Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari is at the receiving end of the ire of political parties, which have demanded an increase in financial relief to nearly one crore rain-affected farmers in Maharashtra. On a day the Supreme Court criticised the State government for not implementing the previously announced assistance for the rain-hit Sangli and Kolhapur regions, the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday demanded that the norms set by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) be expanded to give more help to farmers. By the end of the day, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had joined the chorus for a hike in compensation, along with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which demanded the relief amount be matched to the ₹50,000 given by the Delhi government. Sources in the Governor’s office said the package announced last week is already beyond what is recommended by the NDRF norms. The Governor on Saturday announced ₹8,000 per hectare up to two hectares for agricultural Kharif crops and ₹18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture/ perennial crops. This is a hike from the ₹6,800 per hectare suggested for agricultural Kharif crops, and an increase in the upper limit in all categories from ₹16,800 to ₹18,000. “The declared amount is already hiked and there is little margin for more improvement,” an official from the Governor’s office said. The Shiv Sena has demanded that the amount be hiked to ₹25,000 per hectare. The party held a protest outside Parliament on Monday, while an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamana, criticised the Governor for the “low” amount. The Congress and NCP, too, have demanded compensation of more than ₹20,000. The AAP has gone a step ahead. Preeti Sharma Menon, national executive member of the party, said, “The Governor has announced ₹8,000 and ₹18,000 per hectare for Kharif crops and horticulture crops respectively, which is a pittance when compared to ₹50,000 per hectare, the highest in the country awarded by the AAP government in Delhi. The AAP demands that given the large-scale devastation of the Kharif crops due to unseasonal rain, the government declare ₹50,000 per acre as compensation for farmers immediately.”Senior officials said the assessment of the crop damage took time due to the model code of conduct being in place for the Assembly elections. This after aA Cabinet sub-committee headed by the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had approved ₹10,000 crore to provide immediate assistance to farmers. But the decision could not be formalised with the imposition of President’s Rule. According to an official estimate, major damage has been to corn, millet, and cotton crops. Senior officials said the overall relief package is worth near ₹8,000 crore to cover crop damage spread over 89 lakh hectares in Vidarbha, Marathwada, and parts of western Maharashtra.
The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) will be rolling out its home-school relationship programme, ‘Stay Connected’, in three St. James-based high schools this academic year. This will be used to ascertain the level of parental involvement in students’ school life. The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) will be rolling out its home-school relationship programme, ‘Stay Connected’, in three St. James-based high schools this academic year.In an interview with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer at the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, said the high schools will be selected after conducting a comprehensive analysis of the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) report.This will be used to ascertain the level of parental involvement in students’ school life.“We have the Stay Connected Programme in several high schools, and we intend now to add a few high schools in Montego Bay this year. We will select the high schools based on the NEI report that looks at what the parental involvement has been in particular schools, and we will use that to determine which three schools to add to the list of high schools where we have that programme in other regions,” she explained.Ms. Kerr pointed out that the programme aims to empower parents with helpful tips on how to understand and handle the developmental issues associated with adolescence and maintaining a good relationship with their children throughout high school.“We know that the exit exams for primary schools have become high-stake exams. Parents give a lot of support, especially at grade six. They want their children to go to their school of choice… and they [parents] are there every day staking out school compounds in support of their children… but there is a gradual waning of support when students enter high school,” she noted.Ms. Kerr emphasised that this critical stage is when parents “must stick with their children” to discourage maladaptive behaviours.The pilot for the Stay Connected initiative was launched in 2015 in three high schools – Norman Manley, Holy Trinity and Spanish Town – and has since expanded to include Dinthill Technical High and Papine High schools.The programme is held in conjunction with the Commission’s Parent Mentorship programme, which provides support for guardians in positive parenting techniques through parent mentors. Story Highlights In an interview with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer at the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, said the high schools will be selected after conducting a comprehensive analysis of the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) report.
zoom John Fredriksen-controlled tanker owner and operator Frontline has reached an agreement to buy two very large crude carrier (VLCC) resales from South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).Purchased at a price of USD 77.5 million a piece, the new 300,000 dwt VLCCs are scheduled for delivery in September and October 2017.The company unveiled the purchase as part of its financial report, saying that the VLCC resales were bought at “historically low prices without adding to the size of the global fleet.”“The company has already initiated dialogues with banks to finance our two newly acquired resale VLCCs and are confident that we will be able to secure financing at attractive terms,” Inger M. Klemp, Chief Financial Officer of Frontline Management AS, said.Through the year ended December 31, 2016, Frontline saw its net income increase to USD 177 million from USD 154.6 million reported in the previous year, while its net income for the fourth quarter fell to USD 18.3 million from USD 58.5 million seen in the same quarter in 2015.Earlier in 2017 Frontline approached crude oil tanker company DHT Holdings with a proposal for a possible business combination whereby the company would acquire DHT in a stock-for-stock transaction, which was declined by DHT’s board.In February, the company presented an improved and final offer of 0.80 Frontline shares per DHT share, which was also declined by DHT’s board.“As DHT’s largest shareholder we are surprised that DHT’s Board has declined our repeated attempts to discuss a business combination that we believe is clearly in the best interest of all shareholders,” Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, said.Frontline informed that the improvement in crude tanker rates in the fourth quarter was attributable to seasonality as well as a strong increase in OPEC volumes ahead of the implementation of production cuts.The company added that it remains of the opinion that 2017 will see pressure on freight rates as further newbuildings are delivered.
On November 13th 2017, LOUIS XIII Cognac premiered “100 Years” – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care – a unique musical composition created by Pharrell Williams that will not be released until 2117.Pharrell – #IfwecareLOUIS XIII partnered with Pharrell on this innovative project due to a shared dedication to environmental issues. The original song is a creative expression of the delicate relationship between nature and time, and the effect humans have on their environment. Each decanter of LOUIS XIII represents the life achievement of generations of cellar masters, so LOUIS XIII must always think a century ahead.Pharrell’s exclusive track was recorded onto a record made of clay from the chalky soil of the Cognac region, and stored in the cellars of LOUIS XIII in a state-of-the-art safe specially designed by Fichet-Bauche that is only destructible when submerged in water. If sea levels continue to rise at such an alarming rate due to climate change, scientists project that in 100 years, a significant portion of the world’s land might be underwater. The only way to guarantee this original piece of music will be heard again in 2117, one century from now, is if we address the tragic consequences of global warming – if we do not change our way of living, future generations will never be able to hear this song. “100 Years” by Pharrell Williams will be out in 2117, but only #Ifwecare.“I love the fact that LOUIS XIII thinks a century ahead,” said Pharrell Williams. “We should all do the same for the planet. We have a common interest in preserving nature for the future. Each bottle is the life achievement of generations of men and women. It’s all about legacy and transmission.” Pharrell has long been passionate about preserving our environment and how important human action is to addressing climate change.“100 Years” premiered during a private listening party in Shanghai, where Pharrell presented the song one time only. The one hundred lucky guests in attendance were not allowed to record the once-in-a-lifetime experience, so the song remains a secret for the next century. LOUIS XIII and Pharrell aimed to inspire these guests to take action and motivate others to get involved in the international effort to curb global warming.“We are incredibly proud of this innovative project,” said Ludovic du Plessis, Global Executive Director of LOUIS XIII. “Nature and time are at the heart of what we do. If the environment is unstable, even the greatest cellar master would not be able to compose the exceptional blend that is LOUIS XIII. Global Warming is one of the most important issues of the 21st century; with 100 Years – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care, we hope to inspire people around the world to take action.”In 2015, LOUIS XIII partnered with renowned actor and creative visionary John Malkovich to create “100 Years: The Movie You Will Never See,” a thought-provoking artistic work that explores the relationship of past, present, and future. “100 Years” – The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care – was previewed in Shanghai on November 13th, 2017. For more information, visit the brand website – WWW.LOUISXIII-COGNAC.COM.GLOBAL WARMING LOUIS XIII was founded in 1874 by Paul Emile Rémy Martin and is the pure result of the genius of its creators: the environment and generations of owners and cellar masters. Mother Nature is at the heart of what we do: without her full balance and wellness, the greatest cellar masters or vineyards would not be able to grow and assemble the exceptional blend of up to 1200 eaux-de-vies that compose each LOUIS XIII decanter. Like Paul Emile Rémy Martin, André Giraud, Georges Clot and Pierrette Trichet did in the past; today’s Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau is setting aside our finest eaux-de-vie as a legacy to his successors, for the coming century.Following the event in Shanghai, LOUIS XIII Cognac will launch an international tour in major cities all around the world in order to raise awareness and funds for environmental organizations through charity dinners. Through these events, LOUIS XIII will directly support associations dedicated to curbing climate change on a local level.Thanks to the gift of our Grande Champagne Terroir where LOUIS XIII soil and vines are nestling, each decanter is the life achievement of generations of cellar masters. From its birth in 1874 to the Universal Exhibition in Paris, or by accompanying the royal dynasties of Europe, LOUIS XIII was a privileged observer of the 20th century. Today, it is only natural that we care deeply about our environment and work to serve as a flag bearer to address this major issue of the 21st century. Where protecting our terroir is a day-by-day necessity, to think a century ahead has been the core tenet of our philosophy since LOUIS XIII was founded, as the cellar master must set aside the finest eaux-de-vie as a legacy to his successors for the coming century. Preparing the legacy we will leave behind for future generations is an integral part of our brand DNA and our involvement in the international effort to combat climate change is not only legitimate, it is imperative.The Remy Cointreau Group, including LOUIS XIII, has long been dedicated to the international effort to curb global warming. The group joined the United Nations “Global Compact” environmental organization 14 years ago, and has been a member of the U.N.‘s elite “Global Compact Advanced” since 2014. The group is dedicated to contributing to the international effort with its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, within the U.N. environmental framework. Taking action to help battle climate change is one of the main objectives of the 2020 program, with one of its goals being to reduce the group’s greenhouse gases and carbon footprint. Top priorities of this program include sustainable wine-growing practices, energy efficiency, eco-friendly packaging, optimization of product shipments and forest conservation. Given its niche production, LOUIS XIII contributes to a very small CO2 emission.“As a company, we must do the best we can every day to make the world a better place,” explained Ludovic du Plessis, Global Executive Director of LOUIS XIII. ” But no single person or brand can stop global warming on their own – it must come from the unified global actions of all people around the world. Together we are much stronger than any person or brand is on their own. This is not about any one city or country but the future of our planet as a whole. Our concern is not primarily for Cognac, but for every city around the world.”
Photo Courtesy: NewYork Times Advertisement According to the latest figures compiled by International Data Corporation (IDC); a global technology research and consulting services firm, show’s Africa’s smartphone revolution showing signs of a slowdown.According to IDC, the continent’s smartphone market totaled 95.37 million units in 2016. And while this is up 3.4% year on year, it represents a considerable deceleration from the double-digit growth rates seen in the previous two years, with demand being hampered by the currency fluctuations that are affecting the continent.Overall, 215.33 million mobile handsets were shipped in Africa during 2016, up 10.1% on the previous year. However, it was feature phones that were largely responsible for this growth, with shipments increasing 16.1% year on year in 2016 to total 119.97 million units. This growth saw feature phones increase their unit share of Africa’s overall handset market from 53% in 2015 to 56% in 2016. – Advertisement – “Africa has always been a tough market for mobile phone companies to crack, and in 2016 that challenge got even harder,” Simon Baker, program Director for mobile devices at IDC CEMA said in a press statement. “Many African economies struggled throughout 2016, and this had an inevitable knock-on effect on the smartphone market, which had previously experienced a very strong 2015. And while North African markets saw an increase in overall handset shipments in 2016, the pace of growth slowed year on year due to exchange-rate fluctuations in Egypt and security issues in Algeria,” Baker adds.Samsung continued to lead the African smartphone market in 2016, largely through a reworked product portfolio that now includes more mid- to low-range models.However, at 28 million units, its 2016 smartphone shipments in Africa showed little growth from the figures recorded in 2015.The second-placed smartphone vendor was Transsion, widely known throughout Africa via its itel, Infinix, and Tecno brands. And in terms of feature phone shipments, Transsion comfortably outperformed its main competitors in 2016.[related-posts]Chinese vendors have been showing more interest in the African market in recent quarters and expanding into new countries. However, this expansion strategy is delivering mixed results across the continent. Of the big international Chinese vendors, Huawei posted year-on-year shipment growth to remain as Africa’s number-three smartphone vendor in 2016, while Lenovo saw flat growth and ZTE and Alcatel both suffered slight declines.“Price competitiveness has become a key issue in many African markets,” says Ramazan Yavuz, Research Manager for mobile devices in Africa at IDC CEMA. “To grow significantly in these markets, vendors have to be able to address the continent’s large low-income population by providing phones that are priced very competitively. As such, global vendors are cautious of the lower-priced Chinese brands now entering the market and are keeping a close eye on them,” Ramazan adds.3G handsets continue to account for more than half of all new smartphone shipments in Africa, although 4G devices saw year-on-year growth of more than 50% in 2016.IDC is predicting that 4G handsets will account for more than half of new smartphone shipments in Africa by 2018, as prices for entry-level 4G phones drop and the number of 4G networks across the continent grows.