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NPCC issues show cause notice to 12 party members

first_imgKohima, Oct 19 (PTI) The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) today issued show cause notice to 12 of its senior members for anti-party activities. The notice was issued to seven NPCC members, four AICC members from the state and one NPCC Seva Dal leader. The NPCC DAC issued the show cause notice against them for allegedly submitting representation to AICC against the appointment of K Therie as the NPCC president in May this year disregarding the rules and disobeying the order passed by the competent authority. PTI NBS PR PRlast_img read more

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Huawei P20 Lite vs Nokia 7 Plus: It’s worth spending extra on Android One phone

first_imgHuawei made a decision to come back to India after a year of absence with the launch of the Huawei P20 Pro and P20 Lite last month. Both the phones have now gone on sale in the country exclusively on Amazon India. Now, the P20 Pro is Huawei’s flagship smartphone that comes with a premium price tag of Rs 64,999 and highlights a triple camera setup. The P20 Lite, on the other hand, is a stripped down version of the flagship and is offered at a mid-range price point of Rs 19,999.At this price, the Huawei P20 Lite will take on other mid-range phones, including and especially the Nokia 7 Plus, which also went on sale in India earlier this week. The latter is priced a few notches higher at Rs 25,999, but it also offers plenty of features to justify its price tag. Both the phones will compete against each other in the mid-range segment and since both are now available to purchase in the market, we take a look at what they have to offer so that you can make a better decision.Huawei P20 Lite vs Nokia 7 Plus designBoth the P20 Lite and Nokia 7 Plus come with attractive designs, but both look nothing like each other, which makes things interesting. On the face of it, the Huawei P20 Lite looks a lot like the P20 Pro. It sports a similar full-screen display with a notch cut out and a chin which allows for an 19.5:9 aspect ratio and the back is made up of glass. You get a 5.84-inch Full-HD+ IPS LCD with a 2280×1080 pixel resolution. Unlike the P20 Pro which sports a triple camera setup, however, the P20 Lite comes with a traditional dual camera system.advertisementHuawei has had a penchant for making good-looking phone and that has been seen with phones from sub-brand Honor as well. And that’s the problem, you will find a similar design language minus the notch on cheaper Honor phones like the Honor 9 Lite. Overall, the P20 Lite looks and feels quite premium and it comes in shiny black and blue colour options, but its notch is something that may see a polarising opinion. For some, the notch is something to get used to while others just cannot stand it. As far as everything else is concerned, the phone does feature a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, which sits next to a USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. The Nokia 7 Plus, on the other hand, looks quite unlike what HMD has produced so far in the past two years after reviving the Nokia brand. The mid-range phone comes with a fantastic design where it combines a body that is machined out of Series 6000 aluminium and a tall 18:9 display on the front. Additionally, the back has a six-layer ceramic coating that hides the antenna lines and gives the phone a smooth feel. On top of this design, HMD has also added copper accents around the frame, fingerprint sensor and rear camera module that makes it stand out. The phone feels solid and sturdy to hold which tells you that it can survive a few drops.The Nokia 7 Plus sports a 6-inch full-HD+ IPS display with narrow bezels all around and I found the display to be pretty vivid and sharp when I reviewed the phone. Brightness levels aren’t great outdoors and that is perhaps the only issue one might have with the display.As far as unique design is concerned, I feel the Nokia 7 Plus offers something fresh while the Huawei P20 Lite comes with a familiar design that can be found on cheaper Honor phones as well.Huawei P20 Lite vs Nokia 7 Plus specsThe Huawei P20 Lite comes with stripped down hardware compared to its bigger brother. It is powered by an octa-core Kirin 659 chipset along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The Nokia 7 Plus, on the other hand, is the first phone in India to sport a Snapdragon 660 chipset, which is a much more capable processor. This chip is the first mid-range processor to feature Qualcomm’s Kryo cores. What this means is the SD660 chip will offer you a performance similar to the Snapdragon 821 flagship chipset of 2016, which is pretty great for a sub-Rs 30,000 phone. The Kirin 659 chipset is again something you can find inside the Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X that are priced under Rs 15,000. The chipset isn’t bad but it does tend to slow down thanks to a fairly bloated EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.advertisementThe reason the Snapdragon 660 chipset performs so smoothly is because of the stock Android Oreo software running inside the Nokia 7 Plus. As part of the Android One programme, the Nokia 7 Plus comes with pure, unadulterated Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box and is now upgradable to Android 8.1 Oreo with the April security update as well. There is practically zero bloatware and the software experience is clean and smooth. Now, the P20 Pro and P20 have terrific Leica-branded cameras that earned them the top two spots in the DxOMark camera rating. The P20 Lite, however, is nowhere in the ranking and its dual camera setup aren’t Leica branded. So, it’s safe to say you are not going to get fantastic photo, but they should do just fine for a mid-range phone. The Nokia 7 Plus is perhaps on the same boat. Despite sporting Zeiss-branded dual cameras, the 7 Plus isn’t a great camera phone.The P20 Lite sports a 16MP+2MP dual setup on the back and a 16MP front camera, while the Nokia 7 Plus comes with a 12MP+13MP configuration on the rear and a 16MP front sensor as well. We haven’t tested the cameras on the P20 Lite, but in my review of the Nokia 7 Plus I found that outdoor shots are generally decent while the phone fails to capture crisp and detailed indoor and low-light shots.Lastly, the P20 Lite houses a 3,000mAh battery while the Nokia 7 Plus comes with a larger 3,800mAh battery capacity. The 7 Plus has a terrific battery life and you will be able to use it for over a day and a half on average usage.In conclusion, the Nokia 7 Plus packs in a lot of great features and is a pretty solid buy if you can spend a few thousand rupees more. It comes with an attractive and solid design along with stock Android and really good performance. The P20 Lite also comes with an attractive design but it is something that can be found on cheaper Honor phones as well. I feel that one should either spend less on a similar Honor phone like the 7X or 9 Lite or save up and go for the Nokia 7 Plus.ALSO READ: Nokia 7 Plus review: Pretty, powerful and almost perfectlast_img read more

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Hike in Freight Rates Not an Option?

first_imgzoom A hike in freight rates is not an option as ‘sub-economic’ rates on the main trade lanes are here to stay, it was concluded by leading shipping lines meeting at the TOC Americas conference in Cartagena.Freight rates pegged below most carriers’ operating costs, good for shippers, bad for inefficient shipping lines, are likely to be par for the course as a result of the investments made by shipping lines in vessels with capacity of up to 18,000 TEU for the unforeseeable future.“Carriers who are not the most efficient operators in a trade lane will be stacking up losses from now on,” says Poul Hestbaek, Hamburg Sud’s Senior Vice President for Latin America West Coast & Caribbean.“It’s not actually a crisis it is just the new normal,” he says. “The freight rate going forward will be the cost of the most efficient operator in the market plus a decent margin for operating. If you are not number one or two you will not meet your costs,” says Hestbaek.“Freight rates continue to go down and they will continue to go down, which is fine as long as costs fall faster. We have been going back to our vendors and telling them that if we can drive the cost out of the system I would very happily pay for that.”After stacking up collective losses of more than USD22bn over a painful seven-year period, shipping lines are turning up the heat on port operators, stevedores and inland logistic operators to drive operating costs down even lower.Mega-alliances that promise to reshape service patterns and strengthen the hand of shipping lines further in negotiations with terminal operators are being introduced at a time when the world’s largest carriers are finally feeling a return to profitability thanks to the slot cost savings of super post-panamax vessels.Lower slot costs, slow-steaming and the rationalization of services has helped 10 of the world’s top 25 container lines return to profitability in the first three months of the year, according to analysis published by Drewry last week.Mega alliances like the 2M tie-up between the world’s two largest shipping lines – Maersk Line and MSC on 21 services – approved by the Federal Maritime Commission– will deliver further significant cost savings according to Robert van Trooijen, Maersk Line’s Chief Executive for Latin America and Caribbean.“2M is expected to deliver savings of USD300m-USD350m annually. That benefit of course will be going to shippers in one way or another.It’s about improving utilization, it’s about employing the container efficiently, it’s about the VSA efficiencies about the way we provide services inland because you can save on maritime costs but if you can’t optimize your inland costs then in the product side you are not winning,” says Van Trooijen.Mario Aguilera, Logistics Director for Cartulinas CMPC, Chile’s largest pulp and paper producer, played down concerns about the impact of mega alliances on pricing or reduced competition for his business.The alliances, he believes, are unlikely to outweigh urgent need to fill a new building program that has thrown supply and demand off track for years to come.“As a client, are the mega alliances going to be good? The answer is probably ‘yes’. While they are more efficient in the services they provide, it’s much better for me,” says Aguilera. “The megaships are an irreversible decision. The mega alliances are not.”The main impact of the current round of commercial tie ups and the industry push for lower slot costs, he said, was to put an end to the historically low barriers of entry to the container shipping industry.“The megaships and the mega alliances are a way of saying that if anyone else wants to come into the industry it’s going to need a very high investment,” he added.The days of being able to negotiate with niche carriers were gone, something that has been underlined in Chile in the last 12 months with the respective acquisitions of the country’s two largest shipping lines, CSAV and CCNI, by German rivals, Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sud.“Small niche carriers really don’t stand a chance. Most carriers need partners to stay in the game,” says Howard Finkel, Executive Vice President Trade Division, Cosco Container Lines Americas.Press Releaselast_img read more

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Brisbane Breaks Ground on New Cruise Ship Terminal

first_imgBrisbane has launched the construction of the new International Cruise Terminal, heralding the start of a new era for Queensland’s economy.The AUD 158 million (USD 112.9 milion) project, which would be capable of welcoming bigger ships, is scheduled to open in October next year. It has the potential to more than double Brisbane’s cruise industry, according to“Building this one piece of infrastructure flows through our entire economy,” the Premier said.“Ships that were too long, too high and too deep to dock at Brisbane’s Hamilton facility will have a dedicated cruise terminal,” Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, said.“That will stimulate the industry at ports up and down the Queensland coast, as we aim to increase passenger numbers throughout the state to more than a million a year.”Construction has begun on the new $158m Brisbane International Cruise Terminal @port_brisbane set to open next year heralding the ‘berth’ of a new era for Qld’s economy. It will cater for the largest cruise ships in the world supercharging the growth in our tourism industry. pic.twitter.com/sNLMFscAGG— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) April 16, 2019Tourism Industry Development Minister, Kate Jones, said the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal would provide a welcome boost to the state’s tourism sector.“Last financial year we saw 520 ships port in Queensland, 11 per cent growth year-on-year, making the Sunshine State Australia’s undisputed cruise capital,” Jones said.Within its first five years the terminal is expected to handle over 1,100 vessel calls and around 1.8 million passengers. Over 180 bookings have already been confirmed for the 2020/21 cruising season.Brisbane International Cruise Terminal’s Principal Contractors announced. Wharf construction by Brady Marine & Civil, with Hindmarsh to deliver the civil works & terminal building. Our piling contractor, ABFI, has alreadystarted making the wharf piles. https://t.co/7Irz8epcAV pic.twitter.com/KU1AkvcHJr— Port of Brisbane (@port_brisbane) February 4, 2019In February 2019, Port of Brisbane announced the principal contractors for the cruise terminal.Wharf construction will be undertaken by Brady Marine & Civil, a specialist marine infrastructure and engineering contractor headquartered in Brisbane, while civil works and terminal building will be delivered by Hindmarsh, an Australian construction company.last_img read more

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Payroll Rebate Approved

first_img Information on NSBI transactions can be found at http://www.novascotiabusiness.com/fundingdisclosures. -30- Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved a business development incentive, in the form of a payroll rebate, for the Bank of N.T. Butterfield and Son Limited (Butterfield Bank) of Bermuda. Butterfield Bank is a provider of specialized international financial services with the potential to create up to a maximum of 50 new jobs for its shared services centre in Nova Scotia. Based on the maximum growth forecast of the six-year payroll rebate agreement, NSBI estimates the bank would spend $10.5 million in salaries. The new employees would pay provincial, personal income taxes of about $1.144 million. As a result, Butterfield Bank would earn up to $840,000 through the payroll rebate, over six years. The bank will be eligible for a smaller rebate if it creates fewer than the 50 new jobs. Quick facts:center_img payroll rebates are designed in a way that the tax revenue generated for the province by the new jobs in Nova Scotia is always more than the amount spent on the rebate payroll rebates are only paid after a business has generated actual payroll for the Nova Scotia economy for every dollar a company spends on the new jobs, it receives between five and ten cents back when a company submits an annual rebate claim, it must send NSBI audited information that confirms the number of jobs it created that year payroll rebates are paid through the Strategic Investment Fundslast_img read more

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10 MUSTSEE TIFF MOVIES COMING SOON TO A THEATRE NEAR YOU

first_imgWhile there are already loads of great and award winning films to add to your must see list, as well as a bunch that didn’t hit their mark, there were so many great movies this year that didn’t sneak into my festival favourites worthy of celebration.Here are ten more TIFF 2018 selections definitely worth your time.MouthpiecePatricia Rozema’s adaptation of Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava’s play was one of the best of the fest, an emotionally rich and sophisticated work that takes the best of the theatrical project and merges them with Rozema’s well honed filmmaking sensibilities to craft a fabulous film.Heartbound Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement The longer I’m away from this film the more it’s sticking with me. Another non-fiction home run from the Danish Film Institute, Janus Metz and Sine Plambech’s decades long journey to tell this tale of love and sacrifice makes for one of the year’s best.Carmine Street GuitarsPerhaps the most accomplished of the Canadian films that played TIFF – it debuted to great success at Venice, is off to New York for NYFF and then heads off on a long festival journey – this short, sweet journey to a Greenwich Village guitar is highly musical and a warm, welcome respite from some of the more dour films that litter the fest. Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Morocco Falls in Global Prosperity Ranking to 103rd out of 149

Rabat – The Legatum Institute, an independent educational charity based in London, has ranked Morocco 103rd out of 149 countries on a global prosperity index. The country falls one place behind Tunisia and one above Tanzania. Morocco ranks second highest in the Maghreb region after Tunisia, while ranking 9th in the Arab world. In Africa, Morocco falls behind Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Rwanda, and Kenya. Morocco dropped by 0.3 points out of 100 since last year to 55.4. Morocco dropped one place in the ranking and has steadily moved down the rankings by eight spots since the Prosperity Index began in 2006. The index measures state performance on economic equality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and natural environment.Read Also: 3,388 Moroccan Women Die of Cervical Cancer Each Year: ReportMorocco scores highest in safety and security (81.66), ranking 45th globally.As for natural environment it scored 65.51 points, ranking 55th, while its lowest scores are in governance (38.7) and personal freedom (39.67).Morocco increased its score by 3 points in social capital since last year, while scoring 3 points lower in health.The five Maghreb countries have all ranked among the bottom 50 in the index, with Tunisia 102nd, Algeria 116th, Libya 133rd and Mauritania 142nd.The United Arab Emirates is the most prosperous country in the Arab world, according to the index.Freedom House: Morocco is partially freeIn terms of internet freedom, the US-based Freedom House report touched upon several issues in Morocco,  such as freedom of the press and freedom on the net.The report noted the government’s crackdown on online news outlets and imprisoning of journalists and activists for their involvement in the Hirak protests in Al Hoceima.The report addressed the difficulty of creating a news website in Morocco, noting the partial freedom of the country. read more

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UN mission in Côte dIvoire condemns declarations calling for a coup

With presidential elections scheduled for 30 October, the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) said the declarations were designed “to endanger the untiring efforts of the African Union’s (AU) mediator and other key international actors to restore peace and stability in the country.”Published news reports say dismissed General Mathias Doué, who was in an undisclosed location abroad for several months, issued the threats against President Laurent Gbagbo’s Government.South African President Thabo Mbeki has been conducting negotiations on the AU’s behalf to consolidate the Linas-Marcoussis peace agreements, which ended bitter fighting against Mr. Gbagbo’s Government and which Government and major rebel leaders signed in France in 2003.“UNOCI is launching an urgent appeal to all Ivorian parties to show their restraint and prove that they are consulting the mechanisms provided in the Peace Accords for the resolution of any of their remaining differences as they try to come out of the existing crisis,” the mission said in today’s statement. It reminded the parties that any incitement to hate, exclusion, intolerance and disturbance of the political process could make the fomenting party subject to Security Council sanctions. In this regard, it said, it would continue to report any impediments to the peace process to the Council.The main rebel group, Forces Nouvelles (FN), which controls the predominantly Muslim north of the country, told UNOCI chief Pierre Schori in June that, despite the increased involvement of the UN in organizing the elections, the basic problems that led to its failed coup attempt in 2002, including the dispute over citizenship qualifications for presidential candidates, have not been resolved. In addition, Mr. Gbagbo unilaterally chose the October date, FN said then. read more

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Pitchers Are Slowing Down To Speed Up

Welcome to Full Count, our weekly baseball column. This week, Rob Arthur is filling in for Full Count’s regular author, Neil Paine, who returns next week. Have anything you want them to write about? Tweet to Rob at @No_Little_Plans, or to Neil at @Neil_Paine.Despite consternation from the commissioner and rule changes to speed up the game, baseball has never been slower than it is right now.1At least, not in the years for which we have data on game length, going back to 1920. Even in the short time since last season, the average delay between pitches has jumped a full second. It’s all part of a decadelong trend toward more sluggish play, and there’s an alarming reason baseball’s pace problem is likely to get even worse going forward: Slowing down helps pitchers throw faster.Compared with 2007, the average MLB pitcher now holds the ball a full two seconds longer between consecutive pitches. This leisurely behavior has helped drag the average game out to a full three hours, five minutes — roughly 10 minutes longer than it was two years ago. Some have argued that the pace of the game isn’t a problem, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that he intends to make baseball faster “for the benefit of the game and the fans.”Regardless of where you stand on the pace-of-play debate, it hasn’t always been clear why players have slowed down so dramatically. Older hitters seem to gain from waiting longer between pitches, but that doesn’t explain why opposing pitchers have cooperated in slowing down the game. Hurlers must also have something to gain by letting the clock tick.And indeed, in terms of baseball’s most valuable currency — fastball velocity — pitchers do benefit from a slower pace of delivery. I found this using a model that compared every pitch to the pitcher’s own average velocity, while normalizing for the count and number of pitches he had thrown in the game.2Specifically, I used a linear mixed model for the analysis. Data for the chart came from the 2016 season, but I also tested the impact of pace on other years, from 2013-15, and found similar results. Why are we seeing such a drastic dip? It’s possible that teams are finally starting to reap the benefits of the shift, putting fielders in spots to steal away more hits. Maybe defenses have improved in some other way, or maybe colder early-season weather has been a drag on BABIP thus far.Alternatively, players might be selling out to hit home runs more than ever before, making only glancing contact when they don’t drive the ball. Strikeout rates are higher than they’ve ever been, supporting the idea that hitters are eschewing other outcomes in order to hit long balls. Regardless of the reason, decreased BABIP (combined with more strikeouts and walks) leaves baseball with less action on the basepaths and in the field than ever before.Insane stat of the week Baseball’s injury problems aren’t getting worse this seasonFrom Cy Young contenders to All-Star left fielders (some of whom even play for teams other than the Mets!), injuries have already claimed many players’ seasons. The rash of elbow and shoulder problems has prompted concern among fans and analysts about whether injuries are taking a larger toll this year than in previous seasons.But according to injury data I assembled for an earlier article, the toll of 2017’s disabled-list members isn’t outside the norm. So far this year, the league as a whole has lost some 30 wins above replacement (WAR)6Averaging together the versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. to injuries. Prorated to a full season, that would end up being about 112 WAR, which would stand as only the third-worst total of the last eight years. The worst season by far was 2013 — the height of the Tommy John epidemic — when the league lost a whopping 163 combined wins to injuries.Between Noah Syndergaard and a host of other All-Stars, we may feel beset by injury problems this season, but baseball’s health is not really trending any worse than usual — and things are much better now than they were four years ago. Because I adjusted for every pitcher’s own typical velocity, this pattern isn’t just caused by a bunch of slow-pitching, hard-throwing relievers. Instead, pitchers truly seem to gain velocity by waiting longer to deliver the ball. For every additional second they spend (up to 20 seconds), pitchers throw about .02 miles per hour harder.3After 20 seconds, the benefit of additional time between pitches begins to level off, although velocity still increases slightly even out to about 40 seconds.Such a small difference in fastball velocity might seem too insignificant to chase. But every mile per hour matters: According to a 2010 study by Mike Fast (now employed in the Houston Astros’ front office), a single tick of fastball velocity is worth 0.3 runs per nine innings for a starter, and even more (0.45 runs per mph) for relievers. With players desperate for any advantage, a 0.1- or 0.2-mile per-hour bump is certainly worth the wait. And pitchers are taking advantage — those who took longer from one year to the next tended to see their fastball velocities increase slightly compared with what you’d expect based on their age.4The correlation between annual changes in pace and velocity was 0.1, with a p-value of 0.01.Where pace matters most, though, is at the team level. If a team’s entire pitching staff took an average of 10 extra seconds, the resulting 0.2-mile per hour increase would equate to about 10 extra runs saved per season. Using the classic sabermetric rule of 10 runs per win, that’s one whole extra victory — something general managers have been willing to pay upwards of $7 million to acquire.No front office source was willing to confirm to me on the record that they knew about the connection between pace and fastball velocity. But it’s clear that some teams have been taking advantage. Comparing data I put together on the number of front office analysts working for teams with each team’s average pace, it turns out that the most analytically minded teams have also been the slowest.5After adjusting for the league average number of analysts and pace in each year, there was a significant correlation (r=.35, p<.001) between the number of analysts a team employed and its average time between pitches. For example, Tampa Bay — well known as one of the most advanced sabermetric teams in baseball — has also been among the worst dawdlers, pitching about 5 percent slower than the average team.Across baseball, the average four-seam fastball velocity has spiked a full mile per hour since 2010, and that jump has coincided with the drop in pace. Seven years ago, 55 percent of all pitches were thrown with a wait of less than 20 seconds from the previous pitch. In 2016, that’s down to 43 percent, and it will likely decline further this season. All in all, declining pace could be responsible for about 20 percent of the leaguewide increase in fastball velocity since 2010.If pace really is helping drive fastball velocities upward, then MLB’s slowdown is inevitable. Even if the payoff in fastball velocity is tiny — a tenth of a mile per hour — throwing hard is arguably the most valuable skill in baseball. Unless Manfred succeeds in adopting aggressive new measures (such as a pitch clock) to combat baseball’s pace problem, we can expect fastballs to continue getting faster while the rest of the game slows down.This year, putting the ball in play doesn’t paySo far this season, fewer batted balls are falling for hits than they have since 2003. The leaguewide batting average on balls in play has dropped to .294, 6 points off last year’s average. Here’s a plot of MLB-wide BABIP over the past 17 years: read more

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Consumers could be prosecuted for reusing secondhand stamps as a vast online

There are over 2,000 listings currently active on eBay advertising uncancelled stamps There are over 2,000 listings currently active on eBay advertising uncancelled stamps Security features intended to prevent the reuse of stamps aren't working, experts have warned The news comes at a bad time for Royal Mail, which has seen its share price drop by 32 per cent since it issued a profit warning at the beginning of October. It is estimated that the industry could cost Royal Mail as much as £10m a year. Many of those buying uncancelled stamps are believed to run mail order businesses, a lucrative sector for the Royal Mail as internet retail continues to grow.In 2009, Royal Mail issued new tamper-proof stamps with security features that included two oval slits either side of the Queen’s head which are supposed to tear if attempts are made to remove the stamp from an envelope, as well as a finely printed overlay of the words ‘Royal Mail’. Silvia Rook, lead officer for Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said she believed the black market could be due to recent increases in the price of stamps.  “In the past when stamps were just pence, this was not such a big deal. Now stamps are an expensive commodity and if you can pick them up cheaply it does make a difference,” she said.Stuart Simpson, chief financial officer at Royal Mail, confirmed that the company were considering further rises to the cost of the stamps – which have risen from 36p to 67p for a first-class stamp over the last decade – as a way to offset these losses. Ofcom this week highlighted a number of causes for concern in its annual report into the economic health of Royal Mail – including a failure to reach a benchmark of five per cent profitability,  the level at which the universal service is deemed to be sustainable. Ms Rook also stressed that the use of uncancelled stamps is illegal as customers are effectively getting a service for which they are not paying full price. Both the sale and use of uncancelled stamps are illegal under the Fraud Act 2006, however eBay sellers avoid prosecution by adding disclaimers to their listings that state stamps are for collectors only. When contacted, Ebay said they would investigate the listings brought to their attention by The Telegraph. Royal Mail confirmed it was aware of the online market in uncancelled stamps and said it took any attempt to defraud it ‘extremely seriously’.”It’s important that we collect all revenues to fund the Universal Service as letter volumes continue to decline. It’s also important that everyone pays their way,” a spokesman said. “Royal Mail’s priority is to cancel all stamps when a mail item enters the network to reduce the risk of fraud. We also have a range of revenue protection processes in place to identify and stop uncancelled stamps that have been re-used,” he added.  The rising cost of postage is fuelling a market in reused stamps, allowing shoppers to buy them online for a quarter of the price.A first class stamp now costs 67p, but uncancelled ones are available for as little as 16p on sites including eBay.The Daily Telegraph discovered a booming second-hand market with eBay alone hosting more than 2,100 listings for re-used first and second class stamps.One seller told the Telegraph they sell 20,000 reused stamps a month, claiming that they had had “no issues to this day” with the stamps they sold. Another seller said used stamps are largely acquired by exploiting charities that sell on their received envelopes in large quantities as a way to supplement their incomes, usually to stamp collectors. One worker at a Royal Mail sorting office claimed she sees 100 reused stamps make it through the system everyday as cost-cutting measures have led management to tell staff to turn a blind eye and no longer strike-out stamps by hand or issue penalty notices.  Security features intended to prevent the reuse of stamps aren’t working, experts have warned 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. read more

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Clough selects Intergraph SmartPlant PID Engineering Integrity

first_imgClough, an engineering and project services company with headquarters in Perth, Western Australia, has selected Intergraph® SmartPlant® P&ID Engineering Integrity to boost safety, quality and productivity in design. This solution will enable Clough to automate many manual validations of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) against best practice engineering rules, safety practices and client-specific standards for improved design quality. To enhance automation and expand its capabilities, the engineering firm sought to establish P&IDs as part of an intelligent process design system and eliminate the manual checking process.Clough is a longtime customer of Intergraph and is an experienced user of SmartPlant Enterprise solutions, such as SmartPlant 3D, SmartPlant Review, SmartPlant Foundation, SmartPlant Materials, SmartPlant Instrumentation, SmartPlant P&ID, as well as Intergraph CADWorx® & Analysis products such as CAESAR II® and TANK™.  Clough determined that SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity was a perfect fit with SmartPlant P&ID and can automate comprehensive design validation against more than 3,000 rules out of the box. The engineering company can also apply its own rules in SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity and set them according to the company’s operational process standards. This ensures that Clough’s safety and pipe and process engineers can automatically and quickly execute checks against all P&IDs to ensure the design basis is correct before execution, which reduces the risk of late changes and improves design quality.“We are continuously looking to establish engineering best practices for our work processes, and SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity will help us to eliminate the manual P&ID checking process for significant time and cost savings,” said Paul Rushton, general manager of engineering at Clough. “This unique Intergraph solution ensures we maintain high-quality P&IDs, and when handed over to owners, they meet all operational needs of the project. SmartPlant Enterprise solutions have always delivered great value to our projects, and we are fully confident that SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity will drive continued success.”Gerhard Sallinger, Intergraph Process, Power & Marine President, said, “Our longstanding partnership with Clough continues to grow with the addition of SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity to the Australian company’s existing portfolio of Intergraph solutions. SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity enables Clough and all other engineering companies around the world to leverage intelligent P&ID capabilities, delivering tremendous value to owner operators when handing over engineering deliverables for enhanced safety, quality and productivity of projects across industries.”SmartPlant P&ID has created more than 200,000 P&IDs for plants from around the world. It helps users to develop and manage their P&IDs with a focus on the plant asset rather than the documentation representation, driving tasks such as 3D design, control systems and others. The rules engine of SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity will check P&IDs against safety and engineering practices and project standards, and can also be extended with customers’ rules on safety or any other engineering checks that are usually done manually. SmartPlant P&ID Engineering Integrity is a powerful solution that helps the user to make the right decisions early in the process, producing significant savings by eliminating manual checking and late changes.last_img read more

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Consumer demand for gold up 53 in Q2 2013 led by strong

first_imgThe latest World Gold Council Gold Demand Trends report, which covers the period April-June 2013, highlights how recent falls in the gold price have generated significant increases in demand, most notably from consumers in China and India – by far the biggest markets for gold – compared with the same time last year.  Taking jewellery demand and bar and coin investment together, global consumer demand totalled 1,083 t in the quarter, 53% higher than a year ago. Picture shows Maya Gold and Silver’s Boumadine, about which there will be more in a forthcoming article in International Mining, following John Chadwick’s visit there.Globally, jewellery demand was up 37% in Q2 2013 to 576 t from 421 t in the same quarter last year, reaching its highest level since Q3 2008. In China, demand was up 54% compared to a year ago; while in India demand increased by 51%. There were also significant increases in demand for gold jewellery in other parts of the world: the Middle East region was up by 33%, and in Turkey demand grew by 38%.Bar and coin investment grew by 78% globally compared to the same quarter last year, topping 500 t in a quarter for the first time.  In China, demand for gold bars and coins surged 157% compared with the same quarter last year, while in India it jumped 116% to a record 122 t.For the tenth consecutive quarter, central banks were net buyers of gold, purchasing 71 t, which reinforces the trend that began in Q1 2011. Demand in the technology sector was stable once again, totalling 104 t, a rise of 1% on last year.Meanwhile gold held in gold-backed ETFs, which in 2012 accounted for just 6% of the world’s gold demand, fell by just over 400 t, driven by hedge funds and other speculative investors continuing to exit their positions.  This was predominantly in the US.Overall, demand for gold in Q2 2013 was 856 t, down 12% on a year ago.On the supply side, recycling fell 21% in the quarter while mine production was 4% higher than a year ago, at 732 t. In total, supply was 6% lower than a year ago.Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the World Gold Council commented: “The second quarter continued the trend that we saw in the first, of a rebalancing in the market, as gold coming onto the market from ETF sales met with a wave of demand for bars and coins, as well as jewellery. This surge in bar and coin investment was a common theme in key markets around the world, and has been particularly prominent in the world’s biggest gold markets, India and China.  This shift from West to East has been further reinforced by recent data from the LBMA showing that in June the volume of gold transferred between accounts held by bullion clearers hit a second consecutive 12-year high, buoyed by strong Asian physical demand. “This quarter again demonstrates the unique diversity of global gold demand, as the self-balancing nature of the market apparent in the previous quarter was even more clearly in evidence. Across the decades, different sectors in the gold market have risen in prominence at different points in the global economic cycle and the current shifts are just part of the normal ebb and flow of what is an extremely liquid market.”The average gold price for the quarter was $1,415/oz, down 12% on the same period last year.  In value terms, gold demand in Q2 2013 was $39 billion, down 23% compared to Q2 2012.The key findings of the report are as follows:•         Consumer demand in China continued to show strong growth, totalling 276 t in the second quarter, a rise of 87% compared to the same quarter last year, as investors used the lower gold price to buy in advance of expected future price rises. Jewellery demand in the quarter was 153 t, up 54% on the same quarter last year, while bar and coin investment was 123 t, up 157% on Q2 2012•         Consumers in India also showed continued strong appetite for gold, with recent government measures to curb demand having had little impact on the quarter’s figures. Consumer demand was 310 t, up 71% on last year. Bar and coin investment rose 116%, while jewellery demand rose by 51%•         Bar and coin investment globally totalled 508 t, a record figure, and a rise of 78% on the same quarter last year•         Central banks remained committed to gold. Although demand of 71 t in Q2 2013 was below the record quarterly figure of 165 t purchased the previous year, central banks have now been purchasers of gold for ten consecutive quarters•         There was a net outflow of 402 t from ETFs in the quarter. This was more than counterbalanced by inflows into other forms of investment, such as the record 508 t in bars and coins.Gold demand and supply statistics for Q2 2013:•         Second quarter gold demand of 856 t ($39 billion) was down 12% compared with Q2 2012•         Demand for jewellery was 576 t ($26.2 billion) in the quarter, up 37% on last year. This was the highest figure since Q3 2008, and the highest second quarter figure since Q2 2007•         The net outflow from ETFs was 402 t (-$18.3 billion). However that was more than compensated by bar and coin investment, which saw inflows of 508 t ($23.1 billion). Total investment demand, including OTC investment, totalled 257 t ($11.7 billion)•         Net central bank purchases totalled 71 t ($3.2 billion), 57% down on what was a record-breaking quarter a year ago. Central banks have now been net purchasers of gold for ten consecutive quarters•         Demand in the technology sector was stable once again, totalling 104 t, a rise of 1% on last year•         Mine production in the quarter was 4% higher than a year ago, at 732 t. Recycling fell 21%, leading to a total supply that was 6% lower than a year ago.last_img read more

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High Profile cases for the Chief Justice

first_img Simmons appeal pushed to October Related Items:case, cortez simmons, David smith, justice, margaret ramsey-hale, olint corporation, ponzi scheme Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 17 Feb 2015- The next two days will see a couple of high profile cases in the court room of Chief Justice Margaret Ramsey-Hale including a pre-trial hearing today for murder accused Cortez Simmons. Simmons, 31, is accused of the April 2013 murder of Keziah Burke at a hang out on Airport Road here in Provo. Simmons appears in court this morning. The Olint Corporation & Hallmark Bank and Trust are also in court this week, on Thursday. Olint is owned by David Smith, who confessed to a Ponzi scheme and is now facing extradition to the United States. Smith, who back in remand, was released briefly in January after completing his time here in the Turks and Caicos. Missick & Co Defendants and David Smith all in Court this Week David Smith returns to court in January; heads back to HMP in Grand Turk Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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US job openings near threeyear high

first_imgWASHINGTON — The number of available jobs in the United States jumped in December to near a three-year high, supporting other data that show a brighter outlook for hiring.Companies and governments posted 3.38 million jobs in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in the previous month and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September.Job openings in the private sector reached the highest point in almost three and a half years.Still, overall hiring slipped, and the number of people who quit their jobs also declined. That suggests the job market still isn’t as dynamic as it was before the recession.Manufacturers, retailers and professional and business services all posted gains. Professional and business services include temporary jobs. But they also include high-paying positions, such as architects, engineers and accountants.The report on job openings follows Friday’s optimistic employment figures. Those showed employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.last_img read more

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SGC Horizon Strikes BtoB ECommerce Deal With Bizy LLC

first_imgOn the b-to-b side, Hanley Wood earlier this year bought Home Plans LLC, which features more than 14,000 single family house, multi-family house, garage, deck and other project plans on Homeplans.com, while IT consulting firm Ajilitee offered a Groupon deal for $25,000 worth of business intelligence and cloud computing services for $12,500.In February, Penton Media teamed with AssetNation, which creates private label marketplaces, to offer an auction site that facilitates the sale of heavy machinery. Penton Online Auctions will start by auctioning off excess agriculture equipment and expand to transportation equipment and public infrastructure equipment by the end of the year. SGC Horizon, owner of HousingZone, an online portal for home builders, remodelers and contractors, has teamed with Bizy LLC, operator of co-branded vertical industry deal sites, to launch HousingZone Deals, a site that will offer weekly discounts on building products such as doors, windows, faucets, lighting and home plans to HousingZone’s audience of 100,000 monthly visitors. HousingZoneDeals is slated for launch in October. In addition to industry-specific offers, the site will also feature more general b-to-b offers from BizyDeal.com partners, which include sites such as LinkedIn, Experian, Constant Contact and the Fairmont Hotel, as well as suppliers of trade show displays, telemarketing campaigns and texting platforms. SGC will split revenue with Bizy (but declined to share details on the ratio).  In May, Bizy teamed with the National Restaurant Association to offer NRA Show Daily Deals during the association’s annual conference. E-commerce initiatives are exploding for both consumer and b-to-b publishers (F+W Media claims e-commerce revenue has grown by 50 percent and could be the company’s second largest revenue stream by 2014). In June, Hearst Digital Media partnered with Pixazza Inc. to integrate e-commerce into select advertising on sites such as Housebeautiful.com. In May, New York Media launched New York Deals, a New York City-specific online program that offers weekly round-ups of deals for dining, shopping, spas, activities and events.last_img read more

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Air Force Orders Review of Planes Flight Training

first_imgAir Force commanders will inspect all aircraft and review pilot training procedures under an order from Chief of Staff David Goldfein, CNN reported.The U.S. and other countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 after two recent crashes. The autopilot systems and pilot training procedures have come under attack.The Air Force does not fly the 737 Max 8, and the steps are “precautionary,” the service said.“At this time, the Air Force has had no indication of problems with Air Force aircraft similar to what has been reported with the Max,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Military.com.Air Force photo by Airman Mikayla Heineck ADC AUTHORlast_img read more

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J Cole Announces North American KOD Tour With Young Thug

first_imgOn the heels of his smash-hit album, ‘KOD,’ the GRAMMY-nominated rapper announces an extensive 34-date North American tourNate HertweckGRAMMYs May 8, 2018 – 8:50 am J. Cole unleashed his fifth album, KOD, on April 20 along with three explanations of the title’s meaning. The album took off, rocketing to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and leading J. Cole to become the first act to debut three songs in the Billboard 100’s Top 10. Now, fans looking to catch Cole live get good news as the GRAMMY-nominated rapper has announced an extensive 34-date North American tour in support of KOD kicking off in August.The KOD Tour will enlist Young Thug as the opening act starting on Aug. 9 in Miami. The tour will hit 25 U.S. states plus two cities in Canada before wrapping Oct. 10 in Boston. J. Cole To Hit Road For KOD Tour j-cole-announces-north-american-kod-tour-young-thug Twitter J. Cole Announces North American KOD Tour With Young Thug Email https://twitter.com/JColeNC/status/993854718572204034center_img News Facebook KOD Tour. @youngthug Presale tomorrow. Tix On sale Saturday. Choose Wisely. 💜 pic.twitter.com/IoIK5aoX1B— J. Cole (@JColeNC) May 8, 2018 Late last month, Cole released a thought-provoking video for “Kevin’s Heart” featuring actor/comedian Kevin Hart just before he announced the inaugural Dreamville Music Festival in North Carolina.Presale tickets will become available on May 9 and tickets will go on sale to the general public May 12 via Cole’s Dreamville website.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read morelast_img read more

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US pipeline fights move from Dakota plains to Louisiana bayous

first_imgPeople protest against Donald Trump’s directive to permit the Dakota Access Pipeline at the White House in Washington, February 8, 2017.ReutersWhen Hope Rosinski’s father gave her a six-acre plot in Louisiana more than a decade ago, she was surprised to find oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the property.Also read: Dakota Access Pipeline protests: Army refuses to budge as companies cry foul Pipeline companies later secured her permission for two more lines, one of which has since caused flooding and consistently leaves her land saturated.Now she’s had enough. Rosinski is fighting the latest request for a right-of-way, this time from Energy Transfer Partners — the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. She said ETP declined to make contract changes she wanted or to properly compensate her for lost property value.Opposition to the company’s planned extension of the Bayou Bridge pipeline has made Louisiana bayous the latest battleground in a nationwide war against new pipeline construction.The pushback here is one example of the increasingly broad and diverse base of opposition nationally, which now extends beyond traditional environmental activists. In Louisiana, opponents include flood protection advocates, commercial fishermen and property owners such as Rosinski.Their fight follows high-profile protests in North Dakota that were led by Native Americans and joined by military veterans, who together succeeded in convincing the Obama administration to delay construction.Although the new administration of President Donald Trump has since cleared that project’s completion, pipeline companies are nonetheless taking the rising political opposition seriously. Alan Armstrong, chief executive at pipeline firm Williams Companies, told a conference in Pittsburgh that Trump’s action would not hamper the protest movement.”It may even enhance it,” he said the day after Trump cleared the Dakota pipeline in January.Pipeline supporters argue that more infrastructure is essential for the oil and gas industry to provide affordable energy and reduce dependence on foreign imports and dirtier energy sources such as coal.Opponents counter that pipeline companies can’t be trusted to prevent leaks. Technology designed to detect spills only accomplished that goal in 20 percent of known pipeline leaks between 2010 and 2016, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.Energy Transfer and its affiliates had among the most spills of any pipeline company, with nearly 260 leaks from lines carrying hazardous liquids since 2010, according to the Reuters analysis. An ETP spokesperson said most of those spills were small and occurred on company property.The company said in a statement that it seeks to work with landowners and communities to “build the pipeline in the safest, most environmentally friendly manner possible.”ETP’s relations with Rosinski, however, have apparently broken down. She told Reuters that the firm has threatened to take her to court for the right of way, citing legal rights of pipeline companies to build infrastructure for broader public benefit.Rosinski wants to resist, but knows a court battle could be costly and lengthy.”I’m a single mom,” she said. “I don’t have the finances.”ETP declined to comment specifically on Rosinski’s case but said it typically gets voluntary agreements on easements from owners in about 9 out of 10 cases, without legal action.NOT IN MY BACKYARDSome pipeline protesters are driven by opposition to any expansion of fossil fuel development, but many have more local and specific concerns.Many protests so far — including the encampment in North Dakota, led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe — have focused largely on fear of water contamination.Similar objections have cropped up in West Texas from protesters of Energy Transfer’s Trans-Pecos gas line, and in Arkansas and Tennessee over the Diamond Pipeline operated by Plains All American Pipeline.Activists in Pennsylvania have been fighting a Williams Companies pipeline plan for three years. The company is looking to add 185 miles of new pipeline to its Atlantic Sunrise line, connecting the northeastern Marcellus natural gas shale region with the southeast part of the state. Opponents have argued the expansion could cause an explosion or taint the local water that supplies farms.They’re borrowing tactics from Standing Rock tribe’s standoff. Malinda Clatterbuck, 46, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who leads the group Lancaster Against Pipelines, said residents are setting up a camp in Conestoga, where a right-of-way has been granted, and plans to live on and off at the camp with her family.”I’m exhausted and angry about this,” she said. “Why do we have to upend our lives just to try to get justice for our community?”Williams said it has operated 60 miles of pipeline safely in Lancaster County and that the company plans to exceed federal safety standards for the extension.”We’ve also heard from thousands of people who support the project — individuals, chambers and business groups — who recognize the economic benefit,” the company said in a statement.DEAD CRAWFISH IN THE BAYOUSIn Louisiana — home to massive oil refineries and about 50,000 miles of pipelines — ETP’s planned Bayou Bridge extension would run across southern Louisiana for about 160 miles, between Lake Charles and St. James.The state has a mutually beneficial but testy relationship with the oil industry, which is widely blamed for cutting through wetlands and contributing to coastal erosion that has left Louisiana more vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding.Some opponents of the Bayou Bridge are concerned that its construction will pollute drinking water and constrict drainage systems during heavy rains. Others want to see pipeline companies take better care of the environment during and after construction.Jody Meche, 47, of Henderson, fears economic damage. He has fished in the Atchafalaya Basin for a quarter century. For years, he has been pushing companies to remove spoil banks caused by pipeline construction and oil exploration because they hurt the commercial fishing industry.The spoil banks act as dams inside the basin, damaging the local ecosystem by stopping water flow.Meche can sees the impact in the crawfish traps he pulls up from the bayou daily during the season, from February to early summer. The critters resemble tiny lobsters and are in high demand at bars and backyard boils from New Orleans to Houston.”The stagnant water is not good for them at all,” Meche said. “They don’t grow as well, they don’t eat as much, they are very lethargic.”Meche can sell large, healthy crawfish for about $1.50 a pound. But the smaller ones he often catches these days fetch half that, and many in his traps these days are dead and worthless.CONTRACT DISPUTERosinski, meanwhile, is still fighting with Enterprise Products Partners, the pipeline company she said damaged her property during construction of an ethane line a few years ago. She said she has spent the last year trying to get Enterprise to restore her land and stop the flooding.The cost to fix it could be as little as $1,200, she said.Enterprise told Reuters it hopes to resolve the issue amicably, but that it has not gotten clear guidance from an attorney hired by Rosinski.Rosinski received the right-of-way request from Energy Transfer Partners as she was squabbling with Enterprise. She suggested 30 changes to the contract and requested more compensation. ETP refused, she said, and told her it may take up the dispute in court.”I’ve done my part,” she said of her previous agreements to allow pipelines through her property. “They’re consuming my land.”last_img read more

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Quota reformers suffer

first_img.Quota reform campaigners are leading a miserable life as many have been mercilessly beaten by Bangladesh Chhatra League men while some have been arrested by the police.Those who had been beaten were even denied proper treatment at the public hospitals. A few others have gone into hiding. They were demonstrating for a reform, but now they cannot even lead a normal life.”We who were residents of different halls cannot stay at the dorms now. We all are running from abduction and arrest, no matter which university we are from. People who were demonstrating for road safety had been arrested as well, which makes the situation even worse. But we will still announce fresh agitation programmes. They have to free the arrested students,” Hasan Al Mamun, convener of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhon Parishad (Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council), said.In the next seven days after 30 June, as many as 12 students were hospitalised while at present there are 11 in police custody and seven in jail.Toriqul Islam of Rajshahi University was beaten black and blue on 2 July. He had to be brought to Dhaka when his condition deteriorated, but he later moved to his village home in Gaibandha. He is the joint convener of the parishad. He said he is doing better now, but he refused to say anything about the movement.A close friend of Toriqul said a rod had to be inserted in his leg to join two broken bones. However, there has been some infection, so the doctors had to slice some skin from his thigh and apply it there. He needs dredging everyday and doctors have said he cannot walk in the next three months.Nurul Huq, another joint convener of the platform, was beaten on 30 June. His left kidney was hurt while the right shoulder was dislocated. His body is full of pain and he cannot even move his hand.One of the demonstrators said they had given up any hopes of getting a government job. They are into hiding now and all they want is a return to normal life.’Please you people write something so that the government spares us,” he told this correspondent.Seven of the quota protesters are now in jail, all joint conveners of the platform’s central committee. They have been denied bail as well.They were shown arrested for ‘vandalising the Dhaka University vice-chancellor’s residence, beating policemen, for obstructing government work and snatching walkie talkies of the police and under the ICT Act’.Saleha Khatun, mother of Rashed Khan, one of the arrested, urged the prime minister to free her son. “We struggle to make our ends meet. At a time when he was to take care of the family, the family is shattered seeing his condition,” she said.Lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua. advocating for the victims, said they have appealed to the court challenging a previous verdict that denied the students a bail.The police say they have no plans to arrest any more students following the arrest of 22 held during the demonstrations seeking road safety.However, they want the quota reform movement to be put to bed and they are working to this end.Human rights activist Sultana Kamal said, “The state was to protect its citizens, but it has failed to do so. This is very alarming for a democracy.”last_img read more

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