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CMs flying squad busts fake bar code providers

first_imgGurugram: The Chief Minister flying squad on Friday conducted a raid at the Nathupur slums and busted a fake bar code providers to the private taxis. The fake unit was being set up so that the tax to the public authorities that was to be given by the transporters was avoided.According to the law enforcement officials, the unit run by a person identified as Ajay was deliberately set up in the shanties so that its whereabouts are not identified. In effect, it effectively targetted the truckers and the commercial drivers who purchased the identification codes at a cheap rate so that they can avoid paying taxes to the government. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”We feel that there is a strong group that is operating in the city which is allowing the transporter to operate through illegal means and thereby cause loss to the public exchequer. We were successful in arresting four people from our recent raid. We are in the process to identify some more illegal units that are operating around the city,” said a senior official from the Chief Minister flying squad. “Most of the people who use their vehicles for commercial means for example passenger buses and trucks often use the services to get the fake documents from such units so that they can hoodwink the public officials. Most of the trucks according to our report is also being used in the illegal mining of the Aravallis,” added the public official who was a part of the raids.last_img read more

Top BC court upholds ruling that struck down Canadas solitary confinement law

first_imgVANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down Canada’s solitary confinement law.The Appeal Court ruled unanimously that a law that allows for the prolonged and indefinite use of segregation in prison “offends the fundamental norms of a free and democratic society.”The federal government appealed the B.C. Supreme Court’s ruling of the legal challenge brought by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of Canada.The Appeal Court allowed the appeal in part, saying that while the law should be struck down under section seven of the charter, it should not be struck down under section 15.Section seven relates to the right to life, liberty and security of the person, while section 15 protects equality rights, in this case of mentally ill and Indigenous inmates.Parliament passed a new solitary-confinement law on Friday, but BCCLA executive director Josh Paterson says it still allows for inmates to be kept in cells the size of parking spaces for 22 hours or more a day.The federal government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Bangladesh Sri Lanka discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation

Foreign Secretary Weerakoon thanked the Government of Bangladesh for its generous financial donation towards the welfare of victims of the recent flood and landslide in Sri Lanka. The two sides discussed ways and means to strengthen bilateral cooperation and to develop close trade and economic links between the two countries. The discussions also focused on possible trade and shipping opportunities in the Bay of Bengal and cooperation in the fields of Higher Education, Human Resources Developments, Health, Finance and Agriculture. Legal instruments in the fields of Shipping, Investment, Agriculture, Finance, Trade, Human Resources Development and ICT were also discussed at the consultative meeting. Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon also paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali during the visit. (Colombo Gazette) The Third Foreign Office Consultations between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, co-chaired by the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Foreign Ministry said today.The Bangladesh delegation was led by Md. Shahibul Haque, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and the Sri Lankan delegation was led by Esala Weerakoon, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka that included Yasoja Gunasekera, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Bangladesh and officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Higher Education and Highways, Department of Commerce and Sri Lanka Ports Authority. read more

6000 from Myanmar living in deplorable conditions in Bangladesh – UN

“They are extremely vulnerable to seasonal high tides, flooding and cyclones during the monsoon season,” UN High Commissioner for Refuges (UNHCR) spokesperson Marie-Hélène Verney told a news briefing in Geneva. “There is no water or sanitation at the site, creating a health hazard.”UNHCR, the European Commission and diplomats from five donor countries last week completed an emergency mission to the Teknaf region in south-eastern Bangladesh to see for themselves the Rohingyas’ plight. Another 20,500 Rohingyas are registered in two Government-run camps south of Cox’s Bazar town in the same area.During a refugee exodus in the early 1990s, some 250,000 Rohingyas fled by foot or boat and were sheltered in 20 camps. More than 235,000 have since repatriated, leaving those in the camps. The Teknaf group formed two and a half years ago after the Bangladeshi Government moved some 3,600 Rohingyas from nearby villages where they had been living for up to 10 years and has been growing as more Rohingyas facing problems with local communities have moved to the area. “The Teknaf group of Rohingyas are people of concern to UNHCR, as they fled Myanmar for the same reasons of persecution as the refugees in the camps who came here in a big influx in 1991-1992,” UNHCR representative in Bangladesh Christopher Lee, said. “The only difference is that these Rohingyas were living outside the camps, or arrived after a 1994 cut-off date for prima facie refugee status, so they were not registered.”But the Government and the local authorities consider the group illegal immigrants and say they should return to Myanmar. The European Commission has said it will provide emergency humanitarian assistance for water and sanitation once the group is moved to safer ground. read more

Jimmy Garoppolo Is The NFLs Most Expensive Lottery Ticket

42Jimmy GaroppoloSF201712-16437.0 Jimmy Garoppolo’s raw stats were impressive…Most raw passing yards in a five-game stretch for post-1970 NFL quarterbacks under age 30 (within first 16 career starts) 1Dan MarinoMIA19841-5899.9 1Andrew LuckIND20128-121,625 6Brett FavreGB199210-14405.1+107.0 Source: pro-Football-reference.com 4Kirk CousinsWAS20142-61,571 5Rex GrossmanCHI20061-5517.1+114.1 Jimmy reshaped the 49ers’ outlook in just five gamesBiggest gains in FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating over a five-game stretch for QBs under age 30 who ranked among the top 50 in yards above backup over the same span of games 7Dan MarinoMIA19841-51,527 8Matt CasselNE20087-111,520 3Nick FolesPHI20139-13696.9 10Billy VolekTEN200412-161,473 4Russell WilsonSEA201212-16591.5+118.2 Still, it’s difficult to deny Garoppolo’s effect on the 49ers’ play down the stretch last season. Going into his first start (Week 13 against the Bears), San Francisco had a 1288 Elo rating — FiveThirtyEight’s preferred gauge of team strength at any given moment — which ranked second to last in the NFL. By the time Garoppolo had helped the Niners engineer their fifth straight win, San Francisco’s Elo had risen to 1452, good for a much more respectable 22nd in the league. That 164-point boost in team Elo was the most for any QB in the top 50 of our five-game leaderboard above, and it might be the best indication of how much potential Garoppolo brings to the table for his first season directing San Francisco’s offense. Includes playoffs.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com Includes playoffs.*Yards above backup is a metric that credits a QB for his passing and rushing yards, with adjustments for touchdowns and interceptions, and the defensive quality of the teams he faced.Source: PRO-FOOTBALL-REFERENCE.COM … QuarterbackTeamYearGm. SpanYds Above BackupElo Gain 2Kurt WarnerSTL199911-15725.8 5Boomer EsiasonCIN198512-16639.3 …but he falls upon further adjustmentMost adjusted yards above backup* in a five-game stretch for post-merger NFL quarterbacks under age 30 (within first 16 career starts) 9Jon KitnaSEA19996-10411.5+104.8 3Cam NewtonCAR20111-51,610 QuarterbackTeamYearGM. spanYds above backup 9Richard ToddNYJ19773-7603.2 10Dak PrescottDAL20167-11602.7 7Tony EasonNE19844-8623.0 QuarterbackTeamYearGm. spanPass Yards 5Kurt WarnerSTL199911-151,563 9Daunte CulpepperMIN20007-111,499 2Marc BulgerSTL20034-81,624 No quarterback has ever earned more with less of a sample than Jimmy Garoppolo. After a midseason trade, Tom Brady’s latest former understudy had just five starts for the San Francisco 49ers1In his first appearance with the team, he went 2 for 2 with a touchdown in relief of C.J. Beathard. before becoming eligible for free agency. He won every one of those games for the previously moribund team and was handed $137.5 million for five years in return, which made him the highest paid QB in the NFL at the time. Again, this was for five starts of work in San Francisco — or 246 fewer games than Brady has started in New England.There’s really nothing else to go on. Garoppolo had played so sparingly before being traded to the 49ers that Bill Belichick and company were able to get only a second-round pick in return.There’s no debating that Garoppolo was very good in the scarlet and gold. The only question is how good. Is the weight of the sample such that fans should expect Garoppolo to earn his contract and propel the 49ers into a new era of excellence? Or is he overrated, piling up passing volume for a 1-10 team that was playing out the string on a lost season?According to classic barometers like passing yardage, Garoppolo’s five-game run to close last season does indeed rank among the most impressive rattled off by a young quarterback in NFL history. Going back to the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, we looked for similar five-game runs within a QB’s first 16 games as a team’s primary passer,2Meaning he led the team in passing attempts during the game but wasn’t necessarily the starter. filtering for QBs under age 30 — passers who generally fit Garoppolo’s profile as a fresh starter in the league. Only five quarterbacks — Andrew Luck, Marc Bulger, Cam Newton, Kirk Cousins and Kurt Warner — had a stretch of five consecutive games with more raw passing yards than Garoppolo did: 7Vince FerragamoLAR19803-7586.4+106.3 4Colin KaepernickSFO201215-19679.8 10Dan MarinoMIA19841-5899.9+93.6 3Ben RoethlisbergerPIT20044-8433.6+119.1 That the stretch represented Garoppolo’s entire body of work as his new team’s starter makes him look even more impressive — and that’s without considering his pair of exceptional games in 2016 as New England’s fill-in while Brady was suspended for his role in Deflategate.But there’s more to evaluating a quarterback than simple passing yards. If we take into account touchdowns, interceptions and rushing stats (plus adjust for strength of opponent) using our “yards above backup” metric, Garoppolo’s stretch-run performance takes a bit of a step back relative to history.Over those five games, Garoppolo had six touchdowns but also five interceptions, and he added nothing with his legs. He also faced a mixed bag of defenses that ranged from dominant (the Jaguars) to mediocre (the Bears) to downright bad (the Texans). And the Week 17 win against the division-winning Rams is less striking when you consider that L.A. sat many of its starters, including defensive player of the year Aaron Donald and standouts Alec Ogletree, Connor Barwin and Robert Quinn. After adjusting for all of that, Garoppolo’s five-game stretch still cracks the top 50 for young post-merger QBs, but it no longer seems quite as reliable a predictor of his future — particularly relative to the size of his contract. For every Dan Marino atop the ranking, there are some Tony Easons and Richard Todds as well. Not to mention the very glaring presence of a previous San Francisco QB much higher on the list: Colin Kaepernick. When adjusted for opponent strength, Kaepernick’s 2012 run from Week 16 to the Super Bowl was topped by only three quarterbacks in our sample. 6Jimmy GaroppoloSF201712-161,542 2Nick FolesPHI20139-13696.9+138.6 8Joe MontanaSF19812-6495.8+105.6 1Jimmy GaroppoloSF201712-16437.0+164.1 8Chad PenningtonNYJ200213-17612.7 6Daunte CulpepperMIN20004-8630.1 While the 49ers’ offensive boost, from 17 points per game with other starting quarterbacks to 28.8 with Garoppolo, can’t be fully explained by their QB’s statistics, there’s no doubt that much of this was earned from scrimmage. In its 11 games without him as the starter, San Francisco averaged 4.9 yards per play, 24th in the league. At 65.6 plays per game, that adds up to 322 yards. With Garoppolo, the Niners averaged 6.1 yards per play, which ranked fourth in offensive efficiency during games 12 through 16. And the play count also rose, to 67.2 plays on average, resulting in 410 yards per game.To quantify that boost of 88 yards per game, consider that NFL teams since 1990 have generated an average of 1 point for every 15.4 yards. So that equals 5.7 more expected points for the 49ers with Garoppolo at the controls (26.6 points per game) than without (20.9), not adjusting for that mixed bag of opponent quality.While about 6 points of added value may not sound like much, it’s what the oddsmakers subtract from a team when a top NFL quarterback is forced to miss a game. And we can definitely count Las Vegas among Garoppolo’s believers. This year, the sports books expect the 49ers to win 8.5 games with a full season of Garoppolo. That’s after they expected just five wins for the team before the start of last season, when Garoppolo was still stuck behind Brady. read more

Cash strapped schools are asking parents for money

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT, said: “The Secretary of State has to address this issue with urgency. Parents, teachers, headteachers or school staff will not let this issue lie.”He added: “Ahead of the local elections Government would do well to remember the impact school funding had on the voting intentions of the public during the general election.”Over half (55 per cent) of teachers said that class sizes have risen since last year, although some acknowledged that this was due to rising pupil numbers.  A fifth of cash-strapped schools are now asking parents for money, a survey by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) suggests. Most schools ask parents to give what they can without specifying an amount, but in some cases schools ask for a regular monthly payment. Almost half of teachers said their school has asked parents to pay for particular items such as materials for art of design and technology classes, according to a poll of 900 teachers. Both primary and secondary schools have started charging parents for attendance at school concerts and sports days, teachers said. Some schools have even started accepting advertising on school premises, the survey found. Earlier this week, MPs warned that  academies are using taxpayers’ money to pay “unjustifiably” high salaries to senior staff.  In some cases, academy trusts are failing to prove that hefty pay packages are appropriate, according to the public accounts committee. In a report, MPs argue that if pay is left unchallenged, there is a risk that high wages become accepted as the norm, which will pile more pressure on school budgets.Academies are state schools that are not under local authority control, but run by trusts. The PAC report said: “Some academy trusts appear to be using public money to pay excessive salaries.”last_img read more

Sacatides case continues

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The court hearing for accused Greek Australian drug smuggler Michael Sacatides continued in Bali on Tuesday. Mr Sacatides appeared in the Denpasar District Court on Tuesday, January 11, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said. Consular officers in Bali are providing Mr Sacatides with ongoing consular assistance. They have visited him regularly in prison, including most recently on Wednesday, January 5. They attended Tuesday’s court hearing, as well as previous court appearances on December, 20, 2010 and January 5, 2011. Consular officers in Bali and Canberra have been in regular contact with Mr Sacatides’ family. The 43 year old kickboxing instructor, who has been living in Thailand for the past two years, has denied that the 1.7 kilograms of crystal methamphetmine found in his suitcase at Bali international airport on October 1, belonged to him. Mr Sacatides faces a sentence ranging from five years jail to the death penalty if convicted. His next and fourth hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 18.last_img read more

Women’s festival to shine light on sex assault

first_imgBrenda Tracy wants school coaches and student athletes to #SetTheExpecation that they’ll never engage in, nor tolerate, sexual misconduct.Tracy, keynote speaker at this weekend’s International Women’s Festival Northwest at Clark College, was gang raped by four men — two of them Oregon State University football players — in 1998. Before that, she was sexually abused as a child. Her survival of all that, and her decision to tell her story after years of silence, is remarkable. In 1998, Tracy didn’t have the strength and self-esteem to help police pursue a criminal case against the rapists; she has since said she was on the verge of suicide.It wasn’t until 2014 that she started speaking out about her experience, and became an activist for the processing of untested rape kits and extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes in Oregon.Tracy is one of more than 20 speakers at the festival, which gets started tonight with a film screening and the launch of a new “WA Says No More” campaign, organized by the conference’s sponsor, National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation, in partnership with the ongoing nationwide No More movement to end domestic and sexual violence. March 4-10 has been declared “No More Week.”“One in five college women will be sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are ever reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators,” said conference organizer Michelle Bart, president of the Women’s Coalition, which is based here in Vancouver. “This can stop. The first step is to start a conversation about the problem, and we plan to do that this year.”Doors open today at 6 p.m. at Foster Auditorium for a screening of “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary film that explores rape culture and the experience of numerous sexual assault victims on college campuses. (The film has proven both galvanizing to the movement and controversial as journalism, with some of its claims challenged as misleading and even “seriously false.”) Tracy will speak after the film.last_img read more

Vancouvers Sixth Street Gallery might go under

first_imgo What: Not Your Mother’s Fashion Show, benefiting Mosaic Arts Alliance and Dressed for Success. The event will feature a fashion show spotlighting apparel and accessories from local designers and retailers, a trunk sale, live music and light refreshments. Two dresses by Vancouver designer and “Project Runway” winner -SethAaron Henderson will be raffled off.o When: 11 a.m. Aug. 7.o Where: 105 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.o Cost: $25.o Information: http://www.sixthstreetgallery.com/fashion.htm.o o oo What: “Who Does She Think She Is?” This documentary explores how women juggle motherhood and being artists.o When: 8 p.m. Aug. 7.o Where: 105 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.o Cost: $8-$20. People are asked to pay what they can in this range.o Information: http://www.sixthstreetgallery.com/wdstsi.htm.o o oo What: Art in the Heart, downtown Vancouver’s annual outdoor art walk. The festival includes art displays from 13 galleries, street art, vendors, a beer garden, food for purchase and live music on eight stages.o When: 5:30-10 p.m. Aug. 6 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 7. Hit Explosion will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 6 at Turtle Place, East Seventh and Main streets, Vancouver.o Where: Throughout downtown Vancouver. A complete map with participating restaurants, retailers and art galleries is available online.o Cost: Free.o Information: http://www.vdausa.org.Sam MacKenzie believes people in the community value Sixth Street Gallery. The foot traffic, feedback and turnout at events such as First Friday Art Walks indicate that patrons appreciate what the artists co-op brings to downtown Vancouver.But if that interest doesn’t start translating into dollars soon, there won’t be a Sixth Street Gallery, said MacKenzie, a co-op member and president of Mosaic Arts Alliance, the gallery’s nonprofit parent organization.last_img read more

2 teens accused of threatening to shoot up Pompano Beach Middle School

first_imgPOMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested two 14-year-old boys for threatening to shoot and kill students and staff at Pompano Beach Middle School.Officials said the 14-year-old boys each posted messages on social media threatening to shoot at the middle school last Wednesday.The two chilling threats caused a lockdown at the school.The teens were charged with making written threats to kill.The messages read in part, “Be ready on the 14th. It’s gone be blood everywhere” and “I’mma shoot all y’all.”The posts were reported to the sheriff’s office, who said the two teens eventually admitted to posting them but never intended to carry the threats out.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Kashmir is IndiaPakistan bilateral issue but ready to assist

first_imgWashington: The Trump administration has launched a damage control exercise after President Donald Trump’s remarks about mediation on Kashmir, with the State Department on Tuesday saying it was a “bilateral” issue between India and Pakistan, and the US “welcomes” the two countries “sitting down” for talks. It also said Pakistan taking “sustained and irreversible” steps against terrorism is key to a successful dialogue with India. Also Read – Prominent Hong Kong activists targeted in wave of arrests Advertise With Us “While Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States stands ready to assist,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI in response to a question if Trump’s remarks reflect a change in the country’s policy on Kashmir. India has already rejected Trump’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his mediation on the Kashmir issue. Also Read – Weak European inflation bolsters case for stimulus Advertise With Us For more than a decade, the US has consistently insisted that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is for the two countries to decide on the nature and scope of the dialogue. “We believe the foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory. These actions are in line with Prime Minister (Imran) Khan’s stated commitments, and Pakistan’s international obligations,” the State Department spokesperson said. Advertise With Us “We will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for dialogue. This first and foremost means tackling the menace of terrorism. As the President indicated, we stand ready to assist,” the spokesperson said in response to a question. On Monday, Trump stunned India by saying that Prime Minister Modi, during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, sought his help in resolving the Kashmir issue. “I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject (Kashmir). And he actually said, ‘would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, ‘where?’ (PM Modi said) ‘Kashmir’,” Trump said during his talks with Imran Khan, their first since the latter came to power in August, 2018. “Because this has been going on for many, many years. I am surprised that how long. It has been going on (for long),” he said, with Imran Khan responding 70 years. “I think they (Indians) would like to see it resolved. I think you would like to see it resolved. And if I can help, I would love to be a mediator. It should be… we have two incredible countries that are very, very smart with very smart leadership, (and they) can’t solve a problem like that. But if you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do that,” Trump said. “So all those issues should be resolved. So, he (Modi) has to ask me the same thing. So maybe we’ll speak to him. Or I’ll speak to him and we’ll see if we can do something,” Trump said. Imran Khan welcomed these remarks. “President, I can tell you that, right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve this issue,” he said. The Ministry of External Affairs denied that PM Modi ever asked for mediation on Kashmir. “We have seen President Trump’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by Prime Minister to the US President,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally,” Raveesh Kumar said.last_img read more

LIC hikes premium CM K Chandrashekar Rao

first_imgHyderabad: Telangana state government will have to cough up nearly Rs 500 crore additionally for the Rythu Bheema scheme this year as the official implementing agency Life Insurance Corporation of India has enhanced the premium per person from Rs 2,271 to Rs 3,555 to be paid by the government. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao launched the farmer insurance scheme in August last year under which farmers in the age group of 18 to 59 years will get an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh each. Also Read – Non-bailable warrant to Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury Advertise With Us A top official told The Hans India that the LIC authorities informed the state government that the insurance provider has faced huge financial implications after the number of claims surpassed the total premium paid by the government in the last 12 months. The government earmarked Rs 980 crore for the scheme last year but the corporation had to pay more than the total premium paid by the government to the beneficiaries who got Rs 5 lakh as insurance money after their death. Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us Officials said that LIC had declined to continue the scheme unless the government revised the premium. With no other option, the government agreed to the proposal of LIC and increased the premium on Wednesday. “The corporation communicated the government that with the actual experience of mortality rate and other related expenses, the LIC felt the need to revise premium rate upwards to ensure the viability of scheme on the basis of actual experience on mortality and expenses,” said Agriculture Secretary C Parthasarathi. Advertise With Us The state will now pay an amount of Rs 3,013 as premium and Rs 542 as GST. The total will be Rs 3,555.94. In addition to the above, LIC also requested for payment of Rs 30.94 crore as an additionality towards stamp duty to be paid by them. The scheme will cover 31.10 lakh farmers in the state. The authorities said that the age limit to avail the scheme has not been increased as the guidelines set by the LIC will not allow. Farmer associations were demanding to enhance age limit above 60 so that a greater number of poor farmers can be covered under the insurance scheme.last_img read more

Edmund Shing on defence spending

first_imgClose With the worlds great powers making war-like noises about Islamic State (Isis), we believe defence budgets are only going one way – higher. This will be a big change from the trends of the last few years.Defence spending by Nato countries continues to decline in real terms, according to figures released by the alliance. The rate of decline slowed from a 3.9% fall in 2014 to an estimated 1.5% reduction this year, taking overall spending by the 28-nation alliance down to about $893bn (£595bn, €842bn), according to Nato figures.Spending by Nato members (excluding the US) has declined at an even more rapid pace given the huge pressure on European government budgets. From 2009 to 2014, Nato (ex US) defence spending was cut by $45bn in real terms, a 15% cut over the 5-year period (Chart 1).Last year, Britain, Estonia, Greece and the US were the only members to meet the goal of spending 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence. Overall, the Nato countries together will only spend on average around 1.5% of GDP on defence this year (Chart 2).Defence spending to increase in 2016However, spending habits are about to change due to:the continued expansion of IS influence in both Syria and Iraq;the pressure on European countries from the worsening refugee crisis; andthe greater geopolitical threat posed by Russia following the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkish military forces.Nato members are belatedly realising the need to spend more on military forces, despite the obvious pressures on government budgets throughout the continent. Just this week Bloomberg reported that Europes defence industry is set to reap a $50bn windfall as the attacks on Paris prompt governments to ramp up spending on military capabilities spanning cybersecurity to fighter jets, armoured vehicles and drones in an effort to defeat IS.France, has halted plans to cut almost 10,000 military personnel, while Germany will spend an extra €8bn on defence and Britain has earmarked a further £12bn.Russia has been outspending Nato for some timeWhile Nato has been busy cutting defence spending in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, on the back of greater pressure on government spending and the need for austerity, Russia has been quietly doing the exact opposite.Despite the slump in the Russian economy on the back of sharply lower global crude oil prices, which is the main source of income for the Russian government, Russian military spending has been gradually increasing as a share of their overall economic budget.After touching a low of just 3% of gross domestic product in 1998 in the years following the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russian military spending increased to 4% of GDP and was held around this level until 2012. Since then it has risen sharply to now represent 5½% of GDP, according to Sipri (Chart 3). As a proportion of the economy then, this is nearly 4 times the proportion of spending of the average Nato country.The broadening political influence that Russian President Vladimir Putin wields is now one key source of pressure on Nato members, particularly the newer Central and Eastern Nato members and former Warsaw Pact members such as Poland.Who will benefit from higher defence and security spending?Now, we should not forget that defence and national security tend to be highly nationalistic topics, with each European country tending to favour their own national defence companies wherever possible.The largest defence industries in Europe reside in France and in the UK. In France, both Thales (who own the old UK Racal electronics businesses) and Safran are defence-oriented companies that should benefit from higher French military and security-related spending. In Italy, the obvious beneficiary is Finmeccanica, which owns such businesses as the helicopter maker Augusta Westland.In the UK, the key company to invest in is BAE Systems (LON:BA). BAE is a huge defence supplier to the UK and US in particular, so are well-placed to see a pick-up in orders and sales from this change in trend in Nato defence spending.BAE Systems has the added attraction of offering a good income, at around 5% in dividend yield annually. So you as an investor are paid to wait in this share. BAE would be my top pick of UK companies to buy into this defence spending boost.Edmund Shing is Global Head of Equity Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.last_img read more

Driver Of San Antonio Trailer Indicted For 10 Passengers Deaths

first_img Share Associated PressJames Mathew Bradley Jr., left, arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing, Monday, July 24, 2017, in San Antonio. Bradley was arrested in connection with the deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor-trailer. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The driver of a tractor-trailer packed with people illegally entering the United States in an alleged human smuggling operation was indicted Wednesday on charges related to the deaths of 10 people inside.James Matthew Bradley Jr. was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in San Antonio on five counts, including a count of illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death, and a separate count of conspiracy to transport immigrants illegally, resulting in death.Those charges carry the possibility of the death penalty. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Antonio declined to say Wednesday if prosecutors would pursue the death penalty. One of Bradley’s attorneys did not immediately return a message seeking comment.Bradley was also indicted on two counts related to illegally transporting immigrants resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of firearm possession by a convicted felon. The indictment alleges Bradley, who pleaded guilty in 1997 to a felony domestic violence case in Colorado, was in possession of a .38-caliber pistol. At least 39 people were inside the trailer as it drove from the border city of Laredo to San Antonio, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) north. The trailer’s refrigeration system was broken, and investigators said passengers struggled to breathe as the temperature rose to dangerous levels. One witness told The Associated Press he heard people crying and asking for water.Twenty-two survivors have been released from the hospital and are being held in detention as potential witnesses against Bradley. Two survivors remained hospitalized as of Wednesday.Four of the survivors testified before the grand jury, said Michael McCrum, a San Antonio attorney appointed to represent them.“They came to America wanting just to work, as they could not find a job in Mexico that could support their families. And yet, the circumstances of what happened brought them to this situation,” McCrum said in an email. “They were asked to tell the truth about how they suffered, and they did.”Investigators have said they believe Bradley was part of a broader conspiracy funding and planning the smuggling operation, though they have not announced any additional arrests or charges.According to a criminal complaint released in July, Bradley told investigators that the trailer had been sold and he was transporting it for his boss from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas. But said he had driven to Laredo and stopped twice there before driving back to San Antonio, in the opposite direction from Brownsville. He denied knowing people were inside the trailer. After hearing banging and shaking, he opened the door and was “surprised when he was run over by ‘Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground,” according to the criminal complaint.Human smuggling operations often linked to Mexican drug cartels are a major problem for law enforcement along the United States’ southern border. Border Patrol agents in West Texas found 20 people crammed in a semitrailer just this week, one day after police in the border city of Edinburg discovered 16 people inside another trailer.Most of the people known to have been on board were from Mexico. Others are believed to have fled from the truck after it stopped. The U.S. Attorney’s office identified eight of the 10 people who died.According to the U.S. Attorney, seven were from Mexico: 27-year-old Ruben Hernandez Vargas; 21-year-old Osbaldo Rodriguez Cerda; 26-year-old Jorge Reyes Noveron; 36-year-old Jose Rodriguez Aspeitia; 37-year-old Benjamin Martinez Arredondo; 24-year-old Ricardo Martinez Esparza; and Mariano Lopez Cano, whose age is unknown. Another person, Frank Fuentes, was from Guatemala. A Guatemalan diplomat previously told the AP that Fuentes had been deported and was trying to return to his family in Maryland.Lopez Cano and Martinez Esparza died at an area hospital.last_img read more

Three men face year in jail after posing as cops to cut

first_imgIf you happened to be out around midnight on Monday evening/Tuesday morning you may have noticed long lines of people outside game retailers. It was of course GTA V launch day, and while many gamers went home happy with the game in hand, one got stabbed, and now three more are going to be prosecuted due to their initially successful attempt to cut the lines completely.Frank Santanastaso, Matthew Kirsheh, and Kirolos Abdel Sayed came up with what they thought was a brilliant plan to purchase GTA V as early as possible. They dressed up as cops and turned up at the Staten Island Mall in an exact replica unmarked police vehicle they had apparently acquired at a police auction. It was even outfitted with flashing lights and a siren for good measure.The trio proceeded to bypass the long line of gamers that had formed outside the mall’s GameStop outlet and spoke with the store’s manager. Flashing badges and proclaiming they were NYPD, the manager agreed to let them purchase copies of the game and saw them on their way. Until that point the ruse had worked, but they didn’t count on a real copy being in the area.As the trio pulled away happy in their unmarked car, they passed a real officer in an unmarked car who got suspicious and followed them. He eventually pulled them over outside Kirsheh’s house and the true story was revealed. Now all three are facing counts of second-degree criminal impersonation and could face up to a year in jail. Santanastaso is also going to have a hard time at home as his father is a retired cop, and Abdel Sayed is an auxiliary NYPD officer, so this is going to have serious repercussions for him.Waiting in line for a few hours to buy the game probably sounds like a great idea right now to all three of them I’d bet.last_img read more

Colin explains how Drew Brees shoulder changed the course of recent football

first_imgBack to the Future was based on the concept that one single event or decision can change the course of history. Much like the McFly’s kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, no single decision has changed the course of recent college football and NFL history than the Dolphins’ decision to pass on Drew Brees in free agency in 2006.With one week until the kickoff of the 2016 College Football Playoff, Nick Saban sits on the precipice of his 5th national title with Alabama, and cementing his tenure with the Tide as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of college football.10 years ago, Saban left the Miami Dolphins for Alabama after two mediocre seasons as an NFL head coach. The Dolphins have continued to exist as an NFL bottom feeder in the decade since he departed, and have seen a revolving door of coaches and quarterbacks since Saban skipped town.Today in The Herd, Colin explained how the course of history in both the NFL and college football would be different if the Dolphins’ team doctor had medically cleared Brees so the team could sign him. In 2006, Drew Brees was a free agent quarterback who was shown the door by the San Diego Chargers in favor of rookie first round pick Philip Rivers. Brees was coming off shoulder surgery and looking for a new NFL team to lead.One of the people most interested in his services was Nick Saban. Brees was brought in by the team for an examination of his surgically repaired shoulder. The Miami team doctor refused to clear him because of the shoulder. Saban left for Alabama. Brees signed with the Saints.As Colin explained, the domino effect of the Dolphins’ decision not to sign Brees has been far reaching throughout college and pro football for the last decade. So how did it impact the history of the game? Here are 5 ways:There is no Alabama dynasty – Don’t forget, the Tide wasn’t rollin when Saban took over. They had a losing record, and were on NCAA probation because of violations under previous head coach Mike Shula. Alabama, as we currently know it, wouldn’t exist.2. No Urban Meyer at Ohio State – With no Saban at Alabama, it’s possible that Urban Meyer may have stayed at Florida longer to continue to dominate the SEC. If he had, he would not have been available to take the Ohio State job.3. The Saints wouldn’t have a post-Katrina rebirth and Super Bowl – After the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, the Saints became a source of hope and inspiration for the city. The central figure at the heart of the Saints rise to prominence, and eventually their Super Bowl win over the Colts in 2010, was Drew Brees. If Brees signed with the Dolphins, who knows what would have happened? It’s a distinct possibility the NFL would have moved the franchise out of the Crescent City.4. Belichick and Brady would have a legit AFC East rival – If Belichick and Brady had been squaring off against Saban and Brees in the AFC East for the past decade, they wouldn’t be dominating the division like they are now. Brees and Saban would surely have their share of wins in the matchup, and maybe a division title or two.5. Peyton Manning has another Super Bowl ring – Peyton Manning and the Colts lost to Brees and the Saints in Super Bowl 44. If Brees never signed with the Saints, Manning would have faced a lesser opponent and might have another Super Bowl ring. It’s not a sure thing, but definitely possible.Great Scott!.@ColinCowherd examines how different the football landscape would be if Drew Brees was cleared by the Dolphins when Nick Saban was coach pic.twitter.com/wRk6GHRDBV— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 21, 2016 Advertisementlast_img read more