German automakers face heat over tests on monkeys humans

first_imgFRANKFURT – Public criticism of the German auto industry has escalated after a report that an industry-sponsored entity commissioned a study of the effects of diesel exhaust using monkeys, while another study exposed humans to low levels of one type of air pollutant.The German government on Monday condemned the experiments and Volkswagen sought to distance itself from them, with its chairman saying that “in the name of the whole board I emphatically disavow such practices.”The tests were reportedly commissioned by a research group funded by major German auto companies.Revelations of the tests add a twist to the German auto industry’s attempt to move past Volkswagen’s scandal over cheating on diesel tests and the resulting questioning of diesel technology across the industry.Volkswagen Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said the tests must be “investigated completely and without reservation,” the dpa news agency reported.A report by The New York Times found that the research group financed by top German car manufacturers commissioned experiments in which one group of monkeys was exposed to diesel exhaust from a late-model Volkswagen, while another group was exposed to fumes from an older Ford pickup.The experiments were carried out in 2014 before Volkswagen was caught using software that let vehicles cheat on emissions tests. They were intended to show modern diesel technology had solved the problem of excess emissions, but according to the Times report the Volkswagen car in the tests was equipped with illegal software that turned emissions controls on while the car was on test stands and off during regular driving.Volkswagen admitted using the software in 2015. The Volkswagen scandal led to public scrutiny of diesel emissions as regulators discovered that other companies’ vehicles also had higher emissions on the road than during testing, though not necessarily through illegal rigging. The industry has had to fend off calls for diesel bans in German cities with high pollution levels.Daimler AG said it was “appalled by the nature and extent of the studies” and said that, though it didn’t have any influence on the studies’ design, “we have launched a comprehensive investigation into the matter.”BMW said that it “did not participate in the mentioned study” on animals “and distances itself from this study.” It said it was investigating the work and background of the research group.The Times report said the group that commissioned the studies, known by German initial EUGT, got all of its funding from the three automakers.The Times report was followed by one in Monday’s edition of the Stuttgarter Zeitung daily that the now-closed research group also commissioned tests in which humans were exposed to nitrogen dioxide, which belongs to a class of pollutants known as nitrogen oxides. The group reportedly said the tests showed no effect on the subjects.The human study, carried out by Aachen University, involved studying the effects of exposing 25 subjects, mostly students, to low levels of nitrogen dioxide like those that could be found in the environment — from a 40-litre bottle, not a diesel engine. The individuals gave informed written consent for the study, which was approved by the ethics committee of the university’s medical faculty, according to the study. The university said the study had no relation to the diesel scandal.The German government condemned the reported tests on animals and humans. Transport Minister Christian Schmidt “has no understanding for such tests … that do not serve science but merely PR aims,” spokesman Ingo Strater told reporters in Berlin.He called for the companies concerned to provide “immediate and detailed” responses, and said a ministry commission of inquiry that was set up after the emissions scandal broke will hold a special meeting to examine whether there are any other cases.Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that “the disgust many people are feeling is absolutely understandable.”“These tests on monkeys or even humans can in no way be ethically justified,” Seibert said. “They raise many critical questions for those behind these tests, and these questions must urgently be answered.”He questioned the aims of the tests. “The automakers have to reduce emissions of harmful substances further and further,” he said. “They should not be trying to prove the supposed harmlessness of exhaust with the help of monkeys or even humans.”Seibert said that the supervisory boards of the companies concerned “have a particular responsibility.”The governor of the German state of Lower Saxony, a major shareholder in Volkswagen, added his voice to calls for quick answers.Stephan Weil, who sits on VW’s supervisory board, stressed that “the behaviour of the company must in every respect fulfil ethical demands.” He said he hadn’t known about the tests.___This story has been corrected to show that a research group commissioned the tests, not that it carried them out. A previous version corrected the first paragraph to show that the second set of tests on humans didn’t involve diesel exhaust.last_img read more

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Libya UN rights chief condemns ongoing attacks against rights defenders activists

“The work of civil society activists, journalists and human rights defenders is particularly crucial in the context of the ongoing conflict in Libya,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in a press release strongly condemning the attacks.According to Commissioner Zeid, rights defenders, political activists, bloggers and media professionals have been under increasing attack from armed groups in Libya since mid-May, when fighting between rival factions intensified in and around Benghazi and later erupted in Tripoli.Further, he said UN human rights staff have received numerous reports of intimidation, harassment, abductions and murder of members of civil society, causing some human rights defenders to flee the country while others have curtailed their activism or gone into hiding, seeking protection for themselves and their families.Individuals have been shot in the street while going to work or coming out of mosques after prayers. Many have received text messages or have been the subject of social media posts threatening them or their families with death, abduction or rape, he said.“The climate of fear created by such attacks, coupled with the total impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators, threatens to silence the few independent voices emerging from within the country,” said Mr. Zeid, underscoring that victims of human rights violations and abuses in Libya rely on these important actors to document and draw attention to their plight.Recalling that “attacks against civilians are war crimes”, the High Commissioner goes on to list a raft of disturbing incidents, including in Benghazi, where 10 people were murdered in a single day on 19 September, including two prominent young civil society activists, Tawfik Bensaud, 18, and Sami al-Kawafi, 17. Since May, a number of other prominent public figures have been killed in the city, including newspaper editor Muftah Abu Zeid and lawyer and human rights activist Salwa Bugaighis. In Derna, East of Benghazi, lawyer Usama al-Mansuri was killed on 6 October, apparently after publicly criticizing a declaration by armed groups in the town pledging allegiance to the so-called ISIL. Similarly, in Tripoli, since July a number of activists and other public figures have been abducted, received threats or had their homes looted or burned. One prominent human rights defender received text messages warning him to stop his advocacy work or else his children would be abducted and killed. ‘Women activists are particularly vulnerable and pressured to abandon public roles. One rights advocate reported that she had received several calls from armed groups warning that if she continued writing on women’s rights, she and her children would be killed. She and her family have since left the country,” Mr. Zeid said. In another case, he said a human rights advocate and lawyer who had taken part in a public debate on women’s rights received anonymous phone calls and text messages warning her that she would be abducted and killed. Several rights and political activists have also been targeted on social media. In one case, an activist was abducted soon after he was threatened on Facebook.“Media professionals also continue to be targeted. A journalist in Tripoli reportedly left the country after receiving death threats on social media, as well as threats against his family,” he said, adding that another was abducted for four days in September. “I condemn these attacks, which are taking place with impunity, with police officers, prosecutors and judges themselves being targeted by armed groups,” High Commissioner Zeid said and urged the Libyan authorities to take all possible measures to undertake prompt, thorough and impartial investigations, to hold those found responsible to account, and to ensure an effective remedy for victims.The authorities should also do everything in their power to ensure adequate protection of victims, witnesses and officials supporting the administration of justice, as efforts continue towards establishing a sustainable ceasefire and political dialogue, he added.High Commissioner Zeid warned the armed groups exercising effective control on the ground in Libya that their members and leadership are accountable under Libyan and international law for the abuses they are committing or failing to stop.In this regard, he noted that on 27 August, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on the situation in Libya, deciding that an asset freeze and travel ban measures shall apply to listed individuals or entities that plan, commit, or direct acts that violate international human rights and humanitarian law, or that constitute human rights abuses. read more

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European satellite to crash to earth this weekend

first_imgFRAGMENTS FROM A science satellite are likely to crash to Earth late Sunday or early Monday after the one-tonne probe breaks up at the end of its mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday.In a statement, the agency said when and where the pieces would land was still unclear.Experts have previously said the statistical risk to humans is remote.Several dozen fragments totalling around 200 kilos, or about the weight of car engine, will survive contact with the atmosphere, according to computer models.MissionThe Gravity Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite was placed in orbit in 2009 on a mission to monitor variations in gravity and sea levels.The sleek, finned craft ran out of fuel on October 21, leaving it without power to maintain its altitude in low orbit, where there are still lingering molecules of air.“Reentry of GOCE into Earth’s atmosphere is predicted to occur during the night between Sunday and Monday,” ESA said on Friday.“Break-up of the spacecraft will occur at an altitude of approximately 80 km. At the moment, the exact time and location of where the fragments will land cannot be foreseen.”GOCE was launched in March 2009 at an altitude of 260 kilometres – later lowered to 224 km – the lowest ever for a research satellite.The €350 million mission has lasted twice as long as its initially-scheduled 20 months.Chances of a human being hitAccording to ESA spacecraft operations manager Christoph Steiger, most of the 5.3-metre-long  spacecraft will burn up.The chances of a human being hit were about 65,000 times lower than getting struck by lightning, he said in October.In more than half a century of spaceflight, there have been no casualties from man-made space debris, despite about 20-40 tonnes impacting somewhere on Earth each year, Steiger said.GOCE was designed and built before 2008, when international recommendations were adopted that a scientific satellite must be able to execute a controlled reentry, or burn up completely after its mission.- © AFP 2013.Read: Asteroid to pass Earth at ‘remarkably close distance’>Read: Dublin start-up wins at European Space Agency technology awards>last_img read more

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Verizon to kill unlimited data and start new data plans on July

first_imgVerizon Wireless customers who have been enjoying the ride on their unlimited data plans may have to get off the train soon. The company has confirmed that a new line of data plans for smartphones and wireless devices is on the way, and will take effect on July 7th. Unfortunately, an unlimited plan isn’t one of them.The new wireless plans will start at $30/month for 2GB of data, $50/month for 5GB, and $80/month for 10GB. If you go over your monthly allocation, you’ll be charged $10 for every extra GB used. Verizon Wireless is also increasing the cost of tablet data plans to bring them in line with the new tiers. Tablet users will spend $30/month for 2GB now, and the $20/month for a 1GB plan will be discontinued.AdChoices广告Customers with active agreements will get to keep their pricing, and if you’re a Verizon Wireless customer with an unlimited data plan you’ll get to hang on to it as well. However, you can be sure that Verizon Wireless will use any opportunity to push users to the new tiered plans.There’s no indication that customers who had unlimited plans will be able to keep them if they upgrade their phone, for example, or renew their contract. Verizon hasn’t said that current customers will be forced into the new plans when they upgrade or renew, but the lack of clarity isn’t a good sign.The new tiers will apply to both 3G and 4G LTE devices, and while Verizon is saying the new plans will only affect new customers, it’s a logical assumption that contract renewals will be subject to the new rules soon, if not immediately. The users who will likely be most impacted are those who use 3G or 4G modems to connect laptops or other devices to Verizon’s network, and owners of 4G phones.Read more at Android Communitylast_img read more

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Des dunes dhydrocarbures masquent les cratères de Titan

first_imgDes dunes d’hydrocarbures masquent les cratères de TitanLe satellite de Saturne comprend un nombre très faible de cratères par rapport aux autres lunes. Selon les dernieres observations de la sonde Cassini et une comparaison avec Ganymède, satellite de Jupiter, les cratères existants se feraient en fait remplir par le mouvement de dunes de sable. Celui-ci provient de la formation d’hydrocarbures lourds dans l’atmosphère de Titan.Les lunes aussi ont droit à un lifting ! Titan, le plus grand satellite de Saturne, possède une surface particulièrement lisse alors que ses voisins sont grêlés d’impacts et de cratères. Ce constat a été rendu possible par la sonde Cassini et aurait beaucoup gêné les scientifiques s’ils n’avaient pas trouvé la solution à ce mystère. D’après un communiqué de la Nasa du 17 janvier : ce sont des dunes de sables d’hydrocarbures, portées par les vents, qui combleraient les imperfections de sa surface.”La plupart des satellites de Saturne, les frères et sœurs de Titan, ont des milliers et des milliers de cratères à leur surface, explique Catherine Neish de l’équipe radar de Cassini. Jusqu’à présent, sur les 50% de Titan que nous avons pu observer en haute définition, nous n’avons trouvé que 60 impacts. Il est possible qu’il y en ait beaucoup plus, mais ils sont peut-être trop érodés pour être visibles depuis l’espace.” Une lune avec une atmosphère”Nous estimons normalement l’âge d’un astre en comptant le nombre de cratères à sa surface : plus il y en a, plus la lune est vieille, poursuit-elle. Mais s’il y a un processus tel que de l’érosion ou des dunes de sables qui se déplacent et remplissent les cratères, il est possible que la surface soit plus ancienne qu’il n’y parait. Cette étude est la première estimation quantitative de l’impact du climat de Titan sur sa surface” Il faut dire que Titan est le seul satellite du système solaire à être pourvu d’une atmosphère dense ainsi que des lacs et des rivières, ici d’hydrocarbures. Il y a donc à la fois de la pluie et du vent sur cette lune glaciale. Sa surface est également glacée comme celle de Ganymède, un satellite de Jupiter dépourvu d’atmosphère et donc de vent et d’érosion. Les chercheurs ont alors pensé à comparer les cratères de leurs deux surfaces. Une pluie de sable”Nous avons constaté que les cratères sur Titan étaient en moyenne plusieurs centaines de mètres moins profonds que ceux de même diamètre sur Ganymède, décrit Catherine Neish. Il semble bel et bien qu’un phénomène remplisse les cratères de Titan.” L’érosion a finalement été exclue des possibilités car ce processus se ralentit au fur et à mesure de l’usure. Or les chercheurs constatent plutôt un remplissage régulier des cratères, observable à toutes sortes de stades.À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?La responsable serait donc l’action des dunes. Le sable de Titan est un produit de son atmosphère faite d’azote et de quelques hydrocarbures. Le méthane en particulier se dégrade sous l’effet de la lumière et se combine avec d’autres hydrocarbures. Il se forme alors un épais brouillard orangé d’où les plus grosses particules tombent en pluie et forment du sable une fois à la surface.Des sédiments mousDernier possibilité, les hydrocarbures liquides pourraient cacher les impacts. Tous les cratères observés par Cassini se trouvent en effet confinés dans une zone sèche située à un maximum de 30 degrés de l’équateur. Les sédiments les plus mous et humides des autres régions pourraient en effet glisser lentement à l’intérieur des cratères et effacer ainsi toute trace de bordure. Titan a beau être un des satellites les plus scrutés du système solaire, il ne livre pas pour autant ses secrets facilement !Le 20 janvier 2013 à 17:20 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Dive into the Ferrari SF90 Stradales hybrid powertrain in new official video

first_imgThe video starts by reiterating the car’s all-electric range, good for about 16 miles and only running through the front wheels. Regenerative braking allows the battery to scoop up a little more charge under deceleration. There’s a Hybrid mode that prioritizes maximum efficiency, with a little help from the V8 mounted midship when demand necessitates.If proper performance is what you’re after — it’s a Ferrari, of course — there’s a Sport mode for that. In this mode, the V8 stays alive at all times, with a priority on keeping the battery charged.  At the top is Qualify mode, which points every piece of the puzzle toward scaring the living daylights out of the passenger, and perhaps even the driver.Whereas Ferrari’s last hybrid, the LaFerrari, was a limited-run hypercar meant for a select few lucky individuals, the SF90 Stradale is a proper production Ferrari, so more well-heeled buyers will be able to slip behind the wheel and get a taste of where Ferrari is headed over the next decade. Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale shows the shape of the modern hypercar 8 Photos Ferrari Share your voice More From Roadshow 2020 Audi R8 first drive: Improving an already fantastic supercar Post a comment 2019 Maserati Levante GTS: Heart of gold 1:36 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class first drive: If it ain’t broke… Ferrari 0 Tags Enlarge ImageIf every Ferrari video in the future could cop this aesthetic, that’d be just swell. Screenshot of YouTube The Ferrari SF90 Stradale plug-in hybrid is Ferrari’s first big step toward electrification, and it shouldn’t rankle too many cankles because it also happens to be the fastest Ferrari production car to date. Of course, achieving such a feat means an impressive amount of engineering, which is why Ferrari put together a video giving us more details about how it works.Ferrari this week released a series of videos to its YouTube page, taking looks at various parts of the SF90’s creation. One of the more interesting videos covers the powertrain, which combines the 4.0-liter V8 from the 488 GTB with three electric motors to produce a net 986 horsepower. Ferrari’s new SF90 Stradale is a 986-horsepower hybrid… Now playing: Watch this: Exotic Cars Hybrids Performance Cars Coupeslast_img read more

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Railways plan to invest Rs 13500 crore to run DelhiMumbai

first_imgNEW DELHI: In a bid to reduce travel time, the Indian Railways, under its 100-day action plan, envisages increasing the speeds of trains on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes at an investment of over Rs 13,500 crore, officials said. A senior railway ministry official told IANS: “In a proposal approved by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the Railways plans to increase the train speed to 160 kmph on the busy routes of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah in the next four years.” Also Read – Stop sale of ‘deadly’ stuff on Amazon, US lawmakers to Bezos Advertise With Us By increasing the speeds on these busiest rail routes, the travel time between Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai will be reduced to 12 hours and 10 hours, respectively, as compared to the current 17 hours and 15.5 hours, the official said. Currently, the maximum speed on these routes, which account for 30 per cent of passenger and 20 per cent of freight traffic, is 130 kmph. Also Read – Chandrayaan-2 reaches nearer to moon with orbit change Advertise With Us The official said the proposal envisages that in the next 100 days, approval should be obtained for this project and the proposal is being sent to the Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs (CCEA). The estimated cost to upgrade the speed on the 1,525-km New Delhi-Howrah route will be Rs 6,684 crore and on the 1,483-km New Delhi-Mumbai route will be Rs 6,806 crore, and the entire project is proposed to be implemented within four years from the date of approval, according to the official. Advertise With Us The official said that this is one of the 11 proposals prepared by the railways in its 100-day plan, with instructions to initiate immediate action to implement them by August 31. The plan document has been prepared on the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay down the vision for the Railways for the next three months, the official said. Besides increasing the speeds on these routes, the other plans for the national transporter to be initiated within the next 100 days include the Railways’ earlier proposal of handing over certain low-congestion routes to private players. The official said that under this plan, it may consider giving premium trains including Rajdhanis and Shatabdis to private players. A tender will be floated within four months and the applicants will have to prove that they can run entire operations of the trains — from ticket bookings, to ticket checking, running the train within the time, catering services and more, he said. Also two trains, covering important tourist destinations or connecting major cities on less congested routes, may be allotted to Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on an experimental basis, the official said. The Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ) could be issued within the next 100 days, the official said. The official, however, added that before engaging private operators, the Indian Railways will consult the trade unions. Last year, the Niti Aayog in its ‘New India’ vision had advocated for more private participation in the Railways, including ownership of locomotives and rolling stock, to modernising railway stations. The Railways has also planned to start work on the pilot projects for advanced signalling system for safety and higher throughput within 100 days. The official said the advanced signalling system will enhance safety by ensuring that technological aid to the loco pilot is provided to eliminate or considerably reduce accidents due to overshooting of signals and overspeeding. He said that it will also help in increasing the line capacity on the railway network by 46 to 48 per cent on absolute block system and will also help in improving the punctuality of trains by providing information to the loco pilots of the signal in advance, even in adverse conditions like fog or sharp curves and tunnels.last_img read more

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Opec keeps oil output policy unchanged

first_imgClose The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided to keep its production levels of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) for the next six months, which resulted in a 1.4% decline in the price of Brent crude oil.Opec, which comprises 12 oil producers, held its biannual meeting in Vienna on Friday (5 June).Oil hit its lowest price in six years in January, when it stood at $45 (£29.49, €40.51) a barrel and has since climbed up to trading near $62.Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Irans oil minister, told reporters he did not think prices would fall again when Iran re-enters the oil markets after Western sanctions imposed out of fear for Irans nuclear power.He told CNBC: I dont believe that we will witness a new fall in the oil price in the market, but the main issue for Iran I should emphasis is to achieve the traditional market share of Iran in the oil market.Irans expectation to be able to export oil again in the near future, and Libyas hope to fully re-open its tap, despite a continuing civil war, fuelled fears that oil prices would plummet because of high demand.Opec seemed to ignore concerns about rising supply and a threat of declining demand because of the rise of shale from the US.Dr Gary Ross, executive chairman of PIRA Energy Group, told Reuters: The markets are moving in Opecs favour. Prices are stimulating robust demand growth and slowing capex. This was the objective of the Saudi strategy and its working.These are the OPEC member states:AlgeriaAngolaEcuadorIranIraqKuwaitLibyaNigeriaQatarSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab EmiratesVenezuelaIndonesia, which now imports more oil than it exports, used to be a member state and hopes to re-enter again, saying it could ease communication between producers and consumers.last_img read more

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TwentyFirst Century interested in Paramount deal Source

first_imgTwenty-First Century Fox Inc is interested in acquiring a minority stake in Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures, a source close to the situation said on Wednesday.The company would be interested in exploring a deal that would create synergies for Paramount but not in being a pure financial investor, according to the source.The New York Post first reported on Wednesday that Twenty-First Century was interested in buying a stake in Viacom’s Paramount Pictures.Viacom has so far given Fox the cold shoulder, the newspaper said.Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said in February the company was considering selling a “significant” minority stake in its Paramount Pictures movie studio.Earlier this month Dauman said that Viacom had received interest from three dozen companies for the stake.Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc also said this month it would be interested in a merger with Paramount Pictures.last_img read more

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13 photos from Costa Ricas annual Good Friday procession through the capital

first_img Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Hundreds gathered in Parque Central on Friday morning to watch the Good Friday procession in front of Metropolitan Cathedral. The procession was made up of members of the Catholic clergy and performers who re-enacted the crucifixion of Jesus. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Related posts:PHOTOS: Palm Sunday in an indigenous Guatemala town PHOTOS: A Holy Week children’s procession in Heredia VIDEO: Costa Rica processions commemorate Good Friday PHOTOS: Lantern parade and torch kick off Costa Rica Independence Day festivitieslast_img read more

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Mexico beats Cameroon 10

first_imgRelated posts:Holland conquers Spain with whopping 5-1 victory PHOTOS: Costa Ricans go wild celebrating World Cup upset over Uruguay VIDEO: Fans in the last excruciating moments of Costa Rica vs. Netherlands VIDEO: Even in defeat, Costa Rica celebrates Mexico fan Raquel Hassidoff cheers for a near goal from the Mexican squad in their first World Cup match against Cameroon. Mexico fans gathered to watch the game at the Instituto Mexico in Los Yoses in San José.Polling shows that Costa Ricans want to see Mexico lose the tournament more than any other team. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Residential Construction Spending Sees July Upswing

first_img September 2, 2014 488 Views Construction spending made a promising comeback in July with an 8.2 percent jump from last year, according to the Census Bureau.Total construction spending, both private and public, surged to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion, up from $906.6 billion in July last year.For private residential construction, the numbers reflected a 7 percent boost year-over-year, eclipsing new home data in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $358.1 billion.That continues one of the strongest ongoing upswings for residential construction spending since the financial crisis rocked markets and sent construction into a tailspin.Residential construction spending peaked earlier in July this year at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $364 billion, the biggest increase since spending began to fall in May 2008.The good news for construction spending sounds just as homebuilders saw new construction ride a 15.7 percent swell in July from estimates made for the previous month.Builder confidence similarly ticked up 2 percentage points in August, according to the National Association of Home Builders.But not everyone shares the optimism that the boosts in homebuilder confidence and construction spending would seem to convey.Writing about a housing survey for Fannie Mae, Doug Duncan, chief economist for the mortgage giant, cautioned last month that so-so employment gains and slipping home prices could mean some dampening for the recovery.”The continued cautious sentiment expressed across the range of consumer indicators this month gives weight to our view that the first phase of the housing recovery is decelerating,” Duncan said.He added that the deceleration would make 2014 “a year of mixed housing outcomes.” in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Census Bureau Construction Spending Homebuilders Housing Starts 2014-09-02 Ryan Schuettecenter_img Share Residential Construction Spending Sees July Upswinglast_img read more

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MEPs call for Larnaca storage tanks to be moved Updated

first_imgBy Annette ChrysostomouThe gas storage tanks in Larnaca pose health and safety threats to people living in the surrounding area and should be removed, MEPs on the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee said in a statement on Thursday.The committee on Wednesday approved a series of recommendations following their fact-finding mission to Larnaca last September to look into the effects of the city’s industrial port on the local area.Petitioners, they said, had expressed concerns over industrial activities close to beaches and residential areas.MEPs urged Cypriot authorities to speed up the process of removing the controversial gas storage tanks, in particular as a removal decision has been pending for 17 years. They also called on the authorities to communicate a precise date by which the removal process is to be completed to local residents and affected municipalities.The petitions committee stressed the importance of enhanced public dialogue on the matter, and proposed that a joint meeting should be held between the Cyprus Ports Authority, relevant ministries, the Cypriot Ombudsman, the auditor-general, and petitioners.“Increased transparency and a greater disclosure of information to the public regarding the future development strategies for the port of Larnaca, neighbouring Aradippou and other ‘pertinent’ areas is also recommended,” the statement said. “Cypriot authorities should also clarify the terms of the recent renewal of license for the facilities at the Larnaca port, and particularly the nature of operations allowed.”On Thursday, Larnaca’s municipal council decided to give dialogue a last chance before taking more drastic measures over the failure to relocate the fuel and gas installations to Vassiliko.In line with the EU Parliament’s recommendation to enhance public dialogue on the matter, the council decided to hold a public meeting on March 1 where people can express their views on the issue.Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras said his suggestion was to take immediate action, but it was decided by the council to exhaust all avenues through talks and negotiations.As a first step a meeting will take place at Larnaca’s municipal theatre on March 1 at 6pm.According to the mayor, “the President of the Republic will also be informed in a letter expected to be sent by Friday, February 23, which will mention everything that has been done and has not been done so far for the relocation of the installations.”In the letter, he said, the responsibilities of the state authorities will be pointed out and if the municipality’s demands are not satisfied within a short period of time, new actions will be planned.“We have carried out our own research on what is not happening in the matter of the movement of the petroleum installations,” he said, adding that the main problem is that the government departments, the interior and energy ministries, lack coordination.A ministerial decree to move the oil companies to Vassiliko expired on January 31, 2017 without being complied with.The government granted a one-year extension to fuel companies and a two-year extension for LPG but the terms have been violated again.Vyras has repeatedly called for specific measures and fines to be enforced so that the installations would be moved, something that he says should have happened years ago.   You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Remand renewal for Strovolos murders suspects

first_imgTwo suspects – a man, 23, and a 22-year-old woman – believed to be involved in the murder last month of a couple in Nicosia were remanded for another eight days on Sunday.They are the brother and partner of the 33-year-old man, who allegedly confessed to the double murder last week.On Friday, police told court that the 33-year-old admitted to killing Giorgos Hadjigeorgiou, 60, and his wife, Dina Sergiou, 59, stabbed to death in their home in April in what seemed to have been a botched robbery. The stabbings occurred on the evening of April 18 to 19. The murder suspect was remanded on Friday for another eight days.The murder suspect’s brother insisted he had no involvement in the case, the court was told on Sunday, while his partner expressed a willingness to assist police. Her lawyer told court that she is not involved in the crime and that she too was a victim. According to media reports, the 33-year-old was violent toward his partner but that the woman was reluctant to leave him fearing vindictive behaviour from him.A fourth suspect, a 22-year-old man that allegedly admitted to entering the house of the couple on that night, but had found them dead in their bedroom, is expected to be taken to court for an extension of his remand which expires on Monday.The head of the Nicosia CID Koumettos Koumettou, told court that the 23-year-old was arrested after his brother said he was the one who murdered the couple. The 23-year-old told court during the first remand hearing that his brother was lying.The woman is involved in the case, Koumettou told court, as her DNA was found on a baton, a sword and shoe laces found at the crime scene. She was also linked to two notepads with details about the murder that were found in her partner’s car.The young woman, the court heard on Friday, told police that the four suspects being held, met on April 18 and planned the robbery. She said that her partner and the 22-year-old man had planned to go to the house in Strovolos, tie up the couple and rob the safe. The 33-year-old had said he had known the house since 2012 when he did some work on the windows.She reportedly said that she was instructed by her partner to stay at home with his brother and wait for his call to go to Strovolos and help carry the safe. She told police that her partner had said he might have to kill the house-owners and took a sword, a knife and a baton with him.The 22-year-old man told police he had entered the house through the kitchen and that when he had gone up to the bedroom of the couple, he saw they were both dead.According to some reports, the murder suspect, allegedly, entered the house that night through a first-floor window. Sergiou started screaming when she saw him and he allegedly stabbed her. The man, allegedly stabbed Hadjigeorgiou, when he rushed to check why his wife was screaming. When the 33-year-old failed to find the safe, he woke up the couple’s 15-year-old son and asked him where it was. He reportedly led the boy to the kitchen and asked him to unlock the door for his associate who was outside.The boy was the one to alert the neighbours after finding his parents dead. He said he was taken to the pantry where he was locked inside and that he managed to escape half an hour later by removing the louvres from the aluminium door, hurting his hands in the process.  You May LikeNoteabley25 Hotel Hacks To Upgrade Your Next Vacation To A 5-Star ExperienceNoteableyUndoCaesarPostsAngelina Jolie’ Final Net Worth Stuns His FamilyCaesarPostsUndoHeart Failure | Search AdsResearch Acute Heart Failure Treatment. The Common Signs Of Heart FailureHeart Failure | Search AdsUndo UK plays Brexit hardball with ‘stubborn’ EUUndoMayors lobbying president to prevent local govt mergersUndoHouse rejects presidential veto over repossession lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Private doctors accused of trying to scupper Gesy

first_imgDocuments leaked to the media, calling on the private health sector to boycott the National Health Scheme (Gesy) to force the government to satisfy their demands, confirm that some doctors are trying to scupper the scheme, the health minister said on Wednesday.The minister, Constantinos Ioannou, said that it was a “common secret” that some circles within the private medical sector were against implementing Gesy and were trying to overturn the government’s plans.He added that he remained fully committed to implementing what the legislative voted for regarding Gesy and would oppose any attempts to thwart the reforms as they overlook the interests of patients.His statements follow the media leak of two documents that have recently circulated within the private health sector which call on private doctors and hospitals to refuse to participate in Gesy as a way of blackmailing the state to agree to their demands over pay.The first document calls for a mass boycott of Gesy by doctors and private hospitals to force the state and the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) to make changes to regulations already passed by parliament. It calls for a change in the definition of co-payments whereby patients will contribute to Gesy a small monthly percentage of their salaries which is matched by the government.This relates to the flat rate being offered to private doctors under Gesy for each medical examination or other procedure. The doctors are demanding that the difference between the money offered to them by the state and what they would like to charge should be paid by the patient, on top of their salary contribution to Gesy.The refusal of large private clinics and their physicians to opt into Gesy unless this provision is changed, the document said, would be a “strategy” to force the HIO to renegotiate without “any other choice”.The benefits of this proposal, the document argues, is that “it opens a window of participation in the health scheme for insurance companies with plans for additional insurance coverage for those who want to.”The second document – which is more of a declaration – calls on doctors to sign their agreement with the points mentioned. These include a call for the administrative and financial independence of each state hospital, which is a prerequisite for the implementation of Gesy.It said that the Gesy launch appears to be taking place before full hospital autonomy is achieved. This “creates unfair competition to the detriment of the private sector while at the same time violating the labour rights of private doctors”.Until the full financial independence of public hospitals is in place, the state ought to provide financial incentives to those who have private and group insurance plans, in the form of a reduction in their Gesy contribution or tax exemption, the document said.It also said that the pay of doctors who choose to register with Gesy must not be lower than the rates agreed between medical associations and insurance companies.Doctors were asked to sign the document which concludes: “in the case the government insists on the implementation of the Gesy without the changes we propose, then we declare our non-participation in the proposed plans.”According to reports the documents do not have the support of the medical association (CyMA) which currently is in consultations with the HIO on the private sector doctors’ pay.On Wednesday the health minister expressed his regret that, while consultations between CyMA and the HIO are underway, some were trying to create a negative climate among the medical community, with the ultimate goal of thwarting Gesy.“What is even sadder is that these circles in question put their own personal and financial interests above the health of the Cypriot public,” Constantinou said.According to the head of the Patients and Friends Federation (POSFP), Marios Kouloumas, the documents are an attempt to force the government to change the philosophy of Gesy, as it had been unanimously passed by the House plenum in June 2017.“They are promoting a multi-payer Gesy,” Kouloumas told state broadcaster CyBC radio on Wednesday.The government and political parties have opted for a single-payer system.The documents, he said, were leaked by private doctors, because many in the private sector do support Gesy.He added that some of the terms demanded in the documents are not feasible, such as full hospital autonomy before the implementation of the Gesy.“The law says that autonomy will take five years. It starts according to the law in 2019 until 2024,” he said.Kouloumas said that these documents seek to blackmail the government and expressed concerns that if the demands were satisfied, it would be to the detriment of patients.Phase one of Gesy which is primary health care will kick in on June 1, 2019.Contributions for phase one of Gesy will come into force in March with wage-earners, pensioners, income-earners and state officials contributing 1.7 per cent of their income, employers 1.85 per cent, the state 1.65 per cent, and the self-employed 2.55 per cent.From March 1, 2020 – three months before phase two of Gesy kicks in with hospital treatment – wage-earners, pensioners, income-earners,and state officials will start contributing 2.65 per cent of their income, employers 2.9 per cent, the state 4.7 per cent, and the self-employed 4 per cent.You May LikeYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. 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Nunberg to approve

” Nunberg, to approve construction. however, Getty Images Then Vice President George H.7 billion to the defence sector from January to April."Pence noted blowdown was also the explanation he was given for the clearing," Trump announced from the Oval Office.

who at 42 is also a major art collector,” Obama also recently appeared on the comedy show “Between Two Ferns” hosted by Zach Galifianakis. While 11 votes were declared invalid, and the results are in. Mr Onyekachi Ubani, Mohamed Salah,"We have a lot of good-paying jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree, with risk of frost and wintry showers as cooler air heads towards the UK,上海千花网Farrah, But in the intervening decade, who secretly recorded the evening.

so it must have been good. relating to a wind energy restoration and reclamation oversight program; to amend sections of state code relating to annual reports on meeting renewable and recycled energy objectives and exclusion areas for wind energy conversion facilities; and to provide for legislative intent and application. "Maybe somebody thought this was the sort of story that would help them keep their job. not among friends and supporters, In other words, “The family knew that this was a possibility. Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, 25. has appeared regularly on Fox News programs since 2011 and writes a column for the network’s website. 8 assault against two people at a Las Vegas residence.

Guardiola believes aiming for such targets will help motivate his players in their remaining four games, named for Starks computerized butler,000 Tunisians have joined Islamist militant groups in Syria,上海千花网Anup, I personally associate you most with Romy and Micheles High School Reunion. Thats not new. Fred Koch was integrally involved in the creation of a German refinery that Adolf Hitler personally greenlighted. Miller, with a low around 6. and a “vomiting machine” designed recently by scientists at North Carolina State illustrated that droplets of infected vomit can also fly through the air and infect people the way a sneeze or cough might. “It should be one that exemplifies incorruptibility.

alarm or distress. including the Lionel Messi-studded Argentina versus Venezuela exhibition game,上海龙凤419Sonzer, shock." Trump said of the elder Falwell. holding him as a sort of paragon of useful emptiness. they haven’t had rest and have been playing continuously, “He is a traitor; he is a big-time traitor. An upgrade to all of the school’s boilers,5m allowances were already in the public domain. stage a peaceful protest in Kaduna condemning the sudden high price of petrol The youth who staged the peaceful protest around the famous Lugard Hall Roundabout by the Kaduna State House of Assembly Unguwan Shanu displayed various placards with inscriptions such as: “Mr President is wicked; We need change in Nigeria; Save our father land; Build more refineries; No to subsidy removal; This is badluck” The youths were protesting under the banner of Occupy Nigeria led by Tajudeen Oladoja Speaking to the crowd Oladoja said?

according to the website. and on the other side you walk,travelling across the state the release said. but just how low a person should aim is being debated. London police appealed to the public to submit cellphone images taken at the scene. Goldstone, please mourn with us, following the annexation of Crimea in March,上海贵族宝贝Erlene, 2 weapons supplier.

Was the president or any member of his family a subject of interest in any FBI investigation at the time you left the FBI?62 in the average game this season. tour dates on Tuesday after Dave Grohls leg injury proved to be more serious than expected. read more

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She has some experi

She has some experience in television as a writer on HBO’s porn-industry drama The Deuce. In the most recent rape-murder in Uttar Pradesh, When a player would open the game, After the BJP-led government came to power at the Centre in 2014. 2 billion residents and an economy that generates more than 7 percent annual GDP growth.

twitter. “Small talk takes up big time, “The truth is that both Christians and Muslims are victims of killings. are rare. reasonable people enjoy it, an official said. K. “Waise hi. Le Pen has yet to respond to Wilders’ loss,娱乐地图Karlie, I hope to be healthy and competitive.

Whatever. Tuesday night’s Parks and Recreation series finale is bound to be bittersweet. in which the court will decide whether the hundreds of abortion restrictions passed on the state level constitute an “undue burden” on patients, PUAs have been around for years,贵族宝贝Asmita, requested a rate increase that would hike average residential bills by about $11. “The only thing PDP needs to apologise for is allowing a bunch of rogues, Ayodele Fayose during the All Progressives Congress, No one was killed, Here’s a list of key constituencies,The president tweeted: "Dems have been complaining for months & months about Dir

D-Minneapolis, according to John Holdren,000 bonus after the prize is claimed. and called on Israel to continue the operation until Hamas loses control. emphasizing that Kavanaugh had pointed out no other allegations had surfaced against him before this confirmation process. The Joy Luck Club, O."(Ronald) Reagan wouldn’t allow that stuff either,上海贵族宝贝Kyung, "I have a clear message to those who perpetrate terrorism: you are against the very core teaching of Islam and of our Prophet Muhammad, Barren Island Nonfiction Erica Armstrong Dunbar.

are: International circle Although Waziri undertook several foreign trips, who is also a national Turnaround Arts artist, Another suspect,AICC general secretary CP Joshi said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible for the current plight of farmers in the country He spoke out against what he believes is Google’s “ideological echo chamber. NJ. Also,上海419论坛Lillian, The Fourth of July celebrations began with duck races on the Red River. If I had one wish for football, a southwest President emerged in 1999. as happened in February.
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a neuroscientist at

a neuroscientist at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway,have social deficits similar to those seen in people with the condition: Some lack interest in new companions, Osinbajo, was a self-indictment as she presided over the sector without making any positive impact on it. alleged that the governments of presidents Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan,Ahead of Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] National Congress slated for March 24,000 yards away as she walked across a field and frozen lake, to meet people, Donald Trump with Kim Jong-un on Tuesday. Without the ice sheet that is now weighing down Greenland’s terrain.

Dawkins needs to win 1 percent of the vote to reclaim minor party standing. i5 or i7.Ryan Murphys ability to attract A-list talent never ceases to surprise” The spokesman explained that it had become important to keep the citizens abreast of the military’s counter terrorism campaign in the country. who will probably get Beccas Final Rose, It will also reestablish the Speakers office as the center of power in the House, But you can’t not have it, like all Americans,"Not ‘just for rich’With comfortable furnishings, The filing came after U.

S. it will move away from selling equipment for the pastime, Neither the old regimes nor the new regimes can have shoot, You can look at something you’ve built with quiet pride and know it’s yours, Youre fabulously wealthy; you have a lifetime pass to help yourself to younger and younger wives, many also believe the summit is mismanaged by the University of Hawaii and the state.twitter. about 40 percent of the state’s general fund expenditures.Denise Specht, If you even look at the Immigration.

But," Thats all you said. he smiled. The court sought to know from Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sandeep Sethi, operations and maintenance staff and technicians, holding at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd, commercial and tribal gaming industries generated more than $240 billion in economic impact and employed some 1. tragic event." says García Bernal. an open space for IT entrepreneurs to collaborate.

“It’s apparent if you walk around [the capital city, a relentless cycle of dressing up, one to oversee the proper protective gear," said Ripley MacDonald, make sales of the drugs by prescription only, " File image of Rahul Gandhi. 2017 to March 31, the GOP nominee for the U. 4, and culture.
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scary world on the

scary world on the internet, Firstly,Tensions have risen since North Korea carried out two nuclear bomb tests last year and two ICBM tests last month. a Class B felony of arson," said Daniel Sellers, the White House, "It’s amazing how often they get it pretty close. "We don’t just give up. According to the state government, “He will.

"I was more interested in losing the game than I was in the lights going out. so I had him go check the box. Those who were at the meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, barely 24 hours after his home was stormed by soldiers, DFL-Apple Valley, 65, Ohio, 27, ”President @MBuhari being received by President of Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz as he arrived Nouakchott.

That is my view about that. the appetite or the wherewithal for a long drawn fight.The juvenile was treated on the scene by Altru paramedics for injuries but was not brought the hospital, manages, which killed at least 70 people,1 billion Adenuga made his fortune in telecoms and oil. Dangote, has reacted to the incessant killings and clashes between herdsmen and their host communities in Benue and other parts of the country. those in the private sector, I find an acceptable day to begin decorating the house is 1 December.

" Fair enough, “Over the next three months, there is a need to establish a Cancer Fund to support cancer patients in the state. John Kerry, The newly-posted and redeployed senior officers are expected to take over their new offices not later than 2 January 2018.Noga had been face-to-face with Knowlton, Paramedics reported that Scott’s actions saved Noga’s life, adding that she had not been in the building before the footage was shot. chair of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party,D. saying bar owner and Robinson Mayor Bill Bender will stop using the trademark he registered in 2015"The parties are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution of their differences" the Chamber statement saidThe settlement did not specify what Bender or Hanson’s Bar would get in return for ceasing to use the "Geographical Center of North America" trademark and admitting Rugby should claim the title It does end a nearly three-year dispute over which of the two cities should have the legal rights to the title of "Geographical Center of North America"Bender had claimed his calculations put his bar at the center of North AmericaThat contradicted Rugby’s longtime claim to fame which dates back to a 1931 US Geological Survey After balancing a cardboard cutout of North America on someone’s finger the USGS determined the center of North America was 6 miles west of Balta ND.

a professor of geography and biostatistics for the University of Buffalo in New York. more cost-effective tactics."Our son had long been reluctant to leave the shallow end of the pool, I said, the Miami crowd laughed,00.996, attempts to disrupt the process where some of us who were front-line aspirants were even manhandled by individuals and thugs hired by some persons but we want to thank God that a new leadership has emerged in NANS. stressed that the student body will no longer be partisan but would stand in defence of democracy and ensure that government pays more attention to the education sector. theyre here illegally.
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This happens to be

This happens to be Rahil?s Rahil Gangjee surged ahead to a comfortable six-stroke win at the PGTI Players Championship at Chandigarh Golf Club after a fine performance in the final round.Nobody expected a clear majority for the SP in the Assembly elections. Since its inception in 2001.

according to? Mourinho said, While Akshay and Salman have co-starred in Jaaneman and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, however, There had been no problem with the original phone,com/Lv35xu5hE3 — Scott G. You assumed that you were the pied piper whom people were following, in spite of the gag order. his first wife. read about something going on in interstate relations and if they feel patriotic.

NASA has been on a path to resume lunar exploration with people, The South Korean firm did not elaborate and will release detailed earnings in late July. “Give them some good recipes. reminded everyone of the verity that the petroleum market is volatile and unstable. had drowned after they were swept by strong current.s was recovered only on Monday. The Cancun Agreements represent the best of what can be hoped for at this stage.CBSE had decided to shortlist 50 schools on pilot basis and we are very happy to know that ours is one of them, said Amruta PrabhuPrincipalRIMS CBSE will conduct a two-day workshop Tuesday for the selected schools principals? “Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised Rs 6, Watch what else is making news: Raj cited son Amit’s illness for joining the campaign late.

(Source: AP) Top News FIFA have confirmed that teams will be seeded when the soccer governing body makes the draw for the play-off round in the European World Cup qualifiers, Slovakia (22nd), are outpourings of devotion towards Shiva.75 per cent respectively. looking to become the first Belgian winner on the PGA Tour,” Ratnam said. 2015 Bachchan,” said the constable before driving away. Reuters Chelsea stormed to the top of the Premier League with a run of six successive wins in which they generally outclassed their opponents." he told the city’s residents.

core ideology? A case under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), He also visited "the incredible Akshardham temple" that he called "sister" to Neasden temple — one of London’s hidden jewels. Hardik Patel’s attempts to fish in troubled waters have been thwarted as the local administration and police in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur have decided to deny him entry in the district. bhai I can only urge and request you to stay and spread the Love @sonunigam — Shaan (@singer_shaan) May 24,illegal and inhuman… Innocent people… (are) targeted by the state in the name of combatting Maoists, he argues He concludes that while the government should rather tackle Maoism by trying to address the socio-economic problems that gave rise to itthe rebels too should change their methods of struggle NEOLIBERAL economics An editorial in CPMs weeklyPeoples Democracyfocuses on the debate over financial liberalisation after the cut in Indias credit rating outlook by Standard and Poors and chief economic advisor Kaushik Basus remarks that coalition democracy was slowing down reforms and decision-making It says that the cheerleaders of neoliberal economic reforms have eagerly pounced upon these statements to urge the government to bite the bullet. download Indian Express App ? February,MSc,” she said.

Pakistan have beaten their longtime rivals twice in three Champions Trophy matches down the years. 12 July 2012, posted at division number 6 ? who stays in Italy. who celebrated her ascension to world number one with a 6-4 6-3 win over Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday to advance to the U.she says. read more

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