Bartering community Bunz faces questions about ethos with cryptocurrency plan

first_imgTORONTO – Bunz, the Canadian online bartering community known for promoting a cash-free economy, is not abandoning its ethos with plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, company CEO Sascha Mojtahedi said Monday in the wake of some user revolt.Founded in Toronto in 2013 by Emily Bitze, Bunz began as a Facebook group that encouraged users to trade their unwanted goods rather than seeking cash. Because users’ wish lists didn’t always align neatly, booze, transit tokens and — somewhat controversially — gift cards became commonly requested in trades.On Monday, Bunz announced it was launching BTZ, a digital currency for the community that can also be used at participating retailers. Mojtahedi said BTZ is not yet an actual cryptocurrency but the plan is to eventually convert it into one. New and existing users of the Bunz app will get 1,000 units of BTZ, which the company says has a current value of about three coffees.“Because it’s a bartering community we’ve had a number of issues around value disparity … the divisibility of goods and all these problems can be solved by a cryptocurrency,” Mojtahedi said.“I think this just gives our community more flexibilty.”The initial reaction to the announcement on social media leaned negative, with Facebook user Melissa Neill writing “So much for subverting capitalism” and Ray Wilkes posting “RIP Bunz spirit & integrity.”“Develop something to help poor people get around the financial constraints of capitalism. Capitalize the hell out of it. Develop your own currency for it (but don’t call it money lol). Stand back and watch something that was once beautiful die a protracted, awkward death,” Wilkes added.Mojtahedi said the launch of BTZ should not be seen as Bunz heading in a new corporate direction, even though the company has secured funding from institutional investors.“I actually see it as doubling down rather than diverging from the ethos Bunz represents,” he said.Khatereh Vesal, a self-professed “crypto nerd and Bunz nerd,” said she has no issues with the use of cryptocurrencies on Bunz, but objected to the fact that the company’s announcement claimed BTZ was an actual cryptocurrency.“It’s like they just kind of decided this was a neat idea — and it might be, as a loyalty points program kind of thing — but we have to be very careful what we’re calling it because it’s not technically on a blockchain yet and it’s not really even an initial coin offering yet,” Vesal said, adding she wished the company had more information for users lined up before making its announcement.Mojtahedi said Bunz wanted “to create something that people could interact with” and “learn from the data and the information and the (user) behaviours” before converting BTZ into a cryptocurrency. He added that it’s not yet determined whether there would be a mining element to the cryptocurrency as is the case with Bitcoin.“I think we’re looking at a number of different solutions around mining that are pretty different than the way the market approaches it currently,” Mojtahedi said.While the local businesses that are now accepting BTZ have essentially set a baseline value for the currency — one Toronto cafe is charging 300 BTZ for a latte while a bar is asking 600 BTZ for a pint of beer or order of fries — Mojtahedi said he doesn’t want to interfere in setting its value. He also wants to avoid speculation in the currency.“We’re not offering any inference of the foreign exchange value because we don’t know, we’re really just starting. We’ve established a value with our shops and we think it’s an opportunity to learn from the community themselves rather than trying to peg some value to this currency,” he said.Jean-Paul Lam, an associate professor of economics at the University of Waterloo, has used Bunz as an example when teaching students about concepts around money as a medium of exchange and bartering.“Any type of barter system creates problems with finding partners and you have to spend a huge amount of time to find the right partner and find an exchange that would be satisfying to both parties. So I can understand why they are trying to introduce that medium of exchange that is standardized,” Lam said.“But at the same time, it completely defeats the purpose of what it was in the first place, which was a cashless society that would exchange goods for goods.”last_img read more

CM BJP manifesto fresh set of jumlas

first_imgNEW DELHI: AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Monday termed BJP’s manifesto as a “fresh set of jumlas” and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah did not have the courage to say why demonetisation was done and farmers were pushed towards destruction.Reminding the PM of his party’s 2014 promise of granting full statehood to Delhi, CM Kejriwal said the present manifesto does not have any mention of it which meant that Modi is lying and in turn making it even more difficult for people to believe in him. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”BJP unveils a fresh set of jumlas without telling the country what is the fate of its 2014 jumlas. Modi-Shah don’t have the courage to speak on why demonetisation was done ? What happened to two crore jobs? Why were farmers pushed towards destruction?” he said in a tweet. Eyeing to retain power, the BJP on Monday made a plethora of poll promises, including expeditious construction of Ram temple, firmly dealing with terrorism, doubling farmers’ income in the next three years, making India the third-largest economy globally by 2030, and scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to J&K.last_img read more

Iraqi Government agrees to move Iranian Kurd refugees to safer area –

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) was informed that the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office approved the proposed plan to relocate Al Tash camp’s remaining population – virtually cut off from aid since the start of the war in 2003 – to a much safer location near Suleimaniyah, in northern Iraq. “Another 3,200 former Al Tash residents have already moved up to the Suleimaniyah region on their own initiative, and have been helped by the local authorities, UNHCR and other agencies to settle in to their new home area,” said UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis in Geneva today. The local authorities in Suleimaniyah have also approved the relocation of the remaining Al Tash population, and a recent UNHCR survey revealed that most of the camp’s population will be “more than happy” to make the move. Separately, the UNHCR announced another “breakthrough” involving refugees living in Iraq at the time of the war, as some 743 refugees, mainly Iranian Kurds who have been living in a “no man’s land” camp between Jordan and Iraq for up to two years, moved on Sunday to Ruweished camp, some 60 kilometres inside Jordan. “Although conditions in Ruweished are far from perfect, it is nevertheless distinctly preferable to the no man’s land camp, which was extremely difficult to access, potentially at considerable physical risk, and was under no state’s jurisdiction,” said Ms. Pagonis. UNHCR says it will now redouble its efforts to persuade states – either within the region or elsewhere – to provide solutions for the people relocated from no man’s land and for the 127 people, mostly Palestinians, who were already housed in Ruweished. read more

Brexit advert by loans firm encouraging food stockpiling is banned for being

The lender said they would not use the ad again and would ensure they “considered public sensitivities more thoroughly”.The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad was likely to put emotional pressure on readers to the effect that it was sensible to go further than they would otherwise have been able to afford by taking out a loan, and that, if they did not, they risked being unable to feed themselves or their families.The ASA said: “We considered that the ad’s references to possible food shortages and the stockpiling of food were likely to play on some people’s concerns regarding Brexit, including financially vulnerable consumers who were already struggling or worrying about their financial situation.”We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.”The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Peachy to ensure future ads did not send an irresponsible message about debt to readers by, for example, putting emotional pressure on them to take out a short-term loan.” An ad for a high-cost loan which used uncertainty around Brexit to encourage consumers to stockpile food has been banned for being socially irresponsible.A January 24 email from Cash On Go, trading as Peachy.co.uk, a financial services company specialising in short-term loans, stated: “No one really knows what’s going on with this whole Brexit malarkey… and some say it could affect the amount of food available…”We do not want to believe that Brexit will impact the amount of food available but it’s still a good idea to have a little stockpile ready. That way you’re always prepared for the worst.”Bold text stated “In case of emergency press here,” and offered a promotional discount.A reader complained that the ad irresponsibly encouraged people to take out a loan by playing on their fears.Peachy said the ad referred to Brexit to make it topical and to reflect some situations where people might find it difficult to fully prepare for unexpected scenarios.It believed the mention of Brexit was made in a light-hearted manner to avoid causing any actual concerns. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

I feel bad Castaway arrives home after year adrift at sea

first_imgSPORTING A BUSHY beard and clutching a can of Coke, a castaway who says he survived more than a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean arrived in the Marshall Islands capital Majuro today.A male nurse had to help the man previously identified as Jose Ivan down the gangplank of a police patrol boat after a 22-hour trip from the remote coral atoll where he washed ashore last week after apparently setting sail from Mexico on December 24, 2012.Epic voyageAbout 1,000 curious onlookers crowded the dock for a glimpse of the long-haired fisherman, who smiled and waved briefly before he was whisked away for a medical check-up at Majuro Hospital.The castaway told US ambassador Thomas Armbruster, who was acting as an interpreter for Marshall Islands authorities, that he was originally from El Salvador but had been living in Mexico for 15 years before his epic voyage.“He said he is a shrimp and shark fisherman,” Armbruster said Monday in Majuro minutes after talking to him. “He looked better than one would expect.”And foreign ministry officials said he told them during a debriefing that he was a 37-year-old whose full name was Jose Salvador Albarengo.He said he lived in Tapachula, near the Mexican border with Guatemala, and worked for a company named Camoronera Dela Costa.Albarengo said he was on a shark-fishing expedition with a youth named Xiquel when strong winds blew them off course and they became lost.Albarengo said the boy, described as 15- to 18-years old, died a few weeks into the ordeal because he could not eat raw bird meat.DisorientatedThe surviving fisherman was found disorientated and clad only in ragged underpants last Thursday, after his 7.3-metre fibreglass boat floated onto a reef at Ebon Atoll, the southernmost cluster of coral islands in the Marshalls.Unable to speak English, he communicated to his rescuers through pictures and gestures that he had survived the 12,500 kilometre odyssey by eating turtles, birds and fish and drinking turtle blood when there was no rain.Marshall Islands immigration chief Damien Jacklick said authorities were still gathering information and the foreign affairs department planned to contact overseas officials to arrange his repatriation. With the help of the US ambassador, we were able to obtain information on his family members in El Salvador and the United States. We hope this information will help us track down his family.Medics plan to give Albarengo a thorough check before he is interviewed by detectives.He spoke briefly to a Spanish interpreter via a faltering radio link over the weekend while still at Ebon Atoll and said he was keen to return home.“I feel bad,” he said of his physical and mental state.I am so far away. I don’t know where I am or what happened.- © AFP, 2014Read: Castaway survived 16 months adrift at sea by eating turtles>last_img read more

Update Missing Vancouver boy found

first_imgUpdate 2/21/2017: Damen Jollymore, a Vancouver boy who went missing earlier this month, has been located and is safe with Oregon authorities, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.******Officials are asking residents to watch for a Vancouver boy who has been missing since Feb. 4.Damen Jollymore was last seen at his home, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office also said the boy has an emotional condition that doesn’t require medication but may cause confusion or stress.The boy was described as white, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds. He has dirty blond hair and hazel eyes. He wears glasses and braces with red and blue bands. He also has a strawberry-colored birthmark the size of a 50-cent piece on the back of his neck.Police did not disclose the boy’s age.He was last seen wearing a black and gray jacket that looks like a vest, black slip-on boots and a black backpack, according to the sheriff’s office.The sheriff’s office asked anyone with information about the boy’s whereabouts to call detective Craig Marler at 360-397-2108.last_img read more

Ignazio Abate rues AC Milans Europa League exit

first_imgAC Milan defender Ignazio Abate believes they should have qualified for the Europa League knockout stages after their 3-1 defeat to OlympiacosGennaro Gattuso’s side headed into Athens on Thursday night needing to not lose by more than two goals to Olympiacos.After a goalless first-half, Pape Abou Cisse’s header handed Olympiacos the lead before a Cristian Zapata own goal doubled their advantage.But the Colombian defender soon redeemed himself to Milan by scoring a critical header just 110 seconds later.However, Abate’s foul enabled Konstantinos Fortounis to score a late penalty for Olympiacos to secure a 3-1 win.Serie A, Gian Piero GasperiniGasperini reveals why he rejected Inter Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has revealed why he rejected Internazionale Milan’s job proposal over the summer transfer window.The result enabled the Greek side to leapfrog Milan into second-place in Group F on goal difference.“We had started strong and were well set out on the field. The regret is that we went behind, as we should not have conceded the opening goal,” Abate told Sky Sport Italia, via Football-Italia.“Once we got it back on track, they got that penalty. Incidents went against us. We could’ve done better and more importantly reached this final game with qualification already secured, because we had the quality to do that.“We need to take another step up. Now we must concentrate on Serie A, as we can finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.”Milan will next travel to Bologna on Tuesday in a Serie A match, where they will hope to retain their spot in the top-four in the standings.last_img read more

Racist rant report goes viral couple identitied

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, April 18, 2017 – Providenciales – Magnetic Media’s report on the atrocious and racist comments of an American couple at the Mango Reef restaurant has gone viral.   The story was picked up by US TV stations, especially in the hometown of the pair, Memphis Tennessee and expose to even more people the racial slurs hurled at employees of the Providenciales restaurant when the woman could not find her cell phone.  Not only did Lauren Loeb Marelle, the woman heard on that recording, accuse the staff of theft, but she threw her food onto the owner of the Mango Reef and used profane and racist language toward her also.The husband, who is Joe Marelle and his wife were commanded to leave the restaurant and eventually they were captured in a phone call, by a courageous waiter and that audio recording got to us and we reported upon the exchange which was both shocking and illegal.Over 23,000 people have viewed the reports at Facebook alone.  Magnetic Media has since been interviewed by Memphis Media houses and even the NAACP of Memphis is commenting on the contents of that recorded call.Meanwhile, the Marelle’s, who are well-to-do, company owners and executives and former Chamber of Commerce employee, have gotten a lawyer and say the recording was fabricated.  Mango Reef is not yet commenting, but Magnetic Media confirmed that not only was Lauren Loeb Marelle captured on audio but on video ranting in the restaurant and the couple reportedly did not pay their bill either.Seven Stars resort, where the pair was staying has blacklisted the couple who left the TCI on Tuesday before this story broke.#MagneticMediaNews#Racistrantreportgoesviral Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #Racistrantreportgoesvirallast_img read more

Puyol sends a stern warning to Ousmane Dembele

first_imgRight in the middle of the whole controversy with Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona, club legend Carles Puyol wanted to send the French winger a message.The current situation between FC Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele is quite complicated, the club has already expressed that they may want to sell him but Carles Puyol made one final effort to turn him around.The problems that the ‘Mosquito’ is having right now are related with a lack of discipline that is related to his young age, he’s been getting advice from all his teammates and even from his National Team manager.But perhaps getting a warning from Puyol himself might be the words that can make him realize where he is, not every player has the privilege of playing for FC Barcelona in their careers and almost nobody gets a direct scalding from Carles Puyol himself.If you are too young to remember, let us tell you that you missed out on arguably the most disciplined FC Barcelona player of all time, he is also among the most respected figures of the institution and he even has the admiration of players who were his rivals throughout his career.Puyol was part of a charity paddle tournament where he was seen playing alongside his friend Gerard Pique, one of Barcelona’s skippers today.🗣 Carles Puyol: “I don’t know how the dressing room works nowadays but it’s clear that everyone must help Dembélé for the common good. Sometimes, when you’re young, you don’t realize what you have, where you are, and you let things escape from your grasp.”— FC Barcelona Fl 🏆 (@FCBarcelonaFl) November 14, 2018When he attended the press after the event, members of the media wanted to know what he thought about Ousmane Dembele’s current situation and what the French player needed to do in order to reverse it.“Dembele is young, I’m not in the dressing room and I don’t know the day to day,” he said to Marca reporters.“The team have to help him because it’s not easy to adapt to the philosophy of Barcelona where everything is very different.”“Here he’s arrived late to training and he must learn that isn’t good enough.”He has good teachers who will help him, but it will depend on his attitude.”“It’s important that he reflects and thinks about things, because when you’re young you don’t realize what you are letting go.”“In the management of a dressing room there are problems every day because there are many egos in there,” he added.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“We all believe that we are the best and we must play, and the job for the coach to choose.”“The important thing then is the attitude of each player, because being ambitious is fine, but respecting the group is always above that.”“I think he’s amenable and if he wants to improve and learn, he is in the best place.”But it depends on him.”Carles Puyol (Barcelona legend): “Dembélé must reflect and think about where he is.” [via md] pic.twitter.com/GxyTs4UzLy— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) November 14, 2018Puyol was also questioned about Gerard Pique’s advice to the French youngster, the Catalan player told Dembele that he needed to start living football 24/7 and Carles’ reaction was funny as he recalled that Pique was also quite a troublemaker back in the day.However, the former Barça skipper also remembered that Gerard is the one who brought his professional life in Barcelona a little bit of joy due to his lively personality.“It’s great that Gerard finally understood it,” joked Puyol.“It’s true that as a professional, you have to live football 24/7, if he says it it’s because it must be true.”“But in all seriousness, I’ve always said that Gerard’s arrival has been very important to me because I really did live football 24/7 and you always have to leave a little time to enjoy life.”“You have to find the moments to have a good time, which is something that Gerard taught me.”“But it is also true that playing at the highest level is always very demanding and you have to stay focused in order to maintain the same level of performance,” he concluded.What do you think about Carles Puyol’s advice to Ousmane Dembele? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Community Resiliency Fair This Saturday

first_imgAccording to Gamble the idea for the fair stemmed from the recent earthquakes and tsunami warnings on the Kenai Peninsula. Jade Gamble with the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management: “This is a community-focused event to inform residents on disaster preparedness and resilience after disaster strikes and during recovery.” Gamble: “We came up with the plan to host the fair the Wednesday before November 30, and then we had the big earthquake and that just really highlighted the need to have something like this for our community.”  The event will take place from 10-2pm, and is open to the public. For more information call 907-262-2097 or email oem@kpb.us.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Community Resiliency Fair will be held at the Peninsula Center Mall on Saturday March 2. State, federal and local agencies, nonprofits and utilities will be on hand to share useful tips, tools and resources. Booths include: Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services, Community Emergency Response Team, Homer Electric Association, Peninsula Fire Chiefs Association, Central Emergency Services, Soldotna Public Safety Communication Center, Moose Horn Radio Group, Points on Prevention Coalition, AK Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Independent Living Center, Red Cross of Alaska, Enstar, KSRM Radio Group, Alaska Army National Guard, Central Peninsula General Hospital, Office of Emergency Management, Kenai Peninsula Prevention Coalition Group, CompK9.last_img read more

Airtel acquires Aircels 4G spectrum for Rs3500 crore

first_imgIndia’s Bharati Airtel will spend Rs.3500 crore to acquire the fourth-generation (4G) spectrum from Aircel, the company said in a filing to stock exchange. The acquisition of 20 megahertz (MHz) 2300 frequency in eight telecom circles in the country will make Airtel a pan-India 4G service provider.The Sunil Mittal-owned telecom carrier, with this latest acquisition, will be locking horns with the only other pan-India 4G licence holder, Reliance Jio Infocomm. A unit of the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Ltd, Reliance Jio, is preparing to launch its 4G services in the second half of 2016.Aircel’s spectrum, valid up to 2030, will cover circles of Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Assam, the Northeast, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.Citing sources the Economic Times reported that the deal will also help Aircel to reduce debt and perhaps fulfill a merger-condition with Reliance Communication (RCom), a unit owned by the other Ambani brother, Anil.The Airtel-Aircel deal comes a fortnight after Airtel’s 4G spectrum acquisition of 1800 MHz band in six circles for Rs. 4,428 crore from Videocon. According to the report, this was a second such acquisition, following RCom’s acquisition of Sistema Shyam TeleServices (MTS), since the government allowed trading of airwaves in October 2015.The liberalisation of rules for spectrum trading in India is seeing a consolidation in the telecom sector. The competition in a space crowded with 11 operators has kept the cost of spectrum high while tariff-wars offered low prices, in turn driving down the profits. The unhealthy trend is adding pressure on the already stressed balance sheet of telcos, said Mint.The daily quoted Alok Shinde of Ascentius Consulting as saying, “technological change had accompanied the evolution of the telecom market”. He said the auction of 4G in the 2300MHz band happened in a context of pre-inception business model around TD-LTE (time-division long-term evolution) technology in 2010. It was a standard with little validation anywhere in the world then, but today there is greater credence both among the technology and the business model, he added.ET reported that most telcos which acquired 4G airwaves in 2010 have even failed to meet the roll-out obligations, therefore facilitating a consolidation exercise.India’s top three telcos, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular, have so far successfully rolled out 4G service in 15, five and 10 circles, respectively.last_img read more

Paradise Papers United Spirits books had several loopholes firm now transparent in

first_img Paradise Papers: Everything you need to know about the leak As Paradise Papers seem to have opened a can of worms, naming hundreds of people and firms who have transferred funds to tax havens, many individuals and firms have been forced to release statements clarifying their stand. The trove of 13.4 million files was released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in association with 96 news organisations, and over 700 Indian firms and individuals have been pulled up.The Paradise Papers also raised a few questions on liquor baron Vijay Mallya and the dealings of his company United Spirits Limited India (USL). The brand was sold to the Diageo group in 2013 and the latter is said to have gotten in touch with a law firm to carry out a restructuring process. While this may sound routine, the process was for the purpose of diverting funds from USL to a firm in the British Virgin Islands.However, Diageo has now said that the books of USL had many issues in them and all of these errors have been rectified since it took over. The British firm also said that now all the transactions are transparent and legal and all the details have been disclosed to the authorities, reported the Economic Times. A worker looks at a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky at the Diageo owned Shieldhall bottling plant in Glasgow, Scotland March 24, 2011.Reuters fileIt was also being said that Diageo may have waived off about Rs 10,000 crore debt that Mallya’s firm owed. The amount is much larger than the Rs 1,225 crore that Diageo had reported to the Bombay Stock Exchange. However, the British firm has clarified that USL has streamlined all the processes and follows lawful business practices.”USL has now strengthened its corporate governance, compliance practices and controls systems,” ET quoted a Diageo spokesperson as saying. “While under the control of former chairman Dr Mallya, USL advanced loans to subsidiaries.”These intra-corporate loan arrangements pre-dated Diageo acquiring its interest in USL in July 2013. After Diageo took control of USL, all outstanding loan amounts have been disclosed and adequately provided for in company accounts, in accordance with applicable accounting principles.”As per Indian Express’ report on the Paradise Papers, Appleby had helped divert $1.5 billion from USL Holdings Limited, an organisation in the British Virgin Islands, which is a tax haven, to three of the subsidiaries in the UK. However, Diageo has denied these claims. “There is absolutely no truth to speculations that Diageo has let go a sizeable number as write-offs without making any attempts to recover it,” a Diageo official explained. Force India co-owner, Vijay Mallya, leaves after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London on June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKayThe Paradise Papers have created quite some news with about 180 countries being named. India ranks 19th when it comes to the number of companies and individuals who have stashed money in tax havens. The list centres around two firms, Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti which are said to have helped these firms and individuals evade taxes.While a lot of names have cropped up in these papers, including Queen Elizabeth II and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser, Indians aren’t far behind. The leaked list features 714 Indian firms and citizens, such as Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata, Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, GMR Group, Hindujas, Videocon, and the Hiranandani Group to name a few. Closelast_img read more

Rattled by the Nirav Modi scam PNB to shut most operations at

first_imgFile photo- Pedestrians walk past a Punjab National Bank office in Mumbai, India February 21, 2018.REUTERS/Danish SiddiquiThe move to downsize the Brady House branch, which has come to symbolise the biggest banking scandal in the country’s history, comes as India’s second-largest state lender, Punjab National Bank (PNB) seeks to tighten controls and restore its reputation.The 123-year-old bank has lost more than half its market value since the fraud came to light in late January.PNB will move all big client accounts out of the branch in downtown Mumbai that according to an internal investigation saw “exceptional growth” in the past few years largely because of its controversial dealings with firms owned by two related jewellers.PNB has alleged that a handful of staff at the branch issued fake bank guarantees between 2011 and 2017 to help the firms of Indian diamond magnate Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi raise billions of dollars in foreign credit. The duo has denied wrongdoing and are currently abroad.Fronted by an imposing colonial facade, the branch has a foreign exchange department and handles mainly mid-sized corporate accounts. It also has a small retail operation, which will stay open after the restructuring, said the sources who declined to be named as the discussions were not public.One of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said that PNB was transferring some employees and big accounts – each involving annual transactions of more than 500 million rupees ($7.28 million) – to large corporate branches for “better monitoring”.”The bank has already started moving accounts to neighbouring branches,” said one of the sources. “Only a small retail banking operation will remain at the branch for the time being.”The bank will consider similar steps for some other branches too so that risks are minimized, said one of the sources.The transfer of accounts was part of a regular restructuring, a PNB spokesman told Reuters. The Punjab National Bank unearthed a Rs 11,400-crore fraud at its Kalagodha branch in Mumbai.Reuters”Reallocation of some of the accounts is part of the regular restructuring process at PNB to strengthen internal systems and processes and centralize certain critical functions,” the spokesman said in a statement.”Retail operations for PNB customers continue to operate from the branch.”Three of the sources said that more than two-dozen employees were informed this week about the decision to cut back the Brady House operations. The sources said the branch could eventually be shut down.However, the spokesman said PNB had no plans to close operations there.Business at the branch’s foreign exchange operations has come down “substantially” since the fraud came to light, said one of the sources.PNB has mainly blamed a couple of Brady House employees for executing the fraud, but Reuters reported last month that a 162-page investigation report by the bank has found widespread risk control and monitoring lapses by 54 staff, many outside the branch.On Friday, Chief Executive Sunil Mehta said PNB was on track to “bounce back within six months”.last_img read more

Imran H Sarker files writ challenging travelban

first_imgImran H Sarker. File PhotoGanajagaran Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker filed a writ petition with the High Court on Monday challenging the legality of government’s decision to obstruct him from travelling abroad, reports UNB.The writ sought the HC directives to allow him to travel abroad, said Imran H Sarker.The hearing on the writ petition is likely to be held at the bench of justice Tariq Ul Hakim and justice Md. Shohrawardi this afternoon.Members of law enforcement agencies prevented Sarker from travelling to the USA at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday, said a press release of Ganajagaran Mancha.The press release said that Imran was going to the USA following an invitation of the US state department.last_img read more

PM orders police to settle cases fast

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses senior police officers on the occasion of the Police Week -2019 at the Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday morning. Photo: PIDPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday put emphasis on building a more ‘people-friendly’ police force instructing the authorities concerned to dispose of police cases properly and on time to ensure quick justice.“Being imbued with patriotism, you’ll have to work becoming more people- friendly policemen and creating confidence and trust among the people,” she said while addressing senior police officers at the Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday morning on the occasion of the Police Week -2019.The prime minister said it is fact that the police cases are not finished on time and there is lacking of those who conduct cases.“So you’ll have to play a special role in monitoring this properly and completing the cases speedily … you should also have a team to look into the fate of the cases,” she added.Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, inspector general of police Mohammad Jabed Patwary, secretary of the public security division of home ministry Mostafa Kamal Uddin and additional IGP (admin) Mokhlesur Rahman addressed the function.Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, deputy inspector general (DIG-highway) Atikul Islam, additional police commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Monirul Islam, deputy police commissioner of Tejgaon Zone Biplab Kumar Sarkar and Rajbari superintendent of police Asma Siddika Mily also spoke.The prime minister said the police cases remain pending in the courts years after years which need engagement of government officials along with the lawyers.“So, I think there should have a separate arrangement to look into these issues,” she said.Terming terrorism and militancy as a worldwide problem, the prime minister said her government has been able to control the twin monsters.“But we will have to continue our drive against militancy and terrorism and we should have a strategy to thwart any possible militant attack promptly side by side increasing intelligence surveillance and training,” she said.While talking about the framing of the Digital Security Act, the prime minister said many people are speaking against the law. “But the reality is that the law has been enacted to ensure security of the innocent and common people and protect their human rights,” she said.“The law has been enacted to save the life and property of the people alongside protecting their rights,” she added.The prime minister said the law is helping the police in investigation and filing the cases as well as identifying and arresting the criminals involved in cyber crimes.She praised the role of the police force in rooting out terrorism, militancy and drugs and vowed to continue the government’s fight against corruption side by side combating terrorism and militancy“Graft impedes the economic development of the country while drugs destroy a society and country … from the abuse of drug, hijacking and theft take place and even the children kill parents for it,” she said.Sheikh Hasina also laid stress on increasing the members of the specialised police force to guard mega projects. “We’re implementing many mega projects like the Padma Bridge. So, we need more members of specialised police force to guard the schemes,” she said.The prime minister also laid importance on proper training of the police and said her government is setting up 100 special economic zones where specialised Industrial Police will be deployed.She stressed the need for imparting specialised training to other specialised police units like River Police, Airport Police and Tourism Police alongside Industrial Police.Sheikh Hasina said members of the police will have to move with immediate action taking into account the nature of the activities of the criminals. That specialised training must be imparted to make them capable of facing any situation fast, she added.In this context, she said necessary steps will be taken to establish a specialised training institute for the police to create facilities for their specialised training.The premier mentioned that the police are giving more labour to maintain a peaceful environment in the country for economic development.“We’ve been able to take the country forward economically as you have given that labour with efficiency and for it I would like to thank you,” she said.The prime minister called upon the police to work with dedication and utmost sincerity for turning Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country.“Our journey has not yet ended, we’ve to go a long way,” she said.About increasing manpower of the police, she said more manpower will be added to various units of the police so that the people can get their desired services.On various demands of the police, Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned to look into the issue of giving posting of the police personnel in different embassies and missions of Bangladesh abroad.The prime minister expressed her determination to build a middle income country in the golden jubilee year of independence and a developed and prosperous one by the year 2041.last_img read more

How 5G Mobile Data will propel Artificial Intelligence AI progress

first_imgLike it’s predecessors, 3G and 4G, 5G refers to the latest ‘G’ – Generation – of mobile technology. 5G will give us very fast – effectively infinitely fast – mobile data download bandwidth. Downloading a TV show to your phone over 5G, in its entirety, in HD, will take less than a second, for example. A podcast will be downloaded within a fraction of a second of you requesting it. Scratch the surface of 5G, however, and there is a great deal more to see than just fast mobile data speeds.  5G is the backbone on which a lot of emerging technologies such as AI, blockchains, IoT among others will reach mainstream adoption. Today, we look at how 5G will accelerate AI growth and adoption. 5G will create the data AI needs to thrive One feature of 5G with ramifications beyond data speed is ‘Latency.’ 5G offers virtually ‘Zero Latency’ as a service. Latency is the time needed to transmit a packet of data from one device to another. It includes the period of time between when the request was made, to the time the response is completed. 5G will be superfast – but will also benefit from near zero ‘latency’Source: Economist At the moment, we keep files (music, pictures or films) in our phones’ memory permanently. We have plenty of processing power on our devices. In fact, the main upgrade between phone generations these days is a faster processor. In a 5G world, we will be able to use cheap parts in our devices – processors and memory in our new phones. Data downloads will be so fast, that we can get them immediately when we need them. We won’t need to store information on the phone unless we want to.  Even if the files are downloaded from the cloud, because the network has zero latency – he or she feels like the files are on the phone. In other words, you are guaranteed a seamless user experience in a 5G world. The upshot of all this is that the majority of any new data which is generated from mobile products will move to the cloud for storage. At their most fundamental level, AI algorithms are pattern matching tools. The bigger the data trove, the faster and better performing the results of AI analysis is. These new structured data sets, created by 5G, will be available from the place where it is easiest to extract and manipulate (‘Analyze’) it – the cloud. There will be 100 billion 5G devices connected to cellular networks by 2025, according to Huawei. 5G is going to generate data from those devices, and all the smartphones in the world and send it all back to the cloud. That data is the source of the incredible power AI gives businesses. 5G driving AI in autonomous vehicles 5G’s features and this Cloud / Connected Device future, will manifest itself in many ways. One very visible example is how 5G will supercharge the contribution, especially to reliability and safety, that AI can make to self driving cars. A great deal of the AI processing that is required to keep a self driving car operating safely, will be done by computers on board the vehicle. However, 5G’s facilities to communicate large amounts of data quickly will mean that any unusual inputs (for example, the car is entering or in a crash situation) can be sent to bigger computing equipment on the cloud which could perform more serious processing. Zero latency is important in these situations for commands which might come from a centralized accident computer, designed to increase safety– for example issuing the command ‘break.’ In fact, according to manufacturers, it’s likely that, ultimately, groups of cars will be coordinated by AI using 5G to control the vehicles in a model known as swarm computing. 5G will make AI much more useful with ‘context’ – Intel 5G will power AI by providing location information which can be considered in establishing the context of questions asked of the tool – according to Intel’s Data Center Group. For example, asking your Digital Assistant where the tablets are means something different depending on whether you’re in a pharmacy or an electronics store. The nature of 5G is that it’s a mobile service. Location information is both key to context and an inherent element of information sent over a 5G connection. By communicating where they are, 5G sensors will help AI based Digital Assistants solve our everyday problems. 5G phones will enable  AI calculations on ‘Edge’ network devices  – ARM 5G will push some processing to the ‘Edge’ of the network, for manipulation by a growing range of AI chips on to the processors of phones. In this regard, smartphones like any Internet Of Things connected processor ‘in the field’ are simply an ‘AI platform’. Handset manufacturers are including new software features in their phones that customers love to use – including AI based search interfaces which allow them to search for images containing ‘heads’ and see an accurate list. Arm are designing new types of chips targeted at AI calculations on ‘Edge’ network devices.Source: Arm’s Project Trillium ARM, one of the world’s largest CPU producers are creating specific, dedicated AI chip sets, often derived from the technology that was behind their Graphics Processing Units. These chips process AI based calculations up to 50 times faster than standard microprocessors already and their performance is set to improve 50x over the next 3 years, according to the company. AI is part of 5G networks – Huawei Huawei describes itself as an AI company (as well as a number of other things including handset manufacturer.) They are one of the biggest electronic manufacturers in China and are currently in the process of selling networking products to the world’s telecommunications companies, as they prepare to roll out their 5G networks. Based on the insight that 70% of network system downtime comes from human error, Huawei is now eliminating humans from the network management component of their work, to the degree that they can. Instead, they’re implementing automated AI based predictive maintenance systems to increase data throughput across the network and reduce downtime. The way we use cellular networks is changing. Different applications require different backend traffic to be routed across the network, depending on the customer need. Someone watching video, for example, has a far lower tolerance for a disruption to the data throughput (the ‘stuttering Netflix’ effect) than a connected IoT sensor which is trying to communicate the temperature of a thermometer. Huawei’s network maintenance AI software optimizes these different package needs, maintaining the near zero latency that the standard demands at a lower cost. AI based network maintenance complete a virtuous loop in which 5G devices on new cellular networks give AI the raw data they need, including valuable context information, and AI helps the data flow across the 5G network better. Bringing it all together 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionary technologies that will evolve alongside each other. 5G isn’t just fast data, it’s one of the most important technologies ever devised. Just as the smartphone did, it will fundamentally change how we relate to information, partly, because it will link us to thousands of newly connected devices on the Internet of Things. Ultimately, it could be the secondary effects of 5G, the network’s almost zero latency, which could provide the largest benefit – by creating structured data sets from billions of connected devices, in an easily accessible place – the cloud which can be used to fuel the AI algorithms which run on them. Networking equipment, chip manufacturers and governments have all connected the importance of AI with the potential of 5G. Commercial sales of 5G start in The US, UK and Australia in 2019. Read Next: 7 Popular Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Top languages for Artificial Intelligence development Cognitive IoT: How Artificial Intelligence is remoulding Industrial and Consumer IoTlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals running back Elijhaa Penny (35) celebrates his touchdown with center Evan Boehm (70) against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals announced they have re-signed seven players to futures contracts for the 2017 season.Brought back are running back Elijhaa Penny, cornerback Ronald Zamort, center/guard Daniel Munyer, guard Kaleb Johnson, receivers Chris Hubert and Marvin Hall, and linebacker Cap Capi.Each of the seven players was on the Cardinals’ practice squad this past season, and on Monday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians talked about Penny. “That’s another one I can’t wait to see, because he became a pretty good special teams player and could fill a role as a big back,” he said. “He’s got good hands. He’s done a great job on our scout team all year, so he’s got a real good future.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Review Spielberg Streep and Hanks deliver in Th

first_imgReview: Spielberg, Streep and Hanks deliver in ‘The Post’ “The Post ” is kind of like the Yankees of movies. A Steven Spielberg directed film about the Pentagon Papers starring Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and a murderer’s row of all your favourite television character actors (Jesse Plemons! Bob Odenkirk! Carrie Coon! Sarah Paulson!)? It doesn’t even seem fair. Is there any way it wouldn’t be great or least very good?That Spielberg shot and is releasing it in under a year was perhaps the only potential handicap. Would it feel rushed? Unfinished? Eastwood-ian? The astonishing thing is that while there are a few clunkers (as if a parody, the film actually opens in Vietnam to the sound of helicopters and Creedence Clearwater Revival), on the whole “The Post” is meat and potatoes Spielberg in the best possible way.He is directing off of a script from first time screenwriter Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, who also wrote the investigative journalism drama “Spotlight.” Instead of a deep dive into the reporting that led to the Pentagon Papers being exposed, “The Post” focuses in on the Washington Post executives who risked everything to make it happen. The reporting here is the side story.Streep plays Katharine Graham, the new publisher of The Washington Post, who is taking her family’s paper public in an effort to save it. Hanks is the editor Ben Bradlee, who is trying to elevate it from hometown rag to national necessity on par with The New York Times. We meet them both at an interesting moment, when the most pressing matter is that they’ve been banned from covering Tricia Nixon’s wedding and that the style coverage is perhaps a little too snarky for the sensibilities of D.C. society ladies. Then The New York Times comes out with their first story about the damning Vietnam report and, well, everything changes.The film actually begins on Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) in Vietnam, and the moment he decides that he can’t handle the lies of Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood), who in private says that things are devolving in the war, but then boasts to the press that things are improving. Spielberg takes us along as Ellsberg steals the reports and starts the long and tedious process of copying them (somehow Spielberg is able to make even a copy machine seem thrilling). Indeed, while “The Post” is not much more than people talking, Spielberg infuses every scene with tension and life and the grandeur of the ordinary that he’s always been so good at conveying.And while there is an interesting tick tock of will-they-won’t-they publish the papers that propels the film forward, at the heart of the story is Graham, an obviously smart and capable woman who is full of doubt, and is doubted by nearly everyone around her. Her father had given the paper to her husband and when he died, she took control. As she tells her daughter (Alison Brie) midway through the film, when she took control, she was a middle-aged woman who had never held a job. Streep plays her with daring reserve, as she finds herself unable to speak in key meetings, or stand up for herself as her board of directors is disrespecting her in earshot.Hanks, meanwhile is having a ball as Bradlee, a charming and crass cad with a mission and an army of capable and doting reporters around him trying their best to get the story. Bradlee and Graham clash as editors and publishers do, but there is a foundation of respect there too and it is a joy to watch Hanks and Streep share the screen.Hannah and Singer’s script is always interesting, and delves into fascinating topics including the casual sexism of the time, and the often too close relationships between D.C. journalists and the subjects they’re supposed to cover. That we get to see Streep and Hanks delivering the lines is almost just an added bonus.“The Post,” a 20th Century Fox release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “for language and brief war violence.: Running time: 115 minutes. Three stars out of four.___MPAA Definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Tom Hanks portrays Ben Bradlee, left, and Meryl Streep portrays Katharine Graham in a scene from “The Post.” (Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox via AP) center_img by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted Dec 13, 2017 1:26 pm PDT Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

Akinci writes to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

first_imgFollowing the collapse in the reunification talks, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has written to the members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) asking for their help in lifting the north’s isolation, it was reported on Thursday.Reports in the north said Akinci has sent a letter to the OIC informing it of the developments in the reunification talks, which took place in Switzerland two months ago.Akinci, whose breakaway Turkish Cypriot state has observer status in the OIC, described his side’s constructive and result-oriented stance in the talks.He reiterated that Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of a UN blueprint in 2004, which Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected.Akinci reportedly said that the Greek Cypriot leadership did not display the necessary will for a solution during the Swiss talks.He urged the OIC members to help efforts to lift the “unfair and unjustified embargoes against Turkish Cypriots, who have a clear will in favour of a solution.”You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Attackers kill seven in coordinated assault on Burkina Faso capital | Reuters World Reuters Mar 02 money that is just being shared and somebody came and said.This fail-safe was inserted into the Sri Lankan Constitution to safeguard its nascent democracy from being manipulated by authoritarian rulers such as Mahinda Rajapaksa who removed the mandatory two-term limit for presidents during his tenure Rajapaksa a popular yet controversial figure is once again on the ascendancy backed ironically by Sirisena—his one-time rival—who proved to be no less capable in misusing the powers of his office The Sirisena camp claims that the president invoked Article 33(2) c of the Constitution which gives him the authority to prorogue and dissolve parliament but he is on weak legal ground and his decision will likely be challenged by Renil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) and other civil society groups in the Supreme Court According to The Hindu UNP will also move an impeachment motion against the president Wickremesinghe’s finance minister Mangala Samaraweera called dissolution of parliament an “illegal” and a “desperate move” by a “desperate president” and urged all Opposition parties “who cherish democracy decency and rule of law” to “rally around and defeat the emerging tyranny” His words were mirrored by Tilvin Silva of the leftist People’s Liberation Front (JVP) suggesting a consolidation of Opposition bloc Rival consolidation is the primary motivation behind Sirisena’s issuance of an extraordinary gazette on Friday to dissolve the House from midnight and avoid a parliamentary resolution of the crisis With sacked prime minister Wickeremesinghe and his camp holding on to the numerical advantage in a 225-seat Assembly despite strong-arm tactics and bribery attempts to lure away lawmakers Sirisena’s prime ministerial pick just didn’t have the numbers to prove his majority This was in fact admitted by the new government Keheliya Rambukwella a spokesperson of the Sirisena-Rajapaksa alliance on Friday said the Rajapaksa government was eight shy of the 113-mark needed for simple majority The decision to dissolve parliament and call for snap polls came soon after Rajapaksa will now serve as the caretaker prime minister till the new parliament convenes on 17 January unless the electoral process is successfully challenged in Supreme Court The development has invited international opprobrium The US UK Australia United Nations and the European Union have all expressed their concerns with the US stressing on respecting “democratic institutions and processes” “to ensure stability and prosperity” of Lankan people The US is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved further deepening the political crisis As a committed partner of #SriLanka we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity — State_SCA (@State_SCA) November 9 2018 Concerned by news that #SriLanka’s Parliament has been dissolved days before it was due to be reconvened As a friend of Sri Lanka the UK calls on all parties to uphold the constitution and respect democratic institutions and processes — Mark Field MP (@MarkFieldUK) November 9 2018 Australia’s foreign minister was quoted by AFPas saying that Sirisena’s action “undermines Sri Lanka’s long democratic tradition and poses a risk to its stability and prosperity”? Youths and natives of Akure,上海龙凤419Alphonse, son Neil and daughter-in-law Maria Bush. We have seven projects were developing together. Man, Yuki Bhambri outclassed Spaniard Carlos Taberner to reach the third and final qualifying round of the Australian Open, Click here to vote in other categories: World,娱乐地图Jeremy, especially those in states most affected by retaliatory tariffs enacted by China,"Enbridge’s analyst

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distraught, power outages had been reported at more than 300. read more