first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The West Indies Cricket Board has branded the CARICOM Governance Review Panel’s main recommendation for it to be dissolved as an “unnecessary and intrusive demand”, and has flat out rejected the controversial proposal. In a strongly-worded reply to the CARICOM Governance Review Panel’s report in which it also defended its stewardship, the board dismissed the recommendation as “impractical” and said the panel would have been better served focusing on “the need for growing private-public partnerships at the local and regional levels in the interest of West Indies cricket development going forward.” The panel was commissioned by CARICOM’S Prime Ministerial Committee on Cricket and chaired by UWI Cave Hill Campus principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau. It also comprised Sir Dennis Byron, president of the Caribbean Court of Justice; West Indies cricket legend Deryck Murray; Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank; and Dwain Gill, president of the Grenada Cricket Association. The major recommendation of the report called for the “immediate dissolution” of the WICB and the appointment of an interim board “whose structure and composition will be radically different from the now proven, obsolete governance framework” However, the WICB criticised the panel’s investigations as “limited in scope” and said this had “triggered findings and recommendations … which are not supported by the facts.” “The presidents of the Territorial Boards expressed concern that neither they, nor members of their respective Boards were interviewed or consulted by the Panel,” the WICB report said. “Additionally, none of the independent directors were interviewed by the Panel. This failure to consult with a representative variety of local cricket administrators and operators meant, or had the consequence of denying the Panel a full opportunity of ascertaining the key facts. “This has caused or triggered findings and recommendations by the panel which are not supported by the facts.” The Board also contended that its dissolution was also not legally viable and such an action also carried with it major financial ramifications. “The dissolution of the Board is simply not a viable legal or practical option and carries a major financial risk which the panel either ignored or was unaware of,” the WICB stressed.last_img read more

first_imgA new Y Combinator funded startup called GraffitiGeo has just launched with a fresh spin on user-generated reviews. The mobile application is somewhat like a mashup of review site Yelp, mobile social network Foursquare, and social news site Digg. The Digg-like element of the application is the easiest piece to use: like that restaurant? Vote it up. You can also leave more detailed comments to go along with your vote, if you so choose. To encourage people to participate in the “game” aspect to the app, GraffitiGeo also introduces a point system whose concept is borrowed from mobile app Foursquare…but is a bit more confusing. What’s more interesting than the mobile application launching now is the second GraffitiGeo app which is right around the corner. The next app will be an augmented reality application for the iPhone which takes the above elements and layers them over your iPhone’s viewfinder.Yelp + Digg + Foursquare = GraffitiGeo GraffitiGeo’s first mobile application will initially suffer from all the usual problems of sites and services that rely on user-generated reviews. Until enough people start using the service, there won’t be much value to it. While the concept behind the mobile review app is solid, its focus primarily on restaurants at the moment means it’s not likely to attract a large user base right off the bat. There are already a large number of mobile restaurant applications out there, not to mention there’s Yelp, which does restaurant reviews and a lot more. The GraffitiGeo team acknowledges they have competition in this area, but are quick to point out the others’ shortcomings. For example, Yelp reviews are too long – especially in “the day and age of Twitter,” they write on their blog. They also incorporate the Digg-like voting element for fast rankings (which Yelp does not), offer Facebook Connect integration for easy sign in, introduce nifty heatmaps to highlight the hotspots, and let you leave a comment with only 2 taps (Yelp takes 5-6). In short, they feel they’ve designed an application specifically for the mobile platform where Yelp just ported their successful website to mobile instead. The Digg-like voting aspect is probably the app’s killer feature. Instead of star ratings or lengthy reviews, you can simply vote “thumbs up” in order to rate a restaurant positively or a “thumbs down” if you’re not so pleased. This ease-of-use makes the barrier to entry that much lower and could encourage more participation from casual users.Another element to GraffitiGeo is the game aspect. This may or may not be a plus, in our opinion. With inspiration obviously borrowed from mobile social network/game Foursquare, GraffitiGeo awards points for any activity, whether that’s a vote, a comment, or anything else. After reaching 100 points (aka “street cred”), you can start or join a “mob.” Not a violent mob, of course, just a “mob.” Mobs can claim territories which, in turn, unlocks more features in the application. There are also badges which can be earned. The entire setup is explained here. It’s a bit complex and frankly, we’re not sure if this is the sort of app that needs a gameplay element. If you’re trying to find out if a restaurant is worth trying out, you’re probably more interested in reading reviews and checking ratings than you are in playing with a bunch of online friends. Even Better: An Augmented Reality VersionThe real trick up GraffitiGeo’s sleeve, however, is the app that’s yet to come. Basically, the next app from GraffitiGeo is an augmented reality version of what’s described above. That sounds much more appealing, to be honest. With the iPhone’s viewfinder, you scan the restaurant in question and GraffitiGeo comments will float across your screen. What’s really cool about the AR app, though, is that you don’t necessarily have to have a restaurant in the viewfinder to see these ratings. Because the app is location-based, it knows what’s nearby. In the demo, they aim the app down the street from where they’re standing and GraffitiGeo displays the ratings for all the restaurants on that block. If you’re ever just wandering around looking for a place to eat, this could be a real timesaver. We imagine you’ll then be able to interact with the app in other ways, too, but that’s hard to tell from the YouTube video demo. GraffitiGeo’s first effort may or may not be worth your time, especially considering its already robust competition, but the AR app definitely looks worth the wait. Tags:#Features#mobile#Product Reviews#web sarah perez Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

first_imgBrazil took time to break down an ultra-defensive North Korea but eventually ran away 2-0 victors to qualify for the knock-out round of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Kochi on Tuesday.North Korea, who lost their opening match to Niger 0-1, played majority part of the Group D match in their own half often placing all the 10 outfield players behind the ball as their opponents were the overwhelming favourites to win the game.The relentless attack from the tournament favourites, however, proved too much for the Asian side as their defence wilted under pressure after the hour mark.Brazil, who had defeated Spain 1-0 in their opening marquee match, scored through Lincoln (56th) and Paulinho (61st) to take full three points and qualify for the round of 16 with one match to spare.Photo Credit: FIFA On the other hand, North Korea have a tall task of beating another tournament favourites Spain in their final group match to have any chance of progressing to the knock-out stage.As expected, Brazil kept on attacking from the word go but the North Koreans found a way out to thwart the attempts of the Brazil offensive trio of Lincoln, Paulinho and Brenner.After conceding the first goal, North Korea opened up their game and they had a couple of chances towards the end but could not convert them.The first half was completely dominated by Brazil who had 73 per cent possession and 14 shots. But the Brazillian forwards were a bit erratic as only three shots were on target.advertisementBrazil overall had 70 per cent possession in the match with 27 shots out of which eight were on target.Brazil had a chance to surge ahead as early as the second minute but Lincoln’s right footed shot from the centre of the box off a Brenner assist was saved by goalkeeper S Tae Song who was a busy man throughout the match.In the 18th minute, Paulinho had an attempt from a difficult angle but again the goalkeeper was upto the task.Brazil kept on attacking but either their shots could not either clear the crowded legs of the Koreans or they missed the target.The goal finally came in the 56th minute with Lincoln heading in from the right side of the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the net following a set piece situation.Five minutes later, Brazil made it 2-0 after a nice build-up weaving through the North Korean defence. Brenner sent a perfect through ball for Paulinho to send a beautiful left-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner of the net.North Korea, who were forced to open up in the later part of the match, made one late attempt at the Brazil goal without any success.In the 83rd minute, Kim Pom Hyoks right-footed shot was saved by keeper G Brazao.last_img read more

first_imgStory Highlights Turning to the irrigation systems, he said the $100 million will go towards the rehabilitation of irrigation systems to improve delivery of water to farms, geared at enhancing Jamaica’s agricultural productivity and food security. This was disclosed by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during the 2018/19 Throne Speech in Parliament on February 15. A total of $220 million will be spent by the Government on two programmes geared at expanding and improving the island’s water capacity infrastructure. A total of $220 million will be spent by the Government on two programmes geared at expanding and improving the island’s water capacity infrastructure.The projects are the construction and maintenance of rural water systems, valued at $120 million; and the rehabilitation of irrigation systems, costing $100 million.This was disclosed by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during the 2018/19 Throne Speech in Parliament on February 15.He said the $120 million will be spent on the repair and upgrading of rural water systems, including catchment tank rehabilitation and rainwater harvesting.Turning to the irrigation systems, he said the $100 million will go towards the rehabilitation of irrigation systems to improve delivery of water to farms, geared at enhancing Jamaica’s agricultural productivity and food security.He said in the new fiscal year, the Administration will continue to implement several projects and programmes to expand capacity and infrastructure, protect revenue, regularise service and users, and protect water sources.The Governor-General noted that the Government continues to work towards the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.The Throne Speech was delivered under the theme ‘Continuing on the Path to Prosperity’.last_img read more

first_imgKottayam (Ker): Voting in the by-election to the Pala Assembly constituency here began on Monday with nearly 24 per cent votes being cast by 11 a.m. As many as 13 candidates are in the fray in the constituency having a total of 1,79,107 voters. “At 11 a.m, 24.14 per cent votes have been cast. Till now, there are no untoward incidents in the constituency. Polling is going on smoothly,” an Election Commission official from Kottayam district told PTI. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh The by-election was necessitated due to the death of former Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani, who hadheld the constituency for more than five decades. While the ruling LDF has fielded it’s ally, NCP’s leader, Mani C Kappen as its candidate in the constituency, Jose Tom Pulikkunnel of Kerala Congress is the candidate of Congress-led UDF. BJP’s Kottayam district president N Hari is the NDA candidate. Among those who voted in the first couple of hours include the UDF candidate Pulikkunnel, LDF candidate Kappen and the family members of Mani, including his wife and son Jose K Mani, a Rajya Sabha member. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Kappen and Pulikkunnel cast their votes at the Government Polytechnic School, Kanattupara, and Government LP School, Poovathode, respectively. The results are expected to have a bearing on the future course of three major political fronts–LDF, UDF and BJP-led NDA– in the southern state. The Pala Assembly bypoll is seen as an acid test for the parties as victory would give a big boost to their prospects in the by-elections to five constituencies scheduled for October 21 in the state. The by-poll which started at 7 a.m will conclude at 6 p.m. During the bitter poll campaign, various issues including corruption, economic slowdown, crisis in the farm sector and Sabarimala temple women entry issue were raised by the parties. While the LDF leaders raised the irregularities in construction of the flyover in Palarivattom in Kochi during the UDF rule, the UDF leaders alleged corruption in setting up infrastructure in the state using funds from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Both the ruling LDF and the opposition UDF were confident of winning the bypoll.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The government will take a decision on raising the income tax exemption limit at an appropriate time, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said on Thursday. Last week, the government lowered the corporate tax to 22 per cent from 30 per cent and there has been a clamour for raising income tax exemption limit to push demand and consumption with a view to fuel economy. “When the time arises to take a call on it (income tax relief), the government will do so. The government in the past has also increased (the limit) from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. In future, whenever the time arises, we will look into the matter,” he said here. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraWith regard to curbs on Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC Bank) by the RBI, the minister said the central bank has its own role in the country and it does its job well. “After considering all aspects they (RBI) will take a decision so that it benefits both customers and the bank,” it said. The central bank on Tuesday put a slew of restrictions on the Mumbai-based lender, creating panic among thousands of depositors. Major restrictions include capping withdrawal at Rs 1,000 per customer during the six-month period, and banning the bank from extending new loans. The lender has around Rs 11,000 crore of public deposits. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysWith regard to Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne reiterating that Mehul Choksi may be extradited to India after he exhausts all legal options available with him, Thakur said it is because of the efforts of the Narendra Modi government. The government through many legislations including Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has ensured that nobody flees the country with the public money, he said. Meanwhile, he said that the government decision to cut corporate tax will boost growth and investment in the country. He also said there is a need to fight against counterfeit, smuggling and piracy as it has hurts economy, and also hampers job creation. Prevention of smuggling can increase employment by up to 16.36 lakh jobs in five key industries – textiles, tobacco products, garments, capital goods and consumer Electronics, according to a study released by the minister. Indian economy loses Rs 1,17,253 crore due to smuggling in these five sectors, it said. On corporate tax reduction, Thakur said new investment will help create lot of job opportunities in the country. “India now provides most competitive rate in the world and will attract fresh investment in manufacturing which will catapult our country in the $5 trillion economy,” he said. In the biggest reduction in 28 years, the government on Friday slashed corporate tax by almost 10 percentage points as it looked to pull the economy out of a six-year low growth and a 45-year high unemployment rate by reviving private investments with a Rs 1.45-lakh crore tax break.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Expressing “serious concern” over inordinate delay in justice delivery, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday pitched for bifurcating the Supreme Court to handle constitutional matters and appeals and also called for creating four regional benches of the top court for speedy disposal of cases. Endorsing the recommendation of the Law Commission on splitting the Supreme Court into constitutional division and courts of appeal, he underlined the need to set up four regional benches of the apex court. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework Naidu said the move would not require an amendment to the Constitution and referred to Article 130 to drive home his point. “The Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time appoint,” it reads. The Vice President also referred to a recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice on having regional benches of the Supreme Court on trial basis, a statement issued by his secretariat said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen He was addressing a gathering on the release of a book on the writings of eminent jurist late P P Rao here. The full bench of the Supreme Court has on multiple occasions maintained that there is no need for its benches outside Delhi. The full court of the Supreme Court has already rejected the Commission’s August 2009 suggestion that the apex court be split into a constitution bench in Delhi and cassation benches in Delhi (north), Chennai/Hyderabad (south), Kolkata (east) and Mumbai (west) to deal with all appellate work arising out of the orders/judgments of the high courts. Supreme Court judge Rohinton F Nariman, Attorney General K K Venugopal and several former judges were present at the launch. To cut the present delays in justice delivery, Naidu urged that standard operating procedures (SOPs) may be evolved by the judiciary by which the number of permissible adjournments can be specified and a time limit can be set for disposal of cases based on the nature of issues involved. He also urged the government to be “much more proactive” in addressing the large number of pending vacancies in the judicial system so that delays are avoided. He urged the judiciary and the government to act in tandem in this regard. Naidu, who is also the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, underscored the need to revisit the anti-defection law contained in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution to prevent loopholes and set time limits for the presiding officers of various legislatures to decide on defection matters quickly. He recalled several instances of delay in deciding on defection matters as a result of which those subsequently disqualified have completed their terms in legislatures. He also suggested special judicial tribunals for disposing defection cases within six months to one year. He also underscored the need for election cases and cases of criminal proceedings against politicians to be decided by special benches of higher courts for their disposal within six months.last_img read more

first_imgMumbai: The now-suspended managing director of the crisis-hit Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC), Joy Thomas, has reportedly admitted to the RBI that the bank’s actual exposure to the bankrupt HDIL is over Rs 6,500 crore — four times the regulatory cap or a whopping 73 per cent of its entire assets of Rs 8,880 crore. The admission came in after a board member leaked the actual balancesheet details to the Reserve Bank, a source in know of the details said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe slum redevelopment focused Housing Development and Infrastructure or HDIL is in the bankruptcy court now after being hit by a severe cash crunch following the failure of some of its key projects in the city. While HDIL did not reply to a detailed e-mail sent by PTI on the issue, the bank, its chairman Waryam Singh and Joy Thomas could not be reached for comments immediately. The source said that non-disclosure of the actual HDIL status (NPA since the past two-three years) and the quantum of the exposure to the group was leaked by one of the PMC board members himself to the Reserve Bank, forcing Joy Thomas to confess the misreporting. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysAccording to the source, Thomas wrote a four-and-a-half page detailed letter to the regulator giving details of how he, along with six key people who include a few board members, including chairman Waryam Singh and one or two senior bank officials, were sanctioning loans to the HDIL Group. The source further said Thomas has also confessed that most of the board members were in the dark about these loans. Waryam Singh was on the board of HDIL for nine years between 2006 and 2015 and had held 1.91 per cent stake in the company during this period. He ceased to be a non-executive director of the company in March 2015. Before he exited the HDIL board, Singh had sold his entire stake in the company. “The whistleblower board member approached the regulator and provided information about financial irregularities and the real estate company’s loans not being classified as non-performing loans from last two-three years, despite defaults on repayments,” the source said. “This forced Thomas to go the RBI. In a four-and-a-half page letter, he confessed the wrongdoings and evergreening of some other key accounts,” he added. The loans were sanctioned to the realty developer since 2008, the source said. “Thomas in the letter admitted that the exposure to HDIL Group was over Rs 6,500 crore, which is nearly 73 per cent of its total loan book of Rs 8,880 crore as of September 19, 2019,” the source said. As per regulations, single entity exposure limit for banks is 15 per cent of their capital fund. For group companies, the exposure limit is 20 per cent. Thus, PMC’s exposure to HDIL is almost four-times of what RBI mandates. Thomas, in a press conference last week, had said the bank’s exposure to HDIL and its related entities was to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore and that there was delay in repayments by the group since the last two-three years. In the confession letter, Thomas also put the actual NPA number at 60-70 per cent as against a reported net NPA of 2.19 per cent as of March 31, 2019, the source said. Though the RBI is still inspecting the bank’s balancesheet, if the NPA numbers turn out to be as per Thomas’ confession, it will be the highest in the banking industry so far. On September 19, Thomas met RBI Executive Director Rabi Mishra and sought time to resolve the issue, citing HDIL was in advanced stages of selling some of its real estate assets. The money from the asset sale could have helped HDIL repay at least the interest part and make its account with PMC standard, Thomas had informed the RBI. The regulator sent the inspection team to the bank’s headquarters in suburban Mumbai on the evening of September 19 itself. During the inspection, RBI found major financial irregularities, under-reporting of exposure and failure of internal controls and systems. On September 23 evening, the RBI had put a slew of restrictions on the bank for six months. The restrictions included curbs on fresh lending, accepting fresh deposits and investments, among others. The withdrawal limit for account holders was also kept at Rs 1,000 for six months, which was later raised to Rs 10,000. The regulator also dismissed the board and suspended Thomas. It appointed J B Bhoria as the administrator at the bank.last_img read more