zoom Liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company Golar LNG Limited reported today a 3Q operating loss of USD 24.2 million as compared to USD 43.4 million in 2Q.In line with the company’s expectations, 3Q reported an improvement in vessel utilisation, albeit from a very low level in 2Q.Although headline charter rates remained relatively constant across the quarters, the increase in utilisation from 33% in 2Q to 43% in 3Q together with improved round trip economics resulted in an increase in time charter revenues from USD 16.9 million in 2Q to USD 24.3 million in 3Q. With the exception of the Golar Penguin, all of the carriers recorded utilisation at or above prior quarter levels.According to Golar, Middle East demand has been the main driver of LNG carrier spot fixtures. Fixing activity in the Middle East and Atlantic regions has been higher than in the Pacific.Both Egypt and Jordan have recently concluded tenders to buy 56 and 19 cargoes respectively through to the end of 2016. Activity levels in 4Q have continued to improve, particularly for European reloads heading into the new terminals in the Middle East, and in the Atlantic in general.On November 25, Golar took delivery of its 7th FSRU, the newbuild Golar Tundra. Golar Tundra will shortly proceed to Keppel where the vessel will undergo some minor modifications required to make the FSRU compatible with receiving facilities currently being constructed in the port of Tema, Ghana.Golar received an underwritten financing commitment for the Golar Tundra and following its delivery a total of USD 205 million was drawn down. Golar Tundra is to commence operations in 2Q 2016 inside the port of Tema under a five-year FSRU contract.“The company is progressing with the financing for FLNG number 2. Several banks have given indications and the company expects to have a committed facility in place before the end of Q1,” Golar added.The cash balance at the end of 3Q was USD 222.8 million. Financing of the Golar Tundra and repayment by Golar Partners of the USD 100 million Eskimo vendor loan have added USD 150 million to liquidity since September 30.The company has decided and agreed to delay the effective dates for the Gandria and Gimi conversion projects until employment contracts for these assets are further advanced.In addition, Golar said that it has agreed to the repossession of Salju LNG tanker from P.T. Equinox based on a vessel valuation of USD 125 million which is in line with current market valuations.“This will be satisfied by extinguishing a loan to the vessel owning company and therefore no cash will actually be paid. As the vessel valuation is lower than the USD 138.6 million loan and working capital advances receivable by Golar from P.T. Equinox and the equity injected by P.T. Equinox has been exhausted, a non-cash impairment of USD 15 million (net of associated repossession costs) has been recognised,” the company explained.With respect to market, the company said that the LNG carrier spot market is now showing the first real signs of recovery on the back of new production capacity starting up and the very welcome acceptance by the market of the Cool Pool, adding that the market for FSRU’s has clearly entered into a new phase.“Whereas, previously, potential new FSRU projects were frustrated by the inability to secure LNG supply, we now find holders of uncontracted LNG supply motivated to accelerate FSRU projects in an effort to reduce their exposure. Based upon current customer inquiries the Company is very confident that the available uncontracted FSRU capacity will be absorbed shortly,” the company anticipates.The company said that it was considering the release of some of the equity currently tied up in shipping activities and using this to grow the company’s FLNG activities.“This can include leveraging unencumbered assets, re-leveraging existing debt facilities as well as being open to strategic transactions within the shipping segment,” Golar said.“The company expects operating earnings to improve in the coming quarters, driven by an improved shipping market and Golar Tundra commencing operations in 2Q 2016. The Board also expects positive outcomes from the ongoing contract discussions in the FLNG business within the next six months and see significant opportunities to build a solid long term contract backlog and cashflow from this business,” the company concluded.
zoomImage Courtesy: Pacific Basin Hong Kong-based dry bulk shipping company Pacific Basin Shipping has closed a USD 40 million seven-year term loan facility with ship finance institute Danish Ship Finance A/S.As explained, the facility is an extension of the company’s existing term loan with Danish Ship Finance A/S and is secured by the same 19 vessels currently secured under the original financing.Pacific Basin said that borrowings under the new facility will carry an interest cost of Libor plus 1.5%, extend the company’s overall amortization profile and enhance its financial flexibility.“We are very pleased with the terms of this additional new tranche to our existing term loan facility which further consolidates our funding flexibility with access to long-term committed funding for the next seven years at an attractive cost which contributes to our competitive vessel P&L breakeven levels,” Peter Schulz, CFO of Pacific Basin, commented.Pacific Basin currently operates around 210 dry bulk ships of which 111 are owned and the rest are chartered.
CALGARY – A leadership candidate for Alberta’s new conservative party says he hopes organizers of the Calgary Pride parade will reconsider and allow the party to participate.Brian Jean, who was Opposition leader in the legislature, said Monday he is disappointed with a decision by organizers on the weekend to reject the United Conservative Party’s request to join the parade. They said the party doesn’t have a clear policy stance on issues such as sexual diversity.Jean said he had asked to march in the parade and has always championed diversity and tolerance.“I have many family members who are gay and I know the community. Frankly I’m just disappointed,” Jean said after outlining his education platform as part of the leadership race.“Possibly they’ll have a change of heart and hopefully they will. This is all about uniting people and putting aside differences and divisiveness.”Jean’s campaign organizers said that while plans are not firm, he is aiming to attend as a spectator.Organizers have invited party members to take a workshop on topics such as sexual health and gender diversity. Calgary Pride president Jason Kingsley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The party says interim leader Nathan Cooper will attend the parade as a spectator and all members of caucus have been invited to join him.“While we are disappointed to not be participating in this year’s parade, we respect the organizing committee’s decision and look forward to showing our support for Calgary’s LGBTQ community as spectators,” said caucus spokeswoman Samantha Johnston in an email.“Plans to attend a course offered by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre are in motion and final scheduling is being confirmed.”Jason Kenney, former federal cabinet minister and leadership candidate for the new party, does not plan to attend.“Mr. Kenney is always happy to attend events to which he is invited,” said campaign spokeswoman Annie Dormuth in a statement. “We have not received an invitation to this event.“On Sept. 3rd, (Kenney) is committed to attending and speaking at several large multicultural community events to which he has been invited.”Fellow leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer said he will come watch the parade with his family and other supporters.“It’s important that all Albertans know that their leaders are there and that they’re supportive of different communities across Alberta,” said Schweitzer, who has made social progressive issues a key plank in his platform.“Obviously we have a lot of work to do to build trust with the LGBTQ community.”Jeff Callaway, who is also running to lead the party, said he had originally planned to march in the parade, but will probably go as a spectator.“Treating people fairly and respectfully is just part of the foundation of our party, as it should be for any political party,” said Callaway.The UCP was created last month after members of the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties voted overwhelmingly to join forces. A new leader is to be picked in October. That’s to be followed by a founding convention.Both the PCs and Wildrose had strained relationships with the LGBTQ community.The Wildrose party lost the 2012 general election in part due to its refusal in the campaign’s final days to sanction a candidate who once warned gays to repent or face eternity in hell’s “lake of fire.”The PCs faced a backlash in government over their handling of gay-straight alliances before passing legislation acceptable to all sides in early 2015.By law, students in any school can now form gay-straight alliances if they wish. The alliances are peer support networks designed to help young people better understand each other and to help LGBTQ students feel welcome.Kenney has been criticized for urging that parents, in some circumstances, be told if their children attend a gay-straight alliance. Critics say that could out kids before they are ready and put them at risk of family estrangement or worse.— By Dean Bennett in Edmonton
BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s president has criticized the European Union and the West for allegedly failing to prevent Kosovo from triggering a trade war as tensions soar between the wartime foes.Aleksandar Vucic’s claims on Thursday came a day after Kosovo’s government slapped a 100-per cent import tax on all goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia.Vucic says the West has always blamed “both sides” for tensions in Kosovo, “while in fact they support only one, and that is not Serbia.”After a bloody war in 1999, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, something that Serbia and its ally Russia do not recognize while the U.S. and most Western countries do.The EU has told the two sides they must normalize relations as a precondition to entering the bloc.The Associated Press
The Beliatta Pradeshiya Sabha United National Party (UNP) member Kapila Amarakoon was injured in a shooting incident.Amarakoon was admitted to hospital with gun shot injuries. Investigations are underway. (Colombo Gazette)
“We have very much the future peace and prosperity of Afghanistan at heart and I want to make sure that all UN people are doing their very best to help and support the people of Afghanistan,” she said on her arrival.Ms. Fréchette was briefed on the latest developments in the country by the UN team as well as the Commander of the International Security Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), Hakim Zorlu. In addition, she held talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. According to a UN spokesman, the two discussed the country’s reconstruction needs and security concerns, as well as the Iraqi situation.In a subsequent meeting the Deputy Secretary-General and the Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs, Habibeh Sarabi, discussed recent advances made in women’s health and education. Ms. Fréchette also visited de-mining projects and a children’s centre in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, on Sunday a UN spokesman in Kabul announced the formation of a “Return Commission” to help refugees and internally displaced people go back to Afghanistan’s northern provinces. The announcement came in response to insecure conditions in those areas, where “violent acts, including extortion, stealing of crops and forcible recruitment, often affect the population as a whole rather than Pashtuns alone,” said Manoel de Almeida e Silva.Filippo Grandi, a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), hailed the Commission’s establishment, pointing out that all three main factions are represented on that body. “It is important because everybody has agreed to participate,” he said, while cautioning against unrealistic expectations. “Solutions will be long to achieve and we have to be extremely patient.”
Ohio State freshman Andre Jeff crosses the finish line in 4×400-meter relay to seal the 2018 men’s track and field Big Ten championship in Geneva, Ohio on Feb. 24. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern reporterOhio State will switch roles from guest to host at the Jesse Owens Classic this weekend in Columbus. The meet made is up of Division I, Division II and Division III programs, along with some professional athletes. It also is Ohio State’s only outdoor home meet.“I think it’s going to be a really fun meet, it’s my last time competing in front of the home crowd,” senior Chantel Ray said. “I’m just going to go out and have fun,”Ohio State is coming off its toughest meet of the season, the Tennessee Relays. The Buckeyes did make a lasting impression, especially with their younger talent. A pair of freshmen stood out in last week’s highly competitive meet: Eric Harrison Jr. and Andre Jeff.Harrison, who has the fastest 100-meter time on the team at 10.28 seconds and is currently qualified for the NCAA Regional meet, finished second in the 200-meter dash and was on the 4×100-meter relay team that placed second.Jeff, who has the fastest 400-meter time on the team and also is currently qualified for the NCAA Regional meet, placed second in the 400-meter dash and was on the winning sprint-medley team. “The future looks bright,” coach Joel Brown said. Men’s previewSaturday, in particular, looks bright for both Harrison and Jeff because they held their weight in last week’s meet that included track-and-field stars Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman. This week’s meet does not have nearly have the same strength of competition. In the 100-meter dash this weekend, Harrison will have his fastest competition coming from other Buckeyes. Ohio State’s 4×100-meter relay members are all in the first heat, the fastest heat. This week’s 4×100-meter relay team contains senior Duan Asemota, junior Nick Gray, senior Zack Bazile and Harrison. This specific lineup has set the fifth-fastest time in the country. “It will be a pretty stout team,” Brown said. Gray is set to run in the 4×100-meter relay, 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. However, that may change depending on his health. In the 110-meter hurdles, junior Dauan Seward is set to go up against an All-American, Youngstown State’s Chad Zallow. Seward also is set to compete in triple-jump, and he will enter with the best performance in the field by 0.6 meters.Women’s previewRay last week had the toughest completion out of all of the athletes. She ran against Kendra Harrison, the world-record holder in the 100-meter hurdles. This week, she will be the favorite. She will be going up against Wright State’s Cassandra Lloyd, who has a faster personal record, but hasn’t competed since June. No matter who has been on the starting blocks next to her, Ray has the mindset to stay in her lane. “I don’t worry about my time or anybody else’s time. I just run my race,” Ray said. Ray also is set to compete in the 4×100-meter relay, a challenge Brown wants Ray to face. “You have to sprint. You can’t just do hurdles,” Brown said. Throughout the season they have worked on her technical efficiency in the hurdles along with her sprint speed. This week she has been focused on minor improvements on her form in getting over the hurdles and her speed between hurdles.“Usually I back off and people start pulling away from me,” Ray said. Ohio State’s shot put will be going up against a very familiar face in junior Sade Olatoye, a Buckeye who will throw unattached. Olatoye was the Big Ten Indoor Champion for Ohio State in shot put this past indoor season. Other notesThe seniors won’t be honored at the meet, but were honored at a private banquet Thursday night.This season Ohio State has traveled more than 5,000 miles for meets. This home meet gives Ohio State a rest from travel, and it allows the Buckeyes to stay in Columbus the weekend before finals.
The cases of leaked personal data that have been reported over the past few months are just the tip of the iceberg, according to experts who say that the sale of private information such as the tax records of unwary citizens has become a multimillion-euro business and is taking place right under the noses of the Greek authorities. The crisis, they add, has also led to lax security regarding public service and ministry databases, meaning that the phenomenon is most likely to see an additional rise.From the Lagarde list and the off-the-books accounts of high-ranking civil servants, to the catalogs of the Athens Bar Association and the database of a vehicle inspection center (KTEO), there is no end to the gold mine of personal information that is available to the skilled hacker or audacious briber.Entire companies, as well as individual “entrepreneurs” can put together information gleaned about an individual’s personal habits, finances and social activities to create a profile that can be used for product or service promotion, as well as more nefarious goals.The demand for personal data is so great that companies are opening up all over the country dealing exclusively in their collection and “management.”“In short, they buy and sell CDs of information,” a source in the business, who declined to be named, told Kathimerini.These companies claim that the information they collect is on public record, such as from the Athens Doctors’ Association or the telephone book. However, according to the regulations of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, even when information is a matter of public record, the person to which the information belongs must give his or her consent before it is disseminated.According to Vassilis Sotiropoulos, a lawyer who specializes in personal data protection, the collection of such information is allowed without the consent of the subject only when the subject is a public figure and is for the purpose of journalism or for conducting a criminal investigation.“Even then you would need the authority’s approval,” said Sotiropoulos, adding that “under no circumstances would permission be given to a data collection company. Overall, Greek legislation is very strict about such matters.”Special permission from the authority is also necessary for the collection and use of sensitive personal information, such as medical records, said Sotiropoulos, while an Athens court last month ruled in favor of a man who had filed a suit against his bank because it shared his personal data with a debt collection company without first getting his approval.The crisis has given new momentum to the business of selling data, with tax records leading in popularity, according to experts, who say that indebted households and individuals are increasingly being targeted by collectors and other potential creditors using confidential data to gauge their approach.The crisis, experts add, has also created a massive gap in security.“The public sector is in a dramatic state in terms of security systems,” the CEO of security firm Obrela, Giorgos Patsis, told Kathimerini.“As though the problems of overlapping responsibilities for security between ministries and poorly trained employees were not enough, the crisis has pushed security down to the bottom of the list of public services’ priorities,” Patsis said. “For example, there hasn’t been a single competition for companies to provide a data security system for at least two years in the state sector.”Patsis says that almost anyone with the right know-how can infiltrate the databases and records of public services and download as much information as they want.“And it’s not just the problem of hackers either,” said Patsis. “In fact, public records are most at risk from human error. All someone has to do is leave a door open and crooks can get their hands on valuable records.”Cost of information from 200-1,000 euros per itemOfficers working for the police’s electronics crimes squad say that the biggest case of private data theft they have cracked was earlier this month in Dafni, eastern Athens, when they arrested a man who was in possession of over 100 million records pertaining to individuals and companies.The 59-year-old suspect has pending convictions over tax evasion, while authorities are also seeking his 31-year-old son, who was the president of the company for which the data collection was taking place, as well as a 35-year-old computer technician who worked for them.Another suspected accomplice was also arrested in Exarchia on January 16.The records found by officers in the Dafni offices of the company, which had a staff of 38, are believed to have come from the ministries of Finance, Transport and Interior, while the number of records is estimated at 110-120 million. Among the information siphoned from the Finance Ministry’s General Secretariat of Information Systems are the names of people who owe money to the state and property owners, as well as millions of property registration and income declaration codes. From the ministries of Interior and Transport, the company was able to get detailed information pertaining to registered car owners as well as registered voters.The data were stored in three separate servers and could be cross-referenced, while any of the employees could type in the name of an individual in the system and have access to all of the information gathered on him or her.According to police sources, the company sold the information directly to individuals and mainly to commercial companies. Unconfirmed reports say that the company had a list of 30,000 clients, while an inspection of its ledgers revealed that its annual turnover was as high as 4 million euros. Clients varied greatly and apparently included pawnshops and debt collection agencies, while sources say that each item of information was being sold for between 200 and 1,000 euros, while clients could also pay a monthly fee of 500 euros to have regular access to personal data.The records found on the company’s servers were leaked in the “traditional” way, according to electronics crimes officers, meaning in collusion with employees at the various ministries involved rather than from hacked databases. The way that the data was stored and filed was also similar to an online marketing company that was closed down in November when an associate was found to have over 9 million confidential records in his possession. The technical similarities between the two businesses have led authorities to suspect that they are linked.However, Kathimerini understands that the judicial system has not made progress on the November case nor been able to locate any public sector employees who may be responsible for trading in personal information.Gangs peddling records from ministriesHigh-ranking Finance Ministry sources say that they are aware there is a gang peddling the personal details of taxpayers to companies and individuals that sell private records, adding that it has operated in the past within the General Secretariat for Information Systems. They also say that there are similar gangs at work in the ministries of Interior and Transport.The sources also say that this has been going on for years, as evidenced by cases where personal data found to have been illegally obtained dates back several years. As far as the General Secretariat for Information Systems is concerned, the issue was apparently dealt with in 2009, when it made sure that no employee could access files without entering a username and password into their computers before having access to the system. The secretariat also deactivated all entry codes used prior to 2009 and issued all employees with new ones so that it can track their activity.However, experts have expressed concern that some of the information leaked in the past may have come from the real estate register, which comprises highly sensitive information often bought by lawyers who want to have a clear picture of the assets that exist on each side of a lawsuit without having to comb through registry offices all over the country.Despite significant steps taken over the past couple of years to curb leaks of tax information, two such cases were uncovered by police officers in the last three months.Sources say that more steps will be taken to safeguard the confidentiality of taxpayers’ information, among which will be stiffer penalties for people found to be peddling in public records or using this information illegally. The Finance Ministry is apparently in the process of researching different security software that will protect its records.Leaks from the Finance MinistryThree separate cases of confidential data being leaked from the Ministry of Finance have recently come to light.The first was on July 27, when an employee of the State’s General Accounting Office was arrested on charges of leaking a document with information that Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras was to use during his negotiations with the country’s creditors. The non-paper had been penned by a ministry official and sent by e-mail to Staikouras, to the suspect and two more ministry employees. The document that was leaked on the Internet was a printout of the one sent by Staikouras and because the suspect printed it from his e-mail account it contained his username. He later claimed that the printed document had been purloined from his desk by another employee and leaked. Judicial authorities have completed investigation into the main suspect and are now deciding whether to summon the employee he alleged to have leaked the document to respond to charges.The second case was on October 28, when documents from the General State Accounting Office appeared on the Internet and were, according to one version of the story, posted there by the Anonymous hackers group, who had claimed responsibility for the leak on Facebook and Twitter. The documents dated to the June-October 2012 period and came from the General Accounting Office, as well as from other services such as the Public Debt Management Agency. Officers of the electronic crimes squad, however, suspect an employee as being behind the leak.The last case came to light on November 20, following the arrest of a 35-year-old associate of an online marketing company who was found to be in possession of a record containing 9 million entries pertaining to Greek citizens. According to the police, the information came from the Finance Ministry’s Taxis and Elenxis databases. The 35-year-old was remanded in custody pending sentencing. He also named as his accomplice a 45-year-old associate who owned a company that sold personal data and who was subsequently arrested as well. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Levée de voile sur le nouveau Samsung all-in-one serie 7Très peu d’informations circulaient sur le nouveau concept PC de Samsung. On ne pouvait que constater son design, sa finesse mais non ses caractéristiques techniques. Désormais, ce secret n’en est plus un.Samsung vient donc de présenter son PC ultra design et tactile, le All-in-One Serie 7 700A3B, avec 16mm d’épaisseur et sa dalle 23 pouces LED Full HD inclinable à 90°. Le constructeur coréen assure des performances optimales pour les besoins de la famille (gestion photos, visionnage vidéo…). Les capacités de la machine confirment largement ces dires : un processeur Intel Core i5-2390T 2.7 GHz, 6Go de mémoire vive, 1To pour le stockage, un lecteur/graveur DVD avec un chargement par slot-in et un processeur graphique Intel HD Graphics. À lire aussiArchos 35 Carbon, 50 et 53 Platinum : prix et caractéristiques des premiers smartphones du constructeur français Ce petit bijou technologique est également équipé d’un port HDMI, d’une connexion Wi-Fi et Bluetooth 3.0 ainsi qu’un clavier et une souris sans fil.Possédant un style classe et une finesse irréprochable, le PC All-in-One Serie 7 de Samsung pourrait bien tenir ses promesses. Une grosse interrogation subsiste pourtant : pourquoi n’y a-t-il pas de lecteur Blu-ray ? Avec de telles capacités HD, cela aurait-été logique. Passé ce regret, il faudra ensuite débourser 999 euros pour se procurer cette nouveauté à Noël (sortie française en décembre 2011).Le 26 octobre 2011 à 20:23 • Maxime Lambert
Diego Forlan believes that his former Uruguay strike partner Luis Suarez has spoken to the right professionals and put the biting habits behind himThe strike duo led Uruguay to the Copa America title in 2011, but were unable to match the feat at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.For Suarez, in particular, the tournament proved to be a defining moment in his career after he was handed a four-month ban from football by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s final group game.“You could see in that dressing room when he did that, you could see his face,” Forlan told CNN Sport.“You didn’t need to go there and talk to him because he knew he made a mistake.“There was nothing we could do it that moment. It’s better, when you know him, to give him space to talk with his family and to talk with people he needs to talk to, whether that’s me, another player or a coach.”Barca’s Umtiti out for weeks with broken bone George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.Last week, Samuel Umtiti withdrew from…Suarez was also involved in another two biting incidents and racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.“I know him, he’s a really nice guy. Sometimes he used to react in a bad way,” said Forlan.“He spoke to the right professionals so he could change it and now he’s at a great club.”He added: “Of course he made mistakes and he accepted it. I know what type of guy he is and I know he wanted to change it. I am really happy for him because he did it.”Suarez revealed that a therapist helped him cure an “impulse” to bite people after the 2014 World Cup.
Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesMeghan Markle is not your typical Duchess, she has made that abundantly clear. Members of the Royal Family don’t have a regular nine-to-five job. Most serve in the military, but the military is far from a regular job.However, Meghan Markle wants to break that mold, the Duchess o Sussex may want to have a career that does not revolve around her Royal duties. Reportedly, Meghan Markle has confessed she was the one pushing to become the first guest-editor of a September issue of British Vogue.Now, Royals have graced the cover of Vogue before, like Meghan’s sister-in-law Kate. But Meghan wants to take things a step further by becoming a guest editor for the magazine. This certainly seems like a start, a guest editor stint could very well lead o a more permanent position.Reportedly, Meghan Markle revealed in her guest-editor’s letter she was the person who had come up with the idea of guest editing the British fashion magazine and directly asked the editor-in-chief to “take a chance” on her. That was quite the move on Meghan’s part. Since it is an unspoken law of sorts that members of the Royal Family don’t hold regular jobs. And guest editor sure is a regular job. Apparently, the Duchess of Sussex opened up on her first meeting with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, which was supposed to be focused on Smart Works, one of the four patronages Meghan took upon herself on January. Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesHowever, their conversation quickly evolved into a wider discussion on their “shared interests”, as explained by Meghan.She wrote in the guest-editor’s letter: “It was in early January, over a steaming cup of mint tea, we teased through how one can shine light in a world filled with seemingly daily darkness…..Lofty? Of course. Worth it? Without question. “Meghan then continued saying she put her name forward as the first guest-editor of a September issue of British Vogue.Meghan retired from acting, but this guest editor job may be her way of exerting her independence and allowing a semblance of control in her life. It would be quite a get for Vogue to have a Royal on their editorial team.
.The cell phone rings incessantly. People come up, asking, “Is there any news?”, “Has anyone managed to come out?”, “Have the captors given any conditions?” I have no answers. I put the phone back into my pocket, telling them, “I can’t say anything.” The anxiety on the sleepless faces deepens with an unknown fear.We are waiting on the ground floor of a house at Gulshan, Road 79. Holey Artisan Bakery is just a few houses away. People are being held hostage there. Law enforcement personnel have surrounded the building. We remain at a safe distance. With me are Prothom Alo’s chief photographer Zia Islam, senior reporter Shariful Hasan, Nazrul Islam and Golam Mortuza. Also with us are the anxious relatives of the hostages – Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain’s mother Simeen Hossain, his father Waquer Hossain, brother Zaraif Hossain and their relations Faisal and Hisham. Also there were Tahmid’s father, Fairuz Maliha’s father and Abinta Kabir’s mother. They were receiving all sorts of news. Everyone gripped their cell phones in anticipation.It was Prothom Alo Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Aziza Ahmed who first informed us about the Holey Artisan attack on 1 July last year. She had possibly been at a house next door to Holey Artisan. Initially it was thought that extortionists or some such criminals had attacked the place. But then news started coming in through various sources. Three of our reporters immediately rushed to the spot.The incident gradually took on serious proportions. After finishing with work on the first edition of the newspaper, I went to the place of the incident. By then the attack on the police had taken place. One police officer had been killed and another injured. RAB, police and SWAT had the place surrounded. No one was allowed near. All roads leading to Holey Artisan had been blocked. I used my identity as a journalist and managed to pass through the barricade. The security personnel were waiting, not knowing what to do. They were waiting for orders from above. Till then, no one knew what was going on inside of Holey Artisan.A police officer said that a certain Hasnat Karim who was trapped inside had phoned his uncle Anwarul Karim. That is how the police came to that people were being held hostage inside. If the police opened fire, the captors would kill everyone inside.A little while later, RAB director general Benazir Ahmed told the journalists, “Some misguided persons are inside. Attempts are being made to communicate with them, but there has been no response.”The members of the law enforcement fell silent. The bungalow of an autonomous corporation’s chairman was opposite Holey Artisan and the members of the law enforcement agencies held a meeting in a room on the ground floor of the bungalow. By then the relatives of the persons trapped inside had gathered together. They were not reassured in the least by the activities of the law enforcement. Some of them openly expressed their anger.We were being urged by our office to send in a report hurriedly. We looked around for relatives of the trapped persons. We spotted Transcom Group director Simeen Hossain and her elder son Zaraif Hossain on the ground floor of a house nearby. I was overcome with distress at the sight of Simeen Hossain. She was in her casual house clothes and flip-flops. She was kept wiping the sweat from her face with her dopatta. The random dopatta (scarf) had nothing to do with the rest of her clothes, obviously just grabbed in a hurry. As I looked at her pale face, she came forward. She asked me if I had any news about what was going on inside. She told me her younger son Faraaz was trapped inside. She had no idea how he was. Zaraif stood at a distance, his face distraught. He came up and carefully held his mother, comforting her.At midnight the police officers gave up hope. Orders had come from above that no operation would be carried out that night. The commandos would arrive in the morning and they would carry out the operation. The police were just to keep vigil.The relations of the captors were enraged when they heard that they had to wait till the morning for any operation to be conducted. They were desperate. They lost their patience, shouting out loudly in agitation, some even rushing towards Holey Artisan. But they were blocked by the police barricade. It began to drizzle. Despondent, the relatives moved back. As the night grew, their anxiety increased.At around 2:30am, the IS mouthpiece Amaq published photographs online of the killed persons. RAB intelligence chief Abul Kalam Azad was at the spot then. When I called him over the phone, he said that they had heard 20 persons had been killed inside. I was repeating his words as he ended the call, and Simeen Hossain frantically asked me who had given this news and how far was it true. I was overwhelmed by the distress of this anxious, helpless mother. I lied. I said, “It is just an assumption. It may not be true.” But she was insistent. Zaraif came forward and calmed his mother.The special commando force arrived in Dhaka from Sylhet early in the morning. Tight security was in place around Holey Artisan by then. Everyone, even journalists, had been removed from Road 79. We left the front of the house where we were standing to go inside. It was raining harder by then. Suddenly there was the sound of gunfire. Simeen Hossain cried out aloud with each shot, asking, “What is that noise? What is happening there?” I could say nothing.It was morning. The sound of the bullets had subsided. The commandos had finished their operation inside. An intelligence officer said that the survivors had been retrieved. The others who were still inside were all dead. Faraaz was not among the survivors.I was struck dumb at the news. I didn’t know what to do. I spoke to Zia. Zia could not say anything either. I rang up the editor of Prothom Alo. I told him the news. He felt helpless too. How can one give a mother such news? I felt helpless.Simeen kept saying, “Go and find out about my son.” Zia and I could just look at her face. Zaraif secretly wiped his tears away and went to his mother, saying in a normal voice, “Don’t worry so much, ma.” We stood in silence. Perhaps our silence gave away the truth. She could no longer control herself. Tears poured down her cheeks, washing away the last vestiges of a mother’s hope.* This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia. Prothom Alo file photoBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia started her journey for Sylhet on Monday morning as a special court in Dhaka is set to pronounce its verdict on Thursday in a graft case against her, reports news agency UNB.The BNP chairperson left her Gulshan residence for Sylhet by road around 9:15am.Reaching Sylhet, she is scheduled to offer fateha at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) and Hazrat Shah Paran (RA).Talking to reporters before her journey, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said their chairperson is going to Sylhet only to offer fateha at the shrines of the country’s two great saints.Replying to a question, he said Khaleda is not going to launch her party’s next election campaign from Sylhet unlike the prime minister.“The election will be held around one year later so there is no scope for beginning the election campaign now. How will she conduct the campaign since a level playing field is not yet created?” the BNP leader said.Khasru alleged that the ruling party and its alliance partners have started their election campaign unilaterally without creating equal scope for all parties to do so.Meanwhile, local BNP leaders on Sunday at a press conference at a hotel in Sylhet City alleged that police have started raiding the houses of their party men while the administration has asked them not to carry out any campaign through loudspeakers ahead of Khaleda’s visit.They urged the local administration to cooperate with them to maintain a peaceful atmosphere during their party chief’s tour.The BNP leaders said Khaleda is scheduled to go first to the mazar of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) around 4pm while at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) around 4:30pm.BNP insiders said Khaleda may return to Dhaka on Monday night.Khaleda last visited Sylhet on 4 October 2013 and addressed a rally of BNP-led 20-party alliance there.The Special Court-5 in Dhaka on Thursday fixed 8 February to deliver its verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed against Khaleda and five others.Khaleda will be disqualified for the next general election if she is convicted in the case.On 30 January, Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina launched her party’s campaign from Sylhet for the upcoming national election slated for December this year.The prime minister offered fateha at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA), Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) and Hazrat Gazi Borhan Uddin (RA) in the city.Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad also formally launched his party’s election campaign from there.He also offered fateha at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran in the afternoon and left Sylhet after holding a meeting with local party leaders at the circuit house.
“I paint by divine grace. By God’s grace. I believe I cannot paint without this deep faith in God, creativity and imagination. I follow simple regime: I live to paint; I paint to live. As long as you have the creative fire in you, age cannot deter or stop you,” Raza said.Recipient of the Padama Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, Raza still paints with the same enthusiasm that he displayed several decades ago, and credits his “creative fire” for the uninterrupted strength. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The current collection of canvases and paperwork’s that the artist has worked on in the last one-and-half-years has been displayed on the walls of the Vadehra art Gallery in show titled Aarambh. The exhibition is on till March 18.While the bindu (dot) remains the centerpiece of all his works, Raza sees these as continuum of his previous works.“My works should be seen as continuum. They are in my own tradition except that I hope they offer new explorations, fresh insights and exciting combinations” Raza said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Bindu, as I have often said, is the centre of silence, energy and imagination. It is inexhaustible and yet it remains as a challenge to any creative imagination, including mine. I keep on returning to it since it offers new possibilities and new combinations,” he added.Unlike his masterpieces like Tribhuj (triangle) or Prakarti Purush (male/female energy), Raza hasn’t chosen any particular theme this time to weave magic on the canvas. In fact, his preoccupation with colours comes out well in the exhibition. “It is difficult to describe themes. There are so many. Yet, I could say that my preoccupation is colour – its immensity, its immense possibilities. Colour for me is primary manifestation of life, existence, creativity and imagination,” Raza said.While on the surface his works might not evoke an immediate reaction, but Raza’s compositions are rooted in the hope and belief that “truth triumphs and peace prevails”.“Arts also literature and other forms of creative expression ultimately offer you site of equality and justice, of beauty and peace. Art demolishes many boundaries,” he said. “I see that there is a better climate for creative arts but also attempts to curb freedom of expression are unfortunately growing. I feel enthusiastic about the first and unhappy about the second,” Raza added.
Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Leaky pipes can be a huge problem, and the solution is often complex and costly. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology want to change that.A group of researchers from the school have developed a small robot that can inspect water and gas pipes from the inside to locate leaks before they become disastrous. The rubbery device, which looks like an “oversized badminton birdie” is inserted into a water system via a fire hydrant, MIT says.Once inserted, the device “moves passively with the flow, logging its position as it goes,” according to MIT. “It detects even small variations in pressure by sensing the pull at the edges of its soft rubber skirt, which fills the diameter of the pipe.”The robot can be retrieved with a net at a different hydrant. From there, the data is uploaded for analysis. This system doesn’t require any digging, and won’t interrupt water service.According to MIT, today’s water distribution systems lose 20 percent of their supply, on average, because of leaks.”These leaks not only make shortages worse but also can cause serious structural damage to buildings and roads by undermining foundations,” the school said. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that today’s leak detection systems are “expensive and slow to operate,” and they don’t work well in wood, clay or plastic pipes, which are common in developing countries.That’s where the little robot comes in.MIT professor of mechanical engineering Kamal Youcef-Toumi, graduate student You Wu and two others have been designing and testing this system for the past nine years. They plan to describe the system in detail at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver, Canada, this September.The team also plans to test the system this summer on the city of Monterrey, Mexico’s concrete water distribution pipes. “Monterrey … has a strong incentive to take part in this study, since it loses an estimated 40 percent of its water supply to leaks every year, costing the city about $80 million in lost revenue,” MIT says. “Leaks can also lead to contamination of the water supply when polluted water backs up into the distribution pipes.”The system can also be used to detect leaks in pipes distributing natural gas. In the future, the team plans to build a more flexible version of their robot, which can adapt to pipes of different sizes. Their ultimate goal is to outfit their robot with a special system that can instantly repair leaks it finds. This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. July 25, 2017 Enroll Now for Free
<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/25a3a/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Disney California Adventure park is set to become an even bigger playground for kids and adults alike with the opening of Cars Land in 2012, as part of a US$1.4 billion expansion plan.The all-new 12 acre addition to the park will involve recreating the entire town of Radiator Springs, inspired by the Disney Pixar film “Cars”. Three family rides showcasing some of the most popular characters and scenes from the movie, including Radiator Springs Racers, a high-speed adventure through the town, will be one of the most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney park.Currently being built, the additional landscaping, new restaurants and retail shops is expected to draw bigger crowds to Disney California Adventure, increasing the value of admission and Park-Hopper tickets in conjunction with Disneyland.“We always listen to our guests, and the number one recurring message is that they love Disney California Adventure park,” President, Disneyland Resort, George Kalogridis told e-Travel Blackboard.“Six of the seven most popular attractions and experiences are at the park, but they wanted more Disney and they wanted to be immersed in it.”Other expansion plans for Disney California Adventure include the first-ever ride based on Disney’s The Little Mermaid. “The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” will transport ‘guests under the sea’ to experience scenes and songs from the movie.“The investments we are making now are the largest which shows our confidence in the brand and the travel industry,” Disney Destinations Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Travel Operations, Randy Garfield said.“We are investing in the future.”
Go back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterIn its fifth supersonic rocket-powered test flight, Virgin Galactic reached space for the second time in 10 weeks today [22 February 2019] in the skies above Mojave, California. Spaceship VSS Unity reached its highest speed and altitude to date and, for the first time, carried a third crew member on board along with research payloads from the NASA Flight Opportunities program.This space flight means Chief Pilot Dave Mackay and co-pilot Michael “Sooch” Masucci become commercial astronauts and the 569th and 570th humans in space. Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s Chief Astronaut Instructor, flew as the third crew member in a first, live evaluation of cabin dynamics. She is the 571st person to fly to space and the first woman to fly on board a commercial spaceship.Virgin Galactic Makes Space for Second Time in Ten Weeks with Three On BoardIn addition to this element of envelope expansion, VSS Unity flew higher and faster than ever before, as its world record-holding hybrid rocket motor propelled the spaceship at Mach 3.04 to an apogee of 295,007 feet (approximately 90 kilometres).The crew enjoyed extraordinary views of Earth from the black skies of space and, during several minutes of weightlessness while the pilots “feathered” the spaceship in preparation for a Mach 2.7 re-entry, Beth floated free to complete a number of cabin evaluation test points. The human validation of data previously collected via sensors, and the live testing of other physical elements of the cabin interior, are fundamental to the provision of a safe but enjoyable customer experience.The glide back home was followed by a smooth runway landing and a rapturous reception from the crowd on the flight line, which included staff and some of Virgin Galactic’s 600 Future Astronaut customers.Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, a born and bred Scotsman as well as an ex-RAF test pilot and Virgin Atlantic Captain, led his crew of newly qualified astronauts from VSS Unity accompanied by a kilted piper.Today’s flight notched several additional firsts for the industry:The flight was the first time that a non-pilot flew on board a commercial spaceship to space;It was the first time that a crew member floated freely without restraints in weightlessness in space on board a commercial spaceship;It was the first time that three people flew to space on a commercial spaceship;And Dave Mackay became the first Scottish-born astronaut (Brian Binnie, who was raised in Scotland, flew to space in 2004).Addressing colleagues and guests Dave said: “Beth, Sooch and I just enjoyed a pretty amazing flight which was beyond anything any of us has ever experienced.“It was thrilling, yet smooth and nicely controlled throughout with a view – at the top – of the Earth from space, which exceeded all our expectations.” Chief Pilot Dave Mackay“I am incredibly proud of my crew and of the amazing teams at Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company for providing a vehicle and an operation which means we can fly confidently and safely. For the three of us today this was the fulfilment of lifelong ambitions, but paradoxically, is also just the beginning of an adventure which we can’t wait to share with thousands of others.”Sir Richard Branson said: “Flying the same vehicle safely to space and back twice in a little over two months, while at the same time expanding the flight envelope, is testament to the unique capability we have built up within the Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company organisations. I am immensely proud of everyone involved.“Having Beth fly in the cabin today, starting to ensure that our customer journey is as flawless as the spaceship itself, brings a huge sense of anticipation and excitement to all of us here who are looking forward to experiencing space for ourselves. The next few months promise to be the most thrilling yet.”
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