Telangana CM lays foundation stone for construction of new

first_imgHyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Thursday laid the foundation stone for the construction of new Secretariat buildingshere at the existing location. The “Bhumi puja” was performed at the D Block in the Secretariat complex situated near the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake. Several state ministers, including A Indrakaran Reddy and Vemula Prashant Reddy, TRS Parliamentary Party leader K Keshava Rao and Chief Secretary SK Joshi were among those present on the occasion. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah Once the designs are finalised, some of the old buildings located in the existing Secretariat would be demolished as per requirement, a senior official has said. The Telangana Cabinet has recently appointed a Group of Ministers headed by Road and Buildings Minister V Prashanth Reddy on the construction of new secretariat building. The Cabinet had endorsed the final decision-making choice on the building designs to the Chief Minister. The state government also indicated that the new secretariat which would come up in about four lakh sq-ft would cost around Rs 400 crore. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey Colony Meanwhile, the opposition BJP MLC N Ramchander Rao alleged he was not allowed by police to organise a planned protest against the construction of new Secretariat buildings, by demolishing some of the the existing structures. “If protest is not allowed, what is the state of democracy in Telangana,” the BJP leader asked. Andhra Pradesh last week handed over all the four blocks (in the Secretariat complex) which were under its control to the Telangana government paving way for it to construct a new Secretariat. The AP government was allotted four blocks in the secretariat complex here after bifurcation of the state in 2014, as Hyderabad was made common capital for both the states for a period not exceeding 10 years. The Telangana government is in the process of identifying office space for accommodating staff during the construction of a new secretariat complex.last_img read more

Political Ottawa abuzz with speculation about Monday cabinet shuffle

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA — Political Ottawa is abuzz with speculation today about how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will reshape his cabinet Monday after the unexpected resignation of longtime Liberal Scott Brison from his post as Treasury Board president.The cabinet shuffle is expected to be small, with as few adjustments as possible to fill the void of Brison’s departure.But given the internal importance of Treasury Board when it comes to government spending, the shuffle is expected to include at least one big name.Brison’s departure also leaves Trudeau’s cabinet without representation from Nova Scotia — a hole expected to be filled on Monday as part of the shuffle.The Liberals hold all 11 seats in Nova Scotia, but senior sources have pointed to Sean Fraser and Bernadette Jordan as likely candidates.A minimal shuffle will allow ministers to focus on completing tasks within their mandate letters with the aim of helping the Trudeau government steer as smoothly as possible into the fall election.last_img read more

Why maternity benefit act not applicable to adhoc staff Delhi HC asks

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday questioned why the Maternity Benefit Act would not be applicable to the ad-hoc employees of the Delhi University (DU) when it was applicable to contract labourers of any establishment or government undertaking.The query by Justice Suresh Kait was posed to the DU while issuing notice to the Centre, the university and the Aurobindo College here, seeking their stand on a female ad-hoc professor’s plea alleging that she was denied maternity leave as she was not a permanent employee. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”If it (the Act) is applicable to any shop or establishment or government undertaking or government institution, then why not to the university is the question,” the court said. It further asked, “Why not applicable to ad-hoc when it (the act) is applicable to contract labourers?” The court listed the matter for further hearing on August 5 last year. During the brief hearing, the college said the professor’s application for maternity leave was forwarded to the DU and a response was awaited. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsIt also told the court that the petitioner had not contended that the Act was applicable to the college or the university. The lawyer representing the DU told the court that there were no rules or regulations in the university to provide maternity benefit to ad-hoc employees. The woman, in her plea, has contended that under the Maternity Benefit Act, she is entitled to six months’ leave, but the university did not grant her the relief as she was not a permanent employee and was employed on ad-hoc basis.last_img read more

UK concerned over Weliweriya

Britain has expressed concerns over the incidents which took place in Weliweriya last week.UK Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt said he noted with “serious concern” emerging reports of the violent disruption of peaceful protests by the Sri Lankan security forces in Weliweriya, in which at least 3 people died. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo had also last week expressed concerns over the incident.The Embassy called on the Government of Sri Lanka to respect the rights of people to protest peacefully, and urged restraint from all sides. (Colombo Gazette) “My thoughts are with the families of those who were killed or injured,” he said. Burt urged the authorities to ensure the right to peaceful protest is protected and to ensure a swift and transparent investigation, the British Foreign Office said. read more

Private survey Growth at US services firms surges to new high in

Private survey: Growth at US services firms surges to new high in July by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Aug 5, 2015 8:35 am MDT Last Updated Aug 5, 2015 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this June 12, 2015 photo, Dayamyra Perez Fernandez prepares a lunch to go for a customer at a local grocery store in the Little Havana area of Miami. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of non-manufacturing activity for July on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) WASHINGTON – Business at U.S. services companies surged in July, the Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday.The institute said its services index rose to 60.3 last month, highest since the index was created in 2008 and up from 56 in June. Any reading above 50 shows growth in the services sector.Its measure of business activity for services firms rose to 64.9 from 61.5 in June. New orders and employment were also up strongly. Export orders also rose at a faster pace, despite a strong dollar that makes U.S. products and services more expensive in overseas markets.Anthony Nieves, chairman of the institute’s services survey committee, said growth in services usually cools during the summer, so the July surge “is a bit unusual.” He said a strong job market might be helping services firms. Unemployment has tumbled to a seven-year low of 5.3 per cent.The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its services survey covers businesses that employ 90 per cent of workers, including retail, construction, health care and financial services companies.Fifteen of 18 services industries reported growth.The performance of the services sector last month was in contrast to U.S. manufacturing: On Monday, the institute reported that factories were less busy in June. Its manufacturing index slipped to 52.7 last month from 53.5 in June. Hiring slowed at U.S. factories last month, but production and new orders rose.Adam Collins, economist at Capital Economics, said the growth in services last month “more than offsets the weakness in the manufacturing sector … All things considered, this survey reinforces our view that the economy is on a strong footing and suggests that (economic) growth will accelerate in the second half of the year.”The economy grew at an annual pace of just 0.6 per cent from January through March and 2.3 per cent from April through June. Economists are expecting annualized growth of 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent in the second half of the year. read more

New simpler panning for gold

first_imgGold Claw, a professional gold pan, is the fastest and easiest way for anyone to pan for gold, claims Klint Washburn, its designer. He has announced plans to launch a fundraising campaign through crowdfunding website Indiegogo, following a successful Kickstarter fundraising venture. The newest and most innovative way to pan for gold, Gold Claw invites users to: ·         Pan like a professional with no prior experience or training required·         Experience simple and fun gold panning—just “Shake and Tilt”·         Enjoy an extremely durable and long-lasting product·         Pan many times faster and yield more gold than traditional methods Washburn says “panning for gold the traditional way requires years of training and practice to yield even the slightest of results. This is due to ineffective technology that, if not utilised properly, could let the miniscule flakes of gold slip away. Gold Claw has taken this antiquated method’s basic properties and repurposed them to create a fun and easy way to prospect for gold. In fact, the Gold Claw pan is so easy to use.” Washburn claims that even a child can out pan a traditional pro their first time learning the tool. The Gold Claw is great for professionals and those who struggle with traditional gold panning equipment, but the simplicity and ease of use really opens the door for anyone who has ever wanted to experience the magic of finding their own gold. “I have spent a lot of time studying the physical and chemical properties of gold,” said Washburn. “I found that dynamics at and below the surface push gold up and carry gold out of the pan. Using this knowledge, I created a new design for a gold pan that is much more effective.”Washburn’s idea was to take the gold-catching ridges found at the bottom of a traditional gold pan and move them to the surface. When liquefaction, or the separation of materials into layers according to weight, takes place, the ridges are in an ideal position to capture gold as the lighter layers of soil flow out of the pan.With Gold Claw, it takes under 30 seconds to pan gold. Gold Claw is the product of many iterations of prototypes. Washburn, a professional in engineering design, constructed the Gold Claw and sent the blueprint to 3D printing company Whiteclouds to model for testing his product. Washburn went through many iterations to perfect the design using Tritan copolyester as the base material with its reputation of indestructibility in the outdoor industry.In September 2016, Washburn began a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his project. Washburn was able to meet his goal of $20,000 in just 35 days of campaigning. Propelled by the success of that campaign, Washburn is now attempting to reach a new funding audience at Indiegogo. “The Gold Claw is more than just an improvement, it’s a paradigm shift,” Washburn said. “With this new design, a newbie can literally outpan a pro!”To learn more about Gold Claw and the Indiegogo campaign, visit read more

Catchup Wednesday 3 midweek longreads

first_imgAmong the items recovered from that culvert after Winter’s death was a matchbook from a business in Henderson, Nevada. The Mandez family had relatives there. The cops said this proved that Mandez had been inside Winter’s house on the night of her death: He had burglarized her home, and thus, under a dubious extension of Colorado law, he was necessarily guilty of first-degree murder. 2. Welcome to SomaliaThis charming and poignant comic strip tells the story of what happened when Somali-born parents Amiir and Cawo took their Oslo-raised children on a trip from Norway back to their home country.BBC, approximately 5  minutes reading time3. Philippines: Stunned and devastatedA deadly typhoon struck the Philippines last week, leading to incredible devastation. Dr Natasha Reyes writes in Opinion and Insight about how resilient Filipinos are – but how unprecedented the scale of disaster they are facing, approximately 4 minutes reading time, 861 wordsFor sure, there are wounded people who have not yet received medical attention. Usually, in these types of disasters, the main needs are related to people being displaced from their homes, and the injuries are relatively minor – cuts, broken bones, head wounds. But with so many houses and buildings having collapsed because of the strong winds, we’re expecting to see some significant injuries.Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday> IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:1. Prison without paroleSam Mandez was sentenced to life in prison without parole, but as Andrew Cohen writes, things only got worse from there.The Atlantic, approximately 12 minutes reading time, 2491 wordslast_img read more

Samsung Galaxy S4 Rugged on the way

first_imgIf you’ve been waiting for a modern phone to come out that can hold up against more severe conditions, it looks like Samsung might be selling exactly what you are looking for in the coming weeks.Most people would love to hear that their phone will survive that accidental tumble down the stairs, or to not have to cringe when the phone slides off the top of the car as you pull out of the parking lot. Unfortunately, most people also want their phones to look like phones, and not some sort of military issue brick that could also double as a defensive weapon.Manufacturers have been working hard to make the thinnest and sleekest handsets possible to compete in the market, and to add rugged durability to that design is often too expensive to justify. Samsung seems to think they have what it takes, with plans to release a ruggedized Galaxy S4 in the coming weeks.While the Galaxy S4 itself has proven that the screen can stand up to quite the torture test, all parts of the phone have to hold up under stress in order to be considered rugged. There’s been no mention yet of what specs would be on board this phone, or how exactly it would be ruggedized. It’s pretty unlikely that Samsung is planning a durable 5-inch phone with all of the trimmings. Samsung will more than likely use this opportunity to further spread the Galaxy S4 name by releasing a unique piece of hardware with similar color schemes, but mostly different hardware, just like they are doing with the Galaxy S4 Mini.A ruggedized Galaxy S4 of any description would be a great addition to that market. Most of the companies making highly durable smartphones right now are releasing clunky bricks of grey or black with outdated software and very little in the way of additional features. For Samsung to enter this market niche with a modern design, a current version of Android, and even a handful of the most recent TouchWiz features would see the handset fly off the shelves in places where this kind of phone is a commodity.If Samsung is indeed releasing a rugged Galaxy S4 in the coming weeks, it wouldn’t take long for the company to dominate that market.Now Read – System dump unlocks Galaxy S4 content, makes it available for other phoneslast_img read more

FactCheck Is the National Lottery correct to say it exists for the

first_img By Sean Murray We exist for the sole purpose of raising money for good causes all over Ireland – whilst offering the people of Ireland fun, responsible play.“Nearly 30c in every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back into the areas of youth, sport, recreation & amenities, health & welfare, arts, culture & national heritage and the Irish language.”But is this claim correct? Does the National Lottery exist for the sole purpose of raising money for good causes?The evidenceThe National Lottery was established by the government in 1986, began trading in 1987, and was initially owned by An Post.When set up, its purpose was to provide funding for “sport and other recreation, national culture (including the Irish language), the arts and the health of the community”. However as the recession laid siege to the national finances in the early 2010s, the government put the licence to operate the National Lottery up for sale.It was eventually sold to a consortium made up of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, An Post and the An Post pension funds.Under that agreement, a private firm ultimately co-owned by the trio, called Premier Lotteries Ireland, was awarded a 20-year licence in 2014 to operate the National Lottery.The Canadian pension fund ultimately controls the majority of Premier Lotteries Ireland’s shares, with An Post and its pension funds holding minority stakes.The relevant legislation was updated with the National Lottery Act 2013, which replaced the previous laws and established a regulator to oversee the lottery.Premier Lotteries Ireland paid the government with an upfront sum of €405 million to secure the contract.The licence to operate the National Lottery stated that Premier Lotteries Ireland had to allocate 65% of its gross gaming revenue – made up of its total ticket sales minus prize money – to good causes each year.It was also required to provide regulators with a statement containing details of its contributions to those causes – which includes funding for many small, community organisations – for every 12-month period.According to Premier Lotteries Ireland’s most recent financial statements gross ticket sales amounted to €800 million in 2017. The company paid out €452 million in prizes to players, representing around 56% of its total ticket sales.More than €226 million was distributed to good causes, representing the 65% share of gross gaming revenue that the State licence required the company to hand out to worthy initiatives.That left Premier Lotteries Ireland with an operating profit of €17.4 million – after its running costs, including staff expenses and other overheads, were stripped out.However due to financial expenses of €31 million, the company posted a net loss of €13.5 million for the year. The largest portion of the financial expenses came from interest due to ‘related parties’.Elsewhere in the accounts, the company noted that it had more than €220 million in loans and accrued interest outstanding to its parents: the pension funds and An Post. These loans incurred a hefty 9% rate of fixed interest.Without the interest charges to Premier Lotteries Ireland’s owners, the company would have delivered a slender profit for the year.In addition, An Post delivered services worth €2.2 million to Premier Lotteries Ireland – which it part-owns – in 2017, while another firm called Camelot provided “systems implementation and support services” worth €9.7 million during the year.Camelot runs the UK national lottery under licence and it is also owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.Meanwhile, Premier Lotteries Ireland’s ultimate parent company in Ireland paid out its first dividends to shareholders of €84.6 million in 2017.So between the dividend payout and intra-group charges, the National Lottery’s licence holders benefited by more than €96 million from the operation of the service for the year.Canadian ownersThe Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – Premier Lotteries Ireland’s majority owner – describes itself as “Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan with $189.5 billion in net assets”.Under a section describing “our investments” on its website, the fund says: “Our investment program has one goal: to earn the best possible returns, at an appropriate level of risk, to pay pensions to our members.”That means that the company responsible for running Ireland’s National Lottery is itself majority-owned by a Canadian investment firm.Lottery statementWe asked the National Lottery for a statement based on the claim in question for this FactCheck.A spokeswoman told us: “The National Lottery was set up on a statutory basis by the Irish Government, under the National Lottery Act 1986, with the express purpose of raising funds for Good Causes all over Ireland.This did not change when Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) was granted a 20-year licence to operate the National Lottery in 2014. PLI is a consortium made up of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and An Post and An Post Employees’ Pension Fund. It is important to point out the difference between PLI and the National Lottery. PLI is the vehicle which operates the National Lottery.”The spokeswoman added that since 1987, around €5.4 billion had been raised for good causes through the National Lottery.Some 91c of every euro spent on National Lottery games went either to good causes, prize money or retailer bonuses and commissions, she noted. The remainder went towards paying for Premier Lotteries Ireland’s operations and any profits.VerdictThe claim made by the National Lottery was that it “exist[s] for the sole purpose of raising money for good causes all over Ireland – whilst offering the people of Ireland fun, responsible play”.As shown above, however, the company that operates the lotto – Premier Lotteries Ireland – is majority-owned by a Canadian investment firm which promises to deliver returns for its members.It is true to say that the company provides hundreds of millions of euro in funding for good causes each year, while it also pays out hundreds of millions of euro in prize money. However it is also a business which seeks to make money and pay its shareholders: which it did to the tune of more than €84 million in dividends in 2017.Which means that, while the National Lottery does indeed raise hundreds of millions for good causes, it also functions as a cash-generating asset for its owners.PLI, the operators of the National Lottery, does draw a distinction between the National Lottery and themselves as operators of the National Lottery but that distinction ignores the reality that the gambling by the public on the National Lottery funds both the National Lottery and the operator PIL, and therefore the National Lottery (funded by this public gambling) cannot truly claim to exist ‘for the sole purpose of raising money for good causes’. As a result, we rate this claim: Mostly FALSEAs per our verdict guide, this means the claim contains an element of truth but is missing critical details or context. Based on the information set out above, the National Lottery may have been set up with the goal of raising money for good causes, but it also serves as an income-generating asset for its licence-holders and therefore can not be described as existing for the “sole purpose” of raising money for good’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.With reporting from Peter Bodkin  Tuesday 5 Mar 2019, 12:05 AM FactCheck: Is the National Lottery correct to say it exists ‘for the sole purpose of raising money for good causes’? It made the claim in a press release following the release of a gambling survey last week – but is it correct? 46,087 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img 55 Comments Share11 Tweet Email3 Mar 5th 2019, 12:06 AM Short URL LAST WEEK, A major piece of research into gambling was published and it showed that lottery and scratch cards were by far the most common way people gamble in Ireland.According to the gambling prevalence survey – published on Wednesday by Ministers of State David Stanton and Catherine Byrne – 56.7% of people in Ireland had a bet on a lotto or bought a scratch a card in the past year, with 35.4% doing so in the last month.In response to the publication of the data, the National Lottery issued a statement.It said: “The National Lottery differs from other forms of gaming in that it is based on many people playing, but spending reasonably small amounts.last_img read more