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Now, Tej Pratap floats ‘Lalu Rabri Morcha’ in Bihar

first_imgIn fresh trouble for Lalu Prasad’s RJD, his mercurial elder son Tej Pratap Yadav on Monday urged his mother Rabri Devi to contest from Saran Lok Sabha seat in place of the father of his estranged wife and threatened to contest as an Independent if his request was not heeded. The maverick MLA and former Minister spoke while announcing the formation of a parallel outfit Lalu Rabri Morcha which he insisted was not separate from the RJD and pointed towards photographs of his parents besides younger brother Tejashwi, who has in the recent past emerged as the party’s de facto leader. “Saran is the seat of my father Lalu ji and mother Rabri ji. I urge my mother, with folded hands, that she herself enter the fray from there. If this does not happen I will contest as an Independent and make my best efforts to win it,” a furious Mr. Yadav told reporters here. Chandrika Rai, the party’s MLA from Parsa seat falling under Saran, was announced as the candidate from the Lok Sabha seat last week. BJP has named sitting MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy as its nominee on the seat. Mr. Rai’s daughter Aishwarya had tied the knot with Mr. Yadav in May last year though the latter moved a divorce petition within less than six months of the marriage.Mr. Yadav, who has been pressing the candidature of two of his loyalists Chandra Prakash from Jehanabad and Angesh from Sheohar, announced that the duo would be fielded by his Morcha from the respective seats. Replying to a query, he shot back, “What action can the party take against me? The RJD leadership has to realise that there is widespread resentment against the NDA government in Bihar which we have to harness. We must not end up angering the people.”‘Bid to divide us’“Many elements have entered the RJD who are trying to drive a wedge between my brother and me. I would urge Tejashwi, whom I always call my Arjuna, to beware of such elements,” Mr. Yadav said.last_img read more

India’s Infosys Opens Fourth Innovation Hub in United States

first_imgIndia’s second-biggest software services exporter Infosys has inaugurated a new technology and innovation hub, its fourth in the USA.The new hub in Raleigh, North Carolina, will help Infosys work more closely with clients in fields such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, user experience and advanced digital technologies, including big data and Cloud, Indo-Asian News Service reports.Read it at A Times Related Itemslast_img

SC-BCCI-FINDINGS 2 LAST

first_imgThe bench said, “It (panel) found that cricket players,The bench said, “It (panel) found that cricket players, who are sports biggest drivers, had also not been spared from the apathy of BCCI as they were treated less like assets and more like employees and subordinates of those governing the game.”The Committee found that the Indian Premier League which was a remunerative and glamourised component in India had unsavoury interference at the highest echelons of cricket and the overlapping and conflicting interests were not only condoned, but those in the management of the Board had made ex-post facto amendments to facilitate the same.”The bench said the panel has also recognised the hardwork of BCCI staff members and match officials who had ensured that hundreds of matches are organised annually at all levels and that updates are provided to keep the Board fully informed.”Charity matches for national causes and humanitarian assistance is another area in which BCCI has been applauded by the Committee while stating that the Committee has consciously ensured that no measures are recommended that would limit or interfere with the good work being done on behalf of BCCI,” it said.The bench said the panels report also indicated that while it was still in the process of hearing the concerned, BCCIs newly elected President had even without waiting for its report adopted and projected the committees views as his roadmap for improving the Boards functioning.”Some of those measures like uploading of Constitution and Bye Laws on the BCCI website, creating a policy for avoidance of Conflict of interest and appointment of Ombudsman had also been taken. The Committee, however, found that although these steps were in the right direction, the same were neither comprehensive nor substantive,” it said. PTI SKV MNL SJK RKS SCadvertisementlast_img read more

FOUL PLAY: Sports and crime

first_imgBy NewsflicksSpain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Barcelona star Lionel Messi and stood by a Catalan regional court’s 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud, court documents showed.The five-times World Player of the Year is unlikely to go to prison, however.Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty by a Catalan court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009 to the tune of 4.1 million Euros on image rights and were also fined 2 million Euros.The court reduced Jorge Messi’s sentence from 21 months to 15, however, for returning the defrauded amount to Spain’s tax authority.Neither Messi nor his father are expected to serve time in jail, as under Spanish law sentences under two years can be served under probation.A court statement said Messi “unequivocally understood his obligation to pay tax on income obtained from exploiting his image rights…therefore it is not logical that he should ignore his duty to pay tax on them”.The Supreme Court’s ruling brings an end to a case which began in 2013.Messi, 29, and his father defrauded the Spanish tax office of 4.1 million euros between 2007 and 2009 by using a web of shell companies based in Belize, Switzerland and Uruguay to evade taxes on income from the player’s image rights.This is not the first time a sports person has found himself on the wrong side of the law. Here are five other instances when famous athletes were punished by the court for wrong doings.TAX EVASION:BORIS BECKERadvertisementSport: TennisPhoto Credit: ReutersThe German tennis great was handed a suspended two-year sentence and fined 500,000 Euros for avoiding 1.7 million Euros in tax to the German fiscal authorities back in 2002.He did so by claiming to live in the “offshore” haven of Monte Carlo during 1991-1993 whereas his main residence was in Munich.However, he walked a free man and was not sentenced.Becker is a six-time major singles champion and also the youngest Wimbledon men’s champion. He won the Wimbledon at the age of 17 years and 222 days, when he beat Kevin Curren 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 back in 1985.He has won three Wimbledon titles in his 49 singles career titles.JAVIER MASCHERANOSport: FootballPhoto Credit: ReutersBarcelona’s Javier Mascherano was handed a one-year prison sentence for not properly paying taxes in Spain. He was also fined 815,000 Euros.The defender had reached a deal with prosecutors and the attorney’s office for failing to pay nearly 1.5 million Euros in taxes for 2011 and 2012.He was also accused by Spain’s tax office of concealing part of the amount that he earned in image rights.However, he is not expected to serve any time in prison and is likely to be let off with another fine.He won the Brazilian Serie A with Corinthians in 2005. He then moved to West Ham and signed for Liverpool on loan before he signed with the club for 18.7 million pounds.Mascherano left Liverpool after three years and signed for Barcelona in 2010.With Barcelona he has won four La Liga championships, two UEFA Champions League titles, two FIFA Club World Cups and other honours.SEXUAL ABUSE:MIKE TYSONSport: BoxingPhoto Credit: ReutersMike Tyson was convicted of rape back in 1992 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.But the judge suspended the last four years, which reduced his term to six years behind bars.He was found guilty of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant in Indianapolis.But Tyson was released in 1995, serving just three years of jail.He was the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, 4 months and 22 days.Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, 12 of them came in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 beating Trevor Berbick in two rounds and added the WBA and  International Boxing Federation (IBF) titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987.FIRST DEGREE MURDER:OSCAR PISTORIUSSport: AthleticsPhoto Credit: Reuters South African Paralympic here  Oscar Pistorius was sent to prison for six years for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.The state and large sections of the South African public had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum 15-year sentence for murder, saying Pistorius had shown no remorse for the killing.However, he is expected to serve only half that time as he will be eligible for parole after three years.He has six Paralympic gold medals to his name.DRUG SMUGGLING:CHRIS LEWISSport: CricketadvertisementThe former England all-rounder Chris Lewis was released from prison after serving half of a 13-year sentence for drug smuggling.The all-rounder was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in May 2009 for smuggling liquid cocaine into the country hidden in his cricket bag.Lewis played 32 Tests and 53 one-day internationals for England.last_img read more

Wimbledon 2017: Rohan Bopanna-Gabriela Dabrowski crash out in mixed doubles quarter-final

first_imgIndian star Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski crashed out of the mixed doubles competition at the Wimbledon tennis tournament following a tough three-set battle here on Thursday.The 10th seeded Indo-Canadian pair went down 7-6, 4-6, 5-7 to the unseeded duo of Henri Kontinen of Finland and Heather Watson of Britain in a quarter-final clash that lasted for two hours.Kontinen and Watson are expected to face another tough challenge in the semi-finals as they will meet second seeds Bruno Soares of Brazil and Russian Elena Vesnina.The second seeds cruised to a 7-5, 6-4 win over unseeded pair Andre Begeman of Germany and American Nicole Melichar in a one hour and 21 minute clash in their quarter-final tie.Bopanna and Dabrowski started off well with a narrow win in the first set before Kontinen and Watson took their game up a notch to take the second.The third set saw an intense battle. With the score tied at 3-3, Kontinen and Watson earned a service break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead.Not to be outdone, Bopanna and Dabrowski broke back in the very next game.The next two games went with the serve before Kontinen and Watson forced anther break of serve to take a 6-5 lead. They ten held serve to win the set and the match.last_img read more

Ranji Trophy quarter-finals, Day 1 wrap: 41-time champions Mumbai struggle vs Karnataka

first_imgVinay Kumar’s 6/34, including a hat-trick, helped Karnataka to bundle out Mumbai for 173 and their batsmen then scored 115/1, trailing by 58 runs, on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final here on Thursday.In the morning, the Karnataka paceman was right on the money. He dismissed in-form opener Prithvi Shaw off the last ball of the first over and then again in the first ball of the third over he dismissed Jay Bista.Vinay completed his hat-trick by taking Akash Parkar, who was promoted to the top of the order.After that, the Karnataka bowlers went on with the same and created havoc in the Mumbai’s batting line-up to bowl them out for a low total.Three brilliant deliveries, three big wickets and Mumbai were straightaway on the backfoot owing to a @Vinay_Kumar_R special. WATCH the Karnataka captain’s morning magic in @paytm #RanjiTrophy #QF4 #KARvMUM here – https://t.co/erPa0OOd0Y- BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) December 7, 2017In reply, Karnataka batsmen, R. Samarth (40) and Mayank Agarwal (62) started off on a good note before Samarth was dismissed by S. Dubey. Incoming batsmen M. Kaunain Abbas (12) then joined Agarwal and made sure they wont loose any more wickets till the end of the day’s play.EASWARAN SMASHES TON VS GUJARATIn other match at Jaipur, Abhimanyu Easwaran’s (129) ton helped Bengal finish the opening day at 261/6 against Gujarat at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.Easwaran gorged 175-run partnership with Anustup Majumdar (94) and rescued Bengal from 59 for 4 after they were put in to bat.advertisementFor Gujarat, I.H. Chaudhary sclaped three wickets for 49 runs and C.T. Gaja took two wickets.MADHYA PRADESH ON TOP VS DELHIIn the third match at Vijayawada, Madhya Pradesh scored 223/6 against Delhi with A.S. Dane (59) and Naman Ojha (49) scoring handsomely to the cause.Apart from them, Harpreet Singh (47) also contributed at the lower order.For Delhi, Vikas Mishra sclaped three wickets for 40 runs.VIDARBHA VS KERALA MARRED BY RAINIn the last match at Surat, which was kicked off only after tea due to wet outfield, Vidarbha were struggling on 45/3 at stumps on the opening day against Kerala.Medium pacer M.D. Nidheesh took one wicket while left-arm spinner K.C. Akshay chipped in two wickets.last_img read more

Yasir Shah puts Pakistan in commanding position vs New Zealand in 3rd Test

first_imgNew Zealand captain Kane Williamson scored a fighting half-century on a turning wicket on Monday and rallied his team to 229/7 on the first day of the third and final Test against Pakistan.Williamson’s 89 off 176 balls was the cornerstone of New Zealand’s revival after leg-spinner Yasir Shah’s (3/62) triple strike had left the visitors reeling at 72/4 before lunch.BJ Watling, who added 104 runs with Williamson for the fifth-wicket stand, defied Pakistan for more than four hours to remain unbeaten on 42 off 180 deliveries, hitting a solitary boundary in his patient knock.Williamson and Watling dug in well and denied Pakistan success in the middle session before the home team got three wickets after tea to check New Zealand’s progress.Fast bowler Hasan Ali finally broke the (1/46) century partnership when Williamson was caught at short mid-wicket. The New Zealand captain used his feet well against the spinners and hit seven fours before falling to Hasan’s reverse swing.Colin de Grandhomme (20) was smartly held by Asad Shafiq in the leg slip only a ball after surviving a stumping attempt by Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed off Bilal Asif’s (2/57) off-spin.Tim Southee, playing his first Test match of the series, then top-edged Asif before debutant Will Somerville (12 not out) successfully overturned an lbw decision against the off-spinner and saw off the day with Watling.Asif could have dented New Zealand after lunch but Watling was dropped by Imam-ul-Haq at forward short leg as Pakistan couldn’t make further inroads after Shah’s demolition in the first session.Williamson completed his half-century off 109 balls with three fours when he drove Asif to the covers for three runs and looked comfortable against seamers and spinners before he was undone by Hasan.advertisementEarlier, Shah had the wickets of Jeet Raval (45) and Ross Taylor (0) off successive deliveries before Henry Nicholls (1) played on to the leg-spinner after Williamson won the toss and elected to bat.Shah – playing in his 33rd Test match – needs two more wickets to become the quickest bowler in Test history to reach 200 wickets.Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett holds the record after taking his 200th wicket in his 36th Test in 1925.Pakistan struck early through debutant Shaheen Afridi (1/43) when the left-arm fast bowler had Tom Latham (4) leg before wicket in his third over.Onfield umpire Paul Reiffel adjudged Latham not out but Pakistan had the decision overturned through television referral as the replays showed the ball would have crashed into the middle and leg stump.Shah’s 14-wicket haul had earned Pakistan a resounding innings and 16-run victory in the second Test, which leveled the series at 1-1.And New Zealand’s batsmen continued to struggle against Shah’s nine overs in the first session at the same venue, where Williamson’s team won the first Test narrowly by four runs last month.The leg-spinner had Raval leg before wicket off a delivery which came back in to the lefthander, ending a 46-run second-wicket stand.Taylor was clean bowled off the next delivery, which didn’t rise above shin height.Nicholls denied Shah a hat-trick but in the next over was clean bowled as he dragged the ball back onto the stumps while attempting a sweep shot as New Zealand lost three wickets for two runs.last_img read more

Rishabh Pant ideal replacement for injured Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane not a bad option too: Harbhajan Singh

first_imgWorld Cup-winning India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said India will find it a little difficult to get the batting combination right in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan at the Cricket World Cup 2019.On Tuesday, it emerged that Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of World Cup 2019 for 3 weeks after scans revealed he had a fractured thumb. Dhawan’s injury is a massive blow to India who have won both their matches so far in the tournament and are firm favourites to reach the semifinals.Shikhar Dhawan had sustained the injury during India’s 36-run victory over defending world champions Australia at The Oval. Despite the injury, Dhawan went on to score a stylish 117 as India posted a record 352 for 5 off their 50 overs.It is not yet clear whether the Indian team will name a replacement for Dhawan but chances are either Shreyas Iyer or Rishabh Pant could be called up to replace Shikhar Dhawan who has 6 hundreds in ICC tournaments.”If it is going to be 3 weeks, it means the majority of the tournament is gone. And without Shikhar Dhawan who was the Man of the Match against Australia, it means Indian team will find it a little bit difficult. You have another opener in KL Rahul but Rahul hasn’t opened in the recent past,” Harbhajan Singh told India Today.Harbhajan added: “It’s going to be a challenge. This is a big blow. I would have loved to see Shikhar playing all the games. He is a big-match player. It’s a good opportunity for Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to be part of the squad. If anything goes wrong with Shikhar Dhawan for more than 3 weeks, then I would want to pick Pant.advertisement”Well, it could be 3 weeks depending on how bad the injury is. In the end, it will come down to how Shikhar Dhawan will feel batting with the injured finger. Even if the injury heals, it will depend on him to get fully fit. If Vijay Shankar comes in at No. 4, I don’t feel that confident about the move,” Harbhajan added.Harbhajan Singh also said Ajinkya Rahane can be tried as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan if India decide to go in with experience.Notably, Rahane has been playing county cricket for Hampshire in the United Kingdom after the Indian Premier League 2019. The India batsman last played ODIs for the senior national team in February 2018 but Harbhajan feels his experience will come in handy in English conditions.”He [Rahane] is a very good option to be considered. He has been playing cricket here. He is one of the middle order batsmen to rely on. He has got the technique to bat at No.3, No.4. He was one of India’s best batsmen at the 2015 World Cup. It would be a bad call to ask him to join the team from here itself. I would still like to see the injury as to how long Shikhar Dhawan is gone. You can straightaway have him in the squad after it heals. You want to be fully fit. Shikhar Dhawan himself won’t take a chance. A fracture ideally takes more than 3 weeks,” Harbhajan said.However, Harbhajan said his first choice replacement for Dhawan would be Rishabh Pant: “At the moment, if I have to pick one replacement player, it would be Rishabh Pant or if you want to go for experience, then it would be Ajinkya Rahane.”India Today can confirm that Shikhar Dhawan is currently with physio Patrick Farhat as Team India wants the opener to be fit before the business end of the tournament. A final call on his availability is likely to be taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Tuesday.Also Read | Rishabh Pant or Shreyas Iyer likely to replace injured Shikhar DhawanAlso Read | Watch: Yuzvendra Chahal beats Kuldeep Yadav in wrong arm shootoutAlso See:last_img read more

Nova Scotia marijuana outlets to be bright open inviting corporation says

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s legal marijuana stores will be “bright, open, and inviting” — but the product itself will be sold in secure containers and then sealed in a paper bag.Conceptual drawings released by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation show what customers can expect once Ottawa legalizes recreational marijuana.It will be sold in clearly demarcated areas of 11 NSLC stores that also sell alcohol, while one downtown Halifax store will be the province’s lone pot-only retail outlet.“There will be a section of the store that has a frosted glass area, because you are not allowed under federal regulations to be able to see the product,” corporation spokeswoman Beverly Ware said Monday.“The key for us is to keep the area bright and open and inviting and in keeping with the NSLC stores that people are accustomed to.”The drawings show a well lit area where various strains of marijuana are displayed in glass jars inside glass cases. The cash register area is flanked by a station where customers can get information about the marijuana they are buying on computer tablets.Bright posters outline the various categories of product according to levels of THC or medicinal CBD.The categories are Relax, Unwind, Centre, and Enhance, Ware said.With the exception of the pot-only Halifax location, customers will not be allowed to smell the product on the premises so the odour doesn’t permeate into areas where alcohol is sold.“But you are able to closely look at the product and we will have a written description of what the smell of the product would be like if you were able to open it,” said Ware.Before they begin to shop, Ware said customers will be met by a product specialist who will ask questions about the type of marijuana they are looking for, and who will also give health and safety advice.Customers will be advised not to consume alcohol with their purchase and will be asked to store it safely once they are home. They will also be told not to smoke pot while driving.“We expect that there might be a number of new users and cannabis affects different people differently,” said Ware. “So we’ll be asking customers to start low and slow, to start with lower levels of THC and to slowly learn how the product will react with their body.”Ware said the marijuana will only be handled by the clerk who will get it for the customer. It will be sold in secure containers similar to those used for drug prescriptions and then sealed in a paper bag.Ware said eight of the 12 stores are currently under renovation and the goal is to have them ready for a July startup.Ware said it’s estimated the average cost of the renovations for the “stores within a store” is just over $500,000. She said there is no cost estimate yet for the stand-alone outlet, although the entire startup cost for the NSLC is estimated at between $10 million to $11 million.She said product supply is yet to be secured, although NSLC officials were in the process Monday of narrowing down possible suppliers.Nova Scotians will also be allowed to grow up to four plants on their own, and will be able buy online from the NSLC.last_img read more

QuickList governments rules for Canada 150 rink on Parliament Hill

first_imgOTTAWA – Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says a skating rink erected on Parliament Hill to mark the country’s 150th birthday will now stay open until the end of February, after critics and the public assailed the original window of Dec. 7-31.The rink also comes with a list of “guidelines” that differ little from the rules that govern typical public skating facilities, but have nonetheless earned the scorn of Canadians on social media and elsewhere. They are as follows:— Skaters will have to obtain passes that are available for free 48 hours before their scheduled use date and are good for 40 minutes on the rink.— Only those wearing skates are permitted on the ice surface.— It is highly recommended that all skaters wear a CSA-approved helmet during all skating sessions.— Patrons attending must have a responsible adult of 18 years of age to accompany children 12 years and under. Carrying children while on the ice surface, including baby carriers, is prohibited.— Food and drinks are not to be taken on the ice surface.— All accidents or injuries must be reported immediately to the on-site supervisor.— Hockey sticks and/or pucks are prohibited.— The use of headsets, cell phone or electronic devices is prohibited.— Rough play, speed, figure skating and multiplayer games (i.e. tag and races), foul language or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated.— Wheelchairs and strollers are permitted during skating sessions, with the accompaniment of a responsible person age 18 or older with skates on.— Only so-called “E-Z gliders” are permitted as a skating aid.— CSA approved helmets are required for wheelchair and stroller occupants.— Wheels must be cleaned of sand and salt prior to entering the ice surface to ensure the safety of skaters.last_img read more

Canada to ban singleuse plastics

TORONTO — Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.Trudeau said the specific items to be banned will be determined based on a science-based review, but the government is considering items such as water bottles, plastic bags and straws.“As early as 2021, Canada will ban harmful single-use plastics from coast to coast,” Trudeau said.Trudeau said his government is drawing inspiration from the European Union’s Parliament, which voted overwhelmingly in March to impose a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics to counter pollution from discarded items that end up in waterways and fields. Legislatures of the EU member states must vote on the measure before it takes effect.“Many other countries are doing that and Canada will be one of them,” Trudeau said. “This is a big step but we know can do this for 2021.”Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. The government said that 1 million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die each year when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled.The EU’s measure would affect a range of plastic products for which reasonable alternatives exist, from straws to earbuds, starting in 2021.Disposable utensils would not be completely off-limits, but the EU measure calls for them to be made of sustainable materials when possible. The EU legislation also sets a goal of having 90 per cent of plastic bottles recycled by 2025 and of halving the litter from the 10 items that turn up in oceans most often.The EU estimated the changes will cost the bloc’s economy 259 million to 695 million euros a year ($291 million to $781 million). It’s not clear what the cost would be for Canada.China’s decision to no longer import some of the EU’s waste helped spur the plastics ban.China banned the import of plastic waste last year, causing other Southeast Asian nations to become new destinations. The Philippines, complaining of being treated like a dumpsite by wealthier nations, shipped 69 containers of what its officials called illegally transported garbage back to Canada in May.Rob Gillies, The Associated Press read more

Sri Lanka creates panel to stem sexual abuse of women

The commission will have powers of prosecution, said the Government in a statement. Many have struggled in the war’s aftermath to obtain identity papers and birth certificates which are essential to obtain government handouts and other aid.Prosecutions of military personnel or officials for sex crimes are rare in Sri Lanka, although four soldiers were jailed for 25 years for the gang-rape of a young Tamil mother in 2010, a year after the war ended. (Colombo Gazette) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga said last week that women faced sexual abuse from local officials, with those widowed during the 37-year conflict particularly at risk. Sri Lanka will set up a special panel to tackle widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of women including thousands of war widows, the Government said Wednesday, the AFP news agency reported.The establishment of a new National Commission on Women comes amid warnings that women from the Tamil minority face widespread sexual exploitation by officials in their own community as well as from the military. read more

Laurentian Bank targets continued growth in 2015 as it seeks higher revenues

MONTREAL – Laurentian Bank is targeting a five to eight per cent increase in adjusted diluted earnings next year after having completed the integration of two recent acquisitions, MRS Companies and AGF Trust, the Montreal-based bank said Wednesday.“We are proud of our 2014 results and we know that we can still do better and accelerate our growth now that integrations are behind us,” president and CEO Rejean Robitaille said Wednesday during a conference call.The bank, which marked its eighth consecutive year of record profitability with $5.31 per share in adjusted earnings in 2014, will continue to focus in 2015 on higher-margin commercial activities and increasing its footprint outside of Quebec, Robitaille said.Revenue at Laurentian’s Toronto-based B2B Bank, which offers banking products and services to Canadian financial advisers and brokers, are expected to be flat to slightly positive next year, after decreasing seven per cent in 2014, the company said.And, with no exposure to the energy sector, Laurentian Bank hopes to get a boost from lower fuel prices and the weaker Canadian dollar that will support exports and economic growth in Ontario and Quebec where it mainly operates.While the earnings guidance is in line with other Canadian banks, Laurentian may be challenged to achieve its forecast unless it can overcome slowing mortgages and personal loans, said Scott Chan of Canaccord Genuity.“The target is there but my gut feeling is that it’s going to be hard to reach the mid- to high-end of that target next year,” he said in an interview.He said the bank needs to continue to control costs and see an uptick in commercial loans, whose portfolio grew 15 per cent in 2014.Over the longer term, Laurentian plans to double the volume of business portfolios to $10 billion in 2018. With the integration of MRS Companies and AGF Trust completed, it aims to double B2B Bank’s mortgage loans to $8 billion in five years.Laurentian (TSX:LB) became the fourth Canadian bank to increase its quarterly dividend this earnings season after capping a strong year with higher profits in the fourth quarter, although they were shy of analyst estimates.The bank is boosting its payout for the third time in the past year, raising its dividend by four per cent to 54 cents with the next payment in February. Since 2010, the dividend has grown by 50 per cent.It joins Quebec banking rival National Bank (TSX:NA), Scotiabank (TSX:BNS), CIBC (TSX:CM) and Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO), all of which announced recently they were raising their dividends.Canada’s seventh-largest bank earned $33.8 million or $1.09 per diluted share for the three months ended Oct. 31. That was up from $25.9 million or 82 cents per share in the fourth quarter of its 2013 financial year.The profits were reduced by $5.6 million or 19 cents per share for restructuring costs, including $4.4 million for severance and $1.2 million related to IT projects.Excluding one-time items, adjusted net income reached a record of $42.6 million or $1.39 per diluted share in the fourth quarter. That was up from $38.5 million or $1.26 per a share last year.Revenues increased to $221.4 million, from $215.5 million.Laurentian was expected to earn $1.41 per share on $221.6 million of revenues, according the analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.Most of Canada’s banks missed expectations this quarter, causing their stock prices to fall. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Laurentian’s shares closed at $47.60, down $2.67 or 5.31 per cent in Wednesday trading.For the full year, the bank’s net income surged 17.5 per cent to $140.4 million on $874.1 million of revenues. Adjusted profits were $163.6 million or $5.31 per diluted share, up from $155.4 million or $5.07 per share in 2012.Provisions for loan losses increased by $6 million to reach $42 million for the year, and were up five per cent to $10.5 million in the fourth quarter year over year, but unchanged from the third quarter.The bank’s core personal and commercial segment’s adjusted profit grew nearly 18 per cent to $33.4 million in the quarter on revenue of $153.8 million.B2B Bank earned $8.46 million, up from $4.4 million a year ago, on $43.6 million in revenue. Laurentian Bank Securities earnings slipped to $2.4 million from $2.9 million a year ago on $16.16 million of revenues.Follow @RossMarowits on TwitterNote to readers: This story corrects an earlier version that counted severance separately from restructuring charges. Laurentian Bank targets continued growth in 2015 as it seeks higher revenues AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 10, 2014 10:27 am MDT read more

Too soon to say whether job cuts will follow HeinzKraft merger executive

FILE – This Wednesday, March 2, 2011, file photo, shows containers of Heinz ketchup on the shelf of a market, in Barre, Vt. H.J. Heinz Co. is buying Kraft Foods Group Inc., creating what the companies say will be the third-largest food and beverage company in North America, the companies announced Wednesday, March 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File) Too soon to say whether job cuts will follow Heinz-Kraft merger: executive AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 25, 2015 10:26 am MDT TORONTO – A merger between H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods is expected to generate about $1.5 billion in cost savings, but the companies say it’s too early to say whether they will shutter any of their Canadian operations.“We’ll be looking at all of our operations over the coming months, but for now it’s business as usual,” Michael Mullen, senior vice-president of corporate and government affairs at Heinz, told reporters during a conference call after the deal was announced Wednesday.The merger will create a combined company called Kraft Heinz Co., which will own brands such as Heinz, Kraft, Oscar Mayer and Philadelphia, and have annual revenue of about US$28 billion.The cost savings are expected by the end of 2017.Ian Lee, a professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business in Ottawa, said the deal will likely lead to layoffs as the two companies find ways to share costs.The cuts will most likely to occur in the companies’ head offices or in regional offices, as the companies find ways to consolidate expenses. However, consolidation of manufacturing is also possible, Lee said.“We don’t yet know where the synergies are going to be identified, but chances are there will be some layoffs in Canada,” Lee said.Kraft has three distribution centres and two manufacturing and processing facilities in Canada, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has around 2,000 Canadian employees.Mullen said Heinz’s Canadian operations are based in Toronto and St. Mary’s, Ontario. Heinz also has a small office in Leamington, Ont.3G Capital, which co-owns Heinz along with Berkshire Hathaway Inc, is known for paring down the assets of acquired companies in order to boost profits.“Every time you put two major public companies together, there are natural synergies and efficiency opportunities associated with that,” said Alex Behring, Heinz chairman managing partner at 3G Capital.After being acquired by 3G and Berkshire in 2013, Heinz announced plans to shutdown a number of plants, including one in Leamington that has been in operation for more than a century.Around 740 full-time, permanent staff were going to be laid off as a result. Highbury Canco later agreed to buy the plant, saving at least 250 jobs.3G Capital also owns 51 per cent of Restaurant Brands International Inc., the company formed last year when Burger King bought Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons Inc.That merger led to about 350 Tim Hortons employees losing their jobs. read more

Peanut Johnson Maddy Humphrey spark Ohio State field hockey

Left: Junior forward Peanut Johnson looks on during a game against Ball State on Sept. 14 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU won, 3-2, in overtime. Right: Freshman midfielder Maddy Humphrey goes for the ball against Ball State on Sept. 14. OSU won, 3-2, in overtime. Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerFreshman midfielder Maddy Humphrey stood at the opponent’s end of Buckeye Varsity Field, tied 2-2 in overtime against Ball State, looking for an opportunity to attack.When the chance presented itself, she pounced.Humphrey dove forward to steal the ball near Ball State’s goal and quickly dished it to junior forward Peanut Johnson, who promptly hit the back of the net for a Buckeye win.Afterward, Johnson said she knew the pass was coming. She knew Humphrey would find her right in her comfort zone.“There it was, just spoon fed,” Johnson said. “But definitely other plays I for sure know where Maddy’s gonna be and she knows where I’m gonna be. It’s super easy and fun to play together.”The connection Johnson and Humphrey have goes beyond their time as teammates. As a junior at Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Va., Humphrey took her unofficial visit to Ohio State.Her host at the time was Johnson, a Dayton, Ohio, native and second team All-Big Ten honoree in 2013. Humphrey said her time with Johnson let her know OSU was the right school to attend.“She’s one of the main reasons why I came here, because it was such a great feeling,” Humphrey said about her visit with Johnson. “Right when I came here, I was like, ‘Yes, this is the place.’ And then when I got here for preseason, she just had open arms and was there for me, helped me out, and just pushed me.”As a freshman, Humphrey leads the Buckeyes with seven goals on the season and ranks sixth in the Big Ten in points with 21. Her early season performances have landed her two Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.Johnson said though she has been a heavy influence on Humphrey’s early career at OSU, she is still learning a lot from the newcomer.“I think it’s a similar style,” Johnson said of the player’s abilities on the field. “But I’m trying to learn from her a lot because she’s really strong on the ball. So I’m definitely learning stuff from her getting the shots off, and she has really sick skills.”OSU field hockey (3-6, 0-2) is set to hit to the road Friday to take on the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins in College Park, Md. The team is embarking on a three-game road trip ahead of its return to Buckeye Varsity Field.OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she sees Humphrey and Johnson as a microcosm of the team. She said in an interview Sept. 17 that OSU’s chemistry on and off the field continues to blossom under their leadership.“They really work well together, they respect each other,” Wilkinson said. “Whatever areas we need to improve on, we kinda do a good job of covering for each other, making each other look good on the field.“And that’s the sign of a good team. Their first focus is making their teammates look better.”Humphrey grimaced when asked if she was becoming a leader amongst the younger players on the team.“I hate this question,” Humphrey said. “I just try to support my teammates as much as possible. That’s how I’m going to lead.”Johnson, who’s second on the team in points with 17, echoed the sentiment. She said seniority doesn’t matter much for OSU.“Just trying to step up and trying to make sure everyone’s included,” Johnson said of her leadership style. “(Humphrey’s) stepped up as a leader. Not just for the freshman, but for the team in general.” read more

Logan Stieber a Jedi Master for Ohio State wrestling

Redshirt-senior Logan Stieber smiles as he is named 2015 Big Ten Champion on March 8 at St. John Arena. Stieber became the first-ever OSU wrestler to win the title 4 times.Credit: Patrick Kalista / Lantern reporterIt’s 7:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, less than a week before Logan Stieber and his wrestling teammates board a bus for St. Louis and the NCAA Championships. The three-time National Champion is waiting in the French Field House for his teammates and coaches to arrive for conditioning. Why someone of his caliber would need to be up this early for a workout is debatable, but that’s what makes Stieber a different breed of athlete. Sprints of 300 meters ensued after a half-mile warm up run, and Stieber was near the front for every activity. I should know: I partook in this workout.After being in the lead for maybe 10 seconds of the opening sprint, I felt my legs turn to jelly, my heart beat faster than the OSU drumline as I watched the other wrestlers all pass me by. Coach Tom Ryan put my underwhelming performance in wrestling terms: “You got the first takedown, then you got tech falled.” The run was part of a single day I spent as part of the OSU wrestling team. My goal: to see what it takes to compete like Big Ten champion Logan Stieber.In the humid confines of the indoor track facility, the average person might want to wear less clothing whenever possible. But Stieber, with a 2015 season record of 24-0, makes sure he sweats enough for the entire team with a long-sleeve shirt and sweats tucked into his socks, so not to trip over his red and black Nike running shoes. “I have goals beyond college wrestling that I want to accomplish, so that keeps me motivated,” the No. 1-seeded 141-pounder said. “Everyone I wrestle wants to be the one who knocks me off, so I always have to be on my game.”Stieber recently won his fourth Big Ten title and did so in a place he has come very familiar with while at OSU: St. John Arena. His performance might have been one of the most dominant in finals history — a 16-1 technical fall in 187 seconds — and Stieber said he went in hoping to give the crowd something to remember him by.“Competing one last time in St. John Arena was unbelievable,” he said. “I thought I wrestled smart and a little conservative my first two matches of the tournament, but for my last match, I wanted to go out and score lots of points and put on a show.”Ryan, who won Big Ten Coach of the Year, put Stieber’s performance in a category by itself, but said he has come to expect that from his senior leader.“When you master a position and your opponent has no answer to it, that’s what happens,” Ryan said. “Logan’s not good at the position, he’s not great at the position, he’s not extraordinary at the position. He’s a Jedi Master.”Stieber became the first Buckeye to “four-peat” a championship and was just the 14th wrestler in Big Ten history to achieve four conference titles. Doing it at home made the moment even more perfect, Ryan said.“It was a fitting ending to the most amazing career in over a 100-year history of Ohio State wrestling,” he said. “That’s the way he should have gone out. It was amazing.”Winning championships has been the norm for Stieber since he started wrestling, having won the state tournament in Ohio all four years at Monroeville High School. Those experiences, combined with his 114-3 collegiate record, have made some indelible memories for Stieber. They include winning his fourth high school state title, his first national title, being named 2015 Big Ten Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Year and the 2013-14 Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year.He has also appreciated the chance to share his success with his younger brother, Hunter, who battled injuries all season, but has long pushed his elder sibling to be the best.How someone could become so dominant at one individual sport is a question many have asked Logan Stieber, but he deflects all credit to those who have long supported him.“My coaches and training partners are the reasons why I am as good as I am,” he said.Stieber, who has managed 49 falls, 26 technical falls and 17 major decisions, has about 10 days left in his college wrestling career, but his legacy in the sport will survive. And after a brief break, he will be back training in freestyle wrestling, with his goal to make the 2015 world team and, ultimately, the 2016 Olympic team.Before he represents his country, Stieber has one more tournament to try to win for OSU. He hopes to join the likes of Cael Sanderson, Pat Smith and Kyle Dake as a four-time NCAA champion — a goal he set for himself as a freshman, he said.“It would be amazing to win my fourth,” Stieber said. “It was a goal of mine when I first came to college and it’s cool that I have a chance to do it. It would be an accumulation of my life of work to end my career at Ohio State with my fourth NCAA title and team title.” read more

Russia gives amnesty to Pussy Riot and Greenpeace

first_imgThere is certainly a chance, but until they actually leave Russia everything is speculation.All were arrested after the ship was boarded by Russian special forces in September and were first held under arrest in a jail in northern Murmansk, where the ship remains in Russian control.Last month the entire crew was released on bail, but Greenpeace said the foreigners are still not being allowed out of the country, with Russian investigators not giving migration officials a green light to issue exit visas.- © AFP, 2013 RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS HAVE approved a Kremlin-backed amnesty bill that is set to free the two jailed members of the punk band PussyRiot while also ending the prosecution of 30 Greenpeace crew members.Russia’s Duma lower house of parliament voted 446 in favour to none against for the amnesty, which commemorates 20 years since Russia ratified its current constitution.The bill, branded as just a token gesture by rights activists, can go into effect as early as tomorrow and should also see several anti-Vladimir Putin protesters, jailed after a May 2012 rally, walk out of prison.The amnesty affects a range of categories like mothers with dependents, minors and the elderly. However it also specifically mentions the charge of hooliganism as well as the charge of participating in mass riots.Could be released tomorrowThe jailed members of Pussy Riot punk band, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who are serving two-year sentences on charges of hooliganism for staging an anti-Putin “punk prayer” protest in a cathedral, could be released as early as tomorrow, Tolokonnikova’s husband said.The officials in Krasnoyarsk and Nizhny Novgorod, where the two women are currently held, have promised to free them “right away and without bureaucratic delay, probably tomorrow,” Pyotr Verzilov wrote on his Twitter blog.The duo’s sentences run out in early March of next year.The initial bill listed hooliganism and mass riot charges, but said that only convicts can seek amnesty. The parliament then passed amendments that stipulated cases on those charges to be closed even before reaching trial or verdict.Protest in the Barents SeaThe amendments effectively meant that prosecution of the entire Greenpeace crew arrested after a protest in the Barents Sea and charged with hooliganism would end and the foreigners now staying in Saint Petersburg could finally go home.The amnesty does not require approval by the upper chamber of parliament and will go into effect when it is published, most likely on Thursday.The 26 foreign crew from the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship will then request to leave, and still hope to be home by Christmas, said spokesman Ben Stewart. He said:last_img read more

The Criminal Assets Bureau says its now ready to sell John Gilligans

first_imgThe Criminal Assets Bureau says it’s now ready to sell John Gilligan’s former houses A Supreme Court decision today paved the way for more sales. http://jrnl.ie/3217332 The Olympic-sized equestrian centre got a new owner in 2014. Source: Niall Carson/PAThis included the Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in Kildare which was sold by CAB back in 2014.Today’s decision means that CAB can now sell three more former Gilligan properties, a house in Lucan, a house in Corduff and a house in Jessbrook.The Jessbrook estate including the house, equestrian centre, agricultural buildings and land measures 80 acres in total. Stables are seen during a media tour of Jessbrook Equestrian Centre. Source: Niall Carson/PACAB has said that it is satisfied the “lengthy proceedings” are now over.“This case shows the determination and dedication of the Criminal Assets Bureau to deny and deprive people of the proceeds of crime,” the bureau said in a statement.Read: John Gilligan’s prized Jessbrook estate sold by CAB >Read: John Gilligan left Ireland last night after being discharged from hospital > Short URL A general view of the Jessbrook Equestrian Centre in 2012, two years before it was sold. Source: Niall Carson/PATHE CRIMINAL ASSETS Bureau (CAB) has said that it is satisfied with today’s Supreme Court decision on the properties formerly owned by convicted drug dealer John Gilligan.In a statement this afternoon, CAB said it now plans to move ahead with the sale of three of the properties.An appeal by Gilligan against the seizure of three properties was unanimously struck out today, 21 years after the State first took control of some of his assets. Feb 1st 2017, 5:06 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Wednesday 1 Feb 2017, 5:06 PM Share Tweet Email 22,486 Views By Rónán Duffy 31 Comments last_img read more

Four men jailed over Hatzis stabbing

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Four men have been jailed over the manslaughter of Adelaide teenager Christopher Hatzis outside a city nightclub in 2012.Christopher Hatzis, 19, was ejected from nightclub and was fatally stabbed from a brawl that followed.Two of the four men, Rrok Jakaj, 20, and Dario Stakaj, 21, held Mr Hatzis down while David Zefi, 23, repeatedly stabbed the victim with a knife. Judge Ann Vanstone said the horrific loss of life will forever stay with the Hatzis family, and for those who tried to save his life the night of the attack. In sentencing, Judge Vanstone hoped to set an example and deter others from such crimes.“It was a futile but tragic altercation between young men who showed a complete lack of judgement, discipline and forbearance,” she said.“The consequences of the spur of the moment decision … will stay with you forever.“It was not a planned event. This was a confrontation which developed into a fight and which escalated because of the introduction of a knife.”Zefi received the longest jail sentence of eight years with a six year and 10 month non-parole period set. Stakaj received four years with a three year and five month non parole period and Jakaj five years and six months, but can be paroled in four years. The other offender, a youth at the time of the crime but now 19, got the shortest sentence, three years, that will be served at a youth detention centre.Source: ABClast_img read more