NAFTA US hasnt done analysis on what happens if freetrade treaty ends

first_imgWASHINGTON, United States of America – American policy-makers admit they have not worked to analyze the economic impact of the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement, even as President Donald Trump threatens to cancel the agreement.That absence of research applies to both elected branches of the U.S. government: neither the White House nor congressional researchers have an impact assessment, despite uncertainty over the fate of the 23-year-old pact.Frustrations at the bargaining table exploded into the open at the last round where the most common conversation topic in the hallways involved whether Trump’s team was intentionally trying to sabotage a deal.A research unit for Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which performs studies for lawmakers, tells The Canadian Press that it has in the past conducted analysis on international issues like the monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program, but nobody has yet requested research on NAFTA.“We have not been asked to look at the (NAFTA) issue,” said an official there.It’s the same at the White House. Donald Trump’s trade czar, Robert Lighthizer, says he hasn’t yet done the research. Inside U.S. Trade quoted him telling a group of American reporters that his current focus is trying to get a deal, not studying life without NAFTA.The countries have pushed the negotiation schedule into next year, shelving talk of a quick easy agreement.“You always think about what might happen, but we haven’t done any analysis of that at this point,” Lighthizer told a gathering of American trade reporters earlier this week, according to Inside U.S. Trade. “No, we don’t really have a plan beyond trying to get a good agreement…“(But) if we end up not having an agreement, my guess is all three countries will do just fine.”The Canadian government says it has been researching the potential impact of various trade scenarios.Some trade-watchers say it’s stunning that Washington isn’t.Duncan Wood, a Mexico expert, said the U.S. is certainly acting like it wants to leave the pact, putting forward proposals the other countries could never accept. Wood said he fears the Trump administration is inching toward a pullout — without doing its homework.“That doesn’t make me feel very good when I go to bed at night,” he told panel this week at the Washington International Trade Association.“If they were taking these decisions based upon years and years of studies and saying, ‘You know what, we think we’ll be absolutely fine, because the stats show it,’ I could say, ‘Okay, fine, I get it, I may disagree, because I like Mexico, but for the United States, I get it’…“(But) that (absence of research) worries me.”He cited the poultry trade as just one example of the complex potential consequences.Producers sell different chicken parts to different markets, based on local preferences. He said Mexico’s huge chicken tariffs would lead to an oversupply of dark meat on the U.S. market; a shortage in Mexico; and chicken plants moving to Mexico.But he said broken cross-border supply chains aren’t what worries him most. Wood expressed fear that the current fight at the NAFTA table is a prelude to a bigger battle against the World Trade Organization and international trading system: “These are dark days, my friends… This is near-apocalyptic what we’re looking at. I don’t mean to exaggerate. I’m not one for hyperbole.“I actually am terrified about what’s about to happen.”The last Republican president expressed similar concerns.George W. Bush delivered a gloomy speech this week that, without mentioning Donald Trump, warned about the degradation of American democracy, mean-spiritedness, racism, conspiracy-mongering, and attacks on open commerce.“Free trade helped make America into a global economic power,” Bush said. “We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade — forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.”He said policy-makers should be sensitive to the painful effects globalization has had on some industries: “People are hurting. They are angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we can’t wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution.”The Canadian government says it’s been studying a variety of NAFTA contingency scenarios since last August.Some of that work has involved the legal and political questions surrounding a breakup. But officials say multiple departments, including Global Affairs Canada and the Department of Finance, have also been conducting economic analysis of the potential impact of a NAFTA cancellation.The former head of Foreign Affairs’ computer-modelling unit, Dan Ciuriak, said he’s working on a paper on different scenarios for the C.D. Howe Institute. His preliminary estimate is that the most drastic result — the end of free trade in North America — would see Canada’s economy contract 2.5 per cent long-term, with a larger shock in the short term.last_img read more

Morocco Strongly Condemns Terrorist Attacks against Churches in Egypt

Rabat – Morocco strongly condemns the abject terrorist attacks that targeted Sunday morning two churches in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria, causing several victims.Morocco also denounces all attacks against places of worship and vigorously rejects any attack on their sanctity, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement.By targeting the places of worship, the abject terrorism reveals once again its atrocious and criminal face rejected by all heavenly religions, the statement said, noting that the perpetrators of these despicable acts are infidels who have no relation with the holy Islamic religion and its tolerant principles. The Kingdom, which expresses its condolences and sympathy to the grieving families and the brotherly Egyptian people, reiterates its total solidarity with the Arab Republic of Egypt in confronting the abject terrorism aimed at undermining the stability of this great Arab country and the cohesion of its components. read more

Scotiabank is downturn ready with large buffer in mortgage portfolio CEO

Companies in this story: (TSX:BNS)The Canadian Press TORONTO — The Bank of Nova Scotia’s chief executive officer pushed back at renewed bets against Canada’s banking sector and the risk posed by the housing market, saying that the lender has “a lot of buffer” in the event of a significant downturn.Brian Porter added during its annual meeting of shareholders in Toronto today that the bank stress tests its $205 billion-mortgage portfolio on a regular basis against some “very harsh metrics” such as a 600-basis point increase in interest rates and a huge jump in unemployment.His comments come after a Veritas analyst recently urged investors to reduce exposure to the Canadian banks ahead of an “acceleration of credit losses” and prominent portfolio manager Steve Eisman reiterated his bet against the country’s biggest lenders, pointing to weakness in the real estate sector.Porter says its mortgage portfolio, which is the largest asset class on Scotiabank’s balance sheet, is 42 per cent insured and the loan-to-value ratio on the remainder is approximately 54 per cent, providing a large “buffer.”He told reporters that while it is not predicting a recession, the Toronto-based bank is “downturn ready” and the lender is “comfortable” with its capital and liquidity levels.Porter added that while there will always be opposing views, Scotiabank will “prove them wrong in the long term.” read more

UN human rights expert urges putting housing at core of postdisaster recovery

“While disaster response will not – and should not – replace development efforts, it provides an occasion to address the inequalities that were magnified and exacerbated by a disaster, and to contribute to efforts to progressively realize the right to adequate housing for all,” said Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing.“Human rights do not stop when a disaster strikes – to the contrary, it is then that they matter most,” said Ms. Rolnik, presenting her annual report to the General Assembly’s third committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs.She said the concept of ‘Building Back Better’ after a disaster should be interpreted exactly as it means – aspiring to address the often inadequate living conditions of communities affected by disasters and redressing inequalities.“This should be the priority, rather than… focusing on the housing structures and the provision of ‘transitional housing/shelter.’“It is evident that in many contexts marked by a lack of appropriate housing for all, ‘transitional’ shelter will never be transitional and in many cases will even undermine the efforts of permanent and progressive reconstruction and divert funds from what is needed most. This is something to bear in mind in the reconstruction and recovery efforts in Haiti today,” Ms. Rolnik added.She noted that displaced renters and informal settlers are often excluded from housing restitution and reconstruction schemes, on the basis that they cannot show formal private ownership titles, adding that such groups are also more vulnerable to land grabbing and eviction.“It is time to acknowledge the legitimacy of multiple forms of tenure that exist worldwide, and give protection to those with the most insecure tenure and property arrangements,” she said.Property restitution and housing reconstruction have sometimes taken place at the expense of rebuilding and improving the broader social, political and economic conditions required to sustain recovery and return, she pointed out.“Realizing the right to adequate housing is about ensuring basic services and infrastructure, upgrading settlements and strengthening communities, as much as it is about building housing,” she added. 21 October 2011The United Nations independent expert on the right to housing today called for putting the right to adequate shelter at the core of reconstruction and recovery efforts in post-disaster situations, stressing the need to ensure that vulnerable groups do not suffer housing discrimination. read more

Microsoft to invest 1 billion in partnership with OpenAI

Advocacy groups and policy makers have raised concerns about some types of AI and called for regulation to increase transparency, guard against bias and ensure the technology isn’t used for military purposes and other dangerous applications. Those issues are likely to become more pressing as researchers try to develop AI that has more human-like capabilities.In February, OpenAI unveiled an algorithm that can write coherent sentences, including fake news articles, after being given just a small sample. The implications were so worrying that the group opted not to release the most powerful version of the software.The partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI will focus on Artificial General Intelligence, which aims to get computers to learn new skills and complete varied tasks like humans can. That’s a contrast to existing AI, which can learn specific jobs, such as understanding images, but can’t tackle different problems on its own.AGI, and the ability for computers to potentially teach themselves so much they eclipse humans, was what disturbed Musk so much that he helped found OpenAI. On Monday, Microsoft and OpenAI addressed such concerns.“The creation of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said Sam Altman, chief executive officer of OpenAI. “It’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision.”Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the goal is to “democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and centre — so everyone can benefit.” Microsoft and OpenAI said the work will be governed by both companies’ AI ethics policies.Microsoft is also looking for more Azure cloud customers and for ways to promote Azure’s AI capabilities, so a tie-up with a leading research arm in the field is lucrative. The two organizations will use Microsoft’s work on supercomputers to build technology in Azure that has the scale to train and run more sophisticated AI models.Other OpenAI investors include the charitable foundation of LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and venture capital firm Khosla Ventures. Other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who started OpenAI include Hoffman and Altman, co-founder and former president of startup incubator Y Combinator.Bloomberg.com Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures/Handout via Reuters Microsoft Corp. agreed to invest US$1 billion in a partnership with research group OpenAI, gaining a prominent cloud-computing customer from the artificial intelligence field.OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk and other wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud services to train and run the group’s AI software. The two will also jointly develop supercomputing technology, and Microsoft will be OpenAI’s preferred partner to commercialize its creations, the companies said in a statement on Monday.OpenAI started in 2015 with much fanfare. Industry luminaries including Musk and Peter Thiel committed at least US$1 billion to the nonprofit to build AI that could match or improve on the technology being developed by tech giants such as Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft. However, Musk said he left OpenAI’s board last year over disagreements about some of the group’s plans. More recently, OpenAI started a for-profit arm to help it raise more money. Artificial intelligence learns from professional gamers — and then crushes them Microsoft Ventures invests in Montreal-based, artificial intelligence-focused startup Element AI AI revolution brewing in property business promises to make buildings greener and cheaper to operate A partnership with Microsoft, which has more than US$100 billion in cash, is a quick solution to OpenAI’s funding needs. But it’s an about-face of sorts. The group was seen by some in the AI community as an important counterbalance to large technology corporations that have snapped up talent and used their computing power and huge data hoards to leap ahead in the field.Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, right, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. read more

UN refugee agency gears up for largescale returns in South Sudan

“We are taking steps to help south Sudanese refugees decide for themselves whether the time is right to go home,” Jennifer Pagonis, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said today. The official start of the voluntary repatriation operation is scheduled to begin before the end of the year, providing the security situation stabilizes, the agency said.On Thursday it is organizing what it calls “go-and-see visits” for two delegations of Sudanese refugees from Kakuma camp in north-western Kenya, where over 2,000 refugees have registered for repatriation. In each case, refugee representatives will be flown to tour their towns in Southern Sudan and meet with the local authorities and relatives they have not seen for many years. The delegations will go back to Kakuma on the same day and will inform their fellow refugees in of the situation.Some refugees are not waiting for UNHCR’s assistance. After years of walking across huge swathes of Africa, and more years living in exile as a refugee, Malak – now a 29-year-old father of three – has come back to Bor, in south-eastern Sudan, 16 kilometres from his home village.”It has been a very long journey since I left Bor almost twenty years ago,” said Malak. “But now I am back to my land to rebuild South Sudan, to help my people.”UNHCR adds that international organizations must focus now on rebuilding essential infrastructure in towns such as Bor, which is swelling with returnees but where people drink from the Nile because the water system was destroyed by the war.Shortly, a group of up to 12,000 Dinka people and half a million cattle are scheduled to start moving back to the Bor region. During the war, the group had migrated to the Western part of the country and split up in 34 cattle camps.UNHCR, together with other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, has set up a way station 15 kilometres north of Juba for the Dinka returnees. Returnees will be able to spend the night there and will get a World Food Programme (WFP) food ration for 15 days as they continue their journey. UNHCR will register the returnees and provide protection monitoring. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) plans to organize the transport of pregnant women, elderly and disabled people by barge from Juba to Bor. In the meantime, the new Government of southern Sudan, along with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are today kicking off the largest-ever measles immunization campaign in the region, which hopes to reach 4.5 million children in the next 18 months.The ambitious campaign is only possible, said UNICEF, because the peace agreement opened up access routes within southern Sudan and established a new government structure covering the whole region, with strong donor support. read more

New evidence points to Syrian involvement in Hariri murder – UN report

Latest evidence reinforces preliminary findings of both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, according to a new United Nations report citing burned Syrian documents, pressure on a witness to recant and the need for Damascus to be more forthcoming.“However, it is worth noting that, despite their reluctance and procrastination, the Syrian authorities did make available for questioning the five Syrian officials that the Commission had summoned,” the head of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) Detlev Mehlis said in his report to the Security Council, confirming 19 unidentified suspects and recommending a six-month extension for UNIIIC.“As this is the beginning of a long-awaited process, it is up to the Syrian authorities to be more forthcoming in order to make headway in a process that will be most probably a long one if it is to be judged against the pace of progress to date. Until now, the Commission has made steady progress on the Lebanese track. It remains to be matched on the Syrian track.”Following the presentation of an earlier report in October, the Council called on Syria to detain Syrian suspects already identified UNIIIC and clarify all unresolved issues, holding out the possibility of “further action” in the case of non-compliance.Mr. Hariri’s assassination on 14 February, in which 22 other people were also killed when his car was blown up, led to renewed calls for the withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence agents who had been in Lebanon since the early stages of the country’s 1975-1990 civil war. In April, the UN reported that troops were withdrawn.The latest report also deals with witness Hussam Taher Hussam, who has been shown on Syrian television recanting testimony he had previously given. UNIIIC said it had received “credible information” that Syrian officials had arrested and threatened some of Mr. Hussam’s close relatives in Syria.“Preliminary investigation leads to a conclusion that Mr. Hussam is being manipulated by the Syrian authorities,” the report said, calling this “an attempt to hinder the investigation internally and procedurally.”Two of the five Syrian suspects whom UNIIIC questioned indicated that all Syrian intelligence documents concerning Lebanon had been burned, according to the report.A statement by a new witness who has been assessed to be credible and whose information is deemed reliable “strengthens the evidence confirmed to date against the Lebanese officers in custody, as well as high-ranked Syrian officers,” the report noted.“The detailed information points directly at perpetrators, sponsors and organizers of an organized operation aiming to kill Mr. Hariri, including the recruitment of special agents by the Lebanese and Syrian intelligence services, handling of improvised explosive devices, a pattern of threats against targeted individuals, and planning of other criminal activities,” it added.The report stressed that the next steps to be followed in the investigation require “at all times the full and unconditional co-operation of the Syrian authorities.”Noting that substantive lines of enquiry are far from being completed “and given the slow pace with which the Syrian authorities are beginning to discharge their commitments to the Council,” it recommended that UNIIIC be extended for a minimum of six months.In the most recent two-month period, 37,000 pages of documents were entered into the case file. With its support team, the Commission totals 93 personnel.At a later news conference, Mr. Mehlis was questioned about the treatment of the Syrian witnesses.He said he personally assured the Syrian authorities that Syrian suspects would be given the same rights that they would be given in their own country. He also had to take into consideration that under the enabling Security Council resolution the Lebanese case was governed by Lebanese law and so they were also given rights under Lebanese law. The Lebanese code of criminal procedure does not allow a suspect during a police investigation to have a lawyer present, Mr. Mehlis said, but “we thought this would not be appropriate” so they agreed that the witnesses would be allowed two lawyers of their choice and an interpreter.“At that time there were no complaints,” he added. read more

Jos A Bank drops 23B bid for Mens Wearhouse as selfimposed deadline

by The Associated Press Posted Nov 15, 2013 5:26 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Jos A Bank drops $2.3B bid for Men’s Wearhouse as self-imposed deadline for talks passes HAMPSTEAD, Md. – Jos. A. Bank withdrew its $2.3 billion offer to buy rival Men’s Wearhouse.Jos. A. Bank made an unsolicited offer of $48 per share for Men’s Wearhouse Inc. in September. Men’s Wearhouse rejected the bid in October, calling it “opportunistic” and “inadequate.”In late October, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. announced that it would terminate its bid by Nov. 14 if there continued to be no discussions on the proposal. The company says it still believes that a deal could be in the best interest of both companies’ shareholders.An email was sent and a voicemail left seeking comment from Men’s Wearhouse.Jos. A. Bank had previously said it would be open to raising its offer if allowed to assess whether an increased bid is justified. But Men’s Wearhouse wouldn’t give the company access to nonpublic information.On Friday Jos. A. Bank said that if the board of Men’s Wearhouse decides in the future that it wants to discuss a potential acquisition, or if circumstances otherwise change, that it may consider whether a new bid for its rival is warranted. Jos. A. Bank is moving forward with considering other strategic options that it has been investigating.Eminence Capital LLC, Men’s Wearhouse’s biggest stockholder, said in a statement that it was disappointed that the company has yet to have acquisition-related talks with Jos. A. Bank. Eminence said that it made a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to potentially call a special meeting of Men’s Wearhouse shareholders to vote on some bylaw amendments. Eminence Capital said that if the amendments are approved it would allow stockholders to remove Men’s Wearhouse board members without cause before the next annual shareholders meeting.Jos. A. Bank said in a statement that “this is a matter between the Men’s Wearhouse board and its shareholders.”Jos. A. Bank sells men’s tailored and casual clothing, sportswear and footwear. While it targets a more established male professional, it’s known for generous promotions like buying one suit or sport coat and getting three for free.Men’s Wearhouse sells men’s sportswear and suits through its namesake chain of stores, as well as the Moores and K&G retail chains. Recently, the Houston company has been going after younger shoppers with suits featuring slimmer silhouettes. It’s also trying to raise the average ticket price and announced in July that it’s buying the upscale Joseph Abboud brand for about $97.5 million in cash.Shares of Men’s Wearhouse gained 32 cents to $46.44 in morning trading Friday, while Jos. A. Bank’s stock added 36 cents to $50.67. read more

Thousands more jobs cut from world oil sector

by News Staff Posted Jan 17, 2015 9:36 am MDT There’s more employment pain in the oil patch.Schlumberger Ltd., the biggest oilfield services company in the world has announced 9,000 job cuts.The massive layoffs are sure to be felt here in Alberta.The company employs 120,000 people, across the globe, meaning the latest job slashing accounts to about 7.5% of the company’s work force.According to Industry Canada, the company employs just over 3,700 people in this country, many of them in Calgary, and Alberta.Analysts suggest up to 650 jobs will be affected in Canada. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Thousands more jobs cut from world oil sector

Football Ohio State vs UNLV – By the Numbers

Ohio State redshirt junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (1) scores in the first half on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback J.T. Barrett. Ohio State won 54-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe No. 10 Ohio State football team (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) took care of business Saturday, putting away UNLV (1-2) 54-21 in blowout fashion. Almost everything seemed to click for the Buckeyes in their victory. Here are a couple stats in Ohio State’s win that warrant a deeper look.41.6 – percentage of Barrett completions that went for touchdowns. Ohio State made it clear early it was going to try to fix the passing game against the Rebels. On the Buckeyes’ second offensive play of the day, quarterback J.T. Barrett found wide receiver Parris Campbell behind a bubble screen, and Campbell raced 69 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The next drive, Ohio State again quickly turned to the pass, airing it out four straight times until Barrett found wide receiver Johnnie Dixon in the end zone for a touchdown. By the time Barrett was pulled from the game, he had completed 12-of-17 total passes, five of which were for touchdowns. Whether it be the result of prime field position coming off a turnover or moving down the field in chunks on the ground, the Buckeyes began drives beyond their own 40-yard line three times before Barrett subbed out. Nearly every time Barrett marched his team down the field, he completed passes into the end zone. For the first time all season, the Buckeyes went away from its offensive backbone: running the football. Instead, it seemingly went out with something to prove and scored all its touchdowns through the air.Barrett is unlikely to be quite this efficient moving forward, but demonstrating the ability to find his target in the red zone for touchdowns will be important for the Ohio State offense if it is going to prove it can do more than just have success running it against opponents.4 – successful deep ball passes by Ohio State (20-plus yards through the air). The biggest question mark during the offseason was whether Ohio State would be able to channel the deep ball in its offense. After the first three games, the answer seemed to be a resounding ‘No’ as Barrett either missed his targets or saw one of his receivers drop the pass on a majority of deep ball attempts. Against UNLV, Ohio State tried to force the deep ball a little more into the offense and managed to complete four — one from Barrett and three from redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins.That last stat should be telling as to the direction the Buckeye offense will be heading in. Barrett completed only one 20-yard pass through the air to K.J. Hill, and the other two passes of more than 20 yards came on short passes that just turned into yards after the catch — a 69-yard touchdown pass on a bubble screen to Campbell and a 22-yard pass to Hill. Haskins was able to find his targets down field on a more consistent basis and proved that he has it in him to be a deep-passing quarterback. But as long as Barrett is the starter, the majority of plays that gain yards in bulk on passes will likely be ones that come from a run-pass option or on short passes to receivers that turn into yards after the catch.6 – wide receivers who caught a touchdown. Entering this game, Ohio State wide receivers had hauled in a total of five touchdowns over the team’s first three games. Before the UNLV game, H-back Campbell and wideouts Dixon, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin and Austin Mack each had one touchdown reception apiece. Against the Rebels, each of those receivers — except Mack — brought down a touchdown, as did Hill and walk-on C.J. Saunders. This set an Ohio State record for most receivers with touchdowns in a single game at seven after tight end Rashod Berry caught a touchdown later in the game.With the game seemingly evolving into a blowout out of the gate and Ohio State beginning to turn to its second- and third-string players, a multitude of wideouts were sure to be involved in the passing game. Ohio State, which has listed six starting wide receivers each week, was able to spread the ball out between just about everyone on the roster, giving each player a chance to get in on the action. By the end of the game, not only did six wideouts record touchdowns, but 13 different receivers had caught passes. Giving all those players experience and having the chance to boost their confidence by getting them involved in the plays could be vital in providing depth to the team the rest of the season.“Let’s go do it against a team that’s equally matched,” Meyer said. “So that’s our challenge is Big Ten Conference officially starts and — but we also understand you’re seeing a bunch of receivers, six of them — seven different people caught touchdown passes and that’s pretty neat to see that happen.”27.2 – percent of the time OSU converted on third down. For all the success Ohio State had Saturday, it struggled to convert on third-down attempts. It wasn’t until the last drive of the second quarter that the Buckeyes managed to convert on a third-down play, and overall they were successful in only 3-of-11 tries. Ohio State managed to balance out its inefficiency on third down by converting on 3-of-4 fourth-down attempts, two of which were for touchdowns. Against a better team, Ohio State’s lackluster play on third downs could have stifled the overall offensive production and dimmed its chances of winning. 13 – tackles for loss by Ohio State. It’s not exactly breaking news to say Ohio State’s defensive line is potent. But against UNLV, the Buckeyes tore through the opposition’s offensive line with ease, sacking the quarterback four times, hitting him twice, tipping a pass for an interception and tackling opposing players 13 times for losses. Throughout the game, UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers felt pressure, and though he occasionally managed to escape and take off down the field, more often than not it seemed he had nowhere to go and simply took the lost yardage. The starters on the defensive line stifled both Rogers and the running game as long as they were out there, holding the opposition to just 54 rushing yards on 13 carries during the first half. The secondary still looked questionable at times because even though it allowed only 88 total passing yards, it gave up 55 penalty yards on three pass interference calls and a holding penalty. Coach Urban Meyer said he was displeased with the performance of the secondary again, particularly as it pertained to the penalties.“Very concerned, terrible. It’s awful,” Meyer said.Until the secondary begins to pick up its play against higher quality opponents, the line will be counted on to apply ample pressure on the offense to prevent opponents from settling in and having time to make big plays. read more

Rock leads the way as Dublin make it four league wins from

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Whyte double proves crucial as Dublin maintain perfect start to league campaignBroderick and St Ledger with the goals as Carlow maintain unbeaten record Dublin 2-10Mayo 0-12Colm Gannon reports from CastlebarTHIS ONE LACKED the excitement and intensity from their last clash, but that won’t bother Dublin as they saw off Mayo without much fuss in Castlebar. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHOMayo welcomed back Lee Keegan to the fold for the first time since the All-Ireland final, when he came in as a late starter for Mayo. Darren Daly, Michael Fitzsimons, Kevin McManamon and Dean Rock were all late entrants to the action just before throw-in for Jim Gavin’s side.There was four points between them at full time, but there was much more than than on the field as Dublin eased their way home over the final 20 minutes of this one.The game was done as a contest as soon as Niall Scully palmed the ball to the net 46 minutes in and put his side seven clear, there wasn’t another score in the game for 20 minutes until Conor Loftus pointed a free in injury time.The Crossmolina man would go on to add two more frees before the end of the action, but that was just some window dressing on a dominant Dublin performance.Just like they did in their last meeting in the All Ireland final last September, Dublin rippled the Mayo net inside the opening minutes. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHOThis time it was Paul Mannion who cut in down the right hand channel and hammered the ball high past Rob Hennelly in the Mayo goal. The Breaffy custodian was starting his first non FBD game for the county since the 2016 All Ireland final replay.Mayo hit back with a pointed free from Jason Doherty a minute later, not long after that score Dublin kick started a pattern that ran though the rest of the half – scoring almost straight after Mayo raised a white flag. Their second point coming from Ciaran Kilkenny, who could have went for goal instead of putting it over the bar.Mayo’s second point came seven minutes in when the returning Lee Keegan hammered one over from well out the park. That score was followed up by two Dean Rock points to leave the All Ireland champions leading 1-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes.Jason Doherty and Rock exchanged frees over the next few minutes, before Andy Moran hit Mayo’s fourth of the day from play to leave three between the sides. But as had gone before, Dublin went straight down the field and Brian Fenton eased over Dublin’s fifth point to keep their noses well in front.They pushed that lead out of five points ten minutes before the break through another Rock free and that was the gap at the short whistle with both sides adding three more points to their tallies, with Jason Doherty chipping in with two and Stephen Coen for the hosts and Kilkenny, Mannion and Rock doing the necessary for the All Ireland champions. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHOMayo should have hit the back of the net within seconds of the restart after Doherty stripped a Dublin defender of the ball and fed Adam Gallagher, but the NUIG student pulled his shot wide of the post.They did get the first score of the half when Rob Hennelly drove over a free from beyond the 45 on the 40 minute mark.Five minutes later the result was put beyond doubt when Niall Scully palmed the ball to the net from close range after some good work by Rock to set him up.Doherty replied for Mayo from a free two minutes later and Rock hit back for Dublin with a well taken effort that sailed over the black spot, despite the Ballymun ace slipping as he struck it.Mayo’s free taking fell apart in the final 20 minutes with Doherty twice then Moran and Hennelly all pulling efforts wide of the post in a ten minute spell.Dublin finished with 14 men when Michael Fitzsimons was sent off in injury time, but the second half was poor fair with Dublin just adding 1-1 to their half time total and Mayo, two points in normal time before Loftus’ three injury time frees that brought the gap back to four.For Dublin the road to another league final rolls out in front of them, but for Mayo the battle to avoid relegation goes on.Scorers for Mayo: Conor Loftus (0-3,3f), Jason Doherty (0-3,3f), Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Stephen Coen (0-1), Lee Keegan (0-1), Rob Hennelly (0-1, 1f), Andy Moran (0-1)Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock (0-6,4f), Paul Mannion (1-1), Niall Scully (1-0), Ciaran Kilkenny (0-2), Brian Fenton (0-1)Mayo1. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy)3. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)4. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet)2. Caolan Crowe (Garrymore)5. Colm Boyle (Davitts)21. Lee Keegan (Westport)6. Michael Hall (Breaffy)8. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)7. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen)13. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)14. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)15. Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels)Subs: 22. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy) for Gallagher, 25. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers) for McLoughlin, 24. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for O’Connor, 19. Sharoize Akram (Ballaghaderreen) for Drake, 9. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels) for DohertyDublin1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s)18. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens)19. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)4. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)9. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)10. Brian Howard (Raheny)11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)20. Kevin McManamon (St Judes)13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)25. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)Subs: 17. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincents) for Macauley, 23. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes) for Small, 15. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for Mannion, 24. Ciaran Reddin (St Maur’s) for Howard, 26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for Cooper, 22. Emmet O’Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields) for Fenton.Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Feb 24th 2018, 9:18 PM http://the42.ie/3869984 Saturday 24 Feb 2018, 9:18 PM Short URL 28,488 Views By Colm Gannon Follow us: the42.ie Share11 Tweet Email1 Rock leads the way as Dublin make it four league wins from four in Mayo Paul Mannion and Niall Scully hit the net for Dublin. 38 Comments last_img read more

It was really magical we were celebrities in our own right The

first_img Short URL 28 Comments Saturday 28 Jan 2017, 8:15 PM By Eoin O’Callaghan http://the42.ie/3209320 Jan 28th 2017, 8:15 PM ‘It was really magical – we were celebrities in our own right’: The golden era of Irish basketball Dave Hopla was part of the influx of US players in the 1980s and was based in Belfast at the height of The Troubles. Share Tweet Email2 WHEN YOU LOOK back at the archive footage and the photographs, it just doesn’t make sense. Thousands of fans crammed into halls right around the country – from Killarney to Ballina, Killester to Belfast – to watch basketball.It was a strange time for the country. In September 1979, Pope John Paul II visited. In December, Charlie Haughey was elected Taoiseach. It was a year of industrial disputes and protests. The people wanted change. Something different. In Kerry, a man called Paudie O’Connor had a similar mindset.Having represented both his local club and his country in basketball, he was frustrated at the gulf in class. He wanted things to improve, starting with his own backyard. He saw how some talented American youngsters who had narrowly missed out on a place in the NBA were enticed to Europe to pick up a pay cheque. So, why shouldn’t they be enticed to Ireland? Before the end of the year, O’Connor brought two members from Quincy College – Cornel Bedford and Gregg Huguley – to Killarney. It breached a rule in the constitution, not that O’Connor cared. He had started a movement. Crowds began to get bigger. Interest in a beige, boring domestic league began to grow.Over the next few years, there was a collection of exciting US players dotted around the country. Tony Andre was a superstar in Killarney and the entire league. Where Bedford and Huguley struggled with the ultra-white social scene and their inevitable outsider status, Andre immersed himself in the community.“There’s a little girl and she walks up and rubs her finger across my skin”, he says in the excellent documentary ‘We Got Game’, which explores the glory days of Irish basketball.“She looked at her finger and said, ‘It doesn’t come off’. I didn’t take offence. I just said, ‘This is my colour’. And just by talking to her, it opened her eyes up”.The influx continued. Neptune brought in Terry Strickland and Ray Smith. Local rivals Blue Demons had Jasper McElroy. In Dublin, Kelvin Troy was at Killester. Over in Mayo, Deora Marsh was lighting it up for Ballina.And in 1981, west Belfast side St Gall’s turned to a blonde kid from Baltimore by the name of Dave Hopla.“We knew where Belfast was because it was always on the news and in the papers”, he tells The42.“But it was all negative with the hunger strikes going on and The Troubles but it didn’t bother me in the slightest. I felt safer there than I did on the streets of Baltimore”.Hopla had professional aspirations but no easy route in the US. He played college basketball in Nebraska and was working at a camp when a coach, Pat Knapp, put him in touch with Dan Durkin, who was in charge of St. Gall’s at the time. Belfast was a tough sell but it would give the 22-year-old something he craved: pro ball – just like the majority of players who made the trip to Ireland.“I didn’t want to go out and work”, he says.“I wanted to try and play basketball, no matter where, for as long as I could. I said I’d give it a try and I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything”.Inevitably, there was an early baptism of fire.“We flew into Shannon and there was a mutual friend from Philadelphia who had married an Irish girl”, Hopla remembers.“His wife was pregnant and she was due any minute but we still stayed with them for a few days! Then we went from Shannon to Dublin in a truck – like, a lorry – and a couple of guys from St. Gall’s came down to pick us up. And then we drove to Belfast and went straight to Ulster PolyTech (now Ulster University) for a practice. It was quite a trip. I laugh when I see the way NBA players travel these days. They wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on”.And what about the accent?Hopla jumps straight in and, impressively, delivers a perfect Belfast brogue.What about ye? How ye keepin’, wee lad? I picked up on it quite quickly and a lot quicker than when we went down south to Cork and the way they, sort-of, sing. I had an easier time with the Belfast accent”.The initial plan was for Hopla to stay for five months. He ended up staying three years. He was drawn to the spirit and the energy of those around him and cultivated relationships that have continued for decades.“I stayed with Mickey and Marie Gribben”, Hopla says.“He was the secretary of the club and I stayed with them for two years. The place was on the Ormeau Road, right by the bakery and the park. Mickey celebrated his 60th birthday about a month ago and I got on FaceTime with him. The whole crew were there and it was like I’d never been away. You just fall right back into it. I was back there a few years ago to do some clinics and I got to see all the crew again. It was like I’d never left. It’s a special, special bond that we have”.Hopla wasn’t the only American in the city at the time. By 1983, Dave Shehadi was with Star of the Sea and Steve O’Neill was at Sporting Belfast. They’d socialise together and revelled in their status as the new, shiny objects. Everyone wanted to bend their ears.“When we’d go to the pubs, it would be so funny. Because you’re a bunch of Yanks talking, people would come over and say, ‘Do you know so-and-so?’ like the States was really close or something. They’d ask about a place – ‘We have relatives there’. We got a kick out of it. ‘You gotta come and meet the family’. We were like celebrities in our own right. People just loved hearing the accent. Dallas was the big TV show at the time and they thought everyone lived like that – like JR and the Ewings”.In many ways, basketball existed in a bubble for everyone within the parameters of the city. The games suspended reality for a while. While they were on, it was a distraction. Outside, it was a different story.“They had the checkpoints everywhere”, Hopla says.“I always had a gym bag with sneakers and workout stuff and every time you’d be stopped and they’d check the bag. You couldn’t drive into the city centre. When I went over there, everyone Stateside, naturally, were worried about what The Troubles was like but I never had any problems at all. I had told my Mom, ‘If I feel unsafe I won’t stay and endanger myself’.I remember one time I was walking home from the Celebrity club with half a load on and I was heading up towards the Ormeau Bridge. The RUC came out, surrounded me and questioned me. But they could only ask four questions. They said, ‘Where are you from?’ I said, ‘The United States of America’. ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Home’. And after some more I said, ‘That’s five questions’ and they got back in their cars and left. We had a little book that we were supposed to carry – not a passport. Before I went over I tried to do some research on The Troubles but it’s hard to understand if you’re not from there. I used to always tell people that the Irish are the friendliest people in the world – they just don’t get along with one another’.Hopla and other players became missionaries of sorts. When they weren’t playing, they were coaching and trying to encourage more children to pick up a basketball and get involved with the game. There was a determination to leave something of a legacy, an awareness that the sport in Ireland was at its peak and perhaps likely to never rise to the same heights again.“We used to do some clinics when we were there – over at St. Malachy’s – coaching the kids and reaching out to the community”, Hopla remembers. Source: MrDavehopla/YouTube“We’d go all over and try and get the game going. We just did whatever we could. And you don’t know how much of an effect you’ve had on kids until you see some of the people I coached at the time still so heavily involved now. Like Gareth Maguire and his wife Deirdre Brennan, who coached at Ulster Poly. These people are still involved in the game and it feels good that you left a positive mark there”.By 1984, as much as the entire league was a breath of fresh air, Belfast had its own sporting storylines. The crowds were electric and fed the appetite of those inside the lines.“The inter-city rivalry when Sporting Belfast moved up to the top division with us – it was incredible”, Hopla says.“Bruce ‘Soup’ Campbell was there by that time and it was standing room only. You could barely throw the ball in from the base-lines. It was really magical. And the same thing when we would go down and play in Dublin or Cork. And it was always jam-packed in Killarney. It was only a small place but they must’ve shut the town down when they played.On the road, you’d get to meet the other Americans and talk about what it was like. I’ve been in touch with the likes of Jerome Westbrooks and Ed Randolph – getting to see his son (Darren) play in goal for Ireland gets you thinking about where the years have gone”.In 1986, a decision was made to reduce the number of Americans allowed at a Division 1 team from two to one. It was a deeply divisive move. Many felt more opportunities for Irish players would lead to a better standard of Irish player. Others argued that the presence of elite athletes within teams would push local players to a higher level. When the new rule was introduced for the start of the 1988/89 season, it signalled the end of what was a truly golden era for the sport in Ireland.By that stage, Hopla had been back in the US for a while, building a new career as a hugely-respected shooting coach. He’s subsequently worked with various NBA teams like the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards while he’s helped some of the biggest superstars in the league down through the years – like Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen. He’s currently on the staff of the Detroit Pistons under Stan van Gundy.Like anyone who was associated with Irish basketball in the 1980s, Hopla carries with him some special memories. Listening to the ease in which he reels off names of the countless people he met during his relatively brief time in Belfast, the experience clearly left an imprint. He’s not alone. The likes of Troy and Marsh couldn’t shake it. They found the place so infectious that they ended up staying.They were young men in a strange place and made to feel like heroes by those around them. That’s going to stay with you.“I always tell people I’m part Irish now after being there”, Hopla says.“It was at its peak in terms of the crowds and the love of the game over there. It’s like whenever I saw (former Killester player) Mario Elie in the NBA and I’d mention Irish basketball. A little smile would come to his face. You have to have experienced it for people to understand, I think. It wasn’t on anyone’s list. If you asked anyone where they wanted to play basketball, nobody would say ‘I want to go to Ireland’. But I wouldn’t change it for anything because of the friendships I made”.– First published 08.00, 28 JanNBA players try predict the outcome of this weekend’s National Cup Final gamesBasketball CEO O’Byrne to run for OCI presidency 28,997 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

RIM le groupe canadien annonce des résultats en baisse

first_imgRIM : le groupe canadien annonce des résultats en baisseLe groupe canadien RIM continue d’annoncer des résultats en baisse en 2011. Les bénéfices du groupe ont fortement chuté au troisième trimestre 2011. La firme canadienne Research In Motion affirme avoir enregistré en 2011 un chiffre d’affaires équivalent à 2010 bien que ses bénéfices aient chuté. Selon le groupe canadien, son chiffre d’affaire s’élèverait à 5,2 milliards de dollars au troisième trimestre 2011. Il serait tout de même en légère baisse (6 %) par rapport à l’an passé.En septembre dernier, Research In Motion avait révélé que son bénéfice net ajusté avait chuté de 47 %, atteignant les 419 millions de dollars, A ce moment-là, l’action en bourse de RIM avait chuté. Le chiffre d’affaires annuel n’accuse donc pas une perte trop importante, en revanche les bénéfices du groupe s’élèvent seulement à 265 millions de dollars en 2011. Ce qui représente une baisse de 71 % par rapport au troisième trimestre 2010.Selon les observateurs, les ventes de BlackBerry pourraient ralentir, entraînant des résultats similaires lors des prochains mois. RIM a déjà annoncé que nouveaux terminaux équipés du système d’exploitation Blackberry 10 verraient le jour à la fin de l’année 2012. Le 20 décembre 2011 à 12:30 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Taika Waititis Thor 4 Pushes Back Akira

first_imgStay on target ‘One Punch Man’ Get A Video Game, Probably Has More Punches‘Cannon Busters’ Is The Black Anime We’ve Been Waiting… Update: At San Diego Comic Con this weekend we expect to learn more about what Marvel has in store for its Phase 4 movies and beyond. And now according to The Hollywood Reporter, one of those movies will be Thor 4, written and directed by Taika Waititi, the guy who made people finally care about the God of Thunder with Thor: Ragnarok. While good news for Thor fans, the drawback is this deal will also push back the long-awaited live-action Akira movie, which Waititi was originally slated to direct for summer 2021.A live-action Akira remake is such a bad idea. The original manga by Katsuhiro Otomo is a legendary classic, as is the 1988 anime adaptation, a movie so cool and good it’s okay to like even if you correctly believe anime was a mistake. Plus the story and Neo-Tokyo setting were just so specifically about Japanese cyberpunk anxiety surrounding urban youth culture and nuclear war. ‘Akira’ is just, like, a regular dude’s name, not something weird and mysterious.But because #brands can never be stopped, Hollywood has been trying to make a live-action Akira movie happen for years. And according to Deadline it’s finally happening on May 21, 2021. Fortunately, the project is being handled by Taika Waititi, the talented New Zealand director who turned Thor: Ragnarok into a cool movie despite being the third Thor movie.Along with being a great director who has proven his ability to inject his signature quirky style into big blockbusters, Taika Waititi’s background also gives us hope for his take on Akira. So much of the story is about children oppressed and exploited by uncaring governments. And in the real world these days those children are children of color.Waititi’s Maori racial heritage has informed his New Zealand films like Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Heck, it even informed Thor: Ragnarok and its subtle anti-colonialist bent. So hopefully Waititi can bring that rebellious political perspective to the deeply punk political Akira as well. This is why Jordan Peele was a promising early idea for director years ago. Please just don’t cast white kids as Kaneda and Tetsuo.Taika Waititi’s Akira opens in theaters May 21, 2021. Here’s hoping it’s more Speed Racer than Ghost in the Shell as far as live-action anime adaptations go. And in the meantime, look forward to Waititi’s next movie Jojo Rabbit in theaters this October. He plays an imaginary Adolf Hitler. Really.Watch Akiralast_img read more

Alex OxladeChamberlain provides a positive injury update

first_imgLiverpool star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain revealed he’s returned to running outdoors for the first time since AprilThe English midfielder has been sidelined with a knee injury over the last eight months from Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final clash against AS Roma.The injury cost Oxlade-Chamberlain the chance to compete in the final of the competition and a place in the England squad in this year’s World Cup.But the 25-year-old has now posted a positive update on his recovery at Liverpool’s Melwood training base.“That feeling when you’re finally back out on the grass for the first time in 8 months,” Oxlade-Chamberlain wrote on Instagram along with a picture of himself with his arms raised high (see below).Since joining from Arsenal last year, Oxlade-Chamberlain has managed five goals and eight assists in 42 appearances for Liverpool.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…The England international remains a doubt for the rest of this season, despite stating that he hopes to play in “a few” games.Premier League leaders Liverpool will take on Newcastle today at Anfield with kick-off set for 16:00 (CET).Alex Oxlade Chamberlain back out on the grass for the first time in 8 months 😁👏 #LFC pic.twitter.com/zmrW9fOVpL— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) December 24, 2018last_img read more

Liverpool transfer gossip French youngster becomes first January signing

first_imgEnglish side Liverpool have made their first signing of the transfer window but this time it is a deal considered to be for the future.According to ESPN FC via The Mirror, Liverpool have completed a move for 16-year-old French defender Billy Koumetio after a successful trial period.The youngster has been with Liverpool under-17s since November and has been impressive in quite a few friendlies played since then.Koumetio had previously played for French second division side US Orleans, where he joined from Lyon after an impressive string of performances.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.Koumetio will start his Liverpool career in their under-16s squad and aim to work his way through the ranks to eventually reach Jurgen Klopp’s first team.Liverpool are currently leading the English Premier league table with four points ahead of closest rivals Manchester City. They face Bayern Munich in next month’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounters.last_img read more

Soy Growers Weigh in on Prevented Planting

first_imgASA President Wade Cowan wrote to the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to comment on a new evaluation of prevented planting published by the Agency. The evaluation recommended that no change is warranted in the prevented planting payment factor of 60 percent for soybeans.“We note that prevented planting claims have been 13 percent of total indemnities for soybeans the last 20 years, and that excess moisture/precipitation was the cause of loss for 94 percent of the total,” the comments state.ASA also weighs in against one proposal floated by the evaluators: “We also agree with the assessment that eliminating the buy-up option for prevented planting would probably result in an increase in the prevented planting component of the rate for basic coverage. We see no need to penalize the majority of policy-holders who do not collect on prevented planting coverage by allowing those with greater prevented planting risk to avoid paying a premium for it.”Click here to read the entire letter.last_img read more

Indias spices exports fall 1142 in volume jump 12 in value for

first_img1/2 Kashmiri women sort red chillies to dry them in Srinagar October 15, 2009.Reuters fileSeparated saffron stigmas are kept in a plate beside the flowers during a drying process in Pampore, 15 km (9 miles) south of Srinagar November 2, 2012Reuters filePreviousNextExport of spices from India fell 11.42 percent in the financial year 2015-16 to 8.32 lakh tonnes in volume terms from 9.39 lakh tonnes in the preceding fiscal; though in value terms, they rose 12 percent to Rs 16,630 crore from Rs 14,847 crore in 2014-15.As a category, spices accounted for 0.97 percent of the country’s total exports in 2015-16.The information was given by Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and industry minister, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.She ruled out the formation of additional boards to promote the export of spices but said that the government is addressing concerns of the trade in other ways. “…the Government has notified eleven Spice Development Agencies for addressing issues related to production, quality, domestic marketing and export of Spices in major spice growing States/Regions of the country,” Sitharaman said in her reply.India is endowed with varying climates — from tropical to sub-tropical to temperate — allowing many states to grow different spices.Pepper is a significant part of export of spices and spice products from India, with the “king of spices” earning Rs 1,730 crore in 2015-16, according to the Spices Board. It is grown in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.Other items exported by India include cardamom, chilli, ginger, turmeric, coriander, garlic, tamarind, fennel and fenugreek.The US, China, Vietnam, the UAE and Indonesia are top importers of Indian spices.Saffron is grown exclusively in Jammu and Kashmir.last_img read more

Thailand can be gateway to SE Asia for Bangladesh

first_imgThai Minister Kobsak Pootrakool at Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) office on Wednesday. Photo: UNBThailand’s economic reforms and investment minister Kobsak Pootrakool on Wednesday said his country can be the gateway to Southeast Asia for Bangladesh and vice-versa.He made the remarks during his visit to Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) office in the city, reports UNB.BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury received the minister and Thai business delegation at its office.The Thai delegation took a great interest in the incentives and offerings of the BEZA saying it offers great opportunity to investment.Considering Bangladesh as an attractive investment destination, the Thai minister agreed to consider a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BEZA and Thai Industrial Promotion Unit proposed by Bangladesh.The Thai minister is leading a high-profile 30-member business and investment delegation to Bangladesh.This is the largest ever Thai business delegation to Bangladesh including Secretary General of Thailand Board of Investment and high officials from Royal Thai Government which will explore new areas of cooperation until 4 May.Commissioned under the political directives of Thailand prime minister Prayut Chan o-cha, the official visit by Kobsak, minister attached to Thai Prime Minister  office, is being considered politically most significant in the trade and economic relations between the two Bay of Bengal countries.It also indicates Thailand  new economic interests in the Bangladesh market.During his visit, the Thai minister and his large entourage will be visiting few industries and special economic zones organised by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and BEZA to explore potential areas for Thai investments.The high-powered delegation will also attend business dialogues and business matchmaking with Bangladeshi businessmen organised by apex business body FBCCI and the Bangladesh-Thai Chamber of Commerce Industry (BTCCI) to explore possible new product lines for exports and Thai investment in Bangladesh.Apart from the business and investment engagement, Thai minister Pootrakool will make courtesy calls on commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and state minister for finance and planning MA Mannan during the visit.Terming the visit as historic in trade and economic relations between Bangladesh and Thailand, Bangladesh ambassador to Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem said the Royal Thai Government is taking a renewed interest to strengthen economic, trade and connectivity relations with Bangladesh.This visit reflects a new dynamic era in relations between the two BIMSTEC governments following successful high-level meetings in Dhaka last year including the 7th Joint Commission between foreign ministers and 4th Joint Trade Committee meeting between commerce ministers of the two countries in Dhaka, she added.Kobsak Pootrakool looks after economic reform, National Board of Development and economic zones and Board of Investment under the direct guidance of Thai prime minister Chan-o-cha.He has in his agenda a Free Trade Agreement, Coastal Shipping MOU and road connectivity with Bangladesh.last_img read more

BL College teacher killed in Khulna road crash

first_imgRoad Accident LogoA teacher of Khulna BL College was killed when a truck ran him over on Khulna-Jashore road in front of Damodor Government Primary School in Phultala upazila on Tuesday, reports UNB.The deceased is Kishore Kumar Paul, 55, an assistant professor of Botany department of the college and resident of Gilatala village in Rampal upazila of Bagerhat.Phultala police station officer-in-charge Monirul Islam said the Jahore-bound truck knocked down the teacher around 3:30pm while he was crossing road, leaving him dead on the spot.Kishore, who was living at Tank Road in the city, met the tragic end of his life while going to Phultala for visiting his relative’s house.last_img