The True Cost of Becoming an Academician in China?

first_imgFailed candidate. Zhang Shuguang stood trial on corruption charges in a Beijing court last week. Revelations of government corruption hardly raise eyebrows in China these days. But Zhang Shuguang’s exploits have managed to shock a jaded populace. The “father” of China’s high-speed rail system, standing trial on corruption charges in Beijing last week, testified that he solicited bribes from businessmen because he needed money—a whopping 23 million yuan (about $3.8 million)—to burnish his credentials and influence votes in the biannual elections for membership in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2007 and 2009. It turned out to be money ill spent, in more ways than one: Zhang failed to get elected not once, but twice.   Becoming a CAS academician, or yuanshi, is considered one of the highest honors for a scientist in China. But unlike academy memberships in many other countries, the yuanshi title bestows more than respect: It comes with a host of privileges as well. For example, academicians can keep their jobs as long they wish; everyone else in government service, from China’s president on down, face mandatory retirement. Academicians help set the nation’s science policy, influence funding decisions, and some of them control large sums of research money.The railway ministry, which was broken up in March during an ongoing government crackdown on corruption, wanted its very own academician. According to an investigative report published in December 2011 in the Chinese business newsmagazine Century Weekly, then-minister Liu Zhijun picked Zhang, a deputy chief engineer, to be the ministry’s nominated candidate for CAS membership in the 2007 elections. (In July, Liu received a death sentence, with a 2-year reprieve, after he was convicted of graft and abuse of power by a Beijing court.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)According to Century Weekly, businessmen seeking ministry contracts learned of Zhang’s nomination and offered to help. That year, the magazine detailed, Zhang, using a slush fund provided by the businessmen, cloistered 30 experts from mostly ministry-affiliated universities and research institutes in a hotel for 2 months, during which time they churned out three books on high-speed rail technology that were credited to Zhang. That burst of authorship didn’t quite put Zhang over the top in the elections: His bid failed by seven votes.Two years later, Zhang pursued CAS membership with a much larger war chest, according to his court testimony. He hired ghostwriters to produce more volumes on his behalf and invited voting-eligible CAS members on all-expenses-paid tours of the high-speed rail system, lavishing them with gifts, according to Century Weekly. Zhang nearly pulled it off that time: He fell one vote shy of election. A source tells ScienceInsider that Zhang’s membership might have succeeded if not for an impassioned speech by an influential academician who derided Zhang’s credentials just before the final round of voting. In court last week, official state media reported, Zhang pleaded guilty to taking bribes, almost half of which were for his CAS membership bids.Zhang’s admission has touched off a firestorm in China, where many commentators are questioning CAS members’ integrity and calling for curbs on the perks of being a yuanshi. The government’s Xinhua News Agency on 11 September ran an article demanding to know whom Zhang bribed. CAS issued a statement on the same day saying that it had not received any complaints against its members for bribe-taking, but vowed to investigate if complaints are lodged.Candidates like Zhang who have both money and power at their disposal are rare, says an expert on history of CAS membership who asked for anonymity because he’s involved in an effort to overhaul the yuanshi system. A more common problem, the source says, is lobbying by organizations on behalf of candidates. With Zhang’s case getting so much attention, CAS will be under immense pressure to hold squeaky clean elections this November. Xinhua last_img read more

Business schedule for Wednesday, May 3, 2017

first_imgNew Delhi:- * Smartron smartphone event (1130hrs) * HP India press meet (1200 hrs) * Power Minister Piyush Goyal to inaugurate conference of state power ministers (1400 hrs) * Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate Integrated Transport and Logistics Exhibition (1600 hrs) * Toyota Innova Touring Sport launch (1830 hrs) Mumbai:- * SAT hearing RIL plea against Sebi ban and penalty (1030 hrs) * ICICI Bank Q4 earnings concall (1730 hrs). Bengaluru:- * Instadel press conference (1600hrs). PTI BEN ARS NSK TRK ABMlast_img read more

My views on Maria Sharapova shared by many: Eugenie Bouchard

first_imgAfter Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard knocked Maria Sharapova out of the Madrid Masters in a three set marathon, the 23-year-old explained the importance of her win against a player she had accused of cheating.The victory on Monday night saw Sharapova crash out of the second round as she continues her return to the WTA circuit following her suspension after being detected for using meldonium during the 2016 Australian Open, reports Xinhua news agency.Bouchard had been critical of the Russian in the past, even going as far as calling her a “cheat”, and admits she viewed the win as justification for her words.”I was extra motivated, I had never beaten her before and there were other circumstances,” said the Canadian in a press conference.”A lot of players had come up to me in private to wish me luck, players who I usually don’t speak to. And I also received a lot of messages from people in the world of tennis,” she said.The Canadian believes that these shows of support make it clear that Sharapova’s return is not popular with many of her peers.”It shows that the majority of the people have the same opinion that I have and although they are worried about speaking out in public, they will speak in private. I received a lot of support from them and that is why I was so inspired,” she commented after her 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory.WHAT A SHOT! ??How did @GenieBouchard get this in?! pic.twitter.com/GSZNossdZ3advertisement- WTA (@WTA) May 8, 2017last_img read more

Japan Beats MLB All-Stars, 6-4

first_imgNAHA, Japan — Yuki Yanagita greeted Randy Choate with a two-run single in the eighth inning, and Japan beat the Major League Baseball All-Stars 6-4 Nov. 20 in an exhibition game following their five-game postseason tour.Japan won the series 3-2 and the teams split a pair exhibition games that preceded and followed.With Japan ahead 3-2, Nobuhiro Matsuda doubled off Jose Veras leading off the eighth, and Ginji Akaminai walked. After a pair of bunts, Choate relieved, Yanagita singled and Ryosuke Kikuchi tripled for a 6-2 lead.Justin Morneau had an RBI single in the bottom half, and Alcides Escobar hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth.Shota Takada won by allowing one run — unearned — four hits and four walks in three innings, and Yuji Nishino pitched the ninth for the save. Loser Hector Santiago gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits in four innings.Morneau’s sacrifice fly put the MLB All-Stars ahead in the first, but Kenta Imamiya hit a tying single in the second, Tetsuto Yamada had a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth and Yoshihiro Maru tripled in a run off Tsuyoshi Wada in the fifth for a 3-1 lead.Evan Longoria homered in the bottom half off Takahiro Matsuba.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Asus ZenFone 5Z launching in India on July 4, will be Flipkart exclusive

first_imgAsus is set to launch a new flagship phone in India on July 4, confirms the company. It will be the ZenFone 5Z. The Taiwan-based smartphone maker will host a launch event at 12:30 PM IST on the stated date. According to the Flipkart teaser that came into light earlier this week, the upcoming Asus ZenFone 5Z will be “Flagship Redefined”. As for the pricing, the ZenFone 5Z is expected to be priced under Rs 35,000 for the base model, which means, it will compete with phones like OnePlus 6 and Honor 10.Asus first launched the ZenFone 5Z at MWC 2018, back in the month of February this year in Barcelona alongside some of the most prominent phones like Galaxy S9, S9+, and others. The smartphone will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor paired with artificial intelligence engine (AIE), reveals company via a tweet. Chances are, the same model of the ZenFone 5Z, which was launched in Taiwan earlier this year will come to India as well. This means, we already know the specs of the phone. The price and availability of the phone is however still a mystery.Let’s brush up the specs of the Asus phone. The Taiwan model of the Asus ZenFone 5Z comes with a 6.2-inch full-HD+ LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and pixel resolution of 1080×2246. The phone includes a dual-SIM support and runs on Android 8.0 Oreo-based on ZenUI 5.0 on top. As already mentioned and teased by Flipkart, the Asus ZenFone 5Z is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with an Adreno 630 GPU.advertisementIn Taiwan, Asus ZenFone 5Z comes in three models, the top-end model comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card. While the other two variants of the phone come with 4GB RAM/64GB storage and 6GB RAM/64GB storage, expandable via microSD card.The smartphone is backed by a 3300mAh battery and comes with support for AI charging. On the optics front, the ZenFone 5Z sports a dual camera system on the rear panel. It consists of a primary sensor of 12-megapixel with f/1.8 aperture, and a secondary sensor of 8-megapixel with f/2.2 aperture. The rear camera setup is paired with Softlight LED flash.On the front, the ZenFone 5Z comes with an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture. The phone also comes with Face Unlock support, meaning users will be able to unlock the phone just by looking at the phone’s screen. On the connectivity front, the Asus flagship phone includes several options — 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack and more.ALSO READ: Asus ZenFone 5Z has every ingredient in the book to make OnePlus nervousAs for the pricing, Asus launched the ZenFone 5Z for a starting price of TWD 14,990, which roughly translates to Rs 33,700 for the 6GB RAM/64GB. While the 6GB RAM/128GB storage variant comes with a price tag of TWD 16,990, roughly around Rs. 38,200. If Asus launches the same models of the ZenFone 5Z, the phone may have a starting price of under Rs 35,000.last_img read more

Glut of goals, fresh talent and unpredictability fuel Serie A revival

first_imgSportblog Read more Dries Mertens, second left, and Napoli have shone so far this season. Photograph: Ciro Fusco/EPA Even the Bundesliga, rich with well-run clubs and domestic talent, moved ahead in the continental pecking order. By 2014, the columnist Gianni Mura was writing in the newspaper La Repubblica that he had “never seen a Serie A of such scarce technical quality”.So when Italy climbed back up to third in Uefa’s country coefficient rankings last month, it was a cause for modest celebration. In practical terms it meant nothing, since the top four nations will each send four teams to the Champions League from 2018 in any case. But to move ahead of Germany for the first time in seven years was a salve to wounded national pride.The hope is that it also provided confirmation of Italian football being back on a positive trajectory. At the time of Mura’s lament, the opposite seemed to be true. Juventus were ploughing towards a record points tally but had failed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League. The only Italian side who did, Milan, got thrashed 5-1 on aggregate by Atlético Madrid.Domestically, the tactical trend was towards ever more defensive formations. “Catenaccio has returned in its most rudimentary form,” wrote Mura, painting a picture of “bad full-backs dressed up as wingers”, playing in “three-man defences that are, in fact, a back five”.Since then, however, Juventus have been in two Champions League finals and Serie A has transformed into a Wild West of attacking football. The goals are flying in at a higher rate in the Italian top flight (2.88 per game) this season than in any of Europe’s other top five leagues. The same was true last season as well. Only one game out of 49 since the start of September has ended goalless.After six straight titles, Juventus’s hegemony is finally under threat. Napoli have not only won their opening seven games but scored at least three times in each. Just as Milan were elevated in the late 1980s by a former shoe salesman, Arrigo Sacchi, so Napoli’s rise has been masterminded by a man who was working in a bank at the age of 43. Perhaps it is easier to take risks when you are doing, as Maurizio Sarri describes it, “the only job I would do for free”.And perhaps that boldness is catching. Serie A has not traditionally been a welcoming place for teenage talent but these days it is awash with it. Pietro Pellegri, born in 2001, was already the youngest player to take part in a Serie A game, and became the youngest to score a brace when he struck twice against Lazio last month. The 19-year-old Federico Chiesa stirs memories of his father, Enrico, at Fiorentina, and Milan, after spending more than €200m on new signings, have started games with a homegrown teenager, Gianluigi Donnarumma, in goal and another, Patrick Cutrone, leading the attack.It has been a challenging start to the season for the Rossoneri, beaten three times already, but the ambition shown by their new owners, as well as those of neighbours Internazionale, has restored enthusiasm in the stands.Milan achieved the highest attendance for a Europa League qualifier when 65,673 fans came to see them crush Craiova. A few weeks later, 51,752 turned out to watch Inter beat Fiorentina in Serie A, the biggest crowd the Nerazzurri had achieved for an August fixture since their treble-winning campaign in 2009-10.Average attendances in Serie A are up by more than 1,500 per game from last season. The Milan clubs have played a part but so too have sides such as Napoli and Atalanta, the latter continuing to defy gravity with a core of players developed through their academy system.We are not quite back in the age of the Sette Sorelle – Seven Sisters – when Juventus, Milan, Inter, Fiorentina, Lazio, Roma and Parma were all considered legitimate title contenders. But Serie A’s pool of stars is spread more evenly than it has been in the recent past, allowing eight or nine teams to at least aspire to a place in the top four. Facebook Pinterest Twitter blogposts Dries Mertens has been the greatest revelation, with 24 goals and 11 assists in the league since the start of 2017. But even outside the most obvious clubs, Lazio can boast Ciro Immobile – whose 13 strikes this season are bettered only by Lionel Messi across Europe’s top five leagues – Torino have Andrea Belotti and Atalanta the irrepressible Papu Gómez. Share on Twitter Topics Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Serie A Napoli have never looked more ready under Sarri to challenge for Serie A title There was a time when Italians might have been insulted by the suggestion of theirs being the third-best football league in Europe. Serie A was always il campionato più bello del mondo – the most beautiful championship in the world. How else to describe a competition that produced 12 European Cup finalists between 1983 and 1998, a place where you could watch Diego Maradona take on Franco Baresi, or Zinedine Zidane battle Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or?Nobody is blind, though, to the power shift since. Between TV deals and billionaire owners, Premier League clubs became able to offer wages the Italians could not match. Barcelona and Real Madrid kept pace by using the Champions League to solidify their status as global brands. Serie A’s most marketable teams were too busy squabbling over the Calciopoli scandal. European club football Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Read more Share on Pinterest Genoa’s Pietro Pellegri sets Serie A record, sparking tears and transfer talk Not everything is positive. Although a handful of clubs have followed Juventus’ lead by either constructing stadiums or taking ownership of their existing ones, progress remains painfully slow. Figures published by KPMG show Serie A revenues grew at a slower rate between 2011-12 and 2015-16 than in any of Europe’s other top leagues.The gap between the top and bottom of the division, furthermore, has rarely appeared wider. A survey conducted by Gazzetta dello Sport found 58% of readers in favour of reducing the number of teams in the division to 18 or even fewer.Overall, though, there is more good than bad. The introduction of the VAR system for reviewing major refereeing decisions appears to be making a positive impact, despite some heated debate, with the number of fouls per game down across the board.Serie A has a way to go before it can confidently call itself the most beautiful championship in the world again. But more goals, fewer fouls and fresh talent coming through feel like a good place to start. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Video: Michigan Cornerback Blake Countess One-Ups Jabrill Peppers With This Crazy Backflip Routine

first_imgMichigan Wolverines football players celebrating a sack.ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 12: Chris Wormley #43 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates the sack on quarterback Marcus McMaryion #3 of the Oregon State Beavers (not in photo) with teammates Matthew Godin #99 and Mario Ojemudia #53 during the fourth quarter of the game on September 12, 2015 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Beavers 35-7. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is a crazy athlete, and may wind up as one of the best corners in the country if he pans out, based on his potential entering college last year. He proved that the injury issues that kept him from participating during most of the 2014 season are probably a thing of the past with this impressive backflip during drills yesterday. Fellow Michigan cornerback Blake Countess isn’t one to be overshadowed, however, and one-upped Peppers’ backflip with this wild routine, which he posted on Twitter this evening.Yall decide! its all fun tho! @JabrillPeppers pic.twitter.com/LGy4nhwQI8— Blake Countess (@TheeCount2) February 27, 2015Peppers is impressed…we think. We’re not actually sure what this response means.Light cheese “@TheeCount2: Yall decide!its all fun tho! @JabrillPeppers pic.twitter.com/Y00UE9OxwG”— Breez (@JabrillPeppers) February 27, 2015We can’t wait to see Peppers’ inevitable response the next time Michigan hits the practice field.last_img read more

After days of tension Kashmir limps back to normal

first_imgSrinagar: After two days of official clampdown and separatist called protests, life on Sunday started limping back to normal in the Kashmir valley. Authorities had imposed a clampdown in the Valley after the killing of top militant commander Zakir Musa on Thursday. Curfew-like restrictions, closure of all educational institutions, cancellation of scheduled exams and a virtual Internet blackout followed Musa’s killing in Dadsara village of Tral area. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC Musa was not only the most wanted militant commander in Kashmir, but had become an icon of homegrown militancy after the death of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2019. Official measures to maintain law and order were defied at dozens of places by angry youth who pelted stones at the security forces. Separatists called for a protest shutdown and life remained literally paralysed for two days after the Tral area gunfight. Separatists have appealed people to return to their normal daily routine from Sunday and also confirmed that there would be no shutdown. Despite being a public holiday, markets opened after two days in Srinagar city and other towns in the Valley on Sunday. Public transport also started moving as usual both in Srinagar and all other districts of the Valley. To facilitate people move about without any hardship, authorities did not impose restrictions anywhere.last_img read more

Ousted candidate says Liberals knew about social media posts well before sacking

first_imgMONTREAL — A recently ousted Liberal candidate says the party knew about his controversial social media posts well before he was turfed as the nominee in a Montreal riding.Hassan Guillet told reporters today he met officials with the federal party on Aug. 8 to discuss the old posts. He says the Liberals were convinced he was neither racist not anti-Semitic.But they revoked his nomination in the Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel riding last Friday after a Jewish advocacy group unearthed the series of old statements he made on social media that were critical of Israel and U.S. foreign policy.He says he and the Liberals had already discussed an action plan that involved outreach to the Jewish community. Guillet says that action plan was set to be set in motion the day he was sacked.Guillet says his posts were public, and the party knew or should have known about them when they vetted him in 2017.The former imam says he wants to run in October’s federal election as a Liberal, but doesn’t rule out running for another party or as an Independent if he’s not reinstated.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Humanitarian crisis worsens in north Yemen fighting UN reports

23 September 2009The humanitarian crisis in northern Yemen, where 150,000 people have been driven from their homes by fighting between Government and rebel forces, continues to worsen, with the lack of drinking water posing a particularly serious concern, the United Nations reported today. Given the very limited access to people affected by the conflict and the geographical spread of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in all four affected northern governorates, it has been very difficult to assess the full scope of displacement and provide sufficient relief, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.“Food rations have been pre-positioned at strategic points throughout northern Yemen and are sufficient to provide 60,000 beneficiaries with a monthly ration,” it added in its latest update. “In the hot weather conditions, the current lack of potable water is particularly a serious concern.”The $23.7 million Flash Appeal that was launched three weeks ago has still not received any funding, although some pledges have been recorded. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is procuring emergency shelter items for 35,000 IDPs, including 7,000 tents, 5,000 plastic sheets, 250 plastic rolls, 21,000 mattresses, 36,000 blankets and 5,000 kitchen sets. Since 12 September, a window of access has allowed Islamic Relief Yemen, the main partner of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the region, to start the second cycle of food distributions in Hajjah governorate and by 16 September some 12,800 people had benefited from 188 metric tons of food.New families arrived in Hajjah from Sa’ada governorate on hearing that aid was being provided. These families have been added to the distribution lists.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will triple water distribution in the IDP camp in Sa’ada, but additional funding is needed to construct separate toilets and washing facilities for men and women and ensure adequate water and sanitation services.The UN World Health Organization (WHO) has received surgical supplies from the Italian Government for 400 major surgical operations, as well as medical supplies for 20,000 IDPs for three months and diarrhoeal disease treatment for 1,500 victims of severe to moderate dehydration. While some international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were denied access to IDPs in Al-Jawf governorate, the Ministry of Health/WHO mobile teams managed to continue delivery of essential health care services to displaced persons in the area. read more

Amaya CEO investor group looking to take online poker company private

MONTREAL – Amaya’s chairman and CEO is looking to take the world’s largest online poker company private about 18 months after it acquired PokerStars for US$4.9 billion.David Baazov and a group of investors announced Monday their interest in paying $21 per share in cash, 40 per cent above Friday’s closing price.“The particular form and structure of the transaction have not been determined, and no discussions have commenced between Mr. Baazov and Amaya with respect to any particular transaction,” said a news release issued in Baazov’s name.It said there is no guarantee that a transaction will proceed or be concluded. A similar statement issued by the company’s board of directors said a committee of independent directors would review any formal offers by Baazov or others.The announcements prompted a surge in Amaya’s stock price, which peaked Monday at $19.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange — the most since Dec. 24. In later trading, Amaya (TSX:AYA) stock fell back to close up $3.01 or 20 per cent at $18.Baazov owns about 18.6 per cent of the 132.78 million outstanding shares of Amaya and has options to purchase 550,000 more shares.Amaya as a whole would be worth $2.79 billion at the suggested purchase price, including the stock and options that Baazov already owns.The company’s stock hasn’t recovered since plunging from above $31 in early November after it lowered its financial expectations for 2015.Over the last 52 weeks, they have fallen from a peak of $37.52 about a year ago to a low of $13.73 last week.The company’s board has set up a special committee, headed by lead independent director Dave Gadhia, to review any formal proposal brought forward by Baazov and any other alternatives.Amaya, which owns PokerStars and various other online gaming businesses, didn’t provide a reason for Baazov’s proposal. Amaya and Baazov declined requests for comment.Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Markets said the offer is below his fundamental valuation of $28.50 per share.“While some could see the offer as potentially being opportunistic, it is worth pointing out that the continued strength in the U.S. dollar is a potential headwind for the company’s European poker business,” he wrote in a report.The analyst also said Amaya’s high debt in an environment of increasing interest rates is another factor for shareholders to consider.Amaya transformed its business in the summer of 2014 when it bought Oldford Group, parent company of the Rational Group, which operates PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Its poker brands have 97 million registered players around the world.Trading activity surrounding the deal came under scrutiny by Quebec’s securities regulator in December 2014 but no allegations have been made by Autorite des marches financiers, which declines to comment.Amaya has said it has discovered no evidence of wrongdoing by its employees.Follow @rossmarowits on Twitter. Amaya CEO, investor group looking to take online poker company private by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 1, 2016 6:43 am MDT Last Updated Feb 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Ban names eminent advocates to propel achievement of new Sustainable Development Goals

The eminent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates “will build on their unique standing and leadership to promote the SDGs as part of an ambitious and transformative global development agenda,” a UN spokesperson said. “They are to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030,” the spokesperson added in a note to correspondents, which also listed the panellists.The co-chairs are Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Members include Queen Mathilde of Belgium; Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Chinese Alibaba Group of Internet-based businesses; and Leo Messi, the world renowned Argentine-born footballer, who is already a UN Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador.The 2030 Agenda, adopted unanimously by 193 Heads of State and other top leaders at a summit at UN Headquarters in New York in September, calls on all countries to achieve 17 SDGs, addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries.They build on the earlier eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which specifically sought by 2015: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.But progress on these was uneven across regions and countries, leaving millions of people behind, especially the poorest and those disadvantaged due to sex, age, disability, ethnicity or geographic location. This is where the SDGs come in.They stress everything from zero poverty, zero hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and affordable clean energy, to decent work and economic growth, innovation, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities, responsible consumption, climate action, unpolluted oceans and land, and partnerships to achieve the goals.“The SDG Advocates will promote the universal character of the SDGs, including their commitment to leave no one behind; to promote the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation and financing of the SDGs; to encourage partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector to share knowledge and resources; and to raise awareness for the integrated nature of the SDGs,” the spokesperson said. The other Advocates are: Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Co-Founder of the Qatar Foundation; screenwriter, producer and film director Richard Curtis; Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson of the UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism Foundation; Leymah Gbowee, Director of the Gbowee Peace; Graça Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development; Alaa Murabit; Founder of The Voice of Libyan Women; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Colombia University; Shakira Mebarak, Founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation; actor Forest Whitaker, Founder of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative; and Noble Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank. read more

Football Dwayne Haskins breaks Big Ten singleseason passing touchdowns record

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins attempts a pass against Michigan on Nov. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke the Big Ten single-season passing touchdowns record Saturday against Michigan.Haskins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill, his fourth of the game and 40th this season, to break former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees’ record set in 1998. Haskins and former Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett, Troy Smith and Bobby Hoying hold five of the Top 10 spots in conference history for most touchdown passes thrown in a single season.Haskins also broke former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter’s single-season passing yards record against the Wolverines on a 10-yard pass to redshirt sophomore tight end Luke Farrell, needing 300 yards going into the game to break the record.This season, Haskins already has broken the single season Ohio State record for most touchdowns (36) and passing yards (3,330) in a single season.The redshirt sophomore quarterback also broke the record for most completions (49), most pass attempts (73) and most passing yards (470) in a single game in Ohio State’s 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20. Haskins also threw six touchdowns on Oct. 6 against Indiana, tying Barrett and Kenny Guiton for the most by an Ohio State quarterback in a single game.Haskins also entered the game 300 yards away from breaking the Big Ten record for most passing yards in a single season, a record former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter set in 2006. read more

Row erupts after rich pensioner erects barricade to block off neighbours £2m

first_imgA rich pensioner is locked in a bizarre neighbours war with a cutting-edge architect and her partner, after erecting a huge wooden barricade that blocks off the windows and back door of their innovative £2 million house.Elspeth Pirie, 67, says she put up the hoarding behind her £3.6 million period property in an exclusive Kensington street to “protect her privacy” after “modernist” architect Luz Vargas and her artist partner William Milroy reconstructed their property and put in three new windows at the back.The elderly multi-milllionaire says she complained that her privacy was being invaded by the windows that overlooked her garden, and felt forced to put up the barricade when her protests were “ignored”.The outraged architect is now suing her, seeking damages and an injunction to compel Miss Pirie to take the barricade down, saying it prevents her and her partner from seeing out of their windows or using their back door. Luz Vargas outside Central London County CourtCredit: Richard Gittins / Champion News And he argued that, because the couple’s builders made use of her garden to carry out the works, Miss Pirie should be awarded “a reasonable figure based on half the enhancement in value.”The case came before Judge Edward Bailey at Central London County Court briefly, following days of negotiations between the neighbours, before adjourning.When it comes back, the judge will have to decide what rights of light and access the architect and her husband enjoy at the back of their house, whether a light obstruction notice obtained by Miss Pirie should be cancelled, and if they are due damages in respect of the hoarding.The court must also decide if Miss Pirie is due damages for “incursion on her garden when the works were carried out” or an injunction for removal of “protrusions” from the back wall of her neighbours’ house which she says overhang her garden.Outside court after the adjournment, Mr Bickford Smith said: “They still hate each other. They will be coming back to court.” The back garden in which wealthy pensioner Elspeth Pirie has erected a barricade to block off the windows and door of her architect neighbour  “Had she been told of the proposal, she would undoubtedly have objected in the strongest terms regarding the lack of privacy the new windows would involve and the application would most likely have been refused,” the barrister adds.”In order to protect her position, Miss Pirie erected a hoarding to obstruct the current windows and registered a light obstruction notice,” he added.The barrister says that Miss Pirie also complains that “the works were incredibly prolonged and disruptive” and caused “chaos.””The garden was greatly damaged,” he claims, adding: “The permanent results of the works have been disastrous.”Miss Pirie also says the “rough and poor quality” rendered finish on the back of her neighbours’ property “detracts from her house.”Mr Bickford Smith, urging the court to reject the couple’s bid for damages and an injunction, says Miss Pirie had every right to protect her privacy and garden.”The current hoarding is not actionable… the complaint that the hoarding is too close to the wall should be rejected. Efforts to suggest some risk of rot or damp are tenuous,” claims the barrister.He adds that, if given notice that approved works need to be carried out, “Miss Pirie is ready to move the hoarding” but that “she is entitled to ensure that the removal is for legitimate purposes.”Of her counterclaim, the barrister says: “In the present case the claimants must have been intending to enhance the value of their house… valuation evidence suggests the enhancement was in fact in excess of £100,000.” The new basement was designed so that light filters down through a glass floor at ground level, via the glazed door and three new windows at the back of the Miss Vargas’ house. The back garden in which wealthy pensioner Elspeth Pirie has erected a barricade to block off the windows and door of her architect neighbour Credit:Champion News In order to protect her position, Miss Pirie erected a hoarding to obstruct the current windows and registered a light obstruction noticeStephen Bickford Smith But the forward-thinking designer was left gobsmacked when Ms Pirie ordered the hoarding erected to block off the new windows and the door in 2014.The windows and door are now “at the heart of the dispute” between the creative couple and Miss Pirie, a property consultant.Howard Smith, for the couple, is arguing at Central London County Court that they enjoy a right to light through their new windows and also have a right of access over Miss Pirie’s garden though their back door.Ms Vargas and Mr Milroy’s property does not have a garden of its own – but backs onto the garden of Miss Pirie’s three-bedroom house – so that the couple’s builders needed to access their neighbour’s garden to carry out the works.Stephen Bickford Smith, for Miss Pirie, claims that that she didn’t object to the development being given the green light in 2010, or to builders coming onto her land, because she “felt she should act in a neighbourly way.”But she had not realised at the time that the windows were being put in overlooking her garden, the barrister adds in his written argument before the court. And the fact that planning permission for new windows was not required meant that Miss Pirie never had the opportunity to object to them, he claims. Luz Vargas outside Central London County Court The hoarding is starving them of light into their £100,000 new basement, the couple say, and also risks “rot and damp” developing in their home due to trapped moisture.Miss Pirie is fiercely defending her actions and counterclaiming for £50,000 she says she is owed because her neighbours’ builders carried out works to their house whilst standing in her garden.Her “falling out” with her neighbours dates back to 2010, when they obtained planning permission to reconstruct the back of their 200-year-old mews house in Holland Park and put in a new basement.Whilst both houses date from the Georgian era, the architect – whose aesthetic “values” are listed on her company website as “Modernists, timeless, innovative spatial experience” – had thoroughly up-to-date ideas for the redevelopment. 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.last_img read more

Poll Do you support the ESB workers

first_img Yes (1479) UNIONS REPRESENTING ESB workers will meet today to discuss what form industrial action will take.The secretary of the group of unions Brendan Ogle has not ruled out strike action, as the workers protest a €1.6 billion hole in the company pension fund. The unions say that the company has breached a 2010 agreement to fix the deficit.Strike action, of course, would lead to power outages.We’re asking: Do you support the ESB workers? Poll Results: No (3476) I don’t know (2213) Yes – But not if it leads to power outages (2047) YesYes – But not if it leads to power outagesNoI don’t knowVoteRead: ESB unions meet to discuss strike optionslast_img read more

EtatsUnis des problèmes signalés sur dautres prothèses PIP dès 2000

first_imgEtats-Unis : des problèmes signalés sur d’autres prothèses PIP dès 2000D’après les autorités sanitaires américaines, de graves violations avaient déjà été signalées dans le processus de fabrication de prothèses mammaires remplies de solution saline de la firme française PIP dès 2000.La société française Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) est aujourd’hui au coeur d’un sérieux scandale sanitaire qui a pris une dimension internationale. Mais si celui-ci concerne des prothèses mammaires remplies de silicone, il semblerait que ce ne soit pas le seul produit du fabricant qui ait fait l’objet de graves violations. En effet, dès 2000, les autorités sanitaires américaines (FDA) avaient mené une enquête sur d’autres prothèses remplies de solution saline. À lire aussiImplants mammaires : l’Afssaps suspend l’utilisation d’une marque Du 11 au 17 mai, la FDA avait ainsi dépêché un de ses enquêteurs dans l’usine de PIP, située à La Seyne Sur-Mer, dans le Sud de la France, pour inspecter le processus de production des prothèses du groupe, révèle l’AFP. Une enquête qui a mis en évidence que les implants mammaires étaient frelatés, indique une lettre de la FDA adressée à l’époque au fondateur de la société. Le document cite notamment onze violations dans les méthodes utilisées, les locaux et les installations qui ne sont pas conformes aux pratiques de production de référence. Parmi ces violations, la FDA évoque par exemple l’incapacité à établir et à maintenir des procédures de vérification de la conformité des prothèses aux objectifs de qualité.Mais ce n’est pas tout puisque l’inspecteur de la FDA reprochait aussi à PIP de ne pas avoir signalé à l’agence américaine, comme le veut pourtant la loi, l’existence d’une centaine de plaintes déposées en France à propos de ces prothèses de janvier 1997 à 2000 ainsi qu’au moins vingt en provenance d’autres pays durant la même période. “Les violations relevées durant l’inspection pourraient être symptomatiques de graves problèmes sous-jacents dans le processus de production de la firme et de son système assurant la qualité des produits”, avait estimé l’Agence américaine des médicaments.La France avertie de ces violations ?  Interrogée par l’AFP, une porte-parole de la FDA n’a pu dire si les autorités françaises avaient été averties de cette inspection et de ses conclusions. “Notre lettre de mise en garde a été rendue publique en 2000 et, étant donné le temps écoulé depuis, je n’ai pas pu avoir la confirmation que ces informations ont été transmises à la France”, a précisé Erica Jefferson ajoutant “mais généralement, quand la FDA mène des inspections dans des pays étrangers, les autorités de ces pays sont informées de notre présence sur leur territoire”.Le 28 décembre 2011 à 10:29 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Vik Bajaj on Judge Gills decision to release serial rapist Alvin Quarles

first_img KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – KUSI Contributor and Legal Analyst Vik Bajaj joined us in studio to explain why Judge David Gill decided to release the “Bolder Than Most” serial rapist Alvin Quarles back into the community under a conditional release program.Details of Alvin Quarles’ release from Coalinga State Hospital will be worked out at another hearing to be held Aug. 30 before Judge David M. Gill.Judge Gill has been on the bench for decades and Bajaj reflected on his first trial with Judge Gill about 17-years ago. Bajaj said, “It was a horrific set of facts and crimes. In our motions, Judge David Gill gave us every opportunity to argue these precised nuances in the law. And many times, on the defense side, we were victorious. It sure did a lot to boost our ego but on the other hand, sometimes one would question the academic exercise in looking for a way to have a defendant fit into an otherwise very minuscule department.”The “Bolder Than Most” serial rapist Alvin QuarlesRELATED STORY: Judge Gill has decided to release the ‘Bolder Than Most’ serial rapist Alvin Quarles July 29, 2019 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, National & International News Tags: Vik Bajaj KUSI Newsroom, center_img Vik Bajaj on Judge Gill’s decision to release serial rapist Alvin Quarles into the community Posted: July 29, 2019 FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

PHMG to launch mental health support app for 400 global employees

first_imgAudio branding organisation PHMG has announced that it will be launching a mental health support app and online platform for its 400 global employees tomorrow (Thursday 7 February 2019) to align with Time to Talk Day.The new app and platform, provided by Tootoot, aims to encourage conversations around mental health and wellbeing. It will allow employees to send confidential and anonymous messages about their work or home life to mentors within the organisation. Depending on the nature of the query, the mentors can either offer advice on the best course of action or signpost to external specialists who are able to provide relevant help.Jason Daye (pictured), operations director at PHMG, said: “Research by [mental health charity] Mind shows that 43% of employees find their situation gets better when they disclose their mental health problem, highlighting the importance of talking to others about our problems.“We want to ensure our staff members have a safe place to raise home or workplace issues, making it easier to take the critical first step towards getting the help they may need.”The new benefit will be communicated to employees via emails and through the staff intranet. It will be offered as part of PHMG’s current programme, PH Perks, which features wellbeing benefits such as life insurance, financial consultations and pension plans.Tootoot is being launched in conjunction with Time to Talk Day, an initiative supported by Mind. This aims to encourage individuals to engage in conversations about mental health. PHMG’s employees have also selected Mind as the chosen charity to benefit from its fundraising efforts in 2019.Daye added: “Our employees are particularly passionate about mental health and wanted to help both charities continue to give everyone with a mental health issue the support they deserve. It’s only right our staff should have access to help they may need too.”last_img read more

Dalit student commits suicide at Bengalurus National Law School decomposed body found

first_img[Representational image]Creative CommonsKanishk Bharti, a Dalit student of National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan. His body was found on March 16. The police reckon that the body may have been hanging inside the room for three days.According to The Times of India, Kanish’s body was in a decomposed state and emanating foul smell.The incident came to light only after Kanishk’s parents called other students. According to the police sources, Kanishk’s parents were calling him since March 14 but he did not respond. Kanishk hails from Uttar Pradesh and was pursuing an undergraduate course.”When they approached room no. 3 on the third floor of the hostel, the students peeped through the window and saw Kanishk’s body hanging from the fan. They reported the incident to management who later on called the police,” an official said.Kanish’s father Veerendra Bharti has said that his son wasn’t keeping well and was being treated at a hospital. He was also under a lot of stress because he wasn’t faring well academically and had to repeat a year.Serious questions are being raised as to how nobody at the hostel came to know about the student’s death and why it took a phone call from his parents after several days to inquire about the student. The police said that they would question the management, hostel students and the faculty.Student suicides at premier institutes continue unabatedDespite efforts put by the country’s top colleges, especially IITs and IIMs, for addressing the problems on student stress and suicides, there has been apparently no relief. Last year, multiple student suicide incidents were reported from IIT- Guwahati, IIT-Kanpur and IIT- Madras.A task force set up by the IIT council to look into the issue noted that recurrent images portrayed by the media for glorifying the education put the students under a lot of stress. It also entailed that the students who are already facing a fierce academic environment should be given enough time for leisure activities as well as socialising.A probe by IIT Kanpur revealed that the problem of single room occupancy in the hostel rooms should be done away with. The IITs should also remove ceiling fans from hostel rooms and use pedestal fans. IIT Madras himalaya messWikimedialast_img read more

Production of Coke halted in Venezuela for lack of sugar

first_imgThe Venezuelan bottler of Coca-Cola has halted production of the sugar-sweetened beverage due to a lack of sugar, a Coca-Cola Co spokeswoman said on Monday.Venezuela is in the midst of a deep recession, and spontaneous demonstrations and looting have become more common amid worsening food shortages, frequent power cuts and the world’s highest inflation.Production of sugar-sweetened drinks has stopped, but output of diet drinks such as Coca-Cola light and other zero-sugar beverages continued, spokeswoman Kerry Tressler wrote by email.”Sugar suppliers in Venezuela have informed us that they will temporarily cease operations due to a lack of raw materials,” Tressler added.Coca-Cola Femsa SAB, Latin America’s biggest coke bottler and operator of four plants in Venezuela, added that it was hoping the nation’s sugar inventories would recover “in the short term.”The bottler, which gets some 7 percent of its income in Venezuela, is a joint venture between Coca-Cola and Mexico’s Femsa.Over the past several years, the combination of price controls, rising production costs, lack of foreign exchange, restrictive labour laws, and a lack of basic inputs such as fertiliser, have resulted in a drop in Venezuela’s sugar cane production with fewer planted hectares (acres) and lower yields.Many smaller farmers have turned to other crops that are not price controlled and thus provide greater income.The country is expected to produce 430,000 tonnes in 2016/17, down from 450,000 tonnes the previous year, and import 850,000 tonnes of raw and refined sugar, according to the USDA.last_img read more