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Amazon HQ favourites Similar basics different vibes

first_imgNEW YORK — The communities said to be favoured to become homes to a pair of big, new East Coast bases for Amazon are both riverfront stretches of major metropolitan areas with ample transportation and space for workers.But there are plenty of differences between New York’s Long Island City and Crystal City in northern Virginia.Set within eyeshot of the nation’s capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.Rapidly growing Long Island City is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.Seattle-based Amazon, which set out last year to situate one additional headquarters but now may reportedly open two, has declined to comment on its plans. But people familiar with the talks said this week that Long Island City and Crystal City have emerged as front runners for the “HQ2” project and its total of 50,000 jobs.A look at two communities said to be at the top of Amazon’s list.LONG ISLAND CITYIt’s already the fastest-developing neighbourhood in the nation’s most populous city, and Amazon could pump up the volume in this buzzy part of Queens.If chosen, the neighbourhood stands to burnish New York City’s reputation as a tech capital. Landing Amazon would also cement Long Island City’s transformation from a faded manufacturing zone to a vibrant, of-the-moment enclave of waterfront skyscrapers, modernized warehouses and artsy-tech ambience across the East River from midtown Manhattan.“I joke that we’re experiencing explosive growth 30 years in the making,” says Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, a neighbourhood development group.But Long Island City also has been straining to handle its growth.Days before the potential Amazon news emerged, the city announced a $180 million plan to address Long Island City’s packed schools, street design and a sewage system that groans in heavy rain. But those projects will just catch up with current needs, says area City Councilman Jimmy van Bramer.“I know that there are a lot of people cheerleading for this, but HQ2 has to work for Queens and the people of Queens. It can’t just be good for Amazon,” says van Bramer, a Democrat.Once a bustling factory and freight-moving area, Long Island City saw many of its plants and warehouses closed as manufacturing shriveled in New York City.The neighbourhood’s rebirth began in the 1980s, when officials broached redeveloping a swath of the waterfront, while artists were drawn by warehouse spaces, affordable rents and a building that is now the MoMA PS1 museum. Silvercup Studios — where such TV shows as “Sex and the City,” ”30 Rock” and “The Sopranos” have been filmed — opened in 1983.Long Island City gained a new commercial stature, and the start of a high-rise skyline, when the banking giant now called Citi opened an office tower there in 1989. But the area’s growth lately has been driven by residential building.Some 9,150 new apartments and homes have been built since 2010, more than in any other New York City neighbourhood, according to the city Planning Department . Thousands more units are in the works.New York has striven for nearly a decade to position itself as a tech hotspot.Venture capitalists poured $5.8 billion into New York-area startups last quarter, more than any other region except the San Francisco area, according to the consulting and accounting firm PwC . Established tech giants, including Google and Facebook, have been expanding their New York footprints.Still, landing HQ2 would represent “incredible validation of just how far New York has come,” says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future think-tank .Waiting for a subway, Long Island City community board chairwoman Denise Keehan-Smith could envision Amazon benefiting the neighbourhood.“But I think we have to be careful about it,” she said.CRYSTAL CITYIf any place in America can absorb 25,000 Amazon jobs without disruption, it may well be Crystal City, Virginia, where nearly that many jobs have vanished over the last 15 years.The neighbourhood in Arlington County is bounded by the Potomac River and the nation’s capital on one side, by the Pentagon on another and Reagan National Airport on a third.Despite its prime location and abundant transportation options, the neighbourhood has been hit by a massive outflow of jobs. The Patent and Trademark Office began moving more than 7,000 jobs out of Crystal City in 2003. In 2005, the Defence Department announced plans to move roughly 17,000 jobs elsewhere as part of a base realignment.Arlington County has worked hard to bring in new employers, and had some success. The Public Broadcasting Service moved its headquarters to Crystal City in 2006.Still, large swaths of the neighbourhood remain vacant. Among other challenges, the area has fought to overcome a reputation for outdated architecture.Crystal City is populated by ’70s and ’80s-era office buildings. The buildings are connected by a network of tunnels populated with food-court style dining options, hair salons and newsstands. The tunnels leave the ground-level outdoor streetscape sometimes looking empty.Brookings Institution urban planner Jenny Schuetz suggested the buildings may require an upgrade, or even replacement. But she noted that while people often associate tech companies with converted lofts or state-of-the art workspaces, many big Silicon Valley tech companies actually work out of ’80s-era office buildings.For all the talk about antiquated architecture, people who’ve actually worked in Crystal City appreciate its convenience and its worker-friendly features, including the tunnels.“I loved it here,” said Christine Gentry of Greenbelt, Maryland, as she ate breakfast in a largely empty food court. She works for the Patent and Trademark Office and preferred the days when her office was in Crystal City.“Everything is accessible here,” she said. “When it was raining or snowing or sleeting, I never had to go out.”Perhaps no place better illustrates the vibe of Crystal City than the region’s only revolving restaurant, the Skydome atop the Doubletree Crystal City. Diners enjoy a panoramic view of the D.C. skyline, completing a full rotation every 47 minutes.Sam Getachew, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, said the restaurant fits the neighbourhood’s retro atmosphere.“It’s huge draw,” Getchew said. “People come for the curiosity of it.”The only downside, he said, is that “when customers get up to go to the restroom, they don’t know where they are when they come back.”___Barakat reported from Crystal City, Virginia.Jennifer Peltz And Matthew Barakat, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Business Highlights

first_img___Stocks surge as Powell hints at slower interest rate hikesNEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks made their biggest gain in eight months after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted that the Fed might be willing to raise interest rates at a slower pace next year. That relieved investors who were concerned that rising rates could slow the U.S. economy enough to bring an end to the nine-year-old bull market.____Powell: US economy healthy and rate hikes aren’t automaticWASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cast a bright picture of the U.S. economy Wednesday and appeared to suggest that the Fed might consider a pause in its interest rate hikes next year to assess the impact of its credit tightening. Powell’s comments ignited a rally on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging more than 200 points after his comments were released.____US economy grew at brisk 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarterWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3.5 per cent annual rate in the July-September quarter, led by lower but still strong consumer spending and more business investment than previously estimated. The Commerce Department’s figure for gross domestic product, released Wednesday, was the same as its first estimate last month. GDP is the broadest measure of the nation’s output of goods and services and covers everything from homebuilding to haircuts.____Trump suggests he’s looking into tariffs on car importsWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is hinting that he’s looking into slapping tariffs on car imports, a day after he threatened to slash federal subsidies to General Motors for wanting to close five U.S. factories. GM announced Monday that it wants to shutter the plants and slash 14,000 jobs in North America.____Not just jobs riding on fate of GM plant after Trump promiseLORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — General Motors’ major restructuring plan includes the possible closing of a plant in an Ohio industrial corridor where just last year President Donald Trump promised manufacturing jobs would be coming back. GM now faces a high-stakes decision on whether to shut down the Lordstown assembly plant, which makes the Chevy Cruze. Trump has blasted GM, threatening to cut off the automaker’s federal subsidies while also singling out the Ohio plant as one he wants to stay open.____Google CEO to make long-awaited congressional appearanceSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify next week at a congressional hearing on the company’s business practices, just three months after aides put up an empty chair to symbolize his refusal to appear. Pichai is scheduled to appear Dec. 5 before the House Judiciary Committee. Among other things, lawmakers are expected to grill him on whether Google rigs its influential search engine to stifle conservative voices.____Fed: Some US businesses’ debt at highest level in 2 decadesWASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is signalling potentially vulnerable spots in the financial system, citing some U.S. businesses’ debt at the highest levels in two decades and risky debt growing. The Fed’s report issued Wednesday was its first assessing the stability of the U.S. financial system. Ten years after the financial crisis, the new report points to excessive borrowing by households and businesses, banks’ elevated debt levels, and unrealistically high prices for stocks and other assets.____Suddenly, luxury stores miss free-spending Chinese touristsNEW YORK (AP) — Tiffany & Co. is noticing that there is something missing in its stores: Chinese tourists. For the second time in a many months, a big seller of high-end goods noticed that a particularly crucial demographic of its shopping base had made itself sparse. On Wednesday, shares of Tiffany & Co. plunged 12 per cent after reporting weaker-than-expected sales in its third quarter. CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said that Chinese tourists have failed to show up.________UK central bank warns of deep recession without Brexit dealLONDON (AP) — The Bank of England has warned that leaving the European Union without a divorce deal could plunge Britain into its deepest recession in nearly a century. It says the economy could shrink 8 per cent within months as unemployment and inflation soar. The stark projection on Wednesday came the same day the government’s own economists said the country will be poorer after Brexit than if it had stayed in the EU.____The S&P 500 index climbed 61.62 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 2,743.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 617.70 points, or 2.5 per cent, to 25,366.43. The Nasdaq composite jumped 208.89 points, or 2.9 per cent, to 7,291.59. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks leaped 37.53 points, or 2.5 per cent, to 1,530.38.Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 2.5 per cent to $50.29 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, sank 2.4 per cent to $58.76 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1.6 per cent to $1.40 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.5 per cent to $1.84 a gallon. Natural gas rocketed 10.6 per cent to $14.72 per 1,000 cubic feetThe Associated Presslast_img read more

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3-day meet of RSS’ highest policy-making body starts in MP

first_imgGwalior: The annual meeting of the highest policy-making body of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) began here on Friday. The meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha is being attended by around 1,400 select representatives from 11 regions and 43 provinces (in Sangh parlance) and will also see the participation of its chief Mohan Bhagwat. The convention will deliberate on the current national, social and religious scenarios in the country and pass some important resolutions, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Arun Kumar had earlier told reporters here. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! It will also decide the RSS’s year-long programmes on various activities, including those in the field of education, he had said. Seeking to refute any link with the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, Kumar had said the meeting is always held in March, and it would have no discussions related to the general election. The concluding session, which will be held on March 10, will see RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi dwelling on issues like Ram temple construction, Pulwama terror attack and India’s air strike on terror camps in Pakistan, Kumar had informed.last_img read more

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Imran Khan says Indo-Pak relations to remain tense till elections in India

first_imgIslamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Indo-Pak relations would remain tense till the general elections in India are over, adding he feared “another misadventure” by Pakistan’s eastern neighbour. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the February 14 attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama. Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an Indian pilot, who was handed over to India later. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USKhan said shadows of war were still hovering over Pakistan and India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration could go for “another misadventure” before the general elections. “The danger is not over. The situation will remain tense till forthcoming general elections in India. We are already prepared to avert any aggression from India,” Dawn quoted Khan as saying. Khan also claimed that he cancelled his scheduled meeting with the Taliban in Islamabad due to “concerns” expressed by the Afghan government. The Taliban last month said that its representatives would visit Islamabad to meet Prime Minister Khan on February 18. Media reports later suggested that the Taliban called off the meeting as most of the members of their negotiating team could not travel to Pakistan due to sanctions imposed on them by the US and the United Nations.last_img read more

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Terror financing: ED slaps Rs 15L penalty, confiscates Rs 7L money

first_imgNew Delhi: The ED said Friday that it has imposed a penalty of Rs 15 lakh on three alleged terrorist organisation operatives and has confiscated cash worth Rs 7 lakh in a 17-year-old terror funding case linked to the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).The penalty and confiscation action has been taken under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and three people — Mohd Ayub Mir, Bechh Raj Bengani and Harbans Singh — have been charged under it, the agency said in a statement. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The FEMA Adjudicating Authority imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Mir, Rs 7 lakh on Bengani and Rs 3 lakh on Singh and also ordered for the confiscation of seized cash of Rs 7 lakhs under an order of March 27, it said. Under the FEMA, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is empowered to impose penalty on those who contravene the law and the seized amount is confiscated by it. A special director rank officer of the agency functions as the Adjudicating Authority. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe ED took over the case on the basis of a Delhi Police’s Special Cell action when it arrested Mir on July 2, 2002 while he was allegedly receiving hawala payment of Rs 7 lakh from Singh for terrorist acts. Mir, it alleged, is an active member of the LeT and was also wanted by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Singh was working as a driver of Bengani and was engaged in delivering cash on the instruction of his employer to Mir. According to the agency, Bengani was “an infamous racketeer” in hawala trade of criminal evasion of legal banking routes to launder illegal funds.last_img read more

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Foreign national cheated at Vijay Chowk

first_imgNew Delhi: Through different tricks, criminals are making away with money in the city. In a recent incident, they targeted an Iraqi national arrived in the city to see President House on March 6.In the complaint to police, the foreign national alleged that he came to India for his treatment in Gurugram based hospital. “On the day of the incident, the victim along with his son and friend came at the Vijay Chowk to see the President House in a taxi bearing Haryana number plate,” complainant told police. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHe further told the law enforcement agency that at about 5:30 pm, when they were at Vijay Chowk, two gents and one lady came and started interacting with them in the Arabic language. After gaining the victim’s confidence, one of the suspects asked the foreign national that he want to go to Iraq and requested him to show the USD. “On this, I gave him my Doller. He again asked me the Doller rate in Iraq and after taking my 20 notes of 100 Dollar, the suspect rub his hand and play a trick,” complainant told police. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsPolice further said that the suspect returns back 11 notes of 100 US Dollars and put the remaining amount in his pocket. The foreigner could not understand the trick and after this, all the three persons sit in the grey colour car and went away. “When I checked my money there were only 11 notes in my pocket I apprised all fact to my taxi driver who called the police,” the complainant said adding that all three persons aged about 35-40 years. Police have registered a case under sections 420 and 34 of IPC. In another case which was reported from Kalkaji area of South East Delhi, robbers allegedly stole a bag containing Apple laptop, I-Pad, I-Phone and other important documents. The complainant told police that he was inside his car when a person came and told him that his cash is fallen on the road. During the distraction, another person fled with a bag from the back gate of the car.last_img read more

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EC seeks report on Supriyo’s remarks

first_imgKolkata: Babul Supriyo, outgoing BJP MP from Asansol, who is contesting from the same constituency in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections seemed to have made a habit of courting controversy every now and then ever since the notification of the elections has taken place.This time around, a serious allegation has surfaced against Supriyo who has allegedly abused two Trinamool Congress supporters and passed controversial remarks against the duo. The Election Commission has taken a strong exception to Supriyo’s comments and the way he behaved during his election rally on April 11. After the Election Commission received a specific complaint in this regard, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state has sought a report from the District Election Officer (DEO) of West Burdwan and also wanted to know what steps have been taken so far in this regard. The CEO office will go through the report submitted by the DEO and then decide what can be done in connection to the incident. Supriyo lost his cool during his election rally on Thursday morning when two local Trinamool Congress supporters protested against him for accusing his Trinamool Congress rival of running a syndicate with the coal mafias. The protest by the two individuals did not go down well with Supriyo and he soon engaged in a heated altercation with them. Supriyo’s wrath went to such an extent that he instructed his partymen to slap them. Following the incident, the two victims were heckled by the BJP activists in presence of Supriyo. It was also alleged that the outgoing MP told the BJP workers to throw them out. The incident triggered a political slugfest with the Trinamool Congress calling it a classic example of breaching the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The incident occurred at Dhandadihi area of Andal when Supriyo was conducting a road show. The duo protested against Supriyo as he was accusing TMC of being involved in a syndicate operating out of coal mine areas. Supriyo, however, claimed that the TMC might have deployed the youths to disrupt his road show. As Supriyo was spewing venom against the TMC, the two supporters allegedly shouted the slogan ‘Chowkidar Chor Hain.’ The situation was brought under control following the intervention of the local residents. Supriyo triggered controversy in previous occasions as well. He sang and released a theme song for his party without the prior permission from the Election Commission. He went ahead and played the song during his election rallies despite a ban imposed by the EC. Eventually, he was forced to stop playing the song.last_img read more

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Disha’s sari look sparks debate

first_imgNew Delhi: Actor Disha Patani has rekindled Bollywood’s romance with the yellow sari through the ‘Slow motion’ song from Salman Khan’s Bharat. But it has left many asking “Where’s the sari?” In the video of the peppy number by Vishal and Shekhar featuring Nakash Aziz and Shreya Ghoshal, Disha is seen Matching her dance moves along with Salman. But it is her sensual yellow sari with a ‘pallu’ twisted like a rope and thrown over her shoulder, that has caught attention. The song garnered over 24 million views on YouTube in just 24 hours. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold SchwarzeneggerAward-winning textile designer Gaurang Shah feels the essence of the sari has got completely diluted. “Well, everyone one has a choice to reinvent, but that doesn’t mean you do away with fundamental essence that made sari a beautiful attire for generations. It is a celebration of our cultural legacy and heritage. A sari is a sari. You must drape it in a manner that retains its magnificent character,” Shah said. Designer Varija Bajaj called it a poor rendition in the name of reinventing ways to drape the six-yard wonder. Also Read – Salman pays tribute to Vinod Khanna on ‘Dabangg 3’ wrap up”Designers all across are working of reinventing the classic saris into sari gowns, lehenga saris, saris with jeans and some of them are extremely beautiful inventions,” Bajaj said. “There is a very thin line between a beautiful innovation and a tragic disaster when it comes to designers reinventing a sari. A poor rendition not only looks distasteful, but also kills the very essence of feminism in a sari, and I guess that forms the majority chunk of such reinventions,” she further added.last_img read more

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Rahul expresses ‘regret’ once again over his remarks in SC

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi expressed “regret” once again in the Supreme Court on Monday for his “chowkidar chor hai” remark on the Rafale judgement, which the apex court had said was “incorrectly attributed” to it.The apex court on April 15 had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous observation that “chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain” as has been attributed to it by Gandhi. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghGandhi, who filed a fresh affidavit following the formal notice issued to him by the apex court on a criminal contempt petition filed against him by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, has written the word “regret” in bracket. On April 22, Gandhi had filed an affidavit in response to the apex court’s order asking him to give an explanation over his remarks and had said that he was expressing “regret” over it. However, during the hearing in the matter on April 23, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, had told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the word ‘regret’ was in a bracket and actually it was a “lip service of apology”. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIn his fresh affidavit, Gandhi reiterated what he had said in his explanation earlier that his statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” and there was not the “slightest intention to insinuate” anything regarding the Supreme Court proceedings in any manner. He said his April 10 statement was made in purely political context to counter the “misinformation campaign” being led by senior BJP functionaries as well as the government that the apex court verdict on December 14 last year was a “clean chit” to the Centre regarding all the aspects of the Rafale deal. “My statement was made in the heat of political campaigning. It has been used (and misused) by my political opponents to project that I had deliberately and intentionally suggested that this Court had said ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’! Nothing could be farther from my mind,” he said in his 28-page affidavit. “It is also clear that no court would ever do that and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political slogan in juxtaposition the same breath in the heat of political campaigning ought not to be construed as suggesting that the court had given any finding or conclusion on that issue,” Gandhi said in his affidavit filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes. Gandhi clarified that he did not have the “slightest or remotest intention, desire or even thought process, to bring the court into the political arena or bring it into disrepute or attribute to it deliberately or willfully that which the court had not said or meant”. Referring to a media interview by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi said Modi had “clearly suggested” that the apex court had given him a clean chit in the Rafale deal.last_img read more

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NSE claims adverse Sebi order will not hit its functioning as exchange

first_imgNew Delhi: A day after Sebi passed orders against it in the co-location case, National Stock Exchange said Wednesday the orders do not affect its functioning as a recognised stock exchange. “Normal trading on NSE in all segments will continue from Thursday, May 2, 2019. Wednesday, May 1, 2019 is a trading holiday on account of May Day,” the bourse said in a statement.The markets regulator on Tuesday directed the bourse to disgorge profits worth over Rs 687 crore along with interest besides barring it from launching any new derivative products as well as from accessing the securities market directly or indirectly for six months. Together with interest, the total disgorgement amount would be more than Rs 1,000 crore. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraSebi’s orders would not affect its functioning as a recognised stock exchange, the statement added. The watchdog passed five separate orders, together running into 400 pages, related to the co-location case, wherein some entities allegedly got preferential access in high frequency trading. Strict action has also been taken against some present and past executives of the exchange and some stock brokers. On Wednesday, NSE chief Vikram Limaye said there is “light at the end of the tunnel” after the Sebi orders in co-location case and all legal options will be explored before deciding the future course of action. Limaye also asserted that there would be no bearing on the functioning of the NSE. “When you look at the orders, you see that there is no evidence of any unfair trade practice or fraudulent trade practice… We are not being charged of any unfair or fraudulent practices,” he said. Limaye, who is MD & CEO, said there is nothing pending from the regulatory perspective in the co-location matter.last_img read more

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On 158th birth anniversary: Rare oil paintings by Tagore, contemporaries to be displayed by RBU

first_imgKolkata: Art lovers in the city for the first time will get the opportunity to witness a number of oil paintings by eminent painters including Rabindranath Tagore himself with the Rabindra Bharati Museum (RBM) putting on display these artworks at the Jorasanko campus of Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) on the occasion of the 158th birth anniversary of the legend which falls on May 9.”There are 72 oil paintings by Tagore’s contemporaries in our collection. Some larger paintings are already on display at the Western Art Gallery of the Museum but 53 of them, mostly smaller in size, were kept in the air-conditioned museum strong room away from public view for shortage of space. All these will be unveiled in a visible storage space that has been created in the campus,” said Baisakhi Mitra, curator-in-charge of RBM. Bulk of this collection was gifted by Maharaja Prabirendra Mohan Tagore and Kumar Purnendu Nath Tagore of Pathuriaghata. The conditions of the paintings deteriorated over time due to natural processes and the effects of pollution in the heart of Kolkata. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe National Research Laboratory For Conservation of Cultural Property, Lucknow, gave the oil paintings a fresh lease of life with the funds of the university itself. However, even after the restoration work carried out in two phases that ended in July 2013, the paintings again found its place in the strong room due to paucity of display space. “A grant from the Union Ministry of Culture helped us in setting up a visible storage space in which 53 of the remaining oil paintings could be displayed for art connoisseurs across the world,” said RBU Vice-Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe most important painting that will be displayed is the one titled “Three Witches from Macbeth” done by Tagore himself who began painting it when he was in his 60s. Tagore had produced around 3,000 drawings and paintings and was the first Indian artist to exhibit his works across Europe, Russia and the US in 1930. His painting style was very individualistic, characterised by simple bold forms and rhythmic quality and later inspired several modern artists. An oil painting by Hitendranath Tagore, the eldest son of Hemendranath, Debendranath’s third son, “Portrait of Maharshi Debendranath Tagore” done by Sashi Kumar Hesh, “Composition — Omar Khyam/Arabian Nights” by Asit Halder, “Family” by Ramkinkar Beij are among the noted paintings that will be on display. The visual storage titled “Abanindranath Tagore — Visual Storage” will also showcase works by eminent painters who were contemporary of Tagore including Nirode Majumdar, Sukhomoy Mitra, Satyen Ghosal, Santosh Arora and a few unknown artists too.last_img read more

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Sri Lanka offers relief package to revive tourism industry hit by Easter attacks

first_imgColombo: The Sri Lankan government has announced a one-year debt moratorium and subsidised working capital for the tourism sector as a slew a measures to help revive the tourism industry hit hard by the Easter Sunday terror attacks. The relief package comes as the official tourism arrival figures released on Tuesday, the first monthly report since the terror attacks, showed that Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals declined 7.5 per cent in April 2019 compared to the same period last year. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said April recorded 166,975 foreign tourists in the country compared to 180,429 in April 2018, a 7.5 per cent dip in arrival of tourists from abroad. State Minister for Finance Eran Wickremeratne said the debt moratorium will be given by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to tourism sector institutions and individuals, on a case-by-case basis. The moratorium period will be until March 31, 2020 for both capital and interest payments granted to the tourism sector as of April 18, 2019, the minister said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe interest subsidy is borne by the government on outstanding credit facilities, both capital and interest, he said. The working capital debt and interest will be treated as separate loans to be repaid from July 2020. Working capital loans will be based on revenue of hotels. Up to 75 per cent of the interest will be subsidised, the state minister said. The Value Added Tax on hotels will also be reduced to 5 per cent from 15 per cent, Wickremeratne said. Duty free importation will be allowed for security equipment such as handheld metal detectors, walk-through metal detectors, baggage x ray inspection equipment and vehicle scanners. The bombings, which targeted three Christian churches and three Colombo hotels, killed over 250 people, including 44 foreigners, and injured over 500, including 37 foreigners. Tourism industry officials said there have been 70 per cent cancellations of prior bookings after the attacks. The US, China, the UK, India and Australia were among the countries which issued travel warnings on Sri Lanka following the blasts carried out by local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ).last_img read more

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‘Nation can be saved only if Modi is removed from Delhi’

first_imgCanning, Sonarpur (South 24-parganas): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Sunday that the country could only be saved if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is removed from Delhi.She called Modi “a riot manager” while talking about the Gujarat riots that took place in 2002 and expressed her disappointment in him as a Prime Minister. Banerjee addressed four rallies in Canning, Basanti, Baruipur and Sonarpur on Sunday afternoon. “Modi is a riot manager. After the Gujarat riot that took place in 2002 Atalji had asked him to follow Raj Dharma. He is vindictive and arrogant. It is a tragedy that we have a Prime Minister like him,” she said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkBanerjee said in the past five years, Modi did nothing for the development of the country and created tension among various religious communities. Banerjee further said that the BJP had been using the Central Force to campaign for the party. “I have respect for the Central Force but the jawans are asking people to vote for Modi. What is going on? One of our supporters was injured by Central Force firing,” she said. The Chief Minister said Modi is spreading canard against Bengal every day. “He says in every election rally that I don’t allow Durga Pujas in Bengal. More than one lakh Durga Pujas are organised in Bengal and the number of Saraswati Pujas should be more than one crore. He is repeating the same old lies. He does no homework,” she said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenBanerjee said the BJP has developed hatred for Bengal because this was the first state voices have been raised against Modi government. “During a meeting on July 21, 2018, I had said in 2019 the BJP will be finished and from the dais of the meeting I had said that a meeting would be held on January 19, 2019, which would be attended by leaders of 23 parties. The BJP is scared of Bengal and that is why they are criticising us,” she said. Banerjee said from time immemorial people of different religions are living peacefully in Bengal. “The Hindus take part in Iftar and many Muslims organise Durga puja in Bengal. The Sikhs, Christians, Budhists, and Jains follow their religions without problems. This is our culture and tradition. But, the BJP is trying to destabilise our society by trying to control every one. They can’t decide which God we should worship and what food we should eat. In the name of religion they incite one community against the other,” she said. Banerjee said Modi did not deposit Rs 15 lakh in the bank accounts of people that he had promised at the time of 2014 Lok Sabha election. Ten crore people are jobless and three crore people have lost jobs due to note ban. About 12,000 farmers committed suicide in the past five years. “He does not say a word about the poor development scenario in the country in the past five years and come to Bengal to find faults in the government here. Modi Babu you cannot dream of the projects that have been implemented in the past seven years in Bengal.” Banerjee urged people to vote for party nominees — Pratima Mondol in Joynagar and Mimi Chakraborty in Jadavpur — where elections will be held on May 19.last_img read more

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Yogshala Expo 2019 wraps up

first_imgThe most awaited 4th edition of India’s largest Health and Wellness Exhibition ‘The Yogshala Expo 2019’ along with seventh edition of ‘Aarogya Sangoshthi’ and second edition of ‘The Grand Master of Yoga’ was organised by Namo Gange Trust at Pragati Maidan from May 10-12, 2019. Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, was one of the major exhibitors in this expo along with several renowned organisations related to health and wellness industries.The Expo was inaugurated by Acharya Jagdish Ji Maharaj, Founder, Namo Gange Trust; Padma Bhushan Vaidya Devinder Triguna, President, Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth, Government of India; Sandeep Marwah, Founder, Noida Film City, and Ramanand Meena, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH. Indresh Kumar, RSS Leader and social activist also graced the event as the chief guest. The Yogshala Expo 2019 as the full spectrum of health and wellness showcased various products and services allied to AYUSH with over 100-150 exhibitors and more than 50 health and wellness activities including workshops, seminars, performances, and live contests. This expo was showcase for Yoga, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Herbal Therapy, Unani, Siddha, Organic Food and Herbal Cosmetic, Wellness Products in the national and international market. It was a golden opportunity for all Health experts, Consumers, Business Houses and Exporters to research and evaluate competition, develop commercial structures by identifying new ideas and initiatives, joint ventures and project partnerships. Dr Sandeep Marwah, Founder of Noida Film City; Padma Shri Bharat Bhushan, B.H.U. Chairman of Yamini Tripathi; and M D Subodh Tiwari of Kewalya Dham were present as the chief guest in the organised seminar on ‘Yoga and Neuropathy’. Padma Shri Bharat Bhushan said that the main purpose of this seminar was to maintain the integrity, concentration, tolerance within the people. “Fidelity concentration is just meditation. It can be cured by yoga and naturopathy, and today it is necessary for every person to take meditation and Naturopathy,” he added. In a three-day long ‘Grand Master of Yoga’ competition, 140 children participated. Young kids performed various yoga asanas and caught everybody’s attention. Also, ancient Indian medicine such as yoga and Ayurveda, Siddha, natural free medical camps for treatments like medicine, etc were also available. More than 100 companies associated with Yoga, Ayurveda, Health and Wellness participated.last_img read more

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Egypt detains senior Brotherhood leader in Cairo

first_imgCAIRO – Egyptian authorities on Wednesday detained senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Essam al-Erian, one of the last few leaders of the Islamist movement to have escaped a security crackdown, the interior ministry said.Security forces arrested Erian, deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, at dawn in east Cairo where he had been in hiding.Pictures of Erian circulating on social media, apparently taken during his arrest, showed him smiling and making a gesture symbolising the rejection of the military’s ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July. Security forces launched a massive crackdown on Morsi’s supporters in August, violently dispersing two protest camps in Cairo and making mass arrests.More than 1,000 people have been killed since Morsi’s ouster — mainly his supporters — and the authorities have detained some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership.Morsi himself has been held incommunicado in military custody since his ouster and is due to go on trial on November 4.The arrests have not deterred Morsi’s supporters from organising demonstrations, which have deteriorated into deadly street fights pitting them against opponents and security forces.Morsi’s detractors accused him of poor governance and charged the Muslim Brotherhood with trying to monopolise power following the 2011 overthrow of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.His supporters deny such allegations and point to the Muslim Brotherhood’s victories in a series of polls held after Mubarak’s overthrow.last_img read more

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Egypt’s Morsi to be tried for ‘espionage’, Hamas ties

first_imgby Samer al-AtrushCAIRO- Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi and former aides will stand trial for “espionage” that aided a “terrorist” campaign involving the Palestinian militant Hamas and jihadist groups, state media reported on Wednesday. Morsi, an Islamist who the military toppled in July after a single year of turbulent rule, is already on trial over alleged involvement in the killings of opposition protesters. Prosecutors had been investigating his alleged links to Hamas during mass prison breaks in an early 2011 uprising against ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak, when Morsi and other Islamist prisoners escaped.He and 35 others, including former aides and leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood, now stand accused of “espionage for foreign organisations abroad to commit terrorist attacks in the country,” the official MENA news agency reported.The groups, according to the prosecution’s investigation, included Hamas and the militant Lebanese Hezbollah movement, MENA reported.Some of the defendants, including Essam Haddad, Morsi’s second in command when president, were also accused of betraying state secrets to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.The prosecution also alleged Muslim Brotherhood involvement in a surge in attacks on soldiers and police following Morsi’s overthrow, centred mostly in the restive Sinai peninsula.Some of the attacks, which have killed dozens of soldiers and policemen, have been claimed by Al-Qaeda inspired groups with no known links to the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood.But prosecutors say the attacks were carried out to “bring back the deposed president and to bring Egypt back into the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip.”last_img read more

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Lebanese singer and Arab “Singing Bird” Sabah dies

Rabat – Famous actress and singer Sabah has died on Wednesday, Lebanese media reported.The Lebanese diva passed away at her residence in the capital Beirut at the age of 87.Nicknamed “Shahroura” or the “singing bird” in Arabic, Sabah was born as Jeanette Gergis Al-Feghali in Bdadoun, Lebanon in 1927. During her career spanning over six decades she released more than 50 albums and starred in 98 films as well as over 20 stage plays.She was the first Arab singer to perform at Olympia in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, Piccadilly Theatre in London and Sydney Opera House in Sydney.Sabah was subject to harsh criticism due to her multiple cosmetic surgeries and the fact that she was wearing showy outfits that did not match her age.She was also famous for her multiple marriages. She was married at least nine times and some of these marriages only lasted few months if not less. read more

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GAZA: Inauguration of Hassan II Faculty Financed by King Mohammed VI

Rabat – A faculty whose construction was paid by King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been inaugurated on Monday in the Gaza Strip.Minister of endowment and Islamic Affairs Ahmed Taoufik took part, on Monday in Gaza, in the inauguration ceremony of the Hassan II Faculty of agronomic and environmental sciences.The faculty cost over $6 million and includes 12 classrooms, laboratories and other departments, Taoufik told MAP on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony. Organized by the Palestinian national authority, the inauguration ceremony was also marked by the presence of Palestinian political and civil figures who thanked the monarch for the gesture.In a video message after the ceremony, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas lauded the sovereign’s role in supporting the Palestinian cause and people. read more

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French Real Estate Broker Meilleurtaux to Open in Morocco

Rabat – French company Meilleurtaux.com, which specializes in real estate credits and brokering, is opening its first international office in Casablanca with an investment of MAD 5 million.The company seeks to advise individuals looking for a mortgage and puts them in contact with banks likely to give them the best financing solution (credit rate, loan insurance, etc.) based on their profiles and their projects.This investment in Morocco was mainly inspired by Yassin Lahlou, a former banker and real-estate developer, who convinced the company to open a subsidiary in Casablanca. Meilleurtaux.com will ensure a quick processing of mortgage applications with an optimal financing capacity. To do so, the company has signed partnerships with the most important banks, insurance companies, and real estate developers operating in Morocco.“The real estate sector has great potential in Morocco. With the decline in interest rates set by Bank Al Maghrib, rising competitiveness in mortgages and lower price per square meter, Moroccans are more encouraged to become homeowners,” Yassin Lahlou highlighted.Regarding compensation, Meilleurtaux.ma adopts a commission approach: this is set at 1% of the amount borrowed. Meilleurtaux.ma’s objective is to negotiate rates that give customers a much larger benefit. read more

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Initial public offerings scheduled to debut next week

NEW YORK — The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week. Sources include IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital, and SEC filings.Week of Jan. 21.New Fortress Energy – New York, 22 million shares, priced $17-$19, managed by Morgan Stanley/Barclays. Proposed Nasdaq symbol: NFE. Business: Fortress-backed owner of LNG liquefaction and regasification facilities.The Associated Press

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