Maryland Single-Sales Factor Bill Introduced

first_imgA Maryland bill proposes changing the state’s standard corporate income tax apportionment formula to a single-sales factor formula. The bill has been introduced in the Maryland Senate.If enacted, the new standard apportionment formula would apply to tax years beginning after 2017.Current Three-Factor FormulaThe current standard formula is a three-factor formula (sales, property, and payroll), with a double-weighted sales factor.S.B. 1090, as introduced in the Maryland Senate on February 12, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img

Why Nation States Hack Personal Information

first_imgUS Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced a massive data breach, containing very personal and private data of government and military personnel.  The stolen data was originally gathered to process security clearances and contains a plethora of background information, including criminal records, mental conditions, drug usage, veteran status, birthdates, social security numbers, pay histories and pension figures, insurance data, financial records, home addresses, contacts, and other profile data.  Millions of records in total were stolen, for current and previous government workers, contractors, and partners.  Investigators concluded the attack was conducted by another nation state.  This leads to the question of why would another nation launch such an attack and how will they use such personal information to their advantage?  The answers might be shocking.Unlike cybercriminals, who would be interested in opening lines of credit, filing fictions tax refunds, creating false identities, siphoning financial assets, and fraudulently charging on accounts, nation states have different motivations which drive their actions.  Nation states are interested in influencing policies in their favor across the globe, boosting national economic strength, military power projection, enhancing intelligence gathering capabilities, and protecting themselves from foreign attempts to do the same against them.For centuries, one of the best ways to accomplish these goals has been by influencing, manipulating, or outright controlling important people in other countries.  Employing tactics to achieve such lofty goals requires two things.  First, key foreigners with the necessary power or access must be identified.  Secondly, the means to best influence them must be determined.  History has shown that with both pieces to the puzzle, governments can maneuver in advantageous ways to achieve nothing short of world change.   Many nations have elaborate infrastructures and organizations dedicated to these goals.  They use a variety of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and Cyber Intelligence (CYBINT) methods to gather insights and data.  Nowadays, OSINT is very effective and with the meteoric rise in social media sharing and personal applications, has become a highly productive tool at providing personal details of a populace.  However, the deepest secrets and most private information is still difficult to come by.  CYBINT can fill the gaps and provide the hard to come by intelligence and personal connections which are highly valuable for these campaigns.  Profile IntelligenceWith the wealth of personal data fleeced from OPM, an attacker can begin building a database of interlocking profiles.  The result is a network showing people, connections, access, knowledge, and spheres of influence.  This information will be blended with any other high confidence data, garnered from other sources, to paint a better picture of individuals who may be of interest.  They will likely be looking for those who are active in local and national politics, drive or enforce inter-agency government policies, leaders and technical advisors to the military, those who possess influence in the decisions of others, have internal access to valuable data, are part of the offensive/defensive intelligence apparatus, and people who have earned the trust of those in power.These people become targets of focus and opportunity for various types of influencing tactics, including bribery, blackmail, marketing, facilitation of revenge, social pressure, ethical conundrums, retribution of justice, and demonstrations of patriotism.   Professional manipulators can be very creative in how to position and push people in certain directions.Methods of InfluenceThese profiles are also intended to give insights to how people can be motivated and controlled.  Building a collective social picture can show how key individuals are influenced.  It may highlight the respected close community around a target who offer advice and guidance.  Past indiscretions can provide an understanding of how someone is vulnerable to situations involving drugs, money, sex, ideology, or fame.  This can be exactly what is needed by manipulators.  Personal and private information can be embarrassing or give the necessary signs of weakness.  Some people can be blackmailed, threatened, tricked, cheated, bribed, or flipped to provide information, access, or facilitate the influence of others.  A cascade effect can take place as people are linked.  In rare cases, some assets may be groomed to become direct action operatives, where the risks, impacts, and rewards can be much higher.  Achieving success is no easy task for nation state orchestrators.  Private information is a highly prized chip in this game.  The more sensitive, revealing, and humiliating the data, the more valuable it is to those who plan to use it as leverage for their benefit.Beyond the targeting of individuals, such data can be valuable in other ways.  To disrupt the operational effectiveness of an organization, key personnel can be affected with campaigns to publicly embarrass or undermine renewals for top clearances therefore causing gaps or delays in the work of important positions.  This can also provide advancement avenues for others who may be more conducive to support the attacker’s objectives.Compromising computer systems becomes much easier.  In the cybersecurity realm, private information and a list of known contacts makes phishing attacks near impossible to defend against.  Emails, texts, attachments, and files can appear to be sent from friends, family, coworkers, academia, and professional colleagues with no good way for the average person to discern the difference between legitimate and malicious, until it is too late.  These phishing attacks can bypass system defenses and allow hackers to gain access to computers, networks, databases, and cloud environments.  Follow-on attacks in this manner should be expected, both at home and work.  Infecting and controlling devices of people with security clearances is an opportunity not likely passed-up by nation state attackers.The data itself has value and can be sold, traded, or given to a variety of other groups.  Terrorists, allies, political rivals, in-country revolutionaries, radicals, or other nation state intelligence agencies would be likely interested parties.  There are national economic advantages as well.  Discretely providing profile data to state-owned companies can greatly improve their business negotiations, bidding, pricing, employee recruiting activities, and overall competiveness abroad.  This can boost domestic economies while undermining foreign positions.   Politically, in a bit of irony, such attacks may also drive the desire of attacked nations to establish international accords governing global cybersecurity practices with their attackers.  In essence, hacking can motivate governments to come to the negotiation table and put them at a disadvantage in the agreement of terms.    With the loss of millions of highly personal records, the outlook is not a pretty picture.  Time will tell which of these tactics will be employed by those who took OPM data.  But keep in mind such spycraft has been around for thousands of years.  The intents and purposes are not new, just the scale, tactics, and tools have changed to include the information rich world of cyber.  My heart goes out to those whose data was part of the recent breach, their families, friends, and associates.  In a very personal way, they are all now part of a larger geopolitical game.  Take all necessary precautions to protect your name, reputation, finances, history, and honor.  Although the attack cannot be undone, governments around the world can learn from these situations and institute better controls, data policies, and political responses to protect future generations.last_img read more

CL: Madrid on red alert for Tottenham vs Liverpool final

first_imgSpain will deploy 4,700 security personnel for Saturday’s all-English Champions League final in Madrid which has been deemed “high risk”, officials said Tuesday. The security measures for the match between Liverpool and Tottenham will surpass those put in place for last year’s “high risk” Copa Libertadores final between Argentine rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors in Madrid, said the director general of Spain’s National Police, Francisco Pardo Piqueras. “This will probably be the biggest deployment to guarantee security which we will carry out at a sporting event,” he told a news conference.Related News The security operation will involve over 2,000 national police officers, as well as police from other forces, firefighters and private security guards, the Spanish government said in a statement. Some 32,000 English fans are expected to watch the final at the 68,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Thousands more fans without a ticket to enter the stadium are expected to come to Madrid from Britain as well as from southern Spain and neighbouring Portugal, which have large English expat communities. Nearly 4,000 police and private security guards were deployed for the Copa Libertadores final last year at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The last time the Champions League final was held in the Spanish capital was in 2010, when Inter Milan defeated Bayern Munich 2-0. Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates CL: Genk banking on star striker Mbwana Ally Samatta against Liverpool Mohamed Salah withdraws from Egypt squad after aggravating ankle injury Champions League: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brace as Liverpool defeat Genk 4-1last_img read more


first_img10th Race: The Shamu Chavan Trophy Div-1 1200 Metres10th Race: The Shamu Chavan Trophy Div-1 1200 Metres Star One (Mr & Mrs I. Nathani rep. Alpha Stud and Farms Pvt Ltd, M/s V. M. Singh, Khushroo R. Battiwala & Ms Mallika Gulam Abbas Sarkar) 60.50 A. Sandesh first Power Shadow 58.50 S. Zervan second Ladislaus 60.50 P. Trevor third Country Music 59.00 Suraj Narredu fourth Not Run: Hypothesis Favourites: Hedwig Won By: 2 1/4 L, 3/4 L, SHD Time: 1 Minute 09.86 Seconds Tote: Rs 53 for win, Rs 14, Rs 25 and Rs 15 for places Forecast: Rs 225 Shp: Rs 52 Quinella: Rs 217 Tanala: 70 per cent: Rs 446 on 33 tickets 30 per cent: Rs 203 on 31 tickets (More) PTI COR SDM NRB CMlast_img

Report: Man City 2 Hoffenheim 1

first_imgLeroy Sane bagged a brace as Manchester City beat Hoffenheim 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to ensure they made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League as Group F winners. City, who had already qualified, needed just a point to be certain of top spot but they fell behind to Andrej Kramaric’s 16th-minute penalty. The hosts then twice hit the woodwork before Sane’s long-range free-kick just before half-time drew them level.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! And he found the net again 16 minutes after the break as Pep Guardiola’s side bounced back from their Premier League loss away at Chelsea on Saturday, while Hoffenheim finish bottom of the table to miss out on the Europa League. As they had done in three of their previous five group games in this season’s competition, City fell behind. Aymeric Laporte was punished for clumsily pushing over Benjamin Hubner as he prepared to shoot when Nico Schulz’s scuffed effort dropped into his path, and Kramaric – who had earlier been denied by a brilliant Ederson save – stroked the spot-kick down the middle. Gabriel Jesus headed against a post from five yards out following a corner before Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick was diverted onto the crossbar by Joelinton’s header as City pushed for a response. An equaliser finally arrived from another dead-ball situation as Sane’s attempt from a direct free-kick flew into the net from 30 yards out. City continued to threaten from set-pieces after the resumption and Laporte should have atoned for giving away the earlier penalty but goalkeeper Oliver Baumann denied both his initial header and then also a follow-up attempt from point-blank range. Guardiola’s men were guilty of an even worse miss when Hoffenheim left no one back and Raheem Sterling, Sane and Bernardo Silva led a three-man breakaway but failed to apply the finishing touch, Baumann denying the latter. Yet they did find the net via a counter-attacking move just after the hour mark, Sane collecting a return pass from Sterling to poke home a left-footed finish, despite appearing to take one touch too many as Baumann closed him down. Sterling should have added a third late on but missed the target when found by Phil Foden’s cross. Young Guns :zap:2-1 #cityvtsg #mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 12, 2018 What does it mean? City finish top, but need to ditch their habit of conceding firstThe reigning Premier League champions got the job done but only after falling behind yet again, as they had done on German soil in the return fixture and in each of their two meetings with fellow qualifiers Lyon. That is a habit they need to kick if they are to make it to the latter stages of the competition this season.Sane hitting his strideHe had only scored once before October 20, but Germany international Sane has now found the net nine times since that date for club and country. With Sergio Aguero out injured and Jesus misfiring, the forward’s hot streak has been a welcome boost for Guardiola.A night to forget for LaporteThe reason City went a goal down was due to Laporte’s foolish decision to bundle over Hubner in the first half. The City defender then missed two great chances to put his team ahead in the second half but failed to beat Baumann from close range on both occasions.Key Opta Facts- Pep Guardiola has led his side to first place in the Champions League group stages for the ninth time in 10 seasons.- Hoffenheim have both scored and conceded in all 14 of their games in all European competitions.- The average age of Manchester City’s starting XI was 24 years and 95 days, the youngest for an English side in the Champions League since Manchester United against CFR Cluj in December 2012 (24y 54d).- Hoffenheim are the first side to finish bottom of their Champions League group despite scoring 10+ goals since Olympiacos in 2002-03 (11 goals).- Leroy Sane is the first German to score twice against German opponents in the Champions League since Carsten Jancker for Bayern Munich against Kaiserslautern in March 1999.- Andrej Kramaric has scored in each of his last four games in the Champions League for Hoffenheim (5 goals).What’s next?City have the chance to return to the top of the Premier League table when they host Everton in an early kick-off on Saturday. Hoffenheim, who are seventh in the Bundesliga, host Borussia Monchengladbach. read morelast_img read more

PSL: Luke Ronchi fires Islamabad United to 6-wicket win vs Lahore Qalandars

first_imgLuke Ronchi continued his good form with the bat to guide Islamabad United to a 6-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League on Thursday.Ronchi fired once again, smashing 77 from 41 balls as Islamabad chased down the target of 164 with 14 balls to spare and register their second successive win in the tournament.The New Zealand wicket-keeper had played a similar knock in the last game as well when he smashed 71 off 37 balls to help Islamabad chase down 154 with 8 wickets in hand against Karachi Kings.Ronchi’s innings was laced with five boundaries and six maximums. Shadab Khan (32) and JP Duminy (21) also made useful contributions in the run chase.Sunil Narine was the most successful bowler for Lahore, finishing with 3 wickets for 28 runs in 4 overs while Imran Khan got one wicket.Earlier put into bat, Lahore reached 163 for 8 in 20 overs with Anton Devcich top-scoring for his side with 62 runs from 42 balls which included four boundaries and three sixes. Fakhar Zaman (34) and BrendonMcCullum (33 not out) also helped their team to go past the 160-run mark.Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers for Islamabad with 3 wickets for 32 runs in four overs while Duminy, Mohammad Sami and Shadab Khan got a wicket each.With this win, Islamabad United have moved up to second in the points table with 8 points from 6 matches while Lahore Qalandars are yet to register a win in the competition.Multan Sultans lead the tally with 9 points while Karachi Kings are third with 7 points.last_img read more

Implementing the Wedge Approach to Climate Change

first_imgThe implication of threat wedges for policy is that not all emerging energy technologies are desirable from the perspective of climate change, even though they may be attractive for other reasons. For example, coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology might be attractive in China and the U.S. in terms of energy security because of large coal reserves. But its lifecycle emissions are roughly double those of oil-based gasoline. The challenge then is to develop policies that stimulate deployment of clean technologies but that don’t run the risk of encouraging those that would actually cause emissions to rise above BAU projections. As the world rapidly reaches consensus on the scientific understanding of climate change, policymakers are increasingly looking at how to address the challenge. There is no doubt that new and especially low-carbon technologies will be essential to the effort. But the sheer magnitude of the climate change challenge often makes it difficult to comprehend how the world might develop effective and efficient solutions.Princeton professors Stephen Pacala and Rob Socolow introduced the wedge approach as a framework for the climate change dialogue (see earlier article here). In a nutshell, the wedge model suggests several large yet imaginable technology deployments that together could reduce global emissions on the scale we need to avoid the worst effects of global warming.The wedge model is a compelling way to think about how the world might address global warming, but it begs the question: how do we do it? How can the world deploy low-carbon technologies–both those we have now and those still in development–on a massive scale and with unprecedented speed?WRI and Goldman Sachs have been working to answer those questions, and today we release the first fruits of that work. The new report, Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions, is the first release of a partnership between WRI and the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets. The multi-year partnership is aimed at designing and promoting the policy and market structures for deploying low-carbon technologies to mitigate climate change.The Intersection of Technology, Investment and PolicyThe report underscores the importance that technology will play in addressing climate change. But beyond that, it identifies the important roles that investment capital and policy design must play in the solution. And most importantly, the report shows how these three areas must coalesce into a coherent vision in order to achieve adequate emissions reductions. For instance:New technologies cannot be looked at in isolation; they must be viewed in concert with each other and with attendant considerations. For example, hydrogen and biofuels would require a new pipeline and distribution infrastructure, and greater wind power would entail significant upgrades to some electricity transmission grids. New technologies will not materialize without sufficient investment capital for not only the technologies themselves but for large scale deployment and infrastructure. This will require a significant level of financial innovation. Sufficient capital depends on the investment community’s role in informing and supporting the necessary policies to stimulate new technology demand. Poorly designed policies or those that present significant uncertainties are major risks for the investment community and the private sector. That will in turn discourage investment capital and slow technology deployment. On the other hand, well-designed climate policies will create huge opportunities for innovative companies to flourish as new technology markets emerge around the world.Smart Wedges and Threat WedgesThe original Pacala/Socolow model focuses on technology options that would reduce emissions from business-as-usual (BAU) projections. But there are a number of emerging energy technologies that could have exactly the opposite effect: driving emissions up instead of down. Scaling Up calls these “threat wedges.” They would most likely be driven by concerns about energy security or consistently high fossil fuel prices.Source: Scaling Up: Global Technology Deployment to Stabilize Emissions, Figure 3last_img read more


first_img2020 will be a big year for the Orange City Tulip Festival.The event, set for May 14-16, will be Orange City’s 80th annual Tulip Festival.Orange City will also be celebrating it’s 150th anniversary in 2020.The festival’s steering committee has announced the theme for the 2020 tulip festival will connect both anniversaries as “Vibrant Together, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”Reese and Cristi Kelch, co-chairpersons of the steering committee, felt the theme captures the spirit of the community and honors the rich history of the festival, while looking forward to continuation of the annual Dutch celebration.last_img

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul suspended after Koffee with Karan row

first_imgOther Videos from Sports 22:37 Wed, 23 Oct, 2019 A new start for BCCI: Sourav Ganguly after taking charge as board president 04:27 Wed, 23 Oct, 2019 Former India captain Sourav Ganguly takes over as 39th BCCI president 03:09 Thu, 17 Oct, 2019 Haven’t had a discussion about Ashwin’s future at KXIP yet, says coach Kumble 09:34 Mon, 14 Oct, 2019 Never aspired to become BCCI chief: Sourav Ganguly 05:16 Mon, 14 Oct, 2019 Sourav Ganguly likely to become new BCCI boss 09:04 Sat, 12 Oct, 2019 We will create Indian champions in Free Fire: Kiren Rijiju 02:16 Sat, 12 Oct, 2019 Watch: Free Fire India Today League trophy unveiled 03:11 Sat, 12 Oct, 2019 Watch: Kalli Purie speech at Free Fire India Today League trophy Load More Other Video CategoriesIndiaSportsMoviesSo SorryProgrammelast_img read more

Opportunities in Tourism for Local Farmers

first_img Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, says the tourism sector continues to offer opportunities to local farmers.Speaking at the Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) College of Hospitality Services/Western Hospitality Institute Trade Show at the Cardiff Hotel and Spa, Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on November 16, Mr. Hutchinson said that a close examination of the country’s high food-import bill reveals that a large portion of what is imported “is destined for the tourism sector”.“Based on a 2015 Demand Study, it is estimated that the annual value of demand for agricultural products by the tourism sector is approximately $19 billion,” the Minister noted.“More than 75 per cent of this value is for food items in the poultry, meat, seafood and fruit categories, of which locally sourced agricultural produce accounted for only $14.5 billion,” he added.The Minister pointed out that visitors to Jamaica thoroughly enjoy the taste of the local produce, and everything should be done to ensure that Jamaican foods make up the majority of what is consumed inside the hotels.“Visitors to our shores do love to eat and to consume a lot of our food. These food types range from beverages and snacks to fine dining. It is for that reason we believe Jamaican produce and our renowned cuisine must be a part of the menu provided in our hotels and resorts,” he said.“I believe as a country we need to truly maximise the benefits of our large tourism sector in terms of creating the linkages to the other economic sectors, such as agriculture,” he added.Mr. Hutchinson argued that it is only when “we develop and maintain linkages” where every industry and every economic activity will allow “as many people as possible to prosper” that Jamaica will truly grow on a sustainable basis.The Minister said the Government is committed to ensuring that the agricultural sector gets all the necessary support, where it can overcome the challenges, and where it can continue to play its role as one of the key engines of growth. The Minister pointed out that visitors to Jamaica thoroughly enjoy the taste of the local produce, and everything should be done to ensure that Jamaican foods make up the majority of what is consumed inside the hotels. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, says the tourism sector continues to offer opportunities to local farmers. Mr. Hutchinson argued that it is only when “we develop and maintain linkages” where every industry and every economic activity will allow “as many people as possible to prosper” that Jamaica will truly grow on a sustainable basis. Story Highlightslast_img read more

USCG Issues New Interim OSV Rule

first_imgzoom IllustrationThe U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday issued an interim rule regarding regulations to mitigate the risk created by the removal of the statutory size limit previously placed on offshore supply vessels.The regulations were effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 removed the statutory size limit previously placed on offshore supply vessels and required the Coast Guard to issue regulations to mitigate the risk created as a result, noting the need to ensure safe carriage of oil, hazardous substances and individuals other than crew on OSVs of at least 6,000 gross tonnage as measured under the Convention Measurement System.Also, this rule will affect any vessel of at least 500 gross register tons as measured under the Regulatory Measurement System, if that vessel is not assigned a measurement under the Convention Measurement System and the owner desires to have the vessel certified as an OSV.Press Release, August 20, 2014last_img read more

Scorpio Tankers Widens Net Loss

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Monaco-based tanker owner Scorpio Tankers wrapped up the first three quarters of this year with a widened net loss.Impacted by challenging market conditions, the company suffered a net loss of USD 172.4 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to a net loss of USD 116.7 million posted in the same period a year earlier.In addition, Scorpio Tankers’ net loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, stood at USD 71.7 million, against a net loss of USD 36.9 million seen in the corresponding three-month period of 2017.From June 2018 through October 2018, the company closed on agreements to refinance a total of 41 of its vessels through a series of bank loans and lease financing arrangements raising USD 321.7 million of new liquidity, after the repayment of the existing secured debt related to these vessels.In September and October 2018, the company entered into an agreement to retrofit 23 of its LR2s with scrubbers. It also signed letters of intent with suppliers, engineering firms, and ship repair facilities to cover the purchase and installation of scrubbers on substantially all of its remaining owned and financed leased LR2, LR1, and MR tanker vessels  — approximately 67 vessels — between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.The scrubbers and their installation are expected to cost between USD 1.5 and USD 2.2 million per vessel, and the company anticipates that between 60-70% of these costs will be financed.In October 2018, the company raised estimated net proceeds of USD 319.7 million in an underwritten public offering of 182.2 million shares of common stock.Scorpio Tankers currently owns or finance leases 109 product tankers with an average age of 3.2 years and time or bareboat charters-in 13 product tankers.last_img read more

Miley Cyrus Liam Hemsworth split after less than a year of marriage

first_imgLos Angeles: Pop star Miley Cyrus and actor Liam Hemsworth have parted ways just seven months after they tied the knot. The on-again, off-again couple married in a private ceremony in December. A representative of Cyrus confirmed the news to People magazine. “Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time. Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. “They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy” the representative said in a statement. Rumors of Cyrus, 26, and Hemsworth, 29, parting ways started doing the rounds on Saturday after the singer posted a photo of herself on Instagram in which she was not wearing her wedding ring.last_img read more

EC to retain 200 companies of Central Forces till May 27

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission will retain 200 companies of Central Forces in the state till May 27, to assist counting and also to handle post-poll violence, if any. Out of the 200 companies, 82 will be deployed for the counting centres while the rest will be deployed in areas where the commission anticipates post-poll violence.”The remaining 510 companies of Central Forces that were present in the state during the last phase of elections on Sunday, will move out now,” a senior EC official said. According to the EC official, there will be 58 counting centres across the state, with at least one centre in each of the 42 parliamentary constituencies. There will be 144 observers deputed for the counting process. “There will be a three-tier security system and section 144 will be imposed around all counting centres. The first layer will be maintained by the state police to keep interested people out of the purview of the counting centres. The second layer will be managed by the state armed police, while the third layer – in and around the counting halls – will be maintained by the Central Forces,” the official said. Apart from the returning officers and the observers, none will be allowed with mobile phones and cameras within the counting halls. All the halls will be under CCTV surveillance and will be covered by webcasting so that it can be directly controlled by the Commission. The candidates will have to give detailed lists of the counting agents beforehand. All the people allowed to enter the counting halls will be closely frisked. The vehicles carrying the EVMs will be GPS-enabled, so that their movement can be tracked. According to sources in the CEO’s office in Bengal, the entire process of counting might take 14 hours or more. Only one table will be counted at a time. Once it is finished, counting will start for the next table. 5 percent of VVPATs will be counted from each Assembly constituency. VVPATs will be counted after the completion of counting the ballot units.last_img read more

US Diplomacy Explanations after Refusing Visa to Moroccan Athlete El Bakkali

Rabat – The 3000-meter steeplechase world vice-champion, Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, was prevented last week from going to the United States to take part in the Eugene Diamond League. The US diplomat who refused to issue the visa has offered some explanations.“Around the world, some visa applications may require additional administrative processing that can lead to delays. The time required to perform this additional administrative treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each case,” he explained to TelQuel via email from the American Embassy in Rabat.Essentially, the denial is due to the increasingly complicated procedures for obtaining US visas imposed by the Trump administration.. Contacted by Morocco World News, the US Embassy has explained that a P-1 visa is required for anyone traveling to the US temporarily to perform in a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually, or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance. Despite a letter of invitation and promise of the special  P-1 procedure from the organizers, the athlete has still not received his passport.El Bakkali unfortunately missed the Diamond League competition, which took place May 26 in Eugene, Oregon, USA.However, Moroccan athlete Rabab El Arafi was able to compete in the 1500 meter race. She finished in fourth place, with a time of 3 minutes and 59 seconds, recording the second best women’s performance in Moroccan history.Meanwhile, El Bakkali has competed in multiple other international sporting events. In 2016, he qualified for the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final at the Rio Olympics and placed fourth after a personal best of 8:14:35 minutes.A year later, the sportsman won a silver medal at the IAAF London 2017 World Championship. El Bakkali claimed second place behind Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto in the 3,000-meter steeplechase race.The 22-year old Moroccan is one of several promising athletes that Morocco has pinned for greatness and  gold on the world stage. read more

UN atomic agency chief heads to Tehran for talks on Irans nuclear

10 January 2008The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency begins two days of talks with high-level Iranian officials in Tehran tomorrow in a bid to speed up a resolution of outstanding issues over the country’s nuclear programme. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei’s visit is his latest move to clarify aspects of the programme, which many countries see as an effort to produce nuclear weapons but which Iran says is solely for the peaceful purpose of producing energy. “During the trip, Dr. ElBaradei hopes to develop ways and means to enhance and accelerate implementation of safeguards in Iran, with an aim of resolving remaining outstanding issues,” the IAEA said in a news release. “Dr. ElBaradei also welcomes the visit as a chance to enable the IAEA to provide assurance about Iran’s past and present nuclear activities.” The crisis began with the discovery in 2003 that Iran had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the Security Council has since imposed a series of sanctions, with members considering further action. Mr. ElBaradei has repeatedly noted that while the IAEA has not seen any diversion of material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, it also cannot conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran. read more

Enbridge hikes dividend by 11 sets 2014 earnings targets

CALGARY — Pipeline giant Enbridge Inc. is hiking its quarterly dividend by 11% and increasing its earnings targets for 2014 from this year’s range.The company declared a dividend of 35 cents per share, payable March 1, up from its earlier rate of 31.5 cents per share.“This significant bump this year reflects confidence management and the board have in the earnings growth we expect over the five year planning horizon,” CEO Al Monaco told a conference call Wednesday.Enbridge said it expects adjusted earnings per share next year to come in at $1.84 to $2.04 per share.This year’s earnings are expected to fall within its $1.74 to $1.90 per share range.“On balance, we should be inside the original guidance range, but now toward the bottom end of that range,” said chief financial officer Richard Bird.Enbridge had already signalled during its third-quarter conference call that it would be unlikely to reach the upper end of its 2013 guidance rang.Headwinds — such as refinery issues — have intensified since then. At the same time, tailwinds — such as Enbridge’s gas distribution and energy services businesses — were “less favourable,” said Bird. read more

Kahawatte murder suspects arrested

The incident sent shockwaves in the area which was already reeling from a spate of similar murders over the past few years. Initially the police received information that a house in the area had caught fire and when the police went to investigate they found the two burnt bodies inside. The police had offered a Rs. 1 million reward for any information which could lead to a breakthrough over the investigations into the double murder in Kahawatte. (Colombo Gazette) The police said that four people were arrested today over the murder of a woman and her daughter in Kahawatte earlier this year.A woman, 63 year old L.A. Premawathi, and her 33 year old daughter were found dead in their house at Kahawatte on July 19.

Curfew reimposed in North Western Province and Gampaha

A Police curfew has been re-imposed in North Western Province and Gampaha tonight.The Police said the curfew has been declared from 7pm tonight to 4am tomorrow. A curfew declared around the island was lifted this morning.The curfew had been enforced after violence broke out in the North Western Province and Gampaha targetting Muslims.

Womens basketball Ohio State returns home to face No 18 Miami

OSU sophomore guard Asia Doss (20) shoots a free throw during the second half a game against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament on March 5 in Indianapolis. OSU lost, 82-63. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Oller ReporterThe Ohio State women’s basketball team has returned to central Ohio after its first road trip of the season. Following two wins and a loss in the Gulf Coast Showcase this past weekend in Estero, Florida, the No. 9 Buckeyes’ tough non-conference schedule will continue with a contest against the No. 18 Miami Hurricanes.The Hurricanes will come to Columbus with a 5-1 record on the year. After falling in its season opener to then-No. 19 Kentucky, Miami has rebounded to win its last five. The Hurricanes have an average margin of victory of 23.2 in that span, although all five victories have come against unranked opponents.Miami features four players who are scoring more than 10 points per game. Senior guard Jessica Thomas leads the way with 13 points per game with senior guard Adrienne Motley, sophomore guard Laura Comelius and junior forward/center Erykah Davenport also in double digits. As a team, Miami is shooting 44.8 percent from the field and averaging 74.7 points per game.OSU also has four scorers above 10 points per game, but the Buckeyes’ leader, junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, is seventh in the nation with 23.3 points per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun (13.4), redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavugna (12.0) and senior forward Shayla Cooper (11.4) follow Mitchell. OSU is averaging 86 points per game, shooting 45.1 percent from the field.OSU may have a slight advantage when it comes to offensive abilities, but the Hurricanes may pose some challenges defensively. OSU’s defensive issues have been well documented this season, and it has shown in the form of 73.7 points per game from opponents. Miami has allowed just 58 points per game this season, but it should be noted that OSU has faced three ranked opponents compared to the Hurricanes’ one.The difference in this game might come down to interior play. One of OSU’s biggest advantages this season has been rebounding and the ability to get high-percentage shots. Mavunga is averaging a double-double at 12 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, and Cooper has found success inside as well. Freshman forward Tori McCoy is starting to find her way after early season struggles.But it’s not just the forwards that have seen action around the basket for the Buckeyes. Mitchell and freshman guard Kiara Lewis have a knack for driving to the hoop and converting difficult, well-covered shots.Miami has allowed opponents to grab 34.7 rebounds per game, and the Buckeyes are pulling down 46.6 per game. If the Hurricanes are able to limit OSU’s second-chance opportunities, Miami will have a great chance to leave Columbus with a victory. But if OSU continues to have its way inside, it could be a long night for the Hurricanes.Tipoff between the Buckeyes and Hurricanes is set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Schottenstein Center. read more