Kolkata police chief influencing probe: ex-MP

first_imgKunal Ghosh, former Trinamool Congress MP and an accused in the multi crore Saradha scam, submitted a written complaint to the CBI on Tuesday alleging that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was trying influence the investigation.Mr. Ghosh was jailed in financial scam-related cases for about three years. Mr. Ghosh returned to the city from Shillong where the CBI had questioned him and Mr. Kumar together for three days. He told journalists at the Kolkata airport that the names of certain influential persons came up during the joint interrogation. Mr. Kumar, he said, had tipped off these influential persons that their names featured in the investigations.Asked how he could be sure that Mr. Kumar had passed on such information, the journalist-turned-politician said the Kolkata Police Commissioner had himself admitted it. Mr. Ghosh said he could tell from his own experience how influential persons could jeopardise the investigation. “During the questioning on February 10, these names came up and on February 11 he admitted in his own recorded statement that he had called these people. I have written to the CBI,” said Mr. Ghosh.There was no response from Mr. Kumar, the Kolkata Police or the West Bengal government to the allegations.The former TMC MP refused to reveal the questions the CBI posed to him or the names of the influential persons that came up during the questioning.last_img read more

DEA shares notes with Indians on tackling drug trafficking

first_imgPopular streaming shows, Narcos and El-Chapo, demonstrated how America’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) brought down the empires of world’s top drug-terrorists’ -Pablo Escobar, the Cali Cartel and Joaquin Guzman.Around 100 investigators from 50 central agencies and state police forces learnt about the operations of DEA, when its agents shared their ‘tactics’ and ‘best practices’ at the first National Conference on Drug Law Enforcement here at Vigyan Bhawan. The DEA was invited to share its experiences on drugs trafficking, which is increasing rapidly across the world and where new trends are being noticed—use of dark net, bitcoin and internet delivery and the emergence of new illegal trade routes.Read it at Times of India Related Itemslast_img read more

India End 2018 as The Most Successful Team in ODIs

first_imgIndia have had a successful year in one international cricket as they emerged the best team throughout the year.Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma led the team to new heights in 2018, as India finished with 14 wins from a total of 20 matches. India, over the course of the year had the best win percentage, winning 75 per cent of their matches. The next best is England, who have won 17 out of their 24 matches, with 73.91 per cent success rate.Read it at India Today Related Itemslast_img

Sunil Chhetri feels it is time for youngsters to grab chance

first_imgIndia’s star striker Sunil Chhetri said the youngsters in the team will have to grab the opportunity as the defending champions begin their Nehru Cup campaign against Syria on Wednesday.India will be without their three key players -Bhaichung Bhutia, Climax Lawrence and Mahesh Gawli (all retired)- from the previous Nehru Cup edition.Chhetri said the trio will be missed. “It will be a bit odd having those guys not around, but it is something not in our hands. They were a pivotal part of the team for a long time and it will not be easy to replace them,” Chhetri said here on Saturday.”The youngsters need to take this opportunity although it would be wrong to expect them to deliver results overnight. It is a new team and we need to give them time” said Chhetri.The striker added that the team is trying its best to adapt to new coach Wim Koevermans’s plans. “The players are trying their best and are learning a lot. Wim has a vision in place for the Indian football and there is equal emphasis on theory classes as well as practical training,” he said.Dwelling on his experience of playing with the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon’s B team, he said it has been a great learning experience even though he is yet to start in a competitive match. He also feels that the Indian football will benefit if more players start playing in foreign leagues.”Playing overseas is a very challenging task as it takes a couple of days for a player to get a grasp of the basic things. Players coming from our country are bound to get overawed after seeing the facilities there. If I succeed in making a mark over there, then other players will get inspired and footballers will be motivated to do well,” Chhetri said.advertisementThe senior team warmed up for the tournament as they played a goalless draw with Pailan Arrows on Saturday, in which Chhetri missed a spot-kick.Meanwhile, goalkeeper Subrata Pal was confident of his team’s chances in the Nehru Cup. Pal, who was the hero in India’s title win in 2009, said his brief stint with German club RB Leipzig has boosted his confidence.”Hopefully, we will again win the trophy. Nehru Cup has been a lucky tournament for us and we will open against Syria, whom we have defeated in the past. So, we are confident of doing well this time around,” Pal said.”Playing in alien conditions in Germany was a new thing for me. The coaches at Leipzig were impressed with my work ethic and I was not able to sign for them because fourth division clubs are not allowed to sign foreigners. But I will go there again next year and hopefully, something positive will happen,” he said.last_img read more

Moto G4 to launch on June 9: Report

first_imgLenovo may launch the Moto G4 smartphone on June 9, if a new Gizmo China report is to be gone by. According to the report, the company will launch a new and exciting device on June 9. It quotes Lenovo’s CEO Yang Yuanqing as having made the conformation on the sidelines of the recent Beijing unveiling of the Zuk Z2 Pro.Note that Yuanqing did not actually confirm that the company will launch the Moto G4, so it’s all speculation for now.The Moto G4 has been subject of numerous leaks and rumours already. The very recent leak, a hands-on video of the alleged phone gave some pretty neat insight about the yet-to-be-announced Moto G4.Although the Moto G4 is said to hone a similar design that is synonymous with the product range, the most important change is expected to be a front-mounted fingerprint scanner. Also Read: Moto G4 video and images leaked, India launch likely in mid-MayThe Moto G4, which looks like it is heading to become the first proper Moto phone launched under the aegis of Lenovo that now owns the brand is a widely anticipated phone much like its predecessors. As per the leaked video, the phone in question is seen sporting thin side bezels and a metal frame.Lenovo is expected to bring out two variants of the Moto G fourth generation: a regular Moto G4 and a larger Moto G4 Plus.Rumour mills suggest that the phone will have an octa-core processor (most likely Qualcomm Snapdragon 615) and will possibly have 2GB of RAM. It is also said to come with a 13-megapixel rear camera. advertisementlast_img read more

Union Minister to honour sports persons at Calicut Varsity

first_imgKozhikode, Sep 23 (PTI) Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Vijay Goel will attend a function at the Calicut University near here tomorrow to honour the outstanding sports persons of the state, a University official said today.The minister will interact with the athletes and inspect the sports facilities at the University during his visit, Sakeer Hussain, Director of Physical Education, said.Former national athletic champion P T Usha will deliver a special address at the function which will be presided over by the University Vice-Chancellor, Dr K Mohammed Basheer.Sports Authority of India(SAI), Regional Director, Dr G Kishore will also be present on the occasion.”We will bring to the notice of the Central Minister, for the speedy release of funds required for a Rs 13 crore project, which includes a synthetic hockey turf, swimming and diving pool and synthetic tracks at the University sports complex,” Mr Sakeer Hussain said.Besides, the students of the University, and those from about 450 affiliated colleges are utilising the facilities, he added.The Minister will be here to attend the three-day BJP National Executive Council meeting beginning today. PTI KV ROHlast_img read more

India Air Force AFCAT 2017 exam dates released at careerairforce.nic.in

first_imgThe Indian Air Force (IAF) has announced the examination dates of the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT 2017).As per schedule, the examination will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017.About examination:AFCAT is conducted for both men and women is conducted for grant of Short Service Commission in Flying Branch and Permanent/ Short Service Commission in Ground Duty (Technical) and Ground Duty (Non-technical) Branches for the session commencing in January 2017AFCAT is only one of the steps involved in the entire selection process for getting selected as an officer in the IAFOn clearing the AFCAT, shortlisted candidates will be called for SSB (Services Selection Board) testingAll the eligible candidates are requested to apply through prescribed format latest by December 29, 2016.Eligibility Criteria:Educational qualification:Flying Branch: All the candidates interested in applying need to possess a Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university/institute with minimum 60 per cent and should have passed Mathematics and Physics at intermediate (class 12)ORCandidates need to possess a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) / BTech or should have cleared section A & B examination of Associate Membership of Institute Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India from a recognised university/institute.Age limit: All the candidates should be in the age group of 20 to 24 years as on January 1, 2017.For details on Technical Branch (Aeronautical Engineer-Electronics) programme, candidates need to check the official notification at http://careerairforce.nic.inHow to apply:Candidates need to apply online at, http://careerairforce.nic.inPaper pattern:The total duration of the examination is two hours.advertisementEach question paper will have questions from the following topics: General Awareness: History, Sports, Geography, Environment, Civics, Basic Science, Defence, Art, Culture, Current Affairs, Politics etc.Verbal Ability in English: Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary.Numerical Ability: Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Profit & loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple interest.Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test: Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability.Important dates:Last date of submission of online application form: Thursday, December 29, 2016.Date of AFCAT: Sunday, February 26, 2017.Click here for examination, admission related news.For more details, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at education.intoday@gmail.comlast_img read more

Mido: No way to stop miracle man Salah

first_imgMohamed Salah ‘There’s no way to stop Salah’ – Liverpool star branded ‘a miracle’ by Mido Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 19:10 6/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Mohamed Salah Egypt 2018 Getty Mohamed Salah Liverpool Egypt World Cup Premier League African All Stars The Egypt international netted 44 times for his club during the 2017-18 campaign and is now readying himself for international duty at World Cup 2018 Mohamed Salah’s development at Liverpool has been “a miracle”, says Mido, with the Egyptian now one of few global superstars that can be considered unplayable on their day.The 25-year-old moved to Anfield from Roma in the summer of 2017 after rebuilding his reputation in Italy following a forgettable stint at Chelsea.Few, however, could have predicted the impact he would make on Merseyside, with a remarkable debut campaign delivering 44 goals and countless individual honours. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Salah’s season did on an injury low in the Champions League final, with an untimely ailment still being worked on ahead of World Cup duty, but he is ready to shoulder the expectations of a nation in Russia and further ehance his standing on the grandest of stages.Mido told The Guardian of an illustrious countryman who has quickly become a national hero in Egypt: “He’s the kind of guy who says: ‘Come on, even if I have the whole nation on my shoulders, I don’t mind that.’“He’s a great guy and I think the way he developed as a person, comparing Salah of Chelsea and Salah of Liverpool, is a miracle.“I saw him at Chelsea and he was a shy boy. I even said on TV that if he keeps that character, unfortunately he will never be a big player, but that his quality can make it to the top.“Three years ago when Liverpool wanted to sign Salah and he went to Chelsea, I went on Twitter and said: ‘Salah is 10 times better than [Raheem] Sterling’, and people laughed at me.“Sterling is a very good player, he’s developed so much under [Pep] Guardiola, but Salah is unbelievable, one of the very few players that if it’s his day, there’s no way to stop him.”Manchester City star Sterling did impress in 2017-18, earning a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, but Salah topped the England international by some distance as he took the main PFA Player of the Year prize.He is now looking to carry his club form into World Cup 2018, with Egypt still sweating on his fitness ahead of an opening Group A encounter with Uruguay on Friday. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

KKR, Borealis Maritime Take Over HSAM Fleet

first_imgzoom Investment firm KKR and London maritime shipping company Borealis Maritime have entered into the $254.5 million acquisition of Hanseatic Ship Asset Management GmbH, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Commerzbank AG controlling a fleet of 18 container and dry cargo vessels.The acquisition was carried out through a joint venture vehicle established by the two firms.Hanseatic Ship Asset Management (HSAM) was established in Hamburg by Commerzbank AG in 2013 as part of a strategy to reduce their loan exposure to the shipping industry. Vessels with good market prospects and highly desirable specifications were taken over by Commerzbank in restructuring non-performing lending engagements. As a result, HSAM acquired a modern fleet of 13 mid-size container vessels and 5 mid-size dry bulk vessels during the course of 2013 to 2015.Embarcadero Maritime III, a joint venture formed by KKR and Borealis Maritime to invest in distressed shipping assets, will acquire HSAM with all its assets.Following this purchase, investment vehicles established by KKR and Borealis will jointly operate a fleet of over 50 vessels in the container, chemical, product and LPG sectors. To date, KKR and Borealis have deployed over $600 million into vessel acquisitions and continue to pursue additional transactions opportunistically.Christoph Toepfer, CEO of Borealis Maritime, stated: “The acquisition of HSAM will significantly increase our managed fleet, making us one of Europe’s leading container vessel operators. We believe the quality of vessels being acquired from Commerzbank is second to none and this transaction is an attractive expansion of our activities with our partners KKR.”  “Partnering with maritime lenders to offer feasible solutions to problematic lending engagements remains a core component of our expansion strategy,” said Brian Dillard, a member of KKR’s Special Situations team.KKR is funding the acquisition through certain of its managed funds and accounts, including its Special Situations Fund II, which matches long-term capital to support the cyclical nature of shipping assets.last_img read more

Permanent Cease Trade Order for Mutual Fund Salesperson

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Securities Commission has issued a similar order against Timothy Wade MacDonald to one previously issued by the Nova Scotia Provincial Court. The court issued its order on April 12, 2010, against Mr. MacDonald after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud. At the time of his offence he was registered as a mutual fund salesperson in Nova Scotia. According to the court, Mr. MacDonald operated MB Capital Management Limited, a financial services company, which he used to steal significant amounts of money from his clients. The court said that his actions caused extreme financial damage to the people who trusted him. The commission found there was sufficient reason to issue a similar order which cancels Mr. MacDonald’s registration and ordered him to permanently: cease trading in Nova Scotia, except on his own behalf through a registrant of the commission be denied from using exemptions contained in Nova Scotia securities laws be prohibited from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer permanently be prohibited from becoming or acting as a registrant, investment fund manager or promoter permanently. To view the order visit nssc.novascotia.ca . Contact the commission at NSSCEnforcement@novascotia.ca to report these types of activities or file a complaint. The commission encourages all Nova Scotians to be vigilant when it comes to their finances. This includes not only being aware of all activity in accounts, but also understanding the recommendations that advisors make and being comfortable with investment decisions. The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is the provincial government agency responsible for regulating the investment industry in the province. -30-last_img read more

Mumbai gets first spell of heavy rains traffic affected

first_imgMumbai: After a delay of several days, the first spell of heavy rains lashed the metropolis and its outskirts Friday morning, slowing down road and rail traffic. The Met office has predicted moderate rainfall with a few spells of heavy showers in the financial capital in the next 24 hours. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in the last five hours, its weather station has recorded an average rainfall of 43.23 mm in the island city, 64.14 mm in eastern suburbs and 78.21 mm in western suburbs. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah The civic body said the flow of road traffic has been reported to be slow, while suburban services of the Central and Western Railways were running behind schedule. “The city has recorded moderate rainfall in the last few hours. So far, no untoward incident or major water-logging has been reported at the Disaster Management Cell,” a senior civic official said. Meanwhile, heavy showers brought cheers to civic officials who said they will help in improving stock in reservoirs supplying water to the metropolis. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey Colony Since monsoon has been playing truant, the civic administration has been forced to use reserve stock of water from its lakes to fulfil the needs of Mumbaikars. Suburban train services, considered Mumbai’s lifeline, were running late by 10 to 15 minutes, said the officer. According to a BMC spokesperson, due to the ongoing metro rail work and water-logging at some places, a few buses of civic transport undertaking BEST were diverted from their regular routes. Heavy traffic jam affected the movement of vehicles on the Mulund-Sion stretch of the Eastern Express Highway, he said, adding the BMC had to close a busy subway in suburban Andheri due to water-logging. The Thane railway station witnessed water-logging on tracks and the local civic administration has been alerted about it by the Central Railway (CR). “Water entered on tracks from the city area. The TMC (Thane Municipal Corporation) has been informed. The TMC is sending officials to check and do the needful. Our officers are there to help,” CR chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi said. The Western Railway, in a statement said, several teams of officials along with RPF jawans have been deployed at different locations to ensure smooth operation of trains. “Tracks and signals are working well without any failure. Train operation is normal. Today we received a few mail express trains late at Surat from Vadodara due to heavy rains in Vadodara division,” said the statement.last_img read more

An uneasy peace Deal reached to open Unistoten gate to CGL

first_imgKathleen MartensAPTN NewsAnger greeted news Wednesday that hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs brokered a peaceful end to a potentially violent pipeline standoff in northern B.C.Leader Freda Huson stormed out of a closed-door meeting at the Unist’ot’en camp south of Houston, B.C., and slammed the door.She just learned chiefs promised the RCMP she and her partner Warner Naziel would abide by rules of an interim court injunction in exchange for calling off a police raid.Chiefs wanted to prevent a repeat of Monday when heavily RCMP officers stormed a checkpoint on sister clan Gidimt’en territory and arrested 14 people.The homemade barricades blocking pipeline company Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of Trans-Canada, from crossing the Morice River bridge were next before chiefs stepped in.“CGL will receive soft access,” Chief Na’Moks told reporters, who were allowed into the room to hear details of the agreement after about two hours.“I don’t have any respect for them,” Nam’oks added of the Calgary-based company.“If I seem upset, you better believe we are.”(Trucks parked on the road leading to the Unist’ot’en healing centre to block access. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN)In a tentative agreement worked out between the RCMP and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs Wednesday evening, the nation made three demands to Brenda Butterworth-Carr, deputy commissioner of the RCMP in B.C. who is a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Han Nation, Yukon.In part, that the RCMP immediately remove the exclusion area to allow access for media and others, confirm that RCMP officers will not interfere with any Wet’suwet’en members accessing their territory for trapping or other traditional practices, confirm that officers will not enter the healing centre and will engage with the Wet’suwet’en Nation to work on a protocol for access to the healing centre that will protect members from pro-pipeline protestors and Coastal GasLink employees.The meeting then heard the RCMP’s reply.“I commit to you that the RCMP will remain respectful of the healing centre,” said the response from the RCMP. “Our officers will not enter the healing centre unless invited and we will work with you to ensure that others are respectful of your centre.“Further, the RCMP will not interfere with your members access to the territory for the purposes of trapping and or traditional practices. I will also restate our commitment to the respect the right of peaceful, lawful and safe protest.”The tentative agreement would have the Unist’oten camp remove the barrier and allow workers from Coastal GasLink through the site by 2 p.m. on Thursday. Talks Thursday may go past that time.Huson didn’t return to the meeting in the centre’s dining room that stretched into the late afternoon.(The healing centre at the Unist’ot’en camp. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN)The windows in the room were covered with sheets and blankets to prevent police from being able to see or shoot inside, said Brenda Michell, a Wet’suwet’en woman staying at the camp and niece of Unistot’en hereditary Chief Knedabeas.She said the peace agreement was a surprise and didn’t know how to react, except to say opening the gate to contract workers worried her.She asked the chiefs, who spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning negotiating with RCMP, to amend the agreement at a meeting scheduled with police Thursday, to keep the gate locked and opened only when CGL workers arrived.“The gate is protecting us from the outside,” she said. “I can sleep at night knowing it’s there.”Michell and others at the camp looked exhausted.They were girding for a police raid when Knedabeas arrived instead with three members of an RCMP liaison team and news reporters, including a two-person team from APTN News.It was the second surprise in as many nights.Michell said they were stunned Tuesday when people who “escaped” the Gidimt’en raid pounded on the door.“We were all in shock when they managed to come back here,” she said, not revealing how many there were.“We were relieved and happy to see them.”(A convoy on the Morice River road includes hereditary chiefs, media and RCMP. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN)Reporters were told escapees were in bad shape mentally but there were trained people at the healing centre to help them.Na’Moks said avoiding any further trauma to more people is why chiefs made the deal.“We want media here to witness our agreement with the RCMP,” he said.But the camp refused to divulge its wifi password, preventing most media outlets, including APTN from reporting what was happening until returning to Houston later.It was another of the hurdles media faced in covering the story that generated headlines around the world.On Monday, RCMP barred reporters from gaining access to the Gidimt’en checkpoint by erecting a roadblock about 20 kilometres away. Media who were already behind the lines were allowed to stay.The roadblock opened briefly Wednesday to allow the chiefs’ convoy through to camp, although Mounties stopped each vehicle to record the names of people inside and their licence numbers.The roadblock was at a site without cellular phone service, so reporters couldn’t relay information to their newsrooms or post on social media.Supporters of the roadblock and camp built a fire and shelter outside the roadblock that quickly became a meeting place.That’s where chiefs initially planned to announce the peace agreement Wednesday morning before deciding to make the hour-long drive to the healing centre that saw one media outlet end up in the ditch and miss the news conference.When the convoy reached Gidimt’en checkpoint it was reporters’ first opportunity to see the aftermath of Monday’s raid.There were felled trees pushed off the road – scattered branches, a jacket and backpacks left behind, and the red plywood gate some protesters reportedly tied themselves to was thrown in the ditch.(The Gidimt’en sign at the checkpoint on January 9. Photo: Simon Charland/APTN)The Gidimt’en signs were still up and shelters remained standing, which followed the judge’s instructions in the interim injunction granted Dec. 14, 2018.A canvas cook tent that caught fire was still there, showing char marks on one wall.Gidimt’en supporters said everyone arrested Tuesday was released from custody by Wednesday night.Upon reaching the camp, Na’Moks appeared overcome with emotion as he stopped in the snow to survey the narrow bridge over the Morice River.A large, vertical sign declaring ‘Unist’ot’en’ in black and white caught his attention, as did three vehicles, including a dump truck, parked on the bridge to stop police.Knedabeas was visibly angry and quizzed people operating the gate.“Why are these here?” he said of the vehicles.“That wasn’t the plan.”kmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img read more

Say Goodbye To The Old NBA Draft Lottery — But Probably Not

The new lottery will definitely change teams’ incentives in the right direction. It makes having a bottom-five record less valuable and improves the fortunes of teams in the rest of the lottery (particularly the Nos. 8 and 9 picks, which gain the most value under the new system). But it’s worth wondering if a change of about two-thirds of a win per season will really be enough to make a big dent in teams’ willingness to tank.In fairness, the effect appears larger when you consider the outsize potential of top picks to become stars. Using WORP as a guide, there was about a 34 percent chance of landing an All Star-level player2Defined as a player who produced at least 30 WORP in his first five NBA seasons. if a team had the worst record going into the 2018 lottery; those odds will fall to 27 percent under next year’s system. Seven percentage points doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but the NBA is so star-driven that any reduction in the probability of getting a franchise-altering player hurts. With the ability to get those kinds of players also increasing for teams who finish with, say, the league’s eighth-worst record, it should eventually help the anti-tanking effort by funneling more big stars to teams who don’t completely throw their seasons away.So congratulations, Phoenix: You’re the last team who’ll take advantage of the old odds to help grab a potential star. The league’s changes might not be extreme enough to fully discourage teams from engaging in Sixers-style tear downs, but they’re a start. And after the race to the bottom that played out down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, such changes are more than welcome.Check out our latest NBA predictions. As I wrote last year:Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there.This is part of why teams spend so much time and energy gunning for the worst record — and (until next year) the highest odds of picking No. 1. The chances of getting an impact player from the top pick are much better than at any other slot in the draft. But they’re not perfect; there’s a lot of luck involved in picking the player who’ll have the best career. Add in the extra randomness of getting the lottery balls to bounce your way, and the difference between the expected value of having the NBA’s worst record under the old system and next year’s new one is just 3.4 total wins over the first five years of a player’s career. When the pingpong balls came to a rest after Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery, it was the end of an era for the league. Starting next season, the lottery’s distribution of odds based on team records will change — the first tweak to the system in 25 years. The jackpot-winning Phoenix Suns came out on top in this season’s historic tankfest, but from this moment on, the already-long odds of burning a franchise to the ground and building it back up will only get longer.At least, that’s the effect the league is hoping the new lottery rules will have. How much of a difference will the changes to the lottery system really make, though? And will it be enough to discourage teams from tanking?To work out some of the new math facing NBA teams, let’s turn to our draft-value chart, which measures the expected value over replacement player (VORP) that teams can expect out of a given draft pick in his first five pro seasons. (We’ll convert our chart from last summer to wins over replacement1Multiplying VORP by 2.7. to better position the differences in a real-world context.) read more

Two tax rulings started the €13bn Apple row Ireland has issued hundreds

first_img Jan 22nd 2017, 1:42 PM 52 Comments Get the top business news from Fora delivered to your inbox: Short URL By Fora Staff 21,596 Views TWO REVENUE RULINGS are at the heart of the EU’s investigation into Apple’s tax affairs – and it has now emerged that Irish officials issued more than 300 tax rulings to other companies in one three-year period.In late August, the EU said that Ireland gave Apple illegal state aid worth up to €13 billion over a period of more than a decade and ordered the government to recover the funds from the California firm.At the time, the European Commission said that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple “substantially and artificially” lowered the taxes the company paid in the Republic since 1991.The two key Irish companies at the heart of the controversy are Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe.The EU said the rulings allowed Apple to structure its business affairs in a way that resulted in “an effective corporate tax rate that declined from 1% in 2003 to 0.005% in 2014″ on the profits of Apple Sales International.Fora has now learned that Revenue made 335 rulings between 2010 and 2012. It has likely issued many more, however figures for other years are not available as they have not been compiled by Irish officials. Apple CEO Tim Cook Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThe two Apple rulings related to the allocation of profits to Irish branches of non-resident companies, decisions which the EU says allowed the iPhone maker to slash its tax bill from billions in sales from Europe and other territories to virtually nothing.QuestionsThe EU said in its 130-page decision that Revenue issued these specific rulings – relating to the allocation of profits to Irish branches of non-resident companies – in nine cases.However, the news that Revenue has issued at least 335 tax rulings is likely to raise questions as to what other types of tax structures officials agreed with companies and whether they also resulted in single-digit, or lower, tax rates for businesses.Revenue sometimes issues what it calls ‘non-binding opinions’ on how tax law should be applied in specific transactions or situations. These were repeatedly referred to as ‘rulings’ by the EU, although Revenue does not view them as binding decisions. Revenue Offices in Dublin Castle Source: RollingNews.ieIf a company with a large or complicated business is using a tax structure outside the norm, the firm may ask Revenue for an opinion that what it is doing is compliant with tax law.Non-binding opinionsRevenue said that opinions are only issued “where the matter is complex or where there is genuine uncertainty around the applicable tax rules”. Share Tweet Email2 Two tax rulings started the €13bn Apple row. Ireland has issued hundreds more The EU says the Revenue rulings resulted in the US multinational paying a tiny amount of tax. Take me to Fora http://jrnl.ie/3199492 “In providing an opinion, Revenue’s role is to interpret and apply the tax law correctly and consistently so that taxpayers can understand and comply with their obligations under the law,” it said.Revenue said that, while not binding, it will generally follow the structures suggested in a non-binding opinion once it can be shown that “the transaction as implemented did not diverge from that which was outlined in the information provided”.A spokeswoman for Revenue added: “It is open to Revenue officials to review the position when a transaction has been completed and all the facts are known”.The organisation’s guidelines specifically state that opinions “will not be given where the case manager is of the view that the proposed transaction is part of a scheme or arrangement of which one of the purposes of which is the avoidance of tax”.It said that it issued 99 non-binding opinions in 2010, 128 in 2011, and 108 in 2012, a total of 335 for the period.However, Revenue has likely issued many more in both earlier and later years. The organisation said it could not provide information on how many rulings it made in other periods as the statistics had not been assembled. Source: Niall Carson/PA Wire“Statistics are compiled on the basis of business need, in response to demand, or where their provision is in the public interest. Prior to the recent European Commission decision, this data did not meet the above criteria,” a Revenue spokeswoman said.The data for 2010, 2011 and 2012 was compiled specifically for the EU investigation. Revenue said that from 2016 onwards it will be publishing the number of opinions issued every year in its annual report.AlarmingIt is not known what is contained in these rulings, as a spokeswoman for Revenue said the organisation “does not publish opinions issued to specific taxpayers”.Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said at the time of the publication of the full EU ruling in December, that the revelation that Revenue had issued at least nine more tax rulings was “the most alarming revelation” contained in the 130-page document. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Richard Drew/Press Association Images Sunday 22 Jan 2017, 1:42 PM Image: Richard Drew/Press Association Images “How many of these rulings involve companies with subsidiaries in Bermuda or other tax havens? How many billions in tax in addition to Apple’s €13 billion has been avoided as a result of Revenue’s sweetheart deals?,” he said.Revenue’s rulings were criticised by the EU during its Apple tax investigation, with the EU saying that the organisation’s “profit-allocation ruling practice is too inconsistent”. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager Source: Virginia Mayo/Press Association ImagesThe EU also raised several questions about Revenue’s Apple rulings dating back to 1990, when the tech company was trying to work out the share of its profits that were liable for tax in Ireland.At the time, Apple officials said that Apple Computers Ltd – later renamed Apple Operations Europe – made its money from three sources: technology, marketing and manufacturing. They claimed only the manufacturing element related to the Irish branch.Revenue officials agreed that all profits attributable to the manufacturing activity would be subject to a ceiling of between $30 million $40 million.According to notes from a 1990 meeting with the Irish tax authority, cited by the EU, an Apple adviser “confessed there was no scientific basis for the figure”.“However the figure was of such magnitude that he hoped it would be seen to be a bona-fide proposal,” the notes said.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ielast_img read more

Cryosat2 un satellite pour étudier lévolution des glaces

first_imgCryosat-2 : un satellite pour étudier l’évolution des glacesCinq ans après l’échec d’une première mission glaciaire, l’Agence spatiale européenne (Esa) s’apprête à lancer le satellite Cryosat-2. Sa mission : survoler les régions polaires et étudier l’évolution des glaces de terre et de mer.C’est le 25 février prochain qu’est prévu le lancement du satellite Cryosat-2, cinq ans après la mission Cryosat, qui n’avait pas pu aboutir en raison d’une défaillance du lanceur.À lire aussiLes images d’un incroyable phénomène sous-marin aperçu sous l’Antarctique (Vidéo)Le satellite a été entièrement repensé et amélioré, et c’est de Baïkonour, au Kazakhstan, qu’il doit décoller à bord d’un lanceur Dnepr. Cryosat-2, en orbite polaire, aura pour mission de suivre pendant trois ans l’évolution des banquises polaires et des calottes glaciaires du Groenland et de l’Antarctique.Équipé d’un altimètre-radar de haute précision, le satellite mesurera la hauteur des glaces de l’Antarctique, de l’Arctique comme celle des banquises et des glaciers de montagnes. Cryosat-2 transmettra chaque jour des données qui permettront aux scientifiques d’étudier les variations de hauteur des glaces au fil des saisons et des années.La précision de ces mesures sera assurée par le système Doris qui “donne le positionnement précis du satellite sur son orbite, au centimètre près. En combinant cette altitude et la mesure altimétrique, qui donne la distance entre le satellite et la surface de la glace, on en déduit l’épaisseur des calottes glaciaires” explique Albert Auriol, responsable Doris au Cnes. Ce système permettra par ailleurs de mesurer en temps réel l’altitude de Cryosat-2 et ainsi de l’aider à maintenir sa position. “Une première sur un satellite”, se félicite Albert Auriol.Le 12 février 2010 à 17:23 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more