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Wellness Tourism in India: Blooming Opportunity or Pale Reality?

first_imgIndia seems to have created a niche for itself by becoming a preferred destination for yoga and meditation. The practices are so popularly known now that they are considered a ‘booming’ industry in the country.India is among the top five destinations for wellness services, along with China, Brazil, US, and Indonesia, according to a KMPG report on tourism industry. Acupuncture, naturopathy and Ayurveda are among the growing sectors along with yoga and meditation. A FICCI report also shows that the wellness industry in India is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 12 per cent for the next five years.However, industry professionals are wary about hailing it as a success yet, and point out that the opportunities coming their way are beset with challenges as well.“Wellness tourism in India is very unorganized and unstructured,” says Gaurav Pathak, a marketing consultant at AyurUniverse, an online aggregator of wellness centers and ayurvedic therapies. “That is because most of the centers are run by Ayurvedic doctors and yoga teachers who don’t know much about marketing. So even though we have the potential to be one of the leading wellness tourism destinations, it hasn’t been utilized in a productive manner.”Voicing a similar concern is Jasbeer Singh, the managing director of Rejuve India MediTour. Although Singh is not pessimistic about the current scenario, he adds that it isn’t looking good either. “There is huge gap between what it could be and what the industry looks like today,” he says. “There is a lot of interest in the West about Indian system of medicine such as Ayurveda and yoga has always been popular. But the potential hasn’t been tapped yet.”Compared to the global scenario, India seems to be struggling to be at par with the many of the other wellness tourism destinations. Countries such as Indonesia and Thailand are among the top destinations for wellness vacations because they seem to have struck a balance between the much-needed marketing and government programs.Recent large-scale Indian initiatives such as International Yoga Day also fall short when compared to other countries. Countries like Thailand and Indonesia are much more visible to tourists, giving them an edge over India, for which information is not that easily available.Beyond Yoga and MeditationThe wellness industry today offers much more than before, and India has expanded a bit beyond yoga and meditation. Services such as naturotherapy, traditional spas and organic diets offer more diverse experience to customers. “The most popular themes are detoxification and rejuvenation,” Pathak says. “For example, ayurvedic detoxification, particularly Panchkarma which involves removing toxins from the body, is a popular 21-day program. The objective is to bring back your body into the right shape in three weeks.”No wonder then that many people swear by the effects of Panchkarma. “I was tired of physiotherapy and medications which led to other complications,” recalls Anisha Badani. “One of my friend told me about wellness centers in India. I tried Panchakarma package and I feel much better now.”Unexplored AreasWhile India is exploring the options to offer lesser-known therapies such as Unani, which are popular among people from the Gulf, there exist areas that haven’t been adopted properly. For instance, India lacks in wellness programs related to sexual health. “As sex is such a taboo in India, people are not aware of it. So such packages are rarely created and promoted,” says Pathak.The potential in wellness industry is huge but growth has been sluggish in the country. Market experts believe that in addition to better infrastructure, steps such as vocational training and promotion of rural entrepreneurs can create a lot of difference.Now, that’s a lot of prescribed measures for rejuvenation of a drowsy industry, which aims to become the leading destination for ensuring others’ wellness. Related ItemsAyurveda spa IndiaAyurveda tourismIndia wellness tourismLittle IndiaUnani spayoga tourismlast_img read more

Countrys maiden Climbing World Cup takes to crowd-funding

first_imgMumbai, Mar 27 (PTI) Mid-last year, Indias nascent climbing sport segment scored big by winning the bid to host the International Federation of Sports Climbing (IFSC) World Cup for bouldering in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai in May 2016. But the encouraging move has not yet translated into getting state administration as well as the large corporates to open their purse-strings, forcing the organisers to seek crowd-funding to meet the huge expenses which will run to crores of rupees. Only government-run Cidco has agreed to offer its exhibition centre at Vashi for the event to be held for the first time ever. For the over 50-year-old Girivihar Adventure Club, the organisers for the meet hosted by Indian Mountaineering Federation, this was a big leap. “India is only the fourth Asian country to have bagged a Climbing World Cup and its a huge honour. It is heartening to note that Indians are slowly opening up to newer sports and sometimes it is events like this that can exponentially increase their interests,” Abhijit Burman of Girivihar told PTI over the weekend.Burman cites how for cricket, the win by Kapil Devs team in 1983, followed by co-hosting the World Cup in 1987, worked wonderfully well.Specially-made walls will be erected at an indoor facility on which the climbers will be competing for the top honours this May.The International Federation of Sports Climbing has 83 member-countries and there are eight such IFSC world cups being held across the world every year.But for the three-day extravaganza arranging finances in India has become a formidable challenge for the organisers.advertisementThe Maharashtra government-run City Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) was the first to come forth and provide the fully air-conditioned, state-of-the-art Cidco Exhibition Center at Vashi as the venue for the event.Corporate sponsors are coming forth but are shying away from large sponsorship amounts, the organisers rue. (MORE) PTI AA BEN ARS SSC SSC RDSlast_img read more

8 days ago​Boothroyd confirms Arsenal whizkid Saka on England U21 radar

first_img​Boothroyd confirms Arsenal whizkid Saka on England U21 radarby Ansser Sadiq8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAidy Boothroyd has admitted that he is keeping tabs on Bukayo Saka for the England under-21 side.The 19-year-old has burst onto the scene for the Gunners this term, as he has shown in Europa League games.He was also impressive against Manchester United in the Premier League a few weeks ago.And Boothroyd considers Saka on his radar for the time being.”He is definitely on the radar,” manager Aidy Boothroyd told reporters.”I saw him play against (Nottingham) Forest (last month). “I know what he’s all about. He’ll do well enough before long.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

‘Forget Messi, give Van Dijk the Ballon d’Or’

first_imgVirgil van Dijk deserves to beat Lionel Messi to Ballon d’Or glory, according to Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.Dutch defensive colossus Van Dijk drove Liverpool to Champions League glory, making key contributions at both ends of the pitch in a run which culminated in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid.And Koeman believes the former Celtic and Southampton man should be recognised for his inspirational role when football’s top individual awards are handed out. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the player prizes over the last decade, but Luka Modric disrupted that duopoly when his efforts for Croatia at last year’s World Cup were recognised in December.Koeman says Van Dijk would be a worthy successor as holder of the Ballon d’Or, even if he does not necessarily rate him as the world’s finest player.”He deserves to win the Ballon d’Or,” Koeman said on Monday.”It’s usually handed to players who make or create decisive goals, but if there ever is a time to give it to a defender, it is now.”No-one has completed a dribble past @VirgilvDijk in any of his last 64 appearances for us.BIG VIRG. pic.twitter.com/tiSeYTH4po— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 3, 2019Koeman was speaking in a YouTube question and answer session organised by the Dutch football federation.”In my opinion Messi is the best player,” Koeman said, “but I also think you should win big trophies with your team to be a contestant.”Van Dijk played down his own chances of landing the award following the Tottenham game, saying that Messi “deserves it as long as he plays”.Messi can point to winning another La Liga title with Barcelona, but the Catalans were beaten in the Copa del Rey final by Valencia and folded 4-0 at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, squandering their 3-0 Camp Nou advantage.Koeman would love to field Van Dijk and fellow Liverpool man Georginio Wijnaldum in Thursday’s UEFA Nations League semi-final against England.Liverpool’s post-Madrid celebrations took place on Sunday, leaving their players free to disperse for international duty.Reds players could line up in opposition this week, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson among England’s squad.Ahead of the match in Portugal, Koeman said of Van Dijk and Wijnaldum: “On Tuesday we will drink a cup of coffee and we’ll talk about it. But if it’s only up to me, they’ll play. That’s obvious.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Tate Martell Was Asked If He Hopes Dwayne Haskins Leaves For NFL

first_imgTate Martell at a practice.Two quarterbacks played for Ohio State in its 52-3 win over Rutgers today, and both impressed. Starter Dwayne Haskins and back-up Tate Martell both tore it up for the Buckeyes.Haskins has been awesome through two games for the Buckeyes. Today, he was 20-for-23 for 233 yards and four touchdowns.Obviously J.T. Barrett was a great player for Ohio State for four years. Haskins seems to give the offense another dimension with his passing ability.On the year, he is completing a shade under 80-percent of his throws for 546 yards, nine touchdowns, and just one interception.Tate Martell looked very good in relief of Dwyane Haskins today.He was a perfect 10-for-10 for 121 yards and a score. He also broke a 47 yard touchdown run, and led the team with 95 yards on eight carries.Tate Martell 47 yard TD run? pic.twitter.com/omRYMVGDBU— College Town™ (@CollegeT0wn) September 8, 2018He was 3-for-4 for 33 yards against Oregon State in Week 1.After the game, Martell was asked if he hoped that Haskins would head to the NFL after this year. His non-response response is a bit telling.Q: Do you hope Dwayne Haskins goes to the NFL after this year?Tate Martell responded only with a smile.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) September 8, 2018We’ve seen a ton of quarterbacks transfer due to losing jobs or playing time issues. If Haskins continues this type of play, the NFL very well may come calling, and Martell would be in line to start.Clearly he wants to play. As long as Ohio State has these two guys, the quarterback position is in good hands.last_img read more

Meyer Werft Lays Keel for Dream Cruises New Ship

first_imgGenting Dream at the outfitting pier, Image Courtesy: Meyer WerftGerman shipbuilder Meyer Werft officially started the construction of the second new cruise ship for Asian cruise line Dream Cruises, a part of Genting Hong Kong, with a keel laying of World Dream on January 10.During the ceremony in Papenburg, Germany, block number 3, one of 92 blocks that will eventually complete the 151,000-ton ship, was lifted into the building dock to launch the block assembly for World Dream.“After the successful debut of Genting Dream last November and the wonderful reception the ship has experienced from our guests, we are excited to start the construction process on World Dream,” Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Genting Hong Kong, said.Upon completion, the 21-deck World Dream will be able to accommodate over 3,300 guests in nearly 1,700 staterooms.The new cruise ship is scheduled to make its debut in the Asia Pacific in November of this year.Image Courtesy: Genting Hong Konglast_img read more

Helsinkis New West Terminal 2 Fully Operational

first_imgzoom The Port of Helsinki’s new West Terminal 2 officially started operations with the visit from Eckerö Line’s MS Finlandia, deployed on the Helsinki–Tallinn route, on June 12, 2017.Full operations were launched after the installation of the last missing piece, the disembarkation bridge, on the Jätkäsaari-side berth in late May.Manufactured by Spanish Adelte Ports & Maritime, the disembarkation bridge was connected to the terminal’s power supply and entered operation yesterday, when MS Finlandia docked at the West Terminal 2.In addition to Eckerö Line, the new terminal will also be used by Tallink Silja’s Megastar and Star.West Terminal 1 will continue to be used by Moby SPL’s Anastasia as well as Tallink Silja’s Europa.last_img read more

Change The Battery In Your Smoke Detector

first_imgClocks are turned back each fall, and moved ahead each spring andthat’s a good time to also change the battery in your home’ssmoke detector. Anyone who has not done it already, should replace theirbatteries this week, says Nova Scotia Fire Marshal RobertCormier. By linking the job to the changing of the clocks, peopleare more likely to remember the task. “Battery replacement is the easiest and most importantmaintenance to be done on a smoke detector yet many people neverdo it,” he said. When battery power is low, most smoke detectors emit a briefchirping sound. But Mr. Cormier said owners should not depend onthat. “Many people react to it by disconnecting the battery, with thegood intention of picking one up later in the day,” he said. “Theproblem is that the battery then gets forgotten and the detectoroffers no protection at all.” Changing the battery when the time changes will prevent mostdetectors from chirping and will ensure a high level ofprotection. Smoke detector operation should be checked once permonth.last_img read more

School Board likely open to partnerships for additional Northeast Elementary School facilities

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River North School Board will likely be open to forming partnerships with other levels of government or non-governmental organizations to add to the new two-storey elementary school on the City’s northeast side.School District #60 Superintendent Dave Sloan said that the school district is ecstatic about the June 28th announcement by the government that the district had been approved to receive funding to build the new school, which will have space for 505 Kindergarten to Grade 6 students. The Province said that plans for the new school include a neighbourhood learning centre with child care, before-and-after school care and multi-purpose spaces for community use.Sloan said that currently, the school board has not yet partnered with the City of Fort St. John about contributing funds toward the school’s construction. The City contributed $2.5 million towards the construction of the new Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray Community School’s gymnasium, which doubles as a community recreation centre. Sloan added that at present, the new school’s gymnasium is planned to be smaller than the gym at ‘Ma’ Murray, but larger than gyms at other elementary schools in the city. Despite the June announcement not including funding for the operation of a daycare at the new school, Sloan again said that the school board will most likely be open to the possibility of partnering with other organizations in order to allow such a facility to operate.“At this point, it’s so new that we have no partners to announce. I think it’s not a secret that having a sufficient number of daycare spaces for the community is a concern not just of the school district’s, but right across the community. If there’s an opportunity for us to provide and an opportunity for other organizations to partner with us, this is too good an opportunity to pass up. There’s been a lot of ‘let’s be ready in case this happens’ and now it’s happening. So now it’s a case of translating those aspirational plans into actual plans.”last_img read more

MacLeans release Canadas most dangerous places report for 2019

first_imgFort St. John is on a declining trend in crime as compared to last year when the Crime Severity Index was at 122. The Violent Crime Severity Index has dropped significantly when compared to last year’s number of 133.For the rank number, the highest number means the safest, while the lowest listed number means the most dangerous. The index is the number of incidences reported.Some of the categories include all-crime, violent crime, and youth crime.Here is how Fort St. John compares to other cities within the Peace.All Crime:Fort St. John – Rank #33 – Criminal Severity Index: 118Dawson Creek – Rank #16 – Criminal Severity Index: 148Grande Prairie – Rank #14 – Criminal Severity Index: 163Prince George – Rank #10 – Criminal Severity Index: 175Violent Crime: Fort St. John – Rank #36 – Violent Criminal Severity Index: 104Dawson Creek – Rank #31 – Violent Criminal Severity Index: 115Grande Prairie – Rank #20 – Violent Criminal Severity Index: 143Prince George – Rank #9 – Violent Criminal Severity Index: 167Youth Crime:Fort St. John – Number of Incidences: 4Dawson Creek – Number of Incidences: 0Grande Prairie – Number of Incidences: 3Prince George – Number of Incidences: 94Overall, Fort St. John ranks quite well in community safety and crime rates when compared to other neighbouring cities within the Peace.For further statistics and information, you can visit MacLean’s website FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – MacLean’s Magazine has released their annual report for Canada’s Most Dangerous Places for 2019 and Fort St. John is considered to be the safest city within the Peace.Each city, a total of 237 across Canada, was ranked based on statistics within various categories. Fort St. John’s Crime Severity Index sits at 118, with the Violent Crime Severity Index down to 104.last_img read more

True wireless hearables to touch 129 mn units by 2020

first_imgNew Delhi: The global market for true wireless hearables is expected to reach a volume of 129 million units by 2020, driven by traditional wireless headset manufacturers – Samsung and Huawei, a report by Counterpoint Research said on Friday. True wireless hearables are in-ear Bluetooth headphones that don’t have a cord connecting them either to the music device or to each other. Currently, the most-preferred hearables brand is Apple with 19 per cent share, followed by Sony with 17 per cent share and Samsung with a 16 per cent market share. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepAccording to Counterpoint’s “Emerging Technology Opportunities” (ETO) report, Apple would continue to dominate the market. The second-generation of AirPods and similar earbuds from other technology giants would be a catalyst for market growth. “Hearables have the chance to be part of a future where information and connectivity are integrated into our daily lives more than ever. Above all, personal assistants like Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa are likely to boost the market from 2019,” Liz Lee, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said in a statement. Hearables manufacturers such as Bose and Beats have a market share of 10 per cent and six per cent, respectively. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”While examining user satisfaction, usage patterns, preferences and understanding the key factors influencing purchase decisions, we verified that consumers have an increasing desire to buy hearables equipped with enhanced features including improved battery life and AI-based voice assistants,” Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research said. Players such as Samsung, Bose, Jabra, Huawei, Bragi, and LG are prevalent and would grow from a smaller base from 2018. New entrants such as Google and the likes of Amazon and Plantronics would drive the market forward, the report noted.last_img read more

US Drone Strike on Taliban Leader Seen as Message to Pakistan

Kainoelani LeeRabat – A few hours after a middle aged man used forged documents to cross from Iran to Pakistan, he was destroyed by an American drone, according to the New York Times.It is still unclear as to how the United States were able to track a white sedan with Mullah Aktar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Afghan Taliban, driving across the Baluchistan Province, but a mixture of phone intercepts as well as tips from sources proved successful. On Monday, President Obama described Mansour’s death as an “important milestone”, but the drone strike also represented the complicated relationship between the United States and Pakistan.The white house did not inform Pakistan before going forward with the operation. The drone strike occurred outside the frontier region near Afghanistan, one of the only places Pakistan has tolerated American drone strikes in the past.In the past, the C.I.A. has been used to carry out the attack instead of the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which denied Pakistan the ability to claim that they had been consulted before the operation.The official leader of the Taliban roaming freely through Pakistan and Iran gave contradiction to past Pakistani officials who have denied harboring Taliban leaders.President Obama gave no apology for the drone strike on Mansour in Pakistani territory, claiming it was a simple case of self-defense.“He is an individual who as head of the Taliban was specifically targeting U.S. personnel and troops inside of Afghanistan who are there as part of the mission I have set to maintain a counterterrorism platform and provide assistance,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. Killing Mullah Mansour, Mr. Obama said, sent a message that “we’re going to protect our people.”On Monday, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry called on David Hale, an American ambassador, to organize a protest for what it said was a “violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.” The killing of Mansour would obstruct multiparty efforts to negotiate a settlement between the Taliban and the Afghan government.“The administration is no longer worried about blowing up anything,” said Vali Nasr, a former State Department official who worked on Pakistan. “This is literally carrying out an operation, not against an Arab terrorist leader, but against a Pashtun ally of Pakistan, inside Pakistani territory.”In the few weeks prior to the incineration of Mansour, Obama had already approved of the drone strike, which made it a speedier process for the Join Special Operations Command to act quickly when intelligence found that Mansour was traveling through Baluchistan.Previously, Pakistanis had provided general information on Mansour’s location and activities, but did not provide specific details on his movements. Those details were given by American intelligence, including satellite imagery, signals intelligence and human assets.Since the 2013 death of former Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, Mansour has resisted Pakistani efforts in the willingness to take part in a peace process. Because of that, American pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Taliban leaders who seek refuge there increased.“One of the interesting questions is, ‘Does this help?’” said Vikram Singh, a former Pentagon and State Department official who is now vice president for international security at the Center for American Progress. “Mansour was bad news for any kind of peace process. He definitely came in hard line and basically pressed for a military advantage.”A senior American official said that removing Mansour from the Taliban scene, may increase incentives for the Taliban to go to the bargaining table, since Mansour was a major barrier to talks. The official specified that it could also shatter the group’s leadership.President Obama emphasized that the strike did not reflect a shift in American strategy toward Afghanistan, which is focused on training and assisting Afghan troops rather than engaging in combat, but may have implications for how the United States deals with Pakistan.“Does this amount to starting a two-track approach — working through Pakistan while using force to eliminate Taliban leaders who obstruct peace talks?” said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States. “Either way, it shows a diminishing of the Obama administration’s already diminished trust in Pakistan.”Barnett Rubin, a former senior State Department official, said that Mullah Mansour’s death was unlikely to have a significant impact on the Taliban, and that he is easily replaceable.“We killed the leader of the Taliban driving across Baluchistan in a taxi,” Rubin said. “I think we have some questions to ask of Pakistan.” read more

UPFA suspects domestic probe will have foreign hand

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) suspects the proposed domestic investigation on the war will have an international involvement.Former Foreign Minister, Professor G.L Peiris, said that a leaked UN report makes clear that the international community will be directly involved in the investigations. The former Foreign Minister also said that the UN will lead the process and will also fund it and so this shows the process is domestic only by name.He also raised concerns over a part of the leaked report which states that the implementing agencies will be the Sri Lankan Government and the Northern Provincial Council. However he said the nature of foreign assistance and the responsibilities the foreign agencies will have in the process was still not clear. “The report says the investigation will be a domestic process with foreign technical assistance,” he said at a media briefing today. “How can the Northern Provincial Council be an implementing agency. That is not acceptable. The Northern Provincial Council had raised allegations on genocide and war crimes and those very people have now been given the right to implement the investigations process,” he said.Professor G.L Peiris said that the entire investigations process on the war will have the involvement of the Tamil diaspora, the Tamil National Alliance and some international agencies with a hidden agenda. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Toronto Star defends allegations against Ford

(Update)Should Toronto newspapers have published allegations about Rob Ford, his family, and their connections to drug dealing, based on anonymous sources?The Ontario Press Council put the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail in the interview chair Monday to answer some complaints from the public. Lisa Hepfner was there and has the details.Back in May, the Star published a story about Rob Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine in a video. Then, 10 days later, there was a Globe and Mail piece about the Ford family’s history, including an allegation that Councillor Doug Ford was a well known hashish dealer in the 1980s.The Press Council says it got a lot of complaints about these stories and so Monday’s inquiry was to answer whether the papers engaged in irresponsible and unethical investigative reporting.The Toronto Star says it had to publish the story about the crack video reporters had been working on. After it appeared on the U.S. Gawker website.Kevin Dovovan, Toronto Star Reporter testified: “We saw the video three times and it was very clear. If you saw the video i can guarantee you’d reach the same conclusion. the video is real. These people were now contacting CNN and Gawker because we wouldn’t pay.”Michael Cooke, Toronto Star Editor-In-Chief said: “Connections between drug dealers, gun dealers, a crack house, and the mayor of Canada’s largest city is the definition of something that should be explored in the public interest.”The Star says it heard similar allegations for a year before hearing about the crack video. In fact, it says it was approached about buying the video after it published a story about the Mayor appearing intoxicated at a Garrison ball.Donovan: “It’s not that I didn’t believe that Mayor Ford could be involved in this, base on what I know about the gentleman. I couldn’t believe he would let himself be videotaped.”A week and a half after the Star story, the Globe published a story about Ford family drug connections that date back to the 80s. But the paper says it had been working on the story for 18 months.Globe and Mail News Editor Sinclair Stewart: “Part of the public interest that we had published about Doug Ford deals with presenting a composite picture of a family, many of whose members have had extensive history with drugs and with criminal elements around drugs.”He says it would be irresponsible to keep those facts from the public.Both papers say that there stories represent the highest standards of journalism possible. All those facts were checked and rechecked by editors. And they say there’s still more to report. There’s the Project Traveller rage that went on with Toronto police Chief Bill Blair refusing to clear the Mayor in any of those allegations. But there is more to reportthey say, but they will publish the results of the press council once they are made available. It should be in the next month or so. 00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 read more

Liberal platform projects deficits of over 20 billion per year for four

OTTAWA — If the Liberals are re-elected in three weeks, they plan to run annual deficits of more than $20 billion for the next four years — even after introducing revenue measures including a new 3 per cent tax on “multinational tech giants” and a new 10 per cent tax on luxury cars, boats and personal aircraft.The deficits, outlined in the full Liberal platform released on Sunday, are built on billions in new spending, as well as a large tax cut that raises the basic personal exemption on income taxes to $15,000 for those making less than $147,667 annually. That cut will cost the treasury $5.6 billion when fully implemented in 2023-24.The platform also includes a new promise to increase Canada Student Grants by up to $1,200 more per year and to give students a two-year grace period after graduation. It will cost $1.4 billion when fully implemented in 2023-24.It does not, however, include the cost for universal pharmacare, or a timeline for implementing it. The Liberals have instead promised $6 billion in health care promises over four years, which includes holding negotiations with provinces on setting up pharmacare. The Liberals’ advisory panel has estimated universal pharmacare would cost $15 billion annually when fully implemented.The Liberal platform was released with costing provided by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The plan calls for a deficit of $27.4 billion in 2020-21, and deficits for the following three years of $23.7 billion, $21.8 billion, and $21 billion, respectively.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Those numbers are all significantly higher than in this year’s spring budget, which projected a $19.7 billion deficit in 2020-21, falling to $9.8 billion by 2023-24. (All the deficit numbers, including in the platform, have a $3 billion risk-cushion built in.)The platform adds a total of $31.5 billion in new debt over the four years, as compared to a PBO projection of government finances done this summer. There is no projection for getting back to a balanced budget.Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, speaking in Mississauaga, Ont., emphasized the Liberals are focused on giving relief to lower-income and middle-class Canadians, not the wealthy. When asked about having no plan to balance the budget, he attacked the Conservative Party.“The Conservatives are the ones obsessed with balancing the budget on the backs of services offered to Canadians, on the backs of education, on the backs of our healthcare system,” he said. “We’re making this year, for the next four years, a very different choice. We are choosing to invest in people and in their communities, and at the same time stay responsible so that our debt-to-GDP ratio continues to decrease every single year.”Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has said that if elected, his government would take five years to balance the budget.Although our economy is growing strongly, we need to be prepared for what may lie aheadUnder the Liberal plan, the debt-to-GDP ratio will inch downward from 30.9 per cent in 2020-21 to 30.2 per cent in 2023-24. It notes Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio is “less than half of the EU average, and less than a third of where the United States is right now.”The Liberals also say their plan “includes a number of conservative assumptions, which do not account for faster economic growth over the last number of months.”Ralph Goodale, co-chair of the Liberal platform committee, insisted the budget has enough prudence built into it to handle potential downturns.“Although our economy is growing strongly, we need to be prepared for what may lie ahead,” he told reporters on Sunday. “Our historically low net-debt-to-GDP ratio combined with growth that is even higher than projected in Budget 2019 means that our approach is working, and that we will be in a position to absorb the shocks that may come our way unpredictably.”NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, speaking from Burnaby, B.C., argued Canadians shouldn’t believe what’s in the platform. “They talk a lot, say a lot of nice promises, say a lot of pretty words, but in the end it’s empty promises and they hurt people,” Singh said, pointing to the decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline as one example.Conservative leader Andrew Scheer did not make public remarks on Sunday, but the Conservatives put out a release saying Trudeau’s “campaign promises added to his existing deficits will pile on $100 billion of new debt to the books.”“Justin Trudeau’s never-ending spending will threaten the quality of our health and social programs,” the release said. “He will be forced to raise taxes to pay for his endless debt and deficits…Further, by reaching $823 billion in total debt, Trudeau will spend $35 billion on interest payments alone. That’s $35 billion that will not go to Canadians’ priorities.”The Liberal platform has new revenue measures that will provide $5.2 billion in 2020-21, rising to $7.2 billion by 2023-24. However, the cost estimates come with “high uncertainty,” the PBO says, due to the difficulty of collecting the right data and predicting behavioural responses.The new revenue includes a 10 per cent tax on luxury cars, boats and personal aircraft over $100,000, estimated to raise $585 million in 2020-21. A 1 per cent real estate speculation tax that will “put in place a consistent national tax on vacant residential properties owned by non-Canadians who don’t live in Canada” projects to raise $217 million in 2020-21.The platform promises to ensure “multinational tech giants pay corporate tax on the revenue they generate in Canada,” estimated to bring in $540 million in 2020-21. The new 3 per cent tax targets “targeted advertising services and digital intermediation services,” according to the PBO, and would hit companies that take in at least $1 billion worldwide and at least $40 million in Canada.A promise to “crack down on corporate tax loopholes that allow companies to excessively deduct debt to artificially reduce the tax they pay” is estimated to raise $1.7 billion in 2020-21.Related In GTA swing ridings where national campaigns dominate, candidates prepare for close races — just in case On the campaign trail in Toronto’s inner suburbs, Doug Ford and firearms are on voters’ minds A review of government spending and tax expenditures “to ensure that wealthy Canadians do not benefit from unfair tax breaks” is estimated to raise $2 billion in 2020-21, rising to $3 billion in 2023-24. This includes a promise to “modernize anti-avoidance rules to stop large multinational companies from being able to shop for lower tax rates by constructing complex schemes between countries.”The platform also includes “additional federal corporate income tax revenues” from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project of $125 million in 2021-22 and $500 million in each of the next two years. “This money, as well as any profit from the sale of the pipeline, will be invested in natural climate solutions and clean energy projects that will power our homes, businesses, and communities for generations to come,” the platform says.The largest spending measures in the platform are the income tax cut (costing $2.9 billion in 2020-21), increasing the Old Age Security benefit by 10 per cent ($1.6 billion) and a 15 per cent increase in the Canada Child Benefit for children under the age of one ($777 million).• Email: bplatt@postmedia.com | Twitter: read more

Creative ways needed to break impasse in Middle East Annan says

Expressing concern about the “tragedy” unfolding in the Middle East, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for new approaches to ending the stalemate in peace efforts and, in that context, stressed the importance of a recent statement by Saudi Arabia. “I think it is important that we find some creative ways of breaking the impasse and getting the people back to the table,” Mr. Annan told reporters in London in response to questions. “The statement from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was an important one which also should be factored in as we try to come forward with ideas to break the impasse.” Recent peace initiatives for the Middle East were among the topics discussed by the Secretary-General during a meeting today with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Their talks also covered Afghanistan, Iraq and the India-Pakistan dispute. In addition, they touched on preparations for the upcoming UN conferences on financing for development and on sustainable development. Those preparations were also on the agenda during a joint meeting Mr. Annan held with British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Following his meeting with Prime Minister Blair, the Secretary-General attended a working luncheon hosted by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, where they discussed Afghanistan, the Middle East, Zimbabwe, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Georgia. The Secretary-General then inaugurated the new offices of the United Kingdom Department for International Development, where he met with the Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short. They discussed peace efforts in Africa, particularly in the Sudan, Angola and the DRC. In addition, their talks covered levels of official development assistance, the security situation in Afghanistan, forthcoming elections in Sierra Leone and the Maoist uprising in Nepal. Also today, Mr. Annan met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. They discussed inter-faith dialogue to support peace and combat the spread of AIDS. read more

Chief of UN refugee agency will make 10day visit to Sudan Chad

People fleeing a 21-year civil war in southern Sudan have spread into Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Central African Republic (CAR), Egypt and Eritrea, while from strife-torn Sudan’s Darfur region some 200,000 refugees have poured into 12 camps in eastern Chad, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.High Commissioner António Guterres will first go to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to meet senior officials from the Government and UN agencies before leaving next day for Darfur to visit camps for IDPs and to meet officials from the inter-governmental African Union (AU) and local government, it said. Over the border in eastern Chad, he will visit two of the refugee camps and talk to Chadian Government leaders before heading to southern Sudan to look at preparations for the returning refugees, including school and hospital rehabilitation and land mine removal.In Kenya he will also discuss the situation with senior Government officials and visit the Kakuma refugee camp, returning the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva on Thursday, 1 September.During his first mission as High Commissioner in June, Mr. Guterres went toUganda which has been hosting 204,400 southern Sudanese refugees, visited some of their settlements and discussed with them their hopes and fears for their repatriation. read more

Measure of future health of US economy slips 02 per cent in

by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Aug 20, 2015 8:56 am MDT Last Updated Aug 20, 2015 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Measure of future health of US economy slips 0.2 per cent in July after 4 strong gains WASHINGTON – An index designed to predict the future health of the U.S. economy declined slightly in July yet still pointed to modest growth in the months ahead.The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators dropped 0.2 per cent in July, after healthy gains of 0.6 per cent in both June and May.The index “is still pointing to moderate economic growth through the remainder of the year,” Ataman Ozyildirim, director of growth research at the Conference Board, said. July’s decline was primarily driven by a sharp fall in building permits.The leading index is composed of 10-forward pointing indicators. Seven of the 10 indicators advanced in July while two — building permits and stock prices — declined. One indicator, average weekly manufacturing hours, was unchanged.Building permits had risen sharply in the previous three months ahead of the expiration of a tax incentive in New York. Once that tax break ended, building permits for apartment buildings fell sharply last month.The decline in the index “is much less important than it appears, because it all reflects the plunge in building permits,” Ian Shepherdson, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note to clients.Yet developers are breaking ground on more new homes. Single-family home construction rose in July to its fastest pace since the Great Recession began in late 2007, the government said Tuesday.And on Thursday, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes jumped to an eight-year high last month. Low mortgage rates and steady job gains are driving a recovery in housing.The indicators that improved last month included weekly applications for unemployment benefits, new orders received by factories for consumer goods, and an index measuring the availability of credit. read more

Ohio States Draft Class Is The Most Impressive In Modern NFL History

1988Oklahoma13 151.2 1944Notre Dame13 1946Notre Dame16 1981Pittsburgh12 1945Notre Dame15 1987Penn State13 2004Ohio State14 2008USC10107.1 2015Florida State11101.7 2012Alabama898.7 1971Ohio State13 Source: Pro-football-reference.com 1944Texas12 1947UCLA9103.1 1954Notre Dame12 POSITIONPLAYEROVERALL SELECTIONDRAFT VALUE 2016Ohio State12 1988Miami (FL)12 1982Texas12 1940USC9100.3 Schools with more than a dozen players chosen in one year 1968USC11122.2 1944USC12 2002Miami (FL)11103.3 OLBDarron Lee2015.5 1977USC13 TENick Vannett945.7 2010Oklahoma7112.9 2006USC11102.8 1975USC14 Given all that, it wasn’t a surprise that Ohio State produced a top-notch draft class in 2016. What is surprising is that it’s the most impressive draft class in modern history. At the most basic level, there were just a lot of Buckeyes taken in the draft. Twelve Ohio State players were selected during the 2016 NFL draft, the 25th time a school has had such a distinction. And, in fact, it’s the fourth time Ohio State has sent at least a dozen players to the pros via the NFL draft:But although Ohio State was not exactly hurting in the quantity department, the quality of those picks sets the team apart. Consider, for example, that although the Texas Longhorns had 17 players drafted in 1984, eight of those players were selected with the 180th pick or later; conversely, all 12 Ohio State players were selected in the first four rounds, with Jones being the last pick at number 139. Using the draft value chart, which assigns the average marginal approximate value produced by each draft pick, we can give more weight to the best picks to provide a more accurate measure of class strength. Here is how many points of draft value were used on each Ohio State player in the 2016 draft: 1950Minnesota13 Total 1987Miami (FL)7108.1 2006Ohio State9111.5 WRMichael Thomas4710.1 WRBraxton Miller856.3 YEARSCHOOLPICKS FSVonn Bell618.4 Using this methodology, the best draft class between the 1970 merger and this year came out of Miami in 2004. And yet this class beat that mark by 31.7 percent! That Hurricanes draft was great, with Sean Taylor (fifth overall), Kellen Winslow Jr. (sixth), Jonathan Vilma (12th), D.J. Williams (17th), Vernon Carey (19th) and Vince Wilfork (21st) all selected in the first round. But after those six players, Miami didn’t have another player drafted until the seventh round. By contrast, the Buckeyes had five first-round picks, two more in the second round, three in the third and two more in the fourth. As a result, it stands out as the most impressive draft class in modern history. ILBJoshua Perry1025.1 1952Maryland12 1984Texas17 1967Michigan State8113.7 2016Ohio State12151.2 DEJoey Bosa327.6 1942Texas10100.6 DTAdolphus Washington806.7 1975Nebraska12 RBEzekiel Elliott425.8 1955Notre Dame9128.8 1974UCLA12 CBEli Apple1019.9 1975Ohio State13 2004MiamI (FL)9114.8 1993Notre Dame9114.0 Incredibly, Ohio State had five players drafted in the top 20 and another five in the top 100. As a result, a total of 151.2 points of draft value was used on Buckeyes players. That’s the most — by a very large margin — in 70 years. The table below shows the top 25 draft classes as measured by points of draft value used to select players: 1946Notre Dame16170.4 1954Notre Dame12121.7 Source: Pro-football-reference.com 1976Colorado12 1950Notre Dame12 1981Pittsburgh12106.2 The 2016 Ohio State draft class is amazing Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 1953USC15 OTTaylor Decker1616.9 1945Notre Dame15126.2 Coach Urban Meyer came to Columbus in 2012, and the Ohio State football team has been outstanding from the moment he arrived. In his first season, the Buckeyes went 12-0, although the team was ineligible for a bowl game or postseason play. In 2013, the team began 12-0 again before being upset by Michigan State in the Big 10 championship game. Two seasons ago, Ohio State won the national championship, going 12-1 in the regular season and defeating Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon in the postseason behind third-string quarterback Cardale Jones. And last season, Ohio State’s only loss came as time expired against Michigan State in late November. YEARTEAMNUMBER OF PICKSDRAFT VALUE 1948Alabama6103.8 1939TCU6100.1 1977USC13113.9 QBCardale Jones1393.2 2000Tennessee9102.6 read more