CNN Features Restoration of AlQarawiyyin Worlds Oldest Library

Rabat – As the world’s oldest library, Al-Qarawiyyin, is home to some of humanity’s most priceless manuscripts. As part of its “Inside Africa” series, CNN has produced a seven-minute video of the library, showcasing its history and the restoration efforts now underway.From the beginning of its construction in the 14th century, the Al-Qarawiyyin Library, in the heart of historic Fez, was destined to become a critical hub of learning for scholars through the ages.The pride with which the library’s curator, Abdelfattah Bougchouf, speaks of historic structure is obvious. Housing priceless manuscripts such as a 9th century Quran, a 12th century astronomy text and a 14th century tome on jurisprudence, the value of the edifice quickly becomes apparent. The curator reverently leafs through one of the first biographies of Mohammed as he speaks of the library’s purpose as a centre for knowledge for scholars of the past, present and future. “Our duty,” he says, “is to look after it for humanity and future generations.”In 2012, it became clear that the building was in urgent need of restorative work to save it from the ravages of constant water damage. With no blueprints to work from, architects like Lamiss Ben El Haj, had their work cut out for them. Still, the excitement of working on such an historical project was an irresistible lure.Plans were drawn up from scratch and soon engineers were digging a new sewer system to permanently funnel the library’s arch enemy, water, away from its foundation. Major restructuring of the walls was needed to provide the appropriate support for the foundation.Speaking of the work that faced them, Ben El Haj, stressed the importance of using original materials and techniques wherever possible. “When we restore we should bring it back like it was.” In keeping with that philosophy, local craftsmen were brought in to apply their time-honoured skills to detail work, evidenced by the handwrought copper chandelier in one of the library’s reading rooms.Stairs were painstakingly reconstructed matching materials and colours against the original work. When the famous green roof tiles needed replacing they were removed one at a time and exchanged for exact replicas.Critical innovations were also made part of the restoration. A temperature-controlled room was constructed to house the Al-Qarawiyyin’s most priceless manuscripts. A specially constructed area in the basement was also built where the maintenance of the library’s more fragile pieces will be completed. The latest in high-tech preservation equipment has been installed, including facilities for digitizing ancient texts to minimize their handling.Recently reopened to the public, the restorative labour of love has restored Al-Qarawiyyin to, as the narrator says, its deserving place as the “Jewel in the Crown of the Medina’s restoration.” As the video concludes, a smiling Bougchouf reflects on an ancient Moroccan proverb, “Man’s best friend is a book.”Picture Courtesy: CNN read more

SecretaryGeneral welcomes release of hostages by Colombian guerrillas

10 January 2008United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the release of two women held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – known by its Spanish acronym FARC – and expressed hope that other captives will also be let go soon. The Secretary-General “hopes this gesture will lead to the speedy release of the many remaining kidnap victims,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “He strongly condemned the practice of kidnapping, which is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law,” the statement added. According to media reports, Clara Rojas had been held by the rebel group since 2002 and Consuelo González de Perdomo since 2001.

Taylor Rabbitts outspent incumbents

Simcoe Coun. Ryan Taylor enjoyed strong financial support in his inaugural bid for elected office last fall.In his financial statement, Taylor declared campaign income in the amount of $4,111. That was about as much as he needed as Taylor’s expenses came to $4,121.By law, candidates in last fall’s municipal election must file a financial statement with the municipal clerk’s department.They must also respect a designated spending limit for the entire municipality if they run for mayor and a designated spending limit in their ward if they run as a councillor.Failure to file a financial statement or exceeding the spending limit disqualifies a candidate from running in the next municipal election. In Norfolk, that occurs in 2022.The rules require candidates to declare donors who contributed $100 or more to their campaign. Taylor lists four of these in his statement, which was filed at Governor Simcoe Square Feb. 28.Donors to Taylor’s campaign include:Kathleen Noble of Simcoe: $1,000. Rob Kennaley of Simcoe: $1,000. David Brown of Simcoe: $200. Marilyn Stanley of Toronto: $100. In the area of expenses, Taylor declared $72 for campaign T-shirts and $68 for campaign photos. A total of $87 was spent on a campaign thank-you party while $271 was spent on a radio ad thanking Simcoe voters for electing him to Norfolk council.Taylor and fellow municipal newcomer Ian Rabbitts were elected to represent Simcoe-area Ward 5 Oct. 22.And like Taylor, Rabbitts also enjoyed solid financial support. As previously reported, Rabbitts declared $7,590 in campaign income against expenses of $6,177. The campaign spending limit in Ward 5 was $6,479.The financial statements of the eventual winners contrast with those of council incumbents Doug Brunton and Peter Black. The pair placed out of the running Oct. 22 third and fourth respectively.In his financial statement, which was filed Oct. 26, Black declared campaign income of $3,164 against expenses of the same amount.Black declared no donations of $100 or more or the receipt of in-kind services from third parties.Brunton filed his financial statement Jan. 28. He declared no campaign income against expenses of $2,885. Brunton also declared no donations of $100 or more and no in-kind services from third parties.In her campaign filing Dec. 19, Ward 5 candidate Doreen Oates declared campaign income of $1,245 against expenses of $1,276.Oates declared a $200 donation from Carrol Lambert of Simcoe, two donations of $25 each from Jim Pudge of Simcoe, and a $20 donation from Robin Cooke of Delhi.The only Ward 5 candidate left to file is Rick Dixon of Simcoe.All candidates in last fall’s election have till 2 p.m. March 29 to file a primary financial statement with the clerk’s department at Governor Simcoe Square.In the absence of that, all candidates have till March 28 to file a request in the Ontario Court of Justice for a reporting extension.After March 29, candidates have till 2 p.m. April 29 to file a financial statement along with a $500 late-filing fee. After that, the penalty for not filing at all takes read more

Mortgage servicer Ocwen reducing balances by 2B in deal with US govt

by Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press Posted Dec 19, 2013 12:26 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Mortgage servicer Ocwen reducing balances by $2B in deal with US gov’t and 49 states WASHINGTON – Ocwen Financial Corp. will reduce struggling borrowers’ loan balances by $2 billion in an agreement with federal regulators and 49 states over foreclosure abuses.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state attorneys general announced the deal Thursday with the Atlanta-based company, one of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers. The regulators said Ocwen pushed borrowers into foreclosure through illegal actions, such as failing to promptly and accurately credit mortgage payments.The company also miscalculated interest rates and charged borrowers improper fees, the regulators said.“We believe that Ocwen violated federal consumer financial laws at every stage of the mortgage servicing process,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a conference call with reporters. “We have concluded that Ocwen made troubled borrowers even more vulnerable to foreclosure.”Under the agreement, Ocwen also will refund a combined $125 million to about 185,000 borrowers who had been foreclosed upon from 2009 through 2012. It also agreed to change the way it manages mortgages. The company must stop “robo-signing” of documents, the practice of automatically signing off on foreclosures without a proper review.The agreement must be approved by a federal court in Washington.Representatives of Ocwen didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.Ocwen is the fourth-largest mortgage servicer in the country and the biggest that isn’t a bank. It specializes in servicing high-risk mortgages. Servicing companies collect payments from borrowers and handle customer services, loan modifications and foreclosures.Federal and state regulators have signed agreements with a number of large banks and mortgage processing companies over foreclosure abuses.Ocwen’s compliance with the settlement will be overseen by Joseph A. Smith Jr., the monitor for the $25 billion settlement reached in February 2012 between the federal government and the states and five major banks — Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.The housing crisis struck starting in 2007, as home values sank and millions of borrowers defaulted on their mortgages. The crisis brought more than 4 million foreclosures. Some mortgage-servicing companies had processed foreclosures without verifying documents.The CFPB, 49 states and the District of Columbia signed the agreement with Ocwen. Oklahoma is the only state that isn’t participating.The largest share of the mortgage relief, an estimated $342 million, is expected to go to Florida. The state’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, said during the conference call that Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. read more

Businesses around OSU not worried about game day sales without Tressel

Jim Tressel is officially the former head coach of Ohio State football and the impact of his resignation will be felt far beyond the towering walls of Ohio Stadium. Many campus area businesses said game days are also big paydays. According to a 2005 study published in the “Journal of Sports Economics,” OSU athletic programs generated an estimated $100 million for the local economy in 2003. But with the football program in turmoil, will football Saturdays still be a windfall for local businesses? Michael Weisgarber, a fourth-year in English and history, said he attended almost every home football game last season. Next year, however, he is considering sitting out some games because of the scandal. “A lot of the popularity of the football team has to do with image,” Weisgarber said. “I think Tressel is pretty integral to that image.” John Miles has been working the register at Tommy’s Pizza and Subs on West Lane Avenue for five years and he said it’s not easy to predict if a lot of fans will skip games and impact sales. “It’s hard to say, it might drop off a little, but nothing major,” Miles said. Tommy’s often does about $2,000 of business on a Friday, but game days can bring in $10,000 to $15,000, Miles said. During the University of Southern California game in 2009, that figure was about $17,000. But Tommy’s has been serving pizza and subs to the OSU community for more than 25 years, and Miles said it is confident business will remain strong, even without the Senator at the ‘Shoe. “I think people care more about the school than Tressel,” Miles said. That is true for Nathan Rodriguez, a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering. Rodriguez said he goes to a couple games every year. “I don’t see myself being any less likely to go,” Rodriguez said. “I still will go to a couple games.” Buckeye Donuts on North High Street is another game day favorite and owner Jimmy Barouxis said it’s common for the restaurant to serve more than 1,000 customers. “It definitely matters how well the team is doing,” Barouxis said. “As the tension and excitement builds when the team is doing well, we definitely do more business.” Barouxis said game-day business might drop off by a few percentage points now that Tressel is gone, but the donut and sandwich shop will be fine. “We’re not worried,” Barouxis said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” Some businesses are even hopeful their sales will improve. Leah Reynolds is a Columbus artist who sells prints of hand-drawn portraits of Tressel and former OSU football coach Woody Hayes through the online crafts site, Reynolds said page views for her Tressel prints went up after the embattled coach resigned. Her online store sells full portraits as well as cards and magnets that feature the legendary OSU coaches and other artwork. “Right before football season I sell more Woody Hayes and coach Tressel prints,” Reynolds said. “If you live (in Columbus), you have to be a fan.” Reynolds said she has no intention of taking down the Tressel prints. “They won’t go off (the website),” Reynolds said. “There will still be Tressel fans, just like there are still Woody Hayes fans.” The artist said some people might buy the Tressel prints as a gag gift for a Buckeye fan. But Reynolds isn’t dwelling on the past, in fact she is already working on her latest piece: a portrait of coach Luke Fickell. “I will absolutely have a print of him (Fickell),” Reynolds said. “I’m planning on getting that up just as soon as I can.” read more

PS4 Killzone mega bundle confirmed for UK matches Xbox One price

first_imgBack in August a listing appeared on Amazon France that offered a PS4 console bundled with an extra DualShock 4 controller, the PlayStation Camera, and a copy of Killzone: Shadow Fall. The price initially matched that of the Xbox One standard console price, but soon disappeared with no confirmation from Sony as to what was planned.Now that same bundle has appeared briefly on Amazon’s UK site and has since been confirmed by Sony as a real bundle that will be offered in the UK. The price will be the same as the Xbox One that ships with a single controller, Kinect, and a download copy of FIFA 14 or Forza 5.Internally Sony refers to this launch bundle as the “mega bundle,” and it’s easy to see why. It is matching the Xbox One on price, but offering more in terms of value, especially if you count that second controller. You can argue that the PS4 and Xbox One at the same price offer the same value, but not everyone wants FIFA 14 or Forza 5 (or Kinect for that matter), but you don’t have any choice.If you don’t want Killzone, then you still have the choice to purchase the standard PS4, select another game or two, and save some cash. The same is true if you don’t want the second controller or camera. The choice is there, and that’s what is important.If you’ve already pre-ordered a PS4, Sony is working with retailers to allow the option to upgrade to a bundle once it becomes available/official. And apparently this isn’t the only bundle that will be on offer, with Sony set to announce several more before the week is over. Could we see other so-called mega bundles including games such as Knack and Watch Dogs perhaps?I’d be really surprised not to see this mega bundle and other bundles announced for the US soon, too.last_img read more

Savvidis in town for lecture series

first_imgAssociate Professor of the University of Thessaloniki, Thomas Savvidis will be in Melbourne this week to give four lectures in Greek.Born in northern Greece, Professor Savvidis is a leading mind in chemistry and biology, and is currently working on utilizing ancient Greek literature as a source of scientific knowledge in the field of formal sciences. Today, Professor Savvidis will be giving the lecture “The internationalisation of the Greek Language” at 7pm, held at the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture, 168 Lonsdale Street. On Thursday at the same time and location, he will be giving the lecture “The cultural heritage of Asia Minor, Smyrna, Pontos, Cappadocia and Constantinople”.Drawing on his recent publication of the book, “The Pontian Diet: the mastic of Chios and Homer’s Vine”, Mr Savvidis will be visiting the Pontiaki Estia (540 Sydney Road, Brunswick) at 7pm to give a lecture on the topic and inform local Pontians the benefits of their northern food and culinary traditions. In his final lecture on Sunday, Professor Savvidis will discus the topic of refugees in “Refugees/Thessaloniki: The new homeland of Asia Minor refugees” at the Pontiaki Estia at 3pm.Professor Savvidis has published approximately one hundred research papers and is a member of a number of international scientific associations and the president of the Organisation for the Internationalisation of the Greek Language.For more information visit Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

WWE Network sees increase in overall subscribers following WrestleMania 34 on Sunday

first_img WhatsApp Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Google+ Now Playing Up Next WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins tops the 2019 Annual PWI 500 list Carmella speaks out on a recent health scare has caused her to miss time from WWE Velvet Sky Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns is in Remission Pinterest Videos Articlescenter_img Facebook Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Twitter Now Playing Up Next Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 WWE announced on Monday afternoon that the WWE Network has reached a record 2.12 million total subscribers following WrestleMania 34 on Sunday night in New Orleans.Total paid subscribers reached 1.81 million, up 9% from last year’s WrestleMania.You can check out the full announcement below.WWE® Raises Q1 and Full Year 2018 GuidanceSTAMFORD, Conn., April 9, 2018 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced that its digital streaming service, WWE Network, reached a record 2.12 million total subscribers following last night’s WrestleMania®.1 This is a 9% increase from April 3, 2017, the day after WrestleMania last year.“We expect to deliver record subscriber levels, revenue and Adjusted OIBDA in 2018,” said George Barrios, WWE Co-President. “WWE Network’s continued growth along with our massive reach across traditional television as well as digital and social platforms, reaffirms the effectiveness of our global, multi-platform content strategy.”WWE Network Subscriber HighlightsWWE Network achieved record levels of total and total paid subscribers as of April 9, 2018. Total paid subscribers reached 1.81 million, representing a 9% increase from April 3, 2017 – the day after WrestleMania last year.WWE Network total subscribers at WrestleMania 34 and WrestleMania 33.WrestleMania MilestonesWrestleMania broke the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event at $14.1 million, as a sold-out crowd of 78,133 fans from all 50 states and 67 countries attended the event. As part of the week-long WrestleMania celebration, WWE hosts five consecutive nights of events at the Superdome and the Smoothie King CenterWWE Network subscribers viewed 25.2 million hours during WrestleMania Week or 14 hours per subscriber during the week. This compares to 22.5 million hours last year, a 12% year-over-year increase.WWE 2018 PerspectiveQ1 2018: Based upon preliminary data, WWE Network attracted an average of approximately 1.56 million paid subscribers over the first quarter 2018, representing a 5% increase from the first-quarter 2017 average. The first quarter 2018 average was in-line with guidance of approximately 1.53 million.3During the first quarter 2018, the Company realized stronger than anticipated performance. As a result, the Company expects Q1 Adjusted OIBDA of at least $30 million (subject to the completion of its quarterly close process), exceeding its previous guidance of $23 million to $27 million.4Q2 2018: If the acquisition and retention of subscribers driven by WrestleMania is comparable to the subscriber activity associated with the prior year event, average paid subscribers for the second quarter 2018 would be approximately 1.77 million, representing an increase of approximately 8% from the second quarter 2017.5 As future subscriber performance may differ from prior activity, this range is provided for perspective rather than as guidance.2018: WWE management continues to expect the Company to achieve another year of record revenue and has raised its target for 2018 Adjusted OIBDA to at least $145 million (excluding stock-based compensation expense), which would be an all-time record, exceeding its previous guidance of at least $140 million.4NotesTotal subscribers following WrestleMania exclude pay-per-view buys with cable and satellite providers.Metrics reflect subscribers who are direct customers of WWE Network and subscribers reported under licensed partner agreements, which have different economic terms for the network. The impact of these subscribers on WWE Network results is reflected in the network’s average revenue per subscriber (ARPU).Additional information regarding WWE Network subscriber levels can be found in the Company’s website presentation at is unable to provide a reconciliation of forward looking guidance to GAAP measures as, at this time, WWE cannot accurately determine the adjustments that would be required. Further information regarding such reconciliations can be found on page 5 of this release.Additional information regarding estimated WWE Network subscriber levels can be found in the Company’s website presentation at videosPowered by AnyClipBully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On TwitterVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:02Loaded: 68.16%0:02Remaining Time -0:28 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Is WWE Losing Its Audience? WWE officially announces that NXT will move to the USA Network starting September 18last_img read more

Gracia geared up for tough Bournemouth test

first_imgAhead of their trip to Bournemouth on Wednesday, Watford boss Javi Gracia says his side needs no extra motivation to beat Eddie Howe’s side at the Vitality Stadium.Gracia saw his side lose 4-0 at home to Bournemouth in their first meeting in the Premier League in October.As they prepare to travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday, Gracia wants his side focused on the tactical and technical aspects of the game, and not on revenging their 4-0 defeat.“I don’t think my players need the motivation to do our best,” he told the club’s official website.“I know my players and I know in all the games without exception they give their best. They don’t need extra motivation to play against Bournemouth.”In the October clash between the two teams, Watford had a player sent off after Bournemouth took the lead.Joshua King then scored a brace after Christian Kabasele was shown red and the first half ended 3-0.Callum Wilson completed the scoring two minutes into the second half to make it a humiliating 4-0 home defeat for Javi Gracia’s side.What to expect from Watford V Arsenal? Taimoor Khan – September 8, 2019 Arsenal are set to take on Watford this weekend and the game is definitely going to be quite a peculiar contest between two sides…“It was a very, very tough game for us,” Gracia said, recalling the events of the game.“After the sending off, it was difficult to play with ten players and losing 2-0. It was tough for us. I saw the game many times, not only the period against ten men.“I saw when we played with 11 and that was for around 30 minutes. In that moment, I think we conceded one goal and I think we didn’t play badly.“We could have done many things better but we kept a good level in that 30 minutes. After that it was a bad game, maybe I made some decisions, like playing Capoue as a center-back to see if able to have more options.“There were different situations, decisions like that. But I am sure it will be different. We know it will be demanding against a good team, but I am sure we compete in the same way as in other games, we have options.”last_img read more

Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Invitations To BidMackinac Island and Chicago Trip — Deadline: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 2pmAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at] with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

Politics of Budget 2018 This year the exercise will look way beyond

first_imgPM Modi during the pre-Budget meeting with economists.Twitter Narendra ModiFinance minister Arun Jaitley may on Thursday, February 1, announce big-ticket schemes and populist changes, but beneath each and every move will work calculations to keep Modi in power at least till 2024.And what about 2024 and beyond? Expect Union Budget 2018 and those in the next few years to pave the way for policies that will let the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate after Narendra Modi continue without much backlash.Interestingly, one common refrain at the grassroots of the party seems to be “2024 tak Modi, uske baad yogi [Modi till 2024, Yogi after that].” This is Yogi Adityanath, the current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh – the state that has sent the most number of prime ministers to office.Modi himself is a Lok Sabha member from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and the common political understanding is whoever rules UP also rules India. Thus, it won’t be surprising if the BJP chooses Adityanath as Modi’s successor, and budgets henceforth have a little extra to keep UP happy with the saffron party.This is also the BJP-led NDA government’s last full budget before the next Lok Sabha elections, and many other political calculations seem to be casting a shadow on it. For one, Modi may decide to call for the Lok Sabha elections to be held this year itself. Second, he may take the combined-election route — simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections — to beat the anti-incumbency factor in some states. More importantly, he may take some steps to chip away at the poll planks that political rivals might use. Here’s a breakdown of how each factor may influence Budget 2018: In picture: EVMs used in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls being stored in a strong room in Surat, Gujarat on Dec 10, 2017. [Representational image]IANSCentral and state-wise issuesIndia is going to see Assembly elections in four major states in 2018: Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The North-Eastern states of Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland are also due for elections this year.However, since none of the North-Eastern states has much of a Congress presence, and the BJP rules all the aforementioned major states barring Karnataka, the South Indian state will be the one the BJP will focus on. And thus, the Union Budget 2018 can be expected to have some sops and development projects for the state.As for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP will be fighting the anti-incumbency factor there, besides several regional issues.In Madhya Pradesh, for example, the BJP will look to mollify farmers who have protested from time to time. In Rajasthan, on the other hand, it might have to do something for people who have been affected by the actions of cow-protection vigilantes.But the saffron party may have another ace up its sleeve to counter anti-incumbency. Farmers stage a demonstration against the killing of farmers of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur; in New Delhi on June 15, 2017.IANSPossibility of combined and early electionsOf course, the BJP will have an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and tweak Budget 2018 accordingly. However, there is now buzz that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may call for simultaneous state and Lok Sabha elections. Combined state and Central elections are nothing new in India. That is how they happened in the first couple of decades or so since Independence. And then, Rajesh Jain – the man behind the saffron party’s Mission 272 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections – wrote in an article in the Quint on January 23 that the BJP might call for general elections “in the next 100 days.”If this happens, along with the combining of polls, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana may also see polling along with the Lok Sabha elections and the eight aforementioned states.With elections combined, voters may not want to choose candidates from two different parties in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls — something the BJP will count on to help it beat the anti-incumbency factor in the states. To that end, the BJP may make Union Budget 2018 much more broad-based, so people prefer it at the Centre, and by extension in their states.For example, the North-East may receive special focus in the form of some infrastructure and defence projects, but the garb this focus will wear is the defence against China, which the whole country may throw its weight behind.Then there is the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, aka the Saubhagya scheme, launched last year with an aim to bringing electricity to all rural areas across the country. Mint has quoted sources telling it that the scheme will find a mention in the Budget, which means the BJP will have ammunition to needle the “dark era” of successive Congress governments in India.Encroaching on Opposition agendaThe BJP is also looking to take away the caste-based or region-based agenda that several regional parties with national-level ambitions have built their voter-base on.The saffron brigade was out in full strength looking to win Dalit support when Mani Shankar Aiyar called Modi a “neech kism ka aadmi,” and the Shiv Sena – which has said it will is parting ways with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections – will have to deal with the saffron party taking credit for the massive Shivaji statue coming up in Mumbai.The BJP is expected to continue this “encroachment” with Union Budget 2018. It has already started with the Congress’ plank of empowering women, with Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian saying: “In our bid to further the cause of women’s empowerment, the cover of Economic Survey 2018 is pink.” In picture: Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian (right) shows the pink Economic Survey 2017-18, in New Delhi on January 29, 2018.Press Information BureauAnother political move Jaitley might choose to make is bringing back wealth tax and inheritance tax. This should help the BJP firm up its pro-poor image, something it can once again use to hit back at the Congress.last_img read more

Lego is Testing a Custom Minifig Machine

first_img This Life-Sized Captain Marvel Model Is Built From 17,000 Lego Bricks’The Lego Movie 2′ Trailer is Here and It’s an Intergalactic Dream Stay on target Pop into one of Lego’s retail stores, and you’ll likely find a small display packed with parts to build your own minifigs. Now it looks like Lego is working on a whole new kind of minifig customization.For the past year and a half, designer Jens Hjorth has been working on a top-secret project. The big reveal finally happened yesterday. Hjorth’s creation: the minifigure factory.The machine doesn’t create minifigs from scratch. What it does do is print customized designs onto minifig torsos, and this is no pokey, one-at-a-time printer. Lego blog The Brothers Brick reports that it’s capable of printing on batches of 40 minifigures in one go.AdChoices广告According to one of the site’s commenters, it looks like Hjorth’s minifig machine utilizes a Roland LEF UV printer. That’s the same kind of printer that many independent shops have been using to churn out their own custom minifig creations.via brothers-brick.comTo make a custom minifig, you simply step up to the touchscreen kiosk. There you can choose from a number of stock design elements — like different types of clothing and shapes — and adjust colors to your liking.You’re also free to add custom text to your designs. The minifigure machine can even print on both sides of your minifig’s torso. A large, illuminated display lets customers know when their minifig is finished printing.Right now there’s only one minifig machine. If you want to try it out in, you’ll have to take a quick trip over to Denmark and visit the Lego Store in Copenhagen.It’s hard to imagine the machine not being a massive hit, though. If the trial run goes well, there’s a decent chance you’ll see a minifig machine at your nearest Lego Store in the not-too-distant-future. What’s $25,000 per printer when you’re a multi-billion-dollar business and the world’s largest toymaker?Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Black Friday 2018 Deal Samsung 128GB microSD Card for 1999 256GB for

first_imgNeed cheap, high-capacity microSD cards? Samsung’s early Black Friday 2018 sale has you covered today then.Get a High-Speed 128GB microSD Card from Samsung for $19.99, 256GB for $44.99Although many high-end flagships smartphones and tablets are moving towards storage that is not expandable, but there are a huge number of devices still that accept a microSD card. If you’re out on a hunt today for a microSD card only, then you will be pleased to learn that you can pick up a high-capacity and ultra fast one from Samsung at a surprisingly low price.First thing’s first, these cards are pretty solid when it comes to capacity – one is a 128GB option while the other is 256GB, giving you plenty of space to store photos, videos or just for safe-keeping your personal data. The 128GB model usually retails for a price of $41.99 whereas the 256GB one goes for $84.99. Now, when you compare this price to the discounted one, then you immediately realize that this is a straight-up 50% discount, making it a very insane deal and a hot one at that.Both these cards are Class 10 UHS 3, which means that they will play nicely with any sort of device including a high-performance drone that is capable of recording 4K UHD footage. You can expect up to 100MB/s of write speeds from this with reads being even higher. Things are topped off with the fact that both these cards come with an SD card adapter so you have the complete versatility of using them on multiple devices whether they support microSD only or the larger SD format.So, what are you waiting for then? Head over to the links below and grab this deal right away.Samsung 128GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSD EVO Select Memory Card with Adapter – Was $41.99, Now just $19.99Samsung 256GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSDXC EVO Select Memory Card with Adapter – Was $84.99, Now just $44.99 Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

Asia by Goway launches Romance Thailand campaign

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Asia by Goway launches Romance Thailand campaign Posted by TORONTO — Asia by Goway has launched its Romance Thailand Campaign with bonus upgrade offers.“What the world needs now, is ‘love, sweet love’! You would think it was February with all the love that Goway is showering around,” says the company.Goway has chosen four of its most popular programs for the campaign, highlighting Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.Goway has secured bonus upgrades for these destinations, starting with room upgrades from plunge pool suites to pool villas, and deluxe river view rooms.Goway says its partners in Thailand have also offered some great value for these superior room types so that clients can get the full comfort of a romantic stay.Each resort and hotel – eight in total – is also offering value-adds to enhance each couple’s stay. These include 60- and 90-minute massages, spa treatments, dinner options (including one that comes with butler service), cooking classes with an executive chef and plus food and beverage credits.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backA variety of packages are available, either pairing Bangkok with one of Thailand’s famous beach destinations, or delivering the full Thailand experience with an additional stay in Chiang Mai. Prices start at $2,189 out of Vancouver for City and Beach with Phuket.To be eligible for this offer, clients must book by Sept. 30.center_img Tags: Asia Pacific, Romance & Weddings, Thailand Tuesday, August 29, 2017 Sharelast_img read more

Berner Oberland Pass available through Rail Europe as of March 2019

first_img Share Thursday, January 3, 2019 Tags: Eurail, Rail Europe Posted by Berner Oberland Pass available through Rail Europe as of March 2019center_img WHITE PLAINS — Rail Europe is offering multiple new and upgraded options for exploring Europe in 2019.The Eurail Global Pass now features unlimited rail travel in 31 countries, with the addition of Great Britain, Lithuania, and Macedonia in 2019. A new, more competitive pricing structure makes it a better deal as well, says Rail Europe. Compared to 2018 prices, Eurail Global Passes are now permanently up to 37% cheaper.To accommodate shorter itineraries, a new 3-days-in-one month Eurail Global Pass has also been added for 2019. Travellers can now choose a flexi pass offering 3, 5 or 7 days of unlimited travel within a 1-month period, or 10 or 15 travel days to be used within a 2-month period, with a choice of consecutive or non-consecutive travel days. They can also opt for a continuous pass good for 15 or 22 travel days, or 1, 2 or 3 travel months.Rail Europe is advising that Eurail Global Passes purchased in 2018 will not be valid for use in Great Britain in 2019. However Eurail Select Passes and Saver Passes purchased in 2018 will still be valid for travel in 2019, even though the passes will be discontinued as of Dec. 31, 2018. The company recommends checking its Eurail Global Pass page for details.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsFor clients looking to explore a single country, the Eurail One Country Pass is now available for 6 days in 1 month. Choices now include 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 days in 1 month. The France Pass remains 1-8 days in 1 month. A Eurail Lithuania Pass and Eurail Macedonia Pass are also new.Rail Europe also says seniors age 60+ receive 10% off the adult fare on any Eurail Global Pass or Eurail One Country Pass for 1st and 2nd class travel. Eurail’s existing programs include discounts for Youth ages 12 to 27. Children up to age 11 travel for free when traveling with an adult, but not with those using the Senior Fare.Meanwhile the Eurail Greek Islands Pass has expanded to include 53 participating islands. The international option, available in 1st and 2nd class, is valid for 6 trips within 1 month, with one round-trip Italy-Greece ferry connection and 4 domestic trips, including Trainose rail/bus transfer from Patras to Piraeus. A new 5-trip option is available in 2nd class for 5 domestic trips within 1 month as well.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckComing soon, Thalys is opening new routes that will provide direct connections to Roissy – CDG Airport and Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland Paris, La Vallée Village) from Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, and Amsterdam. Tickets are now available through Rail Europe for travel starting in April 2019.Also coming up, the Berner Oberland Pass is anticipated to become available for purchase through Rail Europe beginning in March 2019. Those who wish to explore the Bernese Oberland region including Bern, Lucerne, Brig, and Emmental can use the Berner Oberland Regional Pass for travel by rail, PostBus, or boats on Lake Thun and Brienz. Available for both 1st and 2nd class travel and one flat fee for children, the pass features more than 15 mountain excursions. Choices include 3, 4, 6, 8, or 10 consecutive days, valid for travel April 20 to Oct. 31, 2019. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

BLTM to set a new standard for Business Travel marts in India

first_imgGAJESH GIRDHAR, Founder Member and National Coordinator, NIMABLTM is a MICE oriented event and therefore supported by NIMA. We expect India to be in Top 5 MICE markets by 2020 and we anticipate BLTM to raise the bar to next level in terms of a quality and productive business networking. NIMA strongly believes that BLTM will be the most sought MICE show parallel to any other MICE event in the world. We will always like that new untouched destinations should be promoted through this show so that MICE agents get more opportunities for their events. MICE stakeholders from Tier 2 and 3 cities should also be encouraged to take active part in this event.RAJAN SEHGAL, President, IGTAThe concept of BLTM, being organised by Fairfest Media Ltd is very important. India’s business and luxury travel industry is maturing and increasingly seen as a specialised market with differentiated needs, in keeping with global trends. We are indeed in need of quality participation of real luxury brands, both buyers and sellers and useful business sessions with results. Business & Luxury Travel Mart (BLTM) has been received very well as India’s first full-fledged travel mart focused on sellers from Business, MICE and Luxury Travel all over the world and hundreds of qualified Hosted Buyers from all over India, in addition to thousands of buyers from Delhi National Capital Region.BLTM, unlike other shows in this category so far, is not a table top show. According to industry analysts, evolution to this kind of a market place is the need of the hour in India, as table top shows do not do justice to seller brands- that is the reason why large format shows are most popular globally.According to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), business travel and MICE markets in India are one of the fastest growing in the world. GBTA Foundation report forecasts 10.7% growth in business travel spending in 2016, followed by another 10.2% in 2017 reaching $36.1 billion USD. It expects that India will move to the position of 6th largest business travel market in the world by the end of 2019, from the 10th position at present.Prominent industry bodies have lent their weight behind BLTM. These include Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA), Indian Association Congress (IAC), India Golf Tourism Association (IGTA), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI). Some of these will be conducting education and networking sessions during the two-day event.To cater to the growing segment of weddings, BLTM has roped in WedWise, a ‘community driven’ wedding start-up with 31,000 active members including the top wedding planners in India.The online appointment diary with a power-packed software has been commissioned, that will allow buyers and sellers to fix appointments for the BLTM. Each buyer will be expected to make at least 25 appointments a day, to be fulfilled at the show.Another first of its kind, BLTM has introduced the concept of Host Coordinators among the exhibiting sellers, who will be inviting and taking care of key buyers. The Host Coordinators will select, invite and qualify the Hosted Buyers attending the show, in batches of to 15 buyers each coordinator.BLTM fills a vacuum in the evolution in the travel trade shows in India, by introducing a sustainable show focused on business travel and MICE buyers. The dates of 2018 show are already announced as enquiries have started pouring in. There are plans to replicate the shows in other major markets in the West and South India.The organiser, Fairfest Media is the leading travel media company in India. Established in 1988, it organises TTF branded shows, which expanded to 9-city series annually. OTM organised by them in Mumbai every year is the largest travel show of India, with participation of more than 25 states and 50 countries. The company also publishes Travel News Digest.ANUP NAIR, President, SITE India ChapterThe SITE India Chapter is very pleased to have been asked to be the Knowledge Partner of BLTM in October 2016 and conduct the Conclave on MICE. With the changing face of business and access to information and technology, the key differentiator in times to come will be education; and it’s encouraging that the industry has recognised this value. SITE has curated an interesting discussion, which we hope will encourage and help more of our fraternity. GINNY KOHLI, Founder & CEO, WedWiseThe agenda for BLTM is carefully curated to guarantee the year’s most valuable day out of the office and also bring in an added advantage of personal introduction to some leading market players of the industry, which are helpful for developing great business opportunities. BLTM promises to offer an extravaganza of business networking and a way to reach decision-makers which might otherwise be difficult. Eagerly looking to be a part of this event and grab this opportunity to gain maximum brand exposure and genuinely connect with partners, customers and industry players.Sellers continue to repose their rock-solid confidence at BLTMSellers from close to hundred companies from hospitality and travel industry catering to business and MICE travel will be there at the BLTM. The companies that have confirmed their participation as Sellers at the BLTM include Accor Hotels, ADA Tours, Chancery Hotel Bangalore, Clarks Group Of Hotels/1589 Hotels, Club Mahindra, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Korea Tourism Organisation, Korean Air, Lemon Tree Hotels/Redfox Hotel, Nepal Tourism Board, Ottila, Pride Group of Hotels, Radisson Blu Hotel-Dwarka, Running on Waves, Shanti Maurice, TGB Banquets & Hotels Ltd, The Ambassador Hotel Group, The Lodhi Hotel, The Park Hotels, The Paul Bangalore/Kumarakom Lake Resort, The Royal Orchid, The Tamara-Coorg, Travel Motivations, Variety Cruises among others.Around 200 Hosted Buyers from all over IndiaBuyers from some of the top companies from India are equally excited about the show.MUNIND SHAH, Director, The Travel PlannersThe reason for participating in BLTM is its focused nature related to incentive and luxury sector which our company specialises in. The reputation of Fairfest in hosting OTM and TTF editions successfully further supports our participation and expectation from BLTM.GARY PILLAI, CEO, Africa Vision ToursWhat attracted me to BLTM was its focus on Business and Luxury Travel, which I am keen to explore and implement in our business. I hope the event is well coordinated to meet our expectations over the short stay and I come back fully charged with new ideas and techniques to take our company forward.VIKRANT HANKARE, Managing Director, Rajas TravelsBLTM is a platform where actual 100% professional buyers and sellers will meet with each other. BLTM team is continuously updating about the event and helping the buyers and sellers in various ways. BLTM has already added a range of good buyers and sellers to its list and I am hoping it would cover more DMC from Outbound and Inbound.JAYESH ASHAR, Managing Director, Pearl TravelsI am expecting something different at BLTM in comparison to other popular trade shows that happen in India. As we specialise in experiential travel programs, I am hoping to meet international vendors who can offer us a new dimension for the same. I am looking forward to meet niche tour operators from select destinations for which we can develop a market in India.SATHISH K, Global Travel Desk, Temenos IndiaBLTM is the ideal place for surveying the market, comparing prices, trying out products, discussing their applications and doing business. We are looking forward to this event for discovering innovations and seeing technically advanced products and to witness specialised products in action. We hope this would be an opportunity for us to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof.AMOL PRASADI, Red BullOur participation at BLTM is motivated by an ongoing search to provide new destinations and experience to internal & external stakeholders. With many of the decision makers confined to their offices mostly, such platforms as BLTM offers opportunities to explore the world around plus the changing dynamics of travel and MICE industry.ALI ANKLESHWARIA, Administration, Adani Wilmar LtdIt is a privilege to be associated with India’s first full-fledged travel mart, BLTM. Our expectations are to network with the industry’s top people with best solutions. We are expecting to network with the industry’s top people with best solutions.TANMAY KHARE, Infrastructure & Services, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services LtdBLTM is a single stop solution provider with a forum which is highly interactive and market oriented. This will be an exclusive platform to meet and align business requirements with customer requirements. Such events are an excellent forum for networking and taking travel related stuff to a further new and enhanced level.KAUSHIK SINHA, Magma Fincorp LtdAt BLTM, we are looking forward to good networking opportunities with the large hospitality, travel and MICE brands in the sector. It will be worthwhile to know international trends being followed by global MNCs in MICE. We would also like to explore services and offers being dished out by the MICE agencies or properties to make the proposition attractive.ARJUN R DOSHI, Classic Holidays Our expectations from BLTM are very high as Fairfest Media is very well known for its TTF and OTM which are the biggest platforms for travel agencies to market their products. I convey my best wishes to all the team members of BLTM.last_img read more

Arch MI Announces Enhanced Integration with Mortgage Cadence LFC

first_img August 28, 2017 541 Views Industry Integration 2017-08-28 Joey Pizzolato in Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (Arch MI) recently announced its integration with Mortgage Cadence’s Loan Fulfillment Center (LFC).With the integration, users of LFC—Mortgage Cadence’s proprietary loan origination system—can now instantly obtain quotes from Arch MI’s RateStar. The LFC will automatically receive and store the Arch MI Rate Quote Summary document for future reference.“Arch MI is pleased to offer expanded access to our innovative products on Mortgage Cadence’s LFC,” said Chris Hovey, Arch MI’s EVP and COO. “LFC users can now order non-delegated MI and access RateStar pricing without leaving the platform. Our integration enhancement exemplifies our commitment to providing seamless connectivity that improves business efficiencies for processors and underwriters.”The integration also provides LFC users a new option to order non-delegated MI. In addition, users can deliver non-delegated loan documents to Arch MI without using external websites.Paul Wetzel, EVP of Product Management at Mortgage Cadence said, “Mortgage Cadence is committed to providing a variety of third-party integration options to best serve our clients’ long-term needs. We are pleased to work with Arch MI to further our commitment to continually improving our customers’ access to highly robust vendor products and services.”center_img Arch MI Announces Enhanced Integration with Mortgage Cadence LFC Sharelast_img read more

ENITotal might extend gas search in blocks 6 and 11

first_imgThe consortium of ENI and Total is considering searching for more natural gas in offshore blocks 6 and 11, a senior executive of the Italian firm said on Wednesday.Speaking at the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference in Nicosia, ENI’s chief exploration officer Luca Bertelli sounded upbeat about the prospects of further gas discoveries inside Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).Bertelli underlined the significance of the results of the consortium’s exploratory drills at two targets, dubbed Onisiforos and Calypso – noting that the drills there have confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons formations in carbonate layers similar to Egypt’s massive Zohr gas play.In particular, the Calypso well in block 6 contains “almost pure methane”, confirming the potential for more gas discoveries in the region.Announcing the preliminary results of the drill at Calypso last month, the Italian company said it believed the well could hold around 6 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas.Should these preliminary results be confirmed, said Bertelli, his company will be exploring options for monetising the find.The fastest and cheapest way to do that is to utilise idle processing plants in Egypt, where the gas would be liquefied for export to Europe or to regional markets like Greece and Turkey.Bertelli noted that more gas discoveries are needed to ensure there will be sufficient quantities over the long term. That would also make planned projects – like a pipeline linking the East Mediterranean with Europe – viable.But he cautioned that “pragmatic, realistic” steps are needed because “the area is geopolitically complex”.He did not elaborate, although it’s understood he was alluding to the dispute over hydrocarbons between Cyprus on the one hand, and Turkey and northern Cyprus on the other.In February Turkish warships, claiming to be carrying out exercises, prevented a drillship contracted by ENI from reaching a site in block 3. The company was eventually forced to cancel the planned drill.Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, nor therefore the latter’s jurisdiction over its EEZ.Ankara has repeatedly warned Cyprus against taking “unilateral steps” in exploring and developing hydrocarbons without factoring in the Turkish Cypriots.In September 2001, Turkey and the north signed a ‘continental shelf delineation agreement’.Turkey’s claims on the island’s EEZ partly overlap with Cyprus’ blocks 1, 4, 6 and 7. Ankara also supports the north’s claims on blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13, including within few kilometres from the Aphrodite gas field. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoLonnyThis Is What A Lake House Looks Like When You’re A BillionaireLonnyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoVarosha move merely a ‘PR stunt’ by Ozersay, expert saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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