University of Alaska Southeast (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)The University of Alaska Board of Regents has endorsed UA President Jim Johnsen’s plan to restructure the university system, as it faces continuing declines in state funding.Download AudioUA President Jim Johnsen presented the framework for the plan at a 2-day work session last week. He says it will streamline and increase efficiency across the university system.“Focusing each one of our major campuses, our universities, UAS in Southeast, UAA in Anchorage and UAF in Fairbanks, focusing them on where they’re strong already; where they already have a competitive niche; where there’s a great deal of excellence; where there’s faculty capacity; and focusing each one of them somewhat differently to hit our state’s high priority needs,” Johnsen said.Though the details are not set in stone, a press release suggests UAF could focus on technology, engineering and mathematics; UAA on nursing and economic and policy sciences; and UAS could take the lead in mining and marine programs.The University of Alaska offers 478 degree and certificate programs. And Johnsen says the idea with the plan is to reduce the redundancies between campuses. But, he says some of those redundancies will need to remain in place.“There would be more specialization, and that way we can have strength and excellence in a more diverse set of fields, actually, while at the same time making as common as possible things like our general education requirements, and email systems, and support systems and things like that,” he said.Having things like a common set of general education requirements at each campus will make it easier for students to transfer between programs and campuses within the UA system.The Board of Regents unanimously approved the President’s framework plan. But, Regent Chair Jo Heckman says there’s still a lot of work to be done.“It’s gonna be awhile before we see an actual implementation, because the devil is in the details, and a lot of details have to be worked out,” Heckman said.There are no estimates yet on exactly how much this plan could save the university. And full implementation is still years away.The Board of Regents will take up discussion on the plan again at their meeting in Fairbanks on Feb. 18-19.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnDownload AudioSavings on tax credits for oil and gas not as high as proposedAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauA bill to revise oil and gas tax credits from the House Resources Committee includes only a fraction of the savings Governor Bill Walker proposed.Canadian company seeks building railroad linking with Trans-Alaska PipelineRobert Hannon, KUAC – FairbanksA Canadian company is looking into the feasibility of building a railroad to Alaska to link with the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The rail line would ferry Canadian oilsands to markets in the Far East. The company has been pursuing the project for years.Bill banning sex ed from abortion providers moves forward in HouseHannon Colton, KDLG – DillinghamA bill to bar abortion service providers from teaching sex education in public schools narrowly cleared a hurdle in the Alaska House Wednesday.Several groups criticize Walker’s handling of fisheriesAssociated PressFishermen, Alaska Native tribal members and clean water advocates are criticizing Gov. Bill Walker’s administration over its handling of fisheries and water issues.Retreating sea ice: Good for walruses, bad for indigenous communitiesJohanna Eurich – FairbanksAs Arctic sea ice has retreated north during the last decade, walruses have adapted by changing their haulouts to take advantage of better resources and food. That’s good for the walruses… but it’s a problem for some Russian indigenous communities on the Chokotkan coast.Sitka basketball team rescues six-plex occupants from fireRobert Woolsey, KCAW – SitkaQuick thinking by the Sitka boys basketball team averted tragedy Wednesday morning, when a six-plex in the Anchorage neighborhood where they were staying caught fire. The boys and their coach woke and rescued 11 occupants before firefighters arrived.‘The Grand Bargain’ seeks to improve Sitka communitiesEmily Kwong, KCAW – SitkaIn Sitka, a Citizen’s Task Force has been meeting for several months tocome up with a strategy for keeping the community’s basic services, whileadjusting the tax structure. And now, the Task Force is ready to revealtheir plan. They call it “The Grand Bargain.Rare Aluutiq quiver now part of Kodiak MuseumKayla Desroches, KMXT – KodiakKodiak’s Alutiiq Museum recently acquired a quiver that is a rare exampleof Alutiiq craftsmanship and also leads to a host of questions about itsorigins. Sven Haakanson (sven HAHK-in-sin) is Curator of Native AmericanAnthropology at the Burke Museum and recently passed the quiver – and thearrow that comes with it – along to the Alutiiq Museum.Skagway to host largest cruise ship to sail Alaska watersJillian Rogers, KHNS – HainesRoyal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas is scheduled to dock in Skagway thissummer. It’s the largest cruise ship to land in the Gateway to the Klondikeby about 1,000 passengers, and largest to cruise Alaska waters. The vesselwill also make port calls in Juneau and sail the Inside Passage and TracyArm.
Eighteen packs of canned beer line the shelves at the opening of BNC’s liquor store, Bethel Spirits, on Sept. 27, 2016. (Photo by Dean Swope, KYUK – Bethel)The city of Bethel has had some trouble collecting taxes in recent months, but one tax they’re not having trouble collecting is the 12% sales tax from alcohol. Since the city sold its first legal alcohol in April, Bethel has collected over a quarter of a million dollars from Bethel’s two alcohol vendors. A third vendor recently opened but those numbers were not included.At 5 p.m. you can see people stopping at the city’s new liquor store on their way home to pick up a six pack or bottle wine. Each purchase includes a bit to pay alcohol taxes to the city.AC Quick Stop, which opened in May, paid $271,652 to the city in alcohol taxes. That means the store sold about $2.5 million from sales before taxes. The city is well on its way to meeting and possibly exceeding former Bethel City Manager Anne Capela’s estimated alcohol tax revenue of about half a million per year. She made that prediction based on the amount that the city brings in from cigarette sales tax.Though most of the alcohol sales took place at the AC Quickstop liquor store, Fili’s Pizza paid the city $5,606 which means they made about $47,000 before taxes.The city’s tax revenue reveals that the two vendors combined made almost $2.4 million since the first beer was sold on April 8, 2016.But is it worth it? In other words — does the money the city makes from alcohol taxes help… more than it hurts by increasing the rate of alcohol-fueled crime? District Attorney for Bethel, Michael Gray, thinks it does help because he hasn’t seen any increase in crime, at least in Bethel.“We were really expecting to see a real significant uptick. And so far, in terms of the cases referred to us, we just haven’t seen it,” Gray said.The Association of Village Council Presidents recently passed a resolution condemning the effect of alcohol sales on the villages. Gray says the villages are another matter that’s difficult to measure, though he suspects legal sales may have caused an increase there.“In August and September, we were noticing a significant uptick in the referrals for sexual assaults in the river villages. I can’t say that that’s related but I certainly suspect that it may be,” Gray said.Gray says the additional revenue should be used to help Bethel’s police department.“For years they’ve been understaffed, they have a hard time. Bethel’s a hard town to recruit people to come and live in.” Gray said.Though Gray doesn’t explicitly support a liquor store, he thinks the income will make a positive difference if it’s used for law enforcement.
Sockeye salmon migrate up a small stream in Southcentral Alaska. (Photo: Katrina Liebich/USFWS)Alaskans will soon vote on Ballot Measure 1, the controversial initiative aimed at protecting Alaska’s salmon habitat. Companies behind big proposed mines and oil developments have helped raise millions of dollars to campaign against it.Listen nowBut beyond big resource development projects, opponents say Ballot Measure 1 could hinder projects like road improvements. Supporters counter that it was specifically written to allow vital infrastructure projects to go forward.So how will the ballot measure affect mid-sized projects used by everyday Alaskans? The answer isn’t clear-cut.Part of the uncertainty on how the salmon habitat initiative could affect things like small-scale hydro projects or mom-and-pop placer mines hinges on a single phrase in the ballot measure: “significant adverse effects.”That’s because if it passes, projects that could cause “significant adverse effects” to salmon habitat will go through a much tougher and more public vetting process to get what’s called a major permit. Projects that impact salmon habitat in less significant ways could get a minor or a general permit, and that process would be less rigorous and time-intensive.So what counts as a “significant adverse effect” on salmon habitat? Where’s the line between a major and a minor permit?“We have not made an actual determination about that yet,” said Ron Benkert, a regional supervisor with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the agency that would carry out the ballot measure if it passes.Benkert said the measure does lay out criteria on what counts as “significant adverse effects.” For example, if a project blocks fish from passing through, that’s “significant.” Other criteria on what counts as “significant” are less clear, he said.“Some of them are kind of difficult to define and it would probably require us to develop some additional regulations to further clarify that,” Benkert said.So if the measure passes, that’s not the end of the story. Although it will go into effect 90 days after the election results are final, the state will likely write regulations that would try to nail down the distinction between projects in salmon habitat that have to clear a higher bar and projects that won’t. Benkert said that could take several months, if not longer, and would require significant input from the state’s Department of Law.An attorney who represents companies opposed to the ballot measure said if it passes, Fish and Game will suddenly be under intense scrutiny as it figures out what counts as “significant adverse effects.”“I’ve been involved in a lot of rulemakings over the years; this one is going to be as hard as anything I have ever seen, just because there’s so much interest in it,” said Eric Fjelstad, an attorney with Perkins Coie, a firm that also has worked for the Stand for Alaska campaign.The state can likely put little projects like boat ramps under the “minor” category. And a big proposed mine that will displace salmon streams? That will go through the tougher permitting process.“The clients I represent — everyone just assumes they will be major,” Fjelstad said.But Fjelstad said the gray area in the middle will be tricky for the state to navigate.“You have, say, a road that’s 75 yards long with a gravel pad where you want to build a cabin, and it’s through a swampy area that is deemed to be anadromous fish habitat — is that going to be under the minor scheme?” Fjelstad said. “I think those are the questions that are harder, that are right on the line.”Emily Anderson, an attorney with the Wild Salmon Center who helped write the initiative, pushed back on opponents who have said needed infrastructure projects will be hindered by the ballot measure.“I think Fish and Game will write regulations that reflect the intent of the law, which is not to overly burden everyday Alaskans or to stop vital infrastructure projects or anything like that,” Anderson said, stressing that the projects would only need permits if they “use, divert, obstruct, pollute, disturb or otherwise alter” habitat for salmon and other, similar fish species.“It’s really, really premature to say, ‘you’ll never be able to do this,’ or expand your airport in X, Y and Z community,” Anderson added. “That’s ridiculous to say at this point.”Anderson acknowledged it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what projects will get a minor permit, and what projects will go through the tougher vetting process, because Fish and Game will have discretion on that. She added the measure isn’t focused on how big or small a project is, or what kind of project it is. Instead, the bar is to what extent it could harm salmon habitat.“You can have a very large project that has very little impact to fish habitat, and therefore could be processed as a minor permit,” Anderson said. “You can have a very small project that the way it’s being proposed can have very high impacts to fish habitat, and that may be proposed as a major project.”So a project’s size may not be the best indicator of how much it could be impacted by Ballot Measure 1. And even then, when it comes to how the initiative could impact some projects used by everyday Alaskans, a lot rides on how the state writes regulations to implement it.But before all that, Alaskans will vote to decide whether the ballot measure should go forward at all.
This year’s oil and gas lease sale for NPR-A will see less land offered up for oil leasing compared to last year. (Photo by Bob Wick, courtesy BLM)The Trump administration is offering substantially less land for oil leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or NPR-A, than it did last year.Listen nowAt its annual oil and gas lease sale, the Bureau of Land Management will offer 254 tracts for bid — that’s close to three million acres of the federally managed Reserve, which is west of Prudhoe Bay.Last year, the Trump administration put 900 tracts up for bid, adding up to over 10 million acres. That was the most land ever offered to oil and gas companies in the Reserve. But last year’s sale attracted little interest — oil companies only bid on seven tracts.Still, NPR-A is seeing a surge of oil development, led by ConocoPhillips. The company is pursuing several large projects in the northeastern part of the Reserve.Environmental groups have sued the federal government challenging two previous oil lease sales in NPR-A.In a statement today, the Center for Biological Diversity said “climate change is already underway in Alaska and this lease-sale will only make it worse.”This year’s NPR-A oil lease sale will be held on December 12.
Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) practice warfighting on the Donnelly Training Area last month. (Photo courtesy of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)Army investigators have begun looking into the circumstances surrounding last weekend’s death of a soldier from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson during a field-training exercise on a range near Fort Greely. But, investigators aren’t saying much about the case. U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell says an investigation into the death of a 20-year-old infantryman during a training exercise near Fort Greely is well under way.“There are multiple levels of investigation that are ongoing,” he said, “including investigations by U.S. Army Alaska, by the Army Criminal Investigation Division and also by the Army Safety Center.”Spc. Nicholas DiMona died early Saturday morning after being shot while his unit was maneuvering during a live-fire exercise at the Donnelly Training Area, Pennell said.“The soldiers were attacking toward an objective … so the soldiers were maneuvering as they were firing,” Pennell said.Visibility was limited when DiMona sustained the fatal gunshot.“It was early in the morning on Saturday, so it was in the dark,” Pennell said.But he says the soldiers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) out of JBER were acquainted with the training area and the scenario.“The unit had been through numerous rehearsals, including daytime and nighttime drills with blank ammunition and also with live ammunition,” Pennell said.But that’s about all Pennell would say Wednesday about the incident, citing the ongoing investigation. He declined to say where in the Donnelly Training Area the exercise was being conducted and what type of weapon killed DiMona. But he noted that several types of firearms were being used. And he says all personnel quickly responded after the soldier was hit.“Once the incident happened, all training immediately stopped,” Pennell said, “and the unit focus was then obviously on providing emergency medical care for the soldier until we could get him evacuated to Fairbanks Memorial (Hospital).”Pennell says Army personnel flew DiMona to Fairbanks in a helicopter that’s kept on stand-by during training exercises. But emergency personnel at the hospital declared DiMona dead. Pennell says the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers have since been working with investigators sort out what happened. He declined to estimate when they’ll wrap up their work.“It’ll take as long as it takes for us to figure out what happened, why it happened and how we can prevent it from happening in the future,” Pennell said.Pennell says combat is inherently dangerous, and so is realistically training for it. But he says the Army does all it can to make those exercises as safe as possible.
Vijayawada: Transport Minister Perni Nani has instructed the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and R and B department to complete the ongoing flyover works in the city as early as possible. Perni Nani, along with the Endowment Minister Velampalli Srinivas and Civil supplies Minister Kodali Nani and District Collector Md Imtiaz, convened a meeting with the officials on Thursday and discussed the progress of the flyover and other works. Also Read – Government committed to transparent business environment: M Goutham Reddy Advertise With Us The meeting was convened after Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy asked the district ministers and the officials to take measures to complete the flyover bridges in the city and resolve the traffic problems. During the Collectors’ conference held on June 24 and 25, Chief Minister had inquired about the traffic problems in the city and asked the ministers and officials to resolve the problem. Also Read – Anti-ragging laws stringent: VC PVGD Prasada Reddy Advertise With Us In this backdrop, the district ministers conducted a meeting and asked the officials to complete the Durga temple flyover construction works by the end of December 2019 and complete the Benz Circle flyover works as early as possible. The minister told the officials that people have been facing innumerable hardships due to the traffic congestion at the Benz Circle, Ramavarappadu Junction and other places in the city due to the slow progress of the works. Durga temple construction works were started before the Krishna Pushkaralu four years ago and not completed yet. Similarly, the Benz Circle flyover works are also getting delayed due to administrative and technical reasons, he said. Advertise With Us The minister also asked the officials to prepare a revised DPR for construction of the Bypass Road connecting Gollapudi and China Avutupalli in Gannavaram mandal. The Central government had approved the project in 2012 and land acquisition also completed for the project. But, the works were not started yet due to administrative reasons. Perni Nani also asked the officials to complete the pending works of the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam highway and other works in the district. After the meet, the ministers spoke to the media at the Collectors conference hall. Joint Collector 2 P Babu Rao and officials of the NHAI, R and B and other departments attended the meeting.
BJP State president K Laxman is confident of meeting the target of enrolling 36 lakh members into the party. He also optimistic of his party that his party will emerge an alternative to the ruling TRS party. Here are the excerpts: How is your party membership drive going? The State-level teams have visited all the districts and the way people are responding to the membership drive is good. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us The membership drive launched on July 6 will go on till August 11. Those enrolled until that date will be the active members of the party. They will be eligible for holding any post from mandal to the State-level. General membership enrolment will continue till December. What is the significant change that you see during the membership drive? Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us People from all walks of life are looking for some party which can stand up to the ruling party and fight against its highhanded thinking as to who would stand up to the TRS party and its highhanded approach to governance. For them, BJP is seen as the only alternative to the pink party. For example, two tribal hamlets who were earlier supporting CPI for 30 years had voted for TRS. However, the MLA switched his loyalty and joined the TRS. Advertise With Us However, the people did not follow him. This had resulted in the supporters of the TRS attacking the villagers, including women of the tribal hamlet. But, not one had come to their rescue. It was against this backdrop that they had approached me seeking help. The issue was taken up with appropriate authorities, including with the District SP etc. It was not an isolated incident. Similar incidents have been taking places across the State in which the TRS leaders and their supporters are harassing people. Your party is raising objections over the division of wards in the urban local bodies. What are your objections to it? The division of wards is being carried out in an improper manner and unscientific way. It is not new for the TRS and it had done the same on earlier occasions in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections for political reasons. Even cessions data was not taken into consideration. We will fight it politically as well as legally. Besides, to people and continue to fight the TRS misuse of power and misrule in the State. Your party claims to have a large support base from the youth and urban population. Even the ruling TRS is focusing on the same segments. Will you be in a position to win over people on your side? The TRS knows it well that it has lost the connectivity with the educated, students, youth in the urban areas across the State. It has also delivered nothing to these segments except making false promises time and gain. Now the ruling party is sacred of the educated, students and youth and they might rock its fortunes in the ensuing Why there is so much bitterness between the BJP and TRS these days? Post Lok Sabha elections the TRS has developed cold feet. Because, the winning of four seats in Telangana and BJP expansion across the country indicates its strength to reach out people cutting across the caste, gender, religion, regions etc. The TRS leadership knows it would not be in a position to stop the BJP’s footprint in Telangana. What are you expecting from people ahead of the municipal elections? We appeal to the people to come forward and strengthen the BJP to end the corrupt and family rule in Telangana State. Particularly, youth and students know that unemployment is the burning problem in the State. Education became a corporate business. Shortcomings in conducting EAMCET and intermediate results fiasco showed the gross negligence on the part of the government. We ask the youth and students to be alert about the political manoeuvres of the TRs like unscientific division of wards to win in the elections. We are appealing to them to join hands to end the dynastic rule.
Hyderabad: Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) founder-president Manda Krishna Madiga fired a salvo at Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy over the latter’s alleged controversial remarks on the long pending demand for categorisation of SCs (Scheduled Castes). Speaking to newsmen here, he questioned Jagan for taking U-turn on the SC categorisation. It was Jagan in the capacity of YSR Congress party president who wrote a letter to the President in 2010 and requested to accept the demand raised by the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi. Also Read – Two Urban forest parks inaugurated in Hyderabad Advertise With Us Jagan’s father and former Chief Minister of erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh Y S Rajashekhara Reddy extended all out support to the samithi, he observed. The MRPS leader also alleged that Jagan is not permitting the MRPS to conduct padayatra in AP on SC categorisation demand. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu assured the MRPS of fulfilling the demand but no steps were taken towards this end. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy also responded positively during the recent meeting with the Minister. Krishna madiga ruled out his joining BJP in the future. As part of seeking central support for SC categorisation, he is meeting BJP leaders, he clarified.
Jaunpur (UP): In a horrifying incident, a man addicted to gambling and alcohol, bet his wife after running out of money and allowed his friends to gangrape her after losing the stake. The incident took place in Jaunpur district and after the incident, the victim went to court when the police refused to take action on her complaint. Following a court order, an FIR has been registered in Jaffarabad police station in Jaunpur district. Also Read – Trinamool, BJP activists scuffle at Dilip Ghosh’s event Advertise With Us The victim, who lives in the Zafarabad police station area, claimed that her husband was an alcoholic and had put her on stake while gambling. Reports said her husband’s friend Arun and relative Anil often used to visit their house for drinking and gambling. One particular day, last month, her husband put her on stake while gambling with Anil and Arun. On losing, Arun and Anil gang-raped her. Also Read – NRC in Assam to be released: list to finalize if a person is Indian or Foreigner Advertise With Us After the incident, the victim went to her maternal uncle’s house. Her husband followed her there, asking for forgiveness and said that it was a mistake. After he apologised, she went back with him in his car. On their way, her husband stopped the car and allowed his friends to gangrape her once again. When the woman complained to the police, they refused to file a complaint, following which, the victim approached the court. The court ordered police to register a case of gangrape.
State-owned telecommunication company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is reportedly planning to lay off one lakh employees to cut down costs.According to Press Trust of India, BSNL is expecting to let go its employees by offering voluntary retirement. Besides the financial constraints of the company, over staffing and lack of skilled employees also forced the company to make the decision.”Around 1 lakh people in BSNL are in excess of the requirement and the company wants these people to take voluntary retirement,” said a top official of the company.BSNL believes that by bringing down the number of employees it will recover a major share of its profit which is currently paid as salaries to the employees. It is said that 48 percent of the company’s revenue went as salaries.”If these people opt for VRS, the salary burden of the company will come down to 10-15 per cent, which is manageable,” official said adding that “Over-staffing is one part which gets compounded by the fact that age is skewed. The average age is about 50 years. These people don’t have the skills set that are required for a service provider.”BSNL was under constant pressure since 2004-05 when the revenue of the company started showing a steep decline. Its profit came down to ₹6,384 crore during the 2010-11 period from ₹10,183 crore due to the salary burden and funding for the 3G and BWA spectrum auction.The company has also drafted a blue print to tap revenue of ₹8,000 crore through monetisation of its real estate. This includes “monetising of towers assets, utilisation of its factories for revenue generation, providing broadband connectivity to schools and leasing out its CDMA network,” PTI reported.
UFO Sightings DailyAn image that shows a UFO hovering above the skies of Brandenburg airport in Berlin is now the hottest debating point among alien enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists. The image was submitted by the eyewitness to MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) after he spotted something circular hovering in the skies while taking a photo from the TV Tower in Berlin.As the image went viral, popular conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial researcher Scott C Waring analyzed them and claimed that this sighting is indisputable proof of alien existence. Waring also argued that UFO sightings have witnessed a steep rise in and around airports over the past few years and this indicates that aliens are visiting earth to monitor our activities.”Here is an interesting report from MUFON. A person took some photos and noticed a UFO on two of the photos. What looks like a ring UFO may be one solid craft with the top center having a dark tinted dome window area on it. The UFO moves its position when it notices the passenger jet approaching it. This makes me think there is a possibility of the UFO having shown up on airport radar. The UFO itself was probably hovering over Berlin Brandenburg Airport for a few minutes before it was forced to move out of the path of a jet. A lot of UFOs have been recorded over Airports over the years. I guess anything that flies has the newest and highest tech for safety reasons and that makes it worth investigating by aliens,” wrote Waring on his website UFO Sightings Daily.In the website post, Waring revealed that the UFO could be more than 22 meters long. He also added that the UFO is equipped with camouflaging abilities so that it could stay unnoticed in the skies. Unfortunately, a video of this UFO sighting is not available yet.Even though the claims made by Waring used to get positive responses from alien enthusiasts, experts have always dismissed his claims stating that pareidolia is causing these visual hallucinations. As per experts, pareidolia is the peculiar capability of the human brain to form familiar images on unrecognizable patterns.The new UFO sighting was reported by Waring just a few hours after ÚFO Mania’, another popular conspiracy theory YouTube channel released a video that shows a bizarre flying object hovering near a mountain range in Venezuela. Interestingly, the UFO spotted in Venezuela emanated lights from all across its body and it apparently performed zig-zag movements while flying in the air. As the video went viral, several people claimed that this sighting is a strong sign that aliens from deep space are visiting the earth.
Priyanka Chopra announces new project with Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor.TwitterActress-singer Priyanka Chopra has announced a new project, a film with none other actress-producer Mindy Kaling! Writer and television producer Dan Goor will also be collaborating with the two ladies on the film. Priyanka will produce the film under her production house Purple Pebble Pictures, Mindy Kaling under her banner Kaling International and Howard Klein for 3 Arts, along with Dan Goor.Priyanka took to Twitter to share an article announcing her next film, saying, “Two women with a passion for telling good stories, just got the green light to THEIR story THEIR way. So proud of this incredible partnership with @mindykaling and @djgoor! We are about to show you what it means to be modern, global, and Indian. See you at the cinema!”Mindy Kaling called the association her “dream team”. She said on Twitter, “My dream team is making a movie. Can’t wait for this one! @priyankachopra #DanGoor”. While Dan Goor said on Twitter, “Two amazing women and one guy who doesn’t know how to properly tuck in his shirt.”The film will be a wedding comedy and be written by Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor. Universal Pictures won a bid at an auction to pitch and develop the film. Reports say the Priyanka Chopra and Mindy Kaling wedding comedy will be developed as a mix of the hit Crazy Rich Asians and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.Priyanka Chopra had recently appeared with husband Nick Jonas in the comeback song of the Jonas Brothers called Sucker. The song was No.1 on many charts. Priyanka Chopra also recently did a show for YouTube Originals, If I Could Tell You Just One Thing where she interviewed three high-profile female celebrities. Read the review of If I Could Tell You Just One Thing here.In Bollywood, Priyanka Chopra will next be seen in Shonali Bose’s film The Sky Is Pink, based on motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary. The movie stars Farhan Akhtar as Priyanka’s husband and Zaira Wasim as their daughter.Two women with a passion for telling good stories, just got the green light to THEIR story THEIR way. So proud of this incredible partnership with @mindykaling and @djgoor! We are about to show you what it means to be modern, global, and Indian. See you at the cinema! pic.twitter.com/5V71fFvX4L— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) April 13, 2019 My dream team is making a movie. Can’t wait for this one! @priyankachopra #DanGoor pic.twitter.com/YOe2brOby1 — Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) April 13, 2019
Two days after Sadhvi Pragya ruffled many feathers for calling 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare’s death as karma and that she cursed him, she issued an apology on Friday (April 19) night and added that she will withdraw her statement.Saying that she felt her enemies were benefitting from her comments, Sadhvi Pragya told reporters, “I felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it, therefore I take back my statement and apologise for it, it was my personal pain.”She then said, “He (Hemant Karkare) died from the bullets of terrorists from the enemy country, he is certainly a martyr,”On Thursday, Pragya was an accused in the 2008 Malegaon Blast Case, had accused Hemant Karkare of torturing her when she was jailed. Karkare was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.She said, “The investigation team called Hemant Karkare and said if you do not have evidence, let her go. He said, I will do anything to get evidence against her. I won’t let her go. This was his hatred (kuteelta). He was anti-national. He was dharam virudh (anti-religion). You won’t believe, but I said, ‘tera sarvanashhoga’. Just after ‘sawa’ month, terrorists killed him.”Pragya’s comments got the entire country in an uproar who called out the sanyasin for her callous remarks and said that Karkare was nothing but a martyr who died fighting for his country.Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected,” the IPS Association tweeted on Friday as a reply to Sadhvi’s comments.Sadhvi Pragya was fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party in April to contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. She will be facing Congress’ Digvijaya Singh on May 12. She was also a prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. While the investigation showed that the bomb was kept in her bike. However, she was let off the hook by the National Investigation Agency and she is currently out on bail.
State-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to cut mobile call rates by up to 80% for new customers as part of its revamped services.The slashed rates of both per-minute and per-second calls will be applicable for the first two months of buying the BSNL connection, including those who register for Mobile Number Portability (MNP).”BSNL has revamped its infrastructure now. We have decided to cut mobile call rates by up to 80% for new customer so that they get experience of our revamped services,” BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.The new scheme will be applicable only after buying the plan voucher of Rs 36 for the per-second plan and Rs 37 for the per-minute plan.In the per-second plan of Rs 36, customers will be charged 1 paisa for every three-second duration on local and STD calls within the BSNL network and 2 paise for three seconds on other networks, PTI reported.In the per-minute plan, BSNL will charge 10 paise per minute for making local and STD calls within the BSNL netwok and 30 paise per minute on other networks.Between July to November, over 1.5 lakh people registered for MNP to change their mobile network to BSNL. With a customer base of 79.6 million, BSNL is among the top five telecom companies with the highest number of new customers.
Edmund Shing explains why now is a great time to invest in UK pharmaceutical firm Shire.1) FTSE 100 healthcare companyShire is a FTSE 100 company (UK code: SHP) and is in the healthcare sector.2) Drug makerIt develops and markets drugs such as Adderall and Vyvanse for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly in children.3) Generating growthThe company is generating growth not only from the development and marketing of drugs, but also by acquiring other drugs companies. It is in the process at the moment of buying rival company Baxalta, which will drive profit growth going forwards.4) Potential takeover targetIt has also been the target of an acquisition by other companies. In the past American pharma giant Pfizer tried to buy it by bidding over Â£50 a share. Its worth noting that todays share price for Shire is only Â£36, nearly 30% below that bid price.5) Terrific valueShire is a cheap growth company. Earnings are still growing strongly, thanks to drug growth and at the same time it is trading on a P/E Ratio (TTM) of 17.87 (as of 18 February 2016), which is remarkably cheap for the company as it was over 20 not long ago.Edmund Shing is Global Head of Equity Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.
RBL Bank, formerly known as Ratnakar Bank, has received the conditional approval from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its initial public offering. The bank filed its draft prospectus with the regulator in June 2015, and has received the primary approval in about 10 months. A source on condition of anonymity told the Mint that the bank hopes to get the final clearance soon so it may launch the IPO by September.”The bank has been in constant dialogue with the regulator and was asked to meet certain conditions. We expect to be compliant with the regulations very soon and accordingly get the approval,” a source was quoted as saying by the publication.The SEBI has asked the private sector bank to also offer its investors an additional exit option. This was because RBL had reportedly violated the “deemed public issue” norm under the Companies Act, the Business Standard reported.Under the Companies Act of 1956, a non-listed company was not allowed to issue securities to more than 49 investors in a financial year. Under the new revised Companies Act of 2013, the cap has been raised to a total of 200 investors.According to reports, the Kolhapur-based bank (RBL) is planning to raise about Rs. 1,100 crore through the proposed IPO wherein two of its existing shareholders namely Beacon India PE fund and Gpe (India) also plan to sell their holdings.”Sebi has given a nod if the buyback conditions are met,” a banker working on the IPO was quoted as saying by the Business Standard.[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]
Asus has released its newest smartphone Close Industry experts expect brick and mortar chains such as Reliance Digital and Croma to gain from the hiccup and command better margins from smartphone manufacturers seeking tie-ups. According to Upasana Joshi, associate research manager, client devices, IDC India, even after the decline, online retailers are set to be sale drivers in 2019, as major platforms are adapting rapidly to the new rules. Micromax new smartphoneTwitter/MicromaxSmartphone sales through online platforms are likely to crash in the March quarter as the revised e-commerce rules came into effect on Feb 1, which restrict heavy discounting, along with several other practices. To limit the impact on overall sales, major handset companies are tying up with brick and mortar stores.Typically, 30-31 percent of the total smartphone sales in the first two quarters of the year are done through online channels. As revised norms on foreign direct investment in e-commerce take effect, the share of online sales is set to decline to 26-27 percent in the current quarter, according to research firms IDC and Counterpoint Technology Market Research.We estimate that around 35% of online sales are triggered due to offers/promotions and discountsThe new e-commerce norms prohibit online portals from giving preferential treatment to any supplier. The changes have impacted exclusive online launches and deep discounting and offers.”We estimate that around 35% of online sales are triggered due to offers/promotions and discounts,” Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at TechArc told The Economic Times. Handsets companies which rely more on online channels than physical stores are expected to bear the major brunt of the new rules. Flipkart is offering lucrative cash discounts and exchange offers on smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles and more during the Big Billion Days sale Dussehra edition.Flipkart Website (Screen-grab)The most hurt would be vendors of Honor, Asus and Realme, which are online-only or online-heavy brands, said Prabhu Ram, head, industry intelligence group at CyberMedia Research told the newspaper. These companies have now started forming partnerships with stores such as Reliance Digital and Croma.Brick and mortar chains to gainCompanies like Realme have hit the road running, adding 10 cities to its offline network in January. The Shenzhen-based smartphone manufacturer plans to add 50 new cities to its network every quarter and add a total of 20,000 stores throughout the country. However, handset makers may find it difficult to expand their offline presence rapidly, Navkendar Singh, associate research director with client devices at IDC, said. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:50Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:49?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
Police in a drive arrested five fake members of Detective Branch (DB) from city’s South Kamalapur area early Monday, reports news agency UNB.The arrestees are Badal, Momen Ali, Firoz, Syed Moniruzzaman and Hasan.A team of police conducted the drive in the area around 1:00 am and arrested the five along with a private car, one shooter gun, seven rounds of bullets, a pair of handcuff and three sets of DB clothes, said Omar Faruk, officer-in-charge of Motijheel Police Station.
RapeA female madrasa student was allegedly ‘raped’ by a young man at Krishnapur village in Manohardi upazila of Narsingdi on Thursday afternoon, reports UNB.The alleged rapist was identified as Kamrul Islam, 25, son of Suruj Mia of the same village.Family sources said Kamrul intercepted the girl on her way to her next-door uncle and brought her to a desolated house. Kamrul tied up her hands and legs and mercilessly violated her there.Later, the alleged rapist fled the scene keeping the girl inside the house.The victim managed to untie her hands and legs after a frantic effort and screamed out through the window for help.Later, locals rescued the victim and sent her to Manohardi Upazila Health Complex.Confirming the incident, Manohardi police station officer-in-charge Fakharuddin Bhuyia said the victim’s family was asked to lodge a complaint with the police station.