Parag Milk expects dip in revenue growth over next 3 years

first_imgMumbai, Jan 21 (PTI) Parag Milk Foods is expecting a dip in revenue growth to up to 15 per cent per annum over the next three years, and will focus on dairy FMCG products in this period.The companys revenue grew by 17 per cent in the last three years to reach Rs 1,730.7 crore in FY17 and is looking at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 13-15 per cent in the next three years, the dairy product firm said in an investor presentation here.The company is Indias largest private dairy with a milk processing capacity of 2 million litres per day.The future growth will come mainly from traditional products like liquid milk, ghee, paneer and curd, which are expected to grow by 15 per cent, while modern products like UHT milk, flavoured milk, cheese and whey powder may grow by 26 per cent by 2020, the company said.Parag Food plans to increase operation efficiencies by leveraging in-house technological, R&D capabilities and strengthening brands. It is looking at focusing on introducing healthy and nutritious products.India is expected to emerge as the largest dairy producer by 2020, Edelweiss Securities said in a report.The Union government implemented the Central Scheme National Dairy Plan – Phase 1 – during 2012-17 to improve productivity of dairy cooperatives through several input activities, it said.Investments by private players in the domestic dairy sector is also expected to further augment milk productivity.Going ahead, Indias milk production is expected to outperform global production and grow at similar 4.2 per cent CAGR going ahead to 185 million MT per annum/507mn litres per day and surpass EU to emerge the largest dairy producer by 2020. It is expected to improve in value terms at 15 per cent CAGR to Rs 9.4 trillion over FY16-20, the report said.advertisementCommenting on capex plans, the company said, it has raised Rs 150 crore last year and have already spent around Rs 90 crore for capex as laid out in its IPO objectives.It has left with Rs 60 crore, of which it will incur a capex of Rs 17.74 crore for expansion of the processing facility in Manchar plant in Maharashtra.The company is betting big on its 100 per cent vegetarian protein product as the country?s sports nutrition segment is estimated at Rs 1,500 crore and given the increase in number of health clubs and fitness centres. PTI AP AA RSYlast_img read more

Klopp’s new, improved Liverpool can punish Pep

first_imgGFX Guardiola KloppPress fast forward and the Spaniard’s preparation for Manchester City hosting the Merseysiders in the early kick off on Saturday will be all the more complex. The opposition have further augmented their core strength since the last time the sides scrimmaged in March, and despite over £158 million being spent on solidifying the rearguard at the Etihad, City’s defence still screams vulnerable in a blockbuster meeting such as this.Having failed to win either of his first two Premier League tests against Liverpool – losing 1-0 at Anfield before a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture – Guardiola will discern that the difficulty level in countering their kaleidoscopic approach has only increased.Mohamed Salah LiverpoolThe Reds have included a rapid Mohamed Salah, who has recorded the most shots on target in the division this season, to their already potent frontline.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, perched at the top of the completed dribbles standings, has traded Arsenal for Anfield. One of the foremost strikers in the top-flight and City old-boy Daniel Sturridge has to be content with a place on the bench alongside Dominic Solanke, the standout star of the Under-20 World Cup.Liverpool are in a position where Philippe Coutinho – their “gold dust” and chief orchestrator of the team’s play – has to earn a starting spot again after maneuvering for a failed switch to Barcelona.Sadio Mane, the league’s joint-top scorer, and Roberto Firmino, who is second for combined goals and assists, have both made a quick dart to establish themselves as the premier players in England this season.Liverpool celebrate vs WatfordIt is not just Liverpool’s predominantly attack-minded talent that will concern Guardiola. Emre Can is in a sweet spell of form as Juventus continue to understandably circle around him, while Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson have got into their stride after slow starts.One of the points the City boss picked up on when detailing Liverpool’s offensive might was that “they attack wide sometimes, but they especially like to attack from inside, through the middle.”Klopp’s men are no longer as reliant on their creation in central areas given the presence of Mane and Salah on the flanks as well as the forward-thinking of full-backs Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alberto Moreno.Joe Gomez, more defensively inclined, also showed his willingness to advance Liverpool’s attacking onus against Arsenal with a superb cross from the right for Firmino to head in.HD Sadio ManeSeveral of the club’s goals in all competitions this term have actually been engineered from wider spots: Mane’s opener against Watford came via the left after fine interplay with Moreno and Can, James Milner’s deflected effort at Hoffenheim also arrived from that side – to name just two that fit with the effort highlighted above against the Gunners.Liverpool have scored on the counter, they’ve used overlapping runs to great effect, the centre-backs have gone for the long pass over the top to feed the speed of Mane and Salah, they’ve profited at the far post, they’ve chipped, they’ve cut in…Klopp, who has never suffered defeat in the league against City, has fortified his full-throttle blueprint with greater variation, swiftness and fluidity.Of course, Liverpool too will have to provide answers to the artillery of their hosts and guard against their own shortcomings at the back.HD Jurgen Klopp mainBut these match-ups tend to show “the club’s best face” to steal Klopp parlance, and under him, the Reds have lost just one of their 22 league matches against a team that finished in the top seven of the competition last season. In this sequence, they are unbeaten away from home.Guardiola knows what to do to combat this authoritative side of Liverpool. “You have to reach a certain level,” he explained. “They have a specific way to attack you and you have to be in control.”How to implement the above, however, is the conundrum that will prove taxing for City to solve. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web Liverpool Jurgen Klopp has new, improved attacking aces up his sleeve to punish Pep Melissa Reddy Liverpool FC Correspondent Last updated 2 years ago 16:30 9/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Sadio Mane Liverpool Getty Images Liverpool Premier League Guardiola Jürgen Klopp Manchester City v Liverpool Manchester City Opinion The Reds’ swiftness, variation and intelligence in attack will pose several hard-to-answer questions for the City boss at the Etihad this weekend Eight months ago at City Football Academy’s top table, Pep Guardiola floated between appreciation and apprehension as he analysed Liverpool’s cannonry ahead of their New Year’s Eve meeting at Anfield.“It is so aggressive,” he noted, before adding a sort of self warning that “in three or four seconds they are attacking. When you play a Jurgen Klopp team, the tactics are so important. Maybe he is the best manager in the world at creating teams who attack the back four with so many players, from almost anywhere on the pitch.”Sevilla 7/2 to beat Liverpool Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing last_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer: It’s on Alexis & Lukaku to win starting spot

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Solskjaer: It’s on Alexis & Lukaku to win starting spotby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez must take it upon themselves to break into his starting line-up.Both players have struggled this season, with just ten goals between them in all competitions.Another United star, Paul Pogba, has returned to form under Solskjaer in his first two matches in charge. But the Norwegian says the improvement of his players is down to their own desire.”I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch. Paul has done it himself. The players have done the performances,” Solskjaer said ahead of United’s match against Bournemouth.”I’m here to help them, guide them on the path, and then it’s up to them to do it on the pitch.”I don’t agree I’ve done that with Paul, and I can do that with Romelu and Alexis. It’s up to them when they get a chance. That’s the name of the game when you’re a footballer. You’ve got to do it yourself.”Yes you want help from your manager and your team-mates. I give them some guidelines. There’s been loads of talk about freedom of expression, but that’s how I’ve always been as a manager.”You can’t tell all the players what to do. They are here for a reason – they are good players. It’s up to them to use their imagination, creativity and enjoy playing for this club, because that is the best time of your life. It’s not a bad time being a manager either, for a little while.” last_img read more

Former FIFA world champion Gorilla joins new team

first_imgNew signings tend to happen at the beginning of a season not the end, but perhaps the biggest signing of the competitive FIFA season has gone through days before the FIFA Global Series Play-offs as Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing has announced he has signed for Stark Esports.Gorilla has become the latest FIFA player to join Stark Esports, a consultant agency focused on gaming and esports based in Germany.This could be considered the biggest signing for the German agency yet, even though they already represent many professional FIFA players, including Michael “Megabit” Bittner, Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous, Benedikt “SaZz0r” Saltzer and Phillip “Eisvogel” Schermer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Gorilla became the face of FIFA esports in 2017 when he won the FIFA Interactive World Cup and took home $200,000. The same year, he was named the UK Esports Player of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards.It’s been a long time coming… Can’t wait to start my journey with STARK!— Spencer (@Huge_Gorilla) July 1, 2019After his first esports team – Unilad – entered administration, Gorilla joined FaZe Clan where he was soon joined by fellow FIFA pro Tassal ‘Faze Tass’ Rushan. However, with less than a season under his belt, Gorilla left the established esports organisation and has spent the majority of this season without a team.The Englishman has struggled during the current FIFA 19 Global Series, failing to win a single tournament this season, which is disappointing considering his high standards.Now, finally with the backing of an organisation again, he heads into the Xbox FIFA Global Series Xbox Play-offs with hopes of breaking into the top 16 and qualifying for the biggest tournament of the year –  the FIFA eWorld Cup.Currently sat in 26th with 1,323 points, the former world champion has a large mountain to climb but has shown in the past that he will perform when it matters most. And, judging from his statement on the signing, Gorilla is not lacking in motivation either.He said: “I am incredibly proud to be part of STARK and to continue my journey with them. Exciting projects are coming up! I will fight hard to achieve my goals – this starts in the upcoming weekend when I will compete at the Global Series Play-offs in Hamburg. All or nothing!”last_img read more

Dabo Swinney Has Brutally Honest Reaction To Clemson’s Win

first_img “This was a game that we were very fortunate to win, but we’re going to have games like this,” Swinney said.“I thought they outplayed us.”UNC nearly beat Clemson 🤭(via @CBSSportsHQ)— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) September 28, 2019It was a wild finish, with North Carolina head coach Mack Brown opting to go for two following the late touchdown.The decision was a strong one, though the play call was questionable, as the Tar Heels tried a triple option to the right side of the field. Clemson’s defense sniffed it out with ease.Clemson improved to 5-0 on the season with the win, while North Carolina dropped to 2-3 in Year 1 of the Mack Brown era. A closeup of Dabo Swinney.ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 29: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers reacts during the fourth quarter in the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)The No. 1 team in the country barely survived today’s game at North Carolina this afternoon, as Clemson topped the Tar Heels by one point.Clemson held on against North Carolina, 21-20, when the Tar Heels’ game-winning two-point conversion came up short.The Tigers struggled on offense for much of the game, with the Tar Heels having success getting to quarterback Trevor Lawrence.Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was brutally honest with his assessment of the game following the win.last_img read more

Bahri Earns USCG QUALSHIP 21 Label

first_imgzoom The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has announced the enrollment of its vessels in the United States Coast Guard’s QUALSHIP 21 program.Less than 10% of the ships that call at US ports meet QUALSHIP 21 eligibility requirements.Valid for three years, the QUALSHIP 21 enrollment provides Bahri with benefits which include limited oversight when calling at US ports – translating to less delays and faster clearance and delivery of goods for clients – as well as enhanced market credibility from being an approved operator.“Most of the privileges the QUALSHIP certification confers on Bahri – such as being subject to fewer and less stringent controls at US ports and reduced likelihood of unannounced inspections – directly benefit our customers, who can look forward to receiving their cargo safe and early,” said Ibrahim Al Omar, CEO of Bahri.Bahri currently owns 83 vessels including 36 Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), 36 chemical/product tankers, 6 multipurpose vessels and 5 dry-bulk carriers, with additional 10 VLCCs on order.last_img read more

Pacific Basin to Add Supramax Trio

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Pacific Basin Hong Kong-based dry bulk shipping company Pacific Basin Shipping Limited is to expand its fleet with a further three secondhand Supramax vessels.As informed, the company recently committed to buying for cash three ships from undisclosed shipowners.The trio is scheduled for delivery over the next three months, Pacific Basin said in Q1 2019 trading update.During the first quarter of 2018, the shipping company also took delivery of two secondhand vessels – one Handysize and one Supramax. What is more, Pacific Basin accepted delivery of a Supramax bought in late 2018 and completed the sale of an older, small Handysize bulker.These acquisitions will increase the company’s owned fleet to 115 units by July. Including chartered ships, Pacific Basin operated an average of 220 ships overall during the first quarter of this year.From January to March this year, the company generated average Handysize and Supramax daily time-charter equivalent (TCE) earnings of USD 9,080 and USD 10,400 per day net, representing a 3% and 8% reduction compared to the same period in 2018.As of April 9, Pacific Basin has secured 36% of its 29,410 contracted Handysize revenue days at around USD 9,360 per day net and 58% of its 14,020 contracted Supramax revenue days at around USD 10,690 per day net for the remaining three quarters of 2019.As explained, the dry bulk freight market in 2019 has started weaker than the last two years due to trade war uncertainty and Chinese import policies. This led to weak spot market rates in the first quarter overall.However, the company’s Handysize and Supramax markets improved significantly during the second half of the quarter with marked increases of 58% in the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) and 38% in the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI).In contrast, the larger Capesize vessel segment has seen little recovery and continued to weaken throughout the first quarter.Referring to the outlook for 2019 which has been revised downwards due to the softening market, Pacific Basin said that a resolution to the trade conflict between the US and China would provide “a welcome boost to the market”.The company added that IMO 2020 sulphur preparations should lead to increased supply disruptions in H2, which could compound dry bulk market strength that typically builds in Q3 and Q4.“Despite short term volatility and in view of the combination of continued healthy growth in minor bulk demand and reducing Handysize and Supramax fleet growth, we continue to believe that the longer term fundamentals for our vessel segments are positive,” Pacific Basin concluded.last_img read more

Infrastructure Program Invests in Little Narrows Water System

first_imgHouseholds around Little Narrows will soon be connected to the municipal water system thanks to funding through the Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. Federal and provincial funding of more than $1.4 million was announced today, Oct. 5, by the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia. The Municipality of the County of Victoria will fund an additional $705,798 towards the balance of the project costs. The project includes the design and construction of a 15-kilometre extension of the Little Narrows Water System. This project will provide drinking water to 100 households in the communities of Estmere, Ottawa Brook, Jamesville, Hazeldale and McKinnons Harbour. “Our government is committed to helping build safer communities and enhancing infrastructure,” said Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “This project is another example of the federal, provincial and municipal governments working in partnership to make improvements in our communities.” “The federal government is getting things done for the people of Little Narrows,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Our investment of more than $700,000 will mean improved drinking water for an additional 100 families in the Little Narrows area.” The infrastructure program supports sustainable community-infrastructure improvements, such as water, wastewater and solid-waste management. “Today’s announcement is good news for these residents,” said Wayne Budge, warden of the Municipality of the County of Victoria. “Partnering with the federal and provincial governments makes it possible to develop a higher quality of municipal services for our community.” Today’s investment is part of the $133-million, six-year Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, which is administered by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities are members of the program management committee.last_img read more

Police investigators actions under the spotlight at Dennis Oland murder trial

first_imgSAINT JOHN, N.B. — The activities of police officers at the Richard Oland murder scene will be under close scrutiny as his son’s retrial moves into its second week, resuming Tuesday.Dennis Oland’s defence lawyers describe the conduct of the murder investigation by the Saint John Police Force as “inadequate” and they have made it clear police activities will be a focal point of the defence strategy.Failure to properly preserve the crime scene and a rush to judgement in deciding Dennis Oland, a financial planner, was the one and only suspect in the killing are among the chief issues.“In this case, an issue will be the manner in which the Saint John police force handled the investigation of the homicide and their conduct in performing that crucial police function,” defence lawyer Alan Gold told the court last week.“Dennis was the last known person to see Richard Oland alive but to the police, that word ‘known’ evaporated very quickly.”Within hours of Richard Oland’s body being discovered on July 7, 2011, Dennis was identified by police as their prime suspect.Already two police officers have told the court about the numerous officers who visited the murder scene. About 20 police officers made their way to Oland’s uptown Saint John office on the day his beaten body was discovered on the floor by his desk.Gold suggested during cross examination of Const. Duane Squires it was like a sightseeing tour. In addition to the steady stream of police officers, there were also paramedics, the coroner and funeral home workers who assisted with removal of the body.The defence is raising questions about objects that may have been moved at the crime scene, the lack of attention paid to a possible back door escape route and the failure to protect the scene from contamination.Gold named a number of the officers who visited the bloody scene that day, noting their various ranks. They included Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey, whose attendance at the crime scene raised questions during Oland’s first trial.Another officer said McCloskey suggested he not tell the court about McCloskey’s visits to the murder scene.This was supposed to be the subject of a hearing before the New Brunswick Police Commission, but McCloskey retired before it could be held. The commission only investigates officers on active duty.In the coming days, there will be questions about police use of a bathroom at the crime scene before it was forensically tested.Squires said he was relatively new to police work and homicide investigations in 2011. He said he would do things differently today in terms of protecting such a scene.Oland, 50, was charged in 2013 with the second-degree murder of his father, a multi-millionaire businessman and member of the prominent Maritime beer-brewing family. Oland was found guilty after a 2015 jury trial, but the conviction was set aside on appeal and a new trial ordered.Even before testimony began at the retrial, the conduct of the Saint John police was called into question after it was learned an officer accessed an internal police database to search the background of prospective jurors. This was in violation of a 2012 directive from the Supreme Court of Canada and resulted in a mistrial and dismissal of the jury.The Oland trial now is being heard before judge alone.The New Brunswick Police Commission says it will investigate police involvement in the mistrial, but not until the current trial is over.Chris Morris, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Social media and elections

first_img“Is this India’s first social media election?” asked BBC on its website in April 2014, during India’s last general elections. That time the country had just 20 crore (200 million) people with access to the internet. Such was the engagement of the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on social media platforms that everybody feted him as a moderniser and a powerful campaigner who could only be compared to Barack Obama. The former president of the United States of America was considered as the most social-media friendly candidate who reaped the benefit of interacting on these platforms. India is once again in the process of its general elections. In the last five years, the novelty of social media has not wavered. Rather, it has become a natural part of election campaigns with all political parties and leaders marking their presence. Also Read – A special kind of bondIndia now has 560 million people with access to the internet. It is also the largest market for Facebook and WhatsApp in the world, while Twitter treats the country as one of its crucial and expanding markets. News reports indicate huge advertising budgets being earmarked by political parties for social media.But there are cautions this time. The threat of fake news looms large. Starting from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to the respective companies, there is a seemingly deliberate effort to curb misuse of these platforms. But, the social media platforms have also been used by civil society and advocacy groups for disseminating development news. Also Read – Insider threat managementA casual Google search with the keywords “social media”, “impact” and “development news” shows up close to 215 million results. It is not humanly possible to verify all the results, but it gives a peep into how big the virtual world is and how vigorously people are sharing content. We are certainly making a transition from a “searching” to a “dissemination” mode in the virtual world. And the social media has emerged as the clear driver of this transition. This is particularly true for development news. The pertinent question is whether development news influence voters this election season? This question takes credence because polarisation on communal lines, through social media, is turning out to be effective. To change the narrative of elections, can social media be effective in replacing this with development news? Or, to simply put, can a development agenda be brought into focus using social media? The social media is unique as it is highly informal, yet, is the most organised congregation of people. Users are immediately organised based on their choices, trends they are following, and also by their geographical locations. This is what is fuelling the rise of social media as a powerful platform for dissemination as well as the organisation of opinion around social issues. Whether it is about a small movement to save a patch of forest in Peru or a jalsamadhi campaign against a big dam project in a remote district in India, social media is not only the first place to break news but is also a powerful platform to build a campaign. For a journalist like me, it has become almost a necessity to refer to Facebook as frequently as to television channels that supposedly break news first! It is the new common pool resource that is being aggressively pursued. The flipside The social media has its share of problems that may impact the very cause it is promoting. First, it has emerged as the biggest strategic decision that has yielded results in terms of achieving fast dissemination and seeking immediate reactions for a social cause. This means that even before an issue emerges in its entirety, it is open for public opinions. Second, many campaigns around development issues are exclusively targeted at social media. There may be logical reasons for this but the strategy seems to be dominantly focused on certain sections of the society that utilise it. The threat is that by default, social media has become a polarising factor, even though most debates are not well-informed. It has become a free space to throw personal biases and park opinions without any restraint. Therefore, any cause disseminated on social media immediately polarises the debate. This is particularly true for campaigns having political overtones. Social media played a decisive role in generating the perception that the government is “anti-farmer” or “pro-business”. But in the passionate debates that colonised the virtual world, the debate simply got polarised into “pro and anti-government rhetoric”. Such situations have forced political parties to deploy substantial resources to intervene in such debates. The third threat is from the social media itself: Will it disconnect the people and the groups from those self-mandated to fight the battle on their behalf? If there is a disconnect, then the strategic leadership of a campaign shifts to the latter. This is not an ideal situation for public advocacy where the subject concerned doesn’t get active participation. Development campaigns in India involve people who are very poor and the least advantaged in terms of access to communication. A mobile phone might have become a bigger necessity than a toilet in rural areas, but this doesn’t mean that the instrument is being used to directly involve them in campaigns that talk about them. Researchers are currently studying the impact of social media on social causes. Though the trends are positive in terms of garnering attention for such causes, we are not sure whether it has impacted positively on the outcome of the campaigns. In the meantime, we should continue to “reset” the virtual world but with caution. (The author is Managing Editor, Down To Earth and writes on rural affairs and development matters. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Lawsuits demanding the PGE pay for damages from wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO — Lon Walker blames Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for starting a wildfire that killed his wife Ellen and destroyed their home near the California city of Paradise.Butte County cites PG&E for the same Nov. 8 fire that destroyed parks, schools and myriad other public property and amenities. And State Farm insurance company also blames the utility for the fire that compelled it to pay millions of dollars to policyholders who lost homes and businesses in the blaze.They are among the people, companies, cities and counties that have filed roughly 1,000 lawsuits since late 2017 demanding PG&E pay for damages caused by wildfires.PG&E lawyers have filed denials of responsibility in the courts, but when the company sought bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, it cited at least $30 billion in potential liability from those and other lawsuits.State investigators have yet to determine the cause of the Nov. 8 fire that killed 86 people and destroyed 15,000 homes in the Paradise area, but PG&E equipment is suspected in the most destructive wildfire in the U.S. in at least a century. Some $8.4 billion in insurance claims have been filed involving that fire.State investigators blame PG&E equipment for 17 major fires since late 2017. Under California law, utilities are required to pay for wildfire damage caused by their equipment even if the companies weren’t negligent.Those fires killed a combined 18 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses.State investigators recently said PG&E was not responsible for a 2017 fire in Northern California wine country that killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes. Lawyers for dozens of plaintiffs in lawsuits blaming the utility for that blaze say they will challenge that finding.Plaintiffs in lawsuits involving fires range from Oroville rancher David Martin’s $3,000 small claims complaint to insurance companies’ demands for billions of dollars in reimbursements for payments to policyholders.Many of the lawsuits seek to bridge the gap between what insurance companies paid out for destroyed homes and what policyholders argue the houses were actually worth in the region’s pricey real estate market.David Rabbit, chairman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, said an estimated 70 per cent of policyholders were “underinsured,” meaning their insurance did not cover the full cost of replacing their property. He said that leaves them struggling to rebuild what they lost.Jeffrey Hammond’s family home in Napa County was destroyed in a 2017 fire that state investigators say started when an oak tree broke and fell onto a PG&E power line.Hammond, 76, said he believes the house could have sold for $500,000 but his insurance company paid him only $100,000, which he said was the property’s most-recent assessed value. He sued PG&E hoping to recoup the additional $400,000. The utility’s bankruptcy filing made him pessimistic about his chances of collecting.“I’m 76, going on 77,” he said. “And this will take years to sort out.”PG&E said the bankruptcy will allow for an “orderly, fair and expeditious resolution” of wildfire claims.“Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted by the devastating Northern California wildfires,” interim CEO John R. Simon said in a statement.PG&E, which is publicly traded, was already facing a staggering number of lawsuits before the Nov. 8 fire in Paradise.So many lawsuits, in fact, that California’s chief justice ordered most of the legal actions consolidated and handled by a single San Francisco judge, who has devised a boilerplate lawsuit form — complete with check boxes on15 separate wildfires for future plaintiffs to fill out and file.Richard Bridgford and his Newport Beach law firm, along with two other law firms, represents Walker and about 1,500 other wildfire victims suing PG&E for wrongful death, medical costs, property loss and other claims.“PG&E is maintaining a corporate culture of placing profits over people,” Bridgford said.The counties of Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Yuba, and the cities of Santa Rosa and Paradise, along with other local governments are also suing the utility, seeking to recoup the cost of response and cleanup and claiming a loss in tax revenue in addition to property losses.“The Wine Country Fires started when electrical infrastructure owned, operated and maintained by PG&E came into contact with vegetation,” says a lawsuit filed by Sonoma County. “PG&E was obligated to have inspected and maintained but failed to do so in a manner that would have prevented or mitigated the effects of such contact.”State Farm said in its lawsuit that PG&E was “failing to keep the power lines, wires, and any and all associated equipment in a safe condition at all times to prevent fires.”State Farm and several major insurance carriers are seeking to be reimbursed for the payouts they made to wildfire victims.California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said insurance companies received a combined $14.8 billion in claims from policyholders for the fires that ravaged California in November.Lara called the insurance companies’ financial exposure to the wildfires “massive,” but said he’s confident the industry has the ability to pay all the claims. Whether the companies can pass that expense on to PG&E remains to be seen, he said.“The outcome is still undecided on who is responsible for that fire, but we know insurers have the money they need to make the claims whole,” Lara said. “Regardless of who’s at fault, we are confident insurers have the money.”Paul Elias, The Associated Press read more

FICOSA to Inaugurate New Automotive Facility in Morocco

Rabat – FICOSA automotive has announced, a new production site in Sale, Morocco, set to open on Tuesday.The first of its kind in Africa, the plant will be constructed in the Sale Technopolis Free Zone, with an overall investment of MAD 30 million and plans to employ 800 people by 2020.The Spanish giant signed the official agreement with Moroccan government officials on September 4, 2017. By establishing this new facility in Morocco, the company will strengthen its position on the region, expand its geographic operations, and meet the demands of its main client, Peugeot Citroën Automotive (PSAM).The plant will produce mirror systems, liquid tanks, cameras, and cable harnesses destined for Peugeot’s Kenitra Factory.FICOSA is a major producer of vision and safety elements for high-tech components, employing for more than 9300 technicians spread over 20 countries around the world.The company was absorbed by Panasonic in July 2017, when the Japanese multinational corporation acquired a 20 percent stake, adding to the 49 percent it had held since March 2017. read more

Security Council encouraged by positive moves in Ugandan peace process

13 November 2007Welcoming recent positive steps in the peace process between the Ugandan Government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Security Council today called on all sides to maximize the opportunity to make further progress and to improve the living conditions of the people of northern Uganda. In a press statement read out by Ambassador Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, the 15-member body said it was encouraged by recent progress and the resulting improved humanitarian and security conditions.“Security Council members reiterated their support for a negotiated settlement and their hope for an expeditious conclusion to the peace process,” according to the statement, which followed a briefing to the Council by Joaquim Chissano, the former Mozambican president and now the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the peace process.The Ugandan Government and the LRA, which have been fighting since the mid-1980s, signed a ceasefire last year, leading to hopes of a comprehensive peace accord to formally end the conflict. But disputes between the two sides had dampened hopes and many LRA members have been hiding out in southern Sudan or the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).Earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement welcoming the recent official visit of a LRA delegation to Kampala, the Ugandan capital, which has led to further consultations between the Government and the rebels.Mr. Natalegawa said Council members reiterated their call on the LRA to immediately release all women, children and other non-combatants. The group has become notorious for abducting as many as 25,000 children and using them as fighters and porters. The children were often subject to extreme violence shortly after abduction, with many girls allocated to officers in a form of institutional rape.The Council also stressed today that anyone responsible for serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law must be brought to justice.Speaking to reporters after his briefing, Mr. Chissano noted recent agreements between the two sides on various issues, including one on principles of accountability and reconciliation.He also underlined the importance of both the Government and the LRA consulting the local population, including the victims of atrocities during the long conflict, on moving forward in the peace process to ensure that there is broad-based community support.They are now working towards an agreement “that takes into consideration the requirements for an alternative justice, alternative to the ICC,” Mr. Chissano said, referring to the indictments issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague of five senior LRA members.“This is a complicated issue, delicate but not impossible. The lawyers of the country are keen, studying the ways of bringing new legislation which would take into consideration some cultural aspects of the problem and some cultural methods of bringing solution or making justice after commitment of grave crimes, as seen by the clans and the tribes in the country.“The challenge is to blend this with the modern and ordinary type of judiciary systems. And, more than that, [the challenge] is to blend them with the international standards.”Reconciliation remains the key to preventing violence in the future and to building national unity, Mr. Chissano said, noting that some people in the international community have raised concerns about a route to justice that does not include the ICC.“Some will perceive this as lack of punishment and they will say that a culture of impunity is being installed, while for the Ugandans there will be punishment enough, according to their perceptions, according to their culture. So it’s delicate. It’s a challenge.” read more

UN launches AsiaPacific mechanism for monitoring droughts

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today launched a cooperative mechanism that will provide drought monitoring and early warning capabilities for the region’s countries.Through the mechanism, countries have committed to providing satellite services for general drought monitoring, higher resolution monitoring for high-risk areas, and early warning of drought events. This will give governments and relevant stakeholders more lead time, so they might act to prevent drought hazards from becoming major disasters.In addition, “the mechanism will form one major tool to provide information links and activate provisions of space-based products, soon after a major disaster strikes,” said Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of ESCAP.The mechanism was put into service at the conclusion of a three-day meeting in Nanjing, China, attended by more than 50 officials from 15 countries, as well as five international organizations, and with the cooperation of China, India, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.Through a statement read out on her behalf by Zengpei Xuan, ESCAP’s Director of the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, Ms. Heyzer said the mechanism will also provide a one-stop information portal. It will enable states to draw on technical services, as well as technical support for the social and economic aspects of disaster risk-reduction.ESCAP has also begun exploring how the modalities established for the drought mechanism can be extended to other disaster types, starting with floods.Of all the people in the world that were killed by disasters in 2008, more than 96 per cent were from the Asia-Pacific. For the past 30 years, droughts were second only to floods in terms of their devastation worldwide – affecting 1.3 billion people and causing $53 billion in losses. 16 September 2010The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today launched a cooperative mechanism that will provide drought monitoring and early warning capabilities for the region’s countries. read more

Oil pulls back from 5week high on lingering Europe worry US supplies

Oil pulls back from 5-week high on lingering Europe worry, US supplies; pump price drops AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Mar 27, 2013 6:38 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil rose near the end of trading Wednesday, and has now gone up more than $4 in less than a week.Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery gained 24 cents to close at a five-week high of $96.68 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has gained $4.13, or 4.4 per cent, in the last four sessions.The increase hasn’t yet shown up at the gas pump. The average price for a gallon of gas fell a penny to $3.65 a gallon. It’s down 5 cents over the past week, and is 25 cents lower than at this time last year.Oil’s gains have been driven by strong U.S. economic data. On Thursday, the market gets the final reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product and the latest weekly reading on claims for unemployment benefits.Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 33 cents to US$109.69 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:— Wholesale gasoline rose less than a penny to US$3.12 a gallon (3.79 litres).— Heating oil rose 4 cents to US$3.04 a gallon (3.79 litres).— Natural gas advanced by 8 cents to $4.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE)___Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report. read more

Carl Icahn tells Apple to boost stock buybacks to 150 billion more

by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted Oct 1, 2013 12:11 pm MDT Carl Icahn tells Apple to boost stock buybacks to $150 billion, more than doubling commitment AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email SAN FRANCISCO – Activist investor Carl Icahn is pressuring Apple to spend $150 billion buying back its own stock, a target that would more than double the amount that the company’s board authorized in a previous attempt to placate frustrated shareholders.Icahn took to the Internet and the TV airwaves Tuesday to make it clear that he believes Apple Inc. isn’t doing nearly enough to boost its stock price, which has fallen by 30 per cent from its peak in September 2012. The slump has turned Apple’s stock into a bargain, Icahn said on the financial news channel CNBC, making it a “no-brainer” for the maker of the iPhone and iPad to pour more money into its shares.The Apple board pledged in April to spend $60 billion buying back its stock through the end of 2015. About $18 billion of that commitment had been exhausted through June.Icahn went public with his demands after making his case with Apple CEO Tim Cook in a Monday dinner hosted at his New York apartment. The face-to-face conversation came seven weeks after Icahn, a billionaire who has built his fortune by investing in out-of-favour companies, disclosed that he had bought a significant stake in Apple and signalled he would be campaigning for changes.Monday’s three-hour meeting was “cordial,” according to the often-confrontational Icahn, although he said the mood got “testy” when Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, expressed misgivings about asking the board to reconsider how much the Cupertino, Calif., company should be spending on its own stock.“I said, ‘So what? The board is not God,’” Icahn said during an interview on the financial news channel CNBC. “The board should be listening to what their shareholders want.”Icahn said Apple agreed to get back in touch with him in three weeks.Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment.“I feel very strongly about this,” Icahn told CNBC. “I can’t promise you the stock will go up and I can’t promise you they are going to do the buyback, but I can promise you that I am not going away until they hear a lot more from me concerning this.”Icahn, 77, didn’t say what he will do if Apple rejects his ideas. In past investments, Icahn has spearheaded shareholder rebellions aimed at ousting corporate boards who spurn him. Icahn told CNBC that he believes Apple’s board is smart and praised Cook for the job he has done since he succeeded company co-founder Steve Jobs as CEO two years ago.Icahn believes the company’s stock will eventually soar again and cited consumer loyalty to Apple’s brand. He considers Apple’s shares currently as cheap as Netflix Inc.’s stock when he acquired a nearly 10 per cent stake in the Internet video subscription last year for an average price of about $58 per share. Netflix’s stock is now trading above $320, reaping Icahn a gain of about $1.5 billion.Investors are evidently hoping that Icahn’s crusade will prod Apple to do something to lift its stock. The company’s shares climbed $11.21, or 2.4 per cent, to close at $487.96 Tuesday. The stock has gained 4 per cent since Icahn got involved.Icahn told CNBC Tuesday that his fund has invested about $2 billion in Apple so far, but he didn’t reveal how many shares he owns. A $2 billion investment in Apple currently represents about 0.5 per cent of the company’s market value of about $444 billion.The public critiques by Icahn threaten to compound Apple’s headaches. The company is trying to regain some of the market share that it has lost in the mobile computing market during the past year to less expensive smartphones and tablet computers running Google Inc.’s free Android software.The tougher competition has slowed Apple’s growth and decreased the average prices for its iPhones and iPads, trimming the company’s profit margins.Apple is hoping to bounce back with the recent release of two more iPhones, a high-end model called the 5S and slightly less expensive device called the 5C. Apple said it sold more than 9 million of the new iPhones during their first weekend on the market last month, the fastest start yet for its marquee product line.Despite the downturn in its stock price, Apple remains the world’s most valuable company. Apple also has about $147 billion in cash, but the company isn’t relying on much of that money to buy back its stock. Instead, the company issued bonds to take advantage of low interest rates, a borrowing tactic that Icahn believes Apple should use again to raise even more money for stock buybacks. read more

Molson Coors hopes Olympic fridge in Sochi will boost beer brand back

Molson Coors hopes Olympic fridge in Sochi will boost beer brand back at home MONTREAL – Molson Coors can’t replicate the buzz from the Vancouver Winter Games, but the brewer hopes its red fridge in Sochi will do more than just quench the thirst of Canadian Olympic supporters.“It certainly will have benefit during the Olympics but the real benefit we are looking for is long-lasting benefit that comes from brand equity building,” Stewart Glendinning, CEO of Molson Coors Canada, said Thursday after reporting 2013 results.“It’s definitely having a great halo on Molson Canadian.”The bright red machines at Canada House allow those with a Canadian passport to open them for free beer and have been prominently featured in news reports, offering the brewer free advertising.Meanwhile, the official sponsor of the Canadian Olympic team has also challenged the loyalties of U.S. Olympic team sponsor AmBev, owner of Budweiser and Labatt, in a double-page colour newspaper ad. “Hey Bud, which side are you on,” says the tag line.Glendinning called the ad a tongue-in-cheek laugh at its competitor. But it masks a serious battle over Olympic sponsorship in Canada. The Canadian Olympic Committee has threatened to fight a campaign by Labatt Breweries it says is misleading Canadians by associating the Budweiser brand with the Olympics in Canada.In addition to duking it out over the Olympics, the two brewers continue to compete fiercely in Canada to win the loyalty of beer drinkers.While Molson Canadian increased both volume and market share last year, its flagship Coors Light brand underperformed in Canada.Glendinning attributed a third of the weaker performance to last year’s strength of Coors Light Ice T. The rest came from poor execution from advertising and a failure to convince enough shoppers to buy the product. He said the situation is being rectified, while its new Coors Banquet brand is exceeding expectations.“I think we’ve got the right recipe for success on Coors this year and certainly, if it works half as well as Molson Canadian has, we’ll be very happy,” he said in an interview.Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP, TSX:TPX.B) capped 2013 with adjusted profits dipping slightly in the fourth quarter to US$125.8 million or 68 cents per share. That compared with US$126.1 million or 69 cents per share a year earlier.Net income, including one-time items, was US$131.2 million or 71 cents per share, compared with US$60.1 million or 33 cents in the prior year. Net sales were down slightly to US$1.03 billion.Molson Coors was expected to earn 72 cents per share in adjusted profits on US$1.01 billion of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.For the full year, it earned US$565.3 million or $3.57 per share, while adjusted income increased 2.3 per cent to US$727.1 million or $3.95 per share, four cents short of estimates. Sales increased 7.4 per cent to US$4.2 billion.In Canada, pretax income decreased 14 per cent to US$86.9 million in the quarter, or by nine per cent in Canadian dollars. Despite the return of NHL hockey, the brewer said it was hurt by continued weak consumer demand and promotional challenges.“It’s not the result I wanted but I feel like we are focused on the right things and headed in the right direction,” Glendinning said, pointing to market share gains in above premium and value beer categories that have faced problems.The Denver- and Montreal-based company plans to invest $40 million in Canada this year as it seeks to cut costs to make the operations more competitive.Not all spending projects have been identified but Glendinning said the goal is to improve efficiencies by modernizing equipment and reducing energy expenses. He wouldn’t say if facilities will close or if the changes will result in large job losses.“It’s important that people understand that this is not about a hunt for heads — this is about a hunt for an organization that is more nimble, more cost competitive and is able to serve consumers in a way that doesn’t gouge them.”The brewer said the Canadian operations struggled last year in part due to challenging economic conditions and high unemployment in its key markets in Ontario and Quebec.Overall, Molson Coors said it is hiking its dividend by 16 per cent as it generates more cash and continues to pay down debt. The quarterly dividend will rise five cents to reach 37 cents per share on March 17, representing a payout ratio of 18.4 per cent of 2013 underlying EBITDA.The company said it is adopting a dividend payout ratio target of 18 to 22 per cent of prior-year pre-tax operating income to keep the dividend in a competitive range with other global beer companies.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Molson Coors shares gained $1.46 or 2.5 per cent to C$59.82 in Thursday afternoon trading. In New York, they were up 2.4 per cent at US$54.36.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 13, 2014 1:28 pm MDT read more

Enbridge Inc loss narrows as oil pipeline projects come online

by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 3, 2016 10:07 am MDT Last Updated Nov 3, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) reported a smaller third-quarter loss Thursday as it saw increased revenue from completed projects in its liquids pipeline division.Canada’s largest pipeline operator said it lost $103 million or 11 cents a share in the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $609 million or 72 cents per share in the same quarter last year.Revenue in the quarter totalled nearly $8.49 billion, up from $8.32 billion a year ago.The Calgary-based company said adjusted earnings for the quarter were $437 million, up from $399 million in the same quarter last year, as $4-billion worth of projects had come online including an expanded mainline system, Line 9B reversal and Southern Access Extension project.In the quarter, Enbridge announced a proposed $37-billion merger with Houston-based Spectra Energy that the company continues to push through the regulatory process with an expected closing in March 2017.The company also announced the sale of its South Prairie Region Assets in Saskatchewan for $1.08 billion as part of a plan to sell $2 billion in non-core assets in conjunction with the Spectra deal.In early August, Enbridge agreed to a US$1.5-billion deal to buy an equity interest in the Bakken Pipeline System, which includes the Dakota Access Pipeline that is the focus of high-profile protests in North Dakota. Enbridge Inc. loss narrows as oil pipeline projects come online read more

UN health agency sees alarming trend as efforts lag in eliminating measles

The number of deaths from measles rose from an estimated 122,000 in 2012 to 145,700 in 2013, according to new data published in the WHO Weekly Epidemiological Report and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “Poor progress in increasing measles vaccination coverage has resulted in large outbreaks of this highly contagious disease, throwing the 2015 elimination targets off-track,” said Dr Peter Strebel from the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals.“Countries urgently need to prioritize maintaining and improving immunization coverage. Failure to reverse this alarming trend could jeopardize the momentum generated by a decade of achievements in reducing measles mortality,” Dr. Strebel said.In developing countries, it costs around $1 to vaccinate a child against the disease, making the measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health. During 2013, 205 million children were immunized against measles through large-scale campaigns in 34 countries, including Cambodia, Cape Verde, Ghana, Jordan, Senegal, and Sudan.While the increase in the disease in 2013 was in large part due to outbreaks in China, the DRC and Nigeria, sizeable outbreaks were also reported in other parts of the world, WHO said.Progress is stalled in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, where weak health systems, conflict and population displacement have hampered vaccination efforts. Meanwhile, the European region has seen measles re-emerge with outbreaks in a number of countries including Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine.More than 60 per cent of the estimated 21.5 million children who were not vaccinated against measles at 9 months of age last year came from six countries: India (6.4 million); Nigeria (2.7 million); Pakistan (1.7 million); Ethiopia (1.1 million); Indonesia (0.7 million); and the Democratic Republic of Congo (0.7 million).The vast majority of deaths from measles occur in developing countries and in 2013 over 70 per cent of estimated global measles deaths occurred in the six countries listed above.The fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 4) aims to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Recognizing the potential of measles vaccination to reduce child mortality, and given that measles vaccination coverage can be considered a marker of access to child health services, routine measles vaccination coverage has been selected as an indicator of progress towards achieving that target. According to WHO’s fact sheet on measles, the disease’s outbreaks can be particularly deadly in countries experiencing or recovering from a natural disaster or conflict. Damage to health infrastructure and health services interrupts routine immunization, and overcrowding in residential camps greatly increases the risk of infection.WHO said that impressive gains had been made towards measles elimination in recent years and an estimated 15.6 million deaths were prevented through vaccination during 2000-2013 but the huge reductions in mortality are tapering off.Steve Cochi, Senior Advisor for the CDC’s Global Immunization Division concurs that the resurgence of measles, especially in Africa, is in large part due to a marked decrease in financial support during the global recession. “This funding gap is only recently being closed and the world’s children cannot afford yet another setback in progress,” Mr. Cochi says.Seven countries are planning to roll out mass vaccination campaigns in November 2014: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Mali, Mauritania and Yemen. The DRC started a one-year rolling campaign in 2013 that finished in August 2014.Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks. However, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia. read more