earlier in the session.U.S. gold futures inched up 0.2 percent, to $1,218.Trump formally withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday and told U.S. manufacturing executives he would impose a hefty border tax on firms that import products after moving American factories overseas.”We are looking at gold hitting $1,250 within weeks. The rationale is very simple. The market was in honeymoon with Trump. With him in power now, the reality starts to bite,” said Dominic Schnider of UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.”The market starts to realise the euphoria on how he starts to accelerate the growth and is disappointed. Maybe his policies are inflationary rather than growth supportive.”Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary Steven said that an excessively strong dollar was negative in the short term, according to a report by Bloomberg on Monday. That put additional pressure on the dollar.The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell for a third day by 0.2 percent to 99.930.Trump’s campaign calls for tax cuts and more infrastructure spending have boosted U.S. shares and the dollar, as well as driving a selloff in U.S. Treasury bills, but his protectionist statements and a flurry of off-the-cuff Tweets have kept many investors from adding to risky positions.”Regardless of Trump, the main story for gold is negative interest rates in the U.S. We are not expecting the Fed to raise rates in March and it’s just going to be two hikes and that’s roughly priced in to the market,” Schnider said.Spot gold looks exhausted and may again fail to break a strong resistance at $1,219 per ounce before retracing towards a support at $1,196, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.Among other precious metals, silver was flat at $17.19 per ounce while platinum gained 0.5 percent, to $983.35.Palladium dropped by 0.6 percent to $771.80 an ounce, after hitting $795.60, its highest since May 2015, in the previous session.last_img read more

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Tata Motors will look to turn around India ops focus on CV

first_imgClose Saying that it is making an “earnest effort to turn profitable” after India’s largest truckmaker posted standalone losses for four straight quarters, Tata Motors Chairman N Chandrasekaran said on Tuesday that the domestic business, particularly the CV segment has suffered due to a challenging environment as also the company’s sub-optimal execution and market misses.An Economic Times (ET) report said on Tuesday that Chandrasekaran, who was addressing shareholders of the company at a AGM for the first time after taking over as chairman, expressed regret over the company’s inability to pay dividends due to losses incurred by its domestic business and said it is working “with tremendous urgency” to deal with the matter.”I know that from a shareholder’s perspective it is disappointing that the company has been unable to pay a dividend in light of its significant losses in the standalone business,” Chandrasekaran said. Tata Motors is working with “tremendous urgency” to remedy the situation, he said, while trying to reassure the shareholders, the financial website Moneycontrol.com reported on Tuesday.”Looking ahead, we expect the business environment to remain dynamic and unpredictable. Our clear focus is the turnaround of the domestic business,” he said at Tata Motors’ Annual General Meeting here today.”I am optimistic about the future – it may be challenging but at the same time, it offers many positive opportunities for both Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover,” Chandrasekaran said. Showroom attendants polish a Jaguar vehicle at a Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Mumbai. Tata Motors, which owns the Jaguar brand, said on Tuesday that the company’s commercial vehicles business has faced a challenging and uncertain environment this year due to changeover to the GST regime, demonetisation and an unexpected Supreme Court ruling on BS 3 to BS 4 migration. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA – Tags: BUSINESS TRANSPORT)ReutersMoneycontrol noted that Chandrasekaran’s comments were along the lines of a roadmap laid out by the automobile maker’s management. Tata Motors Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Guenter Butschek had said on Monday that the company planned to cut costs, focus on new launches and improve supply chain in order to turn the standalone business profitable in the current financial year.Chandrasekaran said that in 2016-17, Tata Motors’ standalone gross revenues was at Rs 49,100 crore, up 3.6 per cent from the previous year. The loss after tax, on a standalone basis, was Rs 2,480 crore compared to Rs 62 crore in the previous year.Challenging prospects for CV businessThe ET report said that Chandrasekaran pointed out reasons for the dismal performance of the company’s domestic business. The commercial vehicles (CV) business faced a challenging and uncertain environment due to changeover to the GST regime, demonetisation and “unexpected Supreme Court ruling on BS 3 to BS 4 migration”, he was reported as saying.”On the other hand, the company’s performance also suffered due to sub-optimal execution and market misses. We have continued to lose market share in the commercial vehicles business, reaching 44.4 per cent in March this year from a high of nearly 60 per cent, five years back,” he said in the ET report.Chandrasekaran noted that Tata Motors’ CV volumes have remained more or less constant at around 3,20,000 vehicles, over the past three years, while the operating costs have gone up over time. This had impacted the performance of the company this year. On plans to reverse the situation, Chandrasekaran was quoted by ET as saying, “In CV, we are focused on ensuring that all product launches happen within our laid down timelines without any delay, changing the trajectory of our market share curve and start gaining market share, and serious cost improvement plan.”The management team is working on these on a priority basis, he said, adding that the team led by Guenter Butschek is working together to deliver a strong execution led operating performance. Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran says that Tata Motors is streamlining the end-to-end visibility of its supply chain and focusing on accelerating the timeline of delivery of new products to the market. ” width=”660″ height=”auto” tw=”1200″ th=”840″ />Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran says that Tata Motors is streamlining the end-to-end visibility of its supply chain and focusing on accelerating the timeline of delivery of new products to the market. On the passenger vehicles segment, he was quoted as saying that the company has improved its domestic market share but costs have been going up due to investments in current and future portfolios.”We are excited by the prospects of Nexon, which we will launch in September this year,” Chandrasekaran said. Tata Nexon: All you need to know last_img read more

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Sachin Tendulkar leaves Mahendra Singh Dhoni out of his World Cup XI

first_imgSachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.BCCIIndian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has not included Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his preferred XI from among those who played the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. He also didn’t have Virat Kohli as the captain of this team.Tendulkar had New Zealand captain Kane Williamson as the skipper of his side and included five Indians in his team. Indian opener Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah feature in this line-up.The legendary batsman chose Rohit Sharma and English batsman Jonny Bairstow as the opening pair followed by captain Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli. Little Master chose four all-rounders for his World Cup XI. It includes Shakib Al Hasan, Hardik Pandya, Ben Stokes, Ravindra Jadeja. In the bowling department, he went with Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Starc to lead the attack along with Jofra Archer. Twitter/Cricket World CupTendulkar not taking Dhoni in his team is not a major shock according to the current scenario of Indian cricket. Throughout the World Cup, Dhoni was criticised by many fans and former cricketers for scoring at a slow rate in most of the matches. The World Cup-winning captain could not perform up to expectations as a finisher and it looked like age has taken a toll on him.Sachin himself has been very critical about MSD’s performance in the World Cup. He mildly criticised the 38-year-old wicket-keeper batsman when the latter played an innings at a very slow pace against minnows Afghanistan which could have resulted in India’s defeat at the hands of the minnows. Similarly, against England also, Dhoni could not finish off the game like he used to do before.The Men in Blue eventually crashed out of the World Cup, losing to New Zealand in the semi-finals by 18 runs. The Indian middle-order got exposed against the Kiwis thanks to their pace bowling.last_img read more

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Is Shah Rukh Khans son Aryan Khan making south debut with Prabhas

first_imgAryan Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Prabhas, Rana DaggubatiInstagramShah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan made a stunning debut in the entertainment industry by dubbing for Simba’s voice in Hollywood’s animated flick The Lion King. Aryan garnered immense appreciation from all quarters for his confident voice over in the film and it looks like his stint may land him a meatier role against Baahubali stars Prabhas and Rana Daggubati.If the latest reports are to be believed, Aryan Khan is being considered for the role of Pralhad in director Gunasekhar’s mythological magnum opus Hiranyakashipu. The film is set to reunite Prabhas and Rana Daggubati after Baahubali where the two were pitted against each other and Hiranyakashipu is said to bring back the same rivalry once again onscreen.”He has been approached to play the important role of Pralhad. Rana plays the titular character of Hiranyakashipu in the film and will be seen as the villain of the movie. The team is hoping that all falls into place and the deal with Aryan gets cracked. Meanwhile, the movie also stars Baahubali heroines Tamannaah and Anushka Shetty,” a source was quoted as saying by in.com.However, when Gunasekhar was contacted for confirmation, the director wondered where the news was coming from and said that they “haven’t reached the casting stage yet.”last_img read more

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After Imran Khans US visit Pentagon approves sales worth 125 mn to

first_imgImran Khan met Donald Trump in WashingtonReutersThe US Department of Defence has approved military sales worth $125 million to Pakistan to support its purchase of F-16 fighter jets on Friday. The decision was made a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met US President Donald Trump.”The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of USD 125 million,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.While the bilateral talks in Washington on Monday was declared ‘successful’ by both the countries, the defence deal is the first time the US has offered support after security aid to Pakistan was suspended by Trump in 2018.The statement released by the Pentagon said that Pakistan requested a continuation of technical support services from the US government and other technical and logistical support services from contractors to oversee operations. It also mentioned the services were required by Pakistan to conduct its Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.The statement also said Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services — US government and contractor technical and logistics support services — and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.Around 60 contractor representatives from Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services LLC will be sent to Pakistan for assisting and overseeing purposes.The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-role fighter aircraft, concerns India as it is often used against its neighbour, with the most recent usage against India in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrikes.Noting the state of elevated tensions between India and Pakistan, the Defence Department said: “The proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”Protection of US technology as part of American foreign policy and national security “through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring,” was also included.A recent report released by the Indian Defence Ministry has said that Pakistan is expanding its nuclear and missile assets even as the country suffers from a severe economic crisis.Intelligence officials from both the US and India have accused Pakistan army of using terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Islamic State to launch attacks on Indian and US assets in Afghanistan.last_img read more

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Netanyahu questioned in telecoms corruption case

first_imgIsraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister`s office in Jerusalem on 25 February 2018. Reuters File PhotoIsraeli police questioned prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday for the first time in a corruption case that involves the country’s largest telecommunications company Bezeq, Israel Radio said.Police allege that the owners of Bezeq Telecom provided favourable coverage of Netanyahu and his wife on a news website they controlled, in return for favours from communications regulators.Netanyahu, already a suspect in two other corruption cases, denies any wrongdoing.A police spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. A Reuters cameraman saw a vehicle carrying two police officers pull into the prime minister’s official residence.last_img
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HRW for independent probe into election abuses

first_imgNew York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recommended formation of an independent and impartial commission to investigate into ‘serious allegations of abuses’ in the elections in Bangladesh. “The allegations include attacks on opposition party members, voter intimidation, vote rigging, and partisan behaviour by election officials in the pre-election period and on election day,” said the rights group in a press statement on Wednesday. It insisted: “An independent and impartial commission should investigate the serious allegations of abuses in the Bangladesh elections.” Local journalist Rashidul Islam was also named in the case. The two journalists are accused under the draconian Digital Security Act, which criminalises peaceful speech and places undue restrictions on investigative journalism, it added. Voters in various parts of the country told the media that they had been turned away by officials or were joined in the voting booth by ruling party activists, who voted on their behalf. HRW further said, internationally recognised election monitors and foreign journalists were largely barred from the country. “The pre-election period was characterised by violence and intimidation against the opposition, attacks on opposition campaign events, and the misuse of laws to limit free speech,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. Bangladesh’s 11th parliamentary elections were held on 30 December, in which the ruling Awami League-led coalition secured a landslide victory, returning prime minister Sheikh Hasina to a third consecutive term. The ruling camp won 288 of the 298 parliamentary seats in the elections. “In a highly divided country, questions should immediately be raised when one party wins 96 per cent of the seats.” “Reports of ballot stuffing, intimidation of voters, and ruling party control of voting locations on election day mean that an independent and impartial commission should be formed to determine the extent of the violations.” On 1 January 2019, plainclothes police officers arrested Hedait Hossain Molla, a Khulna-based journalist, who had reported the total number of votes cast in the Khulna-1 constituency was higher than the total number of actual eligible voters, the statement pointed out. Instead of investigating irregularities, the HRW regrets, Bangladesh authorities arrested journalists for their reporting. According to the HRW, thousands of opposition supporters were arrested before the election, and journalists described having to censor their reporting for fear of arrest and violence. At least 17 people were killed in violence related to the voting. Nevertheless, a BBC journalist in Chittagong captured images of what appear to be stuffed ballot boxes before the polls opened. Other media reported that in some constituencies, in defiance of the rules, polling places closed for lunch in a clear attempt to suppress turnout. HRW said journalists were forced to delete videos documenting voter intimidation by Awami League supporters. Kafi Kamal, a reporter with the Daily Manab Zamin, said he was beaten up while filming an attack on voters at a polling place. “International donors, the United Nations and friends of Bangladesh should remember that elections are about the rights of voters, not those in power,” Adams said. The opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) said its polling agents were denied access in 221 constituencies. Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bangladesh is a party, states, “Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity… [t]o vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.” It quoted the opposition parties, journalists, and voters as alleging serious irregularities including ballot stuffing, voters being denied access to polling places, ruling party activists occupying polling places and casting ballots in the place of voters, electoral officials and the police behaving in a partisan manner, and violations of voter privacy in an atmosphere of blatant intimidation. A large number of similar accounts by journalists and other witnesses have emerged from across the country, according to the HRW statement.last_img read more

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Theresa May fights rebellion over Brexit deal

first_imgBritain`s prime minister Theresa May gives a press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on 15 November. Photo: AFPBritish prime minister Theresa May battled to salvage a draft Brexit deal and her political future on Thursday, as ministers resigned and members of her own party plotted to oust her.The Conservative leader said she believed with “every fibre of my being” in the Brexit course she had set, hours after facing a hostile parliament and seeing four ministers, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, quit the government.Members of parliament on all sides warned her there was no way the plan could win their approval, but she dismissed calls to quit, saying: “Am I going to see this through? Yes!”.The prime minister admitted “concerns about the backstop” solution to the Irish border question within the deal, which Brexit supporters fear would keep Britain tied indefinitely into a customs union.Critics also believe May has conceded too much to Brussels in other key areas, while EU supporters are calling for a second referendum on a final deal.May, however, said there would be no second vote “as far as I’m concerned”.The 585-page draft aims to ensure a smooth divorce from the EU after more than four decades of membership and outlines a transition period for both sides to adjust to the break.Key provisions seek to avoid a hard border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, protect citizens’ rights and settle Britain’s last bill.Amid the political turmoil, the pound dropped by 2.0 per cent against the dollar to a one-month low and a similar amount against the euro.Stand asideTory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Brexit hardline European Research Group, submitted a letter of no-confidence in the prime minister saying: “It would be in the interest of the party and the country if she were to stand aside.”At least 48 letters from Conservative MPs are required to trigger a vote of no-confidence in the party leader, but a majority of the party’s 315 lawmakers would have to vote against May in order for her to be ousted.Although other MPs have already sent letters, all eyes were on Rees-Mogg given his influence over Brexit supporting MPs.The MP told reporters that a challenge could be launched within weeks.But veteran MP Kenneth Clarke, an arch europhile, told Sky News that May would win any confidence vote, saying “there isn’t an alternative”.I must resignEU leaders will hold an extraordinary Brexit summit on 25 November.If they approve the agreement, the British parliament is scheduled to vote on it in early December.Raab said there would be a devastating impact on public trust in the government unless it changed course on Brexit.”I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto,” he said in his resignation letter.Brexit hardliner Esther McVey also quit her work and pensions secretary post.Suella Braverman resigned as a junior Brexit minister and Shailesh Vara quit as a junior Northern Ireland minister.In parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, told May: “The government must now withdraw this half-baked deal.”This is not the deal the country was promised.”Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, later led a rally in Parliament Square over the “botched deal”, with protesters carrying placards reading “Brexit is failing” and “we need a people’s vote”.”It’s total chaos. She’s never going to get anything through parliament. The whole house of cards is collapsing,” said writer Emma Roper-Evans, 53.Fed to the lionsMay had secured her cabinet’s “collective” approval for the agreement during a stormy five-hour meeting on Wednesday and European leaders hailed the tentative deal.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “very happy” that the EU and Britain had reached a draft agreement but French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned the prospect of Britain crashing out without a deal was “still on the table”.In Brussels, EU president Donald Tusk said member states would have until Tuesday to examine the deal and to agree the wording of a parallel political statement setting out goals for the bloc’s future relations with London.The agreement was also welcomed along the Irish border.”If Theresa May has got any sort of a deal I think it’s a miracle,” said businessman Patrick Hughes, owner of an animal feed business in the border village of Jonesborough.”I think she was fed to the lions a bit,” he said.last_img
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Former Assistant Superintendent for Special Ed Could Return to HISD

first_img X HISDFormer HISD Assistant Superintendent Sowmya Kumar resigned amid reports of denial of services for children with disabilities.In March, HISD’s assistant superintendent for special education resigned because of reports children with special needs were denied services.But the door is open for her return, as Houston Public Media has uncovered.When HISD administrator Sowmya Kumar was pressured to leave her post over special education, she and the school district negotiated her departure.Houston Public Media obtained a copy of that agreement. It shows that Kumar, who had a six-figure salary, got paid for the rest of the school year and agreed not to sue the district. It also states that Kumar is eligible to work at HISD again as an employee or consultant, as early as September 2017.“This is a benefit that was negotiated for this administrator that well up into 99 percent of the other employees who leave under these types of clouds, if you will, don’t get,” said Chris Tritico, a legal analyst.Tritico has worked on settlements like this for other educators and said that he doesn’t see this very often.“It is a rare occasion that when you have someone with this much public scrutiny and this high-profile situation, that you get a settlement agreement that says they’re almost immediately eligible for rehire,” he explained.When Kumar resigned, there was growing scrutiny over families struggling to get services for their children with disabilities.There’s also an ongoing federal investigation into a statewide policy that has discouraged schools from providing special ed services for over a decade.  That federal report is expected this summer. Share 00:00 /01:20 Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

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Red State Blue Cities Local Control Battles Set To Dominate Special Session

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /03:58 Share Xcenter_img There’s a long tradition in conservative Texas politics of keeping big government out of people’s lives. We heard Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick make that point at last year’s state Republican convention. Patrick explained his opposition to the Obama administration’s transgender “bathroom” rules, saying, “This has everything to do with keeping the federal government out of local issues.”Over the years, that same custom often meant state officials left it up to local ones to decide what was best for their communities. But that tradition may be changing.This past March, Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst introduced Senate Bill 6 at a committee hearing in Austin, saying the bill, “makes several changes in the law designed to increase privacy and protections in our locker rooms, showers, changing rooms, dressing rooms, and our restrooms.”SB 6, also known as the bathroom bill, sounded an awful lot like the Obama rule, in that it was telling local governments who could use which restroom or locker in a school building.The Texas bathroom bill died at the end of the legislative session. But the Legislature did pass other “preemptive laws,” laws that allow the state to preempt local control. The most controversial, the so-called Sanctuary Cities law, allows the state to remove local officials from office if they refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. And preemptive bills, including a revived bathroom bill, make up more than a third of Governor Greg Abbott’s agenda for the upcoming special session.“The governor has decided to make the issue of local control a primary sort of focal point,” says Jay Aiyer, assistant professor of political science at Texas Southern University. “The idea of stopping an expansive, socially expansive local government plays well for his political base. It never has hurt a Republican politician to go after the city of Austin, for example.”Not all such conflicts are as simple as a GOP-led state governments taking on majority Democratic cities. In fact, some Republican officials have a big problem with this trend.“Being in my sixties and having been in and out of politics for a long time, the conservative point of view was always, ‘Government closest to the people is best.’ Local control,” says Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.Judge Emmett parts company with Governor Abbott over one of Abbott’s top priorities for the special session, restricting property tax increases. Emmett is no fan of property taxes. But they are the only means Texas allows counties for raising revenue.“Harris County has over 2 million people who live in unincorporated Harris County,” says the judge. “We’re responsible for the roads, the parks, animal control, all that activity. Compare that to Dallas County, where they have fewer than 10,000 people in unincorporated Dallas County. So to do a one-size-fits-all tax plan doesn’t make any sense.”Then there’s the issue of tree ordinances, specifically those that let cities bar property owners from cutting down trees on their own land. Abbott wants a bill to override such ordinances. That would affect not only Austin, but also Emmett’s neighborhood of West University Place.“You know, West University Place has a pretty clear regulation of trees that need to be protected,” says Emmett. “The state somehow seems to think they should come in and make that decision for everybody in the state. I just don’t think that’s right, and I think it flies in the face of conservative principled government.”In many ways, Emmett’s and Abbott’s positions reflect a divide in the Texas GOP. That divide is one reason several of the preemptive bills that will come before the special session didn’t pass during the regular session. Stuart Seeger via Flickr Listenlast_img read more

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Texas Leaves School Safety Largely To Districts

first_img Share Photo via Twitter @uchangenowThe Texas Education Code requires school districts to adopt a multi-hazard emergency operations plan.What that plan looks like is up to the individual districts.“The plan has to address preparedness, response and recovery for any type of emergency,” Texas Education Agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said.“It has to provide for district employee training in responding to an emergency. It has to include information about mandatory school drills and exercises.”The school districts also have to coordinate with the health department, law enforcement and fire departments for emergency response. And they have to conduct a safety audit of all their facilities every three years.In a statement, the Houston Independent School District said its police officers attend annual active shooter response training and have recently received new equipment to deal with shooters on campus.last_img read more

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VIP Room Wins LongFought Tavern License Battle

first_img“We could have gone to college and earned a degree in the time it’s taken to defend our family’s business and restore my father’s legacy; but thank God we’ve come out of this whole licensing tussle, victorious,” Bo Sampson, told the AFRO following a final ruling by the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration on Nov. 3.The family-owned social hall, founded in 1978, began facing challenges in 2015 when new homeowners protested a shift in the venues liquor licensing that would permit The V.I.P. Room to permanently serve alcohol. Since its founding, the establishment secured temporary day/event alcohol licenses through D.C.’s Office of Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) at a cost of $300 per license.VIP Room, Washington, D.C. (Photo/theviproomdc.com)With the popularity of the venue, Sampson was advised to apply for a tavern license, which would offer an annual renewable liquor license and streamline the cost. It was during this revised application process, Sampson said, that new residents began an aggressive campaign to label the business a nuisance to the neighborhood. Complainants argued that public urination, debris, increased violence, reduced parking and decreased property values were a direct result of the VIP Room and its clientele; allegations later proved unfounded or erroneous.It took four years and the concerted effort of neighbors, other area businesses, and constant prayer, to resolve the issue. “We are thankful to God first and foremost because there are plenty of businesses in D.C. that are being targeted and closed by people who don’t see their value. It is because of the community and the reputation of the VIP Room for being stewards of the neighborhood that the board granted our license,” Sampson said. “The Board acknowledged that even with the temporary licensing there had [been] no issues or violations, and that our business model has not had a negative impact on quality of life in the community.”Sampson said that in addition to members of the community who endorsed their bid, Councilmember Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4), the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the police department and other business owners, including Peaches Watson of Peaches Kitchen Restaurant and Catering, offered testimony on their behalf for the September hearing.VIP Room neighbor Charlie Lassiter told the AFRO that she has supported the business from the moment the protestors and detractors came forward, and remains steadfast in ensuring the business continues to thrive.“I am all for people settling into a community, but they need to do so understanding what they are coming into rather than attempting to change things by maligning the characters and reputations of their fellow neighbors,” Lassiter told the AFRO. “I do believe the establishment was targeted, but I also believe that those who lied and schemed to try to keep the Sampsons from getting their license have learned a valuable lesson.”On the heels of the victory, the Sampson family has vowed to move on – continuing to serve the community that rallied behind them. “They tried to disrespect my father’s legacy and to target us the way they’ve done Black churches and small family businesses throughout the city, but we’ve always followed the rules and been faithful. That is a testimony to how God can fix things,” Sampson told the AFRO. “We want to make a living, but we want to honor God in everything we do. We will continue to ‘watch our backs’ because some folks still are unhappy, but we’re going to continue to follow the rules and give the same courtesy no matter your background or beliefs.”last_img read more

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