India’s software services exports are experiencing their longest slump in seven years

first_imgThe resignation of Vishal Sikka as chief executive officer of India’s bellwether technology company masks the rot in India’s once feted export sector.While Sikka cited heightened acrimony with a cohort of founders at Infosys Ltd., the malaise is much deeper, and threatens to become a faultline for Asia’s No. 3 economy. Software services exports are experiencing their longest slump in seven years, which could blow the current account deficit to the widest since 2013 and pressure the rupee. Policy makers are also bracing for a hit where it hurts the most: jobs.“Indian service companies gained scale over the last decade as the disrupters, creating the modern offshoring industry, but they are now the incumbents, challenged by a slew of specialized and niche start-ups bred in this new environment,” Arvind Subramanian, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s top economic adviser, said in his economic survey published this month. Growing anti-globalization tendencies “in the U.S. during and after elections and the Brexit referendum” also threaten Indian jobs, he said.Employment was Modi’s key pledge when he swept to power in 2014 and will probably emerge as a top issue in 2019 elections. India’s tech industry is the country’s largest private sector employer, and Indian engineers had become ubiquitous to the point of parody in TV shows and books over the past decade. They are also crucial dollar-earners, with services exports helping offset a goods-trade deficit. But part of their appeal was that they came cheap, making them the target of public anger as wages plunged in developed economies.India’s economic survey cited President Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order and the U.K.’s increase in visa costs as factors limiting the free movement of Indian engineers. Moreover, automation threatens 69 percent of jobs in India, according to a 2016 World Bank report. Executive search firm Head Hunters India estimates that 175,000 to 200,000 technology jobs will be lost in the country each year through 2020, and newspapers are rife with reports of mass layoffs in the sector.“Hiring momentum remains slow,” NASSCOM, which represents India’s $154 billion information technology and business-process management industry, said in its review for the April-June quarter. However incremental revenue was the strongest in four years and global activity is recovering, it said.The recovery won’t be strong enough to meet India’s needs. Teresa John, a Mumbai-based economist at brokerage Nirmal Bang, predicts the current account deficit will balloon to 1.9 percent of gross domestic product in the year through March 2018, potentially weakening the rupee.“The invisibles surplus, which has traditionally offset India’s trade deficit, is facing structural headwinds on account of the decline in software exports as well as remittances from oil-dependent Gulf countries,” she said.Infosys is India’s second-largest software exporter. Started in 1981 by seven engineers, it’s now a company with a net profit of $2 billion and revenue of over $10 billion this year and almost 200,000 employees — mainly based in Bengaluru, India’s Silicon Valley. The company has been trying to haul itself out of a growth slowdown through job cuts and investment into news areas such as data analytics.Sikka had created a new business line that accounts for 50 percent of Infosys’s incremental revenues over the past two financial years, while traditional businesses grew just 4 percent, said Rahul Jain, an analyst at Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd. India’s net services exports were $5.9 billion dollars in June, little changed from the previous month.“Services exports have remained stagnant since early 2017,” said Dhananjay Sinha, an economist at Emkay. “We maintain that India’s current account deficit will widen.”— Bloomberg Related ItemsInfosysITTech Industrylast_img read more

‘I will chop your head off’: Manohar Lal Khattar loses cool during rally

first_imgHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar lost his cool when supporters tried to place a crown on his head even as he held an axe during a rally. “I will chop your head off,” an irritated Mr. Khattar is heard saying in a video clip, which has also come to the notice of the Opposition Congress. The video was tweeted by senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Wednesday. Mr. Khattar, replying to a question about the video, said the party had ended such culture after coming to power. “If someone, especially my party worker, tries to place a silver crown on my head, I will get angry and will not tolerate it. We have ended this culture after coming to power,” he said. In the clip, the Chief Minister, standing atop an open mini-truck, was seen getting annoyed after an unidentified supporter tried placing the crown on his head during his recent ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’. Holding the axe in his hand, which was given to him by someone from the public, he told the worker, “Gardan kaat doonga teri” (I will chop your head off). Mr. Surjewala took a swipe at Mr. Khattar, asking why he was getting angry. “Anger and arrogance is bad for health. He is telling his own supporter, ‘gardan kaat doonga teri’ What will you do with the public then,” he asked in the tweet.last_img read more

1st female gamers qualify for NBA 2K League draft pool

first_imgNEW YORK, NY – APRIL 04: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver anounces the #1 overall pick in the first during NBA 2K League Draft at Madison Square Garden on April 4, 2018 in New York City. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — Two female gamers have been invited to attend this year’s NBA 2K League draft, the first time women will be included in the draft pool.Chiquita Evans from Kentucky and Brianna Novin from New Jersey qualified for the esports draft through the league’s online combine. They are both expected to be at Barclays Center for the event Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Kelly Oubre, Devin Booker help Suns stun Bucks Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end The 2K League is entering its second season and did not have any female players in its inaugural year. Before last season’s draft, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called the lack of gender diversity “a disappointment for all of us so far.”Women have had difficulty breaking into professional esports. Among the most popular circuits, League of Legends Championship Series and the Overwatch League have each had just one female player.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:03DOH drafting order to lower prices of expensive medicines02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LATEST STORIES P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test Day 3: As it happened

first_imgHello and welcome to the coverage from Day 3 of the first Test between Sri Lanka and India in Galle.ScorecardIndia (2nd innings):7.6 overs (Stumps): Dinesh Chandimal with his unbeaten 162 has turned the table with SriLanka setting a tricky target of 176 to win for win with two daysremaining. India were 23 for 1 at stumps with Dhawan and nightwatchman Ishant at the crease, needing 153 more runs to win.4.3 overs: Out. Rangana Herath strikes early for Sri Lanka by trapping opener KL Rahul lbw for 5. India 14 for 1. Sri Lanka (2nd innings):82.2 overs: Third 10-wicket haul for Ashwin as he gets the last man Nuwan Pradeep and that left Chandimal stranded at 162. Sri Lanka all out for 367 and setting a target of 176 for win. 72.5 overs: Out. Mishra gets his third wicket as Rangana Herath falls for 1 caught in the slip by Rahane, who entered record books for becoming non-wicketkeeper to take eight catches in a Test match. Meanwhile at the other end Chandimal looking solid as ever. 68.3 overs: Out. Mubarak looking to nudge it to the offside gets an outside edge to Rahane in the slips and Harbhajan too gets a wicket. 58.5 overs: Dinesh Chandimal nudges to the off and sneaks a quick single to bring up his fourth Test hundred.  Sri Lanka 266 for 6.57.6 overs (Tea): Sri Lanka have turned the table and by tea were 263 for 6 with a lead of 71 runs. Chandimal was unbeaten on 98 and Jehan Mubarak on 23 and would look to stretch the lead befond 150 and then we have a interesting contest on our hands.  advertisementChandimal in his nineties now.  50.4 overs: Out. Ashwin, who was brought back into the attack, strikes immediately. Thirimmane edges a ball that bounced extra off the track and Rahane at 1st slip takes a brilliant low-catch. Sri Lanka 220 for 6.45.6 overs: India would have expected to wrap up Sri Lanka in the post-lunch session but Thirimanne and Chandimal have brought a complete change to the plot by stitching together an unbeaten 100-plus stand. Meanwhile the hosts have also taken the lead, which means India have to bat again. Chandimal 58, Thirimanne 38 with Sri Lanka 195 for 5.Even after this counterattacking display from the Sri Lankan’s, it is heartening to see Kohli persisting with fielders inside the ring.  40 overs: Harbhajan into the attack 39.3 overs: 50 from 48 balls for Dinesh Chandimal. Brilliant counterattacking batting from the Sri Lankan. But will it be of any use now? Ishant has been brought back to stop the run flow. Sri Lanka 171 for 5 150 comes up for Sri Lanka and they trail India’s score by 42 runs with five wickets in hand.  Chandimal and Thirimanne are playing positive cricket here. The wicket keeper-batsman has counterattacked. Both these men have put on a decent partnership. Looking at the proceedings, India might have to bat again, albeit not for long .  29.6 overs (Lunch):  That will be lunch on day three in Galle with India back on top after the spinners strikes by getting the key wickets of Sangakkara and Mathews. Sri Lanka offered a bit of resistance, thanks to the 87-run stand between Sangakkara and Mathews but after their dismissals India have wrested the initiative back. Sri Lanka were 108 for 5 at lunch trailing by 84 runs.25.6 overs: Out. Turn and bounce for Mishra that took Angelo Mathews by surprise by offering a simple catch to silly point. Sri Lanka are 5 down. 24.5 overs: Out. Ashwin finally strikes to give the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Kumar Sangakkara for 40 caught brilliantly by Rahane in the slips. Sangakkara forged with Mathews a 87 runs stand. 21 overs: The Sangakkara, Mathews partnership has revived Sri Lanka and dashed Indian hopes of running through the side. Kohli now continuing with spinners from both ends with the hosts trailing by 113 runs. 14 overs: 10 runs off Aaron’s over, which included two boundaries. Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews are forging a fightback here in Galle and need their wickets soon to stand a chance of wrapping the Test today.4.1 overs: Out. Varun Aaron bounces out nightwatchman Dhammika Prasad (3) first ball of the day. Rahane complimented well by taking a brilliant catch in gully. Sri Lanka are three down. Day 2 round-up: Opener Shikhar Dhawan (134) and skipper Virat Kohli (103) struck fluent centuries to help India finish Day 2 with a 187-run lead over Sri Lanka at stumps. After skittling out the hosts for 183 on day one, thanks to an impressive six-wicket haul by offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, India were bowled out for 375 in the first innings following which Sri Lanka struggled at 5 for 2 in their second innings.Resuming at 128 for 2 on a sunny Thursday morning, overnight batsman Kohli and Dhawan found it difficult to score freely early on as Lankan pacers and spinners bowled in tandem. The visitors hit their first boundary only in the 13th over of the day. However, as the first hour of play progressed, the batsmen slowly settled down and took a vital 44-run first innings lead when the first session ended. Coming on to the field after lunch, India played on an aggressive note as skipper Kohli brought up his 10th Test century in style. Dhawan and Kohli looked settled for even bigger knocks but both fell in the second session, thus ending their 227-run third-wicket partnership.advertisementKohli was dismissed soon after he reached the three-figure-mark, going back to the pavilion with the score at 255. India received a double blow when incoming batsman Ajinkya Rahane was out for a duck on his fifth delivery with India at 257.Set batsman Dhawan and Ashwin (7) also fell soon after to give Sri Lanka something to cheer about before tea was called. The final session saw a see-saw battle between the two subcontinent teams. Couple of wickets fell as well as runs were scored by the visitors which ensured them a vital first innings lead with three days still to go.Harbhajan Singh (14) and Amit Mishra (10) fell victims to spinner Tharindu Kaushal as the Sri Lankan claimed his fourth wicket of the innings. Wriddhiman Saha (60) chipped in with a handy half-century to become the second Indian wicketkeeper after former India Test skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to score a 50-plus score in Sri Lanka.For the hosts, Kaushal (5 for 134) and Nuwan Pradeep (3 for 98) were the pick of the bowlers. In Sri Lanka’s second innings, they got off to the worst possible start, losing both openers – Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva – for ducks inside two overs. Ashwin and Mishra struck in successive overs to leave Lanka at 5 for 2 at stumps with a daunting task ahead of the hosts to save the Test with three days remaining.last_img read more

Boxing: Kosei Tanaka looking to equal Vasyl Lomachenko’s record on September 24

first_imgAdvertisementFresh off his recent defense of the WBO Flyweight title last Friday in China, Sho Kimura has his next title defense lined up.Sources that Kimura (17-1, 10KO) will make his third title defense against mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka (11-0, 7 KO).The bout is to take place on September 24 in Nagoya, Japan.Not only is this a quick turnaround for Kimura (who will be returning to the ring to defend his belt less than two months after his last fight), it’s being done against a formidable and highly regarded opponent.Tanaka is a former minimumweight and light flyweight champion. In addition, he is considered by many as one of the better smaller-weight fighters in the world.No doubt this is the toughest fight of Sho Kimura’s career.The 23-year old Tanaka is attempting to win a world title in his third division. If accomplished, he will be another fighter to do so in his twelfth fight. The only other fighter to achieve this feat is Vasyl Lomachenko.Meanwhile, the 29-year old Kimura will be looking to continue to ride the wave of recent success. He boasts wins over Zou Shiming to win the WBO title along with two successful title defenses by stoppage.Advertisementlast_img read more

22 days agoSheffield Utd boss Wilder says Fleck’s Scotland call-up much deserved

first_imgSheffield Utd boss Wilder says Fleck’s Scotland call-up much deservedby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United boss Chris Wilder says John Fleck’s Scotland call-up is much deserved.The 28-year-old has been called up to the squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and San Marino and has not yet been capped for the senior side, despite previously playing four times at U21 level.”John has come back very strong and positive in his performances,” said Wilder.”Hopefully with just a little bit more belief and confidence, playing in the Premier League week in week out and playing at international level as well. “From my opinion he thoroughly deserves his call-up. He’s been outstanding… every level that he has played at he has embraced and moved forward.”It’s a great reward for him and hopefully he can go and do himself justice when he goes up the road.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Georgia DB Recruit Names His Top Five Schools

first_imgA detail of a Nike official NCAA size football as it sits in the end zone while the West Virginia Mountaineers stretchon the field prior to playing against the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium.(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Lee County cornerback Tavian Mayo is the No. 100 cornerback in the country, per 247Sports.The three-star recruit sits at 1,040 in the overall rankings, regardless of position, and No. 103 in the Peach State.Coming from a place like Georgia, even the 103rd-ranked player is subject to a hot recruitment.Mayo isn’t interested in staying home for school, and his recent school list shows it. It does look like he will wind up with a power conference programHe has just three predictions registered over at 247Sports‘ crystal ball, all for West Virginia. The Mountaineers, of course, have a new head coach coming in, with reports that the school will hire Troy’s Neal Brown.Of course, he is familiar with Brown, who extended an early scholarship offer to the Trojans.West Virginia is joined by Colorado, Iowa State, Nebraska, and North Carolina in the top five for Tavian Mayo.Nebraska has been aggressively recruiting defensive backs in this class, including uncommitted four-star Matthew Pola-Mao and Mayo’s fellow Georgian Jamel Starks.From the Omaha World-Herald:Nebraska — which hosted Mayo on his first official visit Oct. 20 — is among his top five. So is West Virginia, where Mayo visited just before the December signing period.“I want to take my time and make the best decision,” Mayo said.So he’s taking more visits. He’ll go to North Carolina Jan. 11 and Iowa State Jan. 18. He may look at Colorado — where former Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is now coach — as well.That’s his top five. He doesn’t want to stay in Georgia for college, so weighing his options is important, Mayo said. He talked to NU defensive backs coach Travis Fisher over the holidays.Mayo is set to make his decision on February 6’s National Signing Day.[Omaha World-Herald]last_img read more

Dancing With the Green Fairy: 10 Absinthes to Try Right Now

first_img 5 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know How to Make 10 Best Gins Under $20: Just Add Tonic The Absolute Best Rye Whiskey Brands for Under $50 For many people, even the mention of absinthe can be confusing. You’ve heard that it makes you hallucinate. You’ve heard it made people go crazy. You’ve heard its illegal. It is a spirit that exists as a myth more than a real, potable drink. We’re here to tell you that none of those things are true.While it does have a component that could in very, very large amounts make one hallucinate, your everyday drinker is not going to experience that (because you’d be dead after drinking multiple bottles of absinthe in one sitting). As for the illegal thing, it’s true that it was illegal for a long time, but as of the mid-2000s, absinthe is as legal in the US as whiskey.But enough about myths and legends. If you’re here because you’re looking to expand your knowledge of absinthe by trying a few different varieties that are available in the U.S. — thujone-sing for some, you might say (sorry not sorry) — then carry on, intrepid reader, as we’ve got some goodies in store for you.(If you didn’t get the thujone joke above, we also suggest going back to the guide for a quick look-see.)While the absinthes below all share some commonalities (like containing the typical absinthe botanicals — wormwood, fennel, and star anise), each takes a slightly different interpretation of the drink. From the base spirit, to the other herbs added, to the amount of time those herbs are cooked, each is a little different in its approach.Never tried a white absinthe (absinthe blanche)? Great, we’ve got one for you. Didn’t know that St. George Spirits produced the first legal absinthe in the United States after the ban was lifted? Now seems like a great time to check out a piece of American spirits history.Whatever you’re looking for in an absinthe, these ten spirits below are a great place to start expanding your knowledge (and palate)!St. George Absinthe VerteThe first legal absinthe made in the U.S. since the ban was lifted (in 2007) also happens to be one of the best. Eleven years in the making (you could distill absinthe before the ban, just not sell it), this absinthe bursts with herbal flavors without being overwhelming (as far as absinthe goes, considering the ABV on most absinthes).Copper & Kings Absinthe BlancheCopper & Kings’ white absinthe is made from a Muscat brandy base and double-distilled before being diluted slightly before bottling to bring out the nose and palate. It’s also the only blanche absinthe on this list; you can check out our full review here.Leopold Brothers Absinthe VerteFollowing the lead of 19th century European distillers, Leopold Brothers Absinthe Verte starts with an imported Chilean pisco base to which the traditional absinthe botanicals are added. Following distillation, the spirit is colored using natural ingredients such as lemon balm and hyssop to produce the verdant glow.PernodChances are if your local shop or bar sells absinthe, Pernod will be on the menu — this is one of the most prominent names when it comes to absinthe. Based on a recipe and a distilling process perfected by Henri-Louis Pernod in 1805, this bottle is hard to beat if you’re looking for something that hearkens back to the original absinthe era.Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe SupérieureWarm, sweet, and spicy, this absinthe is pure New Orleans (if you hadn’t guessed from the name). Inspired by the absinthes that helped make the Crescent City the place to be in the 1800s, Jade Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe Supérieure works best in one of the cocktails that made the city famous, the Sazerac. If that’s not your style, find some ice cold Champagne and make a Death in the Afternoon, a-la Ernest Hemingway.Vieux Pontarlier How to Drink Absinthe and Live to Tell the Tale center_img You can’t get much closer to the history of absinthe than having a spirit made in “The Capital of Absinthe,” Pontarlier, France. Using traditional herbs and spices, this absinthe brings to life what the first absinthe drinkers were consuming. With a spicy nose, and a fennel-and-anise-filled body, you get a sweet-yet-bitter taste of what recipes used to be like before absinthe was made illegal.La Clandestine AbsintheLa Clandestine Absinthe is from the first legal absinthe distillery in Switzerland, though the owner admits to having distilled the product before it was legal to do so. Highly aromatic – everything from anise and fennel to citrus and mint present themselves – the palate is surprisingly sweet, but finishes with a somewhat bitter note.Letherbee Charred Oak Absinthe BrunLetherbee takes a white absinthe recipe and ages it in new American oak casks for six months, resulting in a brilliant caramel color with all of the notes you expect in an absinthe and more. Mellow anise plays softly in the background of the abundant spice and citrus characteristics. Add to those notes the caramel and vanilla from the oak and you have a well-rounded absinthe.Redux AbsintheUtilizing methods that were used in the Belle Époche era in the 1890s, Redux Absinthe is the result of years of experimentation and digging into countless historical texts in order to find the optimal blend of herbs and spices. Redux is rich in anise, citrus, and licorice with a long, tantalizing, anise-filled finish.Doc’s Natural Spirits Green AbsintheMade by the husband and wife team of Kevin and Stacey Herson, Doc’s is the first legal absinthe made in Brooklyn. It’s distilled from malted spelt and barley and infused with ten different botanicals. The primary flavors are wormwood, anise, fennel, and mint.  The licorice flavor, though, plays second fiddle, making it a great absinthe for a variety cocktails. The Best American Liqueur Editors’ Recommendations last_img read more

Ontario cabinet ministers to meet Grassy Narrows leaders to talk about mercury

first_imgThe Canadian Press TORONTO – Two Ontario cabinet ministers will head to the Grassy Narrows First Nation next week to talk about how to deal with mercury contamination that has plagued the remote northwestern community for decades.Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister David Zimmer said he and Environment Minister Glen Murray, along with technical experts, will sit down with Grassy Narrows leaders to discuss various reports about the mercury and how to clean it up.“There’s been stories in the media, and there are reports floating around, and I think it’s time for Minister Murray and I, and our technical people and the First Nations’ technical people, to sit down and try to work through to see just what the situation is,” Zimmer said Tuesday.The government wants to find out any new information from the community and sort out the different reports on the mercury contamination before deciding what it can do to help, added Zimmer.“Once we’ve determined what reports are on the table, and what reports perhaps should be on the table, then we’ll figure out a course of action,” he said.“This is a first step in getting to the bottom of this.”Some Grassy Narrows residents suffered mercury poisoning since the Dryden Chemical Co. dumped 9,000 kilograms of it into the Wabigoon and English River systems during the 1960s. The government closed the local fishery that formed the basis of the Grassy Narrows economy, but some residents ignored the order to stop eating the fish.Chief Simon Fobister Sr. said he wants an investigation into another possible source of contamination after a former worker at the Dryden mill wrote the government saying he had buried more than 50 barrels of mercury and salt in a pit in 1972.“No more fancy talk. No more studies,” Fobister said Tuesday. “We just want it cleaned up.”Murray said the environment ministry took some samples from the area June 6 in response to the claim about the barrels of mercury _ the results are still pending _ but officials still haven’t located where they were buried.“That’s the point of the inspections right now, so the ministry has been told to be very, very thorough, to look at other possible locations for this on site and continue more intensive testing,” said Murray.“As soon as that is completed, we should have the answer to that question.”A recent report concluded there may be an ongoing source of contamination because the mercury levels haven’t fallen since the 1970s as scientists expected they would.John Rudd, a former government scientist who examined the mercury problems in the Wabigoon in the 1980s, and helped prepare the updated report, called for an investigation to see if there’s a new source of contamination or if the shuttered chemical plant is still leaching it into the water.The province found Rudd’s report “very helpful” and takes it seriously, added Murray.“The report was a good analysis of what needs to be done next, and it argues that a major field study would have to be done to look at where the sediment is and also to look to see if there are any secondary leaks,” he said.“The study actually looks at whether certain types of remediation would work in certain areas, and looks at whether by disturbing it you could make the situation worse.”The government is worried any action to remove the mercury could stir up more of the chemical in the sediment of lakes and rivers.New Democrat environment critic Peter Tabuns said the government knows what needs to be done in Grassy Narrows but for years ignored the mercury poisoning and the health problems it caused.“They don’t need to go on a sightseeing trip,” said Tabuns. “They need to send up scientists. They need to determine if there are any other leaking sources and then need to clean it up as has been recommended.”last_img read more

GOP congressman from New York charged with insider trading

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York was arrested Wednesday on charges he fed inside information he gleaned from sitting on the board of a biotechnology corporation to his son, helping family and friends dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses when one of the company’s drugs failed in a medical trial.Collins, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump who was among the first sitting members of Congress to endorse his candidacy for the White House, pleaded not guilty to an indictment unsealed at a court in Manhattan. The indictment charges Collins, his son and the father of the son’s fiancee with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to the FBI.Speaking to reporters in Buffalo hours after his release on bail, Collins, 68, professed his innocence and said he would remain on the ballot for re-election this fall.“I believe I acted properly and within the law at all times,” he said. “I will mount a vigorous defence in court to clear my name. I look forward to being fully vindicated and exonerated.”Prosecutors said the charges stem from Collins’ decision to share with his son insider information about Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd., a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand. Collins was the company’s largest shareholder, with nearly 17 per cent of its shares, and sat on its board.According to the indictment, Collins was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House on June 22, 2017, when he received an email from the company’s chief executive saying that a trial of a drug the company developed to treat multiple sclerosis was a clinical failure.Collins responded to the email saying: “Wow. Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???” the indictment said.It said he then called his son, Cameron Collins, and, after several missed calls, they spoke for more than six minutes.The next morning, according to the indictment, Cameron Collins began selling his shares, unloading enough over a two-day period to avoid $570,900 in losses before a public announcement of the drug trial results. After the announcement, the company’s stock price plunged 92 per cent.Prosecutors said the son passed the information to a third defendant, Stephen Zarsky. Their combined trades avoided more than $768,000 in losses, authorities said. They said Zarsky traded on it and tipped off at least three others.U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, a Republican, said Collins was supposed to keep the trial results secret.“Instead, he decided to commit a crime,” he said. “Representative Collins, who, by virtue of his office, helps write the laws of this country, acted as if the law did not apply to him.”Collins, a conservative first elected in 2012 to represent parts of western New York between Buffalo and Rochester, has vehemently denied wrongdoing. When the House Ethics Committee began investigating the stock trades a year ago, his spokeswoman called it a “partisan witch hunt.”All three defendants pleaded not guilty and were freed on $500,000 bail.In his Buffalo news conference, Collins acknowledged being disappointed that Innate’s drug trials didn’t go well.“We firmly believed we were on the verge of a medical breakthrough,” he said.But he said that even after learning of the setback, “I held on to my shares rather than sell them” as the law required.He said the decision not to sell cost him millions of dollars.“That’s OK,” he said. “That’s the risk I took.”Collins has remained a vocal Trump supporter, most recently calling for an end to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible campaign collusion and blaming Barack Obama’s administration for failing to push back on Russia.On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said he was removing Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, calling insider trading “a clear violation of the public trust.”In a written statement Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the charges against Collins “show the rampant culture of corruption and self-enrichment among Republicans in Washington today.”Collins ran unopposed in the Republican primary and holds what’s largely considered a safe Republican seat in a state that went to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s being challenged in November by Democrat Nate McMurray.McMurray said Collins has brought shame to the region, but he stopped short of saying he should resign.“That’s his decision to make. I’ll leave it up to him, but I know what I would do if I was in his place,” said McMurray, the town supervisor in the Buffalo suburb of Grand Island.The advocacy group Public Citizen filed a request for an investigation of Collins’ stock dealings with the Office of Congressional Ethics and the Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2017.Tom Price, who was Trump’s first secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, also came under scrutiny for his purchases of Innate stock while he was a Republican member of Congress from Georgia.Democrats made an issue of Price’s purchase at his Senate confirmation hearings in early 2017, after the Wall Street Journal reported that company officials had said Price was allowed to buy the stocks at a low price. Price, who bought about 400,000 shares of the stock, said he’d learned of the firm through Collins but said the price he received was available to any investor.Price resigned as health secretary last September under criticism for taking pricey charter flights at taxpayers’ expense.___Associated Press writers Alan Fram in Washington, Larry Neumeister in New York, David Klepper in Albany and Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo contributed to this story.___This story has been corrected to show Collins was first elected in 2012, not 2014.last_img read more

History turned to ashes

first_imgPerhaps there cannot be one objective definition of loss or agony. And when it is of magnitude as that of Notre Dame, hearts sear in pain and torment. As decades of heritage went up in flames, uncountable memories, moments and meanings were buried deep and destroyed. Such creations are iconic and they remind us of the immense creativity and masterstrokes of our forefathers that have stood the test of time. The cathedral has an extraordinary power as a symbol of France and sympathising with the French in their moment of loss, people from all over the world mourned together. France’s loss was their loss, too. After all, Notre Dame is a summit of human achievement — a timeless expression of the quest for goodness, beauty and comprehension of mankind. It was indeed a ‘part of us is burning’ feeling as most aptly put by French President Emmanuel Macron. The Paris cathedral has a specific place in the collective consciousness, in France, in Europe and everywhere else in the world. It has been the most visited monument in Europe for epochs, through war and peace alike. This stone structure speaks of French history and its roots where the Christian faith held a decisive spot. With this history turning into ashes within hours, the 96-metre high spire vanishing into oblivion and the smoke clouding the Paris skyline; it was a heart-wrenching sight for hundreds of those who witnessed the collapse. Notre Dame, meaning ‘Our Lady’ in English, has been a witness to several key historical moments, with almost 13 million people visiting the cathedral every year. Just outside is a plaque that marks ‘Point Zero’ — the official centre of the capital and the marker in France from which all distances to Paris are measured. From Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation as emperor in 1804, Joan of Arc’s beautification, several world leaders attending the memorial services for former French presidents Charles de Gaulle and François Mitterrand, to remaining largely unscathed during the two World Wars, ringing of the tenor bell to mark the end of Nazi occupation in 1944 and holding the centre stage for literary depiction in famous novels; Notre Dame has transformed itself into a character. Fifty people have been assigned to investigate the fire. As flames ravaged the cathedral’s roof, praises poured in for the ‘courage and determination’ of firefighters who ‘risked their own lives’ to salvage the building’s stone structure and its twin towers. President Macron has vowed to reconstruct it within five years and to make it ‘even more beautiful’. However, the real challenge will be to convert this catastrophe into an opportunity to come together and rebuild one of the earth’s most beautiful and historic epicentres.last_img read more

Twitter shuts Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protests

WASHINGTON — Twitter says it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it believes were linked to the Chinese government and a disinformation campaign targeting the protests in Hong Kong.The company also says it will prohibit ads from state-backed media companies that have amounted to propaganda.A senior Twitter official tells The Associated Press that both actions are part of a broader company effort to halt malicious political activity on the widely used platform. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.The accounts linked to the Chinese government sought to portray Hong Protesters as criminals who don’t represent the majority of the semi-autonomous region.The official says the Chinese accounts also spread tweets from fake English and Chinese news sites to spread disinformation.Tami Abdollah, The Associated Press read more

Trump raises 13M after Pelosi announces impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s repeated trashing of a Democratic impeachment inquiry has helped prompt a $13 million flood of campaign cash to bolster his reelection effort.House Speaker “Nancy (Pelosi) just called for Impeachment. WITCH HUNT!” his campaign said in one fundraising text message sent Tuesday. “I need you on my Impeachment Defence Team.”In the 24 hours that followed Pelosi’s Tuesday announcement, the campaign reported raising $5 million from online donors in all 50 states, campaign manager Brad Parscale said. In addition to the online money, he was expected to have raised $5 million for his campaign and the Republican National Committee from a Wednesday night fundraiser, followed by an additional $3 million from a Thursday morning breakfast, according to an RNC official.“Huge groundswell of support leading to Trump landslide in 2020!” Parscale tweeted Wednesday.The swell of contributions comes right before next week’s third-quarter fundraising reporting deadline and will further pad what is already expected to be a massive haul. More than a year out from the November 2020 contest, his campaign and the RNC have already reported pulling in more than $210 million since the start of 2019, Federal Election Commission records show. That’s more than all the current Democrats seeking to replace him raised combined during that period.But he’s not the only one trying to cash in on the impeachment fervour, which stems from his efforts to get Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice-President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival, and his family. None of the allegations against Biden or his son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company, have been substantiated.Biden, too, saw an uptick in donations last weekend after news of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president broke, according to his campaign. He’s running fundraising ads on Facebook urging supporters to “stand with Joe.”“Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office asking a foreign leader to investigate Joe Biden’s family because he knows Joe Biden will make sure he’s a one-term president,” one ad states. “Don’t let the president get away with this gross abuse of power.”The Democratic National Committee similarly reported a surge in fundraising after sending out a fundraising appeal late Tuesday urging donors to “stand with Speaker Pelosi as the House moves forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”Brian Slodysko, The Associated Press read more

Space shuttle Endeavour arrives at Los Angeles museum after 12mile trip across

Space shuttle Endeavour arrives at Los Angeles museum after 12-mile trip across city by News Staff Posted Oct 15, 2012 12:31 am MDT LOS ANGELES, Calif. – It was supposed to be a slow but smooth journey to retirement, a parade through city streets for a shuttle that logged millions of miles in space.But Endeavour’s final mission turned out to be a logistical headache that delayed its arrival to its museum resting place by about 17 hours.After a 12-mile weave past trees and utility poles that included thousands of adoring onlookers, flashing cameras and even the filming of a TV commercial, Endeavour arrived at the California Science Center Sunday to a greeting party of city leaders and other dignitaries that had expected it many hours earlier.Endeavour finally inched toward a hangar on the grounds of the museum Sunday night.“It’s like Christmas!” said Mark Behn, 55, a member of the museum ground support team who watched the shuttle’s snail-like approach from inside the hangar. “We’ve waited so long and been told so many things about when it would get here. But here it is, and it’s a dream come true.”Movers had planned a slow trip, saying the shuttle that once orbited at more than 17,000 mph would move at just 2 mph in its final voyage through Inglewood and southern Los Angeles.But that estimate turned out to be generous, with Endeavour often creeping along at a barely detectable pace when it wasn’t at a dead stop due to difficult-to-manoeuvr obstacles like tree branches and light posts.Another delay came in the early morning hours Sunday when the shuttle’s remote-controlled, 160-wheel carrier began leaking oil.Despite the holdups, the team charged with transporting the shuttle felt a “great sense of accomplishment” when it made it onto the museum grounds, said Jim Hennessy, a spokesman for Sarens, the contract mover.“It’s historic and will be a great memory,” he said. “Not too many people will be able to match that — to say, ‘We moved the space shuttle through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles.’”Transporting Endeavour cross-town was a costly feat with an estimated price tag of $10 million, to be paid for by the science centre and private donations.Late Friday, crews spent hours transferring the shuttle to a special, lighter towing dolly for its trip over Interstate 405. The dolly was pulled across the Manchester Boulevard bridge by a Toyota Tundra pickup, and the car company filmed the event for a commercial after paying for a permit, turning the entire scene into a movie set complete with special lighting, sound and staging.Saturday started off promising, with Endeavour 90 minutes ahead of schedule. But accumulated hurdles and hiccups caused it to run hours behind at day’s end.Some 400 trees had been removed along the route, but officials said most of the trees that gave them trouble could not be cut down because they were old or treasured for other reasons, including some planted in honour of Martin Luther King Jr.The crowd had its problems too. Despite temperatures in the mid-70s, several dozen people were treated for heat-related injuries after a long day in the sun, according to fire officials.But it was a happy, peaceful crowd, with firefighters having only to respond to a sheared hydrant and a small rubbish fire, and no reports of any arrests.And despite the late problems the mood for most of the day was festive.At every turn of Endeavour’s slow-speed commute through urban streets, spectators jammed intersections as the shuttle shuffled past stores, schools, churches and front yards through the working-class streets of southern Los Angeles. Sidewalks were off-limits due to Endeavour’s enormous wingspan.Endeavour’s arrival in Los Angeles was a homecoming. It may have zipped around the Earth nearly 4,700 times, but its roots are solidly grounded in California. Its main engines were fashioned in the San Fernando Valley. The heat tiles were invented in Silicon Valley. Its “fly-by-wire” technology was developed in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. In 1991, it rolled off the assembly line in the Mojave Desert to replace Challenger, which blew up during liftoff in 1986.As Endeavour shuffled by crowds, its age was evident after 123 million miles in space and two dozen re-entries.Stephanie Gibbs, a longtime Inglewood resident, passed the Forum, where the Los Angeles Lakers used to play and where Endeavour made a pit stop Saturday, many times in her life. But she wasn’t prepared for what she saw.“There was a space shuttle blocking the street and I said, ‘Whoa,’” she said.Gibbs, who lives off Crenshaw Drive, the narrowest section of the move, would like to see a sign designating it as a shuttle crossing.“We’ve been on the map” because of the Lakers, she said. “This kind of highlights it more.”Endeavour was scheduled to go on display at the museum starting Oct. 30.___Follow Alicia Chang at AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

International students sought for annual ambassador program

Brock international students with a passion for their home away from home have the chance to represent the University, sharing their experience with peers around the world.The search is on for 10 outstanding students to participate in the annual International Student Ambassador Award Program for the 2019-20 academic year. The initiative recognizes international students who exemplify the mission and vision of Brock, as a result of high academic achievements and/or community engagement, both on and off campus.“Being an ambassador means embodying Brock’s spirit and showcasing it to the world,” said third-year Biotechnology student Marcelo Correa, an International Student Ambassador from Brazil.It also means relief from significant financial burden. Selected students having their international tuition fees reduced to the domestic rate — a discount of about $18,000.Now entering its third year, the program annually enlists students to share their experiences and answer questions for prospective students abroad.“The ambassador award has been so much more than just a scholarship to me,” said International Student Ambassador Ana Ferreira, a second-year Kinesiology student from Trinidad and Tobago. “I have loved every moment of getting to connect with students and representing the school I love.”The student ambassadors work with Brock International to meet with prospective students from around the world, highlighting what life is like at the University, both inside and outside of the classroom. They spend time describing life in Niagara, why they chose Brock and how their University experience has helped them prepare for their upcoming career.Correa has spent a great deal of time working with Brock’s Latin America recruitment team, offering advice about possible school visits and tips on approaching Brazilian students based on the country’s current political and economic climate.While on campus, ambassadors raise awareness among current students about specialized programs, events and opportunities offered by Brock International.Ferreira’s proudest moment as an ambassador was working on Celebration of Nations, an annual showcase of Brock’s multicultural community.“It was amazing to put in so much hard work and see it all come to fruition,” she said of the weeklong initiative that took place last month. “I am incredibly proud of the outreach we have been able to accomplish on social media.”Now in his second year as an ambassador, Correa’s proudest moment was a chance encounter with an international student he helped recruit a year prior.“Seeing that they are making the best of their Brock experience by meeting new friends, participating in events and supporting fellow Badgers at sporting events meant a lot,” he said.Students who want to share their Brock passion with the world can apply to be an International Student Ambassador for the 2019-20 academic year. Applications must be submitted by Monday, April 1 for consideration.More information on application requirements is available on Brock International’s website. read more

Teen mom dies after delivering baby at GPHC investigation launched

Moments after 17-year-old Esther Edwards of Laluni Creek, Soesdyke/Linden Highway delivered a healthy baby girl via Caesarean section on Tuesday, she died under mysterious circumstances at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).Reports reaching this publication are that the teenager was admitted at the medical facility on Saturday evening, and at the time she was 40 weeks pregnant. However, an emergency C-Section was performed on Edwards, and while the baby girl was safely delivered, Edwards died. The direct cause of her death remains unknown, but the Public Health Ministry has since launched an investigation into the matter.Officials at the GPHC remain tight-lipped on the incident, their only response being that an investigation is underway.Attempts to contact the relatives of the dead teen have proved futile. To date, the country has recorded seven maternal deaths for 2017. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedInvestigation launched into young mother’s death at GPHCAugust 1, 2015In “Business”Teen who delivered premature baby diesMay 20, 2016In “latest news”GPHC promises probe following woman’s post-delivery deathJanuary 27, 2019In “Health” read more

EYEWITNESS Looking back…

…in rageThe “angry young man” wave was launched back in the 1950s by John Osborne’s ground-breaking play, “Look back in Anger”. It expressed the frustration of the lower-class British post WWI generation chafing at the stifling hypocrisies and restrictions of the pre-war mores and sensibilities.For America, which was never so class-stratified but was certainly more racially divided, you’d think there would be an even more intense reaction by the post-war black generation, wouldn’t you?Well, there was the explosion in the race riots in the inner cities, the Black Liberation Movement, and the “violent Black nationalist” movement represented by Malcolm X, with the Black Power Movement even spreading beyond America’s shores. But if the truth be told, even though they let off steam, none of the Black Movements really was geared to mass violence, and they were all overshadowed by MLK’s non-violent Civil Rights Movement.But how did the Whites deal with their angst? From their position of power, they were buoyed upwards by the explosion of prosperity, occasioned by the pre-eminent status of the US state. They could just print money and have the world ship in their back-breaking-produced goods and services produced with blood, sweat and tears. But the contradictions of benefiting from a system based on both internal and external oppression had to create its own disorders.And it certainly did, with psychoses and neuroses peeping out in all sorts of destructive ways. The most prominent being the mass killings perpetrated with increasing frequency in random states. The most recent being the one two days ago in a California bar where an American war veteran opened fire into a massed group of college students, letting off some steam.When these gruesome acts are committed, the establishment is quick to point to “mental issues” of the shooter – this time Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of the young veteran who’d served in Afghanistan.But the Western European countries, which most resemble the US in background and income, have the same range and rate of mental issues; yet, over the last 30 years, the Americans have had double the number of mass shootings that the 24 European countries combined have had!! So what’s the variable in addition to the collective repressed violent tendencies?The availability of guns is highlighted, of course. While it’s true that guns don’t kill people, and it’s the people with the guns that do; if the guns weren’t there, maybe there mightn’t be so many killings. Maybe…but your Eyewitness doesn’t think so. The same guns are available to Black Americans, and while they’re constantly blamed for gun crimes, they’re almost never mass murderers.These take a specific mindset of historic collective denial of violence.…WITH ANGER AT MONUMENT’S NEGLECTA couple of days ago, there was a very revealing news item from the Essequibo Coast. It showed the Monument to the Martyrs of 1872, at Devonshire Castle, all overrun with bush and weeds. Imagine that!! With all the talk of building monuments to the 1823 rebels, and India building one to Indian Arrival in 1838, one that was dedicated to the first rebellion, which directly led to our independence from Britain, those in power won’t even spend a couple of thousand dollars a week to clear a ten-ten space!!They’ve obviously forgotten that Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo were united as one country – “British Guiana” – only in 1831. Before that, all struggle was against the Government of the COUNTY! When, in 1872, the Indian immigrants refused to work, and five were killed at Devonshire Castle, they were protesting the planters’ not honouring the contract on their hours of work — leading to continued protests culminating in 1948 with the Enmore shootings, PPP formation and independence.How quickly the Government forgets!…AND FORGETTING UNC’S LARGESSEThe Government boycotted the GMSA’s dinner at the Pegasus with TT Opposition Leader, UNC’s Kamla Persad-Bissessar. While feting PNM’s PM Rowley, however, they praised TT for cancelling Burnham’s debt.But it was actually a UNC Govt! Ungrateful or racist? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Remembering…March 8, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Commemorating…July 5, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Return of…April 21, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more

David Balaguer scores goal of EHF CL Round 5

David Balaguer HBC Nantes right wing David Balaguer scored the best goal of the VELUX EHF Champions League – Round 5. ← Previous Story EHF CL: “War in Kielce” in two photos Next Story → EHF Cup Round 3: Kiel against Drammen, Saint Raphael in Israel, Magdeburg VS Porto

Rehn Budget 2014 should not be eased after promissory note savings

first_imgSavings could soften €3.1 billion BudgetUnder the terms of the Troika bailout and the extended deficit programme with the EU, Ireland is required to bring its budget deficit to within 3 per cent of its GDP by 2015.This currently requires Ireland to implement Budget adjustments of €3.1 billion for next year, including €2 billion in spending cuts and €1.1 billion in tax increases. The savings on the promissory notes could have been put towards this Budget, meaning the adjustment could have been lowered to €2.1 billion while keeping Ireland on track of meeting the 2015 deadline.Similarly, a €2 billion adjustment in Budget 2015 – with €1.3 billion in spending cuts and €700 million in taxes – could be halved if the promissory note savings are rolled in.Last week Michael Noonan said he was unwilling to speculate on how Budget 2014 could be affected by the IBRC deal, given that the previous Budget had only been published two months ago, but that it ‘makes sense’ to reduce Ireland’s overall debts and balance the Budget if possible.He suggested, however, that there were other “moving parts” that had to be considered when compiling the next Budget, such as Ireland’s economic growth for 2013 and any change to the unemployment rate.This suggests that weak growth in 2013 and any failure to make progress in tackling unemployment could see the government put some of the savings towards softening the next Budget, which could yet be brought forward to October.The IMF declined to comment on its stance when contacted by on the issue two weeks ago.Read: Meeting of European finance chairmen to discuss life after the crisis THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER in charge of economic and monetary affairs has said the savings that Ireland will make by switching the promissory notes for long-term government bonds should be used to pay down the government’s debt.Olli Rehn’s comments mean it is now unlikely that taxpayers will see any of the benefit of the €1 billion annual savings in next December’s Budget.Rehn is in Dublin today to speak at a meeting of the chairmen of the European Union’s parliamentary finance committees.He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the annual savings – which will be made by repaying only the interest on the government bonds, instead of repaying the capital from the promissory notes in annual instalments – should not be considered a windfall.Rehn said the savings made by Ireland should not be considered a “windfall” given that they did not amount to extra cash income for the government, but rather reduced the amount that Ireland had to borrow to meet its obligations.He pointed out that Ireland’s government deficit still remained substantial, and suggested it would be better for Ireland to put the savings toward paying down its debt and cutting down on the cost of servicing that debt. More: Deal reached on EU rules that could see Budgets in Octoberlast_img read more